Thursday, September 30, 2010

Balancing Act

Everything in life is a balancing act; and sometimes it feels like we need to chose one over the other!

Work vs play
Family vs friends
Save vs splurge
etc, etc.

I know we all struggle with it, how do we conquer?

I've come down with a cold that's lasted the past 4 days and this is where I'm finding it hard to balance. I literally had no energy the past week days and naps were essential. With my husband working, who was going to cook and clean? I knew the answer wasn't me, so it seems that sickness [vs. health] had won. With the kitchen neglected (minus making tea and getting ginger ale - it sucks when you don't have an appetite!) and chores untouched (sorry hubby!), I felt useless. I'm slowly starting to feel like myself again...I even plan to bake today...and bake a lot, so I hope to get back in routine asap!

As for exercise, I went on a run yesterday (I thought it was time to do something), but it was a mistake. I ran, thought I would feel better, but it made me worse! Exhausted, light-headed and needing sleep! So I think I'll take a break today...stick to the baking, cleaning and cold medicine!

Hope to be back in full force tomorrow, with lots of scrumptious photos of my baking binge; complete with cookies and banana breads (hopefully).

Until then...I hope everyone else steers clear of the cold train!

What do you do to keep balance in your life?

Monday, September 27, 2010


So I went to bed last night feeling like I would wake up feeling worse this morning...lucky for me that didn't happen! My stomach was in bad shape last night, but it cheered up today :)

In the October issue of Women's Health they talk about power food couples. I learnt that sweet potatoes and chicken, together, are a power couple for a stronger immune system; this is very interesting for someone feeling under the weather! Also, interesting is that I ate both last night. Is this what helped improve my sickness overnight?! Let's hope so!

I still have a liiiittle case of the sniffles...good thing there's kleenex! Even though my throat no longer hurts, I'm on the liquid kick. So I made a homemade chai tea latte using this amazing almond milk:

1/2 cup of steamed almond milk with 1/2 cup of steeped chai tea = perfection. Just add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and you're all set!

(PS - Eeyore cup makes it that much better!)

My stomach is still a little touchy, so I've been pretty careful about what I'm eating and how much I'm eating. I decided to keep it light for lunch and have a salad with beets and goat cheese. Mmm!

Now, I think I'll brave it and go for a run!!! Since I'm kinda sniffly, I'll bring plenty of kleenex!!

I still have to put together my goals for this week, and maybe even carry some over from last wee (oops!). When the hubby is back from golfing, we'll work on our goals together!! just to come up with an idea for dinner!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Funday? Sunday didn't start off too 'fun.' I'm still fighting some sort of sickness. I drove the hubby to work at 8am, came home, then decided to sleep for another few hours. I thought it would help a bit, and luckily it did...a bit.

I roughed it out and went to the grocery store for some dinner items. My face may have not looked pretty in public, but I at least my hair did (I curled it last night to go out and it remained intact while I slept!).

I'm not gonna lie, but going to the grocery store was draining. When you're already lacking in energy and you decide to go out...not a good combo. While I was out, had I the energy, I would have side-tracked from the store and went on a run (the weather permitting for once), but I stopped, thought about it, and realized if I could barely walk around a grocery store, how was I going to run 1, 2, 3...8 km? Scratched that thought and made it home safely to the couch again.

Cooking brightens me up (hence, going out to the grocery store to get ingredients), so I made sure to make something delish!! More than obvious that the staple of a sick person's diet is soup, so of course that was on the menu this fine evening!

What are some of your remedies when you're feeling sick?

I decided on (and am slightly obsessed with) thai curry. I made a thai curry soup as adapted by 'A Good Appetite' that turned out delicious.

First, I mixed together ginger, garlic, red curry paste, coconut milk, chicken broth and chicken, then let it simmer until the chicken was cooked:

After the simmering (and mouth watering), in goes fish sauce, a little lime juice, and a weee bit of brown sugar. Then, the best for last...the veggies!

I also made an amazing spicy roasted sweet potato salad (good thing I found this one, because it was just sooo good...the flavour was awesome). I roasted the cut up sweet potatoes in the special seasoning mix and roasted them:

This dish also had you roast whole garlic coves with the potatoes. I was a liiiittle skeptical of this, but wow!! I would definitely do that again and again!

The finished products resulted in 2 amazing dishes that both me and the hubby loved! They had a perfect balance of spice and delicious-ness. And yes, there's leftovers!!

What's your favourite Thai dish to make?

All in all, although I was pretty sick today, the day actually turned out pretty good. Amazing food and amazing company to share it will. Now it's off to snuggle my hubby and watch a movie!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vinegar's what I thought I had been smelling ALL morning; only problem was I couldn't localize where the smell was coming from! It was driving me craaaazyyyyy! So crazy, that I thought the smell was coming from my I cleaned it out! Pro: got rid of stuff that probably was sitting in there longer than it should have been; con: the smell was still there.

So, I escaped out of the house and went on a nice, long walk only to return to the smell. By now (hours later) it was literally driving me nuts; and I have a strong sense of smell to begin with. Back over to the fridge I went...then I thought it was something that got spilled ON the fridge itself, so I wiped it down. Which lead to me finding something dripping from the cupboard above (where we keep wine and liqours). Oh no! was my first thought...what has sat in there so long that now smells like vinegar?! Nope...not the liquor's even above that! Source of the problem:

A mini-keg my husband had won months ago, which was sitting on top of the top cupboard. He had tapped it months ago when a friend was over...and I guess thought it would sit and age? turned into vinegar smelling grossness. Thanks hunny!

I'm sooo happy to have the mystery smell GONE! I might clean the area a few more times just to make sure the smell is officially gone.

Ok...onto happy smell-less notes! Yesterday was my blah day; I had a sore throat and was just content with rest and relaxation, but I did manage to make a tasty banana bread (recipe from another blogger; click here). I changed it a bit (minus the walnuts and switched sugars a bit), but still turned out perfect!

I also made some pumpkin picture to follow as I need to alter the recipe for them until it's juuuuust right!

So I was hoping I would sleep off this sore throat, but low and behold, I woke up with it again today =( ...time for some gingerale...for healing properties only, of course! And some exercise to make me feel good in general.

I read something interesting in this month's Women's Health about working out and more importantly how you see yourself working out. It says, "if you identify yourself as a runner, you'll be more inclined to lace up your sneakers than someone who sees herself as a couch potato."

I've been struggling lately with getting up and walking around my area (I would much rather go to the running trail or to the gym, not around a subdivision), so I did picture myself walking around the neighbourhood and actually got out and did it (plus, got me away from the 'vinegar' smell)! The great thing about it, was I walked to this pretty cool part of my area where you can see all of downtown (bare with my phone time need actually camera!)

It's just such a lovely view and makes for an amazing place to build a house! After my lovely walk, I came home and had the essentials:

I love coconut water and saw today (on another blog) that you can buy actual juice-like containers of coconut water...thank goodness for that find!

After the walk and coconut water it was time to blog!!! It's been a great Saturday so far!

Tonight, my husband and I are going to a wine and beer taster, which I'm excited about...just to get out and do something with friends!

What are your plans for the rest of the weekend?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Last Few Days...

Ahhh-HHHHHHH....I got my macbook back!!!! It was long awaited and very overdue!

It's very refreshing to know that I have it back...and from now on, I will back it up (every month, which is one of my goals)!

So let me take it back 2 days husband normally has Tuesday's and Wednesday's off (it sucks that he doesn't exactly get the weekend off, but we make the best of making Tuesday and Wednesday the weekend), so on Tuesday we decided to stay in and make some pizza.

This pizza was so delicious. We used fresh and local goat cheese, eggplant, spinach, zucchini, cremini mushrooms, onion and peppers. This is the first pizza I've ever made AND had where it wasn't covered in cheese (I really enjoyed having the majority of the pizza covered in veggies instead - plus one of my goals this week is to not eat cow's products).

We also got a soup from Natures Fare (local, organic grocery store) to go with the pizza:

This was just amazing! It was a Moroccan spiced soup with yams and turkey. I would eat it in, I was craving it the next day!

Also, we decided to make cookies!! Cookies with peanut butter because I love peanut butter! For the longest time Skippy was always my favourite brand, becoming more healthy I eventually switched to organic peanut butter, and boy had I been missing out. If I had known all along that organic could taste better than hydrogenated oiled peanut butter, I would have switched years ago! I also enjoy almond butter!

In this case, these peanut butter cookies actually asked for peanut butter cups (oops!) so, not as healthy. I chose this cookie recipe though, since it contained no milk! Tyler and I are an awesome team...he greased the trays while I finished mixing up cookie mixture:

He went a little butter crazy:

Boo! We burnt them!

Ah well. Better luck for us next time!

Apart from burning them...we had fun.

On Wednesday, I attempted to golf with my hubby! He was super excited to fiiiiinally take me out and to tell you the truth...I actually didn't do that bad. My first time golfing in a year and a half, and I actually hit the ball the first time! It was nice to get out and try at least. I might even attempt it one more time before the season's over!

Since we're more than halfway through the week, I'll update you on how our goals are doing. Here's the summary with how we've progressed:

  • Practice (golf) - 4 hours/2 hours short game  ~ practiced today.
  • Workout 3 times ~ worked out once so far (shot hoops)
  • Play golf 3 times ~ played Tuesday morning, then yesterday afternoon with me!

And mine.

  • Eat foods that contain no cow's milk ~ so far, so good.
  • Make a dinner with fennel ~ hoping for Friday to do this.
  • Workout 3 times this week (run at least once and climb stairs) ~ climbed stairs yesterday and calves are KILLING today!
  • Get a food journal ~ have been recording it on a whiteboard (oops, forgot today so far).
  • Make a new recipe and/or create one of my own ~ we kinda did this with our pizza...but I'd like to fully make a new one, so hopefully before Monday!
There you have it!

What have you accomplished so far this week that you're proud of?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goals, Goals, And More Goals!

I know I talked yesterday about goals (yes, I'm still motivated), but I really want to reiterate the fact that they are so important. Last night, the hubby and I wrote down our goals for the week. I made us do this because I knew that if we didn't commit to them in writing then chances are they wouldn't happen (unless one of those goals happened to be something we were thinking about for quite some time). And here they are:

Goals for week of September 20th, 2010:

  • Practice (golf) - 4 hours/2 hours short game
  • Workout 3 times
  • Play golf 3 times

  • Eat foods that contain no cow's milk
  • Make a dinner with fennel
  • Workout 3 times this week (run at least once and climb stairs)
  • Get a food journal
  • Make a new recipe and/or create one of my own

There you have it! Let's hope we succeed..

Now onto the big thing. I changed the name of my blog. I knew I wasn't completely happy with the name of it; which lead me to 'Perfectly Picked.' I've always been a picky person and I don't consider that a flaw in anyway. Actually, I consider it a trait. I know what I want and I go for it (it took my husband a little longer to learn that than I'd hoped!). Although I consider it a trait, it can be hard on me sometimes because it can set me up for disappointment, but it helps keep me level that way!

I decided that 'Perfectly Picked' described me in a muuuuch better way. I can relate it to anything, which is what I want my blog to be about. I think, in a way, I was a little limited with 'food&fitnessRfun' since this was virtually the basis of my blog, but there's sooo much more I actually want to express! Now I'm set and feel much better!

Now I know the weekend's over, but let's not be depressed that it's Monday, another start to another week, let's celebrate what we can achieve this week. I found this quote and I think it's amazingly brilliant and true:

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.
—Virgil Garnett Thomson

What are you going to try?

What are you most scared of trying?

What are you going to do this week that you enjoy?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's A New Day

Have you ever heard this song by It's great! If you haven't heard it...then listen!! I think we should treat everyday like it's a new day! This song sticks out to me for 2 reasons:

1) We have to appreciate everyday...even when we think the day 'can't get any worse';
2) After Tyler and I were pronounced husband and wife, we had this song played.

Just make sure you take the time to stop...take a deep breath...and be happy you're here.

On that note, it may be a new day, but it's not a nice new day here. In all honesty, it hasn't been nice here for the past few days. So I took it upon myself to make chili a few nights ago. I decided to just go at it, add whatever and hope that it resembled chili. Guess did!!! Loved every bite of it (and so did the hubby). Because I almost never have a camera available to me (Tyler takes it to work everyday to video golf swings), I make do with what I have -- my BlackBerry camera! Keep in mind: the chili tastes better than it looks (I have a whole new appreciation for good cameras. Man, can they make anything look good!)

Not So Chilly, Chili

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:  30 minutes



  • 1/4 tsp oregano

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp curry powder

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 4-6 tbsp chili powder

Other remaining ingredients:

  • 5 tomatoes, diced (you can remove peels if you like, I kept them on, but they will roll off on their own in chili)

  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced

  • 2 small carrots, diced

  • 1 small zucchini, diced

  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced (once again, your decision for skin on or off)

  • 1 cob of corn, kernels removed

  • 1 med green pepper, diced

  • 1 stalk of celery, diced

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vegetable or chicken stock/broth

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced

  • 1 can each of red kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

  • Salt and pepper to taste


1) In a large pot, add tomatoes and oregano. Cook over med-high heat for 5-10 minutes (or until tomatoes are tender and juices run)

2) Reduce heat to medium, add to pot: onions, carrots, celery, sweet potato, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

3) Add remaining vegetables (zucchini, corn, green pepper) along with remaining spices (the four C's: cumin, curry, cayenne and chili poweder),  cook for another 4-5 mins; at this time, if consistency is getting too thick with all the veggies, start adding broth/stock according to how runny or thick you want your chili to be

4) Add the beans to pot, continuing to cook until everything is well-heated.

5) Add salt and pepper to taste

6) Move to a serving bowl and top with fresh cilantro

This really is hearty and makes you feel good with all the veggies you get to enjoy in it. I had leftovers for a few days after. It's a great recipe to make if you do want leftovers, then there's plenty to freeze and save for another day!

I've been thinking a lot about goals, which is why I even made a tab for them, and how important it is to stick to them!

One of my goals was to cook with a new fruit or vegetable each week, and this week, I have decided to use fennel!

Do you know any good recipes that use this ingredient?

Know what your goals are. Write them somewhere, where you can look at them everyday. The only way to make them happen is to be consistent with them, by keeping them fresh in your mind and vision. Happy Sunday!

What are your goals for the week? Month? Year?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Soup Day

Sorry, it's been a few days since my post. I guess I secretly keep hoping that Future Shop will call with some good news that my MacBook Pro has returned and I get to reclaim it as my own! Unfortunately, the days have dragged on with no new word of it being fixed yet. But, hopefully this week!!

Other than that, since the weather is horrible here lately, I decided today was definitely the day for soup. Here's the recipe I followed:

CC's Greek Chickpea Soup

Yield: 6


  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (250 ml)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 rib celery, diced

  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 5 cups chicken stock (1.25 litres)

  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano (5 ml)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2 ml)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (125 ml)

  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to finish soup, optional

  • Splash of olive oil, to finish soup, optional

  • Grilled pita bread, for serving

(As done by Christine Cushing)

Thoughts: Now, it wasn't that bad, but I think next time I would start from scratch and just integrate chickpeas in a whole new soup...maybe using curry, or something along those lines. If you did want to make this soup, I would suggest using less lemon zest than it asks for. The zest really didn't do it for me. I would have rather had some spice, than the acidity. All in all, I need to get more adventurous and experiment with recipes! I don't know why I have this tendency to follow them ingredient for ingredient. Maybe the original chef likes lemon, but obviously I don't.

So this goes to say that I need to:
1) Either think up my own recipes;
2) Make little alterations that I think appropriate (it may turn out bad or it may not)
3) Stop looking at recipes altogether?

Maybe scratch the last point seeing as I like to cook. So hopefully next time my blog post is more insightful, creative AND inspiring. I just knew that I haven't posted in a while and I reeeeeally wanted to. Hope everyone has a good week!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Make The Most Of The Day!

So, like my post said earlier...let's make today as fun as yesterday...I think I'm succeeding. I took it eaaasy this morning (oops), then decided that I needed to get out of the house and do something!!! Also, I needed to pick up a few more things for dinner tonight. I knew I couldn't just make a quick trip to the grocery store then come home, so I geared up and made my way to the running trail.

This is trail is awesome! Lately I've become a picky runner; don't really enjoy running on pavement or in hilly areas (which is nearly impossible to avoid...I live in BC!!!). So, this awesome trail I mentioned is:
1) Not pavement
2) Not hilly

So it wins in my books!! It's awesome, too, because it marks the distance you run/bike/etc every 0.5 km, so it's nice being able to keep track of the distance you go. I kinda like to challenge myself, in the sense that if I ran a certain distance before then I definitely wanna try and beat that previous distance. This could get tough the more and more that distance increases!!! So anyways, I knew that one of the last times I ran the trail, I ran 7 km, so I had to beat that.

In enters the tough part...I didn't even feeeeeel like running when I first drove to the trail. So right there, I thought I would not beat my previous distance. I'm sure other runner's can relate, that once you start running and getting in your groove, you realize that you actually can go for longer than you thought. Good news is that I beat my distance...I made it to 8!!! 8km plus a few new blisters!

So I then came home and had in my mind that I wanted to make some sort of avocado salad. I LOVE spice, so I knew that I didn't just want to make a regular...I wanted some heat! So, here's what I came up with:

Avocado Salad (with a kick)!!

  • 1-2 avocados, diced (I used 1 and 1/2 since it's all I had)

  • 1/3 cup red pepper, diced

  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (now, I loooove cilantro, so I added at least 1/2 cup)

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and minced finely

  • 1 tomato, deseeded and diced (deseeded so it doesn't make the salad really runny)

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced

  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (depending on your liking for spicy foods!)

  • a pinch of salt and pepper

Mix it all around and there you have it!!

I think I'll continue onto making a raw pasta sauce and some homemade larabars, since the weather doesn't seem to be cooperating with me today this week! Until my next need to blog, take care!

I Love Lazy Days

So yesterday was awesome; time with the hubby!! My husband typically gets Tuesday's and Wednesday's off work...having said that, sometimes his days off actually turn into, "well, I have to play 36 holes in this golf tournament today" ...aka: this past Tuesday. Oh, by the way, my husband's a golf pro.

Since Tuesday was a write-off, he made up for it on Wednesday (after golfing 18 holes + teaching a lesson). We started off with some delicious Starbucks (which I have kinda become obsessed with!)

After getting some hearty warm drinks (for the not so warm temperature) my hubby (Tyler - yes, he has a name!!) and I decided to take a stroll downtown. Now let me tell you about downtown Kelowna...we live faaaaaaaaaar from it, and hardly ever venture down there!

We decided to go downtown since we haven't checked out the big, bad Kelowna casino yet. We parked, made it to the casino, got up the escalator to enter and the security guard said, "sorry you can't bring your drinks into the casino." So, since we just spent numerous dollars on expensive drinks from Starbucks, we decided that we got our glimpse of the casino to say we saw it, and we were on our way. It actually worked out perfect because we ended up on a park bench downtown and spent the time talking instead.

It's sooo refreshing to just have a good conversation with someone...especially when that someone is married to you!! After a nice convo, we made our way back to our jeep and didn't realize how late it had gotten (was approaching dinner time!).

To be more financially-sound, we've been trying to eat at home a lot, and clean out the cupboards (since we are moving out next month, it's time to destock on the food we've collected over the past 6 months or so), but tonight was different. We both wanted to eat out and we both wanted sushi.

Thank goodness for twitter...someone sent me a tweet with 2 good sushi places in Kelowna (because we hadn't even got a chance to eat sushi yet while living in Kelowna...we moved here SIX months ago...what was our deal?!). Luckily, one of the sushi places was just around the corner from where we were at that moment, so we made our way over there. Let me just say was delicious!!!! I was very impressed and now I want more!! So if you live in Kelowna or are ever wanting sushi here, go to Mabui Sushi!

After sushi, we came home and I prepped for my show. Now, I can't say this enough, but...I absolutely LOVE Masterchef!! I live for Wednesday evenings!! I prepped for my show (and let's be honest, no one needs to prep for a show...but doesn't it just sound better??) by doing some workouts; basically I was prepping my body to not store all the delicious sushi I just ate on parts of my body that I don't want it to go, aka: my thighs! So I did some jumping lunges, and regular and plie squats with my medicine ball and of course, also did some ab work.

I was not sad to see Sharone leave the show...he was too cocky and arrogant for me. I get that he was a good chef, but he's a prime example of trying to push things too far for appraisal. In the end, he was sent home. Which leaves me relieved to know that Lee has a 25% chance of winning and same to Whitney, who I also thinks has potential to be the first Masterchef!

Who do you think will win it all?

That's it for now!! Let's hope I can make today as much fun as yesterday. Happy Thursday, everyone. Or has Chad Ochocinco tweeted today: "OH S.H.I.T = OH So Happy Its Thursday!"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

{no subject}

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is write what you feel, what you know or what you think. I have all these ideas in my head, but to form a simple sentence seems nearly impossible! What I know: I love food, nutrition and fitness; so why can't I formulate a blog on something from one of those categories?!

I must admit that sometimes I'm easily distracted (by tv, by book, by cleaning, by simply doing nothing but wasting time), but I want to be a good writer and I want people to find what I read amazing, like some of the blogs I read. I guess the answer is that I have a lot to learn. My biggest dilemma is admitting that I need to take more time to learn things; but, this is exactly what I must do if I want to grow and understand everything about the blogging world. So for now, I'll keep reading and investigating...and take more pictures. I always love a blog with tons of bright and beautiful photos, and this is what I aspire for mine to look like as well. Until then, blog world, keep in touch.