Many years ago I was reading a blog post written by a blogger that I had been following for a while. She wrote about a recent battle with depression and her honest words had such an impact on me. I remember thinking how brave it was for her to tell her story. As much as I hated her going through it, I also remember feeling comfort in her words because it was another reminder that even those we admire and put on a pedestal are human. I was just like ...Wow, it took so much for him to share this. At the time, I was at the start of my blogging journey and thought to myself that I would always try to share my struggles, like she did.
Last week I spoke at the University of Guelph at the Awards of Excellence gala (you can see some photos in my Instagram story!). In my talk, I shared how I have struggled with my mental health, like anxiety, since I was very young, and how it felt debilitating at times in my life. I spoke about how various personal challenges coincided with a career that made me face them head-on. The day before the event, I almost decided to delete my speech and write something easier to tell, but I said screw it up and decided to share it. It was my story! Allowing me to feel shame around my story only gives it power.
After my speech, a man with a warm smile approached me, crouched down next to my chair, and thanked me for my speech. He spoke of a time in his life when he had had mental health issues, and we both had tears in our eyes by the end of our conversation. Another man came later to tell me about his young relative's struggles. That night was another reminder of the power of vulnerability and it left such an impact on me!
It's been a bit of a strange year for me (a year that I can't believe we're already halfway through!). I went through an emotional period during the first few months of the year and found myself in a mild depression. I have lost the joy and the passion for so many things. At times, I couldn't even bring myself to return to messages from friends and family. It makes me emotional to write about it now because the difficult emotions of that time come back so easily. After suffering in silence for 2-3 months, I finally opened up to my friends and family about it and got help. I've been in a much better place since spring. I wanted to be honest about this and let you know what was going on at the time, but I didn't feel strong enough to talk about it while I was in the thick of it.
There was also another reason for my absence and it is something much easier to tell you! I have a third cookbook in the works and have been working on it for about a year and a half now! Alright, alright, I've let this news 'slip' a few times in the blog comments and also in my Instagram DMs, so you might already know that. 😉 I delayed announcing it here because during certain periods of time, well, I wasn't even sure it was going to come to life. When I fell into my depression earlier this year, I lost my passion for almost everything. Creativity and motivation are not things that can be forced, so I just went with the flow and tried to believe that I would feel like myself again.
After working on certain things and starting to feel better, it was like a light bulb was going on in my head. I came to life. I was suddenly thrilled at the idea of creating again. I couldn't get to work fast enough. And since the end of winter, I have picked up where I left off before January and immersed myself in the job that I love so much. Soon after, Eric, Nicole and I started working with our recipe testing group (around 40 amazing testers!), And things turned out better than I could have imagined. The recipes are so delicious… my testers tell me this is my best collection of recipes yet. I'm so proud of it and I'm almost done, only about 1 month away from submitting my manuscript. Once my manuscript is finished, I will dive into food photography, which I will shoot for this 3rd book. I'm a little nervous about taking 100 photos in 2 months, but I'll get there one day at a time! It will be fun to go from creating and writing recipes to something as artistic as photography.
The cookbook will focus on something that you have all requested more and more over the years, and that is more recipes for dinner and lunch! It will mainly focus on savory recipes, with a chapter on desserts of course (how can we not include a chapter on desserts?). It will include food that you will want to prepare for weekday dinners, weekend meals, portable work / school lunches, and holidays and special occasions. Gah. There are so many gems. It's slated for release in fall 2020, so not too long to wait (at least in the publishing world it feels so soon) !! If there is anything you would like to see in the book, leave a comment below and let me know !!
Thank you for listening and supporting through the ups and downs of life. I am so grateful that you are here because I felt like a big failure on the blogging front this year. It's time to shake off the guilt and move on and go up. And if you are reading this and struggling too, I send you all the love in the world and hope you can find a support system!
This is my very first vegan ice cream recipe on the blog (can you believe it ?!), and oh dear me, this is a recipe that we can't stop eating. I've been in a bit of vegan ice cream bender since I bought this Cuisinart ice machine in spring. It's so much easier to use than I thought! Almost too easy.
Happy Canada Day weekend to my Canadian friends! And a happy 4th of July to my American friends! Have a safe, happy and delicious weekend everyone.
8 servings of 1/2 cup
night (bowl of ice cream) + 30 minutes
- 1 lot Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, Split
- 2 cans (14 ounces / 398 ml) whole coconut milk *
- 1/2 cup (105 g) natural cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) smooth natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. 1/2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- Chill the bowl of ice cream in the freezer overnight or for at least 12 hours. This step is very important for the ice cream to thicken properly.
- Prepare the Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. After baking, cool the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer each to a plate. Place in the freezer on a flat surface for at least 25 minutes. As soon as you transfer the cookies to the freezer, get started on the ice cream.
- Add the ice cream ingredients (whole cans of coconut milk, sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt) into a blender and blend for about 8-10 seconds, until smooth (make sure you don't blend for more than 10 seconds, as this may result in the final texture of your ice cream).
- Place the bowl of frozen ice cream in the ice cream maker, insert the churning arm, cover with the lid and turn on the machine (if your ice cream maker instructions are different, please follow the instructions that came with your machine). Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl while it is stirring. Blend for about 22 minutes, until the mixture thickens to a very fine and soft texture.
- After the cookies have been in the freezer for 25 minutes, cut 6 cookies into small, almond-sized pieces. Reserve the remaining 7 cookies, at room temperature, for later.
- After 22 minutes of churning, slowly add the chopped cookies, a handful at a time, to the mixture while the machine is still churning. I like to use a fork to gently push the chopped cookies into the ice cream and help it out. Stir another 5 to 8 minutes, until the ice cream thickens a little more. It will have a thick, soft texture when ready. There will be hardened ice cream along the inside of the bowl ... I like to think of this as extra help from the chef (wink, wink)! Serve immediately, or for a firmer texture, transfer ice cream to a loaf pan or airtight container and spread smooth. At this point, I like to crumble an extra cookie on top (and gently push it into the ice cream) to make it look very appealing, but it's optional. Cover and freeze for 2 hours for firmer ice cream.
- To serve, pour into bowls or ice cream cones. Or, if you're feeling wild, make ice cream sandwiches with the leftover cookies ... oh yes !!
- Storage tip: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 3 to 4 weeks. Be sure to cover the ice cream with a piece of wrap to prevent freezer burns. To soften, let the container sit on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before picking it up.
Do you want to torture a person? Give them an ice cream cone on a hot day and tell them they can't eat it until you take a good photo. bahaha.
to set yourself up for success, think about planning a saine diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting kcal or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious
Start slow and make changes to your eating vêtements over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad ( full of different color vegetables ) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more saine choices to your diet.
Small Changes Matter. Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a saine diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every saine food choice you make counts.
Drink Water. Consider water as one of the central components to your diet. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but a key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation. Despite what certain fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.
Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits. ” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. Later you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in brasseries. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entrée, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms, and start small. Visual cues can help with portion sizes—your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards. A teaspoon of oil or salad dressing is about the size of a matchbook and your slice of bread should be the size of a CD case.
Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate—it is also about how you think about food. Healthy eating vêtements can be learned and it is important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids.
Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating vêtements. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
Chew slowly. Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes, savoring every biroute. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A saine breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day ( rather than the standard three large meals ) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in kcal and nutrient abondant, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.
Greens. Branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options—all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets.
Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.
The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain variétés of cancer and other diseases. And while advertisements abound for supplements promising to deliver the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables in pill or powder form, research suggests that it’s just not the same.
A daily regimen of nutritional supplements is not going to have the same impact of eating right. That’s because the benefits of fruits and vegetables don’t come from a solo vitamin or an isolated antioxidant.
The health benefits of fruits and vegetables come from numerous vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals sérieux together synergistically. They can’t be broken down into the sum of their parts or replicated in pill form.
Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole céréales, for long lasting energy. In addition to being delicious and satisfying, whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Studies have shown people who eat more whole grains tend to have a healthier heart.
Healthy carbs ( sometimes known as good carbs ) include whole céréales, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels durable.
Unhealthy carbs ( or bad carbs ) are foods such as white flour, refined sugar, and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. Unhealthy carbs digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.
Include a variety of whole grains in your healthy diet, including whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley. Experiment with different céréales to find your favorites.
Make sure you’re really getting whole grains. Be aware that the words stone-ground, multi-grain, 100% wheat, or bran can be deceptive. Look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” at the beginning of the ingredient list. In the U. S., check for the Whole Grain Stamps that distinguish between partial whole grain and cent pour cent whole grain.
Try mixing grains as a first step to switching to whole céréales. If whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta don’t sound good at first, start by mixing what you normally use with the whole céréales. You can gradually increase the whole grain to 100%.
Avoid refined foods such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain.
Good sources of saine fat are needed to nourish your brain, heart, and cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA are particularly important and can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood, and help prevent dementia.
Monounsaturated fats, from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts ( like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans ), and seeds ( such as pumpkin, sesame ). Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, flaxseed oils, and walnuts.
Protein gives us the energy to get up and go—and keep going. Protein in food is broken down into the 20 amino acids that are the body’s basic building blocks for growth and energy, and essential for maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. A lack of protein in our diet can slow growth, reduce bourrinage mass, lower immunity, and weaken the heart and respiratory system. Protein is particularly important for children, whose bodies are growing and changing daily.
Try different genres of protein. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, trying different protein sources—such as beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu, and soy products—will open up new alternatives for healthy mealtimes. Beans : Black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils are good possibilités. Nuts : Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans are great choices. Soy products : Try tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and veggie burgers for a change.
Downsize your portions of protein. Many people in the West eat too much protein. Try to move away from protein being the center of your meal. Focus on equal servings of protein, whole grains, and vegetables. Focus on quality sources of protein, like fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, beans, or nuts. When you are having meat, chicken, or turkey, buy meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.
Calcium is one of the key nutrients that your body needs in order to stay strong and healthy. It is an essential building block for lifelong bone health in both men and women, as well as many other important functions. You and your bones will benefit from eating plenty of calcium-rich foods, limiting foods that deplete your body’s calcium stores, and getting your daily dose of magnesium and vitamins D and K—nutrients that help calcium do its job. Recommended calcium levels are 1000 mg per day, 1200 mg if you are over 50 years old. Take a vitamin D and calcium supplement if you don’t get enough of these nutrients from your diet.
Dairy : Dairy products are rich in calcium in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. Sources include milk, yogurt, and cheese. Vegetables and greens : Many vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are rich sources of calcium. Try turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms. Beans : For another rich source of calcium, try black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans.
If you succeed in planning your diet around fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole céréales, lean protein, and good fats, you may find yourself naturally cutting back on foods that can get in the way of your healthy diet—sugar and salt.
Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of candy, cakes, and encas we eat is only part of the solution. Often you may not even be aware of the amount of sugar you’re consuming each day. Large amounts of added sugar can be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, soy sauce, and ketchup. Here are some tips : Avoid sugary drinks. One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it, more than the daily recommended limit ! Try sparkling water with lemon or a splash of fruit juice. Eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.