Spring is Springing + Reading Week Recap

It’s March 1st! Which means it’s automatically Spring in my mind. Now if only this snow would take a hike we’d be well on our way. It’s bright and sunny and not completely freezing today though so we’re off to a good start – end weather report.

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(weheartit)

End of February also = end of Reading Week. I just got back to the grind this week after a lovely but much too speedy week of rest last week. Or what should have been a week of rest but consisted of a week of mostly late nights and ridiculously early mornings. I’m glad to know my internal alarm clock is still unbelievably reliable even on my holidays…

Nothing too out of the ordinary went down during my time off:
Throughout the week: A little bit of studying
Tuesday: A break up consoling party – not mine! That of a poor confused friend. New relationship. Guy ends it. We have some gals together for ranting time, music, pizza and chocolate fondue. She wakes up the next morning to a text from him saying he made a mistake. Oh boys.
Wednesday: Girl movie night
Thursday: Get dressed up and go out dancing night
Friday: Day at work.
Saturday: Uh oh, Reading Week is already almost over?! Time to crack down on the studying all day day. Another friend movie night.
Sunday: Uh oh, Reading Week is REALLY already almost over?! Studying = ALL day.

It was no hot and sunny beach but it was a welcome break from classes and constant school work.

 

And as per always, there were plenty of “interesting” eats going down during Reading Week:

This jar of The Bee’s Knees saw it’s final end…

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…in THESE healthified “blondies”. I’m not even going to try telling you what I put into them because they were less than award winning. The carob chips were their only saving grace.

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Some of my salads got “popcorned

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I soggied up some wraps with egg whites, salsa, Laughing cow and Frank’s.

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Most of my sweet treats have been random stuff bowls – usually a yogurt base with fruit and whatever extra sweet thang I can find kicking around – like candy-coated almonds or hunks of dark chocolate.

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Or crumbled muffins/whatever baked good I pull out of the freezer.

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On another dessert note, after the great success of the peanut butter dessert hummus (which will now be made on the regular, guaranteed), I obviously had to try out Lauren’s black bean version too. Dessert is just sailing on whole new seas.

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Since Lauren is pretty much an expert in the kitchen, I had to try out her Zesty Kale Chips too. I may have burnt them just a tad…doh. But the flavour… BOMB. I ate at least 1/3 of them before even sticking them in the oven.

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Reading Week also called for a very special breakfast: My last Vitatop with the last bits of a plain Greek yogurt container with the last of my peanut butter dessert hummus + frozen raspberries (I have a TON of those left). Costco needs a visit from me.

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I still have a couple containers of fruity Greek yogurt left over from my Costco stash. Yogurt-topped bowl of pumpkin oats and wheat bran anyone?

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I’ve been a Multigrain Cheerio monster lately.

As a smoothie topper.

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Or topped with Chocolate Amazing Grass. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat this DRY. Choco almond milk added post-pic for reduced sog effect :)

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And a hummus monster as well. But that’s kind of an always thing. Hummus = BEST salad topper.

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Second best might just be…

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Ooey gooey runny eggs!

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So that was Reading Week: The Quick and Hungry Version.

And now that it’s over and I’m back to the grind… it’s also time to get back to the studying. One (tough and stressful) midterm Thursday, then three more next Monday->Wednesday. Woo.

Luckily it’s MARCH and I love new month beginnings. Especially new ones that basically mark the end of winter.

 

What are you most looking forward to this month?
Aside from the warming temperatures and later, sunnier days, I’m thinking my birthday! It’s not until the end but that means I get something to look forward to for the whole month :)

Happy March!

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In the Laptop Market

I have a computer question!

So my laptop…is junk. I’ve been using the same HP Pavilion laptop for the last 4 years, aka the duration of my university career, and the old geezer is suffering. It can hardly handle running anything, especially multiple programs at a time. And being the ultimate multitasker that I am, I always have at least 5-10 tabs and 3-5 programs running at a time. Yeah, not wise for a computer that can hardly handle running two. But whatever. I suffer the consequences by waiting two minutes for one thing to load and having it freeze on me daily. Plus it has near zero battery life so it’s useless to bring to class. Or anywhere for that matter.

I’m pretty ready for something new.

So: What kind of laptop do you have? Give me the deats! Is it old, new, fast, slow? What do you like/dislike about  it?

And more precisely: Do you have a Mac? How do you feel about Macs versus PCs?
I’ve always been a PC gal but I’m very seriously and mostly leaning towards a Mac. In any given class, out of all the laptops I see being used, I’d say 75-90% of them are Macs. That speaks volumes to me. I want the power!

So please give me your laptop deats! It would be a huge help.

 

And so this isn’t all techy-related word garble, here are some foods that have been rocking my taste buds lately.

My new Greek Yogurt discoveries all over the place.

Such as mixing it in with oats to harden into oat-like past overnight

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Or as a fruit topper.

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Finishing up the last bits of my jar of coconut butter. I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before I buy another jar of that edible white gold. Though I may have to attempt the homemade version next!

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A little bit of Wheat Berry and Bean Salad without the wheat berries.

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A sad attempt at Lauren’s Gluten Free Coconut Muffins that turned into muffin crumbles. This was NOT the fault of the recipe but entirely my own since I didn’t have several of the ingredients on hand and decided to mess around with a bunch of substitutes. Clearly that didn’t work so well. I recommend trying the original recipe though since these were thumbs up in the flavour department. But they probably stay together better if you don’t make sad substitutes. Sorry for making a mess of your recipe, Lauren! Hah whoops.

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Chocolate Vitatops with plain yogurt and strawberries. I’m almost out of these too. One lonely one left. I may need another Costco stock-up trip soon.

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Miscellaneous Veggie Platters

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The orange stuff on the bread = McLaren’s Imperial Sharp Cheddar. Apparently it’s a Canadian thing but my gosh is it ever good. One of my favourite breakfasts years ago used to be a toasted english muffin with imperial cheddar on top. Ugh now I’m seriously craving one.

Egg and fruit plates are always a nice way to start the morning. Microwaved egg whites with ketchup + grapefruit slices + orange slices + hot tea + Martha Steward mag. I feel like I’m a 40 year old woman based on this picture.

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And last but FAR from least… Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus. If you haven’t made this yet, get out your food processor RIGHT NOW. I made half the recipe, didn’t even add chocolate chips and only used half the amount of maple syrup and this was still to die for. Holy Moly.

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I’m going to leave it at that since I’m now starving and in desperate need of some breakfast!

Please don’t forget to give me some laptop info! Happy Wednesday!

The Sore Leg Mystery

I’m a Treadhead – I do most of my running on the treadmill. And by most I mean basically all. The scenery isn’t all that gorgeous but the ground is smooth and the weather is amazingly consistent. I’ve also never been chased by an angry dog, lucky me!

For the past little while though, running suddenly got hard. Much harder than usual. My legs have been way more tired, sluggish and sore than ever before. And I’m not a new member to the Treadhead clan. What gives?

I didn’t get it. Maybe I was somehow suddenly overexerting myself? Maybe I wasn’t stretching as much or as often as I used to? Maybe my legs suddenly decided they just hated running?

Or MAYBE (Hello Genius) it’s those cheap ass $30 runners with zero support, cushioning, or any kind of comfort whatsoever that you picked up at Costco a few months ago just because they were so darn cheap and why not have an extra pair of runners for the heck of it, just in case. Except somehow I managed to transition those “just in case” runners into my regular, everyday runners and have been using them on every single run for the past several months. This  realization only popped into my head a couple days ago. Several months of leg pain and more difficult runs…several months of wearing cheap ass shoes…Coincidence?

Perhaps.

But there’s only one way to find out…

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…by taking my brand new (gel cushioned!) Asics runners for (many a) test run!

When I first put these shoes on, it was like I had never experienced running shoes before. I knew my cheap ass runners lacked comfort but wearing these made those seem like they were made out of cardboard.

I don’t know for sure if these are going to magically make my legs feel less stiff and sore like they currently do all the time… but I have a good feeling that I’m going to just FLY on that tready tomorrow. Holla New Shoes! Here’s to much more enjoyable runs to come.

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And on a not-so-running-related note…I have a large and in charge backlog of food pictures from this past week (and a bit beyond).  

Wanna see?

 

It’s that APPLE time of year. Holla Gala. I love my Galas.

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Bananas topped with nut butter and sweet potato mixes are good too, but they don’t need a special time of year. Well neither do apples, but… whatever.

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Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring…banana bowl.

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But some mornings you just gotta go for the chocolate. The Deep Chocolate Vitatop that is. Stuffed with Mighty Maple and strawberries atop a bed of plain yogurt and more strawberries? Don’t mind if I do.

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New food try – Pasta Slim.  Kinda like those Shirataki noodle things only slightly less fishy-stenched. Rinse, rinse, rinse.

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Mix with marinara, mushrooms, spinach, Frank’s and chili powder. CHOMP. I also suggest cutting the noodles up beforehand, those things are long.

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Or you could go the even cheaper mock-pasta route and spaghetti squash it up. Especially if you load it with broccoli, black beans, marinara sauce and feta.

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Or with spinach, black beans, marinara, Frank’s and hummus!

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Make any Rice Burgers lately? Why not top ‘em with a slice of melted Allegro cheese and dijon mustard?

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Need a work snack? Take advantage of a FREE Sample.

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Don’t forget to eat your veggies, kids.

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Sometimes I eat my salads with oodles of noodles.

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Or oodles of chickpeas, though that doesn’t have quite the same ring…ring ring ring ring ring ring

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If I’m feeling extra fancy, sometimes I top my salads with firm tofu mashed with a sauce of peanut butter, hoisin sauce and Sriracha (Just look how fancy I can get).

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Or if I’m not, then I’ll use some jarred marinara on plain chunks of tofu. Those other white shrively things are roasted kohlrabi ‘fries’. I dig.

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More than just sometimes, I often dress my greens in cottage cheese (and honey mustard dressing). But too much cottage cheese did some serious damage to my interiors the other day and now I’m not buying it for a while. Not nice, dairy.

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If you’re extra lazy, or rushed, or you just don’t like your greens, you could always drink them. As long as it’s alongside hot and lovely coffee or warm beverage of choice, otherwise you might freeze to death. Hey, it’s Fall, it’s cold out now!

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You can even drink your fruit now too! Who woulda thunk it.

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And if you’re still cold from drinking up all of your fruits and vegetables (clearly you didn’t have enough coffee), then you could just make a Deep Dish Veggie Tart for dinner to warm you from the inside out. Or outside in. Or… both I guess?

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Your fam might not love it… and you might want to follow the instructions and actually search down that whole wheat pastry flour it calls for rather than settling for regular whole wheat flour so that you’ll end up with a more appropriate crust-like crust…

but I liked it quite a lot. Even though it fell apart and looked like a sludge pile. A very tasty sludge pile.

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Plenty more leftovers for me!

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And speaking of leftovers… I have some of those homework-style leftovers to attend to before hitting the hay. Though I may have to save those for tomorrow’s meal. I’m kinda stuffed right now.

 

How often do you replace your runners? Do you invest in a good pair or just grab a pair of cheapies? – Don’t! Seriously, those things will kill your legs.

Peeps and Easter Treats

Question 1 – How is it April already?

Question 2 – How is it EASTER already?!

Now there are many many great things about this lovely holiday, but I have a few winners of the moment:

Purple Peeps

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Mass amounts of chocolate eggs

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Purple Peeps + Chocolate Eggs + Banana Bread = The Easter “S’more” –  Microwaved until one melty sugary mess of delicious. It’s not gross I swear!010

Super Cute Bunnies are kind of up there too :)

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I had a not Easter centered but delicious family dinner thing at my Dad’s last night and we’re doing a small turkey dinner at home tomorrow (Monday) night.

What have you done for Easter?

 

The last several days have been filled mainly with not-so-lovely essay writing, sunny and HOT days (it’s been basically summer weather… at the beginning of April!), and plenty of procrastination-inspired snacking of course.

Costco has been helping me in the snacks department by supplying the best, freshest dried fruit ever. I have a feeling I’ve brought these Sun-Ripened Mixed Dried Fruit up before but they’re awesome. Buy them if you see them.

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Iced Coffee also makes a good snack, although Costco doesn’t help with that one.

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But aside from my mass apple consumption, I think yogurt messes win in the snack department. Standard mix-ins include any or all of: cereal, frozen fruit, dried fruit, cocoa powder, flax, peanut butter.

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Aside from all the snacking, my meals have been pretty standard.

I made a sweet bowl of blended oats the other day after being reminded about their existence while reading Katie’s blog. Standard banana oats cooked stovetop style, blended in the Bullet and topped with a drizzle of light coconut milk mixed with SF maple syrup.

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And the Chocolate Vitatop made a breakfast appearance this week.
Or did it?

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Heck yes it did. Seriously, if you haven’t mashed your vitatops into big bowls of plain (or ANY) yogurt then you’re missing out and you should get on that asap.

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Squash made it on the menu a few times this week. I finally made some butternut squash fries for the first time in ages. Missed these babies! Filled out with some baked bbq tempeh and the mandatory raw veggie sides.

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And more squash love.

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Wow. On Friday I actually spy a bit of leftover squash at every meal. New record?!

Breakfast squash

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Lunch squash – and the day was warm enough to eat OUTSIDE. I don’t believe it.

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Dinner squash (and the LAST of that stash)

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And THIS is why my hands are orange.  

A couple non-hand-tinting meals happened.

Steamed broccoli with warm hummus/pasta sauce mix.

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A TRADER JOE’S meal. What…In CANADA?
My lovely friend Emily sent me a package in the mail that included this delicious Indian Jaipur Vegetables meal.  I cooked up some cabbage slaw and steamed broccoli in a splash of broth and topped it all with this mix. Easiest meal ever, and so good! Who’s going to relocate a Trader Joe’s into Ontario for me?

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Less Indian (and thus less exciting) veg bowls also happened.

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Though the fact that this one was loaded with feta cheese bumps it up two notches.

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That is all I’ve got for now so I’m off to prep for my Easter weekend celebrating aka retro night dancing. I may have a class at 9:30 tomorrow morning to make up for the missed day of classes due to Good Friday and I may have no choice but to attend that class because I have a large essay due but that’s not going to stop me from celebrating a long weekend Sunday tonight!

Happy Easter!