Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup 2010: A Healthy Lesson

It only happens once every four years, and man, is it exciting! World Cup fever has hit the world, and Toronto is one of the most enjoyable places to catch it.

I love that there are so many diverse ethnic groups in Toronto, that no matter who wins or loses a match, there will always be a jubilant group of people celebrating somewhere on the streets...sometimes it can be a passing carload of fans honking their horns or other times an impromptu parade will start. Hilarious and fun! You can't help but be happy for them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Our Cleaning Lady Helped Cure My Adrenal Fatigue

I must admit that I'm lucky that Makoto is a pretty clean dude.  Buuuuuuttt....we still have different tolerances to what we think "clean" is...Makoto's being much higher than mine. 

One luxury that we both equally agreed to splurge on was a cleaning lady (ok....Makoto suggested it after a Saturday afternoon where I tried to teach him my toothbrush scrubbing technique for perfectly clean shower tiles).

I can't begin to tell you what a relief it is to not have to start Saturdays with my cleaning to do list.  I've talked to several people who are on the fence about getting a cleaning lady...mostly because they think it is a splurge/luxury and that they really could/should just do the cleaning themselves.  In the end, it costs us $120 a month (3 x $20/hr every two weeks)...that's roughly $4 a day for sparkling clean bathrooms and kitchen, shiny clean floors, dust-free surfaces, fresh linens and no more arguing over who's cleaning the black crud out of the oven.
Some tips:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Batch Soup Cooking

Soups and stews are fantastic for prepping on a lazy Sunday and having available during the week for a quick nutritious meal or as a starter. Best part is that they are great re-heated, not affecting the taste or the texture, and in the summertime they taste great cool.

Today just so happens to be one of those nice lazy beautiful Sundays, a few chores to do around the house, and a great day to batch cook! Aileen's on a cooking mission today, adding to our ever-expanding list of go-to recipes (seems like most people have about twenty go-to recipes, with about ten favourites that they keep going back to).

My contribution to this week's menu will be soups. I love soups because you can keep adding to them, tweaking the flavours, and simmering, without having to be too concerned about overcooking or timing.

Below is one of my go-to soup creations. Although it has a lot of ingredients and tastes great as a final product, you can add or subtract as you please, just keep sampling throughout and you'll find a flavour that works for you and whatever you may have in your pantry and fridge.

Sweet Potato Coconut Ginger soup
Serves 4-6

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flourless Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies - You Only Need 4 Ingredients!

When I was 11 years old, my parents moved our family to Rosetown, Saskatchewan. My sister and I were the only Asian kids in...well...Saskatchewan. I kid, I kid. But we were, no joke, the only two Asian kids in Rosetown, Saskatchewan.

We lived there for just under two years and some of my best childhood memories are from playing in the giant grain piles at my friend's farms and going to the harvest festivals. The farmer's markets were also out of control....I remember my mom buying a huge bucket of organic zucchinis for 25 cents.

My first introduction to baking was during one of my first classes in Grade 7 when I realized I was enrolled in Home Economics on crack. These girls were baking peach cobblers from scratch and sewing their own custom designed pyjamas on our FIRST day of class. I made a giant (burnt) cookie with Smarties and a pin cushion (roughly in the shape of a heart) for my mom. Thankfully, my little girlfriends and our teacher took me under their wings and taught me all the secret baking tricks and tips that their grandmothers had taught them from birth.
To this day, I absolutely love baking. It's something I do to relax!  The tricky part is making my favorite recipes into healthier versions.

Here is my gluten, dairy and egg free (vegan) Peanut Butter Cookie recipe….health conscious or not, you’ll love this moist and delicious cookie!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What!?! No Dairy?!! But What Will I Put In My Coffee?!?

For all of you die hard coffee drinkers out there, I know that coffee was meant to be had in it's true

But for the rest of us...that live for the creaminess of a cup of coffee with milk, it's devastating to find out that we are lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy or have an intolerance/sensitiviy to dairy.

For this group, I have an amazing solution for you.....COCONUT MILK!!  It mixes in beautifully without separating and has the same texture as pure dairy cream.  Here is a pic for proof:

Healthy Food Review: Sweets from the Earth Cashew Cookies

I've been loving the Sweets from the Earth treats lately.

They have a great selection of cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweets, that are not only free of refined sugar, but are dairy and egg-free as well. Many products are also gluten-free and use GMO-free plant-derived ingredients. The founder, Ilana, became vegetarian at a young age, and eventually vegan and studied to become a pastry chef.

Her lifestyle and training is evident in her products, which are not only healthy and use quality ingredients, but bonus is that they actually taste really really good!

These are desserts that I actually feel comfortable bringing with me when I visit friends' homes whose priority is taste over healthy ingredients. I show them the atypical ingredient list only after they have finished enjoying the dessert. Gotta love the reaction when they realize they just ate a dessert made with tofu and a few simple plant-based ingredients.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting Back in the Groove After Vacationing in South Beach, Miami

We spent this past weekend in South Beach, Miami for a quick relaxing weekend.  WOW....people in Miami are BUFF.  I guess that's what happens when you can be in your bikini year round!

One thing I loooooooooooove about being on vacation is not having to cook.  We were lucky to be travelling with our friend who's a frequent flyer so we had all access to the members lounge at our hotel.  Makoto and I had no shame....we were there numerous times a day to gorge on their daily breakfast/lunch/dinner/cocktails & cordial presentations.....pain au chocolat, waldorf salad, tuna tartare, grouper with roasted vegetables and berry mousse galore.  I was in heaven.

Then we came home and the last thing I felt like doing was cooking dinner.  We went to our usual fave Korean restaurant for dinner then forced ourselves to go grocery shopping.  BEST thing we could have done.  We knew that we wouldn't want to make any involved recipes so we grabbed:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

C'mon....just try it!

Try adding 1 tsp of liquid Chlorophyll to your bottle of water for an instant dose of antioxidants and to help boost your energy!
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