Christmas Round-Up…and New Year Thoughts

Copyright to Anna Wootton

This Christmas I didn’t take many photos, so forgive me! Above is the wonderful fire at our place in Calgary. Unfortunately Christmas got off to a bit of a bum start as we had issues with our landlords (including no oven for 4 days, no heating for 4 days etc) that led to us having to leave the property very quickly. So I joined my family, staying at my sister’s place over Christmas and am still dealing with the landlord issues now. So bye-bye fire! My collection of Christmas cards slowly grew…

Copyright to Anna Wootton

Copyright to Anna Wootton

I have some wonderful recipes to share (not my own! I did a lot of cooking off my blogroll this year) and I wanted to check in to wish you all a Happy New Year. This week between Christmas and New Year is always the strangest – after Boxing Day I’m ready to move on from the huge build-up that was Christmas, yet you’re kind of in limbo as everyone has still checked out for a while, until after NY is done. Work is quieter and eating is still bad (but not as bad) and I already have my NY goal setting underway. More on that in a moment! Some sparkly nails are always a must at Christmas time and I went with my favourite festive look – graduated glitter nails (I just realized now that the filter I chose makes my hands look like they belong to a 90 year old, but oh well):

sparkly nails

For now, let’s get to Christmas baking. I knew that there would be lots of baking on offer at my sister’s place, where we spent Christmas this year, so I didn’t overdo it. I made my regular mince pies (see below for a picture of last year‘s) and also did some mini pumpkin pies, using store-bought tarts and this recipe for the filling (thanks Chocolate Covered Katie!).

Copyright to Anna Wootton

Copyright to Anna Wootton

I used Dashing Dish‘s recipe for sugar cookies made with stevia (these were amazing!) and I also used this sugar cookie recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie – unfortunately these didn’t work out, so they are not pictured. I’m still not sure of the reason, no doubt something I did on my end. However, I also grabbed this macaroon recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and these worked a dream. Below are the fruits of my friend Lauren’s and my baking labours – we spent 5 hours baking at her place one Tuesday night! baking

For Christmas Day, my sister and her husband were cooking up a turkey with all the traditional sides for Christmas this year, so I just needed something to replace the ‘meat’ portion of the meal, and Ari’s Cranberry Lentil Loaf from The Diva Dish was perfect. Instead of using her cranberry BBQ glaze, I just used some of my mom’s homemade cranberry sauce to top the loaf with. It was delicious – tart and sweet at the same time, while nutty and packed with veg. The only substitute I made was using 3 eggs rather than 3 flax eggs.

Copyright to Anna Wootton

Copyright to Anna Wootton

All in all it was a pretty filling meal:

Copyright to Anna Wootton

Copyright to Anna Wootton

And it was finished off, as is the tradition at our place, with my mom’s no-bake chocolate cheesecake (picture from last year – recipe here, though we omitted the tofu this year and made it with 3 egg yolks, whisked, and 3 egg whites, whisked till soft peaks form, and we also used 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt – plain):

Copyright to Anna Wootton

Copyright to Anna Wootton

What was your favourite thing you ate this Christmas? Did you give yourself a chance to indulge without guilt? Now, moving onto what’s ahead! As usual I will do my Wild Rose Detox in the New Year. I love this detox – it’s 12 days, herbal and gentle on your system, the diet is completely achievable as it focuses on acid/alkaline rather than elimination, so you can still have some goodies (coffee drinkers, you can still have up to 2 cups of black coffee a day – and you can have butter and popcorn!), yet it completely resets your tastebuds after the indulgence of the Christmas season. wildrose Because you can’t have sweeteners – only brown rice syrup – and you can’t have even sweet, tropical fruits (it tries to cut down on yeast in the body), you end the 12-day cleanse appreciating the sweetness of simple fruit, rather than needing bucket loads of sugar to satiate your sweet tastebuds.

Technically I believe stevia is allowed on the cleanse, as it is a plant, but the idea of the cleanse is to reset your tastebuds so it is best not to use stevia so your tastebuds get a rest from all things super sweet! As usual, if I come up with any great new recipes to encourage healthy eating while on the cleanse, I will post them!


Other NY goals for me include sorting out my living situation (!), enjoying some holidays this year – I don’t tend to take too many vacations – and, my main goal, working on my health coaching business. I want to have most of my business online so it’s about finding a way to reach out to those ideal clients who I know I can help and who want my help. I’ve been using the Make It Happen! Lite app for goal setting – it’s free and it’s been pretty awesome so far. Do any of you have any goal setting apps you use?


I’ll be making an inspiration board soon – another annual tradition – with my mom and my sister, so I’ll post some snapshots so you have an idea of what my board is looking like this year. Do you make inspiration boards? Do you want to share any pictures with me? I’d love to see them! You can post them to my Facebook page, or Tweet them to me! And remember…drink responsibly, drive safely (or not at all, preferably!), and have a great New Year’s Eve! Happy New Year!


  1. This post made me hungry. Everything looks great!!

  2. I just downloaded this app! Thank you for sharing! I think I will do an inspiration board, I love to do this and it’s a nice reminder for your goals. Sorry to hear that you had issues with the landlord, hopefully they are solved soon! The cookies and the non bake cheesecake look so good!

  3. Thank you so much for making the loaf, it looks amazing!! 🙂 Glad you had a great christmas!

  4. Sorry to hear about your landlord issues! But I’m glad it didn’t put too much of a damper on your celebration 🙂

  5. Glad you had a good holiday, minus the landlord issues! How horrible! All the food and sweets look amazing!

    I hope your niece is well too! I am sure you got to spend lots of time with her!

  6. What a clever app! Will def be using in the future. All of the food looks beautiful too!

  7. Karey at Nutty About Health says:

    The cookies looked delish!! Sorry about your living situation… hope you get it sorted soon. Good for you on setting goals & doing the inspiration boards! I’ve never tried that. Happy New Year!

  8. i love the idea of doing a detox like this. i bet it even feels great to eat so clean after all the holiday indulgences! keep us posted on your detox and how it makes you feel – maybe you’ll even inspire me to do my own sometime soon!

    • This one is the best to start with, honestly. My naturopath had me do two cleanses back to back last year – one was this one and another was a protein powder-based 3-week long one which just killed me. I didn’t enjoy it – the powder was gross so I had to force feed myself 2 – sometimes 3 – smoothies a day of it, and it went on way too long. With the clean eating style you have you would find this one so easy, it’s practically like you eat already, and it makes you feel so good! Haha I don’t work for them, I just really love it ;).

  9. Beautiful red nails! Miss you xoxo

  10. Ah sorry to hear that you are having troubles with your landlord. Hopefully it’s all fixed now. Mmm, all of your baking looks delicious!

    • Thanks Leigh. Unfortunately no bueno with the landlord – I am now housesitting for my sister for two months while they’re away and then I’ll have to decide if I want to stick around Calgary, and if so, find somewhere else! It’s been stressful but I trust that all things happen for a reason! Thanks for your comment :). Hope to see you soon!

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