Monthly Archives: September 2017

Hot Bacon Slaw

This is a really great side to any dish, who am I kidding. Bacon makes everything delicious. This is quick and easy, it’s a go to of mine when I have loads of cabbage growing in my garden. It also happens to be sugar, dairy, and wheat free.
1 cabbage
1/2 pound of bacon
1-2 cloves of garlic diced
1 inch chunk (give or take) of ginger diced
Chop the bacon into bite size pieces and fry in a pan over medium high heat. While it is cooking stir as needed and chop the cabbage into long thin slices. Cut the cabbage in half and then slice as thinly as you can length wise. Once the bacon is mostly cooked add the cabbage. Finely chop the garlic and peel and finely chop the ginger. Once the cabbage is soft add garlic and ginger to pan. Stir everything together, once the cabbage is soft and tastes good it’s ready. Enjoy!
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My First Backyard Chicken Butcher

I killed, cleaned and ate my first chicken from my backyard, in total it took about an hour. It was much better not having to do it alone, my brother Anthony and I watched a few How To videos on You Tube. We had been talking about it for a couple of weeks, it had to be done as soon as possible.

We had 11 chickens and 5 of them were Roosters. I’m brand new at raising backyard chickens, my best friend wanted to hatch chicks with her kids so we agreed on 2 dozen eggs, knowing they would not all hatch. They brought us 13 chicks at 4 weeks old. We lost 2 the first day, that’s a long story.

Last week a couple of the roosters ganged up on one and killed a rooster. That’s when we really thought it was time to deal with the roosters. The hen’s are old enough to lay eggs and they haven’t started yet, I think it’s because of the mean roosters, they pick on them too.

We prepared ourselves to butcher the roosters. We picked an area out of the way and set up a table, ran the hose, found a big pot, and Anthony made a cone out of metal and tape and drilled it to a tree. It seemed the easiest way we saw in the videos to slit the throat and let the blood drain.

We were chasing chickens in every direction in the back yard, it was the meanest chicken I really wanted to get. Cornered him and caught him, he gave up really easily. He laid on ground when there was no where else to go and once I grabbed his feet and carried him upside down to the site the struggle was over, he was calm.

The cone wasn’t really the right size, his head didn’t come out the end like it was supposed to. Anthony loosened the cone until the head stuck out. We both said thank you for the sacrifice. Anthony cut the throat, from the front. Once the cut was made the body jolted around with enough force to bust through the tape holding the cone together, but it wasn’t that secure since we were adjusting the size. Anthony picked it up and just held it over the a bucket, he asked me to cut the head off the rest of the way.

My heart was beating really hard. We had done it, now we had to prepare it to eat. It was also our dinner plan.

I boiled the pot of water on the stove, it was still too hot. 145 degrees F is what we wanted, to not burn ourselves while pulling the feathers. We added water from the hose until the temperature was right. Dunked the whole body for 10 seconds, shook the water off gently, dunked it again for another few seconds, started pulling the feathers. They came out real easy, there is just a lot of them. When you think about eating it, there is more desire to do a good job and really clean it up.

The actual butchering was the hardest part. Disconnecting the feed sack was a real challenge, everything feels slimy inside and we didn’t really know what we were feeling for to loosen it up and disconnect. The videos made it look really easy. We made all the right cuts, until it came to the rear end, the very first slice cut the poop tube. The thing the video said not to do. We just cut more around it and reached further down to pull it out, without contamination. I reached in and pulled all the guts and organs out, Anthony said he couldn’t fit his hand in, I could just get my hand in and it was tight and the body was warm. I scrapped and pulled the best that I could, identifying the organs as they were coming out.

We tuned on the BBQ and cut it into pieces, figuring it would be best to cook it in pieces so we can get inside and see how we did. I did pretty well at getting the insides out, but not perfect there were still some unidentifiable guts inside, but all the organs had been removed.

We ate our BBQ chicken with roasted potatoes from our garden and a salad with greens all from the garden.

I never appreciated a meal more. The chicken was amazing and I felt good about doing this myself. This chicken lived its best life, and followed its natural course. I thought about some of the people who told me they could never actually kill and butcher a chicken, but they eat meat. That doesn’t seem fair. I feel like I just earned my right to eat good well taken care of chicken.


Roasted Nuts & Sugar Cravings

This is one of my favourite snack recipes that I found while doing the 10 day sugar detox. I keep it handy when thinking about cutting back or giving up sugar for a while, like the 72 Hour Sugar Free Challenge starting this Monday.

When I crave sugar I find it helpful to deal with cravings by eating good fat and drinking water or herbal tea.

A craving means our body needs something, 90% of the time it’s water. We will also get cravings when our body needs vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Sugar has totally changed the game, we have been brainwashed by sugar. Our brains get addicted to sugar and instead of craving what we really need, the brain just wants sugar. Which makes cravings very confusing.

So try some water or herbal tea first. If that craving is not going away a good fat snack will give your body the energy it might be craving. If it’s still there try something naturally sweet like fruit. If the craving still does not go away, and you made a good effort, satisfy the craving with something sweet. Ice cream or chocolate are my go to’s, be aware of how much does it take to feel satisfied? This is something to experiment with and bring your awareness towards.

I really do love this easy to make roasted nut recipe.


Roasted Mixed Nuts

4 1/2 cups of mixed nuts
3 table spoons of coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. In  large bowl combine coconut oil and spices, if the coconut oil is not a liquid microwave for 30 sec until it is. Pour the mixed nuts  into the bowl to coat in the oil and spices. Spread the nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 min, stirring and tossing occasionally until lightly toasted. Cool and enjoy. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutritional Analysis per serving (1/4 cup nuts): Calories 206; Fat 19g, Saturated Fat 4 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Fiber 3 g; Protein 5g; Carbohydrates 8g; Sodium 66 mg

If you want to shed some unwanted weight and feel energized, join my free challenge. 72 HOUR SUGAR FREE CHALLENGE. Starts Monday. Sign up below.


Ice Cream Today. 72 Hour Sugar Free Challenge Monday!

We are just a few days from the 72 hour Sugar Free Challenge, are you on the fence? It won’t cost you anything and it’s a great way to listen to your body.

How does it feel in your body, what do you need, what does your body want?

I’m not perfect at eating healthy all the time. I’ve come a long way though and I am so much better at listening to my body. I get sugar cravings almost every day, I can fight it with drinking water and fatty or fruity snacks, or I just give in and eat the ice cream. I’ve eaten quite a bit of ice cream this summer, I love it when I’m eating it than I notice small cramps in my stomach and  then the tiredness. I will yawn all afternoon and feel sluggish, if I fight the craving and don’t give in I don’t get as tired in the afternoon. Just my personal observation.

Ice cream

Knowing this, I still eat the ice cream a couple of times a week. My day job I’m the Assistant Manager at a local marina and we serve ice cream. I love ice cream and when I’m serving ice cream a lot I can’t help eating it. SO I do, I don’t feel guilty for it, I am aware of the trade off of the short sugar high for the sluggish afternoon. I just try to not eat it everyday. Everything in moderation.

This challenge is about tuning in to your body and understanding how you feel related to what you eat. We are all so busy all the time, how often do you check in with yourself? Before it’s too late and you are sick and have to slow down and take care of yourself.

Being in tuned with your body and knowing how to fuel it to feel vibrant is so wonderful. That is what I want to help you with.

The 72 Hour Sugar Free Challenge kit will provide you with options for meals and snacks so if you are wondering what the heck you’ll be able to eat. If you want to feel your best in your body getting aware of hidden sugar and what it does to you is the place to start.

Join me Monday!


How Long Do You Want to Live?

I want to live a long and healthy life, I want to see 100. My grandparents got no where close, it has been a huge motivating factor to get control of my health now and learn how to feel my best.

For centuries people have been seeking out the meaning of life; talking with the people in my life I’ve come up with it is all about feeling good. Of course there is more to it, but simplifying it (which we all need to simplify and slow down) we just want to feel good. 


 You know what they say, “We are what we eat”. If you are like me, you are not always paying attention to how you feel and relating it to food? I’m coming to find this is very important and contemplating more when I’m getting hungry and in the search of food. How will this food make me feel after I eat it, will it sustain me? 

 These thoughts have led me to a fantastic book by Dan Buettner called the Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest. Dan is an national geographic author who traveled the world to five “blue zones” where communities have a higher than average population to live to be one hundred and older. He went to explore why and has discovered secret trends in his interviews with centenarians to longevity and a happier, healthier life. They really resonated with me and I would like to share them with you. 

 Lessons from the Blue Zones:

 1. Move naturally. Incorporate movement in your everyday life. A walk everyday is the best thing you can do for your body. Working out and exercise are not as important as gentle consistent activity. For all the centenarians in Buettner’s book activity was just a part of their everyday life, gardening, walking to town, chopping wood, doing regular household chores. 

 2. Mindful Eating = calorie reduction. The majority of us eat too much, we consume on average 20% more calories than our bodies need and they get stored as fat if we don’t burn them off. One of the Blue Zones is in Okinawa, Japan, and every centenarian interviewed there said Hara Hachi Bu before eating. It means stop eating when the stomach is 80% full. Okinawans stop eating when they no longer feel hungry, typical Americans stop eating when they feel full. There is a time lapse between the stomach communicating with the brain when we are full. There is a big difference between  no longer being hungry and being full, by time we feel full we’ve already overeaten by 20%. The continued over eating is detrimental to our health. None of the centenarians had ever been on a diet, it’s not about controlling your food, but listening to your body. 

 3. Avoid processed food and limit meat. Food processing strips away the natural nutrients and fibre of food, making it less digestable and harder on the body. Meat is not bad for us, it is an excellent source of protein. However it also has a lot of fat and calories, so in the amounts that average Americans eat it in, is not good for us. Adults only need 0.8 grams of protein for every one kilogram or 2.2 pounds of body weight, approximately 50-80 grams of protein per day. There are healthier foods with protein in them. The staple foods of all the blue zones are beans, whole grains, and fresh vegetables. Buettner found that the most impressive of all longevity foods are nuts, 3-7 servings of nuts a week decreases the rate of heart disease. 

 4. Red wine in moderation. Most centenarians of the blue zones had a daily drink of beer, wine, or spirits which may have health benefits, but in moderation is key! It was always part of a social setting and no more than two drinks. The health benefits are only received if it is consistent and small amount, since an excessive amount of alcohol is detrimental to the liver, organs, and brain. Red wine is best because of the artery scrubbing polyphenols. 

 5. Have a life purpose. All the centenarians could articulate why they wake up in the morning. For many it was for their family, others it was obligations to the community, others it was rituals and routines. Cultivate your passions have a mission in life. Get lost is your hobbies and recreation. Something I’ve studied heavily in university is the sense of “flow” coined by Dr. Csikszentmihalyi meaning enjoy what your doing so much that you lose a sense of time and worry and experience enjoyment, freedom, skills, and fulfillment. 

 6. Downshift.  This one is so important, you must be able to relieve stress. Take time for your self, even just moments to appreciate the view. Slow down. Stress causes inflammation in the body and all disease begins with inflammation. The best advice offered from Raffaella at 107 years old, from the Sardinian village of Arzana, an Italian island, “life is short. Don’t run so fast you miss it.” A great way of doing this that I would like to make an effort at is meditation. It’s new to me, we all need to start somewhere, but meditation allows us to see the world as it really is and create clarity in our lives. 

 7. Belong and participate in a spiritual community. All religions allow for scheduled self-reflection, decompression, and stress relief. There is an accountability associated with religious communities, a code of behaviour that leads to positive expectations developing an increased self worth. 

 8. Loved ones first. Make family a priority they are a necessary support system. The young keep the old young. It’s important to cultivate family relationships and strengthen those bonds. Families provide incomparable care. Create rituals with your family, have a meal together everyday, see the grandparents once a week. These relationships are proven to keep the mind sharp. 

 9. Right Tribe. This last secret I find very interesting, it is about the influence the people in your life have on you.”It’s much easier to adopt good habits when everyone around you is already practicing them.” Social connectedness will make you live longer and get the most enjoyment out of life. I find this true in my own life, I met my best friends in college and university. None of us live in the same community but we keep close touch, get together and they challenge me to do things I wouldn’t do on my own. I’m so lucky to have these positive life loving friends to have adventures and many laughs with. Surround your self with the positive.

 We are in control of our lives and have  the choice to determine what kind of lives we live. The Blue Zones present two options, “We can live a shorter life with more years of disability, or we can live the longest possible life with the fewest bad years.”  I’ve been thinking a lot about what is a good life, quality is more important to me than quantity, but Buettner has given us the secrets to have both.

If you are interested enough in living a long happy life to make it to the end of this post I have one more proposal for you. The centurions in the Blue Zones live on a whole foods diet, this is important to how they feel. As North Americans we have developed an addiction to sugar, it is hidden every where, have you looked?


It’s just 3 days with no added sugar, you can handle it, I will help you.



I highly recommend The Blue Zones to anyone who has considered what it takes to live a long, healthy, happy life. How long do you want to live? Take the quiz at the blue zones website to find how long you are expected to live.