Monday, January 31, 2011

The beach

Hey Folks!!

         How was your weekend? I had a pretty mellow weekend. This seems to be the theme of my weekends in January. Although I did....

 Get a great visit in with my grandma (she's doing a lot better:),
 lock my keys in the car at the Seniors home (begged my cousin to drive me home)
 had lunch with a bunch of my aunts and cousin (bought said cousin lunch for driving me home)
 Bake muffins
 Walk on  the beach
 Went out for Indian Food with my in-laws and SIL
 Let Jillian kick my but again
 Juice a lot
 Discover a love for Americano's with a splash of soy milk
 Begrudgingly worked on O-chem which I still don't understand..grr
Watch Notorious even though I'm not a rap fan. Westside, Yo!!

Now that I listed my weekend I did more than I thought. I love lists:)

And now for the pictures to prove, there are no more post-Jillian pictures. You're welcome:)

This was fantastic! I don't normally add apple to my juices. I stick mainly with veggie-only but this was a nice, refreshing change.

This was the above juice without the apple but with ginger and cucumber added in! I made it last night and took it to work this morning. It was so awesome to have juice at work!
I think I will be making this a Sunday night habit.

Now for the beach...

Oh why not start the walk with a piece of heaven.
 This Dark Almond Brittle from Roger's Chocolates was awesome!

Welcome to White Rock!!

There is actually a large (painted) white rock..cheesy, yes! Cool? You bet!

It was beautiful out. Lots of sun but it was still really chilly on the pier!

Mt. Baker just barely visible but still stunning:)

I love the look of this old girl!

Have a great day everyone!!! I'm off to think about what to make for din din.

For the rest of the week I'm making a list of recipes and shopping accordingly. Does this work for you?


Thursday, January 27, 2011

shopping loot and Jillian

No you aren't seeing things. I am actually writing two posts in one day. Strange yes but I feel the urge to write so I'm going for it!

I finally made it into the closest health food store today. I needed some goodies and well, I ended up with a whole lot more! Although I did draw the line at the $15 bottle of macadamia nut time!

The biggest collard leaves I've ever seen!! These were destined for wraps:)

Biodegradable kitchen bags, Amazing Grass sampler, ginkgo leaves (going to try it in a tea), whole dulse (my favorite kind!), veggie cubes, detox sprouting seed mix

 I love Vega but sometimes I just want the protein. So, I found this hemp protein that hopefully tastes okay. I love quinoa pasta! It's so awesome. Pricey, but awesome. As pasta is a rarity in my house I'm okay with spending the big bucks every couple of months. I'll share what I used the pasta for soon:)

Chia seeds for more protein puddings of course!

That's right, I'm one step closer to making VOO. I think tonight's the night..wahoo!!

Now onto some fitness!! I finally caved and got a copy of  Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I don't plan to use her program for 30 days, just for days when I'm short on time or want a little something different.

I did Level 1 today and wow, I am humbled. I was cocky and used 20lbs of weight...ya well within a couple minutes of the strength circuit I was using only the one ten pound weight in two hands. I only have one 5lb dumbbell in the house and so I think I better buy another one because 20 lbs of weight was WAY too much. Lesson learned. If the trainers are only using two 5lb weights, don't think you can up them!

 Yep, Jillian kicked my but...and my hair..ugh

All in all I really liked the workout and it went by super fast! Nice variety and no "cheeze" which a lot of workout DVD's seem to have.

Have you tried her DVD's? What did you think?

Have a great night everyone! I'm off to a conference for work tomorrow then it's the weekend..wahoo! Have a great time and I'll be back soon with a delish casserole recipe.

Breakfast chocolate protein pudding

Hello all!!

       Happy Thursday to you!! Hope you are having a great week. I feel like I'm just going with the flow and so nothing too interesting has rocked my world.

Do you find this time of year to be pretty mellow for you? I sure do! The weather isn't the greatest, the bills are rolling in, and there isn't going to be any good movies until Spring! Okay hopefully that last one isn't true. But I can definitely feel spring is not too far away. The temperatures are warming up and we have actually seen the sun for an hour this week..woot woot!

Plus at work we are about to order our seeds for this years garden project. Very excited!!! We are expanding our garden space too so that's going to be a lot of fun.

But now onto something that has been missing from this blog in the last while...FOOD! Seriously I've been terrible at taking pictures but I've been eating the same foods over and over so that's not too exciting. Yet, last night I got a spark of creativity sweep over me as I was getting bored with my usual breakfast of late, Vega Vanilla Chai smoothie. It was time for a protein pudding!!

I kept it simple...

1 banana
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds, ground to a powder
1-2 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
1/2 -1 scoop Vanilla Chai Vega
 A smidgen of coconut cream

Here's a little nutrient breakdown for the whole deal (if you care!):

Calories: 384
Total fat: 13 grams
Total Carbs : 42 grams
Dietary Fibre: 15 grams
Sugars: 15 grams
Protein: 20 grams

Place the banana in a food processor and process until nice a smooth. Add in the chia seed powder (this creates the pudding-like consistency). Add in the coconut cream ( I placed a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and then scooped the top solidified cream). Finish off with the raw chocolate powder and the Vega. Add water to get your desired consistency

As you may already know, chia is sometimes used in baking as an egg replacer because it gels up. Well, it will do the same in this recipe so you will definitely need to add the water. Just an FYI.

Super delicious! The flavors all combine really well and it's a great, healthy breakfast or snack. The texture was pretty good, even Miss-can't-eat-oatmeal-because-it's-texture-makes-me-gag, was smiling! Now I know what all the talk is about when it comes to protein puddings:)

Next up...VOO..well, maybe! I've been tempted lately. Maybe that's a sign my gag reflex has been tamed or maybe it's all the subliminal images from Angela's creations floating around in my head.We shall see.

Have a great day everyone!! Friday is almost here:)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A legend and some prayers

Happy Tuesday all!

         Hope you had a wonderful weekend! My weekend was a difficult one.

My grandma ended up in the hospital Saturday afternoon. It is still unclear what is going on with her and she remains in the ER unit. She has Alzheimer's but no other serious health condition. It was very difficult being in the hospital as she has become quite aggressive so they have her in restraints. She is my only grandma and so it's terrible watching this disease take her away from me. Yet, when I visited she still made us laugh with her wit and humour!

I will do a future post on Alzheimer's as I would like to share the latest research. Anyone have any loved ones who are going through this terrible disease please chime in, I'm all ears! Oh and lots of prayers are needed too:)

Love you Grandma!!!

Now onto another legend! Jack Lalanne, the fitness godfather, passed away this week at the age of 96. What a true inspiration this fella was!

  • In 1936 at the age of 21 he opened the first health club in the United States

  • In 1951 he was asked to do a local exercise show. Well he was so popular that his TV show went national. His show aired Monday I'm sure our parents and grandparents knew him well!!

Check out this clip!! This man was so ahead of his time it's crazy!!

  • In 1954 at the age of 40 he swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater with 140lbs of equipment attached to him.
  • In 1955 he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf while handcuffed!
  • In 1956 he set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes...I'm without words!!

You might know him best (if you are from my generation) through his famous Power Juicer. And of course those infomercials that drew you in through his contagious energy and enthusiasm. Yep, even my mom and I caught the bug! In fact, I am still using that juicer today..and it's great!

He went on to do so much for health and fitness it would take me a week to blog about it!!

Cheers to you Jack!! Thank you for inspiring a world to get moving and to drink their veggies!!!
You will be truly missed!!

The food you eat today will make you what you are tomorrow.So, if man makes it don't eat it. And if it tastes good, spit it out. ~Jack Lalanne

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Giveaway Winner

Happy Saturday Folks!!

Hope you are having a great morning so far! I've just stopped in for a minute to announce the winner of my little giveaway!

Drum Roll please...


Congrats girl I'll be in contact with you to get your details!!

Have a great day everyone. I'm off to the gym, then the bank, and then its me and Mr.Organic Chemistry for a couple of hours. Then who knows..:)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gentle Barn

Good Morning everyone!!

  How are we doing this fine Thursday?  I'm pretty good. I finally caught up on some sleep last night. I was dozing off at 7pm last night..albeit to my chemistry text..but still! I went to bed at 9 versus 11 and was even able to get up earlier than normal too!

I try to get to work an hour early a couple times a week so that I can get some studying done. This way if something comes up more interesting than studying changing diapers, scrubbing the tub, pushups...then at least I've done some work already:)

I'm on the last assignment for my organic chem class (hallelujah) but then I have to re-do a first year chemistry class that I apparently did horribly on. All this time I thought the organic chem grade was the problem...well there goes a LARGE chunk of change down the toilet. Yet, knowledge is power, right? Ughh

It's very strange to go back and re-do a class. I seriously don't remember ANYTHING from organic chem. Everything I learned was so foreign. Strange how the brain rids itself of that useless  info but where does it go? Any Psychology majors in the audience?

I'm going back even further to first year chemistry for this next class so I pretty much will be learning it AGAIN for the first time. Good fun!

Speaking of changing diapers, Ry and I babysat on Tuesday night! We gave our good friends a Christmas gift that I thought any parent would enjoy - date night. We babysat while they enjoyed a night out at the movies!

There were lots of laughs! Our godson loves when we visit, especially Ryan. He goes crazy and has to show Ry EVERYTHING new since our last visit. His dad told him we were coming and said that Ry would give him his bath.  So what does he do the minute Ryan walks through the door? He drags him upstairs and starts the water. So cute!!! He even asked me to come sit next to him so we could eat our salads together:)

They are great kids and we didn't have any issues putting them to bed. Their parents have done a great job with scheduling and being consistent..and it shows! Tina was even talking about this the other day.


Now to change topics a little bit...I saw a tear-jerker on youtube this morning. My friend Paula posted it to her facebook page. Paula is awesome! She has rescued so many animals and so she's a wealth of knowledge when it comes to rescue organizations, pet care, and animal welfare! I emailed her when Mr. Oddie was so sick and she helped me out a lot and provided lots of support:)

Now look at him:

Don't let that peaceful face fool you...he's a typical teenager lol!

Keeping a watchful eye! Oddie likes to play pounce-on-Nemo...a lot!

 Where was I? Oh right, the video. Well, it was from Gentle Barn an amazing non-profit organization that rescues farm and domestic animals. They don't stop there! They also have programs to help at-risk youth, special needs, and school children develop higher self esteem and learn from a more positive example. The animals are the teachers! I think that animals are amazing teachers and healers. Just look at the pet therapy programs in seniors homes or even dog rehabilitation programs in prisons. They are huge successes! In BC we have a program in women's prisons where they help to rehabilitate troubled dogs! In fact, after finding out the nursing home where my grandma resides does not have visits from therapy animals, I'm considering taking Nemo to a consulation with Pets and Friends. They train pets and owners so they can take part in pet visistation at various institutions! How amazing would that be?

Back to the video...The video that Paula posted featured a cow that was rescued and was crying for her new-born calf....and lets just say there is a happy ending:) check it out here. Sorry they wouldn't let me embed the video!

I had tears welling up big time!! It gives a little taste of what it must be like to mother cows who are seperated so quickly from their calf in many dairy operations. I have this wish that one day we will live on an acreage and can be the forever home to rescued farm animals:) 

Have a great day everyone. Thanks for listening to me ramble on today:)

PS don't forget to enter my giveaway!!! It ends tomorrow:)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's about time for a giveaway!

Happy Tuesday all!

             How was your weekend? Mine was a lot of fun! Ry was away with the boys and so I got to do some funny girly stuff with my cuz downtown. We went shopping at Metrotown which I think is the biggest mall in BC:) My cousin introduced me to Forever 21! I'm officially hooked. Love their clothes and the accessories were pretty cool too! I have to take a picture of the owl earrings as they are too fun. We spent over two hours in the store..ha! Just so you have an idea...this place is two floors of bliss:) I went a little crazy as I haven't shopped for myself in a LONG time. It felt really good  and brought me back to the days when I had no responsibilities and could spend at free will...ahh good times.

We stayed downtown all day and enjoyed dinner at The Brewhouse in gastown. I had one of the best lagers I've ever had and chowed down on a portabello burger. Sorry no picts. I didn't want to lug around my big camera and my blackberry died too:) I need to get a point and shoot for times like those!

Anywho, Since it's been such an amazing month here on Contagious Health I though it was perfect timing to give something away to my amazing readers!

First up!

One of my favorite health crusaders just wrote a new book...

I recently saw Kris in two different interviews ( here and here) and just love how radiant she is and how she is so REAL! I don't have the book yet but I am planning on it soon. If you are curious what other people think about the book check out the comments on Amazon!!

Second is a book that I NEED in the kitchen.

This will be a huge resource for anyone who cooks and bakes. I know I've had a few flops when baking without the usual eggs and dairy.What a great resource to have!

What do you have to do to get your hands on these gems?

1. Tell me why you would love to have these books (1 comment)
2. Blog about the giveaway and leave me a comment with a link (1 comment)
3. Tell me your favorite place to shop! (1 comment)

That's it folks, easy peasy!

***Open to US and Canadian Residents only***
Contest ends Friday Jan. 21st 2011 at noon pacific.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Happy Thursday all!!

We had a little bit of a snow storm yesterday and because I work in the boonies, I got the day off:)

I was on my way to work, well the hubby was chauffeuring me because he has 4X4, and I got the text to stay home. So, he dropped me off at home...but no snow day for him. Sucker..Just kidding:)

The beautiful white stuff!! Unfortunately it's already raining so everything has turned to!

Anywho, I've been meaning to share with you something interesting astrology that was in the local paper awhile ago. I don't believe everything about astrology but sometimes it's eerily accurate. Have you ever looked up your birthday in the big birthday book? My boss brought this book in one day and it was pretty crazy how accurate some of the characteristics/stats/dates were to my life. If you are ever in Indigo or Chapters be sure to check it out. Good  fun!

The paper covered predictions for each sign in 2011. Me, I'm a Pisces!!

I like reading what astrologers have to say about my sign. It was good entertainment!!

Then I saw my so-called mantra for 2011 and I couldn't agree more!!

This is especially true come September because.....


I'm officially going back to school in September to start my schooling to become a naturopath!! I was a bundle of nerves from the beginning of the week because I knew the call would be coming. I had just finished's hit your but workout and so I was high on endorphins when my phone rang. I don't know if my heart has beat that fast EVER...well maybe on my wedding day..but this time I didn't know what would happen lol!

When Mark, BINM's director of admissions, actually said the words "welcome aboard", time stopped for that split second. I had made it, my dream was going to come true. I choked back my happy tears while the details were laid out for me, all the while pinching myself to ensure I hadn't passed out and was dreaming (bodyrock has that potential). Once I was off the phone with Mark, I did a major happy dance with lots of happy tears. I immediately called the special people in my life, changed my status to Dr. M, and then began to clean the house.
Ha! I couldn't sit still!!

Thank you all for being so supportive! I feel so blessed.
 Even though I haven't met you in person, you all have given me so much strength and courage. Seriously!
I can't wait to take you along on this new, crazy exciting part of my life!!

Cheers to a great start to 2011!!!
Yep, I had mimosas on a Wednesday night!! Hear me roar:)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Weekend in the sun!

Hey Everyone!!

               How are you all? Did you have a blast on the weekend?

First off, I wanted to thank you for your support and kind words regarding my interview. You are all so sweet and really help to bring my thoughts back to more positive places and out of the "what if" black hole.  I had a moment of weakness where I thought of everything negative and really brought myself down but I took some deep breaths and continued on to enjoy my weekend!

It was absolutely beautiful here on Saturday and Sunday! I bet you the ski hills were packed:)

Here's a random fact about me: I live within driving distance of 5 great ski hills and I've never visited any of them in the winter to ski, snowboard, or any other activity that involves snow! This is a sad fact, people!! I hope to change this soon. One of the local mountains has these cool events where you snowshoe in to their little lodge. They will host a local band to play for a couple of hours and you can grab a beer, then you snowshoe back! Sounds like a blast to me:)

While everyone was enjoying the powder, I was enjoying the sun downtown by the ocean!!

 I love these chairs!! Although they were a bit too cold to sit in:)

Yes, people this is B.C in the winter! Welcome to the temperate rainforest!

I love the country but one in a while I NEED to come to the city to get my fill. I love the vibe, the scenery, the stores, and of course, the food!

I love how these townhomes are curved!

Then we headed to the heart of the downtown and walked around in the hustle and bustle! Including the beautiful Vancouver Art Gallery. Once I saw those lions I knew I wanted a photo shoot!

 I don't think Aslan would approve of my riding skills!

But hugs make everything better:)

After my visit with Aslan we saw this group..not really sure what there cause was. They also had harmonicas?? It will remain a mystery.

We were planning on taking a tour of the art gallery but the admission price was just too high ( in my opinion). They have a donation night on Tuesday's so we plan on coming back.

Love this building. Sorry for the photoshop:(

Lots and lots of great shops on Granville Street! I was on one mission, and one mission only, to find a kettlebell. Unfortunately I failed at my mission. Every fitness store I went to was sold out!!

Listen to the message don't want to be in Ryan's shoes! Some good scare tactics in the parkade.

Bye Bye big city...until next time!!

As you probably noticed there are no food bad! We did have a fabulous lunch from Choices market (similar to Whole Foods). I had a Thai noodle salad and Ry had a vegan chili. I also treated myself to some Macasure chocolate and natural licorice. I also had a soy tea misto without the vanilla ( I added honey). Yum this was good! I haven't had one in a long time. PS Saturday was my rewards day so I ate all my faves:)

I'm trying a new technique to combating my sweet tooth that creeps up in the evenings. I'm avoiding the call for sugar for 6 days, then on the 7th day I eat whatever I want. I really like this approach so far and it has been working for me.

Do you designate reward meals or reward days? Or do you simply have a few treats here and there during the week? I find I eat too many sweets at night. I'm not one of those people who can just have one square of chocolate and leave the least not yet. Eating clean 6 days out of 7 also has a little bit of science behind it that I won't go into here. I'll give that it's own post!

I did cook up some great things this weekend too!

Mexican and Indian spices combine to give this dish super amazing flavor. I added in chili powder, cayenne, paprika, turmeric, and cumin for the spices. The veggies included frozen peas/beans/carrots, orange pepper, and onion. I added in some of my homemade salsa which made this one of the best tasting tofu scrambles yet!

Then for dinner last night I made a delicious acorn squash using the same spice blend as I did for the tofu!

Oh this was good!! I loved the flavor of the spice and squash too. I think that spice blend is a real winner!!

And for dessert on Saturday night it was Averie's Rice Krispie treats. These are so yummy!!

Here's for something different. At Choices Market we found this dairy alternative. It's really quite good. Nice and thick, very similar to the real thing. In fact, it's one of the closest alternatives I've tried so far! If you aren't a fan of coconut don't fret! The coconut flavor is not very strong in this milk at all. I actually would prefer more coconut flavor, but that's just me!
Have you tried it? What did you think?

On Sunday night I finally saw Black Swan. Fantastic movie!!  I love movies that can keep me guessing!! Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis were exceptional. The weight loss that both of these already-thin girls had to do for the film was pretty extreme. If you have seen the movie, you know what Natalie's back looked like and it's not pretty. I was never in dance so I don't know about the pressures in the ballet industry first hand. All I know is what I've read and seen in the media. Considering this I can only imagine the pressure to be thin is very high. Yet, there is another greater theme to the movie that I won't talk about right now as the movie is still in theatres and I don't want to spoil it for you:)
Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts?

Have a great rest of your day!!