The Small Things

There are some simple pleasures in life that are just worth talking about. As I mentioned in a previous post I have been reading through ‘The Book Of Awesome’ and it has put me in a ‘be grateful for the small things’ kind of attitude. So, in dedication to the book and living life fully….10 ‘small things’….

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1. Emails from Mom- I like talking on the phone with my family, don’t get me wrong…but emails from my mom are just a nice, quick reminder they are thinking of me and there is no pressure to set aside 40 minutes to chat on the phone. I can respond when I get a few minutes, and its a nice update to know what is going on with them. Plus. I get them right to my phone…so I don’t even have to be home!:) (perfect for when I am on nights)

2. Coming home to a clean house. My husband is a little bit of a man-boy when it comes to cleaning. He just dosen’t see the clutter/mess. Not because he is TRYING to be a ‘slob’ (as I call him), it just dosen’t bother him like it does me. Thus, it is always incredibly wonderful when he takes 20 minutes out of his day to tidy up and be a little ‘OCD’ for me..tidying up the small things that most people wouldn’t even notice… before I get home from work. I come home to clear tables, or dishes done, or even the bed made JUST how I like it and it just sets me up for an hour of relaxation before bed time!

3. Waking up early (but not too early)- 45 minutes before the alarm, feeling rested with enough time to lazily eat breakfast, sip coffee, shower and get ready for the day without the mad- “I slept too long and now I have to be ugly today” rush!=)

4. HOT coffee. You know what I mean; so fresh you practically caught it in your cup as it brewed. So hot that adding creamer just makes it cool enough to sip without burning your tounge, but not cool enough to gulp. Ahhhhh. =)

5. Trash TV. You don’t have to think…you can just sit back, stare blankly at the scripted-life-disasters unfolding before you knowing ‘Life is good’. Because really- what REAL life has THAT much drama? *Cough* Teen Mom *Cough* Real Housewives* Cough

6. Birds chirping as the sunshine starts to stream in your window as you slowly wake up. 

7. Dancing in the kitchen, with no music, with no formal steps just to be silly.

8. Bathroom cold water. If you know me REALLY well…you know this is another one of my OCD-type things; the water in the kitchen just dosen’t get cold enough….my 3-4 litres a day must be LOADED with ice or….as my husband calls it ‘Bathroom Cold’….which simply means from the bathroom tap, because it gets the coldest.

9. Knowing your neighbors. In a world where noone takes the time to meet their neighbors anymore, it is a beautiful, lovely thing to know your neighbors and meet new ones. It is always a pain-in-the-butt circumstances which causes the meet (like your cars simultaneously getting stuck in the parking lot, or common kitchen floods)….but they are always made lighter by getting to know a friendly neighbor who are no longer ‘The loud shift workers down the hall’ but rather ‘John and Pam in # 4’

10. Running. There is absolutely NO-BETTER-FEELING-IN-THE-WORLD (except maybe love…) than having one foot in front of the other, smooth breath, completely in ‘the zone’. Eyes on the horizon, not a thought on your mind (those clear by km # 5, typically)…just you, nature, fresh air and some runner’s high. Awesome.

Adversity is a state of mind.

If you have’t noticed, I haven’t be writing a whole lot lately. Mostly because I have nothing really to write about. 😉 I am getting more accustomed to my new medications….but I am still left exhausted most of the time-sleeping 14 hours a day! Plus a nap sometimes! Haha. Looking forward to getting my thryoid levels back to normal next month. Thus….no pictures. I am pretty sure a picture of my pillow and coffee every day would get old FAST! =)

No real news to share, so I thought I would share this little bit of inspiration from good ol’ Walt Disney! I have been finding all of the illness lately really getting to me, and this reminds me that ‘this too shall pass’. No truer words…

All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strenghtened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.

Heading out for my frist run in WEEKS today. I CAN’T WAIT! Starting small with a new couch to 10km program. A little behind my fitness level…but I figure if I build up slowly again Ill feel less discouraged! Will be back to writing more frequently soon!=)

Slow Cooker Apple Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Apple Pulled Pork

181 Calories for 1/10th recipe (not including bun or coleslaw)

Makes enough for 10 buns (trust me, you will want this much-left overs will disappear, and it only gets more flavorful with age!)

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2 Pork Tenderloins or 1 Pork Shoulder (I prefer tenderloin, less fat trimming)

4 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp cider vinegar

1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced

Mix spices in a bowl. Massage into pork. Place pork in slow cooker, and pour vinegar over top of pork. Cook on high for 5-8 hours, or low for 8-12 hours. In final hour of cooking, add apple slices. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Mix with drippings and additional barbeque sauce (if you like it saucy-we do!). Serve on a bun with coleslaw, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, or over salad. Enjoy one of the first meals the kick me out of my veganism. Easy way to get back into high protein meat! Delicious!

Progress

Weight: 190.2 (-8.7 total..in ONE week! After NO loss all month.)

Yesterday we had grand plans of going wall-climbing, however, I made the mistake of eating refined carbs with my new meds (I had been warned of this…) in the form of a hamburger bun/ veggie burger and was stuck in the bathroom emptying my stomach again. Lucky me.

ImageI was already sick for about a week and a half BEFORE starting the meds, but since starting I have already noticed a HUGE difference. While the side effects are troublesome, they are supposed to resolve in a few weeks. Thankfully, I feel pretty good aside from the 1 or two hours after taking my meds each day. A total for 4 hours a day. Much better than bed-ridden. If you are wondering, I have started taking a medication traditionally used for diabetes called Metformin. If you want to read about why it is given to PCOS sufferers you can read all abut it HERE. The most common effects of the medication are gatrointestinal issues and weight loss (due to your body properly using it’s insulin). Because I am usually sensitive to medications I did anticipate side effects, so thankfully I knew it was coming. Everything I have read seems to warn that refined sugars make the side effects worse. I definately learned this. Now trying not to eat ANY refined carbs until the adjustment phase is over, and only taking half-doses until my body gets more used to it.

photo-233We’ve been eating things like yogurt and fruit, and fajitas in lettuce shells instead of tortillas. All still delicious. Another thing I have noticed since taking the meds is that my appetite is much decreased and I don’t CRAVE carbs much (another symptoms of PCOS). I have already lost almost 9 pounds this week. Whether that is from puking due to stomach upset, or the meds will tell with time I suppose. It is encouraging though, because it is the first time in months (years?) that weight has come off EASILY.

When i was feeling a little better yesterday evening we met some friends for coffee which was wonderful. WONDERFUL. I missed them! =)

Other than that, G and I have just been hanging around home….tolerating my symptoms, praying to be back to normal VERY soon. 😉 [had to get a tow out of my parking lot today due to melting snow…hopefully this means spring is just around the corner?]

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Haha. True fact. Depsite what pinterest says about shoving ear phones in your nose….the sound is NOT amplified out your mouth. We. So. Gullable. hehe.

photo-236If you haven’t read this book, I highly suggest it. G and I have been taking turns reading out loud to one another. It is basically just all the ‘little things’ that make life great…compounded into a book. Its a short, funny, easy read. A great bathroon or coffee table-reader-type.

I am off to sip some coffee, do a million loads of laundry, and enjoy my sunday home with the husband. Thanks for all your continued prayers and well wishes for good health. Its on it’s way. I can feel it. So hopeful. 😉

The Best Day of the Year!

If you know me, you know that Valentines is my favorite holiday. Hold your halmark comments and let me live in a pink, heart bliss… okay?

I started off the day by running a few errands. (P.S. We obs celebrated a day late as I was sick…agaaainnnnnn. More on that later.)

Graeme brought me home some beautiful flowers [my favorite, tulips]:

ImageA beautiful bracelet from one of my favorite stores, Swank, which he picked out all my himself:

ImageAnd cup cakes from my favorite bakery in Stoon, The Cupcake Conspiracy:

ImageWe got all purdied-up and headed out for a night on the town. I left my hair naturally curly for once, SHOCKER.

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We went to a great restaurant in downtown Saskatoon called Spadina Free House. It was delicious. We had been there only once before, on a very cold summer night, outdoors, so it was nice to go again without the distraction of being freezing cold!

I got the lemon butter halibut, served with rice and veggies which was delicious, but not THE best I’ve had [Vancouver owns the #1 halibut meal I’ve ever had…]

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Graeme decided on the pulled pork and apple pizza. He said it was a 6/10. I tasted a bite and would say it is more like a 8 or 9/10. Super delicious with a stone oven cornmeal-type crust. Yum.

ImageAfter dinner we headed over to Saskatoon’s by-donation-only art gallery, The Mendal. They were featuring canadian aboriginal artists.

ImageWe didn’t know if we were allowed to take pictures…so we were very stelth about it. Ha. It was so quite and serene in there. Love it. I always forget how much I love it in there!

ImageThey also have a little plant conservatory which was dark, but beautiful none-the-less.

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ImageThere was a weird tin can phone exhibit…it didn’t work. 😦

ImageAfter the art gallery, we headed to McNally Robinson to check out some books and get hot chocolate. Neither of us were really in the hot chocolate mood by the time we were done, so we didn’t get hot drinks, but I did purchase ‘The Book Of Awesome’ to read….on sale for $7, SCORE! We headed home to enjoy my cup cakes for dessert with some tea.

ImageI tried the mint chocolate one! Delicious! Off to relax with the husbsters now! (I am starting my new meds tonight, here’s to hoping I feel better, and have no side effects as the doctor anticipates!!!)

Diagnosis

This week I recieved a diagnosis. Finally. For the past year, I had been experiencing occasional heart palpitations, weight gain, acne, extreme fatigue, suddent nausea and vomitting etc. I went to discuss all of my results of procedures and labs this week with my doctor who told me I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome as well as Hypothyroid.

Why do I share this so openly on my blog? Because I am now at a point of confliction. I have passed the 6-week mark for my vegan adventure, and was unsure what kind of lifestyle I wanted to maintain, so I have kept up with it. The problem now is that all of the research I have done regarding PCOS and thyroid conditions suggest that foods containing estrogren (soy) and really bad for the conditions, and symptoms can be heavily decreased by cutting most carbohydrates from the diet (bread, potatoes, rice, etc.). 

While ethically I want to maintain a vegan diet, another part of me just wants to get my symptoms under control. I don’t know how to do that on a vegan diet. I am sure there is a way, but I wonder if going back to eating eggs and low-fat dairy might help me maintain a low-carb diet.

So…Here it is. I may become vegetarian? I may go back to eating fish? I don’t really know….taking it one step at a time! Thanks for all of your support on the vegan journey!

Starting some medications this week as well, hear’s to hoping this gets resolved!

Recipe Link Love

Today, I went on a cooking frenzy. I cooked a big pot of pasta, beans, and another full of fresh tomato sauce! Oh! And can’t forget cauliflower poppers! Yum! Along with all the carb-age I also cooked up a loaf of artisan bread as well as some chocolate cup cakes. 

ImageI used this recipe as a guide: http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/09/white-whole-wheat-no-knead-loaf.html, however I just couldn’t hold out 12-18 hours of rise time! I was far too excited, so I cooked my loaf after 5 hours of rise-time. I put my dough into a cold dutch oven, into the oven, covered, for 30 minutes at 400 F. Then I removed the lid and finished it off with another 30 minute bake.

ImageThen I made these cupcakes from Oh she glows: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/06/09/vegan-whole-wheat-chocolate-cupcakes-with-spiced-buttercream/….minus the icing, plus some coconut ice cream! =) Vanilla variety.

ImageAnd the piece-de-la-resistance! Cauliflower poppers from here: http://www.delightedmomma.com/2013/01/cheesy-baked-cauliflower-poppers-dairy.html

Lets just say. I want to eat cauliflower EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. from this day forward. Holy yums!

Off to watch some trash TV and relax my sleepy body. Some antibiotics are kicking my butt.

 

 

 

Sunshine

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It was SO warm yesterday around here that there were puddles on the side walk. That is a pretty big change from last week’s -46!! I left my house in a scarf and gloves…ended up home in just a jacket. Thank goodness I brought  a gym-bag with me.ImageI relished in the sun by doing my errands on foot. Walked to the pharmacy in one of my favorite areas of town, Broadway to pick up some vitamins as mine were out, as well as some vegetarian samosa’s from the Bulk Cheese Warehouse….becomming a weekly day off tradition.

ImageWhen I was done doing what I had to do, I took the long route home along the river bank to get in more fresh air. I could have stayed out all day! Walked along the path taking pictures of my beautiful city.

ImageIf only I had brought along my DSLR, great photo-taking day. The sun was shining and I just felt HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. Thanks vitamin D! =)

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I walked for about 45 minutes total, and then when I was nearing home I ran into some construction blocking off the entire walking trail. Boo. Alas, I headed home.

ImageWhen I got to my area, I noticed the new recycling trucks were out. I am so excited that my city has finally got on board with having a lighter impact on the earth.

ImageMy only beef is that these trucks stop about 15 times in the ONE block radius of my house….*See millions of blue bins*….yet none of the apartment buildings that scatter the block have recycling? WTF people? You would think you could want to maximize the effectiveness of these trucks? One stop = apartment AND house…not just house. Silly governement. I hope we get apartment pick up soon!

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Anyways. Beef of the day over. I came home to have a nice, relaxing evening with the hubbie. Started watching a series called ‘Sherlock’…..I didn’t think I would like it AT ALL. But I am really LOVING it. It is like, CSI meets Criminal Minds meets something amazing! Great! I was very sleepy, and ended falling asleep watching the show around 9pm.

I was woke by a terrible nightmare that my baby brother was killed in a car accident at about 3am. Awful.

I slept in a little later than usual and then headed to a walk-in today for some UTI symptoms I have been dealing with for a few days. Lets just say, awful. Ended having to see two doctors becuase the first one was such a giant anus. UGh. Anyways. I have my antibiotic now, and am trying to relax. Have some fresh tomatoes roasting for some tomato soup. As long as it dosen’t flop, recipe to follow!=)

Off to boot camp EARLY tomorrow! Wish me luck!;)