WW: My Diet


So… completely Wellness, but not so Wednesday… Thinking Healthy Thursday? What is it with me and alliterations. ANYWAYS- yes I missed Wellness Wednesday this week- but only by a day, everything in moderation right? even Wellness being posted on Wednesdays.

So this post of Wellness is all about my diet, how I am changing & reducing it, and my general philosophy on diets and eating. I am posting this because I think a lot of people can relate to wanting to change their diet and feel healthier, maybe lose a bit of weight and get some more energy!

 
(Just because I felt like I need to have SOME pictures)

After finishing university and a host of other family/life things going on, I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut of self-neglect when it comes to my diet, and now I am left with a lack of energy and few extra unwanted pounds that prevent me from taking full advantage of my wardrobe. And don’t get me wrong with any of this- I believe in loving yourself at any weight and being comfortable in your skin- but I do really want to fit into my whole wardrobe again and the weight/body composition that I have now is not my happiest or healthiest self.

Now my philosophy on dieting is very much about a lifestyle change and not about a quick ‘lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks’- because I have done fast weight loss before, and it doesn’t work out in the long run. Which is also why I did not start this as a New Year’s resolution- simply because I have to really want this and be motivated to fully commit, and I simply wasn’t ready in January, but I am feeling a little more confident and motivated now- so onwards and upwards!

There are no set ‘unbreakable rules’ or extremes to my diet just some key elements to follow:

– As little refined sugar as possible (my ultimate addiction)

– As little processed food as possible

-No food after dinner (or like 4 hours before bed)

– Snacks between meals (eating consistently 3 meals 2 snacks everyday)

-Good protein sources and fat sources at each meal

-Lots of fruits and vegetables (high fiber)

-Lots of water and liquids 

To sum this up it would be a: low carb – high fiber – high protein – high healthy fats- diet designed to keep your blood sugar regulated. Because I believe that your biggest diet enemy is simple carbs (like sugar and starches) that spike your blood sugar really high, then drop it down just as fast leaving you tired and hungrier than before- think 30 minutes after you ate that chocolate bar on an empty stomach…

On top of those general guidelines for a healthy everyday diet, to reduce more in the weight-loss phase of this diet I’m trying to avoid all grain products (except my oatmeal in the morning), trying to limit my fat intake slightly, reduce my alcohol intake, and I am trying to go a little lighter on the fruit and a little heavier on the vegetables. But really the main goal is to cut out the chocolate, and the sugars which are my ultimate and terrible addiction (chocolate and red wine- why must you taste so good!). 

Another important key to note about this diet is that you can actually eat a lot of food, I mean you can have a heaped plate of food full of bright veggies and good sources of protein- I’m all about eating large quantities because I think I would starve on a single portion of a pre-packaged microwave meal, which is why a lot of other diets don’t work very well for me because I do really like to eat a lot of food!

So I hope this wasn’t a boring post for you all- I know that I am a super nosey person who loves to know about other people’s diets and things they eat. Also because I am making a real effort to change my diet and lose weight you can expect more Wellness Wednesdays about the things that I have been eating, my diet progress, ways that I stay motivated and things like that- if there are any questions or diet-related post requests than feel free to comment! 

Also- in a past Wellness Wednesday I posted about these health/fitness gurus I love on Youtube- The Lean Machines who also share in the same philosophy I have about food and diets and are much better at explaining it and are also super sexy (which can never hurt) so I would encourage you to check them out for more good diet info!

Hope you are having a very healthy Thursday! 

xo erin

Tipsy Tuesday: Hazelnut Dark Hot Chocolate


So as it is approaching Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share another recipe that combines chocolate and alcohol, whether this is to share with your loved one or guzzle on the couch by yourself.  This is also a very appropriate time for this drink because it is still in the negative degrees here in Southern Ontario, and about up to my eyeballs in snow on either side of the driveway (this is sadly not a joke). 

Without further delay:

Hazelnut Dark Hot Chocolate

Now I figure if you are going to treat yourself to hot chocolate you might as well do it right- and this is how I do my hot chocolate right! 

50 grams of dark chocolate (I used lindt 70%- and this is 1 1/2 of these small 35 g bars)
1 cup of whole milk
1 oz of Frangelico (Hazelnut liquor) – you can add more of this depending on your day
pinch of salt

Now you can melt this all together in a microwave- but because I wanted to be all fancy I melted in this cute little cast iron pot I have- perfect size.

Melt the chocolate and milk together on low heat

Once the chocolate is fully whisked into the milk, add your shot and bring up to a medium heat until it starts just steaming. Then TAKE IT OFF! don’t boil or simmer this- just bring it up to a nice steamy temp to drink.

Can I just take a moment to share the shot glass that I used- compliments of my grandma:

Then pour it into your mug of choice and sprinkle a pinch of salt over top and VOILA!

MMMM- this is a drink that will definitely get you all warmed up from being out in the cold! And remember it doesn’t have to be hazelnut liquor, it can be orange liquor, irish cream, tequila….. anything.

Hope you’re all having a tipsy Tuesday!

xo erin

SS: Leg of Lamb with Garlic Mashed Potatoes


This Supper Sunday I have made a leg of lamb. If you, like me, feel very intimidated by the idea of cooking lamb- never fear it is a lot easier than you think- at least the way I do it! and oh my is it tasty! – I do apologize for any vegetarians/vegans/non-meat eaters reading this blog, I do love my meats, but I promise I will do some vegetarian options sometime in the future!

Leg of Lamb

this is a very simple recipe!

1 leg of lamb

approx. 10-15 cloves of garlic (sliced into pieces)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp montreal steak spice (you could also just use salt and pepper)

Take your garlic and slice it into pieces 

Now you are going to stuff all that garlic goodness into your leg of lamb like this:

Do this all over your lamb leg until it is stuffed full with garlic! Then drizzle the olive oil over it and cover it with all the spices.

I like to roast mine in the oven in a cocoon of aluminum foil- it seals in all the moisture and it means less clean up! 

Then put this in the oven at 350 F for about 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 170 F and it is tender!

Then you can slice it up- revealing all the wonderfully mellow garlic inside:

BUT while your lamb is roasting away in the oven- you can make some garlic mashed potatoes to go with them.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I make garlic mashed potatoes by mincing my garlic and cooking it in the microwave with butter:

This just makes the garlic a little more mellow and not so tangy in the potatoes- then add the garlic butter, a little cream and some salt & pepper to some cooked potatoes:

And mash away! 

I can’t say that I use specific amounts of anything for these- it really depends on how many potatoes you use and how buttery/garlic-y/creamy you like your potatoes- if it isn’t what you want then add more!

I served this with some corn and salad and I poured some of the juices from the lamb over my potatoes YUM!

This is a great dinner to serve when you have guests over (since it is in the oven for a while and you just pull it out and VOILA!) Also it is a complete crowd pleaser and makes you look super fancy!

MMM

Hope you are having a Scrumptious Sunday!

xo erin

WW: Sneaking Veggies into Breakfast 2: Green Smoothie


For this Wellness Wednesday- I’m doing a second round of sneaking veggies into breakfast- with my version of the Green Smoothie.

I feel like the Green Smoothie is a fairly common and established thing- but since it is always good to see everyones different versions and recipes- I figured I would share mine. I like to make my green smoothie for breakfast and add lots of greek yogurt for added protein in the morning!

Green Smoothie

1/2  cup milk (I use almond milk but you can use any milk)- vary the amount of milk depending on how thick you want your smoothie
3/4 cup Greek Yogurt
2 packets of Stevia (optional) – I like using stevia because it is healthier than sugar and dissolves better
1 tsp coconut oil
2 LARGE handfuls of baby spinach
1 1/2 cups of frozen fruit (I used cherries and mango) – vary the amount to make a thinner or thicker shake

Put it all in the blender like this:

Blend away until it looks more like this:
Now you can pretty much substitute anything into this shake- different milk, different flavour yogurt, different fruit (if you use just mango or a light colour fruit like banana then it turns a beautiful bright green colour!) add things, take away things- whatever you want.
I really like using greek yogurt because of all the protein content in the morning, also I like to use less milk and more fruit to make my shake really thick ( thick enough to eat with a spoon like soft ice cream!) which is why I also like to use baby spinach instead of the harder greens like kale- because the spinach breaks down more easily and doesn’t require quite as much blending to disappear into a shake! But if you like a thinner smoothie then kale is a great option!

This is one of my all-time favourite breakfasts! So creamy and delicious- also this will make a fairly large smoothie- but I don’t mind eating a large portion if everything in the smoothie is super healthy and I usually have this on its own for a meal!

Hope you are all having a wonderfully well Wednesday! and that you are all keeping healthy this far into the New Year!!

xo erin

Tipsy Tuesday: Sandbanks Estate Winery


Hi All!

For this Tipsy Tuesday- I wanted to share one of my favourite wineries of the moment- Sandbanks Winery– and I have been loving their wines lately! I also visited the winery over my Christmas Holiday and it was beautiful (but I didn’t have a camera on me so I stole this pic from their website!)

I particularly like their red wines – these three being my fav:

I’m going to give you their description of the wines- since I am no connoisseur and have no idea how to properly describe them. lol

Baco Noir (can you tell this is my fav?- it didn’t even last long enough to take the picture!) 

Described as “A full-bodied red wine with intense plum and wild cherry flavours.Notes of toasted oak provide a lingering finish. Our signature wine.”                                                                
I really like this one for drinking before dinner, it is a little bit sweeter and just really nice on it’s own or with nice cheese!

Dunes 


Described as Rich, elegant and very well balanced red wine with intense aromas of raspberry, chocolate and red plum. Very versatile, always ready to be enjoyed at anytime.” 
– This one I can drink with our without food, but I like having it with steak or even pork- it’s nice drinking!

Shoreline


Described as “This rich bodied wine has red plum, raspberry and spice flavours with a vibrant finish of red cherry and vanilla. Pairs well with stews and red meat.”
– I would agree with the description- it does pair well with heavy foods since it is a little drier than the other two. We had this with roast-beef on Christmas with my grandparents and it was lovely!



Also when I was at the winery last- being all posh tasting wines with my fam, I tried this little aperitif – and I loved it- I am a big fan of black currant and it’s light and sweet and like juice but better lol

Seeing as it is pretty, pink and says love on it- it is a good choice for Valentine’s day coming up. Even if -like me- you are single and planning to drink it on a girls night, and you prefer to call it National Cake-Bingeing day!




Anyways, I just wanted to share that with you because I have been loving it lately – I also want to clarify that I do not get paid/sponsored to do this in any way- this is just a winery that I have visited and have been really enjoying their products for a while! And for that I wanted to give them some love! 

Hope you are having a very Tipsy Tuesday!

xo erin

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