Friday, January 31, 2014

Five Things Friday {1}


Congratulations to all of us for making it through another week.  Gosh, it's just the best feeling!

I decided to participate in the Five Things Friday link up hosted by Clare at Fitting It All In because I love reading other people's Five Things!! 

5 Things I Ate:

Root Beer Pulled Pork

This recipe hails from Healthful Pursuit, and it's a winner!!!  Cody's dad and I put our pulled pork on mashed sweet potatoes while Cody and his bro went with delicious looking buns.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe such as using about a 3 lb pork tenderloin and replacing the Zevia Root Beer with Blue Sky Root Beer.

Quinoa Crusted Snapper in a Chili Lime Marinade

I've featured this recipe from Inspired Edibles using sole on a different Friday, but thought it merited mentioning that snapper is also a delicious option!  As well, this time I used olive oil instead of coconut oil and marinated the fish in the fridge for a little while.  It was more flavorful this way and also the quinoa flake mixture stuck a lot better since the olive oil didn't harden like the coconut oil did.

Lara Bars

Lara Bars have been saving my snack life this week!  Since I didn't prep many snacky foods, these have been my go-to and it's great to have a good option available for grabbing out of the pantry.  This week I had Coconut, Apple, and tried Blueberry for the first time!


Such a yummy snack!!!  My favorite way to dress my popcorn:  pumpkin seed oil, chili powder, nutritional yeast flakes, sea salt.  So good.

Hardbite Chips

I buy them mostly because they're tasty, but I have to admit a big winner for me is that they have pictures from different BC scenes on each different flavor's bag!!!  Smokin' BBQ, for example, is a pic from the Kootenays and Rock Salt & Vinegar is a surfer catching waves in Tofino; very smart marketing, I may be a sucker to fall for this but I really do think it's cool!

5 Songs I'm Turning Up:

Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys

White Walls - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

What If I Was Willing - Chris Carmack (From Nashville!!)

Sweater Weather - The Neighborhood

Drink to That All Night - Jerrod Niemann

5 Words/Phrases/Things I've Learned From My In-Laws:

"Dirty Bulking" - When someone is eating a surplus of calories to bulk up, and they incorporate those extra calories in the form of McDonald's or junk food.

"Freshie" - Like a powder day, new snow.

"Like it's my job" - For example:  "I checked the snow report all day like it was my job".

One footed tricks are the new thing to do on a snowboard.  As in you do a back flip with only one foot strapped in to your binding.

You can never have too many blender bottles.  You can use your blender bottle to mix up scrambled eggs.

5 Things I'm Coveting From Winners:

This tree painting, it's huge and would fill up our loft wall perfectly.

This tree, we have a smaller version but this one is big and I think it would look great above our headboard.

This chair, to use as a desk chair.  Currently I have a crappy folding chair at my desk and it's hard to spend more than an hour sitting there.  Uncomfortable.  This chair = comfortable. 

Maxi Dresses.  I bought a really cute one last time I was in, and it's got the perfect racer back and I think it could be dressed up or down.  Now I want a few more...

Tights.  Winners has the most amazing selection of tights and I would be happy to stock up on some more

5 Reasons I'm So Excited To Eat At Pedal and Tap Tonight!!:

One:  We don't have to cook

Two:  We don't have to clean up

Three:  I would really love a Pedal to the Meadow burger, please

Four:  I would also love to have a delicious caeser

Five:  Pedal and Tap is always a win

Be sure to check the link up to read other bloggers Five Things Friday post.  Enjoy your weekend!!

XO - Michelle

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things {1}

Well hello to the snow!!!  It was beginning to look a lot like spring, and then BAM I got to work this morning and it started dumping!!! (I am not complaining).


Aside from the snow, I thought I would share some other things that I've been loving lately:

Oleo & Spice and everything nice Thai Spice Blend

We bought this spice in Nelson, BC at the farmer's market this summer and it is awesome!!  I especially love it on white fish.  We used it on our sole for fish tacos and it was amaaazing.  I haven't seen it for sale actually at all around Cranbrook/Kimberley.  Their hot sauce is for sale at Save On Foods in Cranbrook, but the spices.. harder to find...  If you see it around please let me know!!

My Phone Case

I found this phone case on Etsy after searching around for the loooongest time trying to find "the one".  Like months.  For whatever reason.  Anywho, I'm so thankful that I waited until finding this one!  Awesome purchase.


Hunter Boots

I've discussed them before, but could repeat it a million times.  Hunter Boots ROCK!  I have a pair of rain boots from Target as well, and while they are also cute, Hunter boots are just where it's at.  Quality with a capital Q.  My Sovereign Purple ones are this style and I just think they are so beautiful!!  Next on my color wishlist would be the Crimson Pink, Lipstick, or Feather Blue.


SmartWool Base Layer

I have been wanting a SmartWool base layer shirt for the longest time, and finally found the one I wanted for a good deal at Sierra Trading Post.  Such a great purchase.  It's my most comfortable, best fitting base layer and keeps me warm without making me too warm.  This one's official name is the NTS Midweight Pattern Base Layer Top.


The Start Here Diet by Tosca Reno

I'm not even half way through but I am freaking out at how good this book is!!  Tosca Reno has a way with words and I feel like almost anyone could totally relate to some part of her story and take away tons of positivity from reading any of her books, but especially this one.  I really really really hope that everyone takes the time to read it!


XO - Michelle

Monday, January 27, 2014

Make A Plan Monday {3}

Welcome to a new week!!

I am happy to report that I got my butt off the couch this weekend and am definitely reaping the rewards.  It's crazy how important it is to get moving, especially at this time of year when the winter blues come crashing in.  Check out this post from Peace, Love, & Oats about fighting the winter blues!

Cody is due home today, as are his Dad and brother who are coming down for a snowboarding trip and visit.  I am keeping my expectations of myself low this week as I know I'll feel busy with visiting and hostessing, so just want to focus on a few things:
  • Keep healthy options available, and choose them over snacky/socializing foods
  • Try to get out for walks or do some yoga (see below for my yoga discovery)
  • Keep the house tidy and laundry caught up to help me feel calm and organized
And that's it!  Other than that I plan on visiting and hopefully going out for dinner one night.

Instead of structuring a menu plan for this week's dinners I just came up with a list of ideas and bought the ingredients, this way we can go with what everyone feels like that night:

Dinners for the week of January 27-31

Root Beer Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Quinoa Crusted Sole in Chili Lime Marinade
Barbeque Bacon Burger
Pedal and Tap
Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili
Quinoa Bowl with Tofu or Prawns

Remember to check out Food I'm Loving Friday for my fave eats from that week.


In exercise news, although my week seemed off to a horrendous start I finished on a positive note.  

Saturday I got out for a great walk in the community forest with my pals Danielle and Kirsten which felt so great!!  Fresh air and conversation with friends is the best!  We walked for around an hour and then parted ways.  I then went to my parents house and they were just headed out for a neighborhood walk, so I joined them for another 45 mins or so.  It was icy on both of my walks which translates to some sore inner thighs from trying to hold myself up!  Luckily I managed to not bail, which is pretty rare for me :)

Sunday I had big plans of doing something but by the time I finished cleaning and organizing it was evening and I was beat!!  Danielle and  Kirsten had been talking about yoga the day before and that thought sent me to old faithful (Google) to see if I could find some sort of online class.  I found a great website called Do Yoga With Me that allows you to filter skill level and class length so I completed my first yoga class and loved it!!!

I hope your week is off to a positive start!!

XO - Michelle

Friday, January 24, 2014

Food I'm Loving Friday {3}

Well, this week.  What a doozy!  I think the winter blues are setting in because boy oh boy there was not a lot of activity going on this week for me!  Food I’m Loving Friday is a one recipe Friday this week as I didn’t get nearly as much food making in as I had hoped, but that’s ok.

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado

I didn't even take a picture, oops.  This recipe from Cookie and Kate looked amazing, and I am so glad I made the decision to choose this chili instead of the other gazillion options out there.  Peeling a squash sounds like a huge pain in the butt, but it actually was quite easy.  I followed these instructions and it was no big deal.  I couldn't find a butternut squash when I was at Save-On so went with an acorn and it was really good.  Definitely try this recipe!!!

I didn't work out this week at all either, and that is something I really want to rectify next week as well as actually cooking some food.  I have my Rip:60 plan ready to go, but would be happy even just getting away for a walk.  Gotta start somewhere.

Happy Friday!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Make A Plan Monday {2} & Fitness Choices

Good Morning!  Ugh back to Monday again?!  How come the weekend always goes so fast?!

This week I'm hoping to focus on:
  • Following my workout plan (see below)
  • Starting my next course in school - Anatomy and Physiology - yikes!
  • Turning my electronics off at 9, except for a goodnight text to Cody
  • Watching less TV - I'm thinking of eliminating Netflix for the next little while and only watching the shows I PVR after I've done my workout for the day
Meal Plan for Jan 20-24
Monday:  Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili
Tuesday:  Cilantro Chili Chicken Burgers
Wednesday:  Quinoa Breaded Sole with Asparagus
Thursday:  Baked Tofu Quinoa Bowl
Friday:  Wing it

I wanted to say a little something about fitness.  As I mentioned on Friday, I haven't been working out nearly as much as I had been thinking I would.  I gave myself some time to think it over and figure out the why's, and here's what I've got:

I am all over the map when it comes to fitness.  My issue lately is that what I feel is the most productive and effective use of my workout time is not something I feel like doing.  I've always been a huge believer in weight lifting and no matter what the fitness goal I 100% believe that a program like James Wilson's Fitness Map fits the bill.  I lost almost all of my weight by circuit training with dumbbells, and it totally worked.  BUT I don't want to head down to my basement and lift.  It's not usual for me, but it's what's happening lately.

With my new found knowledge of listening to myself and my body, I've been looking for alternatives.  I'm still hoping to get back to loving to lift, but for now I'm going to do something else.  I weighed my options and ultimately have decided to try using my Rip:60 (similar to the more commonly known TRX) for the next while.  It hooks up wherever which means I can workout in my loft which seems to be my area of choice lately, and while it isn't weight lifting it is using my body weight and trust me, it's freaking hard work.

I've been trying to decide what kind of program to follow, how many days per week to workout, etc. and have settled on doing three full body workouts per week, circuit style, plus outdoor activities or whatever else strikes my fancy.  I'll be posting my workouts from the previous week every Monday, so stay tuned.

XO - Michelle

Friday, January 17, 2014

Food I'm Loving Friday {2}

This was a pretty good week.  It seems as though almost everyone in my life is trying to make their lifestyle a healthier one, thereby making my lifestyle a healthier one!  Texts and conversations with friends, family, and Cody throughout the day keeps those healthy thoughts in the forefront, which seems to be the key to success.

While I didn't work out nearly as much as I was hoping, I took some of the advice that I gave to a friend and focused on eating healthy meals and not feeling guilt over the lack of scheduled exercise.  The healthier my food choices get, the more energy I'm going to have in the coming weeks to add more and more exercise to my life.

Props to:
  • Cody for heading to the gym almost every night this week!!  Knowing he's dedicated makes me want to be dedicated as well!
  • Nancy for making healthy food choices all week long and texting me daily to check in
  • Danielle & Kirsten for a lovely dinner out at Hot Shots full of positive conversation
  • Mom for making me a healthy lunch when I didn't bring anything into town and keeping me upbeat

Happy Friday y'all!!!

Food I'm Loving Friday

Jennies Carob Macaroons

Cody put some of these in my stocking and they're a really decadent treat/snack! 

Beer and Bacon Chicken with Gravy 

You can never go wrong with a Healthful Pursuit recipe!  My mom made this for family dinner and it was absolutely yum!  We used GF beer and had sides of mashed sweet potato, roasted beet/turnip/carrot, rice, and salad.  I plan on using this recipe at my house sometime soon!  It's also one of those meals that makes the house smell amazing all day!!

Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

These breakfast cookies from Eating Bird Food are the perfect morning snack!  Kind of like a chocolate chip banana muffin, kind of like oatmeal; my new 10 am go-to snack :)

Quinoa Crusted Sole  

A healthy version of crispy breaded fish, I saw this recipe from Inspired Edibles on Pinterest and am so glad I tried it!!

XO - Michelle

Monday, January 13, 2014

Make A Plan Monday {1} & Hunter Boot Love


Well hello to a new week!  I'm ready to tackle this week full on keeping some important things in mind:
  • Get into a beneficial sleep pattern.  I would like to aim for being in bed by 9:30/10:00 pm and waking up at 6:00 am
  • Do a major house clean.  
  • Add more exercise!  I have been flirting with the thought of trying James Wilson's Fitness Map workouts again, or just riding my bike in the basement... will keep you posted :)
  • Practice positive thinking.  I read a blog post from Alison Smith about creating a gratitude jar and it seems like a really neat way to find some positives in each day. 
  • Work hard on school!  I am ready to do my second test and move on to the next section!!
What a great weekend.  Family dinner, episodes of Chuck on Netflix, cuddles with Cody and Phil, SNOW and shoveling, grocery shopping, and finally some good sleeps!  On the down side Cody had to go back to work yesterday, what a bummer!!! 

Waking up to snow, Cody shoveling, Me admiring the snow, IN LOVE with my new Hunter boots!
Can I just take a moment to say how awesome Hunter Boots are?!  You may think it's weird to wear rain boots in the snow, but it's actually genius.  They are warm (if paired with wool socks), dry, and comfortable; not to mention tall and snug enough that snow rarely finds it's way in.  I have been wanting a pair for so long and Cody bought me some for Christmas - in purple.  He is awesome.

Meal Plan for Jan 13-17

Monday:  Quinoa Crusted Sole with Rainbow Salad
Tuesday:  Cilantro Chili Turkey Burgers
Wednesday:  Baked Tofu Rice Bowl
Thursday:  Prawns and Quinoa Bowl
Friday:  Wing it

I tend to wing it on the weekends because they are busy, I may end up in town or visiting friends, and it's a chance to use up any left overs or odds and ends.  In the future, as my goals change, I'll probably start planning for Sat & Sun as well.

My wonderful friend Danielle got home yesterday which is very exciting for me!  She is my best friend as well as someone who inspires me to stay on the healthy track, so I missed her very much for the eleven whole days that she was away.  The only sad part is it means I had to give her kitten, Phil, back this morning.  Damn.  I already miss his freight train purring.

Phil hogging the remote, Phil helping me with school, Phil rearranging the shoe rack

XO - Michelle

Friday, January 10, 2014

Food I'm Loving Friday {1}

Yahoooo!  Another weekend is here, so happy :)

My most favorite, share-worthy eats from this week:

Deer Tacos

My mom made bison tacos last week that she was kind enough to share with me for lunch, and since then I've been craving MORE!  So more we made.  We used ground venison from Cody's first deer and he seasoned it up with his cooking magic.  I toasted a brown rice wrap in the oven until it was taco shaped, and then filled it with sauteed veg, venison, home made guac, and daiya cheese.  The key to delicious guac = jalapeno!!!

Banana Nut Waffles

I wanted some banana waffles on the weekend and found this recipe from Cookie and Kate.  I subbed in brown rice flour to suit my dietary preferences and was so thrilled at how well they turned out!!!  I topped mine with ghee and pure maple syrup, while Cody went the peanut butter route.

Wild Blueberry Crumble

I used a recipe from Eating Bird Food for this crumble and it is so amazing that we've already eaten our way through two batches of this deliciousness.  I paired the crumble with some vanilla coconut milk ice cream made in my new ice cream maker (thanks to Mom and Dad, who gave it to me for Christmas)!

I found frozen BC grown blueberries at Centex in Kimberley and they are so much tastier than the usual frozen store bought kind.  Hopefully this spring/summer I can do some berry picking of my own for some uber-local berry goodness.

Pedal and Tap

My usual order of Pedal to the Meadow, which is their veg burger option and my tummy-friendly option!  

Fish Tacos

I suppose mine wasn't technically a taco, but that was the idea.  I toasted a brown rice tortilla and topped it with broccoli slaw (mayo, dijon, maple syrup, lime juice), sole (lime juice, grapeseed oil, Oleo & Spice Thai Spice Blend), guac, and tropical salsa (created by Cody).

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

XO - Michelle

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

WIAW {1}

Happy Wednesday!!

Mid week = Happiness

I have been following What I Ate Wednesday blog posts for oh so long now, and I am really excited to be participating in my first official one!  For a rundown of what What I Ate Wednesday is all about, click here.  

Breakfast was my usual fare: baked sweet potato hash browns topped with Antoinette`s Salt Spring Dip, an egg, and a side of chicken bacon.

Morning Snack:  Smoothie -  banana, scoop of Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, chocolate almond milk, and ice

Lunch:  Fish Taco leftovers, so good!  Toasted brown rice tortilla, sole, broccoli slaw, guac, and mango&kiwi salsa.

Afternoon snack: Almond rice pops with blueberries

Before dinner snack (because I can never wait): Chocolate almond milk

Dinner: Breakfast for dinner!!!  One of my most fave things to do :) Turkey Cranberry sausage made by Kimberly Sausage and Meats that we bought at Sprout Grocery and Blueberry Banana Waffles from here (I subbed in brown rice flour and used BC grown blueberries bought from Centex in Kimberley)

Evening Snack: To be determined ;)

Check out Peas and Crayons for tons of other WIAW posts, it's a great way to get inspired!!

XO - Michelle

Monday, January 06, 2014

Marvelous in my Monday {1}

As if it's Monday already!!  Weekends always seem so fly by so fast, I'm relieved to have Tuesdays off now as it breaks my work week up so nicely!!

I heard about a blog link-up called Marvelous in my Monday and decided to participate!!  Check out The Healthy Diva for more MIMM posts :)

Some marvelous things that happened this weekend that are brightening up my Monday:

  • Dinner at my fave restaurant, Pedal and Tap, for a Friday night date night with Cody. YUMMMM.  Check out what I wrote about P&T on my Kootenay Love & Local Reviews page.
  • A beautiful, but windy, Saturday morning neighborhood walk; and a nicer, warmer one on Sunday.
  • Watching my cousin's hockey game and getting to visit with my Aunt and other cousin while we watched.  My uncle was coaching which was also pretty fun to witness!
  • Late lunch at The Heid Out Restaurant and Brewhouse with my wonderful mom and dad, & Cody too!
  • Grocery shopping.  I LOVE having a freshly stocked fridge and pantry.  So. Many. Options.  It seemed like everything on my list was on sale, how great is that!?
  • I purchased my first bottle of essential oils (Lemon) that I plan to start using in home made cleaning and bath products.
  • Completing my list of how I want to live in 2014, check it out here.

As I mentioned on Friday, there are a few ideas that I've come up with to hopefully keep me from being distracted from my health and fitness goals.  This is what I've done so far:
  • I went through my closet and pulled out all of the clothes that don't fit properly at the moment.  I piled them all in a clear bin and labelled it "Goal Clothing".  As the clothing starts to fit again I can add items back into my closet.  I prefer to judge where my body is at by clothing fit rather than weight so this method resonates well with me.
  • I put a picture on my fridge of an outfit I would like to wear to California (May/June).  The idea is that every time I open the fridge I see myself in the outfit and make a healthy food choice. 
  • Prep cooking!  I have been working on baking big batches of gluten free dairy free "treats" so when a craving strikes I have a better option available to me.  
  • Setting up my basement work out area.  I want to organize all of my workout equipment so it's streamlined and easy to use.  I'm mostly done, but need to figure out where to set up my Rip:60 and resistance bands...  I also decorated with some inspirational posters, quotes, and pictures.
I hope you check out the Marvelous in my Monday link up and find some inspiration to light up the beginning of your week!

XO - Michelle

Friday, January 03, 2014

Outdoor Excitement

Happy 2014 & Happy Friday!!

How exciting that a fresh new year is finally upon us!  I am so thrilled at the prospect of 2014, a chance to rediscover what makes me happy and reaffirm my healthy lifestyle love.


I have been lucky enough to spend the end of of Dec and beginning of Jan doing just that.  I had the opportunity to spend time cross country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing!  Enjoying the great outdoors was just what I needed and I think it's safe to say I have re-caught my childhood ski bug.

I went cross country skiing with my family and while I'm quite honestly a terrible cross country skier and fell about 6 times during our outing, there is no denying the beauty in getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and scenery... even if it is with gritted teeth and a snowy butt.

My downhill ski experience was much more positive and I easily fell back into the swooping turns that gave me such a thrill as a kid.  No literal falls for that day, what a relief!  I had so much fun with my friend Heather and was really happy to find out we are at a similar skill level which always makes for a more carefree day.  Riding the chairlift is always a fun time and we got to chat with some fellow skiers throughout the day, you never know who you'll end up meeting but I always find people so friendly and chatty and really enjoy talking with them.  Chairlifts = Love.  Kimberley Alpine Resort is a hop, skip, and a jump from my house and I plan to take advantage of that this season.

My friend Danielle and I got out for a snowshoe in the South Star Trails courtesy of our trail guide Dag (Danielle's mom).  Danielle and Dag happen to be in epic shape and I got my sweat on big time but was so proud that I didn't have to stop to catch my breath, what a change I'm seeing from previous years!  Danielle and I both got blisters so thankfully we turned around before going too far in, but my Wahoo GPS says we did over 5 km on our outing!  We lucked out with a gorgeously warm bluebird day and paired with the awesome workout my endorphins were sky-high!

I got back to the ski hill again yesterday for a night ski with Cody and some friends.  It was the perfect temp for night skiing and I think I got 5 runs in!  Cody hasn't snowboarded in 6 years so he did 2 runs and called it quits, but it meant so much to me that he came up and gave it another try.  I think if we get out a few more times together he will start enjoying it more.  Last time I skied my dad lent me his rad Atomic Blogs.  Last night I was back on an old pair of Rossignol's (I think Saphir) that I bought used in Grade 12... I have to say, upgrading my skis has just gone up on my wishlist.  No matter the gear, it was a great night and I'm already excited to get back on the hill!!

With all of this awesome outdoor excitement going on I have had the chance to think up a ton of positive ideas and get myself stoked on making this the year that I get my health and body to where I want to be; but while right now it seems SUPER attainable I also have so many fears about following through.  As someone who previously gained a lot of weight, then lost it, and am now gaining it back - see My Weight Loss Story - I'm quite frankly terrified!  When will the temptation stop and the full on healthy living begin again?! The fact that my personal choices are the answer to that question is both inspiring and intimidating.

I've come up with a few ideas on how to help keep my goals in the forefront and will be turning my plans into actions this weekend.  Stay tuned!

XO - Michelle