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What I Ate Wednesday + Sugar-Free Week Recap

Posted on by Susan Posted in Challenge, Eats | 2 Comments

Well, I survived #SugarFreeWeek!

Now that it’s over, I have to admit that it was easier than I originally thought it would be. I was tracking my eats and read the labels of everything processed (crackers, yogurt, etc.). If it contained sugar it was a no. If it was sweetened naturally, I ate a little bit of it. And by eating this way for a week, it reminded me that this was my actual diet! This is how I normally eat. It was no problem at all, to ditch the junk and eat fresh food, made from scratch, mostly veggies, fruit, grain and lean protein. I just needed a little kick in the you-know-what to snap out of my sweet treats habit, that I slowly developed over a few weeks.

For example, I made myself this super filling breakfast smoothie this morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked rolled oats (leftover)
  • 1 oz chilled coffee
  • a tsp of peanut butter (Whole Foods 365 brand only has one ingredient: organic dry roasted peanuts)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon
  • a few vegan chocolate chips

Give it a quick blend and you’re good to go.

The chocolate chips were sweetened with organic cane juice, so I was OK with it especially since I only added 7 or 8 chips in total.

This was an amazing combo that I will keep in in my breakfast rotation, especially since I’m extreeeeeeemely slow in the mornings lately. Prep the night before, add milk and the frozen ‘nana in the morn and you’re good to go!

Other breakfasts included eggs, toast & fruit, or yogurt, kamut puffs and banana.

Lunch is always a tricky one for me, because the little guy is usually snacking pretty frequently, so I end up filling up on his snacks as well, such as grapes, bell peppers, cucumbers, crackers, hummus, cheese, raisins or Lärabars. So when lunchtime rolls around, I’m either starving, because my son wouldnt share, or I’d be full, because he didn’t eat his snacks.

I still make it a point to make our lunch (for habit purposes), and that could be anything from a PB&J, to grilled cheese, or more hummus and veg. When we’re out and about, we might pick up something from a salad bar, or yesterday little dude and I shared a Chipotle burrito bowl (see above).

Treats:

We got Starbucks on the weekend and my mind went blank about the whole no sugar thing.  The other sweet treat was whole wheat crepes, with a bit of whipped cream, fresh strawberries and homemade blueberry sauce.

Dinners are always simple.

Yesterday, for example, I was so happy to see chicken enchiladas in the freezer, after spending 3 hours chasing the little guy around the park and playground. I had no desire to spend time in the kitchen, and since I had done my prep work the week before, this worked out perfectly!

What did I think of going sugar-free for a week?

My diet is by no means perfect, and it might not ever be in someone else’s eyes. For others, my foods may look super healthy, I don’t know. Remember, my goal was not to cut out all sweets or treats. My goal was to eat more at home, from-scratch meals, made with real food. Yes, we did eat out a couple of times, but I stuck mostly to fish tacos and salad. Oh, and then there was Umami Burger in Costa Mesa on the weekend… Oh well.

I just needed to give my body a little space and time to wean myself off the added sweeteners and processed junk, to get back to my normal eating habits and I’m happy to report it worked!

Jenn over at Peas and Crayons is hosting What I Ate Wednesday, so make sure to check out some other fabulous bloggers’ eats.

Did you ever ditch sugar for an extended period of time? How did it affect you?

What are your fun eats of the week?

 

Vegan Experiment Success + Challenge

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats, Fun | Leave a comment

Hi folks, how is your day? Hope you are having a good one so far!

Are you stuffing yourself silly with holiday foods? ;)  I’m studying for my very last exam, but I’m sure to get in some fun times as well. Yesterday, we met with friends and had some great treats at the German Christmas Market, including Gluehwein and Meat Loaf Sandwiches, followed by a trip to the public library to let the boys read run and play for a bit.

Looks healthy, huh? ;)

I’ve been feeling a little crappy and overwhelmed lately and it has an effect on everything, including my diet. Instead of focusing on healthy eats, I focus on easy (insert: frozen pizzas…) and I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to zero me-time, weight-gain, study stress and my 15 month-old ball of energy.

I’m trying hard to get back on track with the eats, last night I finally cooked two vegan dishes that I just have to share with you!

Why vegan? I’d like to call my eating style occasional vegan, mostly plant-based, often experimental, but I do also eat animal products. I’m German after all, so I’m not gonna say no to a Bavarian Meatloaf sandwich. Often, I find vegan dishes in restaurants rather bland (unless it’s Indian – yum!), or too heavy on the grain/beans/lentils. I also try to stay away from tofu, because soy is often a GMO product, which I’m not a fan of. But never say never, I do once in a while eat those things too. :)

This week I decided to switch things up a little from my usual pizza/pasta/salad combos, with two vegan experiments.

Exhibit #1:

Vegan Quinoa Chili (recipe found and adapted from veggiebentolove)

I was so excited when I found this recipe I knew I had to make it. It turned out a little mild (based on the ingredients I had on hand), so I’m hoping the spices will intensify a little bit overnight, but it’s such a great idea, I know I’ll be making it again.

Exhibit #2:

Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad

It’s actually using yams, not sweet potatoes, but if you love sweet and spicy together, you will love this!

I will post the recipe in the coming days so keep an eye on my blog if you want to read more.

What’s your eating style? Do you have a favourite vegan recipe to share? Feel free to leave a comment, I love some new cooking inspiration!

Non-Vegans: Would you like to join me on a little vegan challenge? The point is to eat at least one vegan meal per day. You can find me checking in on Twitter: @susoniadotcom #veganmeals

Also, make sure to check back this weekend with another delicious giveaway as a Happy Holiday treat from me to a lucky reader!

 

Time Travels Part 1: Germany

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food, Travel | Leave a comment

Hi friends, how are you?

We are slowly getting back into our usual routines, although our trip has messed (positively) with our bed and wake-up times. Hard to believe I’m an early-bird right now.

Even though our trip to Europe ended less than two weeks ago, it already feels like forever since we arrived back in Vancouver and the daily grind is just about to begin again. Here’s a trip back in time to share some of the great moments of our Sweden and Germany vacation. And one of my favourite things during vacations is the food, of course. :)

Germany:

The town I grew up in is home to the famous Weihenstephan brewery. Clockwise: Freising, Weihenstephaner Beer, and of course I had to eat a Semmelknödel (bread dumpling) while I was there!

Yes, the beer glasses are huge: the Radler (beer + lemon soda) on the left side was 0.5L and the beer next to it was 1L! We Germans know how to knock back a few! :D

Clockwise: Wiener Schnitzel, Munich landmarks, Bavarian Meat Loaf

Munich was crazy busy – I don’t remember soooo many people there, when we used to live there! Also, there was a ton of construction going on. The city sure has changed in the past few years!

Munich's Marienplatz

But we still knew our way around. ;)

We only had a few days to spend with my family and friends and time went by too fast, as usual. After our stay in Munich, we jetted of to Sweden, where we spent a couple more weeks.

Stay tuned for Time Travels Part 2: Sweden coming up soon!

Until then, enjoy a giant beer and cheer with me!

 

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