A Challenge of Silence

Last night after hitting publish on my last post, I shuffled into my sister’s kitchen to whip up one of my favourite night-time protein snacks.

Sara gave me this free sample of Dymatize Nutrition Elite whey protein powder. 


Nothing fancy going on here – just the powder mixed with a little bit of cinnamon, coconut, and enough milk to dissolve into a thick batter.


Topped with almond butter, of course ;)

I was quite excited to have protein desserts back in my life, but this powder just did not do it for me. Perhaps it would be decent in a shake, but if I don’t like it straight up, chances are I won’t bother trying to mask its flavour in something else.


That includes dipping dried apricots in it ;)

I was in bed early last night in anticipation of my sister’s 6:30am alarm. You see, she’s out of town this weekend, but forgot to turn the alarm off on her blackberry. I don’t know the code to get on and change it! At least it’s had me up and being productive these past few mornings…



A “light” breakfast, although still calorie dense. Two servings of Liberte Mediterranee strawberry yogurt with a banana and a dash of granola for good luck.


Dare I say it?? Mediterranee yogurt is quite possibly better than Greek yogurt!! It’s true. Its thickness doesn’t come from straining, and it’s not high in protein. But mygosh, that 7% milkfat makes for the best taste and texture.

The light-er breakfast was in preparation for two things! First:


My first ever Yin Yoga class!! I’ve done Yin Yoga postures at home before, but never in a classroom environment. I’m not one of those people who does yoga for a workout, I do it more for that whole mind-body thang. So the idea of holding poses for up to 5 minutes at a time really appeals to me.

Funnily enough, for the first time ever – I fell asleep in yoga!! I’ve never been one to just doze off in Savasana. My mind is always racing by the end of class (usually about what I want to eat when I get home). But today, I was dozing off the whole time. I even fell asleep doing half frog pose:


I don’t know if I should blame this on my sister’s 6:30am alarm, or that maybe for once I was finally calm enough to let myself go… We’ll see I guess, I got a two-week pass at that studio for only 25 bucks ;)

Ohyes, and the other reason for the light-ish breakfast??


A bloggie meet-up for brunch!

One reason why I love blogging is that I feel like I have an extended friend network all over the world. Wherever I go, there is always a kind, smart and funny blogger to get to know in person!

Today, I met up with Darryn of Brio Gusto fame and her friend who is a fellow Maritimer :) Darryn is only in Ottawa for a little bit longer before she heads back to Vancouver to do her PhD. Darryn also just returned from a 7-week stay in India for a yoga teacher training course. Amazing. Check out her blog for all her recaps on it!

Funnily enough, Darryn chose this little pub called The Manx for brunch. My sister showed it to me the other day saying it’s got the best food on Elgin Street, and is therefore always packed.

But we got a table!


Note: this is not the full brunch menu. I believe there was also a “bruncher” and “brunchist?”


That would be the Eggs Zucchini: two poached eggs with grilled zucchini and spinach-feta pesto sauce on an english muffin.


It came with smashed potatoes! I call them “smashed” because they weren’t whipped and still had skins, my favourite way to have them. The best part however, was the spinach-feta pesto on top. I need to make this for myself!

After the wonderful brunch, I went shopping. And not the clothing kind.

Is it strange that I’m mildly excited to not have a car anymore?


Perhaps I’ll spend less on groceries now that I have to walk home with them. P.S. If anyone has a recipe I absolutelymust try with those artichokes, do share.

It feels like ages since I last baked (11 days maybe?) so I picked up a few choice ingredients to turn my sister’s black bananas into high-protein goodies.


This is where I would usually google “protein banana bread” or the likes, but I was feeling reckless.


I mean, maybe this baking thing isn’t so hard afterall?? The recipes do start to all look the same after a while…


Here’s what I came up with:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup soy protein powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk


Put it in a 375 F oven for 30-35 minutes, then mixed up a topping.


1/4 cup walnuts, 2 tbsp shredded coconut and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Spread on top and broiled for just a couple of minutes to make crunchy.


It smelled divine coming out of the oven, and dare I say… edible??


I cut them into 12 little triangles for no reason other than it made for a fun serving size.



These are definitely good, or else I wouldn’t have shared the recipe. But you want to know the funny thing about baking?? A quarter cup of butter would have made these fantastic ;)

In other news, I’m making up for lost time on my greens.

I barely had a serving a day while in Alberta last week. Not only have I not eaten meat since arriving in Ottawa, but I’ve been loading my belly with fruits and veg.


It’s not a guilt thing. I just give the bod what it wants :)

Speaking of which!



A Challenge of Silence

Okay, so this is more of a challenge for myself, but I encourage anyone else out there to participate!!

First, let me explain.

So, I’m reading the book Eat, Pray, Love. I bought it in Banff for some airplane fodder based on Holly’s high praises. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s the true chronicles of a recently divorced 30-something who went to Italy to experience decadence, India to experience devotion, and Indonesia to find a balance between the two. I’m at the India part.

Last night I read the chapter on the author’s experience with meditation and how she learned to quiet her mind, or “ego.” Then today in yoga, our instructor was talking about the same thing. Then I fell asleep.

Ellie mentioned meditation to me today, and I responded that I wanted to try it. She asked, “What’s stopping you?”

Good point.

So this is a roundabout way of saying I am committing to A Challenge of Silence. Starting tomorrow (Monday) I will take 20 minutes out of my day to sit or lay still and meditate. Twenty minutes can either be a short period of time for some, or an eternity to others. I’m going to attempt to do it each morning as soon as I wake up. I want to quiet my racing mind and inner ego while learning to listen and feel my body. It may sound new-age hippy-dippy, but nothing is too silly if it means good health and happiness.

I don’t really have a set period of time for this. Ideally, it will be something I find beneficial and practice indefinitely. But for now, in the sake of “challenges” I’ll settle for every day for 30 days ;) I’ll update you on any progress or revelations along the way!!


Last but most certainly not least, Happy Fathers Day!!!


My dad doesn’t read my blog. I’m pretty certain he only uses the internet to stream the Tour de France when it’s on. But I love the old man just the same ;)

Posted on June 20, 2010, in Challenges, Restaurants and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. oh I love challenges!! Keep us posted :-)

  2. I liked Eat Pray Love but India was actually my least favorite part of the book. Which is surprising because I love all things India and spent 5 weeks there. I loved Italy the most… for the food. And I understood her pain with the breakup. I’ve had similar feelings with my ex. Indonesia was my 2nd fav because I loved the romance and the Medicine man & woman.

    • Yes, so far I think Italy is actually my favourite too. While I appreciate her spiritual path in India, it doesn’t always make for fun reading. Can’t have to wait for Indonesia though, I’m a sucker for romance ;)

  3. That’s too funny that you fell asleep during yoga!!! I haven’t done that but I did fall asleep during a meditation class. Yikes!

  4. I love tyour new challenge. I totally want to join in! I’m curious though, do you have a plan or how those 20 minutes will pass – eyes open/closed? laying down/sitting? I definitely want to give it a shot but I’m afraid of falling asleep =)

    I had SUCH a busy week – loaded with fun things though – and I’m so happy to be able to relax and catch up on blogs and actually comment. I enjoyed all your posts about your trip though. Gorgeous pictures!

    Nicole G

    • I think I’m going to experiment to see what works best for me! Probably sitting with eyes closed, or I may fall asleep too :P And while I’ll probably stick to mornings, I’d like to experiment with what times of day suit me best too.

  5. have never read eat pray, but am familiar w/ the msg. i think it’s great! I have forced silence every day when skylar naps. i am on the ‘puter though, not meditating. But i also have yoga and running time (never use an ipod!) so that is moving meditation.

    the banana baked creation.NICE butter makes everything better, duh :)


  6. I also liked the Italy part.

    I meditate all stinking day it seems. Boomer doesn’t talk back to me :) Hopefully after my interview tomorrow i’ll have a job soon so I can socialize!!

  7. I use Dymatize 12 hour protein in my oats in the AM, and I love it! But I’ve tried doing the cookie dough and it doesn’t work out too well. How sad!

  8. I love the Silence Challenge! I think it sounds really worthwhile – I could definitely use an extra dose of peace and relaxation in my life.

  9. Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    I meditate every night before I fall asleep and I think it helps me sleep like a rock!

  10. I am glad you are enjoying Ottawa! The dessert you made looks amazing and has officially made me crave something sweet!

    That’s great you had a bloggie meet up!

  11. I really want to experiment with meditation, but I don’t really know where to begin (oh and my favorite part of Eat Pray Love…ITALY…hello pasta and wine.). And I’m in the “20 min sounds like FOREVER to be still” camp, so I’m really interested to see how it goes for you.

  12. i started meditation this spring and it’s CHANGED MY LIFE!!! literally. i am so much calmer, at peace with myself and my choices, less anxious and generally happier :)

    love the blogger meetup! makes me happy to see people connecting through the internet in a positive way

  13. OH HAPPYFACE, Susan baking, yesyes!
    Printed the recipe for the bread, serious yummers. I’m in need of this bread.

    I’m loving that everyone is having meet ups, seriously love reading new blogs!

  14. I consider you to be the protein bar/cake/bread goddess in the blogging community. When I get back to normalcy, I’m going to scour your blog for recipes and ideas. Right now I’m trying to eat up all of my expired and current energy bars, then I’m going to make them from scratch = yay me! he hee.

    Love your newest challenge. I notice I don’t use an ipod any more (could it be that it has 3 yr old music on it and I haven’t had time/energy to upload anything new??). I find that meditative. Also hiking. Need to do more hiking! Had a two hour hike today that was glorious.

    Enjoy your car-free existence- it can be liberating in a weird way!

  15. I have looked at the mediterraenean yogurt for so long… but the 18g of fat have totally turned me away… but theres nothing wrong with a little fat… totally need to try it. :)

    Those eggs look faaaantastic! Yum.

    And protein banana bread? Mmm! Girl, you need to teach me your protein-y dessert ways when you get to TO, ASAP. Yours always look so great. And I can bake, sure, but never anything “healthy”. Always turns out like crap. :(

    I LOVE Eat, Pray, Love and I don’t meditate enough. I think I should try this challenge too!


  16. You know what’s strange? That frog pose is actually one of my favorite sleeping positions! Hahah. I used to mediate, back when I was a weirdy vegetarian (I’m saying I was weird, not that vegetarians are weird.) I can’t even remember if it helped me or not… either way, I don’t have time for it nowadays!

  17. Those baked banana protein wedges look delish x x

  18. That egg zucchini is making my mouth water!!

  19. I just finished Eat Pray Love two weeks ago and I loved it! I actually enjoyed the India part as much as Italy and Bali. After reading it I was inspired to start meditating, which I’ve only done twice in the past week but has helped calm my mind. It is hard to sit and just be for 20 minutes! Great challenge :)

  20. first comment in ages on any blog- just to say count me in on meditation challenge :D will be tweeting about it!!! #meditationchallenge !!!

  21. pamplemousse21

    I’m definitely going to join you on this challnege – it sounds like something I could hugely benefit from at the moment!
    I’m dying to read Eat, Pray, Live as well.

    Debs x

  22. I love Eat Pray Love, and I enjoyed reading about her struggle with meditating and quieting herself. I go through the same thing.

    I should join you in this challenge…

  23. amazing challenge ! i was just writing on someones blog that I wish I took time to meditate….no tv, no comp, just me and my time and breathing! i think I may join you

    that banana bread looks SO delicious!

    and I love the idea of pesto on poached eggs, just mouthwatering indeed!

    happy belated fathers day to your dad!!!

  24. Yaaaaay :) So glad we got to meet! It was very cool to chat with you in person and to enjoy a lovely brunch…I continued to dream about my french toast all day….haha.

    I’m a huge fan of Eat, Pray, Love. It’s cool because now I’ve actually been to all of the places in the book! Although certain parts are more difficult to get through than others (I found that Italy and India both dragged a bit), I think they speak to you at different points in your life. I know that since I’ve read the book I actually reflect on her India experience the most (this was prior to my trip there), even though it was the section I found the most boring to get through. Keep us posted on what you think of the rest of it!

  25. a. i miss you.

    b. i am soooo glad you are enjoying eat, pray, love.

    c. i am with you on this challenge.

    d. i want those pesto eggs.

    e. i miss you.

  26. Like I said.. I LOVE eat pray love. I read it second semester of my senior year, and it was a great transitioning book, as well as highly entertaining! It’s helped me I think to have more of an open mind regarding people. The entire book, and the author’s story showed me how many great people you can meet at any given place, moment or time, no matter what you believe in or how your opinions differ, etc.

    Gaaah more eggs! That brunch menu looks ridic! And you ordered what I would have ordered. Of course.

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