My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

The Best Chicken You Haven’t Tried

Are you bored with chicken? Me too. Time for something different. I stumbled across this easy recipe and I liked it a lot so I thought I’d share.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Dijon mustard (smooth works best)
Ground almonds
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Step one – Preheat over to 350 degrees Celsius.

Step two – Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet and watch any bad feelings just melt away, (take that chicken boobies!)

Step three – Spread mustard evenly only both sides of the flattened chicken.

Step four – Dip chicken in ground almonds. Turn to coat evenly.


Step five – Place breaded chicken onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes per side.

Serve with your favourite veggies or a big ol’ salad. Trust me, you will not miss the breadcrumbs in this recipe! Happy cooking!



The best egg dish you haven’t tried yet


One word: frittata. OK, two more words: easy and delicious. I’m going to give you my basic recipe with some variation options.

You will need:

An oven-proof skillet

8 eggs

Olive oil


Salt and pepper

Some kind of greens – arugula or spinach.

Some vegetables – mushrooms, peppers (hot or sweet), onions, tomato, zucchini, broccoli, chives, pre-cooked sweet potato or potato.

Meat, meat, meat – leftover chicken, pork or beef in pretty much any form, flaked tuna, salmon or crab, bacon, prosciutto (fancy bacon), sausage, more bacon…

Some kind of cheese – feta, chevre, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan.

Mix and match these ingredients to your heart’s content.

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan to medium high.
  3. Beat eggs in a bowl until well-blended.
  4. Stir-fry veggies for about a minute, until tender-crisp.
  5. Add greens and wilt for about a minute.
  6. Add meat and then beaten eggs.
  7. Dot with cheese. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook without stirring until eggs are mostly set. There will still be a bit of jiggle in the centre.
  9. Pop the pan under the broiler. Keep a close eye on it and pull it out when the top begins to brown and the cheese is bubbling.

This makes four servings. Serve it with salad or soup. Enjoy!

Counting Calories

Should you be counting calories? By in large, I would say no. Calories are only one way of measuring food and not necessarily the healthiest way. It can fool us into thinking that ‘low calorie’ or ‘light’ foods are better, whereas they may actually be very processed and high in other unhealthy elements such as transfats and salt.

However, I am going to make one exception to not counting calories. It is OK to count calories if you are doing it to observe when you eat certain foods, instead of looking to reduce your calories overall. Let me give you an example.

I downloaded an app called Lose It! after Christmas because I just wasn’t feeling myself and I thought it must being something with my diet. I noted in the app what I was eating and when so I could see what was up. I was consuming a small amount of  calories for breakfast, lunch and snacks during the day, but then I was taking in a much large serving of calories for dinner. I didn’t want to change my choice of foods  or how many calories I was taking in. Instead, I decided that if I moved more of my calories to the beginning and middle of the day, it would improve my energy. It did.

There is nothing wrong with moving calories around in your day. People who eat smaller, more frequent meals and who eat more during the day than at night, have more even sugar levels. They don’t get hungry as quickly, giving them the chance to choose healthier foods. So there’s the only time I’m going to approve of you counting calories. Happy researching!

Eat by Design

Eat by Design

I recently attended the Eat by Design seminar. This was an informative night and if you haven’t been out to it I suggest you sign up! Here are my notes from the event.20140204_200718

Dr. K started with the reality check. He predicted, “2014 will be the sickest year ever.” In the past 55 years our health has declined. For example, children are no longer living as long as their parents. Symptoms will not always predict illness so prevention is the key. We need to learn how to take care of our health before we get sick. As Dr. K stated, you want to be able to “Do the things you love as long as humanly possible.”

“Our bodies are designed to be extraordinary.”

There are incurable people; there are no incurable diseases. Your actions follow your beliefs. The Life by Design Formula is that Correct philosophy + congruent action + time = extraordinary results. What do you need to get you back to health?

Epigenetics – you choices affect what genes your body expresses. That’s why “Sitting is the new smoking.” Physical, emotional and chemical stressors affect how our genes are expressed too and this drastically affects our overall health.


The Rules for Eating by Design:

1. Eat real food first. Real food had one ingredient and no bar code. Real food fills you up more quickly.

2. Eat protein with every meal. Animal protein from healthy animals is the best source for our bodies e.g. Grass fed meat, wild fish, free range chicken. Avoid eating processed meat like baloney and sausages. Protein raises your metabolism, satisfies your appetite making it hard to overeat and it improves insulin sensitivity.

3. Eat your vegetables. All diets contain this step. Cooking them is fine because it allows our bodies to more easily absorb nutrients. Eat organic, local and seasonal.

4. Eat fat. Fat does not make you fat. Fat feeds your brain and body. Eat animal fats, avocados, fish, and seeds. Avoid transfats and seed oils.

5. Remove toxic foods – grains and legumes. There is nothing in grains that you can’t get from by design foods with less toxicity. Our bodies are not well-adapted to utilizing grains as a food source. Grains are also addictive. Grains break down into sugar as we digest them. Grains also have indigestible elements. Legumes (soy, peanuts) have many of these qualities and irritate digestion.

6. Remove toxic foods – sugar. We don’t have to be sugar-free. Our bodies are adapted for some sugar so we need to make sure we don’t overwhelm the system. Fructose is toxic at high levels. Be careful if weight loss is your goal as sugar increase body weight. However, fruit (especially berries) have antioxidants and other healthy properties.

7. Earn your carbs. If you move more, your body will want more energy from carbohydrates. Nontoxic, safe starches such as sweet potatoes, tubers and squash are best.

8. Getting the essentials – when to supplement. A supplement is used in addition to healthy practices. LBD essentials: vitamin D, omega 3 (high quality, pharmaceutical grade fish oil, probiotic.

9. What about dairy? It’s a grey area. Pasteurized milk is a processed food. Raw milk is a real food but it’s still illegal here. Try to remove milk from your diet as lactose and casein irritate digestion and pasteurized milk contains hormones and antibiotics.

10. Calories – quality versus quantity. Stop counting calories. Base every meal on proteins, add vegetables, limit your safe carbs unless you are training with intensity, add a handful of nuts or seeds, limit your fruit, and avoid cereal grains and legumes.


Take action! Write down what you’re going to do. Clean out your pantry. Make it a family affair. Tell everyone. Be prepared for the “Low Carb Flu.” Make sure you eat enough protein and fat. Celebrate! This is a journey. “Never start anything you wouldn’t consider doing for the rest of your life.” I’m in, are you?

Happy Family Day!

Tomorrow is Family Day. Make sure you hug the people you love!

I get by with a little help from my friends…

Motivation is never a constant. Someone who tells you they are always motivated is lying…or crazy. One of the hardest things to do for me is to ask for help. However, as I start to look for it, sometimes help finds me.

During Christmas break, I went off-track, waaaaaaaay off. When I returned to work I felt sluggish and sad. In a burst of New Year’s motivation I hadn’t been feeling, one of my coworkers posted this calendar in our office:


She encouraged us to put up a sticker each time we worked out. It’s a small thing; maybe a bit childish too, but it worked! We all began gleefully sticking up our stickers and cheered on others as they put up theirs. I looked forward to this little ritual and skipped fewer workouts because I wanted my stickers up there too. It’s lovely to have help, even when it’s the small, silly kind.

30 Day Chalege begins again!


So It’s time for the next 30 day challenge. I’m in! For this challenge I am going to continue to reduce my grains and I’m going to take the supplements Life by Design recommends. This consists of a dose of fish oil, vitamin D and a pro-biotic each day. I dread the fish oil but Dr. Jamie promised me the brand he recommends tastes like lemon meringue. I hope these supplements will up my energy but I’ll keep you posted on how I do.

Do you want to join us? Visit

The Best Snack You Haven’t Tried

Nick and I have been snacking away on homemade apple chips for the past few weeks and it is safe to say this is going to be a new staple of ours. I got the recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats. I highly recommend this snack. It’s a bit time-consuming to make but so worth it for a healthy treat!

You’ll need a way to core your apples. I suggest an apple corer like this one. 20140125_184150

I got it as a stocking stuffer this year and it works really well.

  • Preheat oven to 200ยบ.
  • Core 3-4 small apples of any types  using an apple corer and thinly slice(use the apples you like best and don’t worry if they are a bit bruised).


  • Place apples on baking sheet with parchment paper underneath for easy cleanup. Try not to overlap them if you want crunchy apple chips.


  • Mix 1 Tablespoon of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle the top of the apples with the cinnamon sugar mixture, (keep in mind you do not have to use all of it; I only dusted one side).
  • Bake for 1 hour. Flip apples over. Bake for an additional hour.
  • Remove from the oven. If you put them in a container right away, they will stay soft and chewy. If you let them cool completely on the pan, they will go crunchy like potato chips.20140125_210410


How Do You Talk To Yourself?

  • I release the need to be perfect.
  • I release the need to control things.

These are two of the most difficult things I have ever tried to tell myself. I have always been a high achiever. Failure doesn’t feel good to anyone but when someone is used to doing well most of the time, they may lack the coping skills to deal with failures.

I want to say more positive things to myself. That’s my new goal. If I’m not kind to myself, who will be?

I fount this post called How Do You Talk To Yourself? really interesting. Give it a read and see if you struggle with some of these things too.

Post Navigation