healthy |ˈhelθē|adjective ( healthier , healthiest )in good health: : feeling fit and healthy.• (of a part of the body) not diseased : healthy cells.• indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health : a healthy appetite | a healthy balanced diet.• (of a person's attitude) sensible and well balanced : a healthy contempt for authority.• figurative in a good condition• desirable; beneficial• A conscious choice; A life-long commitment.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap That Wasn't

Last year I had the privilege to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I had a good time, and of course its for a good cause, so when I got an email inviting me to sign up again, I jumped at the chance. Being one with little patience, I immediately looked up a recipe for the cookies I wanted to bake, and then headed to the grocery store that night to cook them. 4 dozen cookies later (1 for me, 3 for the swap), I packed everything up and tossed them in the freezer so that they would be fresh for shipping.

It wasn't until a few days later that I got an email saying that I wasn't eligible to participate because I didn't have enough recent food-centered posts on the blog.

So that's cool. I didn't get a refund of the money I donated (only 4$, but still kind of silly since I wasn't allowed to partake) and I sure as heck didn't get a refund for the money I paid for the ingredients to bake the cookies that were in my freezer.

Needless to say, I was popular with my patients that week. I brought in the cookies and shared them among co-workers and among the patients on the units.

I thought I should share the recipe regardless. Because you know, I like to post about food once in a while. ;)

esspressocookiesEspresso Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (source)

Ingredients;

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

  • 4 tablespoons instant espresso powder

  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 1/4 cup water for flax egg

  • 1 1/2 packages dark chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup walnuts


Cooking Directions;


  1. Step 1


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.


  2. Step 2


    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, corn starch, and baking soda; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together espresso powder, vanilla, and a tablespoon of water; set aside. Mix flax with water and set aside.


  3. Step 3


    Cream butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add flax egg; mix until incorporated. Add espresso mixture; mix well, scraping down the sides of a bowl with a spatula. At low speed, add flour mixture in small batches, mixing until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts.


  4. Step 4


    Form 1 inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet. The cornstarch prevents the cookies from flattening out too much, so they turn out nice and puffy, almost brownie-like. Bake until cookies are set, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely before removing cookies.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Acceptance Update

Welcome to DECEMBER.

Seriously, where did this year go? I can't even believe that I am writing this post and that it is the END OF THE YEAR. I need to start thinking about a word for 2014!

2013. The Year of Acceptance.

Truth: I started 2013 at a real low point in my life. My self esteem seemed non-existent, I was gaining weight, I was apathetic towards everything (including my relationships with my loved ones), and I just had this awful feeling something bad was going to happen.

Truth Number Two: Something bad probably would have happened if I hadn't gotten help.

I started seeing a counselor at the End of January. I saw her three times in total. That was all I needed. My friend Annette suggested a book for me to read called "Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers" and that really was the catalyst for my change.

I read the book, I did the homework, I reflected, I journalled, I made my mental health a priority, I made my relationships a priority. At the end of a 2 month period I felt back on track with the life I wanted to live. I had rediscovered my strength and my worth.

Since that time, honestly and truthfully, I have felt very good. I no longer stress about overeating, about skipping a workout, or about the possibility that I might be a shitty parent one day.

I have come to terms with the re-gain of weight, and I can see that it stemmed from old habits, emotional instability, and poor coping skills.

I have strengthened the relationship I have with my body, I treat it with the respect it deserves and I practice positive self talk. The negative thoughts are almost non-existent, it is refreshing and freeing. :)

I have grieved the loss of relationship with my biological father, and my biological mother. I am at a point of peace with the fact that I didn't have an ideal childhood, but I have come past that with triumph and strength and no one can take that away from me.

A list of Truth's going forward from here:

  • I am strong, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

  • I am loved, by my husband and adopted father, my sister, and my friends.

  • I am beautiful and unique, both inside and out.

  • I am a good person.

  • I am smart, funny, and mature.

  • I have a body that has done so much for me despite my lack of consistent care: It has run more miles this year than any in the past, it has lifted heavier things than I ever have before, and it has taught me that other peoples ideals aren't my own, and that is Ok.

  • I will be the best mother I can be one day when I have kids, I will be in charge of making my relationships with them, not my history.

  • I don't think I have a happy weight. But I can have a happy lifestyle.

  • I am healthy, and I make healthy choices.


2013 started out as a struggle, but it is ending the happiest I have ever felt. I am so incredibly lucky. I don't know how next year could ever be better than this one!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I survived Vegas

Well. Hello there.

This post is a little late coming out. My apologies about that. But the thing is, when you run a half marathon without training... it takes a wee bit of a toll on your body. Haha. But really. Today is the first day since last Sunday that my back hasn't felt like I had slipped discs. It was p-r-e-t-t-y ugly there for a few days, and I was letting my inner Grandma shine through as I hobbled around at work.

So. Lets back up a few days!photo-92

VEGAS!

Loads of fun. We stayed at our time share and we were thoroughly impressed! It had a full kitchen and laundry facilities in our suite, a jacuzzi tub, the most comfortable king sized bed, and it was south of the strip so it wasn't super busy around where we were! We were also a 5 minute drive from Whole Foods and a 10 minute drive from Trader Joes. Heaven I tell you. Pure heaven.

sonogWe actually had to buy a second suitcase so we could pack all of the food back into the country. We bought So Delicious Nog (so freaking good), International Delights COOKIE FLAVOR (I die.), 5 Salad Dressings (hah!) - 3 Goddess (my absolute favorite), a Buttermilk Ranch from Whole Foods, and a Creamy Hummus Dressing from TJ's. We also brought back some bars, lots of chocolate, and the best Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups ever created, also from TJ's. We also bought 4 jars of Biscoff Spread (the TJ's we went to sells out of Cookie Butter by 10am every day. That is pure madness.) and 1 jar of the chocolate swirled Cookie Butter. Also purchased: Nutzo and a plethora of Justin's Nut Butter packets.

Foodie Heaven.

We went to a Cirque du Soleil show - the new one at Aria called Zarkana. It is acrobatic focused and was really good. I think we both liked Ka better because we could actually follow the story line, but I am starting to think that Ka is the exception because I have now seen 4 Cirque Shows (Ka, Zarkana, Mystere, and Allegria) and Ka is the only one where I actually knew what was happening in the story line.

tee

The weather was also PERFECT for running. Like gorgeous. Not too hot, not too windy. My absolute favorite running weather.

I guess like 30,000+ runners participated in the Rock'N'Roll on Sunday night. Thats pretty crazy.

photo 2-9I was heat 25 (there were over 30), so I had to wait about 45 minutes after the starting time until it was time to cross the finish line. The race was pretty well organized and there were lots of volunteers and spectators along most of the route.

My one complaint: I didn't pack GU, or buy any GU because it was advertised that they would be giving it away at the water stations. Um. Yeah. Never happened. So I covered 13.1 miles without any running fuel besides 2 cups of Gatorade and was feelin' the wall from about Mile 10 on. Up until that point though I felt REALLY good and I think my time would have been decent had I been able to fuel the race properly.

stripI basically walked 2 of the last 3 miles because I just didn't have anything left in me.

strip3I finished in 2:48:08, which is my slowest time to date, but considering I walked about 30-35 minutes, I think I did a-ok.

strip2What matters is: I finished and I got a pretty sweet (but heavy!) medal, which makes every race worth-while.

medal

We went shopping in the Outlet malls on Sunday and drank Iced Almond Milk Lattes from Whole Foods one last time. We also ate at Panera which was fabulously fatty. I had the Broccoli Cheese Soup and Grilled Cheese with a side of Chocolate Chip Cookie. Worth it.

panera

Got home Monday night to a fresh batch of snow. From +20 to -20 just like that. Sadness.

But! I did get a sick new tattoo!

tattI am getting it colored in 2.5 weeks, which I can hardly wait for. I won't lie, this tattoo hurt really bad. I was shaking during certain parts of it (the very highest leaves and the leaf closest to my right shoulder), but considering it took 2.5 hours, I didn't do too bad. It also turned out beautifully. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Why a skull with sunflowers? Its quite simple, actually.

Live a Sunny Life.


Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Week's 1 & 2 and a Playlist

I did it! I finished Week's 1 and 2! And just in time to go away for my half marathon!

I actually enjoyed doing the workouts. They were the perfect amount of time and despite doing each 4 times, they didn't get redundant. I decided to sub-out the cardio workout for a Turbo Fire HIIT one day and then Soccer on the other days, which worked out well. I plan to continue doing this as I will be doing the Soccer thing twice a week.

I appreciate that the workouts were modifiable, both to make it easier and to make it (much) harder.

I started using my new Polar FT4 to track my calories burnt during the workouts and I averaged about 260 calories each time, which isn't too bad considering the workouts are 30ish minutes long. I expect they will get much harder!

I am taking Thursday to Monday off from the program, with the Half Marathon being on Sunday. I also will be walking, walking walking, in Vegas! Tuesday will be back to it with Week 3!

I wanted to share the Half Marathon Playlist that I put together. I like to run to upbeat, top 40's songs, so this stuff is all pretty current. I will probably have 1 ear bud in, 1 out, as I expect the race course will be pretty rockin' ;)

Rockin & Rollin Playlist
Lady Gaga - Applause
Skrillix - Bangarang
James Blunt - Bonfire Heart
Ellie Goulding - Burn
Selena Gomez - Come & Get It
OneRepublic - Counting Stars
Katy Perry - Dark Horse
Selena Gomez - Love You Like a Love Song
Glee Cast - Make You Feel My Love
Katy Perry - Legendary Lovers
Eminem - Monster
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Katy Perry - Roar
Lorde - Royals
Selena Gomez - Slow Down
Zedd - Spectrum
Katy Perry - Walking on Air
Calvin Harris - Thinking About You
Selena Gomez - Undercover
Avicii - Wake Me Up
Zedd - Clarity
Capital Cities - Safe and Sound
Calvin Harris - I Need Your Love

See ya from Vegas ;)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2 New Goals

I have two new crazy goals I want to share with you all!

Being that this blog is healthy-focused, I figure that every post I write should be done while I am walking on my treadmill. I have a walking desk set up, and I always seem to forget about it, so I am now making the public statement that from here on out, all posts will be written only when I am walking! Hopefully that doesn't mean I fall off the face of the blog world haha :)

I want to run 100 1/2 marathons. Why 100 you ask?! Great question. I don't actually even know myself, but it would be a pretty cool statement to make.. "Oh you know.. I've run a hundred half marathons." BAD ASS. So far I have run 4... and it will be 5 on November 17th. I considered making the full marathon count as 2 haha, but I decided against it. Long ways to go, but thas ohkay ;)



Speaking of the half marathon I am going to participate in on the 17th. Yeah, I haven't trained for it. Like AT ALL. HAH! Oops. Mucho Fail-O on my part. Should be interesting, but I don't expect to beat any records, I might even set a record as slowest time to date!

Just a quick update: Jillian Michael's Body Revolution is going good! I plan to do updates when I am done each 2 week segment and post pictures at the end of each 30(ish) days. My program is a bit modified as I am using my soccer days as Cardio and taking a few days off around the half marathon, so it will extend it a bit to probably a 94 or 95 day program. I am really committed to going all the way with this one :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Soccer - Take 2!

Remember that time I got kicked off my soccer team for not being good enough?

Huge blow to my self esteem.

Huge.



Last year, I wouldn't have been able to play, even if I wanted to, because I was doing the full time evening's thing. This year is a different story. I only work 7 evenings a month! So when I randomly got a text message asking if I wanted to come to a practice for a Tier 2 (1 Tier higher than Tier 3) team, I jumped at the chance! Doesn't hurt to try it out and maybe I would find a team that actually practiced so I could improve!

So I went to the practice that night and had a really good time. It was awesome getting back on the pitch and some of my skill was still there. It also was a good reminder of the things I need to work on, and hopefully will be able to now that I have a team that practices once a week!

The ladies were really friendly, and there was a good range of experience (it's one girls first year playing, ever!) so that made me feel better about the whole thing.

I have the speed needed for the mid position, but not the ball control that I need to successfully set up plays to get goals. I can kind of strategize where I need to be according to where the other players are, but I am not perfect at this, so I am looking to improve this. I also need to get over my fear of getting kicked, sometimes I am not as aggressive as I should be and will prematurely back off, I think this is also combined with my lack of ball control.. if I just chose not to charge than I don't show that I can't control the ball haha. Because I don't charge, I am not the greatest defense-woman.

I need some tips friends! How do I improve on these things?! I will try ANYTHING!

Tonight is my first official game! Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mini Vegan Apple Crisp

Mini desserts are the bomb. As someone who hates portion control, creating a dessert that is pre-portioned is the perfect way to stay on track with my eating. These Mini Apple Crisps are so good! I adapted this recipe from the November issue of Shape Magazine. It turned out even better than I was expecting so I had to share it!

pie

Original Recipe: Mini Apple Crumbles from Shape, November 2013

Ingredients: (Makes 12)

Crumble

  • 3/4c Rolled Oats

  • 3/4c Whole-Wheat Flour

  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

  • Pinch of Salt

  • 2Tbsp Coconut Oil


Apple Filling

  • 2 Large Apples (I used Organic Gala)

  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup


Directions:

1. Preheat Oven to 350F. Lightly grease muffin tin with Coconut Oil or Cooking Spray.

2. Dice the apples and put in a small pot over medium heat with 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup and 1/2c Water. Let boil for five minutes and then drain.

3. Mix oats, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix in 1/3c Maple Syrup and stir until combined.Place 1Tbsp of Mix in muffin tin and press into bottom to form a crust.

4. Add 1 Scoop of Apples to the crust and press down lightly with the back of the spoon.

5. Evenly distribute the remainder of the Crumble Mix and press down lightly.

6. Bake for 12 Minutes (10-15 depending on your oven), at 350F.

7. Let cool, then run a butter knife around the edges to gently loosen them out of the muffin tin.

8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Baked Honey Mustard Tofu

Tofu. I know it really creeps some people out. But I think it is really versatile and can adapt to any flavors you cook with it. This is a super easy recipe that takes hardly any time at all. I paired my tofu with some steamed Kale. Yum!

[caption id="attachment_1341" align="aligncenter" width="300"]I promise it tastes better than it looks! I promise it tastes better than it looks![/caption]

Ingredients: (Makes 4 Servings)

  • 1 Block Firm Tofu

  • 2 Tbsp Honey Mustard

  • 2 Tbsp Miso

  • Chopped Red Bell Pepper

  • 1/2 Chopped Onion


Directions:

  1. Mix the honey mustard and miso until well combined. Add a bit of water to thin out if necessary.

  2. Chop Tofu into cubes and combine with Pepper and Onion.

  3. Pour on Honey Mustard Sauce and mix well, until everything is coated.

  4. Let marinate for 1 hour or longer.

  5. Place on baking tray.

  6. Bake for 35 minutes at 375F.

  7. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Snow Day

photo-89Woke up to a huge dump of snow. I got ready for work as usual and made sure to leave 15 minutes early just in case the roads were shit.

Well, shit is an understatement. I nearly got stuck exiting on to the main highway because the snow had blown so high, and then I was going 60km the whole way being passed by semi's, with largely reduced visibility from the snow and wind.

Worst road conditions I have ever driven on. By far. I decided to throw it in and turn around and go home. I pulled off to exit to Lacombe and there were FIVE people stuck trying to exit. Not in the ditch. Just trying to exit.

I turned around in Lacombe and took the 2A back to Blackfalds which was slightly less terrifying because there were no semi's, but it was still really bad.

Today will be spent watching Breaking Bad, getting mad at my Netflix because it cuts out and disconnects me every 5 minutes (anyone know a way to stop that? It has only started happening in the last 3 days), and shovelling the foot or more of snow in my driveway.

Some things I wish on days like this:

  1. That I didn't feel so darn guilty calling in to work. It is the worst. I am the person who will work through pretty much anything and I feel awful when I am a flake.

  2. That semi's couldn't pass in Alberta, or Canada for that matter. They aren't allowed to pass in Europe. Get with the times Canada, Get with the times.

  3. That semi drivers spoke english better. When I was exiting off Highway 2 to Lacombe a Semi was parked in front of me with his lights flashing. He got out and ran towards my car and started saying something that I couldn't understand. I assume he was saying not to exit here because people were stuck. But I can't be sure. I finally said "You really need to work on your English." He smiled, thanked me, and headed back to his truck. Idiot.

  4. That Alberta did a better job at managing the first big snow fall. It seems every year we get a huge amount of snow over a weekend and everything just goes to hell. No one knows how to drive, no one is plowing the roads. It is a free for all out there.

  5. That I had automatic Start. Love my new vehicle (Mitsubishi RVR; 4WD!!) but definitely miss the auto start feature from Little Green.


Stay warm!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution

So.... October was a ROUGH month for workouts. After 3 weeks off for the honeymoon, I took ANOTHER 2 weeks off because I wasn't feelin' it. Then, when I started working out again, I realized how horribly out of shape I was and it sucked. My workouts have been pretty sporadic since then. I have only been to Crossfit twice, and while I have gone for a few decent runs, I am SO SO SO slow! Not to mention that I lost all of most of my strength, so Crossfit blows.

I really need something to kick-start my motivation to workout. Something that is short, but effective. Something with minimal equipment. Something that is structured, and works on all the major muscle groups so that I can start building my strength back up.

I know I talked about Turbo Fire before, and although I LOVE it, it is more cardio focused, and some of the workouts are a bit too long for me.

So, I have committed myself to a 90 day Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Challenge.

I won't post my before stats, but I will share a before picture.

BeforeSo as you can see, I am not really at my fighting weight ;) but that's cool. I aint stressin' about it.

Excited to see the changes that come my way!

Today is DAY ONE.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Group Fitness



If someone told me at the start of this whole journey that I would end up in love with Group Fitness, I probably would have laughed at them. I mean, really? Me? The introvert?

I remember my first group fitness class. The instructor of the class was so awesome. Her name is Vicki and she still teaches at my old gym (and I still love her classes). She was really energetic, focused on good form, and challenged me. I was still overweight when I took this class and I remember it was the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2010 (Just 1 short month later I would become a Vegetarian and the rest is history). The class was called One Minute Workout, where you do an exercise for One Minute and then switch to another Exercise. I know it probably sounds insanely easy, but it most definitely was not, and to this day, it remains one of my most favorite and most challenging classes.

So began the Love Affair with Group Fitness. I met my first Exercise Friend through a Group Fitness Class, and Group Fitness really sparked my passion to get fitter, stronger, and it made me oodles happier. I ended up leaving the Gym that I loved because they went through some structuring changes with instructors that I didn't like, and because I fell in love with Crossfit.

Since the whole Gym-Switch I must admit that I miss some of the Group Fitness Classes that I used to take. The ones with the intervals and tabatas and of course, spin.

With the Abbey Center opening in Blackfalds in the spring, I started researching what fitness opportunities would be involved with the Center, and learned that they would have Group Fitness Classes as well as Spin Classes.

So I did a bit more Research and signed up for a Group Exercise Theory course in November through the AFLCA. My goal is to complete my Group Exercise Certification in the Spin and Portable Equipment Designations, and then perhaps get a part time job at the Abbey Center teaching some fitness classes! How cool would that be?!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday [20]

Catching Up

Impromptu blogging break! My bad.

So I pay into the Staff 50/50. It is $5 every pay period, which I don't even notice being taken off my cheque. The 50/50 is eligible for all employees in the central region. I was at work on Wednesday and my charge nurse comes in and gives me a message saying I need to call this person right away. He said it wasn't bad, but that he needed me to call them back right away and that he wanted to be there when I called.winner

I was a bit concerned.. Was I in Trouble?! So I called right away.

Well.. I won. Never would I have EVER guessed that I would have won, nor that it would be such a large sum of money. It was so surreal. I feel blessed and so incredibly lucky. The money is going towards paying off my credit cards. I also splurged and purchased myself a new pair of sunglasses, a new pair of Lulu Leggings, and a new pair of Running Shoes (Mizunos! My first pair).

Other things that are pretty cool:

[caption id="attachment_1320" align="aligncenter" width="225"]honey Honeycrisps are BACK[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1321" align="aligncenter" width="225"]miz Mizuno Wave's[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1322" align="aligncenter" width="225"]red I died my hair RED[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1323" align="aligncenter" width="225"]spin After 6 Months, I finally rekindled my love of Spin[/caption]

Half Marathon training is going well. I don't expect to PR at the Rock'n'Roll Half in Vegas, but I do plan to have a great time! I am slowly but surely getting back into running and fitness in general after a Looooong break. I actually ended up taking off about FIVE WEEKS of all formal exercise. My should feels substantially better but boy am I weak. I am looking forward to feeling stronger and faster again :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Land of My Husband

When we decided to rent a car, Matthias and I both agreed it would be a fun experience to drive from Rome to Landsberg am Lech (aka. Landsberg, which is 30 minutes outside of Munich). When we made that decision we didn't realize how awful the Italian's were at driving, but that is beside the point.  germanstreet I mapped out our route, which would take us from Rome, north through Austria and in to Germany through the south. The trip took us approximately 10 hours and the scenery was stunning, and like nothing I had ever seen before. Austria was beautiful and tiny! We drove through it in about half an hour!




[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"]IMG_0271 Childhood Home built by Matthias' Dad[/caption]

germany Now, Germany is an interesting place, and the South (aka. Bavaria) is different than the other parts. For those of you that don't know, Matthias is from Bavaria. He was born in Landsberg and grew up in 2 small towns, Weil and Gennach.

I was so excited to see where he was from, and it felt so special to see his childhood home that his dad built, meet his grandparents (who don't speak a lick of English), and go for supper with his extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins).

The food in Bavaria is outstanding, and probably my favorite style of food out of all the places we visited. It was rich, buttery, and totally gluttonous. Worth it!

castelamLandsberg was a nice town to stay in. It was in close proximity to the train station in to Munich and it wasn't hard (or stressful) to navigate. They have an "old city" that is made out of old stone and has the old style streets, clock tower, and lots of heritage, and a "new city" which is more modern. I appreciated that it wasn't overly busy considering we were in Germany at prime tourism time (Oktoberfest!).

IMG_0286 IMG_0290

oktobIMG_0279  IMG_0281

Our time in Germany was a perfect mix of relaxation and activities. We saw the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle built by King Ludwig II, visited the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, spent a day at Oktoberfest (in our traditional lederhosen and derndel ;) my halloween costume for hopefully the next 20 years haha), visited with family, childhood friends, and went to a fair.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"]dachau Dachau[/caption]

The food on the flight back was really delicious. I made sure to call and request a Vegetarian meal and Matthias and I were happily surprised with the quality of food we got! We had a tofu-stuffed eggplant ring with Orzo and Vegetables, Millet Salad and Fruit Salad as dessert. The flights home were long, 15 total hours of travel. We were greeted by excited puppies, excited kitties, and the most comfortable bed and pillows in the WORLD.

returnfood

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rome

Rome was certainly an adventure.

collos IMG_0242We landed at approx. 11:30pm and had to run (with our giant backpacks on) through the airport to make it to the car rental place before they closed at midnight. I think we made it with like 3 minutes to spare? Anyways the lady barely spoke english but we managed to get our car (which was a convertible :) ) with only 1 or 2 hiccups we were out the doors and ready to go. Or so we thought. matteeconvunknwnHas any ever driven in Rome? No? We were the only crazy Canadians who thought it would be ok?

pantheon

Heads up: DON'T. It was a nightmare for the the start. The streets are not labeled clearly. The traffic doesn't follow any sort of speed limit and the ride your bumper. The merge lanes are MAYBE a third the size of Canadian merge lanes. The streets are very tiny.

What was supposed to be a 30 minute drive to our 1st hotel ended up taking 3 hours and we arrived shortly before 3am. Brutal. trevi

We were up early the next morning to check out and find our actual hotel, The CarpeDiem Roma Golf Club, (their checkout is only open until 10pm, hence the random hotel the first night) and after getting lost trying to find that one (and having the nice people of the hotel send someone on a Vespa to come find us...) we were checked in to our lovely suite which had a Living Room, Kitchen, Jacuzzi in the Bathroom, and glorious King Sized Bed. Although the furnishings were a bit outdated it was pretty much Heaven and Matthias and I both loved staying there. We booked it through our timeshare and although the original booking was a bit sketch, it ended up working out Fabulously. They had a shuttle to the nearest Subway Station so we didn't have to drive, they were located on a Golf Course so it was quiet and the scenery was beautiful, they arranged so we could meet some of the other guests and we met some awesome people from around the world (and from Alberta!), they have a washer and dryer on site, a grocery store in close proximity so we could prepare our own food, and the staff was so accommodating. Thumbs up!

italycountry italykitchen

We went into Rome for 3 days (the other 3 we relaxed at the Resort) and saw all the traditional sites like the Colesseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, St. Paul's Basilica (we opted to see this church as opposed to the 3 hour+ wait at the Vatican), and Circus Maximus. We also did another Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour which was great, but had an automated guide, which didn't work at all of the seats. We ate delicious pasta, pizza, and gelato daily.

The other highlight of Rome? We did a Food Walking Tour that we booked through Viator. This tour was amazing. Our guide, Dominico, was hilar. We walked (and ate) for 4 hours through the Testaccio neighborhood, which is a historical (and traditional) foodie neighborhood. We sampled authentic cuisine, including tiramisu, pizza, prosciutto and cheese, aged balsamic vinegar, 3 types of pasta and wine, caprese salad with fresh buffalo mozzarella, bruschetta, canolli, arancini (italian rice balls), and gelato. It was probably my favorite part of the entire trip.

IMG_0193 IMG_0207 IMG_0219 IMG_0221

Matthias and I both agreed that Rome was a pretty dirty city, and although it was nice to see, I think we would have probably enjoyed seeing the Amalfi coast and travelling to smaller cities better.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="291"]IMG_0259a Just Chillin'[/caption]

za

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Whats New in October

Yesterday was my first official "workout" after a month (A MONTH!) of no official exercise. Since I am running the Las Vegas Rock'N'Roll Half Marathon on November 17th (that is only 39 days away people), I decided to run a 5k and organize my training schedule. Well... I woke up this morning with sore quads. From a 5k. How the heck did I run 42 of them in May?! I have no clue. But I am excited to be back in the swing of things :)

So what is new for the month of October? Well a few things!

I am working with Dori from Healing Thru Food. Prior to going on the honeymoon I was in a total cooking slump. I was seeking out the easiest possible foods to cook, eating more fish than I wanted because it was easy, and just feeling a general "blah" about the way I was eating. I wanted to work with a Nutrition Coach who focused on Vegetarian/Vegan eating styles. After a lengthy google search I found Dori, and she is AWESOME.
Dori Friedberg, BA, NE, FPC, is a certified Nutrition Educator and Food Psychology Coach who is passionate about helping people achieve their unique health-related goals. With over a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry, Dori is confident that her abilities can help her clients create lasting and positive change, promote consciousness and give them an overall sense of control, joy and excitement around choosing healthy food as medicine. - from her Website.

Dori is so thorough. She puts together this insane meal plan with SO many recipes, she tailors everything to fit your lifestyle (vegan to meat eaters alike) and she breaths enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle. I really wanted to focus on nutrition and proper protein surrounding my workout schedule, as well as taming my sugar cravings and transitioning to a Vegan diet.

I have gone back and forth with the whole Vegan thing for a while now, and it is something that I want to work towards. So for the month of October I have been chatting with Dori and she has been coaching me along this Vegan journey. It hasn't been perfect (hello Lobster Grilled Cheese with Becky last night), but it has been fun, and it has really ignited my passion for cooking and for focusing on a plant based diet.

So this little space is hopefully going to turn into a more Vegan place, and I hope that doesn't scare away any paleo readers ;)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Where Do I Even Start?

Hi Friends,

I have been back for a week today, and I just had no idea where to start these posts, what I wanted to share, or how to even go about writing about this trip and putting it all in to words. I also felt like I had NO time to sit down as I pretty much jumped right back in to working the day after I got home, HELLLLO Jet Lag. Brutal.

[caption id="attachment_1254" align="alignleft" width="225"]IMG_0077 Trafalgar Square[/caption]

How about we start with London?

Matthias and I flew out (with Air Canada) at 7:20pm, so our night was a Red-Eye-Esque flight. We were served an in-flight meal and a "breakfast." I didn't know that you had to call Air Canada to request a Vegetarian meal before hand so we were served with the "Chicken" Option. I wasn't a huge fan of the chicken because it was rubbery from the microwave, so I picked around it and ate everything else, which was surprisingly delicious.

We landed at 11:20am London Time which was 3:20am Red Deer Time. We couldn't check in to our hotel until 3pm (which sucked) so we hung around and ate a snack whilst getting VERY tired. After check in, we pushed our 2 twin beds together (the worst of our sleeping arrangements) and slept. We woke up at about 8 and headed out to get some Whole Foods Hot Bar, of course.

wf

After that we tried to sleep again but the jet lag kicked in and we were wide away at 4am watching British Infomercials.

Things we did in London and Area:

  • Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour - loved having a human as a guide, they told funny stories, and we both enjoyed being able to drive by all the major sites

  • Florence Nightingale Museum - She's a famous Nurse, so that was cool

  • Saw a Play (39 Steps; freaking hilarious) and Stomp (equally as entertaining)

  • Watched the Changing of the Guard

  • Went to the City of Bath (a city built around old Roman Hot Springs), Stonehenge, and Windsor Castle

  • Spent about an hour at the hospital after Matthias had a mysterious allergic reaction at midnight and broke out in hives (umm... like no pharmacies are open in London at Midnight, so instead of going and picking up some Benadryl we had to wait in Emergency until a Nurse could assess him and administer it. Lesson learned.)

  • Lots of Walking


Photo Bomb Ahead

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_0091 Changing of the Guard[/caption]

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IMG_0180 stone




[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMG_0156 Guard at the City of Bath[/caption]

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Overall, we both really liked London! We were there for 5 days. It was busy with lots of hustle and bustle but it had a posh ( ;) ) atmosphere. We both liked that it was a clean city, and it was pretty easy to get around by Subway and Foot. We did a Contiki Tour (The London Explorer Package) and we both agreed that it was worthwhile, our only wish was that we would have had a Queen size bed and maybe a Mini Fridge.


We flew out from London headed to Rome. Our flight was supposed to leave at 6:30pm but ended up departing almost 2 hours late.. More on that next time :)

P.S. Missed you!