I was up far past my bed time finishing The Hunger Games. Haven’t done that since my Harry Potter days! I can’t wait to get to book number two, I feel like a bit of my life is on hold until I do.

Lazily rolled out of bed for breakfast

PB&J + a Greenmonsta -banana, chia seeds, spinach, coconut milk (from a carton)

I’ve decided that I do not enjoy So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk. So far, I’ve tried it with cereal, oatmeal and smoothies. I find it thick but watery, bland and almost cardboardy. Not coconutty at all! Well, I impulsively bought a shelf-stable six pack of it from Costco and it is tolerable in smoothies so I’ll slowly but surely be working my way through it.

After breakfast I curled up onto the couch and watched The Help with my mom, amazing movie, I wish I had read the book first!

Eventually I peeled myself off of the sofa to go to The Yoga Passage for my karma cleaning shift and a hot class. Perfect little Sunday.

Christmas is around the corner and here are all the things I’m asking Santa for

Kindle

Now that I’ve been bitten by the reading bug again (for a while there all I read was blogs and nutrition facts panels…) I have a huge list of books that are on my radar. There is a certain comfort that comes with reading a ‘real’ book, but I’ve never been the type to read a book more than once. Therefore I see a Kindle in my near future, whether santa gets me one or not.

iPhone 4s

My Blackberry is alright but I realize that an iPhone probably suits my high maintinence requirements better.

Bolster

I was introduced to bolsters when I accidentally took a restorative yoga class last year. Not only did I find a new appreciation for slow, deep restorative practises, but I don’t know how I went so long without bolsters in my life! Once I drape myself over one of these, it’s very difficult to get me off.

Manduka Mat

my yoga mat is starting to tear where my hands and feet are placed in downward dog. Time for an upgrade!

Hello friends!

Today my yoga studio hosted their fourth annual

I was flattered that they asked me to cater, I brought veggie samosas, vegan BLTs, butternut squash + feta wraps, curried lentil dip, black bean dip, and a bunch of other goodies!

The yoga itself was utter bliss, let me tell you, nothing feels better than therapeutic flow after a night hunched over my kitchen table: stuffing and sealing those samosas!

While we’re talking yoga, I thought I’d give you a quick update on my yoga challenge for the month of December! For the most part, I’ve been taking classes at The Yoga Passage. While I was in Banff, I took advantage of the complementary yoga classes offered at Lululemon on Sunday nights. There have been two days so far that I haven’t had time or energy to make it to the studio before or after work, on those days I chill out in childs pose or with my feet up the wall, stand on my head for a bit, breathe… yoga is yoga.

My teachers always say to come back to your mat as if it is your first time: with no expectations or judgement. Practising daily makes me so aware of how my body changes day-to-day and it is extremely apparent of how stress affects my practise and ability to breathe. busy day at work = wandering mind = wobbly tree. As soon as the high-speed blender that is my brain quiets, I am able to find bliss in every minute and every posture of my practise. and if I can’t, that doesn’t make me a bad person.

21 days of December left, but I may just need to carry on with this ‘yoga challenge’ I’m feeling amaazing.

Side notes:

  • all other fitness related activities have fallen by the wayside. December is busy. ‘nough said.
  • Choosing to take childs pose is a sign of awareness, not weakness
  • my shoulders are eternally stiff. my neck is not strong enough to support a shoulder stand.
  • Yoga motivates me to properly groom my feet as I am looking directly at them 80% of the time.

*Namaste*

aaaaand another Humpday behind us!

Last night, after work, I stopped by the store to pick up some things for dinner. What’s that thing they say about not shopping while you’re hungry? Totally true, I came home with a container of Kefir.

I’ve heard it described as tangy-er liquidy yogurt. Sounded good for a cereal bowl

Kefir, banana, granola, peanut butter and Crofter’s jam

This bowl was great BUT there was a distinctive taste that immediately shot me back to my grandma and grandpa’s tiny old apartment in the sketchiest area of downtown Calgary. My grandma used to make me white rice drowned with buttermilk and that is exactly what Kefir tastes like. Good as this bowl was, I think I liked the sips I stole straight out of the container best!

Everything about today was wonderful, long talk with my highschool BFF, fat and fluffy snowflakes, Michael Buble Christmas album, making a dent in , left over for lunch, hot yoga after work…

To top it all off, my mom made penne with chicken and garlic bread for dinner.

One, last hurah for today, cozying up and watching the new episode of Criminal Minds. Bring on the psychopaths and cereal serial killers!

Week 1 update for my December Yoga Challange tomorrow

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Today I was violently thrust into my normal routine.

Toast + banana/ almond butter/ pumpkin butter/ granola

6 A.M. WAKE UP. 9:30 YOGA 11:30 – 6 WORK. GROCERIES. MAKE DINNER. EAT. BLOG. WHAM-BAM-ALAKAZAM. Trying not to let December insanity get to me, it’s my favorite time of year so I’m doing my best to savour all the sparkles and music and cookies and time with my favorite people.

Dinner was chicken enchiladas

I asked my mom to bake-off some chicken in tomato salsa while I was at work and when I got home I simply shredded it and mixed it with corn, wrapped it in whole grain tortillas, drowned in salsa verde and sprinkled with sharp cheddar. Baked at 375 for 20 minutes and broiled to the finish.

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I just got home from a wonderfully relaxing weekend in Banff with my friends Torrie and Brittany for their 21st birthday

wandering the quiet streets of Banff, napping and sipping on Mexican Hot chocolate by day

Feasting, partying and YOGA by night

Banff Bites

Oatmeal with blueberries, pinches of bran muffin and peanut butter

Huge pancake (that’s what it’s called on the menu) scrambled eggs, salsa

Warm bread and garlic butter

amaaaazing minestrone soup, lots of BEANS

mediterranean chicken salad

Beer that I had three sips of, then donated. Yuck.

Chicken with roasted mediterranean veggies, sweet potato mash, green things

Vegan carrot cake + Gingerbread cupcake

It was so nice to have a few care-free days, back to the craziness that is December, meetcha there!

I woke up earlier than usual because there were warnings for a snow storm here in Calgary. Anticipating a slow and painful commute, I broke fast, fast with a  yogurt bowl

Greek yogurt, granola, banana, pumpkin/ peanut butter

out the door -> on the train -> no interferences -> at work 30 minutes early !?! 

Fueled by coffee (thanks boss!) a mile-long to-do list, and stray pieces of chocolate I found at the bottom of my purse — life savers– I made it through an open-to-close shift at work and then straight to yoga!

It’s been so long since I’ve gotten bendy, I know it’s not an excuse, but I’ve been busy and unmotivated!

Today, however was non negotiable. My yoga teacher friend Logan was teaching her last class at the Yoga Passage (ok, she’s teaching one more tomorrow morning at 6:45 a.m.) and I had to go! Logan was one of the teachers when I started practising yoga more that brought me back to my mat again and again. You simply can’t help but smile around her, nor can you speak in anything but a sugary sweet tone of voice. It’s magic!

-sweaty messes-

She’s off on a new adventure to New York City ! She’ll be so missed but I am SO excited for her!

***

Something I’ve been mulling over for the last couple of weeks has been the idea of doing a yoga challenge for the month of December. I think it would be a great way to finish off the year. Anyone care to join? It doesn’t have to be  a 90 minute power flow class every single day, it can be a couple of sun salutations during commercial breaks, or a few minutes in childs pose first thing in the morning. December is a very busy month, but there will always be something standing in the way so why not Carpe Di-asana!? Does that even make sense?

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My Monday started with an amazing bowl of oatmeal

Rolled oats, almond milk, pumpkin, banana, cinnamon

loaded with toppings: granola sprinkles, pumpkin butter, almond butter and butterscotch chips

I was planning on hanging out for a bit before leaving for work and was scrolling through my twitter feed when I spotted several local tweeters complaining about their brutal commute to work.

Yesterday Calgary was hit with a terrible wind storm, downtown was shut down and city workers had to work through the night in order to make the Monday commute more bearable.

Luckily I got the memo early and left for work right away and made it on time.

After work I hit the mall with my friend Brittany to find her a birthday ensemble. FYI, the best activity for a ‘rest from exercise day’ is window shopping in high heels with a 20 pound bag. I think I need a rest day from my rest day!

I just devoured a bowl of asparagus soup for dinner and am ready. for. bed. NIGHT!

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Family Get Togethers

27 Nov

Even though weekend mornings offer more time to make an elaborate breakfast, I was super lazy these last couple of days and stuck with the basics

celery-carrot-apple-lime juice and toast with sunflowerseed butter and jam

Toast with peanut butter, honey and banana and fruit

I went to Body Combat this morning for some air punching and then met up with my coworker friend Shayna to do some groceries for our work’s Christmas party this Thursday that we are catering!

Not long after I got home, my cousins came over for a late lunch/ early dinner for my cousin Sam’s birthday

He killed it for Movember. *shudders*

This picture highlights how random and informal our family get togethers can be. Random fruit cake that my aunt bought for $25 from our mosque, with a dinner candle shoved into the middle, sliced with a cheese knife.

Well! Better get ready for the week, it’s going to be a busy one!

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Hello!

So, yesterday I found myself home alone with an itch to make a mess in my kitchen and bake some cookies.

In my third week of cleansing, I found myself researching recipes for ‘the best chocolate chip cookie’ so that I had them on hand to make as soon as that crazy time was over. I found one, bookmarked it, and saved it for another day.

So I made my mess, I baked some cookies, I almost cried when I realized we were almost out of chocolate chips, but luckily we had a lot of left over Halloween candy (which, might I add, would not be the case had I not been on the cleanse) so I improvised with a bunch of Smarties.

Good decision!

In no time at all I had two trays of huge, piping hot chocolate chip cookies just waiting to be devoured. I waited 0.000000988657 seconds and devoured one.

It was perfect. Chewy and melted in my mouth and left my hands greasy from all the butter! I had to have another! Then another! Three cookies and one unhappy tummy later, I rolled myself to bed.

This happens. People can be embarrassed about it and hide it all they want but to avoid it from happening on a regular basis, it’s best to talk blog about it.

 Ask yourself: Self, why exactly did that happen? 

There are two possibilities here, either I was drowning my sorrows about being a boring 20-year-old, hanging out alone in her kitchen on a Friday night making cookies while listening to Coldplay’s Christmas album OR there was a tray of delicious smelling cookies staring me in the face and I simply wanted to eat a lot of them.

Think big picture:

How often do you really sit at home alone on a Friday night stuffing your face with delicious cookies while listening to the Coldplay Christmas album? Not too often right? Well the stuffing my face with cookies part, I’m kind of an old lady and more often than not I’m in bed by 9:30 on Friday nights. Sigh.

You should probably work out.

Don’t go into this with the attitude of ‘GAH I just ate a million calories in cookies, I have to burn off every single one and stay at the gym for four hours until they’re all gone OR until I puke which would only be helping in this situation.

No.

You go work out because it will give you a confidence boost that you might need at the moment. Because it will show you how amazing your body is and why you should treat it nicer. Because it will pump happy endorphins through your veins that no cookie could ever give you!

Eat.

Ya. You can still eat. Oh, and I don’t mean black coffee and egg whites and celery leaves. Don’t go trying to convince yourself that you aren’t hungry or restrict yourself to make up for your gorge fest. That can lead to a vicious cycle that no one needs to get involved in.

Eat another cookie.

Seriously, though. Chances are you didn’t eat the whole batch, and they are still lying around. If you want one, don’t avoid them. Don’t give them the stink eye every time you walk by. Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be! Eat the cookie, taste the cookie and move on. The reason for this is because you want to avoid developing a restrictive attitude towards the cookies. Tell yourself you can’t have cookies; you will want the cookies more. And the cookies will win.

It’s a new day and there are no hard feelings between the cookies and me.

The Cookies:
Lightly adapted from

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 c. chocolate chips
3/4 c. smarties

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

4. Roll a scant 2 tbsp into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

On Friday

25 Nov

I had plans to go to 6 a.m. spin

It didn’t happen. My alarm woke me up at 5:15, I blinked and it was 7:45. Fail.

I got an ab workout at least from laughing so hard at work. I love my coworkers.

I managed to eat a green vegetable for the first time in a few days

In the form of kale chips. Working on it

I had my first coffee since the cleanse. Small medium roast brew white with soy milk and one pump of gingerbread please and thanks.

The people at the coffee shop missed me so much.

I made myself a nice little dinner of butternut squash – barley risotto with goats cheese

I really just wanted cookies.

Browned butter chocolate chip cookies. Which we’ll talk more about tomorrow. If they last that long.

I…

Don’t want to talk about it.

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