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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Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 7: The {juice} fast and the furious

Has it already been a week?

Today was my juice fasting day. I went in with the intention to go for 24 hours, but to be ok with dropping out at dinner time, which I did. For some reason I woke up with no appetite at all. I lazed around for a bit, drank my hot lemon/ cayenne water and eventually poured my first of many green juices of the day.

Like Kris says in the Crazy Sexy Diet book, a one day juice fast shouldn’t really cause too much drama. A couple of stomach grumbles and a slight head ache, but both were easily repaired with another swig of juice. I also drank herbal tea, water and coconut water throughout the day. My lack of appetite continued, but I just did my best not to make a big deal out of fasting and overall I think it went well.

After work I went to a barbecue at my friend Shifrah’s house. She is the sweetest hostess alive and made sure there were cleanse friendly foods at the party. This is where I finished the juice fast and munched on raw and grilled veggies and a few corn chips with home-made salsa. It was perfect and I’m glad I didn’t pull an ‘Ariffa’ and just stay home sulking and sip on juice.

SO. Seven days in, how’s it going?

Things I’ve noticed

Not a cramp or bloat in sight. I am so used to looking 6 months pregnant by around 3 o’clock in the afternoon and that hasn’t been an issue once all week. It feels strange not to feel strange. Along with possible food intolerance, I think that eating too much and too quickly has a big effect on your body’s ability to digest properly. Kris outlines the importance of chew, chew chewing your food, which I am honestly terrible for. Except for the morning, I usually just cram in my food so that I can move on to the next thing. Taking the time to chew makes meals last much longer and leaves me much more satisfied with simple, clean foods.

Cravings vary from day-to-day. Day three was my desperate for bread day. Yesterday I reeeeaally wanted some yogurt and today I took a good twenty minutes smelling the inside of my mom’s recently emptied coffee cup. I have barely thought about my morning cup of black tea, between the hot lemon/ cayenne water juices and smoothies, I don’t think there would be any room left in my stomach for rich, black tea.

The cleanse has done great things for my energy levels. I generally enjoy a bigger breakfast, but I think that they tend to weigh me down first thing in the morning. Smoothies are typically what I crave on summer mornings, but I’m not about to give up oatmeal any time soon. I enjoy having vegetables as the centerpiece to my meals. I always knew that green-packed meals leave me the most satisfied, but in the end, laziness always won out and I would throw together a sandwich which would eventually lead to a mid afternoon crash which would then lead to a coffee and a sweet to pick me back up (for all of thirty seconds) and on went this ugly cycle.

Plans for the future? I really do enjoy the vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, caffeine free, alcohol free lifestyle. I don’t find it restrictive or boring, on the contrary, I think it makes me much more creative in the kitchen. However, I don’t intend on setting any hard and fast rules ever about how I eat. It might be a fear of commitment, It might be because I don’t want to type up an entire post about why I am now a vegan only to write up another one about why I am no longer a vegan. (or GF, sugar-free, what have you) What I do know is that right now, I feel crazy sexy. As in, the best I have in a really long time in terms of energy, confidence and digestion (gross). So I intend on making the healthiest, most conscious choices most of the time. From experiencing the benefits of taking that little extra time, effort and awareness, saying no thank you to certain foods shouldn’t be that much of a challenge. Something that I don’t aspire to participate in is a life of gorging and justifying that with a cleanse. I don’t find that to be health supportive at all which is why I, like many others, am an advocate of the 80/20 rule. Greens and goodness 80% of the time, and utter foolishness the rest (within reason, of course)

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 6: Happy Cramper

Today was a 9 to 7 work day capped off with a glorious yoga practise. Not a lot of food pictures, but y’all know what salad in Tupperware looks like, right?

First thing in the a.m. I chugged a juice.

I made two blends, Green (broccoli, romaine, kale, cucumber, celery, asparagus, lemon, apple and strawberries) and Purple (beets, romaine, cucumber, snap peas, pineapple, parsley and ginger) Both are delicious, I swear. But something magical happens when they are combined. I had a bright red ‘juice mustache’ for the morning.

Once I got hungry I made a chocolate cherry smoothie (banana, cherries, cocoa, chia seeds, almond butter, almond milk) and was off for a day of work at both my jobs.

At Yoga Passage I was able to sit in on one of the teacher training sessions with Ray Hawkins  who talked about Yoga Therapy, Koshas and Herbal Medicine. He had a great personality and an endless supply of information and experience. I could have listened to him talk for days!

After a few hours of work at EHS, I was back to the Passage for Gord’s Hot class. Everything feels great. I got a cramp in my side today and was absolutely thrilled because for the first time in I don’t know how long I had a cramp in my abdomen that wasn’t a digestive related cramp. Just a crappy hydration muscle cramp, which I quickly remedied with water and coconut water.

Tomorrow is my first juice fast day! My goals are to keep calm, be dedicated but not obsessive, listen to my body, and refrain from taking out any potential crazy bitchiness crankiness on others as no one is forcing me to fast, but it is something that I’d like to experience.

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 5: Hearty meals for hungry girl

This morning I went into autopilot and while sipping my warm water with lemon and cayenne put together a banana/ strawberry/ pineapple smoothie with almond milk, spinach and chia seeds. One sip in my taste buds insisted on a heartier breakfast with chew.

I poured a bowl of quinoa granola with banana and berries with a cup of green juice (disregard my pink pajama pants, thanks) The quinoa granola is increadible. Dense and nutritious. A little (I had about a half cup) goes a very long way. Packed with nuts and seeds, three whole grains, deliciously chewy and crunchy at the same time, thanks to the raw quinoa. I love the inclusion of coconut oil in the liquid ingredients and I substituted agave nectar, as I find that I need much less of it to offer sweetness in recipes, and added a sprinkle of cinnamon. Here is the recipe, you’ll be hooked from the first cluster.

For lunch I made a salad of epic proportions topped with tahini-tofu scramble. Such a delicious and satisfying meal with an abundance of protein to refuel me after today’s hard Body Combat class (Upwards of 500 back kicks, side kicks, jump kicks and roundhouse kicks according to our crazy instructor)

I went to work for the afternoon and sipped on the smoothie that I passed on for breakfast

The reason I spent all of yesterday preparing basic meal components was so that on days like today, when I come home starving and ready for a 10 minute meal, all I have to do is assemble, heat (or not) and eat. Today it was warmed kale, zucchini and cherry tomatoes with millet, trail mix (containing dried cranberries, sultanas, pepitas and sunflower seeds) with lemony-tahini dressing simple, fast and so satisfying.

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 4: Food Prep Day

Cleansing is easiest when you are busy + prepared. Being busy is nice on the days that you need a little distraction from the challenges you may be facing with the cleanse and being prepared is important so that you aren’t stuck, starving, with no health supportive supplies on hand.

As promised, a big, green, blueberry basil smoothie for breakfast

1 frozen banana, 1/2 c. blueberries, 1 c. almond milk, 2 tbsp. chia seeds, three big fists full of spinach, and a couple basil leaves.

Delicious as it was, I was a bit hungry before lunch and snacked on some melon and almonds to get me to lunch

Which was a wilted kale salad with all sorts of good stuff. Eggplant bacon, roasted sweet potato, chickpeas, olives, Mary’s crackers and lemony-tahini dressing. Washed down with a glass of coconut water. Just for kicks, here’s what my brother had for breakfast (at 2:00 p.m.)

Two sausages fried in butter and oil, two eggs – fried in the left over grease, cinnamon raisin toast with butter and a pinapple-banana protein shake. There are no words.

All day I prepped prepped prepped. I made eggplant bacon, baked sweet potatoes, a batch of millet, quinoa-buckwheat granola, edamame millet burgers, and a couple of big batches of juice.

I snuck a couple of handfuls of granola and some sips of juice and was on my way to yoga.

The 4:10 Ishta class on Tuesdays at Yoga Passage is one of my absolute favorites (do I not say this about every class there?) Jennifer Rurka walks you through challenging poses that you may not have known were available to you. She’s a fantastic teacher. Hilarious, but insightful. She balances the importance of challenging your limits and knowing your boundaries in class. I honestly wasn’t a fan of this class in the beginning because I wasn’t able to do any of the arm balances or backbends or the like in the beginning. It wasn’t until I came to the realization that avoiding the class wouldn’t make me any stronger. Yoga is a practise, after all. So I went back, I fell on my face, I fell on my butt. I lost balance, I forgot to breathe and then one day that all stopped. Today she said “if you’re too afraid to try it, try it anyway” and today I did my first dropback from camel to wheel.

Dinner was an edamame millet burger, sliced jicama and a huge salad with spinach, arugula, pineapple, strawberries, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and sea salt.

Just want you all to know that what I show here isn’t absolutely everything that passes my lips in the day! Everything is within the cleanse but if I’m hungry I will eat. Still going strong and I’ll give a more thorough update after week one is complete.

Family Get Togethers

Even though weekend mornings offer more time to make an elaborate breakfast, I was super lazy these last couple of days and stuck with the basics

celery-carrot-apple-lime juice and toast with sunflowerseed butter and jam

Toast with peanut butter, honey and banana and fruit

I went to Body Combat this morning for some air punching and then met up with my coworker friend Shayna to do some groceries for our work’s Christmas party this Thursday that we are catering!

Not long after I got home, my cousins came over for a late lunch/ early dinner for my cousin Sam’s birthday

He killed it for Movember. *shudders*

This picture highlights how random and informal our family get togethers can be. Random fruit cake that my aunt bought for $25 from our mosque, with a dinner candle shoved into the middle, sliced with a cheese knife.

Well! Better get ready for the week, it’s going to be a busy one!

Purple Drank

The juicing bug has hit HARD. It’s healthy and delicious but my produce stocks are becoming quickly depleted.

1 carrot, 3 broccoli stalks, 3 pineapple rings, 1/2 beet, 4 strawberries, 1/2 lime

It appears I’ve finally found a way to eat (drink) beets in a way that doesn’t make me gag!

I balance my juice intake with wine

It’s Canada day today! Red watermelon soaked in white wine, I had to get some patriotism in since my dinner was pretty exotic

Bed of spinach, soba noodles, broccoli, baked tofu -rubbed with garlic, ginger, bragg’s amino acids, sesame oil and maple syrup- all covered in mmm sauce, I just realized that this was vegan! Wooops

I had today completely off, no work, school or home work. I used to live for these days, when I could hermit myself away in a useless lump with no responsabilities but it was painful! I managed to do one load of laundry and drag myself out of the house to go to yoga but that was about where my productivity peaked. I guess I should soak up all the laziness I can before I start Chemistry on Monday, booooooo.