Pumpkin, Pumpkin and More Pumpkin!

Well here we are, back to September again. I’m not entirely sure where the summer went; between working and enjoying the hot weather it seemed to disappear in a millisecond! In any case, I am ready for fall. Fall is my absolute favourite season – beautiful crisp mornings, the colours of the changing trees….and pumpkin of course!

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From Google Images

Now I know we aren’t into fall yet, but something about coming back to school makes me feel like we’re almost there. As soon as I got back to my apartment after summer break I started craving fall meals – more specifically, pumpkin! With fall just around the corner, I couldn’t help but jump in and start making all things pumpkin!

Today I will spill the beans (or make that pumpkin seeds 😉 ) on two of the new recipes I’ve tried.

For all of you who, like me, are waiting for fall to begin – enjoy!

 Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal:

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet maple instant oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Pumpkin pie spice to taste

Directions: In a bowl mix almond milk and oatmeal and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix in chia seeds, pumpkin, protein powder and spice. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Garnish with Nature Valley Pumpkin Raisin cereal.

Note: this oatmeal was creamy and not very thick – just the way I like it – but if you like your oatmeal to be thick use less milk.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

-1/3 cup pumpkin puree

-1/2 frozen banana, chopped

-1.5 cups of milk (I used almond milk)

-Pumpkin pie spice to taste

-1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

-Splenda to taste

Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve!

Hopefully these pumpkin pie inspired dishes will keep your pumpkin cravings perfectly satisfied – if not stay tuned as I continue my quest for more pumpkin recipes!

For those of you who are tired of all of the pumpkin talk, tune in next time for a brand new dessert recipe that I promise has nothing to do with pumpkins!

-Sam

Be Bright. Be Bold. Be You.

Fall

From Google Images

Summer Salad on a Not-so-Productive Day

Being sick is a bummer.

The worst part for me…feeling unproductive! I can almost handle the headache, fever and dying-cat-like voice, but feeling lethargic and unproductive is not okay in my books.

Thankfully for you, my being sick has made me restless enough to create a new recipe. This one is simple ladies and gents, because let’s be serious, I have the flu and this took all the enthusiasm I could muster 😉

I had the privilege of chowing down this entire dish on my own since no one wants my icky flu germs but it’s yummy enough that if you make it, you may not be so lucky…

Crab Salad!

You will need:
• Salad greens (the colourful kind…no iceberg lettuce here folks)
• Avocado
• Crab meat
• Cucumber
• Tomatoes
• Black pepper
• Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Cut up all your veggies and mix with your salad greens, add your crab meat on top and add your dressing and pepper to taste.

This is my new favourite summer salad, but I have a feeling that will be short-lived because I seem to be on a salad kick (hint hint, there may be another recipe coming your way soon…)

Enjoy the gorgeous summer weather and please, please remember your Purell , so you don’t end up with the dying-cat-like voice too 🙂

-Sam xo

Be You.

Facing Imperfect Conditions (plus a new recipe..yummm)

Well my apologies to everyone, but the worst possible thing that could happen to a blogger happened to me – yes, my internet has been down for over a month. Craziness, I know. So, here I am going to exceptional lengths to get a post to you (just kidding, I’m at my boyfriend’s house…I don’t think that qualifies as exceptional).

Anyways, that is enough complaining out of me; onto the topic of the week – TRIATHLONS and learning to accept less than perfect (plus a quinoa power salad to get you through your workout)!

This weekend, I did the Peterborough Sprint Tri – completely, yes completely, unprepared.  I hadn’t planned on doing any triathlons this summer and I had decided to focus on weights and whatever cardio my little heart desired each day. But, that all went out the window.

Why?

Because someone got me talking about triathlons. As soon as I started talking about triathlons, I knew that I couldn’t resist; there was absolutely no way that I could stand on the sidelines of the race, so I entered.

As soon as I entered the tri my mind went into overdrive and the doubt crept in; what was I thinking, I’m not ready, I’ll come in last, what if I can’t finish? All of these questions came rushing through my mind, and I was ready to pull out of the race until I asked myself – what if I do come in last or cannot finish? Would that be the end of the world? No, probably not. In fact, isn’t it better to come in last then to watch from the sidelines?

Again, on race day, I was faced with a challenge; I woke up with a wicked cold. This time I didn’t let the doubt creep in, I stopped it at the source and decided that anything could happen, but I would not be missing the tri.

I decided to accept the less than perfect conditions and embrace the opportunity for what it was – a great chance to have fun and accomplish one of my goals. I am so glad that I got over my fears because I had a really great time and it completely motivated me to train for more triathlons over the summer.

On that note, if you have something you really want to do but keep waiting for those perfect conditions – don’t! I challenge you to accept the less than perfect conditions in your life and go for it – don’t let anything stop you – you won’t regret it!

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Anddd… here is your recipe:

Quinoa Salad:

You will need:

  • Quinoa
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Sun-dried tomato and oregano dressing
  • Goat cheese

Instructions:

  • Cook your quinoa
  • Cut your cucumber into quarters
  • Cut your tomato in cubes
  • Add your goat cheese and dressing
  • Stir
  • Cool in the fridge

This recipe is really easy to make and is perfect for fuelling your workouts (or races).

Enjoy my little lovelies!

Ciao,

Sam

xo

Be Bold!

The Unhealthily Healthy Meal Plan

Want a healthy meal plan without giving up the delicious-ity of junk food?

I present to you – The Unhealthily Healthy Meal Plan, put together by none other than Sam Conway – Nutrition Connoisseur and Expert Best Friend. 


She knows me and my hatred for typical ‘health’ food and subsequent adoration for all things junk to a T. Therefore, she made me this delectable Meal Plan which is so well disguised under the pretext of junk food, it would give Sherlock Holmes some serious competition. 

Also included is a super-fun workout – blast some upbeat tunes, picture yourself in that bikini and you’re set:


Without further ado, this I present to you:

The Unhealthily Healthy Meal Plan


Sample Day Meal Plan:

Breakfast:
• Banana Overnight Oats:

  • ¼ cup oats
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 Banana

Total = 340 Calories 

Mid-Morning Snack:
• 1 handful of mixed nuts (unsalted) – 170 cal
• 1 apple – 110 cal
Total = 620 Calories

Lunch:
• Veggie Pizza:

  • Whole Wheat Pita – 170 cal
  • Tomato paste (2 tbsp) – 25 cal
  • ½ cup veggies – 59 cal
  • ½ cup shredded low fat mozza cheese – 140 cal
  • 1 tbsp Ground flaxseed – 37 cal
  • = 431 cal

Total = 1051 Calories

Afternoon Snack:
• 1 cheese string – 80 cal
• 1 cup grapes – 62 cal
• 1 slice of multigrain bread with butter – 130 cal
= 272 cal
Total = 1323 Calories

Dinner:
• Spaghetti Squash Lasagna – Calories: 291.0

  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 3 cups cooked roasted spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta
  • 8 tsp parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz part skim shredded mozzarella
  • = 291 cal

Total = 1614 Calories

Bedtime Snack:
• Chocolate – Banana ‘Ice-cream’

  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, chopped and frozen solid – 210 cal
  • 1 tablespoon honey – 25 cal
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder – 24 cal
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed – 37 cal
  • = 296 cal

Total Calories For The Day = 1910 cal 🙂

Sample Workout:
• 30 mins elliptical machine
• Legs:
o Squats (3 x 10 with weights)
o Lunges with hand weights (3 x 10 each leg)
o Wall sit (2 x 1 min)
o Calf raises (3 x 25)
o Scissor kicks (3 x 10)
o Squat machine (3 x 10)


Notes:
• My BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) = 1300. BMR is the number of calories I would burn if I were to stay in bed AKA do nothing all day – The number of calories I’d burn while at rest. This was calculated from this website.

• With moderate exercise to maintain weight and build muscle, I need to have approximately 1917 cal / day

• 6 small meals/day to keep metabolism up

• 8 glasses water/day

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P.S. – This comes from a year of studying Nutrition in university (for both of us) as well as finding a passionate hobby in Nutrition (only for Sam). We are not RDs/Nutrition Experts so please don’t sue us 🙂

(She included ICE-CREAM for heaven’s sake! How awesome is she?)

Hope you enjoyed the read and if you try making these recipes, let us know how they go!


Stay Awesomesaucicles,

– Mallika 

Seeing the Big Picture…and Tea Reviews

Before I get into the topic of the day (ahem…week, month? Yes, it’s been a while again), here comes my little tidbit about tea! David’s Tea has their new summer flavours out – WOOHOO! As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, I am powering my way through the new flavours like it’s my job and so far, they’re all a hit! I don’t think I would like any of them hot but I’m guessing it’s primarily meant to be iced (duh right?).

The first flavour I tried was Strawberry Shortcake and it was tasty, but my least favourite of the three I tried. The strawberry flavour was nice and sweet and there was a hint of hazelnut that complimented it really nicely. The second flavour I tried was Luscious Watermelon which was so refreshing; part of what I loved so much about it was that I could taste other types of melon and fruit. Even my boyfriend who doesn’t like watermelon loved this tea, which I found very impressive. The last tea I tried (and my personal favourite from this collection) was the Tropicalia. This tea was absolutely delicious and reminded me of a pina colada. Picture yourself on a beautiful beach with a gentle breeze and the sun is shining – yep, that is where this tea will take you.

Now into the main topic of the post – seeing the big picture. The ‘big picture’ is so important, because there are so many interrelated parts of our life and seeing the ‘big picture’ will allow you to live your life to the fullest. I find when it comes to exercising and healthy eating this can be a big problem for me, and I know other people have trouble with this as well. It can be really difficult to remember to look at the big picture when you’re goals include eating healthy and working on fitness because for most of us, our goals are pretty specific. There are some key things that I think are important to work on in order to see the big picture.

Firstly, always remember that being healthy and fit is not a black and white scenario. A lot of us tend to think in terms of our specific goals and whether or not we have reached them, which can be limiting. It is equally as important to acknowledge the journey as it is to acknowledge the destination; perhaps even more so. While you may have specific goals in mind, whether it be related to weight, fitness level, distances etc. there will always be things you can improve on but also, things you are doing well. This is not to say that you shouldn’t set goals for yourself because I believe that goals are super important; I’m just saying it is even better to have goals AND acknowledge smaller triumphs regardless of the fact that they may not be the ultimate achievement you’re working towards. For this reason I think it’s very important to acknowledge that everything is not black and white – you are not unfit or fit, healthy or unhealthy, ‘perfect’ weight or ‘non-perfect’ weight. There are many ‘in-betweens’ that are also important to celebrate.

Secondly, allow yourself to indulge from time to time. Remember not to be too hard on yourself. As a person who is interested in nutrition and fitness and therefore likely knows a lot about it, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it isn’t acceptable to allow yourself to indulge. In terms of food, treats every once in a while are okay. There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to go ahead and have that cookie or cake or whatever it may be that floats your boat in that moment. Am I saying to do this every single day or push yourself into an all out binge? No, of course not, but, having a treat every once in a while will not hinder your performance or stop you from reaching your goals. Heck, it may even get you there faster by allowing you to feel satisfied and avoid those all out binges.

The same goes for fitness, but with a twist. For this I’d say listen to your body. Having a set routine and planned workouts are great, and trust me, I know that they can help you stay on track, but, if you’re finding that for whatever reason, one day you’re in the workout and it just isn’t feeling right then change it up. If your plan was to run but it’s not feeling right maybe hit the pool or the elliptical that day. If you’re truly exhausted and the weights are just killing you, maybe take it down a notch for that day. Your body will tell you everything you need to know. I’m definitely not saying that every time you feel a little tired or a little sore to throw in the towel and call it a day, but just keep in mind what feels normal and what feels off.

Thirdly, remember to put your nutrition and fitness goals into context with the rest of your life. Your health goals need to fit with the rest of your life, and you need to see that they are only a part of the picture. You also need to realise that day to day slip-ups and pitfalls are not going to hurt you in the long run. This one for me is the hardest, and that is why I put it last. It can be really difficult to hit a snag in training, or nutrition, and realise that in the end, it will still be okay. That particular day maybe you aren’t going to reach your goal, or maybe it will take you slightly longer to reach your goal, but that minor snag must never define your self image, because honestly, down the line you may not even remember it.

By putting your nutrition and fitness goals into context of the rest of your life you can start to use the pitfalls and slip-ups as motivators. When you hit one of those pitfalls ask yourself “in ten years will my life be altered by this?”, if the answer is “no” then just move on, if the answer if “yes” then find a way to get yourself back on track; it may not be exactly what you wanted but it will still be rewarding.

As you can probably imagine, these steps are interrelated. Improving in any one of these areas will help you with the others and will help you see the big picture.

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That’s all for now lovelies!

-Sam

Be Bright. Be Bold. Be You

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Tell us:

Do you ever have trouble seeing the big picture?

What strategies do you use to put your nutrition and fitness goals into context?

Have you tried David’s Tea Summer Collection yet? If you have, which is your favourite summer tea?

Tea Rant!

Hello all!

I hope you are all having as wonderful of a Wednesday as I am! Today was all around an awesome day, I spent it with one of my favourite people, at one of my favourite places (my lovely roomie and I went to David’s Tea)! This was her first time going to David’s Tea and I am thrilled to report – she loved it!

I have not yet shared with you my slight obsession with tea (I thought I would ease you in with the other posts and now let you see the crazy side…just kidding). Anyways, in light of our little trip to David’s Tea it seemed like a good day to do a rant on tea. Tea has so many benefits and is, of course, yummy!

Benefits of Tea:

(Source: http://www.dietitians.ca/Nutrition-Resources-A-Z/Factsheets/Anti-oxidants/Pleasures-of-Healthy-Eating–Chocolate,-Green-Tea,.aspx)

Benefit #1: Antioxidants –

Well to give you the low-down, teas like green tea are chock full of these goodies! Antioxidants are great for your health and can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.

Benefit #2: Water –

Tea is a great source of your daily intake of water! If you’re like me, it can be really tough to get your daily intake of water. I used to have such a hard time guzzling down those eight glasses everyday, but once I learned that tea could help me in that department it’s been a breeze! (Just remember to try and choose decaffeinated teas when you can if you’re hoping to include it as water intake)

Benefit #4: Low in Calories –

Tea is a great way to spice up your water (like I said above) but, it’s a great way to keep your calorie consumption in check. It has a nice flavour but most teas are only a few calories (or none at all) so unlike pop and juices you don’t have to put up with all of the extra calories and sugar.

Benefit #5: Taste and Variety –

There are so many different flavours of tea that you will never get bored of it! There’s fruity tea, strong tea, vanilla tea, tea for chocolate lovers – I think you get the picture! While I was at David’s Tea I saw Birthday Cake flavoured tea – yes, I am serious! Hallelujah, case closed, how could you ask for more than that?!

I think it’s probably pretty clear at this point how much I love tea, so you can expect some tea reviews in the future. You were warned.

Oh, but we’re not done yet – I have a new recipe for you!

 

I am following through on my promise to experiment with Overnight Oats and Chia seeds! The result – PB and Jelly Overnight Oats!

You will need:

  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milk ( I used almond milk, but any kind will do)
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (all natural)
  • 2 tbsp jam (no sugar added)
  • 1 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes

Make your plain Overnight Oats the same way as always (with the basic ingredients) – see this post for instructions ( https://avantaudrey.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/jumping-on-the-overnight-oats-bandwagon/ )

  • In the morning add your jam and stir.
  • Melt the peanut butter for about 10 seconds in the microwave and drizzle it over the Overnight Oats.
  • Garnish with coconut!

This recipe was really yummy and I loved the peanut butter addition!

Okay, now we’re done so go on and enjoy the rest of your day!

Ciao,

Sam  xo

Be Bright, Be Bold, Be You!

Jumping on the Overnight Oats Bandwagon…

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather! I have been having a great day and I must say it had a great start – with Overnight Oats!

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to jump on the overnight oats band wagon (or to try Chia seeds for that matter)! I have been a little bit slow on this foodie trend, but I finally decided to see what all the fuss is about! So, in this post I will tell you all about the awesome Overnight Oats I had for breakfast this morning and about my experience with Chia seeds! The Overnight Oats were super easy to make – and I must say it reminded me a lot of ice cream (can you believe it?)!

I decided to start out on a fairly tame note with this dish since I had never tried overnight oats or Chia seeds (yes, I am a bit of a wimp), so I made a simple strawberry flavoured breakfast – because just about anything strawberry works for me.

Just a warning – this makes a BIG serving!

For this recipe you will need:

½ cup of rolled oats

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

2/3 cup of milk (I used almond milk)

1 tbsp of chia seeds

Strawberries (about ½ cup or to taste)

2 tbsp no sugar added strawberry jam

½ scoop vanilla protein powder

Mix the rolled oats, Greek yogurt, milk and Chia seeds in a bowl then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until morning.

In the morning, mix in your toppings (strawberry jam, protein powder and strawberries) then eat your way to glory with this scrumptious breakfast!

From Google Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I told you it was easy!

I was pleasantly surprised with the chia seeds; I wasn’t sure what to expect but the texture was perfect for the recipe. Considering all of the health benefits of Chia seeds (fibre and omega-3s to name a few) I am so excited at how easily they can be incorporated into recipes!

I can’t wait to try more variations of this recipe and experiment with my Chia seeds

Until next time – Stay Bright, Stay Bold, Stay Beautiful!

– Sam xo

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We’d love to hear from you!

Tell us:

Have you ever tried chia seeds?

What are your favourite recipes to include chia seeds in?