Aspiring artist, dietician and world traveler, but am overall very confused.

Month: August, 2012

North Carolina Day 1

My first morning in North Carolina is off to a fantastic start. I woke up a little sore from all of yesterday’s activities, but since we’ll be leaving for the beach house pretty early tomorrow morning, today was my only real day to head out and explore the local trails, and I was raring to go for a trail run. I wasn’t out for too long; my physiotherapist says that it isn’t harmful for me to go running, but that it won’t be comfortable for a while until we can strengthen my hamstrings some more. I took it easy on myself for the most part, alternating between running and walking. There were a bunch of tough hills on the run, which was actually a lot of fun because the areas I would normally run in at home are flat and boring suburban asphalt roads. My knee didn’t start hurting until quite a bit of the way in, so hopefully that means I’m improving somewhat. I had also been warned to be wary of some local dangerous critters, namely deer ticks (lyme disease is a pretty scary thing), rattlesnakes, copperheads, brown recluse spiders, and black widows, which meant that I literally cringed in fear and bolted whenever something brushed my arm or I ran through a cobweb. When I got back to the house, I had a shower (my third since we arrived yesterday afternoon…what’s wrong with me? :P), and had some breakfast which was also awesome. Check out this sweet set up:

I had breakfast out on the porch in my PJs, which I had promptly changed back into after my shower, to the sound of cicadas and cicadas and fountainy noises. And I saw a couple humming birds, which was really cool. Definitely not a regular sighting back home. Neither was the lizard Erik and I spotted on the windowsill yesterday. I wish I had pictures to show you. Breakfast was a super juicy and ripe pear, a toasted sprouted grain english muffin with pecan butter (to die for) and jam, with a cup of tulsi tea:
Anyway, without further ado, here is yesterday’s journal entry:

We left for Pearson Airport at 6:30 in the morning to catch our 8:30 flight. On the way, I munched on a cherry-flavoured almond yogurt sprinkled with museli. The flight went super smoothly. This is our cute little plane:

Erik’s stepmom, Lauri, was waiting for us at the Charlotte airport when we got there. It was about a 1.5 hour drive to where we were staying, and along the way we got to admire NC’s incredibly lush scenery. There are trees and flowers everywhere, and it is a lot warmer here than it was when we left Toronto this morning. Despite the oatmeal raisin cookies we ate during the flight, we were starving and stopped for Chinese food which at first, I was a bit nervous about because of the stupid amounts of grease and batter and salt that I usually assosicate with Chinese food. However, my order of moo shu vegetables which I stuffed into doughy and delicious crepes with plum sauce were delicious and flavourful. Just what I needed then. I’ve been feeling a little puffy lately though, and as a result of PMS plus lack of groceries at my house plus some laziness, I haven’t been as careful about my eating and I was determined to do a workout when we got back to the house. I decided to do the Insanity Asylum Vertical Plyo workout, which, having done mostly yoga for the last two months, was really hard. But I managed to get through to the end, and I know that I’m definitely going to have start reintroducing more cardio into my exercise regime. I have a few ideas for what I’d like to do, and I’ve got to decide on that soon, but more on that another time.

After my workout, I had a quick shower only to discover that we’d been invited to a neighbour’s farm to do some horseback riding. This was when the adventure really began:

We all took turns riding Widowmaker. I had never ridden a horse before and it was a blast except for the parts where Tom (the farm’s owner, and the gentleman next to me in the picture below) kept warning me that she may or may not throw me, and reminding me to be the boss:

Here are some of the other cuties that live on the farm:

After we went riding, Tom asked if we wanted to ride the zip line that he’d put up on his property. Apparently, it had only broken twice (…I was very leery about this) in the 40 years since he had put it up. I was super nervous, but in keeping up with the adventurous spirit of the day, I decided to give it a shot:

Afterwards, we went hiking along this trail (pretty much the same trail I ran this morning minus several giant hills, plus one horse which we all took turns riding) to a super old cemetery that had been mostly taken over by the forest. The engravings on the headstones were mostly eroded which made them difficult to read, but it was so cool to see this hidden and slightly creepy piece of history. One really cool thing about being out of town is learning about the local history, because the area I live in is fairly new and doesn’t have much of a history yet. On the way home, we stopped by Tom’s garden and he gave us a ton of fresh tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peppers and eggplant. Maybe because I was starving, or maybe because it really wasn’t so bad, Bryan convinced me to take a bite of a cayenne pepper and I ended up eating the whole thing (not the seeds, of course).

Dinner when we got home was heavenly: cayenne tomato soup and steamed rice with stir fried leftover veggies from lunch. Erik’s dad is a master at somehow making leftovers multiply and somehow taste even better than they were fresh. Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I’ve probably been antisocial for long enough, plus I could use another cup of tea, and its getting a tiny bit warm out here on the porch.  Plus, I’ve written a short novel here. So yeah, thanks for reading! Or at least for stopping by. More soon, my dears!


Some Overdue Photos

Today was our first day in North Carolina and  has been as full and wonderful as it could possibly have been. I’m going to try to keep a running journal of our activities on my lap top, but for now, since I don’t have today’s photos uploaded on my computer yet, here are some from last week’s trip to Barrie.

The highlight of our trip, apart from copious fruit-eating, was going for a 3 hour boat ride in this 20-something-year-old motor boat. This is Erik’s Aunt Barb easing the aforementioned boat into the water:

This is Bryan (Erik’s younger brother) and their Uncle Paul having a blaaaaast:

At one point, Bryan drove the boat into this really eerie area where a giant patch of the trees were dead, there was seaweed crowded in the water, and as we approached, a huge flock of black birds flew out of the forest:

Me, on the boat. I work my bathing suit the whole time we were there, but the lake was too cold for me to swim at all. 😦

And, of course, a foot picture. Here are mine and Erik’s feet. He hates feet.

Anyway, we’re off to go watch a movie for the rest of the night (assuming I can actually stay awake that much longer), but stay tuned for an update featuring our adventures in North Carolina, and hopefully some awesome and healthy eats!

Back for Now

Today is a particularly gloomy day at work. Outside, it is drizzly and grey, Regina Spektor is playing on the iPod dock, and the burner in the kettle looks like it’s on its last legs. On Thursday morning, I drove back from Barrie where Erik, Bryan and I had spent a couple of days hanging out with their aunt and uncle. We had a great time boating, eating bowls and bowls of melon, and watching many hours of the Olympics. I also had air-popped popcorn tossed in coconut oil and sea salt, which I believe must be a gift from the gods. You must try this if you have not. I would have had some pictures if I hadn’t left them all on Erik’s camera, but I’ll try to get them on here in the next few days, assuming there is anything worth using.

Eating at the convention went somewhat better than most conventions have in the past. On the first day, after the first 14 hours of work or so, I caved and had a slice of cheese pizza, but for the rest of the weekend, I munched mostly on crackers, nuts, and fruit, with salads and roasted vegetables for dinners after convention hours were over. The four days I was away went by a lot faster than usual, and I had Barrie to look forward to upon my return. Alas, I am once more on a work marathon before we finally leave for North Carolina which I’ve been looking forward to for months! So the next few days of work are going to be pure torture, while I slowly die inside from impatience and excitement. :p

Anyway, tons of work to do today, unpacking from the convention but there will be more soon!

Off to Otakuthon

Right now, its 8:12pm, and at 3am, I have to wake up to drive 8 hours to Montreal, and then work at a convention until 10pm. This weekend is not going to be fun, but tomorrow is going to be especially rough. Usually, when the store I work for goes to a convention, we eat pizza and Tim Hortons all weekend. Having worked so many cons in the past, I decided to try to come as prepared as possible this time. Behold, the convention loot I picked up at Fortinos the other day:

I would have bought some fresh produce, but I decided I would hold off until I see what kind of hotel we’ll be staying at. I wouldn’t want all of it to go bad. So instead, I’ll be bringing some Happy Trails Adventure Cookies which I baked yesterday (in the jar above). They’re splendid, but I used honey instead of brown rice syrup and the were not holding together at ALL, so I added about 1/3 cup of almond butter as well, which kind of did the trick. I just had to squish them together really well, and I took them out when the were almost done baking to push the cookie dough balls into cookie shape. Also featured above: a bag of Swiss Museli Stonemill Organic bagels, portable dark chocolate almond milk, Mary’s Organic Crackers in black pepper flavour, raw almond butter, unflavoured Vega One protein powder, Doctor Kracker crackers and an assortment of bars which I will show you below:

I will also be bringing a container of unsweetened Vanilla almond milk, as well as some oats, chia seeds, apples, and bananas. Normally I try to eat tons of vegetables and fruit throughout the day, but I will have to make due with the above.

In celebration of my last day of freedom, I visited a very good friend of mine, Sarah, and we always have a really awesome time together. Yesterday, we visited High Park and sat around enjoying the sunshine for a while, before we headed to Rawlicious, a raw vegan restaurant where we shared a Nori Roll appetizer (sprouts, marinated mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot and avocado wrapped in nori), and I had a fresh juice (beets, apple, carrot and ginger) and a raw pad thai (kelp and zucchini noodles, shredded romaine lettuce, cashew sauce, cashews, cilantro, bell pepper… this was a little bland and could have done with some more flavour, very refreshing though).

Overall, I enjoyed the food there. I feel like it might have been safer to have one of their salads, but I had never had raw pad thai before, so yeah! My favourite thing that I ate there, however, were these raspberry thumbprint cookies (raw, of course) that they had decided to discontinue that day and so were giving out free samples. I was heartbroken, and helped myself to several samples. I have never made thumbprint cookies before, but it is now a goal of mine. The breading part of the cookie was made from nuts and seeds, and it was fantastic!

Anyway, since I have to be awake and ready to drive myself and several others into the next province over in less than 8 hours, I should probably try to get some sleep. I really hope I can try to eat healthily this weekend. When you’re standing behind a table for 12 hours, 3 days in a row, it can be difficult not to gnaw your arm off in boredom, hence the crackers.