Week 2 Food Log 6.5/10

This is my second week keeping a food log. I don’t think it changes what I eat, but it does keep a record for me to see. I like that.

Sometimes we think we’re eating well, and then when we look at what we actually ate…yikes!

Other times we think we’re way off course, and then we learn that we’re doing ok. I don’t have a specific reference, but I’ve heard many times that research shows people who keep a food log are more likely to meet their weight-loss goals.

Items in italics are what I would call “non-compliant”, meaning they do not fit into my definition of healthy eating. Now and again, I don’t think they’re a big deal, but it’s important for me to be aware of how often I consume them. I always include alcohol in the non-compliant foods.


Week 2 Summary 6.5/10

I’m giving myself a 6.5/10 for this week. I don’t have a system for coming up with this number; it’s just my gut feeling after looking over the week.

My goal for this week was to drink less alcohol, but it looks like I had more. I indulged a bit on Mother’s Day. I exercised less this week, so I guess it’s for these two reasons that I rated myself lower than last week.

Something really important I’m learning is to not be hard on myself when I don’t achieve my goals. Even more important is to not give up. I will continue to focus on eating 90%+ plant-based and unprocessed food.

May 8

2.4 km walk

-half baked potato, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and mushrooms (leftover from restaurant)

-baked potato

-baked potato again for a morning snack

-salad of mixed greens, lima beans, broccoli, hummus (with oil), banana peppers and balsamic dressing (with oil)

-curried potato and vegetables with white rice

-grape tomatoes

-homemade quinoa bread with homemade hummus (no oil) and regular hummus (with oil)

-chopped salad: kale, arugula, romaine, tomato, red onion, homemade dressing (1 avocado, lime juice, water, 2 dates, handful of cilantro)


-corn on the cob

-mushrooms, asparagus and Brussels sprouts (leftover from restaurant-cooked in oil or butter)

2 glasses of red wine

-homemade quinoa bread with natural peanut butter (no added oil)

3.7 km walk

May 9

-baked potato

-Starbucks matcha tea latte made with soy milk and with one portion of the liquid cane sugar

-baked potato

-grape tomatoes

-salad with mixed greens, kale, carrot, chickpeas, hummus and oil dressing

-cream of leek soup

-baked potato


-Brussels sprouts

popcorn cooked in oil

-club soda

May 10

-homemade matcha tea latte with soy milk, dates and turmeric

-grape tomatoes

-baked potato

-salad-mixed greens with mushrooms, hummus (oil), Balsamic dressing (oil) cucumber, banana peppers

half piece of rye bread with hummus (oil)

-mushrooms and Brussel sprouts with a homemade sauce (almond butter, soy milk, hummus, sweet Thai chili sauce, and garlic)

-1.5 Beyond Meat burger with 1.5 pieces of bread with tomato, romaine, red onion, guacamole and mustard.

-red grapes

-2 glasses of red wine

-1 Old Fashioned

-“ice cream” made with frozen banana, dates and frozen mixed berries

May 11

-Starbucks matcha tea latte with one portion of liquid cane sugar

-grape tomatoes

-snap peas

-1/2 baked potato

-salad with mixed greens, kale, tomato, cucumber, chick peas and oil dressing

white rice with veggies

-1/2 baked potato

-mandarin orange

-kale salad with pumpkin seeds and a lemon/oil dressing (restaurant)

-linguine with tomato sauce and mushrooms, tomatoes, red onions and broccoli (some oil in sauce)


1/2 piece of garlic toast (white bread with butter)

-1 Old Fashioned

-1/2 glass of red wine

May 12

-2 shots espresso with soy milk

-mushroom and Brussel sprouts with a homemade sauce (almond butter, soy milk, hummus, sweet Thai chili sauce, and garlic)

-smoothie: banana, mixed frozen berries, dates, peanut butter powder, soy milk, water

soup: Amy’s Pea soup with my addition of chopped, steamed potato, kale and Brussell Sprouts

corn chips (organic corn and water…done in my oven)

-homemade salsa (yellow peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, red cabbage, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and sea salt)

-homemade guacamole: avocados, lime juice and sea salt

May 13

-spinach, kale and red onion sautéed in a bit of water

-Starbucks matcha tea latte with 1 part sugar

-Fruit: blackberries, raspberries, mango, kiwi


-Taco bowl from restaurant (may have some oil): white rice flavoured with lime and cilantro, black beans, salsa, lettuce, jalapeños, corn

-corn chips (organic corn and water only)

-store bought salsa and guacamole

-grape tomatoes, snap peas and cucumber with hummus

2 Beyond Meat burger patties wrapped in romaine leaves with tomato, red onion, mustard, hp sauce

-grilled veggies (red pepper, red onion, asparagus and mushrooms)

-baby potatoes

-vegan chocolate cupcake

3 glasses of wine, 2 glasses of sparkling wine and 1.5 Old Fashioned…over a 6 hour period

May 14


-grape tomatoes

-snap peas

-1/2 baked potato

-spinach salad with: grape tomatoes, cucumber, banana peppers, hummus and some oil-based dressing

-1.5 black bean patty

-1 cup broth (likely a chicken broth)

-corn chips (organic corn and water only)

-homemade salsa (yellow peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and sea salt)

-homemade guacamole: avocados, lime juice and sea salt

-club soda

Looking forward to continuing my commitment to better health this week!

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Quinoa + Water = Bread!

I’m so excited by my most recent discovery!

Quinoa bread. 

One of the issues I have with most breads today is that they’re filled with a bunch of things our body doesn’t need. Bad things too.

Here’s a sampling of less-than-ideal ingredients from the Country Harvest-Ancient Grains brand, which I would say appears to be one of the better brands of bread out there as it has whole grains (with the germ intact):

-refined flour

-sugar in one or more forms


-oil in one form or another

calcium propionate (a preservative).

diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides (emulsifier to strengthen the dough): I’m not clear on the safety of this. It may be natural and come from fatty acids (that may be animal or plant-based). Either way, not sure I want to eat it on a regular basis in bread.

sodium stearoyl-2- lactylate (another emulsifier)

-vegetable monoglycerides (may contain transfats)

sorbic acid (preservative)

I am NOT a chemist or an expert in the area of food additives etc., but I am a human being who wants to eat whole, natural food as much as possible. I’m not perfect in this regard either, as I knowingly choose to consume food with unhealthy ingredients.

It is the food I eat on a regular basis, in my home, that I want more control over. I don’t want to be eating all those unpronounceable ingredients in my bread or other products I eat more regularly.

Ezekiel bread is a much better option. Its ingredients steer away from added chemicals/preservatives.

Ezekiel bread

Organic sprouted grains and lentils/soybeans, water, yeast, gluten and sea salt.

Ezekiel ingredients

The Ezekiel brand of bread is a great option, if you are looking for the healthiest, store-bought bread. You will find it in the freezer section.

If you think you don’t have the time to make your own bread, you’re like me. I toyed with the idea over the years. I even took a course on making ancient grain bread, and I also made bread in a bread maker. Those two options are healthy because you make them at home, but….they’re way too time consuming for me.

You CAN make your own bread (fast and simple) if you know the secret. Get ready, because this could blow your mind.

Quinoa + Water = Bread

First… two things up front.

  1. This bread is more like a flat bread-great for a pizza crust, or used like pita bread. You can make a sandwich with it, but it’s not as thick or light as bread used in a sandwich. I cut it into squares and use it with hummus etc.
  2. This is NOT my recipe. I stumbled on it through Facebook. The creator is Savy Menke. A link to her video and website is below the recipe and pictures.

Quinoa Bread (water + quinoa)


You can cut the bread into whatever shape you like.


-equal parts quinoa and water (that’s it!)

Optional: add flavors of choice, to taste (herbs, spices, sea salt)


-blend together (I use a vitamix, high-speed blender, but the recipe creator used a magic bullet)

-pour onto parchment paper-line pan


-spread out evenly in the desired shape (I did one in a circle and another in a rectangle):  the thicker you leave it, the more of a soft, bread-like texture you’ll have; the thinner you spread it, the more like a cracker it will be.


-bake at 430 degrees (recipe creator uses 425) for 15 min.

-flip over


-bake for another 10 min.

The first time I made this, I used tri-colored quinoa, so the bread was a nice dark brown color. You can experiment with different colors to get the look you want (if you care)

I tried it a second time, with regular quinoa and added Mrs. Dash and nutritional yeast (as the recipe creator does).

My family enjoys this bread, and I recently took it to a family event and served it with hummus…I guess that’s a good sign. I love the fact that I can make this bread at home, and it is so healthy!

I’m looking forward to experimenting with this recipe. I might try adding a bit of maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweeter version. I’d also like to try a basil and sun-dried tomato bread.

Thanks for the awesome recipe, Savy!

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Week 1 Food Log 7/10

Each week, I plan to post the food I’ve eaten over that week. I’m doing this to a) create accountability for me and b) to show the types of food I eat on a Whole-foods, Plant-based (90%+) Diet.

I won’t record measurements of the amount of food I eat. The problem, I believe, is not the amount; it’s the food itself. Is it a whole food or a processed food? Is it a plan-based food or one with animal products? Is it cooked with or without added oils and sugar? I’ll record the amount of alcohol (since I want to track that), and I plan to document any exercise.

Items in italics are what I would call “non-compliant”, meaning they do not fit into my definition of healthy eating. Now and again, I don’t think they are a big deal, but it’s important to make a note of them, so they don’t turn into more than “now and again”. I include alcohol as italicized items too because alcohol is a toxin to the body.

Week 1 Summary: 7/10

This week I started to eat baked potatoes and roasted zucchini for breakfast. The starch satisfied me.

I gave up coffee in the morning and focused on having matcha tea lattes instead (just matcha, soy milk, dates and turmeric blended). I enjoyed them, although I didn’t have one every day.

When I look at the week, I can see I had alcohol on most days. My goal for next week is to have more days that are alcohol-free.

There were a few restaurant meals; overall I did ok with those.

I exercised three times this week (twice in one day)…I’m going to focus on doing that more often because it feels really good.

I would give this week a 7/10. There are several times when I indulged or had foods that included some non-compliant items. My body is starting to speak to me. It doesn’t like it when I eat unhealthy foods. How does my body alert me to its disappointment?

Well, not to be too gross; it’s usually unpleasant gas. Believe me, I KNOW when I haven’t eaten well. Because of this “gift”, however, I am now actually connecting the dots. Instead of having fries with a veggie burger, I am passing on those and having salad. Yay for me!

I’ve lost a couple of pounds and I’m feeling terrific and energized. Looking forward to the next seven days with confidence and excitement.

May 1

-roasted zucchini and baked potato

-snap peas

-Mandarin oranges

-mixed green salad with cucumber, hummus (not homemade, so it had oil), dressing (not homemade; had oil)

-potato wedges and green beans



-chopped salad-varied greens with beets, avocado, tomato and homemade dressing (oranges, garlic and Dijon mustard)

-corn chips (frozen and heated in oven-no oil) with avocado/greens guacamole

one glass of red wine

-yellow potatoes with chives

-one green apple vodka

May 2

-baked potato

-snap peas

-baked potato

-mixed green salad with tomato, hummus (not homemade, so it had oil), dressing (not homemade; had oil)

-salad with tomato, onion and avocado and homemade dressing (oranges, garlic and Dijon mustard)

-potato and chives

-popcorn: cooked in oil on the stove

one green apple vodka

raisin bran and soy milk (ingredients: organic soy beans and water)

May 3

-baked potato

-homemade matcha tea latte made with soy milk, matcha, turmeric and dates

-snap peas

-baked potato

-salad-with tomato and broccoli, hummus (not homemade, so it had oil), and dressing (not homemade; had oil)

rye bread with faux peanut butter and jam


-chopped salad with tomato and onion; homemade dressing-cucumber, zucchini, dates, garlic, balsamic, Dijon mustard

-homemade corn chips and guacamole

May 4

-baked potato and roasted zucchini

-snap peas

1.5 patties of Beyond Burger with tomato and lettuce (2 pieces of bread)

-wedge potatoes

-small salad of greens only with dressing (not homemade; had oil)

-about 3-4 oz of  Heineken piccolo, mixed with soda

-veggie burger (black beans) (with brioche bun lettuce, beets and garlic aioli) and kale salad from restaurant; dressing with oil

-mushroom toast from restaurant (toasted bread with onion and mushroom sauteed on top)

one Old Fashioned drink and 1 beer

May 5

-baked potato half

-Starbucks matcha tea latte (half matcha and half sugar)

-baked potato and roasted zucchini

-restaurant veggie burger (black bean and rice) on a brioche bun with lettuce, onion, tomato and aioli with salad and dressing (oil, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon,maple syrup, siracha)

one beer

-½ piece of Oreo cheesecake

—5 km walk

May 6

-homemade matcha tea latte made with soy milk, matcha, turmeric and dates

-baked potato and roasted zucchini

-quinoa bread (water and quinoa) [THIS is a  NEW discovery…I will make a separate post about it]


-homemade sun-dried tomato hummus (no oil)

beet hummus and beet chips (had oil)

-grape tomatoes


potato chips

-restaurant-garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts (all likely had butter or oil, but I am not counting them as non-compliant because I got in a lot of veggies)


-3 stuffed mushrooms (cream cheese and crab)

-several glasses of red wine (over a 6 hour period)

May 7

—2 km walk

-cashew milk latte

-green smoothie (spinach, kale, cucumber, orange, apple, mango, hemp hearts, mint)

-half order of restaurant avocado toast (sourdough bread, avocado, cucumber, and alfalfa sprouts)

-arugula/kale salad with beets and a black bean patty and vinaigrette dressing (with oil)

-baked potato, chives and homemade hummus (no oil)

—20 min. of yoga

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Get the Goodness In

I love avocado. REALLY love it!

It seems to be pretty popular, whether sliced on a sandwich, mashed and spread onto toast or mixed into a fine guacamole. It’s tasty, especially with a touch of lime juice and sea salt, but its most prevalent feature is its creamy, dreamy texture.

The high fat content gives us what we crave, that creamy feel in our mouth.

When you’re watching your weight or monitoring your fat intake, sometimes we feel guilty eating the almighty avocado….until now!

One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years is to add healthy greens or vegetables to dishes where I normally wouldn’t. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get in that extra nutrition once you know this trick.

For instance, like many people, I could LIVE on mashed avocado (with some lime juice and sea salt) on toast. When I crave the big, green fatty-but-awesome fruit, I mash in some extra nutrition by finely chopping whatever greens I have on hand. I use kale, spinach or arugula usually. Greens like romaine would probably be a bit too moist, but they might work.

The trick is to finely chop the greens so they blend in smoothly with the avocado. I just use the old-fashioned knife and cutting board to chop the greens, but I suppose the greens and the avocado together could be put in a food processor? Haven’t tried that.

If not on toast, I might spread my green goodness on some healthy corn chips (made with no oil!). Sometimes I’ll have both (toast and chips). Like I said, I just LOVE avocado.

Toast with guac

If I’m in a hurry, and I just don’t have time to chop up my greens, I might throw those greens right on top of my avocado spread. Works on the run.


When making my fave toast, I sometimes don’t stop at the extra greens; I might throw on a few tomato or cucumber slices or some onion.


There are tons of other ways to add in greens or veggies to your snacks or meals. When you do this for yourself, you’re adding oodles of extra phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. I say, “Why not get those nutrients in my body while I’m getting this other stuff in?”

Here are some tried and true ways to get more nutrients into your body:

Guacamole or Dips: add those greens! Finely chop greens into guac or hummus or your own unique bean spread.

Mashed potatoes: can add in finely chopped greens, green onions, or mashed cauliflower. Try one of these and play around with how much you add to the potatoes until you find the right balance that works for your taste buds.

Pasta: add your favourite veggies to your pasta to get in some more of the good stuff. I buy frozen, chopped kale, which is perfect for a last-minute add-in to any pasta dish. Any veggie will do. Sometimes, I just chop up whatever leftovers are hanging around in the fridge and throw them into the pasta. Have little nuggets of goodness around to add, such as capers or sun-dried tomatoes. Add them in. If you get good at this, you can start trying to make your meals more veggie-heavy and less pasta-heavy.

Soups: add almost anything goes here: fresh or frozen veggies, rice or other whole grains, greens etc. If you’re making a nice squash soup, add in some chopped red peppers or even some greens. If you’re making a broth-based soup, try adding barely; it really makes a soup hearty (and healthy too!).

Smoothies: it’s really easy to sneak in goodness in a smoothie. Many people focus on the fruit part of a smoothie. Some parents worry their kids won’t eat a healthier green smoothie. Give it a try, you sneaky cook. Add greens into your smoothies; chances are no one will even notice. You can start with a few spinach leaves, for example, and build up over time. Other things I slip into smoothies that don’t change the taste: turmeric, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds.

Oatmeal: don’t just have plain old oatmeal; load it up with fresh or thawed, frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, ginger etc.

So, before you serve or chow down on your next snack or meal, look around and ask yourself, “What healthy bits can I add to this?”

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Let’s have a Look Inside…

We know more about a myriad of topics that we do about how our own bodies work. Sure, we know some basics, but there is so much we just take for granted and don’t really KNOW, you know?

It’s absolutely amazing to think about how our bodies function because the parts seem to run in the background without us even noticing. Heart beating, lungs expanding, blood flowing, nerves connecting etc.

One of the coolest body systems, to me, is the digestion of food. I think it’s the most interesting system. It nourishes us and gives us energy.

Have you ever seen up-close footage of food digesting? Well, it’s super cool.

Check out this video (5 min.) that shows actual food being digested inside the body. Warning for the squeamish: some ooey, gooey moments in this video, but worth watching to really see what is happening.

I think most people are severely disconnected from what they eat and from what happens to the food in their bodies. We almost forget about what we do to ourselves when we eat. Let’s think about this for a minute.

Imagine, you’re eating a salad with spinach, tomato, onions, black beans and a light dressing, preferably with no oil. You know your body is designed to eat that. You know your body knows what to do with it and that it will pull out all the nutrients, help the body function well and discard the parts it doesn’t need.

You feel good right? You feel light and energized after.

Let’s imagine a different meal. This one is deep fried mozzarella sticks with French fries.

Whoa! I think your body has its work cut out for it.

Even if you don’t think that kind of food is really bad for the body, you instinctively know the first meal is designed for our bodies and the second meal isn’t.

The cheese and fries meal does eventually get digested, but our poor bodies have to work very hard to do so. The high fat content, along with the lack of nutrients, makes it less likely we’ll be nourished or that our bodies will function optimally. Never mind the fact that there are all kinds of negative effects from eating that food (bloating, gas, etc.).

And the reward, after? We feel sluggish, tired and have little energy.

So, if we instinctively know certain foods aren’t good for us, why do we keep assaulting our bodies with them?

Taste, texture, pleasure, addiction, and a food high for some of us. It’s these things, I believe, that create a struggle for me and for many other people. We want to do the right thing, but…

Lately, I’ve really been trying to think of my gorgeous, made-by-nature insides, and how much they will appreciate a good whole foods meal, preferably consisting of mostly plants.

I picture that food going down my esophagus, into my stomach and then, later, moving through my intestines and colon. I think what the colon leaves us is also highly important, in terms of our health, but that’s for another post. 🙂

I want to treat my body with respect and nourish it, so the days I have on this earth are healthy ones. I continue to work towards this goal each day.

Wishing you health and success on your journey,


Progress Report #2

It’s been three months since I decided to transform my life, and about six weeks since my last progress report. Here’s how things are shaping up.

No Alcohol at Home

Early in 2018, my husband and I chose to reduce our alcohol intake by not drinking at home. It wasn’t because of an alcohol “problem”, but to change our habits to become healthier. Few benefits come from drinking alcohol.

Whatever benefits are in beverages like wine, which we often hear about, there are more benefits in getting those same nutrients/phytochemicals etc. from the whole food (aka: grapes). Alcohol = empty calories, so since part of my health goals include losing weight, minimizing alcohol is a good thing.

Our mid-January commitment to not drink any alcohol at home was a success! Between Jan. 13 and April 1, we did not drink any wine, martinis etc. at home. We went out on the weekends to indulge, and a few times we went out during the week.

On April 2, we had our first drinks at home, a couple glasses of wine. I actually took a picture and sent it to my friend in a text, to let her know I had caved in. You know what her response was?


Isn’t that amazing? She saw only the positive, while I viewed the whole thing through a negative lens. I learned something that day, or rather, it confirmed something for me. Even though I consider myself a positive person, I continue to be quite hard on myself.

A goal for me is to look at myself more positively.

What’s really cool about the original alcohol challenge is that I find that I’m just not as interested in drinking alcohol as I was before. I consume less whether I am at home or out.

Healthy Food               

I continue to focus on eating healthy food. After our trip to Mexico in March, I jumped back into my regular routine. We focus on eating whole foods that are plant-based, and we cook our own food at home. I will admit, we do tend to go to restaurants on the weekend.

Do you hear that? That’s me being hard on myself again! Instead of thinking, “Way to go for cooking at home during the week!”, I somehow focused on the treats on the weekend. It takes time to change your thinking patterns, so I’ll keep working on it.

I continue to keep staples, like cooked oatmeal and brown rice, in the fridge. Canned beans and fresh vegetables and greens are always handy. We’re in the habit of keeping healthy, whole foods on hand, so this habit really helps us stay on track.


I really haven’t kept up with my exercise goal of moving my body everyday. I walk on the treadmill in my basement occasionally, but I haven’t done that for a little while now.

I’m totally ok with that because I know it’s the food that’s my main problem. Moving my body each day is still important to me, but it’s on the back burner for a bit.

Weight Loss

My weight is the same as it was at my first progress report. I’m still down 5-6 lbs since mid-January. I know I’m doing something right because my weight is not up.

I don’t see the lack of weight loss as a negative at all. I will just continue on my journey, learning from my successes and mistakes.


I’m feeling awesome! The arrival of spring has helped I’m sure, but it’s more than that.

I’m continuing with my goals and not giving up. When I veer off course a bit, like when I snacked on potato chips yesterday, I enjoy it and move on. Yay for me!

Just. Keep. Going.

What’s Next?

For the past week I’ve been directing my attention towards consuming food as close to 100% plant-based as possible.

I recently watched a documentary, H.O.P.E.: What You Eat Matters, which was excellent.

During the first part, it addresses the health benefits of eating plant-based. Then it moves on to look at the effects of factory farming on the environment and animals. Very eye-opening.

I’d highly recommend this documentary.  It makes the point that what we put in our mouths DOES matter to our health, to the environment and to animal welfare.

H.O.P.E.: What We Eat Matters reminded me how much I really don’t want to eat animal products. At this point in my life, I am about 90% plant-based. I’m proud of that, but have room for improvement.

Aside from focusing on eating more whole, plant-based foods, I don’t have any other changes planned. I’ll continue my journey, and I look forward to taking a break from teaching when my summer vacation arrives in late June. Until then…

Wishing you health and success on your journey,