Category Archives: Inspire

I Think I Can…I Know I Can

big003

It’s Monday already! Well, actually it’s my Wednesday today since I had Thursday and Friday off. I feel like time has been going by way to quick. Every day off I have involves running around trying to get everything done. I definitely have way more responsibilities and things to worry about now that I’m working in town. But that’s okay, it still leaves me time for myself. On Friday I did a little running around, then I went to get a pedicure. I haven’t had one in a long time, so it seemed like the perfect way to relax. I think it’s good to treat yourself. I’m definitely looking forward to my next vacation!

On Wednesday I went trail running with my friend from work. I haven’t done a ton of running, let alone trail running, so I had no idea what I facing up against. Cardio for me isn’t always fun. There’s nothing I hate more than staring at the same spot on the wall or constantly looking at the time while running on a treadmill. That’s why I really have been trying to improve on my outdoor running skills. It’s much nicer to look at different scenery and breath in fresh air.

We went out to the Otway Nordic Centre, which is a cross-country ski place in the winter. It’s full of trails! We were four of us; myself, Kari, another girl and a 72-year-old man who organizes the run 3 times a week. I’m not going to lie, he could outrun me any day. We ended up running 8 km all together, a lot of which was uphill. Those part’s killed me, especially near the end. I kept wanting to give up, and I would tell myself “No, you can do this!” Kari said I did pretty well for my first time. I felt pretty drained, but the next day I felt so good I wanted to do it again. I’m going to try and make it as much as I can and see how much I improve. Summer is nearly here, so I don’t want to spend all my workout time inside in a smelly gym.

After running with someone nearly triple my age and starting my course on aging, it has really made me think about how I want to age and the shape I’d like to be in when I’m 25. The book I’m reading right now is so interesting, I had to force myself to stop reading to write this blog. The decisions we make each day shape who we will be in the future. I don’t want to have a chronic disease or be stuck eating bland, baby-like food in a nursing home; I want to run, cook amazing food, travel and be able to enjoy life to the fullest in 50 years from now.

healthyat100

Does anyone have any advice for beginner runners? The thing that kills me the most is my lungs, not my legs. I’m thinking maybe I need to work on my breathing.

Hope you have a fantastic Monday!

Advertisements

Come on Summer

I don’t know about the rest of Canada, but the weather here in Prince George hasn’t been too promising.. Yesterday morning I woke up to blue skies and sunshine. I thought it would have been at least a little warmer outside, but it was still sitting at 0 and didn’t get above 2 degrees all day. I want to be able to go for long walks, runs, wear shorts, sit outside and read and go on picnics. It even snowed last weekend!

Besides complaining about the weather, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. I also ordered Meghan Telpner’s new book, Undiet. I made the granola recipe found in the book the day I got it. It turned out awesome! I had some last night with some goat’s yogurt. So far this book has been great and very interesting – it’s hard to put it down! I would especially recommend it to anyone that is looking to clean up their diet. Her story about overcoming her diagnosis of Crohn’s is very inspiring and motivating. It shows just how powerful food and a clear mind could be.

photo4

granola

granola2

Besides that I’ve made Jamaican Jerked Chicken, which turned out good, but I want to perfect the recipe before I post it. I’ve made Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies and I’ve also been eating a lot of colourful salads!

photo7photo (99)photo (100)

If you seen on Instagram, I also baked a cake. It’s a Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing. It was at my boyfriend’s request, and I can tell you that there is nothing healthy about it. However, it turned out great and I happily enjoyed a piece. There is a bakery in Vancouver called Edible Flours that makes the most amazing gluten-free (as well as egg and soy-free) cakes and pastries. They make donuts there that are to die for too!

photo8

I enjoy decorating cakes, what can I say? Well that’s it for today. It’s beautiful again outside, so I’m going to take the dogs out for a walk. I definitely miss the 30+ degree weather in Jamaica!

90 Day Challenge and Trip to Jamaica

Happy Saturday! So, after 2 weeks of frustrating internet at work, 2 amazing weeks in Jamaica, and then another 2 frustrating weeks, I’m finally home! I’m working on getting a job here in Prince George (instead of working in the middle of nowhere), so I’ll have internet all the time. How can I build my blog without the internet?

Jamaica was amazing. The country is absolutely gorgeous – and most importantly, nice and warm! We did a lot of relaxing, indulged in their great cuisine, played beach volleyball and went on a few different adventures. Would I go back? Definitely. Some of the excursions we went on include: snorkeling, zip lining, a boat cruise, climbing up Dunn’s River Falls, some Jamaican bobsledding and a little tour off the tourist map. Again, I had no complaints about the food at our resort. Every meal was delicious, especially the jerked chicken (omg)! I brought home jerk spice and managed to ask one of the cooks about his secrets. My plan is to try and match their succulent, mouth-watering, spicy chicken dish.

Below are a few pictures of our trip.

DSC00637 DSC00655 P2090435 DSC00735 DSC00576 DSC00624 DSC00657 DSC00685 DSC00722

I’m also starting my first 90 Day Challenge. Today is day 3! I’ve been going to the gym and eating healthy, but I want to push myself to get to my goal. My goal at the end of the 90 days is to:

–          Gain overall strength (specifically upper body and core)
–          Gain 5 lbs of lean muscle
–          Tone
–          Increase my energy
–          Increase my cardio
–          Be able to complete 30 successful pushups
 
photo (58)

I’m pretty pumped! With all of the working out I’ve been doing (even before the challenge), I feel like I have a metabolism of a teenager again – I’m hungry alllllll the time. I eat small meals throughout the day and get enough protein and other nutrients. I just finished Sports Nutrition with school, so I was able to calculate the number of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat I need for my level of activity.

I do need people for case studies, so let me know if you have any health goals you want to achieve. Also, if you’re interested in joining me in the 90 Day Challenge, send me an email, I’d love to fill you in!

That’s all for today! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend! Check back tomorrow as I have a delicious recipe for maple cinnamon almond butter.

Time to Get Moving

Hey everyone! It`s officially winter here. We got a good dump of snow a couple days ago. I`ve been off for 22 days now. Only 6 more to go, then I will be back stranded in the middle of nowhere. I have noticed a pattern of me only posting every 5 days. I swear the days go by so fast when you`re off work. It doesn`t help that it starts to get dark at 4:30pm here. At first we were trying to enjoying every day, but now it`s just kind of boring. I haven`t been cooking as much as I would like to be. When I was at work, I was posting every 2-3 days, even though I was working every day. I also was thinking about all the goals I had:

–          Find someone to redesign your blog
–          Get more traffic on blog
–          Do more cooking
–          Do more homework
–          Be more motivated
–          Start an online cooking show.
–          Exercise more
 

I have been exercising. I`ve been mixing it up with the gym and yoga. It`s amazing that when you are crazy busy, you always seem to fit so much into your busy schedule. I`m officially giving myself a kick in the butt! For the next 6 days, I`m going to be as productive as possible and enjoy every day to the fullest. I know what I want, I just need to discipline myself more and get it done! I have a whole vision in my mind of where I want this blog to go. Maybe I`m scared of making that big step, I`m not sure. I remember when I was in cooking school or working at a resort, I would always second guess myself. My Chef would say to go with my gut and be confident in my work. It took me a while, but eventually I gained more confidence in what I was doing. Successful people have confidence.

Being off work for so long hasn’t helped, but in the beginning I was going to use this time off to my advantage. This is what I have gotten done:

–          Bought my first truck and made it mine (I cleaned it up, bought new lights, a deck and new speakers)
–          Finished an entire course for school
–          Started doing yoga again
–          Went to see a personal trainer and have been going to the gym
–          Cooking and baking – but not enough
–          Made new friends
–          Spent time with friends and family
–          Have done some blogging – but not enough
 

So I haven`t been completely lazy. Writing that list made me feel a little better! Here is my list for my next 6 days off.

–          Start another course for school
–          Blog every 2 days
–          Come up with 3 awesome new recipes
–          Do some form of exercise every day
–          Find someone to redesign my blog
–          Write out a plan for my blog/brand
–          Do a practice run for my online cooking show and also have a plan for that
 

That`s what I have for now. I don`t want to overwhelm myself too much, as I need to relax and prepare myself to go back to work. Today I`m going do a bit of cleaning around the house, figure out a wicked dish to make for dinner, run a few errands, do a bit of homework and go to hot yoga this evening. I think it`s a reasonable list for today. I better get going and make it happen! Have an awesome day!

A Journey to Finding My Passion

This post is a dedication to my wonderful Mother and all the people who have inspired me and contributed to my obsession and passion for cooking and food.

Our passions and dreams all start somewhere. I can tell you that I wasn’t just born with this love for food. Maybe I was always destined for it, but as a kid, it was hard to get me to eat anything that was good for me. When I tell you I didn’t like any fruits or vegetables – I mean it. I liked corn, peas and potatoes (those were considered a vegetable for me). In terms of fruits, I ate bananas and apples if they were peeled. That is it – literally. I didn’t like salad, melons, raw vegetables or even carrots. Also, I didn’t like beef much at all. There is a catch though – my dad is a hunter. As a child, I ate bear, moose, deer, grouse and rabbit – and I loved it! We also fished so I ate walleye, pike, different types of trout, salmon, perch and probably a few other types. So as much as I didn’t like my veggies, at least I ate those. Actually I had refused to eat rabbit for the longest time because I thought they were too cute. One time my grandma made her famous chicken pot pie, and I told her “wow, this is the best one you’ve made yet!” That’s when they told me I was actually eating rabbit. I didn’t get too upset about it because it tasted so delcious.

I loved ice cream, chips and dip, chocolate, granola bars, baked goods, mashed potatoes and drank fruit punch because orange juice was gross (especially with pulp). I was lucky to have a fast metabolism. It’s not that my parents fed me all these things because they tried so hard to get me to eat more vegetables. I wasn’t free to eat all that as I pleased. Apparently, even as a baby I was picky, my milk had to be an exact temperature or I wouldn’t drink it. When my mom made chili or spaghetti sauce it wouldn’t have any ‘chunky’ vegetables in it or else we wouldn’t eat it. I was also one of those kids that always left something on their plate. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. My dad would be on me for it every time, and now, being older and more appreciative, can see why he tried so hard. There are so many children out there that would have loved to have a decent meal on the table – and they would eat everything, down to the last crumb.

We didn’t grow up in a wealthy family that went on all kinds of fancy trips and got everything we wanted. One thing we always did have was fresh food on the table. I may have liked junk, but my mom always made something that us kids would be able to eat. Weekends, our house would be filled with the smell of fresh cinnamon buns, homemade pies, amazing breakfasts, lasagnas, tourtiere (meat pie) and much more. Everything was made from scratch. I started learning how to cook at a young age being that I started babysitting my sister when I was 11. When there was a bake sale at school I was all over it. My mom and I would bake up a storm all day. I would make all the batters and she would prepare them to put in the oven. We were definitely a team!

I would say high school is when my taste buds started expanding a lot more. I began liking a lot more vegetables and wanted to try new things. In the summer my mom would tell me to get dinner ready while she was at work and also sent me to do the grocery shopping. My friends always wanted to come over for dinner because of my mom’s awesome cooking. I would bring baked goods to my friend’s places all the time. When I was bored, I would cook or bake.

My parents always took us on a lot of camping adventures too. Every weekend we would be out on some crazy outing whether it was ice fishing, boating, camping, spending time at a hunt camp (yes, my family is a little red neck, but I love it) and much more. One thing I learned from that was how to cook on a camp fire. I’m telling you, she would make as good as meals out there as at home. Even now she tells me about all the things she makes such as homemade bread.  Anything from ‘fish fries’ in the ice hut while you’re warming up with some hot chocolate, to an amazing omelette cooked over the fire while you’re camping.

In university I would cook my own food in the common kitchen in residence. When I moved into my own apartment, my mom and I would call each other and get dinner ideas. I was always jealous at what she was making. I would spend hours watching the Food Network dreaming of the decadent food and wanting to be like them. After spending a year and a half in university, I knew I wanted to pursue my passion and go to culinary school. I enrolled at the Culinary Institute of Canada in PEI and spent two years there. During that time I competed in competitions where I won gold, silver and bronze metals. I also worked at a hotel on Vancouver Island where I had an opportunity to join my executive chef in a photo shoot with Enroute Magazine (I have a copy at home). Eventually I knew I wasn’t happy being a line cook at a hotel and decided I needed to pursue my passion somewhere else. So here I am taking Holistic Nutrition and writing you this blog. I have a long way to go still and I might not know exactly where I’m headed, but I know the direction I want to go and I’m going to go get it.

Still, to this day, we both call each other for recipes and ideas. My whole family loves cooking. My grandma was an amazing cook. My aunts and uncles are also great too. Every family get-together is always filled with mouth-watering dishes – and good company of course. In terms of my taste buds, I love all kinds of foods and will try anything once. Some different ones I’ve tried include ostrich, emu, alligator, horse and frog’s legs. The only item I don’t quite like yet is raw tomatoes by themselves. I like fresh cherry tomatoes off the vine and I’m trying to like them more. It bothers me when I don’t like something!

I’m glad I have found my passion. Even though I’m sure it might change direction a bit, it will always end up back at what I love – food and cooking. Talking about all this cooking is really making me want to get in the kitchen and cook up a storm. Three more days and I’ll be able to do just that. I already have a baking party planned and some wonderful dinner ideas. This cold weather makes me want to bring out the slow cooker!

Hope everyone has an excellent Monday! Soon it will be my weekend every day for 27 days. We have a new company taking over, so I get a little extra time off. It’s a good time to do a lot of cooking, spend time with friends and family, and do homework and blogging. Talk to you soon!

You Can Do It

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone’s weekend has been awesome. I believe there are some early Halloween celebrations going on, but I’m in the middle of nowhere, so I have no idea what is going on in this world.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just felt awful. I woke up in the afternoon (I’m working night shift at the moment – 4 more to go), felt groggy and maybe a little grumpy. I’m sure you other bloggers can relate to me when I say my mind is going 24/7. I think about everything and anything. Usually it’s always positive, but then you have those moments where you think negative, and next thing you know it’s a big mess of horrible thoughts that you’re probably over reacting about. Being away from home for periods of a time, but stuck in the middle of nowhere, might have a little to do with it.

I really want to bring my blog to the next level. I’ve already started taking the steps to do it, but sometimes I can get a little discouraged. Sometimes I just want everything to happen right now. However, building a business or brand takes time and hard work. So far I am working on redesigning it and changing the focus a bit. I have a vision – but it’s a surprise. Apparently I need a lot of views to even have an advertising company look at my blog. That made me feel a little uneasy as it is A LOT more than what I am getting now. I also only started writing regularly in the last week and a half, so it’s my own fault for being lazy for the last year. But I’m ready to bring it on now! I’m motivated, driven and going to achieve my goals!

Feeling a little discouraged and overwhelmed made me think of a blog post I wrote quite a while ago. It’s called Courage – What are you afraid of? I remembered a night I attended with Conscious Diva’s that was based around fear and courage. I basically reread my whole post and sat there and thought. There is nothing wrong with fear – it’s having the courage to face it.

This was a list they gave us at the meeting:

How to Transition through Change with Courage

  1. Think of a time when you’ve embraced change easily and when it was challenging? How did you feel?
  2. What beliefs do you have about yourself when you think about making changes in your life?
  3. Are you going through a transition right now in any area of your life and if so what are your biggest fears?
  4. In order to make any changes in your life, what do you need to do? What fears does this bring up?
  5. What beliefs do you have about life that is stopping you from making the change/transition in your life that you want?
  6. Do you find yourself blaming anyone else for feeling unable to make the changes in your life you so desire?
  7. Do you feel courageous?
  8. What are you doing in your life right now that is courageous?
  9. If you had all the courage you needed, how would your life be different?
  10. What will you need to let go of in order to achieve that?

Ask these questions on a good day and I answer them confidently like I’m on top of the world. Ask them on a day such as yesterday, then I might be less confident and more likely to break down and tell you my fears. I’d probably tell you everything is impossible. You know, that overdramatic feeling you get when you’re upset. Oh how I love being a woman. Reading it helped a lot and made me remember my dreams and goals, as well as my reason.

I also came across these two quotes in the last week. One is from Kris at iheartwellness and the other is from Meghan Telpner.

“Be where you are, not where you think you should be.”

Every part of it is true. We need to be grateful for what we have and where we are now. Yes of course we eventually want to be somewhere else, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the moments we are living in the present.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

No one will ever stop me from achieving my goals except myself. I am in control with my life and have a choice! So if I want something, I just have to go get it!

I find writing always cheers me up – right now I feel so much better and ready to take on the new day. Fellow blogger or writers – do you find writing your thoughts help you regroup when you’re feeling a little down? Actually writing down my thoughts when I am in a good mood is great too. When I’m excited about something or have something to say I talk to Josh a million miles an hour and he just says “okay, slow down. I have no idea what you just said.” It’s kind of funny, but I can’t help it when I get excited like a little kid with candy sometimes.

Well that’s all for today! I have 4 days of work left and then I’m free to have as much fun as I want. I’m so excited to do a ton of cooking and share my recipes with you. Talk to you soon!

Dreaming of Food

Hey, how is everyone? I know I definitely didn’t keep my promise of blogging more often. I’ve been dying to write and decided to give myself a kick in the butt. It’s quite difficult working away with little internet and then having to run around like crazy when I’m home. I’m beginning to figure out a better balance and what my priorities are that’s for sure.

I’ve been going on a lot of adventures as usual. This summer I went to the Calgary Stampede and Banff, as well a fishing/camping road trip with my parents when they visited. Then there is every day adventures like hiking, quading, fishing, shooting (yea, blame the small town redneck in me and my boyfriend for that one) and planning random road trips. We almost went to Mexico last month, but decided to save the money for a sweet snowboarding trip to Banff or Whistler this winter. Plus I need to pay off my student loans asap so I can go travelling. I’m hoping to go to Thailand next year for a couple months. I’ve already started saving! The pictures below are from my adventures in the past few months.

This is close to where I work. We took the quad up there with a few friends. We had to hike quite a bit up once it was too steep to take the quad any further. It was breathtaking!

Another quading adventure. We had just gotten off work and stopped at Powder King (it’s a ski/snowboarding mountain) for some fun. This is way above it. And again, the view was unreal. I love being up in the mountains and breathing in the fresh air. We actually rolled it, but luckily neither us or the quad was injured.

 

Fun fishing adventures in Prince Rupert. We had a 2 day charter when my parents came to visit. This is me holding a 20 pound spring salmon.

 

On our way to the Stampede we stopped in Lake Louise at Moraine Lake and rented canoes. The water was so cold from the glaciers. The picture below this one is of Josh and Lukas jumping in 4 degree Celsius water. They were only in there for about a minute.

 

I have to tell you about what got me motivated to write again. Usually when I’m at work I complain about the food and how much I just want to cook. When we are on our days off, I cook as much as I can. I’m always thinking about what I should make or what we will have for our next meal. Josh says things like, “Is that all you think about” or “really, you’re thinking about food already – you just ate an hour ago.” I know it’s a little sad. It’s pretty much the first thing I think of in the morning when I wake up and feel my stomach grumbling. It made me realize that my true passion really is food. It doesn’t matter where I am, my life revolves around it. I get so excited about cooking and trying new dishes. I came across a website when I was looking for a recipe. It was called alldayidreamaboutfood.com. I can’t even tell you how much this describes me and I’m not exaggerating. I blame my mother actually; she’s exactly the same as me. That’s another thing he says to me, “you’re just like your mom; you’re always talking about food.” I think it’s a good thing, and he does too, but that’s because he gets fed all the time. I picked up the Canadian Living Christmas Baking magazine the other day and I already have a whole list of sweet treats I’m going to make. But don’t worry, I can make a whole batch of cookies and only eat one. I have some self-control!

So even though I’m busy with work and completing school by distance, I’ve promised myself I would keep up with blogging. Writing makes me happy and helps me get everything on my mind out. I don’t have a complete plan yet, but I’m on my way. I’m hoping to talk to Kris from iheartwellness about bringing my blog to the next level very soon. I’m also looking for someone to redesign the website. There is only so much I’m capable of doing on wordpress and it’s not very much. I was very proud when I first made this one, but after looking at other blogs, I think I need to kick it up a few notches. Mine is looking a little sad and needs some TLC. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere!

I’ve started to find a balance in terms of my lifestyle, health and diet. I’m still absolutely passionate about health and nutrition, however, I love too many types of food. I focus more on the quality and quantity. I love eating healthy, but I do have some favourite foods that aren’t necessarily the best choice. Chicken wings are definitely a weakness for me.  I also know that I must eat those things in moderation – especially if I want to maintain my weight of course. I bring so much food up to work with me. I always hit up the health food store and fill my tote up. I’m not saying the food is horribly disgusting here, but it’s not up to my standards. When I eat, I want to enjoy every morsel of food that enters my mouth.

On days off we try and eat as many meals at home as possible and always use whole ingredients of course. I think that’s what a lot of people are missing in their diet; whole, real foods. Prince George has a decent variety of places to shop, but it’s nothing compared to all the markets I used to go to in Vancouver. I miss wandering around Granville Island trying to hold myself back from buying everything. In my next blog I’ll tell you about all the things I cooked on my last days off.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic day. Check back in a few days for another post.

P.S. Found this quote on Facebook.

“I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so that you will eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes, good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” Marilyn Monroe