Travelling Around Mexico

So close yet so far. I have one and a half weeks left of school and then I am done! No more late nights, no more last minute assignments and no more working for free. Yeaaaahhh! Don’t get me wrong the experience has been great but I am ready to have some free time. Im going to get back to writing on a consistent basis and get back to doing the things that I love again.

Like travelling! I seem to always make time for that and also I just needed it. Sometimes regardless of timing you need to make time for yourself and time for what makes you happy and believe me getting to the end of my school I need some time!

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Mexico is so beautiful and such a great place to travel and there are so many opportunities to explore all the beautiful scenery and history. While in Mexico we rented a car but be careful when you do that. It can go from .90 cents a day to $500 a week real quick! They get you with the double insurance and the mandatory “Mexican Insurance”.

On our travels with our very expensive rental car we went from Isla Mujeres to Tulum and back again. We had 7 days and our goal was to see as much as possible and thats what we did! We stayed in Puerto Morelos which was about 20 minutes from the Cancun airport and about three hours away from our furthest place we went to, Tulum.

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Tulum should be on everyones list of places to go! Tulum is a resort town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast around 130 km south of Cancun. Tulum is an archaeological site with mayan ruins along the cities coast line. This spot is so popular as it overlooks the sea and lines the Yucatan Peninsula. The picture I took above is a mayan temple known as the Templo Dios Del Viento which means God of the Winds Temple which guards Tulum’s sea entrance bay. This spot is filled with tourists and if you make it to the ruins before 3pm you can also go down to the beach and swim in the seas beautiful crystal blue waters.                                       FullSizeRender 7.jpg  IMG_6147.JPG

The next top spot we went to was a cenote near Playa Del Carmen. If you’ve never heard of the word cenote which I hadn’t until this trip it is a natural pit or sinkhole underground resulting from a collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath as limestone bedrock covers most of Mexico’s landscape. This particular cenote that we went to is known as Chaak Tun which is one of the most beautiful cenotes in all of Mexico. It is independently owned and therefore must be rented out in order to visit or at least that is what our tour guide told us. Chaak Tun consitis of two caves, the main one has light source that you can swim in shallow to deep water and the other one is in complete darkness.  I highly recommend visiting a cenote on your next trip to Mexico as they are like no other swimming hole you will see.

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We did a catamaran, went swimming in a turtle eco system, visited the under water museum in Isla Mujeres, went down 5th avenue in Playa Del Carmen and swam with the sting rays.

I could write about so many great things about Mexico from the people to the food (especially the food).  I highly recommend to make this your next destination and make sure when you do you do some exploring!

Viva La Mexico!!

xx

 

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Low calorie, high protein Tofu Scramble

One of my favourite meals of the day is…. you guessed it, breakfast! I usually have my breakfast/brunch around 11 or 12 so that I can eat more throughout the day and stick to a fasting schedule. The first meal of the day is important as it fuels the mind and body after an overnight fast. Apart from providing us with energy our first meal of the day  foods are good sources of important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as protein and fibre. The first meal supports cognitive function, energy needs and long term health!

For my first meal of the day I like to keep it low in carbohydrates and high in protein. The tofu scramble is a great source of protein, low calories, low carbohydrates. Tofu is high in amino acids, iron, calcium and micro nutrients. When buying tofu opt for the organic version to get the most nutrients from your breakfast. Tofu has many health benefits and contains many nutrients.

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Try and find options like the one above from your grocery store to get the most health benefits. Try and find a firm or medium firm tofu for this specific recipe. You can adjust the ingredients depending on your personal preference!

Tofu Scramble

Prep Time: 15 Mins

Cook Time: 10 Mins

Total Time: 25 Mins

Ingredients

1/4 block of firm tofu

1/4 onion

2 mushrooms

Fresh dill

Pinch of salt & pepper

1/2 teaspoon of paprika

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1/2 an avocado (optional)

Cherry tomatoes (optional)

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  1. Place skillet on medium heat, spray pan with cooking spray or use 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  2. Once pan is heated place onions in pan and cook until translucent and brown.
  3. Once onions have been cooked place mushrooms in pan, add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. While mushrooms and onions are cooking, mash tofu in a bowl with a potato masher. (This will give the tofu the consistency of eggs)
  5. Once the tofu has been mashed put the tofu into the skillet with the mushrooms and onions.
  6. Chop the fresh dill and place that into the skillet.
  7. Add all the spices into the skillet and mix.
  8. Cook mixture for 5-10 minutes until flavours have mixed.
  9. Place cherry tomatoes and avocado on the side for extra deliciousness.
  10. Enjoy!

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Change up the recipe to add in your favourite vegetables, extra spices or sauces and customize this breakfast recipe for a high protein, high energy meal. I added yves veggie bologne in my recipe for extra protein as well as franks red hot sauce for some extra flavour! Also side note if you haven’t tried it already you need to go out and get the silk coconut coffee creamer because it brings your coffee game to the next level!

Hope you enjoy!

 

Peanut butter roasted cauliflower

Its beeen a while… (Nickleback voice) How I have missed sharing my recipes and two sense on health, food and fitness with my blog friends. I have been so busy with school and life that I forgot about my blog but an anonymous message inspired me to write another post while I have some time. So thank you to whoever sent me that message, every little bit of encouragement goes a long way. While I have been drowning in text books, pulling all nighters and running around from place to place I have still managed to make some pretty tasty recipes. I tend to love the spices but finding the perfect amount and tweaking the recipes always makes the best dishes!

One thing I have really been enjoying is a baked cauliflower. It’s pretty easy to make, healthy and so good. You can do so many different things with cauliflower but sometimes just throwing in some spices and baking it can be the best dinner options.

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Personally for myself when I first converted to veganism I had a lot of digestive issues and cauliflower is one of those super foods that assists in aiding in digestion. Cauliflower is an important source of dietary fibre and some of its properties have been shown to line the stomach and protect it from bacterial over growth.

With all the digestive properties of cauliflower it is also high in protein, vitamin c, vitmain k and low in saturated fats and cholesterol. I love the taste, flavour and all the benefits of cauliflower. This is my newest fave to add to my roster of cauliflower recipes, hope you enjoy!

Peanut Butter Roasted Cauliflower

Prep Time: 15 Mins

Cook Time: 30 Mins

Total Time: 45 Mins

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter (almond butter or tahini)

Half of a freshly squeezed lemon

3 Cloves of garlic (minced)

3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

Salt & Pepper to taste

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  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the stems of the cauliflower and rinse.
  3. Place cauliflower in bowl and pour hot water over the cauliflower until its covered.
  4. While the cauliflower is softening mix all of the ingredients into a small bowl.
  5. Once cauliflower has softened place on a baking sheet.
  6. Use a spatula to take mixed ingredients and cover the entire cauliflower head.
  7. If the mixture is too thick or not enough double up the ingredients or add some water.
  8. Once the cauliflower has been covered place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Let cauliflower cool, top with your favourite condiments and enjoy!

Cauliflower is defiantly one of my favourite vegetables to play around with and the nutritional value depends on the amount you eat and the amount of ingredients you use! This one is a bit harder to track but just try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. (Even though I did, cause it thats good)

 

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Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Going back to school.. at 27

Ok well I am only 26 but in just one short month I will be 27 and entering my third semester of college. If you’re wondering if this is the first degree/program I have taken it is not. This will be my fourth program that I have taken, yes I am indecisive, yes I have had multiple jobs and yes I like school.

When I finished high school at 17 I was so eager to move out of my families home and go to college that I looked up a few programs at schools an hour or more away from the town I grew up in and just chose one. Which may not have been my best decision I’ve ever made.

I decided at 17 to go to school for cosmetic management, which when I saw it online I was like that sounds like fun! But I should have thought wow that sounds expensive and like something I won’t be interested in 5 years from now. Don’t get me wrong doing makeup and management in a retail setting could be someones idea of a dream job but not mine. This program was easy, fun, far from home and I got to play with makeup. However it was not challenging for me and I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do forever once I had finished.

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From doing cosmetic management… not so much. However I am an expert in all things makeup if thats your question.

Needless to say I worked in the cosmetic industry and retail management for the next 4 years and decided that I needed to try something new. Something challenging. So when I turned 23 I went back to school for the second time for something completely different, pre health sciences. This program prepared me to enter a bachelors degree in science and nursing which was the next direction I thought that I wanted to take. But hey guess what one year of pre health sciences and one year of my bachelors degree in nursing I decided that that was defiantly not what I wanted to do. I seriously commend anyone that it is a registered nurse, not only is it a hard degree but it is a tough job. So kudos to all of you!

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So fast forward 3 years later after a failed attempt at becoming a nurse, working as a retail manager, moving to multiple cities and moving on with my life. At 25 I decided to go back to school… one last time. Currently I am enrolled in occupational therapy assistant/physiotherapy assistant program. I am now in my third semester, 4 months of in class school and 4 months of placement and I will graduate, I will be done! This time for good!! This program has been challenging, exciting and I cannot wait to be done and start my career in this field and develop my skills.

I want to encourage anyone who is nervous or scared to go back to school because of their age and just go for it! If you’re not happy in your current standing, change it. If you’re not happy with you’re career, change it. If you want to go back to school and go after that job you’ve always wanted, do it! It will motivate you, encourage you and help you decide the path you want to take. You know why because you can change any time, we can change our lives at any time. We are our own creators, do what makes you happy!

So 8 more months of school for me and I will be done. This time for good… I hope!

xx

Meal Prep Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Looking for a quick and easy dinner recipe that anyone will love? Look no further! This spaghetti squash bowl is healthy, full of flavour, full of protein and delicious to eat everyday of the week.  Spaghetti squash can be made and prepared so many different ways and you can switch up the vegetables or beans used in this recipe to use your favourite ones and make it your own.

Spaghetti squash has so many benefits, full of vitamins, minerals, aids in weight loss, lowers cholesterol and helps regulate blood sugar. Spaghetti squash has become popular as an alternative to pasta as its contents are lower in carbohydrates then a regular white pasta or rice. Not only does the squash have a low carbohydrate content but it is also low in fat, calories and high in fibre.

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This recipe works for anyone as it is gluten free, vegan, oil free and made with whole food ingredients. You can choose to fill the bottom of your pan with water when cooking or use oil this part is up to you! Either way is just as delicious. The most difficult part about this recipe is cutting the squash in half. What I prefer to do before cooking the squash is to place the whole squash in the microwave for 5 minutes and then let cool for 5 minutes. This helps to soften the squash so that it is much easier to cut in half and to scoop out those seeds!

Season your squash with cilantro, lime or your favourite side. Store in the fridge up to four days and enjoy!

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Meal Prep Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Prep Time: 10 Mins

Cook Time: 40 Mins

Total Time: 50 Mins

Ingredients

One large spaghetti squash, halved (and scooped; seeds removed)

1/3 cup water (or 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, rubbed on inside of squash)

Black Bean Filling (Or substitute with your favourite beans)

1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup of corn (or canned/frozen sweet corn)

1 cup of your favourite vegetables (I used zucchini and spinach)

1 Small onion diced

2 Cloves of Garlic

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

Salt & Pepper to taste

Avocado Mash

1 ripe avocado, mashed

1 Tablespoon of lime juice

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Salt & Pepper to taste

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon, like a pumpkin.
  3. Fill a roasting pan with 1/3 cup water or use oil over the squash. Lay the squash cut side down in pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until soft and tender.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pan cook diced onions, minced garlic and veggies of choice at medium heat until throughly cooked. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Once vegetable mix has cooled in a medium size bowl mix together all ingredients for Black Bean Filling. Next, in a small bowl, mash the avocado and mix in all ingredients for Avocado Mash.
  6. Remove squash from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Scrape the squash with a fork to resemble spaghetti noodles, then fill with Black Bean Filling and top with avocado mash.

Nutritional Facts (Based upon 1 cup of squash mixture & specific vegetables listed)

Serves: 5-6 cups

Serving size: 1 cup

Calores: 135 Calories

Fats: 6.5 G

Carbs: 12 G

Fibre: 5 G

Protein: 7 G

 

Hope you enjoy!