March 11 – 14 – confessions of a leafiless day

March 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm (Uncategorized)

Hello again after a very relaxing weekend! First off, I have to admit that I was bad and on the 12th, I didn’t eat a single leafy green. End of the world for my challenge? I think not because I have still eaten way more leafy greens this month than I normally would in this period of time. And actually, if you can count broccoli, which I haven’t been, but IS green and ALMOST has leaves, then I didn’t fall off the wagon after all.

What else have I been up to? Nothing too too exciting. I am still basking in the enjoyment of having Pengfei back. Saturday morning it was sunny and we went for a walk around the Cedar Hill golf course (there is a nice chip trail there), and it felt like such a nice spring experience to be sharing with my hubby again. Also on Saturday, I went to see the “One World” performance at the Royal Theatre thanks to an extra ticket that my co-worker had. It is a performance put on by the students at Pearson College (a United World College), and was a mix of dance, singing, and other performances. I think my favourite was the thousand hand Buddha dance. Truly a delight to watch!

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March 6 to 10 – green patties

March 10, 2010 at 7:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Hello all after a multi-day hiatus in posting! I don’t think you can really blame me for not posting the last two days though, as that was when Pengfei returned from China! It is soooooo good to have him home 🙂 I went and picked him up at the ferry and it was actually snowing shortly before I left. I also heard that it was snowing in Vancouver today – crazy! No snow for all the two weeks of the Olympics and now snow. Strange!

So although I have been bad at posting, I have been eating some leafy greens every day. Only one interesting recipe for you though – all the rest were just salads or lettuce/spinach in sandwiches/wraps. The interesting recipe is for “Hare [green] Kebobs”:

1. Boil one large potato until soft; mash or grate.

2. Finely chop 1 lb of washed spinach. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a wok and saute spinach and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro for 5-6 minutes until dry. Add 2 Tsp. cornstarch and stir for one minute.

3. Add to the wok: the potatoes, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. butter, 1/2 tsp. each of chilli powder, garam masala, cumin, and salt. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

4. Form into small patties and cook in 1-2 Tsp. hot oil in a frying pan until brown on each side. Enjoy!

Mine didn’t quite turn out like the picture; mine were much greener, but I still enjoyed them. I am not really sure why they are called kebobs though. I always thought kebobs were something on a stick. I would describe these more as patties. Hmm, green patties. This would be a good recipe for St. Patrick’s Day!

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March 4 & 5 – playing tourist

March 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Okay, okay, so I have not been as good this month with my postings, BUT I have been still eating my leafy greens! Yesterday I had the yummiest spinach, strawberry, goat cheese salad for supper and today I enjoyed another spinach salad out at Chez Susie in the Square where I had the “Dine Around and Stay in Town” 3-course lunch with Jenni and Sarah. I really enjoyed the salad and dessert, but I have to admit that I have had tastier salmon elsewhere.

So today was also our day to enjoy being tourists in our own home town. It was quite the interesting day! Jenni and I started out with a 20-min harbour tour by boat, which was made even better by the glorious sunshine we enjoyed! Then we headed over to the Undersea Gardens and met up with Sarah. I have to say that it was one of the strangest attractions I have ever been to in Canada. As Jenni commented, it felt more like an attraction you would see in some random place in South-East Asia. Basically you go down some pitch-black stairs to get “beneath” the sea, and then we watched a “show” where a diver proceeded to physically force fish and sea creatures to come out of their hiding places to swim around for the crowd. It was actually quite disturbing and I can say that it is not somewhere I would visit again. Next we were off to the Wax Museum, which was also a bit odd… some of the figures were quite interesting, while others failed to live up to our expectations in terms of their likeness to their subjects. Next was lunch. Yum. I had the carrot cake for dessert, and it just hit the spot! After lunch we went for  a 45-minute bus tour, on which I actually learned some interesting things. And we got to sit on the upper deck of an old British double-decker with its top sawed off (so more sunshine!). For our last attraction of the day, we went to Miniature World. Some of the displays were really quite interesting, while others were a bit odd. I especially liked the ones where we got to push buttons and make lights turn on or cars move. I probably shouldn’t admit that that was my favourite part, should I? 😉 Overall it was a great day, and I certainly feel like I got my $10.50 worth out of the ticket!

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March 2 & 3 – sunny and green

March 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

What a gorgeous day today ended up being! At lunch I went to Beacon Hill Park for a walk in the sun and didn’t even need my jacket! It is hard to believe that other parts of the country still have snow on the ground.

So far I am on track with the leafy green challenge but I have to say that I do not yet have any super-exciting recipes for you. Yesterday I had some spinach-chickpea soup for lunch that I had made a few weeks ago and frozen, and today I had a red-leaf lettuce salad with my supper. I guess “a big salad is part of the meal” will be true on many nights this month! This is the expression my mom used to ALWAYS say at supper time when I was growing up 🙂 I did get a couple of books on leafy greens at the library, but haven’t really had the chance to peruse them for good recipes yet. I will probably get to it this weekend (especially if it is rainy!)

Well, just one more work day this week and then off to “Be a Tourist in your own Home Town” on Friday with Jenni and Sarah. We have a whole day of activities planned, but I’ll wait ’till Friday to let you in on them. Have a good night!

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March 1 – all things green and leafy

March 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm (Uncategorized)

So just a quick post today; I am off to my yoga class in a few minutes but I couldn’t leave you hanging about what my new challenge for the month of March is. I have decided that my challenge will be to eat leafy greens every single day this month. Why leafy greens? Well, for one I have heard that they are quite healthy for us, and also I do like leafy greens quite a bit, but often forget about them when other more colourful food beackons to me from the fridge. So, what do I mean by “leafy greens“? Basically anything that is green and looks like leaves. Well, let me qualify that: Anything EDIBLE that is green and looks like leaves (as my sister pointed out, I should not go around eating the leaves from random trees!) So I am imagining that this includes all kinds of lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, bok choi, cabbage, gai lan and other leafy greens that I hope to ‘discover’ at the grocery store. Know of a good one I should try? Let me know!

For today’s greens I was very simple and traditional – a salad of red-leaf lettuce. It was very yummy, especially with the figs and feta cheese I added! Happy greens everyone!

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Day 28 – last day of yoga challenge

February 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Well today officially marks the last day of my one-month yoga challenge. I am 100% positive, however, that it will not mark my last day of practicing yoga. I think the fact that I have my Monday night yoga class tomorrow almost guarantees that it will not be my last day!

Now I guess you may be reading this post thinking that I will have some profound thing to say about how this month of doing yoga every single day has changed my life. Has it? Well, I wouldn’t quite say it has changed my LIFE, but I have noticed some things over the month:

1. I can actually commit to doing something everyday and see it through for a whole month.

2. Knowing that I was expected to blog about my yoga practice everyday (even if it was just my own expectation) was a great motivator for me. Or should I call it a ‘guiltinator’???

3. I liked the routine of knowing that each evening I would spend some time doing the same thing. And in the end, 10 minutes is really not too much time to commit to doing something good for me.

4. I enjoyed branching out and trying some different styles of yoga (Yoga Booty Ballet anyone?)

5. I think maybe, just maybe, my hamstrings are  a bit more flexible than when I started!

6. I liked that people were reading what I wrote, even if I don’t know who they were. Actually, I quite enjoy looking at the stats when I sign in each day!

So, tomorrow will be the start of my next one-month challenge, but I am not going to ruin the surprise today. You will have to read tomorrow to see what it is! I will still probably blog occasionally about my yoga practices, but it will no longer be the focus of my posts, until maybe next year if I decide to repeat the yoga challenge 🙂

One last thought before I leave the month of February: The Canadian men’s hockey team ROCKS!!! GOLD!!! Woo hoo!!! And for the record, I correctly predicted the winner AND the score for this game in our hockey pool at work!

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Day 27 – yoga nap

February 27, 2010 at 7:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Happy Saturday! Now someone please tell my internal clock that it is Saturday because for some reason I still woke up at 7am today instead of sleeping in…

What another great day for Canadians at the Olympics. Of course the curling was one of my personal favourites, but all sports in which Canadians won medals were pretty amazing!

For tonight’s yoga practice I felt like giving myself some extra time, and I ended up spending about 50 minutes at it, which I was pretty proud about. This yoga thing must be becoming a habit or something! First I did some sequences from the book Sarah lent me called “The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga”. This is the mix and match book I have written about before. Today I did one sequence of each type: warm-up, balance, standing, core, hips, restorative, and breath exercises. Each one is pretty short, but together they made for a good practice. And then after I was done that I pulled out a book that I found at the public library today, which may just be my best find ever at the public library: “Yoga Nap” by Kristen Rentz. Can you believe a book is actually called “Yoga Nap”??? Sounds like my kind of chillaxing yoga! It is full of very supported, restorative poses, so I chose two of them to end my practice with today: “super-supported bridge pose” (I’m not kidding, that’s what it is called in the book!) and “floating body rest”. Jenni, if you are reading this, this is your kind of book! Delightful!

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Day 26 – the calm after the golds

February 27, 2010 at 9:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Tonight I definately needed some calming yoga after all the excitement of the Olympics  today! While I was soooo dissapointed for the Canadian women in curling (they were so close, twice, to winning!), I can’t deny that it was an amazing day for many other Canadians. Not only did we win in the game against Slovakia in men’s hockey (but I was a bit nervous during the last two minutes of play!), but the speed skating races were AMAZING!

So after all this excitement, shared with my good friend Sarah who watched Olympics with me almost the entire day (I had the day off work), I definately needed something to calm me down before bed. I decided to pop in the “Gentle Yoga” DVD I got near the start of my challenge and choose the “winding down” routine. Ahhh. Nice and relaxed in time for bed!

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Day 25 – iron yoga

February 26, 2010 at 9:38 am (Uncategorized) ()

First off – CONGRATS to the women’s hockey team!!! Awesome job!

Second, once I had settled down from the excitement of the hockey game, I settled into my yoga practice. Today I did the second half of the Iron Yoga DVD that I had borrowed from the library. I don’t know if I was just tired tonight or if it is actually a bit toughof a workput, but I ended up putting down the weights after a certain point and just did the moves without the weights. They did say at the beginning of the DVD that you may want to try the workout for the first time using only your own body resistance, but I thought I was tough enough to do it with the weights 😉 oh well, live and learn and at least I continued through the whole practice, even if it was sans weights!

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Day 24 – and a pink bicycle too

February 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm (Uncategorized)

For tonight’s yoga practice I was feeling… full… must be because I just got back from a wonderful yummy supper with Sarah at the Pink Bicycle. Almost too yummy because I managed to finish it all, and I was too full to enjoy my yoga practice. I did get through the ten minutes none the less – I did not come all the way to day 24 to have it undone by a delicious portabella burger!

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