Friday, October 30, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 30

Ok, so must be a little 'daft' as today marks the END of the 30 day challenge. Duh. Only you know that I have one more smoothie planned for tomorrow. It's not that I just realized October has 31 days, it's just that I had the whole month in mind. I will still do my last smoothie tomorrow since I have everything anyway!

Before I talk about the smoothie today, I have disappointing news. This morning was my daughter's appointment at the Children's hospital to discuss the MRI results. There is enough inflammation in her left jaw and they want to treat it by adding a biologic medication to her treatment or doing an injection in the site. Both come with pro's, con's and of course the side-effects. I wish someone would just tell us what to do.

I am part of a group on FB called "Alternative Therapies for JIA Discussion Group" and there are a number of parents who have treated their child's arthritis only through diet and supplements. I am scared to do this as I know the doctors at the hospital don't believe that diet has anything to do with it. I don't want to essentially 'go against' what they say and try something alternative in the case that it doesn't work, or the situation is worsened, and I have to go back to them saying that 'my way didn't work and now I am open to trying yours'. We are going to need some time to think it all through and come up with a plan. For now though, I am just bummed. The rest of her body has responded so well to her medication; it's just that silly jaw. So very disappointing.

So....back to the I tried "pear berry nutmeg" but I have to laugh because it didn't include pear or nutmeg. The recipe does say that you can sub mango in lieu of pear and so I did because my pear just didn't seem ripe enough. And while pear and nutmeg go well together, I wasn't sure just how mango and nutmeg would go, so I simply left it out. We could basically rename this to: Mango Berry.

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Pear Berry Nutmeg - *** (3.5 stars!)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 29

Kiwi Limeade! It was good! Here are the ingredients (water based):

I have left the two coconut milk-based smoothies to the last two days. (I can't believe there are only 2 more days of October left). Today I am going to shop for some of that almond-coconut milk and use that instead of the coconut milk the recipes call for. I will try them again though later with coconut milk....just not for breakfast!

That's all for today! Tonight is sewing class and I *should* be coming home with a nice throw pillow. I am going shopping momentarily for fabric. How fun is that!? 

Have a great day guys!

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Kiwi Limeade - **** (4 stars!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 28 & November Challenge Details

Chai Like You was today's smoothie! It was really quite good. I would repeat this one again. I wonder what it would taste like if instead of the almond milk base, you were to use brewed and chilled chai tea!? Might have to try that one.

So I figured out what my next few smoothies would be and checked to see if I had all the ingredients. Except I did the nutritional math on the two out of the three I have left. (They call for coconut milk). I love coconut milk but it almost becomes a rich treat....coconut milk is not low calorie or low fat! The almond milk, brewed tea or water that most of these smoothies call for is much different than the rich coconut milk. This is fine, but I will need to adjust when I drink it. Most mornings I am drinking my smoothie around 7:00 and then having some toast with peanut butter around 9:00. If you're starting your day with spinach, water, and some fruit, a little bit of toast is fine to have a couple hours later, but these coconut ones are heavier for sure. Either I skip the toast later on in the morning or I have the smoothie a little later on as more of a small meal.

So I have been giving a LOT of thought to next month's challenge! I am excited to tell you that I have figured it out! It's actually going to be a combination of a few things (which just yesterday I suggested isn't normally a good idea) but I think it will be ok...

1) The first thing is something I am pretty excited about. I have been following Organic Burst on Instagram for a while and been really curious about their products, which are superfood supplements. So earlier this month I ordered "the whole shebang" consisting of the following:
  • Maca powder for energy & endurance (and hormone balance!)
  • Wheatgrass powder for curbing cravings & alkalizing your body
  • Baobab powder for energy & alertness
  • Acai capsules for antioxidants
  • Spirulina powder for nourishment & keeping you full
  • Chlorella granules for detoxing and rejuvenation 
Sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it? With this progesterone cream I am about to start taking I am going to have more energy than I know what to do with!

2) 30-day Facebook Detox! Last time I signed off of Facebook was during Lent last year. It was great. I am simply on FB too much, and it's really mostly wasted time. I am looking forward to taking another 'break'. 

3) With the saved time from being off of FB, I am going to start reading more - something I have been wanting and meaning to do for a long time now. Minimum 30 minutes a day. I am quite sure that I spend at least that on FB every day, so this should't be a problem! 

There you have it! I have to spend some time figuring out how I will consume these superfood supplements. Some of them can go into my daily green smoothie and some suggest putting them into yogurt or something similar. Organic Burst also has recipes posted frequently on their IG page, so I might try some of those too. But I am pretty sure what I ordered is only a 30-day supply, so I will need to be careful how much I use.

Happy Humpday! 

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Chai Like You - *** (3.5 stars!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Busy Equals Important?

Do you believe that? That busy = important? I think I did.

As I have shared, my life has slowed down after quitting my job recently. It’s a weird feeling not having an answer anymore to the question that people typically ask you right after they ask you your name: “What do you do”? When I had originally quit my job, I had planned on going back to school for two years to do an after degree program in Education. But the truth is that going back to school would have required much more effort than I think I have time for right now, and I actually don’t know that’s the right path for me anyway. 

So let’s see – right now I basically do all the same things that I used to do when I worked but now I have more time to do it all in. Life is just a little slower – but in a good way. I spend a lot of time in my car shuttling little bodies around the city. I drive my daughter to and from school and I also pick up my niece from kindergarten at noon and take her home. (Nevermind the regular driving from the various activities of the week). But I now have more time to volunteer in various capacities as well as catch up on neglected things around the house. 

I recognize that I am also lucky that I have more time for myself. I can enjoy some of things that simply had been ‘chores’ before – such as cooking or working out. My daughter is happier because I have a bit more patience and more time to play and engage. My dogs are happier as they get more walks and more attention. My husband is happier because I am happier. (One more equation…Happy Wife = Happy Life). 

But I know it’s not going to stay like this forever, and honestly I wouldn’t want it to. I view this time as a period of re-evaluation and self-reflection…figuring out what the next ‘stage’ is. However, it has also has me thinking a lot about slowing down in general. A couple weekends ago on HGTV there was a  “Tiny House, Big Living” marathon and I couldn’t stop watching. The show is about people majorly downsizing into homes of approximately 180 square feet?! Most of these people are either looking for adventure, or simply want to shed the burden of “stuff" (including a mortgage) and live more simply. The idea of simplifying has long been on my mind, although I could never do what they are doing.

I feel like more and more people are really re-evaluating their priorities and values. Too often we kind of just float through life, making decisions based largely on what society is doing or says we should be doing instead of really asking ourselves what WE want out of life. Too often (especially as mom's) we are rushing like mad women from one thing to another, not REALLY questioning if this is what we (as individuals and as a family) really want. 

Does little Suzy need to be in three activities this Fall? Am I hosting these playdates because I enjoy them or because I feel guilty if I don't? Do I know how to say NO to volunteering in something I don't want to? (After all, everyone is busier than me; a mom of one who doesn't work, right?) More importantly, is being this busy and stretched something I want my son/daughter to learn? My own daughter is 7 and I am guessing that within 5 years she won't want to be spending much time with her 'uncool' mom. I want her to see her mom doing things that are important to her, but it's just as important that she sees me create boundaries and say 'no thank you' to things that are not important. No explanation necessary. 

Here's the thing: If being busy is something you consciously do for reasons you are aware of - thats great! However, if you are basically coasting through all of your 'busy-ness' wishing it could be different AND wondering why you are doing it, then it's time for re-evaluation. Are you so busy because you feel that's what you need to be doing? Are you so busy because it gives you purpose? Why are you doing what you're doing and would you like to change it? 

I have been known to over-commit myself in the past. Looking back, I think it's because I was lacking purpose. If I am busy, I don't have to give much thought as to what my purpose is, or feel badly because it's lacking. Don't get me wrong...I don't see anything wrong with being busy itself. Sometimes, you need to be very busy in order to complete worthwhile tasks and goals. The point is asking yourself IF the things you are busy doing now are worthwhile tasks, or if they are fillers of some kind. 

It’s so easy to get lost in the ‘rat race’, clamoring for the next best thing. Sometimes I feel as if I am standing on the fence between “busyness” and “less is more” – watching and actually spending time on both sides…not really sure if I can actually ever commit to one over the other. But what I do know is that there is much to be said about slowing down and enjoying more of life – however it looks for you. I have heard way too many times about people who work their asses off; retire; then die.

I love the idea of having only what you actually use, wearing only what you love, and passing on things that no longer work or serve their purpose. I also love the idea of living a life of purpose, and re-evaluating what that looks like along the way. 

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 27

B-Limey Strawberry...Lime in a smoothie??? Interesting. It was good! And only 4 more days of this 'challenge' this morning I am planning specifically which smoothies I would like to end the month with. Also, I have been giving some more thought as to what next month's challenge will be...hmmmm.

A couple of years ago, I started a book club at my house. It was basically an excuse to get together with girlfriends and drink wine, but we did have books as the theme. Anyway, one of the books that I read around that time was Gretchen Rubin's "Happiness Project". As a result of reading this book, I created a set of goals under a theme each month, dedicated to that year of working on happiness. This current month's smoothie challenge reminds me a bit of it.

Usually things are easier to do if we break them down into small steps. It's hard though if we want to see major shifts quickly. Let's say you want to transform your health. A number of things you need to change may pop into your head: working out regularly; drinking more water; eating more healthy; taking time to meditate, etc. This is all wonderful but chances are if you do all of this all at once and if these are all things that you have not already been doing, you may struggle. It's a lot of change. Of course there are some people that will be able to do it - similar to those people who can quit something cold turkey successfully. But more often if you ease into these lifestyle changes, you will likely be more successful.

I am happy to report that my "grey" situation has been solved, but my face just wasn't ready for the camera this morning.

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

B-Limey Strawberry - *** (3 stars!)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 26

Day 26! Time has flown. I feel like making my morning smoothies is now a new habit. (They say it takes 21 days at least)?

Today I tried "Just Plummy". It was really quite good. I don't really eat plums, so I wasn't sure if I would like it but it was great. Base was coconut water and I used my kale.

"Allan" stayed all day in bed, nursing his hangover. When you're over the hill and almost at the 50 mark you just don't recover the same as they do in the movies. Just before going to bed, Allan happened to take a look at some wine in the fridge and even just the look of that made him feel ill. Haha, he won't be boozing that like for some time. I did not make him sit through a flight of 9 wines yesterday. Was I being too nice??? :) 

Have a great Monday!

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.
Just Plummy - **** (4 stars!)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 25

Today I found myself contemplating which green smoothie might be best for hangovers? One of the green tea ones? One of the water based ones? This wasn't for me of course, but for my husband who was perhaps taking his character too seriously. (He was Allan from "The Hangover"). Currently he's sleeping it off downstairs, the lone wolf in the wolfpack. At least he won't be waking up to a jungle cat in the bathroom

The host and hostess for this party basically work ALL YEAR LONG putting everything together. The amount of effort put into it is pretty amazing. We're talking full-on graveyard out front, full size adult 'operation' game, projection onto screens which look like zombies and trying to break through, photo booth, and soooo much more...All over the house. It was crazy. I just wish I had taken more photos. Here are a few of the ones I did take last night, before I talk about the smoothie today:

 This is a creepy doll that wanders through the house saying things like "don't worry, I won't hurt you"! OMG
 The crafted "operation" table
A photo of me as Frida Khalo and one of my besties dressed as a scarecrow!

Today I tried a new recipe called "Kale n' Cherry". Its the first one I tried with cacao powder - and I also used kale only. There's a place at the Calgary Farmer's Market called The Cherry Pit and they often have great washed and cut produce if you're feeling lazy. They also happen to have a great washed kale that I sometimes get. I used it once to try 'kale chips' which were pretty good actually. Anyway, this one was made to be a single serving since (as I mentioned) Allan is still sleeping. If he's lucky I may make him a smoothie with the green tea I have chilling in the fridge. The smoothie may be the best thing for a hangover.

Anyway I liked it ok...didn't love it. I am not sure I want or need cocoa in these smoothies. When I want the taste of chocolate, I am hoping for something a wee bit sweeter. I would rather have a piece of good dark chocolate and a regular fruit/kale smoothie. Not combined. Just my own preference.

Hope you all have a great Sunday. Not sure if "Allan" will be up to drinking wine all afternoon...might be lone wolfing it myself....

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Kale n' Cherry - *** (3 stars!)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 24

YUMMMERS! Today I tried "Apple Almond Butter & Jelly" - it was delicious! Almost like a treat.

Today (thankfully) I have a hair appointment to get my grey's covered up again. It's getting ridiculous. Also, tonight we are going to a Halloween party of epic proportion! I will post photos later. I'm going as Frida Khalo and my husband is going as Allan from The Hangover. LOL!

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Apple Almond Butter & Jelly - **** (4.5 stars!)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 23

Last night was soooo much fun! I am taking a sewing course with a good friend. When my grandma passed away, I got her sewing machine and for so long now I have meant to learn how to sew. So when this friend told me about these cool small group classes, I couldn't say no. If you're in the Calgary area, you should definitely try it out. Right now there aren't a huge amount of workshops, but the studio owner Deb is busy working on a bunch more that she told us about last night. Here's the website:

So I bought a crap-load of produce and other items needed for smoothies yesterday, and I was very excited to make this kiwi one today but my kiwi's are rock hard. Guess I'll have to wait for that one. Instead, I opted to make one of the smoothies recipes that was sent to me from SGS as a bonus for having pre-ordered their recipe book. It was called "Kalifornia Sunshine". It was pretty good. 

I found a brilliant mix of greens to use at Superstore -- spinach, kale and swiss chard. So I used that in place of the kale only that the recipe called for. 

Have a great Friday everyone. I am going to attempt to do my barre class with this mangled hand. For 80% of the class it won't be an issue but I have a great excuse to get out of doing some planks today! Yahoo! :)

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Kalifornia Sunshine - *** (3.5 stars!)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Progesterone Deficiency

Hormones. Oh lovely hormones. They can make you feel wonderful or miserable.

I mentioned before that I have premature ovarian failure. It's being managed - or so I thought. Back when I was diagnosed in 2011, the treatment they prescribed was birth control - a dose of estrogen and progesterone. As a result, I stopped having night sweats, hot flashes, etc. Life normalized. I began dealing with the fact that I wouldn't be able to have another child naturally; on my own.

Fast forward to 2015. I have been taking the pills without a break all throughout this time, and I was starting to wonder if I should be taking a break. (Was it healthy to just keep taking them)? I was also interested as to what my hormones levels were presently. It was more of an interest though, and it was only after some gentle prodding by my acupuncturist that made me decide to look into it further. So I got some blood tests done at MetaHealth here in Calgary, and the results were a wee bit surprising. It seems as though my estrogen levels are fine (at the post-menopausal level, thanks likely to the birth control) but my progesterone levels were in the basement. They were barely registering.

The naturopathic doctor asked me a bunch of questions relating to progesterone deficiency and things began to make more sense; like my anxiety. She has prescribed some progesterone cream to use (which I will pick up today) so I am really excited to start using it. It's amazing how you can 'normalize' to symptoms so that they become just a reality you deal with.

Some of the things I am hoping progesterone cream will help with:
  • general menopause symptoms (without going into too much detail)
  • reduction of anxiety
  • restoration energy levels
  • stimulation of bone growth (helping ward off osteoporosis which is common for my diagnosis)
  • fibrocystic breasts (already had my first mammogram at 35)
I share this because I think it's always a good idea to re-visit blood work, or even get second opinions if you know something is 'off' in your body. We ran two more additional tests last visit as well; DHEA and iron, just so we could get a bigger picture of what is happening. I will find that out later on today as well.

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 22 (And don't try this at home)

Only 9 more days of this 30 day challenge - yet I am pretty sure this is something that I will be adopting permanently. I love beginning my day with these!

I have a public service announcement for you very careful with knives in the kitchen and whatever you do, don't be stupid enough to try to unstick two frozen burger patties by jamming a knife between them. I have done this many time before, but this time it didn't end well. Actually, it ended in 3 stitches and a tetanus shot. (I won't show you the before!)

Because I had some pumpkin left over in the fridge, I decided to do the Pumpkin Dream Pie again (from Day 14).

This second time around I am rating it 3 stars....I don't love it, but it's ok. 

Yesterday I pre-ordered the Simple Green Smoothies book! I am so excited to get it. They send you a couple of bonuses like recipe cards with some more recipes on them, so I will have to try those out soon too. 

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Pumpkin Dream Pie - *** (3 stars!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

by Brene Brown

I wanted to share this with you parents, because I think it's brilliant. It's from Brene's website. I haven't started her new book yet, but I will soon. In the meantime, I am going to print this out, frame it and put it in the middle of the house. 

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 21

October 21, 2015. It's kind of a big day you know. It's the date that Marty McFly and Doc Brown went to in the future, back in 1985:

Today's also a bit upsetting because I heard back from the hospital regarding my daughter's MRI and it appears that there is some arthritis present in her jaw. I am not going to get too upset about it yet though, until we meet with them later this month. Fingers crossed it's nothing major.

Today my smoothie was Carmel Apple again. The dates in the smoothie definitely add some sweetness and they also add a different texture. Although the pieces are super fine, you can taste 'particles' rather than everything being completely liquid.

I used up all my sad kale in the fridge :)

Look how bright green that smoothie is! I love it.

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Carmel Apple **** (4 stars!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 20

Here in Canada we are basically waking up to life with a new Prime Minister. It's going to be interesting. I certainly don't agree with the majority of Canada on this huge decision, but we live in a beautiful democratic country and it's clear that the people have spoken. You simply cannot convince me that MORE government is ever a good idea. People are also very quick to forget about things like this: Last time the Liberals went on a spending spree, the bulk of the money went to their friends and relatives.  Remember ‘The Sponsorship Scandal’ (also known as “AdScam” or “Sponsorgate”)?  If not, read this: Spending is on the agenda again. And since this is MY blog, and I am writing about my own opinions, I cannot help but post these few laughs today. (Because there's not much more to do at this point....)

Not really sure what qualifies this guy to lead a country, but I pray he does a good job. Prove me wrong, Trudeau.

Anyway, back to regularly scheduled is day 20 and although I did grocery shop yesterday, I decided to do another random smoothie today. I wanted to use up some frozen fruit I had and I wanted a fairly light (no almond butter, etc) smoothie today.

So here's what I used:

-some sad looking kale
-3/4 cup spinach
-1/2 banana
-1 cup almond milk
-3/4 cup frozen mixed fruit (peaches mostly, and some blueberries)
-1/2 cup frozen raspberries
(a fair amount of fruit I guess)

It wasn't overly sweet though....

I know...kind of looks very brown....probably because it was. Brown.

Ciao for now!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 19

Today marks the second day of another made-up smoothie by yours truly. I need to get some groceries, as I am one ingredient short of most of these recipes that have been sent to me. I did however have a bunch of fresh pineapple in the fridge that I needed to use up, so that was what I fashioned this smoothie around.

Although the photo shows half a banana, I decided to leave it out last minute. I didn't want it to be too sweet. And it wasn't! It was actually tasting very 'green and earthy' which is a taste that is growing on me. The greens can almost be sweet on their own - kind of like how sweet a shot of wheatgrass can taste.

What I used in Stacy's Random Smoothie #2

-1 cup spinach
-1 kale leaf
-1/4 cup frozen strawberries (because that's what I had left)
-3/4 cup fresh pineapple
-1/2 cup coconut water (because that's what I had left...see a pattern?)
-1/2 cup water (because I needed more liquid)

It's Monday - and I feel 'back on schedule'. Hope you all have a great day!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 18

It's a repeat day today. Going all the way back to Day 3-Almond Peach Blueberry. It was a good one and (more importantly) I had the ingredients! 

Already pretty much used up all my 'selfie' poses, so being a little silly DO the Kardashians do it?? At least I have brushed my hair in this photo. 

I have been having so much fun with this 30 day challenge that I am thinking about what I can do for November. Last week I noticed that the studio that I work out at is having a 30-day challenge in November which was kind of like a sign, but honest to God I don't know if I could do it. 30 workouts in 30 days. If you miss one day, you can do a double one day. But these classes are so challenging for me as it is, that I need a day's break in between. I am sometimes so sore after a class that I don't know if I could make it. I am however, still *thinking* about it. We shall see. 

Today has been a beautiful Sunday. A walk and coffee with a great friend and then wine class this afternoon!  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 17

It's a bit of a late post today -- this almost became the first of two posts for Day 18!

I decided that I wanted to try Carmel Apple today. It was yummy!!! I did drink it in the morning, but it's been a busy Saturday! This was a recipe from the latest SGS recipe email. As you can see, I used a mix of swiss chard and spinach. The recipe called for a Granny Smith apple, but I used a Gala instead. (And last minute I added a touch of cinnamon as well). I would repeat this one again in a heartbeat. 

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Carmel Apple **** (4 stars!)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 16

Yay! Received a bunch more recipes for the next few days, but didn't feel like making them today. They all sound fantastic, but either way I am going to be repeating some either now or later, so I decided to make one of my own today - very random, and not much thought given to it.

Here's what I put in mine:

-couple leaves of kale
-1/2 cup spinach (last I had of it)
-mixed frozen fruit (peach, blueberry, strawberry)
-1/4 of an apple I had in the fridge
-1 cup almond milk

It was....very green tasting. Not much sweetness at all, just ok. I'm not giving myself big points for this one. Haha.

Have a great Friday everyone. All this week I have been mixed up because of the holiday Monday. Still feels like Thursday to me!

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Stacy's Rando Smoothie #1- ** (2.5 stars!)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Simple Green Smoothies - Day 15

Boy is it starting to cool off in the mornings here in Calgary. Already I am dreaming of Hawaii and warm weather.....

Today is my first 'repeat' smoothie. I didn't receive a new email with new recipes, so I went back to one of the first smoothies that I really enjoyed -- and then added a few grapes. (It was from Day 2 Cherry on Top). The smoothies still taste really great even when water is the liquid base. My rating for this go-round is 4. First time was 4.5. I don't think it had anything to do with the grapes, just my second time around tasting the smoothie after having tried a bunch more since.

Here are today's ingredients:

It was definitely another no-photo morning...

So, I'm wondering about how you guys go about making big decisions. What process do you go through? I know some people use pro/con lists, talk to their spouse and friends, meditate, whatever. But what is the system that you use and how do you know when you've made the right decision? I'm curious....

For more information on the challenge, go to: They will email you the recipes, but you can also find them by following their Instagram account.

Cherry On Top Repeat - **** (4 stars!)

Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

Read my latest blog post on You Ate: And my smoothie recipe!