On the straight and narrow


As we rang in 2013, we gathered in Toronto for Dad W’s 80th birthday. What a celebration! However the celebratory photographs revealed that the “middle generation” all had some work to do in the healthy eating department. Since returning to Nova Scotia we are making sure to also return to a proper diet and exercise regime. That includes careful meal planning and at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

The great part of this is rediscovering favourite recipes we’ve been ignoring, like this one from Cooking Light.

One Spicy Pie


We’re really getting back into our healthy habits. Our two most important weapons are exercise and meal planning. Going into the day with a food plan means we don’t have to worry about being distracted by circumstances. We’ve also taken time to choose recipes that account for how much we have going on, on that day. Busy days get simple, tasty solutions…like this one.

It’s a delicious recipe from Cooking Light, which has been a tremendous resource on our journey. Since we’re being very conscious of getting our veggies, we served it with a nice salad on the side. We made three adaptations; we cooked the garlic in heart-healthy olive oil, and we substituted a mix of chili powder and cumin for the taco seasoning. We also used cheese that we already had on hand, and weighed the portions carefully.

Stacking up Flavour


We’re back on track after a flurry of holiday eating. Despite seeing a flurry of faddish food recommendations, we know what works: eat less, move more. The minus twenty temperatures don’t help encourage us to get out and walk, so we spent some time on the treadmill and the rower today. This breakfast is a tasty way to start a busy day.

It’s half a whole wheat English muffin, topped with a tomato slice and a thin shaving of red Leicester cheese. Over that, a poached egg, a sprinkling of chili powder, and some chopped basil. Filling, flavourful, but doesn’t pack in more calories than we need.

Feeling a Little Cheesy…

It’s the time of year when minds turn to winter weight loss. But we’re not big believers in the quick fix. What gets us into a mess can often be turned around to get us out. We’re free of holiday distractions and back into our normal “eat less, move more” routine. Today though, the Toronto weather is still in the deep freeze. (Yes Winnipeg, we hear you laughing…) it made us want a warm and satisfying breakfast.


For 330 calories, here’s what we had: 2 large eggs, scrambled in a nonstick pan and topped with 1/2 ounce of Shropshire Blue cheese. On the side, a slice of whole wheat toast with 2 teaspoons of blueberry-raspberry jam we made back in the summer (thanks, East Lynn Farmer’s Market!) and half a small hothouse local tomato.

Starting the day in a satisfied frame of mind!

I'm Feeling a Bit Crunchy!

Wow! It’s been ages since our last post. It’s because of work – too much of it all at once. But who can turn down exciting challenges and opportunities? Now there’s time to relax, but first I’ll have to get the kinks out – and eat some proper food.

When we’re feeling a little crunchy and out-of-sorts, we like to have a nice batch of fresh vegetables. These radishes and cukes were from the East Lynn Farmers Market. We dressed them with a little cider vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, and some black sesame seeds.

Feeling better already!

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables are A Secret

One secret to success are fresh fruits and vegetables when you’re trying to lose weight and keep in shape. If you combine that with a desire to eat local, and you live in a climate where those things don’t grow all year round, it’s a challenge. We like local. We like farmer’s markets. But let’s face it, some things just don’t grow around here at the best of times. So unlike some locavores, we’re not giving up lemons, or oranges, or coffee, because they come from somewhere else. Our compromise? We compare the ones that are available within a reasonable walk from our house (for us, that’s probably about 30 minutes each way), and buy the ones that come from the closest locale. What we get in return is an opportunity to get to know our local shopkeepers, still have a variety of foods, and to offset our carbon footprint by using…well…our feet!

Real Food to Start Your Day

oats spelt apples cinnamon walnuts raisinsOK, so the yogurt and berry breakfast from earlier this week was good. But it’s drizzling outside. The wind is blowing. We need something to keep us going! If you’re working out, you need protein for re-building. If you’re losing weight, you need fibre. This delicious breakfast gives you some of each.

We started with a mixture of rolled oats and rolled spelt (but any large flake oatmeal will work just fine). For breakfast for two, put 3/4 of a cup or 175ml of these grains in a microwavable casserole. Add a tablespoon or so (15 ml) each of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, as well as chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are great with apple). Dice in an apple (don’t peel, just wash it well). Then put in 30 ml or 2 tbsp. of raisins or dried cranberries or cherries. Don’t have those? Chop up some prunes, or dried apricots.

Sprinkle the whole thing with a teaspoon or so (5 ml) of cinnamon. Add 1-1/2 cups or 375 ml of water.

Our microwave has an automatic setting for oatmeal, so I just “fire it up”. Otherwise, cook on high for 5 minutes, then another 3-5 minutes at medium, depending on the power of your microwave. It’s easy. (Even though it’s April 1st, we’re not fooling!)

Divide into bowls. Top with a little brown sugar or maple syrup or honey (about 5 ml or a teaspoon each). Add half a cup or more of milk or soy milk or rice milk.


But What About Breakfast?

Better Bulk, aka "The Bulky"We were at Better Bulk (aka around our house as “The Bulky”) the other day and picked up some awesome Hewitt’s yogurt. We started buying their skim milk yogurt a couple of years ago when the two of us collectively lost 60 pounds on the “eat less move more” diet.

When we first started eating it, we would add honey. But we’ve found this and a few other organic yogurts are so creamy and delicious, they don’t really need a sweetener, just some fruit and other tasty additions.

strawberries in bowlsWe start with about 1/2 a cup (125 ml) of sliced strawberries.  They usually have some at Jerry’s, or Kelly’s, or Plank Road Market. Then we add 1/2 cup or 125 ml of the yogurt.

Top each serving with a sprinkling of cinnamon – it tricks your myogurt and strawberries topped with nuts and cinnamonouth into tasting “sweet”. Sprinkle with some sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or chopped nuts (a tablespoon or two – 15 to 30 ml – altogether). To round out your breakfast, have half a whole-wheat English muffin with some crunchy peanut butter. A delicious healthy way to start the day!