Weekend Biking

The last bike I purchased was in the mid-ninety’s…I can’t remember the exact year, but it was about ’94-’95.  It’s a 15 speed, 20″, men’s Norco Cherokee bike in dark green.  It’s also been sitting in my parents shed for the last 7-8 years.  The last time I touched it, I got one of the tubes replaced and the tire was still going flat so I gave up.  I was also never in an area that was really good for bike riding…downtown Winnipeg and Edmonton are scary enough as a pedestrian!  I suppose Kitimat, BC would’ve been a good place, but bringing it there would’ve been expensive and I wasn’t terribly concerned about it.

When I got Sheol last November, my goal was to get my bike in spring and teach him to run beside the bike.  I thought that would be great incentive for me to get moving more, but that all crumbled when I had to find him a new home right before christmas.  Even tho I don’t have a dog to share in the fun, I decided to get my bike together anyway this spring.  I brought it to the city when I went to my parents place for a weekend in May.  The back tire needed some work, new spokes and a new tube/tire.  My current roommate took a look at it and goes, the rim is cracked and you need a whole new tire.  That sucked.  I don’t have money for a new tire.  My dad had already replaced the front tire with a spare tire from my mom’s old bike.  He then decided to see if the back tire would fit as well, which it did!  Roommate then went and filled the tires with air when I wasn’t home, which was awesome.

I decided to take it out on Friday.  I went for a ride down Churchill Drive and then through some of the streets in the area, was about a 20 minute ride all together.  My butt was sore, but otherwise I felt ok.  Saturday morning I decided to go for a longer ride!  I ended up going all the way to the end of Churchill Drive, just south of Jubilee Ave and back.  On the way back I went along the trails by the river, which was much more interesting and kept me involved.  I looked it up today and that trip is a total of 8kms, that’s almost 5 miles!  It took about 40 minutes, which I don’t think is too bad all things considered.  Today was going to be a rest day, but I ended up doing 20 minute yoga for strength from yogadownloads.com, a 15 minute stretch workout and then went for another bike ride down Churchill Drive, down to osborne and back for a total of 6 kms or 3 miles in about 20 minutes.

Today’s eats were a tuna pita with romane lettuce, honey mustard dressing and spinach, and then a tuna wrap for supper.  Along with supper I had an apple with peanut butter and a few pieces of a chocolate hazelnut bar.  I also made potato leek soup and peanut butter chocolate granola.  I’m going to be prepping some overnight oats for breakfast tomorrow and I’m hoping to get up early enough to go for a bike ride or maybe do level one of Jillian Michaels 30 day shred before work.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

I’m sure you are all tired of hearing about school stuff, but I got a response from Manitoba Student Aid last night and am SO excited about it I can’t help it!  I am official eligible for $2750 of assistance.  $1900 of that is from Canadian Government Grants!  I don’t have to pay back a grant!  I only have to repay $800 of the money I’m getting from the government.  It’s very very exciting.  I don’t know if it will cover all my tuition, but it will cover a very large chunk of it.  Now all I have to do is register for classes in august and see how much the bill comes out to. 

Another great thing is that Adrian is going to be here by the end of August and will be staying for 6 months.  I’m excited and rather stressed about it right now.  I want to start doing some serious cleaning and reorganizing to make sure there’s room for his clothes and just because it does need to be done.  I have some boxes that I never ever look into that need to be cleared out and want to get some clothes ready for value village or mcc.  It will make more room in my closet and dresser which will be nice.  I also have a plan for something special that needs to be sorted out by the time Adrian gets here but I can’t say what it is because he reads this!  Fingers crossed everything will work out.

Now…pumpkin overnight oats which weren’t done overnight.  I have plain canned pumpkin in my fridge, leftovers from an attempt to make hot pumpkin oats which I ended up not liking at all.  I love pumpkin and didn’t want it to go bad.  The pumpkin deserves better then that.  I’m also out of bananas and am missing my overnight oats.  Last night I had a revelation!  What if I used canned pumpkin instead of bananas in my oats and add pumpkin pie spice and extra cinnamon?  It would be pumpkin pie in a ziploc twistylidded container.  Pumpkin pie with no crust!  My brain, which was half asleep at the time, was convinced it couldn’t go wrong.  Surprisingly the next morning I actually remembered to try this, so it was thrown together literally 2 minutes before I left for the bus.  It started to thicken immediately, I probably could’ve eaten it right away.  It does need more sweetening then overnight oats with banana does, but I don’t care! 

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

1/3 cup rolled oats

2 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds

1/2 cup plain canned pumpkin

3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use soy)

3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tsp agave nectar  (totally going to try maple syrup next time)

Mix in a bowl or twisty-lidded container before leaving the house or going to bed.  Get to work or wake up in the morning and chow down. 

Verdict?  I love pumpkin pie filling.

Beans and Student Loans

It’s been a crazy few weeks recently.  I’ve been doing a lot of prep-ahead foods and simple salads for lunches.  I worked 2-10pm the last two weeks and I can already tell that once I’m in school all morning, preparing food on the weekend is going to be insanely important so that I don’t spend money on junk food downtown!  Last weekend I made a simple bean salad which I adore and might post later.  This weekend I made baked beans from scratch and a quinoa and avocado salad.  I haven’t eaten much of the salad yet and so I will wait to post the recipe, it might need tweaking!

In completely un-food-related news…I got accepted to university!  They sent me my registration appointment date email before they sent me the “congrats you can continue taking classes” email.  Way to organize emails UofW!  I immediately applied for manitoba student loans once I found out I was accepted and have to sign and return some papers before they can complete the application.  I hope I get accepted so I don’t have to go begging  pleading  asking my parents to co-sign a student loan through a bank somewhere.  I’m also going to be sending Adrian some money this month and he’ll be out in August for 6 months.  A friend of mine has found him a job too!  The only other “large” purchase I need to sort out this summer is an acer aspireone netbook for school purposes.  I figure it’ll be easier to take notes and carry around all the time.  Staples has them for $300, which is a decent price.

Back to food!  The baked beans are completely vegan, a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, and very very tasty with toast.  This was my second batch and is the best one yet.  It really is true that the more you eat beans and lentils, the less you feel their…erm…effects.  I canned these beans and have them sitting in the fridge for when I’m hungry but don’t have much time, or when I’m lazy and just want to re-heat something!  I try to always have some soup or something in jars in the fridge and it usually works. 

Baked Beans

3 cups white navy beans

12 cups water

3/4 cup ketchup

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup mollasses

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1-2 onions, diced

1. Soak beans overnight or at least 8 hours.  Drain and place in slowcooker with the 12 cups of water.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours.  Drain, saving the water, and place back in the slow cooker.

2. Mix remaining ingredients, pour over beans.  Add enough bean cooking water to cover by about 1/2″.  Let cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally.  Keep some bean water handy just in case the sauce caramelizes before the beans are done.  Store in jars or in ziploc freezer bags and freeze.