There is something empowering in making your own food, knowing what’s in it!
This recipe has become a family favourite. We can eat these at every meal and great for breakfast on the go and school lunches.
You can play with the spices to fine tune it to your liking but below is what my family likes.
When I make this recipe, I always double it and put 1/2 of the cooked sausage rounds in the freezer.
2 pounds of ground pork
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried ground oregano
1/4 tsp dried savory
1/8 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cold water
2 tbs of olive oil
⚪️Using my hands, I get in there and knead and squeeze the mixture until it’s all well blended.
⚪️⚪️Once blended, I make about 2oz balls, flattened into sausage rounds.
⚪️⚪️Heat a large frying pan on medium to high heat with approx. 2 tbs of olive oil and pan fry both sides till cooked through. About 5-6 minutes each side. I like to cut one open to make sure it’s cooked. (No pink) *You can also make ground sausage and skip the whole making sausage rounds step.
I always seem to have left over meat that I need to get eaten! Whether it is chicken, a roast beef pork chop or eggs. It can be tossed in with this vegetable combo and be very satisfying and healthy!
What you need –
1 cup of shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1-2 cups baby spinach
(1-2 cups of Bok choy would be fabulous too)
1 cup steamed broccoli cut into bite sizes
2 tbs of fresh cilantro cilantro
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup cashews
Salt and pepper
Add 3oz protein, I use whatever left overs I have, chicken diced up or use pork, steak or bacon!
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add all the ingredients, stirring frequently. It doesn’t take long, maybe 3 -5 minutes till everything is heated through.
Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper or your favourite seasoning and voila!
Serves 2 or one of me 😉
I found this Asian inspired salad kit at Costco that consists of cabbage, carrot and cilantro if you are feeling a tad lazy like me. (I just didn’t use the dressing kit for this meal)
Before I did my first Whole30, I was terrified! All the stories I had read online and with friends made me question if it was all worth it. The list of detox symptoms and crazy feelings didn’t leave me excited and jumping for joy to start. But I knew I needed to jump in with both feet, because I needed to get a grip on my health, needed a better understanding of food and what food was doing to me, and to discover how it was making me feel. Of course I wanted to lose some weight and to figure out a healthy food balance, too.
I knew there was something in my diet that was giving me bloat, mood swings and weight gain. Obviously the candy and chips was a big part of it, but I needed to learn what MY body wanted and what would make it run better. I figured, it’s only 30 days, I can do ANYTHING for 30 days.
I Instagrammed the shit out of the subject and joined a Facebook Whole30 group. I learned the hard way that there are some tough Whole30 divas that don’t want to hear about your banana and egg concoction because it breaks the rules. BEWARE: not everyone is on the same journey. I don’t follow all the rules of life so why would I doing this! 🤷🏻♀️
Everything was compliant in my books, and I left that group soon after to join another W30 Facebook group that had kind gentle souls who didn’t pass judgment.
The weekend before my Monday Whole30 Day 1, I prepped and cleaned and prepped and cleaned, I listed and made a menu. Got my hubby in on it too! Gahhh, it’s a lot of work, but being prepared brings you peace when that sugar dragon appears.
Day 1, 2, 3 and 4 were surprisingly easy and exciting. I felt in control and had all my meals ready; I had the plan! Well, Day 5 rolled around, and look the fook out! I woke up with a raging headache and attitude! I would have eaten anything sugary to make my dragon go back to sleep. Sugar is a crazy drug and I definitely felt the urge of it, so scary!
I had a few days of fighting the demands. I had a lot of alone time, walks, hot baths. I went to bed super early every night. By day 15 I was on track, super bored of food and wanted my life back. I made no plans with friends, I didn’t want to be put in any situation that would lead me to “failing”.
When I reached Day 30, I felt pretty bad ass. I felt so good and people noticed the difference. My skin felt better, I slept better, my insides functioned better, I was nice to my kids! I told EVERYBODY that would listen to read Whole30 and to give it a try. I just felt amazing.
Whole30 is not a forever thing and I don’t recommend you do many full rounds but a 5-10 day reset every couple months is very helpful to clean it up if you’ve fallen. It always reminds me how great I feel when my body has the right ingredients to work.
Whole30 was a life changer and I will forever cook this way and lean towards the foods my body craves.
So, if you are planning your first Whole30, keep it simple!, plan to be bored and miserable for many days of it but keep in mind that it is ONLY 30 days and it’s only food.
My simple menu consisted mostly of the below. I would stir fry it or make it into a salads. I would purchase fresh herbs to make it flavourful.
▪️coconut milk and cream (in my tea, coffee, curry, soups)
▪️cut up raw veggies, steamed and or roasted veggies
▪️ sweet potato hash or just noodles sweet potato
▪️ Nuts. Lots of nuts!!
▪️hard boiled eggs (so many eggs in all forms)
▪️baby spinach was added to EVERYTHING
▪️chunky tuna salad with all the veggies was a winner at least 3x a week.
I had the Whole30 shopping list on my refrigerator to remind myself what I could have. I felt like if I just ate whole foods, I was safe with no added crappy ingredients, but I always read the labels of canned or boxed items. Also, when it came to meats, even though I couldn’t afford to buy all organic and free-range this and that, I bought the best that I could afford.
Don’t overthink it, keep it simple, and remember to be kind. 🤗😂
Good luck 😉
If you are gearing up for your first 5k or half marathon there are a few things that I need to share with you. If I knew these things before I started running it would of made my journey a whole lot easier.
First, let’s talk shoes!
Please please pleeeease get fitted for a proper pair of running shoes, non of these Walmart trainers. Go to a running store and they’ll narrow it down to the right shoe that’s best for you. They’ll analyze your running style and foot strike. To be honest, it is trial and error to find the perfect shoe and that will happen over time but start with a recommendation from a pro. All shoes will feel amazing in the store but the true test is after you’ve run a few miles in them. Use a treadmill, so if the shoes don’t cut it, you can rerun them. Most stores will not return them if worn outdoors. After a few years I’ve figured out that I’m a Saucony girl all the way.
Find a training schedule or join a clinic that fits with your needs and goals. If you’re not new at this running thing but want to train for a race, you can get print one off from google! Most training programs for any distance are 12 weeks long. Read the entire schedule and look at your life and see how this fits in. Plan it, schedule it and get pumped to start. Realistically there WILL be interruptions during this 12 week period. People get sick, other obligations need to fit in too. Life happens! Also, don’t over do it. The training schedule is designed to build your strength and endurance. Trust the training and don’t do more then it suggests or your setting yourself up for injury.
Find a buddy system.
These buddies will be your lifeline. They’ll push you and encourage you, they’ll set their alarms and meet you on those cold early mornings, they’ll hold your water belt when you need to pee. If people are depending on you, you won’t let them down and vise versa. The buddy system saved me during our cold winter training mornings. Accountability is a must!
Let’s talk about chafing, shall we!!!!
Chaffing is a serious pain in the ass…. literally. There is nothing worse then coming home from a run, peeling off your schweddy clothes and stepping into a warm shower and get hit with that sting, it’s like a jelly fish wrapped itself around you and stung you in all the privates. I learned quickly that Vaseline was my best friend. I put that jelly on all my lady bits. I’ve narrowed it down, for me anything over 12k requires Vaseline. The chafe heals quickly but if you keep chafing in the same spot, over time you’ll have a nice red scar. So, Glide or good old fashion Vaseline in all those tender areas. You’ll figure it out 😉
Spend your money on good quality gear. If you buy good quality it will last and you won’t need to replace it for along time Every year I invest in one good peice, I now own a good pair of winter weight leggings, lighter spring fall leggings, one good pair of capris and shorts. I can’t stand clothing that bunches(chafing) or always needing pulling up. You want your clothing to work as it should. My once a year big spending goes to LuLu Lemon for all my leggings. My tops are off the sales racks at the running stores, The GapFit or Joe Fresh here in Canada. Always always get it on sale because I find running clothing is very over priced.
At first you’ll find yourself very tired after your training runs, take a power nap. This tired feeling does go away as your body gets stronger. Listen to your body and rest after each run and be sure to fuel your body with what it needs. I like a nice carb and high protein meal after each run. I’m also 42 years young so naps are a daily business around here.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun. Running is supposed to be joyful, it’s active meditation, therapy and an amazing calorie burner. It’s not easy out there but once you find your rhythm you’ll feel so good. Just don’t give up, trust your training. You’ll get stronger and most runs will feel amazing. I say that because some really suck but the hard runs are what gets you stronger physically and mostly mentally. You are training your body but always training your mind to tolerate the “pain”.
Your body is capable of amazing things and you are stronger then you think. Your mind will try talk you down and tell you to stop, but just keep going, if only for one more minute. Mind over matter sista.
This is a family favourite and it’s full of clean ingredients. No artificial flavours and chemicals like the canned or store bought. It’s so easy to make, so why wouldn’t you?
What you’ll need-
(Cut all ingredients to bite size)
6 small yellow potatoes
4 chicken breasts (about 3 cups)
4 celery stalks
3 large carrots (about 3 cups)
2 small onions
1 cup green beans
1 cup corn (optional)
2 boxes of chicken broth (946 ml box)
2ish tbs olive oil for sautéing the veggies
2ish tbs olive oil for browning the chicken
4 tbs flour of your choice I used all purpose flour (making a slurry at the end to thicken )
1-2 tbs Basil
2-3 tsp Sage
2-3 tsp Garlic salt
2-3 tbs Dry Parsley
Sea salt (add for taste)
⚪️ First, heat olive oil in a deep large pot, sauté all veggies (except green beans)
⚪️⚪️ In a separate pan, heat olive oil and brown the chicken. Sprinkle with salt while cooking.
⚪️⚪️⚪️ Add the browned chicken to the large pot along with the chicken broth and all the spices and simmer for 60 minutes or till all the veggies are soft. Add the green beans to the pot for the last 10 minutes (green beans can get mushy if over cooked)
⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️ Make your slurry and add to the pot and stir till thickened.
Add the flour of your choice to a bowl and measure 1 cup of the simmered broth to the flour and whisk till blended. Add to the large pot and stir, the broth should thicken. You may add more flour to the pot of you feel it needs more thickening. (You could also use corn starch)
⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️ Give your stew a taste, if you feel it needs more of the above spices, add and store at this point.
(Make a slurry- Measure out the flour into a small bowl – use one tablespoon to thicken a small amount of sauce or up to four tablespoons for a big bowl of soup. Add a cup or so of the hot cooking broth to the flour and whisk until they’re completely combined. This is your slurry)
I found this recipe during my first Whole30. It’s a great side to any meal, and you can really change it up with whatever you have in your fridge. Sometimes I even add bacon!!! So, today I made it with the following ingredients, but be adventurous and add any vegetable you like! Asparagus and broccoli is banging in this dish. 😆 I plate this with eggs, chicken, steak, sausage. It’s great with just a sliced up avocado!
2 tbs olive oil
2 sweet potatoes diced
4 potatoes diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
4 celery stalks diced
1 Bell pepper (today I used red) chopped
2 small/medium onions chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Salt and pepper (use your favourite seasonings)
⚪️ Preheat your oven to 350F while you prepare the vegetables.
Dice your potatos, celery and bell pepper. I like to cut them fairly small so they cook faster. Mince your garlic cloves.
⚪️⚪️ Heat oil in large oven-safe pan and add all the ingredients except the spinach (add spinach at the very end after you take it out of the oven)
Add your salt and pepper and sauté till the onions are soft and the potatoes start to turn brown. Place the pan in the oven. Roast for approx 25-30 min, until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir every 10 min.
I sometimes add garlic salt and paprika!!
My friend gave me this recipe and I was a little skeptical because I’ve never marinated chicken in lime juice before, but I was blown away by all the favours in this dish! New family fav!
Boneless/ skinless chicken thighs-10 small or 6 large. (I used 10 small)
Juice of two limes
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minces
1 tbs cumin
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves/no stems
Dash of red pepper flakes (I used about 1 tsp, add more if you want more heat)
Sprinkle of salt (approximately 1 tsp)
⚪️ Combine all the ingredients in a shallow casserole dish and mix well, add the chicken thighs and stir so they are all coated in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and leave refrigerated for a min of 30 min, max 3 hours. You may add more olive oil if you need to beef up the marinade so all the chicken is good and coated.
⚪️⚪️ Heat a large frying pan with olive oil, approximately 2 tbs of olive oil. Once the pan is nice and hot, place the chicken one by one into the pan, don’t overcrowd. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes, then flip.
Timing depends on the thickness of your thighs. Once both sides are golden brown, cut a thick part of a thigh to see if it’s cooked through.
Once cooked, serve with your favourite rice and grilled veggies. I drizzle the drippings from the pan onto the rice before serving.
Also amazing served on your favourite salad or wrap sandwich.
I found this recipe during my first Whole30 and was amazed how easy it was. I would snack on one or two after a run or workout. These are so easy and cheap to make, I have not bought any Lara bars since!
Prep time – 15 minutes
Serving – 15 balls (when I triple the recipe)
What you will need:
Food processor or heavy duty blender
30 grams cashews
80 grams of pitted dates
Pinch of salt
⚪️ Measure and combine all the ingredients in the food processor, pulse/blend till you reach a good crumble. If your dates are on the dry side, add a teaspoon or two of warm water and pulse a few times to make the mixture sticky.
⚪️⚪️ Roll into bite sized balls
I prefer to store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. I enjoy them more when serves cold.
It’s only been a month or so since I bought this hydration vest but let me tell you, I’m already in love. It’s so freeing not having a belt around me.
I am no ultra runner (yet) but I am a Marathon runner and this vest will be amazing for this summer’s heat and trails this. This light weight vest is so pretty, don’t you think? the colours are so bright and happy!
This has been designed for the female body, it fits snug in all the right places. It fit perfect snug, “bounce-free”. I was afraid it wouldn’t fit over my not so small chest, but no issues there.
All the amazing features are endless and way more then what I need, but it’s all I need and I feel so ready in the vest. I’ll never need to replace it and never have that clumsy waist belt to deal with! This vest has so many pockets! Front pill pocket, extra front water bottle pocket, front mobile pocket, two pockets on either side by your waist, a whistle, a zip up pocket at the back, hidden pocket for an ice pack!
Oh, all the straps! I had to wrap them around the vest to keep them from flapping around. A bit annoying but I’ll fine tune them as I go.
My first long run was sub zero, -17c…. freezing! Sadly my hose froze. So maybe the colder months are not ideal? I read that if you blow the water back into the bladder after each sip there shouldn’t be freezing but, no. I was just told that you can wear the vest under your coat and run the water hose down your arm sleeve, I’ll try this next time.
I was worried that the 2 litres of water would feel like bricks on my back but I was pleasantly surprised. The weight was nothing, very evenly distributed. I didn’t even feel it after a few minutes of running. The sloshing water noise was a bit new but again, didn’t even notice it after a few minutes.
I can’t wait to have at it this summer on some serious runs and fill up my pockets with snacks and all the things!
So far, this was a smart purchase and so happy I spent the money on such a well made and thought out design 10/10 Nathan’s !!
Perfect side for any meal !
I make a few batches of this most weeks for my family. It’s a perfect match to eggs, chicken, salad… it’s great with everything really. The sweet potato provides a healthy carb to fuel your toughest workouts. You can use any fat for the recipe, whether oil, butter or ghee – I prefer bacon fat because it’s non-dairy, provides a good flavor, and is available once the bacon is cooked.
1 sweet potato
3 celery stalks
2 small potatoes
1 small onion
1/2 package of bacon (cook ahead of time)
1 tbs bacon fat
Season to taste: salt, pepper, sage, paprika- *Use the spices you love
⚪️ Cook your bacon ahead of time.
⚪️ ⚪️Cut all vegetables and bacon to bite sized pieces.
Place all your vegetables and cooked bacon into a large bowl, drizzle with bacon fat and your spices. Mix together until rhe vegetables are evenly covered. Place the veggies on parchment-paper lined roasting pan and roast at 400F for approximately 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Stir the veggies every ten minutes.
During my Whole30, I really needed flavour for my meals and this basil recipe was it! Such a perfect match to all my dishes, gives them a pop of flavour. This Pesto is amazing on roasted potatoes, roasted veggies, chicken, steak, salads, fish, rice, pasta.. You can add it to everything!
What you’ll need:
3 cloves of garlic
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup spinach leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups of extra/virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
⚪️ heat pan, when a its good and hot place the nuts on the pan and toss around till lightly brown. About 2 minutes
⚪️⚪️Combine the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the basil and spinach and pulse until chopped. Add the lemon juice. While mixing on low speed, add the olive oil in a slow stream until all the ingredients are fully blended. Add the salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to combine.
This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze in serving sizes inside cube tray.
Fitness goals evolve over time. Mine look different than they did when I started in 2014.
Before finding my fitness routine, I felt tired, unattractive and frumpy and grumpy. I just wanted to fit in my clothes, not take hours to choose an outfit and stop feeling so down all the time. I wanted to look good, feel energetic again and stop hiding behind layers of clothes.I really needed to lose some weight that I had gained after having two gorgeous babies.
Not sleeping well for years, not paying attention to what I was feeding myself and being inactive created a woman I didn’t recognize. I was just too tired to care and it spiraled into me just not feeling like me anymore.
Early in 2014 I saw this advertisement for a 90-day challenge on my Facebook page. It was a free 90-day workout plan that I would actively do with a community of moms that were feeling like me. It’s called Bikini Body Mommy, and I’m sure you’ve heard of it! It was starting that upcoming Monday so I got myself all pumped to start.
I opened up an Instagram account and searched for Brianna, the lead of the challenge. I started to follow many of the moms that were also doing the challenge – some of us still keep each other accountable to this day. The accountability with the Bikini Body Mommy community was so powerful!
My workout space was my bedroom, I had some hand weights and I killed that challenge man, KILLED it. For 20 minutes a day for 90 days! I lost my first 15 pounds, I was hooked. I continued with Brianna’s next 90-day challenge and lost another 5 solid pounds, 20 in total.
I started to look around for something new and more challenging, I found Fitness Blender. Oh man, I was terrified and excited to try something new, but heck, I was in my own house with no onlookers, I can do anything! Fitness Blender gave me all new stuff to work with. Guys, they are such a motivating and real couple to workout with! Their website and YouTube channel is filled with FREE at home workouts of all kinds and very user friendly. They offer everything from low impact, boxing, HIIT, strength training and so much more. I can’t tell you how much they have changed my life.
I used their free programs for about a year and bought my first 8 week program for $10!!!!! TEN BUCKS for such an amazing 8 week program that I own and can do over and over again. (I now own 5 of their programs). They have several programs you can buy and they are all amazing! Or use their free ones!
You can build your very own monthly workout by using their website calendar all for FREE.
If you are looking to start something and unsure of where to begin, start with Fitness Blender and work out in your own home. All you need is some weights and some dedication. Results take time, so just keep at it.
Cross training with Fitness Blender and my running has been the best thing for me. Having the at-home workouts and running gives me a ton of flexibility, which is important to a busy stay-at-home mom.
Now that I’ve lost most of the weight that I set out to lose, I often get asked what my next goal is. To be honest, I don’t have any set goals. Ideally, I just want to fit into the clothes that are in my closet, I want to be strong and run long distances without injuries and create a healthy home. I want my kids to see and learn from me. And above all, I don’t want to go back to being that depressed mom.
Fitness is health! Find what you love and go with it.
This is living.