Aaaaaand Scene!

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By now, you’ve probably guessed that life has been a little busy around these parts (hence the serious lack of posts). Who knew grad school and wedding planning would quickly eat up all my time?! Jesh.

Blogging has taken a back seat and I’ve decided to commit to a nice little hiatus until April. In the meantime, I’ll keep perusing the blogesphere and I look forward to sharing some tiptop DIYs, funky fashion posts, easy fitness tips and the like in a couple months. 

Urs xx

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Four Cheap Date Night Ideas

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you know what that means….chocolates will be on sale come February 15th!! WOOT WOOT

Ian and I have never been fans of Valentine’s Day. If I’m honest, I think it’s because it all seems somewhat forced. I much prefer random flowers in May, surprise gifts in June, and unexpected brunches in September. That being said, I am a big fan of date nights and the longer I’m in a relationship, the more I prioritize them.

So what are my four favourite cheap dates? Well my friend, let me tell you:

1. Taco Night At Home

Grab a bottle of tequila, fresh limes, cilantro and corn tortillas and you’ve got a party. The best part is cooking up a delicious meal together while sipping on homemade margaritas. Yum. Don’t forget to turn up the music. I love blasting the Gypsy Kings (I know I know they’re from Spain but they’re so good) because they make me want to dance around the kitchen while I mash up avocados.

2. Scary Movie Night

What is it about scary movies that make you want to cuddle up next to your honey? Rent a freaky movie, make a large bowl of popcorn and prepare to scare yourselves silly in the dark.

3. Late night drives

Driving out to the country on a clear night is so romantic. Park the car, grab a blanket and watch the stars from the hood of the truck. It’s like being a teenager all over again (minus the acne, the raging hormones, and the unavoidable high school drama).

4. A Day of Surprises 

Take turns surprising each other with a day full of random activities. Grab coffee at your favourite cafe, go for a walk where you had your first kiss, pick up your partner’s favourite dessert, and whip out a game of Scrabble! Anything that reminds you both of each other and keeps the other person guessing because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love surprises?

What do you do on date night? Are you a fan of Valentine’s Day? 

xx

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Cookies

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When I was a kid my Grandma used to make these peanut butter chocolate balls every December. More often than not, my mom would try to hide them in the freezer but my sisters and I always found them. We would gorge ourselves on their chocolate-y goodness and come Christmastime, there would be none leftover! To this day they’re one of my favourite treats and they’re the perfect for any occasion.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 cups of rice crispies
  • 1 lb of powder sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

What to do:

Start by melting your butter in a saucepan. Once it’s hot stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Add your vanilla then pour into a large bowl. Mix in the powder sugar and rice crispies. Use your hands to make sure the ingredients are all mixed together then roll them into small balls. Stick them in the fridge for 2 hours.

Melt your chocolate chips in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Stir continuously. Once the chocolate is melted dip the peanut butter balls in and place them onto parchment paper. Sprinkle with Himalayan pink salt. Set the chocolate covered treats in the fridge for a few hours until hard.

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That’s it!

Is there anything better than peanut butter, chocolate and salt?? BEST COMBO EVER.

xx

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Why I started eating meat again after 8 years

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The more I learn about nutrition the more I’m convinced that it’s an intensely individual thing. What works for one might not work for another. All we can do is listen to our bodies and give it our best go.

I’m nervous to write this post because I feel like my personality has been somewhat built around the fact that I was a vegan/vegetarian for almost a decade. I know that sounds silly but it’s true! I’ve always been attached to the concept of healthy eating, but overtime my understanding of what it means to eat healthy has become narrow and rigid.

When I was a wee little twenty year old, I went abroad to the Netherlands. If I could wrap up the experience in one sentence it would be “greatest time of my life”. Aside from hanging out with a great group of friends, frequenting cafes, traveling, and drinking delicious beers, I also became a pescatarian. Ugh, I don’t even like the word ‘pescatarian’ because it conjures up images of really snotty cartoon characters, but alas, that’s what I was.

Within six months I was a vegan and I loved it. Becoming vegan reintroduced me to the concept of food as a source of nutrition and health. I learned to love the taste of raw vegetables and savour things like nutritional yeast, fresh plums and organic cashews. I learned to cook and to recognize how my body felt after eating certain foods. Not to mention my weight became consistent and it stopped fluctuating every couple months. And I was a strict vegan. I wouldn’t touch anything with modified milk ingredients and I avoided all baked goods that didn’t come from vegan sources.

Flash forward five years to when I moved to northern Canada and decided to start training for my first half-ironman. I was diligent about eating but I just couldn’t maintain my energy levels and I started to become an ‘unhealthy vegan’. I ate things that were vegan but nothing that was nutrient dense and my body suffered as a result.

I know there are tons of elite athletes who swear by a vegan diet. I admire them greatly but it requires diligence and time. For me, it was it too difficult and I started eating eggs and dairy. I stuck to a mainly vegan diet (about 85%) with the occasional animal product to help me recover faster from my big training sessions.

Eight years after giving up meat (beef, pork, poultry) I find myself feeling the consequences. My energy levels are really low and my hair started falling out (you might remember this post). The results of my blood tests showed that I had dangerously low iron stores and my B12 was almost non-existent. Neither of these things are that uncommon in people who eat a mostly plant-based diet. I was able to maintain good nutrient levels for years but over time the body can deplete most of its stores and long-term this can have serious side effects. Not to mention I was low on essential amino acids. I met with two separate nutritionists who both told me that if I wanted to improve my symptoms in a timely manner I needed to eat meat.

With much thought and reflection, I have slowly started to eat some red meat. I’m adamant that the meat be local, hormone free, free-range and organic. Lucky for me I live in a part of Canada where it’s easy to find meats that come from well raised family farms. I won’t compromise on this because factory farming is what led me to becoming vegan in the first place. I rarely eat beef because of the huge environmental impact methane gas has on our planet. And I believe that even meat eaters should limit their meat intake to only a few times a week. In today’s day and age the average north american eats meat 2-3 times a day! Not only is that unhealthy it’s not environmentally sustainable.

I can’t say I’ll eat meat forever. I still feel strongly about living a mostly plant-based lifestyle. All I can say it that right now, my body is craving something and I need to be responsive.

I want to add that this post is not to criticize a plant-based diet. Like I said, I’m a big supporter. I think we all could do to eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed food. Being a vegan or vegetarian helps you eat amounts of plant foods required for a healthy diet, but my experience is that it can also be challenging to meet all your nutrient requirements over the long haul.

Have you ever struggled to introduce something into your diet? Are you a vegetarian or vegan? How do you listen to your body? 

**I’m not a nutritionist or doctor. These thoughts on diet and nutrition are mine alone and are not intended as medical advice **

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Do You Want to go to the Seaside?

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Recently, the weather dropped to -43 C in FSJ. To say it was cold would be an understatement. It was frigid. Burn-your-hands-and-lose-your-toes-frigid.

Normally, when the temperatures drop below -40 C, I start to lose feeling in my nose I console myself by dreaming of the seaside. The birds, the smells, the sounds of the waves….I long for it all.

You wanna go to the seaside with me?

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Shall we pack our bags already??

xx

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