Family Dinner Madness

Hey guys! How was your weekend? Do you use the time to wind down, or get busier than ever? While I prefer a more down-time themed weekend, I know a lot of us tend to jam-pack it with after-work work!

There’s a lot of birthdays in fall in my family, mine included, and so we usually try and pick one weekend where we get together, have a big dinner, exchange gifts, and generally have a good time. The number of people at our table has been growing recently; I introduced my serious boyfriend last Christmas, and my uncle introduced his girlfriend as well. They usually try and bring her little boy along, so you can imagine how packed it can start to get!

Great food, amazing people, and events to celebrate…sounds perfect, right?

Wrong!

How many of you guys tell yourselves you’ll stick to your healthy eating regime, and then grandma’s cooking sits under your nose at dinner and your best intentions go out the window? Yeah, me too. **sigh**

With this in mind, I compiled my favourite tips for staying on track–big ones, little ones, and everything in between! Let me know what your strategies are, and how these ones work for you!

1. Plan the Event into your week: yes, it’s hard sometimes to know when you’ll be in a tight spot healthy eating wise, but do your best to plan! Know Christmas dinner is in five days? Try and eat better the days leading up to the big event.

2. Veggies, veggies, veggies: you only have so much room in that stomach of yours, so fill it up with the good stuff first! An array of colourful vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates to fuel yourself the right way, while also leaving less room for those less healthy dishes (that darned gravy! So good, but sooo bad!) and the dessert table after. Score!

3. Keep hydrated: Nothing’s worse than filling up on heavy foods while also not maintaining proper hydration. Bodily functions are impaired at dehydration levels as low as 3%, so drink your water! If you do want to enjoy your alcohol as well, go for your healthier options: heart-healthy red wine, lower alcohol levels, or light beers.

4. Don’t starve: possibly the only thing worse than not staying hydrated is letting yourself get so hungry you’re literally feeling headaches and faintness! Keep those blood sugars stable with regular snacks such as almonds, fruits, and/or vegetables. Your body will benefit more from numerous smaller meals every couple of hours than one or two big meals spaced too much through the day.

5. Treat yo’self: this is the bottom line, folks. Let’s face it: Christmas, your birthday, thanksgiving…they all come once a year. So enjoy it! Don’t get hung up on one day where you overindulge a bit more than you wanted to. It happens! Life needs to be looked at in Big Picture format. Is that huge piece of cake you ate really life-ruining? Did it kill your quality-food kick for the week? No, it did not. Every minute after every moment is a chance to live in a way that fulfills you, so take it and make it your own. Capeesh?

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Pumpkin Smoothie Inspired by Fall!

This morning was pretty interesting. I woke up with every intention of making a fabulous PANCAKE breakfast (very ambitious of me!), and I literally had all my pancakes made when all of a sudden my stomach said “nah-ah. Ain’t havin’ none of that!”

Does anyone else have this happen? All of a sudden you feel queasy and don’t want to eat? Weird.

So the pancakes got stored away for next time. But, as I have a class and a test later today that I can’t miss, I knew I needed something to give me energy. Thinking cap went on. BOOM. Pumpkin smoothie time. Obviously.

Easy to make, easy to digest, and (very) easy to eat! All while packing tons of nutrition and happiness with every slurp! I’ll try and get some pictures up with my next post, but this one was gone by the time I decided to share the recipe with you, haha!

Pumpkin Pie in a Glass Smoothie 

serves one

1 frozen banana, cut into chunks

1/2 a cup frozen pumpkin puree (I prefer frozen to give the smoothie a really frosty texture)

1 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*

1 tsp honey

1 heaping spoonful of greek yogurt

1 cup milk of choice (I use unpasteurized cow’s milk)

Place all ingredients in your blender and whir away! Try and keep the honey and molasses away from the sides of the blender as it likes to stick there, making it difficult to get your smoothie all mixed up. If you prefer a thicker smoothie, you can add the milk to taste to get the perfect consistency. I’m a thick smoothie kinda girl myself! Pour into a glass, garnish with some cinnamon, and enjoy!

*if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can always combine 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg

How’s that for a powerhouse breakfast? Molasses for iron and other micronutrients, beta-carotene and fiber from the pumpkin, and protein from the yogurt and milk! A perfect way to start the day! I also find it does wonders for those sugary cravings you get when cool fall weather hits…I told myself I’d get a brownie after class today since it’s Friday, but now I don’t even feel like I need it anymore. Woo-hoo!

So tell me, what’s your favourite fall breakfast? I usually alternate between a couple of basic meals, but this one was a bit of a switch up! What a wonderful switch it was, too! Happy cooking (and blending!).

Welcome to my kitchen!

Enjoy the amazing fall colours we're having!

Goooooood morning (ahem, afternoon) internet! And welcome to my blog, The Therapist’s Kitchen! This post is to give you an idea of what you’ll find kickin’ it here, as well as the face behind the creation.

I’m not a therapist. Say whaaat?? I know, it says it’s a therapist’s kitchen. But I’m currently in training. I know, unfair use of the phrase “the therapist’s kitchen”. But I just really liked it, okay?? I wanted to call it The (future, possible) Therapist’s Kitchen, but that didn’t seem to roll as well. So there’s your disclaimer, folks. I won’t be giving any relationship/family/friend advice anyway (unless you ask me), so we’ll leave it at that. Besides, there’s nothing as therapeutic as an amazing cup of chai and a homemade goody, right? It counts!

Recipes and food posts aren’t all you’re gonna find here. I don’t know about you guys, but there is so much more than just cooking and baking that goes on in my kitchen! I also read, do crafts, spend time with my loved ones, and just generally hang out in my kitchen. It’s pretty much a magnet for my soul. As per requests then, or, ya know, because I want to, I’ll also be writing about cool DIY’s I come across. Anything goes!

I grew up (and still consider myself to live in) my rural home town. I’m a farm girl. That means unpasteurized milk, free range eggs, and a whole lotta beliefs in how food should work. While decadence and downright deliciousness will certainly appear on the blog, I draw the line at pretty much all processed foods and ‘food-like substances’. Living a full and healthy life to me means putting the kind of fuel into one’s body that will enhance life, not detract from it. So get ready for tons of gardening posts, cute animals, and other agriculture-related info’s.

That’s about it for now, any questions can be left for me and I’ll do my best to answer them. I am SO looking forward to lots of fall-themed blogging in the next few months! Stay golden!