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Showing posts from October, 2016

Have a Healthy Halloween

As you know, I can rant endlessly about what a toxic, obesogenic environment we live in. Everywhere you go, there is encouragement to eat and to eat crap. This is especially true for kids. I am not exaggerating when I say not a day goes by where my children are not fed garbage food by people outside our home: almost all the school teachers reward with candy (I've finally taken this up with the principal), daycare (snacks are not always that healthy and crafts often involve crap (marshmallows, Froot loops, etc.) which they shovel into their mouths ASAP, samples at Costco, grandparents, birthday parties, Hebrew School, extracurricular activities, it goes on and on. Each person doling it out reasons that its just an occasional treat, but obviously its not when its done regularly and done by practically everyone children come into contact with!

So when every day is bad enough, what do you do about Halloween?

Every year Adam and I have adopted a different rule: as much as you want on …

Load Up Your Cardio

Welcome to Friday! Today its Fitness Friday on the blog. Lets talk about doing weighted cardio.

Though I applaud anyone who makes the effort to exercise regularly, most folks don't do what is necessary to maximize their results. I am not just talking weight loss, but overall fitness too. People tend to focus on one aspect of fitness (cardio or flexibility) and neglect the rest, or they do the same workout over and over.

Our bodies like variety and our bodies need incremental increases in intensity to continue getting benefits (law of progression). Whether you are doing cardio, or strength, you need to continuously change things up and up the level of difficulty.

With strength training you can increase weight, add more sets, etc. With cardio you can increase speed, duration or switch to a more intense activity (i.e. walking to running). You can also add weight to your cardio!

Back in the 80s when STEP aerobics exploded onto the fitness scene, it was done holding 1-2 lb hand weight…

B-Up Protein Bars

Welcome to Wednesday! You're half way to the weekend!!

Today I'm talking protein bars.

Right now the only protein bars I am smitten with is Quest's Double Chocolate Chunk. Not even any other flavours of  Quest really do it for me.  The problem is, they are really expensive! When I look around though, all similar products are pretty much around the same price.

Recently, however, I found some B-Up bars on sale, and noticed the regular price is a wee bit lower than the Quest bars. I figured I should give them a try, especially since I've heard their birthday cake flavour is good. So I bought 2 boxes.

They are a few grams bigger than the Quest bars but clock in at the same number of calories, and approximately same macros as Quest.

I like the firmness of my Quest flavour of bars, and I LOVE the chocolate chunks. These don't have chunks (none of their flavours do) and they are quite a bit softer. But they are tasty and I will definitely be eating them until they are go…

Wayfair for the Win

Good morning and welcome to a new week!

Until recently, I was a reno virgin. Having just redone 2 floors of our 3 floor house, I learned a lot!

First of all, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are planning a renovation yourself (and living through it):

1. Consider time of year - It was frickin' hot and humid while ours were being done, so despite having A/C, we were very uncomfortable. The workmen had the doors open a lot, and we were living on the top floor where the A/C is weakest. On the flip side though, if you do them in the dead of winter, your house may get really cold, and I'm guessing, the work may take longer because of snow, wet and other stuff making it trickier to move big equipment, furniture, appliances, etc. Our workmen did a lot of sawing and drilling in our front and back yards, and that wouldn't have been possible in winter.

2. When thinking about budget, think beyond the actual labour costs, equipment costs, and furniture costs - Since our house…

Sneaky Blends: Cookbook Review

Happy FriYAY!

I am definitely glad its Friday because Adam has been in Ottawa since Sunday for a work trip. It started with our car getting a flat tire on Monday (which I discovered just as I was pulling out of the garage to get to work),

Tuesday I got mixed up and went to get Little A from her Brownies meeting a half hour early. I walked up the street to window shop to pass the time and the heavens opened up and I got soaked. No stores were even open, and I had neither an umbrella nor a jacket. I got back to pick her up looking like a drowned rat.

Wednesday I woke up to find raccoons tipped over our green bin and made a big mess on our front porch.

Thursday I woke up with another MSI (mysterious sleeping injury). My ring finger on my right hand hurt so much I couldn't move it. It is better today but still hurts. And no, I don't sleep walk, or even thrash around much, so I have no idea how I manage to injure myself so often while sleeping!

I also discovered our dishwasher was…

Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry Chili

Happy hump day! I have a festive recipe for you today. Its perfect when looking for an easy, cost-effective way to cook for a crowd.

This is the chili I made for our family Thanksgiving meal and not only was it so much easier to make than a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but everyone loved it!

I don't know why I lost my taste for the classic meal: roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc., but I have, so this was a great alternative, and no one was disappointed. No, the kids didn't join us, we ordered pizza for them...but they wouldn't eat a traditional turkey dinner either!

Of course, this recipe is healthy and delicious and great to make anytime, not just at Thanksgiving. If you love chili, give it a try for something different. This recipe makes a ton, so its perfect for entertaining, but feel free to halve if you want less. I think its worth making the whole recipe though, because leftovers freeze well.

If you are a non-meat eater, replace the turkey with a fe…

Morning Rituals

Good morning! Its Monday morning. Are you smiling?

Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, I believe your morning routine is really important. What you do, or don't do, upon waking can affect your mood and physical wellness for the entire day.

Coffee, first thing in the morning is how most people start their day, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but your A.M. routine should ideally include a lot more than just java.

My day has started with exercise of some sort, first thing, for the past 25 years or so (before that I used to exercise in the afternoon), and I don't see this ever changing. Ever. There are so many reasons to workout first thing in the morning, but that's a whole other post.

Aside from getting my sweat on, my morning routine has changed significantly over the past few years. The reason is certain things just stopped working for me.

First, about 3 or so years ago, it was switching from mostly cardio, to mostly weights. I wasn't enjoyin…

Super Easy Peach Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Good morning and Friyay! Give yourself a pat on the back, because you made it through the week.

I have a little recipe for you today that's super easy, even if you are a non-baker.

In order to keep myself from getting stressed preparing for our Thanksgiving dinner, I promised myself I'd keep it simple.

The main was turkey chili, and I decided to make cornbread with it. I did intend to whip some up from scratch but while I was out shopping, I found Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free cornbread mix, and thought, why not make it easy for myself? I can always dress it up, and dress it up I did! These came out fantastic!

Though I used eggs as per the bag instructions, you could swap it out with flax eggs and make these vegan.

These are so yummy, and if you love sweet and spicy flavour combos, you just have to make them!

Super Easy Peach Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

1 bag Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free cornbread mix
1/2 cup avocado oil (or other oil)
2 eggs or flax eggs
500ml jar of peache…

Yummy Kippers

Today is Yom Kippur so there's no work or school for us, we're just heading to shul. Even me, the previous shul hater, is excited. I love our shul, I love our Rabbi, and I love the thoughtful prayers and readings. I may not be religious, but it nourishes the philosophical part of my soul.

Have a wonderful hump day!

The Harvest Holiday

We are currently in my favorite season: fall, autumn, the harvest...whatever you want to call it, I adore it! The foods (apples, squash, all root veggies...), the sights (leaves changing colours), the smells, and sounds.

We always celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in our home. Though my family is from the U.S., they quickly adopted the Canadian holiday, which takes place in the midst of this heavenly (and short) season here, rather than at the end of November as they do down south. It certainly seems to make more sense to celebrate the harvest during the harvest, not after it!

When Adam and I travelled to Chicago back in 2008, we did so over the American Thanksgiving weekend. What a mistake! Not only was the travel a nightmare (hello 5 hour delay in O'Hare!), but the weather was awful and there was a major snowstorm that shut down the city and the airport. That was not fun, nor was Chicago an attractive place that time of year!!

Despite my love of Thanksgiving, Adam and I haven…

It's In the Bag

When people describe my style (or lack thereof), its almost always 'sporty'.
You might think (and people often do) that its because I am coming from, or going to the gym, but that's rarely the case. I workout at 5am before I shower and then dress for the day. But its true that unless I am meeting with clients or have any other reason to look professional (or not sporty), I am dressed in what I would call 'comfy' atire. That usually means pants, which may include spandex pants, and, if I am walking anywhere, runners, and a backpack.
Actually, even if I am meeting with clients or I want to look nice, both comfort and practicality are very important to me. If I wear heels, its stacked or wedges, never stiletto, and I carry a bag appropriate for the occasion (meaning, if I am biking to my destination, it will be a backpack, no matter what, and never a clutch or something...I like to have my hands free!).
Though Adam says I have way, way too many shoes and boots, I don…

Shana Tova!

Good morning, and Shana Tova/Happy New Year to you, if you are celebrating Rosh Hashana today!

We are heading to shul and then to Adam's parents' for a lunch.

I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was good, bad, and at times, ugly.

Lets start with the ugly. Saturday night I was hit with food poisoning and ended up barfing my guts up. I think it was from some raw spinach I ate that night for dinner. It really was not fun. Luckily, it was out of my system by morning so I was actually able to teach my spinning class. I didn't really feel I had a choice anyways, unless I was really out of commission, because finding a sub early on a Sunday morning would not have been easy.

The bad was that Adam opened the box for our new TV stand, which we were going to try and assemble and it was immediately obvious it wasn't happening. Like five thousand parts and an instruction book the size of War and Peace. Seriously? Like it would have taken us the entire day! I immediately sent out c…