Hi I’m Carrie, welcome to Eggplant and Aubergine! I am a recent teaching graduate from Vancouver, Canada who moved to London, England in search of grand adventures and of course of landing my first real career job.
I’ve started this healthy living blog to keep myself motivated and accountable for my eating and exercise habits; to record my new challenges and goals; and to share my other passions of traveling and art. I would love for you to be part of my journey.
I’ve been living in London for almost a year, and can now confidently say that I’ve adjusted to all the big changes that have occurred in my life over the past 12 months (finishing school, starting new career, moving halfway across the world, meeting my English prince charming…) The transition of moving across the pond didn’t go as smoothly as planned and I had a bit of a hard time adjusting to life in the UK. I found accents to be harder to understand then I thought they would and English slang was even tougher to grasp. I would have never thought that a bird would be a term used to describe a woman or that a snog meant a French kiss or a frozen yogurt. And like all North Americans and most other people around the world, I always found myself looking left instead of right when crossing the street, or walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk or footpath as the English call it. Being a lover of all things coffee, I even found my journey into the local Starbucks to be a challenge at first. I couldn’t simply ask for a grande pike with room, without the barista looking at me sideways. It’s filter coffee here and it comes black or white. However, Starbucks does still have the milk and sugar station, but without the cream. Yep that’s right I had to kick my love of half and half in the butt, the stuff doesn’t exist in England. Oh believe me, they have every other kind of cream imaginable here, just not the liquid kind suitable for coffee.
It took a while to get used to my life as a substitute teacher, working in a schools that was a far cry from anything I’ve ever experienced before. Needless to say, it took a lot out on me and I never made time for exercise and preparing healthy meals, two very important parts of my life. I’ve been off of school for about a month now and vow to never let stress get the best of me again, I’m finally accustomed to my new English life and with that being said, I’m ready to get back on track.
My exercise routine and eating habits have changed significantly since moving from Vancouver. My west coast lifestyle included plenty of running and lots of other outdoor fun. I lived three blocks from the beach and would be outside everyday and when it was raining, there was always yoga. When I started work in London I had to get up at 5:45 every morning and walk, catch a train then a bus, then walk some more to get to work. Sadly, my travel time took up more than three hours a day, when I got home I was too tired and hungry to exercise.
The food in England hasn’t exactly been a hindrance on my body, but I do think I’ve been indulging in far too many fried foods and pints of beer. Of course London has wonderful food options too, they just come at a much higher price. I just have to deal with the fact that there is no English version of Trader Joe’s to help spare my bank account. There is however a Whole Foods, and it’s great but even pricier then it is in North America. It also doesn’t help that my boyfriend is as skinny as a rail and can indulge in whatever and as much as he wants and not gain an ounce. Ugh, young male metabolism. Although he is an absolute enabler constantly telling me that I look beautiful just the way I am, he is also a great supporter and is not only open to but has come to enjoy some of my favorite foods, like quinoa and splet as well as my favorite veg, eggplant, or aubergine as they call it in England. I found it funny that they call zucchini and eggplant courgette and aubergine, they are french words and honestly I thought the English would be to proud to keep them as they are, ah well they sound much prettier this way. Anyways, I still can’t sell him on tofu and coconut water and I’ve tried everything, suggestions please?!
Slowly I’ve been trying to find better ways to stay physically sound. I’ve started running again and will hopefully taking part in La Grande Classique in Paris this September. It’s a 10 Mile race that goes from the base of the Eiffel Tower to Palace of Versailles, sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? I have also taken up swimming and I am itching to get a bike; perhaps a triathlon is in order next year? We’ll see, baby steps right? I’ve also been stronger in terms of what I choose to eat. You can make healthy choices no matter where you are; it just takes a little extra work sometimes. Ever since I was young I’ve always loved to cook and bake, and can’t wait to share my vegetarian recipes with you. I’ve been a vegetarian (pescatarian) for the good part of two years, but I always seem to have my week moments when I can’t seem to tell friends and family that I can’t eat what they’ve made for me. I defiantly feel best, both physically and mentally, about my decision to not eat meat. Bring on the veg!
Along with my strong feelings towards factory farming and the ethical treatment of animals. I also hold strong beliefs about how I care for the earth and the lasting impression that I make on it. I cannot wait to teach my first environmental education class, I know that day will come soon.
I also want to share with you my passion for art and design. Yep, that’s right I’m an artist! Unfortunately, lately most of my time spent making art has been in the classroom with my students. I am also a photographer and plan on furthering my ventures in that in the next year. I also have a background in publishing and communication and love great design and beautiful typography.
Did I mention that I’ve been bitten by the travel bug? Okay, big confession, it’s mainly why I moved to England. So many countries, so close together, it’s mind blowing. So far I’ve been to Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Germany and Spain. Not sure where I’ll end up next but I’m hoping it will be to Oktoberfest in Munich!
Thanks for reading my blog, I look forward to sharing it with you. xx