Monday, August 25, 2008

Ridout Photography - there is no-one better!

We picked up our wedding photographs this weekend, and let me just say, we are happier than I thought I could be! So here's a plug to our photographer!

I may have even mentioned him before, because I remember seeing his work before I even got engaged and I said (to myself of course) THAT guy is doing my wedding photos! His talent and eye for detail and endless imagination is second to none. Check out his work!

Also - he created an amazing slideshow DVD of our wedding day set to music, and it's viewable on photodex sharing website. The link is below if you are interested in viewing. The only thing to note is that it will tell you to install "Active X Photodex Viewer" so that you can see it - it's 100% safe and doesn't take up space on your computer.

Hope you enjoy! I will try to post a few of my favourite pictures once I have some more time! So hard to choose!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


My cleanse is done! Yay! Felt good to do it, and feels good to end it! Now I feel fresh and detoxed!

Okay - so - one of the things that I knew I would miss as a vegetarian is my hubby's family's tradition of Garlic Pork at Christmas and Easter, or "G.P." as they call it. It's not just pork with some garlic seasoning - oh no - its cubes of pork, marinated in a mixutre of vinegar, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and scotch bonnet peppers (aka - HOT!!) for anywhere from 5 to 7 days!! It sits in the marinade on a counter and soaks up the heat and vinegar. You may think it sounds crazy - but it tastes soooooooooooooo good! (after the setting period, it's boiled, then broiled, and eaten with tasty Anise seed bread - ahh - just thinking about it now makes me smile...

However, I don't want to eat poor wittle piggy's anymore, but I also didn't want to miss out on the G.P.! So - I invented a veggie version of it! With TVP, or textured vegetable protein! They look like dog treats when they're hard (appetizing eh?) ... but they soak up the flavour of whatever liquid they're immersed into, and become softer with a 'chewy' texture. They look just like pieces of pork tenderloin medallians would look. So I gave it a shot - prepared the marinade - put in the TVP medallians - let it sit for about 24 hours - and voila!! G.T.V.P.!

I was a little scared to try it. After broiling it until it browned on the edges....I gave it a try...and... I liked it! Granted - it's not as good as G.P. - but Rich tried it too, and his words....??..."It's not horrible!".

So there you go - a little imagination and creativity and I can still enjoy Christmas and Easter with my in-laws -- even though I'm sure I will be subject to some roasting at the table!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Who Knew?

Still cleansing. So far, so good. I’ll have a bit of a challenge this weekend though when we head to “Taste of the Danforth”…a celebration of Greek cuisine where there is a street festival of all the Greek restaurant vendors who come out with their tasty tasty treats!! We have gone the past few years and it’s always been a great time. However, I’m unable to partake in it this year as my cleanse goes until Monday! And actually, I’m not sure how much non-animal items they would have there other than maybe perogies and French fries (which I can’t have right now).
But I’ll still go with Rich because he really enjoys the food, and I can always spend my money on something else….like jewellery and sunglasses (which they also have a lot of!).

And speaking of tasty food – I made a really good dinner last night that was ‘cleanse-friendly’, vegan and very very tasty! As I mentioned on an earlier post – the cleanse is pretty strict on food that you CAN’T have….no dairy, no alcohol, no salt, no sugar, no wheat, no bread, no pasta, no preservatives, no oranges, no mushrooms….so although there are still food choices, it’s a bit tough to make them flavourful, and also – you have to get certain amounts of Proteins, Grains, Fruit and Fats in at each meal.

So for dinner last night – I made some Quinoa (a high protein whole Grain), with lentils and chickpeas (my protein!), and sautéed a bunch of onions, green and red peppers, zucchini and garlic (my veggies!) in some sesame oil (my fat!). All was mixed together in a deep pan, and I added some ginger and cinnamon to the mix for a flavour twist (which was really nice with the sesame oil!) and tossed a few walnuts on top (I was allowed two fats – so the nuts were my second one). It was SO good! I couldn’t believe this was “cleansing” food. I have the same thing for lunch today (leftovers) and I’m actually excited to eat it!

So although I’ll be happy when the cleanse is over, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. 5 days to go!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Lovely Weekend Away - Now onto the Cleanse!

This past weekend, my hubby and I stayed at a really quaint and romantic Inn in the wine region of Prince Edward County ( We were given a gift certifcate from my in-laws for Christmas last year, and we decided to wait for the warmer weather before using it.

It was a beautiful location - overlooking the lake, with a private beach and muskoka chairs all about. We had a nice cozy room with our own bathroom and a view onto a little stream with trees and birds. The stay was great. Very relaxing and rejuvinating. The food at the Inn was really good too (we only had our breakfast there - which was served on a big deck overlooking the water). I was able to find tasty vegetarian options wherever we ate, which was great, as this was our first trip "away" since starting my new lifestyle.

And, while in the County, one must of course visit the wineries that are abundant and sprawling across the region! And we did! Two in fact - and one cider house as well. We ate, we drank, we slept, we ate and drank some more...and spent one of our days on a beautiful sand beach in the area. Just thinking about it now .... I want to go back!

But here I am - it's Tuesday - I'm back at work and back to reality! With the drinking and the pancakes and the blooming onions and the sunchips and the desserts, my body is wondering what the heck I did to it!

So, today I started a 7-day herbal detoxifying cleanse. A mix of supplements and specific foods to help clean me up and get me feeling good again. Truthfully - much of the permitted foods on this cleanse are what I eat daily anyway - but there are some foods (mushrooms, flour, bread for example) that are not allowed.

I've cleansed before - it's tough in the beginning, and usually I feel a little weak the first couple of days, but I'm hoping I'll get through it and feel better and begin the latter half of 2008 with a fresh start. The first half was the most wonderful year of my life! That's a lot to live up to! But I'm pretty sure I can do it!

As a post-script....I partook in an Ashtanga Yoga class last week. It was a level 2 (i.e. - not a beginner class) but I wanted to try it out and see how I liked it. Well...let's just say that everyone in the class looked like Madonna, and I had to keep taking breaks (and at one time thought I was going to be sick!) ... but I persevered and was actually able to do a lot of the moves, and felt soooooooo good when I was done! It was a 90 minute class in a heated room - so a little much for my first time - but at least I know that it's something I definately want to pursue and man oh man! What a workout!! I felt like an elastic when I was done and was so relaxed yet energized at the same time. Hard to explain - but I will definately be going back for more!