“Healthstyle” for the Sleep Deprived?

My thoughts on Foodist, by Darya Pino Rose

You’ll remember back to when I when I said dieting doesn’t work, and I discovered summertomato.com, Darya’s website? I was drawn because she discussed how lack of sleep wrecks willpower. And she’s pretty much anti-dieting. Image

I know exactly what she means by the weakness of willpower. All it takes me saying that I’m not going to eat something, or that I’m going to get up at 5am, or that I’m cutting back to make me want that thing soooo bad, whether it’s food or sleep or the sugariest of margaritas.

And I hate dieting. I hate turning down my favourite foods. Especially since I’m a pretty simple eater, and narrowing my choices leaves me with, well, not much choice.

Darya eschews the term diet, favouring instead “healthstyle.” She notes “in popular culture the word ‘diet’ is synonymous with willpower and restriction, which as we’ve seen are the enemies of longterm success” (31). Darya believes it’s not about super foods or carb cutting, but about taking the time to enjoy real, whole food in realistic portions and exercise.

I was really impressed when Darya discussed the “psychology of good taste” (162). She has a section about gateway vegetables and a story from another ‘born-again foodist.’ Darya might even be talking to me through this book and it’s kinda creepy but wow when she suggests “there’s a good chance that you  don’t even believe your palate can adapt to eating vegetables or unfamiliar foods at this point in your life” (162). AND she actually acknowledges how people (ME) don’t like veggies due to texture. roasted-beets-529x400

I’ve got to say I recommend Foodist. I found it an easy read, with recipes that tempt me into trying new vegetables, like the roasted beets pictured here, with chèvre and mint.

Darya does put some urgency into local and organic foods as well. And of course I’m all about locavore love. I borrowed Foodist from my local library, but you could also check your local bookseller, or buy online at amazon.ca.

Almost immediately after finishing Foodist, I went grocery shopping at my local Super Store. Which has a pretty great organic section. Looking at those prices though – wow!!! This may be a hiccup in my becoming a Foodist.

Darya also suggest farmers markets. They’re a terrific place to shop for fruit and veg because you know you’re buying ‘in season’. Super market, out of season foods may be engineered or modified to become ripe, which may alter taste and nutrition etc etc. I love farmers markets, knowing my food is from local producers, many of them organic. Plus my favourite one in Old Strathcona has a booth offering the most delicious to-die-for shrimp and pork dumplings.

And while visiting the farmer’s market is on my list, I’ve also been turned on to the Organic Box, a food delivery service. Maybe I can be a Foodist after all.


Does anyone else subscribe to this or something similar? Anything I should be aware of going into my first delivery? Has anyone else read Foodist or subscribed to Darya Pino Rose’s blog?



Rose, Darya Pino. Foodist: using real food and real science to lose weight without dieting. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. Print.

Mind Your Manners

The most mild-mannered of people can horrify you on the road. Whether they become kamikaze rage pilots on the asphalt, or anexoric-I-couldn’t-eat-THATers, here’s a few things to keep in mind as you travel.

1. Open road, open mind. Just because the culture of the area is different than yours, doesn’t mean you can’t at least appreciate it. As my husband tells our son, you will take a bite, you will try it, and smile, and you don’t have to take anymore. He also told his co-workers the same thing while working up in Nunavut recently. And yes, he only had a one bite of seal, polar bear and some of their other ‘country foods’, but the little Inuit boy sitting next to him was thrilled that my husband tried them.

2. Don’t judge the whole because of one. Or vice versa. I was horrified on a recent trip when a woman I love very much lumped an entire culture into one highly offensive category. It put a serious damper on the day when I expressed my disgust, but, in situations like that, a smile and a laugh aren’t enough to communicate how wrong that is. There’s nothing funny about racism. Or gender discrimination. Or humour based on disability.

3. Mind your Ps and Qs. Whether it’s staff or other travellers, speak politely, show gratitude and be mindful of your actions. Even if they do not respond in kind. I’m not against complaining where it’s due, but do so respectfully, and cut your losses before you’re upset.

4. And pints and quarts. If you’re in new territory, plan out your night before you start tipping them back. Consider ordering a cab in advance so you’re not stuck somewhere you don’t want to be, no matter how much you enjoyed it in the beginning. Besides, don’t you want to remember your adventures? And be able to rock n’ roll again the next day?

Image5. Follow the rules of the road. Drive at least near the speed limit. You don’t know if the speed limit is low because there’s a school nearby. As horrifying as that is, it’d be just plain inconvenient to hold up your trip because of a collision. I also recommend a road service like CAA or in Alberta, AMA. If you use your basic membership once a year, it has paid for itself.

I feel like I’m missing something from this list though. What reminders do you have for fellow travellers?

Dieting Doesn’t Work (For Anyone)

The hardest thing about this diet for the sleep deprived is the whole diet part of it. For one, most people thrive on routine – I don’t. In fact, my inner conspiracy theorist insists I regularly deviate from routine.

ImageMost recently, I signed up at EatingWell.com and have been utilizing their 1200, 1400 and 1600 calorie weekly menus. But I don’t actually like vegetables. So I’m eating the same veggies over and over. Apparently my inner conspiracy theorist has spoiled me, and frankly, I like it.

So, I’m using My Fitness Pal, I’m downloading menus, I’m cooking my family pasta and prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and super delicious gravy, and I’m eating salad. Okay, I took a small portion of pasta, totally okay, but I had two and a half Yorkshire pudding, and really there was no easy way to measure the gravy…

I’m going to yoga at least once a week. And I started getting up at 5 to walk the dog – there’s too much ice to run. I am recovering from my sleep deprivation by going to bed earlier, but I’m also cutting into family time to continue my studies and my freelance side hustle.

You know what this all sounds like to me? Whining. Excuses. And not a lot of fun.

On the positive side, I’m awake. And my pants are looser. But there’s got to be a better way.

Side note: I once worked as a receptionist during a maternity leave for a high-powered downtown law office. It sounded thrilling and full of opportunity. What it really offered was the opportunity to read the newspaper and magazines that came on a daily and weekly basis. And what I really learned was that I love being in the know. I now find myself addicted to at least a dozen informative and useful blogs.

I subscribe to Nicole Belanger’s blog, and just this very morning was inspired to write about my sleep deprived diet after reading You Don’t Have to Drink the Green Juice Kool Aid. Nicole reminded me that as I pursue my own definition of health, “If you do something just because you think it’s right, it isn’t going to feel good and you won’t truly enjoy it, which means you’re less likely to stick to it and see real and lasting progress.”

Then she recommended a couple of other blogs that inspired her, including Summer Tomato, written by Darya Rose. I immediately liked her because she things she’s a geek. But then she started speaking all scientifically to me, and I understood her. I signed up for her newsletter, and got a chapter on willpower, excerpted from her book, Foodist. In it Rose recommends we eat good food in moderation, which is what every diet guru says – that’s my impression anyways, but that golden rule hasn’t really helped me so far. She then says we should be saving our willpower for important decisions, and eating is not an important decision. What?! Then she says what I’ve been saying all along “Inadequate sleep is another factor that diminishes willpower by depleting blood-sugar reserves, and sleep-deprived people are more likely to be impulsive and make bad decisions than their well-rested peers.”

So she’s validated me, but made me question my method for losing weight. And consider I suck at dieting, I’m so sick of eating the same vegetables and I want baked potato soup so bad, with grated cheese sprinkled on top, and bacon bits sprinkled too, and I wish my husband hadn’t eaten the last of the leftover gravy… am I really going about this the right way?

Good news! My local library has Foodist! I’ll review it in a future post… once I retrieve my hold and read it, of course. In the meantime, I am so eating something delicious today. And I threw away my yucky, tough, organic celery.

Have you read this book? Are you happy with your weight loss methods? Hate vegetables too?

Four Strong Winds

This gypsy soul of mine has been following the winds. Rather than posting, I’ve been gallivanting. Back down to the mountains. Over to the Great Lakes. And soon, down south. Technology has encouraged me to step away from the computer as well. I was having some trouble with the charging jack of my Asus laptop. Which should have been an instant trigger to back up my stuff. But I did’t. And now the cord doesn’t work at all, and my computer has no juice. I’ve bought a MacBook Air, and I know I should love it. Just takes some adjusting to change.

ImageIt IS spring. A whole season of change. It makes sense that my soul called out for some, even if it was still cold, snowy and white there too. I’m not a huge spring lover. I can do change. It’s just that sometimes my physical self is used to something, like a computer, and my feet stick to the ground there. But I know that I’m ultimately happier allowing my soul to explore.

Even though an Albertan spring is full of mud, snow, sunny days and cold winds, and more snow, it’s worth it. I love summer. And seeing my kids splash in puddles. I can handle this.

A Little Locavore Love

I might have met my husband on Valentine’s Day, but we celebrate our romance a little more regularly than once a year. It remains a time for treats, though, as we both celebrate our birthdays in February. We splurged just the other night with our first trip to Rge Rd, a local field-to-plate restaurant who locally sources all of their ingredients. Even their wine list is prevalently Canadian.

All this romance and good food inspired a little locavore love.

Here are ten of my favorite local treats:

  1. Rge Rd
    As inspiration for the list in the first place, it must come in first place. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for this tiny restaurant. In fact, the most difficult thing about this place is getting a seat. Reservations recommended, and maybe don’t eat lunch so you can sample the full range of their delicious fare.
    We started off with the Kitchen Plate on meatball night. Delicious herb gouda, beef, pork and bison meatballs and artisanal crackers – mmmm. My husband had the Pig Roast, I had the bison, and we finished off with an apple galette topped with a smoked vanilla buttermilk ice cream… is your mouth watering too?
    I also had an excellent glass of Riesling from the Chateaux des Charmes winery in the Niagara region, which has got me all excited anew about my trip to Niagara Falls next month.
  2. Brassica mustard
    That beautiful bison I had came from locally sourced Pilatus Farms was served with a hazelnut spatzle and Brassica mustard. I’d heard rave reviews about this mustard as well. While I’d also never had hazelnut spatzle, I can definitely see myself cooking with this wonderful mustard time and again. I believe it’s available at Save On Foods.
  3. Hole’s bouquets
    Hole’s Greenhouse, located in the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert, has a greenhouse, kitchen shop, gifts, furniture, spa and organic grocery. AND a florist which sells more than your average rose-and-daisy bouquet. Keep your eyes out for gorgeous posies of ranunculus and elegant orchids.
  4. T. Bishop Bakery’s Go Nuts poppycock squares
    I randomly treated myself with one of these squares while on a grocery shopping trip. Now I greedily grab three or four squares every time I come across them. Buttery soft popcorn goodness. Seriously. It’s not even ten a.m. and I’m considering eating one from my cupboard stash right now. I’ve picked these up at Save On Foods and Planet Organic.
  5. Prairie Mill Bread Co.’s cinnamon buns
    I’m a cinnamon bun fan on the best of days, but on market day, when I’m wandering the stalls at the 104 Street market early before the crowds descend, I can count on one of the huge, soft and perfectly-not-too-sweet whole wheat cinnamon buns to still be warm from the ovens.
  6. Sylvan Star’s Old Grizzly gouda
    My husband has turned me on to a beautiful sharp cheese. The Old Grizzly extra aged gouda from Sylvan Star in Red Deer is a perfect example. Smooth and nutty, it takes cheese and crackers to a new level.
  7. Duchess Bake Shop’s shortbread, salted caramel macarons, banana cream pie…
    Best banana cream pie I have ever eaten. And the salted caramel macarons only beat out the root beer float macarons by a small margin. We gave out their shortbread as our wedding favour – ooh I forgot to mention the cream of wild mushroom soup! The Duke cake, the Duchess cake, the gruyere croissant – take a pick, you can’t go wrong.
  8. Jacek chocolates
    No one really wants the Pot O’ Five Dollar chocolates where quantity beats quality. For those you want to spoil, buy them Jacek. It’s just a couple dollars more, and sure they’ll get less chocolate, but they’ll be ranting and raving over the taste and flavour combinations.
  9. Poutine from the Cheese Factory
    Tip: a small is enough, a medium is plenty, and you should probably share the large. The cheese curds are made in house. The yelp reviews are mixed on this joint, but for a quick, affordable and delicious perfectly plain ol’ poutine, this is my place.
  10. Pinocchio ice cream
    Bacio is chocolate hazelnut, cappuccino takes like real coffee and not too sweet, coconut that’s wonderfully tropical… expensive at almost ten bucks a tub, but there’s more than double a haagen dazs container and it tastes better!

Well, it’s no wonder the Diet for the Sleep Deprived continues to be a struggle. But it all tastes so good!! Any tips or suggestions for numbers 11 through 20? Or disagree with one through ten? Let me know.

In the meantime, wishing you love and laughter and treats this Valentine’s weekend. 



Some love lessons I’ve learned

Jennifer Gyuricska:

Loved this and the included video!

Originally posted on The Love of Gadgetry:

1. Just because someone is your best friend, doesn’t mean it’s going to work out romantically, but the guy it works out romantically with will be your best friend.

2. If diamond fireworks go off and sparkly butterflies fly the first time you lock eyes, well, that means nothing. You are not destined to be together or guaranteed magical compatibility. Don’t let those butterflies and fireworks carry more weight than they’re worth.

3. Honesty is the only thing. Of course you shouldn’t say you’re cool with casual when you want more, or vice versa. But you also have to be honest about your needs. I’m a weirdo and need a lot of space and a lot of affection at the same time. In the past I’ve downplayed one or the other, always with hurtful results. Honesty is best.

4. Like it or not, you have a type. And if you…

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How Do You Know Where You’re Going When You Barely Know Where You’ve Been

If this was your Facebook status, I might un-friend you. I’d think you were fishing for compliments and attention. But in personal contemplation, I think this is a pretty valid thought.

I think I’ve said it before but I’m sure that 2014 has potential. I’ve got to be patient, and let the stars align and all that. This isn’t as easy as it sounds.


I’ve got some big ideas! And I’m excited. I want to travel more, do more, be more, and of course, do it with less debt. I’ve got three more courses to do in finishing my degree. And I’m going to write more. I said that, didn’t I?


On a related note, has anyone ever taken a course on screenwriting?

I saw a pretty neat little project about creating your own personal timeline. I don’t spend enough time on really planning the future. And it’s always so much easier to remember the less encouraging things from the past. And here I am, a mom, telling my kids how bright the future is. I think a timeline will be just the thing to remind me of my crazy beautiful life and where I’ve always wanted to go.


Have you done a timeline? I’ll keep you posted on how mine goes. And looks. And works…

If I had a resolution, it’d be in the blue bag on the curb

The diet for the sleep deprived continues to be a challenge. Thank heavens I didn’t make it a New Year’s Resolution as my resolve isn’t the greatest.

I continue my love affair with delicious food. I’ve totally got a lady-crush on the Pioneer Woman. I’ve been monitoring my calories on and off and I’m sticking to a reasonable number.

On a warm and loving family note, I’ve gotten the thumbs-up on quite a few suppers! (Ranch-style chicken, sour cream bake, steak bites) And even some breakfasts (make ahead muffin melts, baked French toast).

None of the above are the best for the waistline, but when the husband’s home for supper, I like to make sure we’ve got lots on the table. Though, he too is beginning to speak of his waistline.

My job is pretty sedentary, but I’ve been getting to the gym on a few lunch hours at work, and went for a walk today. I’ve even spent a few hours on a yoga mat. All that said, I’ve gained another couple pounds. I’ve started drinking Boost as a meal replacement on a few lunch hours per week.

Still, my pants are all getting tighter. And I’m dealing with a health issue next week that may have me taking it easy for two to four weeks.

So while I’m down and out, I’m going to double up on my salads and try to get out on a walk twice a day.

Wish me luck and lower numbers!

Unless you got mad skillz to share, then please do!