Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's all about me

I've been tagged to do this a couple of times now so I decided I should bite the bullet and put my thinking cap on. Here are five things you may not know about me.

1. I was academically disqualified from Mount Royal with a whopping GPA of 0.9! I was taking the insurance program and hating it and decided I didn't want to go to class. On top of it all I got sick at the end of my first semester and was totally unprepared to write finals. I learned my lesson the hard way.

2. I don't think I've had a drink of (white) milk since I was about 10 years old. As a kid I loved milk (except for the super sugary milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl) but around the age of 10 I decided that it had a weird taste and stopped drinking it all together. I don't think I've tried drinking it again (I do use it on cereal or in smoothies) and I have no urge to - it still kind of grosses me out on its own.

3. Around the age of 7 I started growing like a weed and spent a lot of time at the hospital getting blood tests and x-rays so the doctors could figure out what was going on. My parents were told that I was two years ahead of the curve and that my skeleton looked like that of a 9 year old.

4. For grade 12 grad, instead of going to a party after the dinner and dance my best friend and I, along with our dates, went to Boston Pizza.

5. When I was in Air Cadets, I was double promoted from the rank of Sergeant to the rank of Warrant Officer Second Class, bypassing Flight Sergeant.

Tagging: Alexis, Michelle, Kelsey, Sara, Kyle

Friday, January 12, 2007

Kicking it off right

This reading year has already started off with a bang as I've managed to complete two books and am well into a third one (which is for the book club I've started.)

I started book #1 last year but I finished it in 2007 so I am counting it as the first completed book. I decided to read A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche because A. and I went to see the film based on this book at last year's Vancouver International Film Festival. The film was incredible - the lighting was perfect, the actors and story ripped my heart out and twenty minutes after I left the theatre I still thought I was going to burst out crying. The book was no different. Courtemanche is able to portray both the horror of genocide and the wonder of falling in love without getting lost in one or the other. This book made me grieve and it made me rage and above all it showed me how powerful love and friendship can be.

It seems that, without fail, after I finish a heavy book I need something a little lighter. With that in mind I decided to reread Danny: The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. Growing up, Roald Dahl was one of my favourite authors. I loved his imagination and his crazy stories and the language he used and I still do. This particular book was read to my class in elementary school. I don't remember which grade I was in or who the teacher was but I do remember being enthralled with this story and it was as good as I remembered. It's funny that even years later, the way someone removes a bookmark from their book will bring back fond memories of reading time in class. I have to admit that I have an affinity for reading young adult books I loved when I was younger. There's something about the really good ones that stand the test of time and only seem to get better as I grow older. That is one of the things I'm really looking forward to if I ever have kids - being able to read to them the stories that I loved.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Salad Rolls

Last night was again capped off with a delicious low GI meal of lemon parsley chicken. For an appetizer to tide us over while the chicken was cooking I made some Vietnamese salad rolls and they were absolutely amazing! I thought some of you would like to try them so here is another recipe:

Vietnamese Vegetable Salad Rolls

Medium sized rice paper rounds
1 red pepper cut into thin sticks
1 cucumber (seeded) cut into thin sticks
1 carrot cut into thin sticks (I used my vegetable peeler and made strips)
1 avocado cut into thin sticks
Bean sprouts and any other vegetable you would like
Lettuce torn into chunks
Vietnamese mint

Soak the rice paper rounds, one at a time, in warm water for approx. 20 seconds and lay on a flat surface.

Lay some lettuce chunks in the middle of the wrapper. Place a few leaves of mint and a sprig of cilantro on the lettuce and then place a few pieces of each vegetable on top of the greens. Fold in the ends of the wrapper and then roll, pressing firmly on the seam to seal.

If you make these ahead of time they can be kept in the fridge under a damp paper towel for up to two hours.

Cut in half for appetizer sized pieces and serve with your favourite Asian dipping sauce (I like a spicy peanut sauce.)

This recipe was taken, and slightly modified, from the New Glucose Revolution Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Low GI

I bought a vegetarian cookbook (A. had mentioned he wanted to try more vegetarian dishes) on the weekend that is full of healthy low GI recipes and so far it has turned out wonderfully.

Sunday night I made a pasta dish that had semi-dried tomatoes, bocconcini, fresh basil and pine nuts and last night I made a vegetable curry with cumin-flavoured rice and both were fairly easy to make and quite delicious. However, the recipe I'm most impressed with so far is one for a banana mango smoothie that I made for breakfast this morning. (The mango I bought wasn't ripe yet so I substituted frozen mixed berries instead.) You don't really need a recipe to make a smoothie but I am going to reproduce it here anyway.

Banana Berry Smoothie

1 ripe banana cut into pieces
1 cup frozen mixed berries
2 tbsp wheat germ
1 cup low fat milk (or soy milk)
1/2 cup low fat natural yogurt
2 tsp natural honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Blend and enjoy!

This recipe was taken, and slightly modified, from the New Glucose Revolution Low GI Vegetarian Cookbook

Thursday, January 04, 2007

To cap off the year

It's a little late I know, but I did manage to read one last book before the end of 2006.

Book 25 was Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I had heard from several people that this prequel to The Da Vinci Code was the better of the two books and I agree with that sentiment to a point. Angels and Demons was definitely not as adjective heavy as The Da Vinci Code but both books had interesting stories and characters and both were easy to read. At a time when life is so busy and at times overwhelming, it was nice to be able to escape in some easy reading.


I was a little surprised by how few books I managed to get through in 2006. Hopefully, with the help of our little book club, I will be able to discover some fantastic books this year and get back on track. That is one of my resolutions for this year.

Speaking of resolutions, I've made them in the past but have always made them vague enough that I didn't feel too bad if I didn't achieve them. While I decided that I wasn't going to make resolutions this year, there are a few goals that I'd like to work towards, specifically:

  • Get on track with losing weight - eat more veg, less carbs and make a concerted effort to exercise.
  • Be a better housekeeper - put the laundry away as soon as it is done.
  • Make use of all of the cookbooks I have and make more interesting meals.
  • Go on at least 5 hikes this summer.
  • Attend more concerts and see friends more often.

LTAIG newsletter

The first LTAIG newsletter of 2007 is now available. Editor Emma Wood did a fabulous job with the new formatting and it is chock full of great content. Enjoy!