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Perdue Dans La Belle Province

Today was a wonderfully relaxing day. I have been feeling the need to relax more than usual here in Ottawa. Decompressing after my week trekking through Alberta, and preparing myself mentally for starting a new life in Toronto on July 1st.

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Today was the first day in a while that I woke up naturally after 8 hours of sleep. You know the kind – when you roll over, sigh, stretch out long, and let your thoughts wander to the kitchen.

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Or, my first thoughts are always in the kitchen anyways. I need breakfast in my belly a-s-a-p!! Today’s was a breakfast sandwich with an egg, mayo, and chicken bacon.

I have issues buying real pork bacon. I think it’s because I’m a label reader. No matter how hard I try, I can just never muster the strength to throw a package into the cart.

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Today’s coffee is brought to you by Ottawa’s own Bridgehead Cafe. Ethiopian! It was a little lighter than expected, but otherwise good. I think that’s a wonky heart shape in that mug, or a whale. Or the Twitter bird. Or maybe the Twitter whale? Also, I feel like I can legitimately drink out of an Alberta mug now that I’ve been there. Both my sister and my dad lived in Edmonton!

My body was scrreeeeaming for a rest day today, so I gave it what it wanted. I didn’t even go to a Hatha Yoga class. Nope. I just sat on my butt. Ironically, it’s my glutes that are screaming.

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Lunch was made up of leftovers.

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The black bean burgers were half-cooked from the earthquake fiasco yesterday. I finished cooking them today and stuck them on some pita.

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Worth the wait – these are my best veggie patties yet! Click here for the recipe :)

It poured rain for the first half of the day, but then it cleared up. I was getting antsy from being inside all day, so left on a mission to visit the National Art Gallery.

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This is part of my running route here! Gorgeous scenery! Only complaint is the paved trail, my body prefers soft gravel.

People who know the area may be cluing in to the fact that this picture is not in the direction of the Gallery. Or at least I don’t think it is. I wouldn’t really know, since I never made it there.

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I somehow managed to walk to Hull. I should have clued in when the signs on the giant bridge I was crossing started reading French first. For those of you who may not know, Ottawa borders the Quebec city of Hull. Apparently, it’s really easy to accidentally wander over there!!

Or perhaps I was just naturally drawn La Belle Province with it being St-Jean Baptiste Day and all ;)

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Thankfully, I ended up only about 2 km from the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It’s no National Gallery, but good enough for me!

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Plus, admission is free Thursdays after 4pm!

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Historical museums aren’t really my thing, I’m more of an art gallery or science centre gal. But I did stumble across some interesting exhibits.

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Look familiar? It’s Lake Louise! I was just there!! I kinda miss the mountains already…

Look who else I ran into.

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Bahahaha, I love how it says Flamboyance! on the poster behind him. Pierre Trudeau was Canada’s rock star prime minister in the 60s and 80s.

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These heritage commercials never get old. They were playing the Nellie McClung one, but I think this Superman one is my favourite. “Strong man in tights Joe, but it’ll never fly!” “Fly, no. But he can leap over tall buildings…”

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Some of Ottawa’s tall buildings on my walk back to the Ontario side.

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I think that’s the hill Sara made me run up the other day!! Damn. That was tough. I want to do it again.

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Some nice Dutch lady took my photo in front of the Parliament buildings. I am going to have to come back when Parliament is back in session so I can see our elected officials at work. (*nerdalert*)

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It took me a while to get back what with my unexpected detour and all. I went for the quickest thing ever – tuna salad with hummus and mustard on bread. Notice how I had a sandwich for every meal today? Oops.

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Paired with an apple. Simple, yet incredibly satisfying. Hey, I can’t make boeuf bourguignon every day!! ;)

 

That wraps up the shenanigans for today. I am going to go cuddle up with a book :)

 

Question of the Day: What fitness topic would you like me to cover? It’s been a while since I did a fitness-focused post. Let me know if there’s something you’d like me to explain!

Bonus question for Canadians: What is your favourite Heritage Minute? My second favourite is the one with “Patrick, Patrick O’Neill.” ;)

Goals for June + My Favourite Food

For those of you that leave your pets at home all day and wonder what they’re doing while you’re gone – I have your answer.

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Nothing.

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They spend the day sprawled out on the furniture they’re not allowed on when you’re home.

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Puppy nose!!! Paige posted a picture of her dog’s nose a few days ago and my heart melted into a giant puddle. Best doggy part there is.

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Followed closely by paws. And I die.

The dogs weren’t the only comatose beings in the house today – my mom and I both slept until 9am!!

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That’s 9 hours of sleep. I’m not a solid sleeper, so that’s very rare for me. I must have needed it. Or the step-fam was just quiet rushing off to school today.

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Bacon was had to celebrate my lovely night’s sleep, with an egg, mayo, lettuce and tomato on ezekiel bread.

Unemployment is starting to get to me…

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…I thought it was Waffle Wednesday!

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Instead, it was just another Tuesday. Boo. The Van’s Mini Waffles at least make for a great snack when topped with homemade maple pecan peanut butter.

After this, I went to the gym for a 3-mile run, followed by 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and then 10 on the stairmaster. Not gonna lie, my treadmill sesh was bruuuutalll. Not nearly as fun as this contraption I played on yesterday:

It’s the Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer. I’ve tried it before, but couldn’t figure it out and hopped off after a couple minutes. Then Julie posted about it, and I felt the need to step back on. You can do a circular motion like a regular elliptical, swoosh back and forth like an arc trainer, or step like a stair machine.

I did 15 minutes using a regular circular motion and I really liked it!! The best part is that it doesn’t have a set range of motion like most other ellipticals. My freakishly long legs were able to move freely :)

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This is where I show you I ate green food today, because the following set of pictures may lead you to believe otherwise.

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First, I must thank Hallie for introducing me to the World’s Best Recipe – ie Smitten Kitchen blondies.

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It is no secret that I favour sweets above all else. Chocolate chip cookies and brownies are my favourite sweets, ergo my favourite foods. Ever.

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I had never heard of blondies until I started reading food blogs. They are not popular around these parts. Our idea of a “sweet” is a boston cream from Tim’s.

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It eventually dawned on me that blondies are like brownies without the brown. Or, “blonde” “brown”ies if you will ;) I still thought it sounded like a boring ole’ square. Give me my chocolate brownies, or regular chocolate chip cookies and I am good to go. Why would I need more sweets in my already sweet-filled life?

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Oh, how very, very wrong I was. For blondies are like a combination of my two favourite foods in the world. As I explained to my little step-brother while he poked at what I was making, “They’re like brownie cookies!” Sold.

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The recipe is incredibly simple:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup flour

And then there are the fixins. People tend to get crazy creative with blondies. Me? I just like a little chocolate with my butter and sugar please.

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It is approximately here where I regret committing to these blondies, as I’d prefer to just gobble up the rest of the dough from the bowl.

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But I know this is one treat so good that it must be shared.

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Just don’t forget to save a lick for yourself!! Baker’s rights!!

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Then my mother and I proceeded to get in our first argument since I moved back home.

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After 25 minutes in the oven, I felt they only needed one more minute. She felt they needed 5. We bickered before compromising on 3. This is serious business people!!!

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Perfection!!

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My secret to baked goods such as these is to portion them out reeeeal small. I cut it into 24 squares, making them 108 calories each.

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Perhaps still a lot for you volume eaters out there, but I assure you, worth every single calorie.

Not to be outdone, my mother prepared salisbury steak for dinner.

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Along with garlic mashed potatoes and assorted veggies.

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I must admit though, I don’t really care for steak all that much. People say chicken is flavourless, but I find steak is a lot more bland.

No surprise what dessert was.

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With two blurry dog faces in the background. Mind my chocolate-y fingers ;) I think it’s safe to say half the squares are already gone. I heard my mother say “These are so good I’m going to DIE.” :P

 

Last, but definitely not least, it is time to set my goals for June! June is shaping up to be another crazy month. I leave for Calgary next week, to spend a week in Banff with Holly. Then it’s off to Ottawa for 10 days to hang out with my sis, then finally move to Toronto on June 25! Gah!

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to achieve this month, and I’m happy with what I’ve come up with. It’s something I will at times have to consciously work on, but it is most certainly achievable.

 

My goal for June is to SMILE.

 

I want to have fun on all my travels and soak up every experience. I can’t say I’ll be able to adhere to a strict exercise or eating schedule. I know there will be times of stress and anxiety. But I think June has the potential of being one month I will look back on fondly for the rest of my life. I want to keep a smile planted on my face no matter where I am or what I’m doing, hopefully collecting a few good belly laughs along the way :)

 

Question of the Day: Your turn! What are your goals for June??

P.S. I loved hearing everyone’s lessons learned. Those posts always get some of the best comments!!

Goaltender

Hellohello! Just finished watching a movie featuring this man:

Cary Grant in Charade. Much more dapper and debonair than this man I just watched in Up in the Air.

However, neither are as ruggedly handsome as this man:

Sigh.

Where were we??

Ohyes. I’m here to ramble about food.

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I had to bring oatmeal back into my life this morning. An empty jar of nut butter demands it.

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I previously pretty much scraped this puppy clean, so I added a little dollop of peanut butter and nutella on top for good measure.

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And then I reeeeeally scraped it clean.

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This image always entertains me. It looks like I ate a whole jar of almond butter with a spoon.

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Not that I’m above that or anything ;)

Just so we’re clear, I’m not off the bacon yet either.

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Someone *coughmymothercough* enjoyed themselves a little too much at a beer festival last night. She woke up craving a bacon sandwich, which in turn filled the house with the aroma of bacon. It’s a smell that can’t be denied once unleashed. I went straight to the bacon stash when doing up my lunch, adding an egg, mayo, tomato and lettuce between two pieces of ezekiel bread. Heaven.

I traded in my lifting workout today for a long walk with the dog. My body wasn’t too keen on yet another day of intense exercise, and the sunshine looked pretty darn inviting. Archie and I were out for about 45 minutes. He did really well this time, but still collapsed once we got home.

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You’d think I had a death wish for this poodle. But I swear, it’s for his own good!

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I was quite chipper after the walk. I’ve taken to listening to podcasts while on these jaunts. Today’s was Jillian Michaels’ show of course. She was talking about NEAT.

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For the record, the poodle is alive. He’s sleeping at my feet, twitching from puppy dreams :)

Made my new favourite snack again this afternoon!

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5 tbsp soy protein powder + 2 tbsp hot chocolate mix + 1 tbsp coconut.

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Mixed up with almond milk until everything is dissolved.

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It’s like ice cream, but better. Which is easy for me to say, because I don’t like ice cream ;)

Supper was a… you guessed it! Big salad!

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The family went over to the step-grandparent’s place for Chinese food. The thought of it made my stomach turn, so I opted to stay home and eat salad while watching Gossip Girl.

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It was a good choice. Have you seen the season finale!?!? Holy dramz. The dressing for this salad is White Bean & Grilled Red Pepper dip. Protein is tofu, base is kale and romaine and the “fun” is shredded swiss cheese. Solid.

 

Final May Goal Check-In:

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
I only got two lifting workouts in this week. But the hard labour I did at the cottage counts for something… Right??
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. Yay! I ran twice this week and my foot is pain-free! I did 2 miles on the treadmill then 6 miles outdoors.

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” The only dairy I had this week (as in previous weeks) was one serving of hard cheese a day. I really like it on top of my salads, and I wasn’t ready to give that up.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. Failfailfail. Did you see that Nutella up there? I think this may make for a better short-term goal like Lori did. Doing this for a whole month is a long time for me.

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Hmm… I haven’t done anything new to the blog since I checked in last! Boo.

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
I organized my belongings and travel plans this past week, so that’s a plus. I still have a lot to do though.
Spend time with my family. Happy to not just be hanging out with my family, but my step-families as well (I have one on each side – including five step siblings!)
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. Now that my departure date is getting closer, it’s becoming harder not to get ahead of myself. So long as I have everything in place, whatever will happen in the future will happen. I need to enjoy right now :)

 

Overall, I feel pretty good about this month’s goals. I don’t think I hit both of my fitness ones in one week. But I was doing other activities instead, which is better than nothing.

As for my food goals, I will not be continuing them. I will keep an eye on my refined sugar, but I’m just not at a point right no where I can experiment by cutting it out completely. I fully expect to eat desserts when I go to Banff next week. I also didn’t notice a huge difference without dairy. I think I may allow one serving of yogurt or cottage cheese a day on top of the hard cheese. So two servings of dairy a day. My tummy will be able to handle that. I think it was the 5 servings I was having before that was the problem.

There will definitely be a few more blog updates before I start travelling. I also really enjoyed paying attention to my life goals this month. So many moments are now etched in my memory because I took a second to be still and absorb them. Bliss :)

 

Questions of the Day:

1. How did you make out on your goals for this month?

2. Who’s your Hollywood crush? Robert Redford circa 1973-1976. Yes, I have eras for my crushes.

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