WIAW-Halfway through April Edition!

Happy Hump Day friends!


Does anyone else feel like time is going by wicked fast? We are almost 1/3 of the way through the year. I have an exam (at 7pm….) tomorrow and then I am officially done my first year of university! I can’t say I enjoyed it to be brutally honest, but I did learn a lot and am glad to have had the experience. I won’t be going back next year but more on that in another post.

Let’s get to the food!

Breakfast

I actually had a bowl of sliced apples before this but I didn’t take a picture…..Anyway bacon, egg, sauerkraut, and sauteed veggies.

IMG_0102 Morning snack

Crunchy peanut butter = love

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Lunch

Grass-fed oxtail stew with cauli-rice.

IMG_0126This meal was ah-mazing. I used my grandma’s tried and true recipe for the oxtail which turned out finger-lickin’ good.

Post-WOD smoothie made with banana, hemp protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla and water.

smo

I’m surprisingly really liking hemp protein in smoothies. I’d read several reviews that it tasted like grass clippings but I don’t find it tastes like anything at all.

Dinner

Red quinoa salad with zucchini, greens, and an avocado-lime dressing.

IMG_9752We shall call this the “kitchen sink” salad. Leftover quinoa, the odd ends of spiralized zucchini, the last of my mixed greens, and an avocado threatening to go brown if I left it one second more.

And of course no day is complete without chocolate…

choI actually prefer the taste of 90% dark chocolate but the store was out. Sacrifices, sacrifices ;)

Have a great week friends!

Lately

So mother nature is playing tricks on us here in the North Pole. Last week was sunny and clear with the temperatures finally reaching the double digits….

DSC02630The grass had even begun to turn green! My CrossFit box held the annual Teen Gauntlet this past weekend and the weather was in the 20′s, with the kids happily jogging outside…

IMG_9867In shorts, might I add. And then this happened:

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Guess who’s the only one enjoying the sudden drop in temperature?

Snow. And lots of it.IMG_0118We dropped from 20C to -1C in a matter of hours. C’mon mother nature, get your act together!

So yeah that was kind of a bummer. I went from almost tossing my fluffy sweaters to the top shelf of my closet to putting them right back onto the first shelf.

In other news, I finally got around to purchasing some water kefir grains and started brewing. Water kefir is essentially fermented sugar water. It is a good source of probiotics and tastes fizzy kind of like soda. I like to dilute the finished brew with some fruit juice and let it carbonate for a few hours. Totally refreshing and so good for you!

IMG_0107I’ve been eating tons of fermented foods lately; kombucha, water kefir, milk kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles to promote good digestive health.

Other things I love? Red peppers and tomatoes. Less than a year ago I would have gagged at the thought of raw red peppers, the all of a sudden I started craving them. Weird.

IMG_0119Like squash and sweet potatoes though, if I eat too many peppers (I can eat up to 3 in a day) they will turn my skin an unattractive shade of orange. Totally annoying because I run into this problem with pretty much all of my favourite foods. It’s not harmful, just weird when people start comparing their normal-colour palms to your orange ones.

As for the tomatoes, I came across these local and organic, greenhouse grown grape tomatoes at my local grocery store. The taste totally blew me away.

GrapeI may have gone back and bought 2 (or 3) more pints…

Other local treasures I’ve come across? Grass-fed beef (and lots of it) from a farmer less than 20 minutes from my  house. My family and I are accustomed to eating “nose-to-tail” and we actually prefer the offal meat, which is a win-win since it is very nutritious and inexpensive.

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Lastly, I have one more exam and then I am all done school. I’ve never been so excited for a break.

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Cue brain explosion

Happy Tuesday :)

 

Homemade Corn Tortillas – Just Three Ingredients!

Change is in the air.

And no I’m not talking about the fact that all the snow has FINALLY melted here and I can go outside without looking like an eskimo.

No, no. I changed my blog! I always found the other blog address too lengthy and had been meaning to change it for a while and didn’t get around to it until I had to upgrade my yearly subscription. I didn’t really mean to change the layout but I came across a new theme and couldn’t resist. It’s still the same blog I promise, and either mysimplerealfoodlifestyle.com or holistichealthdiary.com will redirect you to the same page.

Anyways, I’ve got a recipe for you today that is so easy and delicious, you may never buy store bought tortillas again.

IMG_9741Roll ‘em, fold em’, stuff ‘em,  however you cut ‘em, I’m sure you’ll be in love.

3-ingredient corn tortillas

Makes 8 small tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup corn meal or pre-cooked corn meal (I used the Maseca brand)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup of water

Directions

  1. Whisk together the cornmeal with the sea salt. Add in the water and combine (with your hands is best) thoroughly for approximately 2 minutes or until a soft dough is formed. If the dough seems too dry, add more water, a tbsp at a time, until a soft dough consistency is reached.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls and cover with some plastic wrap to keep moist. Working with one ball at a time, line a tortilla press with two sheets of plastic wrap (or even a large ziploc bag works). Place the ball of dough between the two sheets and press until tortilla measures 5-6 inches in diameter. Alternatively, if you do not have a tortilla press, just place the ball of dough in the ziploc bag and roll with a rolling pin until 5-6 inches in diameter.
  3. Preheat un-greased griddle or skillet on medium-high heat. Cook tortillas one at a time for about 45 seconds on each side (or until slightly crisp). Cover the corn tortillas with a towel or cloth to keep them warm and prevent them from drying out.
  4. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.

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Personally, I love these in my Healthy Breakfast Tacos but when I’m feeling lazy I’ll just warm them up and spread some butter on one side sprinkled with a little sea salt…It’s the simple things really.

Feedback time! What do you guys think of the new blog design/name? How do you like your tortillas?

10 Benefits of Swimming

When I was young(er), I used to be a competitve swimmer.

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I’m the one in the flip flops

Competitive swimming, like any sport, requires a lot of commitment. 5:30 am practices, weekend meets, equipment investments, etc. Even so, my competitve swimming career, although short, was one of the best experiences of my life. You meet a lot of great friends and learn to be disciplined in balancing sport, life, and scholastics.

During swimming I was also in  the best shape, physically, than I’d ever been in. This isn’t surprising since the physical health benefits of swimming are numerous.

1. Builds cardiovascular fitness.

Like running and biking, swimming is a great way to build endurance and cardio-respiratory fitness.

2. Increased lean muscle mass.

Water is twelve times more dense than air, meaning that swimming is an excellent resistance exercise very effective for building muscle tone and strength.

3. Easy on the joints.

Swimming is a very low impact exercise. In a pool your body becomes practically weightless, and there is minimal tension on the joints. For this reason, people with arthritis, musculoskeletal, or weight limitations have been long known to benefit from hydrotherapy and other forms of swimming.

swimming

4. You can do it if you are injured.

Swimming has frequently been used in physiotherapy because it is a gentle, yet very effective, form of exercise.

5. Burns more calories than almost any sport.

Depending on how hard and fast you swim, an hour in the pool can burn anywhere from 500-650 calories!

6. Improves bone strength.

Resistance exercises, particularly weight training,walking and swimming have been proven to improve bone strength, especially in post-menopausal women.

7. Swimming is a total body exercise.

Unlike running or cycling, swimming engages and tones all the major muscles in your body including your shoulders, back, abdominals, legs, hips, and glutes.  It’s an all-in-one kind of exercise!

8. Increases circulation and helps with range of motion

With less impact on your joints, swimming enables greater range of motion  and circulation that transfers to long after you’ve dried off.

9. Swimming is inexpensive and needs minimal equipment.

I’ve never paid more than $5 for a drop-in swim session and although I still use my fins, paddles, and board during my lap swim, many pools today provide all the equipment you need to complement your swimming routine. And even if you use no equipment at all, you’ll still get an excellent workout in.

10. Swimming complements any training program.

Since incorporating 1-2  one hour swimming sessions during the week, I’ve noticed greater PRs in weight lifting during CrossFit as well as being able to perform movements more fluidly. I swim on my “active rest” days. Unlike most forms of exercise, no matter how often or how hard you swim, your muscles won’t be sore afterwards. If they are already sore, then swimming is a good exercise to relieve muscle soreness. Whatever your sport, swimming is sure to make you stronger and more efficient!

Thinking Out Loud #1

Welcome to my first ever Thinking Out Loud!

1. Today is the release date for CrossFit Open WOD 14.2!

camTwo of my favorite Games competitors going head-to-head, it’s going to be a close one!

2. Blue skies. Despite the bone-chilling weather here, I can’t help but be grateful for the clear, sunny blue skies we’ve been having lately. Even just stepping outside for a short walk is enough to instantly lift my mood.

IMG_03933. I’ve finally made my own laundry soap! I used this recipe from The Family Homestead. It couldn’t have been easier (or cheaper) to make.

IMG_4877I even got the washing soda free since it was priced wrong. Win-win! I’ve already used my homemade laundry soap on several occasions and it works wonderfully. I also have peace of mind knowing I’m reducing environmental waste, saving money, and reducing toxin load.

4. Look at this birthday cake a friend’s CrossFit friend made for her kid’s party!

bdayI thought this was really neat and creative!

5. I simply cannot get enough kabocha squash. Or sweet potato. IMG_9573The only thing I dislike about them is their colour. The beta carotene turns my palms an unattractive shade of orange :(

6. I made rejuvelac, which is basically fermented wheat berries and ew, I had to throw it out.

IMG_4779It looked totally normal but the taste was just…very unappealing. And yes my dog totally photo-bombed this picture.

7. I’ve been working on my handstands 24/7. Wherever I find space, I get inverted. Love that sense of stability that you get from being able to hold a handstand.

8. I can’t eat toast anymore. Toast was the last thing I ate before I got sick with the stomach flu about a month ago. I know it wasn’t the toast that caused it but just the association makes me gag at the smell or sight of bread. Sad I know.

9. I can’t wait for school to be over!!

10.Daily inspirational quote.wilHave an awesome day :D

What I Ate Wednesday

Lately, I’ve been feeling very under the weather…because of the weather. I can handle the snow, it’s the sub-arctic temperatures that make me want to move to Fiji this very instant.

IMG_0395 The lack of sunshine and vitamin D has really taken its toll and despite getting a good nights sleep, I still wake up tired and with low energy. I’m consoled by the fact that it is now March and spring should start peeking it’s head around the corner any instant now…

Breakfast. Green smoothie bowl. This was the meat and water of a young coconut, 1 ripe banana, a cup of strawberries and a handful of organic baby spinach.IMG_9600Topped with coconut and sesame seeds. This was also my post-CrossFit meal actually. I did Open WOD 14.1, which was brutal as hell but I still managed to get 196 reps.

Lunch

IMG_4875Brown rice, roasted brussels sprouts, micro greens, homemade purple sauerkraut, plantain, and avocado. I think this is called a buddha bowl. Either way it was mighty tasty.

Dinner

It was a breakfast for dinner kind of day. Roasted kabocha squash and 2 eggs fried in coconut oil.

IMG_9577This was the BEST kabocha I have ever had in my whole entire life. It was dry and starchy and tasted like a thick chip or something. Phenomenal. I think I must be three shades more orange because of it but I really don’t care, it was THAT good.

Happy Hump Day!

What is your favorite kind of squash?

Grain-Free Cocon-oats (Revised Recipe)

One of the most popular recipes on my blog is my Easy and Delicious Coconut “Oatmeal”. It is a grain-free spin to the breakfast favorite that is paleo, vegan, and raw optional. I used leftover nut or coconut pulp from making almond milk to thicken the milk and give it an ‘oaty’ texture. It’s filling, nutritious, and totally delicious. I’ve made some alterations to the original recipe, mainly that  I’ve substituted the hemp seeds in the original recipe for ground flaxseed to give it that thicker “oatmealy” texture and added some vanilla extract because who doesn’t like vanilla?! I’ve also taken much nicer pictures this time around.IMG_0388

Grain-Free Cocon-oats (Vegan, Paleo) Serves 1 Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/2 a small ripe banana, chopped small
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut or nut pulp*
  • 1 tsp whole chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions Cooked version:

  1. Gently heat the almond milk and chopped banana over low heat, whisking until the banana has softened.
  2. Whisk in the dried (or wet) nut or coconut pulp, cinnamon, sea salt, flax, and chia. Cook the mixture over low heat until it thickens (about 5 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Serve hot with your favorite toppings!

Raw Version

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl (or blend for a smoother texture) and allow to sit overnight or for a minimum of one hour until the porridge thickens.
  2. Serve cold (or warm gently on the stove) and top with your fave additions.

*Note: If using wet nut pulp use 4 tbsp; if using dried use 3 tbsp. For all my banana-texture phobes out there, you will be pleased to know that you can blend the banana and almond milk (blasting the banana-y texture to oblivion) in the first step and then continue with the recipe as usual.

IMG_0383Like my previous recipe, it can be customized to suit your tastes. This is just the baseline really. Like chocolate oats? Add some cocoa powder. Want more of a protein pow? Add some protein powder.

Enjoy!