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: Blog Friends and Leapin’ Lemurs.

Happy Easter Monday/April Fools day!

1. Is Easter Monday actually a holiday? I know elementary/high schools get the day off and banks are closed, but pretty much everyone else is back at work/school, right?

2. April Fools’ Day scares me a little. I’m terrible at pulling pranks, so I just try to hide and hope that no one tries anything.

But long weekends are pretty marvelous, no? I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Mondays, but I figure it’s better to look at the positive side.

Yup, I’m jumping on the lovely Katie’s MIMM bandwagon.  I’ll save Friday for later, but I will show you some fun Saturday/Sunday things!

You know what’s marvelous? Easter chocolate.

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This is why my chocolate stash will never die. As soon as I’m running low, people give me more Smile with tongue out Between Eric and I, there’s four chocolate bunnies, a chocolate rose, and a box of cereal.

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My mom told me that when she saw this at the store, she had to pick up a box for me because she loved the name so much. I’ve fallen out of cereal love lately (those eggy oats have my heart right now), but this is one way to return me to my cereal loving roots. Loooove this stuff.

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She also managed to find me a chocolate bunny with sprinkles in him. Seems pretty appropriate.

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Chocolate bunnies in a cage. That is some good presentation, at least.

It’s pretty marvelous to have a mom-cooked Saturday breakfast!

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Eggs, bacon and rye toast – one piece with butter, one with honey. I love rye bread, but I never think to buy it!

A yummy Easter dinner is marvelous:

Saturday Easter

Saturday dinner with Eric’s family: an appetizer of little veggie roll sushi things (how’s that for a description?), a full turkey dinner, and Black Forest Cake for dessert. I’m pretty sure the last time I remember eating black forest cake was about 6 years ago, but that stuff is good. Chocolate, cherries and a ton of whipped cream. Amazing.

And something that is EXTREMELY marvelous:

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Blogger meet ups! Open-mouthed smile

Devon was in town visiting a friend for the weekend, so of course, we made plans to meet up. I’ve been talking to Devon for a while and she’s such an awesome girl, so I was thrilled we could meet up.

When we were trying to figure out where to go for lunch, I suggested Indian – it’s been a while since I’d had it, and she’s pretty much an expert on the stuff Smile with tongue out We went to The Raja in downtown London for their Sunday lunch buffet.

I think buffets have to be my favourite approach for Indian food…there’s so many different options that I like having the opportunity to try a bunch of different dishes.

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so we’ve got:

  • some sort of salad/salsa stuff (I’m doing really well on the food descriptions today, aren’t I?)
  • tandoori chicken (always one of my favourites)
  • channa masala (chickpeas)
  • sag aloo (spinach and potatoes)
  • an onion bhajee
  • some sort of okra dish (the first time I’ve ever eaten okra, actually. Might be picking it up again, I liked it!)
  • mystery chicken (it wasn’t labeled. It was good though)
  • basmati rice

When it (finally) came around, the naan bread.

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I always judge an Indian restaurant based on their naan bread. My ideal naan bread is buttered but not too greasy, and stable enough that you can use it as a proper scoop. The Raja passed Smile with tongue out

Dessert round:

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Fresh fruit and a gulab jamun (which are basically little fried, syrupy dough balls of delicousness)

So basically, lunch was awesome, but the company was even better! Devon and I just talked for hours about everything from blogging to travel. We have a ton in common, right down to the matching nose rings Smile with tongue out We were probably getting a bit of a stink-eye from the staff, we lingered for so long!

Fortunately for me, she’s only about an hour away so I will be making the trip up to see her again soon.

Being the awesome person that she is, she also gifted me some PureFit bars.

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She recommended them on her blog a while back, but I haven’t been able to find them anywhere in my area. They look awesome – anything that’s supposed to taste like cookie dough is good in my book.

Thanks for the bars, and for an awesome lunch Devon!

I just need to take a moment to gush about how fortunate I feel that blogging has lead me to some amazing individuals that I would not have had the chance to meet (or ‘meet’) otherwise. There are some wonderful people in this community, and I’m so happy that I get to talk to you guys regularly and consider you my friends!

Oh goodness, the marvelous-ness. Have a great Monday!

<— Are there any cuisines you love but find too intimidating to cook? I love Indian food, but I’m afraid to actually attempt it from scratch. Same story with sushi!

<— Tell me something marvelous about your weekend!


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WIAW: Money Rules.

Hello there!

Yup…it’s (What I Ate) Wednesday! Thanks as always, goes to Jenn for hosting. Today’s post is from yesterday – I was on-the-go pretty much all day, so there were some quick-but-fabulous  meals and snacks. And a lot of greens stuffed in a lunch – so yay following the theme!

Because I had so much going on yesterday, I had to hit the gym when it opened right at 8 am (yes, student gym means it opens at 8 on weekdays. Noon on weekends. lame). My ACV mix (ACV, lemon juice, water, stevia) when I woke up and a quick snack before I left:

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I had a few of the pumpkin protein bars I made a while back stashed in the freezer, so I heated up two of those and added some coconut Oikos on top. I stand by what I said when I made the bars – they’re tasty, but not sweet enough.

After the gym was unpictured watermelon BCAAs, followed by an “Oh-crap-I-have-to-leave-in-10-minutes” breakfast.

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Oatmeal, egg + egg whites and blueberry jam. Definitely nothing new there. A word to the wise – in a desperate bid to make your eggs cook faster, don’t crank up the heat. Half of those whites did not make it out of the pan. Yup…I’m impatient.

Lunch

I had a long but successful meeting with my Thesis supervisor, followed by a lunch meeting at The Piston Broke. It’s a gastropub close to the school that I’ve been multiple times – it’s good!

I was feeling something leafy, so I went with the chevre salad with chicken.

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Spinach, arugula, mandarin orange segments, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds tossed in a maple vinaigrette and topped with chicken and goat cheese. The chicken was on the dry side, but everything else was delicious. And it reminded me that I need more goat cheese in my life – chevre is amazing.

Followed by two of little mints that come with the cheque – I love those.

Snack

I had a 6 pm presentation last night, so I had a quick snack around 5:30 to tide me over.

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Baby carrots and hummus. It’s a classic.

So that presentation?

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Gail is a Canadian financial writer and TV personality who helps people manage their money. She has a show called “Till Debt Do Us Part”, which I’ve seen a handful of times. So when Laurier was hosting her for a free presentation, I decided to go – you can never learn too much about money, right?

I don’t think I’m bad with it – I usually do ok with savings. But I know I could probably stand to improve a little bit. The main takeaways I got from her presentation:

  • people tend to be irresponsible with credit cards. Do not put more on credit than you can afford to pay off at the end of the month.
  • Pay off your mortgage, your car, your debt, and put away money for retirement. Then you can start buying all the status symbol-y things, if that’s how you want to spend your money. (fancy cars, designer clothes, etc.)
  • start saving for retirement. Like ASAP. If you start in your 20’s, you only have to put away 6% of your earnings, versus 3 times that if you start in your 40’s.
  • Have an emergency fund – about 6 months worth of rent and groceries.
  • Don’t expect to have everything at once – buy a house, have a wedding, and have a baby. You’re going to live a long time; it’s ok to space it out a bit.
  • Keep track of your spending. Keep a notebook and keep track of everything penny you spend, and every penny you earn.

A lot of what she said was common sense, but I did learn some things. And as a presenter – she is hilarious. I have this thing where I absolutely love hearing people swear unexpectedly…whether it’s an older person, a super-polite friend, or my Russian professor. It just cracks me up so much. And she had quite the mouth on her, which kept me giggling the whole presentation.

Her presentation made me realize that I need to focus a little bit more on my ‘emergency fund’ a little bit more, and that I need to keep better track of my finances. Might have to start an Excel spreadsheet or something!

Dinner

I channeled Amanda for my late dinner:

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Yogurt bowl! Coconut Oikos, a sliced banana, sliced fig, Fibre 1, the last of my Dark Chocolate and Red Berries Granola, and almond butter. So good.

And of course, even brinner needs dessert.

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A graham cracker with Bee’s Knees peanut butter and dark chocolate. And that may have been followed by another spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar Smile with tongue out I like the Bee’s Knee’s flavour, but I have to say – Cinnamon Raisin is still the best!

Have a lovely Wednesday!

<— Do you think you’re good with money?

<— What’s the tastiest thing you’ve eaten lately?