WIAW: Chocolate Soy Smoothie!

So yesterday’s eating was not so stellar. Was it a great water drinking day? Not so much. Was it a great veggie day? Not really. Did I maybe trade dinner for a latte? Yah, I kinda did. But in my defense I did track my calories, I did start my day with fruit and I did have a dairy free day. So I don’t think we can call it a total write off on the healthy scale.

Welcome to my WIAW post! Thanks Jenn for the great link up. Not only does this give me a great mid-week post idea, I love being reminded of my eating fails. lol. Not really, but in truth I love being forced to think about what I eat and documenting it. It really is a wonderful way to keep myself on track. I know I say this every week but it still amazes me how interested I am in what people eat. Blogging really does take people watching to a whole new level. Let’s get this party started!

Breakfast: Chocolate Soy Smoothie

WIAW Chocolate Soy Smoothie: Run Away Freckles

Look at me drinking chocolate soy milk. This is a miracle everybody. I LOVE me some chocolate cow’s milk. I mean a pretty unhealthy love affair. So the worst think about going dairy free is giving up chocolate milk. I am still grieving. But I had a major boost to my mood when I found Silk Chocolate Soy Milk. I wasn’t convinced at first. I have been fooled by chocolate coconut milk before. I tried the milk first in a smoothie with chocolate protein powder, blueberries and raspberries. It might be my new favorite smoothie. I also tried the milk on its own today and I may be won over.

Lunch: Veggie Soup and A Bagel

veggie soup

I am sorry for the lame reused photo but my lunch was exactly the same as Monday. I had another bowl of my homemade veggie soup and an everything bagel. I for sure used too much garlic in this soup but it is still great and the huge container in the fridge is slowly being emptied. The everything bagel may contain milk ingredients but I am okay with that, I put some vegan margarine on it.

Snack

WIAW Run Away Freckles

The afternoon was where my day fell apart in the eating department. After work I quickly ran home to grab some snacks before my double tutoring sessions. I was surpsrsingly not that hungry after work. Usually I am starving and want to eat a horse. I normally end up eating my dinner very early because I can’t wait anymore. Today I had some veggie chips with hummas and warmed up some turkey meatballs and that was it.

WIAW Turkey Meatballs

I love meatballs. I can make a huge batch in the crock pot add some sweet and sour sauce and have a yummy snack or dinner easily at hand. They can be pricey but a batch makes about ten servings or more which is pretty great!

Diner? Snack? Whatever

WIAW Starbucks Treat

After my tutoring sessions I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t feel like going home. Instead I decided to hit up Starbucks for a latte. I am happily surprised that I like Soy lattes! YAY! I tried the caramel brulee latte and it was awesome. I got it with no whip. I enjoyed it with my furry friends while I wrote this post! Happy WIAW!

WIAW Run Away Freckles

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Happy Day

Hello Friends, how’s your day going? I am having a great week so far. Yesterday I was home from work but made the most of my time off by fitting in some extra exercise and pampering. My favourite kind of day.

This morning turned out awesome. After Josh went to work I made myself a yummy smoothie. I was feeling a bit sad about giving up chocolate milk for the dairy free life and decided to buy some chocolate Silk. I haven’t tried to drink it straight and I don’t think I will because it won’t be as good as chocolate cow’s milk, sigh. Anyways it makes an awesome smoothie with chocolate protein powder, blueberries and raspberries.

Perfect Day Smoothie

For the first time in about a week it seemed dry out. It was also about 7 degrees Celsius which is pretty awesome for us this time of year. The good weather and the free morning loured me outside for a run. I am so happy I did because I had the best 5k run I’ve had in a long time! I have been slacking a bit on my runs but yesterday has encouraged me to squeeze more running into my schedule.

November run on my Happy Day

I picked a route that was uphill for the first half and down hill for the second half. It was perfect. I was brave and wore short tights and a long sleeve shirt. I think I finally know how to dress for cold weather running. I see people dressed in hoodies and long pants at this time of year and I know they have to regret that decision after a while. You have to brave the cold for a bit, but dressing in lighter clothes, even in the cold is worth it.

face mask fun

Do some stretching while my face mask sets? Don’t mind if I do. I love coming home from a workout and doing a face mask. I usually need time to cool down and stretch before my shower anyways, its the perfect time to do a bit of pampering. Plus my skin ends up feeling as awesome as the rest of my body does.

After my shower I made myself some lunch and something wonderful happened. Remember that veggie soup I made in my crock pot on Sunday? Well you can read about this week’s meal plan here. The soup actually tastes good! YAY

Homemade Veggie Soup on my Happy Day

This soup has a beef broth base, diced tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots, peas and beans and turnip. When it was cooking all day on Sunday it smelled horrid. I was sooo worried we would hate it and wouldn’t eat it. Of course it made about 10 servings. I also have a ton of veggies frozen for a whole second batch. Figures it would smell disgusting and be a total waste. But it wasn’t!! I am not always successful with soup, and while this might not be my favorite soup ever, it will be eaten. When I make the second batch I will use vegetable broth and less garlic. I have a history of using too much garlic and the beef broth was cheaper and I thought it would be fine. Yah no, veggie is the way to go. Oh, and don’t put big whole chunks of turnip in your soup. They just don’t go. I will be eating around them.

our new blue chair

Do you like our new chair? Josh found it on Kijiji for free! He surprised me with it last night. I have been wanting to add some navy into our colour scheme and it is perfect. It has a few spots on it but hey, you can’t argue with free. Now I just need some new cushions to spruce up the place and a nice rug. We have a rather large living room area and getting a run the proper size is a bit pricey. I know my kitties would enjoy it though. Marley slid into the wall the other night when he was running. He likes the new chair though.

I had a pretty lazy afternoon but I did head out of my cozy nest to hit up the mall for a little bit. I really had no purpose and shouldn’t have tempted myself with all of that shopping but I was on a mission to pick up some Chocolate Mint Roobios from David’s Tea.

Happy Day: Run Away Freckles

 

This is my favourite tea. It is the best chocolate tea I have tried. It actually tastes like chocolate. Most of the teas claim to be like dessert but this one is the closest. I like to make it with some milk and a sweetener. Even better is adding some chocolate soy milk 🙂 This tea is also really good when its iced.

Later that day I hit up my Monday night Boot Camp class. It was awesome. We focused a lot on upper body which really balanced out my morning run. I am feeling pretty sore today. The night ended with some TV watching and a conservative bed time. Just the way I like it.

What makes a happy day for you?

Tried any awesome teas lately?

This Week’s Veggie Lovin’ Meal Plan

This Week's Meal Plan

Last week’s goal of eating from our stock pile went great! We ate from the freezer all week and I only went to the store one time to buy bagels. I probably could have lived without them but I had a craving. We mostly stuck to our meal plan and ate really well. All of our leftovers got eaten, no waste!! And the granola bars and baked oatmeal I made were big hits. I was able to eat fruit with my breakfast everyday and my meals contained lots of veggies. It was a very successful week of meal planning.

Eating from our stock pile means that our freezer was fairly empty, my baking supplies were down and the fridge was looking pretty bare. While I am very happy about this, it also meant a pretty big grocery shop this week. I have also decided to make our meals as dairy-free as possible. I am attempting to go completely dairy free and am doing it slowly. Right now I am aiming for 90% and will eventually be totally dairy-free. In the mean time I am working on exploring budget friendly dairy-free meals. Apparently everything I like to cook includes cheese or some sort of creamy substance. Thinking up things that I love to eat and that don’t contain dairy products has been a challenge.

All morning Saturday Josh and I did an around town grocery shop. We hit up the market, two different grocery stores, Costco and the Bulk Food Store. It was worth it though because our cupboards are now restocked with canned goods, baking goods, fruit, and veggies. The plan for this week is to eat lots and lots of veggies. Hopefully we won`t have to do such a big grocery shop for at least two weeks.

Sunday: Turkey Meatballs with Sweet Potato Fries and Kale Salad

Monday: Veggie and Bean Soup with Kale Salad

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday: Whole Wheat Penne with Turkey Meat Sauce

Friday: Eating Out

Saturday: Tacos!

meal planning at the groceyr store

By buying a large bag of frozen meatballs and making a huge pot of soup, I was able to create enough for our lunches for the week. We also bought lots of healthy snack foods and I made a batch of healthy granola bars.

I am not sure if the soup will be a hit and I really shouldn’t have made so much of it. I had so much veggies and beans for the soup that they wouldn’t fit in my large crock pot. I froze half of everything in a big zip lock bag for later. This will be great if we eat the soup but not so awesome if Josh and I hate it. This would be my biggest tip for meal planning. Don’t make a large amount of something new. Experimenting in the kitchen is all well and good but if you have tons of left overs you won’t eat then you have just wasted money and all of your hard work goes out the window. I continue to learn this lesson on the regular.

This post has been linked with Still Being Molly and the Let it Shine link up as well as Join the Gossip and the Monday Morning Gossip Link up. Make sure you check these lovely ladies out and their linky parties!!

Friday Favourites: DIY Projects

Happy Friday! This week I want to share some of my favourite DIY projects. These are things I have created for our apartment. I love to create my own decor and personalize my space with things that I love and I’ve created. It makes me feel extra proud of my home and also makes me feel good when I walk in the door. Plus I always get tons of complements from visitors that are impressed when something wasn’t store bought.

DAY SPA1. The Josh and Julie Board

This is the first DIY project Josh and I worked on together. We made it two years ago on Super Bowl Sunday. We weren’t living together yet but Josh had his own apartment and I was staying there a lot. I was spending a snowy Super Bowl Sunday with him and wanted to do a project. This board took WAY longer than we expected. We printed out all of the phrases onto label paper in different fonts. We then had to cut them out for a horrifically long period of time. Seriously, I think Josh contemplated braking up with me over the tedious cutting.

After we had decided on the phrases, chosen fonts and cut them out of the label paper I painted the canvas a light cream colour. Then I spent a good hour laying them out and deciding on placement. I had to peel the backing off of the label paper and stick each individual letter on the canvas. I then painted the whole thing blue and peeled off the letter. It took ALL day. We started in the morning and I missed the football game because I was still working.

Josh and Julie Board 2

I love the words and phrases we chose for this board. They are all important to us. This hangs in our bedroom and it makes me smile when I look at it. Not only because I think its beautiful but also because I remember us fighting over the ridiculous cutting and placement of each word and the crazy amount of time we dedicated to this project.

2. The Minature Owl Vases

candle votice 2

This is a more recent DIY. I did in the summer time. You can read about these little owl vases here. I love them. They are a wonderful example of taking something that was not-so-pretty and creating something new. These still don’t have a permanent home in our apartment. I am still trying to decide where I want them to be and what to put in them. Maybe I will even give them as a gift.

3. The Bird Art

Bird Pictures 2

When we moved into our first apartment it had grey walls and carpet. I was (and still am) pretty obsessed with the grey and yellow combination. Yellow is my favorite colour. We had very little furniture let alone pictures for the walls and hardly any money. I wanted to make something to go over our TV and went to Pinterest. I accidentally started our bird theme by choosing these bird canvases as our project.

I painted these two pieces of canvas grey and then hand painted the branches in brown. Talk about stressful, I am no artist. I think they turned out pretty good. I printed outlines of birds of different sizes and leaves from the internet. We traced them onto scrap book paper and decoupaged them onto the canvas. I love how they turned out. We get lots of complements on them and people always ask where we bought them.

4. My Beautiful Message Boards

I love my new message boards. You might have seen my How-To post earlier this week. If you haven’t you can read about my message boards here. This is my favourite DIY project ever! I am still smiling about them.

magnet board

We are already putting these beauties to good use. Josh has his assignments written on the dry erase board and I have put up some wedding venue information I need to later on the magnet board. Does anyone know if you can get metallic dry-erase markers? I would really love a gold marker for our board.

I love creating things for my home. DIY’s are so much fun and help me make my space beautiful and personal with less money. Its really a win win for everyone! I am sure these are not the last things I create. With Christmas right around the corner its time to get crafty.

Make sure you visit Heather at Housewife Glamour and check out the other Friday Favorites posts!

Housewife Glamour

 

Random Thursday Thoughts

The week is winding down and its time to explore some of the random and wild thoughts bouncing around in this brain of mine. I apologize in advance for the wild things that happen in my head. Actually I think this week’s thoughts are pretty tame. I must be tired.

1. Thank You!!

This blogging thing is still very new to me. That being said I am not in my fifth month of blogging. Isn’t that nuts! I have already learned so much and done so many new things. I didn’t even have a twitter account a few months ago and now I check it a number of times a day. I am so excited about all that has happened and how my tiny little blog has grown. I need to thank everyone who has visited, liked, commented and followed. I hope to entertain and inspire you everyday and I will continue to try and improve. This is becoming less of a hobby and more of my soul project all the time. I have big plans for my little blog in the next couple of months and I hope you’ll follow along for the ride.

lifes better with friends

2. Chestnut Praline Latte for the Win!!

The Red Cup is Back!!! I think that sentence warranted horrible punctuation. I mean, who isn’t excited when the boring green and white cups go away and the magic of Christmas takes over our fancy expensive coffee beverages. Last night I tried the new Chestnut Praline Latte and I am in love. This might be my new favourite latte. It is WAY better than the icky Eggnog Latte. Sorry eggnog lovers, but I am not with you. Starbucks has taken it off the menu for Ontario and I am okay with that. The praline definitely makes this latte and I would suggest it for your next Starbucks visit 🙂

praline chestnut latte

3. Goodbye Cheese, I Will Miss You Dearly

Beware for TMI but I am sure many of your deal with the same issues. I am experimenting with going dairy free. Obviously I am not perfect (emhem Starbucks latte) but I am trying. I am finding my stomach upset interfering with my life, most specifically my workouts. Running seems to really move things along. For that reason I am trying very hard to cut dairy out of my diet. Or at least remove it 90% of the time. This makes me want to cry because cheese is my best friend but I know it will make me feel better and make my running less…lets just say smoother.

4. If I Fits I Sits

I really don’t have anything to say about this. I ran out of veggie chips. The cat seemed bored. The box didn’t make it to the recycling. The end.

cat in the box

5. Why can’t I find a gold Dry Erase Marker?

Have you check out my Beautiful Message Boards yet? I am still gushing over them. They are my favourite DIY project ever. I have been catching myself stepping into our office just to admire them. I know, I need a life. Still, there is something that is bugging me. I really want a gold dry erase marker to go with the gold magnets on our magnet board. I mean, how hard is that? Surely Martha Stewart has discovered the need for metallic dry erase markers?? Apparently Martha has failed me because I cannot find one. I dragged Josh to Staples the other night to look and we came home empty handed. I will keep looking, in the mean time we are using a boring old black marker that is almost dead.

Any random thoughts today? 

Thinking-Out-Loud2

WIAW: Running on Oats

Happy WIAW! I am starting to really like these posts. Sharing what I have been eating encourages me to get more creative with my meals and stay accountable with my eating. As part of my November Goals I am counting calories again with My Fitness Pal. I am trying to stay within my calorie count but am also focusing on staying (mostly) dairy free and eating veggies and fruits every day. So far I have been doing pretty well. Here are my eats from yesterday.

Breakfast:

WIAW nov 7

The easiest way for me to eat a healthy breakfast with lots of fruit in it is a fruit smoothie. Right now I am alternating between smoothies and baked oatmeal for breakfast. I am keeping it dairy free by using vegan protein powder and Silk Almond Coconut Blend Milk. I like it much better than straight almond or straight coconut milk. Nothing is as good as cow’s milk though, sigh.

Pre-Run Snack

granola bar nov 7

Yesterday I didn’t work so I made the most of my extra time by going for a morning run. I won’t say it was my best run ever, but I had great weather and felt good about myself afterwards. To fuel my run I ate some oats. That is, I ate a homemade pumpkin chocolate chip granola bar. These are becoming a staple in our house. They are so good!

running selfie nov 7

Well, apparently I have still not figured out how to take a good running selfie. I look evil in this picture. In reality I am actually just very sweaty and short for breath. Thank goodness I can throw a filter on my pictures and save you from the real flaming freckled face in this picture.

Lunch:

nov 7 collage

After my run I got super cold and spent my afternoon snuggled up on the couch working on my computer and catching up on some day time TV. For lunch I made myself some bean and ham soup and I couldn’t resist throwing some sweet potato fries in the over. They are so good! The soup warmed me right up and it was a tasty lunch.

Afternoon Snack

bannana choc muffin

These are so good! This is a basic muffin recipe that I have molded and molded enough that I think I can call it my own. I will be sharing it later on. These are fairly healthy banana chocolate chip muffins. While I was enjoying a day off I thought I would take care of some of the brown bananas I had thrown in our freezer. I always have good intentions of eating the bananas bu then they go bad. Luckily I finally was able to make some muffins and I was so glad because they made an awesome snack.

Dinner

sheppards pie

One of my all time favourites is Sheppard’s Pie. I make it all the time. If you have been reading my posts for a while you probably already know about my love of Sheppard’s Pie. Well, we are eating from our stock pile this week and I had veggies and ground turkey in the freezer. What does that equal? Sheppard’s Pie! I was so excited to have something warm and nutritious ready and waiting for dinner. It was quick and fueled me up for boot camp.

Yesterday was such a great day. I loved fitting in two workouts and doing some lounging and baking. If only everyday could be that way. Back to work today! Good thing we still have lots of left overs in the fridge. Make sure to check our Jenn and the WIAW Linkup!

This Week’s Meal Plan

This Week's Meal Plan

I really liked having a meal plan for our dinner’s last week. We didn’t really follow it exactly, a few things got put off or moved around but it was good to know we had enough food in the house and a plan for what needed and should get eaten. I want to continue on this trend and hopefully get even better at meal planning.

I was lucky enough to be able to do some meal prep on Sunday afternoon and we have lots of food in the cupboards. This week’s theme is going to be eating from our stock pile. I am finding our grocery bill ridiculous and meanwhile we have lots of food in the house. We have a horrible habit of being picky eaters and eating out rather than eating the dinner we should. Saving money is a big priority right now and this needs to end. So I have included lots of meals this week that are made up of ingredients we have in the freezer or cupboard.

Sunday: Dinner at my Parents

My mom made a lasagna but I am trying really REALLY hard not to eat dairy this week. I have been having way too many upset stomach problems and something needs to change. I want to see if staying away from dairy makes a difference. My mom made me a chicken breast and salad instead.

Monday: Sloppy Joe and Sweet Potato Fries

I had ground turkey in the freezer and all of the seasonings. If you make the Sloppy Joe mix with healthy meat a low fat and sodium sauce and have them on whole wheat bread, Sloppy Joe’s can be very healthy and nutritious, especially when you add salad and sweet potatoes!

Tuesday: Sheppard’s Pie

This is something that got shoved into this week. I made it on Sunday and put it in the freezer so we could pull it out when we need it mid week. I made my Sheppard’s Pie with turkey, cauliflower instead of potato and tons of veggies. Its one of my favorites.

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

We bought a bunch of potatoes at the market last weekend and they need to get eaten. Plus, Josh makes amazing potato hash. Eating breakfast for dinner once a week is a way to save money on groceries, and its a tip I love. An omelet with potatoes on side sounds yummy to me.

Thursday: Raid the Cupboard or Leftovers

We both have workouts planned for Thursday night and dinner needs to be quick and easy. We always have canned soup or beans in the cupboard and they need to get eaten up. Plus this is a great way to add veggies to my day without eating a salad. We all know I suck at eating salad.

Friday: Eating Out

You gotta live some time!

Saturday: Make Our Own Pizza

We haven’t made our own pizza in a long time. We used to make the best pizzas with chicken and veggies and whatever we wanted. Its a fun stay-in date idea that is healthy too!

To ensure I stick to my November goal of eating fruit for breakfast I also make a baked oatmeal to keep in the fridge this week. I love these! I ate baked oatmeal almost everyday in Teacher’s College. Its warm, healthy and you can change it up depending on how you feel. I made this one with coconut milk to keep it dairy free with apples and blueberries and I added some ground flax in with the oatmeal.

baked oatmeal

I also made some homemade granola bars to keep for lunch bag snacks. We still have lots of pumpkin puree in our freezer so these are chocolate chip pumpkin granola bars made with honey and almond butter. They are awesome and taste way better than the ones from the box.

pumpkin granola bars

I am looking forward to a yummy week with lots of healthy and homemade meals and treats. This is the way I like to eat clean, with some give and take and with the budget in mind.