Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


WIAW: Brinner

Hello there!

I’m pretty sure I don’t even need an introduction to Wednesday posts anymore. We all know what’s going to happen.

Jenn’s WIAW!

And of course, St. Patty’s Day means it’s going to be a green month! Oddly enough, the only green meal I really got in yesterday was breakfast. But I’ll take it. On with it, shall we?

Morning Cocktail

Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon juice, water, stevia. The usual right when I wake up.



I wanted to play around with my xanthan gum a little more, so I put together a green smoothie for breakfast.


1 frozen banana, a scoop of protein powder, a handful of spinach, about a teaspoon of cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum and enough almond milk to get it all going. It ended up really thick, which I loved, but it had a weird gummy-like taste to it. Maybe I added a little too much xanthan gum? A few drops of stevia seemed to mask it though.


Topped with blueberries and Love Crunch Dark Chocolate and Red Berries granola. Except minus the dark chocolate because of course, that aspect of the mix is long gone Smile with tongue out

Mid-morning I was off to the gym for leg day – favourite workout of the week, easily.

1 scoop pre-workout, 1 scoop post-workout (which I drank while foam-rolling! Yay goals)!


Followed by lunchtime.


I had made Chelsea’s Adzuki Bean and Butternut Squash Saute the night before over brown rice (which was absolutely delicious, FYI!), except I used black beans. Leftovers were promptly heated up for lunch and devoured.

I had a quick meeting in lieu of my usual Tuesday class, so I was able to eat a snack at home. I heated up an Apple Pie Questbar (look for the review this weekend!) in the microwave briefly and smothered it with some PB.


Looooved this flavour!

After my meeting (which was fantastic – slowly but surely, my thesis proposal is coming together) I spent some time on the couch getting some work done and munching on a few handfuls of unpictured carrot sticks.


Dinner was quick, easy, and fabulous.DSCF4128

Hello, brinner.

Scrambled eggs, bacon, and a piece of buttered toast. So satisfying!

I’ve never particularly enjoyed cooking bacon before – messy, greasy and I would usually get splashed with hot oil. But the last couple of times I’ve cooked it, I’ve baked it in the oven. It’s so much easier!

I line a cookie sheet with tinfoil, add the bacon, and then put it in a cold oven. I set it to 375 degrees, set the timer for 14 minutes, and walk away. It cooks up perfectly, and to clean up, all I have to do is throw the tinfoil in the trash.

So…with this knowledge, I will definitely be eating bacon more often. Open-mouthed smile

Dark chocolate truffle for dessert:


Confession: this is leftover from Christmas. What can I say – my stash was massive going into the holiday season, and then between Christmas and Valentine’s it got even bigger. Don’t worry – I’m slowly making my way through it Smile with tongue out


So…I’m pretty proud of myself for my snack last night.

I remembered Laura saying at some point that she’ll stick flavoured yogurt in the freezer, so I decided that making some coconut fro-yo sounded pretty fantastic.

In the morning, I opened one of the coconut Oikos, stirred some almonds and chocolate chips in there, and popped it in the freezer. I took it out about 45 minutes before I wanted to eat it last night, and topped it with a bit of a chocolate casein-almond milk mix, shredded coconut, and sprinkles.


That will definitely become a common snack around here. I loved it! Next time I’ll be sure to put plastic wrap or something over the top when I put it in the freezer though – it had a little bit of iciness to it.

Ended the day on a good note, that’s for sure. Smile

Have a good Wednesday!

<— Best thing to have for brinner? I also wouldn’t say no to a pancake or french toast dinner, either.

<— Do you have a favourite ‘Simpsons’ moment? This one was also acceptable, considering the context of the post :-p

<— Bacon: bake it or fry it? I’m never going back to frying, if I can avoid it.


WIAW: Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Good morning! 3 things before I get on with it:

1. Thank you so much for all your comments on yesterday’s post. I always feel a little nervous and vulnerable posting stuff like that, but you guys remind me why I love this community so damn much. Thank for all your support!

2. A huge shoutout to my cousin Adam and his wife Melissa on the birth of their first baby! A boy born Saturday night – I can’t wait to meet the little guy.

3. I have my stats midterm today. Send me good vibes!

Yup – it’s that time of the week again!

So last week was Eating Disorders Awareness Week in Canada. This week, it’s in the States. Considering my own history, it’s no surprise that I do my best to spread awareness and offer support to those who suffer with ED’s.

London is home to Hope’s Garden, the only eating disorder resource centre in the area. It runs solely off of volunteers and donations – they don’t get any government funding whatsoever. Every year during EDAW, they host a breakfast at the Hilton Hotel to raise funds. Of course, I went last year and enjoyed it, so my mom and I purchased tickets again.

After getting up at a somewhat ungodly hour (registration started at 6:30 am) my Mom and I headed down to the Hilton. We checked in and we immediately headed over to look at the silent auction and draws.



I was really hoping to win the Chil Froyo gift card, but no luck there (we will still hit it up sometime, Chelsea!)

It was planned so that the breakfast would occur before the speakers, so we headed over to the buffet tables. It was a fairly typical (but still delicious) fancy hotel breakfast spread – frittata, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fruit, pastries and cheese.


I helped myself to bacon, the veggie frittata, fruit, and cheese (I have no idea what kind of cheese that was, but it looked intriguing. It was pretty good!). My mom and I also split a croissant. After breakfast and some opening remarks, it was time for the keynote speakers.


First up was Julie Rochefort, with a talk entitled: ‘Becoming a Body Image Warrior’. Julie is a Registered Dietitian who focuses on obesity and weight discrimination. She talked about how the science concerning ‘healthy weight’ is flawed, and how weight isn’t the best predictor of health.


The fact that this book exists (and is aimed at 6-12 year olds) is so, so shameful for our society. “Maggie” is bullied at school, loses weight by eating ‘better’ and exercising for hours, and becomes super-popular and a star soccer player. I had heard of the book before, but not in that much detail – WHY does this exist?! And really, what kind of lesson does this book teach kids?


At the end of her presentation, Julie left us with this message, and I love it. I feel like most people approach RD’s because in their mind, getting healthier = losing weight. I loved hearing Julie’s mindset that we need to take ownership of our bodies the way they are supposed to be. She invited us to take a pledge to celebrate both our bodies and the bodies of those around us – real bodies, real people, no unrealistic expectations.


Of course, my name is on there Smile (And oh my god, how do people walk in pencil skirts?! I felt like I could barely move my knees all morning).

The second speaker was Jan Pryde, who is on the Board of Directors at Hope’s.


Jan is extremely passionate about the fight against eating disorders, because she has been watching her 26 year old daughter struggle for twelve years. She talked about the experiences she’s had with her daughter, climaxing when Jan carried her daughter threw hospital doors last June, at less than 60 pounds and blood pressure that was barely registering on the scale (I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 48/20). By some miracle, her daughter survived.

Jan was an amazing speaker, letting her passion for the fight against ED’s flow through her words. She discussed how eating disorders leave scars and battle wounds on our hearts, and how eating disorders become a battleground between the sufferer and the disease.

It was one of the most heart-wrenching, inspiring talks I’ve ever witnessed. Of course, she received a standing ovation, and when she brought her daughter up with her on stage…yup. Any chance of me getting out of there with my mascara intact was gone.

While I do not consider myself lucky for my own struggle with anorexia, I am extremely grateful that I was able to pull back when I did, as opposed to letting my anorexia continue to dig it’s claws deeper. Listening to Jan was a reminder that I am one of the lucky ones in the sense that I’ve escaped my struggles, but I need to keep fighting the battle on behalf of everyone who comes in contact with this horrible, harrowing disease.

Hope’s Garden does truly amazing work with ED patients – I know, because I reached out to them when I was ready for my own recovery. I attended their group meetings for the better part of a year, and through them found my fantastic therapist, who was absolutely vital in the process of my self-discovery. I don’t exactly have a lot of extra funds available for donating to charity (grad student problems) but I will always be happy to help out Hope’s Garden with my time, support and money. And of course, if you are in the area and you are (or know someone) who is struggling, I completely recommend turning to them – it was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

Of course, Jan’s talk brought to mind how extremely grateful I am for my parent’s support in my recovery – therapy ain’t cheap, and I can only imagine how scary it must have been to watch their daughter slowly wasting away, unable to understand why or how to make it stop. I love you guys and I will be forever thankful for all the love and support that you’ve always shown me, whether in my recovery, my education, my goals, and every other aspect of my life.

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And my mom makes a fantastic breakfast date Smile


But now that I’ve managed to make myself tear up…moving on.

Although I didn’t win the froyo gift cards, we cleaned up pretty nicely with the draws Open-mouthed smile


That fig balsamic vinegar I’ve been using on my spinach salads lately? Courtesy of a gift basket from Olive-Me & Co, a specialty olive oil and balsamic store in North London. The balsamics I won are: fig , chili, and an 18 year old traditional. The olive oils: citrus habanero, Italian herb, and sundried tomato parmesan and garlic. I’ve tried most of them, and I have yet to be disappointed! I think I need to get a really good french loaf this weekend to really enjoy them. The prize also came with that cookbook, but I don’t use quinoa too often and I already have a similar one. So I forwarded it on to an aunt of mine.

We also got a HUGE giftbasket full of 3M stuff – tape dispensers, band aids, page dividers…


And post-its…so many post its. (Amanda, I know you’re jealous Smile with tongue out)

So this post is already pretty massive, so a quick speed through the rest of the day’s meals:



Salad – romaine, bell pepper, chopped baby carrots, tomato, blackberries and chicken, topped with a tzatziki yogurt dressing. A slice of multigrain toast with butter on the side.

A small bowl of my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup.



The Simply Bar in Cocoa Coffee – so I like coffee in dessert and in bar form, but just not in drink form? I think this needs to be my strategy to get myself to like coffee…


For dinner, I was feeling inspired by Chelsea’s Turkey Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup. I followed her recipe, but I subbed kidney beans for the white beans and spinach for the kale. I also threw in a bit of dried basil.


It’s pretty damn fabulous – I ate it for lunch every day afterwards Smile


Palate cleanser…


And a nighttime snack of cottage cheese, cinnamon raisin swirl PB, and chocolate chips.

So…wow, epically long. Hopefully you plowed through it!

<— Had you heard of “Maggie Goes on a Diet” before? Does it piss you off as much as it does me?

<— Tell me someone you’re grateful for.


Chicago Recap: Suzie the T-Rex.

(Chicago Recap Day 1, Day 2).

Hi friends! Happy Thanksgiving to my American buds…and happy Thursday to everyone else!

So continuing on with my recap week, day 3 in Chicago.



In the morning, I went straight for the breakfast buffet. Scrambled eggs, bacon, melon and french toast. I ended up going back for my bacon – one of those foods that I don’t eat as often as I should, considering that I do really enjoy it!

Another morning at the conference – more interesting presentations! Because I plan on focusing a lot of media for my MA thesis next year, I stuck with media-related presentations for the most part. One of the presentations I attended was a round-table discussion focusing on crime representations in the media. I’m really critical when it comes to media/news, so it was interesting to hear the opinions of people who actually work in it. They have a lot of the same issues with it as I do, so I enjoyed being able to listen to their discussion.


so…any SNL fans out there?

You remember the Cheezeborger, no fries, chips, no Pepsi, coke skit with John Belushi?

Well…I ate there for lunch.


Also happens to be the same area where the chase scenes in Blues Brothers and The Dark Knight were filmed!

So, I had to do John Belushi proud and get the “cheezeborger, double cheeze”.


And, while watching the season 2 premiere of Anthony Boudain’s The Layover on Chicago, I couldn’t help but notice we ate our Billy Goat Tavern burgers the same way – added ketchup and pickles. Weird things make me happy. Open-mouthed smile

Really, the cheeseburger wasn’t anything special, but the story behind it made it pretty awesome.


I didn’t try it, but I was intrigued!

After some more walking, we headed up to the Field Museum.  The Field Museum is a museum of natural history that first opened in 1893. I had no idea they had such an impressive museum in Chicago.


The museum is also home to Suzie, the most complete t-rex skeleton in the world.


Impressive! When I showed Eric this picture, he told me that scientists have recently discovered that t-rex’s were actually covered in feathers, not scales as we assumed. So basically, Suzie would have looked more like a giant chicken than anything else.


That’s one hell of a chicken.

Unfortunately, we got to the museum too close to closing time to be able to see all the exhibits, but we were able to see two of the three special exhibits. The Maharaja exhibit, which focused on Indian history, and the Extreme Animals exhibit, which was awesome. I’m definitely an animal lover (I wanted to be a veterinarian as a kid) so it was cool to find out more about them. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed in the special exhibits, so I can’t show you guys any of the cool things in there.

But they were allowed in the rest of the museum – we made sure to hit up the Egyptian exhibit. Being an archeologist was also on the list of things I wanted to be at some point in my life (seriously, I did – and continue to – change my mind every 7.5 seconds about my future career) because I found Egyptian history so fascinating. I’ve done at least 5 projects throughout my life on Cleopatra – she was one impressive woman!


Mummies are interesting, but a little creepy to look at. There’s a dead person wrapped up in there!


Egyptians sure loved their cats, didn’t they?

After closing, we made the walk back to the hotel (a good 2.5 miles) just in time for the Manager’s Reception (I told you we took advantage!)


Sangria is one of my absolute favourites!

We didn’t feel like wandering too far for dinner, so we headed to Volare, an Italian place up the road.


(pictures are a bit blurry…might have something to do with that sangria Winking smile)

We got an appetizer of calamari for the table.


I swear, you can always judge a restaurant by it’s calamari. It’s so easy to overcook and have it go all rubbery on you, so if the calamari’s good you know you’re in for a good meal.

This definitely passed the test! I adore calamari, and Volare’s version was perfectly crispy and tender. So, so good.

Because I had filled up on calamari (and apps at the hotel) Nicole and I decided to split a few dishes.


We ordered the Insalata di Fagiolini – green beans, roasted tomatoes, crab meat, toasted almonds and pecorino cheese with a garlic dressing. Definitely unlike any salad I’ve had before, but I enjoyed it.


You can never go wrong with a shrimp cocktail, can you? These shrimp were almost as big as my fist – ridiculous.


And meatballs are absolutely necessary in an Italian restaurant, right?

Overall, this was a fabulous meal!

We talked about going out that night to check out the Chicago club scene, but I’m pretty sure we were all passed out by 11. Party animals, clearly. Smile with tongue out

Italian food, a famous burger and a giant t-rex…definitely a great day!

<— What dish do you judge a restaurant by?

<— Do you like museums? Any favourite exhibits?