Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


44 Comments

Salad Win & Name of the Wind Review.

Last night’s dinner was such a win.

I like salads. And veggies. I don’t eat meal-sized salads too often anymore (my digestive system doesn’t appreciate that much veggie-heaviness in one sitting) but once in a while, nothing sounds better than a salad the size of my face.

Eric’s view on leafy things is another thing. He’ll eat them as a side (when I make it), but there’s no way he’ll consider a salad a meal. He’s got an Irish background – he is all about the meat and potatoes.

But he has told me in the past that he would eat a salad for dinner if there was bacon in it. Well, the spring weather we’ve had the last few days (I wore workout capris outside yesterday! And I wasn’t freezing! Yay!) had me wanting a big dinner salad, so I put it up to the challenge.

DSCF4841

Hello, Cobb salad.

I threw together a bed of romaine (+ spinach for me), shredded chicken, tomatoes, avocado, crumbled bacon, a hard boiled egg, and feta cheese.

DSCF4842

Delicious. And got full boyfriend approval Open-mouthed smile Salad victory!

Name of the Wind

I’m a little overdue on this one, since I finished reading it a few weeks ago. But nonetheless, The Name of the Wind.

I had heard great things about the book first from Amanda,  and then from Caitlin and Lisa, so I decided to pick up a copy for myself. I mean, I had to get my fantasy fix while I was waiting for Game of Thrones to come back on TV Winking smile

Even though I had heard good reviews, I didn’t go into the book with overly high expectations. The Name of the Wind is Rothfuss’ debut novel, and I’m too caught up in GoT to pay attention to much else in the fantasy world. To be honest, I hadn’t really been a huge fantasy fan beforehand – I’ve been resisting everyone who’s tried to get me into The Wheel of Time and I’ve tried to read Margaret Weiss’ novels before, only to fail miserably.

But…wow. This book was pretty incredible. It follows the story of Kvothe, an innkeeper with a mysterious past. Although it takes place over a very short period of time, the novel covers from events from Kvothe’s childhood as an actor in a troupe of travelling performers, through his experiences as a child beggar, and covers the beginning of his time at the University as an arcanist in training.

As an individual, Kvothe is incredibly talented. His skills at the university and at playing the lute, his intelligence, his wittiness…they’re all pretty incredible. In fact, it seems almost unbelievable, until you realize he’s capable of making some very human mistakes. Although, I think I would have to name Denna as my favourite character. She’s so sweet, but it’s clear that she’s a fighter. She’s trying so hard to make it on her own by any means necessary, something that I can appreciate and sympathize with.

I think what I loved most about this novel was the believability factor. Any aspect of magic, Rothfuss explained in a way that made it seem real…almost like I wasn’t reading a fantasy novel at all. I think something that frustrates me about some fantasy stories is the whole “look at me, I suddenly mysteriously developed magical powers! Hurrah!” Definitely not the case here, as Rothfuss is able to explain the studies and skills learned at the university in almost a scientific way.

And the writing style itself is incredible. This is Rothfuss’ debut novel, but I would have thought he’d been writing for decades – the book flows so naturally. His descriptions are so enthralling that he makes you feel like you’re lost in Kvothe’s world. I spent many nights up late reading in bed, unable to tear myself away. He makes you feel everything that Kvothe is feeling – all of his sadness, his heartbreak and his joy.

I didn’t think I could like a fantasy novel as much as GoT, but I think this one may have done it for me. Seriously, if you’re a fan of The Song of Ice and Fire series, Lord of the Rings, or even the Harry Potter series, you should pick this up.

This is the first book in a trilogy – the third hasn’t been released yet, but the second is entitled The Wise Man’s Fear. Somehow, I think I know what my next book purchase will be!

<— Favourite meal-sized salad toppings? Crumbled bacon is now high on my list. Goat chevre is up there too.

<— Have you read Name of the Wind? What did you think?

<— What are you reading right now?

Advertisements


47 Comments

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:

DSCF4618

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.

DSCF4622

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.

DSCF2289

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.

DSCF4626

Baby carrots and hummus. It’s a classic.

So that presentation?

DSCF4628

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:

DSCF4632
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.

DSCF4634

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?


73 Comments

WIAW: Lotsa Greens and Bargain Book Shopping.

*Note: I love how many people have weird pinkie toes. I don’t feel so alone in my freak toe-ness! :-p 

Happy first day of Spring!

DSCF4431

Yea, I’m calling bullshit on that. Where are you warm weather?!

But I digress…

Happy WIAW! Many thanks to Jenn for her hosting duties, as per usual.

So, for once I feel like I actually followed the WIAW theme of the month. These are my eats from yesterday, and there is a surprisingly large amount of green things. At least, by my standards.

So, on with it!

Breakfast

A usual around here, my old-lady Fibre 1 with a sprinkle of coconut chia granola and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. 2 eggs + 1/4 cup egg whites on the side.

DSCF4416

I’m pretty much the most uninventive person when it comes to breakfast. I love getting creative with dinners and the occasional lunch, but at 8:00 am apparently I’m incapable of putting together something fancy for breakfast. I’m ok with that though!

Pre\Post Workout

DSCF4423

A scoop of Watermelon-y BCAAs pre and post workout. Yesterday was leg day, AKA: I-am-really-going-to-hate-stairs-for-the-next-two-days day. Buuut it’s still my favourite Smile

I swung by the bookstore at my school on the way home because they were having a bargain book sale – each book was $2.50.

DSCF4451

Woot cheap books! I picked up:

  • Entertaining with Sopranos (I have no intention of hosting an Italian wedding or Christening anytime soon, but the recipes looked good)
  • The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook (It is never to early to start thinking about Christmas cookies. Never)
  • Suck it, wonder woman! – Olivia Munn (she’s hilarious, so I’m intrigued to read this)
  • a Laura Lippman book of short stories. As much I love my epically long novels (I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones) I seriously adore a ten-page story now and then. 

Although, before I left I noticed that they had a ‘Goosebumps’ book – Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes. I kind of really wished I had picked that up. I was obsessed with those books when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure I had the first 50 or so in the series?

 

Lunch

Post gym = lunchtime.

DSCF4425

A massaged kale salad (olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and honey, then topped with salt and pepper) with chopped carrots, buffalo-marinated tofu, and a piece of Irish soda bread with a bit of butter. I’m not going to lie, I kind of feel healthier just looking at that picture (kale and tofu have that effect, apparently).

And side note – I’m not a huge bread person (I like it, but I don’t generally go out of my way for it; I prefer potatoes, pasta, oats and rice for my carbs) but I’m obsessed with that stuff. I give it a month, maybe two max before I make it again. There was definitely a small hunk of two in the afternoon that escaped pictures Open-mouthed smile

Then an afternoon of school-related reading (what else is new?) and marking before class. First, a snack:

DSCF4434

Cottage cheese, strawberry jam, peanut butter and a crumbled graham cracker. Simple and delicious.

Dinner

Second side salad of the day – I’m impressed with myself.

DSCF4442

I had a chicken in the slow cooker all day, which I shredded when I got home from class. I cooked up half an onion, and tossed everything in buffalo sauce before shoving it into wraps.

That means I had buffalo-flavoured proteins for lunch and dinner yesterday. And I’m giving you a buffalo recipe tomorrow. Is it fair to say that I really, really like that stuff right now? (yes).

Dessert

DSCF4446

That would be a graham cracker topped with cookie butter and chocolate chips. It was one of the smartest things I’ve done lately.

Nighttime Snack

I wasn’t too hungry last night, but just to keep me going until morning:

DSCF4460

A few spoonfuls from my giant container of coconut Oikos. Ending the day on a good note. Open-mouthed smile

Hope your Wednesday is fabulous!

<— Would you rather read a book of short stories or a long novel?

<— What book collections did you have when you were a kid? I also had pretty sizable Nancy Drew, the Baby-Sitters Club, and Sweet Valley High collections!

<— Favourite carb? It’s a tough question, I know.