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One Hand Meals

As all of you know, I fell skating just over a couple weeks ago. I’ve recovered nicely from the surgery, but my arm is still casted up. This leaves me with one working hand and unable to exercise.

Which in turn, has affected the way I eat.

First things first, I’m a sedentary person now. Thankfully, my hunger levels have started reflecting that. But I absolutely cannot eat the way I used to when I was working out at the gym every day. I’m upset enough about my arm as is,I don’t need to get upset about a weight gain on top of that.

Secondly, my body is trying to heal itself. Not only does it have skin and bone to repair, but the risk of infection after surgery is very high. Especially when my arm was open for so long. My body needs nutrients to do this, and my weird food cravings lately are a direct reflection of that.

Finally, I’m only working with one hand here. I lovelovelove to cook and bake. Being limited to the use of one hand in the kitchen is a big bummer.

I started slowly, frying eggs and making toast. Peeling an orange with one hand is a laborious process. Getting anything out of a pan when you can’t hold on to the handle with the other hand is harder than you’d expect. Thus, my first attempts ended up scrambled.

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I moved on to simple sandwiches. The Herb & Spice food market here in Ottawa carries these things called “tofu cutlets.” Sliced tofu smothered in a savoury gravy-like sauce. I’m obsessed.

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Then I got risky, attempting to stuff a fragile pita with just one hand. Slow and steady wins the race, and it came out great. My sister had to open the can of tuna for me.

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After a week of eating fried eggs on toast every day, I needed to change it up. French toast is actually very simple to make with one hand!

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I even got a little experimental, despite my boring palate as of late. I wanted to make iced coffee, but my sister had no ice cubes. Thus, the iced coffee float was born. With dark chocolate frozen yogurt.

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One-handed cooking has actually turned into something of a welcome challenge for me. My days are always empty, so trying out something in the kitchen gives me a project for the day.

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Like the above jambalaya made with delicious handmade sausages and local organic beef. My sister did all the chopping of the vegetables, I did the assembling and cooking.

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I tried to make dinner for my sister one night, using this recipe for Colcannon Mash and frozen fish sticks. I subbed the cream out for yogurt and used a mix of regular and purple cabbage. I had to use the knife like a machete to get through the potatoes, but I was proud of myself when done.

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The leftovers made for a great breakfast by cracking in a couple eggs, sprinkling with cayenne, and baking. By this point I’ve become an expert at one-handed egg cracking. Not to mention this was a great way to get veggies and nutrients in first thing.

But my most ambitious work yet has got to be Banana Bread.

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Yup! All with one hand! I used this recipe for the best banana bread ever. However I do not think it’s my best loaf. I used two large bananas and it could have used three. Not banana-y enough!

The food part of this story doesn’t end in the kitchen. I’ve been out to eat a few times in Ottawa too! Not only is making food a challenge now, but so is eating it. I can’t use a knife. So anything that requires being cut into pieces is out. Getting the last few bites of something in a bowl is impossible when you can’t hold on to the bowl. Even handheld items can be a challenge depending on their likelihood to fall apart and get messy.

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My sister and I made a pit stop at The Atomic Rooster on Bank Street after running some errands. I wanted something light, plain and nutritious, just like all my cravings as of late. I ended up with a mango chicken wrap. It was a close call. Had it been wrapped improperly, there was no supporting it together with my other hand. It could have ended in disaster.

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My sister of course had a major hankering for junk food. Our cravings never seem to match up. So she went for a burger with cheese and guac, with a side if poutine and beer. The poutine by the way, was really good.

I may be out of Toronto, but my love for brunch continues. I have a university friend here in Ottawa who I finally got to see over the weekend.

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Nicole and I often worked together on broadcast journalism assignments. A lot of running around town lugging camera equipment and trying to convince people to talk to us. Then hours upon hours nitpicking over our digital frames in the editing room. She was awesome to work with, and we’re closer now because of it :)

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We’d originally planned for Stoneface Dolly’s in Little Italy, but the wait was unreal. So we ended up at Il Primo across the street. I suspect not as good as our first choice. But I ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes that were on special and they were delicious. I’ve never added citrus to my sweet breakfast concoctions and it was a welcome flavour.

Nicole actually just returned from a trip to Toronto where she picked up this treat from a DIY cookie place called Sweet Flour on Bloor West. For a regular sugar cookie, it tasted anything but boring. I especially liked the thick frosting.

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I ate it one little piece after another and before I knew it, it was gone!

Surprisingly, I think I’ve lost a little weight since my accident. My hunger levels have drastically decreased since I stopped exercising. Now that I’m not eating out as much, my belly pouf has deflated.

However, I am still paying special attention to what I eat during this recovery process. For the sake of my self esteem and body’s ability to repair itself. Junk food actually doesn’t cure all. My cravings are now geared towards the plain and boring. So I am now, ahem, kindly asking for “get well” spinach salads only. I know you understand ;)

Three Generations

Alas, the end of another weekend :( You know what though, weekends are always so glorious because we work hard for them! Imagine how boring they’d be if they were undeserved? :P

Remember that snack I was after last night? Here’s what I came up with…

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Marshmallow protein pudding! I mixed up a scoop and a half of vanilla protein powder with a little water, then stirred in cinnamon, mini marshmallows and cheerios. It was delightful!

I had more dessert for breakfast today, the temptation was just too great!

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A big hunk of my Nana’s banana bread toasted with cream cheese. As well as a couple boiled eggs on the side.

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I’m on a boiled eggs kick. They are the perfect snack for a protein/fat boost.

My mom and I decided on a cardio day today, so I snacked on a Toasted Nuts n’ Cranberry Luna bar before going.

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This is one of the “new recipe” bars, with only 170 calories now. I think it actually tastes better than the old kind, the fruit and nut chunks are larger.

At the gym I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine and 10 minutes on the stairmaster. It was one of those days where I wasn’t feeling very motivated, but I knew doing a little bit on every machine would keep me entertained :)

I was a voracious beast by the time we got home, and my mom had the bright idea of cooking up some bison burgers.

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No buns, but I just wanted the meat anyways ;) I’ve only tried bison once before and I wasn’t entirely sold. But my goodness it was goooood today. My mom said she just put bbq sauce, worchestire and curry in the mix? Regardless, it was heavenly. Perfect post-workout meal!

We also had a greek salad on the side.

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And I apparently have a larger appetite than everyone, because I needed some extra baby carrots to fill me up.

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I eat at least two servings of these bad boys a day, Seriously, how am I not orange??

Then we scooted over to my Nana’s to get a visit in before her curling started (curling does not make for very entertaining television…).

Here I am at my Nana’s. The bowl of grapes next to me significantly smaller…

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And my mom. I think I can see that post-elliptical glow ;)

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Three generations. I’ve got a lot to look forward to based on these two women!! My Nana will be 87 this spring and has been doing yoga for 5 years! I should also add that she’s never died her hair. My fingers are crossed I inherited her hair pigment ;)

Remember this picture I took of my mother’s yard yesterday?

Well I came home to my yard in Fredericton looking like this:

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Crazy! We’re only a 90 minute drive apart, I can’t get over the difference. It was warmer in Freddy this weekend too. Running next weekend maybe??

I was totally bummed having to come back to the real world after my lovely weekend home. But a package hanging out of my mail box immediately lifted my spirits.

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Olympic mittens!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou Jaime!! I was lusting after her mitties during our blogger meet-up in Halifax a few weeks ago, and she got her mom to pick some up out West to send this way!! I feel like such a proud Canadian now – as I should dammit! We kicked some mayjah booty this year :D

I’m all out of groceries and wanted something super simple for dinner, so I tried out a sweet omelette that I’ve seen on a few blogs now.

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I mixed up 1 scoop vanilla protein powder with 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 tsp baking powder and cinnamon and fried it up in a pan. It turned out kinda fluffy like a pancake, mostly due to the baking powder I added. I sandwiched some blueberry jam and almond butter in there. It was actually quite good! In the back is a sliced granny smith with cinnamon and honey.

 

Well, I’m going to get a few chores done to get ready for my busy week ahead. I will not be watching the Oscars tonight as they start at 9:30pm on the Atlantic coast, which is precisely this girl’s bedtime!! I’ve got a date with a spin bike at 6am tomorrow ;) Have a great start to your week!!

Question of the Day: What’s the best thing you ate this weekend? I love asking this question, as there’s always so many different answers! Mine was probably the above bison burger :)

Fatty February Wrap-Up & Then Some

Hey bloggie friends!! Well, I was watching Food Inc online. But I apparently maxed out my streaming time, so I thought I’d take a little break to blog :)

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback on my Oatmeal & Beauty for Dummies post! First, I should add my mom commented that the typical oat-to-liquid ratio is 1:2, which is true. I do 1:3 because I cook them slowly and like them suuuuper creamy.

Secondly, all you straight hair pros out there gave my Chi straightener a thumbs up! Yay!! :D Some of you asked what my hair is like naturally, here’s an au naturelle pic I tracked down – naturally styled and my natural colour.

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Please excuse the mega awkward look in this photo. I’m an awkward person in real life, and it apparently translates onto film. I also cut my friend/bandmate/co-host out of this picture because I didn’t know if he is ready for his blog debut yet. Soon though, right Billy? :P

Okay, so if I had blogged yesterday, I would have said my whole-body weight workout was a little lacklustre. But the great thing about typing it up the next day is that I can tell you I’m sore! So I must have done somethin’ right!

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 1.0
5-6 5.5 1.0
6-7 6.0 1.0
7-8 6.5 1.0
8-9 7.0 1.0
9-10 7.5 1.0
10-11 5.5 1.5
11-12 6.0 1.5
12-13 6.5 1.5
13-14 7.0 1.5
14-15 7.5 1.5
15-16 5.5 2.0
16-17 6.0 2.0
17-18 6.5 2.0
18-19 7.0 2.0
19-20 7.5 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell deadlift  50 lbs 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  75 lbs 8 3
Chest fly 15 lbs each 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Good morning 40 lbs 12 3
Barbell upright row  20 lbs 12 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Single leg romanian deadlift  15 lbs each 10 3
Seated cable row  55 lbs 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Medicine ball squat  11 lbs 15 3
Russian twist  11 lbs 30 3
Lying medicine ball throw  11 lbs 15 3
Pullover to ball crunch  11 lbs 15 3

Stairmill

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

Yeah. Looking back I can see why I’m hobbling today. I would also like to add that I could have sworn I saw some shoulder rippling during those upright rows. Yesss! That’s why I’m a strong advocate of wearing shorts and a tank-top to the gym. They allow you to see all your muscles, instead of hiding them up in sweats and baggy tees. Wearing nice workout clothes can be a huge confidence booster!

I had another decent cold breakfast at work after…

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  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Grape Nuts cereal
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp blueberry jam
  • cinnamon

The tiny bit of Grape Nuts left to soak overnight made for a wonderful texture!

Also wonderful, this week’s Apple Cinnamon protein bar.

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Just one of those batches where everything comes together perfectly.

Let’s see… I also stunk up my office again with boiled eggs.

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Then tried to mask the smell with a fragrant citrus fruit.

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I’m trying really hard to like grapefruit, but every time I eat one I just wish it was a sweet orange!

Let’s skip everything else and get to today, shall we?

Good thing I went to bed at a decent time last night, because my body clock still kicked in this morning. Left me lots of time to make a beautiful breakfast before step class. PB&J Oatmeal Sandwich.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (whisked into pot)
  • cinnamon, stevia
  • blueberry jam
  • peanut butter

To “sandwich” it, I pour half the oatmeal in the bowl, top it with half of the PB and jam, then layer the rest on top. Makes for a little PB&J “pocket” in the centre ;)

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Unfortunately, it was an “off: day for me at BodyStep. It started badly after the first song when I noticed I had a wobbly step. I had to swap it out for another one, but it left me a little off my game for the rest of class. We did a lot of new songs with moves I’ve never done, which means more time spent fumbling instead of pushing myself. Lastly, I’m sore!! Did I mention that already? :P My shoulders and hamstrings are beat.

Treated myself to a hot lunch, one of the great things about weekends.

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Butternut squash fries with two Sol veggie burgers topped with salsa and old cheddar. Hit the spot!

I had a banana I wanted to use up, so instead of making protein bars for this coming week, I made Low Carb Banana Bread. 

 

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It’s essentially April’s Low Carb Sweet Bread, with the pumpkin swapped out for banana.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup wheat-bran
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure pumpkin (depending how moist you like your bread- I like mine really moist so I used 1/2 cup) 1 mushed banana
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp each baking powder and cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pure stevia extract 4 packets of stevia

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Pour into baking pan, bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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I had a piece right away topped with PB of course! Turned out really well! One piece (1/8 of the loaf) is 123 calories, 6g fat, 13g carbs, 7g fibre and 5g protein. Not bad!

Of course, my hot lunch then had me craving a cold supper.

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Egg salad sandwich with pickles, onions, mayo and mustard. Then carrots + salsa on the side. Check out how thick that filling is. Two eggs a sandwich is how it’s done ;)

 

Fatty February Wrap-Up & Then Some

Seeing as tomorrow is the last day of the month, I wanted to combine all my thoughts about my Fatty February challenge. For about four weeks, I’ve been consciously increasing the amount of healthy fats in my diet, with hopes improving my hair, skin and hormonal levels.

It occurred to me today that my results with Fatty February may be a little skewed. You see, I also went off the birth control pill at the end of January, and I’m realizing that what could have been a side-effect of increasing my dietary fat, could also be a side-effect of going off the pill.

For example, one thing I noticed is that my belly pouf shrank. Apparently water-bloat can disappear when you go off the pill, so who knows if it’s related.

As for satiety, I think increasing my fats may have improved it. I did a lot less munching this past month, especially at night. Perhaps it’s because I felt more satisfied with the food I was eating?

I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my skin. My face is still the same, my arms are still pretty dry, and the rash on my legs is only slightly better. Again, it’s hard to judge my skin now that I’m not taking a daily dose of hormones!

Finally, my nails grew at lightning speed. This was probably the thing I noticed most. I could barely keep up with them!

I can say for certainty, that I will be continuing a diet high in fat. Shooting for a 30-30-30 carb-protein-fat ratio worked really well for me this month, and I would like to keep doing it. Every body is different in terms of macronutrients, so perhaps this is just the one that works for me :) I’ll be sure to do more check-ins as I notice things.

As a side note, Caitlin wrote a wonderful post today on the “Big Birth Control Question” that I encourage you women and men to check out. Some interesting conversation in the comments of that post. I can tell you I was on the pill for four years and felt myself starting to drag towards the end. I hope going off it will get my hormones back to where they’re supposed to be, and I’m looking forward to being back to my body’s natural cycle. To be perfectly honest though, I’m a little weary about what will (or won’t) happen!

 

Okay, that’s enough getting personal for one evening. Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! I’m off to finish Food Inc now…

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