Posts tagged ‘Tofu’

September 7th, 2010

Effective Goal Setting Techniques

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you all had a fabulous long weekend if you were able to have one. Mine was spent relaxing big time as it was the last long weekend before I start school (a week tomorrow! Eek!). Mostly I lounged around, went to the movies (saw Inception again and Piranha 3D which was hilarious!) and did a little bit of housework (but not too much).

I also managed to head out for a 10k on Sunday and felt perfectly rejuvenated! I’m back and ready to finish off my half marathon training and ready to kick it at the Scotiabank Waterfront Half Marathon on September 26th!

I decided to try something on the fly this evening. I’ve had mashed cauliflower only once before and thought it was pretty tasty and seeing as we picked up almost 1.5lbs of cauliflower for less than $2 this weekend I thought I’d give it a go! Excuse the awful photos, the light was fading and no amount of colour fiddling was able to do it justice!

Wasabi Dill Cauliflower Mash

DSCN4707.JPG

  • .5tbsp olive oil
  • Approx. 1/2 head of cauliflower (large head)
  • 1/4c water
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1tbsp dried dill (or .5tbsp fresh)
  • .5tbsp wasabi powder

Add olive oil to a pre-heated sauce pan and then add cauliflower, water and lemon juice. Stir every few minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Add cauliflower to blender or food processor along with dill and wasabi.

Blend until smooth!

I topped ours with a couple of parmesan shavings which gave it an extra bold taste when combined with the wasabi.

Alan agreed that it was very tasty!

DSCN4720.JPG

The cauliflower mash was combined with some awesome crispy tofu (topped with simple salt and pepper).

DSCN4726.JPG

And some black quinoa for crunch!

DSCN4731.JPG

Dinner was pretty awesome!

DSCN4734.JPG

Effective Goal Setting

Last week I discussed the importance of telling others about your goals to help make you more accountable (although watch this video for an opposite and intriguing opinion).


Now that you’ve told everyone under the sun what you want to accomplish it’s important to break down the goal into steps to ensure that you will, in fact, achieve this goal.

It sounds cliche but one of the easiest ways to remember the steps is to use the acronym SMART:


S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Timely


Specific refers to, obviously, not having a vague goal. “Goals” such as “I need to get a new job” or “I’m going to run a race” are just too vague because you won’t know where to begin and the results may leave much to be desired (you may get stuck in a job that you hate).


Example: Let’s roll with the job idea! So you have a general idea of what you want, a job. Now let’s break it down! What sort of job do you want? Do you want to work with people? At home? What’s your skill level going to allow? Are you willing to travel for work? If so, where to and to what extent are you willing to travel? What do you want out of a job? Do you want to make enough money to pay the bills and live comfortably? Do you want a job that helps others? Are there any requirements you’ll need for the job that you want and if you don’t have it, how can you get it?


How do you know if you’ve achieved your goal? Some goals are easy to measure. If you goal is to run a 5k race, you know you’ve achieved the goal when you’ve crossed the finish line. But others can be more diffiult to assess. Having a measurable goal is immensely important because if you have nothing to measure your goal against you may not ever know if you’ve achieved it or not! So you need to ask yourself if the goal can be measured. What are the measurements? Is it quanitifiable? Are the results observable? What will the successful outcome look like?!


Example: We’ll continue with the idea of getting a new job! You’ve identified that you want a job in marketing for a company that will encourage your creativity and allows room for you to move up. Well, just being specific allows for a certain amount of measurability. You’ll know you’ve achieved this goal with you are firmly employed in the marketing department of a company that encourages your creativity and allows room for you to move! Without being specific, most goals remain hard to measure.


How attainable is your goal? This is where you’ll need to be reasonable. Starting out in an entry level position is not going to allow you to become president in a month. Is your goal one that you can actually accomplish or are you picking at straws? This does not mean, however, that you can’t follow your dreams! Far from it! You can follow your dreams as long as you are reasonable in what it’ll take to get there. You’ll need to ask yourself what skills you have currently and what skills you will need to accomplish your goal. If there are skills you are lacking you will need to learn them. This may mean you’ll have to go back to school first or research the skills needed. Basically, you need to identify the resources needed to carry out the goal and work towards fulfilling them.


Example: You’ve identified the job you want but there’s a problem. You only took a year of marketing in school! You know you’re talented but still need to hone your skills. At this point, before you jump into college applications. Take a look at the job market in general and look at their qualifications. What are companies looking for in marketing? Do they require a degree or experience? Are they looking for entry level where you’re one year may be a benefit? Do you already have a body of work? Research what you’ll need and if you find that most companies are requiring a marketing degree then think about going to back to school but continue to send your resumes to these companies. They may consider you if you tell them that you’re going back to school for marketing. If anything, when you finish school, perhaps you’ll already have that contact!


How relevant is your goal? Is this a goal that is going to bring growth and happiness to your life or is it a goal you made to bring happiness to someone else? Appropriate goals will benefit you and the rest of your life. If it makes someone else happy, all the better but it’s not the point of making a goal. Now’s the time to ask yourself the big questions. Why is this goal so important to you? What will it achieve in the end? Asking these goals just helps us to ensure that we are on the right track to dedicating ourselves towards a happier, more fulfilling life.


Example: Marketing fulfills a creative urge I have had since I was a child. I was always looking at TV commercials and advertisements and wondering how they influenced them. I chose marketing so I could discover ways in which to combine advertising and ethical sales techniques to help people make better choices in life.

Is your goal timely? Without a time limit we procrastinate and our goals quickly become wishes. Having a time limit allows us to focus and ensures we achieve them! Make sure your goals are realistic though! Finishing up a renovation project in one week that you haven’t even chosen a colour for is not going to work.


Example: If you’ve done your homework properly, you’ll already know the fluctations in the job market and hopefully for marketing specifically. You discover that there are specific courses you need to take and you’ll have to go back to school for a year. Then you know you’ll need to build on your experience. So giving yourself a 3 year time-frame to find this perfect job would be a reasonable timeframe. It gives you enough time to finish courses, build on your resume while also looking for this amazing job but it’s also close enough that you can’t afford too much time to procrastinate.

I used to be the type of person who never followed through with my goals even though I made them CONSTANTLY. I was always wanting to learn a new language or lose weight or get better jobs but I was neve specific enough or else I made goals that were completely unrealistic. The first goal I ever made and carried through with was decided to run a 5k race. It was the perfect goal! I had a time limit because I chose a specific race (Run For The Cure on Oct. 5, 2008), I knew that I would achieve it when I crossed the finish line and I knew that I needed to learn how to run to attain it. I chose that goal because I was tired of being unfit and unhealthy and wanted to live a full, long life and be a good example to my future children. The race I chose was almost a year away, PLENTY of time to learn how to run and progress to a 5k.


This being said, I caution to NOT make a time goal out of losing a specific amount of weight. I think far too often people say they want to lose X amount of weight by this date or that occasion and get frustrated if/when they can’t achieve it. Although it takes a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound, our bodies don’t necessarily stick to that on a consistent basis. Not to mention MANY weight goals are very unrealistic. Losing 50lbs in six months is the quickest way to have it come back on plus bringing some friends. Weight should be lost slowly and gradually due to a lifestyle change and not due to deprivation. Some lucky people can lose weight consistently until they reach their goal but those people are few and far inbetween. Our bodies are just so complex that giving it a timeline is basically a futile attempt.


What you CAN do, if you want to make a goal of losing weight is to make healthy lifestyle goals that will aide in weight loss. Such as making a goal to walk for 45 minutes, three days a week for three months and then increase to five days a week. Or making a goal to phasing out pop in your life or processed food. These goals will not only make you healthier, you may find that they have the amazing side-effect of weight loss!

And if you don’t believe me, I lost 90lbs by doing just that.


July 23rd, 2010

Bizarro World

What a WEEK! I survived my presentation and although I still have a project and my actual proposal still due, I’m basically coasting through the next week. I wasn’t nervous for my presentation, the stress was that the presentation essentially forced us to have the majority of our research proposal all figured out, two weeks before it’s actually due! So I had to put my nose down this week and get through it, I even spent two hours working on it on my birthday! :(

But today? Today I feel FREE!!! The stress has melted away and I feel like a new woman! I’m taking the evening off from school work and will pick up again tomorrow, my goal is to have all my projects done by the end of next week, regardless of due date so that I can enjoy six full weeks of freedom!

Breakfast was a quick one, I overslept again (I admit, sleep has trumped exercise since TUESDAY!!!) so I just threw together some yogurt and fixin’s.

  • 3/4c strawberry yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop whey protein powder (yogurt wasn’t greek, I wanted more protein)
  • 1tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3c rolled oats
  • handful of Kashi crunch
  • 1/2 a squishy banana

It hit the spot!

Friday afternoons at work during the summer are sooooo boring. I spent almost the entire afternoon trying to find stuff to do and spent a large amount of time on the internet and even composing this post! I sent Alan a text to see about dinner (and to amuse myself) and apparently he was at the grocery store and had already decided on dinner!!!! I admit that although I LOVE to cook, I also LOVE not having to worry about it! I decided to pick up a couple of bottles of wine to go with whatever dinner we were having, I got a variety to choose from (the dangers of havingĀ  your bus stop located right beside a wine store!):

How did we pair the wine? Well! This was dinner!

Alan made us a side salad with portobello mushrooms and slice strawberries with tofu nuggets! He made them himself and they were good! He got them off of a website so I’ll grab it for ya’s! They were mighty tasty and we dipped them in some plum sauce!

So good that I just polished off the final three that were left…

So we decided that since we were having tofu nuggets, therefore something lighter, we’d go with Pinot Grigio! It paired great! Good call on our part!

BIZARRO-WORLD

I have a freaky story to share with you!

Last night I seriously felt as if I had entered a science fiction movie!

I normally get to class about 40 minutes before class begins (it’s when my bus arrives as I leave straight from work), so normally I’ll grab dinner and head to the classroom and sit in silence for about twenty minutes when the rest of the class starts showing up. So last night I do just that, I grab dinner (babaganoush pita from Pita Pit – yum! and a bottle of water) and head to my classroom. I get there, walk into the class, think it’s weird that there are a lot of people in there and then notice I don’t recognize any of them! So I walk back out and recheck the room number. It was, indeed, MY classroom number. In confusion I go to take a walk. Perhaps they were just wrapping up or something (even though there weren’t any other classes scheduled at that time). I round a corner and come across a classmate! Good! She sees me and sighs with relief and then proceeds to tell me that she went into that room, noticed the strange people and asked what was going on. The students tell her, as if she’s crazy, that they’ve had class on Thursdays at 7pm in that classroom since MAY!!!!!!!! She tells them that’s impossible because HER class has been having class in that very room every Thursday at 7pm since the end of JUNE (with the exception of ONE Thursday as we were in a computer lab)! I’m dumbfounded at this point. What’s going on?!?! So we head back to that classroom again and by then other fellow classmates are showing up and getting equally as confused and so are these other, imposter, students. We just look at eachother like idiots. This is impossible! How can two groups of people be in the same room, at the same time and not notice?! It’s like we stumbled into some strange parallel dimension! Something out of a movie! Finally both of our profs show up and both were just as dumbfounded. I think I had to actually pick my profs jaw up from off the floor at one point.

After much talk about class schedules we finally realize that the imposter class was slightly exagerrating. Yes, they’ve been in that room on Thursdays since May but there were a couple of weeks when they weren’t in that classroom. Somehow, some way, we managed to evade eachother for the past FIVE WEEKS without realizing that the classroom had been double-booked! Isn’t that WEIRD?!?!?!

I LOVE that this happened to me! Ha ha ha It makes life so much more interesting!

What’s the weirdest thing to have happened to you so far?

Another strange story (I like to think it was fate) was on my first day working at my school in Japan (I taught English for 15 months) I met a fellow teacher who also started that day and was born and raised in Japan but at one point, LIVED in my hometown (population 18,000)!!! She even brought in her yearbook at one point (would’ve been weirder if we went to the same school as we’re the same age)! Whoa…