Rainbow Veggie Bowl

I always take a rest day on Mondays, and sometimes that means I get a little stir-crazy with the extra time. What does that look like? This Monday, I turned my dinner into a stop-motion movie… Continue reading “Rainbow Veggie Bowl”

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Snack Attack

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I go back and forth on snacking. Usually I try to stick to three balanced meals a day, but I often find that at work, when things get hectic and I can’t sit down for a meal (or when I’m on top of a mountain!), snacks save the day. I’ve also had days when I’m a bit late getting dinner on the table, and I just need something so I can think straight.

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A little while ago, I got the chance to try NatureBox, the company that delivers snacks to your door. You can choose from over 100 snacks, and they are always getting new ones. I got a one-time order, but you can also use NatureBox like a subscription service, and get recurring deliveries.

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Basically, you log onto the site and select the snacks you want. I loved that you can choose from different categories, like “Best Sellers”, “Nuts” or “Jerky”, and you can also use filters like “gluten free” or “less than 150 calories”. If I’m snacking at home, I usually prefer something like a piece of fruit or half an avocado, but when I’m on the go these are nice to have as backup.

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Members get a discount on the prices listed on the site, and free delivery (even to Canada!). Here’s what I chose:

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The box arrived a few days later, and so far I’ve broken into the Peanut Butter Nom Noms (like little PB power cookies) and Jan is eyeing the veggie salt and vinegar chips. I think the rest will come to the Sunshine Coast with me for busy days covering the ER or hikes to explore the area nearby.

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If you want to try NatureBox, you can use this link to get $20 off your snacks – and since these 8 were only $25, it’s not a bad deal at all.

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P.S. Valentine’s treats are also an extra 25% off now with code LOVE17 ;)

Let me know if you try NatureBox! Do you regularly eat a snack during the day? What’s your favourite?

Zucchini Breakfast Muffins

This is part of a Friday series where I share easy recipes that keep us full throughout the week. Check out previous posts here

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You guys. I have been on the quest for a really good jumbo muffin recipe for a long time, and I think I might have found it. These are just the right amount of fluffy, slightly sweet without making me feel like I’m eating cake for breakfast, and super easy to grab in the morning!

I adapted the recipe from this cool “recipe builder“. Basically you enter information about the flavours you want to incorporate, and the site makes you a recipe. Unfortunately, they don’t have zucchini as an option, but I really love it in muffins so I figured it out.

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Ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a muffin tin, including the top – this is so key for helping you release large muffins! Line with muffin cups.

Combine flour, protein, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, hemp hearts in a bowl. Gently whisk to combine.

In a separate small bowl, combine eggs, sugar, yogurt, zucchini, bananas, and almond milk. Whisk lightly.

Make a small well in the centre of the dry ingredients bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the well, and use a spatula to fold the batter together. It will be thick – you should just barely be able to incorporate the flour.

Use an ice cream scooper to fill each well with batter – the more full, the bigger the domes of your muffins will be.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. The muffins should be golden when you take them out.

Makes 10-12 muffins.

**Note: you can easily make these vegan! Just substitute flax eggs for the actual eggs, and applesauce for the yogurt (just reduce to about 1/3 cup applesauce). 

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Recent Eats

A couple of weeks ago, I realized that we were eating the same meals over and over again, and probably relying just a little too much on quick options and convenience foods. Luckily, living in Vancouver means there’s a lot of healthy fast food options around, but man, it can get expensive. 

I decided to make an effort to prep more at the beginning of the week, so we’d always have easy options on hand at home. Of course, the post-long-run-whole-foods-latte-and-muffin game is still strong.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share some of the lunch, dinner, breakfast and snack options we munch on! This is a quick, packable lunch that was a hit this week.

Spiralized Zucchini Mediterranean Bowl

Serves 3. Prep time 30 mins.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brussels sprouts
  • 1 package frozen shrimp (peeled, de-veined and tails removed)
  • 1 small can chick peas
  • 2-3 heaping cups spiralized zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2+2 tbsp olive oil (divided), plus more for dressing
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder

Directions

Prep the brussels sprouts: Preheat oven to 425 deg. Slice sprouts in half, and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with black pepper and a tiny bit of garlic powder. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.

Prep the shrimp: Sauté the shrimp with 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat, until shrimp are golden-pink.

While shrimp and sprouts are cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients. In a large salad bowl, combine rinsed chick peas with spiralized zucchini (I use this awesome tiny spiralizer!). Add olives, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. Once cooled, add the sautéed shrimp and brussels sprouts.

Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, and toss with a little more olive oil. When adding salt, remember that the parmesan and feta will have already added some salty flavours!

Tip: if you’re making this the night before, like I did for a packed lunch, save the dressing step until the morning. It helps keep everything from getting too soggy. If you’re looking for something a little heartier, it would be great to substitute whole wheat spaghetti for the zucchini!

If you’re looking to make this dish vegetarian, it would also be great with tofu instead of shrimp, or bulked up with extra chick peas and lentils!

Have a great weekend!

Race Recap: Vancouver Sun Run 2016

 

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nervous smiles at the start

I’m back to post another race recap! This past weekend was the Vancouver Sun Run… a huge race held in downtown Vancouver. Every year >40,000 runners take over the streets for one of Canada’s biggest 10k races. Since this is my first April in Vancouver, it’s also my inaugural Sun Run!

The Sun Run was started by Jack Taunton and company – as one of the fathers of sports medicine, he’s totally someone I admire.

I didn’t really have a plan for the race because although I’ve still been running, I haven’t really been working on a specific goal. I always keep track of the paces I’m doing but there has definitely NOT been any specific speed work. I’ve said this before, but I think I really became a stronger runner when I began to cycle more!

Jan agreed to pace me, so I decided I would wear my watch and not look at it during the race. I tend to get pretty nervous anyways, and I knew that seeing my pace would either make it feel to hard or bug me (if it’s too slow).

So – with my nervous tummy in mind – I woke up about 3 hours before the race to eat some plain toast. We hung out for a bit and then got ready to head to the start line. We had blue bibs, which meant we could start in the first wave with the elite men (expected finish time <44:00 for women and <38:00 for men). We warmed up a bit, watched the elite women go off and soon it was time to start!

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40,000 people lined up behind us

We went off, starting out fast but manageable in the downhill stretch along Georgia to the park. I never really felt great during the run – the beginning was nerve wracking, the middle had a short steep hill that I paid for (hello, mile 4), and by the end I was just counting down the seconds :). Something tells me I might just need to get used to feeling a bit uncomfortable during races – it passes quickly. I didn’t think much. I just let Jan run and tried to stay next to him.

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passing friends on the Burrard Bridge – thanks Pargol for the photo!
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Jan’s photo around the same place (just after the hill!

To make a long story short, this is a really good result for me – a significant 10k PB in great weather on a home course! I’m also excited because it’s the first time I’ve averaged <7:00/mile (<4:20/km)!

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We finished in 43:50 (chip time), and I was very nauseous. Managed to hold it together but I was sputtering and heaving a little at the finish line (I swear the volunteer looked terrified). I really don’t think it’s nutrition related! My theory is that I’ve psyched myself out a bit, and the extra adrenaline makes it that much worse.

A few minutes later I was totally fine – we caught up with friends and I sent my lovely boyfriend (huuuuuge thanks to Jan for everything today!) to get coffee :)

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Stay tuned for details on the next race AND a training plan for a somewhat ambitious half marathon goal this Fall!

Being Kind to My Body

This post is a bit of a departure from my usual training recaps. It’s no secret that between medical school, friends, life, and workouts, I don’t always have a lot of time to take care of myself. In the past 16 months of clerkship, I’ve put my body through a lot without really giving as much back to it as I could.

On Tuesday, when I posted my training update, I talked about clerkship being over and having time before my big race to really put in some work and take my training to a higher level. But, I’ve also recognized that I need to make some big changes in how I do everything else if this is going to work. Running through ankle pain by taping and icing my legs, forcing myself to train and learn on very little sleep, and neglecting some of the more easily forgotten elements of my workouts (hello, strength and stretch, I’m talking about you!) are just some examples of things that I did to get through medical school while trying to get faster.

So, I’ve come up with a list of things that I’d like to focus on turning into habits now that I have the time and mental energy to make it happen.

  1. Foam rolling
  2. Nutrition
  3. Sleep
  4. Massage
  5. Yoga/stretching
  6. Strength workouts
  7. Shoes

What I’d like to do is turn each of these into a series of mini posts to talk about how I take care of my whole body, especially since I’m always asking it to do just a little bit more. Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks for the series – if there’s anything you think I should add to the list I’d love to hear! :).

Nutrition Update – What I Ate Wednesday

Hi! I’m back from interviews, back from Costa Rica, and finally settling into my regular life after 4+ weeks of bouncing around like crazy. Since I had initially planned to make nutrition the focus of February, I figured I’d do a WIW post (even though today is Saturday – this is from this week).

Breakfast: Cappuccino and a banana + vitamins (Calcium/Vit D and a multivitamin). Note that I would normally eat more than this for breakfast, but I had a pretty late dinner last night and wasn’t feeling hungry. I’ve been trying to eat as intuitively as possible and remember that just because it’s time for a meal, it doesn’t mean I have to eat.

Mid-morning snack: I ate a big bunch of grapes throughout the morning and tried to remember to drink some water, since I was feeling dehydrated from cold air + lots of flights + getting back into workouts.

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This pic of my lunch isn’t super pretty but it was delish!

Lunch: A yummy vitality bowl from Pure JBK in Kitchener. I got it with salad greens instead of grains: Oven roasted chicken, spicy cauliflower, goat cheese, pickled celery, julienned carrots, Romaine, apple, radish, fresh jalapenos. Spicy but yummy! I also ate a bunch of my friend’s big cookieFullSizeRender (2)

At school trying to get all that water in!

I noticed that I was feeling pretty full after this. I think the combination of grapes and banana this morning might have been too much fibre? Usually I like to have a better balance of simple carbohydrates early.

Workout: Since I’m jumping back into full training this week, I have a brick workout to do today. 45 min bike + 5km run.

Dinner: Normally I would have a post-workout snack, but since it was so close to dinner I just lumped them together today. I ran out yesterday to get a bunch of groceries but didn’t get a chance to do any meal planning, so things are going to be a little random around here. I ate a bowl of yogurt+berries+granola and a salad with spinach+tuna+tomatoes+cucumber. I was still a bit hungry after that, so I added a piece of toast with PB and a few squares of dark chocolate

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rocking my best post-swim sleep-deprived look

Workout: A good friend of mine wanted to give lane swimming a try, so I took her to the pool and squeezed in a workout while she swam.

Bedtime snack: I’ve been trying to avoid the bedtime snacking, but after another 1.5 hr workout I figured I needed something. I went with another piece of toast (this time with some cheese), and a biscotti and a mug of green tea.

Overall a pretty good day! Had to sneak some chocolate in somehow :)