My list of things to do this winter holiday is basically a mile long, and I have only 2 short weeks to complete them all! Or, at least, I’ll try Thankfully, most of the things on the list are fun things that I am truly looking forward to. I put this list together in October (thanks to Mom for the idea). Back then, there were only a couple things on it, but as the weeks went on, I started adding more and more things to it, and before I knew it, I had to split it up into multiple sections. Take a look!
- Go to Daiso in Aberdeen Centre with family
- Go to Trader Joe’s with family
- Watch TV and movies with Seline: NATIONAL TREASURE!
- Play with my polymer clay
- Decorate some things with Sharpie henna
- Practice bookbinding
- Make gifts for family and friends
- Cook and bake all of the things on this list
- Some new things have been added to the list just now: vegan dark chocolate macarons, chocolate peppermint cupcakes, healthy airplane snacks for the ride back to Waterloo, butter-free banana shortbread cookies with pecans, raw almond butter cups, coconut chocolate fudge frosting, carrot cake, and chocolate chip pumpkin bars
Quinoa mixed with asparagus, peas, roasted cauliflower, coconut curried tofu, and topped with crushed cashews
- Get a better sleep schedule: bed before 11:00 and wake up at 7:00
- Do 10 classes of hot yoga over the two weeks
- Exercise in the morning
- Practice cirque yoga moves on the new ball
- Walk Arnie twice a day with Mom
Quinoa mixed with butternut tomato sauce, spinach, zucchini, red peppers, squash chunks, mushrooms, and baked with cheddar and goat cheese, topped with pine nuts – served with study notes all about the FITT Principle, which was on my Kin 104 exam!
Things to Eat and People to Meet
- Whole Foods hot bar with Mom
- Wendell’s with Mimi and family
- Something with Rachel
- Kishimoto sushi again! Or maybe minami or mike
- Beaucoup Bakery with Seline
- Dinner with Eagle Ridge Hospital friends at Cactus Club
- Dinner with Jessica, Medha, Yuki, and Sally
- Dinner with Sally, Medha, and Natasha
- Meet up with Annie and family
- Lunch and skating with Jia and Hollie
- Visit Zdenek, my skating coach!
Apple oatmeal (grated in and chunks on top) with pumpkin muffin and hemp hearts
- Finish publishing all old WordPress drafts, so I can start clean in 2016
- Manage all WordPress subscriptions so I don’t receive spam from random bloggers, but rather from the ones I know (virtually) and love
- Write blog FAQs page
- Add to blog ‘About Me’ page
- Update oatmeal page
- Email K.C. about guest posting on her lovely blog
- Contact K.Y. about a guest post?
- Contact B.D. about blog and Youtube channel: possible collaboration?
More yummy quinoa mixed with asparagus, peas, roasted cauliflower, coconut curried tofu, and topped with crushed cashews
Real, Important Things that I Need to Get Done
- Figure out my fitness schedule for the new semester, and register for the classes I want to participate in: yoga or ballet?
- Update resume
- Make a Linkedin account
- Email E.O. about Mission Nutrition peer education team to find out about the schedule
- Email H.K. about doing research with her in the lab
- Finish presentation about Mediterranean Diet and send it to H.K. and T.N.
- Take a look at medical school requirements and make a list
- Write a list of reasons why I want to be a doctor
- Write new article for Young Scholar
- Email Susan about hospital volunteer hours and switching to another shift after April
- Email A.N. about blogging about yoga
- Contact Clair Hills Retirement Home about volunteering there in 2016
- Fill out Global Experience Certification submission form and submit
- Make a scrapbook for my summer in Paris with Seline using Mixtape or Artcow
- Make plans for the summer: volunteer trip with Projects Abroad?
- Apply for a yoga certification scholarship
- Make some artwork (drawings or things to sell) for Balding for Cancer, for C.M.
Lunch at Princess Cafe: curried cauliflower soup with a turkey and goat cheese sandwich with sundried tomato pesto, spinach, garlic aioli
BC Shopping List
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- 4x dark chocolate bar (need for 4 recipes)
- Coconut sugar
- Peppermint extract
- Almond meal
- Coconut milk in a can
- Raw almonds
- Raw cashews
- Raw walnuts
- Healthy graham crackers
- 2x firm silken tofu (12 oz)
- Tomato paste
- Fresh basil
- Dry brown (green) lentils
- Nutritional yeast
- Apple cider vinegar
- Thyme, oregano, basil, cayenne
- Butternut squash (large, about 1.5 pounds)
- Breadcrumbs (need for two recipes)
- Fresh dill
- Cavatappi pasta
- 3/4 cup asiago cheese
- 1.5 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 3 cups half and half
- 2 cups Italian blend cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, smoked provolone
- Goat cheese
Chocolate-banana oatmeal with peanut butter, chocolate chips, cashews, hemp hearts // whipped banana oatmeal with banana slices, yogurt, cashews, blackberries, hemp hearts
Back in BC, Mom made a big hot pot one night. Have you tried hotpot before? Do you like it?
My doggie is always sleepy. I can’t wait to walk Arnie again!
Seline and the homestay students played monopoly one evening, enjoyed a big roast beef with broccoli, and Mom baked brownies from a mix.
Seline got her wisdom teeth out a couple days ago and is recovering beautifully. 🙂 That makes me happy as a clam!
Speaking of brownies, I made these babies AGAIN! Honestly, my roomie and I just cannot get enough.
I cut one square into 9 pieces and the other into 16.
I enjoyed two fresh out of the oven (second one unpictured) with peanut butter and Greek yogurt. And as I type this right now, I’m eating another one. I think I’ve been having two of these per day since I discovered the recipe on one of my favourite blogs!
Another morning I made Steph’s white chocolate blueberry pancakes, minus the white chocolate and topped with kiwi and chopped cashews. This was quite delish drizzled with maple syrup!
One night I cooked up some fried rice with crispy tofu, plus some roasted sweet potato with aioli drizzle. It was such a dark day!
See the tray of sweet potato? I ate the entire tray in this one meal, along with all that fried rice. Whoa. I guess I needed all that to power my brain through a long study session? 😛 I know, I’m totally justifying…
Butternut squash soup and pita with apple, cheddar, goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey. I was so pleased with how this totally-random lunch turned out!
Quinoa mixed with butternut squash tomato sauce and vegetables, topped with cheese and baked until delicious. This was so, so good and I will be repeating! My broccoli here was quite strange – it was spongy! The flavour was top-notch with garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan, but the stalks had the weirdest texture, like there were air bubbles inside. Didn’t taste like broccoli at all – more like a funny eggplant. Has this ever happened to you?
On Saturday afternoon, I met up with my Altitude mentor. We enjoyed lunch at the Yeti Cafe in downtown Kitchener.
They sell all different kinds of bread and bagels. The circular wall decorations are actually slices of a log that have been painted and glitter-fied. The man and woman in line in front of me actually bought a couple of these colourful log slices! I wonder how much they cost.
I started with something hot because it was snowing outside and -7 degrees. After I noted that I wasn’t a coffee drinker, my mentor Rezi recommended the London Fog latte, which I ordered because I love Earl Grey tea. Rezi used to be a barista and told me that she enjoys suggesting drinks to people based on their preferences. What an awesome recommendation – this was made with real vanilla beans and was served steaming hot, with just the right balance between tea and milk. I loved it and will definitely try making a London Fog at home: all you need is an Earl Grey tea bag, some almond or coconut milk, some sugar (maybe honey would work?) and vanilla extract. Mmmm, perfect for warming up on a cold winter day. Do you drink tea? What is your favourite kind of tea? Have you ever tried a tea latte?
My sandwich was the Smokie: grilled halloumi with homemade smoked applesauce, caramelized onions, and greens in a big, fluffy, Portuguese-style bun! This sandwich was so filling. I gave up on the top bun halfway through but finished the rest – the halloumi was salty, smoky, and so delicious. The last time (also the first time) I had halloumi was at Nuba restaurant in Vancouver, when I had dinner with Rachel. One day, I’m going to buy some halloumi and make it into a quinoa salad topper or the star of a homemade grilled sandwich. Have you tried halloumi before?
Meanwhile, we discussed everything from the MCATs to her experience working and travelling around the world, her odd hospital shifts, and possible careers in medicine that don’t require 10+ years of school. It was a fantastic conversation and I can’t wait to meet with Rezi again in February.
The Yeti also makes a whole bunch of desserts, and it sure took a lot of will power not to order one of each. The butter tarts actually look identical to the ones at Princess Cafe and I’m sure they get them in bulk from the same provider. These cinnamon croissant cake sticky bun swirly things with cream cheese glaze were calling my name, but I managed to ignore them. Until next time, cinnamon rolls!
Here is their menu, if you are curious! Next time, I want to try their collard wrap. I was initially debating between the collard wrap (sweet potato, scrambled egg, turkey, kale slaw, greens, aioli) and the Smokie, but both guys at the counter declared that the Smokie was their recommendation, and I’m glad I ordered it. Someone in a table across from us decided on the collard wrap, and it was a monster the size of my head! I have no idea where they got leaves that big and how much they managed to jam in there.
Cool! And that is it for today. I’m off to wash some dishes, Swiffer my floor (why sweep when you can Swiffer, right? Wise words from the Queen of Laziness AKA me), and then whip up some overnight oatmeal. My flight is at 9:00 AM tomorrow, so my ride is coming at 5:55 AM to pick me up. I’m sure the overnight oats will fill me up, but if no, I’ve also got a pumpkin muffin defrosting. 🙂 So excited to scrape all the little bits of PB out of the jar… on the plane. I wonder how many strange looks I’ll get! Have you ever had strange, or different, food in the public?
Since I’ve been out of yogurt since Tuesday – whoa, how did I manage a week without yogurt? – I’m going to make Oh She Glows’s vegan overnight oatmeal recipe. I made some adjustments based on the ingredients that I have and decreased the amount of oatmeal because I only have 1/3 cup left. 😦
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 scant tbsp chia seeds
- 1 scant tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 scant tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
- peanut butter jar that is almost empty
- In a small bowl, mash the banana until almost smooth. Now stir in the chia seeds and cinnamon until combined.
- Stir in the oats, almond milk, and vanilla (if using). Cover and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 2 hours.
- In the morning, stir the oat mixture to combine. If your Vegan Overnight Oats have a runny consistency even after they soak, simply stir in an additional 1 tablespoon chia seeds and place the mixture back in the fridge until it has thickened up. If the oat mixture is too thick, simply add a splash of milk and stir to combine.
And will let you know how it tastes soon! Have a beautiful, lovely Tuesday and I can’t wait to update you all with my exciting two weeks in BC. 🙂