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Archive for May, 2009

grilled veggie quinoa saladThis Victoria Day weekend has been a bit of a disappointment weather-wise. The May long weekend is supposed to be the start of our summer: people heading to camp for the first time of the season, BBQ’s and backyard parties taking off, rushing outside in t-shirts and flip-flops, our sun-deprived flesh pasty and begging to soak up some much-needed vitamin D; but, alas, that wasn’t meant to be this long weekend. It’s been down right cold. The daily highs have hardly reached double-digit status (in Celsius) and it was gray and raining Saturday morning.

I refuse to let the weather win! I WILL have my summer, even if I do have to give it a swift boot in the arse to get it going. That is exactly what this salad is: a good swift boot in summer’s arse…just reminding her that it’s her time to get on stage and take over the show already!

Crisp veggies are simply grilled with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper and then tossed with fresh tomato, green onion and cooled quinoa. A quick spritz of lemon juice and a touch more salt and pepper and this dish is complete…simple, summery and utterly delicious. There’s no real recipe here…I just grilled the veggies I had around (zucchini, eggplant, green pepper, onion, mushrooms, and asparagus) and tossed everything together. If I had fresh herbs in the house, I would’ve thrown those in as well. Hopefully summer will get the hint.

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So, I was sipping my coffee this morning and half paying attention to the news when the Sunday morning health segment started and I snapped my head up to listen. Brendan Brazier was the guest this morning and I LOVE him. I was just telling my husband about him a couple days ago and how much I respect and admire him. For those who don’t know, Brendan Brazier is a Canadian Iron Man triathlete who also happens to be a long-time vegan. He is a picture perfect example of a competitive athlete…lean and strong and oozing health.

The entire segment today was about improving your health through a plant-based diet and Brendan was answering questions about veganism, supplements and, of course, how he gets his protein (grr!). I listened attentively to him speak and give tips about how to increase your iron levels, describe some important super-foods and he even stuck to his guns when asked if poultry or red meat was healthier….his answer: “I honestly wouldn’t eat either”.

It was inspiring. I’ve been dreaming of beginning training for a marathon or biathalon for a while now and listening to Brendan speak is cementing the idea in my brain. Now if only I could convince Brendan to give up competing and touring to be my personal trainer/coach for free…

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shampoo barThat’s right…that unassuming little puck up there is my new love, my new favourite thing in the whole world. It’s one of the many solid shampoo bars that Lush carries. And it’s amazing. It lasts forever…between 50-80 washes, I believe. That’s a long time for me because I only wash my hair every nine days. I have really fine, really straight, really short hair so don’t wrinkle your nose at me…besides, it’s really healthy to wash your hair less often.

This particular bar is the “seanik” variety…it is supposed to be a gentle cleanser and add sheen and bounce to limp hair…and does it ever! My hair on wash days is so silky it’s ridiculous, and it is feeling so healthy. Even right up to wash day, my hair never looks or feels greasy and it smells divine…a subtle orange blossom scent.

What I love most about this bar, besides the fact that it’s completely vegan, is that it’s all natural and so environmentally friendly…it comes without any packaging whatsoever. You can buy a tin to keep it in so it lasts longer but I just take mine out of the shower when I’m done with it. Plus, it travels well and can also be used as body wash and laundry detergent! I can’t tell you how much I love this little puck! Down with bottled shampoo…start using solid shampoo bars!

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Making Changes

I’ve been MIA for a little while now…real life getting in the way of down-time. Husband and I have been wrapped up in all the changes we’ve been making…mainly getting ready for our move in just over three weeks. We found theĀ perfect apartment and I am so excited to get in there and make it mine! You know when you walk into a place and you just feel so at home you almost sigh with relief? Well, that was how it felt to find our new place. It was just magically perfect for us….*sigh*.

The moving process is bringing about some positive things in me, I’ve noticed. I’ve been purging our possessions while packing things up, taking the time to review and reminisce on things I’d all but forgotten, I’ve been excited to plan for our future together in our wonderful new home, and am so thrilled at the prospect of riding my bike to work again (bicycle commuting to work is the only way I’ve found to guarantee regular exercise in my life and I’ve missed it over these past six months while I’ve been working so close to home).

The most important change I’ve noticed is how hopeful I’ve become again. I’ve been so stressed and down the past little while and this move is renewing me, restoring my hope and making me think positively about the future again. It’s a great feeling, I must say. I’m hopeful this feeling will last, too.

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