Saturday, November 19, 2011


A big review on the last 30 days and details of my results coming soon. For now, scope the before and afters. I kinda might have cried a bit when I saw these because HOLY MAN...I can see a difference and I feel really awesome about that.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Feeling sick. Stayed home from work. Headachy, bummed out, cold, no energy.

Am I getting sick or is this the way this thing is going to end?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Since before I was born, this time of year has been a time when my family goes out to get deer and moose and partridge for eating. We never bought meat at the grocery store--besides the occasional pork product. We would get half a beef from a farmer friend and fill our multiple chest freezers with all kinds of game meat. I grew up in Northwestern Ontario. A tiny village outside of a small town near the Minnesota border. My dad is a logger which means he knows where the best blueberry picking is and where the deer run through the forest.

When I went to university, I remember a professor trying to convince the class that Canada had no real food culture of it's own. I was shocked to hear this. Where I grew up there was a deeply rooted food culture. We had walleye and trout. We had wild saskatoon berries, strawberries, hawberries, highbush cranberries and chokecherries. We had moose roasts! I thought this was Canadian.

I have been lucky to be able to bring back meat from my parents. Each time I visit I fill a suitcase! It's super flavourful and lean meat that I love to cook with. I can't wait to stock up at Christmas.

I still remember the time that I came back from the city a "vegetarian" after my first year away. My dad must have been heartbroken. Good thing it only lasted until Thanksgiving.
My brother in the 80's!

My brother last week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We are so close! J has amassed a small collection of fancy beer to drink on Friday at midnight. I won't be diving back into that pool so quickly! I'm still sticking to the apple plan. Just an apple to start! Im going to get some raw milk to see how I respond to that. If it works out I'd like to experiment with cheese making! Let's be honest- I miss cheese! I can't believe I've gone almost 30 days without it! I guess I haven't been writing so much about all the things I've been missing. Maybe I didn't miss them so much?

I can't believe it's been twenty six days!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


On Saturday I made soap with pals! J and I had bacon and eggs for breakfast and then he made a speedy escape to the garage. The girls came over at around 9am and we didn't get finished until after 5! It was epic! During the day, we snacked on celery and almond butter and I made up a salad with avocado, leftover roasted chicken from The Big Carrot and some canned salmon that Hannah brought over. It was quick and very tasty.
Crafting is an awesome way to keep busy and not think about all the food I'm not eating. That reminds me...I should probably try to finish that knitting project I started!

Keeping myself busy by going to see bands and hanging with pals has helped so much this month. I think at first I was worried that going out would be too hard. I was worried that I would want to drink or eat something gnarly. I think it's been the opposite and I've realized that those things are not the problem. The problem is when I stay home and eat because I am bored, sad or feeling unfulfilled. It's a nasty habbit that perpetuates itself because when I feel bad about myself, I don't want to go anywhere. I've been feeling really awesome about myself through this whole thing and that has been majorly motivating to go out and do shit. It's also motivating me to keep it going after the challenge is done. I think that's the whole point, right?


DAY TWENTY FOUR: Working Blues!

This weekend kinda sucked! Work is so busy right now and I had to put in some time on Saturday. I really hate working weekends and I hate having our staff work weekends but it was necessary. I was sad to miss the markets and even more sad not to have the time to make up some deliciously elaborate and photographable meals.

In some ways, being this busy at work is keeping my mind off of the snacking that I would be doing otherwise. I ordered pizza for the team and even though they were super happy with it, I felt bad feeding them so much "non-optimal" food! I don't know what a good alternative would be that would be quick, afforadable and appeal to everyone. What kind of paleo option would you feed 15 hungry people who are on their feet all day?!


Nothing much beats a well seasoned, grass fed, quality rib eye steak. This paleo thing kinda rules.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I have been slacking on this! Apologies! I have been mad busy at work and in the evenings this week. That said, I have been sticking like glue to the induction!

Could there a better way to feed yourself than with a bird? During the week, I like to roast a chicken. It's so easy and provides a bunch of food for lunches. J roasted a chicken and we ate the legs with some greens and leftover summer squash (this thing went for miles). The next day, I had some breast for lunch at work. The skin on this thing was the best! A crispy and chewy treat.

For dinner that night, I picked all the chicken off the bird and made a stock with the bones and neck. I turned the stock into a very yummy chicken soup and made up some coconut and almond flour biscuits. I totally winged it (pun intended) and they turned out really great! I used coconut oil instead of butter and a bit of salt. Not sure of the measurements because I'm a jerk like that...but I'm sure if you measure out a bit of the flours, work in a tablespoon or so of the fat and then add water until it comes together--they should be fine! Bake until golden at 325.


I am a baker. Not by trade but by love. This whole process has resulted in a pretty severe identity crisis. I know that once induction is over I will be able to enjoy some natural sweetened things! That should hold me over for a bit. In the meantime, I was inspired by the induction friendly treats at the Academy of Lions food shop! I attempted my own and they turned out great!

For these I used a combination of almond and macadamia nut butters and a bit of coconut butter. I used raw pistachios, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for some texture. To make them rollable and not too mushy, I added coconut and almond flours and some pecan meal. A touch of vanilla and cinnamon added some flavor and rolling them in coconut made them a little more easy to pick up. J ate a lot of these and said they would be yummy with milk. Yeah, too bad!


We had some ribs! These ribs where coated with a bunch of spices. If you google a "dry rub" for ribs on the net you will find many variations! I basically put a bunch of whatever I could reach in the cupboard. After seasoning, I put them in my dutch oven, threw in some garlic and onions and braised them in about a half an inch of strong coffee. They were delicious with a side of spaghetti squash and big green salad. Perfect "comfort food." See how I'm workin' this? ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Here is where things get a bit serious. I've never been happy with my body. Ugh! That kind of sucks to say out loud.

My naturopath once asked me to think of a time when I was happy with myself just the way I was. I couldn't. I couldn't think of a time that I didn't feel like I was too big or too round or too whatever. I remember being 14 and feeling like my hands were too big. Seriously. My hands. I dated a dude who once asked me what my favorite body part was and I told him "my feet." I mean, come on! My feet?

I am very slowly figuring out that I'm not too anything. I'm very slowly figuring out that I am ok. It's not an easy or quick thing like flicking a switch. It's taking a lot of time and work to change my patterns. For a long time I told myself that I wasn't ok. I did it because to me, it seemed like everything that was suppose to be cool and interesting and edgy and sexy was skinny. I was totally and utterly had by all kinds of really dangerous images of the ideal. I still need to check myself. I still find myself comparing. Images are everywhere. It's hard to get away from it.

I don't want to be skinny. I want to be healthy. I want to be really strong and really fit. When I'm walking, I want to feel like I need to run. I don't want it because someone says I should. I want it because it will improve my life. I feel better when I don't eat a bunch of sugar and processed stuff. I preform better! I'm happier and nicer to my boyfriend! I already know this but knowing it has not been enough.

I really love real food. I love getting local, organic produce directly from farmers. I dig finding new foods and things that I haven't tried. Have you ever had sea asparagus? Oh man, that stuff is the most delicious salty snack! I think it's so important that we support local agriculture and food security. I know how awful over-processed and over-packaged foods are for people and the environment. Knowing and believing all that hasn't been enough either. Sometimes my emotions and desire to comfort myself with food win out over all that. Part of my goal in this is to change that. I want to change my idea of what "comfort food" is and to take back all that power that I lost and do what I say I do all the way, all the time.

I started at The Academy of Lions in the spring time. I got myself a Fab Find thing for a 30 day trial of a ladies crossfit boot camp. One of my pals had been going and really loved it. I committed myself to 3 days a week for the whole month. I kinda surprised myself my actually hitting every day. I felt really awesome right away. I felt like I found my thing. The vibe was so amazing. A mix of people socializing and pushing each other to do better, go faster, be stronger. I signed up for a year membership did a few more months steadily and then summer hit. I did some work traveling and had weddings and camping and blah, blah, blah. Lots of good summertime reasons that when I looks back, were not good enough reasons. The end of September hit fast and I got a "what's up with you" e-mail from Dhani. It was just what I needed to get out of faileo mode and back into feeling stronger, faster and better.

The challenge came up after being back for almost a month. I knew it was the kick that I needed. I didn't even hesitate to sign up. My boyfriend decided to be as supportive as possible by participating too. It has made it so much easier and more enjoyable to have him along for the ride. I actually feel like we have learned a lot about each other in the process and after almost 6 years that's pretty awesome. He says he is learning a lot about cooking and I feel like I have been a more patient and open teacher. I don't know if I would have survived this without him.

Faileo is not an option anymore.


Sunday was the best day of the challenge so far! A couple of pals and myself organized a brunch and being that they are awesome, supportive ladies...we did it PALEO STYLE! I don't think we actually noticed that we were missing out on anything.
Hannah has the cutest apartment with lovely natural light. We took full advantage of the sexy food to catch some snaps. Hannah made latkes with zucchini and almond flour. She served them with smoked salmon, chives and sour cream (for the non-paleo peeps to enjoy). I drank coffee--straight-up!
The little loaf was not paleo but I swear I didn't partake. There was a crazy little monster voice person (not unlike the personality "Gimmie" from the show The United States of Tara) that was telling me, "EAT IT! Just shove it in your mouth you freak!" I didn't though...they had jam and I still didn't touch the stuff.
Amy made an amazing shirred egg dish with kale and sausage. This was so good! Which reminds me that I need to get the the recipe from her, stat!
I made a frittata! I know, you are shocked. I only live on the things! This one had bacon, broccoli, mushrooms, tomato and some greens. I also made a salad with mustard greens, arugula and sorrel from the garden and served it with a super-herby olive dressing of lovage, chervil and dill.
If you can't was perfect! We followed up our noshing with talk of soap-making and a tree-gazing walk to Koreatown for an essential oil sniffing session. BLISS!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


J's band is playing this show tonight at our pal's bar. At this bar, my favorite lady met her favorite man and guess what, his band is playing too. Maybe you should come? I think it would make sense.

DAY SIXTEEN: Market Saturday

After J was not feeling well last night, I woke up with a burning feeling in my stomach this morning. Kinda like how I imagine heartburn would feel but in the pit of my stomach. We wanted to go to The Wychwood Market so I sucked it up and got dressed after a lot of useless complaining.

More kale...cause kale rules.
A very cool but totally beautiful fall morning. The trees are on fire these days! Time to break out the winter woolies though, it's gonna get nippy! Last night we booked our plane tickets to head up north for Christmas. This will be J's first trip there in the winter and I am so excited to take him ice fishing, snowshoeing and tunneling into snowbanks.
Breakfast! A paleo-friendly raw taco from one of the market venders Nujima Living Foods. Can't wait for induction to be over so I can have one of her frosted brownies again...they are made with almonds, raw cacao, yacon syrup and coconut spread.
The bounty! Curly kale and red Russian kale, spinach, spicy greens and salad greens, celery, red and white onions, mushrooms, eggs, peameal and regular bacon, cucumbers, ground beef, napa cabbage, hot peppers and brussels sprouts.


Ah, Friday!
Despite being the end of the week, it was a super busy day. I recently found out the amazing news that a proposal I did up for a subsidized healthy lunch program at work was accepted. So stoked, obviously...but it meant a lot of work in a short amount of time if I was going to get it up and running. I was flailing around like a crazy person all day. I ate lunch in a flash and didn't have any snacking opportunities but also didn't really miss them.

When I got home from work, J was laying on the couch in a state of "not feeling well." He said it might have been that he drank too much tea but he was also feeling really low-energy. We made up a couple pork chops and a side of brussels sprouts and ate in a state of zombiosis.

We relaxed in bed, talked about family and christmas and he confessed that he's been feeling pretty crappy. He said he has been "seeing weird things" (I experienced this a bit too) and dreaming of cheating every night. He said sometimes in his dreams we have fast food or drink a pop and he wakes up feeling horrible for failing. It's totally hilarious but also kinda crappy that he seems to have anxiety over it. He's basically doing the challenge to support me so I feel worried for him. He is a major craft beer lover and budding home brewer so it must be extra hard. We talked about why we eat bad things when we do or why we drink when we do. It was nice to open up a bit about all that. We generally eat very well. We have always been big on buying from local farmers at markets, mostly organic and all that. We've mainly done this because it's more delicious than conventional grocery store food. That being said, we tend to drink a lot and indulge in non-optimal foods often. It will be interesting to see how our habits change after all this. I feel like things will be very different.

Here is a picture of some nice radishes from the market a few weeks cheer you (and me) up.


I made a super quick coconut green curry with lean ground beef and SO. MANY. VEGETABLES! There is still some kale in the garden so I've been picking and using as much as possible. Red onions, broccoli, peppers, and some mushrooms thrown in here. We ate it with kelp noodles which were surprisingly tasty. After a quick bite I went to The Academy of Lions for another crazy WOD. My workouts suck right now. I can't wait to get some of my old energy back. Any day now, right?'s official, the first thing I will eat on DAY 31 is an apple.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I have reached the point of not needing to eat. It's so weird. If it wasn't for getting dizzy, basically forgetting my name or leaving the stove on, I wouldn't even realize that I needed food.

I feel worn out. Yesterday's WOD was pretty brutal for me. Lots of lifting that I could barely manage. I know it will get better but I am feeling a little bit freaked out by my lack of energy. I walked to the subway from work and felt like I was gonna pass out. I'm definitely not taking in enough calories. I need to get back to eating lots of veggies with my meat and fat. It's just challenging because I'm kinda burnt out on cooking right now. I just feel a little "over it" and not being hungry isn't really helping matters.

Last night J made some haddock with bacon, shallots and garlic. I didn't end up having any but I did eat some for lunch today! I had an egg and some bacon for breakfast and some cucumber after work. One of our current favorite snacks is celery with almond good!

I'm working on a moose roast and some broccoli and purple kale tonight! I will eat it (so I'm not a zombie tomorrow) and it will be delicious and nourishing.