One of my all time favorite meals

One of my all time favorite meals to make for dinner is crispy tofu fingers dipped in BBQ sauce, potato salad and some sort of salad on the side. Simple, but oh so good! The star of this meal is clearly the tofu. Tofu is something that can be absolutely amazing, or something that closely resembles soggy cardboard! #truestory

First thing, you will want to press the tofu (I always buy extra firm tofu for this recipe) for about an hour. I wrap mine up in a clean tea towel and then put something heavy on top of it, like my husbands coffee machine!

Once the tofu has been pressed for about an hour, I cut it in half, then half again, then half again (are you keeping up with me?!) You will end up with eight equal pieces. Then I slice them down the middle so they resemble fingers (better for dipping in that yummy BBQ sauce). You will end up with 16 fingers in total.

I take one whole egg and one egg yolk and mix them together in a bowl. Then I take about 2/3 cup of shredded dried coconut and run it through my Vitamin until it looks like bread crumbs (I don’t use bread crumbs as I find that they end up kind of mushy after a few dips and don’t stick very well – coconut works much better!). Then I add 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tsp of smoked paprika. Stir the mixture together.

I dip each piece of tofu into the egg mixture then the coconut crumb mixture and place on a baking sheet. Once the oven has pre-heated to 400 degrees I put the baking tray in for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes I take the tofu out and flip them and put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

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I served my crispy tofu fingers with some potato salad and some Asian salad that we had kicking around in the fridge. Let me tell you, this dinner did not disappoint! IT WAS EVERYTHING!

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I’m so glad that there were a few of these little crispy fingers leftover. I will be enjoying them again for my lunch today! When I have a nice lunch to look forward to it always makes my mornings at work go by just a little quicker than usual!

Anything interesting in your lunch box today? I try to keep a list of things that I like so when I prep my lunch box the night before I can always quickly throw together something that I like!

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A change in season, a change in lifestyle

A change of season requires a change in lifestyle. Change = change! If you thought that fall was just going to breeze in with no effort on your part, you were wrong!

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Since moving to Canada last June it has taken a bit (okay, a lot!) of getting used to. I am not used to changes in season. I was used to walking around in shorts and flip flops 24/7, 365 days a year. We would have a slight change in season in the winter months, we would have what locals referred to as the “Christmas breeze” and it was EVERYTHING! You would look forward to that time of year when you were sweating your butt off in the summer! It would literally help to keep you sane. We would wear jeans and sweaters and we loved it!

Now that I am embracing the change of seasons, I have realized that it kind of affects a lot of aspects of my life.

Wardrobe – I just can’t run out the door with a t-shirt and jeans on. I need to put a little more thought into what I am wearing. Is the weather due to change during the day? Do I have my rain jacket and umbrella in my bag? Do I have enough layers on?

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Food – Our roof-top patio has now been closed off until April next year (sobbing :(). With that means I say good-bye to our beloved BBQ’s – so long my love until next year! I don’t crave salads as much as I did in the warmer months. I am starting to think about warmer & heartier meals. I have a feeling that our crock-pot will be getting a lot more use in the coming months. Wine? Yes, even wine changes for me. I no longer crave a nice chilled glass of white or rose wine. I start to think more about a full bodied red wine (drool). Water is not something that goes down easy in the cold months. I really have to ensure that I make an effort to get in my 2 liters a day. To encourage myself to drink more, I will have some sparkling water with dinner. Delish!

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Exercise – I am not going to lie, running has not been a natural occurrence since we have moved to Whistler. First of all, it is very hilly! Holy cow I can feel the burn in my calfs even as I typed that! Second, I was not always confident running on my own during the early mornings. These are both reasons why I got a treadmill (or, dreadmill as I sometimes refer to it!). I have a love hate relationship with it! But it will become my BFF as the cold, wintery days start approaching us. Today was probably the last day of bike riding for us. We hung our bikes up in the garage when we got back this afternoon. It was kind of bitter sweet. I see my yoga membership getting good use in the coming months.

Health & Wellness – When I think about fall and winter, I think “cold & flu season”. Yikes! Not something I want to be a part of! Not to jinx myself, but I can’t remember the last time that I was sick. That is no accident! Every October I make sure that I get a flu shot. I know that a lot of people have strong views against the flu shot (and that is totally cool) but I have had it every year since 2010 and have not gotten the flu or any adverse side effects. I also change up my vitamins. I started taking echinacea at the beginning of October. I also took it every day during the fall & winter season last year. If I do feel like I might be getting sick, I juice a whole lemon, with a clove of garlic, a bit of ginger and some cayenne pepper to finish it off. I knock it back like a shot – bottoms up! I call it my ‘flu shot’! I will also be sure to have a hot bath with some epsom salts thrown in, followed by an early night to bed. By the morning I am back to good health!

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Positivity – It is easy for me when the weather is blah outside to feel blah! I try to get myself out of the funk as it really can affect my day and mood. Also, I don’t want to spend six months of the year wishing it were spring / summer! Life is too short to feel like that. There are a lot of fabulous things going on around me all of the time that I don’t really need to go too far to do something.

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And when all else fails? When a fabulous vacation somewhere warm!!! Just kidding, well we will see in a few months! Hawaii might look quite appealing after Christmas – wink, wink!

This change in life is still something that I am figuring out along the way but I do think that the above helps me to deal with the change in seasons. Any tips that you have to deal with the change in seasons?

Summer, did you really have to leave?

Summer has always been my favorite season. There are so many things that I love about it! The weather (when it is good!), people really try to seize the day and cram as much into it as possible, it is light out until 10pm, shorts & flip-flops (duh!) and corn on the cob! Can someone give me a HOLY YUM! Life also seems simpler in the summer. Maybe the weather makes us a bit more care free? Whatever it is, I love summer! I feel a bit sad that it is gone, at least for now my friend! We have been very fortunate to have had some pretty spectacular days this past week. Though my weather app keeps telling me “don’t get used to it!”. I can see that loads of rain is in our future. Yikes!

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We really made the most of this summer with loads of BBQ’s on our roof-top patio, trips to the lake, road trips around the province and loads of hiking! My only regret about this summer is that I didn’t ride my bike enough. Darn!

A few weeks ago we spent the week in Lake Country, BC. It was beautiful! While we were there we went and toured two local wineries. I was really excited to do a few tastings and learn about the history of the vineyards. Considering that we have now lived in British Columbia for just over a year there is still sooooooo much that we have yet to see of the province. We could do a road trip every weekend and probably still not see all of the sights that BC has to offer. We really are lucky to live in such a beautiful province. So much to see and do.

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Now that we are officially out of summer it is time for me to start embracing all of the fabulousness that fall has to offer. One thing that I am pretty obsessed with right now are red leaves! I just can’t get enough when I see them. They are so pretty.

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In the evenings after dinner has been cleaned up and chill time has begun, we are now enjoying a cup of green tea. Besides the health benefits, it just tastes amazing! I also find it to be quite soothing.

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Even though this is not my first fall in Whistler, BC, I am still kind of lacking in the warm clothes department. When we arrived last year I didn’t even own a jacket so it has been a gradual process of building up my wardrobe. Last week I noticed that GAP were having a pretty decent online sale. I decided it was time to take advantage of it and start looking a little less like a bag lady! I ordered a bunch of items not even knowing if they would fit. I will have fun when it all arrives. If I find that some of the items are “no bueno” I will take them back to our local GAP store and continue the search for my fall wardrobe!

What is your favorite season? What do you like best about fall?

 

How to set yourself up for a FAB week!

To me, Monday sparks the start of a new week and a clean slate. Whoever says “I’ll start that diet on Wednesday?” No one! See my point?

If I am going to do some badness, I like to save it for the weekend. It gives me something to look forward to! And by ‘badness’ I mean a treat meal or something a little naughty. Something that I wouldn’t normally eat during the week – like a container of icing. Just kidding – I am so NOT kidding! Moving on… In my mind, if I keep the week clean I have some wiggle room for the weekend. Hopefully I have worked hard during the week and eaten clean. I try not to drink alcohol during the week and save it for the weekend. I am quite partial to a gin & tonic or a glass or two of wine. Cheers to the weekend!

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A few things that I do to help set myself up for a successful week include the following:-

  1. Meal Plan (usually we only eat meat once or twice a week) – I literally write Monday through to Sunday on a piece of paper and start filling in meal ideas that we might like. If I see something I like, I write it down for the following week so I always have a list of potential ideas. Sometimes it comes easy, others it is like waiting to win the lottery (which I totally plan on doing this year!). I also think ahead and block out 1 night that we can plan a treat meal for. Or, if we have dinner plans with friends. It all gets included in the plan!
  2. Make a grocery list – I will go through the week of meals and write down items that we will need. Then I go through the cupboards, freezer and fridge. Not only does it cut back on waste, it also avoids a potential domestic with my husband for wasting food and money 🙂
  3. Plan fitness for the week – How many times do I want to run during the week? Am I training for a race? Is the weather supposed to be nice for the week? If so, I will plan to bike in to work, a good 25 minute ride. Yikes! Do we have anything active planned for the weekend? With the nicer weather finally happening I love to be outside as much as possible.

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I also do meal prep for our puppy Buster Boo. Say what? Yep! We like for Buster to eat well too. It shows in his overall being when he is eating healthy. We like to prep a few bits to keep on hand for him. It makes feeding him in the mornings and evening so much easier when we can just pull out the containers out of the fridge. If we are doing a BBQ he always gets a little bit of meat and a bit of sweet potato. We also make an effort to take him to the dog park a couple of times a week. I honestly don’t know who enjoys that more – Buster or us? We love to watch him charge around and play with his friends. It is important for him to be able to socialize as well. A tired puppy is a happy puppy!

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Do I always stick to my plan? Of course not. I am HUMAN! Sometimes all it takes is for me to see a TV ad with something yummy in it and I no longer want what I planned for dinner. It happens! But I don’t beat myself up for it. I strive for balance. I also believe that there is always tomorrow to get back on board and try again.

I try to set my mind and focus on a good week. To me a Monday is kind of like New Year’s Day. It is full of hope and potential. A lot of people do not like Monday but it represents a fresh start to me – a chance to shape & create an amazing week.

What do you do to set yourself up for a healthy week?

If a tree falls in the forest…

Oh that proverbial tree! This is a post that I have had in my head for a few weeks now. I guess you can say that in my head I have been drafting it! I want to compare ‘the tree in the forest’ to workouts, clean eating and results. If we workout and eat healthy but do not see a result on the scale, does it still count?

One of my fears of moving to Whistler, BC has been putting those dreaded winter pounds. Yikes! It makes sense that it happens. We are less active and on a cold winter evening the thought of cuddling up on the couch with something yummy is quite appealing. Appealing, until the next morning when we get on the scales and see what our ‘badness’ from the night before has done to our progress. Oh no! “I swear I will be good today!” Only to repeat such badness the following night!

As we get older, it takes forever for our hard work to show results. But…it only takes a few moments of weakness to gain it all back and then some. I remember when I was in my twenties I used to eat three chocolate bars a day! Yes, 3, you read that right! As the years go by our metabolism starts to slow down and the weight starts to slowly creep on. I am a firm believer in nothing happens over night. You don’t put it on over night and you certainly won’t take it off over night. If you do, more power to you! P.S. I secretly hate you and your ridiculous speed of light metabolism!

We should exercise and eat clean because it makes us feel better. But most of us (my hand has just gone up!) do it for the potential results. When we don’t start to see them we get frustrated and give up before the first week is even over. Or, think “screw it, I am going to treat myself because I am having a bad day”. For me there are many reasons that I exercise. When I first started running, I noticed that I stopped getting headaches. I sleep so much better when I have exercised and had some fresh air. I love the way I feel after an early morning run, it starts my day off on a great note – the world just seems to be a better place! I feel like if I have exercised well that week, I can justify my treat meal that I have planned for that week.

I feel better when I am eating clean. When I was in my 20’s I saw a nutritionist who got me on track with healthy eating. After sticking to the plan for a while, I really noticed when I strayed and didn’t eat well. Now I am so used to eating healthy that when I don’t I really feel sluggish. To me, that is reason enough to stick with it. I have to be careful with my choices when I eat out as it can sometimes result with a late night session of acid reflux. That is no fun feeling like death warmed up and not being able to sleep – such a waste of a good night sleep. I am a girl who is all about my sleep and I do not like to miss out on a night of zzz’s.

Once I weigh out all of the above reasons of why I choose the lifestyle that I do, results aren’t everything! And yes, I do have a pair of jeans in the back of my closet from way back when that I would like to rock again one day! It’s important to listen to your body and find out how it is truly feeling. So to go back to the start of my post and that proverbial tree in the forest, I do believe that it does make a sound if no one is around to hear it. Baby steps are way more important than waking up the whole forest at once.

Where to start?

So much has happened since I last blogged. Some good, some bad a bit of change thrown in there to make things interesting:)

The sad, or perhaps this should be titled the heart breaking. We said good-bye to our beloved Scruffy. I knew it was coming. He was having problems with his heart and with each day I could feel it in my heart. I knew that we were losing him. My anxiety was at an all time high. It’s a horrible feeling to feel so helpless. The day we said good-bye my anxiety went away. It had been so long that I felt such calmness and the knot in my stomach loosened. I decided to get a little tattoo of tiny paw prints on the inside of my left wrist. I never walk alone and I know that my little boy is always with me.

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The good, we adopted a crazy puppy named Buster Boo. He needed a home and we needed some sunshine in our lives. He has helped us heal. He was brought into Vancouver from a kill shelter in California through a charity called Thank Dog I am Out. I have never adopted a dog before and I am so proud that we gave this little guy a chance at life. I only wish that we could save more. I was told that 6,000 dogs are euthanized in California every week. That is a horrible statistic. Just the thought makes me so sad.

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The change, I started a new job in November at a law firm. I never thought that I would work in a law firm again but I love it! Each day always brings something new and different. It is such a different atmosphere to what I am used to. The best part of my job is that I finish at 3pm every day! In the summer that will be amazing as we will be able to get on our bikes and get out and enjoy the rest of the day.

Winter has not been as bad as I thought. I always wondered how I would handle it? This winter has been quite a bad one. We had some cold days that were in the -20’s! Snow for days! It blows my mind when I see how much snow we have had. I always think what will happen when it starts to melt? Will we have severe flooding? Despite the cold temperatures and the snow, we have not let it hold us back. We get wrapped up in our ski clothes and go outside and take long walks and explore. The skiing has been amazing. We ski every weekend. We spend so much more time outside here then we ever did in Cayman. I know that sounds crazy, but most days were too hot to be outside for too long. On the weekends we would hibernate in the air conditioning!

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There are some things that we are still trying to figure out. Like finding a good yoga studio! Since moving to Whistler I have been to 2 classes. What?! #true story. It will happen in time. I find my body craving yoga and the community that comes with it. I have also been thinking about possibly teaching a class this year. I wouldn’t want to do it full time but it would be nice to use my teaching certification. Even if it is just to prove to myself that I can do it.

I said good-bye to my light blonde hair and went to the dark side. And I love it! I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing it sooner? I no longer look or feel washed out. I took my inspiration from the changes that fall brought with it. When I saw the leaves changing color, I thought ‘my hair should do the same too’. I was nervous when I made the appointment because it was such a huge change for me. But I have not looked back since.

The only thing that is constant is change. I am learning to go with the flow and not to fight it. The universe has a purpose and a path for all of us.

I hope that you have had an amazing weekend. Mine has been busy and filled with fun activities! I am going back to work tomorrow for a break!!!

Still figuring things out

Happy Wednesday! I hope where ever you may be there is sun and it is shining on you! As I write this post I am looking outside and it is raining. Bummer! Why is it that my weather app is more accurate when it comes to rain as to when it came to the sun in the summer? In the summer I would get excited because tomorrow was supposed to be a nice hot sunny day – and it would be get pushed back, to like next week!

It is hard to believe that it has been now over 4 months since we packed up and left our old life. Time has gone by so quickly and so much has happened. This change of season has really thrown me. I was pretty much used to sunshine 24/7 with maybe a little hurricane thrown in for good measure, or to ‘declutter’ my life!

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I really haven’t experienced a change in seasons in over 20 years. I am finding that not only does it require a change in wardrobe, it also requires a change in my mind. It is so much easier to stay positive when the sun is shining as opposed to when it is not. I thought that I would enjoy rainy days since I have spent the past 16 years in pretty much non-stop sunshine. I am finding it to be a bit tricky.

Yesterday we started out the day with rain. Shocking:) I was doing a few things around the house at noon time. As I looked out the window I could see that it was no longer raining and I caught a glimpse of the sun…what? I told Scruffy to get his coat on! We were going out to make the most of the weather. We were out for just over an hour. Walking on the trails, inhaling the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine. Bliss! As soon as we got home I started preparing lunch., fresh air and exercise give me an appetite! When I looked out the window it was raining and the sun had gone behind the clouds. Talk about meant to be! I was so glad that we got out and enjoyed the short little dry spell of the day. And it pretty much rained for the rest of the day.

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I am finding what helps to brighten my day a little bit, even when it is not bright or dry outside, is if I get out and get a bit of exercise. I need to make that a priority each and every day to brighten my spirits. I know this will be even more important with the winter months. I have also been bringing yoga & meditation back into my life. I need all of the positive vibes in my life while I try to adjust to my new life. More important, I need to give myself time to adjust to my new life. Just because we spent two years planning something doesn’t mean it will feel right from the start.

I hope you have a great day:)