Veggie Potluck

One of my goals for this year at university was to get involved in at least one group/ society/ committee.

One that caught my eye was the Vegetarian and Vegan club. Though I am neither, I was excited to find a group of people who gather to talk about good food, ethical practises and everything in between. Last night was the welcome potluck/ meet and greet and there was a great spread of food and wonderful conversation. I also met a fellow blogger Mallory. She’s had culinary training and is a runner extraordinaire.

I brought pumpkin cookies using this recipe (used spelt flour and a flax egg) and veggie juice to the potluck. There was a good assortment of grainy and vegetable salads and home made pretzel buns. YUM

This morning I took an RPM class and came home to enjoy a lazy breakfast while catching up with Glee

{Goat yogurt, apple, banana, granola, cranberries, honey and peanut butter}

The weekend is so close!

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Well Fed/ Rested

Well.

{Salad of spinach, roasted beets, olives, artichoke, lentils, sweet potato, and feta}

It took me exactly one week to burn myself out. Going from 5:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. feels great and productive at first, but it is draining and I crashed so easily.

{Overnight oats with berries, bananas, chia seeds, granola and peanut butter}

I’m going to try to say no more often. I am quick to find ways to pick up extra work shifts, pile one the yoga classes, and run (un)necessary errands. I need to remember that my priorities are school, my health, and my family and friends. Over crowding my schedule causes all of them to suffer.

{Quesadilla with smoked turkey, sliced pear, brie, and kale in a spelt tortilla}

 

Days go by

Where did we leave off?

Thursday morning I started my day at the yoga studio for a warm flow practise. It was a perfect, sweaty start to the day ahead. Breakfast was toast with banana, almond butter, honey and granola with a side of summer fruit that just won’t quit

I was invited to a sneak peek at the Calgary Home and Design show, I brought along my friend Torrie since she is obsessed with interior design. We wandered around looking at all of the vendor booths, I paused for a good chunk of time to drool over a Vitamix and wrapped up our tour with a visit to the Fiasco food truck for some gelato.

We also tried one of their Belgian waffles which heavy and doughy and heavenly. I scooped spoonfuls of my cappuccino gelato onto every bite of my half of this monster.

I invited my friend Shifrah over for dinner, wine and Glee, so as soon as we got home we started cooking.

On the menu: Quiona with roasted butternut squash, kale and feta, and broiled tilapia with pesto.

I had also been bitten by the baking bug, so we whipped up a quick batch of vegan almond butter blondies with dark chocolate chips and raspberries stirred in. Serve with a scoop of banana soft serve spiked with coconut cream which I HIGHLY recommend.

Despite a sugar/ white wine hangover, I was recovered enough on Friday morning to go to Body Pump. I’ve been going pretty consistently so I upped the weights and wanted to die by the end (in the best way possible) that is what I love about the pump, it never, ever gets easy.

I took advantage of a short break in my day to catch up on some reading and inhale my lunch — some chickpeas/ quinoa/ hummus/ veggie mix. It’s the quickest, most filling healthy meal I can throw together

Class – Work – Dinner – Crash.

Saturday I was up bright and early, gobbled up an almond butter blondie and caught an early hot class before work. I dilly-dallied on my way home since it was such a beautiful day out and I work in one of the most beautiful parts of the city.

Once I finally made it home I put together a big salad heavy on the toppings

Wild rice mix, green lentils, chopped pear, red onion, blue cheese, walnuts, home-made honey-balsamic dressing over spinach.

Then I proceeded to sleep for 11 glorious hours. I am sad to report that my lingering cold snuck up on me again! I caught it early at throat tickles and pumped myself full of Echinacea and vitamin C and I think that did the trick, except for my obnoxious right nostril which refuses to unplug.

Today was most certainly not a day of rest but was probably my favorite day this week.

3 Course Breakfast:

  • 1st course: Echinacea
  • 2nd course: Emergen-C
  • 3rd course: Smoothie with banana, blueberries, almond milk, perfect fit protein, peanut butter, spinach

Then I hopped on a bus and a train to spend the day down at Eau Claire for the AIDS Calgary Walk for Life. If you’ll recall, I’m a volunteer photographer with the society so I was fortunate enough to spend the day capturing moments of fun at the event.

{The extra F in my name is for Fabulous}

I was so, so impressed with every aspect of the event. The passion for this cause is so inspiring between the members of AIDS Calgary Awareness Association, all of the sponsors, volunteers and participants.

I wrapped up the day at Yoga Passage for a fast, hot, and sweaty class that I ended with a few minutes of head standing to try and clear out my sinuses.

Sleep tight.

Hungry days and seasonal delays

Yesterday I rolled out of bed for a pre-sunrise BodyPump class. I love early, early workouts but only if I get the prescribed 7-8 hours of sleep. Otherwise sleep wins every time.

Weight lifting leaves me hungry all. day. long. I drank a big green smoothie as soon as I got home, but grazed throughout the morning until I decided snacks wouldn’t cut it anymore and put together an earlylunch

Braised kale, olives, chickpeas, trail mix, Mary’s crackers, balsamic, honey, truffle oil with veggies and fruit

For the afternoon I headed to class for my Food Culture and Communication class where we spent three hours talking about local food.

After more snackage and my favorite pumpkin drink

Awake tea soy misto with one pump of pumpkin. Boom.

I was planning on sleeping in this morning but found myself creeping people on Facebook at 4:30 in the morning, so I caught another spin class. I just keep growing more and more obsessed with RPM, I used to find myself on the verge of death by the end of this class but my strength and endurance has grown which means I’ve been finding ways to make it more challenging — cranking up the resistance and staying on the saddle durring climbs.

Breakfast — I call this the “Clinging on to Summer”

Overnight oats with banana, berries, and peanut butter. In reality, I am desperate for Calgary to finally settle in to autumn. Meaning I can wear leggings and leg warmers and denim jackets without dying of heat stroke. But while berries are still in the store (and still delicious!) They’ll be on my plate.

Finally, here is lunch from today. Roasted beets, braised kale, tofu ricotta, garlic stuffed olives, almonds, and balsamic vinegar.

I imagine that my insides are stained a bright shade of magenta.

My days have maintained a steady gym-work-school-yoga-study pattern. Tomorrow will offer something new and exciting into the mix. See you then!

Monday with a spin and a flash.

Monday morning came quickly after a fun weekend of work (I’m obsessed with my jobs.), birthday parties, late nights, adult beverages, sweaty yoga practice, and flash-mob rehearsals. If you’re local and interested in joining me and a bunch of other yogis in an exciting, high energy flash mob scheduled for the end of October, join us for rehearsals at Yoga Passage! More information is on the Facebook page, we meet on Sunday nights at 6.

My week started with a 6 am RPM spin class and a cookie.

Breakfast cookie:

  • 1/3 c. rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp. vega protein powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
  • splash of almond milk.

Mash together, spread onto a plate, refrigerate uncovered overnight and top with cocoa bliss and raspberry chia jam

Then it was right to work for the morning, school in the afternoon, then back to Yoga Passage for a quick Ashtanga practice. I stumbled upon this article which might come in handy for those of you not to familiar with all the yoga lingo. I learnt some new stuff as well.

The nice thing about morning shifts is that I get home at a reasonable hour and am able to eat dinner off of a plate as opposed to from a Tupperware container.

Omelete with goats cheese and salsa verde — excellent combination and a simple salad of romaine, tomato, and garlic stuffed olives (obsessed) with roasted garlic dressing.

Pumpkins and Pancakes

I am happily settling in to the swing of things. My days are busy but not overwhelming and I’m maintaining a happy balance of work, school and play. Clearly I need to be just the slightest bit more organized, though, so that I can squeeze in a few more blog posts in the week! So much to blog so little time!

I wanted to share a new addition to the breakfast rotation. It’s cooling down in the mornings so I’m not having big green smoothies quite as often – I still do enjoy them, after I’m bundled up in sweats, wool socks, my favourite hoodie and nestled underneath a blanket next to a space heater…

I make pancakes every once in a while using spelt, buckwheat or oat flour. Or if I’m feeling particularly lazy, I simply use Kodiak Mix. All of the outcomes are delicious but pancakes have a funny way of leaving me STUFFED at the scene, then famished an hour later. No bueno.

I’ve heard good things of this recipe for protein pancakes. I never thought I would be one to have protein powder as a dietary staple, but it really does help to power me through busy mornings.

Here’s one variation with bananas (cooked inside) with drippy almond butter and raspberry chia jam

and another with pure pumpkin and dark chocolate mixed into the batter with bananas, almond butter and pure maple syrup.

Besides enjoying these comforting short-stacks for breakfast, I’ve officially crossed over into the dark orange side: PUMPKIN EVERYTHING.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie — You can find the recipe over at YYsCene Magazine, where I contribute posts weekly

Pumpkin Overnight Oats.

  • 1/3  c. oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp. Sunwarrior protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger

Leave in the fridge to soak overnight and top with pure maple syrup, chopped pear, almond butter, and trail mix.

 

House Keeping.

Excited as I am for school having finally started, this week doesn’t really count. This is the house keeping week where professors explain the layout of the class, tell us which textbooks we need (always the expensive ones) and spells out the NO. CELLPHONE. POLICY.

Sunday breakfast: Overnight oats

1/2 c. oatmeal, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 2/3 c. almond milk, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds}Soak overnight
+ bananas, raspberries, nectarine and grapes

Lunch

Spinach, roasted green beans, roasted beets,  Sweet Dijon Salmon, goats cheese, hummus and crackers

My house has been a construction zone for the past two weeks. My lungs are coated in saw dust, wood staining fumes AND paint fumes. But my house looks fantastic. I’ll put up pictures when it’s not in shambles.

Because of renovations, my parents had to camp out in the living room right next to the kitchen. Obnoxious as I am, I couldn’t bring myself to bust out the blender when they were still sleeping ten feet away.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sunday night they moved back into their bedroom and Monday morning after a sweaty 6 am spin class, I blended 1/2 banana, 1/2 c. blueberries, 1 c. almond milk, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, 1/2 scoop vega sport performance protein, and ridiculous amounts of spinach.

It’s getting cooler in Calgary so though delicious, I had to crawl under the covers for a bit next to the space heater for a while. I have Raynaud’s phenomenon, when the cold causes blood vessel spasms and blocks the flow of blood to your extremities. After this smoothie my fingers were ghost white and numb. Worth it.

I spent the bulk of the morning putting my room back together (I was living out of my laundry basket in my basement for the last two weeks) and made a quick lunch before heading to school.

Brown rice tortilla, tempeh, tomato, spinach, hummus and Dijon mustard with grapes and snap peas. The Brown rice tortillas are awesome for quesadillas or tortilla pizza type things but are not meant to wrap things up.

Have I mentioned how obsessed with my schedule I am? I love it. After class yesterday, I headed to Yoga Passage for the 5:10 Ashtanga 2 class. It’s a shorter class, 60 minutes, opposed to 75, but perfect after my morning spin class which twists knots in my hips every time.

I think that catches us up!

End of Summer lull; Return of a breakfast favorite, and care free treats

I desperately need for school to begin. I am bored to tears. Un-motivated. Going through the motions. The more time I have to do things, the less I do. I thrive off of schedules and deadlines. Though I know that this is just an excuse I like to use for the fact that I’m being very unproductive and lazy these days. Just ignore me while I vent.

This morning, I set my alarm so as to pretend I had some form of structure in my life and ate a Breakfast cookie, the first after a long time!

1/2 a banana, 1/3 c. rolled oats, 1 tbsp. Sunwarrior protein powder, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 tbsp. shredded coconut, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, splash of almond milk. Mash, spread onto a plate, leave in the fridge overnight. This morning I topped it with a little smear of cocoa bliss (chocolate-coconut butter) and some home-made raspberry chia seed jam. Side of fruit and tea.

After my extremely productive and social morning –sarcasm. I sat in my basement and watched several episodes of Modern Family, folded a basket of laundry, danced around to the 60’s French pop station on Songza and gave myself an at-home coconut oil hair treatment. Real life.

LUNCH

sautéed kale and crimini mushrooms, roasted sweet potato and a fried egg. I almost added feta, but I had big, dairy plans for later in the day.

Finally I washed the half cup of coconut oil out of my hair, pulled on some people clothes and was off to meet another human in the form of my best friend Ashley. We walked and talked and tried on stupid hats. The youzghe <shortened version of ‘usual’

We went our separate ways and I found my self in a sweaty heap on my yoga mat. 75 minutes at Yoga Passage left me a happy, noodly, HUNGRY girl. My friend Nat and I had dinner at Boxwood Cafe. It has been on my “To Eat” list for the longest time but today offered the perfect recipe of hunger, special occasion, and utter disregard for financial status.

Nat’s heading back to Vancouver for school on Thursday, I’ll miss her LOTS but I’m planning on showing up on her door step in BC later this year…

I had the amazing quinoa stuffed eggplant with roasted tomatoes and miso for dinner.

Plus a glass of rosé.

Afterwards we meandered down to Village Ice cream ,where I got bourbon butter pecan and salted caramel. Half scoop of each = 1 scoop in a still warm waffle cone.

So. much. yes. Also, get this: Food when enjoyed thoroughly and without agonizing over as to whether it will give you a stomach ache… does not give you a stomach ache! Noted.

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 19: Kitchen Cleanse

How is it possibly August already?

This morning I made yet another green smoothie

Frozen banana, cherries, chia seeds, almond butter, cinnamon, almond milk, and a new to me protein: Vega Vanilla Almond.

I liked the taste but there was a wee bit of chalkiness in the texture. I’d have it again though.

More Dexter, some Body Combat, and then it was time for lunch!

Kitchen sink salad: I needed to pack in the produce today in order to avoid any food waste. This had romaine, cucumbers, snap peas, olives, tomato, fresh corn, black beans, banana peppers, nutritional yeast, and hummus. I’ll be making cucumber juice tomorrow to take care of the surplus of them in my fridge.

I went to work for the afternoon and dinner was a strifry of tofu, broccoli and snap peas with  sesame oil, braggs, fresh orange juice, garlic and ginger.

Once again, this is not all I eat! Picture a Macrobar, a hundred fistfuls of blueberries, some pieces of frozen mango, and a couple of peanut butter dipped spoons after and in-between meals 🙂

Operation kitchen clean out is a go! I should probably start packing…

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 13: New Protein and Dining Out

Doop-doop dingle ding ding-ding-ding.

I slept through the sound of my alarm (above) for eight whole minutes this morning! This never happens. I wasn’t tired once my eyes actually opened so I pulled on some stretchy pants and headed to Body Pump.

6 am classes are fun because for the first half I have no idea what is even happening. How did that bar bell get there? Why am I doing push ups right now? What is this!? By the time I fully wake up the workout it half done and my endorphins have taken over.

Green monstrosity.

Not long before I started this cleanse, I began incorporating organic whey protein into my smoothies. I really enjoyed the texture, flavour, and staying power that it offered. The ingredient list was short and recognizable and the stats impressive. Since the cleanse is dairy free, I have eliminated my protein from smoothies (subbing in a few tablespoons of chia seeds, coconut flour or a hefty scoop of nut butter) but I decided to sample a vegan source of protein. Yesterday I picked up a sampler pack of Vega Sport Performance Protein: a plant-based protein supplement with a blend of pea, sacha inchi, sprouted brown rice, hemp and alfalfa proteins.

It offers 26 g. of protein and 8% of your daily fiber requirements per serving. It is also delicious! I have heard that plant-based protein powders are notoriously bitter, grassy and gritty, but this was lightly sweetened with stevia and vanilla and blended well with the ingredients in my smoothie (frozen banana, cherries, almond milk, cocoa powder, and spinach)

I met my friend Natradee for a lunch hour yoga class. It felt amazing to stretch out my muscles from this morning’s Body Pumping. Afterwards we headed to lunch, I realized that it was my first restaurant meal on the cleanse!

Playing it safe, we went to Gratitude Cafe, since many of the entrees there are already cleanse friendly, however my friend Christa recently wrote a post about how to take control and enjoy a healthy, vegan and gluten-free meal at any restaurant.

We each started with smoothies. Nat had the banana ginger with e3live and I enjoyed the mango basil with e3live.

Both were delicious and unique flavour combinations and absolutely perfect after yoga.

For lunch I had the I am grateful: Raw Mexican enchilada lettuce cups. I subbed hummus for the guacamole since I can’t do avocados.

This dish was so satisfying and flavourful. Light but packed with so many different tastes and textures. I cleaned my plate.

I also had a bite of Natradee’s Eggplant Canape with cashew risotto which was rich and buttery, but maintained a wholesome, healthy appeal. I can imagine how delicious this dish would be on a cold winter’s day.

Once playtime was over, I headed to work for the evening where I also had dinner: a quick salad from home and a cup of celery-cauliflower soup that I took to go from Gratitude. There was also a few pieces of raw, dark chocolate with hazelnuts enjoyed.

I just ate a million mini red grapes and am ready for bed. Tomorrow was supposed to be a juice fast day but I think I’ll push it to Saturday as I am still pretty low on produce. Costco trip in the a.m. !