Category Archives: Breakfast

How to Lose 7+ Pounds in Two Weeks… Mall-Walking!

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Weight Release Update #1 – I have the same New Years’ Resolution as most people… to take off a bit of weight. 2012 was a rough year for me, and having just recovered from surgery last Fall, I was keen to get moving again.

Like Nike says... "JUST DO IT" - strap on your runners and go!

Like Nike says… “JUST DO IT” – strap on your runners and go!

So I hit the ground ‘walking’ on January 2nd, and so far I’ve logged  45 kms of walk-time in a nice warm environment – at the mall, NOT the gym. I’ve been meaning for weeks to post about this Resolution, and to introduce some of my “weight-release” strategies to my readers – so here goes…

I was quite successful three years ago in losing 50+ pounds, but due to some pesky, ongoing health issues, it’s time for me to re-commit to staying in shape.

To better describe my philosophy of weight release vs. weight loss, you have to think of what you want to do when you lose something – like your car keys, or your wallet.

You keys and wallet are important things to find if you've lost them, but extra pounds... they can stay lost in my books.

Your keys and wallet are important things to find if you’ve lost them, but extra pounds… they can stay lost in my books.

You really want to find them again, and put them in your pocket, don’t you? So why do we call it Weight Loss? Do you REALLY want to find those pounds again??? I think not. So this year I’m practicing a mind shift on my self-talk, and selecting to release my extra weight, with the hopes that I will never, ever find it again!

As I’m not much of a gym-joining type of person, I decided to think ‘outside the box’ in regards to my daily fitness routine. I was invited by a very active girlfriend to mall-walk before Christmas. I SO enjoyed the experience that I thought I’d make mall-walking my new, four times a week habit. So here’s my story on how I lost 7+ pounds in the first two weeks of 2013.

On January 2nd at 7am, I walked through the doors of Winnipeg’s Polo Park Mall, not knowing what to expect. But I knew “if it was going to be, it was up to me”.

I’ve never been shy of meeting strangers, or of doing stuff by myself, so it was with a positive attitude, a friendly smile on my face, and my trusty pedometer that I set off on a new fitness adventure. I checked my coat, slipped in my iPhone ear buds, and took off for a couple laps around the mall.

Did you know that the upstairs “track” at Polo Park Mall
measures 0.5 miles from Moxies to The Bay?

Most local Winnipeggers may not know that Polo Park Mall opens at 7am for mall-walking. You can actually go in and see what happens in the mall in the mornings before the stores open for business – I find it all so fascinating.

Plus you can’t beat the scenery! Window-shopping AND exercising together in one package – sweet! If you’re like me, then striding along on a treadmill, even with a TV to watch, is only interesting for so long. But every day at the mall the windows change, the people change, but the temperature stays constant. AND as a bonus you can learn all about the sales that are happening!

As I’ve already stated, so far in 2013, I’ve walked 45 kms – that’s more than a marathon(42.2kms). Thinking back, I probably didn’t log 45 kms of exercise in all of 2012!

I walk between 45 and 75 minutes per day, about 2 to 4 miles. My current record is 7,795 steps in 75 minutes, which is about 4.18 miles, but my goal is 10,000 steps on each visit. Will you take this challenge with me?

The length of my walk and my motivation depends on my mood, my playlist, and my upcoming morning schedule. But after weighing in last Wednesday, for the 1st time since New Years Day, I was shocked to see that I’d already released 7.4lbs by adopting these five new habits along with my mall-walking. And that was totally motivating to go the extra mile – literally!

So if you like walking, and want to shed a few pounds before the weather here in Winnipeg warms up, please consider joining the Polo Park Mall Walkers Club on Facebook, and come out a few mornings a week to join in the camaraderie. This group is open to everyone, of all ages – the mall-walkers at Polo Park are a very friendly bunch.

We meet upstairs, above centre court, at Club Monaco at 7am Monday to Thursday mornings. If that time doesn’t work for your schedule, then pop into the mall before opening any morning, including Saturdays. They are open to the public for mall-walking 6 days a week at 7am, it’s also easy on your pocketbook if you conclude your walk before 10am when the stores open. And if Polo Park isn’t convenient, then call your local mall and see if they have a mall-walking program, and if not, suggest it to them. Hope to see you at the mall!

Coming Monday: Weight Release Update #2 – Adopt Five New Habits This Month

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Please enjoy my Weight Release Updates, in addition to my healthier LunchFor1 posts.
I hope that my suggestions can help you to shed a few pounds in 2013.

Please keep me posted on your own progress via Twitter, on my Facebook Page,
or by subscribing and following me on my blog. Followers of my blog
will be eligible for special contests which I will reveal soon.

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And feel free to  share your own success stories about your
New Years Resolution and exercise tips in the Comments area below.

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Super Easy Salsa

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One of the potluck items I was constantly being asked to bring to work by my co-workers years ago was my Epicure Selections’ Poco Picante Salsa. This SUPER easy Salsa recipe is great for a quick snack, or to add spiciness to any dish you have on the stove for dinner.

This salsa is SO easy and SO delicious that you won't ever buy pre-made salsa again

This salsa is SO easy and SO delicious that you won’t buy pre-made salsa again

Super Easy Salsa

1 – 796mL can Diced Tomatoes

Juice of 1/2 Fresh Lime

2 tbsp Epicure Selections Poco Picante Salsa Mix

Nacho Chips

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1. Drain the can of tomatoes, but catch the tomato juice
as it’s great to cook rice in tomorrow.

2. Place tomatoes, salsa mix and the lime juice into
your food processor and pulse 5 times.

3. Re-drain the salsa one more time, and serve.

It’s really that easy.

Other uses for this salsa…

– Add to cooked rice or quinoa to create a spicy side dish

– Use with your favourite Mexican recipes like my Beef Tacos

– Use as a pasta sauce for a spicy, Italian-Mexican fusion dish

– Marinade and cook chicken breasts in this Salsa

– Use at breakfast with your favourite egg dish

What do you love Salsa on top of?
Are you a fan of the hot stuff? Or do you prefer a more mild Salsa?

Healthy Chai Tea Coconut Loaf

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Healthy Chai Tea Coconut Loaf

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I want to trim down a bit while at the same time enjoying some of my usual favourites in new and healthy ways. Everyone loves a piece of breakfast loaf, however those recipes usually contain tons of fat, carbs and therefore calories – and let’s not mention how much worse the Starbucks, Tim’s and coffee shop treats are for you. However, this recipe has a nice blend of spice, sweetness, fibre all wrapped up in a really great,moist taste. This is a figure-friendly recipe that I absolutely love as it uses no butter nor oil. The batter smells heavenly even before you bake the loaf!

This is a simple, quick and healthy loaf to make

This is a simple, quick and healthy loaf to make

Chai Coconut Loaf
(yields 9 slices)

DRY:
1/3 cups of Quick-Cook Rolled Oats
(or whatever type of oats you have on hand)
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, minced*
3/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar (or 1-1/2 cup regular brown sugar)
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut, unsweetened

You probably have most of these ingredients on hand in your cupboard right now

You probably have most of these ingredients on hand in your cupboard right now

* TIP: I like to peel my fresh ginger and freeze it in a Ziploc bag.
For recipes like this it makes grating a 1/2 teaspoon very easy.

WET:
1 cup Chai Tea, steeped 5 minutes
1/3 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
1 tablespoon Vinegar
1/2 unsweetened Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Vanilla

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1. Preheat oven to 350*F

2. Place all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, and stir together.

3. Add all wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Combine until just mixed as this is a quick bread so you don’t want to over-mix, or you will get a hard, tough loaf.

4. Grease loaf pan by spraying it quickly with Pam.

This loaf does not rise very much, so feel free to fill the pan right up

This loaf does not rise very much, so feel free to fill the pan right up

TIP: Dress up this loaf for Brunch by doubling the recipe, and baking it in a Bundt Pan. Simply adjust the baking time accordingly.

5. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into it comes out clean.

6. Slice and serve as-is without butter or margarine as the flavour is great. It’s best served warm by the way. It’s great after a 10-second refresher in the microwave.

Lots of fibre and tasty goodness in this 'slice of health'

Lots of fibre and tasty goodness in this ‘slice of health’

This loaf freezes wonderfully too! You may want to double this recipe and make two loaves, because you will love this guilt-free treat as a breakfast item or snack. TIP: I freeze the slices individually for quick breakfasts on the go.

What is your favourite loaf to bake?
How do you think you could make your usual version more healthy?

Mama’s French Toast for Lunch? Why Not?!?

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Mama’s French Toast for Lunch? Why Not?!?

Every household has a unique way to make French Toast – right? I didn’t know this until a galpal offered to make me French Toast one morning about 20 years ago, and she added Cinnamon – YUCK!

My Mama always made my favourite breakfast using just Nutmeg. So needless to say I’ve insisted on Nutmeg throughout the past 20+ years, much to the chagrin of my husband, who is also a Cinnamon fan.

PLUS… Mom loved Roger’s Golden Syrup and used it often on both her late night snack of Corn Flakes, and also on our mutual favourite breakfast – Mama’s French Toast.

So that is what I was brought up to use on my French Toast – not Maple Syrup or any reasonable facsimile (I insist on honey on my Pancakes) It’s pretty rare for me to order French Toast when I’m out at a restaurant for breakfast, and for all these reasons I prefer to make my fav at home.

Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to improve on an old favourite…

I used to drag out my full-sized, electric griddle just to make my special breakfast, which made it something that only happened every once in a while.

Plus I only made French Toast for 2 or more people, and never just as a treat for myself. This Spring, I discovered that I could use my Excalibur-coated frying pan on the stove, and get the same effect as pulling out my griddle.

Now I could have French Toast for One, and today I missed Breakfast due to being engrossed in the Summer Olympics (Mens’ Gymnastics All Around), I decided to make myself French Toast for lunch.

Mama’s Gold Medal French Toast

2 Eggs (well beaten)

¼ cup Milk

1 tsp.  White Sugar (well almost)

½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg (or a couple shakes)

2 slices* White Bread, Thick Sliced (2 to 3 days old works best)

1-2 tbsp.  Butter (!!!)

Roger’s Golden Syrup

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STEP 1: Using an appropriate sized bowl, I cracked the two eggs in first,
and whipped them up for a minute

STEP 2: Next I added a couple of dollops of skim milk (about a ¼ cup, or less)
just to change the colour and consistency of the eggs

STEP 3: Then I shook in some nutmeg, and add a small spoonful of sugar,
and whipped it all up a bit more

STEP 4: Melt a tablespoon (or two) in your “Teflon” frying pan
over medium-high heat until bubbly

STEP 5: Dip your bread into the egg mixture,
and place them into your pre-heated pan

STEP 6: Watching closely… cook until nicely browned on each side flipping once
to brown each side. Add extra butter, if required

STEP 7: Drizzle with corn syrup and enjoy!

*This recipe would probably make up to 4 slices if you were
really, really hungry, or were using thinly sliced bread

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Today, I had also added some fresh Saskatoon Berries, which were a rare find at my local, independent grocer.

Usually, I’m a purist and don’t like anything other than Bacon with my French Toast…
but today’s addition totally made this impromptu meal into a Gold Medal Plate for me!

What do you use in your family’s French Toast recipe? Cinnamon or Nutmeg? Maple Syrup or Corn Syrup?
(Please weigh in below)

Mini Banana Bread Loaves (and mini muffins)

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Mini Banana Bread Loaves (and mini muffins)

Happy Belated Easter! I had the pleasure of hosting my octogenarian Father for his annual Spring visit. It was an opportunity for The Not So Desperate Housewife to transform into the Overachieving Daughter – can anyone else relate? I so enjoyed spoiling my Father! We don’t see him throughout the Winter months as neither of us like to drive the 5 hours on the Trans-Canada Highway through temperamental (and unpredictable) Winter weather conditions.

This 82-year old man is an amazing individual (I’m not just saying that because he’s my Dad), and I can only hope that in another 40 years that I have half as much energy, verve and get up and go as my Dad does. As an added bonus, we had the pleasure of viewing Dad’s Spring 2012 Abstract Painting Collection which he tucked into his minivan. Now with these 43 original pieces of art my next endeavour is to host an Art Show & Giveaway featuring these latest works with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the United Way of Winnipeg. It’s part of my family’s giving back belief system in a charity for which my mother and myself worked for many years. For more information about the Monday, April 30th Art Show at Joe Black Coffee Bar (and to view all the paintings available), please visit www.ColeshawArtGallery.com

John Coleshaw demonstrating his art while teaching his first Abstract Painting class in Winnipeg - April 7, 2012

But this blog is about food and not art…

For the past 6 days I have spent many, many, maaaannnnyyy hours in the kitchen creating a variety of meals for my husband and Father to celebrate the Easter holiday. We don’t have a lot of traditions or ‘must have’ foods like some families, so the menus were pretty easy to plan as the boys are quite easy to please. Some of the foods that we enjoyed included:

  • Cookies: Chocolate Bourbon Balls, Peanut Butter Kisses, and Snickerdoodles
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Poppy Seed Cake
  • Blueberry Muffins
  • Borscht
  • Plum-Glazed Pork Tenderloin Kebabs
  • Hot Wings
  • Prime Rib & Yorkshire Pudding
  • Sun-dried Tomato Hummus
  • Hoisin-Soaked Turkey Meatballs!!!

But by special request my Father asked me to make him some of my Banana Bread pointing to a bunch of overripe bananas on my counter – waste not, want not… And I realized that I’ve taken up the reins from my mother who began using this recipe in the early 80’s (before passing away in 1989), and that it’s become a family favourite over the years.

Unfortunately I didn’t take all the traditional blog photos along the way as the boys had taken the camera on their pilgrimage to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. So a fancier, end-product photo will have to do this time…

Next time try creating different shapes from your usual Loaf recipes. These Minis make for easier individual consumption for those who live alone

Our Family’s Favourite Banana Bread Recipe

Yield: 2 regular loaves, or 10 mini loaves AND 24 mini muffins

2 cups Sugar

1 cup Butter

6 Over-ripe Bananas, mashed (about 3 cups)

4 Eggs, well beaten

2-1/2 cups Flour

2 tablespoons Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice

1 cup each of Optional Additions – Golden Raisins, Chopped Walnuts, Chopped Pecans

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1. Preheat oven to 350*F

2. With Kitchenaid Mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, add sugar and beat for about a minute

3. Add mashed bananas and beaten eggs – combine til well mixed

4. Measure dry ingredients into large measuring cup and gradually add it to your wet ingredients

TIP: Do NOT over-mix, or you will end up with bricks for muffins – this is a quick bread, so only combine ingredients until your flour disappears

As for the Optional Additions… I split the batch in half and did the First Batch of Mini Loaves three ways. A half-pan of plain for my husband (he’s picky), then folded in some walnuts for a half pan just for me, and then added raisins to produce some extra-special ones for my Pops. Then with the Second Batch of Mini Muffins, I did a half pan of raisin, and a half pan of raisin-pecan. If you plan it right you can keep this all to just one bowl AND please everyone, while creating many variations on the theme. To identify them later I put an “indicator” (i.e. raisin for the raisin versions) on top of each loaf/muffin before baking.

5. Spray baking pans of your choice with Pam, or lightly greased with butter – I don’t like using muffin liners anymore

6. Add batter to pans until they are 3/4 full

TIP: Once again I pull out my “Martha” medium-sized gelato scoop to use for uniform mini muffins

7. For baking: two regular loaves will take 45 minutes to 1 hour. For mini loaves bake about 22 minutes. For mini muffins bake approximately 13 minutes.

8. Test with a toothpick for doneness before removing from the oven.

9. Cool on wire racks.

TIP: These freeze beautifully! And I prefer to freeze the mini versions on a cookie sheet before placing into a Ziploc bag.

From my Family to yours… I hope that this recipe becomes a favourite that you too bake regularly!