Resolutions: 2017 Edition

2017 New Years Resolutions

CO-OP WORK GOAL: Work in another country, or a different province.
Steps I need to take: Actively seek jobs outside Ontario and BC, whether they are on the UW job search database or not.
Quote that motivates me: Good things come to those who go out and earn it. 

BEING-AN-ADULT GOAL: Spend 5 minutes each day (time it!) to clean the room. Make bed in the morning.

Steps I need to take: Just do it! It’s worth the clean room.
Quote that motivates me: Motivation comes after you clean. Don’t start with motivation – start with doing.
What I will do to celebrate: Buy a new bedside lamp?

FINANCIAL GOAL: Spend $650/month maximum.
Steps I need to take: Try to limit meals eaten out, purchasing no-name brand items instead of expensive branded items.
Quote that motivates me: Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

HEALTH GOAL: Go to bed at give/take 11:30 each night. Establish an 11:30 to 7:00 schedule.
Steps I need to take: Finish all my things before bed and do not spend too much time reading online or doing useless things on the Internet.
Quote that motivates me: Success isn’t about waking up early or going to sleep late. It’s about being productive while you’re awake.

FOOD GOAL: Make Iowa Girl Eats’ Senegalese Soup, Caramelized Leek and Garlic Mushroom Rice (yum) and black bean burgers.

Steps I need to take: Buy ingredients and just make them! Plan ahead so I have enough time to do so.
What I will do to celebrate: Eat the yumminess.

YOGA and AERIAL SILKS GOAL: Full middle splits, perform in the showcase on Feb. 24 and other showcases in Toronto, learn the windmill, and have solid handstands.

Steps I need to take: Stretch for ~1 hour daily. Practice aerial silks 3-5 times a week and do core work/handstand prep in free time in the evenings.
Quote that motivates me: Aim for progress, not perfection. As you build strength, you start to believe in your own potential. Negative minds don’t give positive lives.

ACADEMIC GOAL: In the summer term, achieve a 95% average.

Steps I need to take: Rewrite notes after each class, and keep my binder organized. Review daily. Make sure I have a solid understanding of key topics. Review with friends and use whiteboards.
Quote that motivates me: Don’t stop until you’re proud. The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
What I will do to celebrate: Shop at Write Stuff for new pens!

HAPPINESS and SELF-CARE GOAL: Take better care of my body.

Steps I need to take: Drink more water, moisturize my skin, exfoliate my feet, and floss!
Quote that motivates me: Floss is like toilet paper. The roll should not last 6 months.
What I will do to celebrate: Use my Body Shop card to buy more lotions and yummy-scented creams

FITNESS GOAL: Do cardio 3-5 times a week, whether it’s a short run in the sun or a quick bike at the school gym.

Steps I need to take: Take spin classes instead of yoga classes when I’m on campus.
Quote that motivates me: The best project you’ll ever work on is YOU.

RANDOM GOAL: Keep journalling every night!

Friday Friend Features: Cindy Wei

Feeling so grateful and honoured to be featured as a December’s Friday Friend by the lovely Cassie at Her site is not only reflective and empowering, but also filled with incredible recipes (Indian food baby… hello), motivational words, and excellent photography. Thank you for the great feature, and wishing everyone a happy New Year’s Eve Eve 🙂

We are WELL at the end of December and by this time, I am WELL into getting ready for the winter quarter in a week. I mean, nobody EVER enjoys returning to the academic stress and crazy workload, right? However, we can all use some more time to lay back and simply enjoy the rest of the holiday vacation, grab a little (or a lot) of tea and coffee and chit-chat with some good friends!

Today I am BEYOND excited to introduce my good friend Cindy of the phenomenal blog Cookies and Chemistry. A student, creative chef and talented yogi, Cindy has been one of my biggest inspirations and closest friends since I’ve started blogging myself, whether through her stunningly presented food photos, her motivational words, her beautiful smile and her infinite positivity. So without further ado, I present my interview with her right here!

  • Okay, here is an icebreaker:…

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Belmont Bistro: The Best Eggs Benny

After my final exams ended on Saturday night, my lovely roommates Madhulika and Arsalan and I went to Belmont Bistro, a chic restaurant in Kitchener, for a delicious meal.


I ordered the eggs benedict with a side salad and a sweet buckwheat crepe.


The salad was perfectly dressed and decorated generously with chunks of chèvre and tiny sultanas. I also loved the crunchy granola scattered throughout. The sweet crepe was chewy and flavourful.

The eggs benny were certainly some of the best I’ve ever had. I love it when eggs benny are served on biscuits instead of English muffins. These were cooked flawlessly. I had one with spinach and feta, and the other with smoked salmon. Both were divine!


Runny egg yolks and flaky biscuits are my life.


I finished all of this and was ready to start my Christmas holiday!


Couple of recipes for you! I made this flourless chocolate cake a couple days ago and it was divine. If you’re more of a sweet-cake person, swap the 70% dark chocolate for some 50-60%, or increase the honey to 1 cup. This chocolate cake was truffle-esque, rich, dense, and absolutely delicious. Loving the use of coconut oil here!

Healthier Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves: 12
  • 4 oz 70% dark chocolate
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • dash vanilla extract
  • sprinkle salt
  • sprinkle cinnamon: optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Generously grease an 8-inch pan.
  3. Melt chocolate and coconut oil together.
  4. Combine with cocoa powder, honey, and eggs. Make sure it is not too hot, or the eggs will scramble! Whisk well until batter is smooth. Add vanilla, salt, and optional cinnamon.
  5. Pour into greased pan.
  6. Smooth top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, until the centre is firm.
  8. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove the sides. Allow to cool completely before serving.

I also baked these sweet potato spice muffins yesterday. The recipe involves a bit more work with blending the sweet potato, but it’s so worth it. These sweet potato muffins are not only exceptionally healthy, but also super delicious and taste like the holidays. Give it a shot!

Sweet Potato Spice Muffins

Serves: 18 muffins


  • 1 + 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed or chia (I used chia)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato – around 1 medium/large sweet potato (I boiled mine, then blended it in a blender with coconut oil)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  2. Whisk all ingredients (EXCEPT FLOURS) together. Mix until very well combined.
  3. Add flour slowly and use a spatula to mix. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour into greased muffin tin. Sprinkle with oats or pecans, if desired.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the centre is done. Serve immediately, keep at room temp in an airtight container, or freeze.

That’s it for today, everyone! Wishing you all a lovely rest of the week.

Healthy Holiday Treats!

Merry Christmas Eve, friends! Enjoy this lovely compilation of great holiday treats on Rachel’s blog, Moments with Rae. I’m loving how she hit all of the main holiday dessert staples while noting that not every sweet bite needs to be a big splurge.

Hope you are all enjoying the evening with family, friends, and/or food 🙂

Moments with Rae

This time of the year, I’m sure we’re all craving some delicious, comforting treats fresh from the oven. Christmas is right around the corner, but festive treats don’t always have to be a splurge. Try some of these recipes for a healthier twist on things!

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirl Banana Muffins

I can’t believe that there are less than three days until Christmas. This semester seemed to fly by, and the holidays really snuck up on me.

I have a delicious muffin recipe to share with you guys today. It involves powdered peanut butter, chocolate and bananas, so we really can’t go wrong here. I know I shared a recipe just yesterday, but… chocolate.

Mmmm. These froze exceptionally well and made a perfect yogurt/oatmeal topping.

 Give it a try!
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirl Banana Muffins
Serves: 9
  • 2 medium bananas, ripe
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup milk (I used almond, but coconut, cows, or soy would work)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup spelt flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 3 tablespoons PB2
  1. Line nine muffin tins with paper/foil liners, or grease a nonstick muffin tin. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mash bananas with a fork.
  4. Add oil, egg, milk, and vanilla. Whisk well.
  5. Add flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda and stir until just combined.
  6. Add oats and stir.
  7. Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe measuring cup for 30-45 seconds. Stir until smooth.
  8. Cool slightly, then add ½ of batter to measuring cup and stir until combined.
  9. Add PB2 to the remaining batter and mix well.
  10. Scoop 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of PB2 batter and 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of chocolate batter in a lined muffin tin.
  11. Swirl batters together with a toothpick.
  12. Repeat for remaining batter.
  13. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
178 calories, 19g sugar, 3.2g protein

It’s been frosty recently! The roads have all been iced over.


And a hot chocolate at Princess Cafe with my friend Lily! This was taken before our final exams ended.

And a potluck dinner enjoyed with fellow volunteers at school. Highlights include that incredible thyme sweet potato hash and great, creamy mac and cheese.

I even bought a new notebook a couple weeks ago, hoping it would motivate me to study.


SO glad finals are over! Now I don’t need to serve my meals with a side of biochemistry or physiology.

Here’s that quinoa veggie casserole again. I always devour this!

Mmmmm. Perfectly comforting, satisfying, and warm in my belly.


At home in BC, Mom made my brownie recipe! She said that the family devoured it. Wish I was there to have some. Mom’s baking always looks fantastic.


I found some old Nepal pictures on the Volunteering Solutions Instagram page. I lived in Nepal throughout the month of August and it was a spectacular experience. Blows my mind to think that, six months ago, I was one of those little flying paragliding dots.

Since we’re nearing the end of 2016, it’s almost time to buy a new planner! Planners are my love. I could search for ages for the perfect planner, and have plans to go to Staples this morning to check ’em out.

Hope y’all have the loveliest rest of the week!

Cozy Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Stew

Absolutely delicious recipe for you guys today!


This brilliant recipe was created by Angela at Oh She Glows, with some modifications made to suit what I had in the fridge. Doesn’t this look amazing?

It tasted equally yummy.


Angela served hers with rice, but I loved mine with quinoa, then some brown rice after I ran out of quinoa. I subbed baby spinach for the kale and omitted the turmeric. You guys are going to love this recipe!

Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

Adopted from Oh She Glows

Makes 6 servings


For the stew:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (400 g) peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet potato (450 g), peeled and diced (2 1/2 cups/340 g)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium chicken broth: veggie broth works too
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Baby spinach

Optional accompaniments:

  • Cooked rice
  • Garlic powder and chili powder


  1. To a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer.
  3. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  4. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
  5. Stir in the spinach, and cook for another couple minutes until the greens are wilted.
  6. Scoop some cooked rice onto the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the stew overtop. Garnish with minced cilantro or parsley and a good dusting of garlic and chili powder, if desired.
  7. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and they freeze beautifully too.

Who says you need grains with stew? This creamy, smoky stew made a lovely accompaniment to avocado toast for a light lunch (which was most certainly followed by a big dessert). 🙂

I can’t think of a better holiday meal to make before we spring into a weekend of festive holiday feasts. Try this!

I hope you enjoy 🙂