#nanaicecream

Nicecream
Joining an online fitness community is admittedly a weird thing. Weird and wonderful. I've never been one to workout with a partner—I much prefer to do the suffering alone. Working out is a release for me, and I like to do it in peace and quiet (or jamming to my favourite tunes rather). The online community is there for support, and although they are spread across this earth of ours, they do a rather good job of motivating. It bodes well for me. I have people cheering me on (while I do the same for them, of course) and I can do the thing just how I like it. I've made more progress on the BBG in 5 weeks than I have in years of working out on my own, so there's that. It's good. It's real good.

I have a sweet tooth. I've been really good since starting this program and I think the only things I've really cheated with are half a chocolate chip cookie on Oscar night and a couple of macarons. I've traded the bad stuff for the good, opting for raw desserts with nut bases, dates, a banana with nut butter, or a bowl of this good stuff. #Nanaicecream, as they call it on Instagram. It has a strange cult following of some individuals who I swear eat the stuff for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their creations are a lot more stunning than my own (take a look through the hashtag feed), but all in all, I think it's quite a humble dessert. I'm certainly not reinventing the wheel by sharing this one, but I find that it does the trick when a dessert-craving hits, or even as a snack. I've decided to finally increase my calorie intake to support working out 6 days a week, as well as pay closer attention to my macros, and this is a good option to fill in the gaps. A scoop of protein powder and a drizzle of nut butter accounts for your protein and fat content, and of course, the banana takes care of your carbs. Good and done.
Nicecream
Nanaicecream | Serves 1

1 banana, frozen (~150 grams)
1 scoop protein powder (I use MusclePharm)
10 grams (a splash, essentially) non-fat milk

Top with natural nut butter, coconut chips, etc.

Mix all ingredients in a high speed blender. If it's a little too runny, stick it into the freezer for a few minutes to firm it up.

GETTING BACK INTO A FITNESS GROOVE - 5 WEEKS STRONG

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Unless you've been living under an Instagram rock, you've likely heard of Kayla Itsines and her Bikini Body Training Guide. I purchased it last summer in the hopes of getting my ass back to the gym (considering I work at one, you'd think this would be easy), but only managed to get to Week 2, 3 times over. I guess that's what happens when you take two long vacations over the summer... Nevertheless, I started the BBTG again 5 weeks ago and am proud to say that I am still going strong and am already seeing results.

As great as it is to be getting fit, obviously it limits the amount of yummy recipes I'm cooking up and how many delicious restaurant meals I get to try. So, y'know, less content. I've been following a pretty gosh darn strict diet with one cheat meal per week. I'm not a vegetarian anymore either, and my meat consumption has gone up substantially since moving in January. It's been a big lifestyle change, but I'm enjoying it so far. It feels good to be getting back into the fitness game.
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I've got some major goals associated with food and fitness: Complete BBTG 1 and 2 (up to 24 weeks!), buy and be very comfortable in a Triangl swimsuit, and learn how to make raw desserts. I realize that raw desserts are still desserts, but the fact that they're made from slightly better ingredients makes me feel a bit better about indulging. Plus, it's a new challenge in the kitchen!

DELANCEY, AND OTHER MEMOIRS

Delancey
One of my goals this year is to read more non-academic books. Admittedly, this is one of my goals each year, and each year I seem to fall short. As much fun as reading about Alberta's Constitutional Framework is, sometimes a girl just wants to read about pizza. I'm having a moment with food related memoirs. While in Seattle last summer, I had the opportunity to dine at Delancey, and later found out about the book, which of course I had to read. I finished it rather quickly, and enjoyed every story in the book. Author Molly Wizenberg has this way of writing that makes you feel like you're the best of friends. Her stories are told in an raw, intimate manner, and you can't help but get drawn in. I think that having dined at Delancey helped me get into the book, as I could recall what the restaurant itself was like, as well as the dining experience itself. Overall, it was a wonderful read that I could not recommend enough.

I was having a chat with Gabi today while we were browsing the cooking section at Chapters about cooking memoirs. She mentioned a few that are now on my list, and I recalled one that I had read last year and fell madly in love with. I tend to be a read once and forget kind of gal... There are very few books that have had a lasting impact on me, but this is one of those ones that did. Another food memoir called The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway. It documents her journey of swearing off eating out. A novel concept perhaps, but again, the stories that she has to tell about her experiences with home cooking are really inspiring.

ON MY LIST TO READ
1. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
2. Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
3. 52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust by William Alexander
4. Bon Appetempt: A Coming-of-Age Story (with Recipes!) by Amelia Morris

I'm sure there are more, but they are mostly related to food politics as opposed to being memoirs. Are there any others that I should add to my list?

THE IDEAL LIVING SPACE

Modani Furniture
I've mentioned over and over that I moved last month—finally out of my parents house once again. The boyfriend and I now call home a little apartment in the heart of downtown Calgary. While the place is far from ready to be shown in the space, it's been an interesting collaboration between his and my decorating style, not without compromise. What the space is now is what I would call "rustic meets post-mod IKEA catalogue chic" with an emphasis on a lot of woodwork and a lot of booze related artwork. It's good. It works for us now, but admittedly has a long way to go. I've collaborated with Modani Furniture to showcase my ideal living room, and while Modani is a bit out of my student budget now, it's nice to dream. Their selection of modern sofas is a great starting place to design a room around.

We each came into the space with a few furniture items or art pieces of our own. The above features a classic Guinness ad that hangs proudly on our wall next to an old Heineken ad and a woodwork piece by a local artist. I think that my above description fits what we're trying to achieve, minus the reliance on good 'ol IKEA (why must quality, trendy furniture be so expensive!).

All pieces above (with the exception of the poster) can be found on Modani Furniture's website.

FINISHING POWDER: HIGH END VS DRUGSTORE

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

Gabi and I have just finished discussing our 2014 Beauty Favourites, and I somehow managed to forget MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, likely because I was out of it at the time. I moved out of my parents house a few weeks ago, and I had decided that it was maybe time to try out some drugstore makeup alternatives in an attempt to perhaps be able to spend some of my limited funds on food. It made good sense in theory, but in practice the results weren't great.

Kimmel Stay Matte

I don't really have a choice to not wear powder if I'm going to wear foundation. My face eats up foundation quicker than anything. On the recommendation of some of my favorite beauty bloggers, I chose to try Rimmel's Stay Matte Powder, but was seriously unimpressed. I used it for about a month with admittedly kind of shitty results. It's smells like talc, and leaves you with a heavy finish no matter how little you try to put on. I seem to be finding this with a lot of the drugstore alternatives that I've tried, leading me to believe that you really do get what you pay for. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, you've won this round.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, $32 USD
Rimmel Stay Matte, $8 USD
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