Chin Up

Song of the Day –

Let me start by saying “Hello”, long time no chat. My work life and daily changing routine was a little much….I should invest in something that I can speak into so it types for me and then add in my pics and videos while editing.

My mother loved the “Color Run – Windsor” on July 19th, 2014 and is now using it to drive her through rehab. She is still in a wheelchair, however, with a large base cane she can make the distance between the front door and back door of my parents home (approximately 4 to 6 meters).

Alan (step-dad and mom’s one true love) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which they believe may have resulted from the Liver Cancer detected and removed weeks after my mother’s aneurysm in October 2013. He has undergone Whipple surgery and it is documented as London, ON biggest procedure preformed and his tumor will be in a case study. As a science fiction fan he has decided to enjoy that part of a negative situation.

My parents ability to find the positive and continue embracing life no matter what not only paints their beautiful love story, but reminds me that I will never give up on being me…being HAPPY, no  matter what.

Meringue Pie (GF, Oil Free, Vegan)

This is a marbled Meringue Pie.  I split filling recipe in half and used Fresh Blueberry Juice and Fresh Strawberry Juice (each half & half with fresh lemon juice)

This is a marbled Meringue Pie.
I split filling recipe in half and used Fresh Blueberry Juice and Fresh Strawberry Juice (each half & half with fresh lemon juice)

Crust

  • 1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (do not omit!)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini

Place all raw pie crust ingredients in a food processor and blend until well processed but still slightly mealy/chunky.

Press down into your pie plate!

Filling 

  • 1 ¼ cup ground raw sugar (size of table sugar)
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon agar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cup milk Alternative (I like thick consistency of almond milk)
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup lemon juice + 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest (Sub ½ juice with fresh pressed juice of another flavour for fun)

Add to sauce pan and bring to boil and whisk for 4-5 minutes, it will turn into a pudding like mixture and when you can’t stir no more it’s ready to go in the pie crust, then cool for an hour or two. Note: when marbling follow the same

Meringue

  • 1 16 ounce can of chickpeas – put a colander over a large mixing bowl and pour the chickpeas in to drain the brine into the mixing bowl. Put the chickpeas in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • ¾ of a cup of finely ground sugar – grind regular sugar in a blender if you don’t have finely ground sugar
  • ¼ of a teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

Pour the liquid from the can of chickpeas into the bowl of a stand/hand mixer…but do not do this by hand. Add the cream of tartar. Whip the bean juice with the whisk attachment until it starts to thicken.

Slowly Begin to add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping on high. This process took me 9-10 minutes, but it can take up to 15 to 20 minutes.

Keep it going on high speed until the mixture has a thick whipped cream consistency. If meringue is gloopy, it will deflate. NOTE: A spoonful of meringue at the proper consistency will not drip if you hold it upside down. Best Meringue Instruction Video: https://youtu.be/d2wIYfNukZE

To assemble: Preheat oven to 200°F. Pipe dollops of meringue on top of the pie. Bake for 2 1/2-3 hours or until the meringue is toasted. The baking time will depend on the amount of meringue on your pie, and how it’s piped on. Thick layers will take longer to bake. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, letting the meringue set.

 

To make meringue cookies out of leftover meringue, dollop meringue onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 200°F for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and let dry with the oven door cracked for a couple of hours.

This Recipe is made by combining and altering a few favorites, I was assisting with a wedding Allergy Menu. Sources –

http://seitanbeatsyourmeat.com/pi-day-vegan-lemon-meringue-pie/

http://www.misterniceguy.com.au/recipes/vegan-lemon-meringue-pie/

Deceptively Delicious Choc. Chip Cookies

So I have been a little ill on and off as I adapt to London, ON completely skipping over spring and deciding it was a great idea to go from Horrible Winter to Humid Summer. In NO WAY am I knocking this new weather, I just require an adjustment period. I will not try to catch you up on my workout schedule as of the last untracked 2 weeks. I will say that the schedule has been hit and miss with T25 and I will repeat week 3 until I can preform it every day.

In lieu of days missed I have prepared for the Windsor, ON Colour Run on July 19th…on this last Saturday alone I walked 2.3 Miles in the morning, and then another 1.4 miles in the afternoon (but this time pushing my mom in a wheelchair, total weight resistance of 240 lbs-ish).

I have also spent a great deal of time working out with my spouse, which is super supportive of him since he does not workout, eat a regular diet or anything LOL. I love him so much, he is always trying so hard to overcome personal dislikes or inabilities in opportune times for me. The guy has really bad vertigo (NO FERRIS WHEELS, NO BALCONY SEATS, NO WATERSLIDES), yet he will attempt or succeed at participating in all these situations.😀

So Song of the day is in honour of my best friend and love….

Now for some protein packed goodies, Deceptively Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Deceptively Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

Minutes to Prepare: 20cookies
Minutes to Cook: 30
Number of Servings: 36

 

Ingredients

Parchment Paper
1 c firmly packed brown sugar or Raw Sugar
3/4 c trans fat-free soft tub margarine
2 tsp Grd. Flax Seeds with 4 TBSP warm water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cup Quinoa Flakes
1/2 cup GF Flour or AP Flour (may require more flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 – 3/4 Cup Organic Cocoa Powder (Optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Top a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.
2. Mix ground Flax Seeds with 4 TBSP warm water, and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the Flax egg mixture and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flakes, flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed until a thick dough forms.
3. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 – 13 minutes; do not overbake. Transfer to a rack to cool.
4. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.Note: Serving size calculate for 3 dozen cookies.

Number of Servings: 36 approximately

 

Note – If you are attending the Windsor, ON Color Run and would like to be on a team…they have a discount of $35 rather than $45 for team members until June 1st…My team is “Hope4Cindy”, message me for the password if you are interested

Broken Telephone….

Did you ever play that game where one person whispers something to the person next to them and then that person repeats it to the next person and so on, until it gets to the end and it can be completely something else then what the first person said? Broken Telephone. Well it is all fun and games as a kid, but as an adult it seems to happen with the worst of circumstances. It is usually unavoidable and unintentional, however, tensions are raised and the blame game is introduced. I believe it is unnecessary to react this way and it does not make it easier for anyone involved in a tense situation, especially if it relates to the well-being of a loved one. In a high stress situation we must put a wall up against petty personal conflicts and come together to support the loved one who is uncontrollably at the center of the situation. And try to stay calm until a liable source confirms or denies the information received. So with thoughts of my loved one and their positive recovery efforts the song of the day is one of their favorites in the form of our feel good movie….

With added stress it can cause all kinds of ailments, and I believe in not giving in and keeping at it….Found this great de-stress yoga video, and great channel to subscribe to for yoga at home videos…So if your stressed try stretching it out with this 6 minute yoga routine.

If you carry all your tension in your shoulders here is a video shy of 4 minutes long for shoulder wall stretch yoga, and also a good youtube channel to follow.

Regarding food, food can be a stresser, we all have something that we connect with as being negative. For a long time we were told Boo carbs, all carbs BOOOO! Being someone who has struggled with their genetics since the age of 9, once I was able to have more control of what I ate this is something I took to heart, and why not? The first time I cut them out almost completely I lost a significant amount of weight…and a gull bladder😦 Now I am vegan and I enjoy my cleanses, like those hosted through Grounded Nutrition. However, old habits die hard and I open the last couple Days Dinner challenges, and we have pasta, white potatoes, and rice. Someone might as well of said they lathered my salad in bacon grease and rush me to emerg. I find myself sneaking in additional weights for my walk, or a bike ride, or an extra fitness activity just to be okay with my menu, especially when I consider it is a 6 to 8 pm dinner.

Food Intake - Day 17

Food Intake – Day 17

Here comes a little confession. Last night I ate Sweet Potato & buckwheat pasta with my steamed veggies and Peanut Butter Sauce…Absolutely delicious, so was it my anxiety? Was it the humidity and temperature of my apartment? Was it the additional stress of life? I do not know, woke up this morning feeling a little warm and stomach still upset, but unfortunately last night I could not keep it together and became very ill. I hope that this long weekend is relaxing and I will have time to collect myself for a better week next week.

Food Intake - Day 18

Food Intake – Day 18

Fitness first thing in the morning is the easiest thing for me to stick to, it feels painful to just plow through 25 minutes, but that’s the point with T25…feel the burn!

Focus T25 Alpha Phase - Day 17 & 18

Focus T25 Alpha Phase – Day 17 & 18

Things will always have hard edges, difficult turns…but we venture on and work for that positive because it will be worth so much more with so much effort behind it.

Wishing For The Silver Lining

I would like to start by apologizing for not posting yesterday, goodness that means I am doing a 2 day post. This week is stressful and reminds me of some big life goals that I really hope show some progress within the next 3 years. The economy is rough on everyone, but when your financial situation is brought on by trying to be the best person and that is taken advantage of and you are completely inside and out ripped of hope it feels a little harder to deal with debt and the day to day abuse the word has. I try to be positive and keep an optimistic outlook, but when you have a low day that turns into days, even the most optimistic person can feel down. Worst of all the things that are ailing me effected a friend of mine…not okay. So in hopes that it is true, and on a path to positive mindset, the song of the day is….

Day 1 – Lazy Mexican Black Bean Chili

On Monday was the first day of the Grounded Nutrition 7 Day Dinner Challenge and it is been one yummy dish after another.

Day 1 was Lazy Mexican Black Bean Chili, I added 1/2 a sweet potato and a side salad with Homemade Balsamic Dressing.

Gluten Free Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce & Cashew Ceasar Salad

Day 2 we had Gluten-Free Pasta/Pasta Alternative with Raw Tomato Sauce and a Side Cashew Based Ceasar Salad

I had lots of leftover chili so yesterday I had a lunch portion of the chili, and for breakfast a mango, tropical, green smoothie. Overall a great and delicious diet.

I wish there was a nutrition tracker with a code written to properly capture vegan diets. But for now how does a healthy, vegan diet translate to an everyday tracker?

 

Food Intake Day 15

Food Intake Day 15

 

Food Intake Day 16

Food Intake Day 16

Working out on Monday felt like a chore, I did not sleep well, but I completed. I feel like London Ontario skipped over spring and went straight from winter to a rainy, humid summer….ugh, trying not to complain because I was definitely not winters’ fan. Tuesdays’ workout was a sweat, but I completely nailed it. Just gotta keep moving, right? Yesterday I took an unexpected bike ride to a grocery store at heavy resistance because on the way there my tires burst due to debris on the train tracks. To save the bike I bused it back…The way there and the wait for the bus was enough to leave me drenched nonetheless.

 

Day 15 &16

Day 15 &16

I am looking forward to life moving in a positive direction, how this will come about I will just wait and see. However, it is getting late and some yummy grounded nutrition Day 3 soup is screaming my name. Even if you are not partaking into the Dinner Challenge make sure to checkout all the health recipes and information http://www.groundednutrition.com offers.

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, and Happy Mothers Day to You & You….and You

Montana’s Cookhouse for Mother’s Day Dinner

It was a crazy crazy weekend… My mom’s birthday was Friday, My older sister’s was Saturday, and then Mother’s Day; my older sister’s first mother’s day. I did not get my rest day on Saturday due to an impromptu visit by my brother’s friend and his 2 adorable kids (both under 5 I am sure). I decided to keep the kids occupied, which meant 55 minutes of tag, pitching a ball back and fourth ( kids had amazing aim for their ages), 5- 10 minute tea party. That was after a full day of driving to Windsor and shopping for an hour, and That was only Saturday LOL. For mother’s day my parents and I played Bingo, then they drove me home and we picked up my boyfriend, who was nice enough to sacrifice his night shift sleep schedule by a bit for the occasion, and headed out to dinner. My mom really wanted the Mandarin, but Mother’s day was the only day the location ever allowed reservations, which was not advertised anywhere, I had been on the site multiple times over the weekend. It was a little disappointing but Montana’s and its’ amazing staff made more than up for it. My mom was super happy, and they accommodated my vegan diet so well (ordered fajitas and they steamed rather than cook in oil, then through in their dairy free guacamole for free because I said no cheese or sour cream).

So I have one of those embarrassingly great parents, and we used to dance around to some classics, the one that I love the most is “stuck in the middle with you”, My step-dad is the classic dance with the top half and now some leg moves, it’s adorable. So I present another classic preformed in a goofy but still incomparable way, the Song of the day…

Note: was obsessed with this movie when I was 8, Young Einstein is  just so funny.

I did not eat overly horrible compared to others, but until my parents place is set for it, my ability to eat completely balanced is going to be hard to handle, well it has been so far.

Food Intake Day 12

Food Intake Day 12

Food Intake Day 13

Food Intake Day 13

Food Intake Day 14

Food Intake Day 14

On Friday I ran a little late and had to stop the second workout video 6 minutes early, 1/2 were cool down minutes, So I MOSTLY “Nailed it”. My main goal for this week is to not miss out on the optional stretch on Sunday, it is a 25 minute video, I should be able to achieve 25 minutes of sane time.

T25 Alpha Day 12

T25 Alpha Day 12

No matter how crazy this weekend was, I had so much fun, and I am thankful for my big extended family and the friends that are included in that. I also am happy to report I have a future adorable tea party request from my brothers’ friend’s kids. Which means I get to make tea sandwiches, and sit cross legged out on the green green grass, act like a kid with the cutest little hostess. Kids are adorable and apparently a great workout (tracker read 404 calories burned by the end of my play date).

Some Days it is Hard to Hold it Together

Due to the very mixed emotions I have today I have decided on Petula Clark, the first time I heard this song was while watching ‘Girl Interrupted’ and it stuck. This by far is up there on the list of odd random songs for someone born in 1987, I know.

Stir Fry, YUM, felt bad that I could only eat 1/2 cup worth of the rice, but appreciated this greatly

Yesterday Alpha Cardio was a breeze, even to do it a second time in one week, and thank goodness, yesterday was crazy busy. I had to leave work early for lunch so that leaving early for a Sunwing Conference would not interfere with the rest of the office, and then I didn’t get home until close to 8 pm. The conference was fun and informative, and I am glad I stayed optimistic because the staff of Lamplighter Inn serving the Sunwing Conference and the Sunwing Representatives were great in regards to my food restrictions.

The Lamplighter Inn has been one of my favorite hotels since I first saw it. Their is a beautiful center oasis with pools and skylights and waterfall…gorgeous. (link to hotel website by clicking the stir fry picture).


Focus T25 Alpha Phase Calendar - Day 1 blog

Now as hospitable as the Lamplighter Inn was, my nutrition calculator is a little off tilt, …Still delicious, and I guess it is good I woke up to Double Workout Duty Friday🙂

T25 Day 11 Food Intake

T25 Day 11 Food Intake

Not to late to join the next Vibrant Living Cleanse

Grounded Nutrition’s Whitney and Neil are hosting “‘The 7 Day whole food dinner challenge’ includes 7 delicious nutritionist-designed whole food dinner recipes, shopping list, access to the private Facebook group for daily support and picture sharing, and a daily email with the following days recipe.” Again, YAY! …Happy bonus, for $7 have ” instant access to the 7 whole food dinner recipes, 5 bonus recipes, shopping lists, and crucial whole food and health knowledge to help you get better results with this lifestyle. It is easy to use, easy to follow and can be printed off so you can have it ready to use in the kitchen as needed.” Click the photo to be linked to the sign up page…Completely free to Join, only $7 to Upgrade.

Sometimes a Ball is a Favorable Position…But just say NO!

I am feeling kind of hurried today, not like much is going on in a single moment, but for anything that is going on in a moment feels rushed. And in those moments I reminisce, and all I can think of is my older sister and the many times we were able to share a room. We were more like friends than sisters growing up, and she taught me a lot…about everything, whether I wanted to learn it or not😉 So in the name of sentimental values, the song of the day is…

If not her voice, not Lauryn Hill’s videos, it was my sister belting out along side the music. I remember just being in awe and sometimes not knowing who I was more in awe with. ***waves away the memory bubble*** So anyways back to the topic, my workout yesterday was Alpha Speed 1.0, not only did I not almost die from clumsy miss steps I only had to use a modifier once, and that was more so for the safety of belonging and determination to avoid a concussion. So I believe that is redeemable with a Nailed it result, I really feel sorry if I wake neighbors in the morning.

Focus T25 Alpha Phase Calendar - Day 10

burn 100 calories in 10 minutes

burn 100 calories in 10 minutes

Also I have really find the fitness schedule is making me more focused and willing to push myself, so this picture is a link to some great 10 minute fitness activities that burn 100 calories. Some of these are like go play kick ball or skip rope …So much Fun, WOOT! WOOT!

So yesterday my Nutrition calculator hated on my soup again ***Sticks tongue out like a child at this insult*** I know I could have done better protein wise, I forgot to scoop some vegan protein powder into my breaky. All I know is what I am doing is working for me, and that is all I care about, it is my body I am transforming after all! However, we will see what the nutrition calculator says tomorrow about today after I had to grab lunch in a hurry at local market place and I have a Sunwing conference at a Local Hotel/ Conference Hall that includes dinner. The dinner shall be an experiment in multiple ways, I am vegan for food sensitivity reasons and I get gut wrenching fear when my meal is completely controlled by someone else.😦 BUT I am going to stay optimistic.

T25 Day 10 Food Intake

I am looking forward to Fridays “Lower Focus” & “Ab Intervals” double duty…Fridays are a pleasant “push it girl” moment as I instantly acquire a TGIF glow.

 

Even in my sleep….

I have to admit this week is exhausting, visitors and meal dates since Sunday. Sunday was Lunch with in-laws, Heavy housework (WOOT). Monday workout, work, visitors, more housework. Tuesday workout, work, Dinner with Friends….CRASH (I was so exhausted, Merlot with dinner did not help, and I made it to maybe 9 pm before falling asleep, SORRY FRIENDS.) So the song of the day is kind of goofy, because the only way I am still moving and keeping to it has to be witch craft, LOL

I believe the only food mistakes I truly made were the small handful of fresh tortilla chips, and the Merlot, but once in a while a single glass is not a big deal. However, Spark Peoples’ Nutrition Tracker seems to not like vegan foods and does not take into consideration good fats. For example I made a cashew & avocado based Cream of Broccoli Soup, this is from a Vibrant Living Cleanse I did recently with Grounded Nutrition, and 28 grams of fat just like that on the tracker. Not like I opened a bag of ruffles and went at it, it is a 1/4 of an avocado and 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. of Soaked Cashews in the serving I tracked.

T25 Day 9 Food Intake

T25 Day 9 Food Intake

On an extremely positive note, I kicked Alpha Cardio’s, figurative, butt Monday. I find that since I knew what the moves were from the previous week it was easier for me to find my coordination. That is in comparison t0 just blindly being thrown into the move, like week 1. Although, this does not alter my opinion on the fact that some of these fitness moves are Will Smith’s dance moves from Fresh Prince of Bel Air and that is not an easy replication request to make 0f little ol’ uncoordinated me.

Focus T25 Alpha Phase Calendar - Day 9

Total Body Circuit yesterday is my favorite video. The mix of cardio within a lot of Kickboxing type moves is a breeze. I look forward to this day because even though it brings on beads of sweat, it feels like a lower impact day. And yesterday that is exactly what I needed.

 

Sun-Dried Tomato & Pesto Spaghetti Squash Pasta Toss

spaghetti squash with Pesto & Sundried TomatoesIngredients:

1 Large Spaghetti Squash

1 250 to 300ml jar of Pesto or favorite recipe (see my fave below)

1 small jar of Sun-dried Tomatoes (preferably in oil, I think about 8 to 10 in a jar)

Pepper, to Taste

Dash of Fresh Basil, reserved & optional

Directions:

-Cook spaghetti squash by preferred method. Mine is to pierce it with a fork, place on a baking sheet and bake at 375oF for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until fork easily pierces squash flesh. After 15 to 20 minutes it is good to roll/flip the squash during the baking process.

– Remove from packaging oil & Chop the Sun-dried tomatoes loosely. Feel free to use this oil in the preparation of your pesto sauce for additional flavor, or add 1 tbsp to the mixture.

– Mix the prepared squash, pesto, and chopped sundried tomatoes, season with pepper and maybe a dash of fresh basil. Enjoy

Pesto Ingredients:

1 large bunch of basil or favorite greens (about 3 cups, loosely packed)

2-3 large cloves garlic

5 to 6 Tbsp raw pine nuts

3/4 tsp Himalayan Pink salt, or to taste

4.5 to 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)**

Pesto Preparation:

Place all ingredients except the olive oil and nutritional yeast into a food processor. Process to a finely ground consistency. Add olive oil and process again, until it’s smooth and creamy. Add nutritional yeast and process again until well combined for a cheesy flavour. Serve or it can be store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Adaption of Source: http://veganspoonful.com/2007/10/10/vegan-pesto-sauce/

Notes:

– If not a fan of oil and preparing your own pesto try a navy bean based pesto http://ohsheglows.com/2011/08/04/high-protein-oil-free-basil-pesto/

but I would suggest that the Tomatoes are still oil packed due to the fact it creates a better consistency/texture

Featured at:

VVLPButton1 300px

http://bunnykitchen.com/2014/07/09/virtual-vegan-linky-potluck-2