Monday, 31 December 2012

MIMM: Breakfast Done Right

Hello Friends,

Since it is Monday, I wanted to share with you a marvelous recipe that I made today. I have never been into making fancy breakfasts. I usually just stick with oat bran or my recent go-to of Greek yogurt. However, my brother's band has been staying at my house for a few days and my mum put me on breakfast duty.

The first morning, I made my Epic Frittata, which was a huge hit and this morning I decided to try some fancy French toast.

Since peanut butter and banana is one of my favourite combinations ever, I decided to stuff this French toast with peanut butter and caramelized bananas. It was delicious! I have seriously been on a roll with this breakfast thing lately. Obviously, I'm not even close to being in the same league as Heather, but I think I will keep experimenting with stuffed French toast in the future. Maybe apple cinnamon or a creamy berry stuffing? I think this one over a bit more.

So here is the recipe for what I made today. I know 7 is a weird number of servings, but you can easily adjust the recipe to make more or less. The loaf I was using only had 14 pieces of bread and I was making the recipe for 6 hungry people, so I just went with it.

Peanut Butter and Caramelized Banana Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients: Serves 7

14 slices of whole grain bread
3 bananas
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tbs coconut sugar (or your preferred sweetener)
6-7 tbs natural peanut butter
1.5 cups egg whites
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Melt coconut oil in a large frying pan
3. Thinly slice bananas and begin cooking them coconut oil over medium heat

4. Sprinkle coconut sugar over bananas and cook until they are slightly brown and caramelized

5. Lay out 7 slices of bread in a baking dish or baking pan with a rim
6. Spread about a tablespoon of peanut butter in the centre of each slice of bread
7. Divide caramelized bananas evenly between each slice of bread and make sure they stay in the centre

8. Mix together egg whites, cinnamon and vanilla
9. Place the other 7 slices of bread on top of the first 7 and pour half of egg white mixture on top
10. Let bread soak for 20-30 minutes then flip over and pour the remaining egg white mixture on top. You may have to use more or less egg depending on how well it absorbs into the bread; I ended up using a little more
11. transfer sandwiches to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
12. Bake for 25 minutes total, flipping sandwiches over about halfway through baking time

13. Serve with maple syrup, jam or whatever toppings your little heart desires

So there it is. If anyone tries it out and makes an improvement to the recipe, let me know. I'm always open to suggestions!

I hope you all have a Marvelous Monday!

Do you have any breakfast specialties?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

14 in 14 Recap

Hey Y'All!

So yesterday I did my last hot yoga class of my 14 in 14 challenge for my 2013 Bucket List. Even with a majorly bruised tailbone from my little flight down our staircase on Friday, I managed to do a class yesterday. It actually wasn't so bad once I got into each pose, but the transitions were a bit painful...

I ended up taking Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, but I doubled-up two days so I managed to get 14 classes in in two weeks! Of course, I will probably keep going most days for the rest of my Christmas break, but it feels really good to accomplish something that I set out to do.

I wanted to give you a quick recap of how I felt at the end of the two weeks; I will just talk about some of the main points.


I didn't notice a huge difference here, because I have always been quite flexible. However, I did notice that towards the end of my challenge, I was starting to come into poses with greater ease. Also, some of the poses that might have started to hurt after holding them for a while felt more comfortable. For example, sleeping pigeon has always been one of my favourite poses, but holding it too long used to make my hips feel tight. Now, I feel a lot more at ease holding it for a long time.


I noticed that I became more focused with repetition.  While my mind used to wander all over the place in class, I have been able to focus much more clearly on my practice lately. Classes also don't seem as long anymore. I used to stick to 1 hour classes because the 1.5 hour classes just felt way too long. However, I actually prefer the longer classes now because we can hold the poses longer and I can achieve more depth in each one.


I have definitely noticed increased strength in many of the poses. A few of the teachers at the studio run some pretty intense classes and so every few days I would get pummeled with ab work or a million pushups and vinyasa flows in a row. Although yoga isn't about pushing yourself until you can't go anymore, it was nice to have a few classes that were extra challenging for my muscles. Since I haven't been doing my normal strength training routine this holiday, I like to still feel strong.


I have found that on days that I practice, I am more mindful - not just in class - but in everyday life. I am more mindful about how and what I eat and how I interact with people. I am hoping to carry that over into the rest of my life, but it is good to recognize the things that make me more inclined towards mindfulness.

Overall well-being:

Doing yoga everyday has made me feel a little lighter emotionally and physically. I think that sweating out so many toxins has been great for my body and I feel a little healthier after every class. When I get in the habit of going regularly it also helps me with my self-esteem, both in and out of class, something which I know I can always work on.


Speaking of crossing items off of my 2013 Bucket List, there is another one that I currently have my eye on.

Sam and I are looking into running a Tough Mudder in May 2013. We decided that in addition to being bloggers, we would like to be certified badasses, and what better way to achieve badass status than to run through mud and fire for 10-12 miles?

I have been talking to friends who have completed Tough Mudders and they all say it's a total blast as long as you have a supportive team to do it with. From what I understand, the race is not about finishing fastest, winning or losing, it is about teamwork and camaraderie. Who can argue with that?

I wanted to put it out there to any other bloggers in the Toronto area who are interested in putting together a team and killing this thing! You can get more info about the event on the Tough Mudder website.

Let me know if you're interested!

What positive effects have you experienced from hot yoga?

Would you be interested in doing a Tough Mudder?

December Health and Foodie Finds #2

Good Morning!

So I'm finally getting back into the swing of things. I am eating vegetables again that aren't covered in butter and I am hitting the hot yoga studio regularly. I'm almost done my yoga challenge too, I'll give you a recap of that tomorrow. That is, if I can finish it... Last night I slipped at the top of our hardwood stairs, bounced all the way down and gave my tailbone a good bruising. Hopefully, a bit of stretching and balancing will make me feel better, but if it's too painful, I may have to take some time off or spend a whole class in savasana.

Although my posts this holiday have been overwhelmingly positive, it hasn't been a piece of cake for me. I fell into a bit of a funk for a few days when the combination of overeating, not exercising and not feeling productive really got to me. I found myself feeling guilty, bad about myself and not at all how I should feel at Christmas time when I am surrounded by friends and family. Luckily, a supportive reality check from a good friend (she knows who she is), a few good sweat sessions and the reintroduction of green veggies into my life set me straight and prevented me from slipping back into old habits.

Anyway, I wanted to give you a peek at my other favourite health-nut/foodie finds this holiday.

1.  Now Better Stevia: French Vanilla

My mother knows me well. I have tried the regular Better Stevia and I adore anything vanilla, so I can't wait to crack this baby open!

2.  Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle

First of all, it's purple, so there's an automatic win. It's also BPA free. These bottles are great because they're glass, so if you keep them clean, they don't leave your water with a funny taste. What I love about this particular bottle is that it has a little rubber drinking spout so I won't have to fumble with a screw-top and spill all over myself while I'm on the cardio machines.

3.  Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

This book looks great and I am going to start it after I read the other book I got for Christmas. Gabrielle Bernstein overcame addiction, low self-esteem and a lot of other issues and wrote this book about her journey. Given the kind of emotional roller-coaster I have been on for all of my teenaged and adult life, I think that reading this book could be good for me. I can relate to Gabrielle in certain ways and if she found true happiness, so can I :)

4.  Hotties Hot Water Bottle

Look how cute!! Do you remember the picture I posted from the One of a Kind craft show of this artisan's booth? Well, my mum pulled a fast one on me and picked one up for Christmas. It's so cute, I can't believe there is actually a hot water bottle inside. I can't wait to snuggle up with this guy. Actually, I may do that very soon.

5.  Voyant Chai Cream Liqueur 

Chai. Cream. Liqueur. You did not dream this. This is something I have actually had before, so I can already say that it is fantastic! As far as I know, it has been discontinued, so I am very sorry to anyone who saw the picture and immediately began searching for ways to acquire some. My mum bought out a liquor store when she heard they had stopped making it and has been hoarding it and giving my brother and I bottles of it for several Christmases now. This year, she gave us the last two bottles, so if you want some, looks like you'll have to come to my house for drinks!

6.  Something Special Gourmet Antipasto

This stuff is also amazing. It's full of olives, and all kinds of veggies. It is great on eggs, on top of a salad or sometimes I even top refried beans with it. Actually, most of the time I eat it with a spoon right out of the jar...

7.  David's Tea Glass Mug and Tea

My best friend, who works at David's Tea, got me this. It's a glass mug with a tea strainer that sits right inside. I am going to love having this. I hardly ever bother to make loose leaf tea at home because it's a pain to find something to steep it in. If I have this, I can just pull it out of the cupboard and go. It also came with 3 of their most popular teas, which all smell delish :)

8.  Foam Roller

I have been wanting one of these forever and I finally got one! So far, my experience with it has been painful, but satisfying, exactly what I was hoping for! I am planning on incorporating this heavily into my 2013 fitness routine to ease some of the sore muscles I will probably have from my ass-kicking workouts! Woohoo!

9.  Healthy Digestives Dark Chocolate Probiotic Bites

No, your eyes have not deceived you. These are actually probiotic dark chocolate balls. They only have 1 gram of sugar each and a billion live cultures. Oh, and they're also DELICIOUS! Seriously, this could be my favourite foodie find of 2012. Find them, buy them and your life will instantly become better.

Have a great day everyone!

Did anyone else discover some great foodie finds this Christmas?

Friday, 28 December 2012

Product Review: Clif and Luna Bars

Hey Folks, 

First of all, I'm sorry if I've been a little absent in the blog world lately. I have had a lot of other things going on, but I know you guys have a lot of great posts up and I will start reading and commenting more from now on.

Anyway, I've got another review today! I got to sample a few varieties of Clif and Luna Bars, which I know are old favourites for a lot of you. However, for anyone who hasn't tried them, here is a little review of what I thought about them.


Clif bars are 70% organic energy bars designed for athletes. They have 230-250 calories, 9-11 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fibre and 21-25 grams of sugar. They are great sources of carbs if you are going to be doing vigorous exercise. They are also chewy and dense and come in a bunch of different flavours that you can check out here.

Crunchy Peanut Butter:

You all know I love my peanut butter and this bar did not disappoint. It was a chewy bar, but had little crunchy pieces, an amazing peanut butter flavour and was really hearty. I love how dense and chewy Clif bars are. In addition to PureFit bars, I brought some Clif bars with me when I volunteered in Costa Rica. They are great because you can stick them in your bag and they don't get squished or melted. A traveler's dream!!

Chocolate Chip:

This one was almost like a big oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, only fatter and chewier. This was definitely one of my favourites of the bunch. The chocolate pieces were big and well-dispersed throughout and the oats gave it a nice home-baked quality.

Black Cherry Almond:

This one was very hearty, with big chunks of almond and some dried cherry pieces. I actually wasn't a big fan of the flavour; I thought it could use a little more cherry. The upside was that it wasn't too sweet, so if you like bars with a subtler flavour and more subdued sweetness, this would be a good one for you.


Luna Bars are nutrition bars specifically designed for women with 70% organic ingredients. They are good sources of folic acid, vitamin D, iron and calcium. Each bar has 170-190 calories, 8-10 grams of protein, 3-5 grams of fibre and 11-13 grams of sugar. I like that these have a lower sugar content than the Clis bars, but are still just as tasty. They have lots of flavours that you can check out here.

White Chocolate Macadamia:

This one had a bit of a nutty flavour to it with nice vanilla undertones. The coating tasted more like a yogurt coating than white chocolate, but it was good anyway. I usually find white chocolate too sweet, but this was a nice, milder version.

Nutz Over Chocolate:

Compared to other Luna bars I have had, this one didn't blow me away. I still liked it (I don't think I've ever met a Luna bar I disliked), but to me it didn't taste particularly nutty. It almost had a caramel-like flavour, which worked well with the chocolate coating. I would probably give this one a 7 out of 10, it didn't thrill my taste buds, but I didn't hate it.


This is by far the best Luna of the bunch! It has the perfect amount of sweetness and it's full of chewy, chocolately, marshmallowy goodness. If you can't get your hands on a real s'more, this is pretty good substitute. Plus, it is much more portable and less messy than its campfire-derived counterpart.

Overall, I really like these bars. They are great to have for energy before exercise or as a snack. Out of the Clif Bars, Crunchy Peanut Butter takes the cake, although Chocolate Chip is a very close second. Out of the Luna Bars, S'mores is definitely at the top of my list, but the White Chocolate Macadamia was pretty good too.

Now, all we need is for Canada to start getting more Luna flavours!! Currently, we don't get Iced Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Dipped Coconut, Peanut Butter Cookie, Peanut Honey Pretzel or any of the Luna Protein bars! When that changes, I will be one happy camper :)

Any favourite flavours of Clif or Luna Bars?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

kitchen tool

This banana slicer may or may not be useful to you but the reviews are hilarious.

December Foodie Finds #1

Hey Everyone!

So, yesterday, I basically just ate a whole lot of leftovers. It was delicious, but not terribly interesting, so I didn't take any pictures.

One fun aspect of Christmas is that I always end up with some awesome foodie finds. My mum is a foodie/health nut like me, so my stocking is always full of delicious things and I wanted to share a few of those with you. This is going to be a two-part series because there's a lot of stuff and I didn't want to bore you with too much in one post.

1. Primal Strips

I can't wait to try these! I love Thai peanut sauce and mesquite flavouring and I love seitan. Since I don't eat red meat, these are a great alternative to beef jerky and the stats are great. One 28 gram strip has 74 calories, 350 mg of sodium, 4 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein. That is a lot less sugar and sodium than regular jerky has, but it is still packed with protein.

2. Simply Protein Chips

These aren't a new find, I have had them before, but I love them! They are nice and spicy with really good crunch. They are also very filling thanks to the generous helping of pea protein. I was very happy to find these in my stocking :)

3. Sweet Truth Licorice Almond Butter Toffee

This stuff is like crack, I'm not kidding. I don't even like licorice, but the licorice flavour is so mild that you barely taste it. It is completely overwhelmed by the smooth, buttery flavour and the chunks of almond. It didn't take me long to get through it.

4. Minteas Ginger Pear Tea Mints

I was so excited to find these in my stocking. Ginger and pear are one of the best combinations out there. I was a little underwhelmed by these when I first tried them, but I had also just finished eating almond butter toffee, so pretty much anything would taste like crap after that magical stuff. I am going to try these again and see if I like them any better.

5. Vega Vibrancy Bars

I can't wait to try these. They are made with all whole, raw, sprouted ingredients and they are full of protein and fibre. I think I will have one before yoga one day to see if they boost my energy. Is anyone a fan of these?

6. Brass Sea Kelp Delight Seasoning

This was probably my most exciting present. I have never even heard of this stuff, but it looks amazing! It's packed full of nutrients and I haven't opened the bottle yet, but I bet it would add amazing flavour to food. I might try it sprinkled over salad or on chicken breast before baking.


I took a couple of days off of yoga, but I am back at it now and it feels great. Even though I am trying not to feel guilty for going overboard on indulgences for 2 straight days, it feels awesome to eat clean and sweat again.

My family is also getting ready for my brother's band to come and stay with us to practice for a few days. They are coming tomorrow and Saturday night they are playing a private party that we are throwing in town. I love the band, so I'm actually pretty excited to have them around. My mum has put me on breakfast duty for a few days, so I have been working on deciding what to feed them. I am going to make my epic frittata one morning and I have been working on a recipe for peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast that I am going to try out. If anyone has any other ideas for good breakfasts, let me know!

Have a great day!

Did you discover any awesome foodie finds this Christmas?

Do you have any great breakfast ideas to feed a crowd?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

WIAW: An Epic Christmas Day

Happy Boxing Day Everyone,

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas. I know I did, it was filled with family time, friends, laughter and a whole lot of good food. It is actually perfect that Christmas fell on a Tuesday too because WIAW is the perfect time to showcase some of the good stuff that was available.

For once, I am actually going along with the theme and posting healthy holiday recipes. I made Christmas breakfast for my family yesterday and it was probably my finest work. I made this delicious frittata, which had so many different add-ins and ingredients that I will just call it my "Epic Frittata" instead of giving it a specific name.

Epic Frittata

Ingredients: (serves 6)

4 eggs
½ cup egg whites
¼ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
2 tbs Dijon mustard
1 medium sweet potato
1 medium onion, sliced
1 handful baby spinach
5 roasted red peppers (I used jarred peppers), cut into strips
½ cup halved kalamata olives
½ - ¾ cups smoked cheddar or smoked gouda, grated
½ cup goat cheese
½ tsp black pepper
Olive oil as needed
Salt to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.
2.  Cut sweet potato into bite-sized pieces, toss in olive oil, bake for 25 minutes.
3.  Caramelize onion in a pan with olive oil.

4.  Beat together eggs, egg whites, milk, mustard and pepper in a large bowl.
5.  Add in sweet potato chunks, caramelized onion, spinach, red peppers, olives and smoked cheese and stir.

These are what I used for roasted red peppers. They are pretty
small, so if you roast your own, you may want to use fewer than 5.

6.  Pour egg mixture into a baking dish that has been greased with olive oil.

7.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.
8.  Remove foil, crumble goat cheese on top, bake uncovered for another 20 minutes.
9.  If the top isn't fully cooked, broil for about a minute or until it is cooked. Watch it carefully and make sure it doesn't burn!

I also made a delicious fruit salad to go on the side. It was very simple, but so good.

Vanilla-Scented Fruit Salad


1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Juice from 1/3 of a lemon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
10 drops vanilla stevia
Fruit - I used 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 persimmon, 1 pint of blackberries and half a pomegranate.

  1. Chop fruit into bite-sized pieces and combine in a bowl
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl until mixed well
  3. Pour sauce over fruit and mix

I know fruit salads are pretty easy to make, but I thought the sauce worked particularly well, so I want to remember the recipe.


The day was filled with cooking, preparation for dinner that night and munching on some of the delicious Christmas goodies we have in the house, but I will tell you about some of those in tomorrow's post. 

Dinner was at our house, so I helped my mum set up and get food ready.

The night was awesome. We had friends over. We ate lots, drank lots and talked all night. I don't have many pictures of food because I was busy cooking, socializing and frankly, I was a little drunk :) all of the appetizers we had contained either bacon or blue cheese (neither of which I like) so I just drank more wine to compensate. Oops!

I did manage to snap one picture of my plate without getting weird looks. Everything we had was amazing.

I had this x2
Clockwise from the top: red cabbage, apple arugula salad, turkey with homemade gravy, squash gratin, stuffing and a lemon rosemary potato. 

I was stuffed by the time I finished dinner, but dessert was so good that I had to have a helping [or two]. I don't have any pictures, but my mum made a berry trifle and a cranberry torte with rum sauce. Yum! I definitely overdid it last night, but it was Christmas. It tasted so good, the stomachache was definitely worth it.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that you enjoy your Boxing Day. I don't think I will be hitting the sales today. That scene is just a little too crazy for me. If anyone decides to shop today, I wish you free parking spaces, short line-ups and minimal trampling, cursing or fist fights over the last iPad.

What did you eat on Christmas day?

Do you hit Boxing Day sales?