Food Time – A Many Mushroom Risotto

I don’t know if you knew this about me but I LOVE mushrooms. I think they are one of the greatest things out there, cooked, raw, mashed into a paste anyway you can think it up I want to eat them. So a couple of weeks ago during a meal prep day I decided to make some delicious Many Mushroom Risotto, and it was so tasty!   Just for the fun of it I made this one vegan and trust you don’t lose any of the delicious creaminess or flavour you would get had I used butter and cheese, plus it cuts the fat/calorie content so it ends up being a super healthy meal.

Enough talk, I am sure you are all salivating so here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Many Mushroom Risotto:

Serves 8-10 as a main meal

mushroom risotto1.5 cups Arborio rice
2 tbsp oil (I used grape seed oil it’s better for frying)
4 cups Vegetable stock (I use homemade, but if you need to get store bough get organic)
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
3 Leeks, white and light green parts chopped
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
4 sprigs of Thyme, finely chopped
1 Portobello Mushroom, diced
*4oz (250g) Cremini Mushrooms, diced
*4oz (250g) Oyster Mushrooms, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Prepare all ingredients so that you can easily toss them in, a lot of stirring is involved and you don’t want to let your risotto burn because something wasn’t already chopped up.

2. Heat half the oil in a large skillet or stew pot.  Once oil heats up add in all of your mushrooms, cook them down until they are soft 5-7 minutes.  Once cooked remove and set aside.

3. Add other half of oil to pan and heat, once heated add in leeks, onions and garlic cook for 2-5 minutes until the onions become soft and translucent.

4. Add in arborio rice stir in dry rice for about a minute to coat with all the juices that are going on in the pan.  Add in 1 tbsp of lemon juice, stir until evaporated.

5. Add 1/2 cup of broth to the rice mixture and stir until completely absorbed, then add in another 1/2 cup of broth.  Continue this until all of the broth is gone, stirring constantly. This should take 20-25 minutes and is a great arm workout, for one arm at least.

6. Once all broth is added into the mixture add the cooked mushrooms, fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined and serve immediately.

*these sizes are just one prepackaged container of mushrooms, also if you want to add more go for it, it will be super delicious!

Let me know what you think of this recipe.   I hope to be back blogging on a regular basis shortly.  School is starting to calm down (not really but I keep telling myself this) and my work and life schedule is starting to actually find a nice balance.  I hope to bring you more updates, workouts, yoga routines and recipes soon.

Happy Thursday everyone!


5 Tips for Dealing with the Difficult

So this coming weekend I will be out of my norm, not in my regular space where I can make my own food, go to my own gym, run on my regular running paths. So much like I would if I were planning for a vacation I have started to make some smaller goals for myself while I am away so I don’t completely derail all of my progress.

I am pretty fortunate as most of my friends definitely understand what I am attempting to do for myself and are excited to help me achieve the goals I have set out for myself.  So when it comes to food and making sure I get in some exercise it doesn’t really end up being too challenging, and it doesn’t turn into one of those awkward situations where I have to explain why I brought my running gear with me.  Heck half the time they are asking if they can lace up their shoes and join me!

Now I am lucky enough to have some very encouraging and motivational friends who want to see me succeed but I understand that not everyone is going to understand what I am trying to achieve.  Sometimes on our journey to health and fitness we will run into people who just don’t understand what we are doing. They don’t understand that although we might want to eat 10 cupcakes we won’t actually do it because we have set out goals for ourselves, and 10 cupcakes doesn’t play into us achieving those goals.

We have all encountered individuals who don’t really seem to get it and although they might not be meaning to are in a way encouraging us to derail our progress.  I think in these situations it is important to remember that like you they are allowed to have their own ideas and beliefs and it is really your own responsibility to stay positive and keep your own progress on track.  When it comes down to it, whether or not there are people there to motivate you and support you it is truly your own responsibility to motivate yourself.

(Just a side note: I personally try to surround myself with positive people and I do think it is important to establish a support network for yourself because no one person can do everything).

Understanding that not everyone in our lives are going to understand why we do what we do, here are some tips that might just help you deal with difficult situations and people when you are working towards a health and fitness goal.

Tips for Difficult People

  1. Be polite but firm, after all the person may not be aware of your health and fitness objectives.  This is also a great opportunity to let them know what your goals are, although this conversation might be a bit awkward it will be beneficial to both of you in the future.
  2.  If you know you will be in a situation where you will be tempted but greasy, cheesy, sugary foods prepare yourself some healthy snacks to bring with you. Fill up on healthier things so the pizzas and chocolate bars of the world aren’t as tempting.
  3. If you know you are going to be in a challenging situation plan for it and allow yourself some treats.  The key here is that it is planned, that way you are more likely to stay on track.
  4. Try and get your friend(s) involved.  People are much less likely to be against you or not understand where you are coming from if you include them in your journey.  Get them to be a team-mate instead of an obstacle.
  5. Believe in yourself. Although it is great to have the motivation and support of your friends and family remember that this is your journey and some people might not understand.  Remember your end game and believe in yourself to keep you motivated.

I hope these tips help the next time you find yourself in a situation where maybe someone doesn’t really understand where you are coming from.  These tips are also helpful if you are going out of town for a weekend or travelling for business.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use in sticky situations to help keep you on track? If so share them with all of us in the comments below!

Draggin’ My Feet

Disclaimer: Gingersneezes isn’t about whining and complaining but I do feel like I need to be honest, and it is only fair to share a nice rainbow of my experiences in exercise with you. So that means the good, the bad, the grumpy and the happy.

Yesterday was one of those work days were you just can’t wait for it to end. It seemed like all the little things managed to make their way under my skin yesterday and by the end of the day I was pretty much ready to explode.  My natural instinct when faced with these types of days is to  go home and hide under my duvet and only emerging for sips of wine.

Unfortunately or rather luckily (it didn’t feel lucky at the time) my regular hide from the world technique wasn’t one I could use. It was Wednesday which meant I had a training session with Alannah and besides the fact that I have to drive there I am sure she would have frowned upon me showing up slightly intoxicated, and I mean it would have been an all around bad idea.

After about thirty minutes of complaining in the form of texting to my Running Buddy for some motivation I sucked it up and begrudgingly got into my workout clothing, laced up my shoes and waited for my husband to come home with the car. I mean I knew that the work out would make me feel better. I knew that I had made a commitment to myself and to Alannah (mainly to show up and not leave her hanging), but I so didn’t feel like doing it. I mean seriously look how grouchy I looked.
UntitledOnce I got to Epic I hopped on the stationary bike for 5 minutes hoping it would curb my attitude and warm me up at the same time. Although it got my heart pumping a bit I still had that “I so don’t want to be doing this right now” feeling screaming at me from the back of my head.  It was at this moment when Alannah went for the agility ladder.  I have mentioned how awful I am at this, and although I have gotten better I still think it is pretty comical to watch me attempt any form of agility.  So about 2 minutes into the agility ladder drills exercise magic started to happen. I was focused on something besides my mood, mainly not tripping over my own feet, and my body and mind started to accept the fact that it was about to be put through the ringer.

Our session then continued with some pretty rad arm stuff, which I have found I am starting to get excited to do because I always find out I am stronger than I had originally thought. Then out of nowhere the session was over.  It was almost shocking how something I had been so resistant to for the first part of the evening, finished so quickly and as predicted made me feel so much better.

So the takeaway…if I hadn’t had the support if my Running  Exercise Buddy and the commitment of meeting Alannah at the gym that wine bottle and hiding under my blankets could have most definitely won the battle. Through this experience I had the opportunity to discover how important having a support system really is during this journey and I am so grateful for the one I have.

How do you stay motivated? Do you have a workout partner?

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope you are getting excited for the weekend.

A Fall Filled with Running!

It is getting close to that time of year again, when my girlfriend and I lace up to hit the pavement for the Cure.  We began running for the CIBC Run for the Cure several years ago. My Grandma had been diagnosed with lung cancer which then spread to her brain and I thought it would be a great way to support her.  Unfortunately, my Grandma passed away before the race, but I still felt that running in her memory was the right thing to do.

With a group of girlfriends we all laced up and ran in support or memory of those affected by cancer regardless of the type.  I understand that the CIBC Run for the Cure is specific to breast cancer, but I still feel it is a great way to raise awareness around cancer periode.

For the past three years (this one will be our fourth) my girlfriend and I have kept our team going and have been raising money and awareness. We try and keep our team names positive and motivational and representative of us, so this year we went with Team Super Awesome. 

We do our best to match, sometimes even making our own team shirts and train together in order to seriously feel like have worked for the money we have raised for the run. Although, the team is normally just the two of us, and we take it pretty seriously others are always welcome to join, and as always if you are interested in contributing to the cause please visit our team page, the race isn’t until September 30th so there is lots of time to think it over. We are a small team but we are fierce!

We are both very excited this year and are preparing for our race with another fun run. The Graffiti Run has finally come to Ottawa and I couldn’t be more excited!!! For years now I have had a bit of an obsession with the India Colour Festival, which has nothing to do with running really, it is more of a celebration with so many amazing colours and photos of it are absolutely stunning.

So based on these colour festivals a fun run has been going around in the USA for a while now, but no where close to my home town here in Canada. But this year, this is the year! It is a 5k run, and you are basically tie dyed from head to toe. In the race package they provide you with the regular swag – t-shirt, coupons, running stuff – but they also throw in one package of dye for you to participate in the colour bombing!

With so much to look forward to in September it is hard to sit still. Now I just have to find out a way to squeeze in some short runs with my on-going Insanity workouts and I will be golden!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Photo courtesy of Transparent Language