7/29/10

Confessions...

In my travels around the blogoshere this week I have stumbled upon a re-occuring theme: Confessions.

Bloggers are using their forum to reveal wacky and unexpected tidbits of information about themselves, exposing a different side and ultimately giving people an opportunity to get to know them a little better! How sweet!

Now because I like this sort of thing, and because I still haven't gotten around to updating my About Me section (lame, I know!!) I will partake in a little confessing of my own. So here goes:


*I am certifiably addicted to sour candy. Its scary and borderline insane how much of the stuff I can eat at a time. My dentist would cringe!

*I'm a crazy cat lady (both a lil' crazy and the owner of crazy cats) and I really like to take pictures of them


*I don't like running as much as I tell myself that I do but I figure "fake it til' ya make it" right?

*I am a bit of a pack rat. I hate to throw things away in fear that I might need it again some day.

*I make lists..and lots of 'em! To-do lists, to-pack lists, grocery lists, songs to add to my iPod lists..you name it and I have it on a list somewhere.

*I'm a sucker for sales. I will buy things I don't even need just because there is a sale sticker or a 2for1 deal.

*I am still a HUGE Britney Spears fan.




So there you have it...a little look into a few of the things that make me tick. Hope it didn't scare anyone away hahahaha!!






So tell me, any confessions that you'd like to share?

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7/28/10

Am I "Green" enough?

As I was flipping through a back issue of Runner's World magazine I stumbled upon an article that caught my eye: The Runner's Footprint (read the article here). In short it discussed the environmental impact of running, taking a closer look at everything from running shoes to races. And it left me thinking..in a world that needs all the help it can get is my sport of choice helping or hindering efforts to "Go Green"?




Then I flipped to the back of the article where it listed 30 things a regular person like myself can do to make a difference and low and behold I was already doing many of those things! For example:


*Start all your runs from you home or office- I rarely relocate for a run and if I do I usually take public transit.

*Race in your hometown as much as possible- All my races have been in Toronto and the vast majority will be.

*Hold of on new purchases and wear your exercise apparel as long as possible- I have a limited wardrobe for exercise/running because its more cost effective that way

*Eat one less serving of meat per week, which requires more fuel and water to produce than other sources of protein- With the exception of tuna I haven't eaten any meat in weeks

*Run outside rather then on a treadmill- I'd actually prefer it this way

*Wear old shoes casually after they are worn out- I walk the dog in my old ones all the time

*Buy used equipment rather then new-I haven't made the purchase yet but I fully intend to get my bike from the classifieds.

Its interesting to see how little things that you do all the time can really add up. Of course I could be "Greener" and there are a few things I would like to start doing more of such as:

*Use a re-usable water bottle and coffee mug EVERY time

*Wash my gear in cold water and hang to dry

*Buy more local and organic produce


At the end of the day I want my children's children to be able to run on this planet too so if I can make a few changes (and continue to do the things I am already doing) to help make that happen then I am proud to play that part.


So tell me, what do you do daily to be "green". Have you made any changes lately to help change your footprint?

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7/26/10

P-I-Z-Z-A!!

After a lazy weekend filled with much needed sleep, relaxation, homemade zucchini bread and Dexter season one, I think I have been bitten by a bit of a culinary bug. This afternoon, admist a busy day at work, I decided that I would come home and prepare homemade pizza as a surprise to the Boyfriend and on top of that, make more baked goods! (On deck this time: Blueberry, banana & coconut bread with walnuts and chia seeds...yum!)




I channeled my inner Italian Nonna and started with homemade pizza dough topped with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lots of seasoning



Then I added a little bit of sauce, some grated goat's cheese mozarella and lots of fresh veggies ( I love me some veggies on a pizza!)




Popped it in the oven to get all warm and crusty with gooey cheesy goodness on top and voila! Dinner is served!




And for dessert we each tried a piece of the blueberry, banana & coconut bread that was filling the apartment with a delicious aroma all through dinner. I had made a variation of the recipe, substitutiing some of the sugar with honey and the oil with applesauce. Verdict: Meh...




I may have overbaked it a little only contributing to the meh-ness. Next time around I need to make sure its a little sweeter and a little more moist...any ideas?



Nonetheless, despite the bread letdown I feel satisfied and ready to end the night with some more Dexter and some time with my favorite guy in the world!


So tell me, what's your favorite "could have ordered it in but I'd rather make it at home" food?
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7/25/10

And a good time was had by all..


As I have mentioned a few times I had the honor of acting as bridesmaid in the nuptials of two very good friends of mine on Friday. For as long as I have known them they have been best friends and madly in love and the wedding really only solidified what I already knew: These two are going to live hapiily ever after!



Thursday night was the rehersal dinner at a restaurant downtown. Its Summerlicious in Toronto so we were given a reduced menu but luckily the selection was still great. I didn't take photos of the food (blogger fail!) but I had a delicious gazpacho with goat cheese and basil, followed by a curried vegetable ragout and chickpea fritter. Yummy!


Oh, and there might have been a few of these:




After the dinner we retreated to the maid of honor's house for the all-girl sleepover, which to my surprise actually was a "sleep"over. Everyone was so exhausted from all the running around to get ready for the big day that we practically went straight to bed.


Friday was another semi-early morning for us. With so much to do and only so many hours (there was more than 8 but the time flew!!) we had to get an early start.




Off we went to the spa for a very relaxing (and in my case, much needed mani-pedi). For those of you who run I think you might be able to relate with the need for some serious foot-love every once and a while right?







After the spa we were off again, this time back to get ready for a 5pm photo shoot before the ceremony (this many ladies and you need extra time so there's no battle for bathroom time)


After hair....



And makeup....




Some do-it-yourself dress alterations....



And of course lots of photos...




We were ready!





And off to alter we went...in a taxi! Economical and urban-chic for sure! 

Needless to say the wedding was absolutely beautiful (Hello, have you seen the bride? How could it not be?)




Like most weddings there was lots and lots of photo taking





The reception was fun, classy and very true to the bride and groom (live music performed by talented friends, hilarious speeches and some delicious vegetarian friendly fare)


All and all I think everyone had a great time!







Without a doubt in my mind this couple has an amazing future to look forward to!

Congratulations!

So tell me, what is your favorite part of a wedding? Any traditions that you love? Any that you hate?
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7/21/10

Mini blogging break

As I get ready to celebrate my good friend's wedding this Friday I have realized that I am quickly running out of time to get all the things on my to-do list done. Unfortunately that means that something has to give and in this case that something is my blog *sigh*

My mini break will last until Saturday and then I'll be back in full force with updates and pictures galore!

Have a great Thursday and Friday everyone!
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7/20/10

Immune system booster

Its been and will continue to be a busy week for me. My good friend is getting married on Friday, work is hectic as always and I am trying to stay on top of my training plan. So, as I am sure you can imagine, I was quite disturbed by the all too ominous achy pre-flu feeling that came over me this past weekend. No one wants to get sick but this week I just can't! Too much to do and not enough time as it is..there is no room for a bed-ridden Sam.


So I decided to dedicate my eating this week to staying healthy and flu free. I've tried to load up on as much wholesome food as I can hoping all the vitamins and goodness would chase away whatever ailment was creeping up on me.


Today's food in photos:



Not so green, Green Monster smoothie with strawberries and blueberries


Multigrain oatmeal with blueberries, almonds and chia seeds


A banana


Quinoa & chickpea salad with balsamic vinagrette


A "Long Run Power ball" from a co-worker (yum!!)



A Kashi granola bar



Fresh bread with eggplant spread and pickled artichokes



Grilled tofu, tabbouleh salad and a grilled vegetable wrap with goat cheese




I'm stuffed but oh, so happy!


So tell me, what do you do to combat a cold or flu? Echinacea? Vitamin C? More sleep? Share please, I'm willing to try anything!
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7/18/10

Product Reviews: 3 New Things

Its been one of my goals lately to use my new found non-meat eating ways as a catalyst to try healthy food products/items that I have never tried before. As I result I have discovered a whole new section of my local Loblaws (thumbs up!) and while I was never really a picky eater, I find myself becoming for adventurous and creative by the day.


Last week I picked up a Whole Food Energy Bar (chocolate flavor) made by Vega. At first glance it had the makings of a healthy and wholesome snack: 10g raw protein. 6g fibre, sweetened with dates and agave nectar as opposed to refined suger. What could go wrong?



I don't know what went wrong but something did.  Let's just say that I am definitely not a fan of these as a snack or a source of protein. Thumbs down! (Barkley won't even eat 'em...j/k)



Next up was Sicilian Eggplant Caponata with pine nuts and sultanas by Wildly Delicious Fine Foods. I actually found this on clearance at Shoppers Drug Mart and with The Boyfriend's eager approval (he'll eat anything spread on fresh bread!) I decided to give it a try.




This spread is surprising low in calories and sugar per serving (bonus!) and would make a good appetizer served on top of the fresh walnut muesli bread I spied at the market today. All in all a thumbs up, although I would probably try another flavor next time around.


The last item that I decided to sample was Not Nuts! Mountain Mambo Nut Free Trail Mix by a company called Enjoy Life Foods.





With a blend of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, apples, cranberries and chocolate chips and the fact that they are gluten, nut, dairy and soy free (made in a dedicated facility) what's not to love! In fact having been left home alone with the open package I keep finding my hand sneaking in for another taste. I give this a whole-hearted two thumbs up!!


Needless to say I am really enjoying my self-appointed role of Whole Food Sampler!!

So tell me, what new items have you sampled lately? Anything out there that you recommend that I try (or turn on my heels and walk away from)?
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7/17/10

The Double Down ain't got nothin' on these...


1500 cal 97g fat



1520cal 111g fat



2900cal 182g fat (wtf!!)


In reality, I don't believe that any health concious person on the planet would touch these monstrosities with a ten foot pole but the scary thing is there are people out there who would. It leads me to beg the question, why in a world where waistlines are exanding at an alarming rate, where over 1 billion people worldwide are overweight and 300 million of them are considered clinically obese (WHO website), where heart dsiease kills countless people per year, do restaurants serve these dishes?


I guess the better question is, should restaurants care? Is it their responsibility to protect the health and well-being of their customer? Should they remove them from the menu or in a society of supply and demand do they have every right to provide what the people want?


In my opinion I think that restaurants should offer healthy meals but that there is no obligation to remove unhealthy fare either. That said, I do think that these same restaurants should make the calorie, fat and sodium content of the items available both on their websites and in their menu. Sure, if you are already ordering a Grilled Cheese Burger Melt you might not care about the 97g of fat (we haven't even added a side of fries yet either!) but then again you just might. And even if one person opts out of the sandwich (or changes their side to a salad) then putting the stats there was worth it to me.


Ultimately I believe that health is personal. The onus isn't on a restaurant or fast-food chain to keep you healthy but they should buy into the social responsibility of providing good options. (Hey McDonalds. a salad with 23g of fat still doesn't count as far as I am concerned!)


And that my friends, is what I think about that! Happy Saturday!


So tell me, do you think that restaurants should share in the responsibilty of keeping people healthy? Do you believe menus should include nutritional information?












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7/15/10

Green Monsters in the Workplace

As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to bring the GM Movement to my office today, in an effort to share this delicious and healthy drink to some Green Monster newbies. Many of them had heard me wax poetic about how tasty and beneficial they are but most remained skeptical: Spinach in a smoothie? Ummm...eww!

Ewww?? I don't think so!




In today's mix: Organic spinach, blueberries, bananas, soy milk and green tea.



Blend and ta-da! Green Monsters for everyone!



So the one thing that I think even the biggest GM fan can agree to is that the colour can throw you off a little. My co-workers were no exception. They were willing to try it but hesitated a little when handed the cup.







It was quite hilarious that almost everyone had the same reaction when they saw it. In fact one person went so far as to warn the next person to "..just drink it. Don't look at it first, whatever you do!"


In the end, every single person who tried it liked it. Some liked it more than others (Cynthia wants to make more next week even!) but no one was disappointed or worse (someone wretching in the bathroom would have been quite anti-climatic)


Score 1 for the Green Monster Movement!

There is something to be said for sharing something this good. If I had money I'd "Share the Wealth" but for now I'll "Share the Health"!


So tell me, did you do anything fun at work today? If you weren't at work (lucky you!) how'd you keep busy?


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