Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Forbidden Fruit

Love all the food and nut butter suggestions that I’m getting from yesterday’s post! If you haven’t heard yet, I’m giving away a free jar of almond hazelnut butter go here to find out how to enter!

If you thought yesterday was an apple extravaganza, just wait until you see today. Apples are hands down my favourite fruit, and probably in my top 5 favourite foods of all time. So I may not like pumpkin, but I’m making up for it with apples this season! :)

Got things started off this morning with an apple cinnamon roll breakfast cookie.

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Uh-mazing. I liked this just as much as my chocolate macaroon kind, which is saying a lot!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • handful dried apple pieces
  • scoop of applesauce

All mashed up until the protein powder dissolved enough to make the mixture crumbly (the apple sauce acted as my liquid here). Flattened on a plate and stuck in the fridge overnight. I put about 1/2 a tbsp of Fluff in a baggie this morning and drizzled it on top for my icing, but some of it came off en route to the office :(

More apples for my snack this morning, in the form of muffins.

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I sliced up a cheestring and melted it in the microwave. This wasn’t as amazing as I was hoping it would be. I think that’s because the cheese was cheap and kind of plastic-y tasting (they were on sale!). I imagine it would be much better with some quality cheddar.

My only non-apple meal of the day was made in these guys:

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Microwave egg cookers. I got these for free at the Running Room. The box had images of perfectly poached eggs. But I think I may need a little more practice to get the perfect microwave setting down.

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I cooked them in the microwave together and one of the eggs exploded while the other one barely cooked. Probably need to do it separately. Still edible though :)

We had a really bad rain storm last night, so I was expecting to have to drag my butt on the treadmill today. But it cleared up just as I got off work. Turned out sunny and 14C! (57 F)

I ended up doing 5.3 miles in 50 minutes. It was surprisingly tough for me. I think I must be having a hard time getting back into it after taking much of last week off. I didn’t really get into my groove until the last part of the run, at which point I booted it to the end. My heart rate went up to 181! I usually get up there in races, but not very often during training runs.

I also added some new tunes to my iPod! Here were some of my faves that popped up:

1. Meet Me At the Equinox – Death Cab For Cutie
2. Gold Digger – Glee Soundtrack
3. Electrify – Mute Math
4. Uprising – Muse
5. Daylight – Matt & Kim (thanks for the suggestion Kathleen!)

When I first started running, I would always pick really upbeat, techno-type songs. But they always kinda bored me! I’m learning that good, quality tunes, no matter the tempo, are much more enjoyable to listen to. It’s nice to have something to pace to, but sometimes it’s also really nice to zone out and enjoy the music and scenery (and maaaaybe sing along :P )

I was megamega hungry when I got back. So dinner was thrown together quickly.

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Ha! You can see a running shoe in the background.

Tofu wrap with some plain sautéed tofu and garlic, with some garden veggies and laughing cow cheese wedge.

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With a chopped honeycrisp sprinkled with cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of my favourite ways to jazz up plain apples. Okay, it’s my favourite way to jazz up anything ;)

More apples!

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This time in the form of homemade applesauce. Scooped on top of plain yogurt mixed with vanilla whey powder and some crumbled Kashi cinnamon harvest.

This was too pretty though – had to turn it into a legit yog mess!

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Ohmygahh this applesauce is GOOD!! I’m in love with it. I want to run away to Vegas and elope with it. I mean I like regular applesauce, but this stuff is a whole other level. It’s really thick, almost like a cross between regular applesauce and apple butter. I want to eat in on everrrything. With Fluff :P

Anyways, that wraps it up for tonight. I actually just finished cooking another apple dish for breakfast tomorrow. Don’t forget you’ve got till Tuesday to enter my giveaway!

Question of the day: What’s your favourite fruit? Pretty sure I don’t have to elaborate on that one :P I’m pretty boring with my fruit choices, oranges and bananas are second and third.

Giveaway AND Video Post!!

Oooh, exciting things in store my friends! It’s all at the end though. I won’t be hurt if you scroll through, but just know you are missing out on a lot of muffin and apple pictures if you do :P

Apparently, my camera uses a lot of battery power while not being used, because the batteries were randomly dead this morning. Thus, no office eats! You’re not missing much. I dropped a raw egg on the break room floor while trying to make lunch. I almost cried. I never thought I could be so attached to one egg.

I made up for it when I got home though :)

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Usual frozen deep chocolate vitamuffin with a smear of PB. But what’s that white stuff you ask?

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Oh yes. I did.

I was actually on a mission for mini marshmallows, as I thought they’d make a great addition to my candy bowls of oats. But then this jar caught my eye, and I was sold.

I mean for something that’s essentially sugar, the ingredients aren’t that bad. I’m pretty sure the M&Ms I’ve been eating are worse…

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I can blame an ex-boyfriend for introducing me to this dreamy product, and the fluffernutter sandwich. This was the kind of stuff that was never allowed in my house growing up.

Some people do ice cream. I do fluff :P

The muffins didn’t stop there though. I finally attacked the bag of macoun apples I bought at the market last weekend.

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First, I got to work on apple oatmeal muffins. I followed Rhodey Girl’s recipe for Apple Walnut Raisin Muffins.

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The only changes I made were that I omitted the raisins and walnuts for more apple-y goodness, and substituted a 1/2 cup of flour for 1/2 cup rolled oats.

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I of course had one immediately out of the oven, with some Earth Balance spread (the only way to eat baked goods straight from the oven in my opinion).

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While all that muffin business was going down, I was also working on some of Brie’s applesauce. Three ingredients: apples, water, cinnamon. Doesn’t get much easier than that! Well, actually, it was quite labour intensive to peel and chop a dozen apples. May have helped if I didn’t break my apple corer last year trying to get it through a gigantic honeycrisp…

Yay flash photography!

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Okay, to be honest, I really wanted to add a shot of whiskey to this process. Doesn’t whiskey apple sauce sound awesome? I held back though. That will be for my special “after lunch” batch ;)

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The end product was amaaaaazing.I kept dipping a spoon in here to lick it up :)

Afterwards, it looked like an apple orchard exploded in my kitchen. So once the clean-up was finished, I wanted a simple dinner.

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  • mixed greens
  • romaine
  • shredded carrot
  • spanish onion
  • red pepper
  • tomato
  • mushroom
  • zucchini
  • lemon juice
  • Gardein mustard “chicken breast”

Eaten while tweeting and msn-ing.

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Today was my first day using tweetdeck, I like it!

Oh, and another apple oatmeal muffin for dessert…

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With peanut butter. Yes that is my third muffin today! It could have been worse, I could have put Fluff on this one too! :P

Okay. Congrats, you’ve made it to the end.

Drumroooollll pleeeeease……..

Oh wait! it’s in a video!

(turn you speakers WAY up for this one)

So in case you couldn’t hear, I’m giving away a free jar of almond hazelnut butter!

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This stuff is seriously, seriously good. The two nuts blend together perfectly to create a rich and versatile nut butter.

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I’m kinda jealous that I’m giving this away, because I think it would taste really good on my mocha oats!

So how do you win??

1. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite nut butter + food combination is. For example, some of my favourite combos are cashew butter + dates, peanut butter + bananas, or sunflower seed butter in hummus!

2. Tweeeeeet a link to this post. Just include @balancesusan so I know ya did.

3. Link back to this post on your blog.

4. Add me to your blogroll and leave an extra comment saying you did (or that I’m on your blogroll already).

So there ya go! It’s open to anyone and everyone no matter where you live. I’ll be taking entries until Tuesday, October 27 at 5pm Eastern time. I’ll announce the winner in Tuesday night’s post.

Now I’m off to go do some more food experimenting. That’s what weekends are for! :)

Ups and Downs

Before I even begin to delve into this post, I just want to say how awesome it is that you guys didn’t yell at me for liking soggy cereal! I thought for sure everyone would be on the crunchy bandwagon. Glad to see I’m not alone :) I do however have an aversion to cow’s milk and cream, so I can only do soy or almond milk in cereal. I love dairy, but straight up milk makes me think of the purpose of an animal’s milk in the first place, and gives me the heebie-jeebies. Did you know humans are the only mammal that drink another mammal’s milk? Ew. We’re gross.

Another fun fact: apparently my body only wants six hours sleep a night now. Ugh. Really? Only two years ago I could seriously sleep for 10 hours every single night. Oddly, I feel energetic and awake, I just hope it doesn’t catch up with me!

Maybe my body just gets too excited for breakfast. It’s my own fault for feeding it so well :P

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PB&J oats!!!

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • dash pumpkin spice
  • peanut butter
  • blueberry jam

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I layered half the PB&J in the center of the bowl, so it’s like an “oatmeal sandwich.” :) Usually I crank the stove up in the morning so my oats cook as quickly as possible (I’m hangry!). But today I let them cook slowly on a lower heat and they turned out soooo creamy. Almost like gelatin.

Today was my day off, and a very laid-back one at that. Did lots of housework, and made a big dent in New Moon (getting ready for the movie!). I then mustered up all my courage and went to a zumba class.

If you’re curious about zumba, you should check out this video from the Today Show.

I have to preface this by saying I am uncoordinated, clumsy, and possibly the whitest girl you will ever meet. The only booty shaking I do is shivering during the winter months.

I wish I could say I found my inner Latina diva, but alas, she may not exist :P The class was full, a good mix of ages and fitness levels. But I really didn’t get much of a workout from it. Maybe I would have if I was a better dancer and knew the steps, but even then, I don’t think it would be comparable to my regular workouts. It’s definitely fun to let loose once in a while, but I have to say it just wasn’t my thang. I still would not discourage any one else from giving it a try though!

Oh, but the dance steps kinda hurt my sensitive runner’s muscles :\

BodyPump was immediately after zumba, and I was feeling good and energized from the class, so I stuck around and did a two-fer! Body pump was much better the second time around. It’s a fine art trying to find the right weights for that class. After the two classes, I left the gym happy, and very hungry!

I did even more kitchen clearing by attacking a box of noodles. I added garlic tomato sauce to my dip from yesterday. Then added half a serving of whole wheat rotini.

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I have maybe half a dozen boxes of noodles that I never eat, because I don’t really like noodles! Something about their tasteless and slimy texture. I do like them as an “addition” to things though. So this was really a bowl of sauce with a few noodles :)

Emily expressed interest in hearing about my experience with weight maintenance after talking about my weight loss yesterday. Honestly, I could ramble on about weight maintenance for a while! As I said yesterday, losing weight was very easy for me. Once I cut back on all the unnecessary calories I was consuming (ahem! beer! and lots of it!), the pounds immediately started creeping off.

I don’t want to give the impression that losing weight is a walk in the park. I went a very long time without eating nut butter because it took up a large chunk of my daily calorie allowance. That’s not fun. But at least weight loss has a time limit. I knew I wouldn’t be in a calorie deficit forever, so my eating habits were doable for the short term.

Weight maintenance however, is forever. Now that my friends, is scary. I think the biggest thing you need to learn in maintenance is to accept the fluctuations. And I’m not talking a couple pounds of water weight here and there. Sometimes, you will feel 5-10 lbs heavier. The key is to not freak out. Understand that it’s part of the natural ups and downs of life. Losing it doesn’t mean drastically slashing your calories, or adding an extra hour at the gym every day. It just means maybe eliminating those things that you’ve let creep into your life. Maybe it’s that extra glass of wine in the evening, or giving in to the donuts in the break room at work.

My weight has fluctuated a lot since I lost those final pounds. I gained a little over Christmas last year, and again during a trip to Jamaica. There will be many other times in the future where I expect to go up a little. But I know what eating and exercise habits will allow me to fall back to my “happy weight.” It’s just a matter of getting back into those habits. To me, the heart of maintenance is in those fluctuations. Being able to nip any weight gain in the bud, and get yourself back on track.

Embracing those fluctuations has helped me not freak out over having to maintain this weight for the rest of my life. Right now for example, I feel just a smidge bigger than I like to be. But my fridge is stocked with healthy food and I’ve got stellar workouts planned for the coming week, so I know I’ll be back to that comfortable size very soon.

And for the record, I did gain weight when I went from a calorie deficit to maintenance calories. It was at that time that I threw away my scale! :P Instead, I just started eating what felt natural to me, and the next time I stepped on a scale, I was actually 5 lbs under my goal weight! Just goes to show that your body will never steer you wrong :)

Okay that’s enough rambling for one night! You know what’s next…

Question time!

Are you a good dancer? I did highland dancing as a child. I think jumping up and down on one leg will be the only dance move I’ll ever master :P

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