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

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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.


Cravings for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Satisfied

Currently at work, enjoying one of the vegan oatmeal raisin cookies I baked last night (recipe found here!) which might be the best oatmeal raisin cookies I’ve ever had! They are enormous and gooey, and I can’t wait to make Erik try one after work tonight. The only obvious changes I made were that I used spelt flour instead of kamut flour, and pure cane sugar instead of sucanat. I wonder if there is a big difference in the sweetness of the two. I also baked mine for an extra 5 minutes because they were so jumbo sized.

Totally unrelated, but I’ve been feeling a little documentary-crazed lately, and one of the ones I watched recently was called “Thin”. It showed a few weeks in the lives of some patients at an eating disorder treatment centre in the United States. It was so heartbreaking, to see all of these women struggling through treatment, only to leave before they are ready to (due to their insurance running out, or because they don’t want to be helped, among other reasons) and relapsing. It was pretty scary to see just how consuming a serious eating disorder can be, and how it can take a lifetime to recover from. This documentary was stomach-turning and sad, but totally eyeopening, so if you get a chance to, check it out.

On a happier note, I still can’t believe I’m switching programs! Whenever I think about it, it doesn’t feel quite real yet. I’m going to have to figure out whether I need to buy a lap top or not, which I’ve been wanting for a while to help with recipe access in the kitchen. I’m also weirdly excited to start buying textbooks so I can start reading. The way the program works is we do two courses at a time on alternating days, usually about a month long, until we get through all 19 courses. According to my schedule, I’ll be starting with Biological Chemistry which I am not remotely excited for (loathing for chemistry instilled in my being since high school), and Nutrition and Health Fundamentals, which I am feeling pretty keen about already. Buuuut, enough boring details about my life. ūüėõ I’ll be going now! Have a beautiful day!

Something Exciting Has Happened

Just a quick post before I depart for aerial yoga this evening. ¬†Today was my interview at the holistic nutrition school I believe I’ve mentioned here before. And it was awesome. It seemed like such a lovely community and ¬†very close-knit. As of September, I will officially be going to school for nutrition, and I’m super excited. In celebration, I made some ratatouille, which you can find the recipe for here. So this was my dinner tonight, ¬†accompanied by two slices of very tasty multigrain sourdough bread with a smear (not a very delicious word, now that I think about it) of soy-free Earth Balance.

After dinner, I had a mug of lemon echinacea tea, because my throat ¬†has been a little sore today. I had never had it before, and I was pretty put off by this throat-coating quality that it had. Hopefully it ¬†is something that I can get used to, but until then, I will have to look for other natural remedies to ¬†supplement this strange tea because…yeah. Any suggestions would be wonderful. That’s all for now!

Overwhelmed by the Vegan Food Pyramid

Today I decided to skip early morning yoga in favour of a couple extra hours of sleep, and while I’m feeling very well rested, getting up just an hour before my shift started totally threw off my usual morning ritual. I hopped in the shower, then threw my breakfast (hot water with lime, and vegan overnight oats topped with cherries and a crumbled orange-blueberry muffin that I made a few days ago) into my lunchbag with the rest of today’s eats, then flew out the door.

The last few days, I’ve been completely obsessed with finding interesting meals I can pack to bring to work with me, especially for longer shifts like the one I’m working right now (10 hours…blaaah). I recently discovered Vegan Lunch Box, which is pretty cute and inspiring, but she features so many salads, which I find I can only enjoy for so long before they begin to be too much of one flavour and things like that. Maybe I just have to learn to be more creative with my salads. I also spent, like, an hour before yoga cross last night perusing my new cookbook, Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook, and I found a bunch of things in there that I would like to try making. I have a little container of fresh rosemary in my fridge that I have to use up (I always have trouble using up herbs!) from a mushroom gravy Erik and I made the other night, so last night I made a Red Quinoa Pilaf from the new cookbook, to add to my tasty munchies today.¬† In the cookbook, there were also some really cool alternative food pyramids for vegetarians and vegans. I copied the vegan one into my sketchbook so that I would have it to reference throughout the day:When left to my own devices, I try to eat a mostly plant-based diet. I have no idea how I’m going to cram 9 servings of vegetables into my diet though, if a serving size of vegetables is 2 handfuls. That measurement seems kind of vague to me. :/

In other news, Erik and I explored the Kitchener-Waterloo area, particularly to visit Thrive Juice Bar which was awesome. I had this delicious falafel wrap and a Big Green Juice which was 18 ounces of “detoxifier & cleanser, extremely rich in minerals & nutrients, high in amino acids, fresh wheatgrass, spirulina, cucumber, kale, spinach, apple & lemon” as described on their website. The restaurant is in this really cool plaza with all sorts of health food places, homeopathic stores, fair trade coffee shops… I was totally in love. Then we drove to St. Jacob’s Country, which is this really cool area where a lot Mennonite culture has been preserved. There were all sorts of quilt shops and bakeries and museums. Erik and I went for a really nice walk along this river (I think it was the Conestogo River), and I did some doodling in the ol’ sketchbook. I really have to start carrying my camera around if I’m going to be blogging regularly, because everything in this area was so awesome and beautiful, and all I have to show you guys is my silly food pyramid.

On that note, I should probably get cracking on some of my work for today, so yeah! Au revoir!

Eeee! My copy o…

Eeee! My copy of Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook just came in the mail! I am bursting with excitement. More later! ūüėÄ

Getting Back On Track

At last I have returned home from the far north that is the cottage, and I have to say, I’m a little disappointed with the way I was up there. I felt totally out of control being around tons of super unhealthy snacks (RE: Goldfish crackers, ice cream, marshmallows…). One thing that I’ve always struggled with is the temptation of having treats around me, which is why when I’m at home, I make a point of not having healthy treats in the house. I did try my best to stay away from negative thinking though, because I know that binge eating treats is not something that I would do normally, that I’m only human, and that I would feel more like myself once I was eating my regular diet. That being said, we did stay active throughout the week. Most days were spent outside going on walks or hikes, paddle boating, and kayaking, which was something that I had never done before but I really enjoyed ¬†it. There were times, when in the middle of a choppy lake, that it was sometimes hard to steer, but when you get into rhythm, it gets to be a lot of fun.

Before we left for the cottage, Erik’s mom, ¬†Lisa, gave me Cooking Light’s Big Book of Salads, and Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin who is Ellen DeGeneres’s and Portia de Rossi’s personal chef. I’ve only tried one of the recipes so far, which was a ¬†super simple quinoa and berry breakfast cereal from the vegan cookbook, but it was awesome, I’ve made it twice already, and I’m pretty sure that it’s something I’m going to continue making. Today, I believe I’ve mostly wrangled my eating habits back into shape. Dinner was a Roasted Beet and Arugula Sandwich with Black Olive Tapenade (recipe can be found here, it actually used a homemade green olive tapenade, which I didn’t have the resources to make, so I just used some black olive tapenade that I had in the fridge, plus a little bit of goat cheese) from Sarah Britton’s ¬†blog, My New Roots…which is an awesome blog, by the way. She’s so full of information and all her food photos are wonderful. My sandwich was pretty yummy, though I feel like I probably could have roasted my beet longer. Not that ¬†I have much experience with beets, but I feel like it should have been softer.

Last night, I bought a couple bars of dark chocolate to enjoy as ¬†a special treat, so I’ll probably grab a square and a cup of tea and try to wind down, so I can hit pilates in the morning. See you soon!