anneihilate

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

Mmm…Organic Red Plums

Hey guys! So I just thought I’d share a quick shot of my lunch, again taken with the shitty laptop webcam I’ve got to work with. Today’s salad is packing:

  • Baby Spinach and Baby Romaine (probably a 1.5 c of each)
  • 1 sliced red red plum
  • 1 T of pepita seeds
  • 2 T of pecans
  • 1 T of Kraft Classic Herb dressing

For a while now, and especially after seeing the vegan food pyramid (see yesterday’s post), I decided that I really need to start upping my vegetable intake. Normally I try to start my day out with a green veggie (usually spinach or kale…I tried raw broccoli once, but the broccoli taste was just too overpowering) and banana smoothie but my bananas I bought earlier this week are taking way too long to ripen. They really have to be good and spotty before they’re ready to go in a smoothie.

I went to an awesome yoga class this morning before work. One of my big concerns with hitting a yoga class before a long shift is that I won’t have time to drive home, throw lunch together then get to work without really stressing myself out about it. This morning worked out perfectly fine though, and I love starting my day with a yoga class. Today, we did some arm balance poses, which were just as exciting as they always are. We did crow pose with the option to go into a headstand, which only one woman in the class tried, but headstands and handstands are definitely something I would like to work my way up to.

Also, just had a fascinating conversations with one of our customers who is an osteopath. Usually, we talk about different TV shows and comics and books we’re getting into, but today we got into this super rad discussion about the health sciences industry and about all these different approaches to alternative medicine such as his job osteopathy, as well as aromatherapy and reflexology and all these other intriguing things that I will have to do more research on. When he first told me that he was an osteopath, I assumed that they dealt strictly with the bones in the body, but as he explained, there is actually so much more to it than that. Osteopathy focuses on the overall structure and function of the body, including bones, muscles and tissue, lymph and more. I actually just learned about it, so I’m going to have to do more research on that as well. We also talked about the injuries I’ve been experiencing lately, and what he believes might be the problem (possibly a twisted pelvis). I really loved the philosophy of osteopathy which seems to be: solve the root of the problem and the rest of the body will realign itself, whereas physiotherapy has me completely focused on my torn hamstring. I feel like our society spends so much time trying to treat symptoms when what we really need is to get to the heart of the problem. In conclusion, I’m excited to make an appointment. 🙂

In other news, Erik and I are making Chana Dal for dinner, with some of my leftover Red Quinoa Pilaf from the other night. I may even possibly bust out some kale chips because they are so fast and easy to make, and I’m totally hooked on them. Last night, I made my kale chips with a sprinkling to nutritional yeast and some cayenne pepper and they were magnifique! Better get going for now and finally finish my lunch (I’ve been working on this salad for over an hour!), but I will leave you with this awesome song all the yoga instructors at my studio have been playing lately! I’m obsessed!

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! 😀

A Possible Addiction to Athletic Wear?

Hello out there! Just wanted to  do a quick post before I get cracking on some  more errands today! Hope everyone reading this is having as joyous a day as I am so far. Despite an overcast and muggy day outside,  plus a moment of weakness last night when faced with hunger during yesterday’s shopping trip with my younger sister Allaina last night, I am feeling excellent today. Yesterday, I may have officially become  a slave to Lululemon Athletica. I picked up my first ever outfit from there yesterday, and I already can’t wait to go back for more. Up until fairly, I’ve just been working out in old  t-shirts and a gigantic  pair  of shorts, and I really wanted to inspire and reward  myself with something I would not normally be able to afford. Please ignore my awkward face in the accompanying  image on  the left…I was just really excited to show you my outfit. 😛  Anyway, after my weak moment at the mall’s food court last night, I decided that today, I was going to spoil myself and be good to me, as a way of proving to myself that healthy eating is exponentially better than the shit at the mall. So I started  the day off with a cleansing mug of  hot water and lime, then had a super  yummy bowl of Apple Pie Oatmeal. My yoga class this morning wasn’t until 9:30, so I really took my time easing myself into the day. I love slow mornings. By the time I got to the studio, I was wide awake and raring to go. Today, I went to a Vinyasa class, which I had never  done before, and I absolutely loved it. Our instructor played one of those sound effect  CDs where you just hear the sounds of waves, which really helped to calm my mind and my breathing. We did tons of hip openers, and  worked our way up to some balancing poses, which are always really exciting when you discover you are actually capable of doing them. 😀 I think that’s all for now, actually. Erik and I are planning  a hike for tomorrow,  and  I want to get together some treats for us to bring along, due to  my perma-hunger. More on this soon!

Today’s Gourmet Lunch and More

Hey guys! So I’m at work right now, and I just sat down for the gourmet lunch I packed for myself! Today I work seven hours, and I find that I get hungry pretty frequently, so I definitely try to bring enough food to keep my satisfied throughout the day. Today’s eats are an almond butter and banana sandwich on Country Harvest’s sunflower flax bread (I love this brand…all of their bread is so yummy), a spinach-arugula-banana smoothie (made with 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze and 2 tablespoons of hemp hearts…I definitely overdid it on the arugula though… it made my smoothie pretty bitter, but I had to use it up…), a fennel bulb which I cut up and roasted with salt and pepper this morning, a cup of those really dark cherries that are super sweet and awesome, and about 1/4 cup of walnuts. This is what I’m eating right now:

I wish I could have taken a shot that actually featured more lunch than face, but I just took it on the laptop webcam at work which is not easy to move. We work with what we have. Read the rest of this entry »

Off to a Lazy Start

Having a slow morning at home so far, which I’ve spent having breakfast in the backyard while I read some of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals (which is excellent and very eye-opening so far), and marvelled over how chubby my cat, Sonny-Wa, has been looking lately. Now, I’m just lounging around, drinking a cup of tea and killing time before I meet up with my friend Jessie for lunch. I haven’t properly hung out with her for ages, so I’m pretty pumped. 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

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!

Insanity in a Moist Room

Right now, I’m snacking on a post-workout pick me up of super sweet mango, chopped up and sprinkled with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped walnuts. I discovered this delicious combination while I was bored at work yesterday and happened to have both mango and walnuts on hand. If you have the right mangoes (those super juicy ones that are yellow on the outside and a little soft to the touch), the result is not unlike candy. So I’m back because I figured, if I have time for a snack before I finish my disorganized attempt at packing, I have time to bust out a quick blog post.

Dinner with Erik last night was wonderful. We went to The Naked Sprout, which is a full-service vegan and raw restaurant in the GTA. This was my second time going to this restaurant, and I will most definitely be returning. To start, I ordered a juice called “The Beet Goes On”, which was made from apple, beet, raspberry, strawberry and lemon. I don’t know whether I’ve ever really had beets properly before, but I after this juice,  I realized that maybe beets were not something I  should be afraid of anymore. Beets are super good for you, with benefits such as blood purification, a good source of ion, potassium, magnesium, and some vitamin C (p.22 of Jonny Bowden’s The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth…this is a really cool book). I really need to start incorporating them into my diet more often. For my main course, I ordered a dish called “Somebody Kelp Me” which was one of  their raw dishes made from zucchini and kelp noodles, red cabbage, red pepper, broccoli, carrots, and a super tasty almond  tamarind sauce. This dish was really fun to eat because it was super crunchy and, being the kind of person who likes to play with their food, I really enjoyed putting my bites together. It did have maybe a bit too much of the same flavour, so I did end up tagging the boyfriend  in for some assistance. For dessert, Erik and I shared a slice of key lime pie, which turned out to not have any actual  key lime in it. The Naked Sprout’s key lime pie is actually made from avocado, lemon juice, agave, coconut oil, coconut butter, with a seed crust on the bottom. This was also really yummy, but I didn’t want to go overboard since I had a slice of chocolate and vanilla mousse cake waiting for me at home (Erik and I shared this later in the night…yum…). The menu at the Naked Sprout is pretty creative and diverse, and I’m already looking forward to the next time we go so that I can try something new.

Yoga this morning was excellent. I should probably explain why I’m going to yoga pretty much every day of the week, actually. I spent all of March and April doing Beachbody’s Insanity workout program, which was incredible. The majority of the workouts consist of some intense plyometric madness and are the most challenging cardio workouts I can ever remember doing. Even though I’ve finished the program, I still try to do at least 2 Insanity routines a week (which is a bitch because the air conditioner at  my house is broken). Anyway, after putting so much strain on my body, I’ve noticed a couple of uncomfortable  places developing in the back of my left knee and  in my right ankle, and I realized how important it is to take rest days and vary your workout routine. So I bought a two month pass to my local yoga studio (I had attended classes there last year, but could not afford to keep doing it  because of my stupid expensive tuition) and I’m trying to take advantage of it as much as I can. I really want to work on my flexibility as well as relieve some of the stress and tension in my life.

This morning’s class was a yoga cross class, and after a week of kind of taking it easy on myself and trying to decrease  the intensity of my workouts, I was terrified because the studio describes yoga cross  thusly: “A physically intense yoga class focusing on body conditioning, strength, endurance and core work. Feel your body and spirits lighten as you improve your body composition and work towards your personal weight management goals.”  The class started out with a short and fast-paced warm up before we dove into cardio circuits of mountain climbers, jump squats, push up jacks, heismans, etc, followed by strength circuits of moving push-ups, burpees, and more. My competitive nature really came out in this class, and I was really happy to see that my cardiovascular ability hadn’t really suffered from a bit of a rest week. The class was still pretty challenging, and was a bit like doing an Insanity workout in a hot room. Madness.

So,  I kind of rushed my telling a little bit at the end there,  but Abbey and I have got to get to  Erik’s because we leave in, like, 20 minutes. And I really need to hit bulk barn for some nuts and coconut water for some leisurely snacking at  the cottage. But I think I’ve said most of what I wanted  to say here.  See  you next week! 🙂

A First Attempt at Pranayama

This morning, Abbey and I went to a 6:30 hot Hatha yoga class to help our bodies recuperate from yesterday’s aerial core class. Yesterday, I didn’t think my core got very much of a workout, but today, I am definitely feeling that ache you get from a challenging workout. The exercises we did yesterday feel like they really got down into some lesser used muscles in my upper abs and rib cage. My arms and legs have also got a bit of an ache in them too. I will definitely be trying that class again when I get a chance.

Today’s class was quite different from other yoga classes I have been to. It focused a lot on different kinds of twists, which I often struggle with, particularly seated spinal twists or any other twists where you’re elbow presses against the outside of the opposite knee. I really hate that feeling of my inner elbow rubbing against another bone. Once I got past that unpleasant sensation though, my lower back and glutes really appreciated the theme of the class. We also did some Pranayama breathing, which I had never done before today. The teacher had us seal our right nostril with our right thumb, and inhale through the left nostril for five counts, then seal the left nostril with our right ring finger, and exhale through the right nostril for five counts. Then we would inhale through the right nostril for five counts with the left nostril still sealed, then seal the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale through the left nostril for five counts. We went back and forth between the two nostrils for several breaths, which was good because it took me a little while to understand the motion we were doing. According to our instructor, Pranayama breathing is supposed to be very good for relieving stress and anxiety, so I’ll definitely have to experiment with that in the future. I have a lot of trouble with breathing exercises in a group, because I feel like I have, like, no lung capacity compared to the rest of the people in class. Not that I can tell really, but it seems like the instructor tries to get us to inhale and exhale far more air than my lungs are capable of. At the end of class, I was so relaxed I’m pretty sure I almost fell asleep during our savasna. I remember kind of feeling like I was dreaming but could still hear everyone breathing around me. It’s always such a bummer when the instructor tells you that it’s time to to start waking your body up and return to a seated position. It makes me wish I could do some yoga before I go to sleep, ending with savasana in my bed, so that I wouldn’t have to get up from it again. I have a lot of trouble practicing yoga on my own, based on my my experience with P90X’s Yoga X, or Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. Their focus is different from that of the yoga classes we do at a studio, and I find it a lot easier to hold difficult poses when there are other people around me struggling with the same thing. Yeah, team work!

One of my potential plans of action for September is to enroll in some sort of hollistic nutrition program. I’m waiting for Erik (the boyfriend) to finish his program so that we can do some traveling together, but I can’t stand the idea of sitting on my ass for the year. I know from past experience how bummed out I can get when I’m not busy enough. The main requirement for the program I’m looking at requires a 2-page autobiography about yourself including an explanation of why you want to be a nutritionist. I started working on this last night, but I worry a bit that my writing was too blah, or too pretentious. I’m going to try to keep working on it tonight, and maybe have Erik review it for me. He’s a really good writer, and he’s known me for long enough that he has a real knack for helping me condense my ideas down and be more concise. Last year, when I was applying for a job at another business, he was a great help when I was rehearsing my answers for interview questions and told me that if I kept the ideas and points I wanted to touch on more general in my mind, I would be able to elaborate on them in the interview in a more natural sounding way. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, but the point is he’s awesome. 🙂 I’m going to try to keep working on the autobiography (even the word autobiography sounds a little pretentious) tonight, and hopefully I’ll have something I can send out before I go on vacation tomorrow.

Abbey and I are going to Erik’s cottage with him and his family for a week, where I know there will be many a naughty treat, but I’m bringing a ton of workout gear, so hopefully Erik and Abbey will help encourage me to stay on track. So I’ll be spending the evening doing some packing and last minute errands before we leave, and on another happy note, Erik is taking me out for my birthday dinner tonight at this awesome vegan and raw restaurant the recently opened up near my house.

Once again, I’m at work, and I should probably get going before I get busted. Be back in a week or so!

Start

Today is my 21st birthday, and I’m spending it at work. This is fine; I had a pretty awesome day in Barrie yesterday, though it was spent very naughtily with eggs bennedict and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. None of that today, for sure. My sister Abbey and I got an early start today with an aerial yoga class, which was something I had never done before, then headed back home for breakfast (I had flax flakes with museli, strawberries, bananas and almond milk) and presents. Abbey got me Batman underwear (she seems to get me something superhero-related every year), Allaina got me a Gaiam microfibre towel for my yoga mat, and Mum got me new workout shorts. This is great because I probably shouldn’t be spending my money on any of this stuff when there are so many other things to pay for, so it was an awesome treat.

Anyway, I guess I should explain why I’m starting this blog, or why I’ve decided to leave my dull word trails throughout the interwebs. For the most part, probably because its summer vacation, I’ve been relatively happy with my life. I’ve made a lot of big life changes in the last year which have aided this, primarily cleaning up my diet and incorporating exercise into my daily life. But I’ve also spent the last two years in art school and while art has always been something I’ve loved and appreciated, it is also something that I don’t feel particularly passionate about doing anymore, and I can’t possibly imagine having to illustrate for a living. None of this is entirely confirmed yet, but I’m planning to leave art school and spend the next year cooking, exercising, working, and traveling. I need to focus on figuring out what I actually like doing, and stop trying to rush through my life.

Speaking of which, the customers are starting to roll in so I should probably wrap this up now. Not sure if anyone out there is reading this, but if you are, stay tuned. I’ll be back. I hope.