October | Sky-High Carrot Cake

Hello! Short post today, because I have a couple emails to write and some schoolwork to catch up on. It is really crazy how quickly my courses are progressing, now that I’m in a number of upper-level kinesiology courses. I’ve learned so much in the three-ish weeks of school that we’ve had so far.

  • AWESOME pic that one of my friends shared on FB. Credit to the artist; unfortunately I couldn’t find his or her name. I like this piece because it shows which animals the poses are named for. I particularly like the peacock and the locust.
  • Bubble tea at CoCo is on sale until the end of November, so I will have to make sure my sister and I get some!
  • Mom made Caprese salad at home in BC, because she bought some new balsamic vinegar. It looks so good! I love that combo of flavours.
  • Campus on a sunny afternoon
  • Images from Nutrition in Disguise, one of the research groups that I’m involved with
  • And more…

Seline and I had a meal at Symposium last Sunday. It was my first time at Symposium Cafe, but I’ve heard too many good things about their cake to miss out. I devoured the whole thick slice of SKY-HIGH CARROT CAKE, and Seline had the triple chocolate cake. After this lovely meal, I went to my friend’s house for a potluck.

Symposium Cafe Mediterranean salad with salmon // sky-high carrot cake

Another day, Sal and I went to Red House. Red House is one of my favourite Waterloo spots. They have phenomenal salads, soups, pastas, and entrees. Their desserts are always seasonal, and really unique. This time, I had the butternut squash and coconut soup, followed by fried polenta cubes with a beet and goat cheese salad. For dessert, Seline and I shared two: apple crisp with sharp cheddar ice cream and a unique white chocolate cheesecake with Oreo crust and stewed strawberries and figs.

Ennio’s noodles with gorgonzola sauce, seasonal vegetables, roasted garlic (unpictured, but quite tasty) // bread pudding with Nutella, vanilla ice cream

Hands-down the BEST bread pudding I have ever eaten in my life.

I had a midterm last week, and a few more coming up. A lot of studying needs to be done!

The Halloween showcase at Brass Butterflies aerial studio is coming up, and I have been procrastinating on practicing. I need to get back into working on improving my endurance.

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A quick video from aerials:

And some pics that Seline helped me take for my Instagram. I made an Instagram for my job, because I’m working as a Waterloo Warriors Recreation Ambassador this term. So if you’re reading this, you can follow me too. 😉 _cindywei

Things that scare me but I’m doing them anyways this term:

  • research
  • starting a club
  • presenting in front of lecture halls of first-year students
  • aerial performance
  • skating competition
  • teaching a yoga class

Random meal from recently:

  1. Seline’s steak with potatoes, sautéed green beans, and onions
  2. Veggie bean chili with cheddar and fig goat cheese
  3. Vegetable cheddar enchiladas with roasted delicata squash
  4. Quiche with sautéed green beans

More randomness:

  1. Saw this stunning image of rice paddies on Twitter (or Reddit?), and it made me think of the time that I took a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, riding past miles of rice paddies. Absolutely incredible, and even more so in person.
  2. A bitmoji that Seline made for me. It’s now my Twitter pic. I’m really a loser, as you can see.
  3. Seline and I went to Menchies the other day because we had a 2-for-1 discount coupon from the mail. My Menchies bowl included chocolate brownie, cheesecake pieces, peanut butter crisp, a malted chocolate ball, cereal, and more. I’m all about the toppings ^_^
  4. Sometimes, between classes, I find Seline and we spend a few hours relaxing, “studying”, and chatting at an on-campus cafe. The other day, I was SO. TIRED. that I slept with my head right on the table.

We made quite a special meal the other day!

Thai green curry with broccoli, onions, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, yellow bell pepper // rotisserie chicken breast // rice cooked with butter, chicken broth, truffle salt // garlic sautéed green beans

Now, I just have a bunch of recipes for things I baked recently:

Chai-spiced Applesauce Prune Baked Oats

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • drizzle honey
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 heaping tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 3 chai tea bags
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 15 prunes, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease pan – 8 x 10 up to 10 x 10 are perfect sizes.
  3. Bring milk to a simmer. Cut open tea bags, and allow tea to simmer in the milk for 5 minutes. Strain out the tea leaves.
  4. Mix all ingredients and pour into pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Oat Bars

  • tasted good, but need to add more condensed milk and a splash of oil to the chocolate filling
  • more butter in the crumble
  • double the crumble next time!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (will increase to 2 cups next time)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (will increase to 1 cup next time)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (will increase to 1 tsp next time)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (will increase to 1 tsp next time)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (will increase to 1/2 tsp next time)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (will increase to 1.5 cups next time)
  • 1/4 cup oil (will increase to 1/2 cup next time)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (will increase to 2 tsp next time)
  • 1 egg (will increase to 2 eggs next time)
  • 2 tbsp quick oats (will increase to 1/4 cup next time)
  • 2 tbsp softened butter (will increase to 1/4 cup next time)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat chocolate chips and milk in 1-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; set aside. Heat oven to 350°. Line a square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix flour, oats, the baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl; set aside. Stir brown sugar, oil, vanilla and egg in medium bowl with fork until smooth; stir into flour mixture until blended. Reserve 1/2 cup dough in small bowl for topping.
  3. Pat remaining dough in pan (lightly flour fingers if dough is sticky). Spread chocolate mixture over dough. Add 2 tablespoons oats and the butter to reserved dough; mix with pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Drop small spoonfuls of oat mixture evenly over chocolate mixture.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden and firm. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

Brownies, inspired by Allrecipes

Makes 36 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 cups butter
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • sprinkle cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 heaping tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour large square pans.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla.
  5. Whisk in cocoa, cinnamon, flour, salt, and baking powder.
  6. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 mins. Do not overcook. Cut.

Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Snack Bread

Serves 12 squares

Blender Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium bananas, ripe
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 tbsp PB2
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • large sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8×8 square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Blend all ingredients from the “Blender Ingredients” section.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Let cool overnight before cutting, or it will be too tender to hold form. Store cooled leftovers in a covered container for up to several days, though best when fresh. Slice and freeze for longer term storage.

Aerials | Choreography Notes and Ideas

Most of you know that I am in love with aerial arts!

I’ve been super busy with classes (three final exams coming up!), but wrote this post a little while ago when brainstorming ideas for an aerial performance. I haven’t performed yet, but I am really looking forward to creating my own routine and performing it. These were some of the words and ideas that either came into my head, or inspired me as I was searching for choreography tips.

I have been listening to a lot of aerial/acrobatic podcasts and different types of music that might work well with an aerial routine, and needless to say, I am feeling very inspired. Looking forward to finishing the exams and being able to focus on the early stages of routine development. 🙂

Have a great Friday!

PERFORMING TIPS

  • exaggerate movements
  • everything must be intentional
  • creating each movement spontaneously
  • dramatic entrance
  • draw attention before a movement that people should notice (“want the camera to focus before you take a picture”)
  • eye contact
  • full body: neck to fingertips
  • avoid turning back to audience: if it is inevitable, use your head
  • keep the stage alive with movement
  • walk on/off the stage silently

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • who is the character you are trying to portray?
  • why is the audience there?
  • what does the audience want to see?
  • what would interest the audience?
  • why should the audience like my piece?
  • what will hold my audience’s attention?
  • what is the meaning of each movement?
  • what is the motivation of each pose?

THINGS TO EXPLORE

  • freeze-frames
  • clear body lines
  • holding things for diff. amounts of times
  • on the beat of the music vs. off the beat of the music (listen with headphones)
  • mash the genres: draw inspiration from martial arts, hip hop, modern, ballet
  • consider lighting, costume
  • listen to the music and highlight riffs
  • think about pathways into movements
  • watch more YT videos to steal their movements
  • connect with audience
  • consider the character
  • clear execution: strong, clear, controlled postures
  • head movements
  • space
  • imagine a different space, different barriers (walls)
  • silence
  • visual patterns
  • height on the silks
  • look at basic elements
    • shape
    • spaces
    • time
    • energy
  • moments
    • startling
    • strong
    • curious
    • memorable

NOTICE IN THE MUSIC

  • musical breaks
  • accents
  • crescendos and diminuendos in the music, instrumental changes
  • melodic lines

DESIGNING: USING CONTRAST

  • difficulty vs ease
  • new movements vs repetition
  • simple movements vs challenging movements
  • angular vs curvilinear
  • going with the music vs against the music
  • gentle vs strong
  • slow vs fast
  • consonance vs dissonance
  • big amplitude (large movements) vs little movements
  • neat, orderly vs chaotic, crazy
  • motivated vs lazy
  • waltz vs tango
  • smooth and flowing vs sharp and dramatic
  • theatrical and dramatic vs realistic
  • tension vs resolution
  • linear vs nonlinear
  • improvised vs pre-planned
  • flex vs point feet
  • confidence vs shyness
  • eye contact vs no eye contact
  • dynamic vs steady
  • heavy vs light
  • sophistication vs immaturity
  • natural vs unnatural
  • timed/counting vs random and sporadic
  • relationships?
    • wanting to belong, feeling left out?

Life.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 1.08.40 PM.pngDo you like poetry? Quick promo, friends! Did y’all know that my crazy, studious, funny, awesome 17 year-old sister writes a blog, too? Hers is called Purely Poetic, and she writes all about mythical lands, strange sensations, and weird-but-wonderful worlds. Seline has a way with words, and is quite talented when it comes to writing creatively. Paired with some incredible aesthetics, I think you will love her writing. Take a look by clicking on this link, which will open up in another tab.

On another note, Mother’s Day was last weekend, and I was more than happy to wish a special day to my one and only mom. ❤ She is such a resilient, compassionate, caring person.

I had oatmeal this morning with an overripe banana, cocoa powder, tons of sunflower butter, and granola with hemp hearts to top.

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Yesterday night’s dinner was fresh pasta from the market, cooked with a pumpkin sauce and market asparagus with frozen peas. Parmesan on top!

The same sauce paired gloriously with fresh gnocchi. I love gnocchi. In fact, I think it is my #1 favourite pasta. What’s yours?

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For lunch yesterday, I met up with some friends to enjoy a meal at Cafe Pyrus. Every semester, the Schulich Leaders Foundation sponsors a get-together, and this time one of my friends recommended this vegan cafe in downtown Kitchener. I savoured every sip of my vanilla steamer, and loved the Angry Vegan sandwich: a panini with Daiya, caramelized onion, spinach, tomato, and a great garlicky aioli. Broccoli soup of the day was tasty, too.

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I wish I was back in Toronto so I could see this aerials showcase, starring my friends. 😥 They all look so beautiful in this shot.

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Eggs, broccoli, cheese, yogurt, fruit, granola – what better breakfast can you ask for?

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Loved this dinner that I enjoyed two nights in a row: baked herb salmon, broccoli, and a side of schoolwork.

I went to Freshii last weekend for this deluxe salad, which was loaded with brown rice (it was essentially a grain bowl), beets, carrots, corn, mushrooms, beans, aged cheddar and feta cheese, crispy wonton strips, spinach, and a spicy yogurt sauce. Loved this!

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Pancakes are another love, of course: this tasted awesome smeared with peanut butter and sunflower butter.

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A tasty lunch featured eggs and frozen almond croissant from Thobors.

Met with my friends at The Works, where I had a big turkey burger with great toppings! I love arugula on my burgers.

Meal prep, which involved a mediocre quinoa pesto chickpea salad and subpar cucumbers.

Chocolate baked oatmeal always exceeds my expectations. This tasted incredible with yogurt and granola… plus peanut butter. Always, peanut butter.

Baked sweet potato, beans and corn, cheddar, avocado, salsa. I need to buy more sweet potatoes this week. They are so versatile.

These are Seline’s drawings. Her artwork never fails to impress me. She did these spontaneously, somehow… with just a pencil and an old notebook!

Her oil paintings are equally wonderful. The waterfall painting is one of my favourites that she’s done. I cannot believe that she is self-taught, and has only been painting for two years.

Yay for cookies! Make this recipe, friends. I adopted the recipe slightly from Oh She Glows, and it is brilliant. And vegan. 😉 I made it with some arm power and a handheld whisk. You don’t need an electric beater for this. You won’t regret it – I baked ’em up and all ten were gone in 4-5 days. I was the only one eating them.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 large cookies

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (do not melt)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (see note)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups oat flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons non-dairy milk (only if needed to moisten batter)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside for a few minutes so it can thicken up. Whisk the flax egg again once thickened.
  2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flax egg (coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, brown sugar, cane sugar, and vanilla). Beat the ingredients until combined and smooth.
  3. Now, beat in the dry ingredients, one by one, as you go down the ingredient list (baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, oat flour). If your dough is a bit dry, add a teaspoon (or two) of non-dairy milk and beat the mixture again. The dough should be moist enough to form balls without cracking, but not super sticky.
  4. Beat the chocolate into the batter or simply stir by hand.
  5. Shape balls of dough (about the size of a golf ball or 2 heaping tablespoons) and place on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Gently press down on each ball with your hand to form a disc (it should be 1/2-inch thick or so). Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes until the cookies are spread out nicely.
  7. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 7 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.

One more recipe! This one was a killer dessert that satisfied every cakey craving.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MICROWAVE MUG CAKE
 Serves: 1
INGREDIENTS
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon butter extract (optional)**
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
  1. Spray a microwavable mug with cooking spray and then mix together oat flour, baking powder, salt, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and butter extract (if using). The batter should be somewhat thick, but not dry. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons more of almond milk as needed for consistency. Stir in mini chocolate chips and sprinkle a few over the top, if desired.
  2. Microwave on high for about 1 minute and 25 seconds. Take out of the microwave and if desired transfer to a plate. Enjoy!

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!

9 Days of Mindful Fitness

DAY 1 – Wednesday, April 19

What I did: gentle stretching at home

How I felt: lazy, wanting to move

 

DAY 2 – Thursday, April 20

What I did: 1 reduced heat level 1-2 yoga class, 1 flow and glow yoga class, 1 reduced heat level 1-2 class

How I felt: I felt energetic during the first class, but after shavasana in the second class, I felt tired. I listened to my body in the third class and had to “simplify” a lot of the poses by lowering my knees. The yoga classes went from 6:45 to 10:15, with 15 minute breaks in between. I felt like my insides were warm after the three heated classes, and wanted to lie down and sleep after the three classes. My mind was relaxed.

 

DAY 3 – Friday, April 21

What I did: 2 hours of stretching and easy silks tricks

How I felt: I did my stretching and silks right after eating a lot of indian food and an ice cream sandwich, so I felt too full to do big tricks and intense conditioning. I went home feeling good, but still bloated. I felt out of breath after doing silks. I stayed up in the air for two 5-minute intervals as an endurance challenge.

 

DAY 4 – Saturday, April 22

What I did: gentle hatha yoga class, flow and let go yoga class, restorative yoga class

How I felt: I wanted to move, move, move. Even now, I ‘want’ to move, but I just cannot force myself to do it. I loved the flow and let go class today. In restorative yoga, I really wanted more hands-on adjustments. The gentle hatha class was relaxing.

 

DAY 5 – Sunday, April 23

What I did: aerial silks practice for 2.5 hours

How I felt: I felt energetic for the first part, after my warm-up. After I ran through the tricks that I wanted to work on, I felt tired and needed to sit down to relax for a little bit. I relaxed by doing some stretches, but felt extremely lethargic in my straddle stretch. After that, I had very little energy left. I also walked home after silks practice, which took just over 1.25 hours. Walking home made me feel great. I was not hungry afterwards, but really wanted to eat.

 

DAY 6 – Monday, April 24

What I did: aerial silks practice for 2.5 hours

How I felt: I felt energetic during the first part, but lost my energy once I didn’t feel the vigour to climb. Once I started stretching, I felt too relaxed. After a lot of stretching I was able to get back on the silks and feel  more energetic. Near the end of the practice, I wanted to keep moving. I realized that I am not changing because I’m not challenging myself enough. I know that the thing that is holding me back the most at this point is strength; I need to work on the pull-ups, chin-ups, and dead hangs. At the same time, I don’t want to lose any grace or flexibility.

 

DAY 7 – Tuesday, April 25

What I did: Nothing

How I felt: Lazy 😦

 

DAY 8 – Wednesday, April 26

What I did: simple yoga stretches by myself in the morning, 1-hour Core Yoga class

How I felt: I feel great today, even though I did the same amount of sitting/computer as yesterday. I felt awesome after doing the stretches in the morning, and I liked doing some balancing in the morning before breakfast. The Core Yoga class felt great, but there were some postures and sequences that I didn’t like. The class went by fairly quickly, and I felt like my shoulders and core had a reasonable workout (though fairly easy). I would not go back to a Core Yoga class taught by the same instructor.

 

DAY 9 – Thursday, April 27

What I did: aerial silks for 1.5 hours

How I felt: today I had a private lesson in silks for 30 minutes. I felt energized in the class and very excited to be in the air. We worked on creative exercises. During the private lesson, I was in the air only two times, each time for around 6 minutes. I was very proud of myself for being in the air for 8.5 minutes at the end of a session, during a slow routine. Now I feel more confident in the air.

Goals and Green Oats

On Saturday, I lounged around the house all day before heading to Tabülè, a Lebanese restaurant in Midtown Toronto. There are two locations – one on Queen Street, and one on Yonge Street. They serve lunch from their dinner menu on Saturdays and Sundays.

My entree was the eggplant dish, which was absolutely divine. The eggplant reminded me of tempura, being lightly crispy on the outside but steaming hot and creamy inside. The tahini dressing was lemony and full of sesame flavour, and the lentil-rice base was hearty and flavourful.

Eggplant Vegetarian Plate
drizzled with taheena on a bed of müjaddara and topped with fresh pomegranate seeds

I’ve always loved eggplant, but this dish takes the cake for the #1 eggplant dish I’ve ever had.

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Dessert was equally impressive. The waitress recommended the custard, and I was happy to try it. On the side, I had two scoops of gelato (smaller than I’d expected): one vanilla halva, the other pistachio. The Künafa Ashta blew my mind. Warm, lightly-sweetened custard with tiny curds and a rich milky flavour, topped with crisp “threads” and a honey-like syrup and crushed pistachios. This dessert was certainly one to remember. A must-try if ever visit Tabülè.

Künafa Ashta
filo layered with custard and topped off with rose water syrup

Oatmeal has been in my bowl every morning. I like having a side of yogurt with granola.

These eggs were cooked in the last little bit of my spaghetti sauce and topped with smoked Gruyere cheese. Like a lazy girl’s shakshuka! The runny egg yolks tasted awesome with avocado toast.

St. Patrick’s day on Friday was celebrated with green oatmeal! I know it doesn’t look appetizing. It didn’t smell appetizing either, when it was cooking – I was preparing myself for the worst as I stirred some quick oats into the pureed spinach and banana. Fortunately, this breakfast was actually JUST AS TASTY as my usual banana oatmeals. I couldn’t detect the spinach at all.

Toronto’s Reference Library is an incredible place. Like a museum!

I love pancakes! Where did my pictures go?

Raspberry Oat Pancakes

Serves 1 (2 pancakes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup quick or rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • coconut oil or butter, for greasing
  • raspberries, to decorate the top (I used frozen, unthawed)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until very smooth. If the batter is too thick, add a splash of milk. If the batter is too watery, add a little flour (or extra oats) to thicken. I used a bit of coconut flour, which is extremely absorbent.
  2. Set batter aside to thicken for a few minutes.
  3. Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with butter or coconut oil. Drop batter onto skillet. Place raspberries on top. Cook until bubbles appear, then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown. This recipe makes 2 pancakes.

On a completely different note, let’s talk GOALS.

I took a peek at my calendar. It is Sunday, March 19th as I write this, and I have 8 practices left before I am no longer eligible to practice at Cirque-Ability. On an unrelated note, can you believe it’s already mid/late-March? Where did January go? What happened to February? What did I do for the first three weeks of March?

Anyways. 8 practices left. That rounds to a little over 15 hours of aerials left in this month. I should have done this before, but I am going to set some goals and update at the beginning of April.

  • Silks goal: feel solid doing a ginger-isadora, and be confident in a helicopter-flag. Plan a routine to do, and run through it until it is memorized and comfortable.  Film myself doing all tricks from Levels I to IV. Straight leg inverts in the air (a small beat is okay).
  • Hoop goal: learn all Level II tricks, and do a Level II routine. Do a pullover without cheating. I just finished Level I and feel comfortable doing a Level I routine. Do a solid knee hang backbend with straight arms.
  • Acro goal: do a good roundoff, and hold a handstand for 5 seconds.
  • Other goal: register for a 1-month unlimited membership at the gym and at the yoga studio YogaTree on Bay/Dundas. Register for aerials classes at Brass Butterflies, Waterloo for May-August. Register for a one-month membership at the City Dance Corps.
  • Goals’ goal: set April goals for flexibility and conditioning. Take ‘before’ photos for flexibility and determine number of max repetitions for strength at the beginning of April.

Back to the food! New recipe for you guys. This was created when I realized I didn’t have 2 cups of hazelnut flour… I had 3/4 cup. Sad.

Pantry-Clearing Raspberry Cake

Serves 16

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • toppings: chocolate chips, berries, coconut, etc. as desired

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 320°F degrees. Grease 8×8 pan and line with parchment.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together.
  3. Pour into pan and top with desired toppings. I used frozen raspberries.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
  6. Enjoy!

If this cake is cut into 16 squares, each piece will have under 190 calories, 5 grams of protein, 2 grams of fibre, and 6 grams of sugar.


Cool link for you: scrambled eggs around the world!

Speaking of around the world, I’ve been visiting lots of restaurants and cafes around Toronto that serve food from different countries. It’s been great! I can’t wait to go to Rol San, a Chinese dim sum place.

Do you like dim sum? What would you order from their menu?

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This is what I’d have:

  • 2: steamed BBQ pork buns
  • 3: steamed custard buns
  • 24: pan fried pancakes
  • 27: fried eggplant
  • 38: puff BBQ pork pastry
  • 40: deep fried taro puffs with pork
  • 41: coconut red bean cake
  • 42: sesame paste ball
  • 43: baked milk tart
  • 50: deep fried pumpkin with yolk, cashew, sweet potato
  • 53: homemade steamed rice rolls

Okay, happy Monday!

Thoughts on These Songs? ♬♪

Little backstory:

On February 24, 2017, the aerial silks studio that I go to will have a big showcase! I’m very interested in doing my first aerial silks performance, and I need to pick a song for my routine. These six (I think) songs have really caught my attention, and I think they’d all work for a routine. Sooo… I want your opinion! Do you know any of them? What do you think?


Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling ft. Lzzy Hale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thb_9t9p0OA
The intro to this song is beautiful. I think Lindsey is an incredibly talented musician, and the music video is powerful and very meaningful. I’m a complete sucker for this song because of the violin! This song has tons of opportunities for big tricks.
If only the clockworks could speak
I wouldn’t be so alone
We burn every magnet and spring
And spiral into the unknown

celine-dion
I Surrender by Celine Dion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiVFy7LtySM
I grew up hearing this song! In fact, my sister Seline was named after Celine Dion. Her voice is so emotional and honest, and she nails some big notes!
A thousand dreams I still believe
I’d make you give them all to me

Read All About It by Emili Sandé: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaAVByGaON0
This song is simply amazing. You need to hear it. Stunning lyrics, stunning vocals, and a lovely message.
You’ve got a heart as loud as lions so why let your voice be tamed
Maybe we’re a little different, there’s no need to be ashamed

Carousel by Melanie Martinez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfPoi9Sv6M0
Carousel is a haunting tune with a carnival vibe. It’s a bit repetitive, but there is something about Melanie Martinez’s voice that simply snatches your attention. You need to hear this for yourself. A little creepy, a little cool… and 100% catchy.
Chasing after you is like a fairytale, but I,
Feel like I’m glued on tight to this carousel

2:50 is the best part of the ENTIRE song. Whoa. I don’t even like this song too, too much – but that note is incredible. Sara has some major singing skills, but I’m not entirely sure if this song is something that I could perform to. You must listen to this song for that note.
Here I am, and I stand
So tall, just the way I’m supposed to be

Control by Halsey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrlZu-uFtmg
Halsey is one of my newly-discovered favourite artists. Her voice is ghastly and eerie in the most beautiful way possible, and her lyrics are angry, empowering, and show everything from confusion to sadness to pain. Her songs “Gasoline” and “Castle” are also hauntingly good – each one deeply meaningful. I’m really leaning towards this song because of the creepy vibe, but the showcase is Valentine’s Day-themed so I don’t know how well this would work.
And I tried to hold these secrets inside me
My mind’s like a deadly disease

This song was once covered by Avril Lavigne. While both singers master the song, I seriously dig the vulnerability and moments of weakness-power in Leona’s version. This song has lots of “ups and downs” that are ideal for creative choreography.
I thought that I had everything
I didn’t know what life could bring
But now I see, honestly

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

On a totally different note, check out these INSANE yoga poses.
What do you think? Is this “true” yoga? Modified yoga? Westernized yoga? Advanced yoga? Or is it just circus-like contortion?