Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Great Balancing Act

Thank you sosososo much for the supportive comments on my last post! Sometimes I wish I could be this wonderful role model. A fun blogger who has their shit together, eats well all the time, has a perfectly fit bod, etc, etc. Well, I’m not. No one is. In fact, I would say my shit has officially hit the fan :P

But! I’m pulling myself back together. I’ve been very vague about how much I struggled this past fall. It got to the point where I dreaded getting out of bed everyday and broke down crying regularly. My mother suggested I go to counselling, instead, I quit my job. My life has been cah-razy ever since. Piecing myself back together has proved to be a very long process. One of self-discovery, that’s for sure.

So yes, during this period of time, I gained weight. To be honest, I didn’t have the strength in me not to. Yes, I’ve lost the “balance” I named my blog after. But that’s why I chose to theme my blog around balance in the first place. It’s something I, and many other people, struggle with. I stumbled, I lost my balance, and it’s time to get back on both my feet again.

It’s not all about losing weight and looking like a personal trainer. It’s about taking steps that make me feel like me again. Setting fitness goals (one of my fave things to do!!), eating foods that make me feel good, and finding that lust for life I once possessed.

When I quit my job as a radio reporter in November, I was broke and worn out. My life looked like nothing but a “coulda-woulda-shoulda.” In three short months I’ve stumbled into my current job which I love. Made the decision to pursue my passion for fitness and work in the field. Realized I’m a writer at heart. Opened my mind to possibilities outside of the borders I created. And took the leap to focus on my dreams and go after them. By myself. With the influence of no one.

So once again, I completely spill my guts on my “healthy living” blog. Damn. I suck at not being honest!

I must say though, despite all this, my Monday got off to a fabulous start :D

Was up and at ‘em for the 6am RPM spin class. Yes, the same one I’ve failed to go to for the past three weeks. I finally forced myself to bed early on a Sunday night and made it. SO WORTH IT!!! Next Sunday night, I’m coming back to read this post. I must always remind myself that every Monday should start with a few brutal hill climbs ;)

Since I was away this weekend, I didn’t do my usual Sunday food prep. So this beast of a bar was breakfast:

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Peanut Butter Clif Builder’s bar. Eaten at my desk.

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And a granny smith.

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I didn’t care for the builder’s bar that much. Albeit, it was half frozen from sitting in my car. Oddly, I didn’t like it because it tasted too much like a candy bar. Which is fine for a snack, but not for a meal.

It was at least filling. I didn’t dig in to my morning snack till later…

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Applesauce + coconut chia granola + raisins + kashi blackberry cereal bar. Granola in applesauce is good!!

My plastic lunch…

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Tuna pita and baby carrots. Looks like a boring lunch but it was soooo good. I’m always super quiet at our lunch get-togethers at work because I’m always stuffing my face ;)

Snack!

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Mango + cottage cheese. So weird to eat mangoes in the dead of winter, but they were on sale!

Dinner was a spicy concoction featuring my first ever run-in with chipotle!

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Yes, I’ve never cooked with chipotle before. I added it to yves Mexican ground round, black beans, onions, green pepper, jalepeno, hot sauce and a dash of chili powder. All cooked up in a pan together to create one mega-spicy blend.

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Usually sour cream would be used to soften the blow, but I didn’t have any. And Greek yogurt doesn’t exist in Canada. So I dug around and decided cottage cheese would make for a decent dairy topper. It was delicious!!! It added a creamy cheesiness that was to die for. Now I want to try cottage cheese tacos :)

Oh, and there may have been dessert

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A cherry hershey’s kiss. I didn’t know they made these!! I love chocolate covered cherries, so this definitely caught my eye.

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It’s no cherry blossom, but for 20 calories a pop, I’ll take it ;)

Well, I think I’ve rambled enough for one evening. Tonight was my only full night off this week (I’m working late every other night this week). Instead of being productive, I laid in bed and caught up on my MTV watching. I dunno about you, but I think that’s balance right there ;)

 

Question of the Day: What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do but been to scared to? I’ve always wanted to spend a year in Scotland. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was in high school but am still frightened by the idea. My mom’s family is from there, so I grew up hearing about it. Someday I’ll get the courage and do it. If anything, I promised Ellie I would!! :P

Time to Get Serious

Thanks again for all the bee-day wishes! I had a wonderful day yesterday. Now I’m just preparing myself for a very busy week ahead at work!! I have a few more 10+ hour work days ahead of me :\

I did at least continue the celebration for breakfast.

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  • 1 packet multi grain instant oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 sliced banana
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (it’s national PB day after all!)
  • mini marshmallows
  • sprinkles!! Just for you Deb ;)

And then I had a piece of beet cake as my pre-workout snack. Totally powdered me through a tough one!

Treadmill

Minutes MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0
5-6 5.5 0.5
6-7 6.0 0.5
7-8 6.5 0.5
8-9 7.0 0.5
9-10 5.5 1.0
10-11 6.0 1.0
11-12 6.5 1.0
12-13 7.0 1.0
13-14 5.5 1.5
14-15 6.0 1.5
15-16 6.5 1.5
16-17 7.0 1.5
17-18 5.5 2.0
18-19 6.0 2.0
19-20 6.5 2.0
20-21 7.0 2.0

This particular treadmill workout is getting easier!! Yay!! Improvement! :D

Elliptical

Minutes Level Intensity
0-2 10 low
2-3 14 high
3-5 11 medium
5-6 15 high
6-8 12 medium
8-9 16 high
9-11 13 medium
11-12 17 high
12-14 13 medium
14-15 16 high
15-17 12 medium
17-18 15 high
18-20 11 low

Rowing Machine

Minutes Grip
0-2 overhand
2-4 underhand
4-6 overhand
6-8 underhand
8-10 overhand

Stair Machine

Minutes Level
0-1 8
1-2 9
2-3 10
3-4 11
4-5 12
5-6 9
6-7 10
7-8 11
8-9 12
9-10 13

 

L-O-V-E-D this. Will definitely be added to my new Fitness Page (which is still a major work in progress – lots of updates to come!).

I find long cardio workouts at the gym are a lot more fun when I only have to do 10-20 minutes on each machine. Makes it fly by! I also work at a higher intensity because I keep switching to different things. Definitely helped that my mommy came with me too :D However, at the end of the elliptical session, we saw someone fall off a treadmill!! Holy scary. If you ever feel like you’re falling off a treadmill, just let yourself go. Trying to hold yourself on only worsens the situation :\

My tummy was yelling at me by the end of this workout, so I fed it right away.

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Laughing cow, roast chicken, tuna, onion, tomato and romaine on a pita. They chicken/tuna combo was delicious!

Shortly afterward it was time to make the boring drive home. I kept awake by singing along to CDs at the top of my lungs. This song in particular got a few encores.

No groceries at home, luckily I had some goodies stashed in the freezer.

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Ketchup with a side of turkey mini-meatloaves and butternut squash fries.

Liz – I let the fries sit with sea salt for a few minutes, then squeezed the moisture out a second time – totally worked!! Made for a much sturdier b-nut fry :D Thanks for the suggestion!!

 

Time to get Serious

Okay guys, I’m gonna be straight up with you. I’m still struggling to lose the few pounds I gained over Christmas. Not the end of the world. But, I’m a little bigger than my “happy weight.” My snacking has been a little off the charts. I don’t photograph everything I eat, and that includes the multiple handfuls of chocolate chips and cereal (among other things) I eat at night.

I’ve struggled a lot over these past two months to find an eating and exercise routine that worked through TWO job changes. Yes, I’m on my third job in less than two months. I’ve worked inconsistent hours at differing activity levels over the past eight weeks, it’s messed with my body and food routine immensely. On the bright side, I’ll be in a stable job for these next three months and I’ll finally be able to get into a routine with it.

So what does this mean? No, I’m not making silly self-imposed rules. I’m not doing boot camp or giving up sugar (the horror!!). But, I will be counting calories again. Maybe not every single day, and not religiously. But I like the accountability it gives me with snacking. I know there’s varying opinions on this, but I know what works for me :)

I also want to keep track of my foods so I can look at my day and see where I’m not eating whole, “clean” foods. I exercise tons, but I realize my body composition issues are diet related. I just need to polish it up a tad and I should be able to see and most importantly feel a difference.

Part of this is because my birthday is now behind me, so I have no more big “splurge” days on the horizon. The biggest part however, is that I’m going to be a personal trainer in three months, and I want to look the part. I don’t expect to have the bod of Jillian Michaels. But I’d like to lose a little body fat and actually “bulk” my upper-body (my limbs are quite scrawny). The way I see it, you wouldn’t get your hair cut by a hairstylist with bad hair, so why listen to a trainer with a pudgy tummy?

As always, I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing with this. There will still be marshmallows, just not every day ;) I feel best when I go back to basics with my food. And I want to start experimenting more with my exercise! I want to get a little more serious with my weight lifting, and try to incorporate more plyometrics. Hopefully there will be tons of new workouts popping up over the next several weeks :)

 

Question of the Day: Do you or have you worked with a personal trainer? What was your experience like? I’ve actually never worked with a trainer before. Mostly because I like learning the stuff myself and choosing what I want to do. But it will be interesting to job shadow with one in the coming months!

Beets, Birthdays and Boats

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!! Y’all are too sweet. I’m kinda in that part of my 20s now where they all blend together. Won’t have another exciting birthday till I’m 30 ;)

Started the day off wonderfully – I slept for almost nine hours!!! Insane, most nights I’m lucky if I get seven.

I brought a packet of multigrain instant oats with me to my mom’s. Mixed it in with some of Mark’s vanilla protein powder and topped with banana+PB.

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Check out Mark’s bowl! I had a little breakfast envy :P

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I believe he said it was Kashi Honey Almond Flax, yogurt, berries, banana and cinnamon. All mixed up into a yog mess of course ;)

After some caffeine and digestion, it was time for the gym! Went to the co-ed Nubody’s downtown as they have a better weights section than the women-only gym. Why do they do that?? Women need good weights too!!

Elliptical 

Minutes Level Effort
0-3 10 low
3-5 11 low
5-6 15 high
6-8 12 low
8-9 16 high
9-11 13 low
11-12 17 high
12-14 14 medium
14-15 16 high
15-17 14 medium
17-18 17 high
18-20 14 medium

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
One-arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 8 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  75 lbs 8 3
Incline push-up bw 12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Single-leg romanian deadlift w/ row 20 lbs 6 ea leg 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 8 3
Plank bw 60 sec 3


Treadmill

Minutes MPH
0-1 3.0
1-3 3.5
3-4 8.0
4-6 3.5
6-7 8.5
7-9 3.5
9-10 9.0
10-12 3.5
12-13 9.5
13-15 3.5

 

For some reason, I just could not get my heart pumping and my muscles didn’t feel that exhausted. I think I was partially half-assing it, and part had way more energy than I’m used to from the sleep.

After the gym, I met up with my dad for a noon-hour brunch (yes, I get that’s technically lunch). We were both craving eggs and fresh fruit, so Cora’s was the natural choice.

I ordered Peggy’s Poached.

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One poached egg, one piece of toast, cottage cheese, mixed fruit.

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Not shown is how I massacred that egg on the toast, and poured the cottage cheese all over the fruit. It was delicious!

And a steamy Americano to go with.

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My dad got eggs benedict with ham.

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Totally hit the spot!

After br/lunch, I went shopping with my mom and nana. Some bee-day purchases included a nice purse to hold my DSLR, bread pan, measuring spoons and a vegetable peeler. Tomorrow I’ll be conquering the Running Room!

Dinner was yet another amazing meal – my mother and I went to a local sushi place called Pink Sushi.

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I love celebrating my birthday with my mom. I kinda feel like it’s just as much her day as mine. I mean, she actually did all the work ;)

We wanted a little bit of everything, so ordered the sushi & sashimi combination boat. 

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It started with some miso soup that I didn’t eat. I don’t really care for miso – too salty!

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And then our boat of sushi arrived.

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I totally failed at capturing its sheer magnificence on film. It was a thing of beauty!

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Every birthday should involve a boat of food ;)

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It really did have a little bit of everything, but I think my favourites were the rolls with teriyaki sauce, and the plain pieces of salmon.

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My mom and I were in food heaven the whole time. It was amazing. We totally killed that boat.

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Until next year my friend…

And what’s a birthday without cake!?

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Cake I made myself of course – that’s half the fun!

After much debate, I decided on red velvet cake as I’d never had it before. But my mom isn’t the biggest fan of food dye (she was a microbiologist, so with good reason). We tracked down a decent looking recipe that uses beets for the red colouring. So I basically made a beet cake for my birthday :P

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Yes, one is now “over the hill” after the age of 24. And yes, I’m “still cookin’” ;)

Low Fat Red Velvet Cake (Chocolate Beet Cake)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup  1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/3 cups non-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups beets, peeled and shredded 4 large beets, cooked and mashed

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in buttermilk. Beat in butter, egg substitute and vanilla. Add beets. Pour in prepared cake pan. Bake 45 minutes. Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese 250g light cream cheese
  • 12 oz. 20ish oz fat-free frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat Neufchatel cheese until smooth. Stir in thawed whipped topping and powdered sugar.

I then decorated it expertly…

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Then cut myself a giant piece. It’s my birthday – I’m allowed a giant piece of cake!!

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It’s reddish, perhaps a nice mahogany? It’s a wonderfully dense and moist cake. You can almost taste the beets, but I think it gives it a really nice earthy sweetness. And the cream cheese frosting is of course to die for. 

Now I’m just relaxing with the fam. I bought some nail polish today (which I haven’t owned since the age of 13) so I’m thinking of giving myself a manicure. I wouldn’t want anything more on the day of my birth than to relax and be with the people I love!!

 

Oh! And check out my horoscope that was in today’s paper:

In the year ahead, there are indications that you could become involved in an endeavour that would yield a second source of income, which could grow into something bigger. But you’ll have to be extremely patient.

 

How cool is that!? I’m hoping it’s PT or blog related – or both! :D

 

Question of the Day: What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe in that stuff? I’m an Aquarius and I totally do. Yes, horoscopes are generalized, but I like to believe there’s some mysterious meaning behind it all ;)

Hope you’re having a great weekend too!!

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