Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pumpkin Butter

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It's been oh... 2 years since my last post! But I have been eating so many wonderful things lately that I wanted to try doing the whole blog thing again. 

I've joined Tone It Up and if you haven't heard of it, look into this amazing system here. It's basically super clean eating (which I've been doing for quite some time) but it's portioned, timed and spaced perfectly throughout my day. I think last time I blogged I was excited to be at 149lbs and I can't believe that my weight goal THIS WEEK is 124lbs (and Monday is only 2 days away!) Wow. I have come a long ways! 

The owners of the community Karena and Katrina are having a Fall Recipe swap so I decided to blog about my latest amazing Fall recipe! 

Pumpkin Butter

This stuff is delish! So far I have added it to chai tea (Pumpkin Chai!), plain Greeky yogurt and tomorrow I am planning a Pumpkin Butter Latte with some almond milk. A teaspoon of this stuff will make any dish scream Fall and cozy! 

First you'll need to make some Pumpkin Pie Spice, which pretty much deserves a blog post itself because of it's versatility. Mix it up and add it to anything. It's amazing in coffee with a little extra ginger for a Gingerbread Latte, smoothies, oatmeal, you name it. 

To make an addicting Pumpkin Butter you are going to need: 

14oz. can of pumpkin 
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil 
4 Tbsp maple syrup 
1 tsp maple extract
1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice 
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Mix all of your ingredients together in a pot. Heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir constantly because it can burn easily. Refrigerate for about 2 weeks. 



Friday, July 30, 2010

Jumpin' Jambalaya

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My End of July Harvest

Weight: 149.2 lbs (damn straight!) 

Summer has been going great thus far and despite my 6 weddings this summer (think yummy buffet dinners and free wine, wine, wine), I am still losing weight! Hello 140's, I promise to never leave you again (unless it's for my oh so evasive friend 130's...)

The garden is magnificent and I haven't been blogging much because decides the hot hot heat up in Northern Alberta, my lettuce section of the garden is growing faster than you can say "salad with sun-dried tomatoes, onion and a hard-boiled egg... once again".

I have taken my BBQing to the next level this summer. The in-laws would be proud (they cook everything on the BBQ - even in the dead of winter). My latest concoction? Jumping Jambalaya in a foil pouch. No clean-up? That's my kind of dinner!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Simply French Onion Soup

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This is one of my favorite dishes. It is super filling, very easy on my calorie count and oh so delicious! I have been waiting for a gloomy day to whip some up and thankfully it was thunder showering all day yesterday! PERFECT!

It is so super simple that I almost don't want to post it but here it is Nicola! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spinach, spinach everywhere!

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Planting the Garden - May '10

First of all, yay! Today I was at 153.0 lbs!  Things are finally working! Turns out portion control (through calorie counting) and exercise does really work!

Secondly, my garden is out of control! I didn't realize I had so much spinach and kale! My newest love - the kale smoothie - is taking care of some of that baby kale but as for the spinach? It is time to ramp up on the salad front! Apparently you have to thin spinach to 6 inches apart or else it bolts to seed (surprise, surprise, mine is going to seed - in JUNE!) So I have decided that less plants are more and trimmed 'em back and have lots of salad to eat this weekend! 

This is by far, my favorite ever yummiest spinach salad recipe. The dressing is so amazing and the fruit used in the salad is in season so they are extra juicy and nutritious. If you don't dig the fruit in your salad, just try it. You won't be disappointed! 


Monday, June 14, 2010

I am alive!

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Hello, hello!

I am so sorry for being MIA for so long... I could make up something but basically it was just laziness and being so damn busy! I tried on the bridesmaid dress and... IT FIT!! I kind of wish it didn't so I would have to keep working my butt off. However, I have been snapping pictures of my cuisine so I do have a lot of catching up to do!

My friend (Britta), my sister (Meagan) and I have a little competition going on right now until June 30 for weight loss. Because we are all different weights, we are doing a % body weight lost calculation. I have lost... 4.8 lbs in 4 1/2 weeks (not so good!) but I am not gaining and I am really on track. It's so sad really if I think about it that I started this blog to lose weight at the end of January and I was at... 160 lbs? And so far (5 months later) I've lost what... 8 lbs?! Sad, pathetic, bad! I really want to get down to 145 by June 30 and 140 by September 19 (my 3 week trip to Egypt!) and then be not so much of a professional dieter but a professional maintainer!

Thanks to the much needed support of my hunny, Bevan, I am super into my calorie counting and portion control. I bought a food scale the other day and no wonder I have not been losing weight... my portion control is out of hand! I am wearing my Bodybugg everyday - all day - and really watching what goes in to my body and how many calorie's I burn. A pound of fat equals 3500 calories so I have been striving for a 1000 calorie daily deficit (which equals -7000 calorie a week, which equals -2lbs/week) but sometimes end up at about 800. I lost a quick 3 lbs in the last 78 hours by just watching my calories closely, I understand that this isn't really fat lost but it's exciting to see and an indication that I am doing something right!

Some people think it's extreme and time consuming to watch your calories or weight your food
(when I excitedly told my mother that I lost some weight and was really watching my caloric intake she actually asked me if I was happy! As if being healthy and happy about my body would make me miserable?). I just consider it mindful and healthy to understand what is entering your body. I obviously don't know what is going on if I can only lose 6 pounds in 5 months so it's time for a wake up and I am getting it!

Current weight: 152.8

In other news, I have planted my first garden!! I planted spinach, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce (a variety), kohlrabi, rutabaga
, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, cucumber, peppers (hot and sweet!), herbs, onions (mmm), beets, tomatoes (LOTS including yellow Lemon Boys - yum!) and carrots (purple ones!) It is all very exciting and I ate my first garden fresh salad that I GREW the other day! All of these delicious, organically grown (by yours truly!) veggies should make for some fun, creative dishes in the months to come - stay tuned!

My current work out regime? Along with the new calorie watch has come a new workout routine. I don't have much to lose so I am going to do it very right for a couple months and then work on the maintaining. I created 3 different workouts (which include wii active, abs exercises, punching bag drills, free boxing and kettle bells) which will be rotated 6 days a week (each workout twice a week). Bevan and our roommate Matt have also made 3 different workouts that they will be doing too. I am excited for all the support from my household!

A new activity that Bevan and I have discovered is
geocaching! It is basically an adult, high tech game of hide and seek with a GPS. I love it! It gets us moving and outdoors. It's free and fun!! My days have also been busy with weeding, planting and landscaping. So I have been keeping busy and active!

Summer is starting and there are only 15 more days of teaching for me! I cannot wait! And I promise, more deliciously clean recipes to come!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homemade Granola

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Weight: 153.2 lbs

I have been lazy as of late! It is mostly because of all the girl's night out drinking I have been doing the last couple of weekends. But I have put an end to that. I am finally back down to my last week's weight. This is the problem I have run into the last 4 weeks actaully. Everything is fine, I lose weight and then one bad night ends up with 3 - 4 days of rehab to get back down. I had a night out (ending a donair...) and today I am back to my weight on Saturday morning. This is no good and I am going NO WHERE with this up and down-ness. I am beyond frusterated but determined so not do it anymore. Even if I go out... I can control myself... right?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Indian Butter Chicken

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Weight: 154 lbs. (steady as she goes...)

Okay, so I've been slacking in the blog world and perhaps slacking in the kitchen... you know when you have a week off and you have all these plans and then you just.... don't do any of it? Yeah.. that's me! But now that spring break is over and the days are getting longer. I feel ready to take on the world!

Things are pretty good in the body department. I am feeling great and looking pretty good too. I haven't noticed a whole lot going down on the scale but I definitely can see improvement! I had the most intense cardio boxing sesh yesterday and then hit up the Wii for some EA Active. I am one hurting unit today.

I realize I haven't done any chicken recipes and that is because... we don't really eat it! It's pretty hard to move over to white meat when you buy bison by the animal from your in-laws. It's also pretty expensive because it is one of the things that I cannot buy non-organic. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Skinny Mushroom Caps

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Weight: Don't wanna know

So, the thing about the Iwaskow/Olson house is that my birthday is March 2nd and Bevan's (the boyfriend) birthday is March 4th. Which also means that March 3rd is family dinner time for both of us and the actaul birthday's are just for us to celebrate together with friends. In the end it works out to be a whole week of crazy "It's a celebrate so it doesn't matter" eat extravaganza! I think my weight is somewhere around 154.. I have been checking on and off but I just don't want to be discouraged, so I don't wanna know just yet.... (wow I make a lot of excuses eh?!)

I am officially on Spring break (early this year but yay for the Arctic Winter Games coming to GP!) So I am going to bust my rear during the break. It's just been a very... off.. time. I haven't been working out, been very active or really even cooking lately. I just looked and the last time I calorie counted a full day was February 28th! Yikes. That was the wake-up call I needed. I am back in, full swing!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Perfect Loaf of Banana Bread

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Weight: 153.6 (down .6 lbs or 6.4 lbs from the beginning!)


I don't know about you but I love banana bread, I mean I LOVE banana bread. For the last couple of years I have been desperately searching for a healthy recipe that does not sacrifice taste. Ladies and gentlemen, I think I have found the perfect loaf of banana bread!

This blueberry banana bread will blow you away. It is so moist, delicious, filling and get this... not one drop of butter or oil in it! It's whole wheat, it's flax-y, it's low-calorie, it's low-fat, it's high fiber, it's healthy, it's amazing!



Since I have discovered this recipe about a month ago, I have been poping 2 piece in the toaster every morning for breakfast and having it with 1/2 a cup of yogurt and I can honestly say it keeps me full until lunch... a good 4 hours!

Bust out those old, bruised bananas and eat your heart out people!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Honey-Soy Salmon

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Weight: 154.2 (down .2 lbs!) Little victories right...


I have been super busy lately with family, mostly helping my mom out with her ever growing business - Diapers Naturally. We were just at a great tradeshow in Edmonton on the weekend. And while it is difficult for any normal person to resist Chicago Deep Dish pizza while in Edmonton, I walked and walked and walked around that enormous show! So I am guess that is the reason for no weight gain, even though I endulged in the most amazing pizza EVER! I ate really well the rest of the trip though, even went to the grocery store while in Edmonton to grab some healthy necessities - bananas, yogurt, peppers, water. 

Despite my exhaustion and lack of interest, I hit up the gym on Tuesday with Lindsey and did our 45 minute walk/jog and then an hour of water aerobics.  I am just posting this then promptly working out with EA Active and then going on a walk to the library with Bevan!