Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stories change...

I haven't posted in months. I got a little discouraged with my "212 in 2012" as I found out I was pregnant. Then morning sickness hit, and I didn't really care (!!) what I ate once I could keep things down. Then, after a while, I realized that I was not keeping track of my 212 days very well ( = more discouragement), and frankly, I didn't fall off the "bandwagon". I lept. I've often thought about my blog and wanted to write something, but the daunting task of explaining why being pregnant seemed to kill my energy for the idea of 212 in 2012 seemed too much to bear. (Note: I doubt anyone else cared, but I am VERY hard on myself). So, I dutifully avoided updating; vacillating between starting to post and deleting said post. Until, one tiring day, I had my baby. That day was the most difficult of my life, and the most frustrating. Definitely one of most emotionally/physically/mentally exhausting. Because, you see, Josiah's birth was the complete opposite I had intended it to be. I had dreams of a gentle, peaceful water birth at home. But after 8 hours of labour at home, I was 6 cm dilated, with no signs of my baby boy even starting to descend. Due to the midwife on call being the one that was not supportive of me staying at home (she prefers going to the hospital), she soon found reasons to make sure I had to leave home. My heart broke, but I was in too much pain to fight a losing battle. After arriving at the hospital, I worked for 4 more hours through difficult contractions. I was checked and was still only 6 cm dilated and Josiah had still not descended. That I felt discouraged is an understatement. Now they wanted to give me an epidural. I had so wanted my boy's birth to be intervention free...I asked, and my midwife reluctantly agreed, to let me try for one more hour. Noon: still no change, and my frustration and despondency was so high, I was now begging for an epidural. The "snow ball effect" I had studied/been warned about began. I was put through nearly every intervention we had learned about in prenatal classes, ending with the birth of our son via caesarian section at 7:57 PM. I felt nearly everything was stacked against me: bad midwife, hospital birth, baby that wouldn't (possibly couldn't) descend, intervention after intervention...the list goes on and on. Yet, after it all, I wasn't angry or disappointed with myself. I felt good. Huh??? I felt that both Isaac and I had made the best choice in every given moment, that we could have. Sure, I wish we'd had a different story, but this story was good too, because we chose well. I was ok, and baby was healthy. I chose grace. Ever since then, I've realized how important it is to choose to live gracefully. See the good, use the negative for growth and leave all the ugliness of bitterness to shrivel in the forgetfulness of the past. It's worth every ounce of your strength. I am often so hard on myself, and this day - one of the most important in my life - taught me more than I can even fathom at the moment! I am just so grateful that I have the opportunity to choose grace for both myself and others. That my little boy is too cute, helps as well ;P

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sopa de Lima :D

One of my favourite things I had on my honeymoon with my love was "sopa de lima", a traditional Mexican soup that was often served as the appetizer to the main course. It's a very simple soup; with the most exotic feature being the afore-mentioned "limas" (or a type of sweet lime found in Mexico, and other parts of Latin and South America). I couldn't find any here, so the first time I tried to recreate this soup, I used the little mini limes in the supermarket (limas aren't big like our limes). Bad mistake!! Those cute, little limes are very bitter, especially once the soup has simmered for awhile. Regular limes, as ripe as possible (therefore sweeter) are your best choice (in my experience, that is!).
I also find that boiling my own, fresh, chicken stock makes for a) a tastier soup, and b) more authentic taste. I often make this soup after we’ve finished off a chicken; when there’s little meat left on the bones, but enough to make this soup ;P

So, take your chicken bones/carcass and boil in 4-6 cups of water for 30-45 minutes. This should create a lovely broth that easily is manipulated into “Sopa de Lima”!

SOPA DE LIMA (a la Robyn Cabrera) ;P

Chicken bones, with some meat (equivalent to bones from 1 small chicken)
6 cups water
Boil for 45 minutes

Remove bones carefully (I use a sieve and clean rubber gloves to help me with this)
Add 2-3 TBSP chicken bouillon if desired (I like Victorian Epicure brand).
1 tsp crushed, dried, red chili peppers (more if you like ;)
Salt to taste
½ tsp pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced and cut into 2 inch pieces.
2 cloves garlic, pressed or smashed
1 lime, cut into 8 pieces (do not peel!), squeeze them quick then pop them in.
½ cup unpacked cilantro, chopped coarsely (or finely, if you like it that way).

Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. This is the taste test time. I often find that I add “Cinco Pepper Blend” from Victorian Epicure and some Mexican habanera sauce before serving, but both Isaac and I love spicy food. Also, you may need more salt (dependant on what kind of bouillon you used). I use Redman’s red mineral salt, so I often use a tiny bit more then the recipe suggests as a) it’s good for you and b) it’s not as salty as sea or table salt.

Break corn tortilla chips into soup immediately before serving.


I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The moments in between

So, most of you know now (hopefully!) that Isaac and I will become parents in about 6 months. This news, when we found out in January was both exciting, amazing, and, well, a teensy bit scary! I felt like I should hold off telling people till I'd ended the first trimester, however hard that was. Of course we did tell immediate family and some close friends, as we definitely needed to "spill the beans" to someone!!! ;P

Morning sickness (or all day long sickness, as it was for me) was a stage that I seem to have finally passed out of in the past two weeks and THANK YOU GOD!! It is miserable to be cheerful and "un-pregnant" to most people when you feel like throwing up constantly and overall pretty gross :(

Oh the joys of having your nose run away from you and act like it's someone else's. Someone else's who is quite weird. Your fridge, after a complete scrubbing down, STILL smells like a dirty toilet (upon which discovery sends you into irrational tears), flowers often smell like the strongest, sometimes worst perfume ever invented, and simple things like baking bread can make you feel like your nose has grown in 10x it's smelling capabilities inside a brewery. Fun? No. Exciting and adventure-causing? Yes. Many times I felt pushed to tears or laughter over the ridiculousness of my new sense of smell. I am glad to say, I usually laughed.

I still hold my breath when I open the fridge or freezer. I still hate the smell of toothpaste. And my dearly beloved Indian food is no longer on our menu. That being said, I don't feel sick all the time, and THAT, my friends, is worth all the breath-holding I need to do!!

This week I've made some lovely dishes. I forgot to take pictures of the Morrocan stew, but it was glorious!! Filled with celery, carrots, figs, chicken, tomatoes and potatoes. YUMMMMMY IN MY TUMMY.

On Sunday, Isaac and I walked to Safeway to get our remaining ingredients for gluten-free quiche. It began to rain gently on us as we started for home, but I was so enchanted to see RAIN and not SNOW that I was blissfully unaware of the cold wind and wetness descending upon us. It was so fun to smell that smell of rain and really feel like Spring is here, even if it's in baby steps! The crust was made from various gluten-free flours, mostly potato starch and rice flour and butter. Isaac actually put it together and I rolled it out with our "make do" rolling pin. We really do need to get a "real" one...but our "unwine" bottle really works splendidly until we do :) Lots of eggs, almond milk, turkey bacon, mushrooms, onions, asparagus and spinach made up the amazingly yummy filling and of course I topped it with goat's milk feta before popping it in the oven.

I've meant to bake quiche ever since we got married, but kept putting it off. Then, morning sickness arrived, and I lost my appetite and couldn't cook hardly at all. My sweetest of sweet husbands made such progress in his cooking and baking during those bothersome weeks and I am SO proud of him!! We were both very rewarded in our dual job in making said quiche as he claimed it was the tastiest he's ever eaten. It was mighty fine, if I do say so myself.

What's your favourite egg recipe?

I've been doing extremely well in keeping almost all sugars at bay. I do allow myself fruit juice sweetened jam, mayonaise and ketchup (little amounts), but that's about all! I am very proud of myself. I so do NOT want to get gestational diabetes...and with my family history and my own personal issues with my pancreas/high blood sugar, I need to really get on this, cravings or no cravings!

My only wish is that I didn't find the process of cooking so smelly. Raw vegetables, raw meat, beans, etc. all make me feel a little sea sick. It's frustrating to have so many ideas and yet so little desire to accomplish them. Any advice would be much appreciated.

As for my 212 in 2012, I've tried to write down/think about it at least once a week so I can try to keep it going. It has been very hard to stay focused, but I really meant everything I wrote back in the beginning of January...little did I know our little treasure was already beginning to grow!

It feels so good to update and have everyone in "the know" of our special secret. Here's to life's moments...the ones in between all the famous ones like birthdays, Christmas, and Easter. The everyday moments of life that really make it worth while.

Love to you all,


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Finding Balance

Finding balance seems to be what I’ve been striving for these past few weeks. As much as I am eager to try new things, keep my eating goals in check and work out regularly, I also need to give myself space to grow, explore and sometimes, simply the space for space’s sake!

I’m sure you can imagine that I’ve been very busy…which I have, but really, the real reason behind me not writing for so long was I felt overwhelmed by so many things (mostly good!!) happening in my life right now, that I needed some space; needed to allow myself the right to not be some sort of “perfect” blogger (my perfectionism told me there was such a thing, lol) and just wait until I was ready again.

One of the things keeping me busy is that we’re dog sitting for some friends. I don’t know why, but as much as I enjoy living in a small mansion, having two different places to call home can be a bit tiring. That being said, I am enjoying having some fuzzy creatures to keep me company. ☺

One of my favourite things about dogs is their ability to get me off my behind and outside for a walk. I am not very self-motivated, but put a dog or child in my care, and I almost can’t let a day go by without some lovely fresh air via a walk in the sunshine, snow, rain or whatever else the weather might throw at me.

On Monday it's my man's birthday...have been planning some secrets for the past couple weeks. Looking forward to some fun celebrations! I'll try to keep you posted! He's been asking for something that he has NO IDEA is within our budget, so I can't wait to give it to him :) :) :) lounging around this morning, I haven’t gotten to eating my breakfast yet…must do that. I’m thinking some organic plain yogurt with a sliced ataulfo mango….one of my favourite combinations!!

What are your "go to" breakfast(s)?

22- 18

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thai Soup

As requested, here is my Thai Soup recipe! ☺ Here’s to spicy yumminess to warm us all up on chilly days! ;)

Coconut Curry Thai Soup

3-4 chicken breasts (fresh or defrosted frozen)
1 medium to large onion, chopped into 1” pieces.

Saute with 2-3 TBSP oil (I use grapeseed) for 2-3 minutes not more than 3! (chicken won’t be cooked yet)

Add 8 cups of chicken stock,
1+ TBSP Thai red curry paste (depending on your spicy preferences…I usually use around 2-3 T)
3 TBSP fish sauce
2 TBSP soya sauce
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP Epicure Thai seasoning spices (optional)
6 inches of lemon grass cut into 2 inch pieces and gashed every ½ inch (to unlock flavour)
1 jalapeno, quartered lengthwise (I use 2 of the quarters) OR add one thai chili pepper whole
2 TBSP of brown sugar or 1 ½ TBSP agave syrup
1 inch of ginger, grated (more if you like)
1 garlic clove, smashed, but still whole
2 cans of coconut milk

Cook all of the above medium heat until boiling. Then turn down heat to medium low or low and add:
1 cup zucchini (in bite-sized pieces)
11/2 cups chopped peppers (sliced lengthwise then cut in half; about 1½ inches long) I like to use, red, green and yellow, but it doesn’t really matter.
1 can of sliced bamboo shoots (optional)
Feel free to add other veggis if you have them…these are just my favourites I’ve tried do far.
¼ cup chopped basil (or more…I love fresh basil!)

Simmer for 15-30 minutes until everything is cooked. YUMMY!

Serve with rice – I find about ½ cup rice in the bowl first and then pouring a scoopful of soup over top is usually perfect.



PS – I usually use the time when it’s coming to a boil to chop everything, as it usually takes a good 10-15 minutes for it to boil with all that liquid. This makes a hearty, big pot of soup…my husband eats a lot and as I’m from a big family, I enjoy cooking up big pots of food and eating leftovers…trust me…this soup’s flavour improves on its “sitting”…as long as your ok with your veggis getting a little “overcooked”. I’d love to hear how your batch turns out…or what changes/additions/omissions you try – this recipe has evolved so much already…lol! I’m happy to see more! Hopefully I didn't miss any ingredients! I'll try to add photos tomorrow...

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Ok, so apparently the average life span of a New Year’s Resolution is less than 7 days. Whaaattt!!!??? You say….yah, sorry about that, but you and I have about as much chance of success as you do at learning to synchronize swim in the next 10 seconds. And as science predicted, I did find some definite hurdles to jump over in the first 7 days (much to my chagrin). January 1st seems so bright, fresh and crisp, it’s hard to get bogged down in the day to day routines of life…until January 2nd and then it all comes flooding back like the hippopotamus it is. You have meetings, work late, don’t work at all (full access to fridge and TV…which the latter, usually for some insane reason does not shout “exercise!” as often as it shouts “movie!”. Hmmmm. Must look into that more…), date nights, church, coffee…and who knows what else that can, if you let it, get you to slowly slide down the slippery slope of “just this once”. If you’re like me, this phrase is code for “do I really have to? Ever? I mean COME ON!!!”.

Mind you, I say all this after quite a good week. Overall I feel better and am pleased with the baby steps toward a healthier me. I’ve enjoyed freshly made juice and smoothies in the morning, homemade deliciousness, and of course, some days where the peanut butter chocolate cookies won out or I slept through my alarm and avoided working out. But, that my friends, is life. You can’t get around it. You aren’t always going to be perfect! ☺

Today I made my “famous” Coconut Curry Thai Soup. It’s a staple at our house, as a few other soups are too. Healthy and low cost are perhaps my favourite things about soup. Add all those heart-healthy veggis and top it off with some coconut milk…what’s not to love? (well, for me at least!). Today, the temperature slipped to something terrifying close to -23 C and I suddenly needed a warm, spicy, creamy pick-me-up like Thai Soup to really get this chilly day turned around. Especially since I had a run-in with gasoline and my jacket. ☹ I looked up some remedies to fix this smelly issue, and discovered one needs baby oil. Well, I didn’t have any baby oil, so I mixed two parts grapeseed oil with 1 part dish soap and 4 parts water. Soak for 10 seconds and voila! No more smell ☺ Now said jacket is in the washer and I will see if it is damage free from all this once it’s out. Apparently you should let it air dry due to any remaining fumes…no one wants a fire in the dryer!

So I’ve re-evaluated my New Year’s Resolution (as discussed last post) and here it is (bet the New Year’s Resolution “Negative Nancy’s” never thought of this, haha!):

1) A “Good” day shall consist of a minimum of 4 of the following listed below:

2) A day where I do ALL may wipe out a “bad” day and move it to the “good” day side (highly doubtful this will EVER happen, but thought a challenge might be a nice idea for me).

Physical activity for 30+ minutes

No sugar

No dairy (except organic, plain yogurt)

No wheat at all and no processed, white grains

5 servings of vegetables and fruit (preferably organic of course)

Lights out by 11 PM or earlier

No eating after 9 PM

No caffeine or alcohol

So yes, you can see I’ve done some adjustments ☺ I found the thought of doing ALL of this has been REALLY hard, so once I switched to aiming to do 4 or 5/day, I found it much more achievable, and often found I could get more (6 or 7). I would like to work into aiming for 6 minimum a day, but honestly, I’ve had some days where I almost resented it, which was a red flag that my perfectionism was kicking into high gear again.

I wish I could have kept the original list, but I am more grateful for the kindness I am showing myself by being flexible. Better is better no matter how you look at it, right!? I look forward to upping my good numbers now with goals that are apparently more achievable for me ;P

Good night all,


PS – Jacket appears to be A-OK. It isn’t completely dried, but no smell and no stain. YAY!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Success with workouts....but a Carrot Cake failure

I had no idea how hard it would be to blog daily! As you can probably guess by my obvious lack of daily posts! It’s not the desire…merely a time issue. If I could find a way to get over that hurdle, I would be able to get a lot more done, lol!

My life has been busy; getting back into working, and just everything else that seems to eat away at time so quickly! It seems I am always gasping at the clock; horrified by its ticking arms – intent on marching forward, with no thought of compassion for me.

I’ve got a lot of stuff going on in my head right now, as I am trying to get all my “adjustments” for my “Good day” list done by the end of this week. I will post about that sometime in the next 3 days or so. I am excited and feel very happy that I gave myself 2 weeks to work out my exact details….I need it!

My new workout DVD has been fun – tiring, but very fun. It’s often hard to find a good DVD where I feel challenged, but also don’t find it so difficult that I feel a bit discouraged. This seems to be a good mix, so I’m happy to have something to get my metabolism up and my energy up too ☺

I haven’t tried many new recipes of late, although I did have a FAIL of a recipe with a carrot cake made with spelt flour, almond milk, applesauce and agave. I was very disappointed with the result, but my husband enjoyed the catastrophe just fine, haha! He is encouraging in everything…even finds good in my failures! I don’t know what I did to deserve him!

Blessings to all,