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Striving for Balance

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats | 2 Comments

Hi friends, how are you?

I am busy, busy, busy! Essays are submitted but exams are coming up soon. Studying + taking care of the little guy are a crazy combo.

The sad thing is, when I’m stressed, healthy eating just flies out the window. In addition to all else that’s going on, I get so overwhelmed with having to plan out meals, grocery shopping (without a car), peeling, chopping, cooking, assembling, you name it. Lately, I can often be found eating dinner by myself because of our weird schedules, so I don’t even feel like setting the table properly.

It’s so easy for busy people, to get trapped in junk food routines and the resulting cravings of even more of that stuff. It makes me feel terrible (literally, I don’t feel good – bad skin, moodiness, fatigue, etc) and I sometimes need to remind myself of the importance of balance, even though I fall off the wagon sometimes.

Long story short, here are some of my personal strategies to ensure a balanced diet during stressful times:

1. The slow cooker is your very, very good friend! Spicy Black Bean Soup is not only high in protein and fibre, but the spice will warm you up on a cold and rainy day. Another favourite of mine is Rendang Beef Curry and Roasted Tomato Soup. It also works well to make big batches of food to stock in your freezer.

2. Layer your veggies: I often end up scooping my dinner on top of a handful of ready-to-eat, washed greens. I love the hot/cold combo and I can customize it any way I want. Works well with leftovers!

3. Pay for convenience: I’ll admit it – even though I love seasonal produce fresh from the farmers market, packaged, pre-washed and chopped veggies, fruit, and salads are all great to have in your fridge, when the least thing you want to do is peel and chop. With prepared veggies, all you have to do is throw them into a dish and you are good to go. Whole Foods hot bar is pretty steep, price-wise, but can be worth every penny if it saves you from having to stand in the kitchen for hours. I also love their oven-ready quiches (just heat and eat) with a big side salad and their spring rolls.

4. Compromise: If you do end up getting takeout, try to go for something other than burger or pizza. Subway is a favourite of mine, because I can load on the veggies and skip the mayo and sodium-loaded deli meats. When opting for frozen food, try to go for a thin crust pizza (I love McCain ultrathin spinach pizza. It’s lower in calories than a regular crust frozen pizza - 610 calories for one pizza). :)

5. Cheat: Even when I’m on an all-time best, when it comes to eating mindful and balanced, I always allow myself a treat. For me personally, it works better to eat a small piece of chocolate (or drink a hot chocolate…) when I crave it, instead of depriving myself from it. If I do the latter, it will most likely backfire and I end up eating the whole bar. But some people actually do prefer a more rigorous diet regime, so obviously pick what works for you. 

That’s it, no scientific background here, these are just my personal, tested tips and tricks to make sure my family eats healthy during busy times. Although not everything might work for you, I hope you find some of it useful. If you have any other tips to share, I’d love to hear back from you! Feel free to contact me or leave a comment, with your time-saving strategies for a balanced diet.

Now if I’d only find the time to catch a yoga class!


What? It’s Already Holiday Season?

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

Hi friends, how are ya?

Life is crayzay over here: Writing essays, chasing a toddler around, going on the hunt for food (I’m living on junk convenience food lately), battling a cold and the usual daily shenanigans.

I also still have this big guy to work something out with:

He was supposed to go as Jack’o'Lantern on Halloween, but never made it. ;)

Pumpkin Pie Brownie coming up on the horizon.

For now, I just have to work on my last essay before exam season starts and then I am DONE! Can you believe it? This girl is finally getting her degree!

In other news: It’s Thanksgiving in the US today and this means it’s only 1 month until Christmas! If you’re already getting into the Christmas Spirit, feel free to check out last year’s Christmas Food.


Swedish Christmas Ham

Swedish Christmas Dishes

German Mulled Wine

Your turn: What is your favourite Holiday Food? Any fun or uniquie ideas that you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment, I love hearing about your tips and tricks and try new recipes!

If you’ll excuse me, I now have to go and be very, very thankful for my son, who played and entertained himself while I just had to take a few moments and stare at my laptop screen without having to think. I hope this semester is over soon, because this mama needs a break!



Cute Finds + What I Ate Wednesday

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats | 2 Comments

Hi all!

How are you? Hope you are enjoying a fabulous fall so far with hot drinks and sweet treats!

I sure am!

Latte to survive my morning class!

Actually, for the past few days, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for Halloween and I’ve been searching the web for hours with costume ideas for a 13-month old. Wait, what? My little guy will actually be 14 months once Halloween rolls around!

For some reason I found a whole bunch of really cute non-Halloween related things on Etsy.

For greeting cards:

Custom Return Address Stamp - great for save the dates and invitations, diy save the dates, diy invites -  3/4" x 2 3/8"

Address stamp (from You're That Girl Designs via Etsy)

For baby-wearing mamas:

Maternity. Maternity Coat. Babywearing Jacket. Maternity Jacket. Babywearing Coat. SHIPS today. Baby Wearing Coat. CANADA.

Handmade Babywearing Coat (LoVDdesign via Etsy)

For little seafarers:

Organic Cotton Onesie - Screen Printed American Apparel Baby Onesie - Vintage Ship Illustration- Eco Friendly - Nautical (You pick size)

Organic Cotton Nautic Baby Onesie (Oh, Little Rabbit via Etsy)

For your wall:

Today Was Fun:  Kid's Wall Art - Dr. Suess

Wall Poster (emgdesign via Etsy)

I also found a ton of cute baby knitting patterns, but I should really stop at this point, because you are losing interest… So, let’s move on to the eats, which is probably really what you want to see. ;)

Some eats of the day

  • Breakfast: Blenz coffee almond milk latte + (unpictured) carrot-zucchini muffin,
  • Snack/Drink: Organic lemonade, apples and bananas with choco-hazelnut butter
  • Lunch: Gruyere and Bell Pepper sandwich and hickory sticks.
  • Dinner: Risotto with roasted brussels sprouts

I also had some pie from the Trout Lake Farmers Market!

Sour Cherry Pie & Vanilla Ice Cream

I am missing veggies big time lately, but with my courses and chasing my little guy around, I really don’t have the motivation to peel, chop, etc. Any inspiration to incorporate more greens into a busy schedule, please let me know? I’m thinking I definitely have to suck it up and pay for the convenience of chopped and washed greens again, now that the farmers market season is almost over.

Happy (What I Ate) Wednesday!

Don’t forget to check out Jenn’s blog Peas&Crayons, to learn more about What I Ate Wednesdays!