What I Do in a Day

Good morning! Here’s what a typical day in the life of me looks like:

6:30-6:45: wake up, wash my face and brush my teeth, boil water

6:45-7:00: wash dishes from yesterday’s lunch, make the bed, wipe counters and make a cup of tea (English breakfast, most of the time, with a scoop of honey and milk)

7:00-7:30: drink tea while studying

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Will my desk ever be neat?!

7:30-8:30: cook and decorate oatmeal (or eggs/pancakes/other breakfasts!), then eat oatmeal while reading the news, checking social media, and possibly creating a new blog post

8:30-9:00: wash dishes, prepare tomorrow’s backpack, brush my teeth, change clothes and brush hair, then clean my room quickly

9:00-9:30: walk to school, or take the bus if it is cold/rainy

9:30-11:30: lab time! I have a lab for human physiology, where we measure variables like heart rate, blood pressure, and maximal oxygen consumption. We always have lengthy lab write-ups for this course – my last report was 12 pages!

11:30-3:00: classes, including Statistics, Physiology, Biomechanics, Sociology of Physical Activity, English, and French. Not all in the same day, fortunately! I have my lunch in class, and always bring snacks to enjoy. Sometimes, I have to leave class early or show up late, because of mandatory co-op interviews at my school’s career centre.

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Lunch is asparagus-broccoli stir-fry on top of quinoa, with avocado and an oven-baked “falafel pancake”

3:15-4:15: volunteer at the university’s Well-Fit program, which is similar to personal training for patients undergoing cancer treatment. I teach exercises and spot participants as they perform various strengthening and stretching exercises.

4:15-5:30: study with friends at the Starbucks in my school’s health building, where most of my classes are. Sometimes, I study on my own.

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5:30-6:30: French tutorial, where we watch videos and practice conversations

6:30-7:00: study a little, check social media for the 400th time, and microwave my packaged dinner. Eat and be lazy.

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Messages with my sister…

7:00-7:30: take the bus for 7 minutes to the mall bus terminal, then walk for around 20 minutes from the terminal to Brass Butterflies, a pole and aerial studio that I am a member of.

7:30-8:30: Mixed Aerials class! I love this class because there are so many different apparatuses (hoop, trapeze, silks, hammock), and people of all levels. I practice the hoop or the silks, and I feel exhausted after the conditioning.

8:30-9:30: Flight & Flexy class! We stretch and do various exercises for strength and stability.

9:30-10:00: walk for 20ish minutes back to the bus terminal in the mall, then take the bus back home.

10:00-10:30: shower, throw on my pyjamas, make hot chocolate, unpack my backpack, get ready to study

10:30-11:45: study, do assignments/quizzes, or write lab report

11:45-12:00: brush my teeth, quickly prepare tomorrow’s backpack, and sleep!

6.5 hours of glorious sleep, and repeat!

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!

Proof

Hey guys! Hope the last couple of days went well for you. 🙂

This weekend was honestly a BLAST. In the morning, I did lots of acro yoga with friends. After going to Chapters and relaxing at lunch, I did a fun “mindful movement” class and then did some ZUMBA! I am the worst Zumba dancer you’ll ever see (why was I born so uncoordinated?!), but it’s just so much fun to move to upbeat music.

On Saturday, I met up with the legendary SHERRY WONG! If you have a minute, you should  check out these links to read about how amazing she is.

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Second Year Biology student at York University, Sherry Wong

Sherry grew up in Waterloo but moved to Toronto to study at York University last year. She came back to Waterloo for a weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and messaged me about having a meet-up! It was so nice to see her in person, talk about all kinds of things, and eat good food.

We made a reservation for Proof Kitchen at 8:15 AM on Saturday, and I did a half-hour walk there while Sherry jogged for 15 minutes to get here. I’m glad I wasn’t the only person in the lounge/restaurant wearing athletic clothing!

We had to loop around a TON of construction to get here. Proof Kitchen is actually part of a hotel.

After a very difficult decision-making process, I finally settled on the salmon, rye bread, and poached eggs. Sherry went for something sweet and ordered the banana pancakes! Both dishes were recommended by our kind and thoughtful waitress. She was right – both dishes were really, really good. And so filling!

  • Banoffee Pancakes / caramelized bananas/ pecans/ vanilla whipped cream/
  • New Brunswick Salmon + POACHED Eggs on Toast / carpaccio spiced grilled salmon / dark rye toast/ poached eggs / fennel salad/ hollandaise sauce

Another day last week, I made summer rolls with seared tofu, mushrooms, cucumbers, and peanut sauce – using my favourite peanut sauce recipe. 🙂

Creamy, cheesy pasta and stir-fried broccoli. I use this easy, healthier recipe every single time I make mac-and-cheese. It always turns out perfectly, regardless of the pasta shape or vegetables I choose to toss in.

Another day, more tofu and more peanut sauce. This was served over rice, with lots of cucumbers and crushed peanuts. So yummy!

I also made peanut butter granola yesterday. They turned out more firm and “hard” than crunchy and shatter-y, but had that awesome peanut butter flavour that I was going for.

Oil-free 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola {1-bowl recipe}

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Microwave peanut butter and honey in a large bowl, until melted. Stir together. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Stir well.
  3. Add oats and mix well to combine, until fully coated.
  4. Spread oat mixture on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove when done (it will still be soft) and store in mason jars when cool.

And I made curry with kabocha squash, chickpeas, and zucchini. Served over brown rice!

Also, I baked my favourite-ever almond cake and vegan-ized the recipe by using flax eggs instead of real eggs because I didn’t have any. Also omitted the oil, so this loaf turned out a tad drier and flatter than the regular. Still, it was super delicious and I only have a couple squares left. 😥

C’est ça for today! I have a Skype call to do in 15 minutes with some people to organize a big event that I’ll tell you more about next time. Have a great night!

Okay, bye now… for real.

The Cheapest Thing I’ve Ever Made

Good evening, friends! I’m not feeling the best right now. You know the post-dinner end-of-the-week slump where you just want to eat ten scoops of peanut butter and then lie down and sleep for 12 hours?

That’s me right now.

Pancakes one morning! Pics coming up.

Thick and Hearty Paleo Banana Pancakes

Serves 1: makes 2 pancakes

Ingredients
  • 1 small overripe banana, or half large
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp. almond flour
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour
  • coconut oil for frying
  • desired toppings
Instructions
  1. Mash banana. Add egg, cinnamon, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well.
  2. Add almond flour and coconut flour, whisking until combined.
  3. Heat coconut oil over medium-low heat and fry two pancakes. When golden brown, flip and cook the other side. If the pancakes get too brown, lower the heat.
  4. Serve immediately with toppings, and enjoy!

Brown sugar and soy sauce salmon with a rice vinegar marinade. Turned out quite tasty over leftover fried rice.

This breakfast was SO filling! Oats topped with two chopped kiwis, a square of banana bread, yogurt, and granola. Whew.

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PEANUT STEW! This was the cheapest thing EVER. Spinach, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, rice. Does it get any more inexpensive than that?! Also, it was freaking delicious. It was so good that I made two batches in a week, each batch serving three.

In other words, I ate this exact same peanut stew six times in seven days. The toasted peanuts on top are perfection.

Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
SERVES: 3
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth (I used chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • Brown Rice to serve
  • Peanuts, lightly toasted
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Add onions and saute for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onions are fragrant. Stir in garlic and ginger, continuing to cook for two more minutes.
  2. Stir in pepper, salt, cayenne, and cumin. Start on the low end of the cayenne pepper and add more only if you want it spicier. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until spices are fragrant.
  3. Next add in sweet potatoes, carrots, veggie broth, and honey. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer over low heat. Stir in peanut butter and let stew cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, stir in spinach and continue to cook until spinach has wilted. Serve with over brown rice if desired and top with toasted peanuts.

Mac and cheese was devoured. This vegan mac and cheese (which I topped with real dairy cheddar… I know) was made with kabocha squash! Ahhhh-mazing.

Last week I shared some cinnamon bun muffins with you guys! Here is the recipe, copied and pasted from a paleo recipe site. Hence the links to all the ingredients below.

Cinnamon Bun Muffins
Serves: 9 muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. To make the muffins, combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl
  2. In a large bowl blend together oil, agave, eggs, and vanilla
  3. Blend dry ingredients into wet and scoop a scant ¼ cup at a time into lined muffin cups
  4. To make cinnamon topping, combine agave, cinnamon, and oil in a small bowl
  5. Spoon topping onto muffins
  6. Bake muffins for 8-12 minutes at 350°.

Another day, another dessert…

Strawberry Banana Crumble

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • handful berries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 110 mL quick oats (7.5 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice bananas into a bowl. Toss with berries.
  3. Place fruit in baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tsp maple syrup. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Make crumble layer by mixing remaining ingredients (including remaining 2 tsp maple syrup), except coconut oil and cinnamon.
  5. Melt coconut oil in the microwave, then add cinnamon and pour into bowl. Mix all ingredients together.
  6. Once fruit has cooked for 10 minutes, remove baking dish from oven. Spread crumble layer on top. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes, until top is golden brown.

And mac and cheese, of course.

Vegan squash sauce is irresistible, but you can take it up a notch with extra veggies, caramelized onions, and yup, broiled cheddar on top.

So good.

Quesadilla with avocado, egg, salsa, and cheddar. Classic and so delicious.

This sweet potato and ricotta tart filled with chopped spinach turned out okay.

It looked beautiful, but I think something was missing in terms of flavour. I might add goat cheese, scallions, and mushrooms next time.

Sometimes, messy food can be the most delicious. I probably had egg yolk on every single finger after devouring this tasty sandwich!

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Pancakes were also enjoyed a second time. New recipe!

Oatmeal Ricotta Pancakes

Makes 3 pancakes

Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon, to taste
  • 2 tsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Cover, let batter rest overnight in the fridge to soften oats.
  2. Heat nonstick pan over medium-low heat and cook 3 pancakes. Flip when golden-brown and cook opposite side.
  3. Enjoy with Greek yogurt and other desired toppings. I like berries and maple syrup!

That’s it for today, everyone! Make sure you check out some of my brand-new PAGES: Acro Yoga, Aerial Silks, and Yoga Photo Journal. 🙂 I will update them regularly!

Have an awesome weekend.

PS: did you know that if you click furiously on the words under the TAG section, you can add as many tags as you want?! Now I have 239408 tags for this post…

PB Mug Cakes, Yoga, and a Disappointing Cafe Experience

Happy new week, everyone!

I’m starting to fall in love with yoga the more and more I do it! I’ve been going to hot yoga every day since final exams ended and doing a teeny bit of practice by myself in the kitchen. Do you like yoga? What are some of your favourite poses? To you, is yoga more emotional, spiritual, or physical?

One afternoon I took a nice walk around Victoria Park in Kitchener. It’s been a while since I’ve seen rippling lakes and green grass!

Tea latte at Café 22, one of my favourite places in Uptown Waterloo. This was their small London Fog latte, which I highly recommend. So good. And I actually want one right now.

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We recently moved our dining table next to the window, so I get to look out the window and at my laptop while I eat. 🙂 Also, Arsalan (roomie’s BF) came home from Japan recently! He was so kind to give me two beautiful handmade ceramic teacups. Aren’t they pretty? Do you like handmade utensils or kitchenware?

I’ve also been volunteering at the Research Institute of Aging, where Professor Heather Keller, my nutrition professor, leads a team of students to create healthy recipes for seniors. Turns out a MASSIVE percentage of seniors in long-term care homes are malnourished, whether it’s because they don’t like the food, they don’t have an appetite, or they aren’t enjoying the mealtime experience.

Bloggers, I could use your help! Let’s brainstorm some ideas for recipes that are…

  1. Not labour-intensive: it needs to be easy for cooks to prepare
  2. Can be made in bulk
  3. Can be refrigerated or frozen
  4. Not expensive: we have nearly $8 PER DAY, PER PERSON, so that rules out coconut flour, quinoa, etc.
  5. “Traditional”: sorry, no hipster things like green juice, kombucha, kale, etc.
  6. Nut-free, because of allergies
  7. High in nutrients! For example, sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes
  8. Easy to chew and swallow: this rules out things like sticky date balls, crunchy nut clusters, etc.

Tricky, right? What are some of your ideas?

PS: our first idea was avocado pudding, but turns out one serving is 3 avocados, which is $9 in total. :O That idea had to be trashed, unfortunately.

Salmon fishcakes! They were simple: 2 eggs, 1 can salmon, and a bunch of spices.

When I didn’t have any baked goods for dessert, I just melted some chocolate and ate it with strawberries for a makeshift fondue.

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Vegan butternut squash pasta with a nutritional yeast sauce and spinach. I actually quite liked this, despite my LOVE for real, creamy cheese.

I bought some [expensive!] strawberries and they didn’t taste that good. 😦

More pasta, this time with brown butter and sage! Idea from a special commenter 🙂

Baked oatmeal…

… enjoyed two days in a row.

Went to My Thai, a restaurant in Uptown Waterloo, with the roomies one day! Arsalan enjoyed vegan pad thai.

Madhulika and I enjoyed the amazing emerald curry with coconut sticky rice.

We shared banana spring rolls for dessert with vanilla ice cream! What a great end to the meal.

Leftover curry sauce turned into a delicious vegetable stir-fry the next day.

And then there was STILL leftover curry sauce, which became vegetable noodles! I was uncomfortably full after this. It doesn’t look like much, but I was stuffed!

Yeah, yeah… more pasta.

I don’t even have the effort to explain how good this was. Please make this.

Best-Ever Peanut Butter Mug Cake

  • 2 tbsp. spelt flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • sprinkle cinnamon (optional)
Whisk together and microwave for 60 to 80 seconds.

This was one of my favourite meals of the week: quinoa with sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, spinach, roasted red peppers, and avocado on top with cayenne pepper and lemon juice. It was surprisingly filling!

More baked oats. Attractive, I know.

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Thoughts on warm salads? I used the last of my goat cheese here. So yummy!

Coconut and pineapple Thai-style fried rice was devoured another day. Seared tofu makes it really satiating, while pineapple provides a punch of flavour.

Roasted and shredded salmon on top of baked broccoli and yukon gold potatoes. They were all tossed with couscous and served with avocado and goat cheese. YUM!

And a simple oatmeal topped with a makeshift “crumble”, which was almond and coconut flour with nut butter, maple syrup, and some coconut oil.

More of the same 🙂

Spicy coconut-peanut noodles with tofu and shredded carrots and zucchini, and seared tofu.

I usually make two servings of whatever I have, so that a) it’s easier to make b) I’ll have another meal the next day.

These are some recent Mom meals: banana muffins, shrimp and chicken pasta, and some Chinese dishes. She also went on a cookie-baking rampage the other day and whipped up a whole table’s worth of COOKIES! What are your favourite dishes cooked by Mom? You know, the ones that simply cannot be replicated?!

This morning I took the bus to Pure Kitchen and Juice Bar after volunteering at the Grand River Hospital. I do patient registration, which is fun until there are 20 people in line, with two “Pats”, a “Jon” and a “Ron” and a “Don”, and a “Kryzhchevish”. My job is to take everyone’s name, record some health information, and call them up when their appointments are ready.

Anyways!

Pure Kitchen is located in the heart of downtown Kitchener. I had REALLY been looking forward to it for a long time, and when I got there, I was even more excited!

For my lunch, I decided on the small grain bowl, which came with brown rice, oven-roasted chicken, roasted sweet potato, chickpeas, spinach, sprouts (literally THREE sprouts, not satisfied), raw seeds, roasted mushrooms, and a spiced cranberry vinaigrette. Am I the only person who doesn’t like cold chicken? How do you guys feel about it?

Disappointment #1: For around the same price, you can have all of the ingredients placed into a whole wheat wrap. I asked for that option, grilled, but they were out of wraps. Um, you are a sandwich + soup cafe. You serve wraps. It’s 12:00, noon – how can you be out of wraps?

Disappointment #2: I asked for the meal to be served in a bowl, but they told me that they only provide these wasteful cardboard-paper box things.

Disappointment #3: Three sprouts in here.

Disappointment #4: Why was this cold? In fact, it was almost freezing. If the menu states “roasted chicken” and “roasted mushrooms” as well as “roasted sweet potato”, customers would assume that they are hot, or at least warm, right?!

Disappointment #5: Four massive leaves of spinach. Massive.

On the bright side, the rice was really good.

These were on the table for samplers, and they weren’t terrible. The green juice was a little bitter, and the granola was sticky, too chewy, and topped with a brown pineapple sorbet thing that never melted. I wouldn’t buy any of these.

I also ordered the Feel Good smoothie, which was made with maca, cacao, banana, almond butter, and almond milk. Sounds amazing, right?

WRONG. The $8 smoothie tasted “burned”. I have no other way of describing it. I couldn’t detect a hint of banana, almond butter, creamy almond milk, or even chocolate. The only flavour I could describe was a BURNED flavour.

Disappointment #where are we… oh #6: The smoothie tasted like a scorched tree branch or piece of firewood that had been blended with a scoop of ice.

I asked for the smoothie to be re-made after having half of it, and the lady did re-make it for me, this time it was so icy and not fully blended.

Disappointment #7: Smoothie #2 was 90% unblended ice.

The best part of the meal was the almond croissant that I enjoyed for dessert. It was truly amazing and almost redeeming. Have you ever had a croissant for dessert? Slightly heated up?! Oh my goodness, it’s gold.

On a totally different note…

How do you guys feel about running? If you’re a runner, what motivates you (ie. what do you THINK about when running?) If you aren’t a runner, what are some of your favourite ways to squeeze in some cardio?

Also, do you have to race to be a runner?

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Alright, that’s it for today! It’s 9:17 PM and I feel like I just ate dinner. Which, I kind of did. I always feel a little guilty for eating dinner after 8:00 PM, but unfortunately, I have commitments, I have things to do, and sometimes, it just isn’t realistic to have a beautifully-made dinner fresh on the table at 6.

Today, it was a lasagna that went from freezer to microwave at 8:30 PM because I got stranded at Goodlife Fitness because it started pouring (and thunderstorm-ing). 😦

Do you feel guilty when you end up eating later? Is there a certain time that you don’t “allow” yourself to eat? Back at home in BC, my mom was ADAMANT that after 6:30, no food allowed. For 18 years of my life, as soon as the clock ticked 6:31, it was “too late to eat”. This mentality really stuck with me and caused eating problems in my life. Thoughts?

PS: I just found out that I can click on all the tags that I want to add to this – I just added about 999 tags to this post, haha! 😀

The Final Stretch!

Did you get the pun? I told Seline about it and she thought it was the most idiotic thing.  But I think it makes sense!

  • Final stretch = the last part of a long or difficult activity
  • Finals = 7 exams in 10 days happening now… wonderful
  • Stretch = yoga stuff!

Speaking of yoga, I didn’t go to yoga teacher training on Sunday. The Saturday session was a bit of a blur because of how “out-of-it” I was, so I thought it would be a good idea to take a [study] break on the Sunday. Isn’t it so great when people understand the #studentstruggle?

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The last couple of days, I’ve been taking my mat out to this lovely, private spot outside (AKA back of the parking lot) for short morning practices after having tea. It’s just too beautiful out.

My favourite yoga flow is the classic “vinyasa“, going from down dogs to chaturangas to upward-facing dogs. Yesterday, a guy came to mow the lawn behind the parking lot so I had to pack up my mat after just 5 minutes 😦

The day before that was a beautiful Sunday, so I had a little more time to experiment with new (to me!) poses like the wheel pose.

Still working on straightening my arms in the crow pose. 😦

Sunday was a blur of studying. I had three Kin exams on Thursday and Friday, and a Psychology exam on Saturday night. Needless to say, Sunday was full of cramming for Monday morning’s physiology final! My school’s Applied Health Sciences lounge has countless study resources from whiteboards to skeletons to an exam bank where you can take a look at former tests.

We studied from 10:30 to 3:30, then I had lunch at 4:00 (which is very unlike me, but it’s exam season – what can you do?) and we regrouped at 5:30 to study until 8:30. I had a late dinner, and then an early bedtime so I could have a fresh mind on the exam 🙂

Also, I have no idea how and why my writing can become so tilted when writing on a whiteboard. Everything written perfectly horizontal here? Definitely written by Eddy, not me!

After the Physiology exam, it was time for a de-stressor! A group of friends and I took a scenic walk around Waterloo Park where we got to see deer and a miniature waterfall. Waterloo Park may not be as calendar-picturesque as the Sunshine Coast, but it does have its charm 🙂

The walk to Uptown Waterloo from campus took only 25 minutes. We went to The Works for burgers. The atmosphere here was very casual, friendly, and great for a group gathering.

  • Left to right: Emily, Alex, Jackie, Mary, Emily, me, Ijay
  • Unpictured but supposed-to-be-here: Travis, Shatrice (feel better, girl!), and Athena

These people are so fun to be around – we discussed everything from religion to the internet (and it’s many uses 😉 ) to music. It’s amazing when a group of people can get together and state their opinions, defend them, and express their questions + concerns about the opinions of others.

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Measuring cup cups? Creative – I like it!

We all ordered different burgers. The Works is great in that you can choose from one of NINE patties, one of 8-ish sides, any bun you’d like, and a couple of toppings from a list of a billion.

One funny thing: they sell a TRUDEAU burger, which is, according to the menu:

A good-looking burger new to the menu and comes topped with peppers, POUTINE, and a side of weed…s (Cindy note: this is a side salad!). Are you ready for it? Make us an offer!

My burger was topped with Beechhouse sauce (garlic mayo with vegetables), peppers, avocado, and harvarti cheese. I asked for my multigrain bun on the side and had salad with it. My turkey burger was surprisingly VERY moist and incredibly filling. Still, I have to admit that I am just not a big meat/burger person!

And… more food. The day after burgers, we had to celebrate again by going out for Italian! 271west is an Italian restaurant in downtown Kitchener with excellent reviews, a lovely atmosphere, and great service! Plus, wait till you see the food 😀

  • Left to right: Eddy, me, Mary, Hannah

I actually love this pic! We all look so happy now that we’re [finally!!] about to eat.

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Eddy and Mary ordered the same thing, chicken and grilled shrimp linguine: grilled jumbo shrimp and chicken breast with garlic, tomatoes, red onions and mushrooms in a basil tomato sauce.

PS: no idea who took this photo (Eddy? Mary?) but it’s GREAT! Thanks!

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Hannah raved about the 271west vegetarian spaghetti, which came with fresh broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms and onions served in your choice of tomato or cream sauce.

Also, Hannah, if you’re reading this, your photography skills are top-notch 🙂

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I dove into a big plate of ricotta gnocchi, with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and cambazola cream sauce; this is a house speciality. I cannot get over how delicious this was! The garlic bread was wonderfully bready and satisfying, the pasta cooked flawlessly, and the toppings just right. The mushrooms were cooked really nicely, and the sauce was truly special. I love the fluffy, comforting, cloud-like texture of gnocchi. I thought I was going to be able to finish it, but it was surprisingly filling! I devoured around half of it before getting full. Hannah and Mary helped by eating two gnocchis each before I needed Eddy’s help to finish the rest. Thanks guys!

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While waiting for dessert, we experimented with “natural” shots on my camera, all of which turned out pretty awkward but will be posted anyways…

Dessert came, and for ONCE, I was too excited to dig in before taking pictures. Hannah and Mary shared a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. Eddy ordered one of those as well, and I enjoyed a fruity cheesecake. The two of us went half-half so we could try a bit of each – they were all AMAZING! Still kind of drooling about it right now. Especially that brownie. And the ice cream… and the cheesecake. Basically everything.

  • signature cheesecake: slow baked with fresh fruit
  • boca negra: flourless chocolate cake with a raspberry compote

Also,check these out! I love that marbled one – reminds me of chocolate marble bread!

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Yesterday my blog post was shared by UWaterloo Life on Twitter, which made me feel super honoured. If you didn’t get to see the post, check it out here!

https://cookiesnchem.com/2016/04/11/eating-well-during-exams/

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I can’t believe my first year is basically… done. I say this in practically every other post, but the days are looonnnnng but the months are just too fast. I’m going to miss this whole group of anatomy nerds. 😦

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Have a beautiful rest of the week, everyone!