Happy Sunday

Reasons to be happy today

– Sleep! I slept in and had a nap, midday naps are just tops.

– These blondies http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/18/chocolate-chip-blondies-and-theyre-good-for-you/ are the most delicious, orgasmic thing I have eaten. Plus they are vegan, gluten-free and healthy! The best part is watching people fall in love with them then revealing the secret ingredient. The worst part is trying to not shove your face in the bowl and lick it like a 2 year old would.

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– This happened. Boo, the worlds cutest dog, climbed into a pile of soft toys and got all sleepy (okay more like he was strategically placed in that pile but that’s no fun). More cuteness http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/the-cutest-things-that-ever-happened

– As of last week I finished the couch to 5k plan. I hated running up until last December so I am pretty damn proud of myself for how far I have come. Sometimes it is hard not to look at people who do 5ks when they want an easy run and feel like I am still pretty useless. However I am choosing to look at the positives and pat myself on the back for making running a part of my week.

– Valentines day is coming! Note it is not called ‘couples fest’ or ‘relationship day’, no the holiday is all about love. Celebrate the love in your life which may come from family or amazing friends. It also seems like a good day to make cookies, with sprinkles, cut into cute shapes, because well why not?

What reasons do you have to be happy today?

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Soy Yoghurt Fail

ImageFeel good post-it of the day, if you haven’t heard of http://www.operationbeautiful.com go check it out now!

I had trouble sleeping last night which made for a crappy day. Since I was little I have had this problem where some nights I lie down and just don’t sleep. Believe me when I say that  have tried everything – milk, cherries, almonds, yoga, no caffine, no laptops – everything! But nothing seems to work. It really sucks but was made extra sucky but the fact that I had a breakfast date and had to be up at 7am, boo! I had planned on going for a run before hand but chose to sleep instead, sleep should always trump a workout.

After breakfast I napped, ran, ate left-over quinoa patties, read, went for a walk and did some circuit training. I realise that I sound like an annoying hard-out when it comes to exercise at the moment, but I promise I’m not!! I have been taking advantage of having extra time and also enjoying being outside in a pretty country – running in China is no fun.

As you can imagine I was really hungry after all this, and dinner of salald and bread just did not cut it. On my walk I went to the supermarket to pick up some blueberries and stumbled across something I have been looking for… plain soy yoghurt!

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I know that is totally lame, but this is something I have struggled to find. I eat vegan 90% of the time and really miss plain yoghurt. There is one vegan brand which is a damn good substitute and can actually be found in NZ,  but they only make flavored yoghurt and sometimes a girl needs plain so she can mix it with cocoa powder for a chocolate goodness treat. Don’t judge me, when I am craving massive amounts of chocolate this is a snack that has gotten me through some hard times.

It is pathetic how excited I was to try this. After dinner, when I got hungry I suddenly had visions of a bowl with rockmelon, blueberries, almond butter and said cocoa yoghurt. I got everything ready, opened the yoghurt bottle and tipped it expecting yoghurt to pour into my little bowl – instead disaster. This was not yoghurt, it looks like silken tofu, and tastes like it a bit too. So frustrating when a company makes a vegan alternative but they don’t quite get it right, how are we supposed to convince people that going vegan is easy with tofuey yoghurt on your cereal in the morning. Alas, I still made my snack.

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Terrible lighting in the kitchen, I must apologise. The snack is still super amazing, one of my go to bowls when I am pecky late at night and want something yummy. Of course seeing as I had been let down by my yoghurt, I felt it was okay to polish off my bowl with a couple of squares of dark chocolate. Served with a cup of vanilla tea. Decadent, but that’s how I roll.

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Any one else been let down by vegan replacements?

I workout

Heya, I had such a lovely day. It started with a sleep in which is always amazing, then another breakfast of peaches, chia seeds, cereal and coffee. ImageBliss…

Then me and the Mr went for a run together. Would you believe that we have been together 6 1/2 years and have never worked out as a couple, probably because when we met I was starting uni and just ate, drunk and did not move much unless it was to drunkenly walk home (I am sure I am not alone in this first year of uni experience). It was weird to not have music when I run but also refreshing, for once I could hear myself breath. Too bad that I was puffing and couldn’t really carry a conversation while running. What a sucky running partner! We did a good half hour though and it was so good to do something productive together. With it being summer much of our quality time had been making delicious gin and fruit concoctions we call infusions and taking them outside to enjoy.

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I spent the afternoon catching up with a really good friend who I hadn’t seen in forever. You know when it’s been ages and you just cannot stop talking with someone? It’s a sign of a great friendship when you can just slip into old habits like that.                                          

We have had a ton of quinoa in the house for ages so I decided to be good and use it for dinner tonight. I made sweet potato and quinoa patties that I found here http://www.fitsugar.com/Healthy-Sweet-Potato-Recipes-20077074?slide=6&_nz=66. They were super tasty. I omitted the celery because we didn’t have any and it isn’t in season and added spinach instead.

I have been trying to be a good little runner and do strength training and different types of workouts lately to build my legs. I think I hit the gold mine with http://www.fitsugar.com. Most people have probably heard about it but I am a bit behind like that and just stumbled across it on pinterest last week. The workouts are amazeballs because they are all about 10 minutes and you can chose if you want to do an intense cardio, strength training, arm workouts or whatever. I did a couples tonight and yeah my legs are killing me! Sometimes I look at days like this where I have worked out a lot and wonder how I am going to adjust when I go back to work. It is definitely easier to go for a run when you don’t have to go teach for 8 hours afterward. Curse you real life…

 

 

 

 

Rainy Day Eats

I woke up yesterday, managed to get my run in only to have it start drizzling as I was heading back. By 9am there was a killer rainy, windy heap of crap outside, yet another example of how NZ weather is so damn inconsistent. I was amazed when I went to Asia and the weather stayed the same for the whole summer. Instead I am now living in a place where the weather gods pick something out of a hat each day when it comes to Christchurch. Anyway on a brighter note rainy days mean food!

I had a hankering for some yummy Korean soup and drove out to Coscos to buy tofu and mung beans. Korean food is just amazing, this soup  is a soybean paste – a little like miso but stronger – that you just add to boiled water with veggies. It looks gross I know but is so damn good, especially when it’s cold outside and you add hot pepper flakes. Image

mhmmm Korean deonjang with edamame, mung beans, cabbage and tofu. This made my belly happy.

Today I woke up with more rain and the prospect of going into work which was just shitty. So I consoled myself with a bowl of oats and many topping. I am a huge fan of oats, and ever since reading Kath’s tribute (http://www.katheats.com/kaths-tribute-to-oatmeal) I see a bowl of oats as a challenge to create something food porn worthy.

ImageIn this bowl, 1/3 cup oats, 1 chopped peach, sprinkle of cranberries, chia seeds, a tsp of almond butter and a swirl of molasses. Is there anything better then nut butters on oats? The way it melts in and a tiny bit hides away until the last bite when you get a nut buttergasm.

This made me happy, particularly as I bought a salad and some fruit for lunch today. I like salads but not when its cold and only consists of lettuce, broccoli and hummus – what was I thinking! I took a photo of it but it was really sad and pathetic looking so I don’t want to share it. I have a habit of making lunch the night before when I am full and therefore think I should just bring something light and healthy. Do you do this too? Never fear I am heading home later to make roast vegetable and pesto pasta and possibly some form of  cookie. Because it’s gross and raining outside, here’s a picture of the worlds fluffiest bunny that I owned in China and now miss terribly. Image                                                 Awwww stealing my lunch like a boss.

love food, love you!

You know when you have that sudden impulse to cram everything tasty into your mouth and don’t give a shit about the consequences? When ice-cream with pieces of chocolate, zucchini muffin layered in almond butter is not a treat but a necessity? Yeah I had one of those tonight, the terrible feeling of binge eating followed by hours of guilt, and it sucks. As I sit here dwelling on what I just ate I am thinking about why I feel so terrible about it. I eat very healthy, most of my diet consists of hippy foods like chia seeds and spinach smoothies and I exercise daily. After moving to Korea I realised that I don’t need dairy in my daily life and that I was feeling much healthier without it. I started visiting vegan and food blogs and long story short I feel in love with whole foods and eating right. I came back from Asia lighter, happier and healthier. While I do eat chocolatey treats on a daily basis I can say that my diet is a damn good one which I should be proud of. So why is it that after one night of over-eating I am feeling like the worst person in the world?

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(excuse the creepy image, but I think I have this look of madness on my face when I over-eat)

It sucks to be a women. It really sucks to live with this pressure from society to look a certain way and to constantly think about what food we are putting into our mouths. But what really gets me is that we can’t allow ourselves to splurge and have a night of treating ourselves without immediately regretting it.  Food is awesome damnit, and while it is important to eat healthy it is also important to just stop and enjoy it, they are called treats for a reason! I am calling for women to stop feeling so guilty about sitting on the couch and binge eating every once in awhile and to just step back and say ‘damn that was delicious! Here’s why…

1) Men don’t feel guilty like women do after over-eating. Who hasn’t been with their boyfriend and eaten way too much pizza and chips washed down with a few beers only to feel like total shit while he feels fine. In fact he just lies back and relaxed without a care in the world. Next time you over-eat have a man approach, unbutton your pants and get comfy, why should they get to have all of the fun.

2) One binge is not going to make you any bigger! Yeah you feel bloated, but tomorrow morning you will be back to normal and your pants will still fit. As Georgina Kostas, director of nutrition at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas says, “it’s not what you do in one day, it’s what you do in one week.” As long as you are eating healthy 80%  of the time the scale isn’t going to change.

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(Parks and Recreations is my happy place)

3) You are a fabulous, sexy lady who shouldn’t let one night get you down! Don’t be worrying about what you just ate, reflect on how amazing you are for eating healthy most of the time, abut how you are a really fantastic person who deserves to ‘treat yo self’ every now and then.

4) Food is just awesome. I mean its so tasty and comforting and just amazing. While healthy foods are delicious too, sometimes you need to appreciate the texture of melted cheese and enjoy more then just a piece of chocolate.Image

(this is way too cute)

I am sitting here right now after stuffing my face with and instead of feeling bad I am doing these things, wearing my comfy pants, remembering how awesome I am for loosing a bit of weight over the past year and thinking about how tasty the almond butter was on the zucchini muffin. Tomorrow I know I will eat pretty good and instead of regretting tonight I am going to remember the nice fuzzy feeling of a full belly and happy taste buds. I urge you all to do the same, lets drop the guilt and bring on the food love!

 

 

 

hello there

First post, awkward? not if we don’t let it be. 

Confession – I am a super huge blog whore, seriously if that hoarders show could do a viral version the amount of blogs that I follow on a daily basis is concerning. I just love staring at photos of food that people eat, looking at their wedding photos, reading birthing stories (I am realising how much of a stalking I sound like as I write this), but I decided it was time I  start a little blog. One of the main reasons for this is that most of the blogs I read are written by women around 30ish who are married and have kids and a full time job. I have none of this. Instead I am in that awkward early 20s, I-just-spend-a-small-fortune-on-a-degree-and-can’t-get-a-job-and-am-not-sure-if-I-even-like-my-field point of life. I can’t be the only person experiencing these feelings of uncertainty about what career to take, worry about how much money I owe the government already, and fear because 23 used to seem really old but now that it’s here I do not feel mature at all! I want to write about this as a way for me to fall in love with my life and embrace being in my 20s. So top kick it off 10 things that might be nice to know about me…

Image1) I spent nearly a year in South Korea doing the whole teaching English thing, then moved to China, and am about to go back to South Korea. 

2) I have a fear of opening sparkling wine bottles, the cork will hit my eye I am sure of it.

Image3) I have a boy in my life, he travels with me. We have been together for over 6 years, it’s serious, he’s a good kid.

4) I have a weird OCD thing with marshmallows where I have to eat one of each colour. If there are only three white marshmallows left in the packet then I will not eat them. I must have one pink and one white.

5) My kareoke song is ‘Baby got Back’, I know all the words – no joke.

Image6) I have been a vegetarian for about 12 years, and a kind of accidental vegan for nearly 2. Yes it is hard at times in Asia explaining why you are picking pieces of spam out of your fried rice, but it is do-able. 

7) I love love love to bake and cook healthy treats. It is a small dream of mine to open up a vegan cafe in New Zealand.

8) When I was 10 I found the gray M&M in that promotion they had. First prize was $20,000 however that had already been claimed and instead I got the runner-up prize of just over a year supply of M&MS. They sent my family 400 packets of plain M&Ms and as I was 10 this seemed just as good to me as the money.

9) I cannot physically eat plain M&Ms after overdosing on them as a child.

10) Even though I am an English teacher I have terrible spelling. Whenever I spell something wrong I tell the children that it is the way we spell the word in New Zealand…

So now that the awkward first date is over I can go make myself a bowl of blueberries, almond milk and cocoa powder (delicious, try it) and spend a solid two hours on pinterest. Have a fantastic Saturday night!