playing catch up

Each week (when I work a crazy amount), I always feel like I’m playing catch up in the blogging world.

Catching up on my Google Reader.

Catching up on writing posts.

Catching up on commenting on blogs/responding to comments on my blog.

I don’t wanna play catch up anymore! And, I’m sorry…I don’t mean to complain, but I’m having a hard time balancing these things in my life right now and I want to become better at it.

Working 40, 50, 60+ hour weeks just somehow allow me to become completely unbalanced and unfortunately, blogging is the one suffering.

Q: How do you guys do it? How do you balance everything?!

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highlighting

Check out these strands…

Tomorrow they will no longer be faded and dark.

*****

It is a million degrees outside today, and since I started a new workout plan, I would like to say that I’m adding some physical activity towards today’s date…but realistically, going to work and even moving for that matter is enough of a workout for today. My priority is to stay hydrated.

Q: How hot is it where you are today? Give me numbers!!!


joining the club

I took the plunge and I’m joining the club. I honestly meant to make this post last week, but I misread the directions and saved it for this week instead.

Tip: always read thoroughly. Do not skim through things!

I’m sure you know what I’m finally joining…WIAW!

Breakfast:

Granola with almond milk

Snacks:

Grape Kombucha

Chocolate and pretzel bar

Acai + strawberry + banana + cranberry smoothie (with almond milk and organic flax oil)

Dinner:

Mixed green salad with roasted beets and sweet potatoes + cuke + tomaters + garlic + sunflower sprouts + peppers + salt with balsamic vinegar (heated on the stovetop to reduce and sweeten it)

*****

Workout today:

Beach Body Boot Camp

My stats:

The Moves

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Circuit One Squat/Row 18 20 20
Push-up with leg lift 14 16 17
Alternating V-ups 8 9 9 (9.5)
Lunge with chop 13 15 17
Circuit Two Deadlift with lat pull 11 12 12
Line jump with press 14 15 17
Rolling plank with knee tuck 11 13 16
Side lunge with ball sweep 13 15 17

the mail: packages

In case you didn’t know, the Canadian mailing system went on strike for almost a month. I guess it’s alright if you were trying to avoid those pesky bills coming for you. And, not getting my monthly Women’s Health on time was something I wasn’t going to die over. The one thing I couldn’t wait for until the strike was over though was…

Packages.

Bloggers, you know what I’m talking about; samples, giveaways, reviews…

Yes, I had a few packages on the way that I was dying to get my arms around and the strike was not helping.

Nearing the end of the strike, I knew I had a more recent one coming for me. Even though I was excited for them all, this one sure did make me happy!

I wasn’t there when it actually did arrive to the house, but I knew right away what it was.

A few weeks ago, on twitter, I had entered a tweet giveaway from (none other than) Mama Pea, AND I WON! So, getting the package in the mail was not necessarily a surprise, but a nice ‘present’ to be receiving. I ripped the package open pretty quickly, let’s just say that.

After using a few things immediately, I had to regather everything for this photoshoot…naturally (being a blogger and all).

Here’s what I got in the loot:

The photoshoot had a minor interruption.

Or maybe two…

But it was ok…he also understands some good stuff when he sees it.

After guard kitty let me take the stuff away, I dove into wearing this:

I’ve never owned an apron before, but have definitely thought about how much I wanted one…problem solved! Officially taking over as Mama Pea in the kitchen. I hope she’s not too mad.

Also in the mix:

Reusable bag perfect for grocery store visits. Many, many grocery store visits.

This is the one I used right away:

Doesn’t alter the flavour of your tea…check!

What was the reason for receiving this whole package anyways?!

Oh right! Someone wrote a book! Only the funniest, prettiest vegan blogger ever!

And lastly, I’m actually going to make use of this one in the near future.

The husband sure does spill a lot on himself 😉

I also thought bugging the guard kitty might make good use of the bib.

That’ll teach him never to touch my stuff again.

Stay tuned for the next part of this ‘packages’ series!

*****

Thanks again to Mama Pea for choosing me as a winner. Now go out and pre-order her cookbook!


overactive brain

Ok first off, I’d like to say that it’s haaaard getting a post in between work and life sometimes! I thought summer would be better for getting blog stuff accomplished, but apparently not!

This is the one (and only) full week I’m working at my parents work, plus putting in hours at my other job for a grand total of 60+ hours of work this week. Sunday cannot come soon enough! I honestly can’t remember the last time I worked 40 hours a week, let alone 60 – if I never blog again, you’ll know why.

Ok now onto the brain.

[Source]

Does anyone else have an overactive brain? I mean really overactive?

Today mine, yet again, proved how overactive it is. You see, I have this built-up fear of needles and pretty much pain in general. I have not had a needle in over 10 years, but was due for a tetanus shot. Do you see where this is going?

Did I also mention how I faint easily because of my overactive brain?

First cavity. Faint.

Optometrist appointment – eye drops to dilate pupils. Faint.

Parents getting pinprick to check glucose levels. Faint.

Getting a tetanus shot/first needle in 10 years. Faint…naturally.

I won’t even talk about how I fainted on my honeymoon. That’s another post.

My fear of everything pain (minus dilated pupils, yes I’m weird) makes my brain go into overdrive and then it eventually catches up with me, causing me to feel nauseous, light-headed, sick, see spots, sweat, become pale and basically just a wreck!

It was no different today. Thank goodness my hubby was with me, or else I would have been chilling out at my doctor’s office all day!

After a little pass out session (which involved a lot of head between the knees), sweating, feeling like I was going to be sick, getting up to lie down on the table, drinking a high-sugar juice (it had to be done!) and going green in the face, I was good to go.

I’m just thankful that the Nurse Practitioner said that I won’t need one for another 10 years.

I guess we’ll have to see what happens when we start having kids…yikes!

Q: Is there anything that makes your brain overreact? Have you ever had any awesome faint sessions like me?

 


cutting out meats

Food is something that has become very important to me over the years. So important that it’s actually encouraged me to go back to school.

I’ve talked about cutting meat (but not seafood) out of my diet before, and I wanted to explain why this has made me so much happier.

I actually left a novel comment on Averie’s post earlier on meat, which inspired me to write an actual post about it on my own blog 😀

My decision: I’ve never been a big beef or steak eater to begin with. If I did eat it, it was because I was stealing a bite from the hubby or this was my last option on earth to eat (ie: rarely ever happened). I did choose to eat chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin, bison and seafood.

A while back (around mid-May), I had no desire to eat chicken anymore, so I figured, ‘why eat it, if it doesn’t appeal to me?’ Right then and there, I made the decision to try and go meat-free and see how I felt.

Becoming a vegan has been a lingering thought in the back of my mind for a while now and although I still eat seafood, it is something that intrigues me, and perhaps I will one day become. Overall, I like the idea of a vegan diet, but I’m not to the point (yet) where I’m passing up foods that ‘may contain eggs’.

The ‘Serious’ factor: At first I felt that I wasn’t being taken seriously. My husband came home from work one night with a chicken stir-fry and I asked him if he was joking, thinking I was going to eat it. This was only about a week in that this happened, and I figured if I had gone a week without chicken/pork/turkey/etc, then how much longer could I go?

Well, this has turned into nearly 2 months so far, and I’m still loving it!

Note: I am not doing this as a ‘challenge’ to myself, but as a way to eat what feels right for me and feels good for my body. In no way do I encourage you to try this to ‘see how far you can go.’

Since then, my husband knows how I feel about meat and has not tried to force feed me anymore chicken! He’s actually loving the vegetarian/vegan stuff I prepare!

The changes: So far, I feel fantastic. I’ve made sure to include the right supplements so that I have the energy and nutrients I need for my body.

This may sound super tacky, but since I’ve cut out meat, my ‘fat days’ have decreased significantly. Before I would honestly have some serious self-loathing days for what I ate. Overall, not eating meats has made me more aware of what I am eating and my food choices in general. So hello to feeling better about myself!

Also, I’ve definitely lost some weight. I don’t know if it’s from cutting out meat or from eating better or from both. Either way, I’m at the weight that I wanted to be for my wedding day, that I never made it to. Not that I was disappointed at all on my wedding day, but I am just super shocked that I’m at that weight now.

Overall: I’m honestly glad that back in May chicken started grossing me out (I know this sounds weird to say). But if it hadn’t, then I would probably still be eating meat wondering why my body isn’t looking and feeling the way I want it to. I was always afraid that not eating meat would be hard to do in terms of getting protein or even finding valuable food sources!

I used to joke that vegans have nothing to eat – boy was I wrong! There are so many great food options out there and I sincerely take back that statement!

The foods: Like I said above, I’m not completely checking every ingredient to make sure there are no traces of egg or dairy, but am choosing meatless items. I don’t want to ‘limit’ myself (in a sense), then I might feel overwhelmed with trying to decide on what to eat. So…

I still enjoy bruschetta on Saturday night outings with my good friend.

Pick up great produce at the Saturday Farmer’s Market.

Put together perfect snacks for work.

And perfect snacks for…snacks.

mashed avocado with lentil chips

Make husband and sister drink-worthy smoothies (and me, of course).

acai + strawberries + cranberries + banana

Which come in a sweet glass.

Make Sunday morning fantastic vegan pancakes. It’s a given to put peanut butter and maple syrup on them, right?

I also rock a pretty mean bruise.

poor calf =(

More to come on that…


roasted sweet potatoes with spinach and garlic

I am a great multi-tasker. I try to get multiple things done at once to save time.

I am great at carrying a glass of water on top of a closed laptop if it means saving a trip back upstairs to get the water.

I will loop as many bags of groceries on my arms as I can; even if it means leaving marks on my arms for at least 15 minutes after setting the grocery bags down.

I type comments’ on blogs and listen to the husband when he gets home from work. Wait, did he say next Wednesday or Thursday for taking me out to dinner…

I bake/cook/clean all while catching up on valuable information in the form of television. I also do this while running on the treadmill.

I even talk on two phones at once. Ok, that was a lie. I rarely talk on the phone at all.

But as much as I consider myself to be a great multi-tasker, these skills were diminished this evening. You see, instead of roasting the sweet potatoes and garlic at the same time, I was lazy…

It was quick to cut the tops off of the garlic and pop it into the oven, but cutting sweet potatoes? Those just took effort and a few extra minutes; minutes that I did not feel like using to cut up sweet potatoes with! Instead I took the long, un-multi-tasking route and roasted the garlic, then roasted the sweet potatoes.

Either way, it worked, but my multi-tasking ways are out the window. Soon you’ll find me too vulnerable to pretend-listen to the husband and I’ll actually give him my full undivided attention! This could be horrible!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Spinach and Garlic

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed (with or without skin)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, top cut off
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp Earth Balance
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
Directions:

Unlazy version:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Cut top off garlic head and wrap in aluminum foil. Place cut sweet potatoes in baking dish and mix with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil. Place both in oven.

3. Remove tinfoil from potatoes after 20 mins, place back in oven and bake for another 20-25 mins, broil for final 5 mins.

4. When sweet potatoes are done, take both them and the garlic out of the oven. Let sit.

Lazy version:

1. Preheat a mini oven to 400F.

2. Cut top off garlic, wrap in aluminum foil, place in oven, then go read some blogs and forget about it for a good 50 mins!

3. Remove from oven when you finally remember.

4. Get your act together.

Next steps:

5. While the baking is being accomplished (lazy or un-lazy way), get a frying pan, and heat to medium-high (closer to high).

6. Add Earth Balance to frying pan and let melt. Next, add shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Next, add in the spinach and roasted garlic and saute for another 2-3 mins until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

7. In a medium bowl combine the sauteed spinach mixture with sweet potatoes. Add in the lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix and enjoy!

It’s simple, yet tastes amazing!

And if you’re anything like me, you’ve accomplished a great meal all while watching Sex and the City and sampling food. Multi-tasking restored.