Sprouting at Home

Here at Things that are Awesome, we love food, but we also love our bodies, so most of what we eat (at least at home) is clean, fresh and nutrient dense. Sprouted grains, nuts, beans and seeds are an easy source of multiple nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C and E and can be readily incorporated into almost any meal. Unfortunately, sprouts lose a whole lot of their nutritional punch in transit and can play host to a variety of bacterias, so the best way to get your sprout fill is by sprouting them yourself at home. But good news: at home sprouting is not only super easy to do, but also cheap!

Supplies: Glass jars, water, loose burlap or other breathable material (it also needs to be porous enough to be able to drain water) cut into squares big enough to cover the top of the jars, elastic bands, a drying rack, and your seeds of choice (for this post, we sprouted alfalfa, crunchy beans and crimson lentils).

photo (15)

Step 1: Put a tbsp or 2 of seeds into the jar. If you’re sprouting alfalfa, be sure to use a fairly wide mouthed jar as it needs room to branch out. Fill the jar about half to 2/3 full with water, cover with burlap and secure with elastic band. Give the seeds a swish to rinse, drain the water, then refill. Let seeds soak overnight (with the burlap cover), for about 24 hours.

photo (17)

Step 2: After 24 hours, drain the jars, flip upside down on a drying rack, and leave for three days, filling with water to swish and rinse (draining through the burlap) 2-3 times each day (a good rule of thumb is to leave your sprouting jars in the kitchen and to rinse with breakfast, lunch and dinner).

photo (18)

Continue reading

Spring(ish) Wardrobe Refresh

Although I managed to get away with shoes without socks twice this week, I don’t have high hopes that us Torontonians will be baring our legs or arms to the elements any time soon, which means one unfortunate thing: more of the same everything you’ve been wearing for the past forever. I don’t know if it’s been a particularly long winter or a lack of wardrobe expansion thanks a a tight budget, but on a daily basis I look at my rather large, very full closet and proclaim “Uggghhh, I have ABSOLUTELY nothing to wear!” This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. I have plenty to wear, I’m just (a) sick of it, (b) not quite sure how to style it, or (c) don’t know what shoes to wear with it in this strange and unpleasant climate.

Hence my “participation” in Dean Street Society‘s “Style Me April Closet & Instagram Challenge.” The premise is simple: each day has a theme to help provide some outfit ideas and hopefully get you thinking outside of your go-to-outfit box. I referenced my “participation” in quotes, because the idea behind the challenge is merely to provide inspiration. There are no real rules and certainly no prizes, except, perhaps, a new way of looking at your existing wardrobe. Moreover, I’m currently unemployed / quasi working from home, so getting dressed in anything but lulu’s isn’t even a thing that happens every day. That said, in honour of a new month, this evening’s date, and this blog post, today I will be living up to the challenge and “Skirting Around Town.”

challenge

 

Any other tips for breaking out of the winter wardrobe doldrums?

Earth Hour

This Saturday March 29th, from 8:30-9:30pm local time I’d like to extend the WWF’s (World Wide Fund for Nature) invitation to turn off your non-essential lights and electronic devices as a symbol of your commitment to our planet.  If the CN Tower, Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip, the Acropolis and the Sydney Harbour Bridge can do it, so can you.

eh2014-website-header

For those of you not already familiar with Earth Hour, the event is a global environmental movement that started at a lights-off event in Australia in 2007 as part of a campaign for action on climate change.  Earth Hour has since become the world’s largest mass participation event in history with hundreds of millions of individual participants in over 7,000 towns and cities.

Obviously turning the lights out for an hour has only a small impact on the environment, but that’s not the point.  Earth Hour’s mission is three-fold: (1) to bring people together through a symbolic hour-long event; (2) to galvanise people into taking action beyond the hour; and (3) to create an interconnected global community sharing the mutual goal of creating a sustainable future for the planet.  As an avid user of electronic devices living in a huge energy suck of a city, it is my hope that participating will help promote energy awareness and appreciation while bringing together families, friends and communities during a brief reprieve from iphones, television, and stereos.

Unbeknownst to my husband, while writing this post I decided that I would host an Earth Hour party at our place.  As someone who loves candlelight and board games, I don’t anticipate having any difficulty with either atmosphere or entertainment; however, I’m expecting some debate about the necessity of powering down our smart phones.  If you’re hosting a party yourself, I recommend making some adjustments to the “first one to touch their phone buys dinner” rule. Perhaps the guilty party buys the first round post 9:30?  Drinks the King’s Cup?  Handwashes all the party dishes?  Why not make a night of it and get creative.  You won’t have photographic evidence of what goes down, so feel free to punish electronic users accordingly.

Continue reading

Hangover Cures

Given that today is St. Patrick’s Day it seemed timely to share a few of my favourite hangover cures and prevention methods here on the blog. For those of you who celebrated over the weekend and for whom this post comes 24 hours too late, I apologize for not being there for you earlier. I’ve always suffered from terrible, gut-wrenching, head-pounding day long hangovers. When I was in my twenties these hangovers could be predicted and were generally well deserved. Since turning 30, they are as unpredictable as spring weather in Toronto. What felt like a civilized evening out on a Friday all too often feels instead like a frat house keg party on Saturday morning. Truth be told, for me, there’s no such thing as a “cure” to this misery I speak of. There are, however, some things that help minimize the pain and/or help prevent its onset. So for those of you suffering at your desks this fine Monday and for those lucky/irresponsible folks just commencing your day of debauchery, I give you 5 awesome ways to feel less like you’re 50 after a day/night/weekend of imbibing:

hangoverbanner.jpg

1) The Great Grundy Hangover Prevention Method: You know the old saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? It’s worth even more than that when it comes to hangovers (trust). Taken before passing out after a night of drinking, this patented (not really) combination has been known to save many a weekend from complete and utter self (imposed) destruction: one dose of chlorophyll as per bottle instructions to help soothe your ailing liver (pill form is the easiest to shove in your face and avoids the inevitable mess that will result from drunken attempts to measure powder or liquid) taken with a glass of water; 1 banana to fill your belly and your body with potassium; one package of Emergen-C (I’m partial to the pink lemonade flavour) mixed with water to restore lost electrolytes; one dose of vitamin B as per bottle instructions to help your body metabolize the poison; a big glass/can/bottle of sweet delicious coconut water to aid in the rehydration process; and finally, if you’re the drug taking sort and/or prone to headaches, now might be a good time to pop an advil/ibuprofen (not tylenol – see below). Obviously one of the key components of this method is the amount of good-for-you liquids consumed, which leads me directly to point number 2, below…

2) Hydrate: This is an obvious one and we all know that it’s the only real, medically based solution to the damage we’ve caused our bodies. That said, not all liquids are created equal. While sports drinks are an easy go to, we prefer “nature’s gatorade” (coconut water), or, if you’ve got a juicer at home, a big fat glass of hangover juice (roughly one small beet, a couple stalks of celery, a couple carrots, an apple, a handful of kale, a hunk of peeled ginger, about half a cucumber and a big squeeze of lemon juice). There’s also a reason that some people swear by caesars or bloody mary’s the day after – tomato juice is full of vitamins and the drinks contain a good combination of salt, sugar and spice to help your body hydrate and detoxify. That said, the old ‘hair of the dog’ trick is a big fat myth and anything made at a bar or bought from the store is likely to contain way too much sodium. Try mixing up your own tomato juice with a dash of cayenne pepper, sugar and a squeeze of lime to help aid hydration and re-stabilize your blood sugar. Continue reading

We’re Back!

Hello dear readers!!! We’re so sorry to have abandoned you this winter, but we have good reasons, we swear. Besides having a general case of the winter blahs, we were super busy hosting/attending/having bachelorette parties, weddings & showers; adventuring in Hong Kong, Bali & Thailand; celebrating birthdays & cheering on Team Canada; visiting friends & playing in the snow; and as always, eating & drinking all of the things. But the good news is… We’re Back!

We’ve updated our Upcoming Events page and have lots of great posts in the works for you. If there’s anything in particular you’ve been missing out on / dying to know more about, please let us know!

winterThanks for sticking with us – we look forward to sharing our adventures with you in the months ahead!