‘Tis the Season

Sorry I have been blog MIA! Terry and I had a wonderful trip back home to Canada to spend Christmas with our families. The only not so fun part was the blizzard that started up the night before we flew back to sunny California. We were worried we would be stuck there as the airport did cancelled some of their flights; fortunately, ours was not one of them.

I did manage to bring a cold back with me though. It started out innocent and mild, but turned into a full blown cold by the time we got back. I started out taking vitamin C, echinacea and eating lots of clementines and I got lots of sleep and relaxed. Unfortunately, some family drama ensued and a nasty coping mechanism I have is to overeat. I ended up eating some things with white sugar in them (which I never do!) and I’m pretty sure that killed off some of my poor white blood cells. Let this be a lesson, leave white sugar alone. I know it is very tempting to load up on sweets this time of year, but let my story be a lesson to you. I learned a lot about the evils of refined sugar in nutrition school and it set me straight. This minor lapse in judgement proved everything I learned correct ;p I found a good article on sugar and the impact to our health if you’re interested:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/05/04/sugar-dangers-part-two.aspx

Something I’m proud of is that I managed to eat pretty healthy most of the trip. We stayed at my in-laws for most of the trip, which left me a little nervous as sometimes the food I prefer is different than what others prefer. They were super accommodating though! They made me mashed potatoes with almond milk and steamed veggies one night, a stir fry another and made sure to have lots of fresh fruit and veggies for me. And for the big family holiday meals, I brought my own food.

For my family dinner, I made this super fun salad for everyone to share:

Isn’t it gorgeous? Everyone really liked it, even the kids! I adapted the recipe from: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/12/christmas-tree-salad-pomegranate-pecans.html

I originally made it a few weeks ago for a couple that came to dinner and followed the recipe exactly. But when I was back home, I didn’t quite have everything the recipe called for, so I adapted it:

Holiday Salad

several leaves of romaine lettuce, washed, patted dry (as I was without my spinner) & torn into bite-size pieces

1 large handful of red grapes, cut in half

the seeds from half of a pomegranate

1 apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 clementines, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 handful of unsalted, un-roasted almonds, sliced

For the dressing I just squeezed the juice from half of a lemon and combined it with 1 tbsp of oil and a bit of salt and pepper. I’m a sucker for a simple dressing, but the original recipe has a nice oil-free version.

Place the lettuce in a large serving bowl. Combine the grapes, seeds, apple & clementines in a small bowl and add the dressing and stir to combine. Toss on top of the lettuce & top with the sliced almonds. Voilà!

Normally salads fill me up enough for a meal, but this one was slightly lacking in protein and I knew everyone else would be having a big meal, so I brought myself a slice of vegan, gluten-free lasagna:

I picked up the lasagna from that cool store I reviewed in a previous post http://rockmyvegansocks.vaskor.ca/the-vegan-traveller/. The owner made the lasagna with kale, veggies, tempeh and daiya and it was *so* good!!! I didn’t get that kind of left out feeling I sometimes get when everyone else is enjoying their meal, I think I may have even saw a few jealous peeks at my plate ;p

I had a few people try out the lasagna and like it:

I also brought some raw balls for dessert which will be in a future post.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got to have a nice, relaxing time with your families =)

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