Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


55 Comments

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.

DSCF5121

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.

DSCF2364

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.

DSCF2365

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!

DSCF2370

(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.

DSCF2375

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:

DSCF5126

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?


52 Comments

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.

DSCF4758

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.

DSCF4760

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.

DSCF4761

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

DSCF4764

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

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

DSCF4729

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:

DSCF4753

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.

DSCF4744

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.

DSCF4747

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:

DSCF4750

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.

DSCF4754

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!


42 Comments

Italian, Thai and Irish.

Good morning! I hope you had a fabulous weekend and you’re not feeling too hungover this morning Winking smile And if you’ve wandered over here from my guest post on Enjoy Your Healthy Life (if you haven’t seen it, go check it out!) this morning…hi!! Hope you enjoy my little corner of the interwebs Smile

Friday

I was pretty much dragging all day Friday. I think it was the last of Daylight Savings kicking my ass. I had class followed by a meeting, so when I got home I was happy that I had an easy dinner planned.

DSCF4342

Pizza night! A pre-bought whole wheat crust with crumbled turkey sausage, red bell pepper, spinach, and mozzarella.

DSCF4345

And wine…definitely a wine night (more than pictured).

DSCF4348

Friday nights are made for pizza and wine, in my humble opinion.

Saturday

So, Saturday was the most relaxing day I’ve had in a while.

About a month before Christmas Eric and I were talking and the topic of massages randomly came up. He had never had one before, but he mentioned that he thought he would enjoy it.

Umm, yea. Who doesn’t love a massage? I did some looking around at the local spas and found one that offered a one-hour long couples massage, so I got him a gift certificate for Christmas.

Saturday, we cashed it in at the Grand Wellness Centre in Brantford.

So…that was the most blissful hour I’ve had in a long time. It’s crazy how fast time passes when you’re getting a massage – an hour feels like ten minutes. I told her that my shoulders and my legs are usually pretty tender, so she focused on those. I had no idea how tight my left shoulder/left side of neck was – it was insane! That’s the side that I carry my (sometimes crazy-heavy) laptop bag on, so I guess it makes sense.

Eric enjoyed himself too! He’s back to work this morning (he was off for March break) so it’s nice for him to go back in a more relaxed state. He’s also been complaining of lower back pain lately, which the massage seemed to help with a bit.

Merry (much-belated) Christmas love!

DSCF1946

From the Christmas party we went to in November.

 

We did some errands and then headed home for a bit, followed by a quick trip to the gym for me. Afterwards, we went out for dinner at Viet Thai, a small Asian food place a few blocks away. It’s small and hole-in-the-wall-ish, but their food is absolutely amazing. We actually discovered it on our first night in Brantford after we moved!

Some hot tea to start to warm me up:

DSCF2278

Yup – living without the space heater hasn’t been fun. It’s not unbearable, but it means I’m wearing sweaters and sweatpants pretty much full time at home. Come sooner, Spring weather!

Eric’s choice: beef and vegetables on soft egg noodles.

DSCF2280

He cleared his plate, so I think he must have enjoyed it Smile with tongue out

As for me, I was feeling Pad Thai. The last time I actually remember having it was probably about 3-4 years ago, which is pretty unacceptable. I went for a seafood version:

DSCF2284

Amazing. I have no idea what a good chunk of the seafood in there was (I got scallops, shrimp, squid, and crab…no idea about the other stuff) but it was so good!

Afterwards, we went home and watched the remake of Dawn of the Dead. I swear, there’s a good reason I watch so many zombie movies/tv shows.

Sunday

Aka: clean/homework/kitchen experiment time.

For lunch, I decided to try making kale chips for the first time.

DSCF4372

So, they definitely ended up crispy…

DSCF4377

A little too crispy. Yup, those were burnt – but I hate wasting food, so it was fixed with copious amounts of ketchup. Definitely back to the drawing board with that one! And yes, I ate them besides my Thai food leftovers…and that’s kind of weird.

Dinner

Kitchen experiment number two was a success though! Various versions of Irish Soda Bread has been taunting me around the internets lately, so I decided I would try my hand at it this weekend. I made this version by Jenna of Eat, Live, Run, except I used half whole wheat flour.

DSCF4379

Going into the oven…

DSCF4383

And it’s done.

So, I had never tried Irish soda bread before. And now, I’m kind of kicking myself for going over 23 years without it – it’s so good! This version was dense in the middle, with an incredible, crunchy crust.

And it was the perfect accompaniment to the beef stew I made for dinner:

DSCF4388

Followed by many more hunks that I ripped right off the loaf Smile with tongue out That will not be around long – it was fabulous. Aaaand that was about as celebratory as we got this weekend. I was talking to the best friend on the phone last night and telling her how we’ve really become old people – we ate stew and homemade bread and watched tv on St. Patties, and then went to bed early. Animals!

So, Italian dinner Friday night, Thai Saturday night, and Irish Sunday night. I guess I like my culinary adventures?

Today is a pretty typical Monday for me: homework, the gym, and going to my TA class in the afternoon. Hope you have a fabulous one!

<— What was the last thing you baked/experimented with in the kitchen?

<— Any good St. Patrick’s day stories for me?

<— Do you like making homemade bread? I want to make it more often, but yeast kind of terrifies me.