Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Muffin Lovin'

The Boyfriend's mum sent me home with mountains of homemade GF muffins yesterday....

Banana Chocolate Chip, Blueberry Poppyseed and Pumpkin Millet

All adapted from this cook book:

My gluten free insides are very happy :)

Whats your favourite kind of muffin???

Monday, May 30, 2011

Daiya...you complete me

On Friday afternoon I got a lifechanging call from our little healthfood store:
"Your alternative cheese that you ordered is in."

Today, I went to get it and tried Daiya Vegan Cheese for the very time.....

My life was changed forever. You are so much more than an alternative Daiya, you are a revolution for my kind.

Vegan Portobello Pizza
2 Portobello Mushrooms
Tomato Sauce of Choice (I used a can of unsalted tomato sauce, TBSP on spicy hummus and clove of garlic)
Chopped Spinach
Daiya Cheese
1.Wash 'schrooms and de-stem 'em. Coat the Portobellos with olive oil and broil until soft in the oven.
2. Prepare the tomato sauce in a pan, add in the fixings (hummus and garlic, oregano and any other italian spice would be yummy too.
3. When the 'shrooms are ready, top with tomato sauce, spinach and cheese
4. Devour!!!

What are your favourite uses for this amazing cheese? (Please enlighten me, I'm excited to explore other uses!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweet Eats

I have been doing my fair amount of experimenting as of late....Here's what I've conjured:

I put Dairy Free and Gluten Free Chocolate Chips in them too!!
Salad Beast with steamed veg, yellow pepper, cuke's, tomatoes, chickpeas, figs, romaine lettuce, goat cheese, tahinni and balsamic vinegar

This makes my stomach gurgle....I could not consume any bit of this, but I've had good reviews from the birthday boy
Better Than Sex Cake
Devil's Food Cake Mix
Condensed Milk (the texture gives me the heebie jeebies)
Caramel Sauce
Heath Bar smashed
Chocolate Chips
Cool Whip

It''s pretty easy to make this actually. You make the cake as directed on the box and wait for it to cool. Than you poke holes in it with a wooden spoon handle and pour the condensed milk and caramel in and let it soak. Than you dec it out with Cool Whip and Heath Bar bits and Chocolate Chips and drizzle on some caramel sauce..and Voila, Happy Birthday Boyfriend, here's a gluten-ous, lactose-heavy cake you don't have to share with me!! 

I'm off to run some mile-age....decided I'm going to run a 10K Running for the Pink race next weekend, some I better get my bum in gear!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Feelin' Nutty

On Friday, I had a package waiting for me in my campus mailbox, sent from Artisana, full of a generous amount of samples to review. I am so excited to try each and every one. I will make sure to post my reviews on them as  I go!

I enjoyed the Macadamia Nut Butter Sample on a banana with Cascadia Organic Raspberry Preserves and it was delicious. I wish I had more of this stuff!
Now Coconut Butter is something I've heard alot regarding health benefits. This product is said to reduce cholesterol and heart disease, as well as supporting immunity, promoting calcium absorption and contributing to weight loss. I am currently looking for recipes and ways to supplement this in my daily diet, so if anyone has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated!

I also did some recipe experimentation this weekend with this:

These were based off of CCK's Chocolate Chip Blondies , except I used 2 packets of Truvia, a swig of maple syrup and a mashed banana. This turned out just okay because I tried to blend it in just a Magic Bullet type device....so it was bean chunky. I enjoyed the taste though, and I made the boyfriend try a bite and he said I succeeded. Next time, I will get my hands on a food processor though!

Anyways, my bed is calling my name. Goodnight!!

What are some fun ideas for uses for my new nut butter collection? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breaking the Fast

Once upon a time, breakfast used to frighten me. Carbs, proteins and fats may have well been a four letter word. A pathetic piece of fruit or a sad little white rice cake would be eaten in fear on consuming too many calories too early in the day and sabotaging my weight.

Nowadays, some sense has been kicked into me, because Breakfast is Necessary Crucial.

Here are 2 of the ways I have dominated my morning meal:

The Fitnessista's Cookie Dough Cereal, I will never go back to the package after this!

And here's why Breakfast wins and should always, without question be consumed:

1. Helps you power through the day without any midday lag better than any form of caffeine ever could!

2. Adds more nutrients, vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein to your day (depending on if you choose something something substantial instead of the crunching on Captain)

3. Jets you through workouts and physical activities with amazing energy

4. Helps you maintain a lower percentage of body fat because you're less likely to mow down later on in the day

I am very thankful I discovered the deliciousness of breakfast. Just to reiterate what I learned...Breakfast won't attack your hips!
And personally, the quiet time in the morning while I eat my breakfast has become beneficial to my sanity!

What's your breakfast favourite??

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Weight-y Subject

Dinner was a veggie-intake success: leftover quiona, spinach, yellow pepper, tomato, cauliflower and cucumber with Bragg's liquid aminos and a dollop of hummus. Also, demolished half a sweet potato with smidgen of Earth Balance, nutritional yeast Cheeze, Herbamare and organic ketchup.

Now onto a subject that is something that everyone dreads to step onto...

There's always a lump in my throat when I'm about to step onto the scale. Questions and thoughts rush through my head and sometimes poison my outlook... How will that one number make me feel? Will a 3 digit determine my mood and how I feel about myself?
Working at gyms and wellness centers, I am surrounded by these machines. These machines that taunt me with fear. Will the number be the same? Will it have gone up or down? Am I getting fat or skinny?
While I do believe that one has to monitor their weight for their own health and well being and keeping in a healthy weight range is important, I am beginning to think that for myself personally, the scale causes a immense amount of anxiety.
So here's my goal... I will not step on a scale until I have to at a doctors office, which I anticipate to be at the beginning of August . Instead, I plan to find alternatives to monitoring my body's weight without the scale. Here's the approach I conjured:

1) How Clothes Fit : If your clothes fit the way they're supposed to than you're maintain. If your losing, they're loose and if they're tight, you're gaining. Simple enough right? We'll see.

2) Energy Levels: The more energy you have, the more the things that you do for yourself are benefiting your body. These things include diet, exercise, sleep amounts and stress levels.

3) Tone and Strength of your muscles: When you're nourishing your body properly and are properly active than you begin to notice how taut your muscles are and how much easier daily tasks are.

4) Find a Balance: This is something I really struggle with. It's finding your own personal happy medium. People often take on the all or nothing attitude towards their health. Either they're going all out exercising for a certain amount a day, eating salads and protein shakes and balancing their cheque books to a tee or they're  sitting on the couch eating Cheetos and maxing on their credit cards on Ebay. I think the important part of finding a balance is finding out what your body needs as far as exercise, sleep, diet, rest etc and also figuring out the emotions that trigger the actions that hurt our bodies. And allowing ourselves some leeway, so we're not living our life full of anxiety that we're going to screw up our health by eating chocolate (which by the way, is NECESSARY to be healthy and happy, I believe). 

5) Self Confidence and Happiness: Learning to acceptt love myself at any weight. This is something that is easier said than done that's for sure. But this I know, when you love yourself, you're truly happy. However, when you're comparing and putting yourself down, nothing is ever good enough and you're making it impossible to be fully happy in life.
Here's a quote that I recently saw on my friend Jordan's facebook status and I think its' quite appropriate:
The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous."-Sex and the City

That's what I've come up with so far, any advice is greatly appreciated! Have a great night!

What are some approaches you take to maintain/enhance your health without stepping on a scale?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Playing [Ketchup]

It's been  hectic week of moving, working, getting sick and getting better.....

Oh ya, and this happened...

Overwhelmed doesn't even BEGIN to describe how I feel.

Amidst everything though, here's some recent eats:

Shelled out $4.15 for this bad boy. Verdict....totally worth it

This caught my eye at the grocery store. It was okay, I'm not the biggest fan of brown rice flour cookies.

 Sickness=need for ginger ale. This was a good alternative to the typical Canadian Dry stuff because it's made with no added sugar and some fruit juice to sweeten.

My favourite overnight oatmeal made with pumpkin, scoop of chia, 1/4 cup of oats, mashed banana, almond milk, almond butter and sprinkled with a table spoon of Holy Crap cereal. This is is a cereal my parents brought me from home that is a Canadian made cereal made of chia seeds, hemp seeds, raisins and dried apples...delicious and hilarious) 

A concoction made of quinoa, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage slaw and cauliflower and seasoned with garlic and herb seasoning and Herbamare (this stuff is crucial in my food existence). It made a big ol' pot of it and it lasted 4 meals. Funny thing is...it was far better as a leftover and with organic ketchup on it.

That's all for now. Now I'm off to the gym and to begin the getting ready process for a wedding. My "big brother" is getting married today :)

What are your favourite leftovers? What's your favourite use for ketchup?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Things have a funny way of [working out]

Funny moment of the day + life lesson....when my room mate overloaded our dorm floor's washing machine to the brim and it sent a high pitched-ear curdling-nails on a chalk board-screeching throughout the entire dorm. No joke, thought the fire alarm was going off! Lesson... don't fill the washer too full, it will become very angry and scream at you!

Now down to business:

My body is aching for craving a physical challenge. Lately I've been in a mood for a heart gurgling, loss of breath, body exhausting work out. And I am searching the possibilities to see what exactly meets my standards of ballz-to-the-wallz, drenched in sweat endorphin rush.

Ideas So Far:
Bodyrock TV: I've been hearing alot of good things about their work outs, and the girl that hosts the workout is jacked beyond belief (holy abdominals)
The Insanity Workout Series

Also, here's a little tidbit about me....I am extremely competetive. After being on the injured list for softball for 3 months, I am restless for the need to compete, to strive, to have a goal bigger than myself. So I'm thinking my goal for when I go home, is to run a race every month. I'll start with 10 K races and work to improve my time and go from there.
Do-able...I think so! I am excited :)

And to power me through my workouts, this college girl on a budget (I can still say this for a couple days longer) is whipping up my quick energy fix to power me through a workout. And plus, there's no scary ingredients that you can't pronounce in it. Here it is:

Yum Balls
1/2 cup of dates
1/2 of cashews
rough tsp of vanilla
1/3 cup of carob chips
random handful of coconut flakes..rougly 1/3 cup
I first threw the dates into the magical blender bullet (kenmore brand of the magic bullet) and processed it until it became paste like. Than without washing it out, I threw in the dates and pulsed them until they became dust. Than I threw it all in a bowl, tossed the vanilla, coconut and carob chips in and kneaded it together until mixed. Instead of bar shaped, which would also be option I molded them into ball form, covered them in plastic and threw them in the freezer.
and Ta-Daaaa...instant energy!!

Any suggestions for a workout challenge? Whats your favorite energy foods?

Bitter [Sweet]

Today I took my last undergrad college exam. Last time that I will cram all night, lose sleep due to cell proliferation sequences running through my head, drank coffee til my stomach hurt and heart raced, broke into a minor case of stress tears and fell asleep cheek smooshed against a science text book (this happens alot more than I'd like to admit).

I wanna share with you a food that has always been crucial to my college existance. From the days of JuCo in Texas to the freezing Midwest. You can't find this stuff in a package. These bad boys come straight from the ground....



A medium sweet potato contains a total of 103 calories. Carbohydrates contribute 95 calories, and proteins provide the remaining 8 calories. A sweet potato provides about 5 percent of the daily value for calories, assuming a diet of 2,000 calories per day.

Protein and Fat

A serving of sweet potatoes contains 2 g of protein per serving, or 4 percent of the daily value for protein. Sweet potatoes contain no fats of any type, including saturated fats, unsaturated fats or trans fats. Sweet potatoes also contain no cholesterol.


Sweet potatoes have 24 g of total carbohydrates per serving, or 8 percent of the daily value for carbohydrates. This includes 4 g of dietary fiber, which is 16 percent of the daily value for dietary fiber. The carbohydrates in a sweet potato also include 10 g of simple sugar.

Vitamins and Minerals

A sweet potato has 438 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and 37 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. It also contains 4 percent of the daily value for calcium and iron. A sweet potato provides 542 mg of potassium, or about 11.5 percent of the daily value for potassium. The sodium content of a sweet potato is 41 mg, which is less than 2 percent of the daily value for sodium

Here's one of my favourite way to have 'em:

PB and J Coco-nutty Sweet Taters ( With our beautifully plaid couch in back drop)
All Natural Organic Peanut Butter
Fruit Preserves (I used Cascadian Farms Organic Raspberry)
Unsweetened Cocount Flakes
Nutritional Yeast
1. Microwave or Bake Potatoe
2. Top with whatever your heart desires
3. Enjoy!

Some exciting news: I emailed my teacher about my exam because I was real anxious about it (I had night mares about failing at life last night). She emailed me back saying this:

Hi Alyssa,

You can stop worrying, because you passed… by a fairly comfortable margin.  This was your 2nd best exam of the semester.
Graduation, here you come – good luck to you!


My day is made.

Hardwork does always and will always pay off....and apparently my life is about to take a big, scary transition into this so called "real world".  I'm going to choose to enjoy my last few days of college kid ignorance though and go about my ways like there's not gonna me a detrimental change happening right before me at any minute :)

What foods are staple in your life? Whats your favourite way to eat them? 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Study Study Study, School is Your Buddy

This girl is still rather sleep deprived and slightly loopy from having blood sucked outta her arm. But I'm still truckin' on the books. I have an Anatomy and Physiology test on reproduction and development and have been studying away for the majority of the night.

So what does this busy body need to keep jacked up about studying into the wee hours of the morning....

1. Coffee (given)
2. Chocolate
3. Something healthy to get her blood a'pumping back in her body

I didn't monkey around, I got to making this:

Coc-o Moch-o Monkey Delight
One serving of instant coffee (I used Starbucks Vie Vanilla)
1 cup of non dairy milk (I used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 frozen banana
Optional: melted chocolate chips (I used a handful of vegan gluten/lactose free chocolate chips)
1. Microwave dairy alternative for approx. 2 minutes
2. Pour in instant coffee 
3. Stir in Cocoa Powder and melted chocolate if you choose
4. Pour mixture into an ice tray and freeze
5. Once frozen, blend cubes with half a banana
6. Top with whatever you'd like and enjoy
Makes 2 or 3 servings

Now that I've shared with you my ultimate cram snack, I'm off to utilize the caffeine pumping through my blood and memorize some female and male reproductive parts (oh..joy).

Whats your favorite late night snack that helps you focus?

Sleepless Adventure

I caved

Night before finals week, at our late night finals breakfast the tiredness began kicking in....so at 10 pm I had a cup of coffee in my hand. The first cup of coffee in 1 month and 1 day (accomplishment!). Did I mention I had to work at the wellness center this morning at 5:30 AM. Needless to say, I was one caffeinated girl all night. By all night I mean until 2:30 in the morning and than woke up for work at 4:30 AM.

It's going to be an interesting day ... dare I say an adventure with a final in an hour and a half, giving blood at noon (we're in a blood shortage! how could I not when I'm an O?!), lifeguarding and than studying for my next final tomorrow morning. Lets call its an adventure...because this is the first of my last finals EVER (in undergraduate at least).

This morning, to get me ready to bang out a day full of ventures I started out with a transformation:

This site made me sad....

Katie's pumpkin protein oats made this situation into a positive one, with some coconut flakes and a banana for added deliciousness!

I'm off to conquer my day. I'll be back later with an iced coffee treat that will get me through studying for my exam tomorrow.

What gets you through sleep deprived action packed days??