How to make your own Almond Milk ! Yum

So I have been buying almond milk for a while now and having just almond milk lattes in the morning for the last 2 months in order to make my morning coffee addiction a little healthier. I have been wondering for a while now what is really in my almond milk. So I read the ingredients of my unsweetened original almond milk ( I don’t like the vanilla or sweetened). It appeared pretty basic so I figured why not give it a shot making it myself. So after consulting Pintrest Posts that lead me to other bloggers pages like The Mama’s Girls and All Sorts of Pretty I figured I was ready to give it a try!

I went and found some Raw Almonds from my local Shoppers Drugs Mart and brought them home and started the surprisingly long but tasty process.

Things you will need:

  • Almonds (Best to get Raw) 1 Cup
  • Water 3 Cups
  • Salt – 1 Pinch
  • Blender
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Jug or Bowl (to strain your almond milk into)
  • Container that is sealable to soak almonds in
  •  Fine Strainer or Metal coffee strainer

So first thing is to go buy your almonds and get them ready for soaking

almondmilk1

Next you are going to want to soak 1 Cup of Almonds over night in water.

Next day – Dump out the water. Put the almonds in our blender with 1 cup of water.

Slowly add the rest of the water once your almonds are thoroughly pureed

Keep blending until everything looks frothy – while blending add salt and if desired some vanilla extract if you like the vanilla flavor. Some recipes I have read suggest 1 tsp of Maple Syrup or honey to sweeten if you want a sweet version.

Now that it’s all frothy and blended prepare your strainer and bowl or whatever your are straining into – this recipe makes a little over a liter so make sure your container will hold that.

Try and push out as much of the liquid as you can from your pulp.

        

I ran the first stained mixture again through cheese cloth back into my blender. After I got it strained I twisted the cheese cloth to get out all the liquid. *** I put all my almond pulp onto a lined bake tray to dry out and use later as almond flour***

 Now you will want to put this into a container you can put in your fridge over night

Some say 24 hours and some say just over night – I left mine overnight in the fridge (remember to shake or stir your almond milk to make sure that it is not separated.)

My big test was my almond milk latte in the morning! It tasted more like almond then my store bought almond milk but other than that it frothed just as nice and I had a very nice latte this morning with my fresh almond milk!

The average time this will last is 5 – 7 days, I also think I should note in my store bought almond milk (which I still plan to buy as it is in tetra packs which means it has a way longer shelf life) has tapioca starch in it to give it a thicker more milk like consistency. You could do this to yours as well but I liked mine without just fine.

Hope you have fun giving this a try!

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Live Class VS. DVD – Ding ding

I know we have all weighed the pros and cons of live classes vs. getting a workout DVD. Each has their strong points and weak points and it will really depend on what you are looking for and where you’re located. I am lucky and live around a lot of gyms and studios but I still wonder if going to a class worth it? Or am I getting enough out of this DVD?

Cost is generally the main driver of getting a DVD vs. going to a live class. The DVD or set is one single payment, meanwhile going to any gym or studio for any class you normally have to pay monthly or for a certain number of sessions. For example at my local community centre I can join a class for one cost let’s say 8 for 75$. Now that sounds quite reasonable but my DVD is the (sometimes) same price but I can watch it more than 8 times and teaches the same thing. If money was the only factor well there would be no live classes, as everyone would go for the most cost effective option and maybe that is you’re only swaying factor; but for most of us there are many other factors involved!

Time for instance is a huge factor for a lot of people, even bigger than financial. If you have to drive to class be there 10 – 15 min early to check in and get dressed , attend the 30- 60 min class then leave ,get dressed , showered , pack up and drive home or to your next appointment /meeting/work/thing on the never ending list it can be daunting. It’s so much easier to just roll out of bed do your workout at home and be done with it. Shower in your own shower and not have to worry that you forgot to pack something.  At this point the DVD sounds like the best option does it not? Saves you time and money the 2 things you spend a lot of time thinking about right? Although are you getting everything you need from that DVD? Are you bored after watching it 10 times? I don’t know about you but I do have a lot of workout DVD’s at home. Some are great and I love doing them but they seem to end up collecting dust as I choose to go to my live class instead. I must be crazy right? I spent the money on them and I enjoy them so why aren’t I doing them!?!! The answer is I do use them but not as frequent anymore because the challenge is lost or I find that I can predict the workout a little too well and I get bored. So I go to the live class where the teacher can mix it up just a little to keep things more interesting.

I now come to the space issue. Not everyone has an open space to do these workouts. Some of these DVD’s expect you to be able to create quite a large space to workout in. Not only is there physical space issues but personal space i.e. room mate / husband/pets / kids. If you live in small apartment it can be hard to create space to do your workout without stepping on the toes of people you live with, or having your pet decide that this is the perfect time to play. So the at home workout can be difficult when you don’t have a large living room or bedroom of your own. So now what right? You have all these things to think about and that’s not even the end of the list!

Facilities and equipment are something to think about as well.  Do you want to have a sauna or use expensive equipment without having to buy it yourself? Then there is the teacher, which I believe is a great pro to going to classes. They are able to tell you how to use the equipment or correct your moves to prevent injury and have a more effective workout. I know that I sometimes find myself needing some more instruction for a workout I have never done before that maybe a DVD will not provide. Like in yoga when I am doing a stretch and the teacher comes by and corrects me just that little bit and all of a sudden I am doing a pose I had been struggling with.  You will not get that from your DVD and you might not want that.

I find the best part though from class is that I get to socialize with people. See new faces and get pumped by other class mates. I am competitive by nature to I will push myself harder when I am in a group setting in contrast to being at home where it’s just me and oddly I am not as competitive with myself.

Okay so now I have thoroughly confused you to which is better right? Well like I said they each have their place or the other would not exist! It really depends on what your needs are and what you are looking for. I personally have the luxury of mixing it up, so I go to yoga in a studio before work and do my other workouts at home when I am not in need of gym equipment. Being a runner I learned that shaking things up is important as important in listening to your body and its needs. If you new at something maybe taking a few classes with an instructor will help you get the hang of it and then you can do it at home more safely.  If you want to stick with a class but are worried about wasting money there is always the option of a trail class or new membership discounts.  Sales are also great for either option! Most gyms and studios have regular deals and sales you can utilize.Remember this is a personal choice and what works for one may not work for you!

Good luck and remember to have fun! If you’re not having fun you won’t keep doing it, no matter where you chose to workout.

 

Bad Food = Bad Mood UHH!

So have you ever noticed that when you eat poorly for a few days or even a day that you start to feel a bit off. I am not talking about bloating and stomach aches I am talking about your mood. The bad food feels good for a little bit, satisfies that craving or stifles that emotion. After all of that though you find the constant need for a pick me up, like you can never get up without it (no pun intended).  It’s a snow ball effect first comes the craving then comes the high, that guilty pleasure from eating the candy , chocolate or junk food but then (depending on how much you ate) shortly after the effects of the happy start to wear off and then comes the drop in energy , you start to feel kind of gross . You need another fix another hit of the good stuff or a coffee to try and wake up after the crash and if you don’t get it then the grumpy kind of off mood comes.

This is how it starts and then it builds, never quite feeling good. Sleep gets off, weight starts to creep up. All these things affect your mood and it starts with the bad food. Now really I get it trust me! I love salt and sugar those are my 2 favorite things in life! Salty crunchy foods and sweet after sugary melt in your mouth foods, heck I mix the 2 regularly. This is the reason I am writing about it, I love it just a little too much and now a large part of me is showing that love!

I always start my day off with good intentions, healthy breakfast (most of the time), lots of protein and coffee with no sugar and almond milk. See good intentions I even take all my vitamins (well 85% of the time). Then I get to work and 11AM rolls around and the blood sugar drops. At this point I go for one treat and convince myself that’s it is only going to be 1…well 1 turns into to 2 turns into take out for lunch that is really not healthy. So by the time I get home my mood is off because my blood sugar has dropped (again) , I have no more caffeine high and I have to stay awake to finish all my tasks I need to do like cleaning , cooking , more cleaning etc. Now I am mad at myself because I have no energy for my work out! Which upset s my husband and well now everyone is in a bad mood!

The thing is that eating bad affects not just your waist line but a little bit of everything. If you ever watched the movie Super Size Me you can see what all that food did to his body, mood and relationships. Now that is an extreme case and at least I know that I am not eating that bad. All those bad things that make you feel off and gross become what you crave and it perpetuates this awful cycle, I don’t feel good until I get it but then I feel bad within sometimes minutes of eating or drinking it. When I am sour in the morning and feel bad about my body it affects my relationships. My husband and friends notice that I’m grouchy and don’t really want to hang. I am not fun at work as small things bother me more then I should and I am edgy. This all starts with my diet and yet even with this knowledge my cravings seem to win because I hate the bad feeling so much I just want to have the quick fix. That quick fix then equals me feeling bad about my body and down on myself which then equals be having a lot shorter of a fuse.

Sometimes I can be good all week and then the weekend rolls around and being social where I end up having a few drinks and nacho’s and then when Monday rolls around bloating, kind of grumpy and lethargy hits, this passes if you clean up your diet and drink lots of water and get back into a healthy routine or your stay feeling this way because you are still feeling bad so you eat more bad food.  This is when guilt hits and hits hard. Which for me makes me mad at myself for not having better self control and for some odd reason I also get mad at my husband for not saying anything to me (though I know  would not have helped).

All these little things that just end up being a huge mess, I find myself wanting a quick fix that I know does not exist. I have to pull up my socks and make changes to prevent the bad mood and the bad feelings towards myself. Now I am not saying that everyone who eats bad now and then and suffers from the bad food grumps needs to have a huge life change! I am saying that knowing the cause and maybe altering a few of those habits even just a bit may make Monday’s not so bad and mornings less of a mine field for your loved ones. So here is where the excuses come – “ummm but I work hard and my treats are my reward to myself”, or “I work out so I can eat what I want” or my favorite “even when I eat healthy I feel bad so what’s the difference at least I can have the food I love”.  Now I am not quoting friends I am quoting myself which is funny because when I say these things they are generally me grumbling them to myself.

So what is the difference this time?  The difference is I want to not be grumpy anymore and all those excuses have become old. I am lucky enough to have friends where if I want to go out and be social and not drink or not eat poorly they understand, and those who don’t generally just make a few jokes but then let it go. I need to learn to be strong my space and know that I don’t want to feel shitty in the morning and taking a few jabs for not having more than one or 2 drinks while out with friends or co- workers is not as bad as if I did and how I would feel the next few days.

Now here is a list of things I at least am telling myself I am preventing by choosing to avoid the bad foods:

Low Sex Drive

Dark circles under eyes

Mood swings

Bad skin

Bloating

Headaches

Expanding waistline

Low energy

Guilt

All of these things happen to me when I eat badly and I have seen happen to others. Now I get its hard but there are ways to help make it easier and by no means am I perfect at it at all. I slip up a lot but I try and pick myself up and move forward. Reminding me that what is done is done and I can’t change it but I can change what I going to do. Here is my list of things that I do to set myself up for a good week.

Meal Plan – Plan your week even if you plan on going out so that you don’t feel caught off guard at the restaurant. This will also as a perk save you money! Make it fun too – I like trying out new recipes or cook books this way it helps with what to buy and keeps the boredom away.

Make a List – When you going to a store to buy food have that list from the meal planning. This will help you stay on track so that you are less likely to wonder and end up filling your cart with wants.

Never Shop hungry- My mom always told me this. If you shop on an empty stomach you will buy things you crave more then what you will need.  So before you go to the store have an apple or plan it for after a meal, that way you do not feel so munchie when you go.

Carry Cash and Set a Budget – it’s hard to get lots of treats when you don’t have the money to buy them, same goes for when you are out for drinks.

Start a project – The whole busy hands thing is true. If you are struggling with cravings distracting yourself with a hobby or projects can help.

Drink lots of water – I know water is boring! Though there are ways to make it more fun by adding fruits to it to change the flavor. This will help you keep full longer and not want to snack as much … only downside you do have to pee a lot.

Tell people your goal – This one I thought was silly at first but if you tell people that you want to eat healthier they tend to help keep you more accountable.

Now I am sure there are loads of other things that help people stay away from the bad food and maybe some of my things don’t work for everyone! Just like what works for some of my friends and family does not work for me. Everyone’s journey and how they choose to do it is different and no one way is the only way.

***I would strongly recommend before doing any big food changes or health changes you speak with your health care provider!  All I can tell you is what my experiences are and what has or has not worked for me.*****

badfoodbadmood

My diet – your diet .. what a new diet

So some background about me . I was a cook for 10 years and always wanted to be a cook well until I didn’t . 10 years of doing pretty much nothing but eat -sleep-party and cook. In that time my diet went a little hay wire , just a smidgen i swear ! 😉

After 25 the eat and drink what ever I wanted and stay looking slim and good was coming to an end ! Though there was some denial about it for a little while, lets say a few years . I really started to notice my changing metabolism after I left the food world and moved into the corporate world where I did a lot less moving and a lot more sitting.   In this time I also started to notice some aches and pains that were not there before . Yes it was a shock to me too ! I am still in my 20’s why do I have aches and pains ?! I am still inadvisable right?! Not to say over the years that I was particularly gentle on my body. In the midst of all my changes I started to do the thing that I swore I would never ever do .. the D word! ( insert dramatic music here)

Now I know almost every man and women I know has done this at some point in their lives.  I know everyone has seen the commercials and the infomercials , magazine adds etc… look how you want to in these easy steps.

Now being me I decided to go to a naturopath ( now this would be funny to people who know me and the story of when one when I was little told me and my mom that I could no longer have any sugar…. lets just say I decided my world was over …yeah I was just a little mellow dramatic ). So I went to a naturopath in my area and it was good , got some information and started taking some vitamins to deal with my not so great life style ( I was still working in the kitchen at this time). So then my naturopath informed me I had a candida problem …. Okay side note for those who do not know what this is its a yeast that naturally grows in your body but can take over if you eat and sleep badly.

So now I was on a cleanse , never been on one of those before and wow that was a trip! 1 month of no sugar , caffeine , dairy and gluten and when I say no sugar I also mean fruit and starchy vegetables. Now my weight went down and I was sleeping but wow was I miserable! First thing I learned about diets any diet is that your body detoxes like crazy, so all those mood swings and head aches etc, are all the bad going out of your body and well attacking all those who come within 10 feet of you. ( Sorry guys) So yeah did that and then decided that my naturopath was maybe not the right fit for me and went back to eating all the stuff I went off of and put back on all the weight and then some.

So through the years I have tried to cut down on the sugar and starch and increase the vegetables and protein. Fast forward to 6 months before my wedding ….. and like almost every bride I decided I needed to get in shape for my wedding. The dieting began and so did Hot Yoga 2 times a week and going to the gym, plus running. With all this you would think I was getting in great shape. Nope I was losing a little bit of weight here and there but not much which was very frustrating as my husband was doing great and still is! Getting healthy for him was an easy choice and he worked hard as I did at it but like most women with spouses who you diet with know men carry weight differently and loose it faster. (Grrrr right?) Well I lost what I could and worked my butt off while going to lots of food related events that always lead up to any wedding. I had lost 5lbs not the 10lbs I wanted but 5 lbs was what I would have to live with unless I wanted to do a last minute detox! This as I stated earlier makes me grumpy and unpleasant to be around so no.

So now here I am after my wedding 5lbs up from really enjoying myself in Vegas and looking at my body going… Sigh! My husband thinks I am crazy and look just fine, but for me my clothes in my closet are getting tighter and some no longer fit from last year.  This is the diet yoyo that I swore I would never get on but now seem to not be able to get off. I no longer knew what I wanted my body to be. When I was a little girl I was always told I was beautiful , now what your family and loved ones say seems to not hold a candle to the little voice telling you “ your thighs are too big”, “ your butt isn’t high enough” , “ your arms are not quite right” and “ your tummy is not flat enough”. My little demon voice that haunts me daily as I get dressed, examining all these things in the mirror.

Now here the part where I explain that the word DIET is not a bad word, diet is everything you eat and how you eat it, bad or good it’s your diet. Okay so now that we got that out of the way. My diet, how I eat every day needed well still needs to change. No quick fix, no easy out just remembering that taking one day at a time to correct years of being that little girl who crossed her arms and yelled about not being able to eat what I wanted.

Everybody is different, so one thing that works for your friends may not work for you for a number of different reasons. I have tried a few different things that family and friends have told me worked great for them but for me not so much and not because it didn’t do anything at all it just wasn’t a fit for me. So now I am going on my journey to figure out what will work best for me. This is where I go back to basics, look at what will make the changes I want and make me happy. If you’re not happy when you’re doing something well your less likely to keep doing it.

My Back to BAICS

Diet – What changes can I make to what I am eating that will be sustainable for me.

Exercise – A few things I enjoy, so that I don’t get bored.

Mind – Work on new voices and make them louder than the negative ones that yell at me.

Welcome to my Blog

HI ! Thank you for coming to read my blog .  This blog is tid bits and such of things I have learned on my journey .

I am hoping everyone will get some useful information and a laugh at my attempts to figure things out as I go along .

Though you may ask go a long with what ? right? The what is life ! As like many of you I am working this with a lot of trial and error and the errors are my learning curves.

I am a 29 year old women ( not girl – women! I will explain later) , recently married and in my 2nd career maybe 3rd . Life has thrown me quite the few curve balls that I have muddled through along the way and hope to share with you in hopes my muddling makes you feel less a lone in yours.

This is a life style blog so I will blog about everything from food.. cleaning..pets…and well life.

Hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy sharing with you all ! 400454_10151227932655174_1140590606_n

Running Running .. OW – What ?

Running hmm you think it is not a hard thing to do and learn right?  Well I learned wrong !

I have been actively running for about 2 years now and started so that I could run on my works Sun Run team.  After I ran my first race ( 5KM) I felt amazing ! very pumped and ready for the next and next . So being all pumped and ready to go the next day I got up the next morning to run my usual training route . Got about 1.5 KM before a hot pain in my leg started, well that hot pain turned sharp and then I went from running to sitting on the side of the road unwilling to move .

So I hobble over to my mom’s apartment and got some ice and a ride home as I was in not shape to run or walk the short trip home. Later after pain killers and a hot bath and much research  I learn that it is shin splints that have stopped my great running high! This would be the first of my many OW’s in my journey.

The things I learned to prevent these kind of injuries from coming back after much trial and error . With some other tid bits of info.

Good Shoes ! – You need good shoes to run !!! I can not say this enough , they made all the difference. Good shoes meaning shoes that work best for your body and stance. I recommend a running store or sports store and getting shoes meant for running. Do not go by look its all about feel , the prettiest shoe might not be the right one for you.

Warm Up ! – I know this sounds silly since you are about to run and think maybe the short 3 min walk you did is enough but it is not! Warming up all your muscles is important. Jumping jacks , arm wind mills ( you use your whole body to run not just legs and feet) etc.

After Cool down and Stretch! – Tired after the run , yeah I hear that! But making sure you stretch it out after it really important in order to prevent injury.

Do other exercises ! – Running is great but if you plan running a lot make sure you fit in other exercises as well – your core those tummy and back muscles are important too !

Clothes! – Yes a pair of old sweats and t – shirt works just fine . As you run you will find what clothes work best for you. Just make sure you dress weather appropriate . For example if it is super hot – hat and sun glasses , light t – shirt etc. in winter   layers / gloves and a warm hat. You will sweat and when you are warm you will take them off but after wow do you cool fast and it gets cold!

Food and H2O ! – Eating right is always good for you . Personally I cannot eat a large meal before I run. I go for a coffee and half a banana, after though its a smoothie and maybe something else depending on how far I ran.

Hydrating during your run and after is really important!!! You want to make sure you replenish your body with everything you just sweat out. This can be done with Coconut water, plain water , water mixed with your favorite vitamin powder or sport additive powder.

Of course there is a lot of other things that help with running but these are the few I found to be the most important to prevent injury and keep me     running strong !

Rachel Running