Monthly Archives: January 2010

Things I Learned – January

Another month gone, another list of things I learned! If you’re curious here’s what I learned in…

July
September
October
November
2009

Now on to this month!

  • As much as I wish it could, my body is not built for 6 workouts a week. I need a rest day every three days or my body and immune system shut down. I know this. There is nothing wrong with working out 4-5 times a week. In fact, that is more than enough.
  • I am not as socially inept as I thought I was. Embracing my social awkwardness has actually allowed me to come out of my shell.
  • The only thing that could possibly make custard oats taste better is eating them out of a near-empty almond butter jar.

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  • I do not have to be doing something productive with my time during all waking hours. Even more, I do not have to feel guilty about not constantly checking things off my to-do list.
  • Despite whatever opportunities arise in the future, I will not stay in my current city when my work contract is up. For the sake of my mental sanity, it is time for me to get out.
  • I am no longer allowed to bake or cook when I’m sick and full of mucus. It leads to things like kitchen fires and flat sweet bread.

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  • Protein bars take 5 minutes to make at home, and produce much tastier and healthier results
  • I like going to bed early and being awake early. Plain and simple. There’s no point in pretending I want to do any different.
  • Staying home all weekend because you don’t want to shovel is okay. Staying home from work because you don’t want to shovel is not.
  • Cottage cheese and feta are an awesome pairing, and make for a stellar pita-filler when I’m running low on other protein.

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  • The older I get, the more I appreciate my family. I am so lucky for the family I have.
  • I need more fat in my diet. My skin is in awful shape.
  • I really am not a 9-5, mon-fri person.
  • Sometimes, I just feel like snacking, and it’s okay if that means salt & pepper Popchips and a cheese sandwich for dinner.

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  • My home is a reflection of my state of being. If I am unhappy, my living space becomes an unhappy place to be.
  • Lindt Fleur de Sel is officially the best chocolate there is.

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  • My living room can be an awesome place to work out.
  • I don’t need to be a grown up, I just need to be me.
  • Guar and xanthan gums are intimidating and require more experimenting with on my part.

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  • I don’t have it all figured out, and I probably never will. Maintaining my weight and eating habits will always require a conscious effort on my part.
  • Deb is a genius for inventing the hot chocolate smoothie.

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  • Just because a person turns 24, does not mean they have to give up eating marshmallow fluff and sprinkles.
  • Everyone needs to send their smoothie ‘stache photos to Janetha.

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  • Sometimes I need to dismiss my fear and embrace new relationships. Sometimes I need to work harder to restore old relationships. And sometimes I need to let go of relationships that just don’t work.

Your turn!! What did you learn this month??

Burning Down the House

I have no idea how to even prelude the craziness that went down today. So I’m just gonna get right into it.

First off, I slept 9.5 hours last night. I haven’t done that in years. I must have really needed it. I briefly contemplated going to a step class, but I really just wanted pancakes in bed. More precisely, blue pancakes.

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Apparently Thursday was blueberry pancake day and I missed it. That needed to be remedied at once!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, blended in
  • vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon

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I keep forgetting to mention it, but that brown sludge that’s always on the side of my waffle and pancake photos is almond butter whisked with fake syrup. I’m obsessed with it :)

After this I made a feeble attempt to go to a yoga class. Got outside all ready to go, to find a wall of snow at the end of my driveway. Shovelling out meant being late for class, and my mucus head wasn’t too keen on spending any amount of time in a -20 windchill. So I brought my sorry ass back into the confines of my warm apartment.

Instead I spent the morning scrubbing my kitchen top to bottom, including the cupboards and fridge. Breaked for a super lunch.

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Breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and tofurkey. Nomnom. I would like to eat nothing but breakfast all day.

At some point I caught the baking bug. I wanted to add toasted almonds to this week’s batch of protein bars, so I sprayed some with canola oil and popped them in the toaster oven.

Then I went to Google something. I can’t remember what. I just remember smelling burning and running into the kitchen. My toaster oven was billowing smoke. Acting on impulse, I opened the door and giant flames licked out. I’ve started small kitchen fires before that were put out with oven mitts or water. But this was a real, burn-your-house-down fire. It just kept getting bigger!!!

Thank GOD I remembered seeing a fire extinguisher in the entrance hallway leading to my apartment. I ran up the stairs grabbed it, pulled out what looked like a pin and pushed what looked like a lever.

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First, a lot of foam comes out of those things (I just had a small one). My first spray didn’t put out the fire, so I had to do it a second time.

You couldn’t see through my small bachelor apartment from the smoke and fire extinguisher foam. I was coughing and spitting up godknowswhat. I was in complete and utter shock. Started shaking violently trying to wrap my head around the fact that I almost burnt my house down. Not just my house, but the house I share with several other people.

I immediately called my mother, who seems to only ever talk to me on the phone through hysterical crying these days. Thank you so much mom. You definitely held me together today.

Aaanyways, thankfully, my apartment is already a dump (hey, you get what you pay for). I think there is some actual cupboard damage under the smoke stains.

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And my can of organic raisins will never be the same.

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I also had a thick layer of CO2 dust all over everything in my kitchen. Every little corner I’d scrubbed just hours prior had to be scrubbed again. Including the pile of dishes I’d just washed.

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I have a feeling I’ll be wiping that stuff off things for weeks. It even got on my shoes in the back corner.

I spoke to both my parents after the ordeal, and both suggested I take something to calm myself down. More precisely, they suggested a beer. Who am I to argue with the experts?

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I’m a non-drinker, so it only took half for the shaking to stop and the rosy cheeks to set in. Good call mom and dad :)

I paired the brew with something that was baking in the oven while all this was going down. April’s Low Carb Sweet Bread.
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup wheat-bran
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure pumpkin (depending how moist you like your bread- I like mine really moist so I used 1/2 cup) 1/4 cup sweet potato baby food
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp each baking powder and cinnamon I totally missed this step!! Dammit! No wonder it turned out flat :(
  • 2 tsp pure stevia extract 1/2 cup splenda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Pour into baking pan, bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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I am not allowed to cook with a mucus brain anymore. I can’t believe I forgot the baking powder!

After the fire debacle, there was no way I was using the oven or stove for dinner.

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Pita with teriyaki herring, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow pepper, onion, lettuce.

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And veggies with tzatziki on the side.

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I have to cut my baby carrots in half – they make them too big!

Evening snack was the fire culprit – PB&J protein bar.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • 6 tbsp almond butter
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup water
  • NO TOASTED ALMONDS

All mixed up, flattened into a 9×9 pan, put in the freezer, and cut into 8 pieces. These turned out to be a little on the gooey side, so they’ll have to be kept in the freezer. A little fire extinguisher dust got on the mixture too, so they may or may not kill me. But I’m too cheap to throw them out, I put expensive ingredients into those!!

 

Oof. So what was supposed to be a relaxing day of cleaning, turned into a near death experience and approximately four years removed from my life. Inhaling all that smoke was probably not good for my current illness, but maybe the crying helped cleanse it out? :P

Lesson of the day: know where your fire extinguisher is and know how to use it!! Doesn’t matter how careful you think you are, fires can start instantly, and get out of control even more quickly. I’m really lucky that somewhere in the back of my brain i knew how to use one. Must have clung on to that third grade demonstration better than I thought!

Question of the Day: Have you ever had any close calls with fires? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

 

P.S. Emily wrote an eye-opening post that everyone should read. Especially those readers struggling with eating disorders.

P.P.S. Morgan received the blogaversary pacakage! Yay! Much better than the disaster that was my last giveaway.

TGIFF – Thank Goodness It’s Flashback Friday

TGIF!!!!! This is how I party on a Friday night…

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I’ve been looking forward to this aaallll week. I actually woke up sick this morning. No doubt from my 6-hour nights and 10-hour work days this week. I feel like junk, I can’t believe I photographed this for you guys to see!! :P

Had I known my head was going to be invaded by mucus last night, I wouldn’t have set my alarm for a morning workout. Alas, when it went off at 6am, there was no falling back asleep for an extra glorious hour. How do you snoozers do it??

I thought today I could attempt to do all three levels of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred video. Umm, did you know those levels are technically 25 minutes each? Well I didn’t. At 50 minutes, I finished the second level and had taken up most of the hour I allotted for exercise. This is my excuse anyways. Truth be told, I was done at the squat thrusts. I tend to get cocky with exercise videos, but it kinda kicked my butt!

I had breakfast waiting in the fridge for me. The only way to have oats cold ;)

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The childhood nostalgia breakfast cookie.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • splash almond milk
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • mini chocolate chips
  • sprinkles!!!

Maybe it’s because I haven’t had one in a while, but this b-fast cookie was beyond awesome. Or maybe it was the sprinkles ;)

Work was busybusy. My mucus/headache/sore throat/cough/chills/aches only got worse as the day progressed. Oh, did I mention? We apparently got a snow storm last night that I unexpectedly had to shovel out of this morning. I spent the day in wet clothes. The only thing worse than getting snow in between the cuff of your jacket and mittens, is when it sneaks under your pants and on your ankles!! Brr!!

Thankfully, my boss sent me home a half hour early when he noticed I’d been clinging onto kleenex all day just in case I get another bloody nose.

One of those days where I was craving absolutely nothing for dinner, but a girl’s gotta eat!
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Baked salmon filet topped with feta and Kirkland no-salt seasoning. On a garden salad. I drizzled watered down tzatziki for my dressing.

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Looooooved everything about this salad. The saltiness of the feta went wonderfully with the richness of the salmon. And tzatziki makes for a really nice cool and refreshing dressing :)

 

A January Flashback

That’s right! ‘Tis that time of the week – Flashback Friday!! I’m feeling a little uninspired tonight (blame the mucus brain) so I thought I’d flashback to photos from past Januaries. I actually think it’s kinda fun to see what I was doing at this time last year, and years before. Unfortunately, my earliest January photo only goes back to 2006.

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This is me getting a scooby-doo chia pet as a b-day gift in 2006. Little did I know, four years later, those seeds would be an addition to my favourite granola

(P.S. I killed Scooby just like every other plant that has ever entered my house. Including cactuses)

In 2007, I was mastering my mad pool hall skillz.

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With my BFF Matty. He’s off gallivanting in England now, I miss him! By the way, let the record show we both suck at pool. I honestly don’t know why we thought this was a good idea. One game took a solid hour.

In 2008, I was apparently not doing a good job of dyeing my hair.

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This was my first ever fondue experience. I learned that it takes forever to cook and just tastes greasy. I believe I’m seen here bobbing for a lost mushroom.

Aahhh. 2009. Whatta year. Here I am with my J-Class (that’s J-speak for “journalism”) trying to help a classmate dig out his car.

n115400581_30824848_6379Or, at least standing by watching as he spins his tires. This was an awesome night when I got to meet the editor-in-chief of Macleans, Canada’s weekly news magazine. It was a big deal. I’m a dork.

Also worth mentioning, I got my university grad photos done in January ‘09!!

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I can’t believe I’m here now one year later, working at the same university! I’m all kind of mushy these days about being back there. I love that freakin’ school.

 

So back to current day – January ‘10. I’m in my fuzzy slippers as promised.

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Watching MTV, as promised.

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It’s 9:12 and I’m about to hit the hay. I worked hard this week, and in some serious need for down time. Two words for the weekend ahead: low key. Can’t wait!!

 

Question of the Day: What were you doing exactly one year ago? Exactly five years ago?? In January 2005, I’d just started going to university part-time and thought I wanted to be a high school English teacher. I also went to Cuba for the first time with an ex-boyfriend!! Ooohhh how things have changed :)

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