The Kind Diet Challenge

I bought Alicia Silverstone’s lifestyle guide/cookbook, The Kind Diet, over a year ago, but only took a quick look at it before putting it away for quite a long time. Recently, I decided I wanted to challenge myself to eat better as I had been falling into bad habits for the last few months (or year) and picked her book back up. I read through her book and really enjoyed her writing style and the design and layout of the book. She talks about how to begin adding in healthier foods and vegan alternatives to your current diet by “flirting” with these foods and then she does provide vegan recipes and what she calls “superhero” recipes, a more macrobiotic based diet. I really wanted to eat truly wholesome and healthy food, cutting out sugars and processed food. I decided that I was going to challenge myself to follow The Kind Diet, specifically the Superhero diet for 30 days. I was fortunate enough that my sister decided (on the morning of the first day!) to join me. This has made cooking not only easier and cheaper, but most importantly fun! Plus it’s been so great to share this experience with her. I am now at the end of Day 17 following The Kind Diet and feel great. I have learned how to cook new dishes and I have learned what kombu, mirin and umeboshi plum paste are, note to others, umeboshi plum paste is not sweet as I thought (plums=sweet, right?!) and is very salty – just a warning to others who may have the same misconceptions I did.

Here are a few of the dishes we’ve been enjoying:

Hijiki-Tofu croquettes (Noah’s didn’t have hijiki so dulsa was substituted in). Quinoa with basil and pine nuts, scarlet roasted veggies and steamed beans.

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Fried Udon

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Tuna salad, carrot and burdock chayote kinpira and brown rice. (Could not find burdock anywhere).

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Squash soup and polenta casserole with seitan tempeh (could not find seitan).

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Here is an example of a breakfast on The Kind Diet – Tofu scramble.

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The yummiest have been the croquettes, we also made the black-eyed pea croquettes which were really delicious with their dipping sauce and a lot easier to make than the hijiki-tofu croquettes. We also love the tuna salad with rice, the fried udon and kinpira. Another favourite, that I don’t have pictures of, are the toasted nori burritos – delicious. I’m also in love with the plum soup dessert except I love it hot rather than cooled as she recommends. A few that we only made once are the ginger pasta with zucchini (though I’m not a big zucchini fan) and the polenta casserole (which was likely my fault for using too much cauliflower and having no seitan).

So over the past 17 days, my copy of The Kind Diet has gone from looking pristine to looking well-used and I love it. The bent cover, warped pages from water accidently dripping on it or being touched by wet hands and the way the book pops open to the most popular recipes.

I’ll try and take some pictures of other recipes that we have been eating. I also added one recipe to breakfast that isn’t specifically in the book, but only uses ingredients that she uses in other superhero recipes. As well, a couple of times in the meal plan section she has planned a meal to be eaten out at a vegetarian restaurant. Normally, we just make one of her other meals to go in place of dining out, but we have also had Amy’s vegan pizza for a couple of the dining out meals.

As well, for the first two weeks I wasn’t getting much exercise in as I had hurt my foot the day before starting the challenge. It has slowly begun to feel better so I’m hoping to up my exercise for the last half of the challenge.

Lots of cooking going on over here :)

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Catching Up

In an effort to catch up a bit, I figured I’d throw everything together into one post!

1. This year, my dad and I are taking a break from the bees, our little hive didn’t make it through our tough winter which wasn’t a big surprise. It wasn’t super strong going in and this winter went on forever! Our plan is to regroup this year and try again next summer.

2. I’ve handed in my Psych paper so all I have left is the exam in two weeks and then it’s on to Bio and Stats – oh boy!

3. Improv class has been a good experience, so much so that my sister and I have signed up for level B. Let the anxiety begin :)

4. Ezra started walking just before his first birthday. Check out some of this walking action in a video I took on his birthday – so cute.

5. We surprised my mom for her 65th birthday and it worked…she was definitely surprised!

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Kids at a restaurant – it’s a rarity for these guys!

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Ezzy and Grampy

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Adam got to help with two cakes this weekend, Granny’s (July 18) and Ezra’s (July 20).

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6. And then there’s always the need for some pictures of the nephews :)

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Happy (Belated) 1st birthday Ezra!

On July 20th, 2014, my little nephew Ezra turned 1!

I think this is one of the few pictures we have of him looking interested in something to do with his presents. For the most part, he was happy to play with a plastic gardening tool and did not understand what these colourful objects were that we kept giving to him. Luckily Adam knew what to do and happily helped out :)

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Although he wasn’t sure about his presents, he definitely was more interested in the cake.

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And thoroughly enjoyed himself :)

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Ezzy and I taking a selfie!

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Here is the little leisure outfit I got for him. I figure this is one of the few years you can actually give clothes as a present and it doesn’t matter :)

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He started walking a few weeks before his birthday and he’s really motoring now :)

Happy 1st birthday Ezra! We all love you so much!!!

 

 

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McCrae Lake July 13-15, 2014

IMG_1822Just got back from camping with some friends.

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Improv Thursdays

I have been enjoying waking up without an alarm and going on runs when I feel like it. The 6:00 AM run has now turned into the 9:00 AM run despite my best intentions to remain an early riser, but I justify this by the idea that people will be at work and thus the trail will be less crowded at 9:00. I’m still struggling a little with getting back in the groove of doing schoolwork, but part of that is because I’m still figuring out the exact next steps I want to take, so I’m holding back committing 100% to anything. For good or for bad, I have decided to finish my psychology course first and then start my biology course. Ideally I should be doing them at the same time since that’s a more realistic university experience, but for right now, this is what’s going to work for me. I am actually sort of looking forward to my biology class, but it can wait.

I have yet to pick up volunteering and will most likely start that in August or September (let’s be honest, September).

So to sum up what I have done so far in my time off, I have continued running, worked on one psychology course and have gotten lots of family time in. Also, I finally finished reading The Magic Mountain and watched both seasons of Orange is the New Black on Netflix. Typing the previous sentence, I initially thought it was an odd juxtaposition, but on second thought it may not be so odd after all. Hmm I kind of feel I want to write an essay on the similarities between the two…maybe I AM getting back into school mode! 

I do have one more thing I’ve been doing. My sister and I signed up for an introduction to improv class that runs every Thursday night for 8 weeks. So far, we have had two classes. I signed up for this to get more comfortable speaking and being up in front of people (somehow my comfort level has decreased over the years and it wasn’t that high to begin with). The idea that I’ll most likely have to do presentations if I go back to school currently terrifies me.

So far it has been a fantastic experience! The people, not surprisingly 10-15 years younger than I am, all seem really nice. Really, most of us are there because we want to get more comfortable in front of people which just makes us all feel a lot more relaxed. There are also 0 expectations which always helps! I never realized how similar goat herding and go-karting can sound until we did one activity where, after a student shouted out an action for us to do, I was happily miming goat herding and everyone else was happily miming go karting.

Also, we had to come up with a joke on the spot and I managed to say a punch line that actually made sense! I was ready to walk out of the class right then and there, having hit my high note, but since there was still another hour and a half I managed to stick it out.

Some upcoming events: camping trip, sister’s graduation, mom’s 65th birthday and a friend’s show.

Oh yeah, and completing my psychology course by the end of July (that’s my goal!).

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Ellen and Paul’s wedding Part 3

Just a few pictures more.

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My brother did the fireworks for the wedding and they were amazing!

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Also, he and his helper (my cousin) survived with all their fingers and toes intact so we’ll also call that a grand success :)

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All good things must come to an end. It was a beautiful wedding and we were all so happy that everything worked out perfectly.

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I wish them a lifetime of love and happiness!

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Ellen and Paul’s Wedding Part 2

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As promised, here are a few more photos from Ellen and Paul’s wedding last summer.

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