Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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Things That Don’t Suck About Winter.

I am not a fan of winter.

Give me a beach or a pool to lay beside, a big floppy sunhat, a pair of sunglasses, and a big stack of books and magazines (and sunscreen, of course). And I am one happy camper.

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If this scene happened to take place in Mexico with a fruity alcoholic drink in my hand…even better.

 

I was saying earlier in the week that I’ve been feeling a touch of the Winter blues lately. And judging from what other people have been telling me, I’m not the only one.

So while we’re rapidly approaching Spring (March starts tomorrow) I thought I would list some Winter positives to get us through the next couple of weeks. Yes, it’s snowy and the days are short but…some things about it don’t suck.

1. Babies in Snowsuits.

Chubby baby in a chubby snowsuit? Easily, the most adorable thing on the planet.

(source)

Or you know…just funny.

2. Dogs in Sweaters.

Same logic as number 1.

Picture stolen from Allison – it’s her dog, Charlie. I can’t even handle him.

Too flippin adorable!

3. Scarves.

Functional and cute. And very winter-appropriate.

4. Hot food.

Gone are summer salads and raw veggies. In winter, all I want is soup, stews, chilis, and casseroles. And hot, melty sandwiches.

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Last night’s tuna melt dinner: tuna, salt, pepper, dill, paprika, a bit of olive oil mayo, and artichoke and spinach hummus with a mix of cheddar and mozzarella on top. Amazing.

 

Winter kind of makes me want to put melt-y cheese on everything.

5. Chocolate.

Not that it isn’t acceptable any other time of the year, but it feels awesome to huddle under a blanket on a cold night with a bar of chocolate and an awesome movie. Amiright?

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6. Vacations.

Whether you’re pulling a ski vacation like this girl, or a tropical Hawaiian like this one, winter always seems to be the best time for a getaway. Not that this is applying to me anytime soon, but I can live vicariously through you guys, right?

7. Unexpected warmth.

You know those days when it’s just a few degrees warmer than normal? I LIVE for those days in winter. You step outside and you’re cold, but you’re not as cold as you were a few days before…just awesome.

8. Hot beverages.

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate…whatever you like. Whenever it’s cold out and someone hands you a steaming hot beverage, you can’t help but be ridiculously grateful.

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So…I’m going to try to keep these in mind for the next few weeks while I wait for Spring. Although frankly, the sooner, the better!

Have a good one!

<— Ski vacation or tropical vacation?

<— Do you get the Winter blues this time of the year? How do you deal with it?

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62 Comments

WIAW: The Next Step + Meat Sauce Recipe.

Good morning!

Once again, you guys showed such thoughtfulness for the random posts I come up with here. Thanks for your support and your comments yesterday!

Although, there’s one comment I feel I have to draw attention to:

Sizes

So there you have it: clothing sizes really are absolutely meaningless, and women aren’t even supposed to be able to fit into a zero. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention Shira, I know I’ll be keeping this in mind next time I go shopping.

Let’s move onto to the WIAW part of this post, shall we?

Thanks for hosting, Jenn! (and CONGRATS on baby pea!)

Breakfast

The way I start my day:

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Still going with the ACV. I ran out of apple juice a little while ago, so I decided to try the lemon juice method I’ve seen floating around – 2 tablespoons each of ACV and lemon juice, water to fill the glass, and a few drops of stevia. I’ve been sticking with it since; it’s pretty good.

Breakfast

Sadness because I’m out, but happiness because it was delicious.

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This may go down as my favourite peanut butter…and that’s saying something. Seriously good stuff. And makes for fabulous banana OIAJ:

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Yum.

Midmorning, I made a run out to the mall for a new ink cartridge for the printer. And came back with two bags full of stuff. Oops.

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I realized that I was almost out of baby carrots, so I grabbed a bag of those (go 3 days without? Can’t do it). I’m running low on BCAA’s and my multivitamins, so I picked those up as well. I’ve never tried Revolution Nutrition products before, but we’ll see how I like it. It’s watermelon flavoured – can’t go wrong with that.

And then I went to Nutrition House.

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I swear, I am a marketer’s dream. I went in for probiotics and ACV, and got sucked in by their “buy 3, get 1 free!” sale. So I came out with herbal tea and xanthan gum as well. I’ve been curious to try xanthan gum – I know you can use it in smoothies, but what else do you use it for?

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Yup…probiotics. While my stomach/digestion issues have improved, they’re still giving me problems. So, I figured I’d give probiotics a shot. Has anyone found them particularly helpful?

Lunch

I didn’t have eggs for breakfast so…clearly, I had them for lunch.

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Garden vegetable cream cheese, ham slices, and eggs on rice cakes with steamed broccoli on the side. I know rice cakes get a rap as a ‘diet food’ but I adore them. That texture!

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Palate cleanser. Love these!

Snack

I tried to be super creative with my snack yesterday.

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Doctored up popcorn. I popped a mini bag of popcorn, then added about half a scoop of protein powder, almonds, and chocolate chips.

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Good idea in theory, but didn’t translate well – most of the powder settled on the bottom, and the popcorn was still hot when the chocolate went in so it turned pretty messy. Still tasted good though.

Dinner

Usually, my definition of a homemade tomato sauce is: buying a jar of tomato sauce, than adding a bunch of veggies to it and calling it mine. But once in a while, I can actually make tomato sauce from scratch. I got this recipe from my Aunt Julie, but with a few of my own variations.

Julie’s Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 – 1 1/4 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb chopped prosciutto or ham (if you have it, I didn’t have any on hand)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • a few handfuls spinach

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Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add chopped onion, mushrooms, green pepper,garlic and seasonings. Sauté about 5 minutes.

-Side note-

When chopping onions, make sure that your finger doesn’t get in between the knife and the onion.

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So that sucked.

Anyways:

2. Add ground turkey and prosciutto (if using). Cook until turkey is browned.

3. Add balsamic, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes.

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4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add spinach, and cook for 5 minutes on low.

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5. Add Parmesan, and cook until melted. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash.

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And of course, you must add extra Parmesan on top.

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Yum.

Dinner was followed by an unpictured peppermint – I love my palate cleansers. A little while later, I was complaining that my finger hurt, so this was the boyfriend’s solution:

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Don’t need to tell me twice. Smile with tongue out

Bedtime snack:

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Vanilla Greek yogurt and almond butter. Should keep me going until breakfast.

Have a good one!

<— Anyone else get sucked in by deals? Marketers.dream. They get me every time.

<— Anyone try probiotics to deal with digestive issues? Any luck?

img source: 1


40 Comments

Size Awesome.

Just a word of warning: I’m going to be mentioning sizes and –some- numbers in this post. If you think this will be triggering for you, then please give this post a pass and we’ll talk tomorrow.

 

So, my fruitless search for jeans the last few weekends has got me thinking about how I feel about clothes and sizes.

It’s interesting how much value we put on what size we wear. Just like society preaches specific numbers that we should hit in terms of calories and exercise (eat x many calories per day and exercise x minutes per week), we have this idea that the smaller the number, the better we are as an individual.

When I first starting losing weight, I loved watching the number on my pants sizes go down. After a while, I didn’t really have a size. If I needed clothes, I would walk into a store, and finding the smallest item they had. It wasn’t even about being a size 0 or an extra extra small, I loved the fact that the smallest item in the store was usually still baggy on me.

Why did I take so much pride in that? I’m 5’7 with a Germanic/European heritage – I have no business being that small. Size zero is exactly that. It’s nothing. Why did that smallness feel so important to me? Maybe it was a desire to be exactly that – nothing. The smaller I got, the less I existed. Why on earth would anybody want that? Being nothing…maybe that’s what I was going for.

(side note: a very small percentage of people are naturally tiny and their bodies are meant to fit into clothes that size. I was/am not one of them).

 

In recovery, I slowly had to throw away all those size-nothings. I had to accept the fact that I was not meant to be wearing clothes that small. As I had to buy new clothes, I would cut out the tags. I could not accept that number, coming back home. The higher the number = the more space I was taking up…I couldn’t look at it.

Eventually, I become more accepting of the fact that I wasn’t the smallest anymore. I actually had to try clothes on to make sure that they fit, and sometimes I needed to go up a size.

I don’t like to admit it, but I still have trouble accepting my clothing size as I am now; at my healthy weight that I’ve been maintaining  for a few years without restriction or over-exercising. Each time I try on something on that’s a little too small (but at the size that I think I am) I tell myself that the style just ‘isn’t right for my body’ when really, the issue would be solved and it would probably look nice if I just grabbed the next size up.

This frustrates me, because I know that clothes in different stores are sized differently, sometimes drastically so. In one store I’m a 2, in another I’m a 6. In one I’m an extra small, in another I’m a medium. I know this, so why do I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that I just need to try something a little bit bigger?

I need to focus on the fact that going up a size is not a bad thing – I’ve noticed lately that since my shoulders have broadened and my arms have thickened up a bit (which is a good thing – thank you heavy weights!) I need to buy larger tops to accommodate them. I need to realize that this is not a bad thing – and stop putting so much value on a damn tag in the clothes I wear.

I think I’m going to go back to cutting all the tags out of my clothes – I’m at absolutely no danger of relapse (believe me, I’m never going back there) but if that label or that number causes me to feel self-doubt or guilt, than I need to get rid of it.

So what size am I?

I’m size awesome. Size wonderful, size fantastic, size beautiful.

That’s all I need to focus on.

<— Do you feel like you put too much emphasis on clothing size, or have done so in the past?

<— Ever thought about removing the tags from your clothes?

 

 

Image source 1, 2.