Monthly Archives: October 2010

Marie Claire article

I sat down with my computer this morning with all good intentions of writing about my thoughts on Battle of the Blades from last night. However, I ended up reading about something that has got me too preoccupied to even think about BOTB. And it doesn’t happen often that something will take precedence over my obsession with all things figure skating.

In the latest issue of Marie Claire magazine, this article was published that has got much of the healthy living blog world up in arms. It is a criticism of these healthy living blogs and warns of their inherent dangers. The author implies that many of the bloggers engage in disordered eating and exercising, and that by blogging about their habits, readers can be mislead, misinformed, and triggered into developing eating and exercising disorders themselves.

Upon reading the article, my first reaction was to take offense, both on behalf of my beloved bloggers that I follow on a daily basis, and for myself, being a reader of said blogs and the implication that I would be so easily lured into dangerous habits. I first discovered these blogs when I was training for my half marathon in the spring. As this whole running thing was very new to me, I found myself often looking things up on the internet for information on all things running, from what kind of clothes/gear I need, to how to refuel myself properly after a long run, to advice on running form. I found all sorts of useful information and advice out there that helped a great deal. (Seriously, I do not know how I ever lived my life before discovering Google…) Along the way, I found out about BLOGS. It’s not that I didn’t know what they were before (Len had his own blog a long time ago), but I never really paid them much attention and didn’t realize the wealth of ideas that they can contain. I first discovered blogs about running, where I found all sorts of interesting ideas about how to deal with the daily struggles like blisters, motivation, preparing your body to run, etc. But more than anything, I got inspired. Inspired by all these “normal” people (read, not professional athletes, but people just like myself in many ways) who take on such fantastic challenges like half and full marathons, triathlons, and the like. (I even found out there are such things as ultra marathons, which are, really, just crazy!) Things that I used to think only a small elite group of humans out there could do. Certainly not anything I could ever even dream of attempting.

From these running blogs I eventually found and fell in love with the broader category of “Healthy Living Blogs”, where people blog about healthy eating and exercising on the path to living a happier, more fulfilling life. They’ve since opened up my eyes to new perspectives on food, the environment, and life in general. I have personally found that the ideas that I’ve adopted from these bloggers to be most helpful and enriching in my life.

Hence the taking of offense at this particular article in Marie Claire. If anything, these blogs have put me on the path AWAY from unhealthy living and thoughts.

Upon calmer reflection, however, I do recognize that the article brought up some valid points that should be opened up for discussion. While I personally think that the blogs I follow feature healthy people with healthy lifestyles, I know that there are blogs and bloggers out there who do not eat and exercise in a healthy way. I have come across some that definitely obsess over restrictive diets and excessive exercise. And even the blogs that I love and follow sometimes feature things that I don’t agree with or would not choose to implement in my own life. For example, many of these bloggers are vegetarian or vegan. And I’m obviously neither, nor do I aspire to ever be either. But I think that’s fine. Isn’t it the reader’s responsibility to take what they want and leave what doesn’t work for them? Especially since none of these bloggers pretend to be experts or state that their way is the only way. And for me at least, at the heart of it, it’s just for fun and enjoyment. Fun to add some new ideas and recipes to my life, and enjoyable to follow what these interesting people are doing in their lives. The article could have been written in a way that opened up the discussion about the pros and cons of blogging. There are always positive and negative aspects to everything, and it’s good to look into both. But this particular article is clearly one-sided and all its supporting “facts” blatantly chosen only to fit its slant. My hope is that it will cause the opposite of its intended effect; readers who had never heard of these blogs before may be intrigued to see for themselves what they are all about and perhaps discover that they in fact advocate a healthy, open-minded, and moderate approach to life.

I especially find it ironic that this article, warning of dangerous “triggers” for people who might be prone to eating disorders, is featured in a magazine that regularly includes impossibly photoshopped photos of emaciated models. How is that not a “trigger”?

In reference to photoshopping of models, I want to share this article. It’s nothing new that we are not all already aware of, but it certainly is a good reminder to take what we read and see with a grain of salt.

In the end, I can only speak for myself and what works in my life. Which is what I think all this blogging business is about anyway.

Now that I’ve written out my thoughts on this matter, my mind turns back to figure skating…but as I have to leave for work soon, I guess I’ll have to blog about BOTB tomorrow… 🙂


Posted by on October 4, 2010 in Thoughts

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An Early Thanksgiving Dinner

Only 5 more sleeps til Vegas?! So excited!!

Last night was lots of fun. We all went out for dinner to celebrate Lindsay’s birthday (who’s the one getting married in Vegas next weekend), and it was a fantastic night of good company, lots of laughs, and interesting conversation. It was a good preview of our partying that will commence in 5 days’ time!

As we will miss Thanksgiving while we’re in Vegas this year, I wanted to make a turkey dinner tonight to celebrate early with Len and my mom. I had a whole lotta fun cooking today (complete with a few freakouts along the way), and we all had a good time eating! On the menu:

  • boneless turkey breast roast (obviously not gonna try to make a whole turkey for 3 people!)
  • roasted yam wedges
  • stuffing
  • steamed broccoli
  • cranberry sauce and gravy
  • pumpkin pie


I first made the cranberry sauce:

Start with making a simple syrup of equal parts water and sugar (I used 1/2 C water, 1/4 C sugar, 1/4 C maple syrup; boil water, then dissolve the sugar and syrup in it), then add about 1/2 bag of fresh cranberries. Gently boil for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally and crushing up the berries with a wooden spoon, then stir in 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce. Simmer for another minute or so, then cool completely at room temperature, then refridgerate for about an hour. Loved the vibrant red colour!

For the turkey breast (approx 2.6 lbs):

  •  finely mince 2 cloves of garlic and make it into a paste by sprinkling salt on it and crushing it with the flat of the knife
  • mix the garlic into 2 TB softened unsalted butter
  • sprinkle salt and pepper all over the turkey, then rub it down with the butter and garlic mixture
  • pour in a bit of chicken broth on the bottom of the roasting pan, then roast at 350 degrees for about 1 hr and 15 mins. (I actually didn’t take it out until around 1 hr 20 mins because I second-guessed myself due to what I now realize was a faulty meat thermometre. So it was overdone by a few minutes.)
  • let it rest for about 15 mins before slicing it

Yams were super simple: lightly coat each wedge with olive oil, sprinkle a tiny bit of seasoning salt and pepper on each, roast at 350 degrees for about 35 mins, flipping them once halfway through. (I put them in the oven beside the turkey about 20 mins before the turkey was done cooking, then continued to roast them while the turkey was resting)

I made a Sausage-Apple-Cranberry Stuffing:

  • 12 little turkey sausages, lightly seared on all sides over medium high heat
  • meanwhile, toast up 1/2 loaf of whole wheat bread, cubed (this is when I had one of my freakouts because I kept burning the bread)
  • transfer sausages to cutting board and cut up into little pieces
  • to the same pan, add a little bit of canola oil (today’s sausages rendered virtually no fat), and lightly saute 1 diced onion, 2 stalks of celery (diced), and 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • when onion is translucent, add a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, 2 1/2 tsp ground sage, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried thyme.
  • return sausages to pan and cook until they are done
  • add 1 peeled, cored, and diced apple (I used a Golden Delicious) and 1 C dried cranberries
  • when the apple has softened, add the bread, 1 C low-sodium chicken broth, and 3 TB melted butter
  • Optional: transfer to an oven-proof dish and bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 mins (I like a little bit of crispiness in the texture) (Of course, I left mine in a wee bit too long tonight and it unfortunately got a bit burned. Hence 2nd freakout)


I had a good time cooking and an equally good time eating!

I couldn’t resist going back for more… my 2nd plate:

Considerably smaller servings than what was on my first plate. 🙂 Did I mention I was full?

But not too full for dessert! Cuz no turkey dinner is complete without pumpkin pie…

Store-bought pie. Was good, but a tad bit too sweet for me…

I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. At the top of my list, a wonderful family, awesome friends, and an amazing husband who makes my world infinitely more beautiful. And new this year, I am thankful for this little blog with which I have so much fun!

As it is awfully late, I will stop here and return tomorrow with my thoughts on tonight’s Battle of the Blades. It was a fantastic show and we all had a great time watching it! As for the Amazing Race, we had a little mishap with the VCR recording, so we’ll have to turn to the internet tomorrow to see that episode! The suspense, the suspense…


Posted by on October 4, 2010 in Kitchen Adventures

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