Labour of Love!

My daughter’s boyfriend was having a birthday and his favourite food is cabbage rolls. Mine too…..but I HATE making them!

“Can you ‘help me’ make cabbage rolls?” she asked. “Of course…” I replied, knowing it is one of my least favourite things to make! In fact, I usually make a cabbage roll casserole so I don’t have to spend all the time and frustration rolling these things!!

One of the most challenging parts for me is getting the cabbage leaves prepped for stuffing. In the past, it meant putting the whole head into a pot of boiling water and taking leaves off one at a time as they softened. It was messy and I burned myself ALL the time!

This time, I decided to try putting the whole head in my Quick Cooker….the Pampered Chef version of an Instant Pot. So I did the first head for about 5 minutes, but the second I only did for 2. I found the 2 minutes worked best.

So, I cored the cabbage and then put the whole head in with the open end at the bottom.

I peeled the softened layers and cut the remaining core from the centre to make rolling easier. I put the core pieces that I cut out in the bottom of the slow cooker, along with some of the leaves that were too small to stuff.

While the cabbage was in the Quick Cooker, I made the filling.

I used a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, egg, raw rice, onion, garlic, and seasonings…..and mixed it all up with my Mix and Chop from PC. I removed some of the seasoned meat mixture before adding the rice, and made a special filling for me using riced cauliflower instead of rice to reduce the carbs. I added fresh thyme and oregano from our garden!

Then the stuffing and rolling began….

I layered the rolls in my slow cooker and smothered them in sauce.

The final result turned out not too bad, and I didn’t even miss the rice in mine!

I made a cabbage roll soup with the remaining cabbage that wasn’t used in the rolls!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 5 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 278 kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 12 leaves cabbage softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • .5 lb ground beef
  • .5 lb ground pork
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped fine
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano chopped fine

For the sauce:

  • 1 jar tomato or spaghetti sauce (no meat)
  • 1 can tomato soup condensed
  • added seasonings if using tomato sauce

Instructions
 

  • Soften cabbage leaves in boiling water or use a pressure cooker @ 2 minutes high pressure
  • Combine filling ingredients in large mixing bowl. I substituted riced cauliflower for the white rice in some of the rolls and cooked them seperately.
  • Once leaves are softened and filling combined, stuff rolls individually, cutting out the stem part of the leaves to make rolling easier
  • I found placing the filling in the upper part of the leaves worked best. I used my large Pampered Chef cookie dough/meatball scoop for uniformity. Then I folded the sides of the leaves over the filling and rolled.
  • Place smaller leaves and stem pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker to keep from burning or sticking.
  • Layer rolls on top and cover with sauce.
  • I cooked on high for 4-5 hours. But keep checking. You want them soft and well-done, but not dissolved.
  • Enjoy!! They are even better made a day ahead!

Nutrition

Serving: 2rollsCalories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 17gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 838mgPotassium: 913mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 749IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This is the Pinterest recipe that I based mine on https://sugarapron.com/2016/02/12/crock-pot-stuffed-cabbage-rolls/. As per usual, I modified mine, eliminating the sugar, adding additional seasoning, and probably quadrupled the original recipe!

Let me know if you try it!

I spent my afternoon……..vermicasting!!!

As the title of this blog states….I am in “Relentless Pursuit” of many things. One of the main ones is becoming less dependent on an increasingly polluted and manipulated food industry.

Oh, I am no where near where I want to be….but overall, I have made significant strides in this area, along with many other areas of my life in trying to live more chemical free and dealing things back to a more natural life-style.

Today I spent my afternoon out in the sun, sorting through my worm bin.

I have had these worms for a couple of years now, and honestly, it’s a miracle they’re still alive. But they are….and I feel that anything that has survived this long, overcoming the neglect and confusion that these worms have, well….they deserve a renewed commitment on my part.

Worm castings are an organic matter that is highly beneficial to our nutrient depleted soils. These worms are kept alive by feeding them our kitchen scraps….the more rotten, the better they like it. We keeping the peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, just about any organic scrap that isn’t dairy or meat. They turn it into the most amazing, nutrient-dense, organic food/fertilizer for the vegetation we are growing in our raised beds and many bins.

For bedding, I tear up LCBO brown paper bags, the cardboard trays from coffee shops, shredded envelopes, junk mail, newspapers and flyers…. You can also use dried leaves, twigs, straw, hay, mulch…..almost anything that hasn’t been poisoned by chemicals, fertilizers, insecticides etc.

So, in short…..they take our organic garbage and turn it into rich soil that, in turn, replaces not only nutrients in the soil, but microorganisms and necessary bacteria, microbiomes etc. which are so important in growing food and supporting our own healthy immune systems.

We spend SO much effort and money avoiding germs….we have antibacterial this, and antibacterial that….we are killing the good bacteria that are essential in equipping our own immunity to fight the onslaught of harmful bacteria and aid in producing the antibodies necessary to a healthy and strong immune system. According to many, including Dr. Stuart Levy, “Just as a child needs lot of exercise to develop strongbones and muscles, a child’s immune system needs a rigorousworkout to develop normal resistance to infections throughoutlife,” But no, we are bathing them in hand sanitizer and setting them up for future vulnerability.

But I digress…

We are concerned about waste, concerned about food shortages and food quality (or should be)……this is ONE SMALL WAY I am pursuing relentlessly, and healthier, more natural, synergistic lifestyle.

This is the bin of castings I harvested today…..

This is what my bin looked like afterward.

I credit my daughter, Stephanie, who inspired me to begin this process. She LOVES to garden, I really don’t…….but I’m getting there. This is an experiment on my part…..a learning experience, another step in my Relentless Pursuit and exploring my inner hippy!!! 🙂

Here is a link to just one article on Vermicasting…. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/vermicomposting/worm-castings.htm

Let me know what you think.

It’s Been a ‘Berry’ Good Day!!

Tis the season for strawberries and rhubarb!!! I had a bunch of both that needed to be used ASAP so this is how I spent my day!

I started out with an old-fashioned strawberry rhubarb cake/pudding….the kind my grandma used to make where you put the dough in the pan and then mix hot water, brown sugar, and butter and pour it over the top. It made a wonderful sauce that forms underneath the cake. I will share the recipe below… Another Pinterest win!

Then it was on to a new adventure – the first time making jam in my Pampered Chef Deluxe COOKING Blender. I’m still a little iffy with a fully blended jam, but man, it is so much easier, that I might just have to get used to it!

I used the low-sugar recipe found on the Pampered Chef site. The recipe calls for a reduced-sugar pectin, but I used regular powdered pectin, since that’s what I had. It seems really thick and it isn’t cooled yet. So, I think I dodged a bullet! :). The original recipe can be found here.

The next ‘first’ was a blender jam using chia seeds instead of pectin and a small amount of maple syrup for the sweetener.

I made 1.5 times the original recipe, and I found the recipe on the A Beautiful Mess website. The recipe can be found here.

Blender Chia Seed Jam

FYI….chia seed jams can also be done on the stove using the fruit chopped instead of blended. Just do a search for Chia Seed jams and you’ll have plenty of options to try!!

So…it’s been a busy, but productive day!

Here is the recipe for the Rhubarb Pudding (Cake), as promised!! Enjoy!!

Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Pudding

No ratings yet
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 297 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven preheated to 375 degrees

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups chopped fruit I used 1/2 rhubarb, 1/2 strawberry

For the Sauce:

  • 1.5 cup very hot water I only used 1 cup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (not in original recipe)

Instructions
 

  • Mix the cake ingredients together in a bowl, adding more milk if needed to make a thick but not dry dough.
  • Fold in the chopped fruit.
  • Scrape dough into a prepared 8" pan, spreading out evenly.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup and pour over the top of the cake.
  • Bake @ 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. It is done when nicely browned on top.
  • Enjoy!!

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 180mgFiber: 1gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Let me know if you try any or all of these recipes!

Progress, not Perfection

“Progress, not perfection” is something I need to repeat to myself often.

I’m pretty sure perfectionism is a crippling disease, not a positive character trait. It cripples the person striving to achieve it, and it is detrimental to those who live with that person as well. The standards that can never be met, the heights that can never be reached, the performance that is never good enough. It’s defeating and sucks the life right out of you, and everyone around you, yet we wear it like a badge of honour. I fight it, every frigging day!

  • In my head, I am never good enough. I could always be just that l-i-t-t-l-e bit better, do that little bit more.
  • In my head, I need to perform for acceptance.
  • In my head, I never meet the mark, always come up lacking, and if you’re my child, then my performance and success is measured by your performance and success.

I was robbed when my children were growing up. Instead of enjoying them and accepting them for who they were (like I, thankfully, am able to do today), I found fault, I always had to point out the one way that they could do better. “You did a great job, but……” and then would raise another bar, set another standard, and made them feel like they were never enough.

Without a doubt, this is my biggest parenting regret.

Perfection is an illusion, a mirage, and a trap.

Should you EVER manage to convince yourself that you arrived, there is always a person, a circumstance, or a Facebook or Pinterest post that will quickly, and mercilessly, burst your bubble and, in your head, send you right back to square one.

It’s taken years to begin my journey of becoming free from the tyranny of perfection… twenty, to be exact. Yet I still battle it every single day…..in my head. It has taken intentionality and perseverance to overcome. Some days I make it, most days I don’t, at least not in my head.

But I know, if I hadn’t begun this freedom journey 20 years ago, I would not enjoy the level of relationship that I have with my kids today. THEY would not have the freedom they have today…. The freedom to learn, the freedom to fall, and the freedom to fail, and the freedom to grow, evolve, and overcome the tyranny of perfection.

True freedom can be messy. It can get worse before it gets better. It can be a revolving cycle of failure (my F word) and progress, but never perfection. So stop looking for it.

Start celebrating your wins you do have them!!! Don’t let the failures pile up and weigh you down! Each day is a new day, start fresh!!

  • Be honest!
  • Be real!
  • Be encouraged!!

Be warned!!

  • You may lose people in your life….people you really love and care about!

You will also…

  • Find peace, performance is effing draining!
  • Retain the relationships that matter.
  • Have the people in your life that love you for YOU, however uncomfortable and screwed up that may look like THAT DAY!

You owe it to yourself, and to the people that you love, to break free from the tyranny of perfection!!

It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it…..

It’s been quite a while since I added to this blog. To be honest, it’s been hard to even know what to say or where to begin.

To say this year has been overwhelmingly challenging, difficult, painful….. Oh my gosh, I could go on and on. I honestly don’t remember a time where I’ve experienced such a myriad of emotions….all at the same time and for so very long.

So this is going to be a ‘bit’ of an update….

We lost my second father 3 days before Christmas last year. He had been in hospital for most of the year, being discharged a couple of times but having to be readmitted because his ambulation and mobility was decreasing and my mom just wasn’t able to take care of him the way he needed. Even though she is amazing for being 94 years old, it was just too much and put her health and well-being in jeopardy.

Around March of last year, after he was discharged the first time from a hospital stay of a month or so, it was clear that some significant changes needed to be made. Living in a two-story home – even with a chair lift for the stairs – just wasn’t going to work long-term. So our oldest son took on the monumental task of designing and building a granny suite in what was the garage of our home. All the kids pitched in to do whatever, whenever they could. But with Covid, setbacks, and all the pre-existing structural problems that we were unaware of, it took much longer than we anticipated. Sadly, Paul passed away before it was ready for them to move in. That was devastating for us, but as I have pondered this reality, thankfulness replaced the disappointment and sadness. I know Paul couldn’t have stayed. His care needs were just too great and even with the maximum homecare he qualified for, it would not have been enough. He needed round-the-clock care….and that just wasn’t feasible here, which would have meant nursing home care and he never wanted that….ever. As much as it hurt that he didn’t make it here, it would have been beyond heartbreaking to have to tell him he couldn’t stay. And, as I said to the kids, at least he died in hope looking forward to something, not in despair.

So this “part one” of the update is dedicated to him…. The man who came into our lives when I was 18 or 19 after losing my father and became the most amazing father and grandfather to our crew. He teased and laughed and taught and built anything we needed built. He’d drop everything if we needed him, no questions asked. The nurses who cared for him have told me repeatedly that all he talked about was his family…..all of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren…..we were all the joy of his life.

He loved the internet but could mess up a computer in ways that I couldn’t even begin to, no matter how hard I tried, even if I tried to do it on purpose!!! I remember the day we visited and he informed us that he needed a new mouse because his computer was slow!! Of course, it had NOTHING to do with the popups that he ‘didn’t’ click every time they appeared!! LOL

He had his quirks, his idiosyncrasies, and his funny notions, and he had a heart of gold, took the teasing as well as he gave it, and created a legacy of unconditional love and acceptance.

You are missed, Paul….more than we could ever say. But there’s never a day that goes by that you’re not remembered, honoured, and loved…. You will live on forever in our hearts, our thoughts, in the choices we make and the lives we live.

Cauliflower Hamburger Casserole

Tried a new recipe the other night…….and even the kids liked it!!!! In fact, I hardly got any!!!! 😉

This is a low-carb dish with lots of flavour and leftovers worked great for meals to take to work!

Cauliflower rice has become quite popular. Apparently, you can buy it frozen in bags, already chopped fine. I just make my own…….I mean I have to justify the money I just spent on a new food processor!!!

Ground beef and onion were sautéed together and then riced cauliflower added to the pan.

I added chopped fresh kale and seasonings.

Then I cooked it briefly in pan until kale was somewhat wilted and cauliflower had softened.

I added it to my Pampered Chef stoneware 9″ x 13″ baking pan. The recipe called for a pan this size but, as witnessed by the white casserole dish slightly behind, I wasn’t sure it would fill it enough. Of course, once I started spooning it into the casserole dish, I quickly realized that the recipe was right. Who knew….. 🙂

Note the impressive ‘seasoned’ stoneware!!! (vs the dirty white casserole dish!!!)

Final touch: grated cheese on top!!

It was baked at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

As per usual…..I modified and made substitutions. They are listed at the end of the recipe below.

Cheesy Ground Beef and Cauliflower Rice Casserole | Low Carb & Keto-Friendly Casserole

No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 8
Calories 319 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1.2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 small cauliflower, chopped tiny, like rice (can use bag of frozen cauliflower rice)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Brown beef, onion, and garlic together in frying pan
  • Add italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to pan
  • Continue to cook, breaking up meat with spoon, until meat is fully cooked
  • Add in spinach and cauliflower and cook stirring frequently until slightly wilted and somewhat soft
  • Remove from heat, drain liquid if necessary
  • Add sour cream, basil, and butter stirring until creamy
    Add a little bit of milk if too thick
  • Put everything in greased 9" x 13" baking dish
  • Top with shredded cheese
  • Bake 22-25 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let stand several minutes before cutting and serving

Notes

I modified a bit.  I used:
  • chopped kale instead of spinach.  
  • homemade chipotle powder instead of paprika (season to taste) 
Along with the Italian seasoning, I also added:
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh rosemary
 

The original recipe I started with was a Pinterest find and you can see it here .

Nutrition

Serving: 8gCalories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 18gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 457mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2432IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 224mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Instant Pot Recipe: Butter Chicken

This recipe was taken from the Instant Pot app on my phone, first made by our daughter, Katie. It’s quick and delicious.

Now, full disclosure, mine turned out a bit different last night. I got everything assembled and when I went to find the curry powder, I had none!!! So…..I improvised. Didn’t turn out bad, if I do say so myself! However…..all I saw was one tablespoon of ginger, totally missing the fact that it was to be fresh and not powdered!! BIG difference!!!!! But it worked rather well.

I may, or may not, have been cooking with wine again!!!

I also added tandoori spice and Garam Masala, which are not called for in the original recipe. When I make it again, I will also add fresh cilantro….and maybe even some fresh basil.

Everyone else had theirs over rice, I had mine over some kale/quinoa salad to reduce the amount of carbs and include the nutrition benefits of kale vs rice. It was yum!!!

The Instant Pot app has many really good recipes for, what has quickly become my favourite appliance, the Instant Pot!! If you have one, you really need to download the app. The instructions are clear and simple, and will help you get the most out of your Instant Pot.

Let me know if you try this, or any of the other app recipes……or any of your own Instant Pot favourites!

Salute…

Instant Pot App Butter Chicken

No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 304 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 3 half chicken breasts
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes Approx 363g
  • .5 cup chicken broth
  • .25 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • .25 tsp salt
  • .5 cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Instant Pot on saute setting, normal.
  • Add tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped onion, butter, curry powder, ginger, and salt to the Instant Pot liner.
  • Cook until butter is melted, stirring occasionally – approximately 2 minutes, using the saute function.
  • Add chicken breast to inner pot and toss to coat well with sauce.
  • Close and lock lid and turn steam release handle to Sealing.
  • Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • Release pressure manually.
  • Remove chicken to a plate. Can chop or shred at this point, or just leave it intact.
  • Turn Instant Pot to saute and heat until sauce is simmering.
  • Stir heavy cream into the sauce and cook until thickened – approximately 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Either spoon sauce over intact chicken, or add chopped/shredded chicken back into sauce.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 26gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 457mgPotassium: 696mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 712IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Instant Pot
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cooking…….with wine.

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE to cook!!! Though I often find the prep process tedious and labour-intensive, I am so motivated by the end result that I endure the process with my eyes on the prize!!!

I crave veggies, especially greens. I hate making salads, but I love to eat them!! A dilemma for sure!!! Right now my garden is still producing kale and I add it to just about anything!!!!

This is a Pinterest recipe found by one daughter and prepared by another. I would double the garlic, though when my daughter made it, it was very garlicky!!

Enjoy…

Honey Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 10
Calories 170 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven, baking dish

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb carrots sliced 1-1'2 inch thick diagonally
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 cloves minced garlic I would use more
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt I use Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • fresh, minced parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Melt butter in saucepan
  • Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring very frequently. DO NOT burn the garlic.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the honey; stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Toss the carrots with the prepared sauce either in the skillet, or pour the sauce over the carrots in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and mix until well combined.
  • Transfer carrots to previously prepared baking sheet.
  • Arrange in one layer and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until carrots are browned and tender.
  • Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Two years looked so far away……..

I won’t deny that some days feel like the picture above……especially when you feel like you only have time for fast food!

Needless to say, I don’t eat much fast food.

It is two years ago today, since I began this quest to implement healthier eating habits.

Actually, I always thought I was pretty smart about how and what to eat…..but I’ve learned quite a bit in the past couple of years and, though weight loss was the initial motivation, my primary focus has leaned more toward improving the quality of the foods we eat, and including some important foods consistently to my nutrition.

I had several goals to keep in mind when planning and preparing meals, or making food choices of any kind. These principles evolved a few times as I gleaned information, scouring podcasts, listening to audio books, and of course……reading Facebook!! Actually, I am just kidding about Facebook, like seriously kidding…… However, Pinterest was quite valuable, and sure helped with recipes that incorporated some of the principles that became important to me.

The primary guiding factors were:

  • reducing carbs, especially highly processed ones
  • knowing how different foods fare on the inflammation spectrum
  • increasing vegetable intake. especially leafy greens and other alkalizing ingredients
  • limiting evening snacks to only occasionally, and very rarely.
  • including all food groups, as I believe that each one has a contribution to make. So though some were more limited than others, none were eliminated, but rather planned into the meals in the quantities that seem to work well for MY metabolism.
  • creating nutrition habits that would become maintainable, and consequently, firmly established as a permanent, nutrition-management system, not a short-term diet.

Some of the ingredients that begin to show up more prominently and routinely:

  • chia seeds
  • quinoa
  • kale, baby spinach, arugula, and various mixed greens
  • homemade bone broths
  • cauliflower, turnip, and zucchini/squashes – all very good subs for high-carb mashed potatoes, pizza crusts, rice, French fries, and pastas.
  • MCT oil
  • lemons
  • avocados and avocado oil
  • plain greek yogurt (dairy is something I, personally, need to limit.)
  • nuts and seeds, often replacing higher-carb, over-processed grain products such as flours. I really want to make a nut and seed granola to use on top of fruit and yogurt or as a healthy snack
  • turmeric
  • fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir made from goat’s milk

Some of the tools that are key for me:

  • the Instant Pot – I’m pretty sure mine is almost worn out!!!! It can’t die now, I just ordered the new air-fryer lid for it!!!!
  • a food processor – mine just died!!!!! :'(. HIGH on the replacement list, I just have to find one I like! I need a work-horse of a machine!
  • a food dehydrator – I use the Excaliber 9-tray model. We’ve had it for almost 13 years and it has been used more this year, than most others combined.
  • a vegetable spiralizer
  • good sharp knives!!!!

Full disclosure:

  • I still eat pizza……like REAL pizza!!
  • I still drink wine
  • Hummus is going to kill me!!! Not that it isn’t a good option sometimes, but it is one of the foods I find challenging to moderate. I could eat the whole container, and there are so many different flavours!
  • I’d like to say I ate celery sticks with the hummus, but no, there were often Tostitos involved!
  • Thanksgiving weekend, I enjoyed everything we had available, including delicious desserts and yummy baked goods provided by local foodie, Laurie Anne Brennan of https://www.facebook.com/shortcrustfoodcompany. I’ve had the delight of enjoying her whole-food, made-from-scratch creations, including some of the most flavourful dishes I’ve ever eaten. The main ingredients in her dishes are sourced locally, as possible. Unfortunately, it never even occurred to me to ask for lower-carb, minimal sugar products, but when I was bemoaning what these treasures were going to do to my “diet”, she enlightened me that these options are all available.
  • All of these confessions include the caveat that they are consumed only occasionally, and almost always in moderation. 🙂

Some of the successes achieved so far:

  • 2-3 clothing sizes smaller
  • A 65-70lb (depending on the day) weight loss.
  • Elimination of pain – especially in my knees.
  • Increased mobility. We have stairs outside the emergency entrance at work. These steps are quite deep and I used to have to step up one step at a time, lifting one foot up to the other, with knees throbbing, onto the same step with the previous foot, before repeating this process on the next step. Now I ‘sprint’ up.
  • I actually enjoy shopping for clothes…..maybe even a bit too much!!!
  • A significant number of inches lost overall….just not sure how many and don’t feel like hunting for the measuring tape right now!

Some days have been hard. Some days I’ve come close to just forgetting the whole endeavour!!!!

I’ve had to address some entrenched mindsets and defaults – such as when I have a bad day. If my choices haven’t been stellar, I don’t let it derail me and send me into a downward spiral, sabotaging all the progress made so far. I pick up and move on, looking long-term and gauging over-all progress and goals versus wallowing in one bad day.

Every day I’m at work, I see the cost of not taking our health and nutrition seriously. Sometimes it becomes too late, irreversible, and there is no turning back; but even then, it’s not too late to start making choices that can improve our quality of life.

I’ll never see the body I once had or the weight I once was. But I CAN prolong mobility, aid my body to find disease naturally, increase immunity, decrease inflammation, and achieve greater gut-health. I can work with MY body providing the nutrients it needs, to do the job it was created to do.

So can you…… Believe me, my prospects were not good!!! Years and years of gaining-losing-gaining, menopause, a strong distaste for exercise, a love of all things bread and wine, but even more – years of living in shame and defeat – all worked against me.

Some meals, I lose the battle…….but I WILL win the war!!!!