All Posts Tagged ‘real food

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Bacon Wrapped Date Salad

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I’ve got this really great friend. In the past year or so, I’ve watched her completely dive in to a healthy lifestyle for her and her family. She’s a busy super mom who runs an in-home daycare and yet she’s managed to build a healthy lifestyle through working out (often including her kids and husband) and healthy eating. We’re big food nerds and so we often send each other picture messages of what we’re eating. (Don’t judge me. I seriously LOVE FOOD.) The other day she sent me a picture of her lunch: a salad with bacon wrapped dates on top. I drooled a little, and then got to work making my own version. I came up with this, and now I kinda wanna eat this every day for the rest of my life.

Ingredients:

-8 dates

-4 pieces of sugar free, nitrate free, pastured bacon

-2 cups spinach

-1/4 red onion, diced

-1 nectarine, diced

-1/2 tomato, diced

-1/2 jalapeño, seeded and diced

-1/2 cucumber, diced

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

2) Using a small, sharp knife, carefully slit a hole in each date and remove the pit.

3) Cut your bacon slices in half so you have 8 pieces, each a couple of inches long.

4) Tightly wind a piece of bacon around each date and secure it by piercing all the way through with a toothpick.

5) Place the bacon wrapped dates on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until bacon is cooked to your liking.

6) Once cooked, remove from the oven and gently pat dry each bacon wrapped date. Set them aside to cool.

7) Place your spinach on a large plate or in a large bowl and throw all your vegetable toppings and nectarine on top. Add your bacon wrapped dates and enjoy!

Eat outside as often as you can. Food just tastes better outside.

Eat outside as often as you can. Food just tastes better outside.

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Whole 30 – Week 2 – Meal Plan

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Hey there! Wow, this no caffeine thing has been ROUGH. For the first 3 days I had a non stop pounding headache, was exhausted during the day, and awake in the middle of the night. By day 4 I was feeling way better though, and I’m excited to see how things improve even more over the next few weeks.

Here’s my meal plan for this week. A few breakfasts that I will double, and leftovers for lunch every day. 

Breakfast:

Yams and Eggs (There isn’t much to this “recipe” but it’s one of my favourites. I chop the yams into cubes and fry them in coconut oil and steak spice until cooked through. I remove them from the pan and cover them to keep them hot. Then I quickly fry 2 eggs and put them on top of the yams. You could partially boil the yams at the beginning of the week to make them quick and easy to fry up in the morning.)

Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Potatoes with Kale and Bacon

Crustless Quiche

Dinner:

Mexican Meatza

Chocolate Chili on spaghetti squash

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque (skip the corn)

Sweet Pineapple Ginger Meatballs 

Lemon Garlic Chicken on Zoodles and Kale

Italian Sausage and Zoodles

Moroccan Spiced Salmon

I suggest tripling the Chocolate Chili and Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque and freezing them for Whole30 emergencies. Those are two of my favourite recipes…you won’t be sorry!

Enjoy!

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The Meal That Started It All – Breakfast Hash

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This month marks my 2 year Whole30-versary!

Two years ago, a close friend of mine posted an Instagram photo of her zucchini and yam hash for breakfast with the hashtag ‘Whole30’. I asked her about it, and she gave me the Whole30 rundown. I completed the Whole30 challenge, and have been on a journey of health ever since. 

(Side note: The friend happens to be a beautiful writer and very talented photographer. Check out her blog here.)

This meal is still one of my favourites for breakfast, or post workout. I’ve seen variations of the recipe on several different food blogs and I have no idea where it originated, but here’s the gist of it.

Ingredients

1 zucchini

1 yam

1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped

1 tsp sage

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions

1) Using a food processor or cheese grater, shred your yam and zucchini. 

2) Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and melt your coconut oil in it. 

3) Place your shredded yam and zucchini and your chopped onion in your pan and mix to combine. 

4) Sprinkle with sage and mix again.

5) Allow the yam and zucchini to cook until you start to see some crunchy brown parts starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes.

6) Remove your hash from the pan when it is cooked to your liking and cover to keep it warm.

7) Fry your eggs in the same pan, however you desire. My favourite way is to gently crack them into the pan, pop the lid on, and leave them to cook for 3-5 minutes until the whites are cooked through and the yolks are still runny.

8) Carefully slide your eggs out of the pan and on top of your hash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!

hash2

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Our Journey to Whole Foods with Charley – Her Story

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ImageMeet Charley Marie, my precious little firecracker. She was born three weeks early and spent two weeks in the NICU. While she was there, multiple nurses laughed and warned us that she already showed a strong will, screaming loudly whenever she wanted or needed something. We took her home and the screaming didn’t stop for four months. Every time she nursed, she screamed in pain after, twisting up her torso and pulling her knees in. No matter what I ate to try and make my breast milk easier for her to digest, she reacted that way.

We switched to formula, but got the same result. After about three and a half months of almost non stop screaming and only sleeping in twenty minute increments, we took her to a specialist. He recommended a specific formula for colicky babies that is much easier for them to digest because the proteins are broken down for them. We tried it, and it worked! The screaming lessened and she began to sleep for longer periods of time.

539190_873794372457_111158930_nBut then came time to introduce solid foods. As a first time mom, I was so excited. I shouldn’t have been…she refused EVERYTHING. People say their child is picky, but really they mean that their child just doesn’t like broccoli or spinach, but will eat more common kid friendly food. My Charley was simply not interested in any food at all. We put everything in front of her and she wouldn’t take any of it. I was so disappointed! I had spent weeks making homemade organic purees and freezing them in anticipation, but she wouldn’t touch them. I researched all kinds of ways to get picky babies interested in food and tried all the methods, but nothing worked. She had the strongest will of any baby I had ever seen. Well meaning friends suggested starving her of milk or formula so that she would eventually eat when hungry enough, but it didn’t work for her. Eventually we gave up, and decided to not force her to eat anything. She drank only formula until she was one, and then when she turned one she switched to milk with small amounts of highly processed, packaged food-the kind you find in the baby aisle at Walmart with the ingredient list so long they can barely fit it on the packaging. It seemed to be the only thing we could get her to swallow. I had given up at this point and was desperate for her to eat, no matter what it was.

It got worse from there on. As we got more desperate to fill her stomach, we offered her more packaged garbage and she developed a like for it. This bothered me so much and I was so concerned for her health, but felt helpless. I have always been interested in nutrition and so I knew the stuff she was eating was terrible for her and contributing to her poor sleeping habits, mood swings, temper tantrums, attention span, and energy levels. I kept telling myself that we would deal with the battle of her eating habits when she was older and could understand.528085_764592947987_549706212_n

Now, that time has come. She’s older. She turned three this past March (2014), and she can understand the general idea that healthy food equals a happier, more energetic, and well balanced life. She’s beautiful and feisty and intelligent and SO STRONG WILLED. We are gearing up for a slow but full time battle. Our goal is no packaged foods by age five. At home, she will have only whole, unprocessed foods. I don’t want her to miss out on some of the wonderful parts of childhood; ice cream on hot days, treats at her grandparents house, or cake at birthday parties. We won’t restrict things like that which are outside of the home. But her food in our house will be real.

I’ve got about a year and a half to change her life. Follow our journey here on my blog and feel free to leave comments with suggestions and ideas. I would love to hear what you think!