Movin’ on over

Happy Thursday! I’ve decided to move my blog to a new location (The Prairie Chick Kitchen). I’ve been messing around with CSS code over the past couple of days – YIKES! I do have a Prairie Chick Kitchen website so I thought my blog should be housed within that site. So after pulling out my hair, the transformation is complete except for a few minor changes.

As for upcoming posts, stay tuned, in the next couple of days I’m going to blog all about my current running routine. I’ve stepped it up a notch and it seems to be paying off – YAHOO!

Don’t forget to bookmark my new location The Prairie Chick Kitchen.

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Cleaning Tip #3 – Your Laundry

If you’re thinking of some easy ways to start implementing going green into your home this is a great first step. Commercial laundry detergents can contain some nasty chemicals that aren’t good for you or your family. Carcinogens, artificial colours and fragrances can bring on chemical sensitivities. These all can lead to some bad stuff. So, what can you do?

Not only will this tip be better for you and your family but it will also save you money. This mixture has lasted me for months and does a great job cleaning my clothes.

Washing Soda & Borax

Washing Soda & Borax

Here is your very easy laundry detergent recipe:

Mix together 1 part washing soda and 1 part borax. The photo has the brand I use.

I used an old plastic liquid laundry detergent container. I just cut the top off and mixed equal parts of the washing soda and borax together. I usually use less than half a cup per load depending on the amount of clothes your washing at one time. If your wishing to whiten your whites put in some lemon juice. You could also soak your clothes in a mixture of lemon juice and water. Leave them overnight then wash them the next morning.

I also use vinegar in place of fabric softener. It does a great job and your clothes will come out nice in fresh.

This is a great first step to bring a little “green” into your home.

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I did it, I did it

I just wrote the final exam for my sports nutrition and fitness class and passed – YAHOO!

I had been dreading writing this exam, well actually I dread writing any exam, but this one in particular. There was a lot of detailed information on carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, water, electrolytes and ergonomic aids. There was also a lot of mathematical calculations I needed to know which for me isn’t good because I’ve never had a good relationship with math. Now, don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed the topic of sports nutrition. I’m definitely way more knowledgeable about what and when to eat in relation to exercise.

So, what’s next in my nutrition journey? Vegetarian nutrition is the next section I need to complete and then I’ll have my diploma in Advance Nutrition. I’m really excited about this next section and not only because I’m vegan but because I’ll learn how to speak to others about choosing the right foods and how those foods can impact their health.

I’m so excited!!!

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It’s the little things

Lately I’ve been trying to do little things that would make they guys feel special. January is a tough time of year. The sun rises late and sets early and it’s cold outside and no one in the house looks forward to heading out each day for work and school. So, I was thinking of some ways to put a smile on their face. Of course I thought of food. It’s not always about the type of food but how you serve it that can make the difference. Presentation can go along way to putting a smile on someones face.

For breakfast my son Sam has been on a toast and jam kick. So instead of serving a boring plate of toast I dressed it up with oranges – it almost looks like a sun. I’ve found too that dressing up his plate like this makes him more likely to eat it.

Toast & Oranges

Toast & Oranges

I also got creative with cupcakes I made. I was going to ice them as usual but then thought why not put their names on them. It was fun for me to do and they got a kick out of it. I’m not too sure if they were more excited about their name on the cupcakes or the fact that I made them in the first place.

Cup Cake

Cup Cake

Next time you’re wanting to do something a little extra for someone, it doesn’t take too much effort and it puts a smile on that special someones face. It’s truly worth the effort.

cup_cake_2

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Cleaning Green Tips #1 and #2

I’m really starting to get into the whole cleaning green movement. Slowly I’ve been using up my usual toxic cleaning supplies and then replacing them with ones that are more environmentally friendly. Now, let me first say that I hate cleaning. I’m sure most would agree. And I think part of my reason for hating it was because I used to feel very nauseous when using the traditional cleaning products. After doing some research I’ve discovered I could use common household ingredients that aren’t toxic to clean my home. This of course leads to not only getting rid of those awful toxins that can make you sick but also saving money. I don’t need or want to spend all that money on commercial cleaning products anymore. So with that here are a couple of tips:

Cleaning Products

Cleaning Products

Tip #1 – Dusting your wood furniture
Instead of using traditional furniture polish, which can have ammonia and formaldehyde in it, dust your wood furniture with olive oil and white vinegar. I usually mix approximately 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar in a container and use a soft dry cloth. It does a great job removing the dust and leaves a shine on your furniture.

Tip #2 Unclogging your drain
Did you know that drain cleaners can be one of the most hazardous products in your home? The smell of it alone makes me sick and to have to pour into my sink and let it sit there while it works and I’m breathing it in cannot be good for anyone. Instead try making your own using baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. I mix approximately half cup of baking soda with one cup of vinegar and then lots of boiling water. Pour it down your drain. It will start to fizz. See, it’s fun and cleans your drain at the same time without you having to breathe in deadly toxins. After your done pouring the solution down your drain run your hot tap water until the water drains the way it should.

As I learn more about other clearning ideas I’ll share them and if you would like to share your green cleaning tips please pass them on I would love to hear them.

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Let’s talk vitamins

As some of you know I’m taking courses in nutrition. The area I’m learning about now is vitamins and it’s truly amazing how much I didn’t know. We’ve all heard since we were kids that you should get your vitamins but it wasn’t until now that I am truly starting to understand what that means and I’m going to add taking my mulit-vitamin in my daily must do list, just like brushing my teeth.

So what are vitamins anyway? The ones we should be getting the most of are actually found in food, not just in tablet form like I always thought – ha ha. They are considered a class of complex organic compounds and there are a total of 13 of them. If we don’t get enough in our diet or by supplementation we could experience some serious deficiencies and if we take in too much it can be toxic. I know this is deep but stick with me.

Now, I’m sure many of you have heard that there are fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. For today’s post I’m going to talk about fat-soluble. I’ll save water-soluble for next time.

There are 4 fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Let’s break this down a bit:

Vitamin A
We need this vitamin to maintain the cells in and covering the outside of the body, bone development and our immune system. It’s also important for night and peripheral vision. You can find it in liver, butter, cheese, egg yolks, fish liver oils and fortified milk. Thankfully for those people who don’t eat animal products there is an active form of vitamin A called retinol and our bodies are able to form it into beta-carotene. This can be found in dark-green leafy veggies, yellow-orange veggies, oranges, limes, pineapples, prunes and cantaloupe. The recommended intake for adults is approximately 700 micrograms.

Vitamin D
I have discussed this vitamin before in a previous post so I won’t say too much about it. Just keep in mind that it’s very important for you to get outside into the sun for 15 minutes a day without sunscreen to get the required level. Once your time is up make sure to get that sunscreen on. To get the best results expose your face, neck and chest. Now, if you live in an area were the sun isn’t shining everyday you can get vitamin D from a few food sources. For those who eat animal products it’s found in eggs, tuna and salmon. It’s also found in fortified milk, margarine and breakfast cereals. The recommended intake for adults is approximately 5 micrograms.

Vitamin E
It’s main role is to be an antioxidant in our cell membranes. This is very exciting isn’t it? Now, you can find it in polyunsaturated veggie oils, margarine, green leafy veggies, fortified cereals, whole-grain products, wheat germ and eggs. The recommended intake for adults is approximately 15 micrograms.

Vitamin K
This guy is very important in being able to help clot our blood sometimes being called the blood coagulation vitamin. It’s found in both animals and plants such as pork, liver, eggs, spinach and cauliflower. The recommended intake for adults is approximately 90/mg.

So, there it is, a very quick lesson about fat-soluble vitamins. Again, there is a lot more to learn about them but hopefully it gives you a bit better idea of what they do for you and your body and where to find them in food. And if you feel you’re not getting enough in your diet make sure you’re taking a multi-vitamin. For information about how much you should be getting in your diet visit Health Canada and check out the food guide.

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What I’ve been cooking lately

Happy Friday! I thought I would share some of photos of the food I’ve been making the past couple weeks.

First off for Christmas dinner I made a Tofurky Roast. Now, why would I not just make my own you ask? Well, I do have a recipe but I’ve heard such great things about the roast I thought I would buy it first, taste it, see how it cooks and slices and then when I do make it I know what the end result should be. As you can see from the picture, I surrounded it with lots of onions, potatoes and carrots. It was the first time I made it and I think it turned out really well. Even my meat eating husband, Stacey enjoyed it. I would definitely serve it again.

Tofurky Roast

Tofurky Roast

For dessert my son requested a chocolate cake. Now, that’s not typically what I would serve for a holiday dessert but since it was just the three of us I made the cake and I made it gluten free. Check out my bad decorating. At the last minute I thought I would add a Christmas tree and didn’t take the time to measure out the placement of it. Oh, the recipe for the cake is from the Vive Le Vegan blog.

Gluten free chocolate cake

Gluten free chocolate cake

Lately I’ve been craving pumpkin soup and since I had a can of coconut milk that’s been sitting in my pantry for far too long I sent Stacey out to get some cans of pumpkin. Now, it did turn out okay but I need to play around with the spices a bit. If you have any suggestions please let me know what you add to your pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

This past week I made the Italian sausages from Everyday Dish. I did change it up a bit just by adding different spices and I shaped them into cutlets instead of sausages. I was able to create three different meals with one batch. I was shocked, not only is this extremely cost effective but it allowed to for me to be creative with the recipe.

Pasta with chopped Italian Cutlets

Pasta with chopped Italian Cutlets

Potatoe Casserole

Potatoe Casserole

I also created a rice dish but forgot to snap a picture. All these recipes were quick and easy to make and of course healthful.

Last, Stacey was wanting a lemon dessert – he loves lemons. So I followed a recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking and created lemon slices. I was very happy with how they turned out and Stacey really enjoyed them.

Lemon Square

Lemon Square

Have a great weekend!

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