Tag Archives: health-fitness

Celebrating Fall with Black Bean Hummus and Yoga

Temperature: 20-22°C

Activity:

  • (Tues Sep 21) Fundamental Flow
  • (Wed Sep 15) 6k steady run; A cross between Detox Flow and Fundamental Flow

Clothes: Various pairs of Adidas shorts & pants, various Adidas shirts & Lululemon tops, Asics Nimbus.

Feeling: Honestly? Not so great, I think I stretched something in my right calf as it’s been complaining during my runs lately. I’m not quite at the stage where I’m keeping my fitness level up on the dreaded elliptical, but I can tell I’m going to end up there if I’m not careful. As a result, I’ve been trying to listen to my body by scaling back my runs a bit and taking full advantage of my 30-days unlimited pass at 889 Yonge in hopes to force my body to do some extra stretching. And you know what? I’m in love.

I can count on one hand how many yoga classes I had gone to in the past, and I don’t even need my hands to count how many classes I’ve enjoyed because the answer is zero. I’m still working my way through their beginner’s class called Fundamental Flow (I don’t have enough experience with yoga to know exactly what form of yoga it is, and every instructor teaches that class differently) but I’m finding the classes challenging enough that I’m content staying in classes at that level until I get more comfortable with the names of the different poses. At first I was disheartened slightly by how difficult it was to keep up with the instructor, but I feel myself improving each class (slow and steady gains!) and I always leave each class feeling fantastic and calm. Oh, the aromatic herbal tea that’s readily available just outside the class? Heaven! Sometimes I’ll sit on the sofa with a cup of tea after class and not even notice that I’ve dawdled for 20+ minutes. It’s amusing and kind of sad how impending injury is always the time that I discover something new that I love (although my spinning love was, admittedly, very short-lived) but now is better than never, right?

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In other news…..

Fall is here! Fall is here!

I celebrated the first day of Fall with an AMAZING bowl of oatmeal.

I started off with some plain hot overnight oats in a pot using steel cut oats. This morning, I reheated the oatmeal with blueberries, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla, chia seeds, honey cluster Fibre 1 cereal, almond butter, coconut, cacao nibs, and a drizzle of maple syrup and vanilla rice milk. It was out of this world.

I couldn’t resist posting a few more pictures than usual today. Mmmmmmmmmmm

Earlier this week, I was craving hummus but didn’t have any chickpeas on hand. I did however, have some black beans that were begging to be used. The wheels in my head started turning and I reasoned to myself that a hummus-flavoured black bean dip would most likely satisfy my craving. Apparently I wasn’t the only person who thought this, and immediately discovered that there are already a wealth of black bean hummus recipes floating around on the internet. I decided to use this one, except I added in some lemon zest, 2 tbsp white vinegar and didn’t bother with the olives because I didn’t have any on hand.

I’ve realized it’s kind of hard to make hummus look pretty in pictures, but TRUST ME when I say that this JUST as (if not more) delicious than typical chickpea hummus.

The real test was whether it would taste good in a cheese-less tortilla pizza. Um, YES!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been difficult to stay disciplined throughout the week by bringing my lunch to work and eating dinner at home each day. Some days are harder than others. When you’re coming home at 9pm or later and need to eat dinner right away, it’s even more challenging. So far I’ve been managing to do it. Apparently I’m a piggy though, because I’ve pretty much eaten through my vegetable/fruit share from last week. This week I ordered an all vegetable basket because I went through the vegetables too quickly. I’m a bit worried that I won’t be satisfied without having some fruit and may have to take a trip to the grocery store to stock up on it. Again, we’ll see! Ideally, I’d love to have all of my produce come from the delivery service so that my trips to grocery stores are just for specialty items like flour, oatmeal, dried beans, etc. I still have time to experiment though!

Mama Earth Organics and hot overnight oats in a pot

Temperature: I can’t remember now – but it was lovely both days.

Distance run/type:

  • (Wed Sep 15) 10 x 800m (aka. Yasso800s) speed intervals + 6k warm up/cool down
  • (Sat Sep 18) 35k LSD

Clothes: Various pairs of Adidas shorts & pants, various Adidas shirts & Lululemon tops, Asics Nimbus.

Feeling: Not going to lie, Wednesday was tough. My calf was hurting and it didn’t really go away until the third or fourth interval. Despite that, my interval times were pretty decent even though they weren’t exactly the same. By the the Saturday rolled around, I was even more nervous because my calf was still aching a bit. But we went at a very manageable pace and I actually finished feeling like I could have continued going. Not bad for the last long run of this training cycle! Let the taper begin…

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As you may or may not know, I’ve been searching for an organic food delivery service for quite a while now. See, I love the idea of eating more seasonal produce from local farmers in Ontario. While I love the idea of going to a certain location each week to pick up a box of fresh produce, having a specific place and window of time to pick up the box that isn’t within walking distance to my office or apartment was something I knew I couldn’t handle on a weekly basis.

After a few failed attempts at calling different local businesses to see if they would deliver to my office during business hours, I was met with a lot of refusals to do so — until I came across the Mama Earth Organics booth at the Vegetarian Food Fair from a few weeks ago.

The girl at the booth explained to me that they gladly deliver fresh organic produce to offices throughout the downtown area within a specified time frame. It seemed too good to be true! Needless to say, I signed up right away and excitedly counted down the days until I got my delivery. Initially I was expecting to get my delivery on Wednesday, but due to a slight mix-up, I didn’t end up getting my first delivery until Thursday. Wait, it gets better. Because the mix-up, Mama Earth threw in a free loaf of sour dough bread for me to try. The bread was amazing. It took all of my willpower to not eat the entire loaf in one sitting. In the end, I used it as part of a bruschetta appetizer at a party yesterday and it was a huge hit! THANK YOU, MAMA EARTH!

Below is a picture (taken from the trusty iPhone) of my first delivery.

I’d like to pause for a moment to admire the orange cauliflower in the corner. Make fun if you will – you wouldn’t be the first one to tease me for being so excited over fresh produce, but LOOK AT THE ORANGE CAULIFLOWER!!!!

Green beans!!

Zucchini & Macintosh apples!

I can NOT wait until next week’s delivery!!!

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Since Thursday, I’ve been cooking up a storm. I can’t exactly pinpoint how different the food tastes, but I can say that everything I’ve been cooking tastes even better. A part of that could be attributed to different spices in my cooking, but I suspect a bigger part of that is the addition of locally organic vegetables that are gracing my stove right now. I’m in love. Helplessly in love.

I never make good curry. Too many substitutes, and not enough of the “real deal” ingredients lying around my apartment. However, this curry, made with organic potatoes and orange cauliflower was outstanding. It tasted even better the next day.

Oh, and these shredded zucchini patties. Slathered in yellow mustard? Yes, please!

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Don’t worry oatmeal, I haven’t forgotten you.

With the weather getting cooler, the thought of a warm breakfast continues to be more appealing each day. For the most part, nothing can beat overnight oats has my breakfast choice – but I haven’t been able to deny my craving for a soothing bowl of warm oatmeal in the morning lately. Although there are some excellent methods to saving time by preparing your hot oats overnight (this method in particular made me tempted to upgrade my rice cooker!), I had to find another way to accomplish this since I have an old-school rice cooker that doesn’t have a timer and only has one “cook” function that once turned my quinoa into a crisp crust that took more than one day of soaking to clean up. My solution?

Hot overnight oats in a pot.

Want some hot steel cut oats in the morning without waiting 25-30 minutes to get it? No problem.

First you start out by boiling water. Use a 4:1 ratio (I used 1 cup water: 1/4 cup steel cut oats). Once the water boils, add the oats, remove the pot from the heat and go to bed.

In the morning, your oats will look like this. All you have to do now is re-heat and add in your favourite toppings.

In my case, this involved cinnamon, nutmeg, frozen papaya, frozen blueberries, coconut, almond butter, Fibre 1 honey clusters, and cacao nibs.

This particular batch actually had some quinoa mixed in because I ran out of steel cut oats. I was happy to discover that this method worked perfectly with quinoa as well!

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In conclusion? Oatmeal is the most versatile and delicious breakfast food ever. Don’t you agree?

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