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.

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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!

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 18: Vacation Procrastination

I leave for Miami the day after tomorrow. I plan on throwing whatever is clean into my luggage 15 minutes before departure and cursing myself the entire time I am away that I didn’t plan more efficiently. Acknowledged. Progress.

I’ve been enjoying the same chocolate cherry milkshake smoothie for breakfast for the greater part of this cleanse. If it aint broke… It’s simply frozen banana, frozen cherries, a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder, chia seeds, almond butter and almond milk with a few big handfuls of spinach or kale (or both!) I sometimes add a handful of raw oatmeal if I’m hungrier.

I bummed around for the morning, watching a few episodes of Dexter — I plough through TV series’ like no body’s business. In the last little while I finished LOST, Mad Men, Arrested Development, Community and Girls. It’s a wonder I get anything else accomplished.

Eat – TV – Eat again

Traditional chicken salad has never really appealed to me, but the thought of veganizing the popular, gloppy mess of a sandwich staple sounded fun.

Chick-Un Salad

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/4 block extra firm tofu, pressed and diced

1/2 apple

1/2 c. grapes

2 tbsp. walnuts, chopped

1 celery stalk, diced

2 tbsp. red onion, diced

1 tbsp. hummus

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix and serve with crackers, in a sandwich, wrap or over a bed of greens.

Come to think of it, this would have made a great stuffing for lettuce wraps.

After lunch I declared the day to be TO beautiful to sit at home and watch a handsome serial killer murder other serial killers (seriously, how do they come up with this stuff?) I put on some people clothes and took a stroll to the natural foods market to do some window shopping and pick up a couple of food things to take with me to Miami — protein powder sample packs and a few different kinds of bars, “just in case” things. We’ll probably do a quick grocery trip once we get to Miami because I’m so high maintenance according to my loving family 🙂

My walk accidentally ended up being about a 4 mile loop! Carrying groceries on the way back! Afterwards I took my favorite hot and sweaty class at Yoga Passage so basically my laziness earlier in the day was effectively cancelled out. It’s science.

Crazy Sexy Adventure Days 14, 15, 16: Weekend Warrior

Hello! I decided to take the weekend to just relax and recoup. I cannot believe that there are four days left of my adventure cleanse where did the time go?!

On Friday I took advantage of my morning off and went to work for a Chiropractic treatment (my first ever!) followed by a Naturopathic appointment. I am so, so lucky to work where I do. Continuing on with my healthy momentum, I took a lunch hour class at Yoga Passage and then settled into work for the afternoon. Once I arrived home, I declared a night off of greens in favour of something a little different

Sweet Potato Blackbean Quesadilla

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tortilla (I used Food for Life brown rice but sprouted wheat would be great too)
  • 1/4 c. grated sweet potato
  • 1/8 c. fresh corn
  • 1/8 c. blackbeans
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • sliced white onion
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil

Directions:

In a small pan, quickly sautee the sweet potato in the coconut oil until brown. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook together until the corn is slightly softened and the sweet potato is cooked through. Spread hummus onto the surface of your tortilla and sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Place your sweet potato mixture onto one half of the tortilla, fold over and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes until browned and bubbly.

Saturday was a long day at work as well as juice fast day.

I drank green juice until I got home at 5:00  and then made a big chocolate cherry green smoothie with almond butter and a sprinkle of granola.

Sunday was all over the place. Before going to bed the night before, I poured some almond milk over some of my quinoa granola and left it to soak overnight. In the morning I added berries and dug in. I think this is what people call muesli. Thoughts?

Of course, Sunday morning means Body Combat. After class, a quick shower and a smoothie, my mom and I went to wander about the mall for a few hours and then I was off for the best night I’ve had in a while! Before I get to that, let me show you dinner

My favourite summer salad is spinach, quinoa, strawberries, walnuts and feta with a balsamic dressing. The flavour combination is perfection, but, of course, feta is not Crazy Sexy approved. When the craving struck I made a quick batch of tofu ricotta and it was so, so delicious, I had several spoonfuls before even putting it ontop of my salad. It offers the salty, sourness that I love so much about feta cheese in this salad.

This past weekend was the Calgary Folk Music Festival. I have known about it for months but, being me, I put off buying tickets until it was too late and they were sold out. Basically crushed, as Iron and Wine, one of my favorite groups, was going to be the closing act of the festival. While lying in bed on Saturday night, I was having nagging thoughts to track a ticket down. After a quick scan on kijiji I was so lucky to find one for the regular price! Even better, the girl selling the ticket goes to Yoga Passage so exchange was simple enough. Sometimes things are just meant to be.

Like finding the perfect spot for Sam Beam to serenade you. I got home late and went to sleep late and missed spin+core this morning but who. cares. This was epic.

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. !

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 12: Fresh out of green

Between juicing, green smoothies, and beastly salads, I have eaten all the green things in my house! Including a Costco sized bag of romaine lettuce, snap peas, cucumbers… I am a monster.

Breakfast was buckwheat-millet quick bread with almond butter, nectarine and blueberries.

As much as I enjoy my big green smoothies, they are not ideal before a work out. I had one on Sunday before Body Combat and felt pretty uncomfortable throughout the whole class. Breakfasts like this satisfy my growly stomach but don’t have the volume that threatens to resurface at any given jump-kick.

Today’s combat class was a new release, meaning we kicked, punched and screamed to new music and choreography. It was a tough class and I ended up sweating buckets.

Smoothies after combat classes are much more enjoyable. Banana, cherries, almond milk and cocoa powder as soon as I got home from the gym

and baked sweet potato rounds with nutritional yeast and hummus a little bit later.

Today was the first day of registration for the fall semester at school. I’m trying to do as much as I can in terms of work, school and extra curricular without getting overwhelmed and scheduling is tricky but I know from experience, it always works out in the end. A few of the classes that I reaaaallly want to take this semester have already filled up, but I’m just putting it out into the universe that I have faith that a spot will open up for me. Hear that, universe? I’m on to you.

I went to work for the afternoon, picked up a few groceries and was welcomed home by the smell of my mom’s special pasta sauce. She makes it by simply mixing chopped, fresh tomatoes, garlic, salt and an Italian herb blend with a glug of olive oil and broiling it on low until it becomes saucy. I simply do not understand how it always turns out so delicious, although, simple is often best. I mixed it up with some broccoli, spinach, brown rice spaghetti, and nutritional yeast.

Happy Wednesday! I can see the weekend in the not so distant future.

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 10: Reading Material

Another great spin class yesterday morning. The new RPM release just came out. New songs and new sequences. For the 100 pushup challenge afterwards, we did 4 sets of 10 regular push ups, 2 sets of 10 hand release push ups and finished with 2 sets of 20 regular push ups. Getting stronger!

For breakfast I had a toasted peice of buckwheat millet quick bread with peanut butter, banana and raspberries with a green energy smoothie on the side.

Once lunch rolled around, I had hoped to make sushi with some left over millet and roasted veggies

Nope.

Plan B was a stirfry with broccoli and snap peas. I simply slid the sushi mess into the skillet, added some Braggs aminos and sesame oil and called it lunch.

I had work all afternoon and had the usual tupperware salad beast and met a friend afterwards for yoga, a movie and a sleep over.

I’d like to think that I know some things about following a healthy, balanced, and delicious vegan diet. But I can certainly find myself stuck caught in a rut and eating the same thing meal after meal for the sake of ease. Here is a list of some of the blogs that have offered a  good dose of recipe inspiration for the cleanse (and the future!)

Happy reading!

Crazy Sexy Adventure Day 8: Hot Hot Heat

A green smoothie sounded so delicious this morning but there were no frozen bananas to be seen! I popped a few into the freezer and had a bowl of quinoa granola and fruit with almond milk instead.

I had work at Yoga Passage this morning and broke for lunch around noon

a beastly salad out of an old peanut butter container – no tupper ware to be found!? Afterwards I took the (extra) hot restorative class. The weather in Calgary is absurd. Hot and delicious. My body craves the restorative class by the time Saturday rolls around. Today’s class paired with yesterday’s juice fast has left me feeling squeaky clean, like a reset button has been pushed on my entire existence!

I came home dead set on an icy cold smoothie. Walking through down town I walked by no less than four ice cream trucks! I needed something refreshing and cleanse friendly and then I remembered a smoothie combination that my friend Christa from Edible Balance recommended:

1 c. frozen mango, 1/2 c. almond milk, 1 c. coconut water and a hunk of ginger. Amazing.

Dinner was another salad beast this had Spinach, lightly steamed broccoli, sweet potato,saur kraut, eggplant bacon, olives, snap peas, edemame millet burger and lemony-tahini dressing. Essentially everything within arms reach went in.

I have no further plans today than to laze around and watch Community. Toodle-oo