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Vegan Pretty In Pink Donuts

Vegan Donuts

Today was a big day in our house.

After making the decision to take Bennett out of pre-school late last fall (read story here) Bennett decided a couple of weeks ago he was ready to give it another shot. Today was his first full day back and I couldn’t be more proud of my little man! He continues to persevere through all that comes with new schools, new friends, a new home and leaving behind pre-school teachers who he felt so safe with (we miss you so much Miss Lori and Miss Mary Jane.)

I cried like a baby after dropping him off. I was so proud that he worked through his fear of leaving me and I was proud of myself for listening to my mom gut and not pushing Bennett when he wasn’t ready. Now he’s ready! He walked into school so confident, had the best day, and can’t wait to go back!!!

Child Model

Celebrations were in order for him and I, so I decided today was the perfect day to make these beautiful and delicious Valentine’s Day donuts. Every year I promise myself I will do some sort of fun baking for Valentines and every year it gets away from me! Not this year! These donuts are the perfect amount of sweet and completely guilt free! I love finding recipes and re-working them to fit into both mine and my clients meal plans.

These pretty in pink donuts were a massive hit in our house today! I will be making another batch this weekend for the kid’s school snacks this upcoming week, because they cleared me out tonight.

Enjoy!

This recipe was originally from Healthy French Wife. I just re-worked a couple things to make it work for my family. Claire’s recipes are amazing! Make sure to check her out.

Vegan Donuts

Makes 12

Ingredients:

Donuts:

  • 2 cups of all purpose gluten free flower
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract

Donuts

Pink Coconut Glaze:

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbap of maple syrup
  •     Beet juice. I used just a few drops for colour . Don’t overuse or it will change the flavour of the frosting.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • Toppings: dried rose petals, shredded coconut

Steps:

  1. Place a can of coconut milk in your fridge while making the donuts;
  2. Preheat your oven to 440 degrees Fahrenheit ;
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl;
  4. In a greased donut pan, pour the batter until two-third full;
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes;
  6. Leave the donuts to cool;
  7. Mix the glaze ingredients together using the solid coconut milk at the top of the can and a few drops of pink natural food coloring at a time.
  8. Dip each donut in the glaze and top with dried rose petals or shredded coconut.

Pink Donuts

Cleanse Update And My Favourite Meatless Dinner

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After seven days of drinking delicious green juices for the beginning stages of my cleanse, I started getting night sweats. Like crazy sweat-through-your-clothes night sweats. Part of me thought, “There is no way this can be normal,” but the other part of me wanted to believe that it was just a reaction to my body cleansing. I had decided to embark on this cleansing period after having pre-cancer removed from my colon last August. (You can read more on that here.) I knew I needed time to mentally and physically prep for it, so I decided January 2017 would be the start of my three-month journey of twenty-one days of juicing and two months of high-nutritient food that didn’t contain grains, dairy, alcohol, or sugar. I would be doing this to cleanse my colon, liver, and gall bladder. I know—sounds awesome, right?

 

On day seven of the cleanse—after beating the headaches and having gotten over the fact that wine would not be happening for a while—I was super disappointed to learn that I needed to take a step back from my cleansing. The amazing ladies at the Habit Project had been wonderful at making me the most delicious juices to help me stay focused and get what my body needed, but I’d also enlisted the help of Jackie from Food Works. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, having someone lead you through the cleanse is so very important! During the cleansing period, Jackie does a weekly call to check in, go over what’s happening with your body, work through emotional and physical changes, and teach you amazing recipes to get what your body needs. On my first check-in call, I mentioned the night sweats, and she immediately dug into this.

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You may not know this, but winter months are not the ideal time to cleanse the body, especially for someone with an autoimmune disorder. (I have hypothyroid.) During this time of the year, the body needs to be warmed with foods like root vegetables, starches, and soups to keep it operating well in the cooler temperatures. It turns out that a lack of such things can cause some pretty crazy effects in people with autoimmune disorders, including hormone imbalances, night sweats, racing heart, insomnia, and more. I definitely experienced all of the above! I felt like I was going into pre-menopause ! It was bananas!

I started backing off from the juicing slowly while adding soups and more raw foods and introducing nuts again. We decided to postpone the cleanse until the spring when the body is naturally ready to cleanse, craves more fresh veggies/fruits, and doesn’t have to work so hard to stay warm. After a few days off from the cleanse, I started a twenty-one-day food cleanse, which just realigns the body and helps with kicking some cravings the body is holding onto. It’s also a great way to prep the body for an intense cleanse like the one I’d been getting ready to embark on. I wanted to share this with you because of the importance of having someone like Jackie in your life when you decide to make a huge health shift. Had I not been walking through this with someone who is highly trained, I most likely would have brushed off my symptoms and really hurt my body.

Can you cleanse at all this time of year?

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Yes, most definitely! The three-day cleanse the Habit Project offers is the perfect way to reset the body and kick some cravings you are struggling with. It’s very gentle on the body and is also a great way to start off something like Joy McCarthy’s thirty-day food detox. This type of cleanse causes very little stress on our digestive systems and is the perfect way to introduce the body to cleansing, get a little reset, or prep for that more intense, deeper cleanse.

Although it was super frustrating to have to stop and put off restarting this cleanse (especially because I’d been bitter about even doing it in the first place), I know it was the best decision. Plus, it gives you my readers more time to think about joining me on the cleansing journey in April! 😉

Over the next eighteen days of the final period of my cleanse, you will be seeing lots of recipes that I’m using for every meal of the day. So stay tuned and follow along!

Here is one of my current favorites, which I actually posted about a few years ago—a lentil loaf that my friend Tasha came up with. It’s the perfect meat replacement, it works as a wonderful main course to serve with French fries, and it makes an awesome meatless meatball for any spaghetti dish.

 

Enjoy~~*

Lentil Loaf

Rachel

ingredients:

I purchase all my fresh and organic ingredients from Natures Fare Market.

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts (I used almonds)
  • 3TB ground flax soaked in 1/2 cup water for at least 10 min
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced (or 3 tsp garlic powder in a pinch)
  • 1 cup each finely diced onion and celery
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated apple (no need to peel it first. May also use 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup almond flour, also known as almond meal
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1tsp dried thyme in a pinch)
  • 1.5 tsp herbamare (or salt and pepper to your liking)

Tomato Glaze:

  • heaping 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1TB maple syrup
  • 2TB coconut sugar ( I used date sugar as a replacement to fit with my cleanse)
  • 2TB balsamic vinegar (choose a good quality one, it’s worth it!)

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  • Directions:

    Cook the lentils in about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil first, then set to simmer for about 30 more minutes. The point here is to overcook them so they are a bit sticky and mushy. That may mean adding a bit more water if it seems like they are running out of water. Stir every 5-10 min or so. Once you think they’re cooked and mushy enough, mash them even more with a potato masher. They won’t look pretty right now, but this step is worth it in the end.

    Leave the lentils alone for now and sauté the onion, celery, garlic in a bit of coconut oil. (or your oil or choice) Cook until just a little bit soft, 5-10 min.

    Mix all the ingredients now in a big bowl and mix well. At this point you can taste it and see if you’d like to add more salt, pepper, thyme etc.

    Pour mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and press down firmly

    Mix all the ingredients of the glaze in a bowl and brush over the top of the loaf covering it completely.

    Bake for 350 degrees for 40 min.

Enjoy with a side of yams and salad~~*

Hello 2017…Hello Cleansing!

 

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I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I am a believer in goal setting and really documenting personal change throughout the year. This year I decided to really focus on my health and just getting some things into alignment after having had some pre-cancer polyps removed from my colon last August. (Read more about that here.)

I decided that the beginning of the year was the perfect time to embark on a pretty extensive cleanse since my clients, friends and husband would also be trying to clean up their diets, significantly lowering the pressure to meet up for drinks or dinners out. Plus, I love the idea of a new year and a clean slate. I love knowing that I have the ability to really make 2017 a huge year of growth for me, no matter what crosses my path. So as of today I’m three days into a three-month cleanse I will be undertaking to really try to reset my body and clear out anything that may be hanging around in my colon or deeper tissues. I want you to know, though, that I’m going into this cleanse with the soft approach. I have a plan for how I want to do things, but if something needs to be added or taken away while I’m on this journey, I do want to be flexible.

I’m not really a fan of cleansing or detoxing due to the limitations it puts on my diet and social life and the headaches that come from my not drinking coffee:( But I really felt this was the best decision for my body and wanted to follow through with this process. I most definitely am already experiencing headaches, and I wish I could eat my food instead of drinking it. Plus, I miss wine! But I’ve had amazing support from my husband (who is also cleansing with me) and the ladies at The Habitat Project , who have been blending up delicious juices for me, assisting with my meal planning, and offering tons of knowledge as I toss questions their way.

I want to share this process, including my ups and downs, to possibly encourage someone who might be on the fence about taking on something like a cleanse. If something doesn’t feel right in your body, give yourself the time and space to research the best options for you. If it turns out that a cleanse might be the solution, I want you to know that you can do this! I will be sharing my week by week schedule once I get the final details of everything nailed down this weekend.

Also…

During this process, I will be sharing recipes, workouts, and photos of my progress. Please feel free to leave comments and e-mail questions and to share your journey as well.

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This delicious soup is currently our nighttime go-to with pure coconut bread.

All my ingredients are organic and purchased at Natures Fare Market.

Enjoy~~*

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 cups of yams
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 whole bell peppers
  • 1 can (28 oz ) low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon each thyme & basil
  • pink sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • In a large pot cook onions and garlic over medium heat until slightly sorted .
  • Add celery,yams,carrots, and cabbage and cook until slightly soft.
  • Add all additional ingredients and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes or on a lower heat for 1 hour ( I feel this really increases the yummy flavours.)

Sniffle Soup Box

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You can’t open your social media without being hit with the sobering reality of the atrocities which are happening in our world…
It can be overwhelming to try and fathom where we could even begin to help, but the place to start, I’m learning, is much closer to home…the hurting neighbour who lives 20 feet away, or the woman who is juggling 3 kids as a single mom and would love a random act of kindness.
If we can change our communities we can change our city’s. If we change our city’s we can change our province. If we change our province we can change our country…

Here is a small thing we are doing as a family to remind ourselves to look past our own situations and see the pain or need of someone else.

Sniffle soup

Sniffle soup box is something I started this fall when the cold weather and rainy days started to greet us daily in Port Moody. One of my current personal goals is to silence the voice of complaining and not even make room for the voice of negativity. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our messes, bad attitudes, or complaints instead of choosing joy. Joy doesn’t just show up! It’s something we cultivate through our actions and choose in pivotal moments when the voice of negativity is screaming your name. I’m not going to be one of those bloggers who tells you that things are fricken awesome all the time and that joy greets me the moment I open my eyes. This season has been a tough one. Change brings discomfort and discomfort brings growth, but if we are not careful what is intended to be an amazing season of growth can turn into a season of complaining and not wanting to crawl out of our beds in the morning.

Photography By:Abbie Rose

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It has been harder than ever to choose joy in this season and to look beyond my discomfort to see the pain and needs of others. Rather than just praying this season will leave me as quickly as possible, I have chosen to press in, squirm through the discomfort, and actively allow a space for joy in my days, weeks and months. This is where sniffle soup box came in.

I love gifting people with little items that remind them that someone is praying for them and cares for them and that they are not walking through their days alone. I started collecting little boxes from thrift stores, garage sales, etc., and filling them with items I would come across that I felt reminded me of friends or that I felt would come in handy in a future box.

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Every month I organize a box for a friend or even new acquaintance who is on my heart. For the month I put his or her name up where I can see it as I go through my day and just silently pray for that person. I know what some, but not all, of them are going through. Some people I just want to bless and give a moment of surprised joy. These boxes have positioned my heart to look beyond myself, focus my eyes on the needs of others, and silence my complaining tone. Most importantly, these boxes have brought so much joy to my days! I’m a busy mom, business owner, and wife. I only have so many hours in my day or space for thoughts, actions, and words. Although some days are tougher then others, I know the small decisions like making a box, saying a prayer, and choosing to see someone else are the ones that are landmarks in our journey of growth, maturity, and cultivating a heart of love and compassion.

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Someone out there connected to you needs a box…

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke.

Side Note:

You can’t open your social media without being hit with the sobering reality of the atrocities which are happening in our world…
It can be overwhelming to try and fathom where we could even begin to help, but the place to start, I’m learning, is much closer to home…the hurting neighbour who lives 20 feet away, or the woman who is juggling 3 kids as a single mom and would love a random act of kindness.
If we can change our communities we can change our city’s. If we change our city’s we can change our province. If we change our province we can change our country…

Click the recipe link below for my favourite soup recipe.

Sniffle Soup

With love,

Rachel

The Secret Behind My Mom Curves

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There are some foods I just can’t give up and french fries is one of them! Weekly they’re on our family menu, served up in a variety of ways and tasting delicious. They secretly help keep a few extra mom curves on my body and my kids telling me I’m the worlds best cook! With results like that you can’t just up and remove a food item like fries because Gwyneth Paltrow says no fries after 30…or was it 40?! Who knows! All I know is I love fries and I have found many creative ways to work them into our meals. These cheesy nutritional yeast fries are one of my favourites! They are the easiest thing in the world to make and if you cook up enough, you could find a way to pair them with every main dish you plan this week;) Ok I’m kidding! Don’t get carried away. Eat responsibly, enjoy your food and if possible eat these suckers on your more intense workout/Momming days.

 

Enjoy~~*

Photography By Abbie Rose

french fries

  • Half a bag of organic potatoes from Natures Fare
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp chives
  • Top with nutrition yeast

Bake at 450 until potatoes are golden brown.

Yes, it is that simple!

  • These are amazing served with vegan hot dogs
  • Made into chilli cheese fries
  • Chopped up for morning hash browns
  • Added to wraps for lunch
  • The list goes on and on!

You’re welcome xoxo

Nutrition yeast fries

 

Chocolate Prana Pudding

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When we decided to transition our little family into a plant based diet, one of Troy’s biggest concerns was what this would do to our snack life!  Although I was doing pretty well in the kitchen in terms of learning how to bake and cook for a plant based diet, I definitely struggled when we were out and needed a last minute snack.  Sometimes you just don’t have  time to read the ingredients on every label or search the aisles for plant based options.

I had decided to make a chia chocolate pudding for our kids snacks at school recently and came across some of the Prana snack items.

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They have tons of delicious options like nut mixes, flavoured coconut chips and even vegan chocolate options!

I’ve used these bacon chips to top salads or throw in the gym bag for a savoury snack when I’m training all day.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat check out my chocolate chia pudding here! This is a great nut free snack for your kids lunches or that night time sweet tooth craving.

Enjoy~~*

Photography By: Abbie Rose

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Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding:

Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) Chocolate Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 cup (63 g) Prana’s ProactivChia
  • 1/4 cup (24 g) cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp (30-75 ml) maple syrup if not blending (can sub 5-9 dates, pitted if blending)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

I like to keep things super simple when making snacks! So I placed all my ingredients into my Vitamix and blended till all ingredients were fully mixed. Place mixture in fridge overnight or at least 30 minutes, top with coconut whip cream and shredded dark chocolate and serve.

Enjoy~~*

Rachel

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A Fresh Look For Dailyroutinefitness

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Just over two years ago I launched Dailyroutinefitness.com. With the support and love of our readers and clients, I have grown not only as a businesswoman but also as a mother, wife, and writer. Your stories and feedback have inspired me to immerse myself in things that really drive my passions and hold on tightly to the integrity of the “why” behind my work.

I initially launched DRF as a fitness company to showcase workouts and food choices that were part of my life. I quickly realized, however, that I was holding back from sharing with my readers a big part of my passion—lifestyle. I wanted to share more of this with you, my readers, because I felt like it would give you a more realistic view of what life really looks like for us and it would show you that we experience successes and failures as parents, friends, and business owners, just like you. The heart of my business as a personal trainer and coach is encouraging woman to press into discomfort and really dig into what’s holding them back from reaching their fullest potential, as well as offering them support to set and achieve their goals. My hope as a lifestyle blogger is that woman and mothers find in my posts encouragement, inspiration, and an authentic touch that will help them feel more fulfilled. The time has now come, however, for me to make some more changes and really use my gifts and passions to connect with you, my readers, in a greater capacity.

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As the website has grown, we have had the amazing opportunity to share and partner with companies that we really believe in and feel would add to your lifestyles. Because of the amazing support of our members and sponsors over the past two years, we have decided to change DRF from a membership site to open access.

What does this mean?

Until today, my workout videos, blog tips, workout plans and sample meal plans have only been available to our paying members.

But as of today, all private content at dailyroutinefitness.com will be available to the public for FREE! I’m so excited about this because it will open up more opportunities to share helpful content with you on a weekly basis.

I will also be adding our videos to YouTube as well in order to give you easy access and sharing options.

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Can you share workouts with friends?

Yes! And I would love for you to be part of helping the community of DRF to grow. The more we grow as a company, the greater resources and variety we can bring to our site and make available to you our readers.

How to share?

Simple click on the URL code at the top of your screen and copy and paste the links from my page that you would like to share. Everything from workouts to recipes to blog posts.

I would also love for you to share your own workouts, thoughts, and inspiration on social media and tag #Dailyroutinefitness. I love hearing your stories and connecting with you!

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I want to say a special thank you again to all the people who believed in, supported, and offered mentorship to me as I stepped into the unknown world of building a website, taking on Instagram, and becoming a blogger.

Thank you to Megan White for the hard work and flexibility she has put into helping me rebrand and rework DRF. You have been such a pleasure to work with, Meg!

Thank you, too, to Abbie Rose, our amazing photographer, for capturing the most beautiful moments of our family’s life through her lens. Abbie, your images inspire so much of my work as a writer. The authenticity of the moments and emotion that you capture is such a gift. Thank you for being a part of the DRF team.

To our members:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to invade your life through my personal posts and become a part of your daily sweat sessions one workout video at a time. Your support and dedicated feedback during my growing pains have made me who I am today.

I’m excited to continue to grow with you…

Rachel

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Sniffle Soup

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This post has been made possible by Natures Fare Market

Today we officially let go of summer and welcomed the cool breeze and fresh, crisp mornings of fall.  Although I love the heat of the summer and practically live in a bathing suit and cut-offs, I can’t help but get excited to throw on warm knits while taking in the smell of our crock pot cooking our favourite fall comfort food.  As we transition our little family to a plant based diet, soup has become a staple for quick, last minute (throw everything in a pot) meals.  Once a week we take every vegetable that is one step away from retiring and cook up the most delicious soups. I recently created my own spin off of Dreena BurtonsSniffle Soup” and the family loved it! This soup is delicious, simple to make and perfect for the upcoming cool fall days, or when pre-school germs take over your home!

Enjoy~~*

Photography By: Abbie Rose

Sniffle Soup

MAKES 5–6 SERVINGS. WHEAT-FREE

Ingredients

1–1½ tbsp olive oil
1½ cups onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
¾ cup carrots, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
¾–1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 cups dry red lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
4–4½ cups water
2½–3 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (see note)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Side Note

The above recipe is Dreena’s original recipe. I decided when making my own to add 2 red peppers, 1 diced large yam and I substituted olive oil for coconut oil. I also cooked this in a slow cooker for 4 hours instead of stove top.

Either way this recipe is delicious! Try both options and tell me your thoughts!

Soup

In a large pot on medium heat, add oil, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, paprika, and dried thyme and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 7–8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse lentils. Add lentils, stock, and water and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12–15 minutes. Add rosemary and simmer for another 8–10 minutes or more, until lentils are completely softened. Stir in vinegar, season to taste with additional salt and black pepper if desired.

 

 

Warning Signs

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Today’s post has taken me a while to write because it is very personal and concerns a journey I am on. My hope is that my sharing moments of vulnerability like this will encourage someone who comes across my story, let her know that she’s not alone, and give her the courage to try something new. I will be sharing as much as possible throughout every stage of this journey.

Please note that I am under the care of a food specialist, naturopath, and doctor as I walk this journey through.

When I look back over this past year, I remember so many moments when I knew there was something off with my body, but I couldn’t put my finger on it actually was. I battled many different symptoms, but life and hormones can be confusing after having a baby, so it was difficult for doctors or naturopaths to really nail down what was going on with my body. “Ride it out” was a common thread in the advice I received.

 

Five months ago, I was tested for ovarian cancer due to hot flashes, weight loss, increased heart rate, and stomach pain. Everything came back clear, and the doctors said the problem was probably my thyroid.

I tried a plant-based regimen to help with the stomach problems, and it did work! But I didn’t know how to make it work for my body with the physical demand of training, so I ended up going back to eating small amounts of meat and trying to incorporate more juice and vegetables into our life. And the stomach pain came back.

Seven weeks ago, I randomly passed a large amount of blood through my rectum after using the washroom. I was emotional after seeing the amount and immediately called Troy and work to say I needed to go to the doctor. My doctor was out of the office that day, but the wonderful nurses could sense the emotion in my voice and squeezed me in that day with another that doctor, who happened to be one of the moms from my oldest son’s school. After an examination, she said it was probably nothing but would send me in for a scope just to make sure.

The prep for the scope was not something I ever wanted to go through again, so I was praying that everything would come back all clear! I feel so blessed to have been seen by some of the nicest doctors, who were kind and patient when I felt so emotional. The doctor who did my scope, who was so amazing on every level, ended my appointment by being very honest and letting me know that they had found a larger-sized polyp that she was concerned about. She said that in her experience a polyp of this size indicated cancer and that she was rushing the results so they could take action quickly. She also told me to go back and thank the doctor who had taken more precautions and sent me in for this test. “We rarely see woman your age or in your physical category,” she told me, “because people dismiss the symptoms.” I’m young, I’m a fitness instructor, and I eat very well. Why would anyone worry about my health?! Including me.

The test was done on Tuesday, and by Friday we had results saying there were no signs of cancer but that I needed to go in for a colonoscopy to really check things out. Well, we cried, celebrated, and thanked Jesus for the most amazing results! I don’t ever want to forget the relief I experienced that day, not only because it had felt like we were walking through a bad dream as we’d waited and walked through the previous two weeks, but because I had seen Jesus show up in so many ways as we’d waited, prayed for peace, wisdom and the joy to get through each day, and spent that time with three demanding children who know when Mommy is off.

After the celebrations, we prepared our hearts and my body for a colonoscopy. I will not lie: this was also among most non-fun things I have ever done. I don’t enjoy any type of cleansing, so having my body totally stripped of everything for weeks as they did these tests started to wear on me. But we got through it.

They removed the larger polyp, which ended up having been two that had grown together, and now we would have to wait for the results. I felt like we were in the clear, given that previous report had indicated no signs of cancer, but I decided to start doing my own research on why the body was growing polyps.

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This past year, I had taken a course with Dana Skoglund called Align and Thrive because I knew there was something going on with my body. I felt like this was the perfect way to dig into some of my symptoms and figure out what I could do on a daily basis to change my habits and lifestyle in an achievable and maintainable way. Doing things like tongue scraping, dry brushing, warm oil massages, and eating foods that really fueled and supported proper gut function became daily activities for me. I’ll be discussing each one of these habits into detail throughout this process, but one of the major takeaways for me was learning to really listen to my body—to not sweep things under the rug and to pay attention to things as little as tongue scraping, which can tell you about where your body is at. I ended that course right before this journey began, and I’m so thankful I took it because I finished it feeling that I was ready to really dig in and get serious about supporting my body and not just putting Band-aids on things.

I contacted Jacqui Perry from FoodWorks and immediately started my journey on heeling my gut and changing my life before I even know what the results were from my colonoscopy. We had known for a long time that there was a problem with my gut due to my hypothyroid condition, which was diagnosed nine years ago. If you know anything about the health of the thyroid, then you also know that it is directly connected to the gut. But the information surrounding healing the gut can be controversial and confusing. Jacqui had been recommended to me many times over the years by naturopaths, people in the health field, and friends who had taken her courses. She is pretty much the master of fermented foods and plant-based diets, and she really digs into every avenue of why your body is struggling to work at its fullest potential. During the two weeks of waiting for my results, I began a journey of going totally plant-based, incorporating lots of fermented foods and anti-inflammatory drinks into my diet to help my body heal. Regardless of the test results, I was going to change my life and dive into fully healing my body.

One week ago, we received the test results and learned that my polyp was precancerous. I will have to go through routine colonoscopies every couple of years to make sure that I don’t end up with full-blown colon cancer. My doctor was very serious and was not really interested in the lifestyle changes I was choosing to make. I’m not mentioning this to make her sound like a bad doctor—I do actually love my doctor! But she really felt that my personal work would not do much for my body in this situation and that I would end up having cancer if I ignored her advice.

Although I respect my doctor, I do disagree. Study after study, not just in “natural medicine” but also in cutting-edge cancer clinics, prove that food plays a major part in our healing process. Why would we wait to take action, not change our habits, and hope for the best? Our bodies were created to heal, but how can a body heal without the fuel and support to do so? Do I believe in miracles? Yes, but I also believe in wisdom and making smart decisions when you’re given warning signs. This is my warning sign—and to be honest there were tons, also, before those results came in!

So as I begin this journey, I invite you to walk with me. I know some of my readers may chose the unfollow button based on my decision to go plant-based, choose alternative medicine, or believe in a God who I know is walking this journey with me through the good and the bad days. And I want you to know that is okay. We are not meant to be a part of everyone’s journey or see things the way others see them.

If you do chose to follow along, know that I will be as honest and personal as I feel comfortable doing. This is all new for me, so I will make mistakes. I’m sure I will accidently eat something I shouldn’t, and I’m okay with that. It’s part of the journey, and that’s just what it is—a “journey.” It won’ t be perfect today or tomorrow, but I’m eager and willing to learn along the way.

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This has honestly been one of the craziest and scariest things I have ever gone through. I have three beautiful children, and even the thought of not seeing them grow into the amazing humans they will be is enough to take a mother’s breath away. I’m their protector, cheerleader, and the one who holds them when they are hurting. We cannot do life apart! I’m so thankful for an amazing husband who has walked these days out with me and allowed me to feel scared, cry, and be vulnerable in every way. I would love to tell you I have gone through every part of this journey so far with faith that everything will be okay, but the reality is that I’m human and I’m also a mother is fiercely loves her tribe. If that is not motivation enough to change your habits, I don’t know what is!

I’m also beyond thankful for the friends and family who have walked out these days of uncertainty with us. You are loved beyond words, and you can’t place a price on friendships like yours. We will forever hold you close.

I saw this quote recently and felt it was perfect for this post.

 “Sometimes what appears like an obstacle in your path is really a gift meant to move you in a better direction.”

Author unknown

Thank you for your support~~*

xoxo

Rachel

 

Photography By: Abbie Roseedit-0116

 

Stuffed Avocados

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As we say goodbye to Kelowna and prepare for new adventures in the Vancouver area, our nights have been filled with catching up with friends over dinner and night boat rides. With so many evenings of entertaining over the last month, meal planning and fitness goals could have quite easily got off track. So as we headed into these last crazy busy weeks, I made it a priority to plan out our meals. I recently gave up all animal products so I have been getting adventurous in the kitchen and trying new dishes out on my daring and loving guests. These delicious stuffed avocados are one of my new favourites. On this particular night I served them in the avocado skin with a garlic/balsamic dressing drizzled over them.  The following evening, we made a huge salad with them paired with  a ranch dressing to offset the smokey taste of the paprika chic peas.

Enjoy~~*

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Stuffed Avocados:

  • 1 can BPA free chickpeas drained and rinsed (I used a large can so I had left overs)
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 large avocados with
  • 1 cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon

Directions:

Once your chickpeas are rinsed and drained, place them in a medium size bowl with paprika, coconut oil, salt and pepper. Mix until chickpeas are covered in mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until slightly browned. Scoop out the inside of your avocados, chop remaining ingredients and mix all together to fill your avocado skins. Top with a dressing of your choice.