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!

Advertisements

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.

 

Windy City

My Monday started with an amazing bowl of oatmeal

Rolled oats, almond milk, pumpkin, banana, cinnamon

loaded with toppings: granola sprinkles, pumpkin butter, almond butter and butterscotch chips

I was planning on hanging out for a bit before leaving for work and was scrolling through my twitter feed when I spotted several local tweeters complaining about their brutal commute to work.

Yesterday Calgary was hit with a terrible wind storm, downtown was shut down and city workers had to work through the night in order to make the Monday commute more bearable.

Luckily I got the memo early and left for work right away and made it on time.

After work I hit the mall with my friend Brittany to find her a birthday ensemble. FYI, the best activity for a ‘rest from exercise day’ is window shopping in high heels with a 20 pound bag. I think I need a rest day from my rest day!

I just devoured a bowl of asparagus soup for dinner and am ready. for. bed. NIGHT!

At Home Foam

Hands up if you like pumpkin!

Hands up if you didn’t know that you like pumpkin until you started reading food blogs in the fall and became aware of this crazy community of people who stir pumpkin into anything and everything that they eat and secretly hold pumpkin appreciation parties where they dress like pumpkins and eat pumpkins and sing about pumpkins. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.

I ate a lot of pumpkin today.

This morning I had gym plans, the latest Les Mills releases for all of their programs have been released and my gym was offering ‘sample’ classes of each new release. I stayed for four out of six classes, and tried two that I never have before, Body Jam and Body Combat. Body Jam is essentially a dance class, they build on choreography throughout and by the end you are a pro dancing your way through an entire song. LOVED.

But my new obsession may just be Body Combat. Holy aggression release! It’s a mixed martial arts inspired class full of kicking and punching and screaming. Even though I punch like a girl I had a killer time and my shoulders are killing me! It hurts to type, so bye!

not quite.

Before I went to the gym, I had two slices of pumpernickel bread with maple-cinnamon pecan butter, pumpkin butter, granola and chocolate chips

and after I got home I tried my hand at making a pumpkin spice latte, it worked! Maybe now I can quit depleting my savings account in the name of delicious coffee beverages, all in the name of foamy foam!

A couple of times a week, I go to the Second Cup near by my work and ask for a small medium roast brew white with soy and one pump of pumpkin spice. With a side of raised eyebrows from employees and bystanders. I’m a bit of a coffee diva, but truth be told, it’s because Second Cup coffee isn’t that great! Tim Hortons coffee however, is hot brewed cocaine and unicorn tears. I love it black and bitter.

Anyways, Second Cup seems to charge an extra dollar for each additional word in an order, so even though I only get a coffee once or twice a week, it adds up and I’d much rather spend my money on pretty bowls (weird habit) or groupons that I’ll never end up using, or shoes. Mmm… Shoes…

Pumpkin Spice Cafe Au Lait

INGREDIENTS
1/2 c. strong brewed coffee
3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c. soy milk
1 tbsp. pumpkin spice syrup

DIRECTIONSIn a small sauce pan, heat the milks together. Once the milk is slightly scalded (small bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan) add as much syrup as you like and either transfer it carefully into a blender, or use an immersion blender to whip the milk until it becomes nice and frothy. Pour the milk into a mug over the hot coffee.

Pumpkn Spice Syrup

INGREDIENTS
3/4 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. pumpkin puree
2 sticks cinnamon
2 cloves
1/2 tsp. dried ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONSIn a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients and simmer on low for five minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and press the pumpkin through with the back of a spoon. Put the strained syrup back into a sauce pan and simmer for another five minutes until it thickens slightly.

 

Nine.

That is how many days it has been since my last downward dog!

Last week I only made it to one, ONE yoga class and it was Bikram, therefore, no vinyasas no down dogging.

After work today I went to 6:10 Ashtanga and I could definitely feel the week+ yoga hiatus. Thankfully my teacher kept telling the class me to stay unattached. Easier said than done!

Rewind to breakfast, I made a big bowl of oats to eat while watching the food network (I do this every morning)

Rolled oats, oatbran, chia seeds, almond milk pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin spice tea bag (plucked out before consumption) chopped apple, pecan pie butter — recipe tomorrow

 

Workin’ Nine to Nine

Way past my bed time but I had to say hello!

Yum-azing breakfast:

Yogurt, pumpkin, banana, peanut butter and granola. Filled me to the brim!

Went to work #1 and then right away to work #2 (large coffee in between)
Work number two was at the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival here in Calgary. I can’t really call it work because I essentially stood at the front of a line for five hours repeating “would you like a tasting booklet? Make sure to enter your ballot for the door prize, ENJOY!!” But my feet sure do hurt! Got home and did a head stand to return some of that stagnant blood to my brain.

A fantastic perk of working at the festival is a SLEW OF TASTING BALLOTS. I was starrrrving by the time I got my break to wander around the festival. I went with a new friend I made, who thought I was weird for taking pictures of all the food we tried.

Fish Tacos

Crab Cakes

Tandoori Shrimp (really feeling the sea food apparently!)

Butternut squash soup

Pumpkin spice gelato

dark chocolate covered caramel covered in sea salt(!)


I have plans for Body Pump tomorrow morning so I refrained from the vino. I did sip the foam off of this sample of beer but tossed the rest.

I’m working at the festival again tomorrow, so I’ll use up my coupons on wine then

For a twelve-hour work day I feel pretty good! But I had better get to bed so I can up my weights tomorrow at PUMP. Night!

That time of year

Hello!

As promised, I treated myself to juuuust under 12 hours of sleep last night. I run best on 7-8 hours of sleep, like most people, and while I’ve been in BED for that amount of time the past few nights, I haven’t been able to sleep very well. I’m all caught up now though!

I woke up to eat with the breakfast club

Yogurt, oats, trail mix, banana. Old favorite, remember when I had it every day? I topped it with honey and people peanut butter.

Pitter Pattered around and went to SPIN! I’ll admit, I think the seasons change has finally hit me and I’m growing lazy, glad I made it to class today though!

Home-shower-lunch time already!?

It’s also that time of year where I find I have to force myself to eat veggies. Where salad beasts used to live, bread has taken over

mmm bread. with cheddar, hummus and tomato plus my new favorite drank

tall, pale and pumpkin

  • 1/2 large, ripe pear
  • 3/4 c. almond milk
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin**
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

**I freeze my pumpkin into ice cube trays each ‘pumpkin cube’ is equal to two tablespoons so I used two cubes for this smoothie. I think that the frozen pumpkin is important for the texture of this smoothie

I went to work for the afternoon and got home with serious hunger pangs! Usually I feed myself while I’m at the cranky/ low blood sugar feeling stage of hunger not the gnawing at my stomach lining stage! Must have been all that spinning this morning!

Luckily I had dinner together in 15 minutes, SERIOUSLY!

Miss Oh She Glows posted a recipe for vegan pumpkin mac n’ cheeze, she’s not kidding about this sauce, it’s delicious!
I just finished off the last German Chocolate Brownie from Thanksgiving, I’m shocked they lasted so long. They’ll be missed.

Tradition with a Twist

Happy Thanksgiving Canadian friends! Happy Monday for everyone else =)


Late Saturday night I started my 24 hour cook-a-thon for Thanksgiving dinner

My parents host Thanksgiving dinner at my house every year, and have our own traditions

We defrost the Turkey last-minute using methods that go strongly against everything I learnt in my Food Safety class. We swear that we’ll defrost it properly next year. We never do.

It’s marinated in a mixture of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, cilantro, garam masala, salt and cayenne pepper. Don’t ask for amounts, my mom doesn’t roll that way.

We overcook baby potatoes, brussels sprouts and baby carrots in the turkey drippings.

We always worry about not having enough dessert. Then end up with way too much. (except there’s no such thing as too much dessert!!!)

I try to incorporate some of the more traditional Thanksgiving dishes into our dinner as well

Mashed potatoes with sharp cheddar cheese

Baked sweet potato rounds with cinnamon and coconut oil

Cranberry sauce (fresh cranberries, zest and juice of one orange, splash of maple syrup, splash of Merlot, cinnamon and vanilla, cooked in a small sauce pan until thickened)

Even though pumpkin pie is traditionally served at Thanksgiving, I find it a bit off-putting because the only encounter I’ve ever had with pumpkin pie was a mass-produced, two feet in diameter, soggy pie from Costco a couple of years ago. Overly sweet, too many spices, and I don’t even thing there was any pumpkin involved! In keeping with tradition, I made pumpkin spice meringues dipped in white-chocolate pumpkin ganache

Pumpkin Spice Meringues

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of ginger, clove, nutmeg, salt
DIRECTIONSPreheat the oven to 275. In a glass bowl, whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar to stiff peaks. slowly incorporate powdered sugar and spices in until egg whites become stiff and glossy. Scoop the mixture into a ziplock bag and cut off a corner. Pipe the meringue mixture into circles approximately one and a half inches in diameter onto a non stick baking sheet. Bake for one hour.

 

White Chocolate – Pumpkin Ganache

INGREDIENTS

  • One cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg

DIRECTIONSHeat the cream, pumpkin and spices in a small sauce pan, pour into the white chocolate and stir to melt.

The left over ganache got swirled with more white chocolate to make a pate that was served with pear slices.

Also on the dessert table, German Chocolate Cake Brownies

The Barefoot Contessa’s Brownie Tart + Coconut Pecan Topping. The Barefoot Contessa never fails. These were GOOD.

Appetizers were marinated baby bocconcini, I tossed the little mozzarella balls with basil pesto and olives. Also a delicious baked brie with carmelized onions, apple slices and toast

Super fun! I’m spending the rest of the day lazing, cleaning, mayyyyybe gymming and I see a turkey sandwich in my near future!

 

The Roommate

Allow me to direct your attention to two details in the following image:

1. It’s still dark outside
2. There’s a smoothie

Meaning that I was up before the sun, being noisy with my immersion blender to make breakfast while the rest of my family slept tried to sleep. I’m almost certain I’d be a terrible roommate. So, I’ll have to refrain from moving out until I can afford my own place and just stick with my family who may hate living with me, but have no choice but to keep me =)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

INGREDIENTS
1/3 c. pumpkin
1/3 c. oats
1/3 c. almond milk
1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of ginger, nutmeg and clove
vanilla

*soak overnight in the fridge*

In the morning:

1 small banana, frozen
1/3 c. almond milk

*BLENNNND*

Topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, coconut butter magic shell, and granola clusters

Bollywood

Last night was a friend of my mom’s wedding. Some how she convinced me to wear a saari

I’ve never worn one before and have bad memories of Indian outfits from when I was a little girl. The sequins always scratched my armpits! This time was no different, I couldn’t wait to get home and exhale!

The wedding reception got a little dry at some points so my cousin and I snuck out for some beverages

It was so chilly willy this morning: oatmeal on my mind

IN: Oat bran

Banana

Pumpkin

cinnamon/clove/cardamom

almond milk/water

ON: 

Crunchy almond butter

maple syrup

cluster-town granola

Happy Saturday!