Wellness Wednesday: The Bev Sandwich

Wellness Wednesday: The Bev Sandwich

Hi All,

I do realize it has been a while for Wellness Wednesday, but here I am -back at it- and what I wanted to share with you today is a super healthy lunch that I have been obsessed with lately!

I call this ‘The Bev Sandwich’ because when my parents went down to California to visit my aunt and uncle, my aunt Bev made this for my mom for breakfast- therefore it is now ‘the Bev Sandwich’.

I don’t eat this for breakfast- although you could and that would be great- but I have been eating it almost everyday for lunch! I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to think of healthy lunch ideas, because I’m not really a ‘leftovers for lunch’ kind of person, but I also don’t want a ton of bread or crackers, nor do I want something that is really time consuming, but I do want it to be super healthy- and this definitely fits the bill!

This recipe is remarkably simple, but I have never thought of it before.

Step 1: toast a piece of your favourite bread:

I like this stuff- it’s super healthy and the pieces are a little smaller, and just all around tasty- also a little bit firmer to stand up to the toppings.

Step 2: Spread 1/2 an avocado on the toast

Step 3: Top with 2 eggs, cooked however you like- I cook my eggs in the microwave with a bit of seasoning salt and chili sauce. (For 2 eggs I cook 45 seconds, stir, then another 45 seconds). I did mine with 4 eggs cause I was making one for my mom too!

Step 4: (optional) cover it with even more chili sauce mmmmmmm. I use this stuff.

Enjoy- this is super simple, but SUPER tasty full of protein and healthy fats, and it really keeps you going through the day!

Hope this helped you for some good lunch ideas- and that your Wednesday is full of  Wellness!

xo erin

WW: 6 Tips for Clearing Clutter from Your Life

Hi All,

This Wellness Wednesday I wanted to write about something that I’ve been doing a lot lately- clearing clutter- and generally pairing down on all my material possessions. This is something that I feel is really undervalued and can make a huge change to your life and can be incredibly stress relieving – taking a literal weight off your mind.

This has been a big focus in my life lately, mostly brought on by the process of moving. When I moved from the apartment I lived in for my four years of university to my current apartment, I really had to come to grips with the sheer amount of material possessions I had accumulated. The move was mostly stressful because of all the furniture and kitchen things, but I also realized that I had too many things, too many clothes, too many knick knacks, too many books, just too much stuff. And it was with slight bitterness at myself that I carried the numerous boxes down three flights of stairs and into the moving van. 

So I resolved to change and I have been going through all my things in my room at home and my current apartment and donating everything I can part with! It is especially important since I’m anticipating moving home this summer and having to fit all of my things into my home bedroom! eek! And I refuse to be stuck moving a million boxes of things that I don’t need again! 

Generally I’m not an overly sentimental person, nor do I get overly attached to material things, so this hasn’t been too overwhelming for me- but we all have our weaknesses- my biggest weakness is definitely fabric, as you can see from my sewing room post I did yesterday, especially fabric that was my grandmothers- also I get weirdly attached to vintage children’s sewing patterns, I don’t know, don’t judge me.

I also acknowledge that this is a lot harder for some people- my mom for instance has a hard time getting rid of things and sorting through things and gets overwhelmed making all those decisions herself and I’ve known a lot of people who struggle with this too. I do believe there is a small (or moderate sized) hoarder in many of us. 

Anyways I have been really successful with going through my things and helping my mom go through her things and I have figured out a few tips and tricks that make the process easier and more successful! So without further chatter: my 6 big tips!

1. Clear your space– make sure that you have clearly defined piles that won’t get mixed up and that you can easily clear away after you’ve sorted. 

For example when I go through my clothes- I throw them all on my bed – then I have bags behind me on the floor- one for donations, one for garbage of things that are worn out, and another bag for things that I want to take to a consignment shop or offer to my friends. Then when you are done- you can label your bags and tie them up and take care of them easily. If you are sorting through glass wear or delicate things you can do this with boxes instead. It makes it so much easier after- the worst is when you don’t have a clear system and you just get bogged down and you aren’t sure at the end what things are supposed to stay or go and you feel like you got nowhere. Also once you have done all the sorting work- get rid of it quick! take it to the thrift shop the next day, plan a visit with your friends to give them the clothes- take out the garbage right away! 

2. Get help from a friend– Have a friend or family member help you sort through your things- they are way more objective than you are, and can help you think logically about your things. 

It’s hard to be completely objective about your own things and someone else asking questions like ‘when is the last time you actually wore that?’, or ‘are you really going to get that reference book out or are you going to google it?’- and when you have to answer to someone else it is not as easy to just brush it off like you would if you were sorting through it yourself. Also I find having another person sort through your things and hold them up for you and put them in piles is somewhat less stressful than doing all that yourself, because you don’t get as overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things and you can just focus on the individual item.

3. Try it on- This is specifically for clothing/ shoes- I cannot tell you the number of things that I have held onto in my closet that have a lot of hanger appeal but just don’t fit me right or don’t translate very well when I wear them. 

I find these things are the worst because you look at it and your mind says ‘oh that looks so cute- I should keep that and I will wear it more’ but you forget that the reason you don’t wear it is because when you actually put it on you don’t like it- the proportions just aren’t right, that colour washes you out, or those shoes are just a little too tight around the toes and you know you’ll get a blister- but they SHOULD be so cute. When you come across one of these ‘oh so cute’ pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t understand why you don’t wear – try it on, right then, right there- you might actually find a gem, but more likely there is a reason you don’t wear it and you will know right away when you actually put it on.

4. Do it in two steps- What I found to be really good was going through my things in a two step process- an overall bulk going through session first where you can clear away everything that you’re completely comfortable with, then again a few months later for those items that you held onto in the first round, but still haven’t used since. 

When I went through my things for the first time in October I found that I got rid of a lot of things, but there were a number of things that I considered to be ‘on trial’ that I wasn’t quite prepared to part with yet and the deal I made myself was- if I don’t use them or appreciate their presence in my life by the next time I go through my things then they are out. This worked SO well for me- because I found the things that I actually did want to keep- I would remember, use and incorporate in my life like lost treasures, and the things I didn’t remember I was so much more prepared to leave behind and almost excited to get rid of because after the first round of clearing clutter you realize how nice it is not to be so weighed down by things you don’t actually want in your life. An embarrassing fact- I can’t even remember 2/3 of the stuff that I have donated over the last few months. I have donated upwards of 10 large garbage bags of stuff and I don’t think I could make it past 20 trying to list them- you really don’t need this stuff in your life.

5. Is it really sentimental?– Some things we keep for sentimental reasons- and that is totally legitimate but I think a lot of people have to take a harder look at what is truly sentimental.

I keep my stuffed animal kitties (and their small wardrobe) from my childhood because they are very sentimental to me. My mom keeps the baby clothes she made for us. That is fine, but the problem comes when everything becomes sentimental- ‘oh I can’t get rid of that [insert large, awkward, ugly, inconvenient, object with no use here] because it reminds me of that thing I did one time’. Well my opinion is – if you need that object and can’t just remember ‘that thing you did that one time’ then maybe it wasn’t really that important. Alternatively – could you take a picture of this object? add it to a scrapbook to remind you of that great time? Perhaps you have pictures of that ‘thing you did that one time’ and you can add a picture of this object in with them? because a picture is a lot less bulky and overwhelming than keeping whatever object. I also feel like having fewer sentimental items makes each sentimental item you have more special- if i kept a whole bin of my favourite stuffed animals would my kitties really seem that special? 

6. Can you give it to someone who will appreciate it?– I find it easier to part with things that have more value to me when I know I’m giving them to someone who will appreciate them. 

A good example of this for me is some of the stuff that my grandmother left me. She had a excessive number of vintage dresses and accessories, but it would have just been completely overwhelming to keep them all, not to mention they weren’t all my size, nor did I really have an occasion to wear all of them- but I felt really guilty at the idea of just anonymously dropping them off at a thrift store, since they belonged to my grandmother and were special- so I gave them to my friend Marina who owns the Boretski Gallery, which I did a post on in November, where she sells all sorts of vintage dresses and accessories, and every time I bring her things we have a great conversation, and she gushes over the things I bring and I can tell that she really appreciates them- and in my mind I can imagine a cute 17 year old girl finding my dress for her prom and feeling like a 50’s princess!- all while knowing that I’m supporting an amazing local business. And I feel nothing but good after that- no regrets about giving away my grandmothers things, because I know that they are so much better off now! So if you have things like that, that were maybe an expensive purchase or special at one time and it’s making you hesitate- try to find someone who will really want it- and then you can have the added benefit of feeling good about giving it to them!

So those are my 6 big tips that have helped me tremendously through the process of clearing away the clutter from my life and I have to say that I feel so much better for it- you really don’t realize how much stress comes with drowning in stuff until you clear it all away! And my new goal now is to only add things into my life sparingly and only that are worth having! Which for me means clothes that I’ve made myself or that are vintage that I really love, artwork that my sister makes me, books that inspire me or make me more creative- things that actually add value to my life. 

I hope this helps someone out there- I know just how hard this can be! but I promise it is SO worth it!! 

Hope your Wednesday is full of Wellness!

xo erin

Wellness Wednesday: Tea- the three pot system

Wellness Wednesday: Tea- the three pot system

Hi All,

Today for Wellness Wednesday I wanted to talk about tea. Tea is something that I have always enjoyed but recently, especially with my cold and trying to keep extra hydrated, I have been drinking it a lot!

I’ve even worked out a bit of a system that I find works really well for me! And since drinking tea is very healthy I figured I would share it with you today- I call it my three pot system.

It starts with my first pot of tea for the day (a little pot and preferably this little elephant!) and I like a black tea in the morning, lately I have been loving this loose leaf lady grey tea- so nice, but I also enjoy a nice cup of chai tea sometimes too. This little pot is enough for a lovely large cup of tea.

The second pot of tea of the day is with lunch and this is when I move on to my green tea, which has a little less caffeine than the black tea and is also a little lighter- perfect with lunch- I have been loving this North African Mint green tea from David’s tea- so good with cardamom and other spices, but I also love the green ginger tazo tea that you can get from starbucks! I usually only make the small pot of this so I don’t have too much caffeine, and it still gives me a lovely mug-full!

The last and third pot of the day is usually a big pot of herbal tea that I make after dinner (and I love to make this in my thermal carafe because it keeps it hot all evening). Some of my favourites are the Organic Peppermint Amour or the Midsummer Night’s Dream, both from David’s tea. The peppermint is so fresh and relaxing after a nice meal, but the midsummer night’s dream is as dreamy as it sounds so tasty (definitely an all-time fav). And I make a big pot of this so I can drink it all the way into the evening (and it is all caffeine free so you don’t have to worry about it keeping you up at night).

I find this really helps to keep me away from snacking in the evenings too because it keeps you feeling satisfied and gives you a nice taste 🙂 I find that drinking all these tasty teas, and keeping well hydrated through the day has been really helpful with my diet and keeping my cravings down. There really is something about a lovely cup of tea, especially in the winter, that just makes you feel satisfied. But this is definitely not just for the winter- I am really excited to enjoy some of these teas as iced tea in the summer- especially the Midsummer Night’s Dream!

Another small thing that I have been loving are these delicious tidbits

Toasted coconut- it is a little sweet and a touch salty and just overall the most delicious thing ever, and I would say relatively healthy as far as treats go! I have been loving them lately as a little pick-me-up treat when I am finding this dieting thing just too hard lol.

So that is what I have been doing to be well this Wednesday- and if you are or aren’t already a tea drinker I would highly recommend that you try out my three pot system!

Hope you are all well this Wednesday too!

xo erin

WW: My Diet

WW: My Diet

So… completely Wellness, but not so Wednesday… Thinking Healthy Thursday? What is it with me and alliterations. ANYWAYS- yes I missed Wellness Wednesday this week- but only by a day, everything in moderation right? even Wellness being posted on Wednesdays.

So this post of Wellness is all about my diet, how I am changing & reducing it, and my general philosophy on diets and eating. I am posting this because I think a lot of people can relate to wanting to change their diet and feel healthier, maybe lose a bit of weight and get some more energy!

(Just because I felt like I need to have SOME pictures)

After finishing university and a host of other family/life things going on, I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut of self-neglect when it comes to my diet, and now I am left with a lack of energy and few extra unwanted pounds that prevent me from taking full advantage of my wardrobe. And don’t get me wrong with any of this- I believe in loving yourself at any weight and being comfortable in your skin- but I do really want to fit into my whole wardrobe again and the weight/body composition that I have now is not my happiest or healthiest self.

Now my philosophy on dieting is very much about a lifestyle change and not about a quick ‘lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks’- because I have done fast weight loss before, and it doesn’t work out in the long run. Which is also why I did not start this as a New Year’s resolution- simply because I have to really want this and be motivated to fully commit, and I simply wasn’t ready in January, but I am feeling a little more confident and motivated now- so onwards and upwards!

There are no set ‘unbreakable rules’ or extremes to my diet just some key elements to follow:

– As little refined sugar as possible (my ultimate addiction)

– As little processed food as possible

-No food after dinner (or like 4 hours before bed)

– Snacks between meals (eating consistently 3 meals 2 snacks everyday)

-Good protein sources and fat sources at each meal

-Lots of fruits and vegetables (high fiber)

-Lots of water and liquids 

To sum this up it would be a: low carb – high fiber – high protein – high healthy fats- diet designed to keep your blood sugar regulated. Because I believe that your biggest diet enemy is simple carbs (like sugar and starches) that spike your blood sugar really high, then drop it down just as fast leaving you tired and hungrier than before- think 30 minutes after you ate that chocolate bar on an empty stomach…

On top of those general guidelines for a healthy everyday diet, to reduce more in the weight-loss phase of this diet I’m trying to avoid all grain products (except my oatmeal in the morning), trying to limit my fat intake slightly, reduce my alcohol intake, and I am trying to go a little lighter on the fruit and a little heavier on the vegetables. But really the main goal is to cut out the chocolate, and the sugars which are my ultimate and terrible addiction (chocolate and red wine- why must you taste so good!). 

Another important key to note about this diet is that you can actually eat a lot of food, I mean you can have a heaped plate of food full of bright veggies and good sources of protein- I’m all about eating large quantities because I think I would starve on a single portion of a pre-packaged microwave meal, which is why a lot of other diets don’t work very well for me because I do really like to eat a lot of food!

So I hope this wasn’t a boring post for you all- I know that I am a super nosey person who loves to know about other people’s diets and things they eat. Also because I am making a real effort to change my diet and lose weight you can expect more Wellness Wednesdays about the things that I have been eating, my diet progress, ways that I stay motivated and things like that- if there are any questions or diet-related post requests than feel free to comment! 

Also- in a past Wellness Wednesday I posted about these health/fitness gurus I love on Youtube- The Lean Machines who also share in the same philosophy I have about food and diets and are much better at explaining it and are also super sexy (which can never hurt) so I would encourage you to check them out for more good diet info!

Hope you are having a very healthy Thursday! 

xo erin

WW: Sneaking Veggies into Breakfast 2: Green Smoothie

WW: Sneaking Veggies into Breakfast 2: Green Smoothie

For this Wellness Wednesday- I’m doing a second round of sneaking veggies into breakfast- with my version of the Green Smoothie.

I feel like the Green Smoothie is a fairly common and established thing- but since it is always good to see everyones different versions and recipes- I figured I would share mine. I like to make my green smoothie for breakfast and add lots of greek yogurt for added protein in the morning!

Green Smoothie

1/2  cup milk (I use almond milk but you can use any milk)- vary the amount of milk depending on how thick you want your smoothie
3/4 cup Greek Yogurt
2 packets of Stevia (optional) – I like using stevia because it is healthier than sugar and dissolves better
1 tsp coconut oil
2 LARGE handfuls of baby spinach
1 1/2 cups of frozen fruit (I used cherries and mango) – vary the amount to make a thinner or thicker shake

Put it all in the blender like this:

Blend away until it looks more like this:
Now you can pretty much substitute anything into this shake- different milk, different flavour yogurt, different fruit (if you use just mango or a light colour fruit like banana then it turns a beautiful bright green colour!) add things, take away things- whatever you want.
I really like using greek yogurt because of all the protein content in the morning, also I like to use less milk and more fruit to make my shake really thick ( thick enough to eat with a spoon like soft ice cream!) which is why I also like to use baby spinach instead of the harder greens like kale- because the spinach breaks down more easily and doesn’t require quite as much blending to disappear into a shake! But if you like a thinner smoothie then kale is a great option!

This is one of my all-time favourite breakfasts! So creamy and delicious- also this will make a fairly large smoothie- but I don’t mind eating a large portion if everything in the smoothie is super healthy and I usually have this on its own for a meal!

Hope you are all having a wonderfully well Wednesday! and that you are all keeping healthy this far into the New Year!!

xo erin