Posts tagged ‘Books’

Green Monster again?!

Today I made yet another Green Monster.  I am on a huge GM kick right now, and I swear it is making my complexion clear and my skin bright.  At least I like to think so!

Today’s creation included:

1 cup of 1% cow’s milk

1/2 banana

4 large frozen strawberries

2 large handfuls of spinach

1 tablespoon of ground flax seed

I had this as part of my lunch with leftover roasted root vegetables and a Tropically-flavoured Larabar.  How come it’s so easy to eat healthfully during the day but not so easy at night?  Something to think about…

I think Henry is getting bored of all these Green Monsters.

“GM again, Mama?  How completely unoriginal!”

Speaking of Henry (something I do so well!), he is at that stage when he will just stare at the same object for an awfully long time.  Here he is staring at a toy that plays music when you pull a little handle.  He actually figured out how to pull this handle all by himself, thereby convincing me is a Harvard-bound genius.

Please send all emails exulting his cuteness to…


I am on my own for dinner tonight and I’m not sure what to have!  We are seriously low on groceries, so I think I will have that old, pantry standby:  pasta with tomato sauce.  We have the last dregs of broccoli and mushroom I can add to the sauce and maybe I will be fancy and add some Havarti cheese on top of my serving.  Exotic, I know.


After thinking about it WAY too much, I think I am going to purchase Crazy Sexy Diet.  I’ve watched a few of Kris Carr’s “vlogs” on youtube and read in her blog today that the book is currently sold out on Amazon and elsewhere, so that must mean something, right?  For $22.00 Canadian, I think it’s worth it.  My daily Green Monsters have been so enjoyable lately, and I want to learn more recipes for green smoothies.  I am also entertaining the thought of getting a juicer.  Perhaps in honour of Mr. Lalanne?  Maybe!

I am hesitant to get a juicer, though, because:

1.  I will go through veggies like whoa.  That isn’t frugal!  However, it is fit.  Conundrum!

2.  I don’t want to clean it every day.  Cleaning my blender is bad enough!

Ah, the ongoing problems of the bourgeoisie, eh?

January 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm 2 comments

What is this going to do for ME?

My friend, Lynn, left a comment on my blog either yesterday or the day before (my days all meld into one lately!) mentioning how the late Jack Lalanne posed this question before eating anything:  “What is this going to do for me?”.  This is a very good question to ask but kind of a difficult one to answer.  We all know that the carrots, the banana, and the small handful of almonds will do lots of good things for you, but what about a cup of coffee or a little bit of chocolate?  From a nutritional standpoint, not much.  But to my sanity?  A whole freaking lot!  Still, it’s a great question to ask, and one that prevented me from eating a ginger molasses cookie last night, instead opting for some yogurt and fresh pineapple.  Score!

Source of picture

I’ve never actually had coffee that looks like this, but some day I will.  Some day…

In further news about why this healthy living thing is worth it, my pants fit.  You read that right.  MY PANTS?  THEY FIT!  I tried on my size 12 jeans for the third time since I gave birth, and not only did they fit, they felt comfortable and I could actually bend my legs.  I am very excited because I am attending a baby shower this Sunday and will be able to wear pants that are not of the yoga variety.  Hurrah for being social acceptable!


Last night, after the little one finally fell asleep (8:45 pm seems to be the magic time), I started reading Freedom by Jonathen Franzen which I received for Christmas.  I finished Portia de Rossi’s Unbearable Lightness yesterday and was ready to sink my teeth into some fiction.  One chapter in and I am already in love.  In fact, it took some will power to write in this blog rather than get comfy on the couch with the book.  I know a book is excellent when I get angry that I wasn’t the one to write it!


While baby sleeps, I am going to cut up some sweet potato, white potato, and parsnips to roast in some oil, salt, and pepper for tonight’s dinner.  Roasted root vegetables are so simple and so delicious.  Perfect comfort food on a cold January night.


January 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm 7 comments

Sleep would be nice, but muffins will suffice!

I write to you from Exhaustion Headquarters where our CEO, Mr. Henry, had me up EVERY.  SINGLE.  HOUR.  OF.  THE.  NIGHT.

I don’t think I have ever seen every hour of the nighttime clock before, so maybe I should be thankful to Mr. H for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity?  Let’s go with that (and let us pray it really is a ONCE in a lifetime opportunity!).

He will rob you of sleep and sanity using his overwhelming power of cuteness!

If this is what normal parenthood is all about, I am really surprised my parents decided to have me, a second child, after my brother.  And to think that if I lived in America, I’d have to go back to work in a couple of weeks!  Oh my.

But enough venting on the blog.  You don’t need to hear it.  That’s what husbands are for!  Today I would like to share with you a recipe for Date muffins!  I picked up a bag of dates on sale at Bulk Barn but they aren’t the soft and chewy Medjool dates that are delicious to eat on their own.  These are the cheapo, tough dates that are sticky and hard.  They must be used for baking purposes!

I chose this recipe because it called for a lot of oat bran rather than just flour.  Oat bran contains a lot of fibre and lowers bad cholesterol, so I figured that would help counteract all of the sugar!


Makes 10 big muffins

(Muffins with dates, not muffins you take on dates.  Unless you really want to).

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup hot water

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 egg

1 tablespoon oil

1 1/2 cups oat bran

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sour milk or buttermilk (I use one cup of regular milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice added)

1.  Mix dates, hot water, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer until thickened.

2.  Measure remaining brown sugar, egg, oil, and date filling into one bowl.  Beat vigorously until smooth and then add bran.

3.  Add flour, baking soda, and then milk.  Stir only enough to moisten the throughout.

4.  Spoon into muffin cups and let stand for 3 minutes.  This is the runniest muffin batter I have ever made!

5.  Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes.

Two muffins are missing.  Wherever could they be?


So I’ve been doing a pretty good job living the frugal lifestyle lately.  This is mostly aided by the fact that:

1.  I rarely leave my house because it is January and ccccccold outside.

2.  We only have one car.

3.  I don’t gots nowhere to be!

It’s only been a month since Christmas (seems longer, eh?), but I am kind of coveting this book that recently went on sale:

Reasons Why I Want This Book:

1.  Kris Carr has a rare form of cancer that she documented in the movie Crazy Sexy Cancer.  She is a charming, free spirit who has used nutritious food as a way to fight her illness, both physically and psychologically.

2.  She is the inspiration behind Angela’s famous Green Monster!

3.  I think it would be a fun, inspiring read that can help spice up my own Green Monsters and maybe help me make some healthier choices (she says while sipping her second cup of coffee!).

Reasons Why I Don’t Want This Book:

1.  I’m afraid it’s just another book about veganism (Nothing against veganism, but there are plenty of books on this topic already!).

2.  She is not a doctor.  (However, the awesome doctor, Dean Ornish, writes the foreword.)

3.  She champions a 21 day cleanse.  I am not a fan of cleanses or detox diets and even the idea of them creeps me out a bit.

4.  Do I really want to spend my precious dollars to support the billion-dollar diet industry?!!?


I guess I will hold off until I see it in the bookstore (when I leave my house; possibly by 2012?).  That will let me flip through it and then make my decision.  If you have read this book, can you let me know what you think?  Until then, I will continue drinking my (much beloved) coffee and eating my sugar-laden date muffins!

January 21, 2011 at 10:07 am 14 comments

Books I took(s)

Greetings from this side of Christmas 2010!  I hope that yours was an enjoyable one.  Mine involved a sick baby and a sick self, but was still an enjoyable time regardless.  One thing I have learned this Christmas is that now that I have a child, Christmas is no longer about me.  Huh, who woulda thunk?  I didn’t realize how relaxing Christmas was until now, when it no longer is.  But I am not complaining even though that’s exactly what it looks like!  I am just grateful to have a (relatively) healthy baby boy, family and friends with whom to spend it, and a giant pile of gifts all for me me me me me 🙂

I won’t bore you with tales of what I specifically received, but I will tell you about the books!  I LOVE to read, but having a wee babe 24/7 doesn’t leave much time for perusing the ol’ library looking for the next Curtis Sittenfeld or Alice Munro.  A couple of weeks ago, I actually checked out six books from the library and was excited to stimulate that part of my brain again, only to have read through a mere half of one of the books!  Piddly!  And I call myself an English Major?!  Unacceptable!

So I am very happy to have received five books this Christmas.  There is no due date so I can take my time with them.  At this rate, my goal is to complete them by the end of the year.  Way to aim low, Robyn!

Books I received for your voyeuristic information:

1.  Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi

I love biographies, especially autobiographies.  I was disappointed to see there is no glossy section in the middle full of pictures of her.  However, I guess a book about struggling with anorexia and self-image doesn’t really benefit from readers staring at pictures of her during this difficult time, eh?

2.  My Booky Wook by Russell Brand

I’ve always found Russell Brand funny, but it wasn’t until I saw him on Conan about a month ago that I realized how intelligent this guy really is.  What a wordsmith!  (Note: I have never referred to anyone as a wordsmith EVER, so this really counts for something).  Since his life is pretty much the polar opposite of mine, I was interested in reading this and mentioned it to Husband in passing.  Well, he remembered and got me this!  I am already 1/4 through.  Given my recent track record, this is noteworthy and deserving of many accolades.

3.  Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

This tome is about as highbrow as I get these days.  I had this in my library queue but after seeing him on Oprah and hearing some of the glowing reviews, I figured I should own this one.  Plus, since it is so large, there is no way I could finish it within the three weeks permitted by the library.  I am hoping that once I read this, I will be ready to read heavier works that I don’t just hear about on Conan or Oprah (where, in fact, I heard about all three of these books!  Oh my).

4.  Quinoa 365

Every recipe calls for quinoa!  I am really excited to try some of these out, especially since I have two Costco-sized bags of quinoa in my possession.  Many call for quinoa flour, which gets me a bit less excited (I imagine quinoa flour is $$$).  However, I have a $50 gift card to Bulk Barn as well, so perhaps all of my culinary aspirations can come true in 2011.  Let’s hope.

5.  Muffin Mania

As the title suggests, this one just has muffin recipes.  It was originally printed in the early 1980s by a local printer and looks like something assembled in your neighbor’s basement.  It was so popular, however, that this edition was reprinted in 2008 or thereabouts.  It has about 60 different muffin recipes, including a chocolate cheesecake recipe and a “muffin that tastes like a donut” recipe.  All of the recipes are very easy and call for basic ingredients, so I thought I could challenge myself to try every recipe in 2011, like a Julie and Julia project!  Then sanity returned as I figured that baking 60 different types of muffins would turn me off muffins forever.  I’ve already tried the pumpkin recipe with success!  I am itching to bake a muffin that tastes like a donut.  I am a self-proclaimed Fritter Fiend, after all.

So there you have it.  Two biographies, two cookbooks, and one work of fiction.  Hopefully these keep me occupied and out of trouble until 2012!

December 28, 2010 at 9:42 am 12 comments

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What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!

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