Archive for December, 2010

December 31st, 2010

Tabula Rasa

So it’s that time again. Time for cliche sentences like “It’s that time again.”! 2010 has suprisingly come to a close and I’m not quite sure where it all went. It was full of surprises and challenges that I met head on and burst through the other side! Mostly it dealt with school, training for my first half marathon and starting this here blog!

Here are some highlights!

In February, Alan and I celebrated our very first anniversary so we took a trip to Niagara Falls!

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In early April, I conquered the Harry Rosen Spring Run Off 8k! My goal was to scale the two hills on the course without stopping and thanks to the hill sprints during training for eight weeks prior, I did AND managed the energy to sprint it to the finish line!

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A month later I ran my second 10k and smashed my time by 14 minutes! I’m going to run it again this year and see whether or not that was a fluke!

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Also in May, I started this here blog! I’ve always journaled in some way throughout my life so I figured that, after a few months of reading other amazing healthy living blogs, I thought it would be a natural progression!

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May was a busy month! Alan and I took our Mothers to see the production of Jersey Boys and treated them to an afternoon of good food and a great show (it was my second time seeing it!). This also happens to be my very favourite picture of my Mother and myself!

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Did I mention that May was a busy month? After years and years I finally got my drivers license! Alan and I studied together for weeks and passed our test with flying colours!

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However, my entire year was also devoted to a LOT of computer staring and page staring due to me being back at school, finishing up my psychology degree. It hasn’t been easy and I had a few meltdowns and threatened to quit at least once but I got through the year, now I just need to get through this next year and I’m done!

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Also, I discovered, and drank a lot, of Green Monsters. I tell ya, do not get freaked out by it, it’s one of the most delicious drinks you’ll ever have!

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In July, my best bud decided to have an adventure and tackle the hills on the Niagara Escarpment. One of my favourite memories of this was not knowing we were running against the flow of a trail race and so we were constantly having to jump off track to allow the runners to pass by. We cheered them on and at one water station a volunteer gave us some water even though they knew we weren’t racing, how sweet was that?! We also passed by famous Canadian runner (and editor of Canadian Running), Michael Kapral (and no, he wasn’t juggling)!

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We celebrated my 31st birthday in “style” by going to Medieval Times. When word of mouth got around, 18 of us were there, shouting at the top of our lungs for our knight to win and he did! WOOT!!!!

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I went to two weddings in six days this year and had a blast at both!

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Many, many, MANY delicious breakfasts were had, this one being my favourite: greek yogurt, rolled oats, sliced strawberries and brownies!

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Many a BBQ were had (I’ve never been much of a summer person but these pictures are making me long for the warmth!)!

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In August I participated in my first 15k race! It was such a great race and I felt so strong (I was also in peak mid-training condition so that helped)!

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Speaking of running, I spent the entire summer running as I was training for my first ever half-marathon. I found that I really looked forward to my long runs on Sunday mornings and thought about them all week long. It was such a great way to unwind and feel spectacularly accomplished by running a new distance every weekend! I can’t wait to do it again!

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All this training paid off at the end of September when I ran my first half-marathon! This was the absolute highlight of my year. Although it challenged me in more ways that I expected and I made several rookie mistakes and was never more achey in my life, I was also never more proud of myself. Running is so great that way, yes the support from loved ones is essential to getting through a race but no one gets through the race but you and you alone. For a person who, in the past, never accomplished the goals she set out for herself, I am now blasting through my goals like never before!

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Then October came along and we had to contend with a pumpkin who drank and partied too much. Thank God he left after Halloween!

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And finally Christmas came around. We bought my very first real Christmas tree and we experienced the best Christmas of our lives. I am truly thankful for what I have in my life!

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My 2011 Theme

I’m not a resolution maker. I don’t like to “resolve” to do things but I do live for the opportunity for growth. Every month and every year (heck, every DAY!) offer me new opportunities to grow but the new year is just so convenient to sit down and reflect on who you are and who you want to grow to be.

I make goals all the time so when it comes to the new year, I do something special. I make a theme! My yearly theme is usually a word, phrase or idea that encompasses every aspect of my life, whether it’s to live through more understanding or patience or, like last year, it was to get off my butt and stop procrastinating (I chose “Just Do It!” for last year’s theme). I find this a fun and creative way to challenge myself and accomplish goals in new ways.

This year my theme is “Chaaaaarrrrrrrge!!!!!!” I’ve spent the last couple of years setting the groundwork for some major life changes and I do believe that 2011 will be the year in which these goals start to emerge. Although I’ve made several small goals with this in mind, I’ll share the bigger examples of how my theme is going to invade my life next year!

– In early July I will be opening my own Life Coaching business specializing in helping people to jumpstart their weight loss and get fit, healthy and enjoying their lives. This will cause changes in several areas of my life and although I’m nervous to take the leap, I’m more excited to be working towards making money for myself and not for a company!

– I am going to focus more on getting off the rest of this weight and get either to or very close to, my happy weight by the end of 2011. I’m so close, I can’t stop now!

– Finish school!!!

– And a blog-related goal is to set a blog schedule and do some renovations to the place! Something a bit more professional and use the new camera I got for Christmas to the best of its abilities!


What are your plans for 2011? Do you make resolutions? Goals? Something else?

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December 29th, 2010

Everyday Indian’s Butter “Chicken”

For Christmas this year I received several cookbooks (two Italian and two Indian, nonetheless) which I plan to review as I make recipes from them!

One of them is Everyday Indian and was designed by Terry Jeavons & Company with additional text by Linda Doeser. This little cookbook came with four chemistry-type vials of popular indian spices (garam masala, tumeric, coriander and chili powder).

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This book contains a mix of recipes from various parts of India and for my first recipe from the book I couldn’t help myself. I had to try the butter chicken (featured on the cover no less)! Obviously I had to figure out a substitute for the chicken so I chose tofu patties instead.

I got to use a lot of the Christmas goodies I received for Christmas including an unintentional gift of an electronic food scale (both Dad and I got this for Mom when what she wanted was a Starfrit nutritional scale – Oops!). This thing is pretty cool, especially when the recipe dealt with ounces!

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The first thing I had to do was make the Tandori “chicken” so I figured I’d wing it and do everything it told me to do but use tofu instead.

Well, um. The best laid plans and all that…

I rubbed the tofu with lemon and salt, covered and left it in the fridge to marinate for twenty minutes or so.

I gathered the spices.

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I mixed it with the yogurt, cream and flour.

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Then I added the tofu cutlets, rubbed it all in and stuck it in the fridge.

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I had to leave it to marinate for 4-6 hours so what did I end up doing while it did it’s magic?
I went for a run (a short one to the drugstore).

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(Forgive my frightened look, I always look like this before heading out in the cold!)

Then I worked on my research project.

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And then I finally got hungry enough to finish everything up.

I do not have pictures of the ensuing insanity that happened in my brand new cast iron pan as I was too busy stressing out! The recipe said to grill the “chicken” so I thought I’d try it on the new pan instead of using a grill as I was lazy. The problem was that once the tofu hit the surface the marinade stuck to the pan and started to burn!!! I did my best to temper the burning marinade with cooking the tofu but by the end of it the windows were opened, I almost burned myself three times and spent twenty minutes scrapping my pan with a knife (a nice perk about cast iron is you can scrub the ever-livin’ crap out of it with no problems) and trying to get all the burnt marinade off.

I must say I did a great job as I was still able to use the pan to make the butter “chicken”.

Below is this “butter” “chicken”. It certainly did not turn out the way it does on the cover of the book. It was really soupy and although it tasted pretty good, it tasted more like a tomato dish rather than a creamy butter chicken. And of course the tofu didn’t taste very tandori-y.

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I don’t have a nicely plated picture because by the time it was all said and done I was just glad for it to be over with but I ate it with some rice and settled on a salad because by the time I realized I had forgotten to make the cauliflower I had planned I just didn’t care any more!

It’s very possible that I mucked up the recipes and seeing as I substituted a few things and couldn’t follow it exactly I can’t honestly say it was the problem with the recipes themselves. I still have several recipes bookmarked so we’ll see what happens when I make those!