WHOA lansi

francophile, oenophile, logophile, turophile

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May in Instagram

I took an unintentional break from blogging there, it seems. May turned out to be a pretty busy month for me. N’s & my time apart became longer (a shift from two weeks to three weeks). This resulted in a slight adjustment period for me, something I wasn’t really expecting. For the most part, I don’t miss him working in Fort Mac – his quality of life is far superior in the Bay Area. One thing I do miss is having him home for a full week instead of a measly weekend. It gave us time to divide & conquer some of the everyday tasks. Most of those things fall on me now, which isn’t really a big deal, but I do sometimes wish I had a little help with them.

In addition to all the boring stuff, travel planning has taken up a lot of my time (& it’s much more exciting!). I just got back from the most incredible extended weekend in the Bay Area with N & we’re heading to Europe in a few short weeks. I can’t wait to share more about both of these trips, as well as some of my tips for planning a big trip.

Until then, here’s what we got up to in May according to Instagram (it took all my willpower not to just post San Francisco photos…).

May 2017 IG

  1. Odin taking a swim with the lovely instructors at Pawsitively Pooched. He’s come so far since last summer & now loves swimming!
  2. Tailgating after working Beer Fest for Whistler Brewing & Hey Y’all. Everyone at our booth was so awesome – I had a great weekend on the other side of things this year.
  3. Second hike of the year under our belts! We did a quick one to White Buddha in Bragg Creek. Easy little 4 km loop with a view!
  4. Celebrating N’s 30th year with lobster, of course. Happy Birthday, babe!
  5. Went a little blonder for summer thanks to Ashley at Hedkandi Salon. She’s a gem, & I’m loving this summer colour.
  6. Pizza night at the lake on one of the most gorgeous May long weekends I can remember. Family, friends, delicious food, & sunny skies made for the perfect evening (the wine helped a little too!).
  7. Odin loved every minute of being at the lake. We went swimming every day, took long walks, & relaxed in the sun. It was a real treat!
  8. Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito is something I won’t soon forget. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in San Francisco.
  9. Drinks on the beach with my favourite guy, in California. We crammed a lot into the weekend, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, or with any other person. Thanks for spoiling me rotten, babe.

I love looking back on the photos from this past month. I know I way over shared my San Francisco trip (& Europe will be worse), but I love it so much. From Berkeley to San Francisco to Sausalito, there wasn’t a bad moment of the trip (except maybe that Sunday morning hangover!). Can’t wait to share more – it was a whirlwind! & June, I know you’re gonna be a real beaut!

Poutine Week 2017: Poutine Pusher

Poutine Week YYCAs official #PoutinePusher for Poutine Week YYC this year, I had the opportunity to sample several poutines around the city & today, I’m going to share what how they each were. This year there are over 70 restaurants participating, so there’s a little something for everyone!

You have until Saturday to get some poutine in you for a good cause. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with any pick, & for every poutine you buy, a free meal will go to someone in need (thanks to Mealshare). It’s a true win-win. If you need some help narrowing down the list, here are my thoughts on the six poutines I tried.

Mill Street Brewpub

If I’m being honest, I picked Mill Street for what I knew of their beers. N was going to be home for the weekend & we I figured convince a few friends to join us for drinks at some point in the evening. It wasn’t until closer to the date that I really took a serious look at their entry: the Donair Poutine.

Mill Street Donair Poutine

Donair Poutine

If you’ve ever spent any time in the maritimes, namely Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, then you know all about Donair sauce. This sweet & savoury sauce is most often talked about as a late-night pizza topping. My experience is mostly limited to a few stumbly nights at the Wheel in Antigonish, NS. Since then, I’ve had it a few times at different spots around Calgary, but I mostly think of it as drunk eats.

Enter Mill Street’s Donair Poutine with house-made donair meat, crispy russet french fries with hop salt, cheese curds, house made gravy with 100th meridian beer, sweet donair sauce, topped with diced tomatoes and red onion. N & I each ordered our own. When they arrived at our table, we realized our mistake: this poutine is huge! We could have easily shared.

Mill Street Donair Poutine Mill Street Donair Poutine

A few bites in, we both agreed this poutine was a winner. The donair meat was tender & flavourful, the curds were squeaky (a huge win in my book), the donair sauce complimented the gravy, & somehow the fries held their own underneath all of that. It was a great start to a huge week.

We stuck around for a few more beers that evening, friends joined us, & we had a great time. Our server was attentive & friendly & our overall experience at Mill Street was wonderful.

Kensington Pub

The next morning we’d made plans to join Kevin from Different Alphabet Productions to shoot some video for poutine week. We headed that way for noon & grabbed a table with Danny from Whistler Brewing to wait for the rest of the crew.

The KP Yolo fries use Whistler’s Black Tusk Ale in their gravy, so of course, we had to grab one of those. Normally I wouldn’t go for a dark ale so early in the day, but the Black Tusk is smooth & easy to drink.

Kensington Pub Yolo Fries

YOLO!

Since we were hitting a couple stops that day, we ordered two Yolo fries for the table. It was the smartest decision – this one is not for the faint of heart. KP mixes double smoked cheddar with that Black Tusk ale to make a smoky, rich cheese gravy that tops slow cooked ham hock and crispy fries. We all agreed the side of housemade horseradish aioli was the perfect sidekick. With all that decadence, I was impressed by how well the fries held up – a testament to truly great potatoes.

Kensington Pub Yolo Fries

As always, Kensington Pub was a real treat: the staff & owners are always welcoming, they have great beers on tap, & the poutine was fantastic.

Ship & Anchor

Our next stop before we hit the Gravy Bowl was the Ship & Anchor Pub. The ship is a staple for many Calgarians, & for good reason. It’s an institution here. That patio is packed the minute the temperatures rise above zero (ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Slight.). The chances of running into someone you know at the Ship is always high. & they could totally half ass their food & still probably be packed, but that’s the best thing about it – they don’t. (Their servers are also some of my favourites in the city.)

Ship & Anchor Poutine

Patio beers at the Ship

Last year, they sold 277 poutines to win the 2016 Poutine Week title. I didn’t get a chance to try it so I knew I had to check out their Le Meaty Mediterranean Poutine this year. We lucked out with some gorgeous afternoon sun & snagged a spot on the patio. That’s how I suggest enjoying this poutine if you can swing it (come on weather!).

This was another huge poutine that I was happy to be sharing with a bigger group. I think they might have been going for go big or go home cuz it had a crazy number of components to it. We decided to get it with grilled sirloin (which they cooked to medium rare for us), but they’re happy to take that off if you’re vegetarian. I heard they can also make it vegan if that’s your jam. It’s nice to see more options like this during these food weeks. It’s so much more inclusive.

Ship & Anchor Poutine

Le Meaty Mediterranean Poutine with a beer

Ship & Anchor Poutine

So much going on!

In addition to the sirloin, saffron fries were topped with crumbled falafel, grilled pineapple, fresh mint, baba ganoush, sweet garlic sauce, feta, cheese curds, and gravy. The pineapple was cut deceptively similar to french fries, which threw me off on my first bite. I honestly wasn’t sure that the pineapple was even going to work here, but it ended up being one of my favourite parts of this poutine. My favourite bite included pineapple, fries, both cheeses a bit of falafel, gravy, & some mint.

Ship & Anchor Poutine

I’m not sure if this one will win everyone over, but it certainly wins points for originality. & as with most things I’ve eaten at the Ship, it was well executed. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, I say go for it!

Roosevelt

On Sunday, we headed over to Roosevelt for lunch. If you’ve never been for Sunday brunch, I’d suggest checking it out, mostly for the complimentary milkshakes. How can you go wrong if you start your brunch with a milkshake?

I’ve only been to this 17th ave spot a couple times. As more & more great spots open up in the area, it’s harder to get back to the ones you’ve already been to. When I saw that their poutine included gochujang gravy, I was sold though. Gochujang is a spicy & sweet fermented Korean red chili paste.It’s one of my favourite condiments!

Roosevelt Poutine

Roosevelt Korean Poutine

This poutine came out with crispy fries, cheese curds, Korean beef, & a fried egg. N & I are both suckers for fried eggs on pretty much anything. There’s something so satisfying about that runny egg yolk. That spicy gravy stole the show with this one. As spice lovers, neither of us could get over just how good it was. The cheese curds were squeaky like I prefer them, the fries held up to the gravy, & the beef has lots of great flavour, but the gravy is what would bring me back in.

Roosevelt Poutine

Roosevelt Poutine

Possibly my favourite gravy

Brewsters

We went to bed Sunday night thinking there was no way we could eat any more poutine this week. I was almost read to tap out until I remembered I’d scheduled Brewsters’ Tater Tot poutine for Monday’s lunch. Anyone who knows me knows my love for tater tots runs deep. I’m not ashamed to admit they’re my favourite anytime snack. I’ve been known to order them even if we’ve already eaten that day.

N & I used to hang out a Brewsters in Crowfoot pretty regularly back when we first started dating, but it had been years since I’d stepped inside their downtown location. We got its sister restaurant, Beer Revolution, fairly often, but hadn’t been to Brewsters for some reason. I was pleasantly surprised by how bright & open the restaurant was. They also have a decent sized patio out the side & parking, a rarity in the beltline.

Brewsters Cheesy Tater Tot Poutine

I was relieved to see that it was a manageable portion when our order arrived at the table. I love poutine & tater tots, but we’d seen some pretty daunting portions. Our cheesy tater tots were perfectly crispy & topped with a bacon cheese sauce, smoked gouda, bacon marmalade & Oilberta stout bbq sauce. It was rich & flavourful, & I enjoyed every bite. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with bacon & cheese. The bbq sauce cut through some of the richness of the cheese sauce.

Brewsters Cheesy Tater Tot P

I love tater tots, cheese, & bacon

Brewsters Cheesy Tater Tot P

If the food & atmosphere weren’t enough to convince me I need to be stopping by more often, their staff really did. Thanks to both our server & Trevor for being so welcoming.

Pig & Duke

I took a little break from sampling until today, when it was time to check out my last stop. A coworker & I headed over to the Pig & Duke for lunch. It was hopping! Despite it being a quick walk from my office, I’d never actually been inside. It’s much larger than you’d expect from the outside.

Pig & Duke Poutine

The swinetine featured Chipotle BBQ pulled pork, bacon, green peppercorns, curds, Pig Sauce, & a fried egg on steak cut fries with green onions. As soon as our orders arrived our conversation was basically put on hold as the only thing we could say was, this is so good. I love pulled pork, & this one was especially tender & delicious. The chipotle bbq sauce had so much flavour & every once in a while you’d get a green peppercorn surprise, which we both enjoyed. The fries were thick & crispy so they held up well to all that sauce, & there was a good mix of melty & squeaky curds to keep me satisfied.

Pig & Duke Poutine

Swinetine!

Pig & Duke Poutine

This was one of the more traditional poutines I tried this week. The pulled pork was so tender & delicious that I found myself wishing for more. The restaurant was full, but our service was still efficient & our server spent time chatting with us, while still turning over her tables quickly.

Now that I’ve waxed poetic about all of the fine poutine creations, I will say that I do not recommend consuming this much poutine in one week. It’s intense. That’s not to say I wouldn’t do it again, however. I will gladly sacrifice myself in the name of poutine anytime (wink wink, Karen). I’m so impressed by how different each one was, & how much I enjoyed each for what they were. The one thing I think most restaurants could have done better was to advertise their specific poutine a little more. I think only 2 of the 6 I went to were doing it, & I’m curious to see how this reflects in the final competition.

After a week of eating poutine, my pants are definitely fitting a little snugger, my cheese cravings are gone (I mean, until like Sunday probably), & I think I’ve already carb-loaded for my half marathon in August. It’s salad week next week, right?

All kidding aside, it’s been a great week! Thank you to all the restaurants I’ve linked for hosting me, to Karen for thinking of me for poutine ambassador, & to Mealshare for providing so many meals to those in need. I can’t wait to find out who our poutine week winner is!

Poutine Week 2017: Gravy Bowl

Gravy Bowl

My favourite YYC food week of the year is here: Poutine Week! For the last 4 years, I’ve participated in this glorious week of poutine by gorging myself on a variety of delectable combinations of cheese curds, gravy, & fried potato. This year, I was asked to join five Calgary food aficionados as Poutine Week Ambassadors. I couldn’t say yes fast enough when the wonderful Karen approached me with this opportunity.

The sale of each creative poutine provides a meal to someone in need. Mealshare has partnered with Poutine Week since 2013, giving poutine a purpose. It’s that one time of year that you can eat poutine totally guilt free. 😉

N & I kicked off our 2017 Poutine Week with a weekend full of delicious poutine. The Gravy Bowl was our main event on Saturday, & I was seriously looking forward to it. Teams made up of a chef + a Calgary Stampeder + a Local Brewery compete in a live cook-off for best poutine. We had such a great time last year & lucked out that N was in town again to attend.

Last years winner, Briggs Kitchen & Bar, was the host of this year’s competition. We were greeted with some bubbly as we walked in the door & immediately said hi to Poutine week organizer extraordinaire, Karen. The restaurant was already bumping, as the 8 local brewers were serving samples of the beers used in their respective poutines. Chefs were mingling as well, & we had a couple minutes to chat with Roy Oh of Anju (you may remember how excited I was last year to grab a photo with him & chat a little bit!) before the event kicked off.

Gravy Bowl

Ready for the battle to begin!

 

Gravy Bowl

Beer Tasting

Gravy Bowl

My awesome “Poutine Pusher” pin

 

The idea was that teams would present to the judges, while we sampled the same poutines family style. It was a bit of a different set up from last year. While we waited for the first couple poutines, we chatted with some of the different brewery reps. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake on our part, as most other people were eager to sample those first few poutines. By the time we got in line, we’d missed out on Brasserie‘s poutine already. Luckily, there was still enough of Anju‘s for us to sample. I’d have been really disappointed to miss both of those as they were the two I was most excited for (& with good reason as Brasserie won the whole competition).

Gravy Bowl

Anju’s korean poutine

Gravy Bowl

Gravy Bowl

My poutine date!

Gravy Bowl

Poutine Planning

After our initial mistake, we made sure to get in line early so we could sample the rest. Each team came up with something delicious & unique. I love this event for all the different approaches, from traditional creations to ones that are only loosely based around the idea of poutine. There’s something for everyone, & I think that’s the best part of this whole week.

At the end of event, N & I both agreed that Anju was our favourite of the ones we tasted. We both loved how the Korean flavours came together with the truffle in the gravy. I never would have thought to combine those flavours, but it was fantastic.

Gravy Bowl

Behind the scenes

Gravy Bowl

Dirty Bird Poutine (Last Best & Market)

Gravy Bowl

Presenting to the judges

Gravy Bowl

Adam Singleton prepping fries

Gravy Bowl

Gravy going onto Booker’s poutine

Gravy Bowl

Boeuf Bourguignon Poutine from Wurst

Gravy Bowl

Photogenic Food

Gravy Bowl

West Coast Poutine

The Beltliner Half Hitch Breakfast Poutine’s braised beef brisket also stands out to me as being fantastic, & Booker’s Turkey Poutine was phenomenal. I loved the cornbread & smoked turkey combination, as well as the fact that the cheese curds were still squeaky.

Gravy Bowl

Dan Clapson announcing the winners

Gravy Bowl

Judges & Winners

Gravy Bowl

Gravy Bowl Winners: Brasserie Kensington + Charlie Power + Dandy Brewing

Overall, there wasn’t a single bite that I didn’t enjoy. Each team really brought their A-game, & the Stampeders’ enthusiasm for the competition aspect took things to the next level. I loved the addition of local breweries this year – chatting with their reps & trying out a few new beers was a fun way to spend the day as we waited for the next poutine.

You’ve still got until Saturday to try any of the poutines included in #PoutineWeekYYC & help share a meal while you’re at it! I’ll be back later this week with a recap of the rest of my poutine adventures so you can decide what to try, or check out the Calgary Poutine website for all restaurant listings.

Happy eating, friends!

 

March in Instagram

Somehow we’re already well into the first week of April, & all of my grand blogging plans lay unfulfilled. With N away so much (aka living in another country), all the household stuff falls to me, so I’ve been a little busier lately. It’s amazing how much of a difference not having him home regularly makes. Odin & I have been making the best of it though, & we’re lucky to have an amazing group of humans to keep us company & help out when we need them. Here’s what we got up to in this first month of living in different countries (according to the very filtered world of Instagram):March 2017 IG Recap

  1. We celebrated our awesome gymnastics coach & friend, Tanis, turning 35 with a paint nite. I’m actually so impressed by how well everyone’s paintings turned out!
  2. Can’t get enough of Sue Higgins Dog Park. Odin loves adventuring there & meeting up with all his buds.
  3. I joined some friends in Canmore for the weekend to celebrate the lovely #Elissagettingmeowied. It was such a fun weekend away in the mountains, with lots of great food, a little dancing, & so many laughs.
  4. Neither Odin nor I like saying goodbye to N. Airport drops offs are tough on this little guy. I don’t think he understands at all.
  5. First patio day of 2017 at Cibo. We took advantage of a beautiful Saturday to get outside & enjoy some drinks on a really lovely patio. They also have one of the best happy hours out there – check out the $5 pizza!!
  6. Rosso Tuxedo opened! Finally good coffee in our neighbourhood. We’ve been eagerly anticipating their opening for months. I love it already!
  7. N flew home to watch #ElissaandMatt get married at a lovely ceremony at the Lakehouse. We danced, we ate, & we consumed far too many delicious drinks.
  8. Dogs & Beer? I’m sold on Cold Garden & have been meeting up with friends for a pint pretty much weekly. Their beer is delicious (& reasonably priced!), & I can bring my furry friend. It’s my favourite.
  9. Odin turned one this month! He was spoiled rotten. We’re heading out on his first hike tomorrow to celebrate. Happy Birthday, little buddy!

April promises to be a busy month as well. I’m a #poutinepusher for Calgary Poutine Week 2017, so if you like poutine (& good causes) keep an eye on my social media for details (& watch me try to eat all the poutine in a week). Bring on the stretchy pants!

January in Instagram

It’s been ages since I’ve done one of these! I’m still rocking the slowest computer out there, so even just pulling photos off my phone is a massive chore. I will eventually fix the situation, but for now I’m telling myself it forces me to take better pictures since there’s no hope of me doing any actual editing to my photos on it. I managed to finally pull all my 2016 photos off my phone & put them on an external drive though, which is huge progress! Now I can take more videos of Odin, which we all know is the real reason anyone even reads this blog. Here’s what we got up to in January (there are surprisingly few Odin photos):

1. Kicking off the new year with a nice closeup of my favourite guy. He loves the snow & the cold doesn’t seem to bother him to much.

2. We hosted my lovely sister-in-law’s 23rd birthday. Her friends brought a great assortment of food, we set up beer pong in the basement, & we ended the night in the hot tub (it was actually more like morning. Oops!). Happy Birthday, Sar!

3. November Project was COLD this month. I had frosty eyelashes more often than not, as we were in a deep freeze for a lot of this month.

4. I’ve been making some serious progress on my handstands. I can hold them consistently longer all the time, turn in a full circle, & am getting better at straddle to handstand all the time. It’s so fun seeing this progress!

5. H & I treated D to lunch at Bridgette Bar for her birthday. This beet & watercress salad is the bomb. Eat it.

6. I pass the Calgary tower most mornings if I get a ride in with N & I still always find it beautiful. She might not be very tall, but she’s certainly an icon.

7. Pastrami fried rice makes for an amazing weeknight dinner. I’ve yet to be disappointed by a Bon Appetit recipe.

8. The Positivity Award is given out at NP every few weeks for bringing the tribe to a new level & being an awesome person to work out near. I was pretty honoured to receive it in January – the November Project YYC tribe has been such an incredible addition to my life. I definitely drank the koolaid, & encourage you to do so as well.

9. Unfortunately, my knees are unhappy with me, so I’ve been going to physio & staying away from stairs & running. Instead, I get to do this super fun exercise – leg raises with a tens! It’s incredibly boring, but I’m making progress & the swelling is almost gone. I can’t wait to get back to my regular workouts.

So, that’s it for January! What did you get up to last month? Any exciting plans for February?

October in Instagram

I think this is the earliest I’ve posted an Instagram recap in years. Success! If everything goes according to plan, I’ll finally get my SeaWheeze post up this week too. Registration is coming up pretty quickly, so my goal is to get it finished before that. Sometimes I just need to give myself deadlines! The new bullet journal moleskine I picked up this week is really helping in that department too. I am a sucker for a new notebook, & I even got some coloured pens to keep it fun! We’ll see if these doodles last. They’re fun right now, but one of the best things about bullet journaling has been its simplicity. Only time will tell!

Anyway, here’s what we go up to in October according to Instagram:

oct16ig

  1. At the beginning of the month, I took a roadtrip out to Invermere with my favourite Paralympian, Morgan Bird. We helped out (& swam a little) with their training camp & fun meet. She gave a fantastic talk to the kids of CVSC & GGSC.
  2. This slow cooker chili has quickly become a favourite of mine. It’s like eating hot wings, but it’s paleo. Throw everything in the slow cooker the night before & come home to this delicious chili. I’m obsessed.
  3. Our first snowfall came pretty late this year, by Calgary standards. Odin didn’t really know what to make of it, but I think he ended up loving it. I can’t wait til we get a really good dump so he can play more. It’s hilarious!
  4. I made my second turkey all by myself. This year, I went over to my parents & used their incredible kitchen. Seriously, their range is a dream. Thanksgiving dinner turned out fantastic too. 😉
  5. I’m totally hooked on November Project. What started as part of my Healthy Living Challenge in September has turned into something I look forward to every week. If you’ve been on the fence about checking it out, I’m there every Wednesday (& some Mondays). Come drink the kool-aid!
  6. Some version of this sausage & vegetable noodle “pasta” in on the menu every week at our house. Usually it involves tomato sauce (my go-to recipe here. Sorry about the terrible photos!), but this time I simplified with roasted red pepper, goat cheese, & herbs. Simple & delicious!
  7. Our Bitches be Brunchin’ crew hit Batl Axe this month. We had a great time! If you’ve been thinking about trying your hand at axe throwing, I’d highly recommend it.
  8. We made huge strides with our house this month & it’s really looking like our home. We painted a lot of the main floor, hung vintage shelves from my grandparents, & bought a media console for the record player & our games. I love how it’s coming together.
  9. For Halloween this year, we dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz. I made my costume from scratch (putting my grade 8 sewing skills to the test) & N pulled a tin man costume together on short notice. Odin went as himself, our little lion man. It’s going to be hard to top this year!

Do you like to dress up for Halloween? Do you make your costume from scratch or buy one from a store? 

September in Instagram

I feel like I’ve done so many recap style posts lately. I skipped last month’s IG recap though, so I wanted to make sure I got this one in. I really do like looking back on these, so I’m keeping them around for now! I promise I have some more exciting posts coming soon. I have a seawheeze draft going & a spring in Montreal post too, so there’s some travel stuff coming if that’s your jam! Here’s what we got up to in September, according to Instagram: instaport

  1. I kicked off the month with November Project at McMahon Stadium. This group of people is so awesome, & I’ve been loving the workouts every Monday & Wednesday morning!
  2. Stopped at Storm Mountain Lodge for the first time & fell in love. We’ve since booked an overnight stay in one of their cabins.
  3. This summer we were treated to so many local vegetables from friends’ gardens in the valley. These heirloom tomatoes were incredible! I think my parents are going to have to plant a garden soon so we can have some of our own.
  4. Wine touring around Kelowna. We spent a fabulous day drinking & learning about wine with Experience Wine Tours. I’ll write more about that later though – they deserve a real review!
  5. With some fabulous ladies & Bobby & Karla’s Summerhill wedding. It was so incredible to experience a Summerhill wedding as guests. We loved every minute. Great venue choice! 😉
  6. Beakernight was such a huge success this year. From the venue, to the installations, everything went off without a hitch!
  7. When all your friends are in town & the weather’s nice, the Last Best patio is the place to be. With so many of our friends working out of town, we definitely have to make an effort to get together when we’re all here!
  8. Eating healthy all month wasn’t actually a huge challenge, especially since paleo allows for a lot of great food. These pumpkin pancakes from Practical Paleo are a long standing favourite of mine. Quick, easy, delicious: my kind of trifecta.
  9. These boys of mine are the best. I love watching them together, & can’t wait til N is back in town permanently so they can spend more quality time together.

That’s it for this month’s recap. Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends. This recap is a perfect example of just how much I have to me thankful for. xx

September Challenge \\ Finale

November Project Sunrise

Home stretch! The final week is more or less over, & I think it’s been a pretty successful month for everyone. Some of the girls set some pretty lofty fundraiser & health goals, which I totally respect. Go big or go home, right?

As for me, I’m feeling pretty awesome. It’s been a pretty successful month & I’m really pleased with some of the side effects I’ve experienced from #SoberSeptember (& paleo). So pleased, in facet, that I’m thinking of continuing it a little longer. I’d like to commit to a mostly Sober October as well. I’m out of town the first two weekends, so I know they won’t be perfect, but I’d like to make a conscious effort to continue eating pretty strict paleo & staying away from alcohol. I’ll allow myself a couple cheats, but N will be away again so it seems like a good opportunity to keep working hard. We’ve decided that if it goes well, we’ll go for pizza & oysters at a new (to us) spot to celebrate a great fall. Seems like a fair trade off to me.

Amazing Bam Bam Shrimp from the Domestic Man blog

Amazing Bam Bam Shrimp from the Domestic Man blog

Roast Sirloin & Adair Caesar Salad, side of spiralled potatoes

Roast Sirloin & Adair Caesar Salad, side of spiralled potatoes

Cheat Breakfast: Anju KFC

Cheat Breakfast: Anju KFC

Roast chicken with veggies

Roast chicken with veggies

Vietnamese lettuce wraps by Nom Nom Paleo are a new staple in our house

Vietnamese lettuce wraps by Nom Nom Paleo are a new staple in our house

Homemade Almond Butter Chocolate Cups

Homemade Almond Butter Chocolate Cups

Braised beef with carrots & arugula

Braised beef with carrots & arugula

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Snacks with hubs: Duck Liver Mousse from Peasant Cheese (the best), homemade pickled carrots, & olives.

Snacks with hubs: Duck Liver Mousse from Peasant Cheese (the best), homemade pickled carrots, & olives.

I sometimes forget just how great I feel when I eat paleo. I generally average under 8 hours of sleep per night. With morning workouts & evening commitments, I’ve been getting less sleep lately, but have way more energy. It’s my favourite side-effect. (I’m sure the extra workouts have been helping too.) I’d also normally break out at some point this month, but my skin showed no real signs of a breakout. Even my psoriasis seems to be laying low. It’s been a great reminder that I should make more of an effort to eat this way more consistently.

Bocce Handstands

Bocce Handstands

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Daily bike to work. It’s getting quiet in the cage at work.

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Spin with some lovely ladies!

Early AM

Ready for an early morning workout!

The best part of this whole month for me was joining November Project. I’m totally hooked & can see myself continuing to attend. I’m not sure if I’ll always be able to make it both Mondays & Wednesdays, but I’d love to go as often as possible. I actually don’t have to get up too much earlier than I normally would & I just pack my bag, prep my meals, & lay out my workout clothes the night before. This week I also got back in the pool, which was a humbling experience. I hope to make it out to a practice once in a while this year – it’s such a good challenge for me.

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Early morning abs

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Speech time!

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Group Hug!

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Crab walks

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Amazing sunrise after the 600s workout

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Banner for our sister city, LA.

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On the fundraising side, I’m at 60% of my goal for the month. I’ve added my $65 donation to the mix for the cheat meals & drinks. I’m pretty happy that I managed to mostly stick to my goal, aside from in Kelowna. I even went out a few times with friends without having more than the wine I was allowed, so I don’t feel like I missed out on too much this month. Thank you to everyone who donated to my campaign. If you would still like to donate, today’s the day. This it it! (We made it, ladies!!) Check out my campaign page for more information or to add a donation to the cause. All proceeds go to cervical cancer research at the BC Cancer Foundation.

Thank you for your support! #FuckCancer

September Challenge \\ Week Two

November Project

The second week of this challenge was, as expected, more difficult. Since we’d already booked a wine tour in Kelowna & would be attending a wedding, I opted to donate $50 to the BC Cancer Foundation in order to partake in this lovely weekend away. We ate well, drank an assortment of beautiful local wines, & danced our butts off. It was more than worth the expense.

I think this tells you everything about how much fun we had at Bobby & Karla's wedding.

I think this tells you everything about how much fun we had at Bobby & Karla’s wedding.

Getting back into the heathy living swing of things was tough, but I managed to do pretty well. I did take advantage of my daily wine allowance a couple times last week, but I also got lots of great workouts in, & managed to stay on track with my meals. Even with N in town, enjoying ice cream, pizza, & beer a couple times this week, I resisted the urge to partake. I think the “first” full week is actually the hardest part, & I’m going into this next one feeling like I’m over the hump.

lettuce wraps

My friend Zoe recommended we make the above lettuce wraps. They don’t look like much of anything, but trust me when I say, they are amazing. Make them. They’re so easy!

Biking

L & I have been really great about biking to & from work. High five, friend!

Last week was particularly busy for me, so we didn’t make a lot of super exciting recipes. I had dinner out twice too, actually: once at the Coup & once at Van Son. Both times, I managed not to cheat, which was pretty awesome. I’d never been to the Coup before, but I really enjoyed it. The entire menu is vegetarian, & I almost didn’t miss having meat in my meal. Plus, I finally got to have what felt like a real dessert after a few days of N eating ice cream in front of me.

the coup

My salad at the Coup

the coup

Coconut Lemon “Square”

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Random lunch: roasted yams, tuna salad with pickled carrots, bacon & kale chips.

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Spiralized cucumber salad & dilly basa

Once again I made it to November Project on Wednesday morning. Gymnastics also started back up that nigh,t & after class, I stuck around for Open Gym & did a very handstand-centric workout with our coach, Tanis. I realized halfway through that I was getting 4 hours-worth of exercise that day. Needless to say, I was pretty sore over the weekend. I had a few Beakerhead commitments that kept me active though, & we helped friends move on Saturday morning. I think I more than fulfilled my workout obligations!

NP Skyline

Not a bad view of the city after an early morning workout

November Project

Killer hill repeats

November Project

Tricep dips at sunrise

November Project

NP Crew

I managed to prepare two really nice meals, despite our hectic weekend. First was Gyudon from the Domestic Man. It’s such an easy recipe, but the flavour is awesome & it looks quite impressive. The second was Sunday brunch. Our friends were hosting us for football, but I didn’t want to inconvenience them or go hungry, so we ate beforehand. I prepared my favourite pumpkin pancakes & cooked some maple beef sausages from our Grazed Right stash. We topped them with some preserved peaches from family.

Gyudon

Gyudon

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes, Peaches, & Sausage

I kicked off this week with November Project this morning at Shaw Millennium Park. We did a workout using our phone numbers, which was pretty fun. It was a great way to start the week. I’m on track to have a great fitness week with NP Wednesday morning, gymnastics Wednesday night, spin Thursday night, & bocce on Saturday. I’m excited!

November Project

Run!

November Project

Tricep Train

More than halfway through this challenge & I’ve raised $100. Thank you so much to everyone who’s donated to my campaign. With my (possibly growing) contribution, I’m almost halfway to my donation goal! (I MAY have some brunch plans coming to add, which will put me even closer! EEK!) I’ve love following along with the other ladies in this challenge – they’re all doing great & raising money for a great cause!

If you’d like to donate, or find out more, check out my campaign page. Otherwise, follow along on snapchat or instagram (whoalansi for both) – I’d love to see you at November Project, on a run, or at spin, so hit me up for a workout sometime! #FuckCancer

September Challenge \\ Week One

Sober September

We’re one week into the FFPK Healthy Living Challenge to raise money & awareness for Cervical Cancer through the BC Cancer Foundation, & it’s been a fantastic start. I’ve been eating such healthy & delicious meals, & getting lots of activity in.

I spent the long weekend in BC with my parents & we ate like kings! Their neighbour had brought over some delicious vegetables from her garden, & then we were given even more from my girlfriend’s parent’s garden too. We had fingerling potatoes, dill, mint, heirloom tomatoes, beets, kohlrabi, zucchini, black walnuts, spaghetti squash, & kale. Everything was incredible! I can’t wait for my parents to plant a garden of their own out there!

heirloom tomato

heirloom tomato

fingerling potatos

fingerling potatos

For workouts, I went for a couple extra long walks with Odin, in addition to his usual 15 minute ones. I think his favourite was going down to the lake & getting a swim in, but I really loved going out to the lookout point for the first time. It’s a gorgeous walk. I had done a huge stair workout with November Project at McMahon Stadium last Wednesday to kick things off, & I went again this morning. It was PR day so I set my first one: 10 times up & down the memorial stairs in 40 minutes. I also did some running with my dad & will be adding some more bodyweight workouts this week for a little variety. Gymnastics starts back up next Wednesday too & I can’t wait!

Sober September

November Project at McMahon

Sober September

Banff Hike

Sober September

Lookout Point, Columbia Lake

Sober September

Hikes with Odin

Sober September

Laische’s first day of bike commuting!

Sober September

November Project Views

I’ve been using some of my go-to recipes over this first week: chicken thighs with roasted beets, cumin spiced pork tenderloin with root vegetables, big ass salads, & egg bites (for breakfast). I’m really used to eating paleo at this point, so cutting out grains & bread isn’t something I have to wrap my mind around. I generally eat that way at home anyway, so it’s just sticking to it more closely this month. My friend, Zoe, sent me a few fantastic paleo recipes that I can’t wait to try this month so I’ll try to post how those turn out. If you follow along on instagram, I post most of my food with the hashtag, #deBoerDinners.

Sober September

Paleo Pumpkin Biscuit, Eggs, Tomato, & Bacon

Sober September

Egg & Red Pepper Scramble with Pumpkin biscuit.

Cumin Pork Tenderloin

Cumin Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Root Vegetables

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

The hardest thing for me this week was abstaining from alcohol & dairy. My parents always put out an amazing appetizer spread at the lake. It usually includes cheese, & this time was no exception. Luckily, I came prepared with homemade pickled carrots & duck liver pâté. While I was still quite envious of their cheese selections, it helped to have some equally delicious options for myself. I also managed to hold myself to my allotment of wine over the weekend & substituted my usual patio drink with Kombucha or water. Planning ahead has always been the key to success for me.

I tested myself again a little yesterday when I picked up some fudge for N as a special surprise after his knee surgery (just a scope, nothing serious!). The smell of that fudge was almost enough to send me over the edge, but I didn’t indulge.

Pickled Carrots

Pickling Carrots

Pickled Carrots

This week will be a little bit different with us heading out to Kelowna for a wedding. I will be buying out on Friday for a wine tour & Saturday for the wedding. I’m glad to have this as an option so I can still participate in the rest of the month!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my campaign so far! You guys are the best! I’ve raised $90 toward my $350 goal. Thank you!!!  If you’d like to donate, or find out more, check out my campaign page. Otherwise, follow along on snapchat or instagram (whoalansi for both) – I’d love to see you at November Project, on a run, or at spin, so hit me up for a workout sometime! #FuckCancer

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