Friday, 30 November 2012

December Goals

Good Morning!

I'll start by saying that the craft show yesterday was fabulous! I will give you a full recap tomorrow :)

I have been thinking more and more lately that I should start making monthly goals for myself. I made a list of small goals that I want to accomplish by the end of next year (see my 2012 Bucket List), but they are all relatively superficial, instant-gratification-type goals. Don't get me wrong, those are great sometimes. There were lots of things I knew I would never get around to doing if I didn't give myself a deadline!

However, I would like to start digging a little deeper and making more meaningful goals, or goals that will help me to improve my health and well-being. I will make a few goals at a time so that I don't get overwhelmed and hopefully they will eventually become incorporated into my way of living without my even having to think about them.

I figured that a month is a nice amount of time. It is long enough that you have time to make some measurable progress, but short enough that you won't forget what goals you made before you actually accomplish them. I mean, does ANYONE remember what their New Years Resolutions were for 2012?? Bonus points if you do, but I frankly don't have a clue.

So here they are:

1. Compliment at least one person every day.

It could be someone I know, or a total stranger. It just has to be one nice thing. You know when you get a compliment out of the blue and you basically walk on air for the rest of the day because you feel so great about yourself? I want to be a person who makes someone feel like that every day :)

2. Eat more in the mornings.

Err... Not quite.

If you are familiar with eating disorders, you know that many people have a tendency to want to "save" calories for later. I mean, if you are only going to allow yourself X amount of calories per day, you don't want to "waste" them on a morning snack, right? Wrong. All this does is make you light-headed, grumpy and miserable all day until you eat all of your allotted calories at once and feel sick because your body isn't used to food. Even now that I have been making an effort to eat more, my brain is hard-wired to eat less earlier in the day. Then, if I haven't eaten enough by nighttime, I feel guilty and eat more than my body wants just because I am trying to "recover".

So, I am going to make a bigger effort to eat more in the morning so I can have more energy throughout the day and consume enough calories without feeling uncomfortable. It sounds so simple...

3. Get more sleep!

I have not been good about getting my shut-eye this month. School has been busy, so I have been staying up late to work on assignments and then staying up even later to blog. I LOVE blogging, so I'm not going to stop posting daily, but I need to manage my time better so that I can balance school and hobbies. Hopefully this will be a little easier now that I don't have to get up early for classes, and I am definitely going to catch up on sleep this Christmas :)

4. Focus on my strengths.

This is a big one for me. As someone who has always been hyper-critical of my appearance, I need to start actively recognizing all of the things that are great about me. I need to start looking at the changes in my body and seeing them as gaining muscle and strength, not "fat". I also need to start looking at my positive qualities apart from my appearance. I need to tell myself that I am smart and have a good sense of humour and that I am a good friend. I have so many things to offer the world that have nothing to do with the way I look and it is time I put more effort into developing myself as a person and recognizing those wonderful qualities in myself.


Well, that's all for today folks! I am going to try to focus on these goals and get back to you on them in a month. Now go and get out your advent calendars!

Happy December!

Have you set any goals for yourself this month?

Do you make New Years Resolutions?

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Off to the Show and A Tasty Omelette Recipe

Happy Friday Friends!

I'll just start by saying that my classes are finally over for the semester and I'm about to go hand in my final assignment (a 32-page econometrics paper, fun)! 

Now I just have 5 exams to get through and I can relax for Christmas! I have been picking up some ingredients for my annual holiday baking (which I plan to happily indulge in this year), working on checking off my Christmas shopping list and listening to Michael Buble Christmas songs on repeat :)

Perhaps the most exciting sign of the holiday season is that I am off to the One of a Kind Craft Show today!! 

For anyone who has never been to this: It. Is. Amazing! It's like every craft show you've ever been to put-together, times 10! 

This photo doesn't even come close to doing it justice.

There are rows and rows of artists, designers and different kinds of craftspeople, all selling beautiful handmade things. Did I mention that there are also several whole rows of foodie vendors? (One of which I have already spoken to about doing a review - coming soon!) Chocolates, jams, fancy nuts, spreads; you name it, it's there. Oh, and they ALL have an abundance of samples. Today is going to be a good day :)


Now I'm just going to share a little recipe with you that I make all the time. It's easy, filling and tasty, you can't go wrong!

First off, I love omelettes.

I could eat them for every meal of the day. Actually, because I my stubborn preference for oats in the morning, the only meal I don't eat omelettes for is breakfast!

As a starving student, they are also one of the most versatile and economical meals out there. Has anyone ever needed to use up a bunch of ingredients that were about to go bad? Put them in an omelette! Sweet potatoes? Omelette! Quinoa? Omelette! Goat cheese? You guessed it, omelette! Apple pie? Well... (Actually, it just occurred to me that I actually do make apple pie omelettes sometimes, maybe I'll share the recipe another day)

I have thrown almost every combination of veggies and odds n' ends into eggs and it usually comes out hearty and tasty (I only say "usually" because of one particularly memorable incident in my early, experimental cooking days involving myself, my best friend and a packet of falafel mix... not recommended).

Here is one of my favourite omelettes that I seem to keep revisiting.

Cheezy Bacon Veggie Omelette

Ingredients: (most of these are approximations, so don't sweat it if you're off!)

- 2 whole eggs (or 1/2 cup egg whites)
- 2 strips turkey bacon (cut into small pieces)
- 1 handful spinach
- 1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 tbs. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- black pepper to taste


Add turkey bacon, then mushrooms to a frying pan and cook over medium heat (I find the bacon greases the pan a little so I don't need to add oil) until both are cooked.

Add spinach and continue frying until spinach is wilted. Arrange veggies and bacon in the pan so they are evenly covering the bottom.

Whisk together eggs, nutritional yeast, hot sauce, smoked paprika and pepper in a bowl and pour into the pan covering the other ingredients.

Cook on medium heat until omelette surface begins to bubble slightly and underside is cooked. Loosen with a spatula, flip and cook on the other side until omelette is cooked through.

Slide onto a plate and top with salsa, ketchup or whatever you like!

I usually prefer salsa, but I was all out when I took this picture :(

Not the prettiest food, but don't judge a book by its cover ;)

Well, I'm off to the show! 

Have a fabulous Friday.

What are your favourite omelette add-ins?

Any other craft show nerds out there? Have you ever been to One of a Kind?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Product Review: Giddy Yoyo!

Well, Hey Everyone!

This is an exciting day, because I get to do my very first product review!! The good people at Giddy Yoyo were kind enough to send me some of their delicious products! Giddy Yoyo specializes in making raw, organic, fair trade, vegan dark chocolate that is "Free of Dairy, Gluten, Soy, Nuts, Refined Sugar and other Nasty Funk!" They also sell superfoods and select body care products.

Plus, how can you not love a company with a name like "Giddy Yoyo"? Say that 5 times in a row and see if it doesn't make you a little happier :)

Since I absolutely ADORE dark chocolate, I couldn't wait to dive into my goody bag!

I'll start off by saying that this chocolate is very smooth. I haven't had much raw chocolate in my life, but the lack of processing definitely doesn't take away from the silkiness. It is also intensely dark and not too sweet, which I like. I always crave a piece of dark chocolate after dinner, and this stuff totally hits the spot. Whenever I eat milk chocolate or really sweet chocolate, it just leaves me craving more and more. I have always been the type of person who resembles some kind of ravenous, chocolate-starved monster when I get the taste of it my mouth, so I was a little worried about having so much of it in the house.

Note to self: Raw dark chocolate = cravings satisfied.

When I looked at all of the products, the 82% cacao Vanilla Bean and Salt jumped out at me as the dead-ringer for my favourite. I love anything vanilla and I really like the sea salt dark chocolates I have had before, so I knew the combination of the two would be unreal. This was also the darkest of the bunch, so I knew I would like that.

The vanilla flavour could have been a little bit stronger, but the salt made up for it. Right at the end as you are enjoying the subtle vanilla, you get that little salty kick that balances out the sweet. If you have a craving and can't decide if it's for salty or sweet, you've found your cure ;)

The ingredients also make me very happy. Look at those! All from the goodness of Mother Earth :)

I wanted to try the Original 76% cacao next to compare it to the first.

I think I liked this one even more! It was just simple, dark, smooth and had a rich cacao flavour. The vanilla salt flavour is delicious, but a little more unusual, so if you just like your chocolate straight-up dark, I would choose this over its more processed counterparts.

I was nervous and excited to try the next one: Spicy 76% cacao.

While I am a spicy food addict, I never really jumped on the spicy chocolate bandwagon. Cayenne and chocolate? It just doesn't do it for me.

But this chocolate blew me out of the water!! The cayenne kick was mild, the cacao taste was as rich and smooth as the other bars and it had this AMAZING cinnamon flavour! All together, it was phenomenal and totally addictive. Cinnamon lovers, this is your kryptonite. I almost wanted to go back for more immediately, but like I said, this is pretty satisfying stuff ;)

The last of the chocolate that I tried was the 70% cacao Banana Nutmeg. It had just the right strength of  nutmeg flavour and little chewy banana bits in it. The banana added a nice sweetness and it was totally different from the other varieties. It wasn't my favourite, but after that spicy cinnamon chocolate, it's a pretty tough contest.

All in all, amazing chocolate. Fair trade, minimally processed, good for the world, good for the soul. I can approve. If I had to rank my favourites, I would give Spicy first place, Original second, Vanilla Bean and Salt third and last but not least, Banana Nutmeg. It was really hard to rank them, because they were all so good, but I did my best.

They also sent me a product from their superfood line: Raw Banana Spears, made with Vine-Ripened Heirloom Red Bananas.

Let me just start off by saying that I don't actually like red bananas. I also don't like ripe bananas (still slightly green at the top is how I eat 'em) unless they are in cookie, smoothie or bread form. Needless to say, I was not expecting to love these. I was so wrong! These were the biggest surprise of the bunch; they were delicious! They had the look and consistency almost of licorice (banana licorice!), a really nice fragrance and a sweet, but not too strong banana flavour. And the only ingredients are raw, vine-ripened, sun dried banana spears! I was blown away.

They do look a little funny, but the taste and texture totally make up for it; these are nature's candy, really.

A little side note: "Bananas are the world's most phallic fruit!" (Their words, not mine)

Another side note: "Yum" (Totally my words)

Lastly, I was just expecting a box full of food, but I got this unexpected surprise...

Raw Love Butter!

And it's edible? Well I had to test that out for myself.

It was not half bad :) I would not be opposed to spreading it on toast... It makes total sense too; the only ingredients are cacao butter, coconut oil, olive oil and ground vanilla beans.

I decided to try it on my poor cold-chapped hands, and it totally did the trick. It had a few chunks that must have been sitting on the surface, but it was smooth, rich and smelled DELICIOUS! Seriously, I challenge you not to eat this stuff! It would be great for dry elbows or heels, and the label also says you can use it as a natural sunscreen, which is a huge bonus since most commercial sunscreens are full of chemicals. 

What a great company! I love to support healthy, sustainable businesses like them.

And I can't wait to try some of their other chocolates!

Mint? Ginger? Sign me up :)

Have you ever tried Giddy Yoyo products or any other dark chocolate before?

Let me know what you think if you try it!

My First WIAW: The Week of the Squash

Happy Wednesday! 

First, I just want to give a big shout out to anyone who read and commented on my post yesterday. You guys had some great things to say and I was really touched by all of the support.

Now, I'll move on to... What I Ate Wednesday! A favourite link party in this blogosphere :)

So this is my first official WIAW post. The WIAW link-up (hosted by Jenn) was actually how I first discovered the food/health-blogging world, so I'm excited to participate for the first time!

Since my blog is still very new and I'm somewhat very disorganized with my picture-taking, I am just going to be showing you some of the different foods that I ate throughout the week, instead of a on a particular day. Hopefully in the weeks to come, I will come up with some kind of format for these posts, but for now, I'm flying by the seat of my pants!

Just one more note: if any of my meals look on the small side, it's just because I snack A LOT, so don't worry that I'm not getting enough ;)

So without further ado...

My breakfasts all looked something like this...

Carrot cake oats. Yum.

Anyone who read this post would hardly be surprised.

Lunches are typically whatever I have on hand. Usually with lots of veggies, protein and complex carbs to keep me going.

Big salad (pre-dressing) with spinach,  bell peppers, pickles(weird, I know),
shredded cabbage, chicken & homemade turkey bacon bits.
(Yes, that is my German cutting board in the back. It says, "Guten Appetit!")

Broccoli slaw, mushrooms and tofu stir-fried with soy sauce,
garlic powder and peanut flour/water mix.
Topped with sesame seeds. One of my favourite meals :)

Like I said, I snack a lot. Mostly on healthy things ;) 

Including plenty of fruit...

My faves :)

Look at the SIZE of it!! That's Costco for you, baby.

Healthy fats...

My homemade pesto...

...and this GLORIOUS chocolate! (Review coming very soon!)

Fear food no more!

And then things got out of hand, albeit deliciously out of hand.

Have you ever bought a big, fat spaghetti squash... and all the way home envisioned all of the scrumptious spaghetti-like things you were going to make with it... only to realize (again) that the volume of the insides seems to amount to 10X the size of the original squash (!!)... and now you will have to eat spaghetti squash for every meal for the next two weeks just to use it up??

I mean, don't get me wrong, I LOVE spaghetti squash. It's just that I do like to eat, you know... other things.

Anyway, I had to think of a way to keep it interesting; meal, after meal... after meal... you get the point.

Pesto Pasta.
Mixed with my vegan pesto and topped with Yves veggie meatballs.
I usually try to stay away from heavily-processed soy "meats",
but these were on sale and they're tasty, so what the hell?

Vegan Spaghetti Marinara.
The "marinara" is just half-and-half jarred pasta sauce and spicy salsa;
I like my pasta sauce with a little kick ;)
Then I topped it with veggie meatballs and nutritional yeast.

Peanut "Noodle" Stir-fry.
Spaghetti squash stir-fried with soy sauce, garlic powder and
peanut flour/water mix. Then topped with herbed tofu -
marinated in soy sauce and pan fried - and sesame seeds. Delish :)

Easy Cheezy Pumpkin Pasta.
Just 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin mixed with 2T nutritional yeast and a pinch
of salt. You can add a little water too, to make it "saucier".

And of course this wasn't the end of the spaghetti squash. These meals were repeated...

... more than once.

And of course, the week wouldn't be complete without my favourite kind of squash: Buttercup!

Roasted and served with sesame-soy shrimp. Best dinner ever!

Do you ever get stuck eating the SAME thing over and over again, just to use it up?

What is your favourite way to eat spaghetti squash?

Monday, 26 November 2012

My Ideal Vision

Howdy Friends,

I really like what Sloane has started with the #freEDom link up, so I decided to join in and post something that has been important for my recovery.

Strength in Freedom

When I first started seriously thinking about my recovery, I spent hours online looking at resources and trying to find a place to start. I ended up watching a bunch of YouTube videos by a girl named Nina V, who had struggled with eating disorders herself for years and now has a website, books, etc. on the subject.

She had a lot of good tips to help with restriction and bingeing, one of which was to open up and establish a support network, which I have done through family, friends, a counsellor and blogging. This has made a huge difference for me and I am so grateful that I finally took that step. Another piece of advice I took from her was something I am going to share with you today. It is to visualize yourself 100% recovered and picture what your life would be like, then write it all down as your "Ideal Vision".

I took out a pen and paper, and as I started writing, the thoughts just started to flow and my ideal future came to life in front of me. When I looked at it, I saw what I wanted my life to look like and I made an effort to think about it as often as possible to remind myself what I was fighting for.

I wanted to share this with you all and hopefully inspire you to create your own ideal vision, whatever it may be; even if you don't struggle with an eating disorder. If there is something in your life that you want changed, visualize it and make it happen!

My Ideal Vision...

In complete recovery, I will:
  • Eat healthy foods that I love without counting the calories
  • Have a jar of peanut butter and a box of cereal in my cupboard at all times, have some when I want them and stop when I'm satisfied with no guilt
  • Graciously accept and enjoy the baked goods that people bring to my student government meetings
  • Go out for dinner or drinks with friends and order whatever I feel like having that night
  • Go out for sushi and eat more than sashimi, soup and salad
  • Enjoy one or two treats when my roommates bake 
  • Have tons of energy for my workouts because I am fuelling my body properly
  • Not be filled with fear and anxiety around holidays because I am worried about the abundance of fear food 
  • Be open with others about my past and my recovery so that I can inspire them to feel good about themselves
  • Enjoy being at my parents' home because I am surrounded by love and good, healthy food, not constantly worried about what is in their cupboards
  • Never turn down a social invitation because I am worried about being around fear foods
  • Blog about my experiences and inspire other people
  • Not think about food every minute of the day
  • Listen to my body, eat when I'm hungry, pay attention to what I'm eating and stop when I'm full
  • Be able to find a snack wherever I am when hunger strikes instead of having to carry safe snacks wherever I go
  • Not feel the urge binge after a night of going out and drinking and not wake up in a pit of self-loathing because I have not deprived myself all day
  • Never rudely refuse someone's thoughtful gift of food
  • Never make someone uncomfortable because of my eating habits
  • Think about what I truly want when I have a craving, breath, honour it and move on with my life
  • Be mindful of everything I am eating
  • Enjoy food
  • Enjoy life
  • Eat cake on my birthday
  • Eat until I'm full and satisfied on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, no more, no less
  • Enjoy the company in social situation without anxiety about the food
  • Listen to my hunger signals and fuel my body no matter what time of day it is
  • Turn to friends, family or the blogging community when I need support instead using food or restriction
  • Try out delicious recipes and eat what I made instead of giving it all away
  • Workout because It makes me feel strong, not because I'm afraid of getting fat
  • Accept my body no matter what size it is
  • Focus on being kinder, less judgemental, more interesting and more balanced instead of focusing on the shape of my body – people will love you for you, not your looks
  • Never be afraid to try something new (except skydiving, that shit is scary)
  • Be proud of who I am – no more shame
  • Have no foods that are off-limits
  • Be able to tell people that it is not worth fixating on your weight or your body, and I know this because "I used to have an eating disorder"
I hope this inspired some people to envision the lives they want to live. It's never too late!

What do you see in your ideal future?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Health Survey!

Hello Everyone!

I had been thinking about what I was going to post today and was getting no inspiration until I saw this post by Amanda. It's a great survey about general health and wellness and I think it is good to reflect on some of these things, so here I go!

1. What did you eat for breakfast? 

My delicious Pumpkin Pie Oat Bran! I really can't go a morning without eating oat bran, I really crave it when I wake up. Hence why I wrote an entire post about it...

2. How much water do you drink a day?

I try to drink lots, but some days are better than others and I know it couldn't hurt to drink more. I usually chug over a litre of it before I even leave the house in the morning, have about half a litre with every meal and obviously drink it when I work out. I also carry this guy around with me and try to take sips whenever I think of it.

Remember him? It's Ganesh again (though looking worse for wear)! In case you missed it, he's the same Hindu god I have tattooed on my shoulder.

3. What is your current favourite workout?

Either a good sweaty hot yoga class or a quick and killer workout by this girl. Zuzana Light is fantastic! For anyone not familiar with her, go get acquainted now!

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I'm not going to answer this question directly. I prefer not to talk numbers because I don't want anyone else to compare themselves to me or be triggered by my behaviour. I am currently trying to increase my caloric intake slowly so that my body and mind can better adjust to it. I'm taking small steps in my recovery because I think I will be more likely to commit to it and succeed. I really want to get away from calorie-counting eventually, because I think it leads to obsessive behaviour (at least it did for me) and encourages you to not eat intuitively, but after having a running total going in my head for 8 years, it is hard to turn it off! Amanda and Sam are both really positive role models for listening to your body and treating it well and I'm trying my best to take their advice. Don't worry girls, I'll get there!

5. What are your favourite healthy snacks?

Apples!! They are probably my number one, I've always loved them and always will.

Crimson Crisp and Mutsu. Mmm...

Peanut butter is probably a close second or on par. I could be very happy for the rest of my life with nothing but a jar of PB and a spoon. That is something I will definitely be buying for myself soon :)

I am also quite enamoured with Savi Seeds. They are high in omega-3s and I really like the taste. That being said, they ARE an acquired taste; my mum hates them.

Not sure why my hand is such a funny colour in this picture.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

Whatever I feel like/have in the fridge, really. I don't discriminate between breakfast, lunch and dinner foods. That being said, I have been known to eat a lot a omelettes, big salads and stir frys with veggies/tempeh/shrimp/peanut sauce around mid-day. As I move forward in my recovery, I want to get comfortable with eating different things earlier in the day, like big fat sandwiches :)

Oh yeah....
7. What is your favourite body part to strength train?

A while ago, I would have said my legs because they were my strongest body part (and still are), but since my upper body has become a lot stronger lately (Thanks Zuzana!), I love the feeling of my new-found strength. Sometimes I angrily rip off my shirt and growl and pretend to be the hulk.

8. What is your least favourite body part to strength train?

Umm... I've actually really been enjoying all strength training lately. It just makes me feel so powerful! I used to be a running addict, but my love for cardio has actually been steadily declining. Does anyone have any tips for reigniting an old romance with cardio?

9. What are your "bad" food cravings?

Well, I'm trying to get away from labeling any foods as "bad" because it isn't a healthy way to think. If you are talking about foods that are "not the most nutritionally balanced" then I would have to say a big chewy cookie, a cinnamon bun or ice cream. I definitely have a sweet tooth. Chips, on the other hand, meh.

My life is complete...
10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

Oh boy, do I ever! I have been adding to my daily supplement list for years now, after seeing different naturopaths for varying reasons. I now take a multi-vitamin, vitamin A, B complex, a probiotic and zinc. I know I'm probably just making very expensive pee, but I've been in the habit of taking them for so long that I just haven't bothered to stop. I also use some protein powders and nutritional supplements if that counts.

11. How often do you eat out?

Not very often. Partly because of my busy schedule, partly because of my student budget and partly because of my ED history (I'm getting way better with eating out though!). There are some fantastic restaurants in Guelph that I want to start going to more, and when I see my parents, we always go out for either sushi or Indian. Yumm......

12. Do you eat fast food?

Almost never, although it's something that I would like to get more comfortable with so that I can have more options when I'm on the run. Although, even if it weren't for my ED, I probably wouldn't eat it much. I just don't find it as satisfying as a home-cooked meal or a dish from a good restaurant.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

My family is very supportive. I have a great relationship with my parents and my brother and I are really close. My aunt is also a huge support and of course, my best friend, who has been there for me whenever I needed her for almost 20 years.

We're pretty awesome. I love you, Edes.
14. Do you have a gym membership?

I have a ghetto gym membership. I work out at the gym on campus because it is $34 per semester and is the closest to my house. It's pretty crowded though and not the most luxurious of facilities.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Not as many as I should. Some nights I get 5, some nights I get 8. It just depends on how much homework I have or how much I have been procrastinating.

16. Do you have a "cheat" day?

Absolutely not. I just try to eat healthy, nutritious food most of the time and honour cravings when I have them. I don't think there is a reason to restrict yourself all week and then dive head-first into a bucket of fried chicken as soon as you're "allowed".

17. Do you drink alcohol?

I do enjoy my vino :)

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Just myself! I don't like comparing myself to others and I find that I'm at my best when I'm competing with myself. The only exception to that would be when my dad and I go to hot yoga together. Ohm...

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

Well, I have been committed to eating healthy food and working out since I was about 13, but I only really decided to commit to living a healthy life about a month ago. I think the best thing so far has been the change in my attitude. I am trying to be more open and enjoy life more. I have also been feeling less guilty for eating what I want and I haven't been restricting what I eat early in the day, so I have more energy!

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

Looked at my body in the mirror and told myself I was strong and beautiful :)

Have a wonderful Monday!