Posts tagged ‘Grains’

October 1st, 2010

Squash For Breakfast?!

Normally in Southern Ontario we have two seasons, summer and winter (or, as some people like to say, winter and construction), our spring and fall never seem to last more than two weeks but this year?! This year fall is in full force! We’ve had several weeks of beautiful fall weather so today I couldn’t help myself but test out my half-marathon legs and walk home from work.

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Still on the squash , I can’t help it, I have an open can of butternut squash and have been sucked into the blog void where it seems all of my Google Reader is inundated with squash type things (except most are pumpkin related – blech!). But I thought I’d try something different and add it to my Red River cereal !


Butternut Squash Hot Cereal


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This is seriously some good eats!

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  • 1/4c of Red River cereal (or any other hot cereal)
  • 3/4c soy milk
  • 1/4c water
  • 1/4c canned butternut squash (or freshly mashed if you’re feeling spunky)
  • Toppings of choice (this had sliced banana, sunflower seeds, a palmful of granola and some cacao nibs for crunch).

All you need to do is cook up your cereal like you normally would and then near the end, add the squash and stir to mix and heat up a bit. Serve as usual!

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I know it sounds weird, squash in cereal, but I promise, it’s really quite good AND you get a serving of vegetables in before lunch! How can you possibly go wrong?!

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The rest of the evening’s plans include pita pizza’s and watching the second episode of Boardwalk Empire . Has anyone started watching it yet? I really like it so far! Tomorrow I’m very busy spending most of my day baking and cooking! I have an early Thanksgiving on Sunday with my best friend and her boyfriend, I’m in charge of a veggie dish and dessert, I’m also going to be making some special goodies for those who won the giveaway ! And I have a secret dish to bake which I can’t tell you about until next week! The evening will be busy working on some school projects once Alan goes to work! Nothing like an excited Saturday night of school work! Ha!


Sunday I’m planning my first run since the half , just a nice, leisurely 5k around the neighbourhood before being whisked away for a great afternoon of Thanksgiving food, wine and hot tub action! Nothing says “Thanksgiving” like a hot tub! 😉

I still have two people who haven’t contacted me about winning the giveaway! Please head over to see if you won and send me an email with your address to lifestastyadventures at gmail dot com!


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

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  • .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!

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

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And some black quinoa for crunch!

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Dinner was pretty awesome!

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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.