Thursday, July 26, 2012

What To Eat Before & After A Workout

Good Morning! I always wonder what I should eat before and after a workout. This article gave some great ideas and I loved the format - I had to share! I also loved how easily my Neurofit plan works with these suggestions.


Get health and fitness tips at

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Running in the Moments

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

I remember that first day in February when I got on the treadmill. I gave it a long hard look and wondered if I had forgotten how to run. It had been years since I felt those air like strides. As fearful as I was, I couldn't wait to feel that freedom running brought. I couldn't wait to experience the exhilarating force of energy and joy that your strides can produce. Running meant joy and peace. When I run everything is just as it should be - in the moment. Worries, anxiety and plans are left at the start. Calm, acceptance and peace await like celebratory friends at the end of a race.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad AppSince I started adding mileage to my runs my focus has shifted a little. During the week I am focused on increasing speed. I'm usually anxiously waiting for the voice in my earphones that gives my pace and time. When I hear an unsatisfactory time I speed up and try to focus on relaxing my stride etc... Performance takes over my mind and joy slips away quietly.

When I started doing my long slow runs on Sundays, I made a decision to let the joy slip back in. For this run I pick the most beautiful spots along the lake and soak in the lake breezes. I love watching the water playing and rushing right alongside every stride. I love the sudden cool spots that surprise me every now and then. I especially can't wait to see the water facing lonely benches. Occasionally I'll see another runner who gives me a warm smile or a friendly nod.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
The joy returns and the strategies, anxiousness, plans and pace slip away quietly.  Running becomes what is has always been about - the moments within the moment.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gluten and Dairy Free Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

Our trip to Wilmot Orchards was fun, carefree and fruitful. While in their beautiful yummy cafe I was introduced to Astoria Mills Gluten Free Flours. I am a little obsessed with these flours right now. It has become the life support to my gluten free baking. Seriously. Anyway, I couldn't wait to get home to start baking. Nothing is more satisfying on a summer morning than freshly baked blueberry muffins. My children sat at the table anxiously awaiting the fruits of their labour from the previous day.

Blueberry Picking, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad AppBlueberry Picking, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

Blueberry Picking, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

Now for the recipe. I am obsessed with Julia Childs. I love everything she did and liked. (Except for the cigarettes!) One of my beloved recipes from her Baking With Julia cookbook is the Blueberry Muffins. The only thing I had to tackle was how to "clean up" this recipe. That means, no dairy, no gluten, and no refined sugar. So here's what I came up with.

First some words of caution. This recipe requires a gentle hand and the ability to hold back a little. The fluffy delicate texture will be your reward if you comply. Trust me.

Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

1 3/4 cups Astoria Mills Gluten Free Pastry Flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon salt
1 pint blueberries
3/4 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut cream (This is the top thick part of the coconut milk that stays at the top of the can. Try to keep it thick)
Scant 1/4 cup creamed honey (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (coconut is a great one)
2/3 cup coconut sugar (you could use other sugars)
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
(Whisk the eggs and set aside)

Makes about 18 muffins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, coconut sugar and salt together. Mix a tablespoon of the mixture with the blueberries. This prevents the blueberries from sinking to the bottom. This is a great tip from the original recipe.

Gently fold the coconut milk and coconut cream together.

Whisk the honey and eggs until blended and creamy-ish.

Add the egg-honey mixture to the coconut milk mixture. Gently fold the mixture.

Shift half of the dry ingredients into the coconut-egg mixture bowl. Fold it gently. Don't worry about getting it fully combined. Add the rest of the flour. Make sure to fold it in until almost mixed. Gently place blueberries over the bowl. Fold very gently.

Spoon the batter into paper lined cupcake tins at 2/3 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. I usually check by touching the tops to make sure they are firm but also give a little. The tops will get a nice golden colour.

Blueberry Muffins, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

Let them cool a little on a rack. It will be hard to resist digging in but it will be well worth it.


Have you "cleaned up" any recipes lately?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gluten and Dairy Free Pizza

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Since my neurofit practitioner, Bharat Oza told me to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet I have been in no man's land with my kitchen. What would I do without my beloved dairy and wheat?! Bharat was clearly unaware of my love affair with butter, cheese and wheat. I loved the way dough would rise and the things I could do with butter and sugar- oh my!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Well as I mentioned in a previous post I have found my way back to my sweet love (minus the sugar and all of course!). This renewed passion is due to finding the best gluten, soy and dairy free products. Hallelujah people!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
The best gluten, dairy, soy colour free cheese.  Can you believe it?  I almost want to cry!

I use Astoria Mills enriched gluten free flours and I love them. I followed the directions on the back of the package. The only thing I did differently was I baked the crust first. You should brush the crust with olive oil before you prebake it. Also remember not to knead the dough too much after it rises. I did it gently for under 30 seconds.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppThe baked dough turned out light and had a nice crust. My youngest daughter had 3 slices! I decided to use one of the pizza crusts for sandwiches because it was so good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Protein Gluten and Dairy Free Apple Spice Muffins

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPad App

Since I started our family on our gluten, dairy, soy, preservative, refined sugar etc... free way of life my passion for baking and cooking has taken a bit of a nose dive. I tried baking gluten free bread by using my own knowledge of baking. Big mistake. The bread tasted horrible and the texture was disastrous.

I recently started summer holidays and I've taken some time to get to know more about gluten and dairy  free clean baking. I've looked at a few good sites and found some recipes that  my kids love.  My favourite site is Gluten Free Girl and the Chef.   The recipes are clear and easy to follow but also show evidence of a love of good food.  Another site I like is Heather Strang.  Her recipes are very yummy.  Here is a recipe that I adapted from Heather Strang's site using what I had in the kitchen. Feel free to check out her version.

This recipe makes just a little over 2 dozen.
1/2 cup oil (coconut is great)
1 cup coconut sugar
1 ripe banana
Mix these until somewhat smooth

Mix in 3 eggs

Stir in 2 cups applesauce (Homemade and a little chunky. I added 2 ripe pears to mine.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Add per-mixed
1 cup quinoa flour 1
1/2 brown rice flour
3 tablespoon of rice protein powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 Spoon a heaping tablespoon into muffin cups. (I line it with paper cups) Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. The kids loved these. I'm sure you will too!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pride in the Fall

I have a fear of falling.  Big time.  I rather look silly trying to keep my balance than falling.  Falling represents failure, defeat, and shame.

Yesterday I went for my run as usual. I had eaten a small meal, drank my coconut water and I was on my way. At about 1/3 of the way I happened to spot a truck that was going to turn in front of me. I almost got hit the other day from a car so I wanted to make eye contact with the driver. Then it happened. The patch of uneven sidewalk met the tip of my shoe and I went flying into the air.  In that nano of a second I was devastated and thought about how long and shameful the walk home would be.

Then I felt the slap of determination and perseverance wake me up and push me into my next stride. As I ran with the sting of shame and bruises all at once I realized that my journey with running had arrived at a new marker. Today it wasn't how far, fast or how perfect my run was. It was about accepting the fall and discovering the joy that comes after.

When I got back up and realized that my next step was a leap not a slow walk I knew things had changed for me. There was pride in being that runner that seemed to loose it for a minute but just picked herself up, dusted off the bruises and kept going. There is pride in being the woman who failed at a marriage but picked her heart up and kept it beating. There is pride in being the mother that goes to bed exhausted from the days fighting, endless cleaning marathons, and cook offs but wakes up in the morning to renewed plans for splash pads, bike rides and paper air plane tutorials. There is pride in being the fat woman who let herself go but continues to find new pieces of herself in her new life. There is pride in being the person that accepts the fall and waits for the push that follows.