What I Ate Wednesday: Study Fuel at its Finest

Why hello fine folks and happy WIAW! How is your week going?

I have an exam tomorrow and I’ve been trying very hard to find excuses to take a break from studying and talk your ear off (my favourite thing), but sadly I haven’t come up with any. So I’m going to get back to the studying – which is probably a good idea considering the exams in this class have a reputation for making people burst into tears. Reassuring, right?! ha! But I still wanted to pop in and chat about Monday’s eats because they were so good and perhaps can leave you with an idea or two!

Okay so Josh brought me not one but TWO almost-empty jars of Sunbutter on the weekend and I thought I was going to die of happiness. When you eat your oatmeal out of one of these beauties, you get Sunbutter in every bite and it’s just something else. I filled jar #1 with some classic hot banana-cocoa oatmeal and it was a pretty splendid way to commence the week.

Sunbutter Chocolate Oats

cocoa-banana oats in an ‘almost empty’ Sunbutter jar

DSC_0666

I got home from the gym one hungry girl and had a chickpea pancake (based off of this recipe) made in 10 minutes flat. I just mixed 1/4 cup of chickpea flour, 1/4 cup of water, salt, garlic powder and parsley flakes and fried ‘er right up in some olive oil. The pancake itself is pretty neutral-tasting but so so nutritious and a perfect vehicle for yummy toppings. Loved this lunch!

DSC_0683

chickpea flour “pancake” with avocado, tomato and hummus // steamed broccoli

Afternoon snack was some probiotic-filled kefir! I love being able to throw some in a mason jar, shove it into my backpack and drink away when I get hungry in class – it’s surprisingly filling!

DSC_0698

kefir with maple syrup and cinnamon 

In the afternoon I also chopped up some tempeh and let it hang out in a super delicious marinade by Sarah from Bucket List Tummy until dinnertime. I can find tempeh pretty bitter on its own but it soaked up this marinade like nobody’s business and totally adopted the great flavour.

DSC_0688

I stir-fried it and had it alongside some roasted veggies and couscous. Immediately after the picture I mixed it all together and then kept going back for more. Definitely a new favourite dinner!

DSC_0714

DSC_0707

roasted veggies // couscous cooked in vegetable broth // tempeh in this marinade 

If you’re unfamiliar with tempeh, I can’t urge you enough to give it a try! It’s essentially a fermented version of tofu and is such a nutritional powerhouse. It also just so happens to be really “meaty” and stick-to-your-ribs in the best possible way. Plant power people!!

DSC_0717

I somehow still have some chocolate left from Christmas. I truly think this bag may be replenishing itself because I feel like I’ve had so many but there are always more?! Really not complaining about this mystery.

DSC_0720

I was feeling super snacky before bed and munched on some leftover spaghetti squash, frozen blueberries in milk, a big scoop of almond butter and some cauliflower florets. The nighttime appetite is a strange thing.

DSC_0725

DSC_0727

Well that’s it from me. I hope you are having a really great week and eating some really great things. All the WIAW’s are linked up over on Arman’s blog this week, if you’re curious!

Happy Wednesday and see you soon! 

 

What I Ate Wednesday: Weekdays Vs Weekends

Hi guys!

Nearly every ‘What I Ate Wednesday‘ post I’ve ever done is a documentation of my food on the Monday or Tuesday of that week. Cause to be completely honest, I’m a total procrastinator and that’s when it usually occurs to me that I sort of need some pictures of food if I want to participate in my beloved WIAW.

For awhile now, I’ve been meaning to have the foresight to snap away on a weekend day.  I would by no means say that my diet undergoes a complete 180 on weekends, but there are often a fair share of changes. Eating becomes more social and that tends to translate to more treats, more drinks and more restaurants. And BOY do I embrace that!

So last Friday, I finally whipped out my camera and got chronicling! There was no alcohol or restaurant involvement on this particular day, but I did get to have dinner with some friends and eat something a bit out-of-the-norm for me.

pancake sandwich
Pancake Sandwich: whole wheat banana pancakes // Sunbutter with dark chocolate melted in

I’ll probably have trouble sleeping tonight if I don’t admit that I actually had carrot cake oats on this particular day. But I feel like I’ve shown you about a thousand and a half pictures of that, so I wanted to highlight another breakfast I’ve been loving. The pancake sandwich. Guys, you need this bad boy in your life. I just take two pancakes out of the freezer, slather some nut or seed butter between the two, and then tuck it into the fridge overnight. In the morning you’ve got yourself a little piece of heaven-to-go.

In case you’re wondering, I use this pancake recipe but sub 3/4 whole wheat flour and reduce the sugar a bit.

DSC_0446

pan-fried black beans with mushrooms, onions and spinach//
couscous // avocado // lemon // hot sauce 

I ran four miles in the morning and then came home to this lunch bowl of leftovers, which was so so good. I added a whole whack of mushrooms and spinach to these pan-fried beans and then mixed it with couscous, avocado, lemon and hot sauce. So many flavours and textures. I couldn’t stop taking spoonfuls of the beans from the fridge all day.

DSC_0453

All mixed together.

Kitsune Flat White

My afternoon class got cancelled so I made my way downtown and parked myself at Kitsuné Espresso Bar to get some work done. I had really been looking forward to eating a big fat cookie but sadly they were all out of baked goods. But the incredible flat white made up for it. Loved this place and can’t wait to go back – although there are SO many cafés to try in Montreal that it’s almost hard to justify going to the same place twice!

apple in the city_

I munched on an apple with a side of really cute townhouses on my way to my friend Chloé’s for dinner. On a side note – I must also apologize for the sudden deterioration in picture quality from this point forward. I was too concerned about enjoying the company and warm food!

almond butter

When I got to Chloé’s apartment I was really hungry and immediately helped myself to some almond butter. I’m a really great guest.

DSC_0456

When she saw me starting to take pictures, Chloé ran to put on her HOCKEY HELMET to be protected from the camera. It’s not easy being friends with a blogger, people.

Crepes

Savoury Crêpes: apple + brie on the left // egg + havarti + caramelized onion on the right

Okay back to food – this dinner completely rocked my socks off. Chloé and her roommate made savoury crêpes and the combos they thought up (see above) were AH-MAZING. Cannot wait to make these again!

Chupa Chups Collage

I have a bit of a tradition of taking a lollipop on my way out every time I leave Chloé’s. She gets them in France (I’ve never seen them here) and I cherish each one so. They make waiting for the Metro ten times more fun.

green smoothie

Green Monster: spinach // frozen banana // almond milk 

When I made it back home I was craving a big green smoothie so that’s exactly what went down. I got into bed and under my covers to drink it to counteract the cold and it was heavenly.

So there’s a little Friday-day-in-the-life for you!

I feel like we’re often flashed with warnings to be cautious of social events and all the “bad” and “excess” food that tends to accompany them. Or we’re urged to not “waste the week’s hard work” by having an indulgent weekend. But ohhhh what a sad mindset I think that is. I wholeheartedly believe that our entire lives benefit from treating our bodies well most of the time, but the memories I get out of enjoying food with others (healthy or “not so healthy”) are worth so much more to me than having a calculated diet at all times. And more often than not, I find that a weekend of indulgences leaves me naturally reaching for vibrant fresh foods by the time Monday rolls around. Just yet another little piece of proof that everything balances out in the end.

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! By the way, the WIAW link-up is over on Laura’s blog this week!

Do you feel like your diet changes much on weekends? 

Are you a flat white fan? 

Have you ever had savoury crêpes? 

WIAW + Neat Facts from Week 1 of the Semester

Hello fine folks and happy What I Ate Wednesday! If you want to see a whole bunch of other fun WIAWs, the link-up is here this week.

I’m only a few days into the Winter semester but a few times already I’ve found myself jotting down little tidbits of interesting info to relay to my mom and Josh. So today I thought I’d share a few for the sake of my fellow nutrition nerds!

I feel like I’m really starting to get to the “meat” of my dietetics degree this semester and I hope it’s alright that I plan (and am really excited) to take you guys along for the ride.

Without further ado, a few little bites of info!

DSC_0306

Breakfast
scrambled egg // banana oatmeal muffin with Sunbutter // skim milk

1. Why They Say to Make “Half Our Grains Whole” 

Have you ever heard the tagline “Make Half Your Grains Whole”? I’ve heard it more times than I can count – often from government-based guidelines – and figured that it was probably just worded that way (as opposed to aiming for ALL grains to be whole) to ensure the public didn’t get discouraged by a goal too lofty. But there’s a bit more to the story.

Refined grains are fortified with a whole host of nutrients that they get stripped of during processing. And while MOST of these added nutrients are naturally found in whole grains, folate isn’t one of them. So while refined grains (like white flour) provide us with folic acid, whole grains do NOT. I was so fascinated by this fact!

DSC_0254

Morning Snack

DSC_0264

Hodgepodge Lunch
mary’s gone crackers // mashed avocado // quinoa tabbouleh // steamed broccoli 

2. Artificial Sweeteners and Gut Flora 

I certainly knew that artificial sweeteners didn’t have a GOOD rep but I couldn’t have really told you why they were frowned upon by so many. But last week our prof informed us that they’re suspected to have a role in altering gut microbiota. Here’s one study claiming so. If you haven’t heard much about gut microbiota, just know that it’s a really hot area of research and seems to becoming tied to more and more diseases.

So while I don’t want to simplify the complexity of artificial sweeteners (I’m sure there are many people devoting their lives to getting the full story about them), this info certainly doesn’t ease my pre-existing skepticism.

DSC_0291

Post-lunch dark choc 

3. Shifting Mentality of DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes)

If you’re not familiar with the term, a Dietary Reference Intake is the value of a given nutrient that health organizations suggest you consume based on your age and sex. They have changed quite a bit over the years as research methods become more and more accurate. But up until now, they’ve been made with the mindset of simply making sure people aren’t DEFICIENT in the nutrient in question. For example, getting enough Vitamin D to prevent symptoms of rickets.

But today, in addition to preventing deficiencies, the framework is shifting so that DRIs also aim to prevent chronic illnesses (like cardiovascular disease). We live in an exciting time, my friends.

DSC_0287

Afternoon Snack
kefir with maple syrup

Epicure Mac & Cheese

A “Fancy KD” pack that my mom gave to me.  It’s tasty and I like the (relatively) short ingredient list!

On a completely different note, I would love it if you weighed in on a longstanding debate between Josh and me. I should preface it by saying that he is NOT picky and likes virtually everything (including mac and cheese and tuna). But he finds the fact that I put tuna IN my mac and cheese DISGUSTING. As in, he almost gags just from hearing that I ate it! ha

I would love to know your opinion: is this combo normal or repulsive to you?!

DSC_0299

Dinner
mac & cheese with tuna, peas, wilted spinach and pepper

DSC_0302

Post-Dinner
tea and pumpkin seed chocolate bark 

And for the first night since I can remember, I wasn’t hungry for a night-time snack so my little dessert capped off the day’s eats.

I hope you’re having a great week so far!!

Was any of this info new to you? Thoughts about it? 

How do you feel about the mac & cheese and tuna combo?

What I Ate Wednesday: Back To It

Hi friends!

I feel like I am emerging from a little bout of blog hibernation today! The holidays ended up being more of a whirlwind than expected and I found myself sort of forgetting about my camera and my keyboard and my usual desire to document all the things. And I must say, it felt pretty great.

But as I begin my last day of winter break, I think I MAY just be sensing the first inklings of excitement to get back to a bit of a routine.

DSC_1908

Whole Grain Carrot Pancakes+ Sunbutter + Maple Syrup // Banana 

Yesterday was my last day in Ottawa with my family and Josh and I did my best to shake the gloominess that sort of chased me around all day.

I spent all morning out and forgot to pack a snack (ROOKIE MISTAKE) so I was one hungry lady when I finally finished up my errand. But Josh had this lunch ready for me when I walked in the door and I wanted to write a song about it it was so good.

DSC_1919

Toast with goat cheese +  sun-dried tomato jam + avocado {mashed with cilantro, green onion, garlic and lemon} // cucumber and carrot salad 

We capped off lunch with coffee and some of this chocolate because it was 2PM and I hadn’t eaten chocolate yet and that was very confusing to my body.

DSC_1927

{Nut-free} dark chocolate

We snuck in a quick walk as the sun was starting to set and it was golden and beautiful.

DSC_1931

DSC_1952

DSC_1942.jpg

I went home to spend some time with my family and my mom had extras of her smoothie that she so kindly offered me. I was a bit too happy about this timing.

DSC_0006

kale + apple + banana smoothie 

For dinner we had one of my favourite-ever soups. Leeks, pears and potatoes are truly meant to be together.

DSC_0015

leek + pear + potato soup // fresh bread and cheddar 

And then it was back to Josh’s for one last beloved mug cake. The Table for Two blog really should consider hiring me to do their advertising because I tell everyone who will listen about this little piece of heaven.

mug cake excitement

mugcake

chocolate mug cake

As bittersweet as leaving home always is, I am trying to focus on the good because there really is a lot of it. I am heading into a semester of really interesting-looking classes, I get to be reunited with my lovely roommate today and the next few months are strewn with fun plans.

I hope that you’re getting back into a post-holiday groove and loving it.

Happy Wednesday! 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday: Holiday Hit List

Ohhh man you guys… single-digits until Christmas. How did that even happen?!

During this exam period, I have been happily daydreaming of everything I want to do over the holidays. The top priority is called ‘anything-other-than-studying’. ha. But beyond that, I am so excited to soak up the company and go over-the-top with Christmas-themed everything.

Finals aren’t particularly conducive to getting into the spirit but you best believe that when my last one is written I’ll be embarking on a mission to make up for lost time!

DSC_1660

Stephanie’s blueberry and chocolate chip single-serve pancakes (so easy and good!!!!) with Sunbutter and maple syrup // Skim Milk 

To Watch 

I haven’t watched a single Christmas movie yet and I am not okay with it. My all-time favourites are The Holiday, Love Actually, Serendipity and The Family Stone. What are your annual must-sees?!

DSC_1670

with avocado and salsa 
To Make

Sally is my baking hero and she just posted 50 of her favourite Christmas Cookie recipes. I want to make every single one. I am also super intrigued about the idea of a peppermint cheesecake. I can’t decide if I think if would be delicious or gross. Thoughts? And I’m too curious about this quinoa brittle that’s been swirling around the net to not try it!

latte

Coffee shop latte 

DSC_1715.jpg

Afternoon Snacks

To Do

I can’t remember the last time I had hot chocolate so I will be remedying that at the first possible opportunity. Preferably accompanied by a stroll to Parliament to see it all illuminated! Some more Christmas light driving is also on the itinerary and I have a church Christmas concert jotted on the calendar too.

DSC_1706

My Lentil Spaghetti Sauce over Brown Rice Pasta with Minimalist Baker’s Cashew Parm

DSC_1710

Pumpkin Seed Bark Thins from my newly-replenished stash

I’m pretty sure an apple got eaten before bed too but I can’t even remember (from Sunday). I think my brain is being pretty selective about what information is important enough to memorize right now and apparently food consumption isn’t making the cut.

Hope you’re having a great week!!

And tell me, tell me – what are you doing to get into the spirit?!