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Springing to Life

Happeeee weeeekend :D I’m going to be straight up right off the bat here. I had a boring day! But, it was at least the first time I didn’t have to wake up to an alarm in 19 days, so that was a bonus. Slept in till 6:30. Woo! :P (there’s a note of sarcasm there, only crazy people use the term “sleep-in” and “6am” in the same sentence).

I woke up this morning knowing I wanted one thing and one thing only: custard oats. Then I opened my fridge to discover a near empty jar of almond butter. Sweet!

Looook into my nearemptyjarofalmondbutterrrrr…

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To eat oats out of a jar, one requires a long spoon. 

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And an upside down reflection.

Don’t forget to lick the lid!

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I never used to eat the crusty nut butter at the bottom of the jar until HEAB taught me that pouring hot oatmeal in there makes it dreamy.

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Caution: oats in a jar is very hot! I actually finished my coffee before I finished the oatmeal.

Gym didn’t open till 9am this morning, which seemed like an eternity. It was busy when I got there too! (9:15, didn’t want to be one of those annoying people who wait for them to unlock the door). Today was a full-body weightlifting day. I made it up as I went along, hopefully I can remember it all…

Started with 21 minutes sprint intervals on the elliptical.

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target
Superset:        
Wide-grip deadlift 60 lbs 8-12 3 Legs, back
Good morning  55 lbs 8-12 3 Hamstrings, back
Superset:        
Dumbbell fly 15 lb dumbbells 8-12 3 Chest
Dumbbell shoulder press  15 lb dumbbells 8-12 3 Shoulders
Superset:        
Plie squat 15 lbs 12 3 Quads, glutes
Single-leg deadlift 15 lb dumbbells 8 each leg 3 Hamstrings, glutes
Superset:        
Seated cable row  55 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Incline dumbbell shoulder press  20 lb dumbbells 8-12 3 Shoulders
Straight set:        
Walking lunges bodyweight 24 1 Legs
Superset:        
Forward tricep extension  15 lbs 15 2 Triceps
Barbell 21s 20 lbs 21 2 Biceps
Alternating set:        
Medicine ball squat 11 lbs 12 2 Whole body
Russian twist 11 lbs 32 2 Abs
Lying medicine ball throw       Arms, chest
Alternating set:        
Prone jackknife  bodyweight 12 2 Abs
Hamstring curl on ball  bodyweight 12 2 Hamstrings, calves
Plank  bodyweight 60 sec 2 Abs

Phew! I think that covers it! It looks like a lot, but I was sort of all over the place. I know I probably should plan these things out. But then I get all stressed about remembering it all and getting the machines I need to get to. It’s a lot more fun to just go with it :)

I was a starvin’ marvin by the time I got home. I made something I never get to have during the workweek – a smoothie!

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  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 big scoop plain yogurt
  • 1 scoop IsoLean peach-mango protein powder
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • ice
  • 1/4 tsp each guar and xanthan gums

It’s important to get every last drop!!!

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What would you call a smoothie stache on the forehead??

Smoothies go right through me, so lunch was shortly after.

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Turkey and baba ganouj pita.

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These pitas have been in the freezer for too long, every one seems to fall apart when I defrost it :(

The weather was absolutely gorgeous here today. There was no way I couldn’t take advantage of it! So I went for a walk along my favourite running trail late this afternoon. I was greeted with the usual view when I stepped out into my driveway.

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Never gets old. Top three things I will miss about Fredericton when I move in June: 1) the river, 2) my gym, 3) my university.

I carried my camera around my neck a la Peter Parker and played around as I breathed in the fresh spring air.

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 I LOVE SPRING!!!!!

Spring is my favourite season. I love how everything just starts to come alive again after a long and harsh winter (albeit, this year wasn’t too bad). There’s a vibrancy in the air that you can feel, and everyone is more alive and friendly. And I love how inviting the warm sun is, even though the air still has that bite to it. Perfection.

When I got home, I reheated some turkey goulash from earlier in the week

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Skipped the egg noodles and just had spaghetti squash, for no reason other than the fact that I have a mound of it in my fridge that needs to be eaten. Makes for wonderful leftovers :)

 

Flashback Friday 

I wanted to flashback to past Easters this week, but, well, I have no photo evidence that the month of April exists. For the past 5 years, I have spent Easter weekend holed up writing end of term papers and studying for exams. Clearly, nothing worth taking photos of happened during that time. It’s actually quite weird not to be doing it this year!

Anyways, so I am instead flashing back to February 21, 2010 when I made mini egg cookies.

I almost wanted to call this flashback lame, but there is nothing lame about these cookies my friends. So far, my favourite of the Treat Monday treats. I urge you to make them for your Easter celebrations, or at least to use up that giant bag of Mini Eggs you got. Recipe is found here!

 

And with that, I’m off to bed. I am doing absolutely nothing this weekend, as both my parents are off travelling. I’m stuck in Fredericton bored out of my wits instead. I can’t wait to get out of this city!!!!!

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite thing about spring?

P.S. Check out my guest post over on Kristin’ blog!

We Have a Winner!!

Well you guys. It is finally here. April, the long weekend, oh yeah, and the giveaway winner!!! That’s at the end of the post. Always got to save the best part for last ;)

Started this fine Thursday off with 6 miles on the treadmill. I always do some form of intervals on the treadmill, otherwise I’d fall off out of sheer boredom. Usually speed intervals, because the incline button intimidates me, and the “whirrrr” the machine makes as it rises scares me.

Anyways! Not today. I swallowed my fear and lived to tell the tale!

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.6 0.5
5-10 5.8 0.5
10-15 5.8 1.5
15-20 5.8 2.5
20-25 6.0 0.5
25-30 6.0 1.5
30-35 6.0 2.5
35-40 6.2 0.5
40-45 6.2 1.5
45-50 6.2 2.5
50-55 6.4 0.5
55-60 6.4 1.5
60-65 6.4 2.5
65-70 3.5 0.5

In all honestly, it was almost too easy! Again, I use the term “easy” lightly here. I just felt like I could have pushed myself a little more and still have felt fine. I still tend to think of myself as a slow newbie runner, so I tend to underestimate what I can do. Perhaps inclines aren’t as scary as I thought :)

Breakfast was inspired by Holly’s banana split overnight oats. I went into this with full intentions of making it as such – but it turned into spiced banana raisin oats.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon, and lots of it
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp banana extract

You may also notice by the above picture that when I opened it at my desk today – it was still soupy!! This is like fail #56 on overnight oats for me. I must be missing the overnight oats gene or something.

Thankfully, the microwave room was unlocked this morning, so I was able to zap it.

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Muuuuuch better. It actually turned really creamy with the almond milk and yogurt (plus that yogurt tang was an excellent addition!)

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The bites with little hunks of almond butter were my favourite :)

Oh. And I think I have discovered how to avoid exploding oats in the microwave. Put them in a bigger bowl. Duh. Hey, I never said I was a clever person here :P

I kept up the same flavour theme with a homemade apple cinnamon protein bar midday.

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Lunch was a ham, egg white, pickle, mustard and laughing cow sandwich.

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And deceptive orange. Looks big, was half the size after I peeled it. I got gypped.

Then this afternoon I snacked on a bag of strawberries dipped in unpictured vanilla cottage cheese and a cheese string.

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That vanilla cottage cheese by the way, is President’s Choice brand, which is available in Superstores/Loblaws across Canada. I also highly recommend their Mediterranean flavour. It’s great in salads and pitas!

Hey, speaking of salads!! ;) It’s what I had for dinner.

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It contained a million ingredients, including a whole head of romaine, whole tomato, pickled beets, sauteed tofu, baba ganouj and feta cheese. 

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I don’t even want to remember life before pickled beets.

I’ve also been experimenting with this stuff over the past few days:

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I’ve noticed that my fibre has decreased ever since upping my fat and protein (obviously). I like to get this sort of thing as naturally as possible, but my body also needs max amounts of fibre. I suck at digesting, and suck even more at it without fibre.

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One packet is about 1 tsp of tasteless powder for 5 calories, 3g carbs, 3g fibre. So far, I haven’t been able to detect it in anything I put it in. Even my nightly protein dessert. 

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1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder and a benefibre packet dissolved with a dash of water, topped with marshmallow fluff and pretty sprinkles. Protein + Fibre = Win.

 

Well, it’s a new month which means a new set of monthly goals. Holymoly. I can’t believe it’s April. Wasn’t it just Christmas??

 

Goals for April 2010

Continue the spirit of the sleep challenge, aiming to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I think 7.5 hours may actually be my magic number, which means I need to be snoring by 10pm. Totally do-able.

Get rid of as many of my belongings as possible. This includes donating clothes, books, and other random shiz. The less I have to cart halfway across the country the better.

Get my bike on the road. Ahhhh, cycling. It feels like nothing but a distant memory…

Pass my personal training exam. Ie, study like hell until April 16, and practice instructing people as much as I can before my practical.

Chill the eff out. There was a time when I made decisions so I could enjoy life more, not stress myself out more. Must remember to find excitement in the chaos again.

 

Five goals, not too shabby! I’ll be checking in every week as per usual. How about every Thursday this month? Why not.

 

Okayokay….you’ve made it this far. Now time to reward your efforts. Here’s what was up for grabs:

Ready???

 

randomorg 

 

66. clip_image002

Ftiness4Looks, on March 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm Said:

Mangos are awesome! I usually try to get about 7-8 hours of sleep! It’s tough finding energy in the morning to work out, but good for you for going to spin class!

Wooo!!! Congrats!! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly :) And thank you to all of you who participated. I had tons of fun seeing new names pop up, and have a plethora of new blogs to check out!!

 

Question of the Day: What are your goals for the coming month?

Bonus question: Did you do anything for April Fool’s? I didn’t, and thank goodness no one did anything to me!!

You like free junk?

Heeeyyyyy. We’re halfway through the week!! [insert giant smiley face here]

First things first. Thank you all for chiming in on my wondering rambles about the grey stuff around egg yolks.

Most of you said it’s caused by a) overcooking, and b) letting them cool too slowly. Culinary student Kristin laid it all out:

Susan,

The reason for the “ring” around your egg yolk is sulfur, a compound that is created when eggs are overcooked. (It also causes that yucky boiled egg smell- it can be avoided!) Either you are overcooking them too long in the water (it needs to be timed!) or you do not cool them immediately in COLD water to stop the cooking, put them in the fridge and they continue cooking in the shell. They do NOT cool that fast in the fridge, it’s the opposite!! I wrote a post on it here:http://kristinsnibbles.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-perfect-food

xo
K

Guilty and guilty! I am 100% aware that I overcook my eggs. I usually just bring the pot to a boil, turn it off, then walk away and forget about it. Eventually, I remember I have eggs on the stove and put them in the fridge. I can’t say I will time my eggs for exactly 10 minutes from now on, but I’ll at least refrain from walking away :P

In other news, I actually grabbed a shot of my pre-workout snack this morning.

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I usually eat around 100-200 calories of carbs, sugar and nut butter before hitting the gym every morning. It can’t not eat the second I roll out of bed, but I only have 30 minutes to digest between eating this and hitting “start” button on the cardio machine.

Future roommie Megan (hi Megan!!) asked me if I eat a lot of protein on rest days as well. If anything I eat more because this carby pre-workout snack is taken out of the equation. Our diets are always a work in progress, no?

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P.S. I roll it up. Scientific data shows that food tastes better when rolled.

I hit up the heavy weights again this week after a lighter upper-body day last week. No two workouts are ever the same around these parts! Too much fun fitness stuff to experiment with.

Warmed-up for 25 minutes on the treadmill first. 

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0.0
5-6 5.5 0.0
6-7 6.0 0.0
7-8 6.5 0.0
8-9 7.0 0.0
9-10 5.5 0.5
10-11 6.0 0.5
11-12 6.5 0.5
12-13 7.0 0.5
13-14 5.5 1.0
14-15 6.0 1.0
15-16 6.5 1.0
16-17 7.0 1.0
17-18 5.5 1.5
18-19 6.0 1.5
19-20 6.5 1.5
20-21 7.0 1.5
21-22 5.5 2.0
22-23 6.0 2.0
23-24 6.5 2.0
24-25 7.0 2.0

This treadmill routine is getting too easy for me!! I used to finish this breathless, and I hopped off feeling fine today. Will do harder next time.

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target
Straight sets:        
Assisted pull-up  70 lbs 4-6 4 Back
Barbell bench press 50 lbs 4-6 4 Chest
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lb barbell 4-6 4 Back
Push-up  bodyweight 3 4 Chest
Dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 lb dumbbells 4-6 4 Shoulders
Alternating sets:        
YTWL  7.5 lb dumbbells 5 each letter 3 Shoulders
Tricep pulldown  30 lbs 8 3 Triceps
Cable bicep curl 20 lbs 8 3 Biceps

Finished off with a sweaty 10 minutes on the stepmill.

I’m really starting to wish I had a spotter for these high-weight days. I originally picked up 20 lb dumbbells for my shoulder presses and almost lost it. It was frightening! My arm wobbled backwards and I barely regained control. I could have really injured myself :(

I arrived at the office shortly after for a wonderful breakfast I had packed away.

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SO filling! Two mini bagels with egg whites, mustard and ham. Meat in the morning fills me up like none other.

Morning snack came late.

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New batch of apple cinnamon protein bars. I still think these are my fave flavour for the homemade bars. Cinnamon and oatmeal is just such a killer combo…

Lunch!

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The return of the pita! It’s been a while! This was was ohsogood with baba ganouj and turkey as the base. Then stuffed silly with all the veggies I had in my fridge.

For my afternoon snack I mixed vanilla cottage cheese with plain yogurt and strawberries.

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My last container of strawberries were quite sweet and flavourful, these are borderline bitter with no flavour. Boo.

I also snacked on some nuts and dried cranberries at 4pm because I am always SO hungry by the time 4pm rolls around. I am ready to gnaw my arm off by the time I bust through the door after work. More tweaking may be needed to fix this issue. A diet is always in a state of progress, never is it perfect!

I am glad I had the extra snack because dinner was worth waiting for!!

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Janetha’s Turkey Goulash

recipe adapted from the eating for life cookbook.

serves 6

ingredients:

  • 20 ounces lean ground turkey breast I used a lb. Is that 20 oz?
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can roasted garlic & onion diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic. I used an extra for good luck.
  • 1 yellow squash Used spaghetti squash as extra filler
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini Again, I added another for good luck
  • 1 red onion Used half a gigantic one
  • 1 (10 oz) can tomato sauce Used garlic & herb flavour
  • 2 TB fresh basil 2 tsp dried basil. Boo.
  • egg white noodles
  • added mushrooms, lots of them

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I usually don’t like noodles because I find they’re too squishy, heavy and tasteless. But I love these Catelli Healthy Harvest whole wheat yolk free noodles!

I had only half a serving tonight, which was one heaping cup of cooked pasta, and still got 4g of fibre for 155 calories.

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Thumbs up JB!!! My tummy is thanking you right now :)

 

In case you missed it, I’m giving away free shizz because the people who read this blog rock my socks, and everyone needs a little blueberry syrup in their life. 

As a small disclaimer, don’t expect to see a lot of giveaways on this blog. I’ve sort of made an unofficial decision to turn down company offers unless they really line up with my area of interest, or I think they could be of real benefit. I really don’t want to give junk away just because I can. And I don’t want to feature junk on here just because I get it for free. I’m aware that I may not get as many readers because of this, but I hope that I can instead draw people in through quality content :) Blame my old journalism professors, they instilled some sort of lame set of beliefs in me :P

 

Question of the Day: Giveaways, yay or nay? Some turn me off by how obvious of a plug they are, but some are a fun way to share interesting products with people :)

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