Fireball Yams – Happy Thanksgiving, American Folk

•November 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment

yamsHere’s a present for everyone! No alcohol is in the finished product just flavor! ;D Diane

Diane’s Fireball Yams

2-3 pound of yams or sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
dots of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 ounce Fireball
1/2 ounce Cointreau or Triple sSec (don’t use Blue Curacao or you will get turquoise yams! Another story)

Slice the yams(sweet potatoes) into a single layer into a relatively shallow dish or casserole. Sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter over the whole thing.  Then, pour the Fireball and Triple Sec over the whole thing and add to the oven at 325/350 F for at least 1 hour!!!!  The alcohol evaporates but the flavour remains – big time!  Enjoy!



The Minefield of Marketing – Grocery Shopping

•November 2, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I just came back from a quick run to the Super Store. I needed a prescription and had to kill 40 minutes before it would be ready. So, I picked up a few things that we needed, such as: toilet tissue, air freshener, a new winter sweater (it is a “super” store) and 50% off all Halloween candy. OK, I didn’t buy any more candy. We still have Hawkins Cheezies in perfect snack size bags and a few Hershey’s treats.Who can walk by a 50% off sign and at least ask themselves if we need it, whether we do or not?


And, Christmas oranges were on sale for less than $1 a pound. These are the only oranges I like. They are easy to peel (none of that gross bitter pith under my nails and edible fibre between sections not like regular oranges) as well as being sweet and juicy.

Grocery shopping is hard. Before we even get to the store we’ve already been swamped by so many advertisements on TV. Low fat margarine; healthy, genetically modified probiotic yogurt; and gluten free carrots are just a few of the products we’ve been told are good for our modern diets. Seriously, Hershey’s labeled their cocoa “fat-free”. Duh! if it had fat in it it would be chocolate not cocoa! Then there’s the new probiotic in Activia yogurt. In addition to the live bacterial cultures used to make all yogurt, Activia contains Bifidus Regularis, a trademarked name for an organism normally present in the human intestines called Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010.Now you cannot trade mark a living organism unless you have changed it. Yep, it is genetically modified, just a tiny bit, so they can trademark it. GMO and based on the same bacteria in human poop!

But, it is marketed very well. There are very happy cows on the west coast, TV tells us this so milk products and cheese here are good for you. Facebook wants us to buy 210 calorie “energy bars” with 7 grams of protein, 26 grams of carbohydrates and only 1 gram of fibre. Fibre is the good carbohydrate not sugar (the 26 grams)! And gluten is protein that is indigestible by people with celiac disease. It is not fattening, the starch carbs in wheat are what is fattening. Don’t eat it if you don’t want the weight!

Sigh. I bought some high carb grapes, good-carb oranges, fat-free carrots and newly approved for diabetics – coffee! I also bought a sweater that looks pretty good on me. That also happens when you’re out waiting for prescriptions and get bored, you buy things you really need.

Enough of this rant. Thanks for listening.  ;D  Diane



Are You the Worm in Your Apple?

•October 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s full fall here and on Sunday we roll our clocks back and grab an extra hour of sleep. And fall always gives me visions of apples; tastes of turkey and the smells of pumpkin spice. My amazing neighbour has a bumper crop of apples this year and he has been sharing with everyone. We took a whole bunch and I was set on making apple sauce (unsweetened of course) but we ate them instead. I’m not sure if they are Spartans or McIntosh but they sure are delicious. I’ve also taken about 30 pounds of them to work for people to eat or take home and they didn’t last very long. But one of my favourite ways to enjoy them is to cut one up (skin too) and put the slices and a couple of cinnamon sticks into a water bottle and fill it up. Nice!


Apples are one of those plain but amazing fruits and are so useful. Applesauce can replace sugar and oil in baking, one a day keeps the doctor away and I want to be the apple of someone’s eye! But… and mine’s a big butt. I am the worm in my own apple. Are you like me and putting off the shedding of the carbohydrates and embracing the goodies like apple pie?wormy-apple

Yes, it’s sabotage. I saw my bariatric surgeon the other day. He was also one of the surgeons in my huge cancer/hernia operation this past spring. Well, I don’t look pregnant anymore and I’m cancer free. I was told not to “diet” just to eat well and recover. Don’t diet? That’s like being told to eat everything that’s bad for me. Well, it was a post-operative check and my first weight check in a year. I got onto the BMI scale dreading my potato chip – Kit Kat Chunky weight. I had lost weight. Whaaa? I couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized a couple of things, I don’t eat at night any more and I’m back to work. Work has stairs and walking back and forth down a long hall. But, this week, trying to actually diet now, I’ve screwed up. Shauna bought a dozen croissants. I had one right away before supper. Then, when Leanne made an almost completely carb-free lasagna (with zucchini pasta), I ate the accompanying garlic bread, too, sigh, and then apple pie.

I’m not going to wait until next Monday but start the low carb this morning. Two scrambled eggs for breakfast, an apple (just an apple not the pie) for snack, a day-long mug of apple cinnamon water, cheese and sausage for lunch then beef stir fry for supper. I will join the school walk at afternoon break and sleep well tonight. I do not need to be the worm in my own apple. Pictures always show that worm as very happy but we know better. They’re WORMS! So, don’t be the worm in your apple.

Thanks for listening. ;D  Diane

Monday Message!

•October 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Have an amazing day!  ;D  Diane

Momentum – At Least I’m Losing Something

•September 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s the third week of September and I’m trying to get going on a lot of things. I used to write a new post every other day. Sigh. I don’t do that anymore. I’m hungry all the time and eating at all kinds of weird times. Rice tortilla crackers at 9:30 at night? Not right! I’m tired when I get home from work and get up so early because I can’t turn my brain off if I wake up. I know I needed to take a lot of time off to recover from surgery that affected my whole body but now all my systems are screwed up and I’m having trouble getting back to normal. I’m not even sure I want to get back to normal. What the hell is normal anyways?

I’m in a state of inertia. Yes, you are going to get a mini science lesson. The diagram below

inertia shows that an object at rest stays at rest and implies that an object in motion stays in motion unless…something (an external force) makes it change. Momentum is the movement of an object and can be accelerated or stopped by an external force. I need to re-start my momentum. Friction is holding me back. I think it’s called sitting on my bum.

Where is the friction coming from? Me. My head, time off, my body recovering, fear? I’m not really sure. I do know that I need to have a reason to end my inertia and get the ball rolling or at least moving.1_momentum-716

I need to go to work. I need to lose weight. I need to have goals. (Ah, a hint!) Now let’s see what I already have. I have an important and interesting job. I would be healthier, and probably happier if I lost more weight and I have already lost 90 pounds since I started this journey. I have great support. How about goals? I need realistic, specific, reachable goals. I might also need a catalyst. I don’t like people telling me what to do but I can tell me what to do.


I guess I know how to get the ball rolling. I’ll finish and post this article. It seems when I put things in writing, I’m more likely to get it done. There’s evidence if I don’t do it. I’ll get a lot of that support from friends and family, who will read this and pump me up, give the red ball that flick of the finger to start my momentum. I’ll set a couple of goals that I know I can accomplish but are on the path to final goal of being healthy and happy. I know it’s a general goal but I will break it down and work on it.

Thanks for listening! Give me a flick.   ;D   Diane


Pizza Can Be Healthy!

•August 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

pizza earringsPizza is one of my favourite foods. It can be horrible for a diet and sometimes the desire for it consumes me and I just have to have one or something like it.

pizza as saladWhen I saw this quote, I laughed. But…pizza can be healthy if it’s done right. You can make your own with a thin, multi-grain crust; fresh tomato sauce ; veggies such as spinach, arugula,(kale works but I hate it so it wouldn’t touch my pizza) all kinds of peppers, mushrooms, roasted root veggies etc; then cheeses like feta, low fat any kind; fresh herbs; and even lean proteins like chicken, or shrimp. If you are like me you know how much of each ingredient you are allowed in a day. When I was on my “No White Food Diet” I  made a personal pizza with an omelette as the crust.  It worked! It had almost no carbs!! But, the bread-based crust is one of the things that truly makes pizza my Crave Monster.

Pizza hungry wolfOf course one of the problems is portion size. Do I trust myself to make a small individual pizza or to only have the slice size I’m allowed? Do you trust yourself? Try one. I’m tacking on a multi-grain crust recipe. The full recipe fits a cookie sheet so you have to limit your servings but… you can portion it all into golf ball-sized balls and freeze the rest. Let them come to room temp to use. Then spread it very thin in a round on a cookie sheet and fill as desired.

Thanks for listening!  ;D  Diane

WARNING NOTE! Do not use gluten free flour. Gluten is the protein that keeps the carbs down and lets bread dough rise. If you are sensitive or allergic to gluten use your own substitute and adjust your carb count.

Multi-Grain Pizza Crust

    •    For one cookie sheet size pizza use:
    •    1 cup water
    •    1 tbsp oil
    •    1 tbsp honey
    •    2.5 cups multi-grain flour (Robin Hood makes a decent one)
    •    1 tsp salt
    •    1 tsp instant yeast (this way you can combine everything at once)

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes. Add small amounts of flour as you knead if it’s extremely sticky, but otherwise let it be.

3a. To make dough for individual pizzas: Separate dough into golf ball-sized balls and freeze all but the one you will be using.

3b. (This is for the single or the whole batch) Place the kneaded ball of dough back into your mixing bowl, which you should spray with no-stick so it doesn’t stick.

4. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or some other covering, and allow the dough to rise in a warm (not hot and not cold – but in between!) environment for 60 – 90 minutes.

5. Roll the dough out onto a non-stick sprayed cookie sheet (this recipe makes enough dough for ONE large cookie sheet sized pizza!), and let rise for an additional 10 minutes.

6. The dough is now your pizza base. You can add sauce and toppings as you desire!

Life’s a Beach- Call Me On My Shell

•August 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Call me on my shellIt’s been hard to readjust from holidays and the extra long road trip. I keep claiming that I have jet lag but no one will believe me. I still have 2 weeks before I have to go to work but it’s full of appointments and beach time.

Yes, beach time. I’ve been walking on the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon. Beach walking is good exercise. It really works my legs and hips. I use my walking sticks just to keep my balance. I am still Esquimalt_Lagoon1terrified of falling. I also carry my chair, a book and water to reward myself with after my walk. OK! Sometimes I stop at McD’s for an iced coffee made with milk and no liquid sugar. I like it and there are no carbs.

beach-food-fridays-grilledtothemac-10jun2016-squareBut there is a downside to Esquimalt Lagoon. There are food trucks. Well, usually more of them on Fridays and Saturdays but Grilled to the Mac is there almost everyday. I ignore them. I also hate standing in line for food.

I need exercise and less food. I’ve rediscovered that since I’ve been home I can eat continuously, all day. When I was on holidays, I usually had a decent-sized breakfast, where I could pick and choose what I wanted (a biscuit, gravy and fruit) so I stopped when I was full and I get full quickly. Then we would stop around 2pm and have lunch or as Norm called it, “a snack”. I learned that it was OK to leave food on the plate because I got full and I knew I couldn’t take the leftovers with me in 90F+ weather.  And, by the time we stopped for the night, I wasn’t too hungry so a beer and some crackers (thanks, Dale, they were delicious) and 1 serving was all I would need then I was sleepy.

So, stop when I’m full, and exercise. This worked well on my holiday and they will work for me now. Since we have world-class sights and events, I really have no excuse to stay home and watch TV. I didn’t think of sightseeing as exercise so I didn’t hide from it. I can do that here, too.

Esquimalt lagoon Fisgard Lighthouse

Fisgard Lighthouse at Esquimalt Lagoon

I’ll do the beach again, today. I like the Lagoon and there’s always ducks and swans at the south end.

Thanks for listening!  ;D   Diane


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