Pumped for Pumpkin

I love fall.

I know my blog’s behind – I’ve still got a Summer 2012 (bucket list) page – but the chilly weather and the changing leafs leaf no question: fall’s here!

Besides busting out scarves and boots, I’m also busting out the festive eats. Rather than sugar myself up with pumpkin spice sauce from Starbucks (seriously, I used to get 4 good old pumps in my coffee at least once a day!) or whip up pumpkin bread, I got ambitious in the kitchen and whipped up a batch of paleo pumpkin granola this afternoon.

I credit Sarah for recommending the recipe from PaleOMG that served as my inspiration, which means I will also blame her if I look like a pumpkin after I eat it all. Besides drooling talking about this stuff today, we bonded over our mutual girl crush decided that we’d get along with Juli. If you haven’t gone to her blog, do it now but be ready to leave hungry.

Anyways, inspired I was so I busted out my apron and made like Martha…

Paleo Pumpkin Granola

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 tbsp. of flaxseeds
¼ cup raisins
10 chopped dates
pinch each of nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, mixing to blend.  Set aside.
Combine nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in a bowl. Add to wet ingredients.

Add spices.
Stir til moistened.

Spread on a baking sheet lined with a layer of parchment paper.

Bake for ~40 minutes or ‘til just starting to brown, turning once or twice to ensure even cooking.

Let cool/harden on sheet before devouring placing in an air-tight container.

Thoughts while consuming copious quantities taste-testing:

  • I am such a good cook.
  • Sarah better fund my new wardrobe in a size up.
  • Toasted pecans might have addictive qualities similar to those of heroin.
  • My apartment smells like heaven.
  • Juli is a genius.
  • I look hot in my apron.
  • I need to make granola more often.

Basically, the recipe was awesome. I made some switches—left out some cloves, added in some flaxseeds and raisins—and I’m happy with the turnout. I think I’d like it a little crunchier if I make another batch.

Since I’m just festive out my butt, I tossed the granola on top of an apple this evening. Deeeeelish!

If you make this, I recommend teasing your friends with it on instagram. Or tossing it over an apple–can you say festive flavours for fall? (You can, but maybe you shouldn’t). It’s breakfast. It’s a snack. It’s a dessert. It’s whatever you want.


Have you ever made a paleo/grain-free/gluten-free granola recipe? Was it crunchy?
What’s your favourite way to use pumpkin?

Start it right


Morning! I’m feeling particularly accomplished this morning.

I had three boot campers with smiles (or something like that) on their faces this morning, including Bee whose blog, Bee Goes Bananas, I’m sure you’d love if you aren’t already a reader!

After bootcamp, I decided to go for a morning run. It’s not uber hot out and I was feeling energized and pumped up (I guess my girls’ awesomeness rubbed off on me), but I was also feeling hungry so I had a quick energy gel and then hit the trails.




…and then the trails hit me.

It’s not as bad as that looks but I was dirty. I hustled home and to prove that there might have been blood and sweat but not tears, I snapped a photo. Girls don’t sweat, they glisten…remember?



If this isn’t a good look for me, I’m so shit out of luck because I  glisten like a pig every time I work out! I think this morning I probably did about 5 or 6 miles (we ran in our bootcamp workout–the one I posted yesterday) but I’m not sure since my garmin was dead and I frankly don’t care.

I refuelled with last night’s yogurt plus some kamut puffs and a banana. It was yummy, but it got yummier when I threw in some almonds and some chocolate soy milk. Oh hey, creating it as you go, you’re delicious!  The hungries I felt after my run are just proof that cardio = working up an appetite. All of a sudden it’s seeming kind of weird that people start working out and training for marathons and triathlons and all that to LOSE weight. I eat MORE when I train — not only physically do I need the extra calories but I definitely justify some things (i.e. the chocolate in this break) based on the workouts I do. Hmmmm…thoughts?! I think it was in Gary Taubes’ book that I read something about this whole phenomena…about how silly it is that we take up endless endurance exercise to lose weight when people also work out in this way in order to “work up an appetite” for instance if they have a big dinner to look forward to. Very interesting. Still, I loved my run this morning, I like riding my bike, and I enjoy swimming…so since that’s not my motivation I’m not crazy, right? 🙂


Now it’s time for me to get organized and get down to business on my writing! I promise myself not to blog ALL DAY LONG but that doesn’t mean I won’t probably get distracted reading blogs and all that fun stuff…oh well! I have this spare time, I might as well enjoy it. Starbucks here I come. 🙂 After my life coaching session, I’m going to hit up a yoga class since my workouts are done for the day. My main goal: stay upright, since I have a knack for falling over these days!

Have you ever bailed on a trail run? Did anyone see? No one was around when I fell so I had to laugh at myself instead of having the pleasure of providing entertainment for someone else!
What do you do with free time? 


Brownies don’t bring bliss

Recall my presentation this afternoon on stevia? It went pretty well. It helps when you bribe people with brownies…


Lucky for me there were leftovers. I gave the staff I see every day on my way to class the leftover “good” brownies (the ones from the box with sugar) and ended up with a couple of the stevia “brownies” left. In the mix: applesauce, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, dark chocolate chunks, vanilla and flour. I took the recipe from a site I searched out on google even though it didn’t get the best reviews. Simple. Not really dessert, if you ask me.

More like snack…


I was hungry before my hair appointment today so I went for it and had one of the goodies. I liked it, even if most of my classmates were not quite as into them. 🙂

In the past, a brownie for a snack never would have happened. Today, it did. And if it had happened in the past, you know what would have happened? Not the “bliss” I’d expect (the emotional soothing) but probably self loathing or a binge. While the brownie didn’t bring me bliss this afternoon (I don’t think even the best brownies in the world could do that), a couple of things did:

  • getting rid of my mullet


  • a really good smoothie for dins (pumpkin, yogurt, soy milk, flaxseeds, pumpkin pie spice, and spinach, topped with oats)



  • an evening at Starbucks with an impromptu study partner (a friend from the gym who has a knack for bringing my stress levels down and making me laugh)
  • a mocha (’nuff said)


  • finishing a project that’s due tomorrow
  • getting my last source for my article that’s due tomorrow (thank god for helpful people and admitting that you’re a student journalist in a bit of a pickle/rush!)
  • TMI warning!!!!! … a visit from Aunt Flo, NO PILLS/RING/ANYTHING required 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
  • not letting myself get stressed right now even though I “should” be

a little extreme, but you’re laughing. and it’s true.

  • tomorrow being Friday!
See what I’m getting at here?

Your take-aways from this post:

a) Focus on the positive.

b) Eat brownies.

c) Liberate yourself. Cut your hair, run in your sports bra, do something that makes you different.

d) Put spinach in your next smoothie.

e) Smile.


What brought you a little bliss today?
Have you ever baked with stevia?

Old and new


Reasons why I’m smiling:

  • sunshine
  • plans for a bike ride this afternoon
  • seeing a friend last night at spin class
  • it makes people think I’m up to something…

Still no internet at my apartment = an excuse for spending the morning at Starbucks. I was going to go to the gym and try a core class but to be honest, I would rather save my energy for the ride this afternoon and since my hip feels tight (not painful, just weird and unnerving because I’m a worrier), I’m just erring on the side of extra recovery.

And I had stuff to do…like finishing the Human Kinetics Advanced Exercise Nutrition course I registered for ages ago to get myself rectified as a fitness instructor/personal trainer. I wrote the exam this morning (online) and besides getting 2 questions/50 wrong, I have no complaints. I emailed the results and my up to date first aid card just now and I cannot wait to cross this off my to do list (it’s been on there for wayyy too long!). Yay for productivity.

Also yay for last night’s dinner–a pasta mix with kale that needed eating, turkey sausage, onions, and garlic. A little bit of butter and some parmesan cheese instead of sauce made for perfection on a plate!

This sat surprisingly well during my spin class! I also loved the playlist (which I kind of threw together just using songs I wanted to hear) and seeing an old friend (it’s been too long!).  Like I whined, I am apprehensive about my hip. During some of the standing climbs, things felt extra weird (my lower back is tight too, which makes sense). At the expense of being one of those people who complains too much, I’ll stop now. I foam rolled last night and I took the time to do my physio exercises for 10 minutes first thing today. 10 minutes. So pathetic that I’ve been too lazy to do them lately…PRIORITIES! Why was I saving them for bedtime when I would inevitably want to skip them and fall asleep? Silly.

When I got home last night, I was seriously uninterested in my usual yogurt snack. I was really interested in my leftover turkey, but I went with a snack of tuna instead because I really want leftovers today…

I mixed in half greek yogurt and half mayonnaise and threw some red pepper in to spice it up. I used to eat tuna as a snack every damn day and I was so sick of it for way too long…but when your mouth starts watering at the thought of something + you are legitimately hungry, I say go with it, even if it’s something weird or for me, something I thought of as an ED-approved behaviour (i.e. since ED said it was okay, I kind of during recovery said that I shouldn’t have it. silly! back to yesterday’s thoughts).

When I went to bed, I took some medicine because my throat’s been sore since I got home this weekend. I slept for about 9 hours (bliss) and then got up and started my day off with another bowl of oats. Breaking out of the cereal rut, one bowl at at time. This time I added an apple, raisins, walnuts, and brown sugar plus soy milk. Yum. I read Katie’s oatmeal ideas shortly after and wished I’d been MORE creative. The good news is I get to eat breakfast every day for a really long time, so there are plenty of opportunities to get creative and delicious!

After my morning spent working on that course and doing all kinds blog reading (I’m going through withdrawal, a little, because it’s not the same on my phone!) and drinking a ton of coffee, I ate a quick lunch (an almond butter, sprout, and carrot sandwich with extra carrots on the go) and now it’s time for me to head to an appointment! I’m hoping to meet up with a friend this afternoon before my bike ride. Tonight is a staff meeting at the gym so I’ll be busy busy and tomorrow I should have internet again. All will be right in the world.

And just an FYI, we’re 230 days from Christmas. Had to throw that in there…

What are your favourite oatmeal toppers?
What are you counting down to? 

How much is too much?

So, looking back on my eats, one thing stands out. I am loving the high fibre cereal right now.

Last night, post-spin, I had yogurt with All Bran Buds.


This morning, I combo’d more of the buds with Kashi and berries and soy milk for breakfast before swim.


I had a snack that was not cereal–an apple–and after swim I ate a big salad with turkey, sweet potato, maple vinaigrette, dried cranberries, and pecans.


I also did some core work and stretching with my swim because I’m nervous about my back of the knee pain. I thought it was in my hamstring, but now I think it’s in my calf. And I had calf pain last year similarly, so I know I can get through it. Nonetheless, blasting these songs is necessary:

And I’m moving on. I had a snack of more All Bran (but the original kind, so there’s the variety I know is important) with you guessed it, yogurt when I got home from texting and reading blogs at Starbucks  studying. Tomorrow’s exam is worth 20%, is open book, and is a Writing exam. I’m not sure what to expect because I’ve never had one of these before! So I’m studying a bit, staying calm, and trying not to worry (recall epiphany?).


I’m just about to gear up for a ride. I hope my calf cooperates but I’m ready to do whatever I need to to take care of this/nip it in the bud! I think there’s a massage in my future and I’ll be stretching extra with all my spare time, rather than compulsively googling “back of the knee pain” etc. etc. and freaking myself out. Tonight I’m planning on seeing some friends, perhaps eating some fro yo, and on making sure I don’t eat All Bran for dinner! My fibre intake for the day is already over 50 grams, which is double the recommended intake. Yes, I am regular, thank you very much!

PS On my walk home today, I had time to slow down and notice some pretty flowers. Sometimes I get so in the zone and have my headphones on and my mind racing, but today I tried to walk and enjoy it! And tah-dah, look what stared me in the face!


Do you ever get in food ruts?
Do you know if you eat enough fibre? 

Wordless WIAW…with words?

That whole going wordless thing seems silly considering I have something worth saying.

I handed in my exam/essays today which means I am officially done my Kinesiology courses. That’s a degree, folks!

Holy crap.

My stomach is in knots and I think it’s just all the change/excitement getting to me.

I did not eat anything weird today…

just one, not the whole box. and i split it between pre swim and post spin snack.


apple, carrot, turkey, and cranberry salad with some almonds.


greek yogurt, mini eggs, and some honey!


vanilla/cake batter fro yo, a bunch of pineapple, granola, coconut, and a cherry on top. with chia seeds. this is a nutritional marvel. and it's dinner. not cheap. not ideal on a regular basis. but delicious!

It was a delicious day, but really random. And my stomach hurt every time I ate. Or drank. Strange indeed. I am hoping this sickness is stepping in for the migraine I was expecting when the calm after the storm hit?

Though to be honest the calm didn’t hit.

I celebrated today by spending lots of quality time with friends (breakfast date with a bunch of great folks, afternoon shopping with Angela, evening hangouts with Rache/seeing some other tri friends who always make me laugh) and by training plenty.

And, I’m pooped. Looking forward to a massage tomorrow. And to a swim with friends. And to a double dose of year end dinners (I don’t know what to wear! Eek!). And I’ll probably be ravenous since today was a really weird day for eating. I’m open to filling my hollow leg tomorrow, no problemo!

What was tasty for you today?
Ever finished a degree? How’d you celebrate?

Sleeping in, getting serious, and a shocker

After staying up late last night to plug away at my essay, I slept in til about 7 instead of going to swim.

My pre-library breakfast was oats, yogurt, maple syrup, raisins, and an apple.


After a bit more progress on the paper, I had an appointment with the dietitian. I’ve been feeling like I’m picking at food a lot and have been a bit over-anxious about my choices, so I was grateful to have someone to talk it out with! To be honest I was feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning and I’m uber sore from yesterday, so my plans to head to the pool for a short swim post-appointment were abandoned in the name of more essay work…and lunch!

Since it’s chilly out, I embraced the opportunity to have some chili. Plus I walked past Tim Horton’s and had a craving for it when I saw someone getting it! Mine’s the PC Blue Menu vegetarian kind, and it was awesome with toasted whole grain sourdough bread.


My dessert was an apple and more essay.


Guess what?!

The writing part’s done. Now to cite, cut down four pages (or not, thoughts on going over and handing it in?), and look for people willing to read over it for me.

Actually, now to the shocker part of the title.

This article about beetles in starbucks drinks came up on my Facebook news feed today. As the article says, it’s nothing new. I never knew, though, that there were beetles in that food dye that is in so many foods! I guess it’s a bit more reason to eat more real foods, don’t you think?

I read a blog about the issue from a vegan who pointed out that eating bugs is wrong. Then a friend posted a link to an article about how bugs might provide the protein the world needs to deal with hunger, and I thought about how there are a lot of answers and was reminding of Eating Animals and the shocking suggestion that really shook me that eating dogs would be logical. Read an excerpt on it here (but only if you’re ready to seriously consider going vegetarian and probably to cry).

And hopefully that’s enough distraction to keep you occupied for a while since the next few days might be a whirlwind for me. Right now I’m off to physio…wish me luck! On the agenda tonight: I’d like to cook, finish these citations, and get to yoga.

Do you ever have strawberry frappucinos? Will you still?
Did you know about that food dye?
What do you think about the excerpt from Eating Animals?
How do you know it’s time for a day off from the gym?

(relatively) wordless recap/wiaw

It’s essay time but I thought I’d do a quick post so I have less things on my list of “what I’d rather be doing”…

So here ya go:


yogurt, all bran buds, honey, banana, and walnuts


kale chips, tempeh sandwich (with light mayo and sprouts on ezekiel bread)


coffee -- lucked out that they ran out of soy so i got to crack open a mini almond milk! YUM


messy but delish


hummed and ha ed but decided to have nut butter twice (in decent amounts) today--a la Nancy Clark suggesting if you eat foods that "have power" over you enough, they lose that power...to own that decision, and to NOT have peanut butter fingers after this meal. and I did it. HA! empowering.


one, not all


decaf coffee = essay fuel

And what all that food went to fuel today:

Plus a massage. Oh my hips love my RMT. And so does my soul, cuz she’s one of the coolest people I can think of.

That’s all…

How was your Wednesday?
What’s the tastiest thing you ate today? (squash)
Did you work out today? 


Tired Tuesday

It’s not even 9:30 and I am ready for bed. I’m trying to keep myself occupied for a bit longer before a foam roll/stretch session and then hopefully a good night’s sleep!

This afternoon was not that productive…but I did manage to check a few little assignments off my to do list (decided to keep my essay on the to do list til I can really dive in — hoping to finish it tomorrow).

I also managed to make a colourful version of ants on a log using carrots, a mix of almond/peanut butter, and raisins. So easy, so good.


I thought this would be uber filling but I was hungry again in about two hours so I went for an apple before teaching bootcamp!


It was delish. I also did a 20 minute run. 20 minutes! Slow and steady was the name of the game. I need that foam roll session…

The bootcamp workout was inspired by Nina’s suggestion and looked like this

  • Warmup (general fitness warmup)
  • BODY WEIGHT/CARDIO (50 seconds on/10 seconds off): pushups, jump squats, jump lunges, burpee/jack
  • STATIONS (1 minute at each): pushup/pike on stability ball, jump rope, cleans, plank with dumbbell row, dumbbell thrusters
  • body weight/cardio repeated
  • stations repeated
  • body weight/cardio repeated
  • stations repeated
  • ABS: marathon abs (1 minute of each) with the 6 girls choosing their favs = plank, leg raises, reverse crunches, oblique crunches, a crunch with one leg crossed over (i don’t have a name for this), sit ups
Sweaty. 🙂 I didn’t do most of it with them, but I did do the core stuff at the end! Bring on the abs of steel.
Dinner was a quick one! I cooked up some tempeh and had it on ezekiel bread with light mayo and sprouts. On the side, I had romaine lettuce/sprouts with light caesar dressing. Delicious.


Andddd, permission to go to bed!

I have an early spin on the agenda tomorrow, followed by class, hopefully going to a presentation, and a massage before bootcamp. And that essay…

Do you procrastinate with essays?
Have you tried tempeh?

What’s your fav ab move?