Things I’m Loving–June Edition!

It’s that time of the month again!! Nope, not THAT time…”THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING” time! You know when I tell you all about the products, foods, clothes, etc that i’ve fallen in love with/couldn’t live without in June. I was really hoping to get this post up the last day of June, but that clearly didn’t happen. However, it’s only 6 days into July, so that’s not too bad right?? I mean it’s not quite a week yet…

Okay before I continue making excuses, here is my list of the things I couldn’t get enough of in June.

Strawberries-

1. Strawberries. Fresh, local, sweet, and juicy. I have picked up so many baskets of strawberries in the past few weeks that the vendors question that i’m actually eating them all. What can I say, this girl loves strawberries, and there is no comparison to fresh IN SEASON berries! My only issue with them is that I always seem to drop them on myself when i’m wearing something light…GAH!

 

hemp-seeds

2. Hemp Seeds. These little guys contain all Amino acids, Omega 3 & 6, protein, and as a bonus, they’re easily digestible. I have been using hemp seeds for a while now, but this month I’ve been adding them to everything. Salads, smoothies, on top of banana slices smothered in nut butter… you name it, I have probably done it.

 

MacadamiaCashewButterSmooth250g

3. Macadamia Cashew butter. I may have to sign myself up for nut butter rehab, because this stuff is crazy addicting. I won’t admit to how many jars i’ve gone through so far, but it’s bordering on a problem. It’s so creamy, rich, slightly sweet, and the perfect addition to banana slices, on roasted sweet potatoes (I know you think i’m crazy, but trust me it’s amazing), or straight out of the jar…

 

 

heart earrings

4. Forever 21 Heart Stud Earrings. These cute little earrings cost me $3.80 but I love them! (Mine actually have white flowers and not green…). I have been wearing stud earrings almost every day during June, but these were definitely the ones I wore the most.

 

 

vega-sport-performance-protein-tub-chocolate5. Vega Sport Performance Protein in Chocolate. I have tried this protein powder in the past but couldn’t get past the taste. It wasn’t until I discovered protein pudding through Laura over at fit,green, and gorgeous –that I decided to give this product another try. I add 1 tbsp of raw cacao with my scoop of powder or else I find I can’t get past the super sweet stevia after taste, but it’s gotten to the point that I can now enjoy it simply mixed in my shaker bottle with vega, cacao, 1/2 water and 1/2 almond milk. I have been feeling great since regularly using this protein powder so when I run out, I will DEFINITELY repurchase.

 

Jean vest6. Jean Jacket! Okay well more of a Jean vest. Uh…Regena, this isn’t 1993, what are you doing with a Jean jacket? For real guys, don’t hate on this fashion trend. This staple piece in my wardrobe works with so many different looks. I wear it–open of course–over crop tops (another questionable piece haha) paired with a high waisted or maxi skirt, with maxi dresses, flowery flowy girly dresses, with my jean skirt hahah JUST KIDDING about that part I am not really a Jean on jean kind of girl.

 

 

Lush ring of roses soap

 7.  Lush soap Ring of Roses. This soap smells like well, fresh wild roses. Whenever I use the soap I am reminded of the rose bushes that used to grow behind my house as a kid. It brings back so many happy memories for me (even tho I was severely allergic to EVERYTHING as a child including those rose bushes) and so I love using it in a nice hot bath when I can lie back and really enjoy the scent. Bad news tho, it’s been discontinued. Really Lush, Really?!?  I purchased several before they discontinued it but I’m on my last piece…so I have to make it last.

 

Damien_Rice_O_album_cover 8. Damien Rice’s Album O. This isn’t really a song of the month, but the music is incredible and I couldn’t choose only 1 song to feature. This is definitely not workout motivation music, but if you remember from previous posts, I’m trying to relax more and these songs are really calming. I  fell in love with this album while living in Wales during my 3rd year of university, and just recently discovered it again. My newest relaxation habit has been to run a bubble bath, throw in some of the ring of roses soap, light a few candles,and sing along to this…pure bliss–unless you’re the person who has to listen to me singing. 😀

 

I hope you enjoyed this installment of ‘Things i’m Loving’.  If you’re some where  really hot (like Ottawa today) please remember to stay hydrated and use sunscreen!

Before I go, can I let you in on a little secret? Tomorrow’s back to back spin classes are going to be BRUTAL! As you know, I always do 2 classes on Sunday mornings, but I took more than a week off (due to class cancellations and vacation), I went last night and this morning and my booty is already sore–I have a feeling it’s going to be a very fidgety class.

On that bizarre note, Have a great weekend!!

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Grilled veggie, wilted Kale and Quinoa salad (Vegan, Gluten free)

Good evening beautiful people!

While many people migrate toward a light and “raw” salad in the summer, I have this strange urge to grill everything. I am not sure if i’ve said this before but I LOVE grilled veggies…A LOT. I’ll give you my go to roasted veggie and quinoa salad recipe, as well as some alternatives that you can do to mix it up. The main reason I choose kale and quinoa are for the health benefits such as wanting to incorporate more greens in my diet, and of course the complete protein from the quinoa but you could easily do a different carb or green and it would be just as delicious.

Although this is to be a grilled veggie salad, I have a bit of a confession…I didn’t actually grill the vegetables tonight. *Gasp!!* I know, I know…I roasted them in the oven but I assure you there is a perfectly good explanation.  Can I be honest with you? I’m actually terrified of lighting the BBQ and so if my husband isn’t around to light it I refuse to go near it. And quite frankly, anyone who knows me would agree that me staying away from the grill is the safest plan for me and anyone within a 5 mile radius.

In my opinion this recipe tastes the absolute best when the vegetables are grilled, but it’s still amazing with them roasted. Play around with the different flavours and ingredient combinations and really make this salad your own. I hope you give it a try!

DSC04424

 

 

Grilled Veggie, Wilted Kale, and Quinoa Salad

Makes 3 servings

1/2 cup cooked quinoa (I used white but any variety will work)

1 Red pepper cut into chunks

Head of garlic

2 corn (still on the cob)

1/2 red onion cut into chunks

4-5 cups baby kale

1/4 cup parsley

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lime

salt and pepper (to taste)

garlic powder, chili powder, sesame seeds, etc.

Grill instructions:

Cook quinoa according to instructions and in last 4-5 minutes place the kale in the pot and cover with lid. This will steam the Kale and make it perfect. Place onion, garlic cloves, and red pepper on a heat proof skewer and drizzle with olive oil and spice however you want. I like simple salt and pepper with a mix of roasted garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and sesame seeds. Grill on medium high flame turning periodically until evenly charred. At the same time drizzle small amount of oil on corn with salt and pepper and grill directly on grill until charred evenly. (My mom prefers to boil it first and then grill, but I don’t bother). Once everything is cooked let it cool enough to handle (or burn your fingers like me and don’t wait) and then transfer into a large mixing bowl. Cut the corn off the cob, mix in the grilled veggies, the quinoa and kale along with the parsley, any additional flavouring, and the juice of 1 lime. Mix it all up and then try not to eat this entire meal in 1 sitting.

Oven Instructions:

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Drizzle vegetables in olive oil, season according to taste, then roast for 15 minutes. Remove from over flip everything around and place back into oven for another 5-10 minutes. (tip. I cut corn off the cob prior to roasting in the over to make it easier to cook). Mix everything together when finished the same as above. Enjoy!

A few variations on this simple salad are:

1. Don’t wilt the Kale (or whatever greens you choose). Serve the roasted veggies and quinoa over a bed of fresh Kale(if you like massage leaves first). I’m also a huge fan of romaine…

2. Add buckwheat instead of, or in addition to quinoa. I actually mixed quinoa and buckwheat in tonight’s salad and it’s so good.

3. Change up the veggies. I love asparagus, sweet potato, peas, and zucchini as well.

As I mentioned before, this is a simple salad, that has tons of potential. Feel free to mix up the ingredients however you see fit. Regardless of how you choose to dress your salad, the aroma of roasted veggies, however, will have your mouth watering and wanting more!

Have a great evening everyone! Love, peace, and fresh veggies!