Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back to Basics

Hello all,

My name is Lauren and I am creating this blog to reflect my passions in life: nutrition, fitness, baking and retiring early :) I have had a strong interest in nutrition since I was 16 and was playing competitive basketball in highschool. This transferred into university when the infamous "freshman fifteen" somehow magically packed on to my lovely hips. Since then it has been a learning process of how to balance the finer things of life (chocolate, cookies and wine) with feeding my body properly and not depriving my mind or body of optimal health.

As you get to know me you will find that I am a strong advocate of exercise classes as I love getting my butt kicked, waking up the next morning, waddling over to the washroom and grimacing because of how many squats we did the day before. For some reason this makes me feel good. Yes weird. I know.

I also LOVE to bake. BUT I love to bake healthy! I am constantly looking up new recipes, following other health blogs or changing recipes to make them suit my needs. This said I still do bake "properly" at certain times. AKA Christmas. You can not make shortbread or my favourite chocolate-chip-thin-crisp cookies without real butter, white flour and yes sugar. mmmmmmmmmm. But the rest of the year I stick to whole wheat flour and trying to bake with as many veggies or fruits as possible and minimize the amount of sugar put in. Yummmy!!

Speaking of which today I just made some AMAZING pumpkin scones like the starbucks pumpkin scones but "healthified". The recipe was taken from (Thanks Angela, love your blog). With the left over pumpkin I also made chocolate pudding. Also from recipes to follow.

With regards to retiring early... this is my goal. Yes I am fresh out of university (BSc. Combined Major Biology & Psychology, Honours with Distinction) but no I do not want to kill myself working 10 hour days at a job I may only kind of like and where I may get "let-go". With the economy how it is and the job world changing, I am looking to put my mark on life with a different approach that will leave my happier and with more time for my family, getting my butt kicked and baking!

Recently there was an article in the Times Colonist titled "Young Canadians Downsizing" and it discussed how the job world was changing. When my parents and my friends parents were our age (1970's) they found a job out of university with a company and have most likely stayed with that company for 30+ years and will retire with a nice pension that will keep them secure for the rest of their lives. Well I am sorry to inform new graduates that this is unfortunately not how it is going to work for our generation. It is now "more difficult to attain the same standard of living - complete with stable job, nice house, and reliable pension that our parents enjoyed." This article compares a 27 year old International Affairs Masters student who had a wealth of international experience but still had a tough time finding a job to her father who was able to find the "stable, work for 30+ years for one company" job fresh out of university. The article mentions that even when she did find work, it was contract work. Not a stable job with a nice pension at the end like her father. The article states that many new graduates are having to downgrade their expectations.

Unfortunately, I like my expectations and I don't want to downgrade. I believe that my generation is going to have to rework our concept of true stability, true wealth and true freedom. So in sum, I am going to have to figure out another alternative and that is just what my plan is :)

Join me on my journey as I chronicle my thoughts, recipes and passions for life!

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