Hello Fall!!

The first week back to school has always felt like the true start of a new year to me, and this year is no different.

As the kids head back into their classrooms today, they’re not the only ones with a few butterflies fluttering around in their tummies.  I’m a little bit nervous too.  Not for them – they both attend wonderful schools and have the most amazing, fantastic, wonderful teachers this year.  I’m a little bit apprehensive about the changes that will be happening in my life.  Things that have been daily routine for me for the last few years won’t be this fall.  Ok . . . it may sound trivial, but the crossfit class that got me started on my path of healing and transformation, is no longer.  I may have mentioned before that I don’t like not being in control; I don’t like change too much either.  So the prospect of changing where, when, and with whom that I crossfit . . . well, it’s not the most comfortable prospect for me.

And so for the remainder of this week, and as I head into next week, I’ll be reminding myself of how amazing change can be . . . and the magical things that can come from change.

Perhaps this will allow me to transition the kids back into the school routine with a little more softness and compassion – they may not like change so much either!!!

But to go back to that idea that magical things can come from change for just a second . . . as I rushed out to the grocery store last night to pick up a few things for the kids lunches, the Husband, asked me to pick up some bacon while I was there.  That stopped me in my tracks.  Not because we’re not a bacon-loving family, but I couldn’t conceive of a reason why we needed bacon (nothing on my meal plan for the rest of the week included bacon).  He looked at me, sensed my confusion, and with a twinkle in his eye said “I’m making the kids pancakes and bacon for breakfast tomorrow.  Special breakfast for the first day of school.  And if you can just drop me at the subway after we drop the Little Miss off at school, that would be great.”.  Yup – the man can cook – but he also, without a word from me, took the morning off to take the kids to school with me.  Magic.

And so . . . in honor of the magical Husband, here’s the recipe we (he) uses for the kids totally NON PALEO pancakes (or as the kids call them . . . the “NOT the coconut ones”).  It is based on the recipe for “pancakes, griddle cakes or batter cakes” in the Joy of Cooking Cookbook and they really are good and fluffy (although some of the secret to a fluffy pancake is to make sure you have fresh baking powder and not to over-beat the batter).

Kids Favourite Pancakes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

3 tbs sugar

2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

3 tbs melted butter

1 to 1 1/4 cups milk

Directions

  1. Put the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and combine with a whisk.
  2. Melt the butter (I usually do this in the pan that I’m going to cook the pancakes in so I have one less pot to clean).
  3. While the butter is melting, beat the eggs and measure out the milk.
  4. Once the butter is melted, add it, the eggs and 1 cup of the milk to the flour mixture.  Whisk thoroughly to combine everything.  The batter should be runny (it should fall from a spoon into the pan easily and have almost the consistency of regular yogurt).  If the batter is too thick, add in the remaining 1/4 cup milk and a little bit more if you think it needs it.  There will be lumps in the batter.  Leave them . . . they’re fine!!!
  5. Spoon the batter into a pan that is set on medium heat and is well oiled with melted butter – I usually use the 1/4 cup measuring cup to do this.
  6. Cook the pancakes until you see bubbles forming on the top, then flip them, cook until they are nice and toasty brown on the other side, and serve with (lots) of maple syrup!

I Heart Fridays

From the start to finish, Fridays are hands down the best day of the week in our house.  They start with my favourite breakfast (more on that in a minute) and usually end with a pizza party involving a collection of friends and family.  In between there’s usually a punishing/fantastic workout at the hands of my coach/trainer, an amazing yoga class with the best yoga teacher ever, and a series of errands that have to get done to set us up for the weekend.

So, getting back to my favourite breakfast.  I used to be big.  Pituitary tumours and the hormonal chaos they can cause combined with 2 pregnancies and the stress of the brain tumour left me squarely on the heavy side of things.  It wasn’t good, and I wasn’t happy about it.  So I went back to the gym.  And I worked my heart out on the elliptical machine.  I went for walks at night.  And I tried to watch what I ate.  And I had a little bit of success.  Things were looking up.

Then, one of the trainers at my gym convinced me to try a crossfit style class.  One class in and I was hooked.  My first class happened to be in January when my now coach/trainer was starting up a real food challenge for all the ladies in the class.  And through his daily emails filled with advice, research, and ideas on the real food movement and a more paleo lifestyle, I started to make a LOT of changes in the way we eat in our family.

Fastforward to today . . . I’m much smaller, but more importantly, FAR stronger, and as an added bonus, I have WAY more energy.  Oh, and I also healed from my surgery better and faster than the doctors though possible.  But I digress.

As the people around have seen me change shape, I get asked a LOT about what I eat.  And it seems that I get asked most about breakfast.  My thoroughly unscientific research would indicate that most women don’t want to eat tons of protein every morning when they wake up.  Myself included.  So . . . Friday’s I break from my usual breakfast routine and make my favourite banana pancakes.  Maybe you’ll like them as much as I do . . . but I will say that neither the kids nor my husband particularly care for them . . . which is their loss, as far as I’m concerned.  There are a million recipes for this kind of pancake on the web . . . this just happens to be how I make them . . .

Paleo Banana Pancakes

  • Servings: 1-@
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana (as ripe or unripe as you like)
  • Coconut oil or butter for the pan

Directions

  1. Set the pan on medium heat and add in a generous teaspoon or so of coconut oil or butter.
  2. While the fat is melting in the pan, throw the eggs and the banana into a blender and blend until everything is combined.  If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can add in a teaspoon of vanilla too).
  3. Pour the batter into the pan and cook just like you would a regular pancake (i.e. flip them over when the bottoms start to brown).  Practically speaking, it’s easier to make the batter into several smaller pancakes.  But, since I make these just for myself, I pour the entire thing into one giant pancake; I just divide it into 4 when it comes time to flip it.  Yup, it’s messy, but it tastes the same, so I don’t mind.

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