Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Going home* vs. Going home**

Only two more days of classes until I get a lovely weekend off to go home* and visit some family and friends! Then, of course, it's back home** to study like crazy for my week of final exams.  And then...it's a whole summer of no school to just work and save up for Europe! I have always taken classes in the summer before because I could, because they are more enjoyable than fall/winter/spring courses and because I get great grades in them (something about how fast they go and how into the material you have to be...). This year, however, I have committed to just work and save money in the summeer and then finish up the last five classes I have left as two, part-time, semesters beginning in September....Speaking of going home* I am a little bit worried about my diet as I tend to be best on days when I am home**, I guess I will try to just work something out and not break routine. Anyways, I should go study for my test in the morning. I will do a "Two-Weeks-In" diet update soon and post about my adventures in chicken roasting as I have been putting off having to relive this.


(What going home*/** sometimes looks like)

* home meaning back on the mainland at our parents' houses
** home meaning where we actually live...I don't know when, if ever, we will stop referring to "home" as where we grew up and start referring to where we have lived for almost three years now as "home."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This week in one sentence...

Dieting, cooking, cleaning, Shakespeare, then even more Shakespeare, and then a little more Shakespeare and then a party.

Friday, March 25, 2011

To Read or Not to Read


I wanted to share a cool vlog (video blog) that my friend Alysha runs. It's technically a YouTube channel where she posts quick video book reviews. She's funny, insightful and never includes spoilers. If you're looking for a new book to read you can watch more reviews HERE.

She also happens to be the most energentic, positive and muti-talented person I have ever met!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Butternut Squash "Soup"

I needed a clean eating dairy and sugar free soup option for my diet. So I improvised something delicious.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1/2 a Granny Smith Apple
  • 1/4 White Onion
  • 1 Clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 small to medium carrot
  • 1/2 a stalk of celery
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-5 Tablespoons of cold water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stab uncooked squash with fork a few times and pop it in microwave for a minute. (This makes it easier to cut.) Then cut in half, length wise, and scoop out seeds and gross stringy bits. Place squash halves cut side down on cookie sheet (optionally lined w/ tin foil to prevent mess) and put in preheated oven for about 45 minutes. (This time will depend on how big your squash is.) Once cooked remove the skin from the squash and puree flesh in a blender/processor/with a fork.

Sautee sliced onion, apple, carrot, garlic and celery in a pan adding a bit of water to steam the veggies and help everything from sticking to the pan if you are not using oil. I covered my mixture with tin foil for a while and let it all singe a bit for a stronger taste. Then, puree this mixture in food processor. Combine it with the squash in a soup pot and add the salt, pepper and spices while stirring, keeping warm, and tasting. I think the nutmeg is what makes this meal but it is easy to add too much. If you find the taste too strong you can water it down or add milk or a bit of broth if you want. When it has the "right" taste you can use an immersion blender to puree further and get rid of any chunks. What you are left with is almost more like baby food than soup but I think it is delicious and it has been one of the meals that has kept me from thinking I am on a diet.

The recipe doesn't yield much soup but it's strong and concentrated so, as I said, it can be made more soupy with water/milk/cream/broth.

image of squash via and of the soup via

Diet

On Sunday I started a diet - well more of an intense detox/diet. It's a low calorie, clean eating, dairy, sugar and wheat free no food after 7pm detox/diet inspired by Jess from IROCKSOWHAT.  I wanted to wait until the end of the week to post about it but it has been pretty successfull so far and I want to share my progress. I have lost 5.6lbs in 5 days. I plan to continue the diet for approximately 35 days unless my goal of 15lbs lost is reached before that.

After the 35 days are up I will slowly reincorporate some of the foods I have been excluding. (However, my skin has been looking better too and if I have a bad rxn to bread or dairy being reintroduced I will try to keep them out of my diet for good as it may indicate that I am mildy "allergic" to them.) Also, I have been sleeping better as my stomach is never full when getting to bed and I am motivated to get in bed early so I won`t get hungry before I can fall asleep. I hope that the habits I learn from clean eating stick; like smaller portions and including waaaaay more fruit and vegetables in my diet. Here is, roughly, what I have been eating on a daily basis. Everything is made from scratch, at home and organic and local when possible. I try not to use oil when cooking but have used up to a quarter teaspoon when absolutely necessary.

Breakfast
- Cup of Earl Grey Tea or Black Coffee (Luckily I only like coffee with out cream and sugar!)
- Smoothie or Grapefruit or Fruit Salad
- An Egg

"Lunch"
- Hummus with Veggies or tiny bowl of Butternut Squash Soup

Dinner
- Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce and Meatballs or Moroccan Chicken with Steamed Spinach or Chicken and Chickpea Greek Salad (essentially just meat and vegetables)

Snacks are either fruit, vegetables or almonds and I drink tooooons of water during the day. I always drank tons of water so now its ridiculous, I could drown. I hope to add more recipies and updates later on including my traumatizing experience with roasting a 4.5lb beast of a chicken, I still want to faint thinking about it....

This diet is hardest when I am out of the house; shopping, at school or just driving past a McDonald's. I am also having a hard time with how my energy is easily depleated (could just be exhaustion from cooking and cleaning so much)... It is easiest in the morning when drinking my coffee and stuffing my face with delicious fruit and scrambled eggs.

One thing I must say is that I have never been so committed to a diet. There's something about knowing that it worked for someone else, seeing the effects everyday on the scale and the intense nature of it that has kept me going. It helps that Andrew has been awesome too. xoxoxo

Stay tuned...

Whailand

I like whales. A lot. Therefore, I like whale art. I just added this guy to my bathroom today. I found him on Vintageprintable.com (a great place to get free art for your house). There were plenty more terrifying old drawings of whales to choose from! 

I name all my whales Whailand...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Brunch

Yesterday I made the yummiest brunchy meal. Spread cream cheese on a toasted whole wheat english muffin, top with fresh spinach and two buttery fried eggs...Sooo good, the cream-cheesier the better.

This week in one sentence...

Thanked daylight savings for giving me more light to get home in, cursed class presentations for making me talk for twenty minutes without taking a breath, thanked PSYC 330 for being so easy, cursed St.Patrick's Day for making me sad, thanked Margheritas for making me glad, and Blue Valentine for making me sad again...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan


To donate to relief efforts in Japan you can go to the Canadian Red Cross website here:

This week in one sentence...

Bio exam, belated birthday dinner celebrations with husband, baby sister and baby sister's boyfriend (b-day boy) (mmmmm burgers and yam fries and ice cream cake), discovered Rookie Blue, considered some new and crazy grad school options (MBA/M.ARCH/MSc<--NEUROSCIENCE, WHAT!?!), was shocked and saddened by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and subsequently stayed awake with andrew listening to the radio for tsunami alerts where we are, luckily was nothing serious by the time the waves reached us.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SMOOTHIES

I am a little bit obsessed with smoothies right now. I have one probably every other day. I make mine with a few handfulls of frozen strawberries, half a banana (frozen or not), and a big splash of orange juice. I have also made mixed berry and strawberry kiwi ones. Its super easy, just throw it all in the blender for a minute and serve. Om nom.