We are two individuals, sister-in-laws, and friends who are striving to thrive and be our personal best as well as making our surroundings a better place to live! Connected by faith, family, friendship, photos, and writing, we just want to share our journey with you!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Oh how I love cookies.

Well, I LOVE baking. I've started my love of cooking, but I much prefer baking. It's hard finding healthier, but delicious recipes. I'll often find some amazing healthy baking recipes, but it takes forever to find some of the ingredients.

Jayanna first introduced me to these cookies at the Planet Organic bakery, they're called Cosmic Cookies! I never actually tasted them until Jayanna whipped up a batch at her home when I was coming to visit her in Victoria just last week. She modifies the recipe found at Planet Organic and makes them a bit smaller (but let me tell you, they are so full of deliciousness that you won't notice). Jay forgot to add sugar when she made them for me and they still tasted delicious! So we decided the recipe didn't need to have sugar (the dark chocolate chips are enough sweetness). They are definitely a healthier
cookie, and took me a few cookies to get used to. Once I was used to the flavour, wow, they are amazing.

I wanted to whip these up before meeting my cousin last friday for a movie, and was able to finish them in about an hour! The recipe says they make 24, but with making them a little smaller I made about 48 (double recipe).

Cosmic Cookie Recipe

2 1/4 cups oats
2 cup of spelt Flour
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup of flax seeds
1 tbsp. of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of molasses
3/4 cup of canola oil (but I often put 1/2 cup of applesauce and 1/4 cup oil)
1 cup of soy milk (or almond milk)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking trays with parchment paper

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix slow until just combined. Do not over mix. Put spoons of cookie dough onto the parchment sheets. It says to bake for 24 minutes but my oven took about 17-18 minutes, so make sure to check what your oven will do!

So I hope you choose to try these cookies out.... they are definitely worth it!
So I decided to make a few dishes for dinner the other night and thought that I would water your mouths a little! I cooked 1 cup of brown rice with 2 cups of water along with a splash of olive oil and while that was cooking (it took forever to soften!!!), I toasted some pumpkin seeds!!! MMM! YUM! When I lived in China, it was a custom to serve a minimum of 5 dishes and everyone would share and take a little of this, a little of that. Who has the time to make five dishes when you have a toddler and a life?!!! I settled on three and felt pretty proud of my accomplishments!!!!

I had previously marinated these tofu sesame snacks and let me tell all of you meat-eaters, flirts, vegetarians out there: They are RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS! You will loveeee them! I have never met one person that doesn't rave about how great they are and ask me to make them again! My 19-month old son would eat the entire batch if I let him!!! I even served them at his 1st birthday party and they were devoured in minutes!!! My husband and brother were originally skeptics but one bite was all it took to have them hooked!!! Do you want to hear the bonus?! They are so so so easy to make!!! YAY! I love cooking, I love food, but I also love convenience!!! I have such a go-go life and I really like to make great food but I also don't want it to consume my entire day!!! So the recipe for tofu sesame snacks was derived from the Planet Organic Cookbook!

Tofu Sesame Snacks Recipe
One block of organic extra firm tofu, non-GMO (I like to use a British Columbia, certified organic brand)
3 tbsp. of toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp. of Bragg
3 tbsp. of sesame seeds
2 tsp. of cumin
shake some pepper and garlic powder
Cut the tofu into strips and place in a casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Place in the fridge. You can marinate the tofu for as little time as 5 minutes or overnight for a more intense flavour! When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350`. Place tofu on a baking sheet and put in the oven for ten minutes. After ten minutes remove tofu, flip the tofu and bake for another 5-10 minutes. These taste amazing warm or the next day cold!

The last dish that I made for our dinner was the roasted veggies which are pictured above. You will never believe how amazing the flavor of these veggies are until you try it! I am a girl who has always steamed veggies and since I tried roasting veggies for the first time, I have to eat them this way at least once a week! MMM! The beautiful thing is that you can just throw any veggies you have into a pan, drizzle with some olive or coconut oil, add 1-2 tsp. of shoyu and some bay leaves...cover with tin foil and bake at 350' for 40 minutes, checking once or twice to mix so that the veggies bake evenly. This time the veggies I used were kombucha squash, sweet potatoes, yam, mushrooms, garlic, onion, celery, zucchini and purple carrots! The kombucha squash and carrots were local so I didn't take the skin off or peel them! Just washed the veggies and cut them up! Easy and delicious! While the veggies were cooking, I did a Jillian Michaels DVD which always kicks my butt! I am in love with her DVDs! Never before have I become drenched by doing a workout in my own home! Since I usually workout while Noah naps, I can get my workout in and be close to my baby when he needs me! I usually feel refreshed and energized by the end of my workouts so that I can go-go-go with Noah until bedtime! That being said, today has been a lazy day where I felt the desire to blog instead of working out...I really should just suck it up and go for a run! It's not raining, just gloomy-looking...Noah's new favorite phrase is "Ready-set-go" so I will tell that to myself and once I start, I'll feel so much better! Okay, it's go time. I know that while I run today I will think about food since I just wrote all about it!!! haha...


I am welcoming myself to the blog world!

Whew, it has been a rough ride figuring out how to make this blog a reality. I know a lot about using the internet, but I don't know anything about making a blog... so I hope you like it!

Jay and I have been so inspired by other healthy living blogs that we thought how ama
zing it would be to start our own. It is a wonderful way Jay and I will be able to be connected with each other (as she lives in Victoria and I live in Winnipeg and talking on the phone isn't so easy while she runs after her 20-month old son, Noah). Not only will this blog inspire us to be more creative with our meals and even more healthy with our lives, we hope it will inspire anyone reading this!

Do you have a blog? Leave us a comment and we'll be sure to check out your blog!

We have a few labelled pages on topics that interest us (Beauty, Environment, Health, Books, Children's Books and Food) and we hope to update these more and more while we find our
old favourite books, recipes and products and while we discover new ones!

One of my first healthy eating recipe books (and most favourite!) was the Clean Eating books by Tosca Reno. Jayanna first showed these to me (she read about them in the Oxygen magazines) and I loved them. They are not strict diet books, but more a healthy way of living. She talks about sticking to the more perimeter aspects of the grocery store (eating more
fresh produce and veggies).... aka 'Clean Eating'. Her recipes take some great food, but changes the recipes into some healthy alternatives with using different types of ingredients in some cases, or cooking differently in other cases.

Tosca started with just one book and now has a multitude of titles ranging from recipes for families to just straight cookbooks! The one in this picture is the latest, my mom got it for me for Christmas! I suggest you check it out!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Exploring Our Surroundings

Exploring new places is a favorite for our family! A few weeks ago we packed up a picnic of leftover roasted veggies, Ezekiel wraps, avocado, apples, cucumbers and hit the road! Our road-trip wouldn't have been complete without a much-needed stop at Starbucks where I got my beloved Soy Chai Latte! I am addicted and fully aware! I have cut-back considerably and now often choose a China Green Tips or Zen tea but I still like to indulge every so often! Noah loves the beach like his mama! I love to surf and if given the opportunity would do it much more than I do! Here we are exploring China Beach and I took this pic peeking at Noah through some kelp! We didn't let a little rain ruin our trip and just had so much fun exploring and counting rocks and shells on the beach!

Quinoa Delight!

So I love food so so much! One of my favorite places to buy quick and healthy food is the deli at Planet Organic in Victoria. The customer service is great and the food makes me feel happy! It's so easy to get into the pattern of buying already made food and it has taken me awhile to get into this new habit of meal-planning and creating dishes at home...the positive outcome is that the food made at home usually tastes a million times better than anything you can get out! I based this recipe off the one from the Planet Organic cookbook but I tweaked it by adding walnuts and using less oil! I used either local or organic ingredients! If you are from Victoria, you have to visit Dan's Farm on Oldfield as they have amazing local ingredients for a reasonable price! Anyways, here is the first recipe for our new blog! YAY! Enjoy

Quinoa Salad
1 cup of quinoa
1 yellow onion
2 celery stalks
1/2 bunch of green onion
2 handfuls of chopped parsley
2 handfuls of cranberries
1 handful of walnuts
1 1/2 tbsp. of canola oil
1 tbsp. of lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best!) or 1 tbsp. of lime juice or a mixture of the two!
Pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa with 2 cups of water by bringing the water to a boil and then reducing to a simmer and covering with a lid until the quinoa is fluffy and light! It cooks pretty fast so keep checking! While the quinoa is cooking, take a frying pan and lightly oil it and cook the onions and celery until they soften. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve warm. One of my favorite things about this dish is that it makes tons of leftovers which is amazing the next day eaten cold!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour

Happy Sunday!
So I am going to put up our first pictures today!!!! YAY! I am so excited to be embarking on this adventure and entering BLOG WORLD! Whoohoo!
Last night, at 8:29pm Dan and I turned off all the lights and electronics in our house and lit soy candles for an hour! It was amazing how zen the house felt! I put Noah to sleep which took almost an hour because he wanted extra snuggles but it was really romantic and calm feeling! I hope that everyone contributed by turning out at least one or two lights! Remember that every little thing you do, no matter how small an act, helps to make our world a better and safer place to live! I was going to go surfing today but I think that instead, it will be a chill-day and I'll take Noah to the farmers' market and buy groceries for the week! I will be putting up recipes and pictures of the food we've made this week! YUM! I will also add pictures of our happy family! Love to all, Jayanna