Monday, June 23, 2014

Excuses and Regrets

I took a year off from high school before I enter the big world of university, most of my classmates did not and so, every time I log onto Facebook it seems everyone and their mom is graduating from university. Me? 1 more year. This time next year will be my turn. Finally

I've been thinking lots that come 365-ish days from now I will be leaving the world I've known for the past 3 years. My classmates that I've grown so close to in the past few years will be moving away. Who knowns where I'll be. I won't see those people everyday like I do now. Those weekly traditions with friends such as talking about last night's teen mom (it's so bad but so good) won't happen as much. Everything will be changing and that makes me really really sad. 

I always here stories along the lines of not seeing university friends after graduation, you say you will but life gets in the way. Excuses begin and 1 year goes by and no one has gotten together. Then 2 and so on. That's so sad! The hardest part is that happened to me this week and it sucks. 

I had a really close friend of mine fast track and a whole 1 year early is done her undergrad. So great! But gut wrenching when we texts me to say that she's in Montreal and leaving for home, Saudi Arabia this Tuesday. 

Ok, I thought-we'll do lots when she comes back---since she's only away for the summer. Or so I thought. Nope, Wafa isn't sure she'll ever come back. No plans what so ever. 

I went to bed Thursday with tears, the thought of never seeing her again when we saw each other multiple times a week is a tough pill to swallow. 

Now I'm on the regret train. I regret so much, we didn't make enough plans. To many reasons why hanging out wouldn't work. And now it's so late. It sucks. She knows how sad I am. 

Even thought Waf's is gone, I'm going to make this the best school year ever. No more I have to be up early excuses, creating memories is worth it. Thanks for teaching me that Wafa. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kicking weight losses rear

A few days a go I had a friend of mine from camp days message me on facebook saying she didn't know if this was awkward or strange but wanted to know if I had any tips for losing weight because she's noticed that I'm fit and healthy (<best compliment ever)

I know, another fitness related post. Oh well.


I admit, I wrote a novel to her. Honestly didn't mean to but I have so many tips that have worked for me. 

1) Make small changes
Make a small change like cutting out pop, eating breakfast, drink water, have a veggie at every meal...well maybe not breakfast, that's hard. 

2) Get moving
You don't need a gym to workout. Some people do and like that but be active. It's summer now-go ride bikes, go walk to get that bag of milk. Aim to get 10,000+ steps a day. There are tons of free online workouts videos to do at home too.

3) Write it down
There's a saying my gramma says if you bite it, write it. I found it really handy to write down everything I wrote. It helped me make better choices if I saw a had a cookie at lunch then I knew I really didn't need that pie at dinner. 

4) Take measurements
Sometimes the scale won't move-but you're getting smaller and losing mad centimetres but without taking measurements (bust, waist, hips, each thigh and arms) you won't know. Remember, losing inches gets you into smaller sizes. 


Making lifestyle changes is a marathon, it takes a while. Trust me. 2.5 years later and 41 pounds lighter, take it 1 day at a time. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

They were right-eating right and exercise is key

On Saturdays around lunch time I go to my favourite gym exercise class, it's a bootcamp where we do lots of tabata work with cardio and weights. That 1 hour class is a killer where I constantly give myself pep-talks along the lines of it's only an hour, you can do this for an hour, and you'll feel so good after this class is done, now keep moving. 

The instructor is this really really fit women whose life is about fitness and wellbeing. When I say fit I mean she has muscles that I didn't even know existed. She's great and I may have a little crush on her. 

She also says the best things at the right time, like when I was doing jump squats and she looked right at me and said 5 little words that meant so much to me those are great jump squats. I needed that little push because this class was kicking my tush. 

It feels really good to be pushing it really hard during my workouts. With the whole30 challenge and working hard at every class I'm really happy with my progress. 

Whole30 was great. Having my bestie Karen doing it along with me helped me so much to stay on the wagon. By help I mean make muffins and granola bars for each other to snack on. 

April 30th 2014-June 1st, 2014

April 30th, 2014-June 1st, 2014
I didn't lose any weight during this whole30 challenge but I did lose 3cm from my waist and 3.5 from hips. 

What's next now the "challenge" is over? Nothing. I plan on sticking to this type of eating. More whole foods, processed is out. Foods with ingredients I can pronounce is the main thing I focus on. Fresh foods. Not looking back now. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Food blogger over here.

I had a really great-ish weekend. Summer like weather finally showed up so I wore some summer dresses and hosted a little BBQ with Alex with some friends too. Yummy burgers on the grill, cards against humanity, just really nice.

I also made lots of paleo friendly food, and didn't tell anyone *hehehe*

Lettece wrapped burgers, lots of veggies and Chocolate chip cook dough brownie for dessert. Oh yes, it was that good. 

I do admit I'm not the best baker..yet. These fell apart as soon as a finger touched them which made me so annoyed. Just gotta make them again right?!



Raw, No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie
Ingredients
Brownie:
  • ⅓ cup raw pecans
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 5 pitted medjool dates
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil, melted
Cookie Dough:
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk, full fat
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
Brownie:
  1. using a food processor or a blender grind the pecans into course meal and place it in medium bowl
  2. remove pits from dates and process it into a creamy paste
  3. using your hands, mix together the pecan meal with the almond flour, cacao powder, date paste, vanilla extract and coconut oil until all ingredients are combined
  4. line a 7×5-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spread the mixture until evenly distributed
Cookie Dough:
  1. in a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla extract and honey
  2. add almond flour and mix just until all ingredients are combined. Do not over mix
  3. gently fold in chocolate chips
  4. spread the cookie dough mixture on top of the brownie and use a piece of parchment paper to smooth the top of the cookie dough
  5. refrigerate until dough is firm, approximately one hour

Recipe serves 10+ people. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

~
Happy baking. How is it the end of may already? 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The down side of weight loss

It's no secret that in the past few months I've really gotten serious about my weight and what I'm doing to my body by feeding it poor food. I actually love going to my gym classes at 6:30am before the day begins and eating paleo. Both have done amazing things for my body and mind.

 I don't eat "special" or "always workout" because I want attention, I eat well and workout because it's a healthy activity to do, helps us live longer and makes me feel all good and happy after a good burn, blah blah blah. I think thats normal. 

What really bums me out is the comments/questions people actually say or ask me about my weight and clean eating.

I'll gladly explain what paleo stands for and what I do at the gym. If you're curious about why I do or don't do something, I'll happily chat away, but I never shove my feelings down your throat. This is something I'm passionate about and I want to share with everyone. 

Lately though I've been people are getting bold with the types of questions they ask me and their comments are the same. So, let's use our filter and not be like my examples below and make someone feel like they're only looked at for their weight. 

"You know Sarah, I didn't think I'd ever see the day you would became skinny."-My Gramma

 "so what size (jeans) are you now?"-co worker. 
As I'm exiting the bathroom, ready to go home from work.

"You're way to skinny"-Hairdresser. 


Ya. 

Would we ever say to an overly obese person that they're too big now. Or ask them what size they wear after noticing said person has gained some pounds? No way we wouldn't. The same should go for the person who takes care of their body. I'm at the healthy weight for my BMI, and actually shouldn't be losing much more, and I eat well.

I've realized as the song goes, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. *excuse my french*

Monday, May 12, 2014

Feelings on Breakfast and a recipe


Breakfast is hands down my favourite meal of the day. Nothing gets me more excited than sipping coffee (or chugging in Alex's eye's) and reading the paper in the morning while Breakfast Television is on in the background. 

So imagine my excitement when I made Stuffed Breakfast peppers for breaky yesterday. Amazingly yummy and even more amazingly healthy. You bet I sent a picture to my best friend as we're both always looking new recipes to try out on our whole30 challenge in may. 

Stuffed Breakfast Peppers
1 pepper
2 eggs
mushrooms (handful)
salt and pepper
cumin
hot pepper flakes

Cut open pepper, add all ingredients in bowl and mix. Add into peppers and bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Self time out

On Thursdays it's bodypump at 10am for me. I love thursday because I don't have class and work is much later in the day so I've got the time do to a class and a run or sometimes spin class if I'm feeling super energetic. 

 I typically don't have a day in the week to rest, if I have the time then I'll workout. 

But I'm planning not to do anything today. No short run, no bootcamp. Just rest. Because I'm giving myself a time out.

A time out simply because I'm feeling that burnt out feeling again. Feeling like I never have the time to put my feet up and just rest. Waking up at 5:40am, gym, class, home, off to work till 10pm and all over again the next day. 

It feels good so far. Woke up a little after 9 (ahh 9 hours of sleep), sipped my coffee slowly and made an apple pie smoothie for breakfast and focusing the rest of the day on an essay. 

As much as I love working out and being healthy with food, it's so important to listen to your body. If it says no workout today, I need to rest, then do that. Easier said than done, as much as I want to go to the gym right now-I know my body will crush it tomorrow at 6:30am when bootcamp begins so thats worth it to me.
~

How do you know your body is at it's limit and needs to rest? 

Monday, May 5, 2014

On becoming friends with your parents

I had great parents (still do!) growing up, in my non-parent eyes they had that whole parenting thing down pat. They were strict with rules and truly wanted me to become a responsible adult who is kind, loving and thoughtful (among other things.)

Another reason why they rocked was because they were my parents growing up-not my friend. 

They didn't care if they were strict about bed times and other parents weren't and I told them so-and-so's parents let her do this. Good for her, they'd say. Going to bed at the same time everyday taught me time management. That you need a proper amount of sleep and don't have an unlimited time limit each day but that you schedule to fit everything in. Hello, that's me now. Planner.

They didn't care if I was "sick" and needed to stay home (let's be honest, I was good enough to go to school and just was being lazy)  because when we stayed home from school on the rare occasion, we were in bed all day. No resting while watching tv or doing errands with mom. In bed, resting. That's pretty boring and I know now why they made that rule up. Smart moves 'rents.

I know some of family members have told me in the past that they thought my parents had it all wrong---that that they needed to be more friend like with their children and less authoritarian with my brother and I. 

Well, I'm glad my parents raised me in "we're the boss", "we said so" way and had rules and structure for us. 

I realized this weekend as us 3 spent the weekend across the border shopping that I like hanging out with my parents. A whole day laughing and bonding like friends would and do. I find that pretty neat-to go from not friend like and now considering them my friends. 

And I know if you asked them, it's a nice reward to. 
~



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Right On Point

I feel the need to self-five myself and high ten to Alex this past week. 

Self five because my paleo eating and workouts were right on point this week and he gets a high ten because he's mister healthy eating (picking up nuts instead of chips while watching tv) and going to the gym at least 3x a week doing weights/running and bootcamps. This is not the boy I knew a year a go, weeks into quitting social smoking and not caring what he puts into his body. 


Me and paleo are going great, I ate like a pig on Easter and felt it ever so much on Tuesday, it's amazing how much my body reacts to eating poorly. I'm sorry body for hurting you. And so I made a choice to clean up my intake of food as I was feeling sick on the toilet (tmi?!) Eating 2-3 servings of veggies and less natural dried fruits. 

Since school is out (for a little while) if I'm not at work, it's gym time. This past week I've been doing 2 classes back to back a few times a week like I did on Thursday where I ran 5km then bodypump after. I'm oh so sore the days after but It helps me meet my goal of burning 2,000+ calories a week. 

I've got goals for myself, my friends. Can't wait to see where a lot of dedication takes me.
~

Share with me--how do you know when you're treating your body good? Skin clearer? Happier? Tell. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

12 hours of us

The past couple weeks have been really tough. Classes were winding down but was great (yay summer) but it kept me working like a busy bee. On top of that Alex and I have been on opposite schedules for a while which meant we weren't spending good quality time together and I missed him.

I was saying how I want to spend a day together. Starting with breakfast and doing anything else we wanted throughout the day. No one else but use. 

So, on Monday after my last exam (freedom!) we headed down to Niagara Falls for the day.  






We grabbed a late breakfast, walked Clifton Hill for a while, were able to meet up with my bestie and her guy where we walked the falls and left for the waterpark for the afternoon. Ended the day with a nice dinner together. 

It's amazing what quality time does for me. I needed that time away, just the two of us. No roommates, nothing but Alex and I. 

Life gets so busy, often but for me-I need that real alone time to re-connect. I'm sure I'm not the only one. 
~

We're always talking about the next trip--where have you and your boyfriend/husband gone that you've loved? 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

If you came over for coffee

If you came over for coffee this afternoon, I would tell you...

...That I'm 2/3 done exams, which is super exciting. 1 exam and 1 short write up separates me from freedom...for a week. Since I'm doing a lot of summer courses. 

...That I'm so happy Alex joined the Y a few weeks a go. It' really fun working out together (especially when I correct his form and he gets embarrassed) and he's getting really healthy. 

...I would mention that I was asked to run a half marathon in October and I'm really not sure if I want to. I've been running a bit, 5km here, 3 km there which makes me miss running but I don't know if I want to commit to all the training involved for a half. 

...That Alex and I are going away to Niagara Falls for the day. Hitting the water park, some shopping and dinner and I CAN NOT wait. 


Monday, April 7, 2014

Love more

Sometimes I love looking back on the week that was and re-playing the week to see if I could do better in any area for the coming week.

This past week, especially the the end of the work week taught me something big. To love. To always say you love someone if you feel it and make sure people know how much they mean to you.

via

My mom had her every 6th month mammogram two weeks a go and 12 hours before her appointment to talk about said mammogram results, got a call saying she needed to get an ultrasound done and not to come in for appointment the next day. 

She went to get the ultrasound done and asked why. Did they see something? I can't imagine having someone say to you, "yes, they saw some masses."Masses?!

So for almost 48 hours my family seriously thought the evil evil cancer had come back and emotions were high. I broke down at work and was so scared. 

Thankfully, our family doctor confirmed that everything came back negative. No sign of cancer in her body. Thank you, God. Turns out she has some scar tissue built up. 

We hugged. We cried. We talked about what happened. But most importantly those 48 hours of being so scared she'd have to fight cancer again taught me to say those important words more often. That I need to verbally tell my parents I love them more (instead of just showing them.) Life is short, guys. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paleo 101

I've been getting lots of questions about my paleo experience, why I eat like this and what I eat. So here it is. 
~
There are many different definitions of paleo out there. I go by this one and this one.   

I started eating paleo in December of 2013 because I was down to my goal weight but wasn't feeling "good." I was waking up with a flat tummy in the morning and by the end of the day-was bloated, felt stuffed and big and I didn't like that. As well, am I concerned that because cancer is now in my family history, I need to be careful and aware of that. Around this time I started hearing about paleo along with the benefits and how I was harming my body. 

I really started eating paleo because I try and eat non-processed food like the obvious chips, cookies, package factory foods and was shocked to become aware that bread and milk is processed. I can go on and on about how milk is processed but I'll let you read it here .

 I did 14 days of paleo eating (with Whole30) and lost 3.2 pounds and 6 inches in my first week. Then Christmas hit and I sorta followed paleo that month. 

Now, my paleo eating is great throughout the week and I allow myself one meal, usually on the weekend of non-paleo foods. Pizza, fries etc. Some will say not to allow "cheat" meals as it causes your body to keep craving those foods and you will never truly stop craving them and others will say do it as it gives your body a taste of what bad food does to us. Believe me-when I eat non-paleo foods the next day I feel sick, tired and really really bloated. This only makes me realize how harmful foods can be to our bodies and insures I get back on the good eating wagon. 

What do I eat on a typical day?
A typical day for me is waking up at 5:45am to work out and then placement and off to work in the evening. 

On the bus-banana
After working out- a hardboiled egg and a handful of nuts and black coffee
Lunch-usually sweet potato, a vegetable and some fruit
Before work-glass of almond milk or Larabar
Dinner-two veggies and a protein ---easy!

If I'm waking up at a normal time I usually just have an egg and banana for breakfast. 


What are my favourite snacks?
I've learned the hard way that on you need to carry good foods with you or have them on hand. I can't tell you how many times I haven't been prepared and found myself eating some alphabets cereal. 

My favourite snacks are nuts, Larabars (especially the apple one) since they are totally natural. I just read the back of one of them- ingredients are dates, raisins, walnuts/almonds and dried apples.  

How do you eat out?
Easy-when I'm on a date night and want to eat paleo, my go to place is Chipotle. Just get the salad. Add in any meat they have, some salsa, guacamole, and veggies. No beans or dressing. It's amazing. 

This sounds hard. It must be?
Nope, eating like this is so simple. I thought dinner would be hard but instead of the typical protein, veggie, starch; now it's protein, veggie, veggie. So easy. 

The only thing I found hard was the first week. Its tough, I'll be honest. You crave everything and get moody. Some get headaches but it goes away. Its your body detoxing and not used to eating this way. Just keep with it and it gets better. 

What are your go-to recipes?
I like recipes that are easy to make, not a lot of ingredients or time in the kitchen. 

For breakfast when I don't want an egg, I'll have already made some paleo cereal. Add in some almond milk and it's 100% like cereal.  


For lunch, I love a big salad but this is an easy meal to make the night before and heat up the next day. 


Dinner-really is the easiest. Protein, veggie, veggie-for me. Sometimes when I want something "carby" I'll add in a sweet potato. 
This is easy too and doesn't take long. some ground beef, onions, mushrooms, in a bell pepper. 

My tips to you
-Planning is your friend. Do weekly grocery shopping based off what you'll eat that week. 
-Use google-I used to run to google when I had question. Just a simple search can clear anything up.
-Pinterest has thousands of meals. I have hundreds (follow: lifeofsarahh)
-Keep snacks handy so you're not tempted. 
-Do the whole30 challenge. See how foods really do affect us. You can do anything for 30 days. 

Don't worry about what people say. My Gramma thought I was starving myself and got very offended when I told her why I'm doing it. Now she is very interested in paleo. There ya go. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

No excuses, get up at work for it.


I shocked myself this morning. I really didn't think I would have time to workout today like I normally do-birthday celebrations for me and ton of school work. 

Instead of skipping todays workout like I wanted to, I decided to get an early morning sweat on and went to bodypump for 6:30. Yes, I was tired when I rolled out of bed and looked real scary on the bus but eventually I woke up and had a great workout. 

With school winding down in the next few weeks, going to the evening classes isn't going to work all the time with my schedule since I have papers after papers to write. Basically today was training day for "sweating at 6am" a few times a week.

Best part-It's a little after 11am and I'm halfway done what I wanted to complete for homework today. 

What really shocks me is the old Sarah would have made today a "rest" day and slept in till 9 and started homework later.  This is where I see non-scale victories, making myself accountable and doing something the old me wouldn't have done. 

I can't (we all can't) let life get in the way of working out and making good choices. So if going to the 6:30am classes is what fits for me that day-then I'll do it.  It'll be tough rolling out of bed that early but it's tougher not being happy in my skin. Quote that. (I'll make sure to read this when my alarm goes off next time at 5:40am.) 



Monday, March 17, 2014

From the dog



He looks great with a dog ;)

*Wipes sweat from brow*

Dogs...big dogs (useful ones ha) are a lot of work! A week looking after Fenway was tiring but very worth it, according to my don't-have-a-dog-but-loves-dog self. 

I've never seen a dog so happy to play in 18cm of snow, or have that much fun eating peanut butter from her cone. Maybe they all do, but my cats don't. 

Fenway taught us lots this week. 
First she taught us that my family is more of "let's babysit the dogs but we'll never buy one"
We'll stick with our cats.

Being with Fenny (I nicknamed her) made me think that dogs can really teach us a lot in life. 
-be outside. Don't spend our time in doors.
-Get plenty of exercise, especially walks.
-make people smile
-be busy during the day that you sleep so good at night
-cuddling is nice

and most importantly,
-don't jump on people. *Apparently dog owners need to say sorry when the dogs jump?* 

Gosh, she's been gone for a day now and I miss her to much. Such a good pup. 
Till next time, Fen.

What has your dog taught you?
Are you a dog or cat person? Why



Thursday, March 13, 2014

It ain't easy


This past weekend I went to a surprise party Karen's mom. Tons of fun and a great time to catch up with lots of people I have't seen in a while. 

During the afternoon, I had about 6 different people come up to me and comment about how good I look/ or were astounded with my weight loss and wanted to know what I've been doing. 

So I say 'well, I eat paleo about 80% of the time (as I was eating cake) and I've found some really challenging but fun classes at the ymca. ...mostly bootcamp and weight lifting." 

I guess some people think I woke up 39 pounds lighter and 10 sizes smaller because during these talks on saturday mostly everyone said something along the lines of how hard working out is, or that they hate veggies or don't have time to join a gym. 

Yes, working out is hard. It's not supposed to be easy. I hate veggies too but I know they're good for my body and health so I eat them. And you don't need a gym- I lost most of my weight by eating smaller portions and running a few times of week. 

It takes work, folks. Losing weight and changing bad habits is not easy. (Or else everyone would do it)  Cutting grains from my diet was tough but after a few weeks my body didn't crave them anymore. Working out is not easy, my saturday bootcamp class is a killer but it's changed my body so I keep going back. 

I feel I'm being a tad harsh but it's in a loving way. 

If you want something bad enough, go get it. 

Eat better. Go exercise. Better yet-aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. Drink more water. Make one change a week and do that thing for 7 days. Then add in a new thing. 

It's hard at first but then it becomes your lifestyle. I used to dread hitting the gym but now I'm there at least 4-5x a week because it keeps the stress down and it's just part of my weekly schedule. 
~

As much as I feel I'm touting my own horn- I'm not. I eat junk food, I like cake for birthdays and have days where my makeup looks good and I really don't want to mess it up by sweating. I struggle too. 
But I treat myself. I allow myself a treat meal every few days and next weekend I'll probably have a green beer for st. paddy's day. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Currently

Currently, Kasey Musgraves has been playing non-stop. I can't believe I even hated her songs.

Currently, I am writing a terribly boring essay on food banks which is tomorrow so I better get back to writing. 

I am currently loving my thursday morning bodypump. Best bodypump burn within the week. 

Currently, wishing next thursday will hurry up so I go back and build that muscle. 

Currently there is 4 weeks left of classes. 

Currently, wishing spring will arrive. Say it with me now, melt snow, melt. 

Currently, itching to get back into running. I miss it a lot. 





Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When the country music boyfriends go to country concerts

                                                                                                                                                                
The lady who took out picture even asked if we were sisters. 

Even after 20 months between, I can't wrap my head around the idea that Alex hates country music because I don't. Only thing I really listen to lately. Our car rides are very interesting I'll tell you that. 

So imagine my excitement when we saw Lady Antembellum last weekend with my bestie. Yes, I was hoping to brainwash him into loving it. Not yet but it is my goal. 

~
In other news, winter can leave any time now. March 5th and still so much snow and so much cold. All I'll say is if there is a hint of winter in the air come my birthday I wont be a happy camper. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

So this is what happened when the Parents aren't around

Our words have a lot of impact, especially on children. They can either make or break a young child and as an educator that is something I remind myself on a daily basis when speaking with my students at placement. If only all teachers could say a little reminder to themselves every once an a while. 

Thursday afternoon I was dead tired and got myself a cup of coffee before the little guys came in. As I'm pouring another teacher comes in and starts to make small talk with me.
 
Teacher: "Hi lovely."
Me: "hi there!"
....getting cups and cream
T: "you're getting some coffee too, eh?
Me: "ya, I need a little something to get me through the rest of the afternoon."
T: "I know what you mean, my kids are being little fucks." 

Nice.

I did that laugh that happens when you have no freakin clue what to do or say next. I regretted it right after. Knowing this teacher had no idea who I was, I introduced myself. Let's be honest, I could be something from the School Board.
"I'm Sarah, a Ryerson student in Mrs.____ classroom" 
"Oh I used to teach kindergarten, but now I teach Jr. Autism." 

At this point, I was furious she called her Autistic students that ugly word. Thankfully she left because I was just about to. 

It's been a few days now since this 30 seconds encounter happened but I just cannot get it out of my head. Educators have a job that requires them to love every one of their students. Giving love to the children who (in this school) do not get a lot of love at home. 

I get that we have our days and moments where we're tired, we've had a fight with our boyfriend, we're getting frustrated and ya, when the bell rings at 3:15pm and the students are gone, we are thankful the day is over or make a comment that so-and-so was annoying today. But it's a comment we make sure we could say in front of the parents. I do not believe that the Jr. Autism teacher could stand in front of a parent and tell them their child is a little fucker. No way Jose. 

The next day I saw her students perform a song/dance/play during the sharing assembly and the students did an amazing job. It filled my heart with so much joy seeing how proud one of the boys was when he finished his whistling solo. Then it made me angry when I saw the same teacher, give a thumbs up with a grin, praising this boy when the previous day she showed another side. 

I can only hope that as I was telling Alex about this that she was telling someone in her life how much she regretted calling them that name and saying it out loud to me. 

We have to love them. 
 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My excitement about granola


Since adapting Paleo eating, the #1 thing I've really missed is granola. I used to love putting some on top of yogurt or just eat alone so when I learned regular granola is a no-no, you sure bet I missed it. 

But...yes it gets better. I can across this recipe last week and got a lump in my throat. Well maybe not like that but I sure was happy and excited to make some granola. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole or halved nuts of choice (I used walnuts and almonds)
  • 1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup seeds of choice (I used sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 shredded coconut
  • 1 handful cranberries
  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. In a food processor (or blender), pulse the whole or halved nuts until they’re partially ground and partially still in small chunks.
  3. Pour the nuts into a large mixing bowl, then stir in the slivered almonds, seeds, almond meal, coconut and cranberries.
  4. Place the bananas, egg, vanilla, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt into the food processor and process for about 10-15 seconds until all the ingredients are puréed.
  5. Pour the banana mixture into the dry mixture and stir until well coated.
  6. Pour the nut mixture onto a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and turning the chunks of granola with a large spoon to break up the very large pieces.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool, uncovered.
  9. Store in the refrigerator.
I added a few handfuls to some almond milk for breakfast this weekend and 100% satisfied my craving for cereal-y foods. Perfect. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What do to with old Bath and Body Works candle holders

Bear with me for a second while I turn my lifestyle blog into a crafty blog. 

I counted the other day how many empty candle holders I have from bath and body works. Around 3. Usually I'll clean them up and keep some cotton balls in them for the bathroom or a lipstick holder but I already have many of those, so I needed another idea. Enter Alex. He needed I felt his apartment needed some green and lightbulb! The holder could be a vase. 

Off I went to loblaws for a plant that cleans air (boy apartment..yuck)








It looks perfect in his kitchen window and I love how you can see the roots growing. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Everything can change.


Cancer sucks. 

If this week has taught me anything, it's that we need to tell the ones we love that we love them and that our life is short and not guaranteed. 

Yesterday we lost Maria, a very close family friend to liver/bone and breast cancer. Her fourth time fighting cancer and it took her. 19 years of worrying about cancer and wondering if and when it would come back. 

Maria-you were my Aunt throughout life and when I worked with you. You treated me with kindness and love because that was filled in your heart. You were truly loved and will be missed. I can't wait to see you. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dinner tonight


It's starting (dare I say...) warming up a bit around here. I *hope* spring is on it's way sooner than later. This winter is one that'll go down in the books, ice storms and power failures for hours

During our Monday evening ritual, (dinner and watching the bachelor)  Alex and I made this stuffed pepper for dinner. It was really tasty and best of all, so easy to make. My kind of dinner. 

Just need a whole pepper, cut the top off and clean insides
cut up some garlic/onion and mushroom, saute for a few minutes and stuff in the peppers. 
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes and you've got a great yummy dinner just in time for Juan. 








Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Words

Whose done with winter and ready for spring? (1st day of spring=my birthday this year) I sure am. Right now, it is crazy snowing. Hasn't stopped since I woke up and the shovelling job I did do, is gone. I just want some sunshine in my life. 



 Lately I've been feeling down about not running. Feeling like I lost my identity as an athlete, going from training to half marathons and now just a gym rat made me feel like I wasn't that active. (Totally wrong.) So yesterday as I packing up my bodypump gear and about to change, I decided to run around the track. Just 1km. See how I felt. And you know, I enjoyed running that kimometer. As I was running around that little track I made a goal that instead of sitting on my step waiting for bodypump class to start I will run around the track a few times. Keep up my endurance and start building my leg muscles again. 

The falling snow is officially coming down harder so guess I should shovel again.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lost and found: Passion

Since I was a little girl, hmm around 8 or so I knew 10406% that I wanted to become an elementary teacher. That feeling when I would tell folks my plan gave me chills because it felt so right in my heart.

Thinking of teaching 22 eight year olds made me grin so much and I couldn't wait to have my own class. 

During the past few months at school, I've been hearing lots of talk of girls changing their ultimate job goals and saying that being around children this much is making them dislike children. I don't blame them for feeling that like. 

For me, around the end of October, I began to start thinking the same thoughts and second guessing my ability to be an amazing teacher. 
I was able to finish the semester while pushing the thoughts aside but they came back full force during the Christmas break. Fully thinking I've wasted 2.5 years of school on a program I don't like. 

Sharing with Alex and my parents that I was beginning to think I wasn't made to be a teacher and love on those children was tough. Tough because it's what everyone around me has encouraged me to pursue. 

Tough because if I don't teach, what other jobs are out there?!  Kidding, a little...

When classes were starting up again I prayed a lot for help and guidance, especially with doing a student placement in a school this semester. I needed help because I knew it wasn't right to go a full 180 on what passion. 

I guess these thoughts was stress creeping up on me because as soon as I was introduced to those sweet, sweet kindergartens children, I knew once again that I, Sarah will be a teacher one day. And a darn good one too.