Thursday, September 30, 2010

Breakfast a-la Dad

So in my household breakfast is my dad's meal. He is the king of an amazing (and healthy) breakfast. This usually involves broccoli and cheese omelets packed with red and yellow peppers, onions, homegrown swiss chard and whatever other veggie he can find. Delicous but I digress. 

Every Christmas morning we have Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. This was not an attempt to re-create but more or less satisfy a delicious craving.


Black Strap Mollasses Rye Bread (from a local bakery)
1 tbsp cream cheese
2 eggs
Dads homemade smoked salmon (from fish he actually caught)
Two eggs
1 tsp Vinegar


1) Heat a pan of water. Add Vinegar (this helps the eggs keep their shape). Wait untill starting to bubble slightly. 2) Add eggs and turn down heat to a simmer 3) Put bread in toaster 4) Watch eggs and spoon water over top of eggs. 5) Wait till egg whites are hard but yokes are still slightly runny :) 6) Take toast, spread cream cheese, break smoke salmon into small pieces and lay on top of cream cheese. 7) Spoon your eggs out (make sure no water is left in spoon when lifting them out) and lay on top of pre-assemble toast. 8) Sprinkle with pepper

This was absolutely amazing. Actually I am still eating and savouring it! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chocolate Lovers Powerhouse Pancakes

These protein pancakes are a powerhouse of nutrients and deliciousness! Wow! I whipped these up one morning when I had a hankering for some healthy chocolatey goodness.

1/2 banana
1/4 cup egg whites
1 tbsp flax seed
1 tsp vanilla
1 scoop chocolate whey nutrimeal (protein powder with fiber and complex carbs included)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
small handfull 70% cocoa bits chopped up
1 handful of blueberries
(I add half a scoop of fibergy powder for some extra fiber but if you don't have any, not necessary perhaps add some wheat bran)

Directions: 1) Mash Bananas 2) Add egg white and whip until doubles in size and nice and foamy. 3) Add rest of dry ingredients and mix 4) Mix in blueberries and chocolate. 5) Scoop batter into a non-stick pan (perhaps sprayed with a small amount of pam or olive oil) and spread out with spatula (should be quite thick). 6) Cook until the top looks like it is congealing and then flip!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Acorn Squash, Yam, and Apple Soup

This soup calls for Fall. Although it was sunny today and I was wearing shorts I couldn't help try out this new recipe that has been modified from The nutmeg goes well with the squash and highlights the sweetness of the fruits and veggies used and the cayenne, wow! gives you that kick in the back of your throat that goes OMG that was delicious I can not stop eating this.

  • 1 Acorn Squash cut in half and seeds removed
  • 1 Yam
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Apple (Gala)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 clove Garlic
  • 4 cups Vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg (add more if you would like to taste)
1) Chop squash in half and remove seeds. Place on baking sheet and brush with a touch of olive oil. 2) Chop yam into thirds, brush ends with olive oil and place on same baking sheet. 3) Bake both yam and squash until fork goes in easily at 350 - 400 degrees F. Approximately 30 minutes. 4) Heat pot to medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, garlic and apples. Saute. 5) Add Vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then simmer. 6) When yams and squash are cooked, let cool 5 minutes and then peel of skin. 7) Throw 3/4 of the yams and squash into the simmering pot along with cayenne and nutmeg. 8) Cook for approximately 6 minutes. 9) Using an immersion blender or plain old blender, blend the contents from the pot. 10) After blending, toss in the rest (1/4) of the yams and squash that have now been chopped up. This is so that the soup is smooth yet still has a couple chunky pieces in it. 

And serve....   Yummy!!!

I had a delicious piece of blackstrap mollasses rye bread from a local farm bakery with some peanut butter on the side.

As you can see I couldn't resist sneaking a couple bites before the picture was taken.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Slow Mornings = Yummy Breakfast

So this morning prior to writing the last post I went for a 30 min power walk (in the rain!). Usually when I am home mom comes with me and we motivate eachother but with her broken foot. My motivation for the walk had to rely solely on myself. blech rain. But I did it and yes it was great!

Afterwards made an amazingly yummy breakfast for mom and I called Protein Pancakes. This recipe is from the Tone It Up Girls  and it is wow. Way better than pancakes made with flour and sugar! So much more flavour and the healthy factor gives me a little smile :)

Protein Pancakes
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Soyamax)
  • 1/2 banana (mashed) ( I usually use a whole small one)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed
  • handful of frozen or fresh blueberries
  • handful of wheat bran 
1) Mash bananas untill smooth. 2) Add egg whites into banana and whip quickly with a fork or a whisk. 3) Add cinnamon, flaxseed, protein powder and blueberries. Mix until batter texture. Not too much though. 4) Add wheat bran if necessary. When it rains here it becomes very humid so the batter was too liquidy. When it doesn't rain I don't usually need the wheat bran but really it is a very good source of fibre so just use your discretion. 5) Pour into pan that has been sprayed with olive oil cooking spray (medium heat). 6) Cook on one side until little bubbles form (like any normal pancake) and then flip. 

Easy Peasy!!  

I usually top with yoghurt and some trail mix or even I pour a tbsp of mollasses on my plate and dip the pancake into the mollasses. I think mollasses is better than syrup!! Love that caramelly burnt yumminess.

Without toppings and without wheatbran this is a single serving recipe of 2 pancakes which come out to be ~250 calories. Can't live with out pancakes... try these and you won't have to :)

I LOVE Vacation... aka being graduated and not returning to 8:30 classes this morning

So today was the first day in 18 years that I have not returned back to school. It is a very weird feeling. I almost feel as if something is missing. It's definitely a shock to the system when you are so entranced in the cycle of school, summer holiday (work), school, summer holiday... and now it is _________________ . Yes time to fill in the blank. But with what?

This past week has been a week of mental pruning for me. I am trying to sort out what I really want out of life. Some may say this is selfish, but hey I am selfish. This is the time for me to be selfish. I know where I want to be in 5 years. Just how I am going to get there is the _______________. People say that it is the journey that means the most. Not where you were at the start or where you are now but how you got there. Well people, welcome to my journey :)

 Through this week and through an amazing opportunity I have been introduced to I am noticing my thought process change from "graduate, get a job that pays $30, 000 a year answering phones because I will work my way up to the top" to "No, I am worth more and have way more to offer than answering a stupid phone. No, I don't want to work for you and work from 9-5 when I could get the same amount of work done from 9-1. Yes, I do want to work on my time and use my efficiency to my advantage"

The problem with working for somebody else is they decide what you are worth. They limit your pay grade, they tell you what jobs you can and can not do. Say you have a GREAT idea that you think is fabulous, they have the power to vito it and say NO because I am the boss and I have more experience and earn more than you. Even though they may not see the bigger picture like you.

In Robert Kiyosaki's book "Retire Young, Retire Rich" he talks about the power of leverage. Leveraging your own mind to understanding that what you dream and what you believe in... is in actual fact attainable. The people who don't think they will be able to afford a nice car, a nice house and expensive wine won't be able to because they are limiting themselves by their own beliefs. Some may call me a dreamer but really without dreams and aspirations what do we have? A job that gets us through the month, with us living pay-cheque to pay-cheque depriving ourselves of what we really deserve in life. SORRY but I know what I want and I am going to get it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

High Protein Chocolate Carob Pumpkin Pudding

This recipe was again adapted from I love her her recipes and use of pumpkin in so many things. I can feel fall coming on....

  • 1.5 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup  Chocolate Whey Nutrimeal (Protein Powder) 
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder, to taste
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk (I used soy because that is all I had)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Drizzle of maple syrup, to garnish
  • Unsweetened coconut, to garnish

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and woila. High protein chocolate pudding that will NOT leave you with a sugar high. mmmmmm pumpkin....

Feel free to throw some flax seeds on to garnish or even cranberries as well. I love extra little crunchy bits in the things I eat. I had this for dessert last night after a lovely salmon dinner that my parents made (I'm visiting). It was basically the 100 mile diet except for the peas (we ran out of veggies). Dad caught the sockeye off of Sooke (19 of them!!), picked the potatoes from our garden and picked up corn from a local farm about 15 km down the road. Yummmy!

Adapted from OhSheGlows "Savoury Pumpkin Scones in a Pumpkin Spiced Glaze"

Unfortunately I lack a lot of vegan ingredients in my kitchen and spelt flour. Therefore I used a regular egg, real butter whole wheat flour and wheat bran. Will make the veganized version at a latter date.
Pumpkin Scones
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • ( I used 1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour & 1/3 cup wheat bran to equal the 2 cups dry)

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup of  earth balance butter (vegan butter.  I used real butter)
  • 1/4 cup raisins 
  • 1 tablespoon of flax seeds


  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 chia/flax egg (1 tbsp ground chia/flax + 4 tbsp water) (I used 1 real egg from our chickens at home)
  • Turbinado sugar, to garnish (or regular sugar)

Vegan Egg Wash:
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 water
 Spiced Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of ginger and nutmeg)

 Directions: 1) Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment of a non-stick mat. 2) In a small bowl mix the chia/flax egg. Set aside. (If you use a real egg, minus this step and just stir the egg in with the pumpkin mixture. Step 5. 3) In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, flax seed). 4) Take the cold butter and cut into dry ingredients until crumbly. 5) In a medium sized bowl, mix the pumpkin, chia/flax egg, vanilla, maple syrup and almond milk. 6) Add raisins to dry and then wet to dry and mix until a ball forms. Mix with your hands :) 7) On a flour surface place the ball of dough and kneed a few times with your hands. 8.) Shape the dough into a circle and then cut into 8 triangles. 9) Now mix your vegan egg wash by mixing cornstarch and water and heating in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well. 10) With a pastry brush, brush on the glaze onto each scone. 11) Sprinkle with sugar generously and bake for 14 minutes. 12) Cool for 10-15 minutes. 16) While cooling, make your spiced glaze by beating 1 cup powdered sugar with milk and spice until smooth. 17) When scones are cool ice the scones and serve with a cup of tea or coffee!
These are delicious! Lots of vitamin A in the pumpkin, lots of fibre from the flour and bran, some good omega-3 fatty acids from the flax = my body and mind satisfied. I think I ate 3 of these yesterday. One for each meal!! They come out at approximately 230 calories per scone (depending on how much icing you put on). Much better than calorie overload from one starbucks  pumpkin scone where there scones come in at 480 cals each!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back to Basics

Hello all,

My name is Lauren and I am creating this blog to reflect my passions in life: nutrition, fitness, baking and retiring early :) I have had a strong interest in nutrition since I was 16 and was playing competitive basketball in highschool. This transferred into university when the infamous "freshman fifteen" somehow magically packed on to my lovely hips. Since then it has been a learning process of how to balance the finer things of life (chocolate, cookies and wine) with feeding my body properly and not depriving my mind or body of optimal health.

As you get to know me you will find that I am a strong advocate of exercise classes as I love getting my butt kicked, waking up the next morning, waddling over to the washroom and grimacing because of how many squats we did the day before. For some reason this makes me feel good. Yes weird. I know.

I also LOVE to bake. BUT I love to bake healthy! I am constantly looking up new recipes, following other health blogs or changing recipes to make them suit my needs. This said I still do bake "properly" at certain times. AKA Christmas. You can not make shortbread or my favourite chocolate-chip-thin-crisp cookies without real butter, white flour and yes sugar. mmmmmmmmmm. But the rest of the year I stick to whole wheat flour and trying to bake with as many veggies or fruits as possible and minimize the amount of sugar put in. Yummmy!!

Speaking of which today I just made some AMAZING pumpkin scones like the starbucks pumpkin scones but "healthified". The recipe was taken from (Thanks Angela, love your blog). With the left over pumpkin I also made chocolate pudding. Also from recipes to follow.

With regards to retiring early... this is my goal. Yes I am fresh out of university (BSc. Combined Major Biology & Psychology, Honours with Distinction) but no I do not want to kill myself working 10 hour days at a job I may only kind of like and where I may get "let-go". With the economy how it is and the job world changing, I am looking to put my mark on life with a different approach that will leave my happier and with more time for my family, getting my butt kicked and baking!

Recently there was an article in the Times Colonist titled "Young Canadians Downsizing" and it discussed how the job world was changing. When my parents and my friends parents were our age (1970's) they found a job out of university with a company and have most likely stayed with that company for 30+ years and will retire with a nice pension that will keep them secure for the rest of their lives. Well I am sorry to inform new graduates that this is unfortunately not how it is going to work for our generation. It is now "more difficult to attain the same standard of living - complete with stable job, nice house, and reliable pension that our parents enjoyed." This article compares a 27 year old International Affairs Masters student who had a wealth of international experience but still had a tough time finding a job to her father who was able to find the "stable, work for 30+ years for one company" job fresh out of university. The article mentions that even when she did find work, it was contract work. Not a stable job with a nice pension at the end like her father. The article states that many new graduates are having to downgrade their expectations.

Unfortunately, I like my expectations and I don't want to downgrade. I believe that my generation is going to have to rework our concept of true stability, true wealth and true freedom. So in sum, I am going to have to figure out another alternative and that is just what my plan is :)

Join me on my journey as I chronicle my thoughts, recipes and passions for life!