Monday, July 13, 2009

Theres no shame in a Birthday

How did I get here?
This City.
At this table.
In these pants.
With this job.
Liking this food.
With the haircut!

Wow, I have changed over the years, and that's what its all about!

Birthdays should never be lied about, or pushed aside. Its one day, only one, where you rein supreme over all that is. This is your day, the only one that you can mark on a calendar as the first day of your next turn around the sun.

This is it, we have time on earth. And time is reflected in dates, and time is counted in years. YEARS............................OLD..........................YEARS...........................OLD

Why do people not like birthdays? Maybe because on this day you will undoubtedly be asked...

How OLD are you?

This is how I see it. One day, long ago, some crazy women decided that with each passing day they were one step closer to hopping on the Ugly Bus. The only way to avoid this non-stop ride to Ugly Town was to lie about their age, because if anyone knew their REAL age, they would have to pack it in and die right there. I know, I know, the logic is flawless but its all the lies I just can't live with! (Cue the laughing track now)

OK, maybe its just a flaw in the space time continuum that some how sucks the 'Happy Birthday' out of the memories of these helpless ladies and replaces it with 'Fear the Birthday'

JULY 15, 1983

That is the day I was born and therefore I am having a PARTY. You may think "Well you're in the prime of your life of course you don't care who knows how old you are, just wait until you are my age (still not disclosing their age) then lets see how excited you are about your Birthday"

Oh Negative Nancy, when will you ever learn!

Monday, June 15, 2009

coming back from oblivion

Toronto Island "Bike For Africa"

So Steve and I have moved to a great new apartment, settled in, and FINALLY got our laptop back! We moved into this fantatic place with 'Free High Speed' Internet but alas!

That isn't to say I haven't been busy!
Murder Mystery Night, I am Countess Von Orlock

Climbing at Rattlesnake Conservation

Toronto Island "Bike For Africa"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

self sufficient dough

I was given a bread making machine.
It sat on the floor in the bedroom, propping the door open.
I read the cookbook that came with it.
I bought the yeast.
Yet there it sat.

There are so many things I want to do, so many things I think about, and I can't seem to fit them in between the things I need to do everyday. Like dishes, laundry, eating, sleeping, you know.

But with our new apartment almost in our hands, there is a feeling of excitement in the air, the feeling that anything is possible. We feel like we will be freshening up our lives in this new apartment, but that really stems from how our perspective has changed.

Steve is changing jobs, finally finding that niche where he loves to work, loves it so much, he doesn't even call it work. And you know what they say, "When you find something you love to do, you will never work another day in your life" He has found this, in Yoga.

I just like change. Controllable, foreseeable change, mind you. I like to start new and fresh, switch up the old routine. The biggest perk of a new apartment is INTERIOR DESIGN! Different colours schemes, different placement of pictures and furniture. Because if you live in a small apartment you know very well that you are limited to where you can place your furniture, functionally.

So with a hallway full of empty collapsed boxes and an apartment scattered with full boxes, It felt like the time to sit and relax to the churning sounds of a bread maker. I started with Pizza Dough, if it turns out, I'll move to bigger and better things like Cinnamon bread and Hot cross bun dough.

I'd never used a bread machine before, and I felt like the instruction booklet wasn't holding my hand enough. It just felt too easy. Pour wet in, dump dry in, sprinkle in yeast, select dough setting, press start..... "2 hours later you will have dough" the book tells me. I wanted to ask the book to send my love to the machine.

It is nice to know that I make almost everything that we eat. I buy pre-made pie crusts (making sure its made with vegetable shortening and not lard) I buy soy yogurt, canned soups and beans, rice cheese, almond milk and soy protein items. But otherwise we stock the fridge and pantry with whole ingredients and start from scratch every meal of the day.

I was given an Ice cream machine for Christmas, a digital Crock Pot for my Birthday and now a bread maker, watch out, I'm a cooking machine... or the machines are cooking machines.

so I made a pizza

and topped it off
fresh pineapple, marinated tofu, tomato sauce, mushrooms, sun dried tomato's, fresh spinach, rice cheese, brushetta spice

baked it and sliced it up

and ate it

Start to finish, full circle, I made the whole thing! I love it!

If my cooking machines took over the world, I think I might have to serve them blindly.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A blurb from one of my favourite Bloggers

"But cooking — the process of thoughts throughout the afternoon of what to make, the slow chopping, the simmering, the dreaming? That’s almost better than eating. Tackling a new recipe and then taping it into my giant black notebook, because I certainly want make that one again — that made me feel more capable than my job ever did. For years, the stove was my sustenance, the place I skipped to after a long day of teaching, or on Sunday afternoons instead of grading papers. In the kitchen, I stop thinking. I breathe in the smells. I sing along with Johnny Cash or Talking Heads, songs I know in my toes instead of learning new ones. I chop sloppy, I sometimes don’t clean up as I go, and I enjoy every damned moment of it. Cooking slows me down. There are times that nothing makes me happier than standing in the kitchen in my bare feet, warm air from the opened oven ruffling my hair, and my fingers feeling that the cake is done. It’s the relaxed time of the hands.." Gluten Free Girl

Its nice to hear it from another persons mind. Its nice to read something that registers with every molecule in my body.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I'm engaged today.

I have been playfully tossing the idea out into the open for so long now that since this precious time has arrived it isn't a screaming fit of surprise that I have seen so many times before. In commercials, movies, or on YouTube video's, today feels like any other day.

But when he asked me, sitting in the front seat of the Yaris, our bellies full of delicious Thai Food. He started to say the sweetest things, but as his eyes welled up and his hand reached into his jacket, I have to admit, I heard nothing more. It was all happening so fast. I first thought he was joking with me, then I thought it was real, then I felt it was real, it was really happening.

There aren't too many things in the world that I experience for the first time anymore. And when I experience new things, I always compare the real feeling I had, against what I 'thought' it was going to be like. What I felt was absolute completion. I felt like so many years of love were colliding into one moment in time. But on the way home, it was just us, we were still the same people, on the same path. And I liked it. I liked that nothing changed, because we didn't change, we have always been soul mates, and will always be.

But ya know, I have been wanting to Marry this man for years, wearing the pearl ring he gave me for my 25th Birthday on my wedding finger, with another plain band to keep it on (Since the Pearl one is a little too big for my ring finger). Looking down at it on a daily basis, knowing I was long off 'the market' and loving this little imaginary world I lived in where Steve was my Husband. But now, its for real, and there is nothing greater than that feeling.

I can't explain our relationship beyond saying He is Me, my Best Friend and my True Love. We are so remarkably similar, and yet he is one of the most influential role models in my life. He seems to never tire of balancing my energy, and I never tire of making him happy.

He is where I begin and where I end.

I believe Love is something you know, in your body. Saying it to each other, this sentence "I love you" feels good, but the words mean nothing. It is the feeling inside, that you think of when you say these words, that means so much to us.

It really is true, all the old stories and sappy romance movies, that climax in complete chaos, then end with two people coming together to express their love, and in that, knowing that everything will be OK. That all that other stuff, isn't as bad as it seems, because you have someone to completely support you and only you, through the rest of your days.

Here's to the rest of our life!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ying and Yang

I sat,
on my couch,
my mind a wander as such,
the greatest cookie ever made,
being mixed and measured in my mind.

One cookie with two hearts,
two minds,
good and evil?
delicious and daring.

what if?
yes it could work,
one batter,
with two results,
together as one,
a cookie as a muffin,
it must be done!

Quinoa you complete me, you complete protein, you!

Quinoa in the wild!

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah or KEE-no-uh) is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium) grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal as it is not a grass.

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for 6,000 years.

Quinoa has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%), making it a healthful choice for vegetarians and vegans. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source.[3] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.

Well, you learn something new every day. I learned that if I want to live on a space station, I will still be able to eat this salad!

This takes no time to whip up and it keep in the fridge easily for 3-5 days!

Quinoa Salad

(Adapted from "Crunchy Quinoa", Mmmmm Steph you make it the best!)

1 cup Quinoa (I used red and white mixed)
** cook according to package directions
** Spread out on a cookie tray to cool before adding to salad mixture

1 Carrot, diced
2 Green onions, diced
1/2 cup Peas ( I used frozen)
1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds

feel free to add: red pepper, celery, sunflower seeds, parsley and black sesame seeds.

1/4 cup Olive oil
2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tbsp Tamari (soy sauce)
dash and Salt and fresh cracked Black Pepper

Eat on its own, or over a bed of mixed greens. It has an amazingly rich flavour, DIG IN!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stepping back to move forward

Recession! Recession!
You hear it in the news, you hear it in the lunch room. Its the hot topic of the season...

Batten down the hatches, staple the money to the walls! SAVE SAVE SAVE....

Ummmm For those of us 25-35 years old's out there, we have been living in a recession for YEARS! College/University Debt....Ummmm yeah , that's our recession.

But there are the things you live without and the things that make life worth living. There is a line that must be drawn between cutting corners to save money and cutting' life' out all together. The whole idea that you are working today to make a life for the future is inspiring and great.... If you don't lose yourself along the way.

Life is meant is meant to be lived. Its the little moments you must enjoy in order to get the most bang for your 'recession buck' there is! Steve and I were given a 2 for 1 coupon for Starbucks new Tazo tea latte. And so the day began.........

2 Tazo Tea lattes with coupon

2 toasted bagels with butter from Locke Street Bagel


fresh air

Spending "family day" with Steve

Walk, Window shop, Talk, Laugh, Live a little even during the 'Recession'

Monday, February 9, 2009

I didn't know there was a word for "IT"...

In this months Yoga Journal, which Steve loves, so once and a while I pick it up and read a few of the articles, I found a few paragraphs that made "IT" all make sense.

"Because your ideal weight is unique it can't be compared... Your Ideal weight is affected by your age, the season, the climate and your menstrual stage. The right weight has nothing to do with numbers. Instead, its a reflection of feeling and being truly healthy- being comfortable and stable in body and mind, experiencing normal body functions, and having the strength and endurance to engage in vigorous exercise and the demands of everyday life.

All that comes about when your appetite and the foods you eat; how and when you eat; the medicines you take; your digestion and metabolism; the nature of your environment; and your physical activity, mind and emotions are in harmony"

By "IT" I mean, this feeling that has been growing inside me. It started when the weight training I was doing in the gym, 30 mins a day 5 days a week, started to show. I wouldn't say it was showing itself visually, but physically I started to stand straighter, my posture became perfect. I had the strength to hold my shoulders back without feeling like it was something I had to purposely remember to do. My knees stopped hyper extending while standing. I took up running, and loved it. Everyday pushing myself farther and faster.

Never in my life did I FEEL like an athlete. I thought I wasn't built for speed or endurance. I felt like I was faking it, when I'd go to the gym, like I didn't belong. I battled this feeling for so long, that I lost and lived a life of believing that I just wasn't the sporty type.

But then I started feeling "IT" . While running I worked on my form, I started reading online running websites to see how I could improve my run. What to eat pre and post run to give my muscles what they needed. I was a little engine. While buying running shoes, chatting with the sales person I knew what performance I needed out of the shoes. I ran and felt... like it was mine. I was good at running. I was a runner.

At the gym, I learned what the names of the exercises were. I could keep track of what weight I lifted before and how much I could challenge myself today. I actually needed workout clothes and I wore them with pride. I felt... like it was mine. I was good at weightlifting. I was strong.

"IT" got stronger, as my body turned giggly from the fat separating from my muscle, as the fat burned off, as the muscles took shape, I felt as though I was finally seeing myself in the mirror. My diet matched my life. I had to eat small portions all the time because I was getting hungry all the time. The more I moved, the more I needed to eat. But I only wanted to eat what my muscles needed.

My pants fit better, then my pants didn't fit at all. My bras were like hammocks on my chest, wow, I couldn't believe I used to fill them up. My neck , I started to notice my neck. I was never trying to look good in a bikini. What a stupid goal, I never set a goal. I was in school. I was learning what I needed to do, not just going through the motions mindlessly. Every day after work I'd go to the gym and 'learn', becoming better and better. It was just a really nice, cherry on top, that I started losing fat. I just wanted to feel better.

It all just fit together. My amazing partner, a personal trainer, gave me his time to teach and train me all he knew. He trained me to be strong in life, not to look big and bulky. The tread mill was boring but I knew I needed cardio to get my metabolism going and that's why I got into running. It all just fit together

There's no number that would make me happy to see on the scale. It's how I feel. That is "IT" this feeling of FEELING FIT. I feel like I could do anything. This energy that flows from inside me is unbelievable. I keep my hair short because it is easy to style and it doesn't get in the way when I MOVE. I am commuting to work so I walk to and from bus/train stations every day. I am getting a road bike together to start biking to work 13.5 km. WHY? BECAUSE I CAN!

I never gave my body the credit it deserved. But I'm making up for it now!

I am healthy and I CAN DO ANYTHING!

I am writing this because I have friends and family who are dealing with the same feeling I used to have. Not believing it is possible, living on a yo-yo of worry that the weight will always come back or the weight will continue to grow. And I don't know what else to say, but YOU CAN DO IT! Don't ever think you are anything but capable of doing anything you want.

So when I read those few paragraphs in Yoga Journal, my thoughts were finally put into words and I realized what that "IT" feeling was.

I am in harmony... It's harmony. That's why it's easy now, I am excited by every chance to move, snowshoeing, hiking, running, walking BRING IT ON. I look like I'm fit, I look like a runner, I look like anything I want to be, to me. To me, I finally look how I feel, to me.

I am in harmony. I am me

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Protein and Nutrition bars to BEAT UP the hunger

Hunger vs food

There is no competition here folks!

I eat breakfast early, hike to the local Go station, hop on a bus, travel, hop off a bus, and hike to work. This pretty much annihilates any and all of the precious breakfast I ate in the morning. So by 10:30-11:00 am I am in desperate need of a dose of food to get me through to lunch. BUT! What are we usually all doing at this time? Those of us who don't have coffee breaks? WORKING.

So what I eat needs to be able to fit in my pocket and chewed with ease while I work... and actually be good for me. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Well, it is convenient that I work at m.e.c and I am within reaching distance to some of the best 'dairy free' protein bars on the market. That means there are good ones and bad ones. They sure aren't giving them away either, so to save you some pocket change I have complied a bit of a list of some great bars I think you'll like.

Clif Builder Bar
20 Grams of Protein
270 Calories
8 grams of fat
20 grams of sugar

  • Delicious 'for a protein bar', chewy, chocolaty and about $1.80
Ingredients: Soy Protein Isolate, Chicory Syrup, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Organic Rolled Oats, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa, Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Flavors, Organic Dry Roasted Almonds, Rice Starch, Cocoa Butter, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Organic Milled Flax seed, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Sunflower Oil, Soy Lecithin, Salt.

Where does the protein come from if there's no whey protein? Simply put, other things that have protein like rice and soy! I like that Clif doesn't rock out to 100% organic just for marketing sake, since half the time, can we really trust something to actually be 100%? Clif boasts that 70% of its ingredients are Organic. Making me believe that they know the importance of organic, rather than just saying it on the labeling to reel in the consumer.

Clif Bar Original
10 grams of protein
250 calories
5 grams of fat
21 grams of sugar
  • Chewy, and mouth watering for about $1.40
Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, ClifCrunch® (Apple Fiber, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Psyllium), Organic Date Paste, Organic Soy Butter, Organic Sunflower Oil, Molasses Powder, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon.

The carrot cake flavour has chunks of cream cheese icing type stuff and piece of grated carrot that makes you think your Grandma baked it. Maple walnut, cinnamon raisin, peanut, chocolate, they have lots of choose from. At the risk of sounding like a broken record.... DAIRY FREE!

LUNA is also another fantastic company making a dairy free alternative to the whole nutrition bar.
Caramel Nut Brownie

9 grams of protein
190 calories
6 grams of fat
14 grams of sugar

A swirl of chocolate on a layer of caramel. Over a soft yet crunchy rice krispie type base.

10 grams of protein
180 calories
4.5 grams of fat
13 grams of sugar

Same crispy base but with a lighter touch. Just a simple coat of chocolate on top.

I would recommend drinking water between bites as I find with any 'bar' they tend to sit nicer in an empty belly and also digest better with some water. Plus, you should be drinking water all day anyway right?

Are there any brands out there you love?