Summer Meal Plan – July week 4/16

Summer Meal Plan – July Week 4/16

Family Holidays and Fresh Okanagan Fruit

Meal plan july416


With my health I have not been allowed to leave the country for the past 3 years. It has been difficult, yet another reason to hate this disease and become bitter. However, we decided as a family that we needed to embrace this limitation and start enjoying travel around Canada.

Last year we went to Penticton for the first time and we fell in love!!! It is now our favourite place to go. We were just there for 2 weeks and it was glorious! We even tented for the entire time and loved every minute of it. I know right?!!! That says a lot. It is like Canada’s Maui! Okay obviously not quite Maui, but I have to work with what I have. There may not be a Mama’s Fish House in Penticton, but there is a Gasthaus in Peachland and it is phenomal. They serve all you can eat schnitzel on Thursday evenings! I only ever have one, but knowing you can have as many as you want is the best! It also includes all you can eat dessert. All great variables when you can’t exercise anymore. Aside from the most delicious menu the ambiance is simply spectacular. If you go you must ask to sit on the patio.

Charley loved swimming and making sandcastles. We even went to The Kangaroo Farm this time! I highly recommend stopping in for a visit if you are out that way, it is so worth the trip. Just be aware that the park closes at 2 pm so the animals can have a rest, but it reopens at 6. It is also cash only. Two important bits of information we overlooked!

Until next year Penticton!

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The view from our tent!
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Our little mermaid
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Floating down the canal
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Charley jumping off the dock, one of her favourite activities!
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Koi ponds
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Making new friends!
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Cuddling with a joey!

There is nothing better than fresh seasonal fruit, especially at this time of the year! I have been eating peaches and cherries like candy! Most of the recipes this week are inspired by all of the fresh fruit we brought back with us from our trip to Penticton.


Day 1 


Breakfast

Peaches & Cream Cinnamon Vanilla Crepes 

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Thoughts: I really feel this doesn’t need much of an explanation. This was delicious!!! I made a few changes. I left the peaches fresh and did not peel them. I also used vanilla sugar from The Silk Road Spice Merchant . I also used whipped coconut cream instead of cool whip or whipped cream. 5/5 

Ingredients 

Crepes (made 7, I had 2 crepes) 

  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used original almond milk) 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar (I used honey) 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 

Filling (I had 1 peach and 3 tbsp coconut cream) 

  • 1 large peach, sliced 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar 
  • 1 can coconut milk, cream separated 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 

Instructions 

Jamie Cooks It Up 

For the whipped coconut cream, refrigerate coconut milk over night. Carefully separate the coconut cream in a metal bowl. Do not add liquid. Whisk cream on medium speed for 30 seconds to a minute. Then whisk on high for 7-8 minutes until stiff peaks form. Whisk in vanilla for another few seconds and serve. 

Lunch 

Roasted Cherry & Tomato Salad 

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Thoughts: This worked spectacularly!!! I highly recommend trying this recipe! 5/5 

Ingredients (This was my portion) 

  • 2 cups spinach 
  • 1 cup arugula 
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved  
  • 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved  
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (Or balsamic reduction) 
  • 20 g feta, crumbled 
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 
  • 2 tbsp balsamic salad dressing (I used Renee’s

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven broiler. 
  2. Mix cherries and tomatoes with oil and vinegar. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes, until tomatoes and cherries are golden and bubbling. 
  3. While cherries and tomatoes are roasting place arugula and spinach in a large shallow bowl. 
  4. Top leafy greens with cherries and tomatoes when done, along with feta, pine nuts and balsamic dressing. Serve. 

Dinner 

BBQ chicken brie burgers with grilled peaches 

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Thoughts: I really enjoyed this. Jordan didn’t really like the brie. Jordan liked everything else, he would definitely have it again, just without the brie. 4/5 

Ingredients (this was my portion)

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast 
  • 1 whole grain bun 
  • 1 tsp butter/margarine
  • 1 tsp mayo 
  • 1/2 cup arugula 
  • 2 tbsp sweet bbq sauce 
  • 1/2 peach, left whole
  • 1/2 tsp grapeseed oil 
  • 1 slice prosciutto
  • 15 g brie 

Instructions 

  1. Warm BBQ. 
  2. Butterly chicken breasts. Lie chicken flat and using a sharp knife carefully slide knife down the length of the chicken. Do not cut all the way through the chicken. 
  3. Place chicken on BBQ. Cook 3-4 minutes per side. Brush chicken with BBQ sauce on both sides. Top with Brie and cook long enough just to let the brie melt. 
  4. While chicken is cooking brush peach with grapeseed oil and peach to grill. Grill peach for 1-2 minutes. Once grilled slice. 
  5. Pan fry prosciutto for 30s on each side, just until crisp. 
  6. Assemble burgers by evenly spreading butter/margarine then mayo on toasted bun. Top with arugula, chicken, peaches, and prosciutto. Enjoy. 

Day 2


Breakfast

Cherry and Nutella Crepes 

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Thoughts: Crepes, fresh Okanagan cherries & Nutella……enough said! 5/5 

Ingredients (My portion)

  • 2 crepes (leftover from the day before) 
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Nutella, divided 
  • 1 tsp almond milk

Instructions 

  1. Mix almond milk with 1/2 tbsp Nutella. Set aside. 
  2. Warm crepes. I heated in microwave for 45 seconds 
  3. Spread 1/2 tbsp of Nutella on each crepe. Evenly top with cherries and roll. 
  4. Drizzle with Nutella and milk mixture and enjoy. 

Lunch 

Spicy tuna sandwich 

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Thoughts: A yummy twist on a classic. 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 can tuna, drained 
  • 2 tbsp mayo 
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha 
  • 2 green onions, chopped 
  • 2 slices whole grain bread 

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients together (except bread, of course). 
  2. Spread evenly on bread on serve. 

Dinner 

Lettuce wraps (I had 3) 

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Thoughts: I kept these lettuce wraps really simple. I used a pre-made teriyaki sauce from Costco and a rotisserie chicken. I made a simple red cabbage slaw and whole grain couscous. I was fast and yummy! 4/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce 
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded 
  • 1/4 cup carrots, sliced 
  • 1/4 cup sugar peas, sliced 
  • 2 green onions, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup whole grain couscous, prepared according to directions 
  • 1 head butter lettuce 
  • Sesame seeds for garnish 

Instructions 

  1. Warm a large frying pan over medium-low heat. 
  2. Add sauce and chicken to large frying pan. Cook only long enough to heat through, about 2-3 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl mix together cabbage, carrots, sugar peas, and onion. 
  4. To assemble top butter lettuce with couscous, chicken with sauce, and cabbage. 

Day 3 


Breakfast

Maple Peach Donuts 

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Thoughts: I made a few adaptations from a recipe I found on Pinterest. I love making muffin recipes into donuts! Everything is just better as a donut! These were amazing! 5/5 

Recipe adapted from: Amy’s healthy baking

Ingredients 

Donut 

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp almond milk 
  • 1 large peach, pitted and diced 

Crumble topping 

  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour 
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 350 degrees C. Grease a donut pan or muffin tin and set aside. 
  2. In a small bowl mix together chia seeds with water and set aside and let gel for about 5 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  4. In a separate large bowl mix together coconut oil, chia mixture, vanilla extract, coconut cream, maple syrup and almond milk. 
  5. Fold the chia mixture in with the flour mixture. Do not over mix! 
  6. Fold in peaches. 
  7. Evenly divide mixture in donut pan or muffin tin. 
  8. In a small bowl mix together crumble topping. Evenly spread over all 6 donuts. 
  9. Place in oven to cook for 20-25 minutes. Until you pierce with a tooth pick and it comes out clean. 

Lunch 

Pesto, feta, chicken sandwich 

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Thoughts: A thousand times yes!!! This was simple, fast and delicious! 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 chicken strip fully cooked (I prefer Schneiders Country Naturals Chicken Strips)  
  • 1 whole grain bun, toasted 
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto (I actually had avocado pesto leftover so I used that instead basil pesto) 
  • 10 g feta cheese 
  • handful fresh basil leaves 

Instructions 

  1. Evenly spread pesto on toasted bun. 
  2. Top with feta, chicken, tomatoes and fresh basil. Serve. 

Dinner 

Himalayan salt block white fish with french onion baked quinoa 

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Fish 

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Thoughts: This was my first time using a salt block so my technique was terribly unrefined. I ended up breaking apart the beautiful filet, but man did it ever taste amazing!!! The salt block adds such amazing flavour! You can pretty much cook anything on the salt block, veggies, steak, chicken, etc! I am very excited to use the salt block again soon. 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 filet of fish, any white fish will work 
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Himalayan salt block 

Instructions 

  1. Place salt block on grill. Then warm BBQ to high heat. I aimed for 450 degrees C. 
  2. Brush filet with oil and drizzle with lemon juice. 
  3. Once BBQ and salt block are heated carefully add filet to block. Close BBQ and cook 2-3 minutes. (Cooking will go very fast) 
  4. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the opposite side until fish is opaque and flaky. 

Baked French Onion Quinoa 

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Thoughts: I was craving french onion soup and had this crazy idea to make a french onion quinoa casserole….you’re welcome!!! I loved this side dish sooooooo YUMMY! The one negative that I do have to say about this dish is it can be a bit on the salty side. But honestly French Onion Quinoa!!!! 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup quinoa 
  • 1 can condensed onion soup (or 1 package onion soup mix) 
  • 1 cup water (if you used onion soup mix then use 2 cups of water) 
  • 4 slices gruyere cheese 

Instructions 

  1. Bring quinoa, onion soup, and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Once quinoa reaches a boil reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow quinoa to continue to cook about 15-20 minutes. Until liquid has all been absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. 
  3. Warm oven’s broiler. 
  4. Place cooked quinoa in baking dish. Top with Gruyere cheese and place in oven. 
  5. Broil 3-5 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and golden. 
  6. Serve. 

Meal Plan – June/16

Meal Plan – June/16

It has been way too long! Still trying to get caught up and reorganized from my 8 week hiatus, so there are only 3 days. If there are any recipes you would like to know the diet analysis for please let me know. I hope you enjoy!


Day 1 


Breakfast 

Pumpkin cinnamon sugar donuts 

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Thoughts: These were amazing! I shared these with my neighbours and they LOVED them! The kids asked for seconds! They were definitely a hit, I will be making them again. I made the traditional version, there is also a vegan version 5/5 

Recipe can be found at Baker by Nature

Portion: I had 2 donuts with 1 cup mango 

Lunch 

Avocado, feta & balsamic quinoa puffs 

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Thoughts: This takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and is very satisfying. The saltiness of the feta, the creaminess of the avocado, the sweetness of the balsamic, and the freshness of the tomato work all perfectly together.  5/5

Ingredients (This was my portion) 

  • 3 Suzie’s thin cakes 
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced 
  • 20 g feta, crumbled 
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 tsp balsamic reduction

Instructions 

  1. Layer avocado, tomato, and feta on a quinoa thin cake.
  2. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and enjoy! 

Dinner 

Coconut crusted chicken strips with avocado mango quinoa 

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Coconut crusted chicken strips 

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Thoughts: This was delicious, but honestly a lot of work. While it was delicious I will not likely make it again just because it was quite a bit of work. 

Portion: I had 3 chicken strips with 1 cup quinoa and 1/4 cup avocado dressing from quinoa. 

Ingredients 

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into strips 
  • 1/2 can coconut milk 
  • zest of 1 lime, divided
  • juice of 1 lime 
  • 1 cup coconut flour 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened 
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. In a large bowl mix together coconut milk, 1/2 the amount of lime zest, and lime juice. 
  3. Add chicken strips to coconut milk mixture and marinate for 1 hour. 
  4. In a large shallow dish add coconut flour, in a separate bowl add eggs and whisk, and finally in another large shallow bowl mix together the shredded coconut and remaining lime zest. 
  5. Coat chicken strip in coconut flour, then eggs, and finally in shredded coconut mixture.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all chicken strips are coated. 
  7. Place tbsp coconut oil on baking sheet and melt in oven. Place chicken strips on baking sheet with hot oil and place in oven.
  8. Cook for 10-15 minutes on each side, until chicken strips are fully cooked through (no longer pink and juices run clear). 

Avocado mango quinoa 

Thoughts: I expected this to taste ‘healthy,’ but this was surprisingly good. I made a few changes to the original recipe, I used quinoa instead of rice and plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. The dressing made a lot so I only used half and used the extra as a dip for the chicken strips 4/5 

Recipe found: Real Housemoms 

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Day 2 


Breakfast 

Margarita breakfast pizza 

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Thoughts: This worked surprisingly well. I would probably just use a more durable crust the next time I make it. I used a whole wheat tortilla, which was not quite durable enough for tomato sauce. I ran out of tomato paste so I had to use a pasta sauce which is runnier than tomato paste. So either use tomato paste or a more durable crust. 5/5 

Ingredients (my portion) 

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla 
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce 
  • 5 cocktail bocconcini balls, halved 
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 egg 
  • handful fresh basil 
  • 1 tsp balsamic reduction

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Spread tomato sauce over tortilla. 
  3. Place cheese and tomatoes evenly over tomato sauce. 
  4. Place in oven and cook for 7-10 minutes, until cheese has melted and crust is golden. 
  5. While pizza is cooking, cook and scramble egg. Set aside. 
  6. When pizza is done top with scrambled egg, fresh basil and balsamic reduction. Enjoy! 

Lunch 

Spaghetti 

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Thoughts: Sometimes I just want comfort food. My new favourite dry spaghetti is from Catelli. It is a blend of ancient grains, including quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum and teff. I usually feel pretty sick after a bowl of spaghetti or any pasta for that matter (probably all those years of carbo-loading before a swim meet, I remember having bowls of pasta for breakfast at 5 am before a meet. Oh how sport nutrition has changed!!!) but I always feel great after having this pasta.

Ingredients (my portion)

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti 
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese 

Instructions 

  1. Prepare pasta according to directions. 
  2. Stir with tomato sauce, top with cheese and serve.  

Dinner 

Coconut chicken stir-fry 

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Thoughts: I used leftover coconut chicken from the night before and made a simple stir-fry. It was fantastic! I used the teriyaki sauce from Costco instead of making one from scratch, but to be sustainable in this journey you need to find some healthy convenient options. 4/5 

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  1. Warm a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. 
  2. When oil begins to shimmer add veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Prepare noodles according to package directions. 
  4. Just before removing veggies from heat stir with sesame oil and teriyaki sauce. 
  5. Place noodles in a large bowl, top with veggies and sliced coconut chicken. 

Day 3 


Breakfast 

Watermelon pizza 

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Thoughts: This was refreshing and filling. Even Charley enjoyed this recipe! I will definitely make this dish again! 5/5 

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole cross section slice of watermelon, 1-inch thick 
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 1/4 cup raspberries 
  • 1 tbsp granola 
  • 1 tsp flax seeds 
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds 
  • 1 tsp unsweetened coconut, shredded 

Instructions 

  1. In a medium bowl mix together yogurt and chia seeds. Let sit for 5 minutes. 
  2. Evenly spread yogurt mixture over watermelon. 
  3. Top with raspberries, granola, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut. 
  4. Cut into 6 even slices and serve. 

Lunch 

Green Goddess Zucchini Pasta with Fried Halloumi from Half Baked Harvest

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Thoughts: This was one of the best recipes I have tried so far!!! It easily made my favourite top lunch recipe. I had halloumi but was devastated when I went to use it and it had gone all mouldy! I ended up using bocconcini which was still delicious, but halloumi would really make this dish. The spice of the jalapeño with the freshness of the tomato and saltiness of the parmesan was heavenly. I did not end up using mint in this recipe. I am sure it would be good, I love mint, but I was slightly terrified to add it. Not sure how that would go! I also used the Catelli spaghetti . The texture of the spaghetti with the raw zucchini noodles was outstanding. Yes this recipe did take a while to prepare, but man was it ever worth the wait!!! Try it and you will know why it is number 1 on my top 10 lunch recipes list!!! 

Recipe can be found at Half Baked Harvest 

Dinner 

Spaghetti squash taco bowl 

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Thoughts: Ummm…. Yes!!! You can’t go wrong with a classic 

Ingredients (makes 2 servings I had 1 serving) 

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved with seeds and stringy bits removed 
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil 
  • 400 g ground chicken 
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup black beans, canned drained and rinsed 
  • 1/2 cup corn, defrosted 
  • 3 tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 2 tbsp green onion, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • 1 tbsp sour cream 

Instructions 

  1. Warm oven to 425 degrees F. 
  2. Brush inside of squash with oil, place on a baking sheet and put in oven. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Until you can easily separate into spaghetti like form with a fork. 
  3. While squash is baking brown the chicken. Warm a large skillet over medium high heat. When warm add ground chicken.
  4. When chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink mix water with taco seasoning and pour in with chicken. Continue cooking until water has all evaporated and chicken is evenly coated. 
  5. Divide chicken into each squash. Top with beans and corn, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, green onion, salsa and sour cream. Enjoy! 

Is Honesty the Best Policy?

Is Honesty the Best Policy?

The Update I Have Been Dreading


 

Healthy Fresh Salad Ingredients 

Is honesty the best policy? Well we will soon find out. When I started this blog back in February 2015 I made a promise that I would be honest and transparent about the ups and downs of my new reality. I have been dreading this update, but here it goes. 

I was feeling overwhelmed with a few projects that were my plate. Between maintaining the blog and meal planning I started to feel burnt out. There is so much work that goes into this blog each week. I spend about 4-6 hours each day preparing the blog. But don’t worry, the actual amount of work from your side of things is not nearly that big of a commitment, I have done all of the work for you except the actual cooking😊. However, the meal planning and diet analysis are a huge undertaking.  I do love the blog and do find the process very therapeutic in coping with my disease, I just reached a point that I needed a break.

I decided to take the last few months off of the meal planning portion of the blog. I still ate healthy, but was not strictly controlling my portions. After 8 weeks off I stepped back on the scale and hit probably one of the lowest points of my journey so far.

In only 8 weeks, taking a break from strict meal planning, I have gained everything back. I can’t believe I am about to share this, I now weigh 205 pounds.

One of my biggest hesitations for sharing this update is that I was honoured to be asked to share my success on television and radio. When you reach that level of media you feel like you should be bona fide expert in the weight-loss field. But friends I am just as human as everyone else struggling with a weight-loss journey.

I feel like I have completely let you all down. I have been so touched by the number of you who have told me that I have inspired you. I am hoping that in the midst of my failure I can inspire by being honest with my genuine struggles with this journey.

I guess this set back reveals how VITAL strict meal planning is for weight loss. I cannot afford to take a big break from meal planning. Proper portions are so important to maintain a proper weight. Back to actually measuring out a tablespoon and not estimating. When you estimate, or maybe it is just me, but when I estimate I am usually hungry so a tablespoon turns into a 1/4 cup! 

Moving forward I need to find a more sustainable way of maintaining the blog. My recipes may become less elaborate and you will likely see repeats. I believe I have moved away from the original focus of this blog. I have felt like I needed to provide a new beautiful and elaborate recipe for every single meal. No one has put that on me, I have done that to myself. I need to step back, simplify, and refocus on my diet analysis. 

I think that one of the most sustainable plans for me to follow is 4 days strict eating and 3 days smart eating. What I mean by that is for 4 days of the week follow a meal plan meticulously with precise portion sizes, and for 3 days don’t worry about following a plan, but still be very conscience about what and how I am eating. 

Back to square one and back to a strict meal plan. Meal planning has clearly become a necessary lifeline for me to cope with this disease. I hope you are still interested in following my journey. Thank you so much to everyone for your support throughout my journey of living with ARVC.

Here are my latest pictures: Fitless flavor Journey take 2!

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Confessions of a crazy Pinterest mom – the 3rd birthday!

Confessions of a crazy Pinterest Mom

The 3rd birthday edition


I promised myself that the 3rd birthday would be simple and uncomplicated compared to the first and second birthdays! I clearly do not know how to implement simple and uncomplicated! For Charlotte’s 3rd birthday I went with an Olaf beach party theme. I love the irony of this theme 😂! Charley is getting to the age where she would like a say in her birthday theme, but I just don’t have it in me to throw a frozen party with Anna and Elsa everywhere! I thought an Olaf beach party was a good compromise. With the beach aspect I could easily bring the cute ‘Pinterest‘ vibe into the party!

 

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

You can read all about The Decor, The Details, The Cake, The Activities & The Goody Bags! I hope I can help to inspire you if you are also planning an Olaf Beach Party!

The Decor 

The palm tree, parrot & flamingo inflatables are from Party City. For the table skirt I purchased 4 plastic green table cloths from the dollar store. I folded the cloth in half and cut slits to make it look like a grass skirt. I also purchased tissue paper from the dollar store and made the tissue paper hibiscus flowers using a tutorial from Pinterest. There are hundreds of tutorials for tissue paper flowers. 

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

The It’s Luau time sign is from Party City. The adorable VW surf Westfalia is from some cute boutique store in Palm Springs. Sorry I know that doesn’t help, but my mom bought it a few years ago and I LOVE IT! I was so excited when it worked perfectly with the decor! 

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

The Olaf decal was from Michaels. It came with 2 Olaf decals. The hibiscus felt flowers and the the inflatable beach balls were from the dollar store.

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

The Details

I love bringing in all the fun little details that pull each party together. The party always starts with the invite. The Invite sets the tone of what to expect. All of Charley’s invites said:

I can’t wait to see what my buddies all think of me, 

Just imagine how much cooler I’ll be when I’m 3!

I made sure to find a super ‘cool’ picture of Charley! But how perfect does that work out for an Olaf beach party invitation?!!! As you can tell I was pretty proud of myself when I came up with that!

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

 All the goody bags could be found and picked up from Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Sauna! Along with the Big Summer Blowout that included incredible deals like half off swimming suits, clogs, and sun balm, all goody bags had to go and were free at the end of the party! The kids all loved this little detail! I also incorporated some of Olaf’s most memorable quotes about summer. When all the guests arrived there was a bowl full of Lei’s at the front. I purchased the Lei’s from Party City, they come in packs of 25, 50 and 144. I think the Freezes were one of my favourite details. They were also a must, it was 30 degrees Celsius out!  

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

The Cake

I made Charley’s cake again this year! Yes I know I am also just as SHOCKED!!!! I had so much fun making her cake and all the cupcakes. I made an 8 inch rainbow bit cake for the top tier and 3 tiers of cupcakes (I should clarify I did use boxed cake mixes). I also used pre-made fondant from Bulk Barn and coloured the fondant with Wilton Icing Color. For the cupcakes I used cupcake cups that I found at the dollar store. I have also seen them at Michaels. They are AMAZING!!! I don’t know if I would ever use a regular muffin liner again. With the baking cups you do not need to use a muffin tin, so you can bake way more cupcakes. I just lined up all the cups on a baking sheet.

Making this cake and working with fondant was way too much fun! For my sister’s birthday a few years ago we went to a Fondant Basics Course at SAIT. It was about 4 hours long and the best 80 dollars I have ever spent! It equipped me with the basic skills to produce Charley’s 3rd birthday cake!      

I had to free hand the hibiscus flowers, I could not find just a simple flower cookie cutter anywhere. For the Happy Birthday Charlotte sign I used letter cutters. For the Palm tree I used a wooden skewer and wrapped fondant around it. The tissue paper flowers on toothpicks were from  Party City and I made the fondant beach balls. I am definitely not good enough to hand carve an Olaf out of Fondant or modelling chocolate yet, there are some corners that just have to be cut! The hula Olaf was on clearance from the Disney Store.

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

The Activities

To keep everyone entertained we had an Olaf piñata. I was worried that attacking and destroying Olaf may disturb the children, but their excitement for candy outweighed any long-term scaring of dismembering Olaf with a hockey stick! The Piñata was from Bulk Barn. We also rented a bouncy house with palm trees from Fun 4us Rentals in Calgary. I would definitely rent a bouncy house from them again! The cost was extremely reasonable, you have the bouncy house for 24 hours, the set up is really easy, and the staff was extremely friendly and easy to get a hold of!

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

The Goody (Goodie?) Bags 

Oh the goody bags! I know I am ridiculous, but the goody bags are definitely one of my favourite elements of planning a party! I love tying the entire theme together with goody bag and I think I successfully pulled that off this year! The beach buckets and beach balls are from Party City, and the Olaf water shooters are from the dollar store (specifically Dollarama).  

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Olaf beach party birthday @fitlessflavor

Whoo! I am tired! I swear next year will be a slab cake and streamers! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 … Probably not! #Ihaveaproblem

Top 10 Dinner Recipes

Top 10 Dinner Recipes

There are some delicious recipes in this top 10 list. I could have easily made this my top 20 list and had like 10 number ones. So hard to narrow down a year and half of delicious recipes! I hope you enjoy!

Clicking on the link will take you to the week that the recipe was featured, you may need to scroll down to find.


10. Spicy Chicken Wrap

Not every top 10 recipe needs to be ridiculously over the top gourmet. Half this recipe is pre-made, but hey you can still have convenient healthy options. This is a family favourite, Jordan and I make this regularly on the weekends. It takes less than 5 minutes to prep and everyone looks forward to this meal. Honestly there is not really even a recipe for this dish. It is a whole grain tortilla, with Pinty’s buffalo chicken bites from Costco, Sweet Kale salad from Eat Smart (just the salad not prepared with dressing), cherry tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing. 

For more recipes and meal plan ideas visit @fitlessflavor-20

9. Spaghetti squash mac & cheese

As my original review said: “Do I really need to try and sell you on this one? Just look at the picture!” Recipe inspired by: B.Britnell Life. One Meal At A Time

More recipes and meal plans @fitlessflavor

8. Coconut shrimp tacos

This was amazing and husband approved! The lime zest in the coconut crust was a genius addition to this recipe! Recipe from: House wife in training files 

More recipes and meal plans @fitlessflavor

7. Lazy Cabbage Rolls

I don’t know why this dish grew on me so much! My original review only gave it a 4/5, but every time I scroll through my past recipes I always want to make this dish again. It was simple in flavour and not overly elaborate. It did require a bit more salt, but it was such a wonderful comfort dish! Recipe from: All Recipes

More recipes and meal plans @fitlessflavor

6. Grilled Fajitas

 The grilled flavour adds so much to this classic dish! It was one of Jordan’s favourite dishes! Even though it smoked up the entire house, it was definitely worth it!!! 

For more free meal plans and recipe ideas @fitlessflavor-23

5. Glazed anything!

Okay so I kind of cheated. I struggled to narrow down this top 10 list. So for number 5 on the list I went with 2 of my favourite glazed dinner dishes! The glazed salmon was one of my first huge successes since starting this blog. My husband who hates fish, especially salmon, finished his entire portion and loved it! The glazed pork AMAZING!!! It MUST be served with with the cauliflower rice!  

Glazed Salmon 

Original recipe: Let the Baking Begin

More recipes and meal plans @fitlessflavor

Glazed Pork

Original Recipe (from one of my favourite blogs): The Food Charlatan 

More recipes and meal plans @fitlessflavor

4. Spaghetti Squash Yakisoba

I could eat this every single night for dinner! The entire family loved this dish!!! Jordan went back for seconds and said he really enjoyed it! It was light but filling and packed with flavour.

More recipes and meal plans @fitlessflavor

3. Dill Pickle Soup

 I was so baffled by this recipe at first, I was undecided if I liked it, I kept taking a bite trying to decide, then I realized the whole bowl was gone! I have not made this recipes since it first debuted on the blog, but every time I scroll by this dish I instantly crave it. I must make this again soon! So so SO GOOD! This is our families new comfort food! 

More recipes and free meal plans @fitlessflavor-40

2. Pesto stuffed pork chop

The wonderful saltiness of the feta with the freshness of the pesto, and the wonderful sticky texture of the balsamic glaze with the kick of the red pepper flakes is perfection in this dish! YOU MUST TRY THIS!!!

For more recipes and free meal plans visit @fitlessflavor-50

1. Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Bacon Glaze

All I can say is … you’re welcome! I promise that this will become your new go-to dish! Every time I make this dish EVERYONE include children rave! The savoury balsamic, steak spice marinade with the sticky sweet bacon glaze on top is a heavenly combination!

More recipes and meal plans @fitlessflavor