kale

As many of you know, I’m in the middle of a major weight loss challenge. It’s no joke. I have to lose a good 15 pounds (25 would be ideal, but I’m being realistic and leaving room for major muscle gain, which I’ve been experiencing big time) by the end of April for a big “After” photo in the June issue of Today’s Parent Magazine. Can you say “eek”?!

I’ll be posting updates on how I’m doing in a new blog on Todaysparent.com. When I have the link I’ll give it to you asap.

In the meantime, I’m loving the green smoothie my naturopath Jennifer Baer recommended for me. And after stepping on my scale this afternoon, I realized that every time I get into a green smoothie kick, I start to lose weight. Every time. I just started drinking them again this week and my weight is ACTUALLY dropping. And I think it’s the kale.

Yes, kale can taste disgusting in a smoothie, but, I’m telling you it does wonders for weight loss. And when you have the right ingredients, and if you blend it well, a kale smoothie can be quite yummy. I splurged a while back on a Vitamix, and I haven’t looked back since. With a 7-year warranty, the exorbitant price is well worth it. ANYWAY! Here are the ingredients. Just dump them in and BLEND WELL:

1 cup kale
1 cup berries
1 banana
1 cup soy/rice milk
3/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
cinnamon to taste

Sometimes I add chocolate Vega Shake-and-Go Smoothie powder for extra protein, omega 3s and chocolaty goodness….

Makes 2 servings (refrigerate for a snack or breakfast the next day).

Enjoy!

Photo: daveeza


I don’t think you can handle this, Gorgeouses. Can you? Want to prove me wrong? Huh? Huh? Are ya SCAAAARED? Because I dare you. I dare you to try going vegetarian for a week. Think you can handle it? I don’t think you can handle it….

So, can you handle this? Can you take the VEGGIE CHALLENGE? This is a DARE, Gorgeouses. ARE YOU GAME? OR, are ya scaaaaaared?! Bock buck buck buck buck BOCK buck buck buck buck (that’s my effort to sound like a CHICKEN!!!).

Take the Veggie Challenge

Even if you don’t do the whole week, this plan — devised by my city’s very own The Toronto Vegetarian Society — is full of great tips and recipes for incorporating more plant-based meals in your (and your family’s) diet. You might find you even LIKE eating this way. If you’re lucky, like me, you might notice your skin take on a new glow, or you’re less congested, you feel lighter, more balanced and more compassionate….!

Here’s an example of a day on the diet:

Breakfast
• Whole-grain cereal with your choice of milk, sprinkled with dried or fresh fruit.
• Calcium-fortified orange juice.

Lunch
• Avocado slices with sprouts or lettuce on whole-grain bread, grape or cherry tomatoes.
• Cantaloupe chunks drizzled with fresh lime juice.

Dinner
Chinese stir-fry over brown rice: toss in tofu chunks, broccoli, pea pods, and bok choy.

Snack
Dried figs.

Mmmm…. FIGS. Love! I may stay away from those figs because they’re high in sugar and HIGHLY addictive. But, they’re also high in calcium and iron and other good stuff.

You know, I’ve been researching vegan weight-loss diets, like Dr. Fuhrman’s well-known Eat to Live diet and various macrobiotic diets. But, they’re all so dang restrictive. And, the vegan diet’s restrictive enough — especially if you’ve been a CHEESE lover all your life, like I was…. So, I’m excited about this Veggie Challenge. It’s realistic. It’s simple. And, it’s not restrictive or rigid. As long as I keep the sugar and cheaty snacking to a minimum, I should lose weight on it! (Especially with my new TURBO JAM DVD!)

Bah bye, diet full of peanut butter on bagels! Hello BALANCE and VARIETY…and DELICIOUS.

I’ll keep you posted on how the recipes are, etc.. So, you in? Or, are you too chicken to give up the chicken for ONE WEEK? (Or, even just one DAY a week?)

LOVE!
xo Haley-O


It’s Thanksgiving today in Canada, which means a LO-HO-HOT of turkeys are being eaten. SO, to give back to those turkeys, and to even things out a bit, why not try this DEELISH vegan recipe one day this week. I think you’ll find that you AND your family will love it.

INGREDIENTS:
(Serves 6-8; Cooking time approx. 45 mins)

6 cups cooked rice noodles, quinoa, OR brown rice
1 six-ounce package of firm tofu, drained and cubed
2 tbsp sesame oil or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
Bunch mushrooms (if desired — I love portobello)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 medium red pepper, chopped
2 green onions, sliced

THE SAUCE
1/2 cup natural peanut or almond butter
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tbs tamari / soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
(water, if consistency is too thick — which it shouldn’t be…)

1/4 cups chopped peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cook the noodles, if using, by following package instructions. To cook brown rice or quinoa, place 2 cups of grain in 4 cups of watter, bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat, cover, and simmer (15 minutes for quinoa or 30 minutes for brown rice). Toward the end of the cooking time, make sure all water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add tofu and brown each side — gently turning over the cubes. Remove from heat, and set aside on a separate plate.

3. Heat remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Add garlic, carrots and onion (and mushrooms would be great!). Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.

4. Add broccoli and stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes.

5. Add bell peppers, green onions and whatever other veggies you want (green/purple cabbage would be great), and stir fry for 2-3 more minutes.

6. Combine the veggies, tofu and grains/noodles in big bowl.

7. TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until smooth. Add water if sauce needs thinning out (or orange juice for more sweet; tamari for more salty). Let it sit for an hour before serving, if possible.

8. If you want, sprinkle with cilantro.

9. DEFINITELY sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

10. Enjoy! And, let us know how you like it!

Recipe adapted from the brillers book Enlightened Eating: Nourishment for Body and Soul, by Caroline Dupont.

I actually had the pleasure of meeting Caroline and receiving nutrition counseling, energy work and meditation guidance from her. She’s extremely gifted and a lovely person.

To contact Caroline and/or to book a consultation with her, please visit her website http://carolinedupont.com.


Hi Gorgeouses! Guess who’s back? Our resident holistic nutritionist, Lori Kennedy — here to motivate and inform us! Enjoy! And, congratulations, Lori, on the birth of your baby girl! Love, all us Gorgeouses!

So I had my baby 7 weeks ago today. Let’s just say that, no matter how much you plan, things never go the way you want them to. I had a pretty traumatic birth experience where I ended up having an emergency C Section. I had midwives because I wanted a natural birth –- the exact opposite happened. The baby and I are fine and healthy, which is all that matters –- EXCEPT that I am left with a stomach that resembles the face of a walrus!

SO today I will start writing about how I plan to lose the 20 pounds I have leftover from 9 ½ months of eating whatever I wanted. (Yes, I know I am a nutritionist but I was pregnant and all my nutritionist ways went out the window –- I am human after all!) My pre-baby body was hot, if I do say so myself. It was hard work to get it and keep it, and I am determined to feel good about my body again or at least good enough to be naked in front of my husband without covering my walrus stomach with my hands.

I am sure a lot of you moms can relate. You want your body back! I am with you in your struggle. I am still wearing my maternity pants because I refuse to buy pants in bigger sizes and my pre preggo-pants don’t fit …YET!

I invite you to dedicate the next 12 weeks to getting your body back. It doesn’t matter whether you had your baby 7 weeks ago or 7 years ago –- there is no time like the present to regain your health and your self-confidence.

Here are some things that have helped me over the last 7 weeks to avoid eating the chips that my husband keeps buying.

1. Apple and 1 tablespoon of raw or roasted almond butter – BEST SNACK EVER!!! Almond butter can be quite expensive. I get mine from Costco.

2. Berries shake – fastest breakfast and portable, can drink it with one hand. All you of moms can appreciate something that only uses 1 hand.

Recipe:
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1 cup soy milk or whatever milk you want
1 cup water
1 tsp oil – I use extra virgin; you can’t taste it, use whatever oil you want – Flaxseed, hemp, canola
1 scoop protein powder – I use hemp but whey is fine too
Blend on high. Enjoy!

3. 70% Dark Chocolate –- 1 square per day

4. Cucumber, salsa and hummus — my husband came up with this
Cut up cucumber. Mix 2 tablespoons of salsa with 1 tablespoon of hummus. Use the cucumber instead of pita or bread. I keep cut up cucumber in my fridge at all times.

5. Grapes — great to munch on when you want something sweet

Goal for the week — pick 1 day to cheat and eat whatever you want. This has really helped me. My day is Saturday. I literally eat whatever I want on Saturdays. If I want crappy food during the week, I force myself to wait until Saturday. If I still want it…I eat — GUILT FREE!!!

Another tip: Have a dinner plate full of salad before you eat your dinner. Salad fills you up so you don’t eat so much at dinner.

What are some of your tips for losing your baby weight?

Lori

CHECK OUT LORI’S BIO HERE!

Got a nutrition question of your own, Gorgeouses? Ask LORI (click here to ask your question). LOVE!


It’s not just about weight. But it’s a goal: 10 pounds by my birthday — September 10. Yup. It’s time. I’m ready. Time to SHED the baby weight once and for all. And, I can do it.

I CAN DO IT!

I’ve been kind of SEMI trying to lose the weight all this time. With a chai here, a blueberry muffin there, a second helping of pasta here, and that extra spoonful of almond butter THERE (ON. MY. THIGHS).

BUT, ever since the Meditation Workshop I went to last week, I WANT TO CHANGE. And, it’s not ACTUALLY about the weight.

I’ve started to make drastic changes to my diet. While I continue to cook chicken and DEFROST ready-made meat meals for my family — always organic, by the way — I’ve gone strictly vegetarian, with the addition of organic, free-range, eggs and organic yogurt when I feel I need it. Because I DO need some dairy and eggs in my diet, or I start to feel faint. Maybe this will change. Not sure. For now, being a strict vegetarian means really listening to my body and what it needs. God knows, yoga helps with that!

That said, this week in the country has been quite challenging. I’m supposed to be eating wholesome foods: tons of fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes…. While the fam’s barbecuing hot dogs and hamburgers, I’m struggling to find something, ANYTHING, organic or at least wholesome to eat.

So, I’ve ended up eating a lot of candy — something I gave up a long time ago — for lack of FOOD. Not good.

But, today, we FINALLY went shopping at the neighbouring town’s grocery store. The only organic thing they had was Bob’s Red Mill grains (LOVE)….

…which goes to show that Bob is EVERYWHERE….

I also managed to find some brown rice pasta, some canned chickpeas, tomato sauce…. So, while the fam had their chicken and salad and COOKIES, I stayed strong and enjoyed a lovely pasta dish with chickpeas, tomato sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese, and the lovely salad filled with local fresh veggies. Not perfect. But, better than candy.

Anyway, my meditation instructor suggested I eat clean in order to get the most out of my body — including losing this pregnancy weight. Absolutely clean. Fruits and veggies are to make up a greater-than-ever part of my diet.

The thing with this whole-foods diet is that I can’t use food as a crutch anymore. So, in one day, all these emotions are coming up. It’s all so very RAW (PUN!). And, I actually have to, erm, DEAL with them. Instead of eating to deal with them (as I now notice I’ve been doing!), I’ve been swimming lengths in the pool, walking, practicing yoga, and journal writing, and meditating when I can (even if it’s just for 5 minutes in the car!). It all helps.

It really is amazing how tightly intertwined food and emotion are for me…. It’s crazy. But, it’s beautiful to learn this here, and now, in the country — isolated from my life in the city….

Just some thoughts. Not editing this because I’m in the country and lazing and relaxing the brain.

What do you think?

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