WIAW: Lately + A Recipe

GUYS. Thanks so much for your sweet words and the conversation generated after my last post. It’s so strange – at times, I get this incredible urge to share the details of my journey and once I start writing, I can’t stop.  I’m glad you appreciate hearing about my life, though! I’m not sure how my family feels about it (I think they’d prefer if I kept things private).  Not  many people in my personal life know about my blog. A couple close friends and a few relatives. Does your family know about your blog? What do they think?


 

Today’s WIAW post is a random collection of things I’ve been eating lately.  First up: my work snack stash!

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Raw veggies, cherries, an avocado, peanut butter ALT larabar (the best). I drink Zen green tea throughout the day. Yesterday I treated myself to a ‘Rocky Mountain Chiller’ (Tazo passion iced tea, soda water, ginger ale and blueberries)

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Avocado toast with sauteed kale, scrambled eggs and chili flakes. I’ve been putting chili flakes on almost everything lately. This breakfast fueled my trek up a mountain last weekend.  (Lets not tell my Dr/PT about that one, mmkay?)

You know how I’m always posting photos of these mountains? (Okay, pretend like you do.) Lauren and I climbed this peak. Ha Ling. (It is a good hike for fit individuals, in case you’re thinking about adding it to your Rocky Mountain adventure bucket list.)

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Oddly enough, my legs weren’t sore the following day. I’ve discovered that when I take in electrolytes (NUUN tablets) during and after strenuous activities my muscles don’t suffer. What’s even weirder is I have a massive bruise forming on my arm. I think a bear or Lauren punched me?

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HI! Check out this view. WHOA.

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Have I reminded you lately that I live here? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to rub it in, but COME ON. It’s one of the most beautiful, sought after travel destinations IN THE WORLD and I get live in it! (And have a real, big-girl job. There aren’t many young professionals living here and I’m kind of an outsider in that sense.)

Sorry, back to the food. We ate Cinnamon Roll Quest bars at the top. It’s in my top three Quest bar flavours. (Along with coconut cashew and cookies & cream)

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Most mornings call for a Greek yogurt bowl. They’re quick and easy. Just like me. (I’M KIDDING. CALM DOWN MOM.)

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Plain yogurt, banana, blueberries, Qia cranberry vanilla ‘cereal’ and Bob’s Red Mill wheat-free Museli. MMMM.

I offered to start bringing healthy yogurt parfaits to work for my bosses and this was the response I got:

“Yeah! So, instead of granola or whatever it is you put on top, replace that with syrup. And instead of yogurt, use ice cream.” HAHAHAHA. He’s right, though.

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Peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Somewhere on a mountain. It looks small because it was. Why is gluten-free bread so tiny.

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GRILLED ANYTHING. A friend came over for dinner last weekend and we made honey-lime-chili chicken breasts, roasted sweet potatoes and salad. Plus vodka sodas + fresh fruit.

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I love patio season. I ate this bun-less “Kobe beef” (lies!) burger topped with lobster and crab at the Iron Goat in Canmore. It was burnt to a crisp but I ate it anyway.

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My faithful standby when I need food and I’m in a hurry and/or lazy. Green smoothies forever!!! <3

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THIS. Oh my goodness. DO IT. YOU WON’T REGRET SPENDING THE $12.  It’s a blend of cashews, brazil nuts and coconut. (I think). It’s the best nut butter I’ve ever had. Seriously worth the splurge.

No-bake cookie dough PROTEIN balls. They’re dietary staple in the Joanna/Lauren household. We like using North Coast Naturals protein powders. This batch featured their raw chocolate hemp protein.

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They’re #glutenfree #vegan #notpaleo and so simple to make.

2 cups quick oats
1 cup protein powder of choice (we switch between hemp, brown rice and whey protein)
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
salt, to taste
Optional: whatever fun mix-ins you have on hand: chia or hemp seeds, diced dried fruit, cinnamon, candy, Tylenol, anything really

Mix everything together and form into balls. If mixture is too dry or crumbly, add a tiny bit of liquid. 

I have to go to work now. Bye.

What’s your favorite kind of snack/protein bar?  Quest bars (deal with it) and ALT Larabars

What’s the last thing you ordered at a restaurant? 

Being afraid, but doing it anyway

“I’m having one of those moments where I can’t believe this is my life right now” Lauren remarked. Let me set the scene:

Banff. On a summer evening. It had just rained and the sky was illuminated with a cotton candy pink sunset. Glenn was driving and talking about yoga. I was in the passenger seat crying tears of sorrow that my ice cream cone was gone. Lauren had ice cream all over her face. It was perfect!

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Sigh. Life is good. Cows ice cream is amazing!  Lauren got bubblegum and I ordered salted toffee. In rainbow sprinkle cones of course, because we are five years old.    My first thought was, “Arman would LOVE this.” Do other bloggers pop into your mind while you’re dining/treating yourself?  I hate to admit he’s in my thoughts. ;)

Earlier in the evening, we went to {the best restaurant in Banff}: Nourish Bistro. Glenn and Lauren are both vegetarians and I love burritos so I knew we’d have a fun dining experience together.  They just revamped their menu and I was excited to see the changes.

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The thing I love most about Nourish is they make fresh pressed juice cocktails. I got a beet-lime-pineapple tequila juice. They get me. <3

We split three dishes:  The Falafel salad, Mac & Squeeze (Vegan mac & cheese. Amazing. Cheezy cashew sauce. Topped with kale chips.)

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And the star of the show, The Beautiful Burrito. I order this every.single.time.  It’s mind blowing. Nourish is famous for their 27 ingredient nachos, but in my mind and heart, it’s aaalll about the burrito.

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WHOA. Party on a plate, or what?!

I say this all the time, but I’m so grateful to have Lauren and Glenn in my life.   This past year has been filled with  insane transformation, new beginnings and emotions. It’s crazy to think back to where I was a year ago: Married (but not in love),  working a full time job that I was ‘good’ at, and a valued employe (and hated it), living in a comfortable, quiet city on the prairies (and feeling like I didn’t fit in).   There were desires and dreams burning inside of me but I didn’t know what to do with them. I cried about it a lot.

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Do you remember back in January when I wrote this post? I didn’t know it then, but life was preparing me for this amazing new journey.  At that point in time, I was barely on speaking terms with my family  (they were upset with me for leaving my marriage without a “sensible” explanation other than, “I value real love. That’s what I want.” And, understandably so.)

During that day-trip to the mountains I remember pleading to something, anything, that would listen: “I’m ready to co-create. I know these visions and desires were planted for a reason and I need your help.” It was a combination of accepting my power and surrendering my desires to the universe, perhaps?

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Within a week, I ‘accidentally’ stumbled upon a job posting (I only applied to one job in Canmore  not anticipating anything would happen), landed an interview and made the move to the Rockies a few weeks later. Well, that escalated quickly.

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I’m on a #TruthBomb kick. Clearly.

The hardest part was asking for what I wanted. Being afraid but still doing it anyway. I used to think the presence of fear meant I ‘shouldn’t’ do something. The truth is: being afraid is normal (I feel it everyday), it’s harnessing the courage to acknowledge, accept it, and go for it!

Throughout this transition, there have been times of crushing loneliness: I moved out here not knowing anyone, in the middle of winter, terrified as hell. But I never once thought I made a mistake. I knew the fear and loneliness were temporary and accepted it as part of the healing process.  Deep down, I felt assured I’d make new connections and eventually, I did!

There isn’t much that I “need” in order to be happy and content. As long as I’m surrounded by good people and I can make a living doing something I enjoy IN a beautiful environment, I’m all set.  The amount of joy I’m experiencing is indescribable and I’m on a mission to share it. Through my blog, and everyone I encounter in my day to day life. I make a point to really “see” people.

My hope is, that by sharing our stories we’ll unite and strengthen each other.

Moving along… 

My weekend was pretty low-key. This was how my Friday began:

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I’m in intensive physical therapy and acupuncture 2-3 times per week for the next month. (They do acupuncture at the end of my PT appointment.) My Doctor had already given me clearance to swim with a buoy under my hips and walk as tolerated, and now the PT says I can start using an elliptical and cycling.  I have ZERO strength in my left hip abductor and adductors so we’re focusing on re-establishing that and getting me out of pain. I’ve been walking with a limp for over a month now!

Look who finally made it to the gym this week! I’ve been slacking big time on my workouts lately. It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re physically limited and well, it’s summer. Most nights, I have the choice between hitting the gym or hanging with friends and I keep choosing friends.

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Since I can’t do anything high impact, I just lay on this ball and take selfies.  (I did a bunch of oblique crunches, lunges, then worked my arms and upper back.)

On Friday night, all I wanted was to make a snack plate and eat it in bed with an episode of Girls. And I did just that.

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Before I head off on my Sunday adventures, I thought I’d show you my living room.  It needed foliage, so I bought a palm tree and a yucca plant.

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I’m praying I don’t kill them.  Do you think I should turn the humidifier on?

What did you do on Friday/Saturday night?

What is your favourite tv show?

Did you know Glenn knows Danielle LaPorte? He has no idea how cool he is! That man is a rockstar. And he’s one of my dearest friends. I’m lucky.

 

Thinking Out Loud: Life in Canmore. This week.

Hey! Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday! Are you all set for the weekend?!

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I was getting ready for work the other morning and thinking about how cool my life is when something dawned on me.

I’m fairly certain the movie version of me is Anne Marie from Blue Crush! Haha! Athletic blonde living in paradise who works at a hotel and goes on adventures with tourists? Yep. That’s me alright.

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Except maybe replace the surfboard with a paddleboard. Or snowboard and/or skateboard. And in the Rockies instead of Hawaii.

This might sound a bit crazy, but I’d like to live in Hawaii someday. Not anytime soon – but eventually.  I work in an industry that makes it possible, so, WHY NOT?   Obviously it would take some precise preparation and planning, but I’m completely open to the possibility.  If the right opportunity came my way and I’m still single, I’d do it in a heartbeat.   That’s the beauty of being solo: you get to do whatever you want.

I haven’t talked about being alone yet, have I? Truthfully, I’m not sure if I should or if it’s ‘appropriate’. What do you guys think?    I don’t mean sharing the details of my future dating life, but I’d like to talk about my experiences and perceptions thus far…

The top lessons I’ve acquired on this little soul journey of mine:

1. If something doesn’t feel right, that’s reason enough.

2. Being single ROCKS!!! I honestly don’t understand why people get so bent out of shape about it, or perceive it as a ‘sad’ thing.  If I’m being honest, I wish I could date me. I’m so fun and funny that I’m a little jealous of my future partner. That sounds really conceited, but I truly mean it in the humblest way possible! :)

3. THIS:
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And that is the exact reason why I’m in no rush. Anything worthwhile takes time. :)

I’m learning to apply lesson #1  to present situations and trust myself more and more. It’s working. I keep this #TruthBomb in my back pocket when I’m feeling unsure about something or someone: “If it doesn’t feel right, STOP.”  Or, “People are always trying to figure out what it means, when we really need to be asking, how does it feel?

This is how I can tell I’m on track and staying true to my mission. It feels good. Really freakin’ good.

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How amazing does Canmore look in the evening? 

In other news, Lauren’s job is ruining my life. We don’t get to hang out much because our schedules are completely opposite. We hung out for about 15 minutes last weekend.

We experienced another ‘first’ in our relationship: we learned how to use the BBQ.

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Have I ever told you BBQ’s are one of my biggest fears? I’m afraid they’re going to explode in my face.  We live at a resort property and fortunately for us, a guest helped us turn on the gas and light it.

We made grilled veggies and burgers!

It’s been SCORCHING hot in the Rockies and I’m not complaining one bit.  When Lauren and I have free time, we usually hit up the lake.

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When I got home from work the other night, she had a picnic packed and ready to go. THE SWEETEST.

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We had a mixed bean/veggie salad, watermelon, cherries, veggies & hummus, raspberries, Ezekiel PB&J wraps and kombucha.   I think we’ve turned into fruitarians. You should see how ridiculous our kitchen is. Right now, we’re in possession of bananas, pears, watermelon, pineapple, cherries, blueberries, apples, oranges, lemons and dried fruit, PLUS the freezer is stocked with frozen berries and bannas.  And the thing is – NOTHING goes to waste.

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Another highlight of my week was getting to catch up with Glenn. While he was in a yoga class, I hit up the gym and pool, then met him for Indian food.

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We ordered chana masala, veggie korma, coconut chicken curry and eggplant bharta. Plus garlic naan and rice. MMMM.  So good. I love Indian food! And Glenn! He is taking me to an ashram in BC soon. While he’s in yoga workshops, I’m going to milk goats, collect eggs and bake bread. I’m beyond excited. How is this my life?

Food highlight of the week? 

What is your favorite cuisine? MEXICAN. BURRITOS.

Which celeb would you like to play you in a movie?

WIAW: West Coast Eats

ALERT: TONS of food photos ahead! It’s time to recap all of the amazing meals from my vacation. I ate like a Queen while I was on the coast, friends. I made it my mission to enjoy as much seafood as possible since I don’t have the opportunity to do so at home. Well, I do, but it’s just not the same.


Since I knew I was going to be drinking a lot of champagne during my trip, I attempted a mini detox before catching my flight to Vancouver.

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Lauren and I went on a date to Community Natural Foods in Calgary. We loaded up at the salad bar. And held hands. It was very romantic and we’re extremely happy together. :)

We had some time to kill before my flight and stopped at the mall where I bought this H&M outfit.

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My in-flight “dinner” was a venti Zen green tea and a Mighty Kale Jugo Juice with Vega protein + coconut water (instead of juice). It’s my go-to fast food! Also? MY POOR BLADDER.

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After settling into my hotel, I met up with Karen, her husband Graham (and Daisy!) for a walk, sangria and seafood. In that order.

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Aw. I MISS HER.

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This is Karen’s neighborhood. What a lucky girl, hey? I’m kind of jealous.

I’ve been extremely envious of Arman and  latest his gelato adventures.  Do you read his blog? Basically, he goes out every weekend and samples gelato all over Australia. That’s it. That’s the blog.  Canmore doesn’t have any. Just ice cream and that makes me sad. Anyyywaaaay, I treated myself to a scoop of pistachio and tiramisu after my six hour walk in Stanley Park.

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Trout, scallop and prawn risotto from the Flying Pig in Gastown…

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Pancakes with blueberry compote and whipped cream – enjoyed in bed, of course. This was my birthday breakfast!

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Cake, cake and more cake!

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Chocolate passionfruit cake at the Fairmont Waterfront and cupcakes from Laura. Um… her first impression of me was this: in a bathrobe, in bed, devouring cupcakes and making a mess all over myself. Then I realized I was eating the cupcake liners and didn’t care. It wasn’t my proudest moment. (Yes it was)

I should also mention the time Karen and I thought it would be a good idea to ‘eat something healthy’ after drinking champagne. We went to Freshii where I ordered spicy lemongrass soup and the vegan wrap. She got some sort of brown rice & veggie bowl and soup.

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Followed by tequila shots for dessert. Yeah, I don’t know.

Avocado and prawn omelette. I ordered room service at the Fairmont and pretended I was fancy.

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I wish I would’ve taken more photos at The Sandbar. It’s where I dined with Taylor and Eddie for my second birthday celebration. We ate sangria for dinner. And a couple fish tacos. Then cake. But mostly sangria.

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I demanded pizza for breakfast on Sunday morning, so we headed to The Parlour. We ordered The Roast and The Yaletown on gluten free crusts. The Yaletown pizza was mindblowing. It combined three of my favorite foods all into one delicious masterpiece. Ahi + avocado + pizza. OMG.

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When I arrived in Vancouver, I had a flat stomach. I left looking  and feeling like I was five months pregnant. It was absolutely worth it! I’ve been eating pretty healthy returning home and I almost feel brand new again. I wonder when my food baby is due? What should we name it?

I had juuuust enough time to dip my toes in the ocean before flying back to Calgary on Sunday.

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Salt water and sand. It was the perfect ending to a truly amazing birthday vacation. I’m going to cherish these memories forever!

Wow. I hope you’re not overwhelmed after reading all of that. Are ya still with me?

Tell me about one of your most memorable vacations!

I know this is a tough choice, but what’s your favorite kind of cake?

Go-to plane/travel snacks? I don’t know why I felt like I needed to drink a massive protein smoothie on that flight. It’s an hour.

A whole lotta random

It’s been a while since I’ve unleashed a bunch of random thoughts and stories on you guys, eh? That needs to change. Immediately.

I always get so nervous when my friends start a conversation with, “So I read your blog.” Uh oh, what did I say/do now…

‘That Guy’: “Your articles are very good, but you need to learn how to pronounce and spell my name.”
Me: “I don’t know how”
‘That Guy’: “I can’t believe you said I speak seven languages and English isn’t one of them, you bitch”
Me: “When did you learn to speak English, by the way? Last year?”

But seriously. Look at these directions he sent me:

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I can’t believe he swore at me. Ha! I couldn’t decide if I should edit the F word out. What’s worse – leaving it or editing it out?

A little kid asked me if I was a boy or girl the other day. While I was wearing this outfit:

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What do you guys think? I’ve always wanted to be a guy, so maybe this kid is onto something… ;)

Another thing that happened while I was wearing my coral dress: this yellow lab pup wearing a coral bow ended up in my arms.

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I want a pup soooo bad! A furry companion to go adventuring with. Hikes, road trips, running and swimming.   But I need someone to help me raise it. I’m never home, so it wouldn’t be fair, plus I don’t know how long I’ll be living in Canmore for.  :( My heart hurts.

Lauren and I experienced a devastating loss this week. RIP sweet friend. Poor little guy didn’t even stand a chance.

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I bought it at Whole Foods when I was in Vancouver. On my last day,  of all the things to do in the city, my request was:

“Drive me to Whole Foods and wait in the car so I can get Monkey Butter. I don’t want you to come in with me because you’ll stress me out and I won’t be able to focus”
Taylor: “We are not doing that”
Me: “I love peanut butter”

I have a life-changing makeup product to share. I recently went on a makeup bag overhaul and threw everything away so I could start fresh. I’m terrible at throwing makeup away in a timely matter and then I wonder why I develop pink eye, conjunctivitis, herpes and sty’s.  I hate spending money on makeup, especially the higher end stuff, but it’s a necessary evil.

BEHOLD:

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Eyeshadow primer. Do it. You’ll never be the same again. Not only does it concentrate the colour, but makes the shadow last all day and into the evening. I think a small bottle is around $587 but it’s worth every penny. (I’m not sure how much it is. $25, maybe?)

Lauren gave me the sweetest and most thoughtful birthday present.

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The Oh She Glows cookbook – which I’ve been dying to get my hands on, and a journal that she said reminded her of me.   How did I get so lucky?  The journal came at a perfect time because I have several thoughts brewing that I need to put on paper.

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When it comes to ‘the soul stuff’, you gotta write it by hand. I took the journal with me on a weekend hike with the intention to write, but I couldn’t stay still for very long. Horseflies kept ripping chunks of flesh off me.

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Hiking (and running) get my creative juices flowing. I have so many stories and thoughts to share, but I need to organize them first.

Have you tried Monkey Butter? What’s the best PB you’ve ever had?

How was your weekend? Did you go on any outdoor adventures?

Name three of your makeup essentials: eyeshadow primer, tinted moisturizer, liquid eyeliner

Vancouver Adventures: Whole Foods, Stanley Park & The Beach

When I got home from Vancouver, I had an extra day off to ‘get my life back in order’ and it didn’t happen. You know, the usual: grocery shopping, laundry, unpacking, food prep, working out. I opted for a three hour easy hike + a picnic at the lake instead. I’ve noticed I have been operating ‘in the moment’ more often than not and there’s something so freeing about it.

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My priorities have shifted. For instance, I couldn’t care less about working out right now. Granted, I’m injured and limited to what I can do, but the thought of going to the gym when I could be enjoying the mountains is so freaking boring. Instead, I’d rather be drinking wine and laughing with friends, hanging out at the lake or walking around aimlessly in the forest.

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Shall we talk more about my Vancouver trip?  I didn’t actually “do” a ton of stuff while I was there. My main objective was visiting my friends and the beach. That’s it. I didn’t care what else we did so I left all the planning up to them.

I had some downtime on Thursday while my friends were working and headed out on a solo adventure in Stanley Park. Oh! Before that, I was wandering around trying to find somewhere to eat breakfast and stumbled upon Whole Foods.  You know how healthy living bloggers can’t resist the temptation…

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I WAS SO OVERWHELMED. I wanted to buy and eat everything. Mostly baked goods and kombucha, but refrained. Instead, I went with a salad, bacon, eggs and a small fresh pressed green juice. Then I was on my way!

Stanley Park was great. I can’t get over the abundance and variety of foliage on the west coast. It makes my heart sing. My eyes are used to looking at pine trees and moss.

My journey began in Coal Harbour and I started walking and exploring until I needed a nap. I was out for six hours!

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After my nap, Taylor took me to Kitsilano beach.

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Remember a couple months ago when I ate those weird nachos in Banff that had strawberries and quinoa as toppings? That’s what Taylor was describing to people as I took this photo. He’s so friendly.  We share a mutual love for Nourish. And strangers.

Does summertime make you want to slack off with your workouts?

Beach or mountain vacation?  

Do you get anxious at Whole Foods? How do you deal?

Birthday Adventures on the West Coast

I’m back from holidays! Wooo! My final day began at the Pacific ocean and ended in the Rockies. Not a bad way to live, hey?!

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In the past, I used to experience a sense of dread and sadness after the weekend or holiday was over. I never wanted to return to my ‘normal life’ and it used to give me terrible anxiety because I wanted so much more for myself. For me to be happy and content, I need to live in a place that supports my active, outdoorsy lifestyle and work in a role I’m passionate about. Surrounded by like-minded, open and fun people. Hell yeah!

Alright, my trip to Vancouver: I had a blast! The end.  

One of the reasons why I chose the west coast as a quick get-away destination is that I’ve been wanting to meet my friend Karen in person.  We connected through our blogs a few years ago and I felt like it was time to take our friendship to the next level. I met up with two other Vancouver ‘blends’ (blogger x friends) and they celebrated my birthday with me!

From left to right, we have Karen from Toronto Girl West, Danielle who is currently on a blogging hiatus and Laura from Live Run Sparkle.

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Karen and I spent all afternoon together lounging by the Fairmont Waterfront pool and drinking champagne.   It was nice to have some one on one time together before party-time began. She’s outgoing, bubbly and hilarious in real life and I don’t think I stopped laughing the entire time. Fellow bloggers: if you ever have the opportunity to meet Karen, ask her to share her Vancouver celebrity story.  (You can thank me later.)

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This was my birthday outfit, by the way! Look at my ring/bracelet. Isn’t it cute? 

Our evening was filled with birthday cupcakes, drinks and dinner at Miku, an incredible Japanese restaurant located right on the water. I HAVE NO WORDS FOR HOW AMAZING THE FOOD WAS. I thought it was because I’m not fancy or from Vancouver, but no, everyone confirmed it was the best sushi they’d ever had. We literally sat there in shock nodding our heads after each bite.  “How is this so good?” “Oh my God” “I can’t even handle this” “I’m going to miss this meal when it’s over”. Sigh.

Love this blogger-in-action shot!

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Another reason why I wanted to visit Vancouver was to re-unite with my friend Taylor from back home. You know how I’ve talked about soul mate friends? And when you’re willing to be open and fearless the right people will show up to help you? This is one of the friends I’ve been talking about!

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I look so happy and vibrant. Living my dream is working out pretty well for me and I love that it shows in my photos. 

Taylor and I used to work together and quickly connected when we realized we’re nearly identical on so many levels.  I felt like he was my mirror and he helped me understand a lot of things about myself. He’s been one of my greatest teachers and encouragers.  I treasure our connection so much!    When Taylor and I met, we were in a strange transition phase and were both rapidly propelled into something entirely different. He moved to Vancouver, and a few weeks later, I followed suit with my move to Canmore.   It’s been nice to share the journey with someone who ‘gets it’. And me.

Taylor introduced me to his friend Eddie and we had so much fun together! Eddie made us afternoon mojitos at his temporary hotel-home.

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Later on, they took me out for a second birthday celebration: dinner along the ocean and drinks.  And by drinks I mean pitchers of sangria and habanero infused vodka. Why did we think that would be okay.

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I made a very simple birthday wish. I’m excited for it to come true.

My Vancouver friends were SO good to me and I can’t wait to return the favour when they visit me in Canmore. I’ll share some more west coast food and adventure highlights later on in the week. I’m heading back to work tomorrow, but I’m spending my final vacation day soaking up some fresh mountain air and sunshine. See ya later this week!

Friends! HI! What’s new? I’ve missed chatting with you. How was your Fourth of July/Canada Day?

How did you celebrate your last birthday?

 

Catching Up

HI.

What’s up, friends? I thought I’d pop in with a life catch-up blog post before I head off on vacation for the rest of the week. Ahhh!! I’m beyond excited for this. I need a break and haven’t been on vacay for over two years so I’m thrilled to check out of life for a few days. And to meet up with new and old friends.

I’ve been a bit of a cranky bitch these past few days. Part of it is because I’m in pain. (Wondering what’s going on? I have a pelvic stress fracture.)  All I want to do is incorporate a good cardio workout and sweat but I can’t! I miss my daily endorphin buzz. And yoga. I went for a very slow walk on Saturday morning. With my stick.

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I’m beginning to walk with a bit more ease, I just have to be careful. I’m trying to avoid painkillers unless I’m completely miserable. I needed to drug myself on Thursday because I was in so much pain it was radiating up into my back and down my leg.  I felt okay during my Saturday morning walk until I tripped over an ant hill and rattled my hips. An ant hill. Seriously. Of all the things in the forest that could potentially kill you…

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One of the views from my walk. My house is situated at the base of that mountain. 

I ran into an old friend in Chinook Mall in Calgary and after we hugged and did the whole, “Omg how are you!!!” thing, my first question was, “Do you have any Advil? I’m broken.”

I tried on this shirt from H&M. It’s cute, hey? I didn’t buy it and now I’m filled with regret. :(

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Walking around the mall with a broken body is exhausting! I wanted to yell out, “IT’S NOT SWAGGER. MY PELVIS IS FRACTURED” to everyone who was giving me weird looks.  Shopping fuel/Dinner #1 of the evening:

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I always order the Mighty Kale smoothie from Jugo Juice and have them hold the fruit juice and use coconut water instead. (Kale, spinach, mango, coconut water + chia seeds)  I don’t understand why companies put juice in smoothies. Tooooo sweet!!! But then again, I have a low tolerance for sweet. I get a headache and feel crazy from too much sugar. I know, it’s ridiculous and I’m already aware I’m a wimp.

Glenn. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t talk about him on the blog. Do you like hearing stories about him? We had plans to meet up at the farmers market in Canmore on Thursday evening but I wasn’t feeling up to it and cancelled. Later on in the evening, he stopped by my place and surprised me with some goodies!   He even bought me an ice cream cone on Friday afternoon. :)   Glenn is the best friend anyone could ask for.

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In other food news, a few things:

I COOKED! I actually turned the oven on and put some thought into a meal, instead of making a snack plate.

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I marinated salmon in a mixture of soy sauce, avocado oil, fresh ginger, garlic, chili paste and green onion and baked it for about 10 minutes or so. On the side: a quinoa salad and veg. I cooked the quinoa in coconut milk, then added diced bell pepper and tomato, salt, pepper, a weird seasoning blend, goat cheese and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.   When I cook, I rarely follow recipes and it usually works well!

This snack plate blew my mind.

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Broccoli and carrot salad (tossed with Vegenaise), asparagus, avocado, peas and roasted CRISPY sweet potatoes. The trick to getting them nice and crisp is to toss them with a TON of coconut oil and make sure the oven is hot enough. (400F for about 20 mins) 

You know how I’m a huge fan of North Coast Naturals products, right? One of my morning rituals is a huge glass of water mixed with a scoop of Daily Greens and the juice of a lemon. Try it! The lemon really brightens the flavour along with providing an added liver detoxification boost.

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Speaking of NCN, I cannot stop making and eating protein cookie dough balls using their brown rice and whey protein.  I’ve been bringing Ziploc containers of them to work to share with my bosses and they approve! I wanted to contribute something healthy to our work snack stash (they prefer candy) and I liked that their response was, “These are healthy?!”

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How I know Lauren and I will be married forever: all we eat is hummus, peanut butter, cherries, protein balls and yogurt. A look at a recent grocery haul:

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Greens, peaches, plums, lemons, cherries, bananas, strawberry jam, spice, tofu, hummus, kefir, cream and coconut water.

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Randoms: eggs, seasoning blend, Vega pre-workout energizer, watermelon NUUN, arnica tablets, apple flavoured fish oil, Vegenaise and peanut butter.

Lastly, yogurt. It’s been my go-to breakfast for several days. I usually eat a few protein balls when I wake up, then pack a yogurt bowl to eat at the office.

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MUSIC:

If these aren’t already on your summer playlist – what are you waiting for! Get to it.

Tiesto feat. Ladyhawke – Last Train 

Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again (I can’t even handle how much I love this one! One more time, lets do it again. That thing you did. Do it again…)

David Guetta – Bad (is this my theme song?)

This Calvin Harris/Kelis & Ellie Goulding mashup. OMG. So good. 

On your playlist, lets go! 

Have a great week/Happy Canada Day/Independence Day and I guess I’ll talk to you when I’m back from the west coast! I’ll be posting my travels and adventures on Instagram, and if we don’t already follow each other you can find me at livingmintgreen. :)

I need more music recommendations. What’s on your playlist? I like EDM and anything chill.

Name five things in your fridge right now:

What are you doing for Canada Day/Independence Day? Fun fact: My birthday is on July 4! It’s an awesome day to celebrate a birthday on! :)

This is what we do in the mountains

It’s time to recap the Banff Marathon! I’m just going to come right out and say it: it was awful, and one of the worst days of my life.

I’ve mentioned this a couple times, but my hip and groin have been bothering me since climbing a mountain a few weeks ago. I fell a few times during the excursion and really did a number on my body.  Since then, I’ve been partial weight bearing only, can’t lay on my left side and have very little strength or ROM in my hip.  To get in or out of a car, chair or bed, I literally have to pick my leg up and guide it.

The day of the race, I knew deep down things weren’t going to go over well, but wanted to go for it anyway. I hadn’t run for several days and was feeling ‘okay’, so I took an extra strength ibuprofen and laced up my running shoes.    Lauren was so kind to volunteer to drive me to Banff, photo document our adventure, buy me a Luna bar and a North Face water pack because I forgot my Camelbak at home.   She’s nice. I like her.

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Pre-race, I spent some time walking around and stretching to calm my nerves. Once it was go-time, I felt relaxed and was excited to see how my body would perform.

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I filled up the water bladder in McDonalds. I look like a Living Mint Green unibomber. Haha!!

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It was such a beautiful day for a race. You couldn’t have asked for better weather, and now I have a lovely tan. (Just in time for my Vancouver pool party!)

The race began in Banff’s central park. The event organizers changed the course changed at the last minute due to an increase in Grizzly bear activity (lol) and we ended up running through town towards the Legacy Trail and headed east, towards Canmore. My hip and leg were throbbing right from the beginning,  but I told myself I just needed some time to warm up and settle into the movement. I focused on my breath, while keeping my limbs relaxed. I felt okay. “I can absolutely do this!” I thought.

Then everything went to hell.  I was about five miles in when I developed sudden, sharp, shooting pains in my hip and low back. I slowed my pace and told myself to keep slowly pushing to the next aid station. And I did, but by then my leg had completely lost all strength and turned into a noodle, plus my hip was beginning to swell. I’d reached my physical limit and there was NOTHING I could do about it. I had to quit.

I.WAS.FURIOUS. It was humiliating, heartbreaking and I had a complete meltdown on the side of the Trans Canada. To a non-athlete, I realize it seems silly and doesn’t make sense. It’s something only athletes can understand and relate to. There is nothing worse than KNOWING what you’re ‘normally’ capable of and not being able to complete the task at hand. Or being held back.

Long story short, I spent the rest of Sunday ugly-crying and raging in my bed. I know there will be other races and I did the best I could, but in the moment, I was really pissed. (I’m in better spirits now!)

In case you’re wondering what living with me is like…

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That sums up my Monday morning. It hurts to be alive.  I’m like men in the sense that I won’t go to the Doctor unless I’m internally hemorrhaging/have been shot/am already dead, but I was scared that I may have inflicted some major trauma and went to a clinic, followed by the hospital for X-rays and bloodwork. Canmore has some really great Doctors, by the way. They’re healthy, fit athletes, too! :)

The diagnosis: a pelvic stress fracture and post-traumatic arthritis in my hip.  The stress fracture I can deal with, it’s the fluid accumulation and swelling in my hip that’s the major source of pain. (I’m such an idiot – why did I think running a half marathon would be okay? Clearly I have control issues.) I had to get bloodwork done to ensure the fluid accumulation isn’t infectious bursitis. Gross.

The good news is, it’s an easy fix – once the inflammation and pain subsides enough to stand and walk without screaming bloody murder, I can resume my relatively normal active lifestyle as long as it’s low-impact.  My Doctor explained he had the same thing happen to him recently (he’s a runner too) and gave me some strengthening tips to help me get back to training ASAP.  We get each other.

After doing absolutely nothing for three days, I’m feeling strong enough to incorporate some movement and exercise. I’ve gone for an easy swim (I just kick with one leg), but even floating around in the pool feels great. It alleviates the pressure in my joints since Earth gravity is too intense right now. I’ve worked my arms and core too – stability ball crunches, one legged planks, seated shoulder presses, etc.

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A few nights ago, I was sitting on the island in the hot tub, looking around and thinking, How is this my life? I’m in a hot tub… in the forest… in the Rockies…living my dream. It’s perfect. 

My Mom gave me some solid advice, which I needed to hear. I’ve been focused on moving forward and opening up to this brand new way of living and being that I haven’t taken any time to acknowledge it. She said, “You’ve been working so hard, maybe it’s time to slow down a bit an heal this part of yourself now.”  WORD. She’s right.  I’ve made incredible progress, but I need to pause and absorb all of these amazing experiences instead of always planning the next adventure. It’s tough, though. I want it all, I’m a hungry student of the world, and I’m insatiable.

For the next little while: “light” adventures only. Like last night! I drank wine and ate burritos in the forest with my friend, ‘That Guy’.  The reason why I don’t call him by his real name is because I don’t know how to spell or pronounce it.  He doesn’t even speak English. We communicate telepathically and with sign language and burritos. This is how we talk in the mountains.

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I just made all of that up. I really don’t know how to spell or pronounce his name though. He’s French Canadian and speaks three or seven languages. English isn’t one of them.  Yesterday he called my blazer a “vest”. No. And I gave him a look that prompted him to ask if I was trying to kill him with my eyes. Yes.   I’m going to stop now.

What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?

Do you ever get caught up in ‘the next big thing’ or planning too far ahead? How do you re-balance yourself?

Hows your week going? What’s new?!

It just hit me!

OH MY GOODNESS. It just hit me that after this work week, and celebrating Canada Day in Canmore, I’m heading to the west coast for some summer fun.  It also just hit me that I haven’t been on vacation in over two years and now I’m even more excited! Woooo!!!  I’m traveling solo, but meeting up with friends in Vancouver.  I’m really looking forward to flying and staying in hotels by myself.  And keeping myself entertained while they’re at work. Is that weird?    Even if I didn’t have friends there, I’d still go and see who I could convince to like me/hang with me.

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My only Vancouver demand is that we have a daytime pool party at the Fairmont Waterfront on the 4th in celebration of my birthday, otherwise I’m not planning anything and going with the flow.

Lets recap the remainder of last week – it was a busy one! (I’ll get to the Banff Marathon recap on Wednesday. It was awful, I’m devastated, heartbroken, in severe physical pain and not ready to talk about it yet. :( )

Glenn has been raving about a quinoa burger from Tavern 1883 in Canmore, so after work on Thursday we hit up their patio. I love my time with him.  We talked about his family (who still live in Whistler- they’re moving out here soon) yoga, my past relationships and where I’m at, life, etc. I appreciate our heart to hearts SO much. He’s easy to converse with, and we both relate to each other on many levels.  Glenn used to run a yoga-wellness resort in Whistler and just recently relocated to Kananaskis to work with ME!   (Not really, but that’s what I like to tell myself.) I really believe we were supposed to meet - we share a special, kindred bond.

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After listening to Glenn talk about the quinoa burger daily for a week, I ordered the tuna burger. Ha! I regretted that decision because it was pretty dry and flavourless. The bun and Glenn’s fries were really good, though! So was my salad.   This is what I get for not accepting the guidance that was offered to me.

At 4:50pm on Friday afternoon, I was already mentally checked out of work and needed a laugh, so I copied and pasted this tweet into a chat with my unsuspecting victims coworkers:

me: My hand is stuck in a jar of salsa right now. I’m just gonna leave it in there. This is who I am now. I’m tired of fighting.
Brett:  LOL!!! I can totally imagine that! Why am I not surprised?   You have the weekend to regain your strength and fighting spirit….

me: My hand is stuck in a jar of salsa right now. I’m just gonna leave it in there. This is who I am now. I’m tired of fighting.
Thomas: Haha… don’t fight it. Let it be, it’s for the better

me: My hand is stuck in a jar of salsa right now. I’m just gonna leave it in there. This is who I am now. I’m tired of fighting.
Miles: where are you I want some

me: My hand is stuck in a jar of salsa right now. I’m just gonna leave it in there. This is who I am now. I’m tired of fighting.
Glenn: oh you make me laugh. Are you okay, would you like some help?

…. and then I sat there at my desk crying tears of laughter until 5pm.  Amazing, right?

Remember how I told you I had a summer solstice yoga flow planned for Saturday morning? It was great, but I felt off during the entire class. Groggy, sleepy and just plain out of it. The class did 108 Om’s after our flow and I wrapped myself up in a blanket and *think* I passed out on my mat. It was the strangest thing – I’ve never fallen asleep in yoga before. I was in this weird half awake-half asleep state.

Later on in the morning, armed with healthy drinks (a green smoothie & watermelon NUUN water) I headed to Banff to pick up my race package.

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I got bored waiting in the park gate lineup so I took a #carselfie.

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The race expo and swag bags were a bit disappointing (hardly any vendors, a shirt and a Powerbar) but it was the first year for the Banff Marathon, so it’s to be expected.  The townsite was a madhouse on Saturday – I was in and outta there as quickly as possible. Sometimes crowds make me anxious. Especially when they’re armed with ice cream cones and iPads in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

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I  stopped at DavidsTea on my way out to use up remaining Christmas gift cards that are burning a hole in my wallet. I’m not much of a tea drinker anymore, so I bought a glass mason jar to use for future smoothies and had it filled with watermelon mint iced tea. It was pretty good, even though it needed a vodka infusion.

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Iced tea + walking through a quieter Banff neighbourhood on the first day of summer? Be still my heart.

I visited Lake Minnewanka and walked around for a while, too. I felt like I needed some time by the water.

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I became extremely jealous when I saw someone eating a donut and decided it was time to drive back to Canmore.   I spent the rest of the day having an epsom salt bath and reading on my patio (I have a really cool book to tell you about next week – it’s about yoga and spirituality). I went to bed around 9pm. On the longest day of the year. I hate myself.

I took melatonin to ensure a solid, black-out-death sleep and to help manage the pain I’m feeling in my groin and hip.   I recently learned that it releases endorphins, reducing pain and promoting an anti-inflammatory effect, which I definitely need right now.  With the sleep aspect, I don’t have trouble snoozing, but I’m a light sleeper and live at a resort… on weekends, sometimes guests can be noisy and I didn’t want to be interrupted by their shenanigans.

I’m a wimp.  So is Lauren. She spent her Saturday afternoon dry-heaving after eating  a pastry that was “too sweet”.    I think Earth is too much for us to handle? I get cranky if I don’t achieve 12 hours of sleep, and Lauren is pastry intolerant. Oh! She can’t handle spicy food either. She told me a story of how she threw up all over East Side Marios after taking a bite of her Dad’s spicy pasta.  Not only that, she gave me her pad-thai leftovers last week because “it was too spicy”. I took one bite and said, “Lauren, this tastes like peanuts, not spice. What is wrong with you?”  But hey, free food!!!  Whenever she tells me these stories, all I can picture is this:

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But like, that’s how she’d react to black pepper.

Tell me about your weekend. Cheer me up, please. Tell me something funny.

Have you planned any summer vacations? Where are you going?

Tea or coffee? Are you into DavidsTea?