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july challenge

11 Jul

in case you haven’t realized this by now, i kind of like food.

a lot.

i love making it, eating it, reading about it, experimenting, teaching people about it……

 

it’s funny…i often find myself having conversations with people that remind me that not everyone in my life is as passionate about food as i am. they go a little something like this:

me – “oh man! i’m so excited to eat my lunch today! i made a delicious sprouted quinoa salad last night…..sooooo good!”

human – “whats KEEN-WA?”

me – ” YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT QUINOA IS?”

this happened this week when a colleague of mine said “what’s kale?”…………….i guess not everyone in the world cares as much about food as i do! yet i legitimately and innocently forget sometimes! but i am always reminded when people look at me strange when i tell them about the dehydrator i’m buying or the amazing blender i’m saving for or my new nut milk bag.

this month, my challenge is to take time for doing the things i love in the kitchen!

 

i look forward to sharing some photos with you!

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its name is laziness.

9 Apr

hello friends. it has been a month since my last post which means that i am again late to post my april challenge. i’m not going to lie, i really struggled to find something in time so i didn’t really solidify this until a couple days ago.

something that i often struggle with is laziness. i am often “too tired” to do really basic things whether it is for myself or around the house. i have, however, had so much more energy since i started working out a couple months ago, so i really don’t have any excuses to not ________________ (insert whatever thing i’m deciding to not do here).

how is it possible that i can’t find “time” or “energy” to put the dishes away, or pack my lunch for work, or sweep the kitchen floor, take my makeup off before bed or dust? quite simply………because i’m lazy.

it’s funny because i am actually a very motivated person but it seems to come in waves. i love being adventurous in the kitchen, but sometimes i would rather sit all day and veg than get things done around the house.  the thing is, though, that all of these things don’t take that much of a time commitment. it doesn’t take an hour to sweep the floor or clean the bathroom. but…yes you should do your dishes after baking up a storm instead of leaving it for the next day….

what i need is a swift kick in the butt, nike style……JUST DO IT. that sure sounds lame, but it really is true.  i need to stop making excuses and just do it. find the time to do the things that i want to. and if that means that i have less time to watch t.v before bed, or less time to hang out with friends during the week, so be it.

for the rest of the month, i am committing NOT to being superwoman and trying to do EVERYTHING, but rather catching myself in the moments when i’m saying “there isn’t enough time” or “i’m too tired”, to just take the fifteen minutes to do whatever it is that i need to do, and sacrificing whatever is on the more fun end of my decision.

so, there you go, that is what i will be focusing on for the month of april.

switching gears here……..

i have been doing some really fun stuff in the kitchen over the last month! Here is a glimpse into my kitchen!

my failed attempt at sprouting chia seeds. i used cheese cloth but because chia seeds turn into gel when they are soaked in water (they absorb 10x their weight in water!), it wouldn’t strain properly. might try this again with quinoa instead.

making crispy/chewy crackers as a topping to this delicious lemon tahini couscous salad – my “i can’t believe it will be summer soon” inspired salad.

making the most ridiculously delicious spicy/cheesy kale chips with cayenne and nutritional yeast. best. ever. ever. seriously.

making no-knead artisan bread in a dutch-oven. crusty on the outside, fresh and soft on the inside. it isn’t the prettiest loaf i’ve ever made but it sure tasted divine!

making my first batch of kombucha tea. this is a cultured tea that that you
can actually turn into a cold sweet fizzy tea. it looks disgusting. the first picture is of a kombucha “mother” – it has all the good bacteria in it to help make the tea. the third picture shows how another one is forming on the top, which i will be able to use again in the next batch. my mom has a raspberry bush in her yard so i plan to make raspberry and mango flavored tea. what a sweet treat for the summer!

 

clean, lean, ean, an, n

16 Feb

something funny has happened. while diligently eating 5 small (utterly clean and healthy) meals a day, i have started to lose myself in the process. while this statement may sound ambiguous, it is meant to be taken literally. my body is changing, getting more lean by the day. eating the right food is a very powerful thing!

i am finding that weekends are particularly difficult for me. it is easy enough to make my lunch and snacks for work during the week, but all hell breaks loose in the food department when i wake up on saturday. sleeping in, random plans – come the weekend, i’m always flying by the seat of my pants. i think part of this challenge for me has been learning to embrace the fact that i am not perfect and am allowed to make executive decisions about what i put into my mouth on the fly. even as i type this, though, i am realizing that i might just need to work on preparing myself for the weekend.

one of my favorite things to do so far is make my salad in a mason jar. by putting the dressing on the bottom, it keeps the greens from getting soggy, but allows you to make it ahead. salads and dressing can be so versatile!

so, i wanted to follow up on the great egg conundrum of 2012. i am very pleased to report that last night i think i finally perfected the hard boiled egg. the magic number for me is 12 minutes. another very magical tip i found was cracking the egg all over and then rolling it between your hands. it separates the membrane of the egg from the shell – and the shell practically falls off! it’s so easy! and a delicious snack!

i was also able to make my lovely mother some clean chocolate cupcakes for her birthday. they were delicious! unfortunately, i attempted to use them a few days later for a dessert night with some friends, but they were mouldy (which really isn’t a bad thing – clean food should go mouldy! next time i will put the cupcakes in the fridge. oops!)

all in all, things have been going GREAT. they are going so good that i may have inadvertently started my march challenge last week……but you will just have to wait to find out about it!

I’M ALIVE!

19 Jan

well…i fell off the planet for a couple weeks.

i got the flu last week, then flew to vancouver for a wedding and have been sans energy all week. i went to bed at 9:30 last night. it was glorious.

i have been doing so good not watching t.v…i am happy to report that i didn’t even watch ANY t.v. when i was sick! instead, i watched how to lose a guy in 10 days 3 times, back to back, because i couldn’t move without feeling like i was going to toss my cookies.

a friend from work asked me this week if i was going to continue on with this habit after my challenge is done. i have to say that the past 3 weeks have made it very clear that i am fully capable of finding other things to do with my time. mindless t.v watching will not be on my list of priorities. however, i really do miss the occasional turning off of my brain to keep up with the kardashians.

bare with me as i totally switch gears now: mayday mayday!!! i am ADDICTED to making tazo chai tea lattes every morning (thanks to my sister in law!). can i just tell you – DUDE – it is so good, and takes way less time than brewing a cup of coffee in the morning! i love it. i am actually really hoping that i can fall asleep tonight because i also came home from work tonight and have two cups of it (one hot, one cold, both equally delicious in their own right). yummers. i was able to score 3 packs of 3 (thats 9, just in case you were wondering) from costco this week for $18! you just don’t pass deals like that up.

a couple weekends ago i had the pleasure of photographing my very good friend denise and her husband clay, who are expecting their first baby in february. denise really didn’t want  typical maternity photos. they brought along two balloons, one pink and one blue, because they don’t know what they are having. below are a few photos from the shoot.

 

 

today i realized i have to really start thinking about what my february challenge will be. those of you who are joining me in these challenges, how did your january ones go? have you thought about february? any suggestions?

 

smothering the monster

4 Jan

i think i have a pretty good hold on the t.v. monster. i have been keeping very busy the last few days. but, interestingly, have not been sleeping well at night [probably due to the mega sleep-in i had the other day which i am still totally embarrassed about]. i have been reading like crazy, especially before bed – which, for normal humans, puts them to sleep, right? hmmmm….

actually, i am quite proud of myself. i haven’t been able to pick up a book since i graduated from university last year and i am nearly 1/3 of the way through a book i started a few days ago (i’m reading eat pray love – i’m a little behind on the bandwagon).

i read instead of watching t.v! that’s like, what superheroes do! [stay tuned for when i update you about how i have taken over the world! saving kittens left, right, and centre! just kidding, reading does not equate to saving the world, but i would save a kitten from a burning house with my hands tied behind my back  – just so you know. 

anyways….

yesterday my mom and i went out for lunch, which is toujours formidable!

today i spent lots of time in my kitchen. firstly because this is where i did my first workout (ya, i worked out TWICE today. i repeat – TWICE. its a christmas miracle a few weeks too late!) with my yoga mat, my interval timer and…..steel cut oats on the stove? NOT a good idea – way too hot!!!! i was a steamy sweaty mess! for my second workout, i went to yoga with my neighbor. i also kept busy in the kitchen by making some small energy balls that are just the right size to have as a snack (recipe below!).

also, while i was baking, i had a television crew in my living room. yes, you read that right. is that not so utterly, hilariously, ironic? (check out the photo below and click here to know more about why my husband was being interviewed – another late christmas miracle).

energy balls (makes 24)

1/3 c. honey

3/4 c. almond butter

1 tsp. pure vanilla

pinch of sea salt

1 c. old fashioned rolled oats

1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 c. raw cacao nibs

1/4 c. walnuts, chopped

4 tbsp. ground flax

2 tbsp. ground cacao nibs

in a medium bowl, mix almond butter, honey and salt until smooth (heat if needed – i had to heat my honey because it was pretty hard). add the rest of the ingredients (except the last 2) and mix mix mix. place bowl in fridge for 1/2 an hour. meanwhile, ground flax and cacao nibs. when it is time, take the mixture from the fridge and form into balls about 3/4 of the size of a golf ball. roll in flax and cacao nibs. freeze for delicious and healthy snacks! i believe my huband’s words were “oh, oh wow. those are good!”

stay tuned for my next post where i will be giving you the recipe to this delicious lunch/dinner/anytime treat: