Grouch-Fading Gems

First Off: I survived my coffee-free week without a hitch and since the weekend hit I’ve had only two half cups of coffee. I think I’m going to continue this trend of keeping tea as my main hot beverage and coffee on the less-than-reg. Until I get bored of waiting for the tea kettle. Coffee is usually more convenient because the pot is always just sitting there, brewed and ready to go (Thanks Mom). So I may not be able to ignore that rich black brew in the corner all the time. But I’ve been doing well at averting my eyes this week, no blinders needed.

This was my first half cup of the weekend. Coffee + carrot cake. It was a necessary (and incredible) combo. And just for your future knowledge, Costco makes an insanely good carrot cake (that would be the one in the picture). If you ever need to buy a carrot cake… you know where to go.





The Grouch: I wasn’t going to blog tonight because, to be honest, this weekend has been pretty disappointing in a few ways and though I’m doing my best not to let small, irrelevant things get to me and especially not to complain about them… they have and I’m feeling kinda crummy and let down left, right and centre. So I’m just going with it instead of pushing it away. I know tomorrow’s a new day and a new week so I’m going to revel in my ‘leave me alone’ mood tonight and let it go just in time for Love Day tomorrow…or in that case I might end up extra grouchy. We’ll find out in the morning!

So instead of sparing you my grouchiness, I’m choosing to throw it out there and then match it with a few small gems of the weekend, the things I can count on and that help to fade the grouchies.


Weekend Gems

My Family – They listen to my rants and rambles and put up with my grouching and they still talk to me. They even get me flowers! (Thanks Dad)


Costco – I never fail to be excited coming home with a Costco haul. But Friday’s had to be one of the most exciting yet because my Costco here finally has… GREEK YOGURT!


The Products = Frozen raspberries, Kirkland Signature by Nature’s Path Organic Ancient Grains Granola with Almonds (I’ve been keeping my eye out for this one after seeing it popping up everywhere in blogland. Yes!), Liberte Greek Yogourt 0% plain 2-pack, Liberte Greek Yogourt 0% 12-pack flavoured (blueberry, strawberry, mulberry), canned tuna 6-pack, Fontaine Sante hummus 2-pack (my favourite)


The Produce = blueberries, spinach, baby carrots, bananas, cucumbers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes (Costco has the best cherry tomatoes)

The Greek yogurt in action:



Sushi – It may be from the grocery store but it’s still gold.


Valentine’s Themed Goodies <3 Like Lovified Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites.



I followed the recipe except for the addition of red food colouring to the filling and a heart candy topper.


Hair Curls – Hair flat, greasy or just generally uncooperative? Hide the mop with a few curls and you’re good to go. Or you could go the ‘I’m hiding the fact that my hair looks like crap behind a ridiculously large grin’ route, it’s faster and easier on your locks. I chose the curling iron.

051 - Copy (2)


Fresh Journals – Especially if they have cushy covers and silver-edged pages. There’s something so satisfying about flipping through a brand new notebook. Perfect for jotting down and getting rid of all those crummy thoughts in your head. And even better for the cheery ones.




I’m feeling a little better already. I think the rockin’ tunes going on on the Grammy’s behind me are helping too. That and watching my lovely Valentine Red nails typing on the keys. Simple pleasures.

Happy (early) Valentine’s Day <3
Any special plans with significant others, or even friends or the fam jam? Tell me how you’re spreading your love tomorrow so I can live vicariously through you while sitting in class all evening learning about health psychology. Holla!


If we took a Holiday, took some time to Celebrate

I handed in my last take-home exam at 10:00 AM this morning and I am DONE! And I am excited. And wiped. And packed full of sugar.

And hello POPCHIPS!




Most exciting knock at the door all week. Thank you! So pumped.


I did manage to get a small dose of holiday spirit before exams were over. Saturday night Ugly Christmas Sweater Party? Don’t mind if I do.

Even though I may have had an exam the next morning at 9am. Yes, a Sunday morning exam. Didn’t know that existed? Neither did I until my exam schedule said so. But don’t worry folks! I studied plenty beforehand. And no I did not drink. A late night out before an exam is one thing but writing an exam hung over? NO thank you.

And it IS possible to have a fun time despite being likely the only sober character in a house of drunken holiday hooligans.


Even when they’re rocking tight sweaters and mad Christmas bling

028 - Copy

025 - Copy

051 (3)


On the food front…

Not going to lie, I haven’t been getting nearly enough of this lately:


I blame it on the holiday spirit alongside the spiritless Grinch that is Exam Time.

But I have been getting plenty of this:


(Definitely not my images. I wish!– weheartit’s x2 + google’s)

However I’ve squeezed in a nutrient or two (albeit not many green ones) here and there:

Microwaved sweet potato + hummus, cottage cheese, salsa


Dippy egg, toasted english muffin, ketchup


and obligatory coffee.


Honey Mustard Butternut Squash – do it up! + zucchini slices


And today I got to have my first COSTCO trip in a couple months now?! I have had NO time to make the adventure to one of my all-time favourite shopping quarters and today, first day of holidays, was the day.

A nice big leafy plate is always necessitated after a trip to Costco, which brought the spinach, tomatoes and hummus to the plate. I also ate plenty of Naan bread and popchips along with this.


I don’t know what I would do without Costco double packs of my absolute favourite hummus. Actually, I’ve been living without it for at least a month now and it’s been troubling to say the least.



I have never tried a hummus comparable to Fontaine Sante.

Umm… can I also talk for a second about THIS…


First NEW Larabar sighting alert! I had not seen these anywhere yet. Then again, I’ve hardly left the house this whole last half of fall term…but whatever. I found a box of the new Larabars. These holidays are starting out well!


I also got some of my Christmas shopping out of the way which is a relief. Hadn’t had a chance to do that yet either. I don’t know how some of you balance all of the stuff you have on your plates, I accomplish nothing outside of school work when the term gets busy.


To keep my raving sweet tooth satisfied without the mad chocolate high that I keep getting from all the goodies and sweets that seem to never stop rolling in this month, I’ve tried baking a few slightly healthier goodies to keep on hand.

It hasn’t worked, but they tasted pretty good anyway.

I made Elise’s Pumpkin Banana Bread only halved and with a bunch of changes because of what I had on hand.
My changes: I had no coconut oil or stevia baking blend so I added 1 T creamed coconut, 1/4 cup FF vanilla yogurt and 2.5 T agave to the mix, and carob chips on top of half instead.

Elise’s is likely a lot better but this turned out a-okay to me. I’d make it again.

I also baked it in a square pan, not a loaf pan. It’s flat and lovely.





I also de-bittered Alex’s Grain-Free Bitter Chocolate Cake for One. I’m definitely not 100% dark accustomed…yet. Someday! Though it might take a little while to wean my taste buds off of all the sugar after this holiday.


I had no squash puree so I used fat free sour cream…working with what I’ve got! Sweetened up a bit with sugar free eggnog syrup (Bad idea. I don’t love this syrup), and a packet of stevia (this helped). Plus milk chocolate chips. What can I say.
This was good though! I think I could almost handle the full bitter version (maybe with just one packet of stevia…) mixed into yogurt or even oatmeal or something. Future experiments to come…


But first, sleep time.

Only THREE DAYS left until CHRISTMAS. I hope you’ve all got your shopping done, your cookies baked, and your Santa hats on.



Happy Holidays!

Sanity Savers

It may be a crazy time of year but you always have to make room for the good stuff. For sanity’s sake. Health (physical and mental) comes first of course ;)


Sanity Saver #1: Food Shopping

Grab a fellow foodie friend and hit up your local bulk food and gourmet grocery store. Be a little overjoyed when you nab the last bag of nooch (which has needed replenishing in my cupboard for months now) and be a little too overjoyed when you find PB&Co. The Bee’s Knees for the first time ever. I think it might just beat out Mighty Maple.

L->R: Pita Break Mini Apple Cinnamon Pitas, La Tortilla Factory Multi Grain Wraps, Peppermint Nougats, PB&Co The Bee’s Knees, Nutritional Yeast.


Sanity Save #2: Recipes

I tried out Deb’s Moist Low Calorie Microwave Protein Muffin, the choco version.


This was the perfect amount of moist. Mine could have used a touch more sweetener since it was a tad bitter, but that was nothing a bit of sweet topping couldn’t fix.
Left = pumpkin and yogurt mix. Right = SF raspberry jam.



I also made April’s recent Holiday Pumpkin Protein Muffins last night. No pic, whoops, but they’re all containered up and ready for grabbable paper writing snackage.  (PS. My hands definitely match yours, April)


Sanity Saver #3: Dancing

I’ll doubtfully be going out again until this term is done so I had to fit a few nights in this past week.

149271_456597936265_505296265_6046558_660008_n - Copy

004 - Copy

005 - Copy

We were at a slightly sketchy club here… clearly something interesting was going on. At one point some random girl started to tell me about somebody getting bloodied up and beaten unconscious in the middle of the dance floor? I’m glad I was around the edge instead…


Sanity Saver #4: Umm… FOOD.

Beeeeeee’s Knees & Fruiteees.


Turkey, Laughing cow, spinach.




Dal’d Up Salad.



Sushi a la grocery store spicy cali roll


Tuna mixed with plain yogurt, hummus and nooch. Mmmm.


Choco spinach smoothie for breakfast: water, almond milk, spinach, chocolate protein powder, chocolate amazing grass, lots of ice, pinch of the gums.


Giant bowls of mixed cereals. Many of these. All the time. Usually with yogurt and berries.


Cold oat bran cooked the night before with firm tofu mushed in. Topped in the morning with peanut butter, pumpkin blended with tofu and maple syrup, and fresh berries.



+ stacks of flyers to enjoy your breakfast with. You know Christmas is coming when…



Sanity Saver #5: Elf Yourself.

Don’t do this right before you’re about to start on homework. Otherwise you’ll never get to your homework. 

break it down 2


And with that… I really DO need to get to my homework. And to class in half an hour, whoops!!

Stay Sane Kiddos!

Keep on Caking On

Thanks for the Happy Birthdays and I’m glad you guys all enjoyed my psychedelic cake experience. I think everyone needs to make some kind of rainbow cake at least once in their birthday cake career.

I’ve eaten mine multiple times since the day of.


018 014

That last one would be cake pudding innards.

Half the cake down, half tucked away in its cryonic grave for resuscitation at a (hopefully) later date.

And speaking of cake, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and cooked myself up a Protein Cake!


And it was… awful?!

I drowned half of it in yogurt and peanut butter and choked it down but the other half ended up in the trash. And I never throw food out.


I used, from what I can remember: 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1/4 C egg whites, 1 T pumpkin, 1/4 tsp baking powder.  I’m going to assume that, judging by the love of these darn things all over the food blog world, it must be due to the protein powder I used that this turned into a sponge.

I am determined to make this work though, so I will be trying again. Both with the same protein powder (maybe different ratios?) and my other vanilla protein powder. We’ll see how it goes.

All of these cake stuff has more than quenched my sweet tooth over the past several days but you gotta have that balance, so I haven’t forgotten about my precious veggies!



…and bowls…


…and bowls…


…and plates…


…and plates of them!


Veggies (like chopped tomatoes and steamed snap peas) on and beside baked sweet potatoes spread with red pepper hummus.


Veggies (like spinach) inside wraps with egg whites and laughing cow.


Veggies (like green peppers) beside wraps, dressed with salsa and hot sauce


Veggies (like steamed broccoli) beside english muffins, doused with hummus/marinara sauce; and in english muffins (spinach) mingling with veggie burgers, laughing cow cheese and dijonnaise. 020

Veggies underneath tuna burgers


Veggies veggies everywhere! Holy moley veggie overload. That’s one way to knock this darn cold I seemed to have picked up right outta the park. Hopefully…

I swear I haven’t eaten only vegetables and cake over the last several days though. I’ve also thrown in:

Plenty of fruit (kicking that cold hard while it’s down!)


Yogurt (doused in peanut butter and filled with chopped dates)


Waffles. So happy I finally have a waffle stash again since buying them to celebrate national waffle day! (and my birthday…)


Kamut Flakes cooked in water, banana, cinnamon, flax and stevia. Drizzled with an icing of soy nut butter, almond milk and SF maple syrup.

005 011

Coconut Pancakes with fruit, SF syrup and coconut butter -> I didn’t fall head over heals at first but I think I’m officially crazed over melted coconut butter. It’s gotta be melted and then it’s delicious.



And last but far far from least…Cereal. Oh so much cereal. Can anyone truthfully tell me that they’re not addicted to cereal? All it takes is one taste…



I’ve also thrown my money around a little bit this weekend:

– On my birthday waffles. And Almond Breeze. And tempeh. And Sunbutter – Opinions? I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I got the crunchy and although I love sunflower seeds… I’m not really digging them in here! I find the whole thing a bit too salty… I’m sure I’ll learn to like it by the end of the jar though.


– On warmth and comfort.


– On my desire to be Barbie?! I have no idea when I will ever wear this HOT pink dress. But my dress collection sucks. And it was $30. And it’s cute. So my closet shall now house a hot pink dress… just in case.


– On floral patterns


– On face perfectors (Clinique Bonus time! Gotta love the free bag of swag with purchase) 046

– On muscular determination. I swear one day I will be able to do a pull up. I haven’t tried this out yet. As far as I know I can do ten already! Wishful thinking? I do my push ups… I bought it mainly because I hate missing out on the pull up sections whenever I do a P90X DVD that uses these.
Can YOU do pull ups? I’ll let you know how this one goes for me…


And now I’m off to la la land. Gotta get in as much rest as possible considering I’ll most likely pulling some late nighters for the next month. Hello end of term. Hello last week of classes. Hello big essay due. Hello exam time. I can’t wait til I can bid you adieu.

Please help me out here:
Have protein cakes been a success for you? How are you making them? I need to make one that lives up to the hype!

And seriously, can you do a pull up? I’m pretty excited to try it out… despite the fear of feeling like a total failure once I discover my weaklingness (which definitely should be a word).

Happy Week Ahead!