Hi and welcome to Love and Bistros! A place to write about baking, travel, and living healthy. I have a major sweet tooth but I attempt to stay healthy in between desserts!
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Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

Low-Key Perfection

Happy Monday darlings!

I hope everyone had a great weekend – the weather was amazing here! I spent a few hours on a near-by patio for brunch, getting a bit of colour on my all-too-pale skin and indulging in a yummy meal of eggs benedict and Kronenbourg 1664. My diet took a rest for Mother’s Day.

A walk around town proved too much for my high-heeled feet and a new pair of sandals beckoned to me. Another patio, this time on a roof-top downtown, called our names. Princess ate her promised ice cream sundae (okay, a vanilla bean gelato with chocolate sauce in a toffee-shell bowl) and I held onto my hot pink carnation with pride, a gift to all the mothers in the bistro.

After our walk home, we settled down into our Fat Boy and watched the hockey game. I know, who are we?? Vancouver is obsessed with hockey, and suddenly Mister is watching it too. No complaints – I get to relax while the two people in my house are busy watching tv. Pizza Hut arrived not too much later and we watched our usual Sunday night tv (cartoons & Celebrity Apprentice!).

The weekend sounds low-key, but to me, it was absolutely perfect!

How was your weekend?

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The wind brought me books!

Healthy Dinner Tonight: Grilled Asparagus with Faux Grilled Chicken Parmesan

Vancouver was wind-swept today – literally. The wind overtook us all, ruined our hair, pulled leaves off the trees and made mini-tornadoes out of strewn about garbage. It’s the kind of day that makes you just want to find a little cozy spot and read books all day, and lucky for me, my books came in today!

I had a gift certificate to Chapters and I had noticed recently that purchasing the books online SAVES you money. Seriously, in the store the book was $49.95, yet online it was 30% off PLUS another 10% with my membership discount. How does this make sense? Why would I even go to the store to buy anything anymore? Anyway…

As an avid Sex & The City fan I of course had to get my hands on The Carrie Diaries, which I am eager to crack open today! It is a ‘young adult’ book, based on Carrie Bradshaw’s life before Manhattan, but never mind all that! I’m going to love it, I’m sure. I also purchased Woman, Work & The Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano, which is a French woman’s perspective on business – she also wrote the books about French women not getting fat so I’m eagerly looking forward to reading this book as well! A cook book that I am REALLY eager to cook out of? Eat What You Love by Marlene Koch, 300 recipes that are made HEALTHY – each recipe gives you the nutritional information and has delicious desserts (made with Splenda) including a to-die-for looking chocolate cake, plus it has healthy Buffalo Chicken Strips complete with a Blue Cheese dip that I am so looking forward to trying. 190 calories per serving. Is this a joke? I am so excited!

In between all of this reading comes a lot of studying – I’m finishing up my real estate license and am writing the exam in a couple of weeks – wish me luck! I’ll be busy doing all this but I’ve got some great posts lined up and I hope I can come back here on May 20th and tell you that I’m a real estate agent! Stay tuned!

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Diet Tips & Plans & un peu de chocolat

Dinner Tonight: Shrimp & Salad

Once you get used to dieting, ie. eating less, small portions, healthy foods, something that took me about two weeks, you start noticing some changes. I told you how I cheated, and soon I’ll be sharing my go-to cookie recipe (I promise!), but I didn’t tell you how I felt off-kilter afterwards, like I had just injected liquid sugar straight into my veins, a hyper feeling that lasted all of 10 minutes and then I crashed. I felt cranky and tired and like I needed another cookie or else I would die. But I stopped myself.

I’m starting to incorporate excercise into my life now, baby step by baby step, working up towards my goal of 45 minutes straight cardio – something I immensely hate doing – and my current max time is 20 minutes… But you know what? It feels good to push myself like this – I have more energy, I can feel my muscles working, I feel stronger! I feel proud.

I was scared when I cheated, my thoughts turned into self-depreciating ones and I thought I would quit my diet right then and there. I thought, what does it matter anyway? I lost 13 pounds, who needs more? Well, I certainly do. I’m almost halfway to my goal weight and I have another 17 pounds or so to lose – and I now know more than ever that I will accomplish it.

I’ve had a few emails asking what my daily food intake consists of, and I’ll share with you this:

I get two servings of protein (about 100 g each), two servings of vegetables (200 g each), two servings of fruit (varies), and two servings of bread (1 slice of bread is two servings. I usually go for a wrap to make it filling!).

A typical day looks like this:

Breakfast – Apple or Mixed Berries & Tea

Lunch – Tuna Melt Wrap, Turkey Wrap, Egg White Omelette & Salad

Dinner – Protein (Chicken, Fish, Tofu) & Veggies (steamed, stir-fried, roasted)

There are no snacks in between. Dessert? Apple sauce or a fruit. Salmon and beef can be eaten once a week. It’s intense. It’s difficult – at first – but then you get used to eating less and now I get filled up halfway through my meal. Of course I need to drink 10 – 12 glasses of water daily as well and my tea intake usually accounts for half.

This is just my personal experience and I don’t want you to try this, get discouraged or in any way do something dangerous to your health – check with a doctor, don’t starve yourself! You know what’s right for yourself. I was about 30 – 40 pounds overweight when I started, and I’m looking forward to reaching my goal.

Of course, the only way to keep myself sane is to sneak in a piece of chocolate or a cookie every now and again. Just don’t tell my boyfriend!

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Diet thoughts.

There is nothing that I love more than the sound of a dishwasher running and the kitchen clean after a yummy meal. Our dinner was a simple grilled chicken tossed with stir-fry vegetables (the frozen kind that come in a bag, yet are surprisingly very delicious!) – so it was simple but filling. Dieting has taken its toll on me – I’m a major suck when it comes to putting myself through any ‘hardship’ – and I have cheated this week. I ate a few cookies. And then a few chocolate chips. And then I stopped.

I took a seat and pulled out my Moleskine ‘Wellness & Health’ Journal and reassessed my goals. I looked at where I want to be, where I was and where I am now. I’m almost halfway to my goal, and I realised it would just be silly to ruin it all for ‘a moment on the lips’ which turns into a ‘pound on the hips’. I sighed and got over myself.

I wrote out my goals.

And I read them.

My first goal is to go through all my cookbooks – before I purchase yet another one! – and mark all the recipes I want to make and start making them. For now Princess will be my guinea pig in trying out these new foods and once I hit my goal weight, I’ll be able to enjoy them too – properly portioned and within mealtimes, of course.

Re-teaching yourself how to eat again takes time and patience, and I know I’ll get there soon.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll share with you my favourite cookie recipe (the one that made me cheat!).

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Longing for traditions.

Lately I’ve been longing for the past – not necessarily my past, but a place where one purchases their food at markets and farmers, bakes everything from scratch and holds long Sunday dinners with their family. A place and time where it is common to make your own chicken broth, drink tea in the afternoon and spend Saturdays toiling in the garden, picking fresh fruits and vegetables to eat that very same day. ¬†Much of this has come from reading cookbooks such as French Feasts and I Know How To Cook!, recreating obscure dishes such as Eggs in Potato Nests and reading about traditions from long ago, traditions that still hold up in many households today.

Well apparently someone has heard my call! Condo living has become somewhat traditional again with a whistling tea kettle and a hardly used microwave, and now my dreams have really come true – I can hang up our wet clothes to dry! The other day I discovered that our clothes dyer has broken.

I can only laugh at this because not a day before, I was dreaming of living in the countryside, with gardens and clothes lines and wood-burning fireplaces. And now found with the task of hanging my clothes in a 1000-sq ft condo, I ended up purchasing one of those metal clothes hanger contraptions and have placed it in the shower we don’t really use (we have 2), and now I can sigh with relief since I have a wonderfully¬†traditional way of hanging my clothes up to dry.

While waiting for my clothes to dry, I am hoping to bake up some scones with my daughter – they’ve been on my mind lately, as has my upcoming trip to London – and I’m hoping they turn out great! Wish me luck!

What are you doing this weekend? Hopefully not hanging up clothes to dry!

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