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Food. Good food. And lots of it.

Bonjour!! I am in a bilingual city, I can say that here ;)

Wonderful questions and feedback on my last post: Ripped Arms: A How-To Guide. I made some clarifications in the comments section if any of you are interested. In terms of designing an arm workout, 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps of each a shoulder exercise, triceps exercise and biceps exercise, 1-3 times a week, is enough to do it. Got that? Just don’t forget about your other muscles too! ;)

I also got a great comment from Averie:

10 yrs of yoga gave me a foundation for everything, 4 mos of lifting is giving me some size :)

Couldn’t agree more. If you’re already athletic, but still want to see more arm definition, heavy weight lifting will get you where you want to be in no time.

Now this is where I seamlessly transition to talking about FOOD.

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I really just want to show this pic of Sunday’s breakfast because my toes are stealing some of the spotlight in the bottom right of the frame :P One of the reasons why I love reading food blogs, as opposed to professional food publications, is the level of “real life” you get from photos such as these. Hello toes!

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Rainier cherries are continuing to rock my face off. They taste milder than regular ones.

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The last of my homemade rosemary yogurt biscuits topped with eggs and bacon. If it’s been a while since you last had this combination, I highly suggest you get on it. This is the best post-run weekend breakfast. The HEAB-ster just posted an even easier biscuit recipe just in case ;)

 

Okay, now that we are done ogling at breakfast, I must introduce you to Sunday’s lunch!! Sister Sara had tickets for a play and the theatre is conveniently located across the street from an amazing vegetarian buffet called The Table. I grabbed a little scoop of everything that struck my fancy. I’m a sampler.

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Beet salad and carrot ginger salad.

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A tofu patty topped with this sweet & sour onion sauce. They were highly recommended.

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Some sort of black bean loaf.

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Braised onions, roasted mushrooms and a tofu skewer.

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As well as a bit of lentil quinoa salad and dandelion greens. The salads were a little lacklustre (surprisingly!). The hot foods were my favourite. Especially the braised onion and tofu patty. I want to recreate both!!

As we were leaving, Sara heard that you get 20% off if you’re going to see a play. We’d already paid, but we wanted our discount!! So we went back after the play for tea and dessert :)

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I was still stuffed from my meal, so I stopped myself from grabbing a gazillion cookies and went with what looked unique.

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Not your typical coconut pie. It was surprisingly light and fluffy, not at all chewy like a macaroon. A touch bland though, so I topped it with this:

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Vegan rice pudding. I’m assuming it was made with coconut or soy milk. Made for an excellent pie topping actually!

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Apple & mixed berry crumble with whipped cream. This was my favourite of the desserts. You can never go wrong with cooked apples.

And the tea!

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The perfect flavour to pair with the desserts I’d chosen. I love me some chai!

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Sara being her usual social butterfly self.

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Me, being my usual contemplative self.

Another highlight from Sunday was biking down to one of Ottawa’s beaches. It may take a while for the idea of a beach not meaning “ocean” to sink in.

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Sara and her sweet new bike pump. She’s a cycling queen.

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Me just looking awkward :P My biking adventures in Ottawa have been my first of the season. It would be an understatement to say they came with a little apprehension. In fact, I had a moment of sheer panic within minutes of being back on the bike. But yesterday I started to feel relaxed again and less like I was chained to a death trap. Also impressed by how strong my legs got over the winter – hills are nuthin’ to me now!

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Because of my new-found ease, we opted to take the long way home and enjoy some of the (weird) sights Ottawa has to offer.

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Inukshuks on the river!!

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Clearly, we had to stop and take silly photos with them.

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I just wish I’d read this sign first. I maaaaay have decapitated a statue :\

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Today’s breakfast had a significant lack of biscuits.

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Eggs and bacon were instead eaten between two seedy pieces of bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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I made a fruit salad for us using watermelon, banana, cherries, lime juice and some of this stuff:

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Peppermint honey!

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From Alberta! It was very pepperminty, but added a nice refreshing kick to the salad.

Let’s see… there was also a notable breakfast dessert.

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I love that my sister agrees with me that it is very important to have quality chocolate in the house at all times.

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Camino Coconut gets a thumbs up!

It took me a really long time to get motivated to go the gym today. I am having motivation issues lately. I’m thinking it may be resolved once I finally get settled in Toronto (moving Thursday!). Until then, I forced myself to do a full-body lifting workout.

Started with a 10-minute run to the gym. I did three sets and 10 reps of everything. Colour-coded to indicate which exercises were supersetted together (ie no rest in between alternating sets).

Exercise Load Target
Sumo squat  70 lbs Quads, glutes
Wide-grip lat pulldown  60 lbs Back, biceps
Good morning  45 lbs Hamstrings, glutes, lower back
Incline push-up  bodyweight Chest, abs, front shoulders
Forward lunge  30 lbs Quads, glutes
Arnold press  15 lbs ea Shoulders
Overhead cable extension 30 lbs Triceps
Seated calf raise  90 lbs Calves
Incline curl  10 lbs ea Biceps
Captain’s chair  bodyweight Abs

I went up in weight on my squats… yayy!!! Only 60 lbs left to go until I reach my lifetime goal of squatting my bodyweight – ha!

Ohyes, then I ran the 10 minutes back to my sister’s place. Mygosh it was hot by then. Brutal.

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Sister Sara said I had to try these tofu cutlets they carry at an organic food store called Herb & Spice.

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I cut it up cold and put them on top of a salad (dressed with watered down hummus). I would have to agree with my sister, these are amazing!! It almost tasted like they were baked in cream of mushroom soup, but Sara says the spread vegepate on top. Genius.

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Salad also included some wonderful local spinach – yum :)

Late this afternoon I continued my quest to find a decent cottage cheese in Ontario… IMG_9094 
Half a cup of Liberty 1% cottage cheese on top of the leftover fruit salad from the morning.
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It was good but still not great. Also, Liberty is significantly more expensive than other brands.
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I miss my Scotsburn 50% less sodium cottage cheese!! They need to supply outside of the Maritimes!

For dinner, I made Sara and I bison burgers using my mother’s method of locking all the juices in (start with a hot pan, then lower it down to cook)

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Sara doesn’t keep  ketchup in her place (the horror!), so I loaded up on the tomatoes, and ate it on pita bread. A Susan version of a hamburger thin if you will ;)

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Roasted corn in the oven. So easy. Throw it in, husk at all, and cook at 400F for 30-40 minutes.

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Yellow zucchini roasted in rosemary and olive oil. I could never find this anywhere back home!!

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All yellow vegetables tonight :)

Sara and I then sat around contemplating what we could do this evening. We both agreed dessert was in order, but I’d already eaten three pieces of chocolate today (as I do every day, fyi).

Somehow we decided it was a good idea to walk 30 minutes to this delightful place called Oh So Good near the Byward Market.

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We got a little lost on the way, but the extra walk was worth it. They had a wide array of different cakes and sweets. My eyes immediately set on the white chocolate mousse cake.

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Seriously you guys, I’m not a huge cake person, and I loved every bite of this. Incredibly light and fluffy, with shaved white chocolate on the top. Both Sara and I agreed that the small layer of jam in the center made the cake.

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Sara got a slice of the chocolate truffle cake. The chocolate was definitely of high quality and fresh because it was the first piece from the cake!

We both enjoyed our cake with a cuppa tea. We briefly discussed the calories in each slice, and agreed it was a pleasure too great to pass up.

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That’s why you walk to the cake ;)

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See you tomorrow!! xoxo

Sweet Tooth

Heyo!!! How is everyone’s weekend going? I will keep this short. Why? Because I instruct you to go soak up some of your weekend once you’re done reading :)

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I got my eggs and biscuits!

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My tummy was still off for the most part of the day, but I could at least still fill it with good stuff. Including my homemade rosemary yogurt biscuits. Sara and I have nearly demolished the whole batch already.

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Eggs were scrambled with a little butter, pepper and half and half. Avec du crispy chicken bacon!

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And citrus. Whether juice or whole, there must always be citrus.

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I piled the eggs and bacon on the biscuits. This was an amazing combo. Biscuits > english muffins. Just sayin!

(p.s. Ellie and I did extensive research today on the difference between scones and biscuits. Read here for more very important bread info)

Shortly after my sister woke up and reminded me we’d planned on running this morning. Damn. It was cold, and raining, and I was just not into it. Somehow, she convinced me out. It was so humid it felt like I was running through pea soup. Pretty sure I wheezed the whole time and had to take a couple walk breaks. Got through the 4-ish miles though. Thank you to my sis for hauling my butt out. But I was damn glad when it was over ;)

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A nomination for world’s ugliest food photo.

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For lunch, I mixed up a heaping scoop of unflavoured soy protein powder, cocoa powder, stevia, almond milk, a tbsp almond butter and a banana. This was a lot of chocolate, even for me. It’s just too tempting sometime to eat chocolate for a meal! It was however very filling :)

After this Sara and I hit the road to visit an old friend outside of the city. We munched on a special Luna bar in the car.

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Chocolate Raspberry is not available in Canada, I had my girl Holly smuggle it in for me.

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One of my top fave flavours!

Even though we feasted on some delicious hamburgers at our friend’s place, Sara and I were still a little snacky later on.

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We picked up some Tartinade au Tofu aka Tofu spread ;) I am obsessed with tofu in spreadable form.

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And dill cheddar!

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My first time trying rainier cherries. Delicious.

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Solid snackage happening here folks. However, it was more like an appetizer to things to come…

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GELATO!!

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My first gelato ever!! I’ve never had the opportunity to try it in during my sheltered Maritime upbringing. As soon as I saw Pure Gelato on Elgin Street, I told Sara it was meant to be. I’m not a huge fan of ice cream because it is too sweet and creamy for me, but gelato is made with a lower butterfat and sugar content. I went for cinnamon, apple pie and pistachio.

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Sara got hazelnut, chocolate mint and pina colada.

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Excitement!!! We both agreed that pistachio was the best, closely followed by hazelnut. I did indeed enjoy it more than ice cream, and it took all my strength not to get it in a waffle cone (despite the differences, it seems gelato is similar in calories to ice cream). My new place in Toronto is apparently close to a gelato place. Danger!

 

Okee dokie bloggie friends. I am off to cuddle up with the sis and watch Alias. Now you go off and enjoy your free time!! xoxo

 

Question of the Day: Ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt? Favourite flavour? So far I love real frozen yogurt the best, with fresh raspberries mixed in.

Herb n’ Pig

Happy weekend!! I’m on the eternal weekend over here… I’ve been unemployed for exactly 8 weeks now! Or, I should say, “without work.” It’s an intentional stint of unemployment, but I am getting antsy to get my hands dirty again :)

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There is chicken bacon in the fridge that needs to be eaten up, but I also really wanted pancakes for breakfast.

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So I made both.

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Mixed up a double batch of my oatmeal cottage cheese protein pancakes (minus the sweeteners) and threw in the cooked bacon.

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I do not recommend this cottage cheese.Watery with a rubbery taste. Ew.

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Bacon and maple syrup are an amazing combo… too bad I’m hooked on the sugar-free stuff.

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Just another piece of evidence that bacon does in fact make everything better.

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As a side note, Sister Sara ate hers with real maple syrup and half a banana. She’s a girl who knows how to do it right ;)

I spent all morning putting 118 Banff photos on Facebook so my dad can see them.

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It was a gruelling task that had to be fuelled by a High Protein Banana Bar with greek yogurt. Parfait a la K!

Then I received this text message:

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That was all the push I needed to get my butt in gear and to the gym!!

I ran the 7 minutes it takes to get the gym. I LOVE being able to run to the gym. It makes weight days seem so much easier. I just run there, do my thang in the weight room, and run back. None of this cardio machine silliness.

Another full-body day with an emphasis on the upper body. My glutes are still hammered from my last session!

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target
Step-up (alternating legs) 50 lbs 20 3 Quads, Glutes, Calves
One arm dumbbell row 25 lbs 10 3 Back
Stiff leg deadlift  50 lbs 10 3 Lower back, hamstrings, glutes
Incline dumbbell fly  15 lbs ea 10 3 Chest, front of shoulders
Dumbbell pullover  20 lbs 10 3 Chest, front shoulders, top of back
Side lunge with dumbbell front raise  7.5 lbs ea 10 3 Glutes, inner thighs, quads, front shoulder
Standing calf raise (on machine) 85 lbs 10 3 Calves
Cable pushdown  60 lbs 10 3 Triceps
Plank off bench n/a 60 sec 3 Abs
Standing dumbbell curl 12.5 lbs ea 10 3 Biceps

Colour coded again! Matching colours = alternating sets. Even though I only did one isolated ab move, I feel like I got a good core workout with this one. Those dumbbell pullovers require a lot of stabilization in that area.

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Refuelled with a big ole’ green salad in anticipation for my rib feast later. Just the typical garden salad with tuna for my protein, mozzarella cheese for my fat, and watered down hummus for the dressing.

Then it was on to my special project for the day.

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I had a whack of rosemary left after making boeuf bourguignon. My mind immediately went to Banff. The yoga studio we went to was located above a bakery that smelled like herbed focaccia. It was mouth watering.

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For some reason though, I didn’t feel like focaccia. No, I wanted biscuits. Something I could eat with eggs in the morning, or perhaps a rack of ribs ;)

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Buttermilk biscuits are traditional, yes, but silly when you also have a tub of yogurt in the fridge waiting to be used.

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A quick Google search lead me to this Emeril Lagasse recipe.

Rosemary Biscuits:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup buttermilk 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the rosemary. Add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk a little at a time, using your hands to work it in just until incorporated and a smooth ball of dough forms. Add up to additional 1/4 cup buttermilk if necessary, being very careful not to overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into a circle about 7 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a medium baking sheet. Bake until golden on top and lightly browned on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.

Yield: 12 mini biscuits (I got 20)

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No cookie cutters were found in my sister’s kitchen, however there was a nice assortment of shot glasses.

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I really hope my new apartment in Toronto is well-cooled. I don’t know how I’ll survive baking with a 450F oven otherwise.

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They were done in 10 minutes flat and smelled heavenly. Almost as good as Rocky Mountain Yoga!!

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I calculated the nutritionals on these, and because they’re so small, one biscuit is only 44 calories. #win.

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As per the baking rules, I had one immediately out of the oven with butter.

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My first ever batch of biscuits were not only downright delicious (toot toot) but also crazy simple!! I keep passing all these wonderful bakeries here in Ottawa, and then think to myself that it’s so much more fun to just bake at home :)

Afterwards Sara and I went to a 90-minute Hatha Flow class. It was pretty fun! I did this:

Just with the assistance of two people and a couple straps ;)

Then it was time for RIBS. Ohbaby.

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Ottawa has this thing called Ribfest where a bunch of restaurants set up grills down a pedestrian street and sell nothing but pulled pork sandwiches and ribs.

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People get pretty excited about it, but I can’t think of a more messy food to eat on the side of the street.

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Sara was down there over lunch and picked up extra for me!

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Paired with a baked-fresh Rosemary Yogurt Biscuit. 

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And my first ever pulled pork sandwich!! It was good, although a little too much on the sauce-y side for me. How is it that ribs don’t taste like the rest of the pig??

Anyways, as you can see this was all incredibly delicious. But mygoodness I am paying for it now. Too much barbecue sauce for this tummy. It’s awfully hard to indulge when my stomach insists on rebelling like this!!

I hope it’s better for eggs and biscuits in the morning :)

See ya tomorrow!! xoxo

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