It feels good to get back into a gym routine this past month. After falling behind during the crazy holiday season we’ve gotten back into the rhythm of after work work-outs.
It’s also noticeably lighter out at 5 pm, which makes it nicer to walk to the gym. We also have the luxury of going to our brand new club house gym or the Steve Nash across the street. However, we should be taking advantage of them both a whole lot more. I’m lucky that another bride to be, our neighbour, and I have been able to work out together too (gotta fit into those wedding gowns!)
Before I really worked out consistently I had no idea about protein bars or any kind of ‘bar’ for that matter. I always avoided them thinking it was only for those big muscly guys at the gym. I first discovered Lara Bars after seeing so many bloggers promote them/eat them as a regular snack. In Canada however, they are more than double the price (anywhere from 2.00-2.50$) Then I discovered them when I was across the border shopping at Fred Meyer where they are only $1.00 each!! I was so excited, I think I bought one of every flavour.
One of my favourite flavours was Key Lime Pie. Simply made with coconut, dates, nuts and lime. I’ve made Protein Pods before, but always used some sort of nut butter as the binding ingredient, never lime or lemon juice. I thought it was about time I tried to make a key lime pie replica.
The only problem with Lara Bars is they don’t contain protein (although I think they’re newest ones might) and really the ingredients are so simple you can definitely make your own at home for a lot less.
The base is the same as my regular protein pods, only I’ve added some cashew meal as I discovered it at Trader Joe’s one shopping trip over the border as well.
They form up easily and store in the fridge – they’re a great bite thats slightly tart and slightly sweet.
Coconut Lime Protein Pods
Nutty Lime Coconut Protein Pods. Tart & Sweet.
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1/4 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/4 Cup Cashew Meal
- 1 Scoop Vegan Protein Powder (dairy-free)
- 1 Whole Lime, squeezed
- 1/4 Cup Coconut
- 7 Medjool Dates
- Pulse oats, almond meal and cashew meal in a food processor until they form fine crumbs.
- Add protein powder, pulse again.
- Add the dates, coconut and finally lime until well combined in the processor. Dough should come together.
- Scoop into pods/balls using small ice cream scoop.
- Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Today I wanted to share our engagement story because I had said I would. And, because it was a month yesterday since Adam proposed. I had honestly thought maybe we might get engaged in the spring this year – definitely not in December. It wasn’t a surprise for many of our friends and family though, I’m sure. As they had said upon hearing of our news, “About time!!” I guess it was the next step for us – we had been together 4 years and bought a new house just last year together. And of course I had thought about it as well – but it did not go quite as I had thought it might, which is why I was so shocked when he asked.
We had looked at rings on a trip to vegas (ahem – no vegas weddings) for fun, which was more than 2 years ago. We never seriously considered anything, I was still in school and wanted to wait, rather just looked for fun.
I had jokingly told Adam that when he did it (propose) I had a few things to consider – an engagement wish list if you will. I had asked that it be: not at night (too dark for an engagement), not outside (again, dark at night and cold), not in public (not one of those giant Will You Marry Me flags after a flash mob or something), and not on And/Or near a major holiday or birthday, including and most certainly not a Christmas engagement (I just thought it was so cliche and everyone does it then!) (no offence to those who got engaged on christmas.. :) This might sound incredibly bossy – and I’m sure it is ;) but those who know me know I over plan everything (I am a teacher after all) and I had a vision of what I thought my engagement might be. Although I know the girl isn’t supposed to have a say in the matter.
Well – Adam sure showed me.
SO – what did Adam conjure up for his proposal? To start, our Anniversary is December 23 (our first date), so we always have a tradition of visiting Stanley Park to ride the Christmas Train as it was one of our first dates. However, 4 years ago Adam, being a guy, didn’t realize you might need to pre-buy tickets to such a popular Christmas event, so we showed up and it was sold out. Thus, we make it a point to pre-buy our tickets each year for our Anniversary and actually get to ride the train.
It was a regular anniversary night, or so I thought. We were getting ready and Adam kept bugging me to ‘bring your good camera’ which he hates bringing anywhere because it’s so bulky. I though OK fine. We brought the big good camera. I hadn’t noticed, though he said later on “weren’t you wondering why I was wearing a tie?” – we get dressed up for our anniversary, but not super dressy – seeing as how we are only going on a miniature train ride.
I was actually quite sick feeling the entire weekend before our engagement. Adam had kept saying “just feel better for Monday” (our anniversary.) I had made reservations at a restaurant downtown, but thought I might feel too sick to eat a seafood dinner so we cancelled them. Then, on the way downtown we thought no we better go, so we re-booked them. As a point to not get me hangry before dinner Adam decided we better grab a quick snack beforehand (he knows me well). This lead us the the Wendy’s drive-through downtown to grab a junior hamburger. Right, pre-dinner snack. After that we were actually quite full. So, we cancelled dinner reservations, again.
We walked around downtown browsing the stores and looking at the Christmas decorations. I had forgotten my toque so Adam bought me one as it was quite chilly out. We made our way Robson Street and walked through the Fairmont to see the Christmas Trees. Adam asked if we wanted to grab a drink or an appetizer from the lounge, but I declined. We walked until we found ourselves at the urban fare market and decided to nibble on a slice of pizza. A burger and pizza. How romantic we are.
Before heading towards Stanley Park for the Christmas Train we ended up at a favourite bakery to grab a doughnut as a ‘dessert’ for the train ride. We stood in line for almost an hour waiting for our turn, nibbling on the doughnut and taking some pictures of the pretty lights. We boarded the train and rode along with the other passengers taking in the twinkling lights and music.
After the train had ended he kept insisting we get a picture afterwards, somewhere nice and quiet. I had said sure, although we never really take pictures on our anniversary. So we walked around for a minute when a lady and her daughter had asked me to take their picture in front of the pond in the park. I said sure, and then Adam had said “Could you take ours?” She said yes, and I gave her my cell phone (even though we had carried around the bulky good camera all night.) Adam, as nervous and corny as ever had said something about dropping something (from the camera I assumed), then dropped down on one knee and held out a small blue box.
I. Was. Shocked.
Immediately I began crying. I could never have imagined this was how he would propose. Fortunately the woman who was taking the picture knew exactly what he was about to do and switched my phone from camera to video and recorded the entire proposal. By the time I looked up there was a crowd of 20 people standing around us, 2 firefighters (they put on the event) and, last but certainly not least, Santa Claus himself had joined us. Oh yes.
It was outside, in public, at night, on our anniversary a day before Christmas Eve and it was absolutely perfect. I was completely shocked and incredibly happy. Looking back I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Adam knew that I would never in a million years be expecting it at that moment so he knew it would be the perfect surprise.
And I was.
Now, for a healthier snack than our engagement dinner (though a burger, pizza and a doughnut all sound good too.) I discovered the company GoGo Quinoa last week and shared the Quinoa Rice Crispy recipe earlier this week. After perusing their website I found a whole bunch of delicious recipe I wanted to try. This was definitely one of them. They’re healthy, crunchy and chewy and the perfect snack on the go. These will most certainly become a staple in our household.
Quinoa Coconut Bars
Crunchy, chewy Quinoa Coconut Bars are perfect for a snack or even a quick morning breakfast on the go (just omit the chocolate drizzle)
- 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 3/4 cup oatmeal, uncooked*
- 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
- 3/4 cup honey
- 4 Squares Dark Chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper.
- Place quinoa, quinoa flakes and oatmeal onto a cookie sheet lined with baking mat or parchment paper and bake for 8 minutes, stirring once.
- Meanwhile, add peanut butter and honey to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until melted.
- Remove quinoa and oatmeal from oven and mix with nuts and coconut in a large bowl.
- Pour peanut butter and honey sauce over the mixture and stir to combine.
- Press into the 8x8" baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are just slightly browned.
- Allow to cool for 45 minutes then cut into 12 pieces.
- Drizzle tops of each bar with the dark chocolate and allow to cool until set.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Adapted from GoGo Quinoa, Super Healthy Kids
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
There’s a lot of things about wedding planning that you have no idea about – until you get engaged.
After searching online for venues, vendors and researching prices it’s clear that wedding planning is difficult. First, you have to decide on the day, and that’s all fine and dandy until you find out no one, and no venue, is actually available for that date. It also doesn’t help when you have a popular date in mind. So, as of now we haven’t finalized anything after almost a month of being engaged (this Thursday.)
Actually, I have to laugh because as soon as you’re engaged the first thing people ask is “have you set a date!?” I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this before when my friends or family have gotten engaged. We called family and friends within an hour of Adam popping the question and more than once we were asked “So, have you got a date?” We were both like “no, it just happened half an hour ago!” should we have this figured out that soon?? Even a month later, we’re no closer to figuring out a set date or venue location.
One thing we have decided is that it won’t be this year – with our date in mind it would have been much too quick to get everything done this year (although I’m sure it could be done, I’d rather enjoy our engagement than stress over rushing through preparations.) We have a few appointments to look at venues for a 2015 wedding, which will give us lots of time to prepare, plan, and most importantly, enjoy our engagement.
A couple weekends ago I attended my first ever Wedding Fair. I thought it would be totally overwhelming, but it was actually really enjoyable. I now have hundreds of brochures and bridal magazines to peruse.
Just before meeting with a friend to chat about our engagement over coffee one afternoon, I popped into London Drugs and found this puffed quinoa cereal. I hadn’t seen quinoa cereal before and instead of thinking about it as a breakfast food, I immediately thought about turning them into squares. Rice Crispy Squares are one of Adam’s favourite things, and I guess he is my fiancé now, so I thought I’d make him a treat since I couldn’t remember the last time I actually made them.
I also bought Trader Joe’s Crisp Rice Cereal, which I found was way crispier than regular rice krispies – which makes for an even better square.
I made these without butter (sub coconut oil), and you can make your own marshmallows (recipe here!) or use store bought. The cocoa quinoa reminded me of my favourite tri-colour qunioa, yum!
Cocoa Quinoa Rice Crispy Squares
Crisp quinoa and rice squares made with gooey marshmallows.
Wheat Free - Gluten Free - Dairy Free
- Marshmallows (half a pan of homemade, or 1 bag of store bought)
- 3 cups Cocoa Quinoa Cereal
- 3 cups Crisp Rice Cereal
- 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
- 1. In large pot melt coconut oil along with marshmallows over medium-low heat until completely melted, stirring often with wooden spoon.
- 2. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish, or 2 8x8 baking dishes with parchment paper, or spray with coconut oil/cooking spray.
- 3. When marshmallows are completely melted, turn off heat. Pour in the Quinoa and Rice cereal and stir together until well incorporated.
- 4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and, using a large metal spoon sprayed with cooking spray, push down and smooth out using the backside of the spoon.
- 5. Set aside and cool completely. Cut with knife into squares, store in ziplock bag or container on the counter for up to a week.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/