Preparing to form a habit!

Tomorrow is the first day back to work after a restful holiday. I am not a morning person and I’m not a winter person so I know the hardest part will be waking up early tomorrow and trekking out in the snow that has been consistently falling since this morning.

I am however excited to get this year started. The last 5 years have been a bit of a struggle, whether I’ve been dealing with my dad’s illness, my self-inflicted unemployment or my never ending struggle to get my life in order, there is always something that has been weighing on my shoulders. In life there are rough waters and calm seas so I’m happy that the last couple of months have been a bit of smooth sailing. Life is always full of surprises so I know that I must take advantage of this time in my life by focusing on getting into some healthy habits that will help keep me sane the next time that the waves get a little choppy.

One of my 2014 intentions is to start being greener and healthier. I want to be more aware of the foods that I eat and of the products that I use. I’m the first to admit that I never read the labels on anything so this will probably be an eye-opening experience. Since January is the month to kick start healthy eating habits, I eagerly signed up for a 6 day eat clean challenge that was posted by a blogger I follow.

They say the key to staying on track is to prepare so today I bought all the ingredients and rolled up my sleeves to get everything ready for the week. It actually felt good to clean out the fridge and my cupboards. I had a box of shake’n bake in there from 2011 so it was long overdue. It felt even better when prepping everything turned out easier than I had stressed it would be. By far the easiest was the protein bars that I can make ahead and snack on through out the week.

Step 1 – gather all your ingredients

Step 1

Step 2 – mix it all together

Step 2

Step 3 – flatten the mixture in a square tray and put in freezer for 3o mins and Voila!

Step 3

and the best part was that they actually taste good!

With my lunch made, tomorrow’s dinner already prepared and delicious homemade protein bars in case of hunger, I am excited to start the challenge and see what other healthy habits will stick this year.


Holiday Baking Party

Toronto had its first snow fall over the weekend which is fitting since I hosted my first holiday baking party!

After being away for 2 weeks dog-sitting Ms. Maggie, it was a busy weekend of cleaning up and getting prepared for company. Nothing and I mean nothing motivates you more to clean than knowing you are having company. And by cleaning, I mean shoving things in cupboards, drawers and bags than neatly arranging those bags in rows that make a room look tidy. If anyone was to look in the bags, they would see my sweaters shoved in the same bag as my bills and if they opened my drawers, they would see I crammed my blow dryer with my socks and somehow my Stella & Dot mini looks books were hided in the bathroom cupboard beside my hair brush. My place is a OCD nightmare but I dusted and had wine so really, I had my priorities straight.

I am no Martha Stewart but I do like having people over so I thought a holiday baking party would be a good idea. There was one issue… I had also invited them to stay for dinner and I only know how to make lasagna which wasn’t going to work. G follows a 85% paleo diet and the 15% cheating doesn’t include pasta. She saves that for things like wine or milk chocolate. Makes sense. My friend A only eats gluten free, ST is a picky eater and SK should be on Masterchef so nothing I made was going to taste as good as anything she can just whip up. The girls must have sensed my panic because after a little back and forth texting, it seems like not only was I inviting people over to help me bake holiday cookies, they were also going to make their own dinner.  Yep, Sunday I hosted a cooking/baking party. It was kind of like a potluck but they wouldn’t cook in advance, we would all cook and bake together. A concept that you probably won’t see featured in Martha’s hostess with the mostess issue but one that I think more women should embrace.

My kitchen has never seen so much action. We used bowls, utensils and a rolling pen that I was surprised to find out I owned. I managed to learn things like always use unsalted butter for baking, avocados don’t go in the fridge and the difference between using the bake vs. broil option of the oven. I told you that I don’t cook so don’t be so surprised. I’m thinking of attempting to make some chocolate chip cookies this week since we ran out of time yesterday. With these gals, health trumps guilty pleasures.  Not sure it will be as much fun as having my girlfriends baking along beside me but they sure have sparked in interest spending more time in the kitchen! Maybe instead of cooking lessons, I’ll just plan more cooking/baking parties. At the very least I have started a new holiday baking party tradition!