Life of Pumpkin Pie

This is going to be a pretty lame post. It’s 8:15 AM and I have class soon! Speaking of classes, I can’t believe that the semester is nearly over. Just another four days to get through before classes are all done… wha?!

Anyways, Volunteering Solutions shared my Nepal paragliding photo as an ad! I thought that was pretty cool.

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And last night, I received my aerial silks photographs that were taken by Alexa Baker at Brass Butterflies. She took some great shots and you can see more on my aerial silks page. Normally the lighting in the studio is pretty horrendous, but Alexa had some cool lights that made the photos look shadowy and professional. 🙂

This is my tentative schedule for January – April, once I move to Toronto for my first co-op. I will be working at the Toronto Health Centre!

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Finals will be over in 18 days. The countdown begins!

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So many ideas for my first work term!

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I’ve still been keeping track of my finances. Last weekend, when I was in Toronto for the case competition, I definitely spent more than I should have. I will need to start saving this month.

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I’ve also been recording everything I’ve been eating. This was for the entire month of November. I did this to get an idea of how many fruits and veggies I eat every day. I knew I wasn’t eating as much veggies as I should, and this definitely helped to confirm. Any ideas on how to incorporate veggies into lunch?

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Here are some great pumpkin (maybe fall would be a better word) recipes that were a HIT to me recently!


The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate

Serves 1

You’ll need…
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 sprinkle cinnamon
  • 1 sprinkle pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tiny sprinkle salt
Cook all ingredients over medium heat on the stovetop, or in the microwave, until the chocolate chips have melted. Serve hot!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars
Serves: 9
Ingredients
CRUST
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (168 g) almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp (24 g) coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 4-5 Tbsp (60-75 ml) melted coconut oil
FILLING
  • 2 3/4 cups (475 g) pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp (18 g) coconut flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all crust ingredients together.
  3. Add crust to the parchment-lined baking dish and shake to evenly disperse, then lay down parchment paper on top and use a flat-bottomed object (such as a liquid measuring cup or drinking glass) and pressing down to pack the crust into place, making an even, firmly packed layer.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Whisk all filling ingredients together.
  6. Once the crust is baked, pour the filling into the crust and tap on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour. The filling will still be just a bit jiggly, dark orange in color, and have some cracks on the top – this is normal.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering with plastic wrap or foil and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
  8. Once cooled, gently lift bars out of dish and slice into 9 bars. I also sliced the edges off mine for appearance, but this is optional.
  9. Serve with an additional sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin pie spice (optional). Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days, though best when fresh.

One-Bowl Healthy Carrot Muffins

Serves 12
INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • ground ginger or grated ginger (about 1/4 tsp, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup brown sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk all ingredients except flour.
  3. Carefully add flour, and mix just to combine.
  4. Divide into 12 muffin tins, lined or greased with coconut oil. Bake for 18 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy warm or let cool for another couple of hours. Enjoy!

Before I sign out for today, remember my good blogger friend Rachel?

Today is the very last day for her campaign to raise money for children in Sudan. She is such a generous person, a great photographer, and a thoughtful friend. She is doing this instead of asking for birthday gifts 🙂

Check out her post here and definitely consider donating SOON! https://secure.hope-international.com/registrant/donate.aspx?eventid=209391&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=https%3A%2F%2Foutlook.live.com%2F

And that’s it! Happy December!

Case Competition, Croissants, and the Christmas Market!

Cloudy skies started my weekend on Friday afternoon. I got a ride with Mr. Shiliang, who drove me to downtown Toronto for my first ever case competition!

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Friday night wasn’t exactly work-productive. Instead, I got to meet lots of new friends, team members, and even new UWaterloo friends! We chatted about school and life while munching on tasty nachos, sweet potato fries with cumin aioli, and some great spring rolls. This was at The Office Pub on John Street.

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On Friday night, I stayed at one of my team members’ house. Michèle and her boyfriend, Daniel, live in Roncesville, a subdivision of Toronto. We had croissants from Nadège Patisserie on Saturday morning, along with some of Daniel’s incredibly creamy eggs. What a good way to start the day!

We attended workshops, spoke with mentors, and got to work on our own presentation. This is what we came up with to deal with the problem of how we can reduce smoking in Indonesian children by 50% in two years.

Lunches were catered and involved a variety of vegetarian options – yay! I haven’t had broccoli in such a long time.

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On the Sunday, we got dressed up for our competition – everyone looked amazing in blazers, dress pants, suits, ties, and dresses. I have to say, though, that by the end of the day, my skin on my toes were a little tender from all the walking – and for wearing heeled booties for 13+ hours. Worth it!

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Here are some tidbits of our presentation:

We didn’t end up going to the finals, but I was proud of how we did. There were 16 groups, and just 4 made it to the final round. More slides here!

I was pleasantly surprised to meet some new Applied Health Sciences friends at the case competition – Mayank takes the best selfies and Chelsea knows the ins-and-outs of Toronto’s most exciting places.

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Local artists decorate the subway walls, which we thought was neat!

Buildings like this are a novel sight for me. Nothing like this in the Kitchener-Waterloo area for sure. We even spotted the Trump tower and I learned some interesting things about politics. As if 2016 didn’t have enough plot twists!

Adrian caught up with us, and then we went to the Toronto Christmas Market. Admission was  $6.00 but there was so much to see, do, and eat. We started with hot chocolate, AKA ‘drinking chocolate’. It was essentially melted chocolate diluted with a teeny bit of milk and reminded me of hot chocolate at Angelina’s in Paris. In other words, absolutely amazing. Super rich, decadent, but as Adrian pointed out, every sip just got better and better!

Good call, Chelsea 🙂

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When we finally gave Mayank a break from taking all of our selfies, we asked some nice strangers to snap pics. Not sure why I’m still holding that hot chocolate cup! Apparently I can’t part with my melted chocolate.

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We tried to get the big Christmas tree in the centre square…

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we tried.

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We even got red foam noses, which were cute! The shops were super elaborate, with amazing handmade (read: expensive) goods. What an amazing experience.

The GO bus brought us back to Waterloo by around 7:00, and from Laurier, it was an easy walk home. Mom sent me a bunch of pictures of the new zucchini bread that she made.

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Then I was off to shower and sleep!

PB toast and a mushy pear. Ew. This is why I stick to oats on the daily!

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And a cheese-less pasta recipe using nutritional yeast. Once I tweak the recipe, it’ll be posted!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Creating a Restaurant-Worthy Salad

Happy Thursday, friends!

Wordy post to share with you all today…

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Let’s get to it!

5 Ways to Amp Up Your Salad (and topping ideas!)

  1. Try different types of lettuce greens to mix up the texture and flavour of your salad. Arugula is my favourite, but I want to experiment with other tender mild leaves with crisp ones.
  2. Arugula and watercress are peppery. Endive, radicchio, treviso, and dandelion greens are bitter. Purslane and sorrel have bright, lemony flavours. Kale, mustard greens, and cabbage? These are sturdy, work well shredded, and add body to your salad.
  3. That being said, buy greens from the farmer’s market! Clamshells tend to go bad faster. Greens from the market are so fresh!
  4. Remove excess water after purchasing. Wrap in a paper towel and then in a plastic bag in the crisper.
  5. Before serving, make sure leaves are completely dry. Spin them in the salad spinner in batches, without spinning overly hard to prevent the leaves from getting crushed. You can pat them with a paper towel, or roll them up in another towel.
  6. Smaller greens like spinach should be stemmed, but leaves left whole.
  7. Use a dressing with fat (oil). Try making your own vinaigrette using olive oil.
  8. The most basic vinaigrette dressing follows one rule – 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. For example, whisk 1 tsp of vinegar with 3 tsp (1 tbsp) oil.
  9. Sweetness is essential in a salad. I like some honey, or maybe maple syrup. Dijon mustard complements the sweetness perfectly!
  10. Careful not to overdress the salad.
  11. Make your salad in a massive bowl to ensure that every leaf is fully coated and seasoned.
  12. Season the salad with more salt than you’d expect. This is a restaurant secret that makes salads at places like Cactus Club so amazing. Sprinkle in a little flaky sea salt – your salad is guaranteed to be much more flavourful.
  13. Vegetables on top add brunch and colour. Try radishes or eggplant! Some other ideas – carrot, cucumbers, radishes, sprouts, fennel, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, beets, or more.
  14. Squash add awesome colour and texture. Try butternut, acorn, zucchini, or any other member of the squash family you can think of.
  15. For protein, experiment with chicken, turkey, fish, beans, or tofu. I want to try tempeh!
  16. Speaking of protein, try grilling, searing, broiling, steaming, or blackening any of the above (maybe not the beans).
  17. Dried fruit add a bit of sweetness and chew. I like cranberries!
  18. Seeds and nuts are a salad must-have, in my opinion. I think walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pistachios work beautifully with goat cheese and fruit. Sesame seeds, cashews, and peanuts are awesome in Asian-style salads. Make sure the nuts are toasted! They not only add flavour and texture, but also extra nutrition.
  19. Eggs are phenomenal salad toppers. Try them hard-boiled, poached, fried, or mashed into egg salad!
  20. For a starch, potatoes, corn, brown rice, whole wheat bread (on the salad as croutons, or even on the side!), whole wheat pasta, or quinoa/couscous are all fantastic.
  21. One word – avocado. Creamy, flavourful, beautiful. Can you ask for more? Okay, maybe for them to have smaller pits. And to not go from ripe to rotten so quickly!
  22. Garlic, shallots, and onion add beautiful flavour to the salad, or even the dressing itself.
  23. Herbs, like basil, add wonderful flavour.
  24. Any kind of cheese would work beautifully in a salad.
  25. Dress your salad lightly – literally. Be very gentle with the salad tongs. Even better? Use your hands!

Salad Ideas

Amazing Arugula

  • arugula
  • beets
  • cucumber
  • radish
  • chickpeas
  • feta
  • sunflower seeds
  • lemon + EVOO

Chop Chop

  • romaine and iceberg
  • beets
  • egg
  • tomato
  • cheddar

Kale It

  • baby kale
  • artichoke hearts
  • asparagus
  • quinoa
  • goat cheese
  • toasted almonds
  • tomato vinaigrette

Slammin’ Salmon

  • field greens
  • tomato
  • fennel
  • asparagus
  • oranges
  • olives
  • citrus vinaigrette

Spinach

  • baby spinach
  • mushrooms
  • bacon
  • egg
  • tomato
  • goat cheese
  • crispy onions
  • dijon vinaigrette

Build your own (choose a protein, too – see #16!)

Lettuce

  • Romaine
  • Chopped Iceberg
  • Wild Arugula
  • Farmers Market Field Greens
  • Baby Spinach
  • Baby Kale

Crunch

  • Crispy Kabocha Squash
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Crispy Bacon Bits
  • Olive Oil Croutons
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Pecans

Cheese

  • Feta
  • Parmesan
  • Aged Cheddar
  • Crumbled Blue
  • Pesto Bocconcini
  • Goat’s Cheese

Toppings

  • Honey Crisp Apple
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Asparagus
  • Sliced Farm Eggs
  • Edamame Beans
  • Pickled Red Beets
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Roasted Beets
  • Breakfast Radishes
  • Shaved Fennel
  • Cucumber
  • Oranges
  • Fresh Chickpeas
  • Pesto Marinated Chickpeas
  • Roasted Peppers
  • Button Mushrooms
  • Pickled Cauliflower
  • Shaved Jalapeño
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Avocado

Hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and weekend ahead of them!

  1. What are your favourite salad toppings?
  2. Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Bhima’s Warung

On Friday night, I met up with a new friend! We met in the coolest way:

Hi Cindy – you don’t know me at all but I promise I’m not too weird! I follow a lot of food bloggers, and I saw you commented on Kath Eats’ blog, and after checking out your page I found out that you go to UW! I’m a student at Laurier so I just thought that was kinda cool.. pretty small world haha! Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and will be continuing to follow it 🙂

We chatted about housing, sublets, Toronto, food, sushi, and blogs – then realized we were both free Friday evening for an exciting food outing!

Before I show you those pics, check out this pear oatmeal. I grated most of the pear inside with a cheese grater, then topped it with pear slices and a big glob of peanut butter. Cocoa powder was also involved, making this breakfast deliciously dessert-like.

Also, check out this horrific lighting. iPhone camera + 8AM sunrise/5PM sunset = this.

On the bright side, I made muffins? These delicious, tender, not-too-sweet vegan applesauce carrot muffins were fantastic. I’ll share the recipe in my next post!

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We decided to meet at Bhima’s Warung. They had so many reservations booked throughout the evening, that, even though I called three days beforehand, we were left with a 5:45 reservation. Which, now that I think about it, was probably a blessing because I got super full.

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Our appetizer involved delicious chicken and scallop dumplings, fried and topped with spicy mango sauce and shoots. I really liked this! The dumplings were crisp, the fillings flavourful, and the sauce a great companion.

Indonesian-style noodles were also ordered. We shared this sweet, savoury, and tomato-y bowl of noodles. It doesn’t look big, but it was! The perfectly-cooked egg noodles filled me up so quickly. This bowl was also loaded with mushrooms, carrots, cilantro, and crunchy peanuts. The sauce was excellent!

Our main dish featured a piece of monkeyfish and a lobster tail, along with spicy coconut broth mixed with egg noodles. I absolutely loved this and could not get enough of the spicy, creamy sauce, tender noodles, and flavourful fish. The monkfish was cooked just right, and tasted quite fresh.

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Both of us were about to explode, but there were still noodles and some of our entree left over. Nonetheless, dessert was ordered.

Guys, this dessert blew my socks off (do people even still say that?). I absolutely loved this. It looks strange from the picture, but I’ll try to describe it. On the menu, this was called a black sticky-rice creme brûlée, so I was expecting a traditional creme brûlée studded with black rice. Instead, there was a cup of phyllo pastry filled with creamy black rice in a sweet sauce. That was topped with a custard-like vanilla pudding creme and a big shard of creme brûlée sugar topping. There were also grapefruit shreds on top. On the side, there was a slab of chewy toffee nuts. Everything tasted so fresh. The sweet vanilla custard and the tender black rice were my favourite parts.

Denise enjoyed a chocolate marquise, which involved spicy chocolate and orange (mango?) sorbet. I tried some of her chocolate marquise, which was absolutely delicious. It tasted like a dark, chocolatey, rich truffle crossed with the best gelato. I ate all of my dessert – and some of Denise’s too. YUM.

Yesterday and Sunday were yoga teacher training days! I have just three more days before I’m certified. WOO! Yesterday, I taught around 8 minutes of yoga to a group of 40+ people in this studio. I thought I would be nervous and shaky, but it didn’t turn out too bad at all. In fact, EVERYONE did amazing when they taught their parts. I felt so proud of my fellow yoga classmates! It felt a lot more natural once I was at the front, demonstrating. Guess my standards were a bit too low for myself 😉

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And, I believe that’s it for today! Happy Monday, my friends 🙂

The Best Vegan Pasta Sauce + Recipe Rewind

It’s Friday, Friday // Gotta get down on Friday // Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend ♫ The weekend part is true, Rebecca Black! Every time I announce that it’s Friday, her song crosses my mind. Just me?

A couple days ago I made a massive batch of enchiladas. The corn tortillas come in packages of eight, so I made eight yummy rolls and enjoyed them on four separate days with avocado and medium spicy salsa. Here’s a little list of what I put in these enchiladas:

  • Baked sweet potato, chopped into cubes
  • 1 can of black beans cooked with 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Frozen corn
  • Chopped green onions
  • Grated pepper jack cheese

They turned out awesome! I could eat enchiladas all day long.

Pear pancakes were also devoured! These lovely pancakes were made with 1/2 grated pear, 2 tbsp spelt flour and 2 tbsp buckwheat flour, 1 egg, a splash of almond milk, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp baking soda, with lots of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract. Cooked with coconut oil and topped with peanut butter and yogurt + more cinnamon. These were great on a slow morning!

French Toast was made another day. I always make this vegan French toast recipe when I’m out of eggs but craving sweet, delicious French toast. It uses traditional French toast spices like cinnamon and vanilla, along with coconut milk for creaminess and nutritional yeast for egginess. I love this recipe.

It just never fails! This was filled with pumpkin, peanut butter, and cinnamon. As you can see, creamy yogurt is practically mandatory with any breakfast I create 😉

It was so tasty that I enjoyed the same breakfast two days in a row. You need to check out the recipe and see for yourself! My original recipe uses peanut butter, banana, and chocolate, but a delicious fall spin could involve pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and creamy nut butter. YUM.

I subconsciously had a week plentiful in vegan meals, apparently!

Truth: ran out of eggs and milk, too lazy to go to the store.

Anyways, you need to try out this recipe, too! It’s a vegan mac and cheese recipe made with any type of squash. I used pumpkin puree, but have also made it before using kabocha squash and sweet potato. Pumpkin puree was so convenient and tasted amazing. More mac and peas, please!

Dreamy Squash Mac and Cheese Sauce (Vegan)

Serves 3

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. butter or Earth Balance (vegan butter)
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 5-6 tbsp. nutritional yeast (to taste)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, roasted butternut squash, or mashed kabocha squash (boil 10 minutes without skin, then mash well)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle cayenne
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • finely-chopped sage (optional)
Directions
  1. Cook onion with butter until caramelized (about 25 minutes).
  2. Whisk all other ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into saucepan. Cook until thickened.
  4. If the sauce is chunky because of the kabocha or cubed butternut, transfer to a blender and blend until fully-combined.
  5. Store in airtight container in the fridge for 7 days. Enjoy with any type of pasta and vegetables.

When I was smaller, I hated carrot cake. I think it was those tiny, chewy, crunchy nuts that turned me off because they would be immersed in a squishy bite of spiced quick bread. Something about having nuts in carrot cake just bugged me, but now I’m neutral about them (same deal for raisins). How about you? Do you like carrot cake “loaded” with stuff, or plain? Anyways, here’s a fun and delicious riff on carrot cake – in breakfast form! Win-win, I tell you.

PS: you need to try this with creamy French cheese-style yogurt. I’m not 100% sure of what the name is – fromage blanc, perhaps? – but it tastes incredible with the spiced carrot cake. Reminiscent of cream cheese icing. Mmmm. Cream cheese icing.

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle salt
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed shredded carrots
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • heaping tbsp maple syrup
  • heaping 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-grated ginger
  • OPTIONAL: raisins or chopped walnuts
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.
  4. Top with raisins or walnuts if desired.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes until lightly golden on the edge. It will still look a little wet but will become more firm as it cools.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. When it is fully cool, it will become firm enough to slice into squares.
  8. Top with maple syrup, coconut milk, yogurt, or more.

Last but not least, some loaded Mexican-style sweet potatoes. Black beans, corn, scallions, and that yummy red pepper jack!

That’s it for today, everyone!

In Case You Missed It:

  1. New Favourite Vegan Recipes! 3 Yummy Things to Bake ASAP 🙂
  2. Life Lately – November Edition: co-op, curry, sandwiches, pizza
  3. 3 AWESOME Recipes! Zucchini Cake (low-fat), Tofu Hash, Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal
  4. Princess Cafe and Sweet Potato Stew
  5. Whole Foods Toronto and Random Eats
  6. Pancakes, Thanksgiving, and Interviews
  7. My Top 10 Favourite Ways to Be More Active
  8. A Day in the Life of a 2nd Year Kinesiology Student

Top 10 Realistic Ways to Be More Active

Top 10 Realistic Ways to Be a Healthier You

  1. Keep your water bottle nearby all the time. That being said, why not toss your gym clothes and a good pair of shoes into your school/work bag? Now you have no excuse for not stopping by the gym on your way home from work 😉 Don’t forget a hair tie!
  2. Change up your fitness routine so you don’t experience any boredom. I think they key tip is to find something you love to do, whether that’s Zumba or TRX. Find something that you find fun and entertaining. If you’re suffering through every class and watching the time tick by during your squats, you’re probably not getting the most out of it.
  3. Don’t go so hard that you’ll “feel the burn” tomorrow. Just go enough so that you sweat, get tired, but NOT sore enough that you won’t be able to come back the next day.
  4. Don’t let stretching fall to the wayside! I think it’s great to learn a couple simple stretches for the parts of your body that need it most (shoulders? hips? hamstrings?) and work on those before or after exercise.
  5. If you’re not feeling very confident, groove it! Turn on some music and just jam out. No one cares what you look like. Just move in a way that feels great – whether that’s a high-energy jumping dance or a slow, expressive dance.
  6. Avoid exercising on a full belly or an empty stomach – snack ahead of time!
  7. Check yourself out. I like having mirrors in yoga (and even cardio) so I can make sure that I have the right form.
  8. Listen to music that you love. Why not make a killer playlist to make you excited to move?
  9. Watch a movie or TV show while moving around! America’s Got Talent, for some reason, is my favourite thing to watch when I’m stretching.
  10. Always ask yourself WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. WHY do you want to deadlift 50 pounds? WHY do you want to do the splits? Does that help you in daily life? Is it for yourself? Are you doing it for personal satisfaction?
BONUS: My favourite tip – reward yourself with non-food items afterwards. For me, it’s a long shower with my favourite cocoa sugar body scrub from the Body Shop. How about a week of workouts in exchange for a manicure? Or 10 yoga classes before you purchase that new notebook? It helps me a lot to tell myself what I’m going to “give” myself for doing a workout. It’s so much more rewarding to get something that lasts, as opposed to “I’m allowed to eat an 8×8 brownie because I did an hour of cardio today”. Food should be a pleasure, not a reward, in my opinion.