Sunday, 30 June 2013


Well, I managed to walk a marathon today.   It was a beautiful day, a good walk (could have done without the last 6 miles but managed okay), and I had a few friends accompany me during part of it.  Foodwise, I had just a few strawberries at breakfast.  I was timing myself for bathrooms, and the first one was 6 miles away so I didn't want to eat much, heh heh  (this wasn't an official marathon, just a walk I planned for myself).  I brought 4 baked yams and a bunch of sugar snap peas.  And there were tons of mulberry trees to supply me with fresh berries--very good!  I ate the yams every 6 miles or so.  At mile 22.5 was the co-op, where I got some mission figs (fresh, not dried).   They were the perfect energy food (well, anything would have been perfect at that point).   When I got home I ate some brown rice and peas.  I love brown rice and peas.   I have simple tastes, ha.   Here are a few pictures:
I got good at picking the best berries.   The ones that fall into your hand when you touch them are best.  If you have to pull, they aren't ready.
milkweed.  smells really good!
our fair city.
Japanese lilacs.   Also smell really good!   And they are quite abundance in our city.
I took lots more but I won't bore you!   Saw sandhill cranes, lots of lovely big ole' trees, lakes.  It's a favorite 27 mile bike ride of mine and I decided to walk it.  Took nearly 12 hours!

Saturday, 29 June 2013


B:  quinoa and "chin-dripping" peach.  Delicious!   Sadly, I'm out of peaches now.
L:  1/2 lb strawberries, 1/2 lb blueberries.  both were really fresh and delicious.  a smallish bowl of watermelon.  a whole bunch of fresh, local sugar snap peas.   (have I mentioned I love this time of year???!!!).
Snack and dinner:  small baked sweet potato, gigantic salad made from head of romaine, large fresh local seedless cucumber (really good), some balsamic vinegar.  This time I actually cut up the lettuce and made a real salad instead of just eating lettuce leaves, ha.   a large raw kohlrabi (too lazy to cook).  some more sugar snap peas.  cooked zucchini and mushrooms.
E:  no exercise except for helping someone haul boxes up some stairs.  I'm trying to rest up for my attempted walking marathon tomorrow (my own, not an official event).  I doubt I'll finish but if not, I'll just consider it a training run.  I cooked up four oriental yams for energy, and have some more sugar snap peas to take.  If I make it around to the co-op I'll feast on some more fantastic berries before I do the final 4 miles.  and if I don't make it to the co-op, I'll get a ride there and still plan to feast on berries. 

Friday, 28 June 2013


B:  quinoa and spinach seasoned with curry, cumin, onion and garlic powder.  
for lunch and dinner I cooked up same as yesterday without asparagus, and with kale instead of collards, oh and sweet potato instead of plantain.  
L:  "chin-dripping" peach plus a bunch of samples of other fruits at a favorite produce shop.  the veggies I cooked up.  some sugar snap peas
D:  "chin-dripping" nectarine and the cooked veggies.  and a head of romaine.  and 1/2 orange.
E:  forced rest day.  I have a hard time resting but I am going to attempt to walk a marathon on Sunday so am trying to rest today and tomorrow.   Meditated 30 minutes.  

Thursday, 27 June 2013


B:  1 lb strawberries.  some spinach.
For lunch and dinner I cooked up:  onion, kohrabi, plantain, asparagus, collards, then added black beans, lime juice, cilantro, cumin.   It was great.
I snacked on garden lettuce while cooking lunch and dinner.   That was really good.
I ate my lunch with housemate at a burger/frozen custard place.  I had cherries for dessert while she enjoyed her frozen custard (it's a rich soft serve ice cream).  I chuckled about today's flavor of the day, which was coffee chocolate chip.  I thought, that's 4 pleasure traps!  There's the sugar and fat, and caffeine and chocolate.  In the old days, I totally would have gone for that, heh heh.
snack:  lots of sugar snap peas, snow peas.
Almost all this food is local and fresh.  I love this time of year!
Exercise:  swim 1 mile, walk 1 mile.

Can't Escape the Talk

Good morning friends!

I need to have another one of my little venting sessions today. I try to take everything in stride, but sometimes things bug me and I just need to get it out!

So, I love my job and I love the people I work with, but not every part of the work day is easy.

Now, for anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder (or even those of you who haven't), you can probably relate to feeling uncomfortable at lunchtime (either school or work) because you feel like you are constantly being scrutinized for what you are eating. Am I eating too much? Too little? Do they think I have weird habits? Do they notice that I bring lots of salads to work? I really do like salad! Do they think it's weird?

I often got comments in the past about how I eat so healthily, which always made me feel like I was being watched like a hawk.

At my job this summer, sometimes I bring salads, sometimes I bring pitas, sometimes I bring whatever I find in my fridge and I am fine with it. We also have treats in our office on a daily basis, which I am happy to indulge in, and sometimes we go out for Mexican or other food. I thought I had moved past thinking ED thoughts at work, but lately it hasn't been so easy.

This was kind of a long lead up, but the main point I want to talk about is lunch talk amongst coworkers. I thought that since I eat with mostly men, that I wouldn't have to deal any of that triggering "diet talk" that a lot of women engage in over lunches (yes, I realize that is a stereotype, but it is often true).

Well, I think I hear more "diet talk" now than I have at any other job. One guy says he "doesn't eat carbs" and is always talking about how guilty he feels after eating ice cream, etc. Another is constantly talking about what he is eating right now to lose weight and spouting off calorie counts for any (delicious) food that comes up in conversation. He always refuses offers of food, saying that he doesn't give in to temptation.

We even had a potluck recently in which he decided not to participate. I helped myself to the array of desserts that people had brought and probably went a little overboard, although I didn't feel too guilty about it because I rarely eat like that. While everyone was joking afterwards about how full they were and how they needed to distract themselves so they wouldn't go back for the leftovers, he was talking about "willpower" and how the people who choose to over-indulge sometimes probably don't have any.

Well, this just queued a lot of triggering thoughts for me. I instantly felt judged, embarrassed, fat and hopeless. The guilt that I had not felt originally started to creep up to me and I was in a bad mood all afternoon. You can be proud of yourself for sticking to a healthy eating plan without making other people feel bad for deviating from theirs occasionally. Besides, I am firmly of the belief now that treats are a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.

This made me realize that there is really no way to avoid "fat talk" or negative, triggering influences. We live in a weight OBSESSED world and no matter who you surround yourself with, someone is going to be piping up about their diet or how much weight they need to lose.

It is still hard to be around some of these people at work, especially when I'm having some tougher days, but I am trying my best to focus on my own goals and realize that everybody's are different.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue!


Wednesday, 26 June 2013


B: quinoa and spinach seasoned with curry, cumin, onion and garlic powder.  good!
L&D:  my usual veggies cooked up together:  onion, oriental yam, kohlrabi, collards, asparagus,zucchini and herbs from the garden.
S:  sugar snap peas, peas, mulberries (picked a bunch from various trees in my neighborhood.
extra dessert:  was celebrating so had some frozen mangos and cherries.  I was briefly tempted to buy much worse.  I'm so glad I didn't!   The mangos and cherries were delicious.
E: walked about 1.5 miles.  biked about 3.  light day.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

6/25/13 food

B: nothing, wasn't hungry (see yesterday).  I estimate I ate about 3 oz of nuts and 2 oz of figs last night.  That's probably about 700 calories on top of a full day's food.  I didn't sleep well after all that.
I cooked up a bunch of food for lunch and dinner.  I met a friend for lunch and he had asked me to bring enough food for him (he's drooled over my food many times in the past).  I cooked up my usual whatever veggies are in the fridge:  onion, oriental yam, kohlrabi, kale, asparagus, zucchini, brown and black rice, and added at the end fresh dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary from the garden.   The only rhyme and reason with all this is, what is fresh and local from the co-op and my garden.  My friend was all ga-ga about how it tasted and how he just can't get the hang of cooking.  and the weird thing is, I'm not doing anything special, just throwing it all together in a big pot.  
So that was lunch and dinner, plus a whole bunch of really good sugar snap peas, and a nighttime snack of a head of romaine lettuce, and half an orange.   Summer eating is so wonderful in Wisconsin.  I think today the only thing that wasn't local or from the garden was the rice and yam and orange.
I have a slight bit of arthritis in my hands and I've been looking into what Drs. McDougall and Barnard have to say about what foods are triggers.  I'm tempted to go on an elimination diet for a week but I don't want to miss out on the summer produce.   the other option is to give up one food at a time.  According to these guys, some possible trigger foods are oats, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, nuts.  The timing might be good right now before the sweet corn and tomatoes and new potatoes come into season.  I could freeze the strawberries.  

Monday, 24 June 2013

6/24/13 food

I slipped off that rails a bit today.  Last night after I made today's food I checked and saw that tempeh is not a part of the Captain's plan (on the E2X website).  So then this evening I thought, since I went off a little, why not a little more?   That is a problem of mine, the slippery slope.  I wasn't toooo bad, but I had some macadamia nuts and some turkish figs (not too much) and a peanut butter sesame seed honey bar from our co-op (no oil anyway...).   Funny thing is, it wasn't so great.  I was going, this is all I'm missing?   also I like not being stimulated.   just the little honey and peanut butter and salt in that bar was more stimulating than I like.  so, I'll hop back on tomorrow.
B: a couple of small sweet potatoes
L:  the food I cooked last night:  onion, mushroom, sweet potato, asparagus.
S: a small sweet potato and strawberries
D: same food as lunch.  + the nuts and figs and peanut butter thing and some cherries.
I'm fulllllll.   oh yeah, that's the other great thing about not eating nuts and dried fruit.  It's hard to get that overfull feeling.
E: walked 3 miles.   no meditation.  hope to get back on track with that tomorrow.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

June 23 and 23


B:  oats and grits and cumin and curry.
L & D:  Stopped at Whole Foods on my way out of town, got boxes to go.  Their Health Starts Here bar is great:  it has plain cooked (no salt!) veggies and grains and fruit and lettuce!   Where I live, the HSH has dishes that almost all have salt, dried fruit, and/or nuts.  I like this one much better.  I loaded up on potatoes, sweet potatoes, lots of different veggies, fruit and lettuce.  just threw them all in boxes.   
Then when I got home I went grocery shopping and our co-op is now loaded with fresh local veggies, so I ate some sugar snap peas, snow peas, strawberries.  and I couldn't resist a small baked sweet potato when I was cooking up food for tomorrow.  So I did overeat...
no exercise for the 2nd day in a row!   or meditating.

same as yesterday,
B: cabbage, oats and grits and onion powder and garlic powder and cumin and curry.  I love cumin and curry.
L:  food cooked up yesterday
S:  found a banana at a snack shop
D:  food cooked up yesterday
Oh, I heard the restaurants are really crowded.  I don't think I'm missing out on much!

MIMM: Weekend Snapshots

Well, it's Monday, and thanks again to Katie (who is about to have a baby any day now!) for hosting this little get together.

This past weekend, I went to London to visit my best friend, Edie, whom I had not seen in 3 months. I was long overdue and I missed her like crazy, so I drove there for a visit.

Since I hadn't seen her in so long, I also had not been able to see her for her birthday and give her her present. I think I did a mighty fine job, if I do say so myself :)

She works at David's tea and she has more loose leaf tea than any other human on earth. She probably has 100 kinds, and that is not an exaggeration. When I saw this tea strainer at a store, I immediately had to buy it for her.

It's called a mana-TEA. Sooooo punny :)

I also couldn't resist buying her a grow-your-own gnome grassland kit. Yes, you read that right. I may have mentioned this before, but she and I have a bit of a gnome obsession. Every gift we give each other seems to have some kind of gnome theme. The amount of gnome paraphernalia in my room would shock you.

I think she liked it.

On a different note, I wish I had this sign for my house. This is hanging in Edie's room and as the hippie wannabe that I am, I want it badly.

On Friday night, we went out to a restaurant called Veg Out, a vegan place.

I had the chickpea burger over greens and it was to die for. The patty was made with chickpeas, green peas and peanut butter and was topped with avocado, pickles, sprouts and veggies. I was so satisfied, although I did have to follow it up with a green tea latte later on ;)

On Saturday morning, we went to the farmers market  and had a look around. Edie ended up buying some Nepalese granola from a vendor and we both got some Nepali tea, which was the best tea I have had since I was in India. It was milky, spicy and full of cardamom, just the way I like it :)

Edie had to work during the day on Saturday, so I decided to go to a cafe (or two) with WIFI to catch up on some emails and blog-reading. I started at Organic Works Bakery and got some of their house-brewed chai, which was delicious (although, not as delicious as the Nepali tea I'd had that morning, sorry!). Incidentally, Organic Works is the place where Chelsea used to work, although I didn't get to meet her  :(

I think the reflection of my face in the computer screen is a nice touch ;)

I needed a change of scenery after a few hours, so I went to Starbucks and enjoyed a shaken green tea, with tons of ice since it was about a billion degrees outside.

For dinner on Saturday night, Edie was craving falafel and I was craving copious amounts of hummus, so we went to a mediterranean place called Barakat, which has some of the best shawarma I have ever had in my life. 

I got the Mala Special, which is a HUGE salad covered in veggies, herb dressing, shawarma-style chicken, cabbage slaw, pickled radish, pickles and A LOT of the creamiest hummus you will ever eat in your life (plus lots of hot sauce). 

The picture doesn't do it justice. This. Thing. Was. Massive. I was full about a quarter of the way through, but I kept going until almost the end. It probably wasn't the best idea, since I could barely walk afterwards, but it was so incredibly delicious that I really didn't have another option!

This is what a salad should be, people. This is a salad.

I was sad to leave Edie the next morning, but I had to get back to Guelph to get some things done before work the next day.

I am really mature.

Good thing I had some fun with her fridge before I left ;)

I made good time on the drive home, so I managed to have a productive afternoon, starting with this workout that Caitlin posted:

She's an excellent cheerleader :)

She is also an excellent runner :) I will let her tell her own news, but let's just say she absolutely killed her half marathon on the weekend. Congrats girl!!

I also managed to get this done, yesterday:


I was long overdue to clean this cupboard out and I feel so good now that it's done! Not too shabby, huh?

Well, that was my weekend, how was yours?

Have a marvelous Monday, friends!


Friday, 21 June 2013

June 21 logs

still in a hotel for a few more days...
B:  cooked up some cabbage, added oats and grits and Mexican spices (was in the mood for cumin after some chatting last night).
L:  cooked up the food as I described yesterday
D:  more of the same.
E:  walked about 4-5 miles.
1) I'm going to run out of food after tomorrow.  But I can stop at Whole Foods on my way out of town.  Maybe I'll get some "health starts here" hot food, if they have some.  otherwise, fruit will get me home on Sunday.
2) Yesterday I was at a workshop on food-justice.  It was about how crappy restaurant workers are treated, how low-paid and exploited they are.  wow, shocking.   And it's not like restaurants have a low profit margin---it's quite high compared to other industries.  They are just screwing their employees.  One of the speakers wrote a book "Behind the Restaurant Door."  I'm planning to read it.  It makes me more comfortable with the fact that I hardly ever eat at restaurants.  Some people are good at getting good plant strong meals at restaurants.  I'm not.   
3) Along those lines, cooking in your hotel room like I do is definitely not for everyone.  I'm not suggesting it's the way to go, especially if you are good at getting what you want at restaurants.  But if you do cook/eat in your room, I suggest you be discreet about it and clean up your messes so no one knows you did it.  That way, hotels won't start instituting "no cooking in the room" policies.  :)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

June 20 logs

I'm on a trip until Sunday, staying in a hotel.   I have an electric burner for cooking and an electric cooler for keeping the food fresh.  

I found this great produce stand today!  I had found it on the web and combined going there with getting some exercise from a walk.  I bought food to cook up tomorrow:  broccoli, kale, green onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes.  I'll add 4 cans of beans and some spices and hope that lasts me until Sunday.  I also bought some raspberries and blueberries.  and some cabbage to go in my breakfast oats and grits (why not?).   so fun!  and it was a nice walk through Louisville, KY.

B:  cooked oats and grits (mixed) and cinnamon and banana.

L:  banana, raspberries, blueberries

D:  the last of the food I made on Tuesday, the beans and veggies.  and a head of lettuce.

E:  walk about 6-7 miles

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

June 19 logs

Road trip today.  I ate two sweet potatoes, 2 baked potatoes, a banana, and a head of lettuce throughout the day in the car.  Then had some beans and veggies (onion, kale, asparagus, tomatoes, herbs) and another banana for dinner.    I ate more than I needed to, maybe out of boredom while driving...
Here's a realization I had today.  I've been noticing the last few months that I like to eat most of my leftovers from the fridge without warming them up, and it's not just out of laziness (maybe started that way).   We tend to think of most cooked foods as hot-eating foods, not cold.  I never used to make soup in the summer because it was too hot.  Now I just eat it cold (after the initial bowl).  I just realized why that is so natural with this way of eating:  because our food doesn't have grease and oil in it!   that stuff is kind of gross when it's cold.   Does anyone else enjoy cold leftovers?   

Little Balls of Magic

Hello Friends!

I was recently contacted by Mariam at Kewaza to see if I would review their awesome product and I couldn't resist.

This adorable package came to my door :)

Kewaza makes wholesome, delicious snacks made with raw, whole, natural ingredients. I am not kidding about the delicious part either!

I have always loved supporting local, independent businesses, especially ones that promote healthy foods and an active lifestyle. Kewaza is a Toronto-based company, so you can't get much closer to home!

Now, I'll delve into the products themselves...

The first ones I tried were the Peanut Butter Protein Balls. They are fairly low in sugar and packed with protein from the nuts and hemp protein powder.

I am a peanut butter lover, so I wasn't planning on disliking these little babies ;)

These were awesome. They were nice and chunky with bits of nuts, dried fruit and cocoa nibs. They didn't have a super strong peanut butter flavour, but I didn't actually have a problem with it because they were so good!

The next ones really blew my mind though. They were the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Energy Balls and I am not kidding, they tasted exactly like chewy, decadent cookie dough!! And, they only have 3 ingredients: dates, organic peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Absolutely amazing. They had a chewier texture and were a bit sweeter than the protein balls; almost more like a dessert.

I had one of these before a workout and I just flew through it! That sounds like a dream come true to me: you get to eat healthy cookie dough and then have a better workout because of it.

The box also came with a great, motivational mantra on the inside. Perfect!

The last of the three were the Coconut Protein Balls. They had a very similar taste and texture to the PB protein balls, but they were rolled in shredded coconut. Given that I am a huge coconut fan too, these were the bomb!

They really are like little balls of magic...

I'll say it again; I am so impressed by their ingredient list. Everything is raw, whole, (mostly) organic and full of energizing nutrients. There are no funky ingredients, chemicals or preservatives.

If you live in the Toronto area, there are several stores that carry them; you can find the locations here. You can also order them online through the website. Unfortunately, they don't ship outside of the Greater Toronto Area at the present time, but hopefully they will be expanding their market soon. Alternatively, you could make friends with some Ontarians and convince them to send you some.

Anyway, check these guys out. Even if you can't get your hands on some products, they are a great example of a small company doing good things in their community, and damn their balls are yummy! :)

What are your favourite pre-workout energy snacks?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

June 18 log

Today's lesson learned (hopefully) is, don't nibble on fruit while cooking up 2 days worth of food.  Nibbling on anything is like filling up a bucket of water with a dripping faucet.  It still fills up!  So, I overate on fruit today.  I rationalized it because I'm going out of town tomorrow and not expecting to get good fruit.  However, I just checked the web and it looks like there is a really good grocery store 2 miles from my hotel.  that is great, and my excuse was out the window.  
For my trip I'm eating out of my hotel room.  I just don't do well in restaurants and don't expect to have any social obligations at dinner, though if there is one, I can still go and sneak in my food and dump it on top of a plain salad I order.   I'm bringing my electric cooler and an electric burner and a couple of pots and some beans and various spices, etc.  I was planning to buy frozen veggies but this grocery store might be really good so maybe I'll get fresh.  
Here are today's logs:
B:  wonderful baked oats and fruit.   a bunch of spinach
L:  baked sweet potato, a lb of strawberries, half a head of lettuce
SSSSSS (snack overload):  "nibbled" on fruit
D:  baked potato, jicama, and kohlrabi.  a bunch more spinach
S:  (not hungry!) more fruit, some peas and corn.
I definitely overate today.  oh well, at least it wasn't on nuts and dates...:)
E:  biked 23 miles.  Meditated 40 minutes.

Monday, 17 June 2013

June 17 log

B:   two small bowls of my frozen fruit mix.   baked plantain--this time peeled and sliced it like a banana, wrapped it in parchment paper, sealed with a twist tie, threw it in the oven with all the other things I baked today (potatoes, oriental yam, small kohlrabi).  I think this was the best yet.  But that may be because I'm just liking it more as it becomes a more familiar food.  I also had that small kohlrabi a little later and decided I need to do the same thing:  peel and slice and cook in parchment paper---tomorrow's experiment if I remember to buy some (forgot today). 

After breakfast, I cooked up a bunch of kale and an onion for lunch and dinner.  I started with the onion, went on Facebook, came back to find it burned, er, very caramelized.  I was curious, just how much can you burn an onion and have it still taste good, so I added water and kale and cooked up the kale.   It turned out quite good.  So the lesson to stay away from Facebook while cooking was not learned today.
S:  a bunch of lettuce leaves

L:  Kale and baked oriental yam

S:  small baked potato

D:  sugar snap peas, kale and 2 small baked potatoes, some grapes, then I just kept small eating bowls of fruit from the freezer, and a small bowl of frozen peas and corn.  Fortunately these are really small bowls, and I don't feel overly full but I ate more fruit than I needed to.

I think I'll make some beans for tomorrow.

E:  biked 14 miles.  meditate 40 minutes.

June 16 log

I'm just copying my food logs from my E2X blog.   Readers (the 1 or 2 of you), do you want food logs?  I have other ideas for posts but haven't had time to compose them.  I'll get to it.
B: baked oatmeal and fruit.  love this.
L:  sugar snap peas at the co-op.  then stopped at the bakery to get bread and brownies for housemate and a friend coming over.   I ate my baked sweet potato while friend ate brownie and coffee.  We had a nice time on the deck on a beautiful day.   One thing I'm trying to learn is not feeling like I have to have a treat when others do.   I don't need a "treat" like nuts and dried fruit (or worse, much worse) just because they are having one.  I happened to be hungry so ate my sweet potato, and actually that did feel like a treat because it's so sweet (I go for the oriental yams, with the yellow flesh and purple skins, love them! I eat them like a burrito).
spread out dinner:  I went on a 12 mile walk (training for a marathon, maybe a little too ambitious), ate a baked potato at the 6 mile mark while sitting on a bench overlooking the lake and city--I love potatoes as energy food on a hike or bike ride.   then I ate some sugar snap peas at the co-op, about 8.5 miles.  then when I got home, another baked potato, small kohlrabi, a bunch of asparagus, and a small bowl of frozen peas and corn.  yes, you heard that right.  Housemate was eating ice cream.  I didn't plan it that way but thought afterwards that my peas and corn are kind of like ice cream, frozen and sweet.   I like this sugar free life because normal foods start tasting very sweet on their own.   now if I can just continue with this attitude for the long term...

Tuesday Tidbits

Hello Everyone!

I was going to post yesterday, but lately I have just been finding myself so tired before I go to bed that I can't even sit down at my computer and write a post. I have also been majorly slacking on following other blogs, so to all of my wonderful friends: I hope everything is going swimmingly, I promise I am still reading!

Anyway, here are a few tidbits from the past few days.

1. My legs didn't fall off! That's right, I thought the day after boot camp with Danielle would be one where I couldn't sit in chairs, but I guess all the stretching paid off because I don't feel too bad!

2. I have fallen back in love with green tea lattes from Starbucks. I know that they are a totally frivolous purchase, but if I have to stick to one first world, white girl vice, this is it.

I'm a sucker for an extra scoop of matcha and sugar-free vanilla instead of classic syrup. Delicious!

3. I was nursing a wee bit of a hangover on Sunday, so I didn't feel like eating a single vegetable. Instead, I felt like experimenting with whatever the heck I was craving, which seemed to involve a lot of bananas.

First, I made these peanut butter banana soft cookie/muffin top things with ripe banana, peanut flour, cinnamon and protein powder. They actually came out really well and were especially delicious when eaten warm.

And yes, I reuse my parchment paper, which is why there are so many marks on it.

If you want a simple recipe, here it is:

Peanut Butter Banana Muffin Tops
(can double the recipe easily)


- 1/2 cup peanut flour
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1 tbs xylitol
- 1 tbs vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp banana extract (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until muffin tops are slightly brown and cracked.

I also made some banana soft serve later because I felt like something cool and creamy. I added a bit of cinnamon and vanilla extract and it was gorgeous.

4. While I do love my job. Sometimes I feel like my work isn't really appreciated by the people of Kitchener. I have been told on more than one occasion that I am a "waste of taxpayers' money". Lovely! 

Anyway, on Friday I got a little sign that maybe some people do appreciate what I'm doing. I was talking to a homeowner at one of my site inspections. She was a very nice German lady and we were talking about our mutual passion for water conservation. As I was leaving, she bent down in her garden and pulled out a red rose. She insisted that I have it and said that it was the first bloom of the season.

How nice is that?? Day. Made.

5. I didn't get to celebrate with my dad on Father's Day, but I will be making it up to him in a few weeks and I did give him a call on Sunday. My dad is a huge support and we are so much alike in so many ways.

Lake Louise - July 2011
I can't wait to take off to Nepal with him where we will go on the father-daughter adventure of a lifetime! I love my dad :)

Have a wonderful day everyone!


Saturday, 15 June 2013

June 15 log

B:  peaches and rice.  half a head of romaine
Snack:  small baked potato.
L:  at a potluck, I brought the mango-bean-rice salad I made last night.  It was a hit and I had something to eat.  A friend who knew of my eating ways brought a giant watermelon.   She said it was because it was really easy but later said she was thinking of me.  That was really sweet.  I told her she could bring that anytime.  So lunch was my salad and her watermelon.  excellent!   
S:  sugar snap peas
D:  half a head of romaine, baked plantain, kale and garlic (keep forgetting to buy onions).  fruit from the freezer:  strawberrries, banana, blackberries.    this time I cooked the plantain in foil, and it was not as dry.  I think next time I will try roasting them in parchment paper--I'll peel and slice it first. The taste is growing on me.  I heard it's one of the most widely eaten starches in the world.
Exercise:  swam 1 mile.  yoga 30 minutes.   went to a half-day meditation workshop.

Friday, 14 June 2013

June 14 log

I have lots to share about today so brace yourself.
I haven't had rice in a while so made up a batch last night.  I like to mix brown and forbidden (black) rice, just for fun.  In fact, I pour it one cup at a time into my storage bin and make a nice pattern:

The rice came in handy several times today.  First I had it for breakfast instead of oats, with my frozen fruit.  Here's a picture in the morning sunshine.  This was a really quick and easy breakfast.
After breakfast I made my semi-annual order of beans.   I order every available kind of beans from Rancho Gordo.  That came out to 28 lbs and cost $184 (including a whopping $30 for shipping).  It's more expensive than bulk beans to be sure, but I calculated that it's still about 30% cheaper than my favorite canned beans (Eden Organic).  Anyway, I love these beans.  They are all different and it's entertaining to have a different kind of bean every week, or to mix them up (big and small, different colors).
Next I had lunch with friends.  I had some rice and beans and corn and asparagus, and a small baked potato.    The conversation turned to the topic of health and all the medications and supplements they take and the unpleasant side effect; and I just thought to myself how crazy I am when I get jealous of what others eat.  I take my health and diet way too much for granted.  I wish I could get over this and stop occasionally wanting that unhealthy food.  I also was struck by some of their insightful comments:  1)  these medications just act on one mechanism but isn't it more complicated than that?  (that's what T. Colin Campbell says in his new book Whole), and 2) doesn't it seem weird that we have to take all these supplements when our ancestors seemed to do fine without them?  yep.
I stopped at the grocery store and got some more fruit on special to freeze.  I snacked on that while prepping it along with some sugar snap peas.  I ate a small sweet potato as a snack on my bike ride.  Then I fixed something for a potluck tomorrow.  This was inspired by a recipe in the spring E2X book I think, by Ami I think:  mango bean salad, to which I added rice.  So it was rice, beans, frozen mango chopped, lime juice, cilantro and I added a little chipotle powder for some smokey flavor.  It is fast and easy to make, and people love it.   I didn't have enough for tonight's dinner so just had some rice and mango and cilantro, and some of that frozen fruit for dessert.  I poured a wee bit of balsamic vinegar (diluted with water) on top.   
So that rice came in handy today.  
Exercise:  biked 36 miles.  that was unplanned, but first I did my 14 mile commute and then when I got home it was such a nice day that I got out the racing bike and went for a ride.  and I meditated for 30 minutes.   Oh, that reminds me of another thing (see, I had a lot to share today):  I signed up for Plant-Stock (farms 2 forks in Hudson NY).  This was actually a tough decision because I really really really wanted to go to a meditation retreat, but my best friend who I only get to see once a year at most is going to Plant-Stock.  so I had to decide and I decided to go to the meditation retreat, and then I thought but what about Gail??????   And that pretty much sealed it.  So I hope to go to a meditation retreat next year.  In the meantime I'm looking forward to Plant-Stock!
okay, tomorrow will be short, promise.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

I Like My Workouts Wet n' Wild

Let's just say that yesterday was not my day. At least, it didn't start out to be.

First of all, I left my iPhone at work on Wednesday and had to go 15 hours without it. Yes, these are first world problems, but you don't realize how tied to your smart phone you are until you don't have it.

Anyway, I had to use a different (read: sucky) alarm to wake me up yesterday morning and I ended up sleeping in by 2 hours. I freaked out, got to work as fast as I could and tried to get on with my day; which wasn't horrible, but wasn't awesome either. I had to deal with some rude people and the parking garage was giving me grief.

When I am not having the greatest day, I like to grab a Jones soda from the convenience store and read the underside of the cap. This is what it told me yesterday:

You know, I have been feeling more self-confident lately and it's nice to have it reiterated that I have a good reason to be self-confident.

However, all day I was looking forward to my after-work activity, which was boot camp with Danielle!! This girl teaches a killer boot camp, and I have been meaning to get to one of her "bring a friend" sessions, but this was the first one I was able to attend.

Well, if anyone in this area witnessed the weather yesterday, you would know that it was NOT ideal for an outdoor boot camp session. Good thing we're tough chicks who don't let a little rain slow us down ;)

So we worked out in the pouring rain and it was awesome. It was also brutal. Danielle does these combos where you have to alternate 1 minute of wall sits with 1 minute of plyometric squats and then she does a similar one with plyo lunges. By the end of the leg section, I was shaking... and then we ran stairs... and then we did upper body and cardio :)

I wrote this post when I got home, so I don't know how my "morning after" legs will be yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, it was so much fun and great to meet Danielle for the first time (but obviously not the last). Plus, now I can say that I did boot camp in a rain storm :)

After that, I had to come home and make a good dinner, but only after I changed out of my wet clothes (as Danielle insisted we would get chilled if we didn't; she takes good care of her boot campers).

As usual, I love a good peanut sauce stir-fry. I do have a few ingredient obsessions that need to be in there.

This broccoli slaw:

These noodles:

This tempeh on top (yummm):

And voila!

Before I went to bed, I obviously had to foam roll the crap out of my legs. I am really hoping for only mild pain this weekend. I would like to be able to walk up and down stairs, sit on toilet seats and dance a bit ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Have you ever done an intense workout in the rain?

How do you prevent next day muscle soreness?

Interesting website   They link to peer-reviewed journal articles related to plant-based diets.

June 13 food

B: baked oats and peaches.  This was really good. I love toasting the top in the broiler at the end to give a little crisp.

The peaches have been on special all week at the co-op, along with the strawberries and grapes, so I got some more today and cut them up and froze them.

L:  small baked potato, yesterday's beans and veggies, sugar snap peas, grapes.

D:  small oriental yam, yesterday's beans and veggies, small baked potato, nibbled on the fruit as I prepped it for the freezer, small bowl of peas and corn.  did I overeat?  maybe a wee bit.

E:  walk 6 miles, bike 7 miles.  meditate 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

June 12 food

B:  2 small baked sweet potatoes

I cooked up all the veggies from the fridge:  onion, mushroom, kale, cabbage, asparagus, arugula, added white beans, can of tomatoes, herbs from the garden (cilantro, chives, parsley, dill).  it was liquidy, so called it soup.  It should last a few days, yea (less cooking).

L:  small baked potato, soup

D:  repeat of lunch

Snack:  salad made from...lettuce.  advantage of a lettuce-only salad:  you can snack on it like chips and it's not messy.

Exercise:  swim 1 mile, bike 7 miles.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Dr. Alan Goldhamer

I love this guy:

It's only 4 minutes long, worth it.  Watch him enough and you learn to say "meat, fish, fowl, eggs, and dairy products" really fast, and also "salt, oil, sugar, flour".

Vegan vs. Paleo

Sorry, if you thought I was going to debate this, I'm not.  I've noticed that I don't care about this issue but I didn't realize why until a friend asked me to give my scientific assessment of this critique of the China Study.  Now I realize the reason I have no interest is that I'm vegan for other reasons (animals and environment).  I'm interested to know what the healthiest vegan diet is, not whether it's healthier than a meat diet.  Going vegan improved my health dramatically so I am experientially convinced that the Standard American Diet is unhealthy, and likely it's due to too many animal products and processed foods.   But whether or not the optimal diet includes some animal products doesn't interest me because I'm vegan regardless.  I feel more healthy than I ever have in my whole life, and it seems healthy enough to me.  It's easy to be an unhealthy vegan, and maybe that's why some vegans become ex-vegans.   The books I've linked to at right tell me how to be a healthy vegan.  I'm very happy to be a vegan.

June 11 Food logs

Brekkie:   baked oats and fruit.   This is one of my favorite breakfasts.  I found this really little baking pan that's just the right size for one person.  I put about 2/3 cup fruit in the bottom, sprinkle cinnamon, add 2/3 cup oats and 1 cup water, bake for at 350 for 30-40 minutes while I go meditate, then I turn on the broiler for a few minutes to toast the top.  I buy whatever fruit looks good, and cut it up and freeze it. Today's fruit was strawberries, blackberries and bananas.   Here's the end result dished out in my bowl.  

Now last week I would have added a chopped date to this but I'm on the Captain's challenge.  And you know what, it tasted great.  The date would have covered up the taste of the oats and berries.  So I'm quite pleased about this!

For lunch I tried a baked plantain for the first time.  I just threw it in the oven and baked at 375 for 1 hour because I'm all about taking the easy way.  It was kind of dry.  It had an interesting taste, sweet and...lemony?  New things always take getting used to so I will definitely try this again several times (I'll experiment with cooking methods) and see if it sticks.  I also had the veggies I cooked up last night:  onion, oriental yam, kale, broccoli rabe, asparagus, mushrooms, beans, herbs from the garden, a little singapore seasoning.
Afterwards, I nibbled on some frozen peas and corn and some romaine lettuce leaves.

Early Dinner:  we had family over for their traditional meatloaf dinner.  I had the baked potato topped with a big pile of those veggies from lunch and yesterday, peas and corn, salad.   While others ate their cake and ice cream, I had a little of that frozen fruit which tasted lovely.  Sure it was easy, but it's only day 2.  Temptation doesn't usually hit me until about day 15...

Snack:  small baked potato.  small bowl of peas and corn.

Exercise: walked 4 miles.  meditated 30 minutes.

okay, I promise my future posts won't be so long, because my food is pretty similar day to day.

Monday, 10 June 2013

I'm back, maybe, with a challenge for myself, maybe

By now, no one will be reading this, and yet, I still like blogging even if it's to no one.  Plus I don't have the pressure of worrying that I'm wasting people's time, haha.   I've been thinking about getting back to this for a while--I've been snapping pictures of food to blog about, and I have more time--and just haven't taken the last step.   What got me going this time was a challenge that I thought of after eating a potato yesterday.   It was a cold baked potato that I grabbed from the fridge to to hold me over to a late lunch.   And it was soooo good.  I was thinking, do I like a cold plain baked potato more than my wonderful potato fries topped with seasoning and dipped in home-made soy yogurt (with garden chives and dill) or home-made ketchup?   It's possible!   And I was reminded of some food I made last week that was just cooked veggies and sweet potatoes and beans.  and that was soooo good.  The produce I get is so good, it doesn't need to be overly spiced and sugared and salted and all that stuff.   A lot of recipes and restaurants include sauces and spices and the 3 favorite additives (SOS: salt, oil, sugar), not to mention chemicals, to make up for what are probably low-quality ingredients.  That's true of the food industry, and it was probably true of many traditional recipes, since it's only been recently that high-quality food is available in abundance at low-cost.   

Then I was thinking, our plant-based healthy diets contain a lot of recipes that are imitating our previous unhealthy recipes.  It's understandable.  But often those things make me crave the original unhealthy thing a little too much.  What if I came up with a new paradigm for myself, that's not trying to imitate anything, just making up new dishes from my high-quality produce that doesn't need any additives (SOS)?     

Another thought for me is that I still have a problem with craving sugar, whether it's the so-called healthy things like dates and turkish figs (love those especially), or okay-to-eat-in-small-amount refined sweeteners (maple syrup, mmmmm), or the really bad stuff (SOS baked goods, vegan ice cream).   So what if I dumped the sugar for a while, both refined and dried fruits.   Whole fruit is okay, in modest amounts.
Finally, I'm a member at E2X, and haven't been participating for months, and my membership is due to expire and I need to decide if I should renew, and they are doing a 28-day challenge, and the Captain's challenge is pretty much what I'm considering in my new paradigm (they are one step ahead of me) and I really like the coaches there (Natalie and Ami and Char), so why not participate the Captain's challenge?  This will help me decide if I should renew.

I'm especially curious about this sugar thing, so I'm tempted to try to go longer than 28 days.   I heard it takes 12 weeks to break a sugar addiction, which is 84 days.  But I like the number 100.  So I'm going to try a 100-day Captain's challenge.   Don't worry, I know I won't succeed 100% every day for 100 days.   But I am keeping in mind the advice of the E2X coaches:  "Will every day be perfect?  No.  We're not perfect people.  What we want to see is that drive and desire to be the healthiest person you can be."  The most fun part is that there are several people eating the same as me. Where else am I going to find that?  It's lonely out here and it's easy to feel weird and extreme, which is one reason I stopped blogging.  But it's okay to be weird and extreme as long as no one is harmed.

Here's the diet plan I've come up with for myself.  It's very simple. 

When hungry, eat:
  • starches and intact whole grains:  potatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, oats, rice, corn, quinoa
  • non-starch vegetables
  • spices
  • fruit
When full, stop eating.

How easy is that?   I'll try log my food to see what glorious creations can be made from this. 

I'm Done With You

This has to be it.

We have been growing apart for some time now. I tell myself I'm done with you, and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, but then I go running back to you in a moment of weakness. You cling to me, telling me I'm better with you. That with you, I can be stronger, thinner, better than everyone else.

It has been going on for too long; this on-again-off-again relationship. I need to let it go so I can make room in my life for the things that truly matter. I don't even tell most people that I'm with you because I'm worried about what they will think; that they won't understand.

The friends that I do tell, they keep encouraging me to give you up forever. They tell me I will be stronger and happier without you, and I know now that that's true.

And yes, there is someone else; someone who actually enjoys life. She's fun, she smiles and she has friends. I'm sick of staying in with you when you refuse every social invitation.

After a while, people just stop asking. How will you feel when no one invites you anywhere? You won't even have a choice; you will have to sit at home alone because no one wants to be around your mopey, anxious self.

Nobody wants to feel judged and scrutinized when you turn down there offers of food because it's "not good enough"for you. Nobody wants to listen while you talk about what you eat... or don't eat. And nobody wants to hear you bitch about how tight your size 0 jeans have gotten in the past month. You could take out the jeans you used to wear, but if they actually fit you would feel like you had lost a battle somehow.

No, she doesn't talk about such things when she is out with friends. She is interesting and smart and she cares about more important things. She cares about the environment, she cares about her friends and she cares about school. She wouldn't bomb a test because she decided to work out instead of study. She wouldn't decide not to volunteer for an event because it goes all day and she knows that pizza will be served for lunch.

The other night, I went out for dinner, I had drinks and I laughed with my friends. I went shopping too, I tried on tons of clothes and I even bought a bunch things. I didn't tell you. I knew you wouldn't approve, but I don't care so that's why I'm telling you now. That's right, you may have had your claws in me for years, but I'm tired of being dependent on you.

Nobody deserves the kind of pain you inflicted on me. You tore me down and made me feel worthless unless I was just like you. It's time for this abusive relationship to come to an end.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Goals and Obsessions

Hello Everyone :)

So, I was fully planning on putting out a blog post yesterday, but I spent all of Monday night googling things like "cheap flights", "volunteering in Bali" and "best time to trek in the Himalayas". Yup, I have officially been back in Canada for more than a year and the wanderlust is getting the best of me!

You don't have to know me a long time to realize that I am completely travel-obsessed. The last time I traveled was a 5-month trip to India (where I studied for a semester), Thailand and Europe. I am currently starting to plan a big trip for next summer and it is all I think about.

A while ago, my dad and I decided to go to Nepal to trek in the Himalayas for a few weeks next summer and I am planning the rest of my travel around that. I will definitely be going to New Zealand to stay with my family, visit friends and hike A LOT. Those are the only 2 destinations that are for sure, but in order to fill the 3-4 months I will be gone, I am also thinking about Australia, Indonesia, Tibet and Eastern Europe.

I can't wait to be here...

I feel bad for my friends who won't hear me shut up about this for the next year...

Speaking of wanderlust, I am thinking of getting another tattoo and so drawing and doodling on myself has also been taking up a lot of my time lately.

This is what I am thinking of.
That bird-like thing is supposed to be an airplane.
My artist will do a much better job ;)

Obviously, I am no artist and this is still a rough sketch, but when my very talented tattoo artist gets at this design, it will look much better.

I don't like to make spontaneous decisions when it comes to images that will be on my body forever, so I am going to sit on this one for awhile. Besides, my first tattoo has a very special place in my heart, so I don't know if I will ever love something quite as much.


I usually don't make official goals, but I have been thinking lately about a few things I know I can work on. 

First of all, I'm back on the DP... diet pop. Bleh! Remember when I decided to cut out all artificial sweeteners a few months ago? Well, I was doing pretty well until a few weeks ago. We had a big BBQ event at my work recently and all of the leftover pop went into the fridge right by my desk. And it was a lot of pop... Worst of all, we are likely to have many more events like that all summer, so the stash will keep being refilled. I have found myself grabbing a can almost every day, either because I have just come in from outside, am craving something sweet or simply because I am bored.


I know that I shouldn't be filling myself with those kinds of "non-foods", so I am making a goal to cut down on one pop per week until I am off the aspartame completely. I am going to make an effort to drink water when I have been out in the heat, have a healthy snack when I need a pick-me-up and either switch up my tasks or go for a walk when I'm bored. I will beat this!

I also tried to take the next step clothing-wise a few days ago. I was really proud of myself when I bought tops the other week and so I decided to try on some bottoms when I was in a consignment store on Monday. 

Some really cute items caught my eye, so I tried on 3 skirts and 1 pair of shorts. The verdict? FAIL. Each item seemed to be tighter and more unflattering; a couple of things wouldn't even zip up all the way. It was a bit of a blow to my self-esteem. I had felt so great when I was trying on clothes a couple of weeks ago, so this experience was a bummer. 

My other goal for the next few weeks? Every time I look in the mirror, try to pick out something I like about myself. It's hard to see your good parts when you're stuffed like a sausage into a skirt in a poorly-lit dressing room, but under different circumstances, I actually have lots of things I like about my appearance. Off the top of my head:

-> strong legs
-> rich hair colour
-> pretty eyes
-> cute nose
-> strong arms
-> clear skin
-> less flat bum ;)

There, that wasn't so hard! In fact, since I am challenging myself to do this, I want to extend the challenge to all of you.

What is something you like about the way you look? Now think of another thing, now another. Now move your focus away from your appearance. What do your friends and family love about you? What makes your personality unique? For me:

-> I'm smart
-> I have a good sense of humour
-> I am outgoing and confident
-> I am adventurous
-> I love making new friends and going out of my way to do nice things for old friends

Every time you look in the mirror or start to have a negative thought about yourself, change your thinking and conjure up a positive thought about yourself. I dare you ;) 

For the next little while, at the end of every post I am going to write something about myself that I like, or something I did that I am proud of. I will call it the "I LIKE ME" challenge :) I hope to see a lot of you doing the same. You are all wonderful people, you deserve to give yourself credit for how great you are!