ginger cherry & peach oat parfait

morning sunshine :)

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how’s everyone doing today? while it’s friday (the 13th….) and that means the weekend for most, i’m working all day tomorrow so while i can’t quite share in the positive energy that friday brings, i know that when other people are happy, my work day is easier, which makes me happy. so yay for friday anyway!

i got a couple requests after my what i ate wednesday post for the oat parfait i posted. ask and you shall receive! i’ll make apologies ahead of time- pictures aren’t the best since when i made it i wasn’t planning on posting the recipe. but as i was eating it, i was enjoying it so much, i just had to offer.

i made the parfait up with 2 goals in mind:

  1. use up some of the many cherries I purchased this weekend. i’ve been eating big bowls multiple times a day and just loving it. but i figured i should try and incorporate even a few of them into a recipe
  2. incorporate a source of iron- this is a goal for pretty much every meal i have now (for reasons why see this post)

what seemed like the easiest source to incorporate with the cherries for breakfast was blackstrap molasses. i’ll always remember the first time i tasted it. i had just taken a vegan cooking class to help me learn how to prepare some vegetarian dishes (i wasn’t quite vegan yet) and my teacher said one of the breakfasts she enjoyed most was peanut butter and blackstrap molasses on toast. i figured if she ate it all the time it had to be good! so i went and bought myself some, didn’t smell it or taste test it or anything but instead smeared it liberally onto my toast and took a huge bite. i’m guessing i looked something like this:

let’s just say i didn’t touch the stuff for a while after that.

since then though, it’s become one of my favourite natural sweeteners! it has a wonderfully rich taste, almost like deep brown sugar. there is a slight bitterness to it, but since i tend to like my sweets on the less-sweet side (does that even make sense??) i really like this aspect. in fact, i should probably try it on toast again, i’d probably like it this time!

brands of blackstrap molasses vary, so try a couple to find one you like. i think this may have been my problem in the whole toast debacle. the brand i like is wholesome sweeteners which is sweeter than others i’ve tried.

Organic Blackstrp Molasses

now what’s so great about blackstrap molasses? well it’s actually a by-product of sugar production and is rich in vitamins and minerals contained in the sugar cane plant including iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin b6 and potassium. obviously, what interested me the most was the iron! 2 tbsp of blackstrap molasses has about 7.2 mg of iron! that’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

what’s also great about this parfait is that it includes sources of vitamin c- the cherries and peaches! absorption of iron is enhanced when consumed with vitamin c-rich foods. so it’s really important to make sure you get some in!

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now that you know why you should eat it, you probably would like to know what you want to eat it. this parfait has a quick chia cherry ginger jam (whoa that’s a mouthful) that is left in the fridge overnight so the flavours can meld. the oats are soaked overnight to make digestion nice and easy and then in the morning they are mixed with some coconut yogurt, blackstrap molasses, tahini and a little stevia which complements the ginger in the cherry jam beautifully. add in some chopped peaches and this breakfast is ready!

it’s also very easy to make too- you just need to get your jam made and oats soaking the evening before and then assemble in the morning. the hardest part is pitting the cherries- the fact that you have to do this is probably the only thing i dislike about fresh cherries!

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ginger cherry & peach oat parfait (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

the ginger in the cherry jam compliments the blackstrap molasses perfectly which the tahini provides and earthiness that ties everything together. chopped peached add some brightness for a beautiful and delicious breakfast!

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats + 2 tbsp oat bran, soaked overnight in water and a little lemon juice (for why this is important check this post). you could also just used 6 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 recipe quick chia ginger cherry jam (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp non-dairy yogurt (i used so delicious plain coconut yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (start with less if you are new to it’s flavour)
  • 3/4 tbsp tahini
  • stevia to taste (1 used 2 drops english toffee stevia)
  • diced peaches
  • granola/buckwheat groats to top (for some crunch)
  • a dollop of yogurt and a cherry to finish

prepare your cherry jam the night before. also, soak your oats overnight then in the morning rinse them well.

mix the oats with the yogurt, molasses, tahini and stevia.

spoon about 1/3 of the oats into a bowl or glass, top with 1/2 of the jam and diced peaches. do this one more time. finally top with the last 1/3 of the oats, peaches, sprinkle with granola/groats, finish with a dollop of yogurt and make it feel extra special by adding a cherry on top!

quick chia cherry ginger jam (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw)

this makes only what you need for the parfait but definitely feel free to make more!

  • 1/4 cup diced cherries
  • 1/2 tsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ginger

pulse a couple times in a blender/food processor or just mix everything together, mashing with a fork a bit. let sit in the fridge overnight so the flavours can intensify and meld together.

i’m submitting this post to wellness weekends!

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mmm check out them layers!

now i’m sure you all noticed, but this post has no capital letters in it. i really like the look of lowercase letters, much more so than uppercase. so i decided to write this post just how i like it. fun no?

questions for you all!

  • any big plans for the weekend? none for me! i’m working then hopefully sunday will be restful with a lazy brunch and lounging in the sun
  • do you have any weird little quirks when it comes to writing? i tend to even write lists, journal entries etc. entirely in lowercase- looks so much nicer to me!

want a hint for what’s coming up next?

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have a great weekend!

wiaw- mad about cherries and quickie workouts!

Good day friends!

Wow it seems like the weeks are going by faster and faster. I could SWEAR I just posted my last What I Ate Wednesday post. But no, here we are again, for another round of drooling over each other’s pictures of food. And, since Jenn, the lovely girl behind What I Ate Wednesday has made the theme for this month fitness, I’ll also be sharing what workouts I’ve been enjoying!

Before I get into that though, just a quick little update on health-related issues mentioned in my last couple posts (1 & 2)- I have bought a couple books to read and bought a new iron supplement that came highly recommended from some bloggers and readers. I also got back on track with other supplementation that I slack on at times including vitamin D and omega-3s. Anything I discover or any changes I make, I will make sure to keep you posted on!

And now with out further ado I bring you…

Peas and Crayons

What I Ate Wednesday- Mad About Cherries and Quickie Workouts!

These are my eats from Monday, July 9.

Pre-breakfast

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warm lemon water as usual, also had my omega 3s, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Breakfast

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I had the day off so breakfast wasn’t another green smoothie! I instead made an oat parfait that included some quick cherry jam, peaches, ginger oats with blackstrap molasses and tahini (for iron), coconut yogurt and buckwheat groats. YUM. I can post the recipe if you’re interested!

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so obsessed with cherries right now!

Morning Tea

Amaretto

I went and ran some errands (got myself a liquid iron supplement, did some foodie pen pal shopping!) and got some iced Amaretto Herbal Tea from David’s Tea. I forgot to take a picture of it prepared but here’s the tea itself! Lightly sweetened with agave it was delicious.

Workout

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Did Level 3 of this DVD. I’m almost done the 30 days! I have to say I have definitely seen changes since starting this. What’s even better, each workout is only 20 minutes. It’s a hard 20 minutes though!

Post-Workout Smoothie

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No lunch today since my workout was strangely timed. But I did have this awesome green smoothie post-workout made with Maqui powder and it was sooo delicious!

Afternoon Snacking

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I was making a batch of this Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola up with added chocolate chips and while I didn’t actually eat any of it, I did snack on some of it’s ingredients some chocolate chips.

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I saw some almond milk yogurt at the store the other day and I got so excited! I’ve never seen them at my store before!

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I hate to admit it, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I probably should have known better than to buy the cherry flavour. While I love cherries, I hate cherry-flavoured things. It tasted kind of fake, was really sweet and was kind of lumpy even after I stirred it forever! I have another flavour so we’ll see how it compares!

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yes this whole plate was my dinner. There’s actually a lot of veggies under the pasta so I swear it’s not as much as it looks like! I made this House Dressing by Chef AJ on the recommendation of Somer. Oh man, that is good stuff, so tangy! I served it on a simple romaine salad with some orange cherry tomatoes I found at the grocery store. With that is steamed broccoli, parsnips and spinach with brown rice pasta and a veggie dog. I don’ eat those very often, but I had bought some to take to a barbeque and have leftovers. I wish I didn’t like them as much as I do!

Snack

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A bowl of cherries. Have to eat them as much as possible before they’re gone! And I know I said I was going to try and stop snacking after dinner, but I figure a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit isn’t so bad right?

And now for a couple of my favourite workouts lately!

Lori and Michelle at Purely Twins have made this 5 minute plank workout that is so tough and challenging. You can really feel it toning your abs and it works your entire body! As I am writing this, they posted how they are starting bridge work to complement the planks. I’ll have to start that soon!

Good quickie workout for when you only have a few minutes

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Some great Yin Yoga poses to help release tension. It was hard for me to get into the mindset of holding simpler poses for a long time, but it feels so good after!

In addition to these workouts, the ladies at Purely Twins have inspired me to do my own challenge! In particular, since I had so much fun challenging myself to hold plank, I am going to try and work on my wall sit!

I did my first one of the challenge yesterday and got to 2 minutes. I’m going to keep working on this and hopefully update you on my progress!

Peas and Crayons

As you can see I’ve been pretty obsessed with all things cherry lately. What will I do when this beautiful fruit is no longer in season??

Have a lovely day everyone!

fancy pants granola: pistachio rosewater to be precise!

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You guys just floored me with your support and advice following my last post on my little health issues. You have no idea how much it means to me! As a person who blogs about health and nutrition it made me feel really bad and embarrassed that I couldn’t seem to get a handle on my own issues! I was also concerned because, as someone who eats a plant-based vegan diet, admitting nutritional issues might give people the impression that a vegan diet is incomplete, unhealthy and missing critical components. I do strongly believe in eating the way I do and I would hate to think I was doing a disservice the vegan community.

But what you guys reminded me is that health is a journey and each person needs to find the diet and tweaks that work best for them. So I will continue to blog about healthy eating and vegan recipes while exploring what works best for me. I do not believe there is one diet with specified amounts of each macro and micronutrient that will work for everyone. I just need to find my own balance. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that :)

I have taken a lot of your suggestions to heart and I’m working to incorporate some changes that will hopefully help! I am definitely going to look at a different iron supplement and search out for a holistic health care professional when I move in September. Until then I will continue to make tweaks and adjustments.

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I also want to briefly mention the results of the questions I asked a few days back on what you guys would like to see more of on the blog! Well turns out you’d like a little of everything! I’ll make sure to take all your suggestions into account and keep lots of variety going on. What you can expect moving forward are:

  1. Main meals
  2. Snacks
  3. Desserts
  4. Simple ingredients
  5. Superfoods
  6. And of course, lots of nutritional info and tips!

I know a lot of this is what I do anyway, so there may not be a lot of noticeable changes, but I promise I am listening ;)

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I hope you all had lovely weekends! I was in Montreal celebrating my great aunts 90th birthday and her and my great uncle’s 65th wedding anniversary. They are such an inspiring couple- in their 90s but still so independent and happily married. Something to aspire to for sure! It was such a lovely gathering of family I haven’t seen in at least 7 years. A lot of them didn’t even recognize me at first (not that I can blame them, I do look quite different!). It was a running joke of the evening that at first many people thought I was my cousin’s girlfriend! Oh awkward family moments….nothing beats them lol.

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Today I want to share with you a beautiful granola recipe that is gluten-free, high-raw, very low in added sweeteners, low in added oil and vegan.  In addition to these stellar nutritional features it is so special and exotic tasting! The rosewater adds a delicate floral scent that when tasted creates a complexity that goes beautifully with the tartness of dried cranberries and the subtle sweetness of pistachios.

Now I know rosewater isn’t an ingredient that is commonly kept in a lot of pantries, but I urge you to purchase some and keep it around. It makes everything seem gourmet! The rest of the ingredients in this granola are fairly common and I’m sure it would taste wonderful even if you decided to forego the rosewater.

This granola features rolled oats, buckwheat groats, dried cranberries and pistachios which are complimented by a hint of cardamom and rosewater, lightly sweetened with agave. It’s lovely paired with granola and fresh seasonal fruit for a refreshing and exotic summer breakfast or snack!

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Pistachio Rosewater Granola (Vegan, Gluten-free*, Sugar-free, High Raw)

  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (preferably raw and sprouted)
  • 1 cup rolled oats* (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp rosewater (make sure it’s food grade)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 8 drops stevia (or more agave)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

*ensure these are certified gluten-free is this is a major concern

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients then add the wet to the dry and mix well, ensuring all the dry ingredients are coated.

Dehydrate for 3 hours at 105, flip the mixture over as best you can and continue drying for another 8-12 hours, or until crisp and crunchy.

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I am submitting this recipe to Allergy Free Wednesdays and  Wellness Weekends!

Have any of you had funny/awkward moments with family like that? Anyone get up to anything interesting over the weekend?

Have a great Monday!

mango cilantro smoothie, a minor vent and a few boston pictures

Happy weekend dear readers!

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To be honest, as I write this I am not feeling my best. I got results from my doctor the other day and despite our best efforts, my iron levels have not improved, in fact they have gotten worse somehow and my B12 levels aren’t great either, despite taking supplements. He’s ordered a whole new panel of tests for me to get done because we’re clearly missing something. This is so frustrating especially since those silly iron supplements have been making my stomach upset for a month and a half. I have been doing everything right. I eat loads of greens, have given up coffee and take my supplements. It’s disheartening too because my doctor isn’t really asking me how I feel about anything or asking about my diet. All his messages are relayed through a nurse. To add to that he’s not able to see me again for more tests until the end of August. Until then he hasn’t given me any suggestions, I’m just supposed to sit here. I am a little lost as to what I’m supposed to be doing and feel like I’ve been hung out to dry. It’s like I’ve been slotted into a category which has a pre-determined, step-by-step process assigned to it, rather than being considered as the individual I am. We all have different lifestyles and bodies so shouldn’t approaches to health be more personalized? I know my health issues do not even come close to what many people have to deal with, but I can’t help but be a little disheartened. Have any of you experienced situations like this with your health and/or your doctor?

While my journey towards solving my energy and digestive issues has hit this hitch, I’m trying to remain positive! I’m going to continue seeking out dietary sources of iron (but I’m stopping those pills) and start taking regular digestive enzymes and probiotics. Clearly my body is having difficulty absorbing nutrients for some reason or another so I’m going to to support it best I can. I’ll also try and stay active, but honour how I’m feeling and take rest days as needed.

I’m also trying to keep optimistic and I’m hoping the power of positive thinking works wonders.

=)

Oh Barney, so wise!

Listening to this adorable song has been helping loads too :)

Ok, that little vent is now OVER! No more wallowing in self-pity, I promise.

The real purpose of today’s post is to share with you a new smoothie recipe! Inspired by this Snappy Cucumber Mango Salad by Daily Bites, it packs quite the flavour punch!

This is definitely an interesting and intriguing smoothie, one that invites you to discover new components each time you sip! The ingredients list might seem a little out there compared to other fruit smoothies but I promise it totally works.  The cilantro gives it an Indian-inspired flavour, the ginger adds a little kick and the cucumber and lime keep everything fresh!

In addition to having all sorts of crazy flavour, this is also incredibly detoxifying and will help aid digestion. Cilantro has a detox effect on the body where it binds to heavy metals like mercury and helps remove them from the body. It is also produces digestive enzymes and stimulates digestions through peristalsis (the movements and contractions of the stomach). Mango produces digestive enzymes as well and ginger is a great stomach soother.

I hope you all give this smoothie a chance! Coriander lovers only though ;)

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Mango Cilantro Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Raw)

This smoothie is a little sweet, a little savoury with a definite kick. Perfect for hot summer days, or even cool summer nights.

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup cucumber (quartered and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut water (or more to desired consistency, could also use plain water)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp agave (might need a little more if you are using water)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • pinch sea salt

Throw it all into a smoothie and blend. Serve with a cucumber slice for a cocktail feel!

I am submitting this recipe to Allergy Free Wednesday and  Wellness Weekends.

Now before I go, I owe you guys a few pictures from the Boston trip I took last month! I’m a little late on these so please forgive me!

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where the declaration of independence was read

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Pride celebrations

awesome patio set! i can imagine having a tea party here

vintage market garden party furniture :)

hand ring holder

more of the market

creepty statues on the way to Sam Adams

crazy sculptures near the Sam Adams brewery

so many trees all over boston. i think it's why my skin stayed so good there- clean air!

so many trees all over Boston! I think that’s why skin stayed so clear here. Usually when I go to a big city I get flare-ups.

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a pretty church

more Harvard

Harvard campus- so green!

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pretty flowers in the Public Gardens

again

enjoying the moments- staring at the clouds

another one! So cute

Hmmmm: cute frog statue outside a playground in the Boston Common

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Beacon Hill

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His and hers bathrooms at the Thinking Cup Coffee Bar

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We loved Boston :)

And with that, I’m heading to Montreal for a couple days. See you all back here soon, and enjoy your weekends!

quinoa with kale, raisins and chickpeas

Hello chickpeas!

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I have made a new goal for myself- to stop being lazy when it comes to dinner. Or more specifically, put together a main dish that is not simply a snack plate or a salad composed of everything in the fridge at least 2 x per week. This may not seem like a big deal for all of you food bloggers extraordinaire out there, but for me this is going to be challenging. While I absolutely love dreaming up and making interesting breakfasts, desserts, snacks and sometimes even lunches, by the time it gets to dinner, I simply have no motivation or desire to get into the kitchen and create. Then before I know it, it’s 6 pm and I’m starving- leading to scrounging for leftovers or making a mish-mashed plate. While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s still healthy, I miss eating good food at night! I miss truly enjoying my final meal of the day in the same way I enjoy the rest of my meals.

I will probably keep these meals simple (can’t expect me to go from 5 min meal prep to 1 hour can we?), but sometimes just putting a little thought into preparation can turn simple ingredients into a delicious meal!

So this (hopefully) will be the first of many main dish recipes coming from here!

Kale

Kale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For this recipe it all started with kale. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse! While it can be quite intimidating to work with at first, it’s actually super easy to incorporate into pretty much any dish. It is absolutely loaded with vitamins K, A and C, folic acid as well as loads of important minerals like iron and calcium. It is also very rich in glucosinates which have cancer-preventative benefits. Not to mention it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds meaning it is very important in maintaining whole body health and keeping stress-effects on your body, both nutritional and non-nutritional, down. I discussed the concept of nutritional stress in more detail here.

Also I just learned, courtesy of whfoods.com that cooking kale by steaming it can help fiber-related components of kale bind with bile acids in your digestive tract. This means the bile acids are more easily excreted which helps lower cholesterol! Go kale!

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Anyway, I had some kale that was starting to wilt in my fridge and considering how awesome it is, I simply couldn’t allow it to go to waste. I decided to pair it with protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas for a meal that would keep me full for a few hours (because another one of my goals is to not snack after dinner unless I’m really hungry). I tossed some raisins in too because I am a huge fan of sweet and savoury components in meals.

I absolutely loved how this dish came out. It is a great combination of savoury, sweet, zesty and just a little heat which makes it incredibly satisfying. It comes together really quickly (about 20-30 min) and includes greens, a grain (or psuedograin in this case) and a protein. Not too shabby for my first attempt eh? ;)

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Quinoa with Kale, Raisins and Chickpeas (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

Serves 4.

  • 2/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 1/3 cup vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon and water to equal 1 1/3 cups
  • 4 cups packed kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • one 19 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp good quality sea salt
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts for serving (optional)

Place the quinoa and broth in a large pot, bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. In the last couple minutes add the kale on top and give a quick stir. Cover and let cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.

While waiting for the quinoa to cook heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and once hot add the garlic and chilli flakes. Sauté until starting to brown and are fragrant (a couple minutes. Add the chickpeas and lemon zest and cook until warm, about 2 min. Add the quinoa, kale, raisins and salt and stir to mix well. Add the cherry tomatoes last stir over the heat for 1 minute. Serve with some nutritional yeast and chopped walnuts sprinkled on top.

This dish is best eaten the day made, although is good as leftovers as well. If you are planning on saving some for a later date, I suggest sprinkling it with some lemon juice and maybe a drizzle of olive oil before serving.

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With that, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • What would you like to see more of here? More main dish recipes? Desserts? Other topics besides recipes?
    • I love creating and writing about a lot of topics so I’d be open to suggestions
  • Is there a meal you guys seem to slack on more than others? How do you overcome this? Any tips?
    • I slack on dinner as I explained above and I’m not sure how to motivate myself at night- maybe doing more meal planning?
  • Plans for the Weekend?
    • Heading to Montreal for a family get-together, then Canada’s Wonderland on Monday!

Have a great Thursday everyone! Weekend is almost here!

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysAllergy Free Wednesday and  Wellness Weekends!

wiaw # 18: rainy day snacking

Hey there friends :)

It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means! It’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday!

But before I get into that, I just thought I’d do a brief little summary on my experience with Alex’s Sugar-Free Challenge that ended in June. I’m a little late, so I apologize!

All in all, it was a very rewarding, eye-opening experience. I didn’t realize just how many foods I eat on a daily basis that include added sweeteners of some kind! Even health foods! I kept finding myself reaching for stevia for my tea, wanting to eat snacks that had agave in them, even my favourite hot sauce has sugar. It really showed me how easy it is to take in sweeteners without even noticing, leading to us craving them more and more and eating them more subsequently. I like to think I resent my taste buds a little- I’m more than happy to pass on the stevia in my drinks when not needed and I’m going to try and experiment with using dates more often.

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With sugar-free eats like my chia seed breakfast porridge and date-sweetened banana bread, going without sweeteners wasn’t all that bad!

That being said, I am very happy to reintroduce stevia, agave and maple syrup back into my life :) I received a bunch of cool products recently from food swaps that contain these ingredients and I have been itching to try them! I am trying to keep it all in moderation and was doing really well until today. I was in a very snack mood and just kept eating little bits of everything! I think it was the rainy weather.

With that, I now bring you my What I Ate Wednesday for this week! Jenn has proposed a new theme for this month…

Peas and Crayons

Fitness!

I wish I had known this was coming! My posts on pre and post workout snacks would have fit right in here! But oh well, hindsight is 20/20 right? If you missed those posts, definitely check them out, lots of good tips in there!

So for this week, I’m going to let you in on what I’ve been currently doing for exercise and then next week I’ll try and have something a little more solid planned.

So with out further ado, here are my eats from yesterday…

Pre-Breakfast

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My usual warm lemon water to stimulate digestion and detoxify the body. I’ve started taking an omega-3 supplement which I also take now as well as my usual iron.

Breakfast

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A green smoothie- I know shocker right? In the mix are a banana, blueberries, spinach, avocado, cucumber, flax seeds, maca powder and spirulina and some Perfect-Fit Protein Powder given to me by Suzi. I like this powder, but I find I can only use half a packet or it’s way too sweet. I think Sunwarrior has spoiled me ;) On top are sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat crunchies, blueberries, raspberries and a Better’n Peanut Butter sauce I made by adding water to the Better’n PB.

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I am in love with this stuff! Thank you so much Shelby for sending it to me! It has 100 kcal for 2 tbsp and is made with peanuts, defatted peanut-flour, sugar and salt. So not the healthiest nut butter out there, but not the worst either. It’s such a nice treat!

Snack

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A little bit of this Alter Eco Dark Chocolate Quinoa Midnight Crunch bar that was given to me by Shelby again. It’s so good! It’s really good quality chocolate, has awesome crunchy bits through it, and is fair-trade and organic! Definitely try this bar if you see it!

Lunch

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Lunch was leftovers from a dinner I made on the weekend- Quinoa with Kale, Raisins and Chickpeas. Recipe to come tomorrow. This wasn’t actually the plate I ate, but this picture was so much nicer.

Workout!

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

This is what I’ve been working on lately. I have had this DVD for a long time, but never put myself through 30 days of it. I decided that a program with a specific length that was easy to follow would be really good for helping to get me out of my extended funk of fatigue and lack of motivation. Plus, Jillian Michaels has a way of keeping me motivated like no one else! Now I haven’t been following it perfectly everyday for 30 days, but have been supplementing this with some other things. Some days I’ve done yoga instead for which I do either…

Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown

another Jillian classic, or…

Slim Calm Sexy Yoga: 210 Proven Yoga Moves for Mind/Body Bliss

I use sequences from this book as well as sequences of my own devising for a more relaxing, meditative workout. It’s always good to have balance!

Anyway, I’ve done a total of 22 of her workouts from the 30 Day Shred with yoga and rest days interspersed. I’ll be sure and give a review on it when I’m done.

Post-Workout Snack

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A variation of my post-workout recovery smoothie. This one brought back my love affair with Vanilla Sunwarrior (I had given it up for a while since it contains stevia) and oh how I missed it! Served in my new cup! I am in love with these, especially because actual mason jar lids fit.

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some ginger pear white tea was had….

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as was some home-brewed kombucha! I first mentioned I was starting this here and guys I’ve finally gotten it to the taste and tanginess I like. I’ve decided to do the continuous batch method of brewing so all I have to do is pour a cup of kombucha out and replace it with a cup of the tea base. This way I’ll always have kombucha around :)

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my “fermentation station” as I like to call it. Yes I’m nerdy that way ;) Here’s where both my kombucha and sauerkraut work away!

Dinner

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Dinner was a snack type plate with a leftover black bean burger wrapped in lettuce, a pickle, some tomatoes and some tortilla chips. I won a giveaway hosted by Jennifer at The Foodery and it arrived today- these chips were part of it :)

Finally….

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One of my almost raw maple walnut cups for dessert!

And that concludes my 18th What I Ate Wednesday!

Quickly before I go- Happy 4th of July to all my American readers and fellow bloggers!

Have a great day everyone!

canada day “almost raw” maple walnut cups

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!

We Canadians are funny, we are quiet, polite and unassuming except for a few days a year where we suddenly become crazily and almost obnoxiously patriotic and I LOVE IT. A day where it’s perfectly acceptable to tattoo maple leaves to your face and where ridiculous clothing, that as long as it’s red and white, you’re good to go.

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These bites are a celebration of our country’s colours and flavours- red and white with some maple syrup thrown in for good measure. Because what’s more Canadian than maple syrup?

Featuring a maple walnut base with a maple cashew cream filling, there are so much healthy fats going on (you all know how awesome walnuts are) and topped with a few more walnuts and strawberries, well these really show just how amazing simple flavours can be. I tossed the strawberries in a little maple sugar but that’s not necessary if you don’t have any!

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The recipe for the filling makes more than you’ll need, so you could double the crust recipe of why not dip some strawberries in it for another red and white (and delicious treat)?

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Now, do your patriotic duty and go and make these bites eh?

Almost Raw Maple Walnut Cups (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free)

These cups are rich and creamy and oh-so Canadian! A maple walnut base with a cashew maple filling, topped with strawberries and walnut pieces. Best enjoyed right out of the fridge!

Makes 9 bites.

Base

  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*
  • pinch salt

Filling

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup*

Topping

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp maple sugar (optional)

*this is what makes it “almost raw”

Process the walnuts, maple syrup and salt in a food processor until walnuts are chopped small and the mixture sticks together. Press into a mini muffin pan (or a larger one to make larger cups) that is lined with muffin cups or plastic wrap for easy removal. Place in the fridge while you make your filling.

Blend all filling ingredients except coconut oil until smooth.  Then quickly add the coconut oil (you don’t want it to re-harden) and blend until incorporated). Spoon into the cups and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes

Toss strawberries in the maple sugar. Sprinkle the walnuts and strawberries onto the cups. Now you can freeze for about 30 min or until firm and serve, or just just refrigerate overnight. In the morning remove from the muffin tin and either eat them right then or continue to store in the fridge.

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Not going to lie, I had 2 of these for breakfast ;)

I hope you are all celebrating the day like true Canadians- barbequing and drinking in the backyard, maybe even some fireworks are sparklers. And to all my non-Canadian readers, why not pay tribute to our super friendly and polite nation by wearing red and white, order some (vegan) poutine (fries with cheese and gravy), throw “eh?” onto the end of every sentence and drench all your food in maple syrup? All right? Awesome :)

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays,  Allergy Free Wednesdays and  Wellness Weekends!