The last week has been absolutely insane.  I am just coming through a brutal cycle or depression and general sadness.  (On a related note: check out these posts from The Bloggess about Depression being a liar.  It always helps to get me through:  I'm Coming Out of This and the most incredible post that speaks like a mirror to my own struggles- minus the cutting: The Fight Goes On ). That being said, my cleanse has been pushed to the side for a bit in order for me to focus on healing myself and the other bajillion commitments I have right now (report cards and my masters course work).  I have decided to relaunch my cleanse next Monday, after the craziness has died down.  That being said, I am still eating as healthy as possible and tomorrow am excited to start working out with my trainer, G, again.  Stay tuned for some of my favourite exercises. :) (Well, I both LOVE and HATE them).

In the meantime, as requested I am going to share one of my favourite healthy snack recipes! I hope you enjoy.

Jodi

Kale Chips

I have to admit, I have a bit of a kale obsession.  I put it in everything: smoothies, stir fries, soups, salads,on the BBQ, and more. I love that it is nutritious and maintains its crunch even when cooked.  One of my favourite ways to have kale is as a chip for snacking.  Follow the really easy recipe below for an incredible chip substitute that is extremely healthy and addictive!  I adapted the following recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks- The 30 Minute Vegan. Follow the exact amounts below for the first time that you make it, after that play around.  I tend to like mine well-done (very brown and with very little salt).  I eyeball the ingredients for my batches and don't even use the recipe anymore.
This recipe is supposed to serve between 4-6 people (or me over a couple of days!!!)

Ingredients
1 large bunch of washed and dried curly-leaf kale (I have found that it also works well with purple kale)
2 tables spoons olive oil (I use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil)
3 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast (otherwise known as Brewer's Yeast-it is healthy and delicious)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Directions:
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Rip your kale into small pieces about the size of chips or slightly bigger.  This isn't set in stone, so if you want to make your pieces bigger- go for it!
  • Put your kale into a large mixing bowl, toss in the olive oil, salt, and yeast.  Stir until coated evenly. (This is where I personally always add more yeast, because I love it so much.)
  • Spread your kale chips onto a cookie sheet- MOST IMPORTANT STEP- in a single layer.  If you layer them up they will not go crispy. It means more batches but it is worth it.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes as a guideline.  
  • I have found that sometimes closer to 20 minutes is needed and sometimes only 10.  The trick is to keep an eye on them and when they are just starting to brown, pull them out and let them sit for a couple of minutes.  You can then touch them and they will either feel soggy (back into the oven) or nice and crispy (DONE)  
  • When they are done, allow them to fully cool and then store them in an airtight container or slide lock plastic bag at room temperature.  DO NOT REFRIGERATE THEM.  It ruins them completely.  


I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Comment below on any other kale recipes or uses you would like to see me talk about!

 
I am not going to bore you with a ton of details with my weight struggle, instead I will run you through it as quickly as possible:
  • Loss of confidence, self-esteem, and feeling 'fat' (such a horrible word) since grade 6.
  • Thinking I was severely overweight as a teenager even though I was an average size.
  • Tearing my ACL and getting misdiagnosed at the same time as going away to university helped with my weight-gain. (Also stopping 10 hours per week of figure-skating)
  • Surgery and rehab.
  • An increase in anxiety and depression.
  • Years later a torn ACL again and currently waiting to see a specialist surgeon.
  • Trying pretty much every SINGLE fad and crash diets resulting in severe yo-yo dieting, the whole time maintaining an extremely low self-image.

So that is the story so far.  As of this moment, I am working out with an amazing personal trainer, G, three times a week.  I am dancing a lot and about to start a second round of cleanse eating (more on that in another post).  Since July, I have lost almost 30 pounds and 15 inches- WOO HOO!  My goal is to lose another 100 for now.  I hope you enjoy following my journey and that it either inspires you, entertains you, or makes you feel like you are not alone.

Tune in tomorrow evening for the start of my new cleanse entry!  I would love to see your questions/thoughts/comments! Post below or follow me on twitter.  My Youtube channel is coming soon.

Jodi
 
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So here it is, my very first blog post.  After years of wanting to start a blog and never being able to figure out something to say, I am FINALLY starting this in 2014.  

It is funny because I feel excited, and nervous.  After all, it could be that I am the only one who will ever see this and if that is the case, I am ok with that.  So why am I doing this?  It is simple really- I have been struggling since a teenager with my weight and health.  I have begun to make changes in my life over the last two years that I am finally seeing come into fruition and the idea came to me that there are probably other people out there that are going through similar struggles.  My wish, is that we can connect and support each other in our journeys.  My absolute dream would be if I could inspire people along the way.  Realistically, no one sees this, then I will have an amazing record of my transformation which would be awesome, because even though I like collecting them and imaging I will use them, I DESPISE writing in journals.  

So that is the why, but what is SoulSparkles?  I was looking for a name that described me and what I was hoping to accomplish.  Ask any of those close to me and they will tell you that I have a glitter/sparkle/tiara/tutu addiction! So I wanted to incorporate that with the idea of allowing who YOU are as a person to SHINE- hence the name SoulSparkles.  

My plan for this blog is to share my weight-loss and 'happiness' journey; share tips and tricks that I have learnt along the way, and hopefully inspire you in your life some way.  In addition to my blog, I plan on eventually creating youtube videos and blogs, sharing recipes and exercises, and sharing things that inspire me to make my SoulSparkle.

I hope you can join me on this journey! 

Please subscribe to my RSS feed, leave me a comment below with any questions or things you would like to see me talk about, or follow me on Twitter!

Jodi