The Importance of Film in Creating Shared Experiences

With the 87th Academy Awards (better known as The Oscars to most folks) having just happened, it seems fitting that the chosen topic for any blog righ...

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Which Grass Fed Butter Should I Buy?

Letting butter sneak into my diet after years of low fat eating habits was like opening the floodgates and although it took me a while for both my pal...

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Introducing November: Butter Month

[Photo by Taryn] In our house, the moment that Halloween is over, it’s officially the start of what we refer to as “Eating Season.”   It’s a trul...

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Budget: Have your pizza, and eat it too!

"' We want man-food for twenty-five,' the Ents said, so you can see that somebody had counted your company carefully before you arrived." - J.R.R...

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How to Work Less, Rest Better, and Let The Little Things Go

It’s been one heck of an autumn. As the lovely matriarch of the elevenses crew touched on in our introduction to the topic of 'Budget', Natalie and I...

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Budget: When Emotional Intelligence Met Financial Budget

Introduction Now, my mother will be the first to tell you that I’ve always had a hole where my ability to budget should be and as much as I could argu...

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The Importance of Film in Creating Shared Experiences

Oscar Awards Close Up

With the 87th Academy Awards (better known as The Oscars to most folks) having just happened, it seems fitting that the chosen topic for any blog right now would be Film. Whilst The Oscars is so huge that we kinda don’t need a better reason than this to choose film as our topic this month, the motivation behind this choice goes a little deeper than “Oh hey The Oscars are happening, we should probably write about that” for the Elevenses family and warrants a little exploration. This is why I’ll be looking at film and its importance in creating valuable shared experiences as part of my Food for Thought column.

Now, my Elevenses post wouldn’t be complete without some nod to Tolkien would it? (we do call ourselves Elevenses after all). It is with this understanding that I bring you this fun fact, relevant to both The Lord of the Rings and The Oscars:

“The most successful films in Oscar history are Ben-Hur, Titanic and Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. Each took home 11 gongs – although Return Of The King was the only one of those to take home every award for which it was nominated.” ~ Empire Magazine

With the 87th Academy Awards (better known as The Oscars to most folks) having just happened, it seems fitting that the...

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Which Grass Fed Butter Should I Buy?

Grass Fed Wrappers Open Up

Letting butter sneak into my diet after years of low fat eating habits was like opening the floodgates and although it took me a while for both my palette and my body to catch up with the change, I gave butter an inch and I’m so happy that it took a mile instead. I’m overjoyed to report that my mornings are now filled with gluten free bagels smothered in grass fed butter, my afternoons with several cups of bulletproof coffee and my evenings with organic, grass fed butter basted steaks and I couldn’t feel better!

You know how you only realise how tired you are after sleeping a bunch? Well I only realised how limited my resources were after adding in butter to my diet. Looking back a couple of years or so, I spent most of my days tired, unmotivated and disinterested. I had a short temper with most things, unable to cope with planning or problem solving and I struggled a lot despite having very little on my plate. I like to refer to these years as my own personal “The Dark Ages”, and what was the cuisine fuelling past Nat? That’s right folks, Cheese & Onion crisps and ham sandwiches with margarine!

Going by a fundamental law of Computer Science I learned fairly young (Garbage In Garbage Out) it makes sense to me why I couldn’t get very far shovelling junk into my trap. It’s safe to say that adding in healthy doses of butter to each meal has helped me to take that needed step away from such an unhelpful cycle.

Letting butter sneak into my diet after years of low fat eating habits was like opening the floodgates and although it t...

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Introducing November: Butter Month

buttermonth

[Photo by Taryn]

In our house, the moment that Halloween is over, it’s officially the start of what we refer to as “Eating Season.”  

It’s a truly exciting time in the land of Elevenses!  To help ease into this truly food-centric time of year, we felt it was absolutely vital to focus on one of the most important ingredients in the Elevenses collective metaphorical kitchen for the month of November (as lately we’re all spread all over hell’s half acre…)  

Butter, over the last few years, has become a cornerstone of our foodie endeavours.  

[Photo by Taryn] In our house, the moment that Halloween is over, it’s officially the start of what we refer to as “Eati...

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Budget: Have your pizza, and eat it too!

“‘ We want man-food for twenty-five,’ the Ents said, so you can see that somebody had counted your company carefully before you arrived.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

My favourite memory of summer was picking up a gluten free pizza (akin to what the Ents consider ‘man-food’) after finishing a show.  There was something profoundly rad knowing that in half an hour I could be at home and eating one of my favourite meals. However – It got me thinking a couple things.

 

Yes, please!

 

"' We want man-food for twenty-five,' the Ents said, so you can see that somebody had counted your company carefully bef...

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How to Work Less, Rest Better, and Let The Little Things Go

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It’s been one heck of an autumn.

As the lovely matriarch of the elevenses crew touched on in our introduction to the topic of ‘Budget’, Natalie and I have made our big move over to Brighton, UK at the beginning of September. It’s been a big adjustment but I have to say that overall I’m really enjoying my time in the land of bangers and mash.

Brighton

Besides the usual budget pains that come from moving, I’ve been finding myself running into a different kind of budget constraint: energy. 

Sure, regular ole physical energy is for sure is used up more quickly over here with the realities of not having a car but still living halfway up a big hill (and up 3 flights of stairs to our flat) and needing to walk to get groceries, meet friends, and enjoy the seaside – but I found that to be a fairly straightforward thing to get used to. Where I really ran into that energy budget constraint is in the sheer amount of work-related opportunity that is making itself available to me, and the actual amount of efficient, focussed work hours I can possibly squeeze out of my head. 

Suffice it to say that they don’t exactly match up.

It’s been one heck of an autumn. As the lovely matriarch of the elevenses crew touched on in our introduction to the top...

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Budget: When Emotional Intelligence Met Financial Budget

Emotional Intelligence Featured Image

Introduction

Now, my mother will be the first to tell you that I’ve always had a hole where my ability to budget should be and as much as I could argue that the hole has been since been plugged after years away from the family home, I’m sure that my girlfriend will be the first to rat me out within seconds of me making such a wildly inaccurate claim. My opinion? My sister stole all of the sensible genes.

The meaning of budget for me has experienced huge swings and roundabouts over the years and I’m sure that as my life progresses such wild change in meaning will continue (I’m expecting budget to be a big thing as soon as motherhood hits). Where the word once meant nothing but “Why can’t I get all three £40 Playstation 2 games?!” when spending my parents money, it now means the difference between having the option of organic meat with most meals or being forced to eat rice and chicken as every meal for a month because oops: bills.

Whilst we all know of the behemoth that is the “financial budget”, its cousin “emotional budget” should never be forgotten. As a student (yes that’s right, I’m back at the ol’ education lark) and anxiety sufferer, both budget tyrants are intertwined with my days, but what was important for me was becoming aware of how they’re intertwined with each other as a first step to getting a handle on both.

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
– Nathaniel Branden

Introduction Now, my mother will be the first to tell you that I’ve always had a hole where my ability to budget should...

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Thanksgiving

Turkey

One of my favourite jokes about Alberta goes something like this:  There are two seasons around here; July and Winter.  So darn true!  It seems as if the trees explode with colour and then shed their loveliness within DAYS of turning.  Born and raised in the Northeastern US, I still long for those months of slow and steady seasonal change.  Here, I feel a bit forced to inhale all of this splendour before it’s gone.  Talk about budgeting your time!   

Speaking of budgets and time, I’m also always struck at how quickly Canadian Thanksgiving creeps up in this neck of woods compared to what I was used to back in the states.  This year, Turkey Day will occur on October 13th, which is tomorrow.  For years, I’ve tried to re-create American Thanksgiving with less than stellar results.  It’s hard to celebrate a holiday like American Thanksgiving, where it seems the whole worlds stops to feast together and watch football, (I’m not a football fan, actually, but whatever, when in Rome…) when in Canadian reality it’s simply another workday. It’s left with me with no alternative; Canadian Thanksgiving has become something unto itself, and I’ve relented a bit in trying to recreate what was. And I’d love to share with you the learning that has come out of my little journey.

One of my favourite jokes about Alberta goes something like this:  There are two seasons around here; July and Wint...

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Introducing October: ‘Budget’

Photo by Brian Godfrey

(Photo by Brian Godfrey)

Hello Everyone!

And Happy October to you.  Yes, that’s right, OCTOBER!  We’re all wondering where September went, as well.  Everyone on the Elevenses team has been preparing and bracing ourselves for the huge changes that apparently swallowed September whole, but we are back in the blogging saddle once again.  The exciting part (albeit heartbreaking, as well) is that half of our team will be blogging from across the pond.  Jacqui and Nat have settled beautifully into life in Brighton, England!  We miss them terribly, but exploring the world of Culinaria is so much sweeter as our world grows and presents us with new morsels to cook, taste, and share.

And now for the introduction of our October topic: Budget!  Honestly, what else would be so fitting after a month that sees so many of us pay for a seemingly endless list of expenses—children’s school supplies, tuition, moves, and transitions which indeed burn a hole in our collective wallets? Hence our need to infuse the month of October with money-conscious tips and recipes that have worked in our kitchen over the years. Allergen-free cooking can most certainly hit a person square in the wallet.  Gone are the days where I could stretch a dollar from feeding the family dishes that would grow with the addition of grains and pastas.  Then again, how many of us gluten and grain-free home cooks have discovered amazingly effective and tasty ways to cook from our pantry, substituting ingredients with wonderful results and single handedly creating abundance from disparity?  We all have. (Take a moment to pat yourself on the back, dear reader, you know you deserve it!)

With that thought in mind, stay tuned with us this month as we share the ways that have been most helpful for our family in shopping and cooking the way that nurtures us most fully, while staying in tune with the rhythm of the seasons, as well as our body’s need for increased warmth and sustenance as the days grow shorter and cooler.  Get excited, people!

It’s a delicious time of year and we’re eager to share the bounty with you!

Patricia

(Photo by Brian Godfrey) Hello Everyone! And Happy October to you.  Yes, that’s right, OCTOBER!  We’re all won...

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Recharging: Udi’s Gluten Free Cookie Review

Natalie Recharging

Holidays, or vacations, are perhaps the first place your mind goes to when you think of the word “recharging”. The summer months are a time that most look forward to, as we speak I know at least a dozen people that are on holiday elsewhere in Canada or beyond. Having said this, everybody has a place, ritual or activity that helps them recharge, and if your childhood was anything like mine, going abroad with your family is more akin to a 9to5 job than a relaxing getaway.

With fond memories of taking the wrong exit leaving Universal Studios and ending up on a 3 hour “scenic route” as my Dad fondly put it. Or how about that one time my cousin accidentally closed the door of our rental Pontiac Sunfire (it had a spoiler too, we were too cool) on my Dad’s thumb in Florida Mall carpark? Oh and how could I forget all those years sleeping in the same hotel room as my parents? I love them dearly but no amount of love can plug my ears enough to mute their snoring! Together they made for an interesting, almost experimental, symphony in Barbados. On a more serious note, there actually have been some astounding memories made on holiday with my family, but as my Dad always put it: “You need a holiday to get over the holiday”.

Holidays, or vacations, are perhaps the first place your mind goes to when you think of the word “recharging”. The summe...

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Introducing August: “Recharging”

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Welcome to “The Table”, our first of many posts about what’s going on at Elevenses and in our community. 

This month it’s me, Jacqui, writing to you all to introduce next month’s topic that we’ll all be addressing: “Recharging”. Put so aptly by the matriarch of the Elevenses family, August has always been a month of trying to squeeze as much rest and relaxation out of the summer as we can before school or work puts us on the hop once more. 

When our family was younger this meant my all-time favourite routine: waking up and immediately going to “Summer Fun” (the Green Shack programs put on by the City of Edmonton), heading home for a tasty lunch, packing our bags and going to swimming lessons, and then finishing up the afternoon with a couple episodes of the Cardinal house classics the Magic School Bus and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  Dinner followed, as well as a couple more hours at the neighbourhood park just after the sun started to sink. For me, August meant awesome days filled with lovely food, family time, occasional terrifying nighttime storms, and ignoring the “Back to School” signs cropping up in Walmart as long as humanly possible. 

Nowadays, August for our grown-up family + the amazing Natalie Wright means seeing the fruits of Hunter’s summertime labours in the Fringe, experimenting with new recipes, lots of travel, and piling into whatever room the portable air conditioner is in and binge-watching House of Cards on Netflix when the temperature goes much higher than 25 degrees. We’re wimps, we know. 

Even with the heat that it brings along with it, I have to say August has always been a favourite month of mine. I look forward to this one especially because of the epic month we have planned here at Elevenses!

Keep an eye out this month for articles about what August’s “Recharging” means to each of us, the recipes we’re loving right now, and awesome product reviews. 

Wishing everyone tasty eats, healthy bodies, and happy minds!

– Elevenses HQ

Welcome to “The Table", our first of many posts about what’s going on at Elevenses and in our community.  This mont...

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