Tag Archives: recipes

Couch to 5K – Time to slim down?

I have been working on this 5K run effort for over 6 weeks now.  As I have blogged here, I am amazed by how well the app that I am using builds up strength and stamina for achieving the goal of running a 5K.  While I feel stronger and healthier, I still have one stumbling block to overcome.  I know that to go faster, I need to be lighter.  It will take less effort and energy to move a lighter body along the path or treadmill.  That is just simple physics!!  Who knew I paid attention in that class!!

Like I mentioned back when I started my blog series on this topic, I had a number of motivations to start running.  One was to support the efforts of my friend, Rachel.  Another was to improve my heart health and cardio-fitness.  The final one was that I had hoped my efforts would help me lose a few pounds as an added bonus.  That has not happened yet.  🙁

I know that there are a number of people out there that have successfully slimmed down and lost weight using a number of methods.  Outside of the usual options for formalized programs, I am curious to find out what resources people have used when attempting to lose weight.  What blogs, websites, books or magazines did you use or find useful.  Was there a particular app that you used to help you or did you use the old-fashioned method of pen & paper to help your efforts??

I personally don’t like the idea of formalized programs that tie you into a system of meetings and check-ins.  I am a busy guy and truthfully, I don’t have the added time that those programs would take.  I know that people will tell me that the time required for those activities is an investment in myself.  I also know that I would fail if I tried to add more appointments into my schedule right now.

What I want to do is figure out a program that I have ownership of and have developed to fit my lifestyle, which includes a moderate amount of travel each month.  To do this, I need some resources to build a framework, so that I can do a better job of managing what I put into my body.

It wasn’t until recently that I came to the realization that I could get the calories I need to live off, from far less food than I need to feel full.  A stunning concept, I know, but I guess that realizing that now is a good thing.  Just like my running efforts, I can make a change and a difference if I set my mind to it!!

If you have any helpful resources that you would like to share, please leave a comment below so that others can benefit from your input too.  If you would prefer to send your comments directly to me, please reach me on Twitter or via my contact page.  I look forward to your input!!

What makes a sandwich…Bread or Filling?

I recently posed this question on Twitter and the response was just about equal. Some said that stale/soggy bread ruins the sandwich. Some said that the “filling” could save bad bread. Some said both parts were equally important. I don’t know which is right, but I am going to give you my thoughts on all three!!

When you get the right combination of bread and filling it is MAGIC!!  The combination of firmer bread and some fillings, just works.  Other times, an uber-fresh roll works with some deli meat and fresh cheese.  One of my favs is a slice of meatloaf (homemade or store-bought), a dab of spicy pasta sauce or spicy salsa and a slice of swiss cheese.  Toast that sucker open-faced in the toaster oven until the sauce and meatloaf are warm and the cheese is just starting to melt.  Put it together and that is the perfect combination of crunchy bread on the outside and fresh roll on the inside.  The combination of spicy sauce and the bite of the cheese works well with the meatloaf.  Try it and tell my what you think!

As for sandwich bread, there are so many choices.  Rolls, loaves of bread, wraps.  Some of the best sandwiches require the perfect bread.  Corned Beef on Rye.  You need a good rye bread and there are plenty of opinions on what rye bread is best. Marble, Light Rye or Dark Rye, they are all good and all serve their purpose.  Ciabatta buns, Foccacia bread, Flatbreads, Pitas and Wraps are all viable options too.  I have spread peanut butter and jam on the inside of a wrap and you know what, it works.  The wrap suits that sort of filling.

As for the fillings themselves, this is where creativity comes in! They are as unique as the individual themselves.  You can be creative and risqué or standard and predictable.  Sometimes a good ol’ fashioned grilled cheese or BLT just works.  The standbys of PB & J work too, especially if you are a kid (or a kid a heart).  Personally one of my favourite sandwiches is something I call a Stag & Doe Sandwich (aka The Dagwood Sandwich).  This monstrosity basically involves walking up to the meat platter at the buffet table and placing one slice of EVERY deli meat on the tray onto your roll.  This means you can have roast beef, turkey, ham, salami and any other number of deli slices on there! Then add some olives, pickles, tomatoes, mustard and mayo (again, whatever is there).  Close the sucker up and prepare to “tackle” it!  If you have ever seen, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, you likely know about the “Philadelphia Hunch”.  This is a method of eating a HUGE sandwich and keeping it all together.  You might need to perfect this to tackle this sucker!

In conclusion, I guess it doesn’t matter what you find the best part of a sandwich.  It is that you take some creativity and try it out.  Do you have to eat a few “duds” along the way…sure.  The payoff is that winning combination that just “works”! If you have found one of those combinations, leave it in the comments below.  I would love to try some of your creations!

Jamie Oliver – Making a Difference

I had the pleasure of seeing Jamie Oliver on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, on CBC a few months ago. During his interview with George, Jamie was talking about the difference he was trying to make in communities in the US. You can check out Jamie’s Bio and clips of him talking with George about various topics here.

I knew about Jamie’s show where he took under-privileged kids and taught them how to cook, in one of his restaurants. That he took them from the streets to productive members of society. I knew that I liked his cooking shows on The Food Network and that he had written some decent cookbooks. His shows are engaging and his recipes seem simple. Alas, my purpose here is not to talk about his cooking and his recipes.

My purpose is to talk about the social good he is working on and what he is trying to do, because he wants to. Because it’s important to him.

Luckily, I caught a tweet by someone recently that connected me to this video. Jamie is working to make a difference in the world and even though his efforts are focused in the US and the UK, his message is certainly applicable to Canada. I had no idea about TED, what they did or that a TED prize even existed. I now know more about their organization and Jamie as well. The TED website is here and Jamie’s personal website is here. Check them out if you have the time. It’s worth it.

Those of you that know me know I love to cook.  If you didn’t know that have a look around here and you will find stories about my Homemade Salsa.  That’s likely why his message hit home with me.  I learned about food and cooking helping my Grandmother in her kitchen and in her garden.  For that I am certainly grateful.  I love Jamie’s idea of teaching children 10 recipes that will save their lives. Teaching them what carrots, beets, potatoes, tomatoes and healthy foods are is so important.

Have a look at the TED video – it is worth 20 minutes of your time. I know that it has made be think of things in a different way. The changes that he talks about are simple and basic. There is no reason why some or all of the things that he talks about cannot become routine.  I look forward to your comments on what you think and what you might do to make a change or difference during 2011. Feel free to comment here, catch me on Twitter or drop me an email.


TED Prize : Wishes Big Enough to Change the World » Congratulations Jamie Oliver – 2010 TED Prize Winner.

The link to the actual episode of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight can be found here.