Sunday, November 29, 2009

buena suerte

Not much to say tonight, but I felt like I should at least do a quick update so that I don't have to look at that magic avocado (which did eventually go brown after 24 hours- I had it at lunch the next day and it was finally browning a bit).

Most importantly though- tomorrow is PhD defense day...so I suppose as of mid-day tomorrow, I will officially (and old fashioned-ly) be a "Mrs. Dr." I think of two things when I hear "Mrs. Dr." The first is an episode of Friends when Rachel is chatting about her engagement to Barry and the other is "Mrs. Dr. Vandertramp" which is a mnemonic that is supposed to help you remember which verbs (in french) are conjugated with "être" I know that things will go well, but I know that I'd hate having to go through it, so 11am tomorrow can't come soon enough.

And, just so that we all know what the graduation "regalia" is all about:

I'm not sure it gets much cooler than that. I think I'll do a PhD simply for the clothes. I mean, the sleeves come with OR without cuffs and nothing says fabulous like pocket slits for easy access. I know I'm hoping he gets to wear an 8 point hat.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

jack had magic beans

I have magic avocados.

I brought half an avocado to work today to add to my sandwich. After I scooped it all out, there were obviously some little bits that remained in the skin. By the end of the lunch hour, a coworker looked at it and noticed that none of it had gone brown- it was still as green as ever. So I made a mental note to check out the other avocado half when I got home. The results were astounding! (yes, I'm probably using that lightly) I cut this avocado before 7am and I took this picture about 12 hours later:

Barely a brown spot! Sure, I tried my best to get the plastic wrap as sealed up as possible, but this hasn't happened to any other avocados I've cut. Kind of crazy and in some ways, perhaps a little scary. Have they started injecting strange "non brown" genes into avocado seeds? Did I buy mutant avocados? Have I developed some sort of midas touch that takes the brown out of them?

(yeah, kind of a random post, but this really was quite a strange occurrence)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i what?

A little something since I'm not feeling too creative.


I Am–  lucky. I don't always feel it, but in the grand scheme of things, I am so blessed and so lucky to be living where I'm living and have the "automatic" opportunities that come along with that.

I Wantto figure out what I really and truly want to do with my life
I Have
lot of tech fabric in my closet. And by a lot, I really mean a lot.
I Wish
–  I was a little bit smaller, I wish I was a bawler*...ok, no, those are lyrics to a song. I wish I got to see my family more *see note in comments
I Hate
–  when I lose my temper over little things- it means I've lost focus on what is important
I Fear
–  the day that I lose someone important in my life. I know it will happen sooner rather than later...
I Hear
–  Jillian Michaels yelling at the Biggest Loser contestants
I Search
–  for some strange things on the internets sometimes...
I Wonder
what the next few years will be like
I Regret
–   some of the the words that have come out of my mouth
I Love –  making people smile. and pie...and bacon too
I Ache
–  when I see others cry
I Always
–  eat breakfast
I Usually
–  get the daily recommended number of fruits and vegetables
I Am Not
sure what day Glee is on tv. I like the show, but I never know when it is on TV
I Dance
–  when no one is watching
I Sing
–  to my ipod and sound awesome when my earbuds are in...reality sets in when they fall out :)
I Never
–  want to doubt my own abilities again
I Rarely
fold and put away my laundry the same day i wash it
I Cry
when i see others hurting
I Am Not Always
as nice as I want to be, I need to be more patient.
I Lose
– track of things too often.
I’m Confused
when I think about how big the universe is...seriously...with the planets and the solar systems...yikes
I Need
to learn how to make pie crust
I Should
–  really get a new pair of running shoes soon. They're starting to get a little worn out.
I Dream
really vividly
I hope
- Jordan's dissertation defense goes well next week. Good luck!
I feel
- kinda tired. 
I appreciate
- that I have a lot of nice people around me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

dear monday- you are my least favourite day

I'm sorry, but you are. And it isn't even because I have to go back to work on Mondays. True, sometimes that does suck, but for the most part I like my job so it isn't the worky worky part that I hate about Mondays but rather the coming home to an empty apartment part that I don't like so much. So, I give you a picture that makes me laugh, since well, I need a laugh:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

vegan dinner, dessert and a few thoughts

I last left you with a few ingredients that would feature somewhat prominently in my dinner: garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar. Now there's nothing different about that- I use those a lot but what I don't use a lot is tofu. I've been wanting to try to cook tofu for awhile now, so it seemed like the perfect day to give it a go. Last night, I threw the aforementioned ingredients into a bag (and I used extra firm tofu) and threw it in the fridge.  The plan was to then cut the block of tofu into slices and then fry them so that they'd be crispy on at least two sides (my sister recommended making sure they were crispy because I wasn't sure about texture).

Since I didn't know exactly how long it would take to get crispy, I brought out the cook book:

Mark Bittman recommended 3-4 minutes on each side, so I started with that. I found that I needed to add a minute or so per side to get it as crispy as I wanted although I may have been "crowding the pan" a bit:


 As I looked in the pan and looked at my brown rice, I decided that even though I was also having a salad, my plate needed a little green, so once the mushrooms came out, I threw in some spinach. The final product:

 
(i ended up adding another little bit of tofu and man my salad was boring...all i had left was lettuce and carrots...not a very fun salad)

Overall, a pretty good dinner, but I think there was a little too much soy sauce and not enough rice wine vinegar in my marinade (which makes sense because I thought I had more in the bottle when I was planning the marinade...) so it was one of those meals that I really enjoyed, but didn't really want to go back for more even though I was still a little hungry.

Since I was still hungry after dinner, I decided on a dessert of an english muffin, almond butter and jam:


I'll post a few other thoughts about my day as a vegan tomorrow, but here are a few thoughts for now:
  • Was I hungrier than usual? Not all day, but I am now. I think the fact that my BodyPump instructor really kicked our asses today is catching up with me. I might have to have a little bowl of cereal and almond milk if I'm still feeling hungry in half an hour.
  • I think I had too much soy, but that is because I wasn't planning on this morning's latte.
  • I had to read a LOT and had to do a decent amount of googling. Just as about to put a piece of gum in my mouth I thought "oh crap, what if it isn't vegan"...it was.
  • Food blogging is HARD. I'm not a good food photographer (as you can see by today's pictures) and I had to try to remember to take pictures. I definitely didn't get all the ingredients in (like with today's breakfast), but I tried my best.
  • I succeeded! (well, so far anyway, i'm not in bed yet) And with only one or two cravings. I really wanted chocolate milk after my work out and I couldn't snack on a couple of my "go to" crackers because they have honey in them. It was easier at work than at home because there are more non-vegan options here at home.
  • Honestly- for the day it wasn't hard but I really do rely on dairy (and love dairy) for a lot of my meals so more than a day or two would be tough for me.
That's it for now. I definitely have a few more thoughts on the matter, but I'll leave those for the next post.

Hope you enjoyed my day as a vegan food blogger. Again, for more posts and info on vegan week and vegan for a day, check out Eating Journey and Silly Tater tot.

vegan for a day breakfast, lunch, snacks

It is vegan food blogging time and it has been a fairly easy day so far. It started with breakfast:

I'm a big fan of the "overnight oats" already, but normally I put cow's milk and some yogurt in with the oats, along with some spices and usually maple syrup. To make it vegan, I swapped out the cow's milk for Almond Milk (which was on sale YAY) and decided that a little pumpkin would help replace the creaminess of the yogurt. So, I put the oats, almond milk, and pumpkin in a mug (my oat dish of choice) and added cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and a bit of maple syrup. I let it sit overnight and then in the morning stirred in some ground flax seed and a little crunchy cereal for some texture. It was really good- but I added too much cardamom.

On my way to work, I got a text from a co-worker asking if I wanted anything from Starbucks...I decided to embrace the challenge and go for a double tall soy latte:

Not my favourite. Firstly, I usually get skim milk, so the soy milk was a little too thick and I found that the soy milk taste masked the taste of the espresso. I don't think I'd get this again.

Then it was time for a snack. I checked my english muffins and they were indeed vegan- but did I remember to bring it to work? No. Luckily, I did have an apple and I have a jar of peanut butter in the fridge at work:

Delicious. Not all that photogenic mind you, but definitely delicious.

Since I had a fitness class at lunch time, I knew I'd need a little something before I hit the gym. What to have? Angela's Glo Bars to the rescue:

The bars are vegan, organic and DELICIOUS. I ate half of one before my 12:00 class. The class was really intense, so I was a little worried about what I brought for lunch. Even when I was packing the lunch, I was a little concerned:

The plan was to have a couple of rice cakes topped with avocado and salsa, some (not pictured) Ryvita crackers with any remaining avocado and some salsa, some veggies, fruit and I knew I had some Mary's crackers there as well. I ate what I packed, a couple of Mary's crackers and I also had the other half of the Glo Bar. I was pleasantly surprised by how satisfied I felt. Normally I would have added cheese to the meal...and I only sort of missed it.

The plan for dinner involves the following ingredients (among others):


Stay tuned for what I do with them :)

Want more information about vegan week and the vegan for a day challenge? Go here or here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

blogger vegan for a day

It is "vegan week" in blog land! No, I haven't gone vegan for the week- I wasn't quite prepared for that. Instead, despite my love of dairy and of course bacon, I've decided to throw my hat into the "Blogger Vegan 4 a Day" ring. You can read about it on Eating Journey, Silly Tater Tot, and several other blogs, but here's what I'll be doing: eating vegan for the day (so no meat or any sort of animal products- some say nothing with a face or made by something with a face, but since I'll be "making" the food" I guess that doesn't totally work), trying my best to take pictures of what I eat for the day, and then telling you all about it.


Got it? I think it will be interesting, although I don't think going vegan for a day will be nearly as difficult as it would be to go vegan for a week. We'll see how tomorrow goes and then maybe next month I'll go vegan for two days :) My sister ate vegan for awhile...she seemed to do ok. Will I ever go vegan? No, not unless something changes drastically and for some really important reason I feel like I have to do it. But I think it will be interesting for a day.

Are you vegan? Are you a "reformed" vegan? What are your thoughts about veganism?

Monday, November 16, 2009

8 healthy ways to start your day

If you've been reading the last couple of weeks or if you just been around me, you know that these last couple of weeks have been kind of low for me. I've been sick, frustrated, and tired.  So, when things like that happen, I look for ways to perk up, to feel happy, and to give myself credit for the things I already do for myself that make me happy and healthy. I came across these 8 healthy ways to start your day because I follow Cool Running on twitter and I like them.

1- Wake up your senses. They suggest filling your bedroom with colours, fragrances and music that you like.  This makes me glad that I got to pick my bedroom colour- I really enjoy the "Rye Moss" that we picked. While I won't be burning any scented candles overnight, I might just figure out how to incorporate good smells into my tiny bedroom.

2- Reach for the sky. I guess stretching is a great way to start the day. I already do a little of this, but I might throw in a few extended child's poses and "mimic a cat" like they suggest.

3- Make a promise to yourself. The suggestion is "As soon as you wake up, think of on nice thing you can do for yourself that day". I love this idea. Whether it is reminding myself that I'm doing yoga at lunch on Monday and that's a darn nice thing that I'm doing for myself, or deciding that I'll give myself a break or treat myself to a latte, I think I'm going to get on board with this.

4- Indulge in a water massage. I think using my shower time to relax and just let the water both wash my greasy hair AND wash away my stress is a great way to start the day. I'll have to keep that in mind from now on. Now if only my water pressure was a little better it would truly feel like a water massage.

5- Break the fast. They suggest a high-fiber breakfast full of whole grains, fruit, and low-fat protein. I always have breakfast and it almost always involves all three of those elements (although the fruit sometimes lacks once berries are out of season). I didn't used to, but now that I'm used to eating breakfast every morning, I actually wake up hungry and I can't imagine starting my day without eating.

6- Find joy in journalling. Their words are "Let your mind wander to an enjoyable memory. Then write down your thoughts and feelings about that memory. It could be just the boost your morning needs." Do mental notes count? Beacuse I don't know what kind of time they have in the morning, but I have my morning timed pretty much down to the minute and I think I'd have a hard time doing this to start my day...but I can see how it might work for some people. I think I'd just rather sleep a few more minutes and keep the writing for after work.

7- Move it in the morning. Exercising in the morning means that it is done and that you've taken time for your health before life and the rest of the day get in the way. While I don't usually run or work out in the morning (every so often I'll get up extra early and do it) I do enjoy the fact that I can walk to work. I find the brisk walk gets my blood flowing, my muscles moving (especially if I worked out hard the day before) and just feels good! Plus, I don't have to worry about traffic frustrations, bus strikes or just crazy bus people.

8- Fight that foggy-headed feeling. Their words are "If you're not a morning person, trying to multitask first thing is a recipe for a rough start. Concentrate on important tasks one at a time, and give yourself enough time to get ready. It helps some folks to have a morning blastoff checklist." I definitely understand this one. I can concentrate on ONE thing at a time in the morning and I think it amazes some people that it takes me more than an hour to get going once I get out of bed (seriously- it took me three tries to find my hair-dryer this morning and not only was it in the same place it always is, but I use it EVERY day). I know it takes me a long time to wake up and feel functional, so I try my best to plan accordingly.

I think I would also like to add a 3a to this list- and that is to also make a promise to someone else. While I'm promising myself to do something nice for me, I think I'll also make a promise that I'll do something nice for someone else as well. Whether it is a smile, a compliment, a helping hand or a little post-it, I know that making other people smile also makes me smile- and that sounds like a healthy habit to me.

So- do you do any of these? Do you think you'll start? Do you have a healthy habit of your own? I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

a long week

As you can probably tell from that last post (and really the last couple of posts), I didn't have the best week. It should have been a good week. My mum was here, my sister was here for a day, and the sun was shining most of the week. But, it started with me being sick with some sort of respiratory thing (it wasn't the flu...i swear!) and due to the exhaustion of recovering from that plus some craziness at work, it just didn't end well either. By the time Friday afternoon rolled around, I was REALLY ready for the weekend and extra ready for Jordan to be home.

Now that I've had a little more sleep, some relaxation, and some time with Jordan, all of it feels much better...and I think I might actually get out for a run tomorrow (it has been more than a week due to visits and sickness) so things are looking even better.


Plus, I got confirmation that, in June, I'll be running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon for Team Alzheimer's. It is something I've been thinking about doing ever since I went to the cemetery for my grandmother's burial and realized that it was minutes from the finish line of the race (which was also my first half marathon). So, I'm pretty excited about that and stay tuned for some fund raising efforts (and if you have any fund raising ideas, let me know).

So what do you do to cheer yourself up when you have a terrible week (or day)? I may or may not have done a little "retail therapy" but for the most part, I just tried to breathe, remind myself that "this too shall pass," and focus on things that make me smile.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

this is kind of how i felt about today


But I've managed to turn my frown upside down with a tasty dinner, a beer, some tea and some trashy tv.

Not that being right here right now is a bad thing, but man I wish I could go back to this right here :

Monday, November 09, 2009

sigh

The weather is perfect for running and I have a cough and a congested chest. What's with that? It is 17 degrees in NOVEMBER and I can't take advantage of it.
At least google is still entertaining me...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

things that make me smile

(besides the red cup)
I've loved visiting google the last couple of days:

 

They've really been making me smile :)

In other news- is it strange that when I watch X-Weighted, I really want Paul Plakas to come and put me through a workout with the goal of making me cry? I wish I could find a better clip...but honestly, I'd be disappointed if by the end of a workout with him I wasn't either crying or ready to puke. And I'd actually pay for that...I think I'm a bit of a weirdo.

What about you- would you subject yourself to something like that?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

it's the most wonderful tiiiime of the year

You know it- Red Cup season:




(yup, i have a french press at work)

I have a well documented love of the red cup (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008). Not only does it get blog mention every year, but I had two different people email me today saying they saw red cups and thought of me.

Fear not, I've had my first red cup of the season and it brought me great Joy. In fact, I even tried the egg nog latte for what I think was the first time. I'm a big gingerbread latte fan, but I don't think I had ever delved into the egg nog...my verdict is that it is pretty good, but I think next time I'll go with today's barista recommendation which was an egg nog chai latte. Sounds warm, spicy, and delightful! (although for most of the season, I'll probably stick with my double tall...it just tastes even better in the red cup)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

i practice what i preach

Just so that you know that I practice what I preach, I got myself all vaccinated up yesterday. I'm considered one of the "high risk" groups due to my asthma, so I was able to get out there and get vaccinated early. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to get a wristband at about 11am and was then told to come back around 4. At that point, I waited in three separate locations, each time waiting for my number to be called. It all went smoothly, but it did have a slightly ominous feeling. If all of a sudden all the exits had sealed, the windows covered and the room we were in was turned into a gas chamber, it wouldn't have been shocking. But we all made it out alive and I was in and out of there in just over an hour.

I now have a bit of a case of the "flu shot arm" (ie. stiff, sore, and a little uncomfortable) but other than that I feel good. I'll let you know if I suddenly develop a snout or get some sort of strange illness.

On a more fun note, go check out "the things i know" to weigh in on what she should do with her Christmas vacation!

(by the way- I think getting the flu shot is definitely a personal choice, so I'm not pressuring you at all. i just thought i'd let you know that I followed through with what I said I'd do)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

a laugh on a sunday morning

This cracks me up every time I see it. I think they've even kicked it up a notch since this one aired and I'm pretty sure the last time I saw it, the snack wasn't just "extraordinary" but "truly extraordinary"



I'm hoping to run and then get back in time to see the end of the NYC marathon. Feel like watching it online (and it is sometime after 9 and before about 12 EST- check out Universal Sports)