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The first wealth is health.

All I can say about the past two months… ugh. Venting, begin.

– I ended up deciding to move back to Victoria after my summer job in Vancouver. I realized that it was just impossible to settle there on my own… it’s CRAZY expensive living there and the jobs I could find wouldn’t pay enough. Hopefully someday I’ll get a good opportunity. In the meantime, I’m okay living in Victoria, it’s much preferred anyway. Vancouver is too “city” for me. I sure will miss my Vancouver friends though!!

– I had an interview with Starbucks here in the spring in case my summer job didn’t hire me. Both ended up hiring me after all so the manager at Starbucks said I have a place if I end up returning to Victoria afterwards. Well, I returned so I emailed her twice, no reply.  Since I returned, I’ve applied to at least 10-15 places. No luck. Good thing I have occasional respite work and graphic design work to keep me afloat.

– I went off birth control, it was making me gain more than I should have. My hormones were CRAZY for a while too.

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It’s getting much better though. I also went through a really bad vertigo episode in August then I experienced dizziness with ringing ears at least every other day for quite a while. It is now down to once a week. This episode heightened my anxiety, I was almost always afraid it’d happen again and didn’t go out much. That has improved over time as well.

Venting, end.

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Clearly, I needed to find something to do to keep myself sane until I have a job and a stable routine. So I’m going to completely focus on improving myself and get myself healthy as I can be. I also hope to lose 50 pounds.

I’ve decided to start transitioning to a vegan diet. I already don’t eat dairy except for the occasional sprinkle of cheese (rare!) which is making this change easy. So far I’ve only ate meat (only chicken or turkey) once a week in three weeks. I cut out eggs completely for three weeks now too. Hoping for zero animal products in my diet by December.

I bought the Body Boss Fitness guide as a birthday gift to myself almost a year ago. It’s a 12-week step-by-step exercise program. I LOVE it even though I have yet been able to do the full 12 weeks. I’ve attempted it many times and things keep coming up which made me have to stop for a week or so each time! I am now going to attempt it once again, and hopefully this time nothing comes up to hinder it.

I also will be walking for an hour daily.

To document my process, I will be posting regularly on Instagram – @chipsandsmoothies – and posting a Youtube video every two months.

Orange Almond Meltaway Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk (or water)
1 teaspoon orange extract
orange food colouring

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and almond extract, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.
Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small circles and then press with hands (or with the bottom of a cup) into a disk shape. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are! Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To Ice: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and almond extract – until smooth.
Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Store in the fridge, let come to room temperature when ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef Blog’s Almond Meltaway Cookies

Cruelty Free Update

Since my last recap on the products I switched to, I’ve once again switched several products – some to cruelty-free ones and some just weren’t working well enough for me. Here is the updated list of products I use. The ones with a heart icon () are of cruelty-free brands.

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