Thursday, 31 January 2013

A Letter To My Twelve Year Old Self

 A few days back, I read this article:  Immediately after, I thought, I really should write one for this ol' bloggy blog. 

Then I struggled with it for awhile.  I don't know if I would have changed the course of my life.  As much as I went through some very tough times as a kid/teen, I landed in a very amazing part of my life.  I found my confidence.  Snagged a pretty awesome boy.  Ended up with a couple adorable cats (ha).  And found a way to move/exercise that I love.

What would I write to my twelve year old self?

Actually, I think I'm about 10 here, but it still works.

Dear Kelly,

I know this time in your life really sucks.  Friendships that you thought would last forever are falling apart and your world is being turned upside down with the separation of your parents who you never saw fight or argue once.  You feel like your world is falling apart and so are you.  On top of all that, I know the self-hate you're struggling with.  Being teased and called fat for the last 12 years hasn't been kind to your self-esteem.  On top of that, your doctor is telling you you need to workout, but any activity = failure for your uncoordinated, clumsy self, and even worse, negative thinking.

You need to realize that you are you and that's okay.  Nerdy, clumsy, weird, smart.  These things are not bad things.  In fact, one day, you're going to have some really awesome people in your life that love you for that. 

Realize that food isn't just something that makes you gain weight, it's pretty vital to your health.  Realize that Weight Watchers points are not a game to try to get under everyday.  A diet pepsi and gum are not a well balanced lunch and they're not going to fuel your brain for being the awesome smarty pants you're going to be.

Look at yourself in the mirror every day and find something you love about yourself instead of looking into that mirror with loathing.  Love and respect your body for it is an amazing little machine (and I'm sorry, you're not going to grow any taller).  Don't let boys determine your self-worth or dictate your body image.  Love yourself.  I'm serious.  It's possible.

And lastly, find your voice.  Or realize that one day you will.   Though closing yourself down and becoming painfully shy will put up a shield around yourself that you think is going to prevent you from hurt, it's only going to delay some very amazing friendships and opportunities that are going to come your way.  Opening up to the people that matter will make you infinitely more happy.  To quote some Dr. Seuss "those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind".  Believe it.

Love, your 27 year old self.
(You'll even be able to grow your hair out one day AND straighten it with the invention of ceramic flat irons)

P.S.  Dye your hair whatever colour you want whenever you want.  Just be smart about bleaching those curls.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Black Hoof

As much as I love being a lazy bum all weekend, hanging out in my workout clothes/sweats, making yummy food and watching Doctor Who, I also love getting all dolled up and going out for dinner.

Yup, I need to remember to clean my mirror.

Last week, my friend and I decided to go out for a little foodie experience with our boyfriends.  Her boyfriend is a chef in the city and has been looking up places to try.

They were both excited to try The Black Hoof so Greg and I agreed to go out with them this weekend.

Remember how I said this year was all about getting out of my comfort zone?  Yeahhhhh.  The menu for The Black Hoof was a little out of said comfort zone.  However, it was also a very paleo friendly menu.  A restaurant that focuses on good quality meats and good food, means no guilt eating out since you can pretty much guarantee they aren't using anything too funky in their cooking (like crummy oils).

It was a bit hard to see but they have their menu up on two chalkboards.  Very cool.

Our waiter noted everything was basically to share, so the four of us each ordered something that appealed to us, plus 'appetizers'.

The order looked something like this:

Bread, Olives, Charcuterie.

Salt Cod Mezzaluna, Bone Marrow, Pork Carnitas Tacos, Pork Belly and Cappuccio, Oxtail and Scallops, and the eat your veg option which was Squash.    Yes, we ordered almost the whole menu!  Everything came out about one dish at a time which added to the experience, with new plates and cutlery every few dishes.

The charcuterie board was out of this world!  I loved stuff that I wasn't really sure about.  The chicken liver terrine was spot on, and the meat at the right end was....... horse.  Yes horse.  Luckily I didn't know that before I inhaled it.  We also got warm, fresh olives, that were amazing.

 Pork Carnitas.  I made a paleo exception and ate the tortilla (corn is a no no) but it was worth every bite.  Perfectly spiced pork rinds and a squeeze of lime took these to the next level.

Bone Marrow.  Honestly, while I liked this, it wasn't my favourite.   It was buttery and really interesting, but I think it would have been better if I was able to spread it on the bread.  I just didn't want to endure bloating for the rest of the meal.

So this was the pork belly..... We realized with one bite left no one had taken a picture of it.  This went down quickly and was my personal favourite!  Pork belly on a brussel sprout sauerkraut with a creamy polenta (damn corn) and an anchovy sauce.  Wooooooow.

I didn't snap pics of the oxtail but it was a table favourite as well.  Unfortunately it was breaded, so I kinda ate around it but what I did have was delish.

The squash (unpictured) was in a coconut sauce with roasted pepitas and must be recreated in my kitchen.

Honestly, there was nothing we didn't like. it was all ridiculously tasty and the service was amazing.  Very attentive staff who knew the menu well and made suggestions.  We'd go back in a heartbeat though I think we're off to new culinary adventures next month!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

So you may have heard...

That I posted a vlog!

Go check it out.  I rambled more than I do here but there's a big success I wanted to share that comes at the end!

And if you want to know what I meant by bloating, this was the last time I posted a picture of it.  Right is normal, left is post gluten:

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


6:05am is when my alarm goes off.  I usually grumble a bit (especially on Mondays) and lay there until about 6:12.   I finally roll myself out of bed and quickly get changed so I don't wake Greg.

I grumble a bit down the hallway and make some coffee and eat something small all the while trying to figure out how much time I have before I have to leave (and therefore how much I should eat).

By 6:40, the grumbling stops and I actually feel awake.

Out the door at 6:45, and in class by about 6:58.

I have NEVER been one to be at the gym before 8am.  Making this a routine has been really hard.

I need to remember at 6:05, that within a half hour or so I'll feel fine, and that extra hour of sleep isn't worth the energy I gain at the gym.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A Long Time Coming...

The title of this post is about 3 fold.  

Partly, I wanted to post this earlier in the week after I made 2 really significant tweets about my weight and goals.  It's now Sunday, but that's okay.  I'm getting it done now and that's what matters.

The other two meanings behind this post are a lot more in depth.  

First off, after how many years of trying to get rid of the weight I put back on, I've managed to fit into an old pair of size 10 jeans I've had hanging around for possibly 3 years.  They were kind of tight when I bought them... and I just remembered I have a really awkward picture of me in them from when I got them!  Oh photobucket, thank you for keeping all of my photos.


Anyways, the point is, I've been trying them on off and on over the last few years just to see.  It usually ended up with me in tears and hating on myself.  But not this time!

Yes, I totally picked at the hole in them until I blew it out, but they fit!  And I even wore them in public today!  Super exciting stuff.  It's only been 2 months since changing my diet and exercise program and I'm seeing such results that it's keeping me incredibly motivated.  It was so frustrating to see no changes no matter how hard I tried.  To see changes in terms of pant size pushes me to keep going.  I'm down at least a pant size, though it's hard to tell since most of my pants are stretchy.  Think jeggings and lulu.

The last and deepest thoughts that occurred to me this week is how comfortable I've become.  I'm not pulling at my clothes, and to be honest, if I was to plateau here, I think I'd be okay.  Negative self-talk in terms of my body image used to be a constant that I could never get away from.  I realized earlier in the week that it's gone.  I look in the mirror and I DON'T pick myself apart any more.  I don't hate on all the 'flaws'.   I really think that's been a key to success this time around.  Because of my better all around body image, I'm happier and my goals have definitely changed.  Rather than being focused on a number or pant size, I want to get stronger.  I want to be able to do an unassisted chin up.  I want to deadlift my body weight.  I want to be able to do burpees faster. 

I love this new outlook, and I will try my best to keep things positive.


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Gluten Free Carrot Muffins

 Actually, these puppies aren't just gluten free, they're paleo too.  But I figured the less I tote around my paleoness the better.  So let's just call these little muffins of love.  Okay never mind.  That's even worse.

I went to bed last night with every intention of going to the gym but this morning it was NOT going to happen.  Apparently I need to stop drinking afternoon caffeine.  I've been up 2 nights in a row until at least midnight trying to get my brain to stop thinking.  It just won't.  So I'm tired today and rambling.  And currently drinking tea.

Whenever I stay home on Tuesday/Thursday mornings though, I can never just rest.  I literally pulled myself out of bed at 9 and made myself some breakfast and got to work.  Lots of tidying, vacuuming, etc was going on.  And some baking.

After the holidays we ended up with a huge bag of carrots.   I love carrots, but honestly, they aren't my go to veg for meals.  However, what I like more than carrots lately is anything to do with the idea of carrot cake.  Prior to starting the paleo thing, I made carrot cake baked oatmeal and it was SO GOOD.  Thinking that there's got to be a way to make it Kelly-friendly I started searching the web last night and found a few recipes.  I finally snagged this one and got to work this morning.

The batter was a little thicker than I was expecting, but kept my fingers crossed and 25 minutes later was trying not to eat all 12.  These are delicious, full of good stuff, tastes just as good as your average junk filled muffin, but, dare I say it, are good for you?

Carrot Muffins

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
3 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (optional)
1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1.  Pre-heat oven to 325 and line a muffin tin or spray with coconut oil.

2.  Combine almond flour, seat salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

3.  Stir together coconut oil, banana and maple syrup, and eggs.

4.  Fold in pecans and carrots into the wet mixture.

5.  Add wet to dry

6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7.  Try not to stuff your face and eat the whole batch

**My modifications:   I love cinnamon so you bet I upped that to a whole tbsp.  I also added some coconut shreds to the mix.  I think next time I would experiment with the spices in this one.  A little bit of nutmeg would have put these guys over the top!