interview on not so fast

Hello lovely foodies!

For those of you who don’t know Shira from In Pursuit of More, you are missing out. She is an unbelievably inspirational and kind person who I feel honoured to have met and developed a friendship with. She is the founder of Not So Fast, which has a very simple goal:  going with (just a little) less to give someone else a little moreAbstaining from a treat, or full out fasting to allow others access to good nutritious food. Please all go check out this fantastic organization and see what you can do to help!

Through Shira’s encouragement and coaching, I began fasting as a way to contribute to this wonderful vision. It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of.

So when Shira asked me to answer a few questions about my experience with fasting and my relationship with food, I couldn’t say no! I would love it if you would all head over to the Not So Fast website and check my interview out and learn more about Not So Fast

Thanks and see you over there!

inspiring intentions

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While New Years is the traditional time to set goals and intentions, for some reason those never seem to stick for me. We make them and they are quickly forgotten. I'm sure many of you have experienced the over zealous crowds at the gym in January only to see things are back to normal by March. 

For me, it's the transition out of summer and into fall that really inspires change. It just seems more logical doesn't it? School starts again, work starts after summer vacation, we say goodbye to warm weather and hello to cold. Establishing good habits and intentions now seems like a great way to get ahead of the game doesn't it? You will be well on the way to positive change by the time everyone else even thinks about it in January ;)

I like to think of this as my personal new year. My time to lay intentions down for who I want to be and the direction I would like my year to take. Intentions to me don't mean specific goals like working out 3 times a week or eating more meals at home. To me they are more like principles to guide the way I think and act. If I can act in accordance with my intentions, my goals tend to fall in place and I can say i am happy with the year, no matter what else happens!

I wrote a post as a part of Suzanne at hello veggy's Inspiring Intentions Guest Post Series and I hope you'll head over to check it out!

photo credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc

the reading nook: edition #5

Happy weekend everyone!

I wanted to bring back my “Reading Nook” series. I can’t believe I haven’t done one since November! The Reading Nook is all about showing you guys books, articles, recipes and just general stuff I’ve found interesting or inspiring recently. Hopefully if you are here reading this blog (and have gotten this far into the post) you have similar tastes to me and will find them interesting too!

1. The Happiness Project 

This book was so fun to read and given my current state of mind, I found it to be incredible insightful and inspirational. It’s all about making small changes to bring about an increase in happiness for yourself and those around you. I can’t wait to start implementing some of her ideas and start my own Happiness Project.

2. A Smart Woman’s Guide to Hormones

This book is a fantastic resource for an woman, regardless of age who is struggling with hormonal imbalances. While the fact that I was reading this book got a lot of laughs from a few male friends (cue the PMS jokes!) but it’s seriously about so much more than that. I know I took a lot from it and this every woman should own a copy. Lorna Vanderhaeghe is an expert in her field (and Canadian!) and I seriously admire her and all her work.

3. Firming and Softened DIY Body Scrub from Pure Ella

This awesome DIY scrub comes from the lovely Ella at Pure Ella. Not only does it justify making a pot of coffee (;o)) but it has amazing health and beauty benefits, just in time for skirt and shorts weather!

I made it the other day and it smells AMAZING. Forget drinking coffee in the morning, this will perk you right up! I've also used it a couple times and my skin is so soft already!

4. Five Mental Habits that Steal Years from your Life from Natural News

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A great article about why we need to kick negative thinking and thoughts in the pants! We all know worrying and self-critique gets us no where, but did you know that it contributes to chronic stress which seriously reduces your life span and risk of disease and illness? Let’s all try and replace the bad with good!

5. Find Your Yoga Style Infographic from Mind Body Green

With so many yoga styles out there, it can get confusing. This is a great infographic to help you target the classes that will help achieve your own goals and suit your mood! Click the link or picture for a larger version.

Enjoy your weekends everyone! 

8 week no-sugar pre-christmas program

quick post today, more of an update on where the direction of this blog will be going for the next 8 weeks…

now, those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that i like challenges. i like putting my diet to the test and seeing what i can accomplish with it- my transition to veganism was largely a result of myself wondering if i could do it! i’ve been doing lots of stress eating lately so I want to try and curb that and i also want to clean up  my diet a bit before the christmas season. so even though i’m a few days late 'i’m going to be joining in on sarah wilson’s pre-christmas 8 week “i quit sugar” challenge.

this is actually a challenge i have done before, pre-blogging days and i found it so beneficial! i felt so much better getting of the sweet stuff, including reducing my fruit intake. my intake of vegetables and healthy fats went way up and i found new and interesting foods and snacks. i’m so excited to do it again!

if anyone would like to join me, please let me know in the comments! i would love to have someone to bounce ideas off of and let’s face it, it’s always more fun to do these things with someone! i know megan @ the detoxinista is participating, so join in, all the cool people are doing it ;)

now, i may post a few recipes coming up that have sugar in them since i have a few seasonal ones in the back-log but i will do my best to keep them to a minimum. you might even see a re-emergence of the “what i ate wednesday” style posts! after a good break from them i’m actually pretty excited to get back into it!

here’s to a fantastic 8 (well almost 7 weeks now) of delicious, healthy sugar-free eating!

creamy chickpea tomato sauce

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Do you every feel like you’re fumbling around in the darkness that is life- not really sure where you’re going or what you’re doing, but just hoping that your decisions lead you somewhere positive, new and to a place of happiness?

Since I graduated from Queen’s just over 2 years ago, my life has felt much like this. Every decision I make is laced with uncertainty. One question and decision simply leads to another. Should I travel?  Should I move across the ocean? Should I start a blog? Should I go back to school? In reality, all of these questions can be reduced down to a much more simple, or more complicated question, depending on how you look at it:

Should I test myself?

With the prospect of moving to a new city to pursue my passion looming before me, I am facing another personal test. To rise above the anxiety, fears and personal pressure and fully embrace this change.

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All of my “personal tests” up until this point have had results that were so amazing, I can hardly imagine who I would be without them. By travelling I was exposed to new cultures and traditions and got to experience just what “living in the moment” meant.. When I moved to Ireland I gained a sense of independence and assurance in myself, confidence in my abilities to be self-reliant and well as self-respect. Starting this blog has allowed me to connect with so many fantastic bloggers and readers, that I no longer feel alone in my crazy little food world.

While all of these have been stunning successes, I can’t help but be wary of this move, of going back to school and revamping my life again. With every new decision and experience comes uncertainty and risk. I only hope I can find it in me dive in without reservations, so I can meet what’s coming to learn and grow.

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Chickpea Cashew Tomato Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

Ingredients (Serves 3-4 generously)

  • 3/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1 28 oz. can tomatoes
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach, torn
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, ground
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions

In a large saucepan, saute the onion for a couple minutes in oil (I used coconut) until it is starting to become translucent. Add garlic and saute a couple minutes more. Add in the chickpeas and cook until onions are completely translucent and are beginning to brown.

Add in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the liquid by about 1/2. Cover and turn the heat down to a low simmer and keep cooking until most of the liquid is gone. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted, then stir in the ground cashews. Stir in the fresh herbs, add salt to taste. Serve immediately on top of small chunky pasta such as fusilli or penne.

 

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Healthy Vegan Friday!

P.S. Sorry about the poor quality pictures- the lighting when I took them was terrible so i decided to play with some editing features