Before I get into these AMAZING strawberry raspberry popsicles, I want to discuss my weight issues. People always ask me how I’m not a whale despite making and blogging all my food and desserts. I’m not “fat”, nor am I “skinny”; I’m just your average-sized-grad-student. (I’m using quotation marks because I think terms like “skinny” or “fat” are words that have too much cultural significance. People get offended so quickly and honestly, people are people. They come in different shapes and sizes. Their size doesn’t make me like or dislike them.) Anyway, Wiifit always depicts me as overweight because I weigh more than your average 5’5″ person, but I attribute that to my muscle mass. I don’t really exercise regularly, but I like to do yoga and zumba, play some volleyball, and go for the occasional swim. I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily lazy, I just have a huge aversion for being sweaty (even though I like hot yoga more than any other yoga) and I have asthma that acts up in cold weather, hot weather, and when I exercise.
One of the most prominent goals I’ve noticed coming up lately among my blogger friends is to lose weight. Ashton from Something Swanky has been really brave and publicly discussing her issues with weight loss and the challenges of being a dessert blogger trying to lose weight. Holly from Happy Food Healthy Life has overcome the challenges of living with an eating disorder and shares my opinion that calorie counting sucks, and that we should just live active, healthy lifestyles.
Managing a food blog is great fun, but it has made me extremely aware of what I am eating and how my body is processing it (be it turning it into fat or just burning it off). So I’m going to share with you my own weight loss issues.
Vietnamese culture is a very brutally honest one. Vietnamese culture makes it socially acceptable to comment on people’s weight, which is completely different from the North American aversion of mentioning physical appearance to another person. It’s a culture shock every time I go back to Vietnam (especially just after winter) because not only do I have winter weight, but I’m pale as snow because I mean, it’s Canada =/ . Whenever I go to Vietnam, the first thing they do is pinch my cheek and say, “Ohh you’re so fat and pale!!”
This not meant as a stab at my physical appearance, it’s similar to someone saying “Ooh you’re wearing a new dress!”.
So growing up in a Canadian culture where everybody has body image issues and living in a Vietnamese home where it seems that all Vietnamese people are stick thin while I am what is considered “skinny” or as I see it, “lean” in Canada. I’ve come to the realization that when my family says I’m gaining weight, it’s because they’re concerned for my health. When I was in high school, I was pretty skinny. about a size 4. Then when I went to university, I gained the famous Freshman 15 and moved up to a size 6. I know that’s not fat either, but I felt self-conscious because I didn’t like how fat my face looked in photos.
I went to Vietnam for about 3 months to volunteer at orphanages and teach English, and I lost that weight again but stayed in between a size 4 and 6 (4 was too small but 6 was too big). In my last couple years of university, a terrible diet of pizza, junk food, and lots of late nights pushed me back to a size 6. Become a food blogger and experimenting with lots of different foods and desserts (there was a LOT of cheese and butter in and out of my fridge) I moved up to a size 8, which is where I’m at now. I know it’s not huge, but considering I was a size 4 when I was 18, and five years later I’ve gone up two sizes, I’m a little disappointed with myself. So I’m making it a goal to be active everyday. At least half an hour. I’ve been doing a mini-workout every morning for the past week, which includes 50 jumping jacks, 20 mountain climbers, 20 crunches and 5 pushups. Once I build up more core strength, I’ll increase that to 80 jumping jacks, 30 mountain climbers, 30 crunches and 10 pushups. I also have no upper body strength so I’ll slowly develop that, but hey, maybe by the end of the summer, I’ll have arms that rival Michelle Obama’s?
If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ll have seen a big shift over the past year as I try to navigate my food allergies (I’ll have a page about that soon) and trying to eat healthier. So I’ve been posting a lot more vegan, gluten-free, and/or healthy posts. These popsicles fall into all three of those categories, although the idea that popsicles would ever have gluten is confusing to me. Maybe it’s the stabilizers.
These popsicles are so simple: 4 ingredients. You get at least one serving of fruit per popsicle, and if your berries are ripe enough, you won’t even need any sweetener at all. These are perfect for a bright, sunny day, but they’re also great for brightening up a gloomy and rainy day by bringing a little sunshine to your taste buds.
I’ll be experimenting with some other fruits soon, maybe cantaloup, watermelon, maybe adding a little banana here and there.
- - 1 box ripe strawberries (1 pint boxes - 10-12 medium sized strawberries)
- - 1 box raspberries (half pint - 15-20 raspberries)
- - 1 tsp lemon juice
- - 1 tbsp agave nectar or honey (use agave nectar to keep it vegan)
- Puree strawberries and raspberries until everything is completely blended.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard seeds.
- Mix add lemon juice and agave/honey and divide among popsicle moulds (or dixie cups). Add popsicle sticks and freeze. (I'd say 3-4 hours but I froze it overnight)
- To remove, run warm water on the outside of the moulds =)