"Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don't need an appointment." ~ author unknown.
How true is that? And it gets even cheaper and better when you get the satisfaction of making the most decadent and delicious chocolate creations yourself! Thankfully, with the magic of my sous chef Rémy, making these amazing show stopper creations is a synch.
This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a virtual cooking experience and I showed my guests how easy it is to make Chocolate Coconut Caramel Custard and Chocolate Syrup. Would you believe me if I said that both desserts were made in under an hour? That includes the clean up at the end. I particularly enjoy eating both the custard and the syrup on top of goat's milk yogurt. I also shared some tried and true tips for making these dishes low carb and some of my favourite ways to enjoy them as well.
Check out some other mouth watering desserts made using my Thermomix TM6!
I'd love to share the magic that is Thermomix and host a virtual cooking class for as many of you as possible. We can customize the menu to you and your party's needs and desires. With the holidays coming up, we need more reasons for social interactions. So, let's get together virtually and have some fun, laughs and share a glass of wine or two together.
Even if we're not in the same room, we can still make the most of it. You can message me for more info! And feel free to share with all of your friends as well.
You can also click here for more information about Thermomix.
I still remember the day I wrote this:
"Sometimes, things don't go as planned. You may be aiming for two birds in a bush, and end up with not even one in your hand. There will always be times when things don't go your way. You toil hard, give it your best and end up crying. In the end you think maybe it was just because you didn't pray. But after all is said and done, and you grow older, and you find yourself in a place that is happier, you realize the universe never gave you a cold shoulder!" (Despicable Me).
I had just spent 5 weeks suffering through the most excruciating time of my life ~ Kidney Stones! Don't let those itty bitty little stones fool you. Think of them as little pebbles covered in minuscule razor blades, sitting comfortably in your kidney(s) until the day they decide to dislodge and take an unwelcome trip down your ureter and to your bladder, and then out! I have no idea how long my little mining operation of 10 stones had been forming, but the day they dislodged themselves will never be forgotten!
I will spare you the details, but it started with pee the colour of coca cola and lower back pain that was so debilitating, it felt like I tried to lift a 1 ton truck without success.
The next 10 days were spent in and out of the local ER and 2 emergency trips to the OR to blast those suckers out. It turns out I had about 10 stones in my left kidney that were ranging in size from 2 mm to 10 mm. Unfortunately the back pain would continue to linger for several months and my energy was non existant.
The year 2020 was going so well and I had plans to go on several hiking adventures this summer. I guess it's true when they say that you don't realize how much you miss things until they get taken away from you. Not being able to work out let alone being more or less housebound all summer is not what I had in mind. I love being active! Thankfully, by the time school started back in September, I was starting to feel somewhat back to normal in terms of my energy, minus the lingering back pain. Things were starting to look up! I was back to coaching and training Flying Trapeze and I eased back into my workouts.
Then came mid-September and another scare - my back pain was back with a vengeance. After spending another day at the ER and third trip through the CT Scanner, I was happy to hear I was clear of stones. It appears the back pain was more muscular and most likely residual from the stones. Just my luck! And so the next month was spent taking it slow, following up with my massage and physio therapists, and going on gentle walks with the pups.
I also had to revamp my diet and limit foods that I love, which was the hard part. People can form a variety of types of stones, the most common being what I had, calcium oxalate stones. I have since learned that oxalate is made daily by your liver or can also be absorbed from the foods you eat; foods such as spinach, nuts, rhubarb, sweet potatoes and even chocolate (not happening). My urologist also told me I need to drink at least 3 L of water a day, which has not been an easy feat for me and took some bladder training. Not only that, I am at a very high risk of developing more stones in my future, so I really do need to make sure to follow doctor's orders. We will find out in March sometime if my kidneys have decided to cooperate (fingers crossed).
Happy to report that I am finally feeling back to my old self. My next challenge is to get back into my old routines of working out almost daily so that I can get back to working on my strength and fitness goals. Through all of this, I do feel like I've done a pretty good job at sticking to my nutrition goals - sticking to a LCHF and moderate protein lifestyle has been great for my gut health. In addition, the scale hasn't budged and my clothes are still fitting great. Sure, my abs are not where they were at the beginning of summer, but I know they will come back.
For me, the most important aspect is getting my health back to normal levels so that I can come back stronger and better than ever!
It's a good thing that I'm such an optimistic person because when life throws me curveballs, I'm definitely one to throw them back and prevail!
With crisper days, stormier nights and the colours of leaves changing all around us, you definitely know that summer is behind us and winter is not far off. In my heart I am a summer girl, but there is something comforting about the sighs and smells of autumn days.
As much as I love my warm summer days, I do look forward to one of my all-time comforts: curling up under a cozy blanket with my pups to a good book and the soothing aromas of pumpkin spice wafting throughout my home. From candles to lotions to the smell of a delicious pumpkin pie baking in the oven, I can't seem to get enough.
I used to make pumpkin butter in my Instant Pot all the time and add it to my yogurt or coffees, but it never got to the consistency I wanted. Tasty, for sure, just never thick enough. So when I got my Thermomix, I found a recipe in the integrated digital cookbook for Pumpkin Butter.
Cookidoo® is probably one of my favourite features of the TM6 because it's the largest digital cookbook in the world and it's build right into the machine, easily accessible via WiFi. Not only that, I can do my weekly meal planning, create my own recipe collections, and create my own shopping list, thanks to such an easy touch screen set up. But, I digress!
Well, this Pumpkin Butter was a clear winner. It was fairly thick and smooth. Most of the butters you find elsewhere are loaded with sugar and they are high in carbs, but not this one. I replaced the regular brown sugar with Sukrin Gold, an all-natural low-calorie alternative to brown sugar with an aroma, sweetness, flavour and texture of brown sugar.
I've been making this aromatic mixture on a weekly basis and keep it in a mason jar for easy access. I love to add a spoonful to my goat milk yogurt, but it has become a regular addition to my morning coffee.
What?!? Pumpkin Spice Americano for a fraction of the cost of going to Starbucks, let alone healthier and tastier? Sign me up!
How to make my Pumpkin Spice Americano
The fact that I can use my Thermomix as a kettle, mixer, food processor and to simmer and thicken foods makes it that much more versatile and magical; and that's not all! I'd love to share more about how this amazing kitchen appliance can rock your world too. Let's chat!
This is me
Just a simple gal living on the West Coast of Canada, sharing her love and passion for food and fitness... and her puppy dogs.