Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Spring Cleaning - Bathroom

I've never really understood the concept of spring cleaning. Growing up, the house always got cleaned over the summer while all the kids were home and bored. As an adult in the last few years, I've never had the drive to suddenly clean my house just because it's spring. Possibly because every spring has come with a huge change. Three years ago, I got engaged and moved between winter and summer. Two years ago, we moved into our house in April, so we did lots of cleaning of our apartment, but not because it was spring. Last year, I was diagnosed in February, and had a huge job change coming in May, so I didn't really ever find the time to clean.

This year, I've spent the last few weeks looking around our house and making a mental list of everything I want cleaned. We got news about a month ago that my husband would be laid off, and I started hoping he would organize, sort, and scrub the house while he was home. He started a new job Monday, and none of my hopeful cleaning happened. (He did do a few projects in the garage and catch up on dishes, though.)

I just kept walking through the house and hating how every inch of it looked. I felt the need to purge. I wanted to take a giant garbage bag to every room, and spend a solid week finding every flat surface again. I was itching to be surrounded by clean, well-lit spaces. And you know what? It might be spring that did this to me! I might be, for the first time ever, filled with spring cleaning! I think I get it!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Hi, I'm a Spoonie

Hi, I'm a spoonie*.

I suffer from a chronic illness that affects me every single day. It changes how I approach tasks in my life, people in my life, and most of all, myself.

I can't explain why I'm sick so I try not to let on that I am.

I have a hard time explaining exactly how I feel, because feeling this way has become so common that I forget that most people don't feel this way.

I don't look sick, so I insist that I'm not.

There is nothing you can do to make less sick, so I don't want you to know how sick I am.

And, most importantly, my energy is a very tangible thing that comes and goes. Tasks cost a certain amount of energy, and I am sometimes forced to pick and choose what I can get done. I'm always a spoonie; my energy is always a tangible thing that I must ration out. Tasks always cost energy. However, some days I have more than enough. I don't even think about it. On good days, I wake up, get stuff done, and go non-stop. Other days, I sleep in my clothes because climbing the stairs to go to bed took the last of what energy I had. There are mornings that I wake up and I just know right away, that it is going to be a "low spoons day"; That I quite simply do not and will not have enough energy to get through everything the day is going to throw at me.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Quick Meals: One Pan Lunch

I love breakfast foods, but I very rarely eat breakfast, so what I really love is breakfast for dinner. Or lunch. You know, I think I'm in love with lunch. At lunch, you can eat breakfast or dinner or whatever you please and nobody judges you. Roast beef for lunch? Cool. Waffles with whip cream? Okay. Peanut butter sandwich? Awesome. See? Nobody cares. Lunch is the best meal of the day.

However, most people don't have a lot of time for lunch. I know I'm lucky by being able to go home every day for lunch, but I still have a limited time to prepare and consume lunch.

When you combine the love of breakfast with the lack of time, you end up with bacon. Bacon and eggs. Neither take very long to cook, and they're whole, real and a part of most clean-eating diets. I add in a potato patty because I'm still a little old-school and I like to see carbs as a part of my meals. Amazingly, I discovered that one egg, one potato patty and two slices of bacon all fits in one pan.

I add the bacon to a dry, heated pan, and let some of the fat come out, and then add the egg and patty so that they cook in bacon grease. Oh, so healthy, hmm? I like to cook my egg sunny side up or over easy and then soak up the yolk with my potato patty.

I like this meal because it's about limits. I can only cook two slices of bacon and one egg, even though my brain says I want two eggs and three slices of bacon. Also, without any added oil, salt or sugar (besides whatever the potato patty was processed with...), it is very nearly a clean eating meal! (Most clean-eating or paleo diets restrict potatoes, which is why I haven't managed a paleo diet yet.)

Monday, 17 March 2014

A Day In The Life

I haven't really told you about my daily activities in months, mostly because my life got really boring, and my meals got really repetitive, but I had quite the exciting weekend, so I'll share!

Saturday - I worked at my retail job from 10am-6pm, selling lots of clothes and catching up with my coworkers, who I hardly see.

6pm - I left work and drove straight to Saskatoon. Ate "dinner" on the road. I had a pudding cup and a couple chocolate peanut butter cups.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

Growing up, peanut butter cookies were one of my favourites. They were one of the first things I made by myself, without my mom's help. I loved how easy they were to make, I loved pressing a fork down into the soft dough, I loved the peanut smell that filled the kitchen and I especially loved eating them.

Oddly, peanut butter cookies aren't something I've attempted gluten-free. Until now. And I think "attempted" covers it. 

I followed this recipe which is flourless, dairy-free and easily egg-free.

I started out with such good intentions! Even when I saw things were starting to go wrong, I pressed on and made the little fork indents, but... Well. You'll see.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

BBQ Chicken and Potatoes in a Slow Cooker

When I don't have much time to prep dinner, I steer towards my slow cookers, because I can put something together at lunch and then eat it a few hours later. When I don't plan for something specific (and find ingredients and a recipe), then I fall back on one simple guideline: Potatoes, chicken, flavour. It's simple, low-prep and fool-proof. I usually have chicken and potatoes on hand, whatever flavour I use can vary from spices to sauces, whatever I'm feeling or whatever's handy.

I buy baby potatoes, and we like eating them with the skins on. You could peel and cube larger ones, but slices of potatoes also works well. You want to cover the whole bottom of the pot.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes. I love the flavour, the texture, the colour. I love how they can be dressed up in brown sugar and cinnamon and taste like a desert or be covered in savoury spices and make a great side to a breast of chicken.

[Fun fact: A yam is a plant that grows large starchy tubers, and while sweet potatoes are large, starchy tubers, they are not actually yams, although places in the US call them that. Google it.]