going to guelph

Let me acquaint you with a place called Guelph, Ontario; it’s a great town in south-western Ontario, and it’s also where I lived until the age of 11. I loved it when I was younger and was sad to move because where we were moving ‘didn’t have a good enough mall.’ Clear priorities, people.

[Source]

It’s not too big (population: 115,000), and not too small – just the size of Montreal. I guess that rhyme only works if you’re Canadian and can remember the rest of the rhyme that goes with it. Guelph is also not too far away from where I live – it’s between a 35-45 minute drive, depending on where you’re headed in Guelph.

I find myself in this town a lot lately because it’s where I have a job. But today, I ventured there, not because of work, but for two appointments.

First off, was a stop at the university. The reason…well, I got in to the program I wanted! This is exciting because I upgraded courses like craaazy to make sure I’d get in…and they paid off! So I booked an appointment with the counsellor for my department (Applied Science) to make sure I was taking the right steps and how to finish as quickly as I can.

Since I already have an undergraduate degree, that takes care of ALL the electives in this new degree, which is a sigh of relief. I love being able to have the choice to take extra courses if I want to, rather than having to.

It’s still going to take me at least six semester’s, since there are six different courses, where you need the first one to progress to the second one, then the second one to progress to the third one…and you get the picture. This was a bummer, since I wanted to fast-track as much as I could to lead to the dietetic internship. But, we’ll see what happens…and you know I’ll be taking summer semester’s if that’s what it comes down to!

Following this appointment, I had to make a trip back to a cafe my friend and I visited the other day, With the Grain. I had the ‘Wrap: Sunflower Seed Spread’ which is on the featured menu so I knew I had to get it again before it leaves on July 3rd.

This goodness has avocado, organic pea shoots, fresh veggies, and of course, the best sunflower seed spread!

{ Uploading pictures of foods that I could eat a lot of is hard for me to do! Like this, now I want another one! }

I’m actually stopping at the bakery again tomorrow to pick up one of their breads. They have special bread’s they make for each day of the week – the one I’m getting is seeded spelt, which is vegan friendly 🙂

They might think I live there soon enough!

Hopefully I can find a few more reasons to like Guelph, since with school in the fall, I’ll really be there a lot!

Q: What makes you like your town or one that you work in or travel to?

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work to work

I’m not the type of girl who would rather have someone else provide everything for her. It’s a nice thought and it is nice when it happens, but for the most part, I like to make sure that I can provide for myself (and the husband – like he would/does for me).

I like knowing that I make a contribution. It’s hard for me when I don’t feel like I’m making a contribution, actually. So when I have the opportunity to work, I mean really work, I take it. It’s my way of contributing. Even if it means working more than one job.

Take this weekend* for example – I went from one to two to three jobs all in that span. And what’s a girl to do when she’s offered work? She works it!

*weekend for me means Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Whether it means going right from one job to another or working late one night at one job and then going in early to the other the next morning…I’m doing it!

I definitely don’t use the term ‘work-to-work’ lightly since that’s exactly what I felt like I was doing; going to work, coming home and basically changing my clothes to go straight back into work.

And when I work, I like to work like mad. By this, I mean I’m the crazy girl who will agree to go from one job to the next and just continuously work. I work while I’m at work.

Needless to say, I’m pretty tired now and after my early wake up call today (3:45am anyone?!), I’m ready for bed! Which is why I plan to sleep it off, then back to some good blog reading and blog producing!

But before I go, a little addition I like to call WIAW

What I Ate Weekend!

…since Wednesday isn’t here yet and I need to show some of my eats from the past few days.

Goooooooood night!

 


veggie quinoa burgers

Have you checked out my guest post on Beyond Bananas?! It’s on hiking! 😀

I don’t do very well in my baking/cooking fiascos if the kitchen is not clean beforehand. It’s hard for me to work in an already dirty space, so naturally, I clean before I re-dirty it. Makes sense, right?

Yesterday in particular was I most meticulous about the following:

  • cleared counter space
  • no dishes in the sink (clear or dirty)
  • space for laptop (as it is a valuable tool when cooking)
  • having all the right ingredients (of course!)
  • having all the right tools (measuring cups, pots & pans, peeler, grater, etc)
  • box of kleenex*
  • good music to dance/cook to

*my cooking does not normally involved kleenex, but given my neverending cold, I’m a lost soul without it…this also involves plenty of hand sanitizing after. We don’t want any other sick puppies near me!

I really wanted to created a good veggie burger, but not just any veggie burger, one that had quinoa.

Why quinoa is good for you:

  • high in protein
  • gluten-free
  • has all nine essential amino acids that our body needs
  • good source of manganese (good for headaches)
  • good source of iron
  • high in dietary fiber

To name a few 😉 And hopefully this will help me kick this cold!

Veggie quinoa burgers

Great source of protein, veggies and  yumminess!

Wheat-free, dairy free, vegan, and can easily be made gluten-free.

Makes: 10 small patties

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw beets, grated
  • 1/2 cup raw carrots , grated
  • 1/2 cup raw portabella mushroom, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup raw zucchini, grated
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup of uncooked quinoa, 2 cups of water)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 oat flour*
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt and pepper
*Take 3/4 cup of rolled oats and grind up in food processor (or magic bullet) until coarse to make oat flour. Using gluten-free oats would make this recipe gluten-free.


Directions:

  1. Prepare quinoa (1 part quinoa, 2 parts water – place on stovetop over high heat until it boils, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 mins), preheat oven to 350F, and prepare the flax egg (set aside).
  2. Grate and chop all veggies, including garlic (you can use gloves for grating the beets if you prefer to not get your hands dirty).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, beets, mushroom, zucchini, shallot, garlic, quinoa, salt and pepper, and mix.
  4. Next, add in the flax egg, followed by the oat flour and cayenne pepper.
  5. Make sure everything is combined, then on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, shape into patties and place on tray.
  6. Bake for 15-16 minutes each side then flip.

I made mine about the size of my palm (you could make them bigger and make less of them).

What I used for toppings: mashed up avocado, yellow tomato and sunflower greens – tastes delicious.

Pair this with Angela’s Weekend Glow Kale Salad and you are sure to be a nutritional powerhouse!

Angela had mentioned that she thinks this is the best salad she has ever made (agreed!), but she also mentioned how her husband loved it…my husband loved it. Just to demonstrate how much he loved it, this is what he told me last night.

Husband: (we’re in the car) That salad was sooo good; I could have ate the whole thing. I’m actually thinking about how I want more right now.

See! Guys can love kale, too! They can love it so much that you might just have to make another batch of the salad the next day.

****

Nutritional Information for the burgers:

 10 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 177.6
  Total Fat 3.1 g
  Saturated Fat 0.2 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 27.3 mg
  Potassium 187.9 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 35.6 g
  Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
  Sugars 3.5 g
  Protein 6.3 g
  Vitamin A 17.0 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.1 %
  Vitamin B-6 2.8 %
  Vitamin C 2.5 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 0.8 %
  Calcium 1.5 %
  Copper 6.7 %
  Folate 5.0 %
  Iron 20.9 %
  Magnesium 6.9 %
  Manganese 32.7 %
  Niacin 3.5 %
  Pantothenic Acid     3.5 %
  Phosphorus     39.9 %
  Riboflavin 72.5 %
  Selenium 1.8 %
  Thiamin 7.3 %
  Zinc 4.0 %

sicko

I don’t play the ‘sick person’ role very well. I whine, I don’t do as much housework (let’s be clear that there’s always room to do other fun things though) and I start wishing that I was not me in that moment.

I hate going through a box of kleenex in 20 minutes, so my nose is more raw than your salad. I’m at the point in where my nose won’t stop running. It really is a curse.

I hate not having full energy. I bet it’s going through all the kleenex that’s the real reason why I’m so worn out.

I really hate not being able to taste food. Which leads to not cooking because if I can’t taste food then what’s the point of preparing it for other people (sorry husband). Although, I do think it would be funny to make something so horrible, serve it to someone and not even know how horrible the meal is.

But, do you know what I especially hate? Not being able to run. I’m short on breath as is, so running is just out of the question. Plus, who wants to be the loser running with 20 kleenex in her pocket…not me…ok, it is me.

At the peak of my uber sexy sickness, the hubby had his one and only day off work (aka: yesterday). I am shocked he stays with me after my affair with kleenex. I tried to keep it on the DL…but we were just too passionate for each other.

In true awesome wife fashion, I sucked it up and we had a productive day. We got some groceries (they don’t replace themselves after you use them…weird).

And then we hiked – I figured fresh air might help my condition.

This is the nicest hiking area around us. We’ll definitely be back for more!

Burnt crossed some bridges.

 

Even if the bridge was made for a stream that clearly didn’t need it.

Saw some reeeally creepy bugs.

Passed a lake that was not quite swim-worthy.

Took some bad self photos in front of the lake (so not blog worthy).

Walked on what felt like a tight-rope.

I also respectively held my bladder and the husband respectively tried to not think about how hungry he was. I told him to eat more lunch, but he obviously didn’t listen.

We came home (he ate, clearly) and then I did something that every man should be scared of. I (wifey) cut Tyler’s hair. He clearly puts full trust into me and actually liked the haircut I gave him last time if he’s coming back for more.

The excitement just LEAKS from him!

Who’s having more fun here? I think it’s pretty obvious…

Tyler wanted to go out for dinner, so I convinced him not to. Because by this point, I really couldn’t taste anything at all. I could have eaten ‘poop’ (is how I worded it) and still wouldn’t be able to taste it. He seemed to disagree on that statement.

So, I made a green smoothie for din because I knew that even though I couldn’t taste it,  it was still good for the bod 😉

And then, I crashed hard that night. Still not totally normal (darn nose), but I’m hoping for full recovery by tomorrow.

Q: What do you do when you’re sick? Any remedies or tricks you use?

I rest when my body tells me I need it – like on Sunday after work.

I think pomegranates are really good health revivers – so I ate one yesterday…before the loss of taste, of course!

Q: Would you cut someone else’s hair that’s really close to you (say, your husband?!). And if so, how nervous would you be?

Even though I’ve cut his hair once before, I was afraid that this time I might actually mess it up. It’s pretty simple, but I guess he’s more of the fool if he put the scissors in my hands 😉

 


rock, paper, scissors

We all know that in the game of rock, paper, scissors, one trumps the other.

Paper covers rock.

Scissors cut paper.

Rock breaks (?) scissors.

I kind of compare this game to events  that  happened in the past couple of days. Except replace the rock, paper and scissors with negative and positive.

In my case, two positives trumped one negative. It also helps that one of my positives was a huge accomplishment on a personal level for me.

Shall I start with the negative? Get the bad out of the way first. Or at least that’s how I’ve always done it when someone has said, “do you want the good or the bad news first?”

The bad: I woke up this morning not feeling 100%. I joked that I was functioning at about 74% today. Normally getting 74% on anything would be considered good, but I’m telling ya,this 74%er just wasn’t feeling it today at work.

I was lacking energy, sniffling, consuming constant water (not bad, I know) because my throat was like sandpaper (there’s the bad part) and longing for any bed to crawl into…which would have been pretty easy, considering I work in a long-term care/retirement village.

It all started yesterday when I woke up feeling like I had food lodge in the back of my throat (too graphic?) every time I went to swallowed. This didn’t stop me from my morning run though. In fact, I still went out and ran in hopes it would make me feel better…and it did…for a bit.

I’d give you those stats, but they were ok. And I actually have to show you some other stats, which have to do with my one positive (hint: it’s not the huge accomplishment positive).

I still carried on with the day, had that huge positive (I like to leave you hanging ;)), then went to a birthday party for one of my close friend’s daughter; she turned one and I couldn’t miss it, sore throat and all!

And that’s it for the sickness…I know it will be going away tomorrow.

The good #1: I had mentioned above about not posting my stats for my run from yesterday, partly because I need to share with you my stats from Wednesday. This is when I ran an awesome negative split. We’ve heard about it before, from Angela, and I actually achieved one that I’m proud to show you.

Here’s the breakdown:

Mile 1 – 8:54
Mile 2 – 9:28
Mile 3 – 9:23
Mile 4 – 8:42
Mile 5 – 9:01

Doing the math:

Mile 1 + Mile 2 + half of Mile 3 = 13:04
Mile 4 + Mile 5 + half of Mile 3 = 12:35

I successfully ran the second half of my run 29 seconds faster than the first part…and this was with running 5.67 miles total (note: I didn’t include the mileage past the 5th mile since it was inaccurate due to not being a complete mile). I also ran this midday in the heat (about 90F) with pure sun and no wind…let’s just say my face was a blotchy red mess!

The good #2: What you’ve all been waiting for…the best of the best positive!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of bumping into someone I quite admire. The best things are those you don’t see coming. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t have seen this one coming in a million years!

I was minding my own business at the Farmer’s Market on a lovely Saturday morning. I was actually sitting on the sidewalk with my sister waiting for the husband to get there so I wouldn’t have to carry around his cold smoothie anymore. While we were sitting and waiting for him to get there, I remembered that I had forgotten the camera at home (my plan was to take some much needed pics at the market), so I called him. Luckily, he was still at home and successfully snagged the camera along with the two other things I forgot to bring (Farmer’s Market LIST and reusable bags…what was I thinking?!). That’s when it happened…

Could it be?

No, it can’t!

Yes, yes it is her!

This is when I proceeded to follow her and contemplate whether I should talk to her now and hope she wouldn’t mind me bugging her again when the husband arrived with the camera OR wait til said husband got there with the camera then talk to her.

I did it. I followed her for a bit, then decided I had to talk to her and hope that the husband was coming soon (in the meantime I was also texting Tyler like crazy telling him to HURRY!)

So who did I meet, you ask?

…..

….

..

.

Do you recognize this book?

Or this one…

Or this one?

How about this one?

Or wait…that’s not a book.

IT’S ME WITH TOSCA RENO!

I did it! I met Tosca Reno. Why was I so excited about this? Well, I was first introduced to her books even before she was famous. I was on a trip to Atlanta over 5 years ago and I asked my grandma if she had any good books I could take with me on my flight…she gave me Tosca’s book, “The Eat-Clean Diet.”

Not only has this been one of my favourite books, but it taught me a lot about eating! I love her concepts, recipes and her in general – I became an instant fan! After basically taking on the Eat-Clean Diet as my bible (I seriously referred to it ALL the time), I started looking more closely at where the photos in the book where shot. To my surprise (and I mean surprise), her grocery store pictures where shot in my hometown in the grocery store I frequent. This obviously made me love her more!

Never did I think I would ever bump into her at the local farmer’s market…but luckily, yesterday it happened. She is super nice (which I never had any doubts that she wouldn’t be) and was super helpful. She answered some of my questions and was just amazing with every word she spoke.

If you haven’t heard of her, please go pick up one of her books or check out one of  her site‘s. They never disappoint!

She was even nice enough to take numerous pictures.

With just me.

With me her, and her husband (and she even insisted that I stand in the middle…like I said, amazing)!!

Even me, her and my sister.

This was honestly one of the best days (can’t you tell from my smile?!).

Like I said, positives trump a negative! Always.


twenty-eight

It’s my husband’s birthday today!!! So, for my post, I decided to make it all about him. He’s the big 2-8 today and for that, I’m going to list 28 reasons why he’s the best! In no necessary order….

1. He’s an awesome sportsman.

Golf.

Basketball. Soccer. Tennis {the list continues}. He’s well-rounded, folks!

2. He’s an amazing golf teacher.

3. He loves food (especially southern). A reason why we get along so well!

4. He likes to work on his fitness (I guess you’d have to after all that pulled pork).

5. He has goals!!! And he’s not afraid to reach them!

6. He’s the reason I know good great guys do exist!

7. He’s super positive (and really helps me when I’m in slumps).

8. His birthday and mine are basically soulmates: 05/16 (me) + 06/15 (him) –> and yes, this is definitely a reason that makes him the best.

9. He’s outgoing (which is the perfect balance to my introverted self).

10. He’s my travel buddy 🙂 His family actually calls him the ‘gypsy’ and I’ve definitely taken on this role as well!

11. He genuinely cares.

12. He’s so strong.

13. He’s not afraid to admit his flaws (he just wasn’t born to spell)!

14. But, writing aside, he’s an amazing speaker (while conveying the message just wasn’t something I was born to do).

15. We have fun together!

16. He’s agreeable – and yes this usually works to my advantage 😀

17. He somehow puts up with my shenanigans – and trust me, there are many!

18. He supports my life decisions – even if that means me being a student for another few years.

19. He would eat anything I make – I mean anything.

20. He’s my dream man.

21. He loves me for who I am.

22. He has one of the best memory’s out of anyone (he remembers to do things way more than I do).

23. He makes me laugh – I love our jokes.

24. He would do anything if it meant making it easier on me – for this, I am so grateful.

25. He thanks me way more than I deserve to be thanked.

26. He is dependable.

27. He makes me so happy.

28. He somehow chose me to marry and that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

Happy birthday, tyler! You are the best!!!


rockin’ bakin’ workout

This is what I like to call accomplishment. You can workout while you bake. Pretty much the best combo to ever exist.

Here’s how it works…

You start by putting on your workout gear (otherwise it’s just not real) – omit the shoes though; it still needs to feel like baking.

Next, get in the kitchen and get your ingredients all lined up!


Now start baking! Items of choice: zucchini bread and strawberry oat bars!

Work those triceps while grating zucchini.

Do a few flour bag bicep curls.

Wait for your loaf to bake while holding a squat – peering into the oven!

I probably would have stayed there if my legs wouldn’t give out on me and watching something bake is about as interesting as your husband talking ‘golf’ with his friends.

And there you have it…with a few simple moves you, too, can incorporate an at-home workout/bake sesh all into one.

And if that wasn’t enough…get a little cardio in while waiting for your items to bake. We all know it takes at least 20 mins for something to bake. Unless we’re talking cookies, then in that case, drop and give me 20!

End result: hot buns bread and strawberry oat squares with a little upper + lower body workout action!

No need for a gym. Gyms are so for stay-at-home moms, who can now rightfully stay at home.

After a good bake/workout sesh, if that wasn’t enough, then do more! And then reward yourself by eating a big salad with leftover veggies and marinara sauce poured on top.

Now you never have to skip a workout again!

Q: How do you keep your workouts creative and fresh?