Monday, April 28, 2014

Loafing Around: 10 Benefits of Sourdough...

As you know...

I've developed a passion for loafing around and...

Baking Artisan Bread.

It all started at the bread making workshop I long wanted to attend...
Back in December.

I mean...

It has become one of my vessels to utter tranquility (seriously, I get so zen when I'm in the kitchen creating and baking. I'm pretty sure my eyes light up when anyone starts talking bread with me!)...

And since I've been growing in this new-found passion of mine...

I've been really (like really!!!) enjoying and savouring every single moment I've had to devote to bread making. (Literally too! hehe)


**

So let's talk bread...

As bread often gets a bad wrap...

Many people often believe that in order to be healthy, you need to remove it from your diet (food you eat).

But...

I don't believe that to be true. (Not all breads deserve a bad reputation. And trust me, I didn't know much about the world of bread up until I started baking loaves myself. Now, as I FUrther myself in this passion of mine, I'm gaining a better understanding of what could possibly make one bread healthier than another and why.)


Also, since I've been spending more time in the kitchen baking bread using my sourdough starter and...

Since I've been (and continue to be) spending more time reading, learning, and growing my understanding of how naturally leavened breads differ (and provide more benefits) from breads that are processed (and contain ingredients you can't exactly pronounce)...

I've been able to grow in my awareness about the good (yes good!) in what I've been making with my own two hands!


That said...

If you enjoy bread and are able to incorporate it into your diet (again, food you eat)...

There is (are) a healthier bread(s) available for you to pick from such as...

Those breads made with sourdough! (Sourdough is not simply a flavour nor does it always result in a sour taste (highly dependent on fermentation time and age of starter). Sourdough is what helps make your bread rise, while offering many benefits to your dough while at it!)

**Note: I don't know your fitness goals, your body nor how it reacts to grains. Everyone is different and no one way of eating is going to work for all people. Every body responds differently to all types of food which means that not all people can or are able to eat bread. But for those that can include bread into their diets (remember, the food you FUel yourself with), there is a better option for you out there to enjoy.**

So, having shared that...

Here are 10 facts/reasons why sourdough bread is a healthier option:


  1. Sourdough is made from natural occurring yeast and bacteria found in flour.
  2. Bacteria (in the flour) and yeast in sourdough work to predigest starch in grains which makes it easier for your body to digest it.
  3. Sourdough contains a healthy bacteria called lactobacillus which aids in the digestion of the bread.
  4. Lactobacillus is a good bacteria found in yogurt, kefir, sour cream and in fermented drinks. It helps feed good bacteria found in the digestive system.
  5. The lactobacillus is also known to break down phytates (which prevents the absorption of nutrients).
  6.  Long fermentation times of baking sourdough bread lowers gluten content, and it breaks down the phytic acid which allows good bacteria into your digestive system, by processing it more efficiently. In other words, it makes for easier digestion of starch on the body and, it greatly increases the micronutrient profile of the bread.
  7. Long fermentation also allow for breakdown of gluten protein. This is why some gluten sensitive individuals can have Sourdough bread.
  8. The acidic nature of sourdough slows down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood stream, lowering the bread's gluten index (preventing insulin spikes).
  9. The lactic acid is also known to better preserve the bread by its ability to inhibit the growth of mold. In other words, your bread will stay fresher longer.
  10. Sourdough bread is made of natural ingredients; ingredients you can pronounce.
With that in mind...

If you want (and are able), you can have your bread and eat it too. (hehe!)

I have a sensitive stomach and can react to anything, at any time.
My belly will tell me immediately if it likes something or not (trust me!).
So far...
I've only had a positive experiene with my bread, pizzas and focaccias.
No bloating, no nothing.
That makes me ultra happy no doubt!!! :)

**Note: You don't have to scratch bread off your list in order to be 'healthy'. Healthy is not about restrictions (if you have a fitness goal, you need to do what you need to do to get to where you want to go, which may or may not include bread for the time being). Healthy living is about discovering what works best for you and your overall well-being and, committing yourself to a lifestyle that does YOU good; exercising, eating food with benefits while enjoying the feeling of taking care of yourself from the inside out. Like all things, we can enjoy what we like (love) in moderation. knowing what FUels our body and mind best in a way that fills us  in more ways than one.**

**If you have gluten sensitivities, there are gluten-free brands out there like Udi's Gluten-Free for you to try out.  There are also incredible bloggers like Lindsay over at Cotter Crunch who share many gluten-free alternatives for you to enjoy too**

For more information on the sourdough and its benefits, here are a few more resourceFUl links:

Let's Talk Bread by Laura over Mommy Run's Fast
Sourdough 101 Crash Course by Tiffany over at Don't Waste the Crumbs
The Benefits of Fermented Foods by Lindsay over at Cotter Crunch
Long Fermented Breads for the Gluten Sensitive Tastes Great by Bon Appetit
Sourdough Bread: This is one bread that won't hit a sour note when it comes to your blood sugar by Reader's Digest

Questions FU You...

Do you eat bread? Gluten-free versions?
Did you know about the benefits of sourdough?
Do you bake your own bread?
What do you look for when buying bread? Do you look at the ingredients?

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*

**

More ways you can CONNECT with ME:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Keeping Things in Check and #RECIPEFRIDAY...

Hmmm...

Looks like it's been a week since I last posted on the blog! (Time flies!)

Hi.
Remember me? ;)

That said...

I did enjoy (love) the time I got to hang out with my family and friends (over the weekend), and being more present and not overly connected (technology wise) over the week. (I ended up slowing things down. Not deliberately mind you, it just happened that way!)

No doubt though...

I have been looking forward to this day because....

It's #RECIPEFRIDAY and I get to see what all of you have been making and loving as of late!

But (yes but!)...

Before I get into all the recipe sharing...

Let me fill you in on life as of late!

***

Since being on the road for the past few days...

I've been buuuuusy! (A good kinda busy!)

With that in mind...

I have been taking the time to breathe, enjoy the freshness of the air (whenever possible)...

I did love going on my first bike ride of the season this past weekend!

And...

I have been doing my best when it comes to doing what I can when I can at keeping to my exercise routine...

Ballin'
Lovin' my brights.

While...

Keeping my meals in check! (When you're on the road, it's easy for things get thrown off track but planning ahead always proves to work to your benefit!)

Special ordered.
Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.
More often than not,
Establishments (restaurants) are happy to accommodate.

Don't be shy!

Given that it's now Friday (already!)...

I am looking forward to going home today and...

Spending time with my Bears (that includes SuperFit of course! hehe)...

Love my Dood!

And....

Loafing around! (I'm sure you already knew that right?!)

Here's a glimpse into what I made last weekend :)

Seeded Semolina Sourdough.
The insides.
It's a denser crumb with an incredible flavour.
I really loved this one.
Country Sourdough Loaf.
I sent this off with my Dad who was heading to a dinner party.
Do you like the 'K' in my scoring ;)
My Easter Loaves.
Cranberry Lemon and Chocolate Cranberry Sourdough.

Alright so enough about me...

Let's get to you and your recipes! (I don't have anything to share this week because I haven't been in my kitchen, so I'm looking to you for some goodies!)

I can't wait to see what you've cooked up!





Have a great weekend everyone!

As great as Teddy is at doing the Downward Dog!

Questions FU You...

How was your week?
Any plans for the weekend?
Do you (have you) ever end up unintentionally 'disconnecting'?
What are three things you MUST bring with you when on the road?

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*

**

More ways you can CONNECT with ME:

Friday, April 18, 2014

#RECIPEFRIDAY: Baked Salmon Balls...

Okay, I know...

Totally not the most appealing name for a recipe but...

I really do have Salmon Balls to share!

Putting the S in Salmon.

After a week of going and going and going....

Hooray for caffeinated days!

I must say that the week went by fairly quickly and...

I did get a lot done!

While enjoying some of that amazing sunshine too!
(Let's not talk about the random snow and hale we got the other day!)
I do love me my Sunski glasses!
Got all of my workouts in...
And I felt strong! :)

I mean...

I even managed to loaf around! (Which I typically save for the weekend but I had put my name down to bring my homemade sourdough bread to a potluck!)

The little things I enjoy while baking.
For the love (and safety) of my pain de campagne!
Gone within 10 minutes of slicing.
That made me super happy because I was able to share my bread and...
Because I was told my loaf was "delicious", "amazing" and...
That it was definitely "made with love"!
<3
hehe...
I love this pic from when 007 came over the week!

Did I mention that I shook things up over at Burnbrae Farms with my 10 minute ABS workout and protein shake recipe?1 (Really eggcited that I got the opportunity to write for them!)

Check it out here!

But enough about me...

Let's get to the food and recipes!


I'll go first k?

Just this week...

I ended making this recipe on the fly because I had lots of leftover Salmon from a dinner from the previous night!

If anything...

These Salmon Balls turned out to be quite tasty! (As odd sounding as they may be! Strange but good Laura?)


So...

I figured I should share them with you all since I really liked them!

Savoury Salmon Balls

by *CaNdY FiT*
Ingredients

  • 1 pre-cooked salmon steak (leftovers, or freshly made)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • MTL steak spice (or salt and pepper to taste)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400F
  2. Spray your baking sheet with cooking oil of choice
  3. In a bowl, mash the salmon into flakes, add egg whites and mix
  4. Add in the remainder of the ingredients and combine until evenly distributed
  5. With your hands, or with a ice cream scooper, shape the salmon into balls
  6. Delicately place of the balls on the baking sheet
  7. Put in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy!
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Alright so now it's your turn...

If you have a recipe you've been making and loving...

Share it!


I can't wait to see what you've cooked up!


Have a great weekend everyone!

We'll be loafing around ;)

Questions FU You...

How was your week?
What are you looking forward to this weekend?
What will you do to relax?

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*

**

More ways you can CONNECT with ME:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Healthy Living: Do What's Good For You....

Since the beginning of my venture to healthy living...

I've gone through a number of transformations.

Finally taking my health seriously.
Getting into the groove of eating real foods while...
Learning all about exercise and...
 Falling for it at the same time.
That said...

Not only have I been through a number of physical transformations over the past few years...

I am NOT this lean all year round.
This is competition day only.

But...

I've also gone through transformations of mind and soul too. (And not just as they relate to health but me, as person.)

The glasses capture the mental strength right? ;)

The switch from my sedentary lifestyle to one that is not has resulted in my...

Being grateFUl for what my body has enabled me to do (no matter of its look!) and...

Truly feeling my strength (both inside and out) which has developed along the way! (There is and continues to be a physical and mental connection in it all!)

My biggest physical and mental challenge ever.
The Spartan Beast 2012.

With that in mind...

I've been finding lately that there's been this 'ideal' of sorts of what healthy is supposed to look like more than...

What the benefits are resulting from taking care of your overall well-being. (I feel like more emphasis is being placed on the latter, but I could be wrong. That said, when you're bombarded with all of the strong is the new this, fit is the new that...health is the new other thing, muscle is the new this and that and oh that other thing too...the message of healthy living has the potential of getting lost in translation.)

**Health, Fitness and Healthy Living means whatever you want it to mean. You're in charge of your own life and it's yours to define...Not a poster.**

I won't deny though...

I did, for a long time, have this vision of what being 'fit' should look like  in my own journey to health and fitness. (Having competed in the past and being a healthy living blogger *well, a blogger of all things I want to write about*, along with it can come this expectation of sorts of what one SHOULD look like. Trust me, I've gotten comments about the food I eat and how my body looks different from stage day!)

But...

After much reflection about myself, my perceptions, and my own ideals...

I've found a place where I am most happy all around. (And I didn't find this place overnight, believe me!)

And because of where I'm at, on this present day...

I know what I need to do to keep my entire being in this happy place! (A place where I feel good in all senses!)

Happy.
Physically and mentally.
Even if there is no six pack to be seen.

And quite honestly...

It really matters not what the expectations are (of the media or of others) because what matters most is...

Loving and taking care of your well-being so that...

You can feel at your best! (In every way, shape and form! It's about finding a balance that works for you!)

Because trust me...

There can be a huge disconnect between the physical and the mental when you're just focused on the physical! (Healthy living requires the two to be connected, in my opinion!)

I am most happy when I feel FUll.
FUll from the people that fill my life, from those things I love doing and of course...
From the FUel I fill myself with ;)
At the end of the day...

Focus on yourself, your body, and your overall well-being and...

Do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy, happy and strong!

**Healthy living is a lifestyle. It's more than just being physical. It's doing what's good for you and FUelling yourself in a way that makes you feel at your best in every aspect of your life.**

Happy :)
Don't these sunski's rock?!

Questions FU You...

What is your take on the whole 'strong is the new' thing?
Do you find there is a lot of emphasis placed on what being healthy and fit should look like?
What fills you up?

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*

**

More ways you can CONNECT with ME:

Friday, April 11, 2014

#RECIPEFRIDAY: Extra Lean and Savoury Chicken Balls...

If you think you're going to get those...

Chinese Chicken Balls with the Sweet Red Sauce...

Think again! (Sorry! lol)

But look at the bright side...

Oh....You missed that post?!
I'll fill you in here. hehe

I ammmm going to be sharing with you a recipe that...

Will include chicken which...

Will be shaped like balls and...

Will contain ingredients that give them a red glow! (Am I pushing it?!)


But first...

In just a little less than a week since I shared our engagement news (thank you all so much for your sweet comments and messages!)...

We've been basking in the excitement of it all while...

Savouring the memories as they've been unfolding! (In the sense that we've been savouring our moments together, with our family and friends!)

I made this Country Sourdough Loaf for 007 as per her request.
We ended up slicing it open the day after our engagement in our home.
We savoured this time...
Breaking bread with everyone and enjoying SuperFit's famous cappuccinos.

If anything...

It's been a lovely week in more ways than one :)

**

Okay so about that recipe I was mentioning earlier....

As I got the motivation to cook me some meatballs after 007 talked about a new recipe she had tried that included Pesto and Cranberries...

It got me wanting to make my own too so...

That's what I did!

I made me a meatball salad :)

Hope you like them as much as we did!

Extra Lean & Savoury Chicken Balls

by *CaNdY FiT*
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 1/2 lb extra lean ground chicken
  • 3 tbsp Maison Le Grand sundried tomato pesto
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp egg whites
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to bake at 400F
  2. Spray some cooking oil on your baking sheet
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of your ingredients together
  4. Mix well
  5. With your hands, shape bite sized chicken balls (you can also use a small ice cream scooper)
  6. Place each of the balls on the baking sheet, put in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (until thoroughly cooked)
  7. Serve with a side salad, sweet potato, or anything of your liking!
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Alright so it's your turn...

If you have a recipe you've been making and loving...

Share it!




I can't wait to see what you've cooked up!


Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Questions FU You...

Plans for the weekend?
What's new with you?

Stay Tuned FU More On *CaNdY FiT*

**

More ways you can CONNECT with ME:

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