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"Who says pancakes can't be part of a healthy diet?"

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This blog entry is prompted by a couple of things:

1. a friend's unhappiness over being told that "that in order to be successful at losing weight and getting healthy she had to stop loving food."

2. a blog entry by someone who, at goal weight after having lost half their body weight, just can't understand why some people would insist on continuing to eat anything other than 'healthy' food (somewhat narrowly defined it seemed to me). She states, "I just can't believe that these women belong to this site and continue to harbor the bad habits that brought them here in the first place. The mindsets, and actions of these folks screams of their reluctance to make and maintain the necessary healthy habits that will ensure their success."

I'm an 'artist'... and my 'medium' is food, and all things related. I am an unrepentant 'foodie'... I have always been. I read cookbooks like they are novels. I examine the glossy picture pages with intense concentration. When I shop for groceries I sniff, caress, and exclaim with delight over just about everything that goes into my cart. Put me in a 'fresh air' market, and I feel as though I've died and gone to heaven. Very little excites me in the same way as rolling up my sleeves in the kitchen, and creating something especially enticing for the palate and senses. For me food is an experience... a DAILY event to be served up on the good dishes, with napkins and the 'good' cutlery (started this in my 'cooking for one, forever single' days)!

Also important to note, I've always eaten 'healthy' - little to no processed foods, little to no processed/refined sugar, only healthy fats, only complex carbohydrates, high fibre. I STILL got fat. So, in both of these instances I reply, "NO, IT ISN'T SO!!!" I don't think my, or anyone's, LOVE of food has to change. Certain elements of how I relate to food has to change, but food didn't make me fat. 'Fat' is a relatively recent development. More recently developed bad habits (the last five years)... 'treating' myself beyond reason, lack of portion control, mindless eating, neglecting balanced nutrition and neglecting to eat in a timely fashion, replacing other pleasures/interests with food because food was easier, replacing sleep with food, NOT MOVING in proportion to my eating... THESE things made me fat. NOT treating food with the utter joy, excitment and respect that I used to, got me here. Food (and ultimately my body) was just my unwitting (and I believe, unwilling) hostage.

So, I'm not going to stop eating pancakes (or most other things I've always eaten).... I won't eat them every day, they will be the healthiest pancakes I can make, they won't be sopping in butter and syrup, and I won't eat six at a sitting! I had two this past Sunday, with a large helping of fresh fruit and a drizzle of warm syrup. I won't have them again for a month, or so. The left-overs from this meal will last another 10 breakfasts for my 4 year old daughter... she prefers hers with a light 'icing' of peanut butter, and orange sections.

I was discussing these particular pancakes with another Spark, and since I was sharing the recipe with her, I decided to share it with all of you, too. The recipe comes from one of my favourite sets of cookbooks (I have all four). These women run a hunting and fishing lodge at the mouth of the Churchill River, Canada. Food doesn't get any better than this... it's simple, nutritious, family-style, and really GOOD, and for the most part, good for you.



1.5 cups all-purpose flour *
.5 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
.5 tsp. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
.5 cup sour cream (or Mediterranean style yogurt)
2 cups milk
2 apples, cored and coarsely grated
(or 2 ripe but firm pears, or combination of the two)
.25 cup finely chopped pecans

* I've reduced the white flour by another half cup and added a half cup very finely chopped oatmeal (food processor) and a 2 tbsp. ground flax

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, whisk in the sour cream and the milk.

3. Pour the milk over the dry ingredients and beat until blended.

4. Fold in the pecans and grated fruit.

5. Pour by .25 cup measure onto a hot, greased griddle and cook until edges are dry and tops start to bubble. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

MAKES: approximately 24, 4" pancakes

They are VERY filling so they go a LONG way! They also freeze, and re-warm extremely well! I hope you enjoy them.


'Icebergs & Belugas'
Webber's Northern Lodges Fourth Batch of Most Requested Recipes
by Helen Webber and Marie Woolsey
ISBN 1-894022-81-5

Helen Webber - Born in Churchill, Manitoba, to one of the first non-aboriginal families to settle in the area, Helen still lives in Churchill most of the time. Her husband, Doug, came to Churchill with the Navy, fell in love with the wilderness, and soon established Dymond Lake Air Services and Dymond Lake Outfitters. The construction of two lodges followed - Dymond Lake Hunting Lodge situated on Hudson Bay, north-west of Churchill, and North Knife Lake Fishing Lodge, in north central Manitoba. Helen has been totally involved in all projects, but her claim to fame is that she has been providing incredible meals at one or both Lodges for over 25 years - sometimes under primitive and difficult conditions - but more recently offering 5 star accommodation and simply the best the north has to offer.

Marie Woolsey - Born in Dundas, Ontario, Marie also felt the call of the wild. She married Gary, an Anglican priest-pilot, who whisked her off to remote communities in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Very shortly after moving to Churchill, the Webbers and the Woolseys became fast friends, and from this friendship grew Marie's involvement in the lodges. She has been cooking with Helen, part-time since 1980, and even though she now resides in Calgary, Alberta, you will find her at the Fishing Lodge every June and at the Hunting Lodge each September. It has always been a team effort - each encouraging the other to experiment with new recipes in order to present their guests with the finest cuisine.

Amazon has the first three cookbooks, but not 'Icebergs & Belugas' I personally use the other three more... amazing soups, and easy breakfasts! And all the recipes adapt easily to substitutions and preferences. I've not ever had a recipe fail me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MELLIE810
    Awesome blog Ramona!! I am slowly growing out of that DIET (Don't Imagine Eating That) mode. For a long time I was sugar free everything & then realized all the junk they have to put in stuff to make it sugar free UGH! Thanks to our friend Steph, I say bring on the sugar baby & leave the chemicals for science experiments. I luv food way to much & am finally letting myself enjoy it. I may have to work extra hard when I eat my "splurge meals" but ah the joy of a dark chocolate bar or some ice cream. Yummy!!

    There are still some foods that I try to avoid unless absolutely necessary because they affect me so badly but it is nice to know my love affair does not have to end LOL!!

    Thanks again for your awesome insight!
    3960 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/7/2009 7:02:40 PM
  • ASH72461
    i find you can include any food you love
    just rember portion control and to include that in your calories for that day
    if i gave up foods i love ,i would have quit changing my eating habits in the first month
    i also love pancakes emoticon
    3962 days ago
    All I could think of is the little mouse in Ratatouille. I'm no good at cooking! I leave that up to Hubby.
    3963 days ago
    Thank you for sharing the pancake recipe. I have a soft spot for pancakes ... and I sit in my office every day staring at a brand new IHOP built so close to my office that I could throw a stone through one of its windows. I haven't been yet. I don't want pancakes that someone else makes, where I have no control over the ingredients. I think I might like to try the recipe you shared. Maybe even this weekend.

    As for being a food lover ... I can see how being a "foodie" can have an absolute benefit to a healthy diet! I am working to let my love of food lead me to healthier, more creative ways to prepare delicious dinners ... that are appealing to the taste, the smell, and the eye. I made the most delicious fajitas last night. Very little fats, lots of crisp, colorful veggies and spices. And left overs for tonight!

    I applaud your blog. I saw a lot of truth in it. Thank you so much for sharing!
    3963 days ago
    Great blog!

    So many of us have a love/hate relationship with food, it's easy for food to become the enemy -- but no matter what, we all still have to eat, right? So what's the point in making it an enemy?

    I'm finding you have to pick your foods the way you pick friends. Most are chosen because they are good, healthy companions that you know will always be there when you need them. We all have a few "bad influences" in our lives, friends that spice up things every now and then, and that's fine...you just don't want to, you know, go on any extended vacays with the baddies.

    And, to push the analogy to further, ridiculous heights, sometime you can even "reform" former bad influences, making them easier to handle on a regular basis. Like your pancakes.

    Of course, there are those bad influences that resist any attempt at reform. Mine are named "Oreo" and "Kraft Mac 'n Cheese".

    (It's so hard having a palate as refined as mine...!)

    3963 days ago
    Like other addictions like smoking and drinking, those are things our body doesn't need to survive. But we do need food!!! So it is hard not to stop eating? Yes, it is about portion control, and about exercising for the calories consumed or needed.

    As usual Ramona, you said it well.

    Hugs, Sonia
    3963 days ago
    OMG want pancakes now!!! :)

    1) If you can get King Arthur Flour there, their white whole wheat works similar to all purpose flour so it's a great substitute. :) Thanks so much for sharing that!!!

    2) People like that pi$$ me off. It really goes to show me that they haven't actually learned anything. They've adopted a narrow view of how things should be and still have an unhealthy attitude towards food. It's either good or bad in their minds, rather than it just being food. I've seen/read so many stories where someone has lost a huge amount of physical weight, but is still weighed down by food issues. There is always fear that, on a bad day, with the stars misaligned , they'll meet their trigger food(s) in a dark alley and there will be no hope for them.


    I am far from perfect (thank GOD you love me for my imperfections! :) but once I set solid goals, learned what my body needed, learned that I could still cook /real/ food (I need sweat _and_ cooking therapy to make it through the day!), and learned to make eating decisions based on how they impacted my chances of reaching my goals, the cake left in the break room isn't quite so tempting any more; the glass of wine during the week for no reason is almost non-existent; the decadent dinner to celebrate my friends promotion is savored and the memory of that time together is cherished.

    Food is food, food is fuel. That's it.
    3963 days ago
    Great blog! I'll have to try that recipe! I think it is entirely possible to live a healthy life AND love food! What you write about how you gained weight resonated very strongly with me! Food as such didn't make me fat - bad habits made me fat. Treating myself out of all proportion (perhaps using junk food and snacks as anti-depressant?), being a sedentary couch potato, a lack of portion control - all those things made me fat. But I still love and adore food and love to spend time with cookbooks or make things in my kitchen! Most of what I make now is healthier, but not all of it suitable for every day consumption. Moderation is key, and I am lucky not to have a food disorder or a problem with binging and over-eating in general. I was just making some bad choices and not exercising much at all.
    3963 days ago
  • MTER67
    I also love food. I spend a great deal of time thinking about food, lots of time talking about it, and even more actually eating it! I am also fortunate enough to live in a place that affords me almost endless opportunities to try new foods and restaurants. I disagree with anybody who says that you have to give up everything you enjoy to lose weight. Any plan that removes all the joy out eating is absolutely doomed to fail. If a person loves cheesecake, why shouldn't they have a slice? Just as long as they have the one slice and not the entire pie. It is about control and making good choices.

    I miss the farmers' markets we used to visit when we lived in CA. I loved that I could go with an empty bag and empty head, and come home with all the ingredients for a wonderful meal and the plan to create it. Eating that way--like how you are suggesting--never feels like deprivation and it shouldn't.

    Great blog!

    3963 days ago
  • TAMI1691
    THANKS for sharing this recipe. Looks YUM!!!

    I'll have to make a batch and freeze some.
    3963 days ago
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