Monthly Archives: January 2010

Made At Home

Well hello there! Hope everyone had a fantabulous weekend!! Mine was near perfection. I finally got the 8 hours sleep I was craving last night, then made myself a pancake feast.

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My usual protein pancake recipe (found under the “Eats” tab!) topped with a mixture of 1/2 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp banana baby food, 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp sugar-free syrup. A random assortment that was ooohhhsogood.

I spent the morning in bed doing blog updates! I made a new header and some minor changes to my About page, The REAL Story and Fave Posts. More updates will continue next weekend. I’m going to add an exercise page with my favourite cardio and weight lifting workouts. It’s gonna be good! (I hope)

I eventually made it to the gym for some treadmill + upper body weights.

Treadmill – 1% incline

Minutes MPH
0-5 3.5
5-6 6.0
6-7 7.0
7-9 6.0
9-11 7.0
11-14 5.8
14-17 6.8
17-21 5.8
21-25 6.8
25-28 5.8
28-31 6.8
31-33 5.8
33-35 6.8
35-36 5.8
36-37 6.8
37-40 3.5

Back + Shoulders

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up 75 lbs 6 3

Chest + Back

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Dumbbell bench press 20 lbs ea 10 3
Seated cable row 55 lbs 8 3

Triceps + Biceps

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Skull crusher 20 lbs 10 3
Barbell curl 20 lbs 10 3

Shoulders + Abs

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Dumbbell shoulder press 15 lbs ea 8 3
Plank bw 60 sec 3

First, I gotta give Janetha credit for the treadmill intervals. Or, her mom anyways ;) I started out too fast. I wish 6.0 mph was a “jogging” speed for me, but it’s more my legitimate “running” speed. So I had to take it down to get rest between the faster spurts.

As for the weights, my arms are mush. I barely made it through those shoulder presses!

Came home and refuelled with an breakfast sandwich and sweet potato cheetahs.

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Yummm!!! I always crave eggs after weight lifting, I have no idea why.

I hit up the grocery store after and had an exciting food find!!!

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Kashi Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit & Grain granola bar. For the longest time we just had the Kashi chewy bars here, and only just got the cereal ones. I embarrassed myself yet again at the Superstore upon finding these bad boys.

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They also had the pumpkin flavour, but this one obviously caught my eye first. Dark chocolate and coconut? Yes please!! It was pretty small, and tasted borderline stale. But my goodness the chocolate on top is goooood.

After my snack I got to work in the kitchen! First up: Beek’s Coconut Chia Granola.

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You may recall Bekah sent me some of her famous granola over the holidays. I LOVED it. I offered Bekah the opportunity to come here and make the granola for me on a regular basis, but instead she told me to make it myself :P

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I followed her directions almost perfectly…

Bekah’s Coconut Chia Granola:

recipe adapted from the back of the Let’s Do Organic brand of coconut flakes:

  • 3 cups rolled oats, gluten-free if necessary
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2  cup pure maple syrup (I use Grade B.)
  • Vanilla extract and cinnamon to taste. (I like a lot, probably 1 t of each, and then some.) 1/2 T of each
  • 2 T safflower oil canola oil
  • 2 T chia seeds

Mix allllll together in a bowl or directly on a cookie sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, making sure to mix up the granola one or two times while baking, to ensure even coloring (NOT burning!)

I pulled it out to stir every five minutes or so, burning my tongue on a nibble every single time :P

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Best. Granola. Ever. Seriously guys, go make it yourself. The sooner the better.

Next up was another batch of my homemade protein bars. Pretty much the same as last week, but with a touch less water.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • < 3/4 cup water

All mushed together and pressed into a 9×9 baking pan. No baking though, just put in the fridge to harden.

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Then cut into 8 pieces and wrapped up for the week!

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I changed the recipe just a tad, so the stats are slightly different: 174 calories, 6g fat, 17g carbs, 1g sugar, 3g fibre, 15g protein. Still not too shabby!

Then it was on to Homemade Sunflower Mustard Hummus.

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Yes, you read that right mustard hummus.

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (+3 tbsp of their liquid)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter (I used Deb’s!)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • salt + pepper to taste

I added the mustard because I’m out of lemon juice. Oddly, it turned out quite sweet!

Last, but definitely not least, I made my meal for the week. I stumbled upon this Mark Bittman chili recipe in Runner’s World that’s chock full of veggies. Sign me up!

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Bean and Vegetable Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil Canola spray
1/2 pound ground beef, pork, turkey, or chicken – 1 whole pound
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 small one big eggplant, cubed
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup 2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1 fresh or dried hot chile, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 cup canned tomato, seeded and chopped 1 can no-sodium tomato sauce
4 cups canned 2 cans kidney beans, liquid reserved
Vegetable stock as needed (about two cups)
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium; add the meat, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned. Remove meat from pan and drain off all but three tablespoons of fat.

Heat the pan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic; cook for about a minute. Add the vegetables; cook for 10 minutes or until they start to caramelize and dry out.

Add the seasonings and stir, then add the tomatoes and beans with enough of their liquid to submerge everything (use the stock if there isn’t enough).

Bring the mixture to a boil and cook about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serves six.

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I thought it tasted a little bland so I topped my bowl with salsa.

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MMmmm…. love me a chunky chili full of veggies :D

Now I am officially ready to start my work week :)

Those of you who expressed interest in the Banff Blogger Trip should have gotten an e-mail update on it :) Our dates are June 8-15 with tons of fun things in between. If you’re interested and didn’t get the e-mail, let me or Holly know: thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com or healthyeverythingtarian@gmail.com

Some things are just a no-brainer:

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SO excited!!!

Okay, it’s waaaaay past my bedtime. I need my beauty rest for spinning tomorrow!

Question of the Day: What store-bought items do you usually like to make at home? I love making my own hummus. And I must say, I’m really getting into this homemade protein bar thing. SO much cheaper, and I feel better eating them knowing the ingredients aren’t as scary.

The Saturday Chill

Happy weekend all! My cheeks are permanently red from all the nice comments on my new ‘do. If only I had a hair dresser to style it for me everyday ;) And might I add, taking emo face shots is a lot harder to do with a DSLR!

So I totally fell asleep watching the Real World last night. I was wiped! Was still up at the usual time today (6am) but at least it gave me some lazy time before step class. Pre-step breakfast: candy oats. 

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I am an adult, just with the tastebuds of a child.

  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • M&Ms

Step was fab!! First time there since before Christmas!! I felt a little more lost than I normally do, but it was still a fun way to work up a sweat. Maybe a Saturday morning ritual in the making?

Yoga class was immediately after in the same studio and I wanted to stay sooo badly!! But my tummy was having none of it – it wanted food! Next time I will bring a snack to eat in between ;)

Instead I came home and had a homemade protein bar.

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I opted for a fancy lunch since I was actually home to make one…

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Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

IMG_2876 Mini turkey meatloaf with reduced sugar ketchup.

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Mashed cauliflower (with laughing cow cheese, pepper, and garlic powder)

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Roasted brussel sprouts. They were the frozen variety though, nothing beats the fresh stuff.

The stellar eats continued with probably one of the best new bars I’ve had in a long time: Honeybar Sweet & Salty flavour. 

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Honeybar is a Canadian company that makes natural bars with minimal ingredients. Check these out:

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Not bad, right? Even the stats are good – 8g protein, 3g fibre and only 17g carbs. High fat – 16g – but that’s actually preferred for me!

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The taste? Amazing. The bar had a light “candy-like” coating over it that gave it a wonderful chewy texture. The addition of the of the crisp brown rice was nice with the peanuts. It tasted like I was eating a candy bar, but without the yucky ingredients. Just the good stuff, straight up :)

This afternoon I got to visit a good friend who just had a baby!! It was so weird to hear her talk about how mommyhood has already changed her. While I declined to hold the little one, I can’t help but turn to mush around babies. It’s their little fists. They get me every time.

I came home to yet another giant salad. I had a lot of greens in the house this week. Eaten out of a giant casserole dish, right Bekah? ;)

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  • spinach
  • romaine
  • zucchini
  • onions
  • green pepper
  • pickles
  • olives
  • roasted soy nuts
  • grilled turkey breast
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • parmesan cheese

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N-O-M. Another killer combo. I guess there are worse kicks to be on ;) I just gotta balance out all the M&Ms and marshmallow fluff!!

Dessert/evening snack was another notable one.

IMG_29121/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp almond butter, stevia to taste, all blended up. It was so decadent. Well, as decadent and chocolate cottage cheese can get anyways.

 

I wish I had more fun things to report, but it was a pretty chill day! It’s actually 9:30pm and I’m headed to bed. Sometimes, sleep is more important than a gal’s reputation, ya know? ;) How bout some fun questions!

1. What was the best thing you ate today? Mine was tied between the turkey meatloaf and Honeybar.

2 Do you have kids? Do you want them? Tell me about it! I’m still iffy about having babies at this point. I’ve always had my heart set on getting foster children when I get older. I feel like I’ve been through enough hardships that I could really help some kid out there get on the right path again…

 

Sunday is kitchen day ‘round these parts. See ya tomorrow with some recipes! :D

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Some great comments on my last post about plastic surgery. I love it when: a) people better articulate the point I’m trying to get across and b) when people see it from a different point of view than I. Case and point:

Julie, on January 15th, 2010 at 11:30 am Said:

I think it’s sad when people get plastic surgery to make themselves happy. It’s one thing if you have something about yourself that honestly makes you sad or feel ugly (like having a large nose – not saying people w/ large noses are ugly, at all) but if you are doing it because of insecurities, maybe instead of paying to alter your body you should pay to alter your thoughts about your body…like going to therapy. I mean, if it’s really that bad.

I think Heidi was beautiful back in the day, it’s sad what she’s done to herself. I can’t imagine waking up one morning and not resembling pictures of myself that were taken a mere 5 years ago.

heather, on January 15th, 2010 at 2:20 am Said:

My thoughts on plastic surgery are the same as yours, to an extent. In my own personal case I would love to have a few surgeries performed. But, I’ve also lost over 280 pounds and have over 15 pounds of excess skin that cannot be gotten rid of without surgery. So while it would be dangerous, I also think of it as being necessary in the future. In the case of Heidi, I agree with you. She’s rediculous, and doing it for those reasons is way over the top.

Just my two cents.

And then I always love it when my mommy jumps into the conversation…

Christina, on January 15th, 2010 at 12:48 pm Said:

If Heidi does not accept herself now the aging process is going to be horrible for her. I am 55 and my body has undergone many changes. But I have Susan’s 86 year old grandmother as my role model. She has always ate well and exercised. Her skin is wrinkled and sags but that is what happens to skin after 86 years. She is still proud of her looks and it shines through. No one gets to be 86 without it showing…

I can thank my mom and nana for being two wonderful role models on how to age. My 86 year old grandmother goes to yoga for goodness sake! I’ve seen how beautiful the aging process can be with those two women as examples, and I think that’s why people like Heidi Montag make my heart ache.

Speaking of hearts, thank you to those of you who nominated me for the blogging pants! I’ve admittedly completely ignored my Google Reader these past couple days, so I was confused as to why I was suddenly getting people coming here from Caitlin’s blog. Seeing that a handful of people thought of me when they heard about the blogging pants initiative put a giant smile on my face. My heart grew just like it does at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (you know what I’m talking about!) 

Okee, I’ve got lots of stuff to get to – including the Blogaversary Giveaway winner!! So let’s get down to business, shall we?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a completely wild night last night and stayed out till 10:30 with the girls from work. By the time blogging happened, it was close to midnight when I fell asleep. Six hours later, I was so not feeling the bike trainer session I’d hoped for. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, except I couldn’t!!! This is one of the reasons why I’m so successful at morning workouts. When I’m up, I’m up. So I pulled on my bike shorts and got to it.

It’s odd doing stationary bike workouts. I’m used to doing it in a spin class setting, or being outside on a real bike. I’m still not sure how to design a lengthy bike workout for myself. I kinda made it up as I went along today:

  • 5 minute warm-up – easy spin
  • 10 minutes – sitting sprints (1 min) + sitting recovery (1 min)
  • 10 minutes – hill climb, alternating between sitting and standing for 1 min each, increasing resistance every 2 min
  • 20 minutes – alternating 1 min sitting + 1 min standing sprints, with 2 min recovery in between each

Yeah, kinda random, but it kept me interested and I was working real hard by the end. Watched the local news again while on the bike. It was all about Haiti. An old “colleague” of mine was killed in the earthquake. Communications officer for the local RCMP. Heartbreaking. He always stuck out in my memory because he was so nice to me when I was a student journalist bugging him for interviews all the time. Strange how these people we cross paths with frequently can have such an impact on us…

Anyways, I should warn you, I’ve had a sandwich for every meal today. Starting with smoked salmon on an english muffin for breakfast.

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Also on there is laughing cow cheese, mustard, capers, red onion, spinach, tomato. And some grapes on the side. I’ve been craving savoury breakfasts lately!

I was supposed to go out to lunch with my dad today, but he finished up in court early and headed back to Moncton this morning. No worries cause I’ll be seeing in when I go home for my birthday next weekend!!! Since I didn’t pack a lunch, I tagged along to the mall with coworkers and stopped by Subway for sandwich #2 – turkey breast on whole wheat. Smothered in mustard and pickles. 

I had an appointment to get my hair done at 6pm, so I scooted home from work to make a quickie supper. Sandwich #3!

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Yves veggie salami slices, marble cheese, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato with a side of carrots, mushrooms + hummus. Nomnom. I’m like the female version of Joey Tribbiani. 

And my new single lady ‘do!!!

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Ta-daaaaa!! I had no idea what I wanted going in there, something shorter, darker, and a little sassier. I think it accomplishes all three and am quite happy with it. I feel like a new woman!! :D

All that scalp massaging stirred up my hunger, so I gave April’s protein cakes another go-around when I got home. This time I followed the recipe exactly, making two in total.

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Note to self: put it in bigger mugs next time!!! I don’t know why I didn’t learn from my exploding muffin top the first time around, but it happened again! They puff up big time in the microwave.

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Tastewise, these were much better. They’ve got some real potential. And by potential, I mean will someday be smothered in marshmallow fluff…

 

Okayokay. Enough chatter. Time to announce the winner of THREE Vega Vibrancy bars!!! Drumroll please…

….

….

 winner

#38!! Morgan!!!

Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place, on January 12th, 2010 at 1:21 pm Said: Edit Comment

yay! It’s been a year!! I love your blog and I’m so glad I found it.

Eeeee!!! Congrats Morgan!!! Send your address to thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com and I’ll send out your goodies!! As a side note, if you haven’t yet, you should totally check out Morgan’s blog. She has a very similar story to mine, and is now a television producer pursuing her personal training certification. Yay for fit broadcasters! ;)

 

And on that note, it’s time for bed.

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There are so many things I should do before bed, but instead I’m cuddling up with my hot water bottles and watching this week’s Real World episode. Night night!!! xoxo

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