Monday, June 13, 2011

A quick hello!

Hello Beautiful people!!

                   How are you all doing? I've missed my little community here but I really needed the time away. I've done a ton of reflecting about me and I found I really haven't resolved some serious issues with my thoughts and my self confidence.

So, I finally made the time to contact someone to help me truly come to a place of peace. I found an EFT master in my area and have started getting to the root of my negative self image. The first session blew me away as we started to "peel the onion" of my thoughts! I'm very eager to continue digging deeper into my thought pattens because I KNOW these are what I use to hold me back from multiple joys in my life.

So what does this mean for the blog? This means I'm changing my focus. I want to focus more on the deeper stuff, the thoughts (good and bad), the actions (or lack thereof), and the feelings. I want to motivate you to take the journey of healing with me.

I also will be focusing more on fitness as it is a great love in my life. Training will begin in July for a half marathon in October and I want to share that journey with you.
Hey, let's train for something amazing together!

I will not be featuring food as often. Food blogging was a trigger for negative thought patterns.I didn't want to admit it but it was. I've cut down reading a lot of blogs that only feature food because it's too much for me right now. I still love you all though, don't forget that:)

So, that's my "quick" update! The format is also going to be changing. I'm going to try vlogging as I really like talking but not so much writing:). Phew! It's going to be interesting for sure!!

I plan to be back in full swing in a couple of weeks. I have one more exam to study for and I need all my mental focus for it.

Thank you for your support and hope to see you all in July!! XOXO

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

For just a little while

Happy Tuesday folks!

             Hope everything is going well in your neck of the woods! Today I've come to share with you the reason I'm going on a little vacation from my blog.

Lately I've had this overwhelming pull to unplug. I spend a lot of time online and it's becoming too much. I find that I'm forcing myself to pump out posts and I feel like it's showing in my writing. I would cruise around the blogosphere for hours but I just don't have that urge anymore. So, I want to step back and take some time away to regroup and to come up with some fresh ideas.

This is not one of those I'm-going-to-take-a-week-off-and-then-you-never-see-me-again posts. No way! I just need to re-charge my creative juices and start taking some risks!

I want to thank everyone who reads my little blog. You are all so inspirational and I can't wait to come back and hand back some of that inspiration!

I also am frustrated with my camera. It's not my's me! I haven't taken the time to learn the basics and because I usually take my pictures at night that ads to my frustration with lighting etc. I am going to take some time and learn some basics and set up something like a light box or maybe light bouncing props like Averie so geniously made! I want the process to be enjoyable and the only way that is going to happen is if I invest some time into learning a few things.

So, I'm off for just a little while but don't fret I'll be back before you know it! Thank you for your understanding and hope to see you when I return:) XOXOXO

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yep, I'm alive

Holy! It's been awhile, hasn't it? I had good intentions then life started ramping up the speed a little bit:)

Things I've had to deal with been up to lately:

Fllings at the dentist - I was there for 3 hours on Tuesday. Ya, great fun!

I injured my back - Third round of What's My Name Workout and bam a shooting pain ran from my lower back down my whole leg. And being the stubborn person that I am, I stretched out the muscles a little bit until I could move with greater ease..and then I did two tabatha rounds of high knees with the jump rope. Ya, very smart I know! Let's just say this week has been a painful one!

Oddie needed care - I noticed he was acting quite odd on Saturday and was having a hard time going pee and so I looked up his symptoms and immediately thought he may have crystals in his urinary tract. So, off to the vet we went where they decided to get a urinalysis done. One of the vet techs said orange cats are more susceptible to urinary tract infections then other breeds. We got the results yesterday and nothing very serious was discovered from the testing. The vet said that some cats will have infections every so often through the year and they don't know why. So, we are putting him on antibiotics and we hopefully don't have a chronic case.

Homework - Boo!

Spring Cleaning - So, I do most of the cleaning in our house because Ry works long hours and well..I don't so I try to get most things done myself. I don't mind for the most part but sometimes doing dishes, upon dishes gets me down. Yes I have a dishwasher and it sucks!! So, to prevent myself from scrubbing endlessly, I just do them by hand.  But, sometimes Ry get's in the "mood" to organize and I don't stop him for one minute:) Usually this get's me motivated and so last week I started cleaning areas of the kitchen that I knew needed some serious TLC - My pantry and cutlery drawer! See below for some picts.

Anywho, here's a little re-cap of some eats!!


The lovely Katie sure does know her dips!! This Indian-Spiced Cauliflower dip was awesome!

Then I had a sudden craving for everything and anything pumpkin! I especially was craving a pumpkin pudding!

I found a basic recipe on Care 2. Then I just adjusted from there!

Perfect Pumpkin Pudding

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for a couple hours
1/4 cup maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)
1/4 cup coconut oil ( I used coconut butter instead)
3/4 cup Carrot juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1+ cup canned pumpkin

Start blending the cashews first (especially if you don't have a high powered blender like me) then add in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Add more pumpkin to get desired consistency.
A little maple, a little coconut, a little spice, and a little pumpkin = BLISS!
Very delicious!!

Then it was spring cleaning time! 
My poor pantry needed some structure so I organized everything into groups. Hopefully I'll be able to keep it more clean this way!

It feels good to walk in her knowing where I can find the quinoa and the garbanzo flour without searching and dropping jars everywhere!

On Sunday I picked up some of these crazy things? Any guesses?

They are milk kefir grains! I'm planning on making my own dairy and non-dairy kefir! I don't have enough grains to make just non-dairy kefir at the moment (they produce more grains after each batch, kind of like the scoby with kombucha. Once you make a batch in non-mammalian milk, they stop growing.So, I've got goat's milk kefir brewing my pantry. See it on the top shelf in my pantry? I tasted the first batch and it tastes like tangy yogurt!! I can't wait to try the grains with almond milk and coconut milk!

Anyone have an experience with kefir, good or bad?

I better run! I'm about to top up my garden with a fresh batch of organic soil goodness! Some greens are already alive and cookin. More garden and kefir to come! Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

what has me smiling today:)

howdy folks! You ready to turn that frown upside down? Ya, you are!!!

Here are a few things that have me smiling today....

1. Amazing voices that cause full on chills. I am going to buy their album on itunes because I love them that much..already:) Thank you Gina for sharing these wonderful guys with us!

2.  Leftovers!! We had a great throw-together-and-bake dinner last night and it tastes even better today:)


3. My sis-in-law's kitty that she took in from the street had her kittens last night:) All survived and are doing well. I can't wait to see them and hopefully convince Ry to keep one...te he that's going to take some work:)

4. Sunshine!! Seriously it has been raining here everyday for I don't know how long. I was so excited to see the bright light in my office instead of grey:) I think my back is holding up well so I'm going to try biking in to work tomorrow.

5. Finding the ability to love who I am. This is a day to day task but I'm seeing the value and in giving myself credit and letting go of the perfection thing.

6. Adventures in the kitchen. I'm trying to just play around and combine different flavors to see what happens. This was from one of those adventures:)

This was a bar I worked on. It contained oats, chia, cashews, maple syrup, cranberries, orange zest, grated sweet potato, coconut butter, ginger, and nutmeg. It was good but needs some tweaking! See if you can spot the red onion that someone got mixed in HAHA!

What's got you smiling today?
Have a happy afternoon!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekend happenings

Howdy folks!!

             How are we all doing this April 5th? Relaxed after the weekend? I am in desperate need of a long weekend as Saturday and Sunday just seem to vanish into thin air! January to April we don't have any stat holidays in BC and so Easter can't come fast enough:)

This weekend I hung out with my mom and did a bit of shopping. Got some new sunglasses and tank tops. I don't know what happened by my tank top stash has dwindled to a few stragglers:( We watched some Intervention which is such an incredible series. Terribly hard to watch sometimes but I'm always hopeful for a positive outcome!! Went for a bike ride to one of our favorite coffee shops, and had a little family time!

When my mom came over for dinner I made roasted veggie sandwiches and "blizzards" for dessert.

Yes, those veggies look mighty roasted..because they are! I left the mushrooms, beets, peppers, and leeks in the oven a tad bit too long but they were still put to good use!

Starting from the top we have an almond, sun-dried tomato spread, roasted veggies, lettuce, and goat cheese. Delicious!! I got the recipe out of a Vegetarian Times magazine. I see myself making this sandwich a lot in the summer with all the garden fresh veggies. I just made some rejuvelec so cashew cheese is in my future and would be a great alternative to the goat cheese!

Now for dessert.... Every once and awhile Ry gets a Skor blizzard. I'm always jealous of his dessert and wonder why Dairy Queen doesn't have a dairy-free option? Now I don't need to wait for the DQ to make a dairy free blizzard because Angela beat them to it!! And I copied Angela:)

I used Averie's chocolate chip cookie dough ball recipe for the cookie dough part and ended up with this..


So, so good!! The layers go dark chocolate, softserve, crumbled cookie dough ball, softserve, melted chocolate. Take that DQ!! I see this and the endless flavor combinations as a big hit for summer treats:)

We also sipped on this wine. It was okay but not my favorite Pinot Noir to date. PS on our trip we are planning to hit up the Napa valley and do some major wine tasting. Anyone have any suggestions?

On Sunday we had a friend over for din din and we decided to make nachos. I love my nachos LOADED. Of course nachos aren't the healthiest food out there so I tried to healthify them as much as I can which loads of veggies.

jalapenos, red onion, leek, and mushrooms

I put whole beans instead of refried! Don't mind my French:)

Silly me! I forgot to take a picture of my nacho masterpiece. But trust me they were perfecto with homemade salsa and guacamole. Mmmm!!

Yesterday I had an appointment with my ND. I love my ND. He keeps me in the loop with the happenings of naturopathic medicine and all the advancements in the field. I gain so much more than simply treatment for my ailments!! Him and his wife were one of the first graduates of the school I'm going to be attending in the fall so he gave me lots of advice regarding studying and the intensity. He's a no-bullshit kind of guy so I listen when he gives advice! 

 I felt my body alignment was off and I thought it was my right side but it was actually my left side AFFECTING my right side!! This trend is quite common with me. There was a lot of muscle manipulation and because I was "out" for awhile he had to work the muscles all the way up to my neck. My neck is quite sore today but hopefully it will hold. I also had to get a prolo shot in my back as I have an old tear that I have avoiding getting treatment for. He hit the money spot and I felt the nerves firing all the way down my back and leg! Yes, my pain tolerance is high! This is one procedure that I cannot wait to learn. My doctor even told me that I don't have to be an ND graduate to take the course so maybe I'll attempt it after my second year.

I haven't biked to work this week due to the endless rain and today because of my treatment. I'll see how I feel on Thursday and maybe I'll bike the last two days. Yesterday before my treatment I did a ladder workout at home using three exercises: squat press, pushups, and rows. I used 2-10lb dumbbells for the squat and the rows. I could have used a tad bit heavier weights but I still got a great workout in. Basically the circuit looks like this

Round 1 - 1 rep squat and press, 1 rep pushups, 1 rep rows
Round 10 - 10 reps squat and press, 10 reps pushups, 10 reps rows

Then you go back down the ladder doing 9,8, 7....etc reps of each exercise. This is a great circuit if you are crunched for time but still want a full body workout. You can use different exercises of course to make it easier or more difficult depending on your fitness level! This is a great way to switch up your routine and try something different. I'm also planning on dominating Gina's Monday BANG workout sometime this week. This looks killer! Burpees for 1 minute? Help me now!!

Have a great rest of your day!! I'm planning on cooking tonight since I'm supposed to rest and all.
Maybe I'll cook and watch Oprah!! Oh and I need to catch up on Glee, I'm going through some serious withdrawals!


Thursday, March 31, 2011


Happy Thursday!!!

               Hope everyone's week is going well! I rode my bike into work yesterday. It was great except for the terrential downpour which meant a lot of water sprayed my way from trucks and semi's. I was wearing rain gear but I wore runners and they were absolutely soaked by the end of the trip. I was walking around the office in socks for the rest of the day. Thank goodness I had no meetings:) The trip home was good as well. I got an extra good workout in as I was biking against the wind:) If I could bike through yesterday's weather, I think I can handle anything else!!  I'm planning on riding in tomorrow and then next week I will begin my first 5-day stint.

For today's post I thought I would compare carob and cacao as I've always wondered what's healthier,what's tastier, what is a better bang for your buck etc. So, here we go!!

Raw Carob VS. Raw Cacao

Carob is actually a member of the legume family and it grows in mediterranean areas.This 50 foot tree favors dry conditions which fungus and pests detest so very little chemicals need to be applied (score!) It produces no fruit for the first 15 years will continue produce well into it's senior tree years. Carob's pod are edible, the seeds are not. Each pod produces around 15 seeds which are processed to make locust bean gum. The pods are dried and ground into what we know as carob powder.

Cacao trees are native to the Americas yet today they are limited to a geographical zone 20 degrees north and south of the equator. 70% of the world's cacao crop is grown in West Africa . Cacao pods are filled with 30-50 large seeds that are mainly white in color. The seeds and pulp are placed on grates to "sweat" for a couple of days. The dried seeds can be shipped out as is or ground into a powder at the country of origin. To make 1lb of chocolate 300 to 600 beans are processed.

A Carob tree. Take a look at those pods!!

Cacao Tree with "food of the gods" hanging from it.
Nutritionally speaking...

  • free of caffeine and other stimulants (theobromine) that are found in cacao
  • Low in fat
  • High in calcium (3x chocolate), magnesium, phosphorus, potassium
  • Contains iron, manganese, barium, copper, and nickel
  • Naturally Sweet
  • Contains over 300 compounds including protein, fat, carbs, fibre,copper magnesium, iron, and zinc
  • Contains antioxidants ( OREC scores it at 95,500, blueberrie are at 2,400)
  • Strong stimulant
  • Contains oxalic acid that may inhibit calcium uptake
  • It can be addictive

Carob has been described as having a taste like chocolate with coffee accents or like the flavor of a tootsie roll. I find it has a malty type a good way. Raw cacao is not naturally sweet so you have to add it to something that already has some sweetness in it...unless you like bitter things:). It adds a deep, rich flavor to anything you add it to.

Bang for your Buck
I am basing my prices on Amazon's site so they might be different where you live. A 16 ounce bag of raw carob will run you around $13. Since you don't need to use a lot of it to give you your recipes that chocolate flavor with natural sweetness, this bag should last you awhile. A 16 ounce bag of raw cacao will cost you around $17.00. Depending on how much you love chocolate, you may be okay with this bag for awhile or you may need to buy the two pack.

My take

***FYI this whole article is based on the raw, powdered version of cacao and carob, not the chocolate chip or bar form which can be processed with a lot of junk.***

 There has been a lot of back and forth lately about cacao and if you should be eating it or not. It is a stimulant so if caffeine really effects you or your adrenals aren't functioning at top notch, it's probably best that you go with carob. I LOVE using raw cacao powder and making my own superfood chocolates or chocolate peanut butter cups. I haven't tried using carob for these desserts but I'm sure it would work great and with less added sugar to boot. I add in a little raw carob or raw cacao to my overnight oats, breakfast cookies, or smoothies. All in all, I think carob is the better way to go as you still get that chocolate taste, it's lower in fat, is high in calcium, but without the stimulants or the need to add in extra sweetener.

What are your thoughts? Carob or cacao?


Heathy and Philip have actually created a dessert book called Raw Food Carob Desserts. I think I'm going to pick this one up especially with those two authors!!

Ricki has some AMAZING recipes that use carob including Chai Carob Latte, Carob-Coconut Sweeties, and Carob and Date Pancakes. She also has a lot of cocoa/cacao recipes too!

The twins made socca carob bread  that I'll be sure to try as I have about 5lbs of chickpea flour in my pantry that is calling my name:)

Check out carob and cacao on foodgawker

And from yours truly:) Breakfast chocolate protein pudding, banana almond butter chocolates

Tomorrow...oats and all it's many form!! Have a great rest of your day:)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zero to 30

Happy Tuesday Folks!

         Hope you had a great weekend! Mine was pretty chill but with lots of fun stuff mixed in:)

Friday night we opted to stay in and relax. I look forward to Friday nights where we aren't on a schedule and we don't have to worry about getting up early the next morning. Well at least for me as Ry has been working a lot of Saturdays lately. Friday night is also usually fun food night:)

I have been craving CRUNCH so I went with the ever-so-classic rice krispie treats. I love topping them with Averie's killer frosting

Here's an oldie pict that I took at Christmas time when I was re-introduced to these childhood favorites!!! I know Kris is big on the childhood faves right now too:)

Other Krispie treats I'm going to try eventually:

Pretty much everything that comes up when you search "Krispie" on Tastespotting

My mouth is watering!! Why do I always tempt myself so much on fasting days?
You know when you see those videos with dogs that sit there with a treat balanced on their nose and they don't eat it until the owner gives them the go-ahead. I feel like that dog hahaha!!

Good thing I still have half a box of cereal left:)

Then Saturday night it was Earth Hour. Did you turn your lights off for one hour?

I found my tealights...all 4 of them and tried to read using my cell phone light. Yes, I couldn't wait to continue reading..more on the book later.

Now to discuss a little topic called removing yourself. I used to go to every function with everyone no matter what. Fun or boring I would laugh (or suffer) through it. Now, I'm a little more choosy. I like to hang around people that are engaging, funny, and that add something to my life. And so when plans come up where I know I'll be putting on the fake smile and  fake conversation all night I usually opt out. That means sometimes I'm stuck at home. But to me it's okay because I'm not in a situation where I'm unhappy. It's difficult when you enter a relationship with someone as their friends become your friends. Most of the time it's great but sometimes you have to make a choice if a group is healthy for you or not. It's not always easy to do as there is a lot at play when it comes to friendships. Yet, this way it's healthier and you will be happier in the end:)

Anyone have experience with "friends by association" and removing yourself?

Now for some eats!! I did eat something besides krispie treats :)

With this veggie stash I made these....

I LOVE rice wraps! I found some small wraps in the back of pantry and these were perfect for a quick meal. Besides veggies some of these had chicken (for the hubby) and marinated tofu for moi. I marinated the tofu in apricot jam , a little rice vinegar, and a touch of soy sauce for around 20 minutes. Super tasty! And of course the fun part of this dinner is dunking these wraps in various sauces.

All are delish but hoisen is one of my top favorite dipping sauces:)

Freshly juiced apples with homemade kombucha:) Awesome!! Just the right amount of sweetness. Especially since this batch of kombucha was left out a bit longer and so it is quite tangy.

Then it was smoothie and book time! Katie was raving about this 4-book series by Scott Westerfeld that begins with the book called Uglies. Naturally I had to pick it up at the library (I'm not a book buyer generally). It's awesome! On-the-edge-of-your-seat-futuristic-yet-current thrill ride and I'm only on page 100!

The "beautifier" smoothie has a frozen banana, frozen organic plums, lucuma, chia seed, ground flax, almond milk, organic spinach, and a sprinkle of raw carob powder. Perfecto! 

What are you reading right now? Do you like reading certain genres? I'm not picky really. I love to read a lot of different types of books because that keeps it fresh and always exciting! I'm a suspense girl but not really a crime/murder reader as they tend to make me a little scared and paranoid. I've noticed that if I watch Criminal Minds (which I find super interesting), I'm super nervous the next day thinking something bad is going to happen to me. I guess I better stick to the Care Bears haha!


I've also been tempted by the Twins and all their socca recipes so I purchased some chickpea (AKA Besan or gram) flour and am going to give some of their recipes a try.

Anyone made socca? What's your favorite?

On the weekend I did something that I haven't done in probably 10 years...I rode a bike!!! I was the recipient of a mountain bike that someone didn't want anymore that's in great shape (who doesn't love free stuff:) and it was sitting in my garage for a couple of months. I don't know why I let it sit that long?? shame on me! Ry and I put both our bikes in my little car (don't have a bike rack yet) and went downtown to one of the most beautiful destinations in Vancouver called Stanley Park.

They have a walkers/joggers lane and a bike/rollerblade lane so you don't have to dodge a lot of people. It's one way too which is awesome! It was so much fun:)

Then last night we decided to get all hardcore and we rode to where I work and back..for a total of 30km. Downhill on the way there, uphill all the way back. It was a great workout!

We rode there for another reason besides a killer leg workout. Basically it was to see if it's doable for me to commute with my bike to work everyday. And guess what, it totally is!!! It took us 45 minutes to get to my workplace and that was with some doddling and sightseeing along the way.

 I'm going to try it tomorrow morning and see how it goes. I do have to ride in some high traffic areas in relative darkness for about 15 minutes of my trip which I'm a little nervous about but I'm taking all the precautions- helmet, reflective gear, bike lights etc.

I'm really excited at the possibility of not having to use my car. In fact, I may totally take it off the road completely. Not only would it be great for the environment and my waistline, I would be saving a significant amount of money every month if I didn't have to buy gas, insurance, oil etc. It's a win, win really!

Do you ride your bike to work? Have you tried it in the past? Any advice?

Last but not least....

The wonderful Nelly gave me an award. Such a sweet lady she is:)

For the One Lovely Blog Award:

* thank and link the blogger who has given you the award.

* copy and paste the logo in your blog.

* share 7 things about yourself.

* nominate 15 other great bloggers.

* comment and let them know of the award
7 Things about myself....
1. I've never dyed my hair fully. I put streaks in once.
2. I'm very scared of snakes but I can handle spiders
3. I talk to myself often..sometimes aloud!
4. I recently picked up knitting and I love it!
5. I'm afraid to cook without a recipe
6. I love the pool but have to go to my happy place if I use the showers as they gross me out to the point I could gag.
7. I like a plan. I don't like to just show up at someone's house or go for a drive to find dinner.
I nominate anyone and everyone who reads my little blog!! Thank you!!
Phew, that was a long post!! Hope you have an awesome rest of your day!!