Having Fun with Food

Hi Everyone!

It’s the most beautiful day where I am, cool and crisp with the sun shining. I hope it’s just as beautiful where you are today.

I’m scheduled to do a 5km run tonight before my BodyPump class, but the top of my foot is pretty sore this morning. I may have to modify the goal to at least get a “run” of some sort in before Pump, even if it’s just 15 minutes.

Today I wanted to chat a bit about nutrition, and share a really great recipe with you all!

Food has always been a total mystery to me. Without getting into too much detail, let’s just leave it at “I’ve had a strained relationship with food my entire life”. If we were a celebrity couple, I would be Taylor Swift, and food would be the rotating guy that she’s constantly dating and then getting pissed off with and writing songs about.

No dis-respect T-Swift; I still love ya.

Juliet

Back when I first stumbled into working out and group fitness, I got serious about losing weight and cut a lot of crap out of my diet. I used to eat at fast food restaurants 3 times a week, sometimes even more. I bought chocolate bars out of vending machines, drank soda and ate straight out of the bag of chips. When I started working out and seeing some positive changes, it motivated me to cut out all of that stuff. And I mean ALL of that stuff.

I must have been one seriously possessed girl, because I quit completely cold turkey. From about Grade 11 until I went off to University, I had the willpower of a silent monk. I feared sugar and saturated fats like they were poison. I never slipped up. Ever.

Once I got to University, made friends and realized that people there weren’t cruel like they were in high school, I relaxed a lot, and started eating the way I still do today. Not great, but not terrible either.

Ok, ok, sometimes I’m terrible 😉

Over the last month or so, I’ve felt a big paradigm shift in the way I look at food.

Although I’m a terrible cook, I love to read food blogs online. I totally love how inspired and passionate the authors are about eating, and how much FUN they seem to have with it! Some of my favourites are here:

http://www.onetipforthefuture.com

http://www.eat-spin-run-repeat.com

http://www.ohsheglows.com

I’ve never really understood the whole “fun” part of eating, because to me it’s always been associated with some sort of guilt or fear or resentment. Over the last month or so, I’ve kind of made it my mission to get EXCITED about what I’m eating the same way that the girls in the blogs above do! When I started thinking like this, it became so much clearer that it’s a lot easier to get excited about food with beautiful, whole, rich colours and flavours and textures then the one-dimensional food I typically eat like wilted iceberg lettuce and frozen chicken.

I’ve been reading a lot of different food blogs for inspiration, googling recipes and making it my mission to get excited about each meal. I’ve been having a great time with it, and even better, I feel like a freakin’ rockstar in the gym!

A friend of mine once shared her strategy with me, and said that she tried her best to eat more wholesome and healthy foods during the week, and then she cut herself a little slack on the weekends and enjoyed some of her favourites; whatever they might be. I liked her approach a lot because it feels more “normal”, and it eliminates that whole guilt factor that comes with eating foods that we love but that don’t love us in return (pizza, chocolate….I’m lookin’ at you two).

I thought I would leave you all with a recipe that I made up last night for “Breakfast Grab ‘n Go’s”! They are super delicious, healthy and great for a quick breakfast or snack on the go! I got up to my elbows in sticky batter making them last night and the work that went into them made them taste even better when they were done!!

(Side Note: I take ZERO credit for this recipe; I got it from a friend who got it from CityLine. If you’re looking for an original recipe, you’re on the wrong blog!!!!!)

Breakfast Grab 'n Go

Dry ingredients:
11/2 cups (375 mL) oat bran

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) large flake oats

1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour

3/4 cup (175 mL) ground flaxseed

1/2 cup (125 mL) Scottish, Irish or steel-cut oats

2 tbsp (30 mL) wheat germ

2 tbsp (30 mL) cinnamon

1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries or blueberries

1/4 cup (60 mL) at least 60% cocoa mass chocolate chips

1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts, chopped coarsely

Wet ingredients:
2 Omega-3 eggs

1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil – measure accurately

3/4 cup (175 mL) dark brown sugar, packed

One – 4.5 oz. (128 mL) jar baby food strained prunes

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

1. Make sure the oven rack is in the middle of your oven.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, two if you have them.

3. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: oat bran, oat flakes, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, steel-cut oats, wheat germ, cinnamon, and baking soda using a rubber spatula or a large spoon.

4. Add dried cranberries or blueberries, chocolate chips, and walnuts and stir well.

5. In a medium bowl whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, oil, brown sugar, baby food prunes and pure vanilla extract until well blended.

6. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until it’s really well combined. The dough is sticky.

7. You want to make eighteen Grab and Goes, so eyeball an amount that’s bigger than a golf ball and smaller than a tennis ball. Scoop out the batter and then press down so they are 3/4 -inch (2 cm) thick and about 3.5-inches (9 cm) wide. If you have a 1/4 cup (60 mL) ice cream scoop that has a release button, this is a perfect time to get it out of your junk drawer.

8. The batter is sticky; either lightly press down with the back of a metal tablespoon or dampen hands and then lightly press down. I use my hands.

9. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and let sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes to set. Gently remove to a cooling rack. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months.

Makes 18

Each Grab-and-Go contains:

256 Calories, 10.4 g Total Fat, 1.7 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 81 mg Sodium, 37.8 g Carbs, 5 g Fibre, 1.3 g Soluble Fibre, 14.7 g Sugar, 7 g Protein.

Have a great day – and HAVE FUN with whatever you are eating!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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