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Showing posts from January, 2012

1/2 Marathon Training: Blister-free Running

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Because Sunday has become my long run day, I thought I'd give share some more running tips as I continue along my quest for the 1/2 marathon. Today's topic: running blisters. When I started running, blisters were never an issue for me. Little did I know that it had more to do with distance + time (for me anyway), than just the act of running, that would create the problem.

Once I got in the habit of running 4+ miles, the blisters started coming. As I increased my mileage, it got worse and worse. I'm not talking plain old blisters here, I'm talking weird ones that creep up on you in between your toes, and stuff like that. That just doesn't make the rest of your week very pleasant...

I've heard that a lot of people use special running socks, and at first I just it was just some kind of sucker way to getting runners to spend more money (running can be an expensive activity for some, especially once you get into the good pair of running shoes + fancy the Garmin ti…

Wednesday Wisdoms

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I love that the next four days of my life will be totally swamped with dance rehearsals and performances. This was definitely one of my to-do goals for 2012 (actually it was for 2011 as well) and it seems that everything is coming together to make that happen all at the same time! On top of that, I might have another gig for March! I'm so, so dance happy right now.

Because of that + course work overload, I leave you on this lovely Wednesday with some words that have been really important to me over the last little while. These are things I both want to take into account more in my life or truths I've always known! I don't think it would hurt to repeat them (and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!):

1. On Life Choices

2. On Self-Respect
3. On Self-Love

4. On Gratitude

5. On Truth

6. And just 'cause...

Have a great rest of your week!

Compatibility and Cake

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First off:
We had an awesome meal with friends last night. By the end, our bellies were filled with way too many home-made dumplings (my speciality!), mandarins, Tsing Tao beer, and a sweet black sesame soup for dessert. If you celebrated, hope you had a good one!

So, today I wanted to share with you that there are some very important things to determine when looking for a life partner; questions like what their views on having children are, what their financial goals might be, and most of all, if you are the kind of girl who wants to bake cakes at all hours of the night or day, will your partner always unquestionably and enthusiastically agree to eat everything you make.

I know it might sound silly to think that someone you live with might not want to eat cake all the time... but when you're always concocting new things in the kitchen (which might be hit or miss), I can assume it could get tedious to always be the go-to human waste disposal unit. Since I enjoy the process of bak…

The Paraben Problem & Natural Beauty Care Solutions

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So, it's time we talked cosmetics again. This isn't a topic I get into often, but it's time I got back onto my organic soapbox for a rant. A recent scientific study just published in January has shown renewed evidence that there is a pretty direct link between parabens and breast cancer.
You might have heard of parabens before. Parabens are usually used as antimicrobials in cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and even food (yuck). Parabens are usually absorbed through the skin and through the GI tract and blood system. The problem with parabens is that they mimic estrogen, so they can bind themselves to estrogen receptors by pretending they're the real deal. They can alter the expression of some of your genes, and change your hormone regulation (like by pretending to be estrogen), these kinds of weird bodily shifts create all sorts of dangerous developments, like the creation of breast tumour cells.
At this point, scientific studies have shown that differ…

SOPA/PIPA Awareness

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Do you like readings blogs? Well I do, and I quite enjoy reading them too. You might have noticed that a bunch of websites you probably use on a daily basis (Google, Wikipedia, etc.) were "blacked out" today. I tried to join the "black out" band wagon but I'm unfortunately not that tech savvy at the moment. So hopefully if you haven't looked around to find out why you have been able to freely surf the internet today, here's a really quick run down:
PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.
In very short, the U.S. Congress is currently considering two bills: one in the House of Representatives called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and another in the Senate called PIPA (Protect IP Act). Both these bills both use similar methods to further criminalize and police intellectual property infringement. Sure intellectual property piracy is a no-no, but these bills would allow the use of tactics that would severely limit our freedom o…

Raw Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

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This Monday, I say yay for starting out the week with a raw version of a classic indulgence! Who says you have to wait 'til Sunday for treats...
Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Yield: About 4 servings
3 C cashews, soaked overnight 3/4 C maple syrup
1 1/4 C water 1 vanilla bean (or 1.5 T vanilla extact) 1/2 C frozen cherries, halved (or dried cherries*) 1/3 C chocolate chips (or more!) 1/2 teaspoon of salt
*I used dried cherries this time, but this recipe is one million times better with the frozen ones!
1. Blend all the ingredients, except chocolate chips and dried cherries, in a Vitamix or similar high-powered blender. 2. Place in ice cream maker, and follow the maker's instructions. About half way through, add in cherries and chocolate chips. 3. Serve with your favourite raw chocolate sauce, cookie, etc.

1/2 Marathon Training: My Guilt-Free "Run-Walks"

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I know it sounds crazy for someone who used to snicker at the very thought of running for more than 10 minutes to say that they look forward to running 6+ miles once a week, but hey, people change. I've come to love my weekly long runs, a lot. I don't post about it often despite my crazy excitement, but my half-marathon training has been fairly smooth sailing since I started about 13 weeks ago. I actually can't believe I only have about five weeks left. With that, I thought I'd share my most recent running tip or runner's discovery with you: The Run-Walk.
Since I started running 5+ miles for my long run at about Week 10 of my training, I decided to let go of my runner's guilt complex and adopt the "run-walk" method. The point of the run-walk is to take short walking breaks at a regular pace to restore energy and to keep from overstraining your running muscles.  Marathon trainer, Jeff Galloway, is actually a big run-walk fan, and claims that it allows…

No Cheese Pizza

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Since we moved to Ottawa, we have a number of go-to places when we need a non-homemade vegan fix. While the Green Door and the Table were always our favourites, there's a charm and quirkiness to our neighbourhood's Wild Oat Bakery, which has always made us come back for more. My favourite vegan item on their menu is actually their raw "pizza," which is more of a big salad on a flax cracker. Andrew's is their Vegan "No Cheese" Pizza, which is essentially veggie toppings on a flat bread. Really the catch of that pizza is the sunflower seed-paste type thing they use instead of cheese and tomato sauce, so I knew that would have to be my focus. (For any local readers, their vegan hemp brownies or their raw truffles are to die for.)

I knew exactly what to do. We also recently went to Montreal for a long weekend to celebrate the New Year, where we rediscovered our love for Aux Vivres, probably the city's most popular organic vegan haunt. On the first nigh…

♪ J'aime la Galette, savais vous comment?... ♪

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To any of you who might know that French tune, I actually think one of my favourite holidays of the year is the Epiphany (I explained the concept a couple years back). Mostly, that's because it's when you serve my favourite dessert for dinner: la Galette des Rois. La Galette is a delicious pastry filled with an almond paste, in which you hide a "fève"(which literally means bean, but has long since been traditionally replaced by a porcelain figurine of the Virgin Mary.) The one who gets the piece with the fève in it, is declared King (or Queen) for the evening, and gets to wear a silly crown.

I've been celebrating this holiday with my family since I was a kid, so one of my inner French housewife fantasies has always been to have my own household to which I could invite friends over for dinner to eat galette. Last night allowed me to fulfill that wish, as we had an amazing night of laughter and warmth with close friends under our roof in the name of cake. After all,…

Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit...

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... if you soak them, you won't toot. Yep, it's true. I was recently asked by a friend why I bother to soak my beans overnight before I cook them and I realized there are actually tons of reasons why:
Soaking beans minimizes gas because soaking them helps remove the complex sugars from the bean's outer layer that is indigestible to us. Soaking beans in hot water (I just used water I boiled in the kettle) also reduces their levels of phytic acid which helps with nutrient absorption by about 50%. This can't be achieved as well if you just try to cook them. (Sprouting before cooking is also a great way to increase nutrient absorption.)Soaking beans minimizes the time you need to cook them so a) you will preserve the most nutrients from doing so (think more vitamins, minerals, etc.); and b) you'll save energy by not having to keep the burners/oven as long! Word of caution: RINSE your beans after you've soaked them! Don't use the old water to cook them because i…

Raw "Calamari"

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First off, Happy New Year to you all!  Hope your year has started off with health, happiness, and light! To those of you who make resolutions/goals, may you fulfill all those intentions! To those of you who don't, have an awesome guilt-free year!
I can't believe it's been a whole month since I've written, and before you know it, I'm back in classes again tomorrow. This holiday season was wonderful, stressful, relaxing, healing, and so many things at the same time I don't even know where to start... I know I've always kind of written a resolution post around this time, but my goals and intentions this year are pretty intense, so I think I might actually hold off for now and go straight to the funner goods.

One of my mini-resolutions for the year is to continue on my raw food journey without having to completely ignore the fact that I do love baking and making vegan foods. I know that to be happy I want to do both. The catch is to feed the non-raw stuff to y…