So Much To Do – So Little Time

DSC09406

 Hey everyone!

How are you? I am in the greatest mood ever right now (some chocolate would put me in a better mood, though…), because:
a) I finished my last of six exams two hours ago. What a relief! I am so grateful that all the finals are done. I feel like such a big weight is finally lifted off my shoulders, and hopefully the subconscious-stress pimples that popped up over the last two weeks are going to disappear soon.
b) I will see my family in 15 hours! Okay, 20 hours for me because of the 5-hour flight. But still! It’s been four months and way too long.
c) Christmas is in just four days. WHAT!? Plus, Vancouver might have a white Christmas this year.

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!


DSC09379 DSC09392 DSC09421
Delicious frittata made with four eggs, asparagus, sweet potato slices, mushrooms, roasted red pepper, spinach, and honey goat cheese

Life-Related Goals

DSC09319 DSC09327

Quinoa mixed with asparagus, peas, roasted cauliflower, coconut curried tofu, and topped with crushed cashews


Health-Related Goals
  • 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

DSC09545 DSC09547

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

DSC09315 DSC09310

Apple oatmeal (grated in and chunks on top) with pumpkin muffin and hemp hearts


Blog-Related Things
  • 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?

DSC09278

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.

DSC09664DSC09671DSC09673

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
  • Applesauce
  • Peppermint extract
  • Almond meal
  • Coconut milk in a can
  • Raw almonds
  • Raw cashews
  • Raw walnuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Healthy graham crackers
  • 2x firm silken tofu (12 oz)
  • Tomato paste
  • Fresh basil
  • Dry brown (green) lentils
  • Celery
  • 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
  • Cauliflower

DSC09567DSC09269

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?

IMG_0682 IMG_0683

My doggie is always sleepy. I can’t wait to walk Arnie again!

IMG_5257 IMG_5774 IMG_6687

Seline and the homestay students played monopoly one evening, enjoyed a big roast beef with broccoli, and Mom baked brownies from a mix.

IMG_0678 IMG_6205 IMG_9914

Seline got her wisdom teeth out a couple days ago and is recovering beautifully. 🙂 That makes me happy as a clam!

IMG_9380 IMG_6910

Speaking of brownies, I made these babies AGAIN! Honestly, my roomie and I just cannot get enough.

DSC09332 DSC09336 DSC09343

I cut one square into 9 pieces and the other into 16.

DSC09356 DSC09363 DSC09376

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!

DSC09354 DSC09347

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!

DSC09489 DSC09497

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!

DSC09471 DSC09479

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…

DSC09459 DSC09474

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!

DSC09446

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?

DSC09296 DSC09300

On Saturday afternoon, I met up with my Altitude mentor. We enjoyed lunch at the Yeti Cafe in downtown Kitchener.

DSC09525 DSC09527

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.

DSC09530 DSC09532 DSC09524

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?

DSC09511 DSC09518

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.

DSC09520 DSC09522

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!

DSC09535 DSC09542

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.

menu_dec2015_web

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. 😦

Overnight Oatmeal

  • 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
  1. In a small bowl, mash the banana until almost smooth. Now stir in the chia seeds and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Stir in the oats, almond milk, and vanilla (if using). Cover and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 2 hours.
  3. 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. 🙂

24 thoughts on “So Much To Do – So Little Time

  1. Weird, weird, weird! I was just talking to my family about hallloumi yesterday!!! Never had it, due to a dairy intolerance, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to splurge on it…it just sounds so interesting and delicious. Because I have many food intolerances, my food is always weird. So much so that my extended family and friends have commented before, but I’m used to it and actually agree: my food is quite strange.

    Ooh, I love reading menus! And that cafe looks scrumptious…right up my alley! Aaahhhh…it’s too bad I don’t live closer to the border, otherwise we should totally do a TJ’s meet-up!! That would be awesomely fun…as it is, I can’t believe you’re going to be in America and I’m missing the chance to meet you. 😉 Well, I’m sure there will be other opportunities… Have fun at TJ’s (and the US in general) and have a wonderful break!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Halloumi is interesting! It reminds me o feta in terms of the saltiness, but has a mozzarella-like texture that is quite chewy. I like it a lot!
      Menus are SO much fun to read, and I sometimes get so carried away reading all the menus of all different restaurants in an area.
      Oh my goodness, that would actually be so fun! The drive from Coquitlam to Bellingham is about 2.5 hours for me, depending on the level of crowded-ness at the border. How far are you from the border? Thank you and I hope you have a lovely holiday as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny, we’re about 2 1/2 hours out as well…I’ve always wanted to visit BC sometime (Banff is on my pie-in-the-sky bucket list of places I want to go), so I’m thinking, someday, I’ll have to get me a passport and get myself up there! If I do, I know who I’d contact about which touristy places to visit! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Too little time is right! There is so much I want to do too over my break and I’m hoping to get at least half of what I want done.
    6 exams?! I remember those days and do not wish for them again! Good job getting through!
    I wish I could join you on all your foodie adventures!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Two weeks of exams went by as slow as a snail, but two weeks of fun and freedom with family and friends is going to feel like two DAYS! I completely agree – I’m also hoping just to get half done. 😛
      I wish you could join me too! We can make pumpkin and lentil patties, PB truffles, and have oatmeal with chocolate for breakfast dessert 🙂 The great things is that we can join each other on foodie adventures – virtually!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s fantastic! What type of yoga are you interested in? I agree about how yoga really enriches the way you move and think in daily life. Thank you for the wonderful wishes! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well 🙂

      Like

  3. Alkjdflkasdjof I cannot get enough of everything in this post! DELISH food, awesome goals, new places and wonderful words! I would love to try those brownie bites! You HAVE to go to the Whole Foods hot bars! I went there yesterday and I’m writing a post on my adventure at Whole Foods soon! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl, the Whole Foods Hot Bar is one of the #1 first things I’m gonna do as soon as I get back to Van! I’ve been so many times already before coming to Waterloo and I miss it so much. I always get a little scoop of EVERYTHING! That’s what makes the hot bar worth it, I think. Woooo, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for everyone! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s