Make eating an experience (preferably a good one!)

Another day, another post about one of my favourite activities – eating.

Eating is something we all do and it can be very comforting and rewarding. By choosing the right foods to eat, you can improve your health, your attitude and your overall happiness and outlook in life.

I was always of the mind that food is about the moment – the taste and the satisfaction you get from mowing down (or inhaling without really tasting anything). Since I’ve made some changes in my life, food has become more about the experience – not only what I feel while I’m eating but also what I feel when I’m cooking and afterward, when I enjoy the benefits of what I just ate.

I was chatting with a friend about this recently. She explained that she takes time to cut up her morning fruit, admiring their textures and colours. We talked about how preparing food can be just as rewarding as eating it. Taking the time to admire what you’re working with, and to know what you’re putting in the meal you’re about to eat puts your brain on the right track (not quite the same track you head down when peeling back the plastic film of a Hungry Man dinner.) A friend shared the picture below on Facebook and I thought it was pretty neat. You never know about information that circulates on social media but this seems legit from the little I know (and I think we can all agree that eating any of this stuff can only benefit you!)

Fruits and veggies - benefits

I just want to eat all of this. And is that man’s middle name seriously ‘Avocado’? Must be related to Gweneth Paltrow…

To me, eating better is not about cutting out everything you find delicious and replacing it with a salad. It’s about striking a balance and making sure you stick to nutritious foods more often. It’s so easy and I wish I had started sooner, but there ya go.

Jim and I experimented with a one-pot noodle recipe this past week that was so EASY and so delicious, it is a MUST share. The one-pot sesame peanut noodle & vegetable took me about 20 minutes to prep for and cooks in 9. This is a perfect meal for a busy family looking for something healthy, hearty and just plain delicious! And I love the idea of throwing everything in one pot – it’s easy for people like me who aren’t great multi-taskers and it also makes for an easy clean-up!

I actually made this recipe on Saturday night, rather than ordering a pizza. I can’t explain how much more satisfied my belly, mind and wallet were after this meal was consumed!

On the subject of food experiences, my brother wrote to me this week about a happy one that I thought I would share with you:

I worked a legit 13 hours yesterday and I invited a few random people over for spaghetti. I assumed because it was late, nobody would show – but they all did. I made them dinner and watched them socialize in my living room. When it came time to serve, I didn’t have enough plates and cutlery so I had to ask my neighbour for some. I was exhausted but watching those people enjoy my food and hospitality was phenomenal. Nothing beats doing good things for others – and with good food to boot!

There are countless benefits to food when you make it an experience instead of a chore. I promise you that you will feel better if you eat an orange for a snack instead of a doughnut or granola bar. And you might just feel a little better too if you share your snack or dinner with someone you enjoy. 🙂

Share your happy food experiences below – I would love to hear them!

Oh and, just because, here’s a pic of two of my favourite animals on the planet, Bear and Athena. Enjoy the cuteness overload!

Bear and Athena enjoying a lazy Saturday

Bear and Athena enjoying a lazy Saturday

*******Change is good, Donkey*******

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Family, friends, food and fart jokes

Man, has it ever been cold this week! And the snow! Wow. I’ve been living in this city for ten years now (double wow) and I can’t think of too many winters when we had this much in such a short period of time. Fun fact – the first winter I spent in Nova Scotia happened to be the year we were hit with White Juan. It was a great way to kick off our first school year – we got 11 snow days! Growing up in Alberta, I had never had one. 2004 was an A OK year.

So far 2015 has been more than an A OK year. It is nothing short of amazing what healthy eating and regular exercise can do to improve your life – Every. Single. Day! For example, the dramatic increase in patience has been more than apparent these last few days as traffic and cruddy driving have been exacerbated by the bad weather. Although I’m still upset at the folks who foolishly put other’s lives at risk because they are too lazy to clean the snow and ice off the top of their vehicles, I’m not carrying that anger with me anymore. See how NOT ANGRY I am?? 🙂

Another weekend flew by due to copious amounts of fun. I spent Friday evening with a dear friend who introduced me to Pho soup and provided lots of great chats and laughter. My evenings always fly by in her company – isn’t that the best? I also spent some of my time over the break to make some more yummy food including another vegetarian baked ziti and a frittata with potato and onion (so easy to make and great for breakfast!)

Baked ziti, frittata, and Bear (just because he's so cute)

Baked ziti, frittata, and Bear (just because he’s so cute)

I’ve been working-out pretty steadily since my first couple of sessions with James and I’m already seeing results (my biceps are ALMOST as big as Schwarzenegger’s). Trust me, once you see me in my T-shirts this summer, you’ll all be like:

WHAAAAA?? WOOOWWWW!!

WHAAAAA?? IS THAT YOU SACHA?? WOOOWWWW!!

Today, my back and neck hurt but that’s likely due to the insane amount of shoveling I’ve done over the past couple of days. I have to give a shout out to my dad who was an enormous help to us during Monday/Tuesday’s storm. He was outside at the crack of dawn shoveling the two feet or so we had piled in the driveway while James and I took advantage of a sleep-in day. Parents are unbelievable people, aren’t they? In the end, I did get outside to help him and I’ve found that I can make it fun by singing this song in my head:

This is hilarious, especially if you've watched the movie. (If you haven't, you're clearly not from the planet Earth.)

This is hilarious, especially if you’ve watched the movie. (If you haven’t, you’re clearly not from the planet Earth.)

I’m thankful today for the amazing family and friends that I have – including my most beautiful and amazing niece who I get to pick up from daycare today! I’m so excited to see her little face in just 4 hours. And I’m thankful that I’ve found the will, neigh, the bravery, to make such huge changes in my life and keep up with them for more than three hours. Ok, so I just wanted to find a way to get bravery in here so I could share this joke with you that I found this morning:

What is the definition of bravery?

A person with diarrhea chancing a fart.

Family, friends, food and fart jokes. Life is just absolutely beautiful, isn’t it?

*******Change is good, Donkey*******