Happy Birthday, Swim!

Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I wasn’t with someone like this guy….

NYE Ryan and Elyse

Someone who supports my every crazy (though usually not so crazy to me) idea and dream! When we met back in 2010 I was not a vegetarian nor was as I fitness-focused as I am today. The first summer we spent together, I probably went to the gym 4 days a week and it wasn’t a big deal if I missed. I wouldn’t have even considered working out in the mornings and definitely not on the weekends.

I indulged in the occasional McFlurry, my fair share of pizza, and a lot of Twizzlers and french fries. I didn’t know how to slice a pepper let alone cook a meal. I learned to make basic stir fry that year but mostly survived on pre-cooked chicken wraps, BBQ’d chicken breasts, and a lot of instant breakfast shakes. I still remember the first time I made Ryan spaghetti (with meat sauce, not meat balls) and felt like a total domestic goddess lol…

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Ryan likes to think he taught me how to cook but I can’t recall that memory so well… but I do remember the first time he cooked for me and I knew this guy was a keeper 😉

I wouldn’t say I was unhealthy, but I definitely wasn’t where I am today. I wasn’t completely comfortable with myself and I was the definition of a weekend warrior; depriving myself as much as possible through the week to erase my progress in a weekend.

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I slowly transitioned into a healthier person, becoming more concerned with what I put into my body and how I spent my time at the gym. Ryan couldn’t have been more supportive and never once tried to guilt or convince me into indulging or skipping a workout. He never said I was “taking it too far” or that I should or shouldn’t do something I was doing. He always gave me space to try new things and figure it out for myself. Most of the time he was right there with me, and if not, it was understood with zero judgement – he ordered pizza and I ordered salad.

The biggest change for me was definitely committing to a plant-based diet in January of last year. After spending 3 years with someone who had close to the same eating habits, I can imagine it would be difficult when suddenly the dinner menu changed completely. But not once did he complain or push back. Not once did he make a single negative comment. Not once did he ask me to cook or buy meat and he’s tried every one of my kitchen experiments.

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In fact, he decided to become a weekday vegetarian, not just in support of me, but because he knows the major impact it has on the world as a whole. He studied renewable energy in school so he gets it.

Even today on his birthday he suggested going to dinner somewhere we know I can get a vegan meal. Sure its one of the nicest places in Fredericton, but he easily could have said he wanted wings and beer or dragged me to a steak house.

So on your birthday, Mr. Swim, I just want to thank you for being there for me, with me, through thick and thin, through ups and downs, through getting my engineering degree, moving halfway across the country, a partially long distance relationship, crappy jobs, countless traveling, Insanity, juice cleanses, veganism, burnt dinners, shared holidays, blogging, 30 days of yoga, and the list goes on…

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We are not the same people who met in 2010 but the fact that we are still so happy together assures me that no matter what comes our way, I will be making you breakfast waffles (with or without the maple syrup) for many years to come ❤

I can’t imagine having a someone more supportive and encouraging by my side. I don’t think I would be who I am today without you. And even if I was… I bet I’d be pretty lonely 😉

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Love you more than words can say!

Happy Birthday, Swimmer 🙂

Lizzie xo

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The Versatile Blogger Award

Today I am feeling extremely grateful to have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by both Megan @ Whole Food Runner and Monetta @ Sayana Yoga Lifestyle. Check out these lovely ladies for healthy recipes, workouts & inspiration!

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The rules:

  1. Display the award certificate on your blog
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you
  3. Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers
  4. Inform your nominees that you have nominated them
  5. Write 7 random facts about yourself

My nominations:

Please don’t feel pressured to accept! This is just a fun post going around my blogging community 🙂

  1. A Fresh Start for Molly
  2. Little Bliss Book
  3. Bridget’s Vegan Kitchen
  4. Fooood 4 The Heart 
  5. Ja on the Run
  6. Fitting Into Vegan
  7. This and That Cat
  8. Veg Charlotte
  9. C How I Do
  10. Life as Lisa Knows It
  11. And This is Thirty
  12. Made of Stars
  13. Olive to Run
  14. Hello Healthy Eating
  15. Minus Thirty Three

Thanks again to the ladies who nominated me!

Liz xo

Walking on Sunshine

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I am both surprised and honoured to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by the lovely Catherine at VegCharlotte! This isn’t the usual sort of post you would see from me but it’s fun to take part in interactive blogging so I’m going to accept 🙂

The rules for Sunshine Award are:

1   Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2   Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3   Answer the same 10 questions given.
4   Nominate up to 10 blogs for the award, a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
5   Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

Sunshine Q&A:

1. Where would you most like to travel to?

I would love to travel to Europe. I’ll start with London, Paris & Rome but I’d like to see the entire continent. Europe is so far ahead when it comes to fashion, music, green-living, and animal rights. Did you know Europe has banned the sale of animal-testing products? Love it!

2. Do you have a sweet tooth?

No, I have 14 of them! Sweets are definitely my weakness. I now make more of an effort to choose more naturally sweetened foods. I try to avoid refined sugar altogether and limit my treats to special occasions but sometimes you just need a cookie!

3. What motivates you to keep you blogging?

My constant excitement for all things health & fitness and my burning desire to share it with the world! I would love for everyone I know to discover how great their bodies are designed to feel.

4. Who is your favourite comedian?

I enjoy a little Louis C.K. But who doesn’t love Ellen?

5. What is your favourite outdoor activity?

I love hiking. It’s more intense than walking but you can still enjoy a conversation with a friend. Being in nature is calming, refreshing, and proven to be good for your health 😉

6. Who was your favourite teacher and why? 

I will never forget, Ms. MacKinnon, grade 2. Yes, that was a long time ago but her and my mom were great friends for a long time after that and she still holds a special place in my heart.

7. Do you own any pets?

Not at the moment, but definitely in the future!

8. Most embarrassing moment in your life?

I can’t pinpoint the MOST embarrassing moment, but once I was at a bar in Toronto and I didn’t know there was a step up to the dance floor (how stupid is that?!) and I was running for my favourite song and … you can guess the rest lol

9. Where are you from?

The beautiful Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. I grew up in Glace Bay where I lived until I was 21.

10. How much would could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? 

It would chuck more would than a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. That’s all I got. I’m not really that funny.

Nominations

I made my nominations based on blogs I like to follow and also who I thought might be interested in accepting. I know this isn’t every blogger’s kind of thing. If you’ve already received or simply aren’t interested, no pressure! Just move along and continue being the lovely blogger you are 🙂

Colleen @ C How I Do
Georgia @ Georgia’s Trying Something New
Celeste @ Honk If You’re Vegan
Hannah @ Clean Eating Veggie Girl
Victoria @ Minus 33
Margaret @ Plant Strong Vegan
Megan @ Whole Food Runner
Anastasia @ Working Out & Eating In
Joey @ Road to a 100 
Poppy @ Poppy’s Patisserie

Have a sunny day!

Liz xo

Summer Sangria

Hey Friends 🙂

My mini vacation came and went before I knew it but it was everything I’d hoped for and more!

When leaving the 32°C weather in Fredericton I figured the thermometer reading would drop by 10 before reaching the island. Wrong! It was 28 or hotter all weekend at the lake! The perfect weather for enjoying good food and good times with my favorite people 🙂

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The weekend was well spent relaxing, grilling and hanging out by the campfire. Mom always has out favorites on the menu at home but my one request for this weekend was homemade french fries. There are certain foods that I eat maybe once a year but when I do I enjoy them immensely ❤

Lucky for me they are 100% vegan! Ingredients: Potatoes and peanut oil. Perfection. Now as for how healthy they are… well, that was out of the question this time around. Hey… ya gotta live a little 😉

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On Sunday morning Ryan and I went on a sailing tour in Baddeck. We both love being on the water but neither of us had been sailing before. The boat even had a licensed bar on board… needless to say we loved it 😉

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The captain was hilarious so we spent most of the tour listening to his stories. If you don’t have a good sense of humor, you might not want to sail on the Amoeba 😉 He and the tour guides knew every detail of the history of the Alexander Graham Bell Estate. I focused my entire high school/university education on math and science so I am pretty much in the dark on all things history. I hate to say that I don’t know much about the history of the island I grew up on but it was pretty cool to learn about it.

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Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end… but wait, I get to come back in 2 weeks! A change of plans has Ryan heading back to to Cape Breton for a guys golf weekend. I’m going to join him on the drive down and spend the weekend at the lake 🙂 It made for a much easier goodbye and an easier return to reality this week.

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Now for what you’ve all been waiting for! Just down the road from my parents’ place is a local co-op with a liquor store. Ryan had already suggested playing mixologist but after looking through the NSLC summer magazine we decided to try our hand at sangria. I’ve never had it before but I know it’s a wine based drink with endless variations. You can add pretty much any additional liquor (or not) and any type of sweetener (juice, soda… or not) and any sort of fresh chopped fruit!

We already had most of what we needed so we picked up some vodka and went to work. The result? We downed 2 batches over the weekend 😉 Here’s our recipe!

Summer Sangria

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1/2 bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 can lemon-lime Zevia
  • 1 stevia packet (optional; or equivalent sweetener)
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 1 cup strawberries, halved
  • Ice cubes

Directions

  1. Combine all liquid ingredients in a large pitcher or punch bowl.
  2. Add chopped fruit and ice and let chill.
  3. Pour into a fancy glass and sip!

The perfect addition to any hot summer day with friends ❤

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How will you be spending your summer vacation time?

Liz xo