Another day, another bowl of oatmeal.

I’m not sure about you, but I think I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m no longer settling on my morning bowl oatmeal. It’s what I truly crave. And I’m okay with that.

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Of course I knew my days of corn pops, toaster strudels and nutella spoons for breakfast were long gone. I was comfortable letting that go. But so too are my days of the greasy hangover breakfasts. Pardon me if my eggs these days are poached, not fried. I’m not afraid who knows it. And while we’re on the subject of all things poached, has anyone else started feeling like brunch lines these are just too arduous to bear? And rarely worth the effort? “I’ll make my eggs at home, thank you very much. And mine will have a perfect yolk every time.”

So yes today is just another day. But it’s also the day I encourage you to wake up and smell the French Press, in the kitchen you no longer have to apologize for when people walk in your apartment. Today is the day to own your adulthood. To stop apologizing for being “lame” or “old” just because you’ve mastered the art of taking care of yourself.

Simple Summer Oats: 

1/2 cup oats
1/2 sliced banana
tbsp of each: coconut, goji berries & chia seeds
drizzle of almond butter & raw honey
dollop of greek yogurt 

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So yes…I am eating oatmeal for breakfast. And not because I’m on a “health kick” or a “detox.” For no reason other than that I woke up jonesing for it.

Energizing Antioxidant Smoothie

If December is a month of celebration. Of fun, food, familytimes and fabulous holiday dresses…then what the heck is November? If you ask me, November is a month of dodging bullets. 

Bullet #1: STRESS – Whether you’re a student or a working stiff like me, the month of November tends to fall into that “crunch time” category. End of year budgets, final drafts of papers, it all seems to culminate smack dab in the middle of this strange penultimate month.

Bullet #2: SAD – And by SAD I mean SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. Ie. “Its grey and cold and dark and I’m depressed” syndrome.

Bullet #3: DEBT – Christmas is coming….is your bank account ready? No? Then charge it! January-me will find a way sort this out.

and finally…

Bullet #4: ILLNESS - Everyone, everywhere is sick. Always.

My tips to dodging bullets 1-3 are mainly to stay conscious of them. Recognize that stress is fleeting, weather is changing and no gifts are worth the hassle of paying off that credit card.

As for Bullet 4…well there’s not much you can do to stop a cold once it’s started you can do your darndest to PREVENT it before it starts. And this nutrient-rich, energizing smoothie is a heck of a good start.

Love antioxidants? This smoothie packs em in like it’s nobody’s businesses.

Energizing Antioxidant-Rich Green Smoothie

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2-3 frozen chunks of spinach (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 scoop vegan protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or a few drops of stevia
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 8-10 ice cubes
  • pinch of xantham gum (optional, for thickness)
  • 1/4 cup of brewed coffee (optional)

Directions:

Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary.

Want another antioxidant rich recipe? Check out these delicious espresso berry muffins!

How do you dodge the November doldrums? Any tips on preventing winter colds?

A Banana Bread Kinda Morning

Sometimes Most of the time, you wake up in the morning in a funk. You’re grouchy-hungry-tired-lethargic and generally lacking in motivation to do just about anything except chug a cup of black tar out of your french press, throw on a wrinkly something or other and stumble your way to work-school-etc.

Today was not one of those mornings for me.

Because today was a banana bread morning.

Yesterday I overheard one of my coworkers saying to another, “How does anyone have time to bake after work? I can barely make dinner let alone get a banana bread in the oven.” And, true to form, I took this as a personal challenge.

I had seen this recipe for gluten free banana bread on one of my favourite blogs and decided to make it exactly as it was shown. Ahem…obviously that didn’t happen. I didn’t have everything on hand in the right quantities, and I wanted to cut back on the sugar just a little. But here is my version (with full props to Ashley for her drool-worthy original).

Simple Gluten-Free Banana Bread


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  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almonds, coursely ground
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (or 2 whole eggs)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 heaping tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • pinch of stevia or 2 tbsp raw sugar

Simply mix wet ingredients in a small bowl. Stir together dry ingredients. And gently fold together.

Fill a medium sized bread pan 3/4 of the way full with batter. I lined mine with parchment paper to avoid sticking.

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until a nice solid crust has formed.

Allow to cool completely before cutting.

What gets you out your grouchypants funk in the morning?

(if you say coffee, i’m rolling my eyes and giving you a resounding OBVZ)

Cookie Dough For Breakfast

Okay so I know I promised my next post would be full of ridiculously cute wedding snaps (and don’t worry, that’s still coming) but right now I absolutely HAVE to share my most recent breakfast obsession. Because it is delicious. And takes two seconds to make. And did I mention it tastes like cookies? ‘Nuff said.

Also note: I did not create this recipe, it was developed by the genius Gina over at The Fitnessista. I’m posting the way I’ve been making it but I highly recommend her original recipe!

Cookie Dough Breakfast Cereal

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Ingredients:
1 tbsp almond butter
1/4-1/2 cup raw oats (I switch this up based on the toppings I use)
1/2 scoop protein powder (chocolate sun warrior blend for me)

Mash together with a fork until crumbly then top with any/all of the following:

1 cup almond milk
Dry cereal (granola, millet flakes, puffed grains, etc)
Shredded coconut
1/2 banana
Berries
Flax seeds
drizzle of syrup or a pinch of stevia

The doughy bits in this bowl are beyond delicious, and the healthy fats, protein and whole grains make it far more satisfying than your standard cold cereal bowl. The perfect breakfast treat to get you over the humpday blahs. :) Enjoy!

WIAW: My first and likely last attempt

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a WIAW it’s pretty self-explanatory. Blogger trend. Take pictures of your eats for 1 day of the week. Not every morsel just main meals and snacks.

Kinda problematic because obviously every body is different, every day is different, yada yada yada. But I write a food and fitness blog so it’s all pretty problematic when you think about it too hard. Grain of salt, people. Here goes…

Breakkinz:A LIBRA solution to the sweet/savoury dilemma

A-SIDE: 2 egg scramble with onions, peppers & mushrooms in a swiss chard wrap

B-SIDE: A cup and half of oats with a chopped peach, soy yogurt, coconut flakes, chia seeds & sunbutter


No decision necessary. Just the way I like it.

LUNCHRidiculously large tupperware full to the brim with kale salad (about half a bunch), shredded beets, zucchini & carrots, sprouts, 1/4 avocado, handful of cherry tomatoes, 1 slice toasted and chopped ezekiel “croutons” & about 1/3 block curried tofu cubes.

Desk snacks

DinnerProtein salad from Fresh - tempeh, chickpeas, quinoa, goji berris & tahini dressing

Evening snacksMany handfuls of sweet potato, beet & yuca terra chips to make up for my lighter-than-average dinner.Chocolate avocado shake for dessert!

Just almond milk, cocoa powder, avocado, maple syrup, ice and a 1/4 scoop of chocolate sunwarrior.

And voila! I certainly won’t make a habit of this since, even as a food blogger, I’d still rather spend my time eatin my food than takin pictures of it…but it was kind of fun just this once ;)

Vegan Banana Sunbutter Muffins

There are times for flakey, cake-like muffins and there are times for denser, heartier ones. When I came up with the recipe for these bad boys I was definitely searching for the latter. I wanted something small that would still fill me up and tide me during that midday hump and these muffins were just the ticket. They are perfect as pre-workout fuel, a mid-day pick me up or even a late-night snack. Did I mention they are also gluten-free, (optionally) sugar-free and only took me 30 minutes to make beginning to end.

Vegan Banana Sunbutter Muffins

Adapted from here

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe mashed bananas
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar OR 1/4 tsp concentrated stevia powder (I use New Roots organic stevia)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 4 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground (makes about 1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour with a milder flavour than store bought)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp whole buckwheat groats
  • 1 tbsp whole flax seeds

Directions:

  1. Mix first 6 ingredients until creamy.
  2. Stir together buckwheat flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture stirring to combine.
  4. Stir in seeds, whole groats and flax.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees 18 – 20 minutes in a lined muffin pan.
Yields 10 muffins.

Masala, Leek and Fennel Scramble

I don’t think you’re ready for the glory of this Sunday stay-at-home brunch recipe. Sweet, savoury and little exotic, it’s the perfect start to a hot sticky summery afternoon like the one we’re about to have in Southern Ontario.

Masala, Leek and Fennel Tofu Scramble


Lightly adapted from 101 cookbooks

  • heaping spoonful of coconut oil
  • couple pinches of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala 
  • 1 large leek, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 medium bulb fennel, cut into very thin slices
  • 3 tbsp chopped raisins
  • 12 ounces extra firm orgnic tofu, crumbled
  • 2 heaping scoops nutritional yeast
  • 2 big handfuls chopped swiss chard, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp of tahini
  • splash of almond milk

Directions:

  1. Add the coconut oil to a large skillet over med-high heat. Stir in the garam masala, and then add leek and fennel.
  2. Stir in leeks and salt and cook until they turn lightly brown and fragrant.
  3. Stir in the chopped raisins, cook them for thirty seconds and then add the tofu and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine and sautee until tofu begins to lightly brown (3-4 minute).
  4. Add chopped chard leaves and sautee until just wilted and bright green in colour.
  5. Pour 2 tbsp of balsamic into the pan and scrape up the pieces on the bottom of the pan as it bubbles and deglazes (1-2 mins).
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the sunflower seeds, drizzle on the tahini and stir together with a splash of almond milk.
  7. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Serves 4.

How are you brunching today?

INSPIRATION & RANDOM ACTS OF NEON

If last week felt like carefree summer in Toronto, this week felt like nose-to-the-grindstone fall. The weather turned grey and drizzly, work got busy and hectic and the city went into a bit of a miniature hibernation. Despite my love for all things hustle bustle, it is often during these downtime days/weekends/weeks that I get the most inspired creatively. Perhaps that’s why I’ve almost exclusively chosen to live in grey, rainy cities (Amsterdam/Halifax/Prague/Oviedo/etc)

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Here’s a little rundown of how I channeled my creative chutzpah this week…

1) DIY PROJECTS: NEON ACCENTS

Vintage Granny Chair + DAYGLOW PIPING

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Neutral Colourblocked Vase + SAFETY ORANGE

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2) SIMPLE, COLOURFUL, BALANCED MEALS

Loaded up on kombucha.

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Oatmeal bowls made for me and my dad (topped his with organic yogurt, mine with extra nuts and berries)

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Lentil hummus and roasted veggie stuffed chard wrap with a pile of squash and sweet potatoes (possibly ate half of these directly off the baking sheet) and a redundant side of greens and chopped apple for crunch.


Baked salmon served on a mountain of roasted veggies (potatoes, squash and brussel sprouts)

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3) YOGA x A MILLION


One of the things I’ve enjoyed so far about my 6 x 6 plan is that it has encouraged me to listen more attentively to what I actually want to do rather than mindlessly following some fitness schedule. Some days this means hauling ass to the gym in the middle of my workday to sweat like. Other days it means leaving the gym behind and going for an evening walk with my bestie and her pup.

This week my body was craving yoga almost every day and I was more than happy to oblige. Of course by early Sunday morning it became clear why I’d spent the week in stretchy/gumby/relaxation mode…

6 x 6 Update

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Monday: 1 hr yoga class
Tuesday: ZILCH. I had no energy all day and couldn’t put my finger on why…
Wednesday: 75 minute super sweaty gym session. Full of beans. Random.
Thursday: 1 hr walk with my pal and her pup.
Friday: 1 hr Hot Hatha Yoga.
Saturday: 30 self-led morning yoga. 30 minutes cardio LIFE (hoofing it back to the city carrying 2 gigantic bags of laundry I did at my dad’s place…cause I’m a grown-up like that)
SUNDAY – MONDAY: Surfin the Crimson Wave (TMI?). But it explained all my wacky energy changes as well as my need for serious yoga/stretching time. Both of these days I put my plan on the back burner and gave my bod the rest it needed.

I did however complete multiple sets of the following circuit workout, which I highly suggest you try:

1) Dip a big piece of banana in almond butter
2) Dip nut buttery banana in vanilla coconut yogurt
3) Dip nut buttery, vanillafied banana in brown rice crispies
4) Douse in cinnamon
5) Nommmmm…..

Repeat this circuit to tummy fatigue.

Does dreary weather inspire you to get productive or does it leave you in a funk? How are you channeling your creative energies this week?

Weekend Staycation & Coconut Buckwheat Porridge

It is Victoria Day weekend here in Ontario which means that half of the Toronto’s population has vacated the city to drink microbrewed beers on the docks of their million dollar Muskoka cottages. And while that sounds lovely and all (in fact last summer I toured the Muskokas and had a pretty stellar time) I been really enjoying the pleasure of spending my weekend right here with some great friends in the city I love…

Patio season has officially begun and since I’m a bit of a lightweight these days 1 drink in the sunshine left me bleary eyed & giggly! Not a bad way to kick off the weekend…

My friends were much better at comporting themselves.

City Sunset.

After yesterday’s shenanigans I decided I was in need of a healthy start to today & ended up coming up with a delicious new spin on my standard oatmeal breakfast. In a constant effort to enjoy a greater diversity of foods I would mix things up today and use of of my favourite superfoods: Buckwheat! Usually I think of cooking whole grains in the morning to be a slow and laborious process, but I was feeling inspired after reading Angela’s post on grinding steel cut oats for quicker cooking and I figured I’d give it a whirl. The result?

Creamy Coconut Buckwheat Porridge

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats
  •  1/2 tbsp chia or flax seeds
  • 1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk (OR a mix of almond milk + 1 tbsp canned coconut milk/coconut creamer)
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:  

  1. Pulse buckwheat and chia or flax seeds in a coffee grinder until coursely ground
  2. Combine milk and grains in a medium saucepan and heat until just boiling, then reduce to a simmer for about 5-7 minutes. I found that mine thickened very quickly so I thinned it out with an extra 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Remove from heat and serve.
Toppings: 
Toppings are key since the buckwheat has a very neutral flavour, even cooked in coconut milk. I topped mine with:
  • shredded coconut
  • sunflower seeds
  • extra coconut milk
  • cinnamon
  • drizzle of agave (could use honey, brown sugar, stevia etc.)

The Healthy Hipster Report Card

Well hello, lovelies! It’s been far too long but as I mentioned in my last post I have been keeping very busy lately getting acclimated at my new job and adjusting to the 9-2-5 lifestyle. Nevertheless I press on, doing my best to get past yet another period of transition, excited to find my rhythm once again.

Since I am going through transition (and its springtime to boot) I figured what better time to reflect a little on what exactly the “Healthy Hipster Lifestyle” really is? When I started the blog I think I focused largely on the mainstream understanding of health…food & fitness. But what kind of hipster would I be if I was satisfied with mainstream anything?

Now I find that when I need to check in with myself…give a little self-assessment…a report card if you will…that I divide up Healthy Hipsterdom into 5 Categories…

  1. Eats: Am I eating well? Enough? Mindfully? Am I enjoying the meals I eat? Am I eating a diversity of food?
  2. 20120514-085015.jpg
    My breakfast this morning: an egg white, avocado & dijon wrap in a brown rice tortilla with a side of spinach and berries.

  3. Activity: Am I moving my bod? Am I being consistent? Am I balancing structured workouts with sports, recreation and cardio LIFE?
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  5. Balance: Am I seeing friends? Enjoying a wide range of cultural and social activities? Have I become a crotchety hermit?
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    Me and my bestie at a magazine launch I hosted this past weekend.

  7. Thrift: Am I conscious of my financial priorities? Am I overspending on disposable items (take-out, cheap clothes, etc.)? Am I spending on the items that matter (health, home, savings)?
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    Ahem…Not in this lifetime. Looks like my salvaged wood furniture will actually have to come an actual barn not the pottery kind!

  9. Sanity: Am I taking time to myself? Am I dealing with my shit or just distracting myself (see items 1-4)?

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Taking time to reflect & notice the little things….e.g. hidden bike gardens!

Do these questions resonate with you too? How do you measure up on the Healthy Hipster Report Card?

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