Bullet Proof Coffee

So far I’ve been chugging back this cup of joe for the past week and so far I’ve been feeling pretty awesome.Its important to get the actual. According to the creator and “Bulletproof Executive” Dave Asprey, the frothy beverage triggers weight loss by way of ketosis, a metabolic state triggered by a lack of carbs that kicks fat-burning into overdrive. It also promises to keep cravings at bay and boosts cognitive function, getting rid of that “foggy,” morning feeling. Maybe it’ll even make my bed for me in the morning. Consider this now added to my morning routine!

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  1. Brew or buy hot coffee. I picked up Peruvian Andes Gold (#509) from the bulk bins at Community, Calgary, AB. These beans are grown at an altitude that allows for high-quality beans as well less contact with bacteria.
  2. Using a blender (I used my Vitamix), blend in two tablespoons unsalted, grass-fed butter, (I found it at Community and Superstore) as well as 1 tsp-2 tbsp of Brain Octane or XCT Oil.  I actually used to a tablespoon of coconut oil. It’s not as potent as XCT but it does the trick
  3. I enjoy my coffee a little sweet so I added a 1/2 tablespoon of coconut palm syrup. Coconut sugar will also work.
  4. Once everything is in the blender, blend for 30 seconds. There should be a nice white foam on top.
  5. Enjoy!
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Cauliflower Three Ways

I love cauliflower! It has so many uses. It’s also pretty darn good for you. It’s  nonstarchy and is a cruciferous vegetable just like cabbage and broccoli! High intake of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower risk of some cancers. They contain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, that may help neutralize damaging toxins. It’s also extremely low cal, so enjoy!

Cauliflower Mash

 

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves roasted garlic

1/4 cup chopped green onions

sea salt & pepper to taste

1/2 of vegetable broth

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot, about 4-6 cups, of salted water to boil
  2. Add the cauliflower florets, stir and boil for about 6 minutes, until softened and the florets slide easily of a fork
  3. Drain the cauliflower, rinse, then pat the florets dry with paper towels
  4.  Place in a high powered blender (I used a Vitamix)
  5. Add olive oil, vegetable broth, roasted garlic and sea salt and pepper to taste
  6. Blend to your desired consistency.
  7. Top with green onions

Cauliflower Rice

INGREDIENTS

1 medium cauliflower

1 Tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup water or vegetable broth

¼ tsp. sea salt

pepper to taste

1-2 green onions, chopped (optional)

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Trim leaves from cauliflower and using your hands or a small paring knife, break cauliflower into small florets.
  2. Rinse florets in a colander in the sink under cool running water. Pat dry.
  3. Fit in high-powered blender (I used a Vitamix) at a very low speed, I used speed 3
  4. You can also use a box grater, carefully grate the cauliflower and enjoy the mini-workout.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add coconut oil. Once melted, add cauliflower rice and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add water or broth, cover and cook until tender, approx 3-4 minutes.
  7. Stir in green onions
  8. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can use this dish as any rice substitute

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS

1 small head cauliflower, chopped (6 1/2 cups florets)

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil

½ tsp powdered ginger

1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot

1/4 cup water

sesame seeds and scallions, for garnish

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F.
  2. Grease a baking pan or line with parchment.
  3. Cut cauliflower into florets, then slice so one side of each floret is flat. Arrange in a single layer in the greased pan. Bake 10 minutes on the center rack.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  5. While waiting, stir together the cornstarch and water until cornstarch dissolves fully, then slowly whisk this into the saucepan as soon as it boils.
  6. Turn heat to medium and cook 2 minutes, stirring more frequently once it returns to a boil. Cook until thick.
  7. You can also make the sauce ahead of time if desired, and it thickens more as it sits in the fridge. Flip cauliflower florets and bake 10 additional minutes.
  8. If desired, you can now move the pan to the top rack and broil 1-2 minutes.
  9. Pour sauce over florets. Sprinkle sesame seeds and optional scallions on top, and serve.

 

To Do List: The Coolest Things to Do in YYC Right Now

  1. Heart & Swirl: PAINTING, WINE, AND APPETIZER PAIRING

A night out all to yourself, to explore your senses and indulge in the creative process.

Art and Wine Workshops that will allow you to explore your creative side and allow you to take a few hours off from your busy life to try something new, or even meet some cool new people.

$100/person

What is included in your night:

  • a gallery quality wrapped canvas
  • all paint and supplies (including paint, brushes, knives, palettes, aprons)
  • 2.5 hours of instruction from one of our accomplished artists
  • three glasses of wine with an appetizer pairing
  • a professionally guided tasting for each wine

Check out the upcoming workshops here

2. Ollia Macarons & Tea: FRENCH WINE & MACARON TASTING EVENTS

This class provides French wines paired with four macarons: you will learn about the region of wine, what makes these wines unique.

$40 per person // 8-9pm 810C 16th Ave SW

Cancellation and date change policy: There are no refunds on events, but if you need to change your date we require 2 weeks notice.

3. Betty Lou’s Library: TUESDAY NIGHT JAZZ

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I love entering a bar that gives you that feeling that you’re being transported to a different city in a different era. I also adore live jazz music and classic cocktails. Did I mention that this bar is a speakeasy?  Located in The Devenish Building, finding the door is half the fun.

Every Tuesday at 8 pm for the month of March 2017 enjoy some swinging jazz with the Speakeasy Jazz Trio featuring Jeff Sulima, (drums) Mark DeJong (sax) and Steve Fletcher (keys)

4. Roni’s Kitchen: VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN COOKING CLASSES

Calling all herbivores!  Roni’s has some unique way to spice up your plant based life. They offer a variety of cooking classes from making vegan cheese and milk to a delicious vegan Thai inspired meal. I can’t wait to give this class a try!

$59 per person -Fee includes class, dinner, and recipes to take home.

Check out the upcoming events here

 

5.  The Clothing Bar Boutique YOGA+MIMOSAS

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Clothing Bar Boutique is one of the hippest consignment stores in YYC with tons of cute options for spring right now!

The Clothing Bar and Yoga Bunz bring you a Sunday Funday with a healthy twist.

March 26th, at 10 am yoga session for $16. After a restorative yoga sequence, enjoy a mimosa and shopping with 25% off of your purchase!

Buy tix here: https://www.eventbrite.ca

6. Rodney’s  SEAFOOD DINNER AND BEER TASTING

Enjoy a night at one of the best seafood restaurants in Calgary. Three-course meal with beer pairing for each course for $45. Sounds like my kind of night!

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Photo credits: Instagram accounts from each venue

 

Earl Grey Tea Misto by Ollia

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I am absolutely in love tea and macaroons and my favorite spot in Calgary, AB is by far Ollia. I popped in yesterday to get my favorite Earl Grey Tea Misto and asked the girl working there how I could make this at home on my own. She gave me the run down and I purchased one of their tea pouches and decided to give it a whirl.

A Brief History

What is Earl Grey?

Earl Grey tea blends are classically known as the black tea (Camellia sinensis) with a hint of the bergamot orange.  This special citrus is known as a sour orange and originates from a small citrus tree in Italy.  The black tea base, of course, being from China, which had been around for centuries.

Who is Earl Grey?

This tea blend’s namesake is to Britain’s prime minister in the 1830s, Charles Grey, who received a  gift of tea flavored with bergamot oil. Lady Grey would serve this tea in London, which became extremely popular and was later sold, which is how Twinings began.

What You Need

2-3 tbsp Madame Grey blend

1-2 cups of boiling water

 1/2 Milk of choice  (I used Almond)

1-2 tbsp Sweetener of choice (honey or maple syrup (if vegan))

1 Vanilla Bean

Milk Frother

Tea Steeper

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The How To

  1. First, bring the water to a boil and add the tea into the bottom of your tea steeper

2. Pour the boiling water into the tea steeper, add sweetener, cut the vanilla bean in half and place in steeper as well. Put steeper with tea in fridge and let it sit over night

3. In the morning grab your tea and add it to your milk frother along with the almond milk. Depending on the size of the frother the amount you put in will vary. Generally, the rule to use is 1 part to 1 part.

4. Add to your cup of choice and enjoy! I added rose petals only because they are so darn pretty. The steeped tea will keep in the fridge up to 10 days.

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Hello Mondays: My Morning Routine

I loathe mornings. I have to get up at about 630am to get to work on time. I usually hit the snooze button until 5 minutes to 7 and then I’m rushed. These are a few tricks that make my life much easier in the morning.

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  1. I discovered this great new lotion that is also super cheap. You can purchase a big bottle for less than $10 at any drug store. I keep it in the shower and apply it immediately after I turn the water off. It leaves my skin nice and soft plus  I smell like delicious coconuts.

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2. More recently I discovered this local product from Skwiik! In scrubs your skin and leaves it super smooth! You can pretty much skip the lotion with this product!

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3. I try to make my meals the night before. I’ve found that overnight oats are easy delicious and healthy. Plus I feel full all morning! Here are some great recipes I found on Pinterest.

LATTE OVERNIGHT OATS (VEGAN)
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INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup rolled oats, gluten free optional

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar or brown sugar*

1/2 cup Original Silk Soymilk or Almond Milk

1/4 cup brewed coffee, hot or cold

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a bowl or jar and stir to mix completely.

Place, covered, in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Add extra soymilk/almond milk in the morning if you want to thin it out a little bit.

Serve cold.

Recipe from 24 Carrot Life

CHERRY CHIA OVERNIGHT OATS

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INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons quick oats, divided

½ scoop vanilla vegan protein powder, divided (optional)

½ cup unsweetened almond milk, divided

¾ cup cherries pitted

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon almond butter

2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional, from the can – you can also use additional almond milk)

Liquid stevia, vanilla (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a small bowl, add the cherries and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, mash slightly, and stir in the chia seeds, add a few drops of stevia, and set aside to thicken.
  2. In a small jar add 3 tablespoons of oats, 1 tablespoon of protein powder (if using), ¼ cup of almond milk, and a few drops of stevia, if using.
  3. Add in ½ of the chia jam by layering over the first oat layer.
  4. Add another 3 tablespoons of oats, 1 tablespoon of protein powder (if using), ¼ cup of almond milk, and a few drops of stevia.
  5. Layer in a tablespoon of almond butter, then the other half of the chia jam, and drizzle over the coconut milk.
  6. Close the jar and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove from the fridge and enjoy with a spoon!

Recipe by Nutritionist in the Kitch

4. My Nespresso Machine : All I have to do is pop in a pod and throw some milk in the frother and ta da I have a latte. No long Starbucks lines and not to mention how much money I save.

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5. I use Ole Henriksen Face Wipes sometimes if I’m in a huge hurry in the morning. I also keep them on my bedside table so there is no excuse not to wash my face before bed! They remove makeup, oil, add moisture, and plus they smell like a creamsicle!

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6. Simple Makeup Routine: I don’t go crazy with eye shadows or eyeliner on work day mornings but I do like a little bit of a glow, big lashes, and eyebrows.

First of all, I get eyelash extensions. You pretty much wake up ready to go! 🙂

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I used to be a Mac Makeup girl for years but in the past little while I decided to expand to different products and fell in love. My favorite has to be the Burberry product since I can use it both on my lips and cheeks and it adds a lot of moisture.

Brow Gel, Tinted Moisturizers, Brow Powder, Angle Brush, Mascara, Makeup Blender, Lip and Cheek Bloom

7. I find picking out your clothes is half the battle so if I can pick them out the night before I can save tons of time.

Pub Crawl: Microbrewery

1) Branded Peak: 

Located close to the Chinook Centre in Calgary. This was our first stop of the crawl. This place is small and has an industrial look. We all squeezed in on a picnic table, sipped on beer tasters and tossed back kernels from the has a popcorn machine!IMG_8164.JPG

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2) Highline: 

Located in Inglewood, Calgary. This second stop was equally as cool. I felt the  Yep/Nope sign was a nice touch. The tasting flight came in muffin tins and were thirst quenching. Plus they had some cool games to play with your mates. We ended up playing exploding kittens and cards against humanity.

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3) Cold Garden:

Located in Inglewood, Calgary. This was our third and final stop. It was also my favorite out of the three. The beer was unique and tasty, my favorite being Cakeface. It had a good vibe and a cool atmosphere. They had comfy vintage furniture to kick your feet up on. They also had a giant sized Jenga game! I will definitely be coming back to this one.

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Superfoods: Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk

½ cup Chia Seeds

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup (or less) maple syrup (depends on taste)

Optional: ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder

Instructions

For Blended/Smooth Version: Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.

For Whole Chia Seed Version: Blend all ingredients except chia seeds in a blender until smooth (including any added flavors, fruits or chocolate). Whisk in chia seeds.

Pour mixture into a jar or glass container and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to let gel.

Throw toppings of choice on top: almond butter, coconut flakes, fruit, etc.

Shuckin’ Oysters 1o1

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I always wanted to learn how to shuck oysters but was always terrified of that knife diving into my hand. Last night at Rodney’s Oyster House I conquered my fear and learned how to finally shuck some oysters! It’s not the easiest thing in the world but I definitely feel comfortable enough to do it on my own.

The Tool

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The Sea Friends

The How To

Scrub the oysters clean.

Grasp an oyster in one hand, cup-side down. (the flat side is actually the top)

Wrap the oyster shell in a cloth to protect your hands (you don’t have to do this but I highly recommend it, it may save you a trip to the ER).

Insert the oyster knife into the hinge, which is the back end of the oyster

Ensure the oyster knife is stable inside the hinge, then twist the knife the top shell will pop off

Run the blade along the top of the shell and release the muscle

Open the oyster.

Run your blade along the inside of the shell to get rid of any grit

Loosen the oyster on the bottom shell

Serve the oysters.

Add horseradish, tabasco, lemon, etc

Suck that baby back!

My Finished Product

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Video of Shuckin’

Tips

Store oysters in the bottom of the fridge, rounded-side down.

Oysters should be tightly shut before you buy them or open them – if they are already open, they may have perished and are not safe to eat.

East Vs West Coast

Appearance

East coast oysters have smoother shells and rounder on the edges. They range from two to six inches in diameter, depending on the age, location and growth method of a specific oyster.

Alternatively, West coast oysters will have more jagged edges with points and ridges on the shells (this is due to the Pacific coasts roughness)

Colour

The coloration of the East coast oysters includes more shades of brown, green, and white.

West coasts have colorations of purple, white, green, pink, and black.

Flavour

East Coast oysters are grown sub-tidally with smooth shells. The colder waters slow down the metabolism producing a crisp, sweeter oyster.

West Coast oysters are inter-tidally grown. The rough fluted shells make for plump meat with subtle mineral flavor.

Texture

East coast are slight chewy

West coast are creamy and smooth

Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Bars

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INGREDIENTS

For the base:
3 1/2 c. puffed rice cereal (or any puffed cereal — I used Nature’s Path)
2/3 c. creamy nut butter of your choice (if cold/firm, heat on stovetop or microwave to soften slightly)
1/3 c. melted coconut oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. sea salt

For the topping:

3/4 c. peanut butter powder (I found mine at Body Energy Club)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS

For the base: 

Line an 8″x 8″ baking pan with parchment paper, ensuring there’s enough sticking out the sides to tug on for easy removal. If there are parts of your pan still exposed, grease so the bars don’t stick.

In a medium to large bowl whisk together nut butter, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt.

Add puffed cereal to your bowl and stir with a spatula until completely coated with wet mixture.

Dump your coated puffed rice into your baking pan and press down firmly to create a flat layer (I find using the back of a spatula works best here).

Place in fridge or freezer to firm up (ideally one hour) while you make the topping. *updated

For the topping: 

Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk until silky smooth.

Once your base is firm and chilled (at least 30 minutes), pour your topping over the base and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. You could garnish with nuts at this point, but I chose not to. Return your dish to the fridge until completely firm.

Recipe from Its To Die For

 

Upcycling: Candles

  1. Start by burning the candle all the way to the bottom, it’s easier to get the wax out if its warm.

 

2. Blow the candle out! Next dump wax into a paper towel and a plastic bag. Careful, this stuff can get messy.

3.  Wipe the candle out with paper towel and put in the dishwasher once or twice (this will help removes the stickers on the candles.

5. Once you get an empty candle container then you can decide what to do with them! Here are some of my ideas:

Rocks Glasses

Planter

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Vase

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Match Holder

Q-tip Holder

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You could even give a go at remaking your own DYI candles!