Monday, 25 March 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

Hello All,

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I know I did, although I didn't get nearly as much work done as I needed to. In the next week, I have several very big projects due and I'm starting to freak out just a bit.

One thing I did do on the weekend was celebrate my roommate's birthday and bake her that cake I told you all about. I think I did a pretty good job too!

That is also another thing I can cross off of my 2013 Bucket List :)

Another thing I made? These babies. They look terrible, but they tasted delicious, I promise! And I have the recipe for you down below :)

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes


1/2 ripe banana, mashed
3 tbs peanut flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 packet stevia (if desired)
a dash of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips, nuts, fruit or any add-ins you like (I used blueberries)


1. Mix all but the last ingredient together in a bowl
2. Mix in add-ins
3. Spoon batter onto non-stick or greased frying pan
4. Cook on low-medium heat until both sides are browned and pancakes are firm

And voila!

I also made a really easy sauce with cocoa powder, melted blueberries and stevia. Delish!

I also found a few more things that made me happy when I was at the health food store on the weekend.

One of my favourite brands of chocolate in a new-to-me flavour...

It was phenomenal, too bad it's already gone :(

Also, I did a review of PureFit bars a few months back which you can read here if you don't remember it. Anyway, they just came out with 2 new flavours!!!!

They were both UNREAL. I can't tell you which one I liked more because they were both so good. If you see them, buy them!

I also got out for my second first run of the season on Sunday and it was beautiful! I ran once at the beginning of March when the weather looked like spring was coming, but then we got hit with winter again, so I moved cardio back indoors. Well, I think this is the beginning of spring for real now! Fingers crossed!

One more piece of exciting news before I sign off... It turns out I will not be going home for Easter :(

BECAUSE I will be going to London instead to spend the weekend with my best friend. I hardly ever see her and she can't spend Easter with her family this year, so we're having a girls weekend instead.

That also means that I get to meet a blend for the very first time!! Sam, from one of my favourite blogs, will also be in London visiting her family, so I will finally get to meet the girl who has been inspiring and supporting me since last summer! Who knows what we will get up to, but it's guaranteed to be a good time. Yay for blend meet-ups! (Don't worry Chelsie, you're next!)

Well, I am off, have a marvelous day everyone!

Any exciting finds or baking adventures recently?

Have you ever met blends before?

Friday, 22 March 2013

Weekend Musings

Hello Friends,

I really enjoyed hearing some of your feedback on my little water conservation PSA yesterday. I hate sounding preachy, but sometimes I just need to say it when something is important to me.

Anyway, it is now the weekend, so that means... homework! Yes, it's a little sad, but it's getting to the end of the semester and the deadlines are starting to rear their ugly heads. Don't worry though, there is still some fun to be had. My roommate's birthday is this weekend, so we are all going to go downtown for some drinking and dancing tonight. Ordinarily, I would be mixing rum or vodka with some kind of diet drink, but since I am still off the artificial sweeteners, I am going to stick to cider, wine or good ole' fashioned beer :) Now, on to a few random musings from my week...

1. Since it is my roommate's birthday, I am going to try my hand at making her a cake! Now, you guys are all amazing bakers, but I don't quite have those skills, so I am going to go with a boxed mix and fun decorations.

Since Easter is almost here, I decided to make an Easter-themed cake. I'm going to use green icing (like grass) and decorate it with mini eggs and candy bunnies. I guess we'll see how this turns out...

2. Where did I get my cake mix, do you ask? Target!

We JUST got Target in Canada, and yesterday I took my first trip there ever! They haven't had their grand opening yet, so the shelves aren't fully stocked, but I definitely saw some things there that I had been looking for. I stuck to what was on my list so I wouldn't go crazy, but I will definitely be going back to pick up a few things for the shameless consumer in me :(

3. I saw this at the grocery store this week and had to pick it up.

Now all my food tastes like bacon, I regret nothing.

4. This weather is really getting me down. It is March 23rd and there is still no sign of warm weather or budding leaves. I am so over winter!!!

Alright Canada, you got me. I give in; I didn't run away to India this year. Can you please just cut us all some slack???

5. On the other hand, I am really not eager for buttercup squash to go out of season...

When this stuff is gone, I am going to need someone to hold me and rock me gently while I cry.

6. Can someone please explain to me what this is?

A calorie free peanut spread??? I'm pretty sure this stuff has never even been close to a peanut... or any other food from nature. Food has calories! And peanuts have lots of calories!! What kind of scary-ass Frankenfood is this??

Anyway, thanks for reading. I promise I'll get back to reading all of your blogs, things have just been crazy for me lately.

Have a lovely one :)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

PSA Time

Hello Everyone,

I will start by giving you a little update on my challenge for the week. For anyone who didn't read my previous post, I decided to cut out artificial sweeteners for a week to try to lessen my dependence on them and see how I would feel overall. Well, I think it is already making a difference. I don't wake up with that bloated feeling I have often had in the past and since a lot of the sweet treats I used to eat have artificial sweeteners in them, I have noticed that I am more likely to reach for whole foods when I want a snack.

Also, since I am not touching any diet drinks and am drinking less tea, I have challenged myself to drink a lot more water than I am used to. I have to say, I pee a lot and sometimes it makes me feel a little bloated, but it is the kind of bloat that goes away quickly, unlike the kind that comes from ingesting too much aspartame, sucralose and maltitol. I also find that drinking lots of water is helping with my nighttime hunger pangs, suggesting that I might be more dehydrated than anything when my "hunger" is keeping me up.

Anyway, I am going to see how I feel at the end of the week and I will probably keep challenging myself with these two things the week after!

Speaking of water...

I know this is a "healthy living blog" and lots of people want to read all about vegetables and yoga, but I think that a big part of healthy living is also being good to the planet.

This week is Canada Water Week and as a huge advocate for water conservation, I have been trying my best to spread a positive message. Canadians are the second highest consumers of fresh water on earth, rivaled only by the United States. Sorry guys, you didn't think I would let you off the hook, did you?

Since Canada has such an abundant water supply, we have built our culture around abusing this resource. Think about it: in many developing countries, people walk for hours a day to get 10 litres of fresh water for their entire families to use for all of their needs. In Canada, you flush 4-13 litres of fresh drinking water down the toilet every time you...go.

We take long showers, which use 7 litres/minute IF you have a water efficient shower head and more if you don't. Even worse, filling up your tub for a bath uses about 200 litres of clean drinking water.

There are countless more examples of waste in our direct water consumption and that is not even including the food we eat and products we buy! It takes about 2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, 700 gallons of water to make a cotton shirt and almost 2000 gallons of water to refine one barrel of crude oil. So everything you do, eat and buy has a water footprint.

I'm going on a bit of a rant here, but I haven't even talked about the devil itself, bottled water; possibly the dumbest and most wasteful invention on the planet. Really, I know it isn't my business to tell people how to live their lives, but if you're caught drinking bottled water around me, you may get an earful....

Most Canadians have access to clean, accessible well or tap water. If you live in a city, your water either comes from an aquifer (the freshest sources of water on earth) or a large lake or river. This water is treated to ensure it is safe for drinking and then tested every few minutes for any sign of contamination. This is the EXACT SAME water that is bottled in plastic, transported thousands of kilometers and sold to consumers for about 100x more than they would pay for it out of the tap.

I am not saying you can't flush the toilet, wear cotton or shower. We all need to live our lives and I myself am not perfect. However, this is an issue that is extremely important and I think we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help conserve our water supply. Here are just a few things you can do:

  • Eat less meat (especially red meat)
  • Turn off the tap when washing hands or brushing teeth
  • Let it mellow...
  • Use a dishwasher instead of hand-washing and only run full loads
    • If you don't have a dishwasher, fill the sink and be conservative with rinsing
  • Only run full loads of laundry and adjust water level settings if possible
  • Plug the sink to wash fruits and veggies instead of letting the water run
  • Take showers instead of baths and try to keep them to 5 minutes or less (10 minutes tops)
  • Use water from cooking or dehumidifiers to water plants
  • Invest in a rain barrel or greywater reuse system
Those are just a few of many things you can do to reduce your water footprint.

Again, I hate preaching, but this is an issue that is extremely important to me and I think sometimes we all need a reminder to be more conscious of our water use.

This is the cannon on my campus. It is painted as something different everyday.
This is advocating for a bottled water free campus. Love it.

Thank you for anyone who read through to the end of this post, you are my favourite!

Toodles :)


Sunday, 17 March 2013

MIMM: New Goodies and a Challenge

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a good St. Patty's Day. I had a fantastic time celebrating on Saturday night, but unfortunately, I was not able to join in the festivities yesterday. I was waiting to test drive my potential new car in the late afternoon, so I had to remain sober while the student keggers raged around me all day. Hopefully, my liver will thank me one day...

I'm lucky enough to be able to order from a natural food co-op in my area, and I get lots of deals on my favourite products, as well as being able to try new ones. Here are a few of the goodies I got this month.

This stuff is absolutely unreal. I like plain almond butter, but it still doesn't hold a candle to peanut butter in my mind. However, when you add cashews to it... un-freakin'-believable! The only problem is that the jar is tiny.

It's pure heaven on apple pie oats...

This is the peanut butter I grew up on. I remember it tasting so much better than other kinds of peanut butter, so I was so excited to get it again.

Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I remembered it to be. It definitely has a distinctive flavour, and I guess I have gotten so used to regular PB now that this stuff throws me off a bit. Still good, but not as amazing as my childhood memories.

These babies were super good! I actually ordered them by accident, but I'm glad I did. They are gluten free, fairly low in sugar, crunchy, lightly sweet and totally addictive. It's unfortunate that they didn't last long...

This stuff was the winner of the bunch! I absolutely adore So Delicious coconut milk ice cream and they now have stevia-sweetened pints. This has just the right amount of sweetness and tastes just as creamy as full-fat dairy ice cream, probably because it is still fairly high in fat (the good kind!). I don't mind my ice cream being lower in sugar, but when they skimp on the fat, it's just not right ;)


I am also giving myself a challenge this week. Even though I normally eat a fairly "clean" diet, I am trying not to obsess over it too much or set any rigid rules for myself. However, one thing I really need to improve upon these days is my intake of artificial sweeteners. Sometimes it is just so easy to cave and have a diet coke, then it leads to Sweet N' Low in my tea and when you throw in the odd sucralose-sweetened protein bar, stick of gum or pack of sugar-free pudding cups, it really adds up. 

I think a lot of these habits come from the days when I was afraid of anything containing the slightest bit of sugar, or when I would drink diet coke to keep me full and give me energy to get through to my next meal. I know that even if I were still trying to lose weight, these things wouldn't help me and would probably only make me crave sugar more. 

I also know that the occasional diet coke or protein supplement won't kill me, but I don't want to be dependent on these things. Starting yesterday, I am going to give up the artificial sweeteners for a week and see how I feel. I am hoping to not crave sugar as much and frankly, I probably won't feel bloated as often. I will still use stevia and other natural sweeteners in moderation, but I even want to curb my intake of those things.

Have a Marvelous Monday!

How does your body react to artificial sweeteners?

Have you ever tried a challenge like this before?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Stuck in a Rut and Full of News

Hello Friends,

I wanted to start off this post with some good news; I got a job!! That's right, after months of applying, interviewing and fretting, I finally got an offer! It was even for the job I wanted most. I am an environmental science student, and if I haven't said it already, I am way into all things water. The job is with a local municipality, doing inspections of properties that have applied for stormwater credits. That may some incredibly boring to some people, but I'm totally jazzed about it!

The catch? I need my own car... Since I am not going to want or need a car after his summer, I have decided to take over a lease from someone who only has 5 or 6 months left and needs to get out of it. Cheaper than renting and I won't have to worry about selling in September. Besides, this job will give me fantastic experience, so I think it will be worth it in the end.


Anyway, my stress levels have decreased slightly in the past week with the new job offer and a few assignments off my plate, but my body still seems to be in stressed-out mode. My meals are a major indication of this. When I get stressed, I go on autopilot and eat the same things all the time. My ED history probably has a lot to do with this, since it is easier to eat "safe" foods than to challenge myself to eat new things. Basically, I have been living on salads, stir-fries, omelettes and squash. My meals have all looked like this...

Yes, that's a meal ;)

Yep, booooooring! I mean, I still think it's all delicious, but it is the same stuff I always eat. The most creative I got was drizzling chocolate sauce on the same oats I eat everyday. I'm WILD!

I think I need to get some new ingredients to play with, try new combinations, or try something new altogether, but I just don't have the energy to be trying complicated recipes or putting too much thought into what I eat.

I have also been having trouble sleeping lately, and I'm not really sure why. Lately, I have been getting really weird hunger pangs at night that keep me up. I always eat enough for dinner (and have a snack afterwards), but then as soon my head hits the pillow, my tummy starts grumbling and I can't sleep! I have had numerous nights in the last week where I have to get up - sometimes more than once - to grab spoonfuls of peanut butter so that my stomach will shut up.

I am having trouble finding a balance at night. I don't want to eat too much because I don't want to feel overly full or have my digestive system keeping me up all night. I don't subscribe to the "don't eat X hours before bed" idea, but I also don't want to load up my system before it's ready to shut down. On the other hand, I don't want to be a hangry monster unable to get to sleep. Part of my insomnia may also be my mind working overtime, but hunger definitely doesn't help.

I don't want to sound too negative though! While I have had a bit of a rough go the past month or two, I think things will start looking up and I am ready to have a better attitude :)

Although, if anyone has suggestions for how to get out of a food rut or break an insomnia streak, I'm all ears :D

Have a wonderful Friday!


Monday, 11 March 2013

Personal Triumph

Happy Tuesday My Dears :)

First of all, I have received a lot of positive feedback in the last few days for my posts, especially the one about social media responsibility. Thank you so much. I love hearing your thoughts and feedback!

Today will be a relatively short post, I just have a few things I want to discuss.

First off, was anyone else knocked out by the first Monday of the time change?? I felt like I got hit by a truck! Of course, it didn't help that I went for my very first run in about 4 months (I'm a wuss about cold, snow and ice, so I hit the indoor cardio machines in the winter) on Sunday, so my quads and shins felt like lead by yesterday.

This was very accurate for me this year.

My solution? I hit snooze...several times instead of getting up and doing the workout I had planned. I also had zero regrets about that fact! Instead, I came home from class and did some much needed yoga and foam rolling. You can never go wrong with rest and foam rolling :)

Another thing I did yesterday? I bravely decided to try on a pair of leggings that I bought for my trip to India and haven't worn in almost a year. The last time I wore them, my weight was in the double digits and they were baggy in the butt and legs. They looked awful, but at the time I was sickly proud of this "accomplishment."

You can't see my bum in this picture, but they were literally falling off.

Well, look at me now! Same leggings!

I actually hate posting selfies, so I apologize for this, but I just wanted to show how far I have come. These leggings are a measurable sign of how much progress you can make with a lot of calories, squats and self-love. Also, the mere act of trying them on was a scary thing for me, but the fact that I am happy with the way they fit shows how far I have come in my attitude.

And just look at my booty! It exists (for once)!

There she is again! In different light this time ;)

I am very proud of the fact that I can put these on today and feel good about their snug fit rather than disgusted by my weight gain.

Oh, and if you want to see what's on that shirt...

That was designed by one of the guys on my student government. Priceless...

Hee hee!!

Have a wonderful day y'all ;)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

I Love...

...staying in bed for that extra half hour, just because you can.

...seeing good friends after being apart and feeling like no time has passed.

...striking up a conversation with someone new and realizing that you have EVERYTHING in common.

...friends who know the right thing to say at the right time to make you instantly feel better.

...weekend breakfasts, where you can enjoy a big bowl of oats without watching the clock.

...shirts that perfectly frame my tattoo and show it off :)

...chocolate (duh).

...winning the battle with yourself and actually starting your day with a good run outside.

...that feeling you get after a good run, where you are so happy you did it.

...admiring the masterpiece that is my growing bum after months of squats, calories and self-love.

And this was a month ago too, it's even more impressive now :)

...little jokes and pictures that make me smile.

I feel like this is something that could only happen in Canada.

...finishing an assignment that you had been putting off for too long because it was a chore.

...a clean room.

...the smell of toast.

...having lunch with my dad.

...healthy meals that are tastier and more satisfying than any "unhealthy" food you could have been craving.

Vegan pad Thai from Thrive Juice Bar. Vega is taking over the world and I couldn't be happier.

...indulging in those "unhealthy" cravings every so often and being perfectly okay with it.

...leaving some aspect of the future up to fate and knowing that you have no power over it, but that you will make the best of the outcome, no matter what it is.

If I don't get the job I am hoping for at the moment, I will be spending the summer here -
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala - volunteering in lake conservation.

...discovering a new band or artist that you want to listen to all the time.

Will Currie & The Country French. These guys played a show I was at last week
and they were amazing! I can't believe I had never heard them before!

...going out for the night even though you felt like staying home in your pajamas, and remembering how great your friends are.

Dollar beers; a wonderful and terrible idea.


My pup. Well, I guess she's more of an old lady now.

...really good hugs.

What do you love today?