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Babaganoush Hummus Soup

When people ask me how I’ve been making out with my chemotherapy treatments so far, I usually name the one or two side effects that are the worst that day, then add that overall it hasn’t been too bad.

I’ve written before that I had some horrific image of my being rail thin, bald, and puking over a toilet the whole time. Instead, I feel like the chemo experience has instead been quite manageable. Sure, I’m tired all the time. But really, what busy person doesn’t feel tired all the time anyways?

Then treatment #6 came and I felt a little walloped.

The thing with chemo is that it accumulates. While I was able to recover within a few days of the first treatments, that recovery time gets longer and longer with each treatment. Suddenly, a week has passed since my sixth chemo and I only now feel like I’m coming out of the post-treatment fog.

One of the big things I noticed this time around was my stomach. It hated treatment #6. All I wanted was toast and cheese, preferably every few hours to keep it from getting too upset. That worked for a couple of days, until I realized I needed something with I dunno, vegetables.

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We got eggplant in last week’s CSA box. There was no way I had the stamina to make another moussaka, so I racked my brain and remembered a certain Babaganoush Soup I once saw on Eat Live Run. I *puffy heart* babaganoush and it sounded like a great way to turn the dip into a meal.

But then I remembered Oh She Glows Garbanzo Soup. Aka hummus soup. I wanted that too!

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So I mixed the two and created a tasty little “get well” chemo soup. It’s full of those veggies I need, easy on my tummy, and a cinch to make when I have no energy to be standing around in the kitchen.

Babaganoush Hummus Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant (or 3 small ones)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock

Directions

Heat oil in a medium heat pan and add chopped eggplant, red pepper, and onion. Cook slowly, about 20 minutes, until soft and caramelized.

Add coriander, cumin, and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

Transfer to blender with remaining ingredients and blend. I recommend adding your stock last and a little bit at a time until you get your desired consistency. I like my soups reeeeally thick and added less than 2 cups.

Transfer to a pot and let simmer for about 30 minutes so the flavours can mingle. Or 5 minutes if you’re impatient like me.

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The end result is a warm and creamy soup with a cumin and garlic kick reminiscent of my favourite dips. Although, it’s still a good idea to have pita bread on hand for this one! Or my latest favourite – cheese and toast. With a little pesto for good luck.

When You’re Smiling

Hellohello! How is everyone’s work week chugging along? Or are you like me and unemployed? ;) I do have a job interview lined up for when I get to Toronto in a couple weeks… but I’ll spill the beans on that when the time comes. Of course, I also have to drop off a few resumes at Lululemon. Livin’ the dreeeeam people!! ;)

Moving on!

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I was sonothappy to be awake this morning. Ask my sister, I was a grump. Best way to cure a case of the grumps?

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Chocolate. Cooked up a pot of rolled oats with soy protein powder, cocoa powder, stevia, banana and almond butter. Paired with a french press of coffee, the world suddenly becomes a better place :)

I got some interesting comments on my last post about my 20-minute meditation challenge, and my use of an alarm to signal when it’s time to come-to. I decided to set the alarm because I had a feeling that 5 minutes would pass, it would feel like 20, and then I’d start opening my eyes and obsessively checking the clock. I told Leah that maybe next week I’ll try just meditating with no time goal and seeing how it goes.

Well today, something interesting happened.

Instead of doing a body scan during my meditation, I instead focused on showing love towards various family members. You see, someone close in our family is going for a serious medical procedure, and there’s been a lot of stress, worry and sadness surrounding it. As I was sitting there, I began to feel very anxious and unsettled. My breath got shallow and I felt like I just needed out. I decided to screw the alarm, opened my eyes and grabbed the phone. The second I picked up the phone, the 20 minute alarm went off. Weird, eh?

Hopefully tomorrow I won’t get so anxious. I thought it was supposed to have the opposite effect!

I eventually made it to the gym for a full-body workout. My sister lives about 15-20 minutes walking from the gym. Since I ran yesterday, I just walked briskly for my warm-up, then went straight to the weight room at the gym.

 

Exercise Load Reps Sets Target
One arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, Glutes, Shoulders
Wide-grip lat pulldown  60 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Single leg squat  10 lbs 8-12 3 Glutes, Thighs
Dumbbell bench press  20 ea 8-12 3 Chest, Front shoulders
Single leg romanian deadlift  10 ea 8-12 3 Hamstrings, Glutes, Hips
Dumbbell upright row 12.5 ea 8-12 3 Top shoulder
Curtsy lunge  12.5 ea 8-12 3 Quads
Dumbbell one arm extension 10 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps
Twisting dumbbell curl 10 lbs 8-12 3 Biceps
Cable horizontal woodchop  25 lbs 8-12 3 Obliques
Cable crunch 85 lbs 8-12 3 Abs

Colour coded!! Matching colours are alternating sets. I like to alternate upper body with lower body stuff so I can blast through it with little rest. Tis me! I can already tell you my triceps are going to be sore tomorrow…

Lunch featured another fabulous fridge find.

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Contemporary Cuisine is a wholesale food company based out of Ottawa. I will tell you straight up – this stuff is fabulous. Wonderful flavour, but it’s all in the texture. It’s fluffy. How do they get hummus to go fluffy??

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Paired with pita chips that I made by sticking pita bread in the toaster oven.

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Pipsi
(dried arctic char) and baby carrots.

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T’was a fun dippy lunch!!

Another difference between my sister and I is that she’s a “natural vegetarian.” What I mean by this is she’s drawn to meat-free foods, and functions best on plants. While I initially planned bison burgers for dinner, I thought Sara may appreciate a homemade black bean patty instead.

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I made up the recipe as I went along, and I am really impressed by how they turned out!

  • 1 can no-salt added black beans
  • 1 scoop (30g) unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 a small red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 a small green pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne

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They were a little goopy, so I fried them in olive oil like savoury pancakes ;)

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You couldn’t taste the soy protein powder at all! Impressive!!

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Eaten with baked sweet potato crisps (aka cheetahs).

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…and kale chips.

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Solid meal!! I mixed up mayo and dijon mustard for our dipping sauce. I feel like I must specify that I exclusively use Hellman’s Olive Oil mayonnaise now. I used to buy that light crap, but my mother got me hooked on the good stuff while I was living at home. Now Sara is hooked too. Once you have the Olive Oil, you never go back. You’ve been warned.

After this lovely dinner, Sara and I went to an Intro Ashtanga class at the nearby yoga studio. Third yoga class in three days!! LOVE it. The intro class was really helpful too. The instructor went through and explained all the modified options for many of the more advanced postures in the Ashtanga series. I also learned how much farther I can fold forward when I engage my legs. The workings of the body never ceases to amaze me.

We came back feeling calm and refreshed. I had a hankering for the greek yogurt I splurged on today.

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Paired with crunchy almond butter. Nut butter in regular yogurt is gross. But in greek yogurt it gets really rich and creamy.

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Also added a packet of stevia, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

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Heavenly!!

 

Goal for June

Remember my goal for June?? I set out wanting to accomplish only one thing this month…

to smile.

Clearly there were plenty smiles in Banff, although we’ll forget the tears shed when I left home. I’ll be spending the rest of the month here in Ottawa, and I think I need a reminder to spread my lips wide and show off those gums of mine!!

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month??

Checking In On Those Goals…

Happy Monday!! Well, it was happy for me anyways. They call it “funemployment” for a reason ;)

I must say, I’ve been living back at my mom’s for a week now and I love it. I do not miss Fredericton at all. I don’t  miss living alone. For the past 10 days I’ve woken up happy. This has not always been the case over the past year. Life is what you make of it my friends, and I am so grateful I’ve been able to turn mine around :)

So what is a happy girl to do but make a pot of oats first thing?

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For the second time, I could just not get oatmeal to absorb all the liquid on my mother’s stove. It doesn’t make sense to me, and I feel like I messed up the measuring cups. Or am losing my mind. So I added a 1/2 tsp each of guar gum and xanthan gum to thicken it up. Worked like a charm!! Would highly recommend for thick n’ gooey oats :)

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I am very jealous of my mother’s oatmeal spoon/spatula. It is perfectly shaped to scrape down the sides of a pot. Must get one of these for new place.

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Topped the egg-white custard oats with maple pecan peanut butter, coconut and maple syrup.

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Check out that thick texture. Ooohhhyeah.

Hot bowl of oats + hot coffee = sweaty Susan. Definitely woke me up, but not this pup.

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And my heart just turned to oatmeal mush.

Tried out one of the new-to-mew bars I got in Halifax for my morning snack.

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The Elevate Me! bar is made out of whey protein, nuts and dried fruit – that’s it!

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The nutritionals are pretty decent. A little high on the sugar and carb side, but it comes from all dried fruit and no additional sweeteners.

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I really liked how this bar was divided into three sections. Each square is 80 calories, which would make for good fuel during activity as well.

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Soooo, how did it taste??

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Honestly, I did not like my first bite. I’ve never been a chocolate and fruit person, so I should have known better when getting something made of dried fruits and cocoa powder. BUT, I did enjoy it more with each bite. My favourite part of this bar was the texture. It was dense and crumbly, which is by far my favourite way to have a bar. At $2.50 a pop, I would not buy this again, but I’d probably try the other flavours out if I caught them on sale.

Shortly after this I hit up the gym with my mom. I still had to run last week’s 3-miler, so I figured I could do that then goof around on some of the other cardio machines.

Except, it was hard. Like, way harder than usual. I should have known better than jumping into a tough cardio session on a Monday after a weekend of hammering my body with booze, junk food, and no sleep. Alas, sometimes I must learn these lessons the hard way.

I also have to add that my left foot is killing me again. I’m scared it’s plantar fasciitis. I started getting symptoms about three weeks ago after walking 5 hours in one weekend. I stayed off it for a week and the pain went away, so I thought I was in the clear. Apparently not. It still hurts. WAIN.

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Coming out of a workout in a worse mood than how I went in is never a good thing. But the tasty lunch after helped.

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Scrambled some eggs with collard greens, put it on toast, then topped with a mix of hummus, nutritional yeast, mustard and water. Broiled to harden up a bit. Odd combo, but good.

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Paired with belly-busting watermelon (ie, it felt like I was going to birth one after. SO filling)

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And a reminder that things are never as they seem – I topped everything with hot sauce after. This has been happening a lot lately.

Spent the afternoon reading blogs and helping my mom with housework. Breaked for the world’s best muffin.

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Deep chocolate Vitatop topped with peanut butter.

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See the crystals? I like ‘em frozen. The texture is much fudgier that way. Honestly, I think I’d take this over a real brownie!

While I snacked and relaxed, my mom was in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

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She basted the turkey in the leftover hummus/mustard/nutritional yeast/water mix. Ohmy. It was delicious.

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Paired along with baked corn. THE best way to cook corn in my opinion, is to keep it in the husk and pop it in the oven for 30 or so minutes. The husk comes off much easier, and it gets all steamy on the inside. Seriously, if you haven’t done this yet, do it. My mom was sceptical, but she is now a believer.

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And some lovely sweet potato pillows in the back there. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside. Perfection.

 

Monthly Goal Check-In:

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
Only got in two full-body workouts. But those two yoga sessions this past weekend made me a whole new kind of sore. So that counts for something!
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. Only got one 5 miler in. This goal may be put on hold until I get my foot thing sorted out. Honestly, I don’t care enough about running to be that upset about it – I just want to be able to walk without pain!

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” I did really well on this, sticking with only 20g of cheese a day MAX (if any). But then I greatly failed over the weekend with a giant piece of coconut cream topped with two inches of whipped cream. Whoops.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. I give myself a big ole’ fail on this one. I’m trying, but not hard enough. I just really like sugar. A lot. Which is why I’m trying to cut back! :P

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Didn’t do much of this, but I did get 20+ guest posts together, so that’s something!

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
I need to get back on this. Not only do I need to plan for a big move, but I’m also going on a big trip to Banff in three weeks.
Spend time with my family. It’s all I’ve been doing :) 
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. I know this isn’t a very measurable goal, but I feel like I’m doing really good at this one. Sometimes I just stop and breathe in whatever it is I’m doing in that moment. It is making this brief time at home much more enjoyable, and I feel very thankful for it :)

 

Your turn! How is everyone doing with their monthly goals? Any new ones?

Off to work on a post for tomorrow on Easy Tone shoes. Oh yes.

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