Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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WIAW: Eating in Real Life.

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

Which of course, means What I Ate Wednesday. We all enjoy our little bits of foodie voyeurism, don’t we? Winking smile

So for today’s post, I’m recapping my eats from this past Saturday. I was at a conference the vast majority of the day. I left the house at 8:45 in the morning, got home at 5:30 to rest for about 10 minutes before heading back out to the dinner/social. I ate breakfast at home, but my lunch, snacks and dinner were provided for.

Of course, a few years ago I would have driven myself nuts with anxiety over what my food options were going to be and peppering myself with questions. Were there going to be healthy options? Would I be able to resist the unhealthy ones? What snacks should I pack in case the food options didn’t meet my criteria?

But nowadays, I realized…I just don’t care. In fact, one of the organizers told me a few weeks ago what the food options were going to be, but I forgot. Completely forgot, because it didn’t matter to me. When it came time for meals, I looked over my options, picked what sounded good, and ate it. And that sort of freedom is pretty fabulous.

So, on with it!

Breakfast

My usual ACV mix and a quick breakfast before I left the house.

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One of my coconut-dipped baked banana donuts that I baked last week, and two fried eggs. Easy and delicious.

The conference was being held at the school, which was definitely convenient. This was actually the first one ever, put together by two school friends of mine. It wasn’t too big (about 20 presenters) but it was a success. They did a fabulous job putting it together!

My volunteer role for the day was running the Twitter account. Basically, being the official “Tweeter” (I need a fancier title though…Social Media Executive? Twitter Hostess? PR Manager? Something along those lines). Running an ‘official’ Twitter account is pretty fun…it makes me want to be more active on my blog twitter account.

And I was part of a group presentation, so I got some experience in that way. Note: I am such an awkward presenter.

I have absolutely no idea why my legs are crossed like that. My friend Zoey told me I looked like some sort of pretty flamingo. I suppose that’ a compliment, of sorts? Smile with tongue out

Another shot:

Apparently, I don’t know what to do with my arms either. So.awkward.

But moving on…

Lunch

Lunch was catered by a local deli, so that meant sandwiches, pasta salad, and egg salad.

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I went for two half sandwiches: roast beef and cheese (I think it was swiss?) on marble rye and salmon salad with cucumbers on what I believe is ciabatta. I also took a small scoop of pasta salad, because I’m always excited to see an oil-based pasta salad as opposed to a mayo based. Pretty tasty!

Exciting moment of the conference: over lunch, we got to see speeches from the Brantford Mayor, the local MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) and MP (Member of Parliament at the Federal level).

Pretty cool stuff!

There were more presentations before breaking for afternoon snack.

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Apple and chocolate – gotta have balance, right? Winking smile And…I went back for a third chocolate. Of course.

There were more presentations before closing with the keynote speaker, one of the professors at Laurier. I have to say, I think what I love most about my program is the ridiculous amount of topics that you can cover, and they’re all so interesting to me. For example, my focus is on media representations (of crime and government, for the most part), but others in criminology focus on global issues, political issues, stigma, homelessness, mental illness, white collar crime and corruption, criminal law, cybercrime, sexism, Aboriginal issues…there are so many things to look at. Ahh, love.

Dinner

I headed home to rest my feet for a few minutes and pick up the boyfriend before heading to the Hawk and Bell (a pub in Brantford that just opened) for a buffet dinner and social. Dinner options were salad, garlic bread, perogies, vegetarian penne, chicken parmesan, and butter chicken with basmati rice. A good variety, clearly!

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(excuse the poor restaurant lighting)

I went for salad with balsamic, perogies, and butter chicken. Umm, that butter chicken might be some of the best I’ve ever had. From what I understand, the family that owns that restaurant is Indian and that was an old family recipe. It used shredded chicken instead of the usual chunks of chicken breast that I usually see in butter chicken, which was delicious.

Apparently, conferences made me hungry because I went back for seconds on the butter chicken.

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Amazing.

I was definitely tired after my day, so we didn’t stay at the social to long. We headed home, where I promptly collapsed on the couch and turned on a movie Smile

11:00 pm munchies:

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Graham cracker with peanut butter. Did the trick.

So the conference and eats there made me realize how normal my relationship with food feels. Generally, people don’t worry about what food is going to be served when they have a lunch or a conference (of course, different story for allergies or necessary dietary restrictions, but you get my point). They show up, they eat what’s there, and they move on. No concern about whether or not the options were healthy enough or met any sort of criteria…they just eat it. I love feeling that sense of normalcy around what I eat!

And still plugging away at papers today, but I’m almost done my final coursework paper. Light at the end of the tunnel!

Enjoy your day!

<— If you did/are doing post secondary education, what’s your degree in?

<— What was your favourite class in school? Interestingly enough, I think my favourite course that I ever took was the Greek Mythology course I took in my fourth year of undergrad. It was such an interesting course.

<— Do you get anxious if you’re at an event and don’t know what the food options are going to be?

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MIMM: End-of-Semester Celebrations.

Hello there! I hope you’ve got some marvelous in your Monday morning Smile

Of course, it’s time for the most positive linkup I know. Thank you to the wonderful Diva herself for hosting!

So, I don’t have classes anymore. Which means that I didn’t have to get up to an alarm this morning. That in itself is pretty wonderful Open-mouthed smile

But for today’s #MIMM, I wanted to discuss my day last Friday, which included a visit from my best friend, a trip in a limo, a nice dinner, and a dance party. Pretty awesome.

But first, this new-to-me breakfast I made Friday morning.

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I decided to try one of those ‘paleo’ pancake recipes out of sheer curiosity. So this was 2 eggs, a mashed banana, and a tablespoon of almond flour turned into a pancake, topped with peanut butter (see? I couldn’t do paleo even if I wanted to) and blueberry jam.

Eh. It was ok. It tasted really ‘eggy’ to me – probably not something I’ll be making again anytime soon.

But I digress…

Friday night was the Graduate Students’ Association Year End Banquet, held at my university’s main campus in Waterloo, Ontario (I attend a satellite about 45 minutes away). The GSA graciously offered to send a limo for those of us who wanted to attend, which was awesome.

(source)

Eric would be working and wouldn’t be able to make the limo pick-up, so I extended the invitation to Laura. She’s been my best friend since high school, which we figured out has been almost 10 years. Which then made us feel old. She was able to come up, which was fabulous! Plus she brought her boyfriend up to keep Eric company when he got home from work, so it was an ‘everbody-wins’ sort of situation Smile with tongue out

We got ourselves prettied up and headed downtown to meet the…limo?

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So…that’s a short bus. But it’s a limo. I had to laugh when I saw it! Of course, the inside was done up like a regular limo (lights, leather seats, tables, wine glasses, etc.) but the outside was kind of funny. It got us there in one piece, which I suppose was the important thing Smile with tongue out

We arrived at the Waterloo just in time for awards and a champagne toast. Of course, my immediate attention went here:

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I kind of live for chocolate fountains. They’re just so pretty! Especially when I can dip marshmallows in them Open-mouthed smile

After the toast we made our way upstairs to the reception, where the theme was “tulips”. So cute for Spring!

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My lovely date and myself!

Of course, we stopped at the bar.

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Apparently, I enjoyed my Tom Collins the week before so much that I wanted another one. The only issue was that they didn’t add simple syrup, so it was so sour! Apparently, it didn’t bug me too much because I had two throughout the night (between that and the wine, don’t be surprised that the pictures got kinda blurry…)

Passed apps!

Passed Apps

  1. cocktail shrimp on a prettily-sliced cucumber. That is freakin’ cute.
  2. Some sort of chicken alfredo flatbread and a crab cake.
  3. Bruschetta. Forever, it will be my favourite bread-based appetizer.

And of course, I enjoyed the company!

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Ok, going to sidetrack for a moment. I was really freakin’ bright that night! My original plan was to stick to a simple black dress since my shoes were so attention-grabbing, but I decided to go big.

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Or in this case, go blue. For someone who normally dresses almost entirely in neutrals, I’m pretty proud of myself Smile with tongue out

Dinner time! We were asked ahead of time whether we wanted the chicken, the roast or the vegetarian option – I went with chicken.

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I asked for “one small extra scoop of veggies” and the server gave me a massive helping. Can’t go wrong with extra greens, right? I was actually really happy with this meal – the chicken had a nice flavour, and the mashed potatoes were awesome.

We happened to choose a table at the back, which meant I had this 2 feet away from me all night:

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Which made it entirely too easy to reach behind me and snag desserts and bits of candy all night Smile with tongue out

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A macaroon with a bit of crushed mint on top. Umm, whoever came up with that idea is absolutely brilliant.

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So…this thing was shiny. And purple. But it was entirely edible – in fact, it tasted like a Lindt milk chocolate truffle. I had a couple of these throughout the night, despite the fact that they left me covered in sparkles.

After chatting for a bit, the dance floor opened up. And that was literally the last two hours of the evening: dancing for a while, getting tired and sitting down for a few minutes, and then getting back up to dance again.

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I love me a good dance party Open-mouthed smile

Thanks again to my beautiful date!

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We piled back in the limo for the ride home, where the driver was nice enough to drop us off right at my front door. I was in the door at 12:30 and passed out by 12:45. My nineteen year old self would be a tad ashamed Smile with tongue out

Definitely a great way to celebrate the end of classes. Although, I still have papers to work on. Basically, what my plan is today.

Have a good one!

<— If you wear colourful or bright shoes, do you try to keep everything else neutral?

<— What’s a ‘late night’ for you? If I make it all the way to midnight, I’m usually pretty impressed with myself.


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MIMM: Date Night & An Honourary Fur Baby.

Yup, it’s Monday.

Might as well make it a marvelous one, shall we? Winking smile

Thanks to the lovely Diva herself for hosting such a positive linkup each and every week!

So, I’ve got some marvelous highlights from my weekend. It was definitely quiet (especially compared to the business of last weekend) but I find that I definitely appreciate that once in a while.

Friday Highlights

Friday morning soon after I got out of bed, this handsome devil got dropped off.

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This is Leon, who is staying with Eric and I this week. So, I get my very own toy poodle to play with for a little while! Smile with tongue out We’re definitely planning on getting a dog in the (hopefully near) future, so I’m always happy to get some practice in with Leon.

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He’s such a cutie. Although he is in desperate need of a trim. Boy’s looking pretty shaggy.

The other highlight from Friday was the dinner I put together.

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That would be Skinnytaste’s Cheeseburger Casserole. While I’m pretty sure it was the addition of pickles that sold me, that was a damn tasty dinner.

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It’s a cheeseburger. But it’s a casserole. This is like what Hamburger Helper wishes it could be (because it is delicious and Hamburger Helper is not). So yea. you should make this.

Saturday Highlights

Shoes!!!

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My old pair of Nike crosstrainers were about a year old and starting to hurt my feet, so I hit up Sport Chek on Saturday. I feel like many people are disappointed that I didn’t get Mizunos Smile with tongue out But I love Nike for my cross-training needs.

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Those would be Nike In-Season TR 2 cross-trainers. They have no actual tongue, which is a little weird. But they have memory foam on the inside, which kind of makes me feel like I’m walking on clouds.

Plus the back and purple combo pretty much gets me every time Smile with tongue out

Date Night

And of course, a weekend date night is marvelous!

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(Eric’s more excited than he looks, promise).

I had a gift card to The Piston Broke, which is an Irish pub down the street that I’ve frequented often. We’re both fans of the place, so we decided to use it up Saturday night.

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To drink, I ordered a Singapore Sling. This is not a Singapore Sling (they have grenadine, so they’re bright red). I realized later that this was actually a Tom Collins – which was actually my second choice, so I didn’t care. Tastes like lemonade!

The point of the story: apparently, I really like gin-based mixed drinks. Which is interesting, because for years I thought I hated gin.

For dinner, I ordered the special of the night:

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Salmon with veggies and udon noodles. This was just ok – the salmon was overcooked and the dish itself didn’t have a ton of flavour.

But…Eric ordered poutine.

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That would be the reason why Eric loves that restaurant: waffle fries with pulled pork, maple gravy, cheese, sour cream and green onions. I definitely stole bites Smile with tongue out Delicious, although the poutine purist in me is disappointed by shredded cheese. Real poutine requires cheese curds!

So, my meal wasn’t the most impressive I’ve ever had, but at least the company was good!

Sunday

So Sunday, the weather hit 15 degrees. Umm, that is amazing, considering that is snowed early in the week. Warm weather = yogurt bowl sort of breakfast.

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Plain Oikos with cinnamon, banana, blueberries, Leapin’ Lemurs, and almond butter. How very Running With Spoons of me Smile with tongue out

And marvelous weather = I actually got the running itch. So I headed out for my first outdoor run since last September.

While I enjoyed it, it definitely served as an important reminder: you can’t not run long distances for almost 7 months and expect to be able to pick up right where you were again. I did 3 miles in 29:35 and that left me feeling like death. Right, running is difficult. And running 15 minutes of intervals on the treadmill is not the same as 30 minutes outside. Not.at.all.

And PS: for whatever reason I cannot get my computer import data from my Garmin. I’ve had it for almost two years so I imagine it’s past warranty, but it would be really awesome if that would fix itself.

And today shall also be marvelous: undergrad classes are finished for the semester, so that means I have today off Open-mouthed smile But, I also have two oral presentations to do this week that I haven’t even remotely starting prepping for so…it’ll be busy.

Have a good one!

<— What did you get up to this weekend?

<— Favourite dog breed (assuming you’re a dog person) I have my heart set on getting a pug. One day.

<— Ever taken a lot of time off from a particular exercise? Did it take a while to get back into it?