I Work Out… And It’s Cheap

Iworkin outAhhh, finally some proof I actually follow some sort of an exercise plan.  This was taken after my bi-weekly exercise class at one of Kitchener’s community centers.  If you’ve never looked at what your centre has to offer, you are really missing out.   There are so many great programs and the prices are amazing.  The class I go to is a combination of cardio and strength training.  I have yet to leave that class not covered in sweat and sore the next day.  It’s great for me because I don’t think I would be willing to do some of the things I have to do in that class (like push ups and the plank, *shudder*).  I have yet to be able to do a “man” push up.  I am hoping by Summer… Wait let me check…  Nope, not yet.  It’s a little embarrassing because the rest of the class can and I’m one of the younger ones.  But hey, we all have to start somewhere right.

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Sealing Envelopes, New Wine, A Present For Mamma Bear and Injera

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I am an avid letter writer and I love exchanging letters with my pen pals.  I admit to having a ridiculous addiction to stationery.  I love using decorated writing paper, making my own envelopes and using wax seals.  I found out you have to use actual sealing wax and not candle wax or else your seal is gong to come off in the mail and everyone will think you spilled something greasy all over your mail lol!!

DSC01238Sealing wax comes in tons of different colours and you can get sticks that go in a glue gun or the kind with wicks on the end.  Unfortunately, my latest sealing wax sticks I ordered are too thick to go in the glue gun, but no worries as I just melt it over a candle in a metal measuring spoon and carefully dump it onto the envelope and then stamp it.  The sealing stamp I have is my initial.  I want to design my own one day, but still I haven’t thought of the perfect one.  Any suggestions?  I have sent out lot of letters with seals and every one of them has arrived with the seal intact.

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I started a new wine today.  This one is a non-grape wine made from ginger, sugar, citrus and spices.  My home smelled amazing while it simmered.  I am not going to be able to try it for about 7 months.  Ah wine, it’s so hard to wait!  I went to a new beer supply store in Brampton on the weekend and picked up a ton of things.  One of them is the grain bag you see in the above photo.  I probably should have looked for one with a draw string or one that had some type of way to close it, but this one seems long enough that tying a knot in the top shouldn’t ever be a problem.  I also picked up a new wine kit, beer and root beer kit.  Plus a few general home brewing supplies. If you are into home brewing check them out.  It’s one of the best brewing supply stores I have ever been in.  I only meant to buy a few things, but I ended up with a huge haul and needed help carrying all my purchases out to the truck.  Here is a link to their store:  http://homebrewsupplies.ca/.

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After getting back from the home brewing store we ended up at Hobby and Toy just outside of Kitchener.  My mom loves, loves, loves jigsaw puzzles and I picked her up a new puzzle.  I bought it because I loved the box it came in lol.  I am going to surprise her with it in the mail.  I grabbed the board game Parcheesi while there as well.  I remember I used to play that game all the time when I was younger.

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I am not sure how I ended up wanting to try Injera, I think I must have been googling teff recipes?  But I don’t think that was it either… Anywhoo, I ended up finding a traditional Ethiopian food online called injera, which is a teff flour based flat bread/crepe like thing that you serve with wot (stew) on top of it and you eat with your hands!  You use the bread as the utensil.  I bought the bread at Muya in Kitchener, but made my own Atkilt wot (cabbage stew?).  Here is where I got the recipe: http://www.buzzfeed.com/miriamberger/ethiopian-food#.ehjm2Dmxp.  I am going to make a lentil wot to add to the Atkilt as well.  It was pretty good.  The bread is soury fermenty like and it was fun to skip the utensils!  It was pretty good.

I hope you are all well and happy and had a great weeked!

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A Very Happy Birthday To Me!

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So guess who turned old as fuck this past weekend…  Me! Lol just kidding, I don’t feel old at all and I had an amazing birthday weekend!  I spent it with my closest and mostest.  Saturday I spent the afternoon, into the evening skiing at Schneider’s Bush just outside of Waterloo.

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This place is AMAZING, but also a little too advanced for my over cautious, scared of falling, or moving at fast speeds, cross country ski style.  Somebody wiped out BAD there.  At the bottom of a hill we saw a large blood splatter and then further up the hill a churned up pile of snow where someone obviously wiped out and even more blood splatter.  I hope they were okay!  I’m thinking fractured nose or as there was the ice crust on the surface, a lacerated face.  I Googled it, but didn’t find anything mentioned about it online.

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Myself, as per my usual, fell several times, hence, the lack of confidence going down hills.  I usually fall the most going up the hills, oddly enough.  I went off the track going down a hill and ended up planted all the way up my legs, face first with arms crossed under me.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to get out of that situation and it took a bit of maneuvering.   I had a blast and we didn’t get out of there until around 7:00pm and it was dark by the time we made it out of the woods.

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Later that night we went to a place on Krug street in Kitchener for a rousing game of $5 Saturday night bingo.  It was actually pretty fun and I would do it again.  I want to win at bingo!!!  None of us won, but heh, it was $5 and fun.

Sunday my sibling and folks came up for a visit and pizza party.  I only see my family a few times a year and I think a more serious effort needs to be made to change that.  We don’t spend anywhere near enough time together.

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My folks left around dinner time and my besty came back with a home made birthday cake and a tye dye kit!

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You can see part of the fur child lurking in the corner wondering where her piece was.

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Tye dying things is fun!!!  We did pillow cases, shirts and tank tops.  I would definitely do it again.  I wonder how white satin sheets would take to tye dying.  I must try this…

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My favourite project turned out to be this T-shirt.  I hope it looks as good after it’s been through the wash!

It was a great weekend and I am hoping to get out skiing a few more times before we lose too much of the snow.

Talk to you later!

Amber

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Fun Times With A Food Dehydrator And Ginger

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Back in December I was baking cookies with a friend of mine, his were some sort of ginger cookie (pfeffernusse I think) and mine peanut butter.  I warned him my spices were getting pretty old and he brought his own ginger.  As soon as he opened the container I could immediately smell it, realizing my spices were probably more ancient than old.

Ginger is always readily available and not very expensive at the grocery stores, it was time to make my own.  I wish I had taken a photo of the big hunk of ginger I had before I chopped it up, but I didn’t.  In the above photo you can see it after it was chopped up.  I cut it in about 1/3cm thick slices and didn’t bother to peel it.

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You can see the huge difference in size after it was finished dehydrating!  I dried t at 110 degrees for about 48 to 60 hours.  I don’t remember exactly, but I made sure it was completely dry.

Temperature control on a dehydrator is one of the most important features to me.  I love my L’Equip dehydrator, but if I was going to get another one I wouldn’t get one that had the fan going up the middle.  I want to be able to make raw wraps and having the fan at the back like the Excalibur has is what I would need to do that (unless I want to make really tiny ones).

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Here is the ginger, fully dried and waiting to get processed into powder.  I did that by putting into a coffee grinder.

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Now I have wonderfully aromatic, ground ginger that I made myself from fresh.  I just need a delicious recipe now!  Any ideas?

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Breaking The Fast

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I broke my fast this morning with a salad (dandelion greens, spinach, celery, beet, carrot, avocado and almonds dressed with 1/2 a lemon and lime with a half pinch of sea salt and some thyme and cilantro).  I could only eat half the salad.  I still feel hungry but my body just didn’t want anymore.  It’s the weirdest feeling, but I am going to listen to it and I put the salad back in the fridge.  Dandelion greens are so bitter!  I’m going to cut up an apple and toss it in when I go to finish the salad.  I started the day out with a glass of hot lemon water like on the fast and I think I’m going to keep that up.  I feel pretty thirsty and I’ve made myself a huge mug of herbal tea.  So far the salad is sitting in my stomach without any problems.  I’m going to make myself a smoothie for the afternoon and drink two more juices.  I did the salad on cronometer and my iron level is already 312%.  I thawed out a beet juice for one of my afternoon drinks.  I can’t even imagine how many nutrients had been flooded into my body over the fast, but I still just didn’t feel amazing, only worn out.  I do plan on staying with a healthier diet and hope to see the weight loss continue.   I lost exactly 7.9lbs on the 5 day fast, but I would say 3 of those lbs were because I started the fast on my period.  All in all pretty good and I’m going to try super hard to keep it off and drop a few more.

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Day 5 of the Juice Fast and Ending It 5 Days Early

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I made it to the end of day 5 of a 10 day juice fast and I’m going to be putting an end to it at breakfast tomorrow.  I made it through Day 4 okay.  I felt worn out in the early afternoon, but perked up a little bit in the evening in time for my exercise class.  I definitely wasn’t able to give it my all.  My butt is still pretty sore today so I did get something out of it.  Today was the killer.  Lunch time rolled around and I’ve just had enough.  I felt so worn out and I really can’t take this odd powdery feeling that is coating my teeth.  It just wont brush off and it’s driving me insane.  I am not getting this magical energy load everyone else seems to be getting.  I’ve definitely not gotten as many hunger pains today, but I’m just not getting any energy.  I still feel like I’m walking through water whenever I need to do the slightest exertion.  Even somewhere I would typically walk to seemed such a far way today.  I’ve also been really bloated around the middle and I never did get this glowing skin everyone keeps mentioning.  My skin has been exactly the same as before I started and I’m at the end of day 5.  Maybe this fast thing works amazing for other people, but I can’t see myself doing it again.   I’m hoping for some weight loss, but I am restraining myself from getting on a scale until tomorrow.  I don’t think it’s a total fail as I do have plans of sticking with a lower fat, more vegetable dense diet.  I do plan on continuing to juice every day as well.

At the grocery store tonight I picked up these beautiful greens.  The one on the right is dandelion leaves!!!  I have always meant to collect some myself, but it was one of those things I never got around too.  Now I finally get the chance to try them.  And no I am not turning them into wine.  Although, I do plan on making dandelion wine one of these days…  That might be the heads though…  I have no idea what to make with them.  Possibly a salad.  I would love some ideas if you have them!

Anyway, I am feeling a bit unhappy with myself for not making it to my 10 day goal on the juice fast, but I’m just not feeling very well.  I plan on making myself a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast with some nut butter tomorrow, a smoothie for lunch and some juice for dinner.  I hope you had better experiences with a juice fast then I did.

Stay well,

Amber

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Jack Frost And Day 3 Of A 10 Day Juice Fast

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Sometimes Winter can show you the most magical, beautiful things.  This morning was one of those days that are a gift from mother nature.   Frost had formed over everything last night, the sun was shining and it was a clear and beautiful day.  The sun was shining on the frost crystals making them sparkly, snowy diamonds.  This was my walk this morning:

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That definitely helped perk me up as this morning was a rough one.  I was very headachy and my energy levels were very low.  Things improved a lot this afternoon, I even got some laundry done.  The dog walk seemed to have taken the rest of my new found energy and I’m wiped out again.  I have dishes to wash and I just don’t feel at all like doing them.  I have that exercise class tomorrow and still a bit worried about it.  I am even a little tempted to not go, but it might go better then I think it will.

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Today, I found out that you can drink juice pulp broth with some sea salt in it and that made me super happy!  I make almost all of my own food and forget to use salt a lot, so sometimes my sodium levels can drop too low and I was worried about that.  So, I made myself some broth and plan to drink some every day.  I don’t know if this is super cheating, but I put a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast in there to help with the B12 as well.  I don’t know if B12 dies a horrible death being heated or not… Hopefully not as I’m sure this broth will help me get through the next 7 days!  I just used the vegetable pulp from all the juices I made.  Any ideas what to do with fruit pulp?

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Stay well, stay warm, folks!

Amber

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Day 2 Of A 10 Day Juice Fast

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I’m on day 2 of a liquids only juice fast.  I am following one of the free plans from the Rebooting With Joe website: http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/.  The exact one I’m doing is here:  http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/RBWJ_FREE-15DAY-Classic330.pdf, but I am not doing the first pre-fast part of it, just the day 6-15 10 day juice fast.  I am using a mix of the recipes at the fast link and from Fullyrawkristina on you tube.  So far they have all tasted really well, but I had to cut the amount of ginger on Joe’s website for some of the recipes.  Some of them were way too strong for me!

Day one went amazing.  I was hungry, but it wasn’t too bad and I was tired fast at the end of the day.  Tonight it is 7:16pm and I am ready for bed.  I’m pretty tired.  I think I’m going to have a bath and hit the hay.  I was on the cranky side today too.  I have heard day 3 is the worst and then it’s all better from there.  Looks like I just have to make it through tomorrow and the hard part is over. I had the odd mild headache today (I rarely get a headache) and feel really worn out.  As for being hungry, yes I am, but it hasn’t been insane and unbearable.  Usually a hot glass of herbal tea can get me through until the next allotment of juice.  I’ve been getting cravings for certain foods as well.  In particular celery.  I am dying to just chomp up pieces of celery!  Day one I kept craving medjool dates.  Ooey gooey delicious medjool dates!

My day’s juice supply for tomorrow is the picture above.  They are 500mL sized mason jars and the fast recommends 4-6 of that size a day and I decided to go with four.  I love my juicer and I will have to take a pic and review it with you as well, but I just don’t have the energy to do that tonight.

I jut finished my latest library book “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut and am on the hunt for my next one.  I think that is the plan for tonight, bathtub reading and bed.

Bottoms up!

Amber

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Daily Fitbit stats

My fitbit #Fitstats_en_CA for 1/12/2015: 10,167 steps and 4.6 miles traveled. http://www.fitbit.com/user/33NZT5

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Daily Fitbit stats

My fitbit #Fitstats_en_CA for 1/11/2015: 12,304 steps and 5.6 miles traveled. http://www.fitbit.com/user/33NZT5

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