I miss baking - Day 25, Whole 30


I really love to bake. When I'm anxious or overwhelmed, the kitchen seems like such a calming place to unwind. Mixing flour, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together to create a delicious treat seems almost magical. And then getting to eat the delicious creations? The best! Of course, eating five cookies in one sitting, or a couple 'healthy' granola bars for an afternoon snack is never a good thing. That's why I started the Whole 30 in the first place, to try and curb my sugar addiction and feel healthier.

It's now day 25 of my thirty day program, and I'm still feeling really unhappy about the whole thing. I  don't feel much healthier, and instead still feel somewhat resentful for all of the fabulous foods I am missing out on. I feel like I would have been happier at sunday brunch had I gotten to sneak a few bites of Soren's chocolate chip cookie in a jar. I missed out on an imperial cookie from the farmers market, something I look forward to all winter when the market is closed. Perhaps I would have felt happier this morning on my drive to work, had I had milk in my coffee instead of coconut milk.

When reading about the whole 30, they stress that food shouldn't make you happy. But I disagree. I love food, and more importantly the celebrations that surround food. When I go out for dinner with friends and choose to have water instead of a glass of wine, I feel like I'm denying myself something that I find pleasurable. I don't have a drinking problem - so to me, a glass of wine on occasion is a treat! One I look forward to. The benefits of feeling healthier do not outweigh saying no to something on the 'DO NOT EAT LIST'.

On the other hand, I am totally amazed with myself that I have gone 25 days without any sugar. I've learned that eggs are great for breakfast, and don't take much longer to prepare than my traditional peanut butter and banana toast. I'm happy to have some fruit and a few cashews for an afternoon snack, if I need a snack at all. And I've re-confirmed my love of salads, something that I have always enjoyed but sometimes lacked the motivation to pack for lunch.

These granola bars are definitely on my do not eat list, but the kids love them, so I made a batch yesterday. They are adapted from the Oh She Glows cookbook, and if you don't have it yet you should definitely treat yourself. Best $15 you'll spend all week, unless of course you are allowed to eat such things as croissants and lattes... in which case your best $15 might be consumed elsewhere.

 *as I try to find comfort in knowing that there may be others out there who also hate the 'whole torture', as I lovingly refer to it, I came across this article which very clearly articulates my thoughts. Why I'll never do a whole 30 again - but you can

May long weekend equals terrible weather


Despite the dreary weather today, we had a fabulous day! Yesterday, realizing that the weather was going to be truly awful, I had the idea to go to Pine Ridge Hollow for brunch. This morning we grabbed our (one) umbrella, and headed out of the city. The rain poured down, but Poppy and Soren kept us entertained by singing funny verses of 'the wheels on the bus' in the car.

I've wanted to go to Pine Ridge Hollow for years, but somehow have never made it. It did not disappoint! The store attached sold beautiful country furniture, decorated with cozy blankets and colourful throw pillows. There were a lot of bird figures, which kept our little bird lover (Poppy) very happy. And the clothes! I am planning a trip back sans kiddos, so I can really look around. It's pretty much impossible to shop in a boutique, when you are chasing your kids and praying that they don't break anything.

After pushing our luck in the store, we made our way to the restaurant and enjoyed a lovely brunch. I had an egg scramble, while looking longingly at the massive cinnamon buns that kept coming out of the kitchen. Today is day 22 (or 23?!) of my Whole 30 program, but if it was any other day I would have treated myself to delicious cinnamony goodness. I just love cinnamon buns.

On the way back to the car we decided to run (I was actually thinking this was exercise), and we had fun chasing each other through the woods. Poppy was completely exhausted and fell asleep before we hit the highway. Once we arrived home, we all lay down for a little rest. Originally I had envisioned our long weekend at the beach, or picnicking outside. Sometimes rainy days/week-ends are refreshing, in the sense that you don't feel guilty about not doing enough. When it's raining sideways and the threat of snow looms... bed is a pretty perfect place to spend the afternoon.

Whole 30 - Day 20


Today marks twenty days since I have eaten a slice of bread, enjoyed milk in my coffee, or savoured a piece of chocolate after the kids have gone to bed. I am on day 20 of the Whole 30 program, and I can't quite believe I've gotten this far. The idea of the program is to commit to 30 days of whole foods in their natural form. I can eat fruits, veggies, meat, fish, nuts, and good fats. I can't eat many of the things that are a staple in my everyday life - things like peanut butter toast, sandwiches, crackers and cheese, yogurt, cookies, lattes, pizza... you get the idea. 

Apparently, by around day 16 you are supposed to feel amazing - tons of energy, clear skin, shiny hair, and a thinner mid-section. I'm on day 20 and I don't really feel any of those things. I do feel good, yes, but not good enough to warrant missing out on so many delicious foods. My energy levels are much more stable since I am not eating sugar, but I haven't found that I have more energy than normal. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I still press snooze.

Over the weekend we hosted a mothers day brunch, and I prepared most of the food, even though I couldn't eat a lot of it. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of things for me to eat, but I would be lying if I said I didn't think about a fresh buttery scone for most of the morning. While some people might chose bacon over a slice of cake, I am not one of those people.

Although you are not supposed to weigh yourself, I did at the two week mark as I was desperately needing some motivation. The scale told me I'd lost 4 pounds, which was nice to see. Over the last ten days I'm hoping to add in a little more exercise - perhaps that will give me the energy boost I'd like. The countdown is on... till the whole 30 torture, as I call it, is over.

Mother's Day brunch menu: Egg Strata, roasted tomatoes and zucchini, roasted baby potatoes, maple-cinnamon apple & pear baked oatmeal, bacon, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, date squares, cranberry scones, fresh fruit, gingerbread loaf, and the most delicious mango-strawberry guacamole.

I froze some of the date squares so that I can enjoy one once this is over:) It will go perfectly with a nice hot cup of coffee... with REAL milk! Coconut milk is just not the same.