Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tom's Tasty Taters

I have to laugh at the title - alliteration at it's finest!
Anyways, here's a quick recipe by Tom for some very tasty veggies. Quite simple, really, but delicious all the same. You also get a bonus; his "recipe" for his Cajun BBQ spice - yum!

Tom's Tasty Taters
4 large russet potatoes, washed
1 large red onion, chopped
2 handfuls baby carrots
1-2 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice (original)
1-2 tsp Cajun spice mixture
1 tsp lime juice, drizzled
1 tsp maple syrup, drizzled
2 tsp Becel Vegan Margarine, evenly distributed
sprinkle of brown sugar

Cajun Blackened Spice Recipe
2 tsp paprika
3 tsp thyme
2 tsp onion powder
3 tsp garlic powder
1/2 - 1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Place vegetables on doubled-up aluminum foil sheets. Combine ingredients and package up in aluminum foil. Place on BBQ on medium for 20 minutes, flip after timer rings and BBQ for another 20 minutes.


Everything In Moderation

When you are trying something new, like a diet, you have to remember the moderate and PORTION! The diet has worked so well for me because I read the ingredients and consider the daily value... but I also measure each item. So, below I've listed a few of my "everything in moderation" tips that have worked for me.

1. Measure & weigh your food! Buy a small scale and keep it in your kitchen - don't put it in a cupboard or drawer - keep it out in the open and weigh as much as you can... do the same with measuring cups/spoons
2.  Get creative! Stop eating the same old boring chicken; jazz it up! I am a huge advocate for chicken... and look how many ways I can cook it! If you have a thought for a recipe, try it!
3. Read the back. Consider the daily intake values for each ingredient you use; I do much of my thinking in Weight Watchers Points - consciously asking myself, "How many Points would this be?". If it feels like it would make my Points go up, I reconsider using it.
4. Plan ahead. Buy a magnetic whiteboard at the Dollar Store with a dry-erase marker. Now, plan your week of dinners. This is especially helpful if you have a spouse like mine whose favourite thing to ask is, "What's for dinner?" Make sure you stick to your schedule; check it in the morning to see if you have to defrost anything, and try to have at least three meat-free days/week.
5. Take the time to have breakfast. There's a reason that they call for three meals a day; make time to get them all! I usually try to have egg whites and a smoothie or fresh fruit for breakfast, or I enjoy 1/4 cup of quinoa cereal with 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk. If you find that eating that early in the morning makes you feel a little queasy, then make yourself something that is easy to take with you and eat it at your desk in the morning.
6. Get a lunch kit. Seriously, just do it. It will make your life, and your lunch, much easier - trust me!
7. Pack a Snack. Have a healthy snack several times during the day - it's an excuse to take a break from work and it will stop you from gorging yourself. I take fruit, nuts, veggies, and sometimes applesauce with me if I have a long day ahead. 
(Note: If you are newly dairy free and are a yogurt junkie, then buy almond yogurt - it is just as tasty and packs a whole bunch of calcium! Also, check out Daiya brand cheeses for a gluten and dairy free cheese alternative!)
8. Get Your Daily Dose. Take your vitamins! They have adult chews now, plus a daily Karma Wellness Water will give you your recommended dosage... so you have no excuse as to why you shouldn't be getting them.
9. Get Happy! Set a positive outlook on your goal - tell yourself you will get there- and feel GOOD about it; a healthy diet and regular exercise is your ticket to a better you.
10. Stay Committed. I do use the word "diet", but I really mean "lifestyle change". This truly is a lifestyle change and it won't happen overnight - it will be hard, but it will be worth it!
da mo 2413 Daily motivation (25 photos)
  Image courtesy of


Friday, July 12, 2013

A Healthy Indulgence

Time for another recipe! This is quite the indulgent recipe, but it is lean and mean and a fat-fighting machine! Lean, ground turkey has a ton of protein and it is so versatile. With a low-fat and calorie count, these turkey meatballs are sure to feel like you're cheating on your new "diet" but, trust me, you're not. Everything in moderation! These can be made with lean ground pork or lean, ground, grass-fed buffalo. You could also make these with lean ground beef, but remember that beef has different properties than the meats I described above.

Ground rosemary can be one of the absolute hardest things to find! However, we found it in abundance at the Calgary Farmer's Market! Check out your local Farmer's Market and amaze at what you can find.
I also prefer Kinnikinnick brand for the bread crumbs and bread.

Lean Turkey Meatballs in a Garlic "Butter" Sauce
500 g (usually one package) of lean, preferably grass-fed turkey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup gluten-free Panko-style bread crumbs
2 pieces gluten-free bread, toasted and crumbled
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp ground rosemary
1 -2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp minced onion
pinch of salt and pepper
pinch of paprika
handful of spinach, finely chopped

Garlic "Butter" Sauce
3-4 tbsp. Becel Vegan Margarine
3-4 tbsp. coconut flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour mix)
1/2 - 2 cups plain almond milk
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp thyme
pinch of coriander
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste

In medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs thoroughly. roll turkey mixture into balls and place in oiled frying pan on medium heat.
Cover frying pan.
Place garlic in small frying pan and saute until lightly browned (watch your garlic - it will turn bitter if you leave it on the heat for too long). Add margarine and let it melt, stirring frequently. Once margarine is melted, add flour and milk and stir until mixture starts to become thick. Add spices and reduce heat to simmer, stirring frequently.
Once meatballs are cooked through, check sauce and serve with gluten-free pasta, rice, or veggies. 
Pour sauce over balls - remember to portion everything! As much as you'd like to eat a million of these meatballs with this awesome sauce, remember that portioning is always key.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

High River Flooding 2013

My uncle lives in High River and owns just under 20 rental properties. We were down there helping them out (along with several other of my AMAZING cousins who had been at it all week) and these are the pictures...
Our hearts and thoughts are with Toronto and the GTA today, too. Stay strong, we are with you! 
Please donate your time and funds to the people affected by these devastating floods!
You can donate to
or check the City of Calgary and Town of High River's Facebook, Twitter and website pages to keep in the loop in how you can get out there and help out!
A community is built by it's people... and boy, are there some amazing people!
FOSBlog's Tom and cousin Sophia covered after cleaning out one rental property

Boat floated here and has not been moved (this is 1st street)

A Wee Bit Of Wisdom

There will always, always, always be people and situations who are there to challenge you, cause drama and controversy, and upset you throughout all aspects and times in your life. The solution isn't to expect them to change or to immediately sway to how you would like things to be, but to promote positivity and bright energy in how YOU handle that person or situation. You must be the driving force in conflict resolution and creating a sense of balance to create peaceful happiness for all. Be open to change, be open to other's opinions, be peaceful. Practice mantras... they even are working for me (formerly known as The Most Impatient Being) slowly but surely.
YOU can do it!