WIAW: All the Thanksgivings!

Yes, I said ‘all,’ that is because I had three Thanksgivings this year. I am proud to report that I survived them all! No way, I actually had 4… I forgot to include the one I hosted! It’s been a rough week.

I’m going to give you a quick snapshot into my Thanksgiving’s this year, complete with what I brought to the table (literally).

Thanksgiving #1

Where: My Sister’s

What was served: Chicken, Turkey, Scalloped Potatoes, Dinner Rolls, Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa Salad, Spinach Salad with Boursin and crackers as an appetizer and apple and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Our contribution: Quinoa salad, requested by my sister + a box of wine

The verdict: Amazing food, amazing family. I helped my sister take the spaghetti squash to a new level by sautéing it with some onions and garlic before we served it, it was a nice bonding experience.

Thanksgiving #2

Where: Mr. A’s Sister’s

What was served: Assorted appetizers, Ham, lasagne, peas sautéed with onions and sun dried tomatoes, stuffed peppers, Waldorf Salad, Mixed Greens Salad, potatoes, and cheesecake for dessert.

Our contribution:¬†Mr. A NEEDED to make a Waldorf Salad for this occasion, so he made one and I made a mixed greens salad + a bottle of wine (I see a trend of salads and wine…)

The verdict: AMAZING food. I have a new love for sun dried tomatoes. The homemade cheesecake was to die for.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving #3

Where: Our house!

What was served: Potluck style with a Boursin appetizer cheese, Ham, roasted potatoes, 2 different mixed greens salads, lentil shepherds pie, quinoa salad, and an after dinner brie. For dessert: pumpkin truffles, apple crisp, and pumpkin spice cake.

Our contribution: We made a ham!! + quinoa salad and pumpkin spice cake + box of wine, of course

The verdict: We ate well. The after dinner brie made the evening.

Boxed Wine

Brie

Thanksgiving #4

Where:¬†My mom’s

What was served:Turkey, perogies, cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, rice, prune, and apple stuffing, asian salad, Boursin + pickle tray for appetizers, and a trifle and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Our contribution:I helped my mom make nearly everything and we started prep on Saturday. We also brought a bottle of wine (of course..)

The verdict: So. Much. Food. It was amazing and so were the leftovers for lunch – which was basically everything topped with a copious amount of gravy.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Trifle

Big thanks to Jenn for hosting this weeks WIAW!

WIAW

How many Thanksgivings do you usually have? For all my American friends: are you looking forward to your Thanksgiving coming up?

How to Drink More Water

Drink More Water

I am 110% guilty of going a whole day without drinking anything but my morning coffee. Food has water in it too but drinking enough so that you actually go to the washroom is probably a necessity for a healthy body. #justsayin

Seeing as this issue bothers me a little and I can’t quite seem to get by with the system I use, I decided to look into some creative ways to encourage myself to drink more water throughout the day. If you struggle in this area too try what works best for you and let me know in the comments how you did!

1. Carry a bottle with you where ever you go

If you don’t have it with you, you won’t drink it. Also… if you’re anything like me you’ll refuse to buy bottled water because that’s no-good for the planet. So, PLAN IT in advance (ha!), and bring a bottle when you leave the house. As a side note it’s super annoying when you go somewhere and they don’t have any water fountains so I always try to fill mine when I see one.

2. Add things to it!

I’m not talking about that weird no-calorie stuff you squirt in (although I suppose that would work too), I’m talking about plant-based add-ins! We also used this tactic to get the kids in our after school program to drink more water. All we had to do was add fruit or mint and they drank all the water (and ate all the lemons)! My favourite combinations are:

Lime or Lemon + Mint

Lemon + Cucumber

Oranges

Plain ole’ lemon (my absolute fav)

3. Track it 

There are two ways to do this 1. Use an app or 2. Old school pen and paper.

There are about 1404 apps out there to help track you water intake, unfortunately they don’t work for me because I find them too tedious (I’m also awful with technology..) but some people love the challenge of monitoring and tracking up their cups of H20. Some trendy ones right now are: Watterlogged¬†and¬†Waterminder,

Pen and paper is pretty self explanatory – I would use a small journal or notebook and keep it in my backpack or purse.

4. Keep a pitcher in your fridge 

There are plenty of filter options but we use a Brita in our house. I’ve also just filled a pitcher with water and lemons or limes for some infused¬†water and kept it in the fridge. If you go with this method be sure to drink it soon because it might start picking up some funky fridge tastes. I’m more likely to drink if it’s in the fridge, rather than tap water because I like my water realllly cold.

5. Use general awareness

Chances are if you’re thinking about water more often you’ll drink more of it. Most of the ideas above just make you more aware of it but there are also other ways like using sticky notes, phone reminders, heck you could put up a picture on your desk of a nice tall drink¬†of water, drinking a glass of water…gotcha!

Ok, brb going to have a glass of lemon water…

How do you make sure you get enough water? Have you tried any of these methods?

If you like reading about my adventures in drinking water..head on over to my older post.

Rah Rah @ The Park

Last night Mr. A and I ventured out on a date night to check out a concert by one of our favourite artists. Rah Rah, from Regina,Saskatchewan was here playing at The Park Theatre.

RahRah-094-Chris-Graham_16x9_620x350Source

We went for dinner before hand and caught the last two songs from the opening band from Winnipeg, Mise en Scene, who were absolutely fantastic. I was kicking myself for not getting there sooner.

The Park Theatre has recently gone through¬†some major renovations and we were immediately impressed with how everything looked inside the venue. It used to be an old movie theatre and had the seats still in the venue, but they have removed them and also added some walls to the stage area to make it looked more enclosed. Overall, the place looks amazing, and Mr. A¬†and I were really impressed with the renovations; we can’t wait to check it out again!

The second opening band was all the way from Toronto – The Darcys. They had a really interesting sound that I was into. Also, a stage full of cute boys (ok, men – they had beards) probably made it 500x more enjoyable to watch. I had heard of this band before, but never checked out any of their music – I will be adding their albums to my Google Play.

Finally! Rah Rah came on and they were bloody fantastic. This was the first stop on their tour and they played an awesome mix of really old stuff (1st and 2nd of three albums), the stuff I’m most familiar with (2nd album, from 2012), and BRAND NEW stuff that will be coming out on their new album in the spring. It was a world premier and I was digging it.

While they played some really awesome songs including Prairie Girl¬†and Henry, I would have LOVED to hear I’m a Killer live.

All and all it was an amazing show complete with witty stage banter, dancing, and tossing around inflatable letters that spell RAH!

What’s your favourite artist to see in concert? Have you heard of Rah Rah before?

Friday Favourites + Weekly Reads

It’s Friday! I have a jam-packed weekend ahead and I’m pretty excited about it.

A concert.

A craft sale.

Making (and eating) MORE Thanksgiving food!?

Maybe even a loaf of bread ;)

The aforementioned are what’s getting me through today, but here’s a look at some of my favourites that got me through the week:


Great times with friends and family for Thanksgiving. Also starting new traditions: post-dinner brie, post-dinner digestion walks (because we’re getting old), Cards Against Humanity, and Thanksgiving potlucks!

This book… please do yourself a favour and read it. I had been waiting for it from the library all summer, and I finally got it and finished it this week! Marina was a brilliant writer.

Opposite of Loneliness

My lipids class is over and I’m a cholesterol expert! We had our final exam on Tuesday and now I have a week before my next nutrition class starts, it’s on trace elements/minerals (i.e. copper, zinc, etc.). After these two I only have two more nutrition electives to complete!!

The Ham and Pea Soup that is going to go down in my kitchen tonight will be amazing. For Thanksgiving I made a ham (like a real one, no processed ham here) and today is the day it gets turned into my favourite type of soup. I will update you on how it turns out!

The Pumpkin Spice tea from Tim Hortons has been my saving grace on days I have night class. It’s not TOO pumpkin spice-y, and it has a generally awesome taste. It’s super annoying there’s nowhere on that campus that I can brew my own tea (if I was a legit student there it wouldn’t be a problem), but this tea makes up for it a little.

Weekly Reads

Thanks to Clare for hosting this weeks Five Things Friday!

Farmers Market Flowers

WIAW: I like to eat.

Happy Wednesday! I’m sure loving this short week…plus because it’s post-Thanksgiving here in Canada and I have an abundance of delicious leftovers in my fridge! What could be better than that?!

I’m not going to get into the Thanksgiving eats today because I have one more Thanksgiving Dinner this coming up weekend and I thought it might be nice to put all (3!) Thanksgivings in one place – aka next week’s WIAW. INSTEAD, I’m going to share a mish-mash of all the¬†delicious things in my life¬†because we all know I like to to eat.

ChipsandSalsaMelted old cheddar on tortilla chips + Salsa = My afternoon treat. There’s nothing better than melty cheese after a long day at school.

EggandAvocadoHB Egg + 1/2 Avocado for lunch at work. #eattheyolks

CostcoFindsBy babies, aka favourite Costco finds: Hemp Hearts + Chia Seeds + Quinoa (with bread and maple syrup in the background)

AlmondLatteAlmond Lattes are required for running errands.

Salad RollVegetarian Salad Roll Goodness from Degrees on Campus – finally figured out the mystery ingredient: fresh mint. Who knew?

Farmers Market FlowersOne more for the books: my delightful farmers market flowers from my mom. I had been wanting some all season, and I finally got to take some home! 

WIAW

Have you ever tried making salad rolls? What are your favourite Costco finds?

WIAW: All the veggies!

Happy Wednesday! It’s my favourite day of the week – What I Ate Wednesday! You can head over to see Jenn at Peas and Crayons to see some more awesome eats.

This week’s intention was to eat more vegetables. I usually eat LOTS of veggies at my main meals (lunch and dinner) but I find that I skip out on them throughout the rest of the day. With this little goal in mind let’s see how I did for the day…


There are so many ways to incorporate extra servings of vegetables into your diet (heck I could probably write 7 posts on the topic…). For today I’m going to talk about where I was able to sneak in more veggies in the meals I ate throughout the day.

At breakfast, I had my typical oatmeal but I also added a veggie based smoothie to get in some otherwise missed dark leafy greens.

Oatmeal and SmoothieBreakfast 8am//Perfect Microwave Oatmeal + Swiss chard, spinach, apple, pineapple, lemon, and blueberry smoothie. 

For lunch I packed a variety of vegetables. All of these had been pre-made earlier in the week to allow for easy lunch packing on days that were too crazy to cook.

Salmon and VeggiesLunch 11:20am// Salmon (it’s hiding!) + cauliflower, eggplant, broccoli, + a few roasted potatoes

Yes, pumpkin is a vegetable and I’m counting it here!

Pumpkin MuffinSnack 3:00pm// Pumpkin Walnut Muffin + extra old cheddar cheese

I packed extra veggies so that I could chow down on some on my drive from one class to another.

Snack/Early Dinner 4:30pm// Rest of the veggies from lunch [unpictured]

Baby carrots are a perfect snack to eat in class (even if they are noisy!) Side note: how awesome are my normal distribution curves?

Baby CarrotsSnack 7:30pm// Baby carrots

Mr. A did a fantastic job of sneaking extra vegetables into the sauce he made while I was in class. I swear he had no idea I was doing a vegetable related post today. Usually we make a sauce with a meat, tomatoes, spices, and that’s it, but this time he added some mushrooms too!

Turkey Pasta SauceLate Dinner 8:30pm// Pasta with homemade tomato and turkey sauce with mushrooms

I’d say I did not bad on the vegetable front today, vegetables at every meal and snack¬†– of course that’s if you’re including the pumpkin muffin! A definite win for me!

WIAW

How do you make sure you get enough vegetables in your diet?

How to Spot Nutrition Scams

How to Spot Nutrition Scams

We’ve all seen them – articles and advertisements for miracle weight loss pills, pills to make your skin glow, supplements to make your hair grow longer, and supplements to make you live longer – they’re all over the place, but how do we know they’re trustworthy products or even if these articles contain legitimate nutrition advice?

There are a few things you can look for if you come across a suspicious nutrition article and you’re not sure what to make of it:

  • If the article or ad is making any type of claim to better your health look to see if these results are published in a credible scientific journal – something like the New England Journal of Medicine,¬†¬†Journal of Clinical Nutrition¬†or the¬†British Journal of Nutrition.¬†Articles that are published in journals are peer-reviewed – aka critiqued by experts, before they can be published.
  • If there were¬†scientific studies mentioned in the article, look to see if they were conducted on animals, humans, or cell culture.¬†Not all research outcomes are translatable to¬†the general human population, and it’s also important to look at the sample size aka how many people were in the study.¬†This leads into the next point…
  • Testimonials. If you see testimonials (“I lost 12lb in 5 days by taking this pill!!” – usually with before and after pictures), run for the hills. Testimonials don’t give any proof that the products work – you’d be amazed at what photoshop can do.
  • Are they trying to sell you a product? Are there several “buy now” buttons? Are they going to give you a deal if you purchase X number of bottles? Yup, probably a scam.
  • Does it say the product is NOT approved by the FDA/Health Canada? Scam city.
  • Does the article have an author with legitimate credentials from a legitimate¬†university?¬†No, the University of Beverly Hills is not a real place.
  • Does the article use an absurdly large number of buzz words/phrases? “Miracle pill,” “Pounds will fall off,” or “Detoxify.” All points to scam –> No such thing as a miracle pill (too good to be true), pounds don’t just fall off (too good to be true), you liver detoxifies your body for you (trying to sell you a product).

A good nutrition article will provide researched backed information by credible sources. It won’t be trying to sell you a product and it won’t tempt you with testimonials and promotions to buy their product. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Source and more information: Sizer, Whitney, and Piche, Nutrition Concepts and Controversies, First Canadian Ed (United States; Nelson Education Ltd., 2009)