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Goal Oriented

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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Favourite day of the week? Maybe. Just maybe ;)

Started with this protein pancake recipe. I use pancake recipes for waffles and vice versa – the two are interchangeable!

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For the toppings, I started with almond butter smeared into all the little squares.

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Then slathered on blueberry yogurt and added a few black grapes for fun. Black grapes are my fave kind of grape. I put more thought than necessary into grapes. Including my extreme distaste for wine grapes.

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Speaking of grapes… see the condensation on that one in the front? That’s after being out of the fridge for about one minute. It’s HOT here today!! Well, I think it’s hot all over North-Eastern North America, no? Excruciating.

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So hot that after an hour of being in my apartment, this ($2.50) jar of coconut oil liquefied. Because of its saturated fat content, it’s normally partially solid at room temperature.

It should come as no surprise then, that as my roommie and I were tossing around ideas of things to make in the food processor last night, she jumped at the mention of frozen banana soft serve.

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She immediately grabbed a bundle of bananas out of the freezer and tossed them in the food processor.

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Two minutes later, we had a healthy (albeit, still sugar-filled) frozen dessert to cool us off.

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This dessert has been floating around the foodie blogosphere for a looooong time now, but this was my first time trying it! At first, I thought I would top it with marshmallow fluff. But after tasting a little off my finger, I realized it was already very sweet.

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It really had the consistency of soft serve! It wasn’t nearly as “banana-ey” as I was expecting it to be. If that makes sense. I think because it was frozen, it cut some of that distinct flavour edge off. I topped this with a little dollop of almond butter. But my roommie and I then proceeded to spend the next several minutes discussing all the fun mix-ins we could include next time.

Thanks to the heat, I’ve also been craving very simple meals. Simple is what I do and enjoy best :)

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Like this pita with sliced boiled eggs, baba ganouj and veggies. Eggs + baba ganouj is yet another killer flavour combo!

I’m digging these Pita Gourmet high protein pita pockets.

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140 calories, 20g carbs 10g protein per pocket. Only downside is the sodium – 480mg for one pita?? Whoa. Must be why they’re so tasty :P

Many cold salads have also been had. This is the one I had last night that was so good I replicated it tonight.

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  • lots of baby spinach
  • red pepper
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • mango
  • Trader Joe’s corn salsa (although, I ran out the second time around, so just sprinkled on red pepper flakes for a little spice)
  • 1 pork chop, grilled and cubed

For the dressing, I whisked together 2 tbsp hummus, 1 laughing cow blue cheese wedge, and a little bit of water to thin it out. Tossed all together and it was one of my best salads of the summer! I think the produce and meat were of especially good quality, the flavours and textures were fantastic.

 

Goals for September

It’s that time again! First day of the month, which means a new set of goals to focus on over the next 30 days. I encourage you all to do the same. One month is the perfect time period to complete new goals. Writing them down and checking in on them is a great way to stay motivated! Here are mine…

1. Get organized. I’ve already been working towards this and have made some progress. The time management session at the Healthy Living Summit made me realize that I need to get my butt in gear! I will (hopefully) be working two jobs, volunteering my time, freelancing, and working on many other projects this month. I need to get all that crap out of my head and start putting it on paper!

2. Professional development. I’m taking my course in Nutrition & Wellness this month, but I also want to put more hours into reading studies, fitness literature, shadowing trainers, and basically learning all I can to better my own training.

3. Turn on the oven. I haven’t done it in two months!! If the heat ever ends, I would like to start baking again and making more dishes in the kitchen.

4. Love my workouts. I no longer work out to look a certain way or to keep my weight down. I work out because it’s what I love to do. Exercises will be chosen not by how many calories they burn or what sort of results they will give me. I’m doing activities I love to do and look forward to :)

 

And with that, I leave you with a new workout! Click here to check out one of my many full body circuit workouts. You’ll get your full-body strength training in, while moving quickly and keeping your heart rate up. More to come!

 

Question of the day: What are your goals for September? Write them down and remember them – we’ll be checking in weekly!

Hot and Cold

Hi! Remember me? It’s been a while. And by “been a while,” I mean two days. Good news is that we now have the internet!! Yayyy!!! Now I can live stream the Tour de France which makes me a very happy girl indeed.

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The simple eats continue, especially considering this heat we’re in. The idea of putting anything in an oven sounds suicidal.

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Monday night I made a big pot of sumthin’ in preparation for the heat wave. Always nice to have a ton of leftovers that I can just pop in the microwave when I don’t feel like cooking! Featured above is a mix of quinoa, black beans, tofu and frozen veggies. For those two bowls, I mixed it with salsa + laughing cow cheese.

I have also spent many more hours internetting in my new favourite cafe.

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Many lightly sweetened iced teas and coffees have been consumed. However, I’ve learned that if I come with rations, I can stay away from the delicious looking baked goods they sell :)

While I may not have been blogging, I was most certainly talking about blogging with another blogger. Bloggity blogging bloggers.

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Kristen from Cook, Bake, Nibble!! We’ve been planning to get together ever since I first announced I was moving to Toronto. We couldn’t wait until the big meet-up on Sunday!

We’d originally planned on going to a specialty pizza place, but it was closed. Really, it was just a sign that we needed to re-visit Fresh.

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I was tempted to get another immunity boost juice to help my cold along, but I also wanted to try something different. After much debate, I ended up with the hangover helper:  orange, banana, ginger, spirulina, wheatgrass. I hoped the wheatgrass would help “the sickness” and having a cold can sometimes feel like a hangover anyways ;)

More debate ensued over what to eat. Kristen and I were both feeling salads – must be the heat!!

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Not surprisingly, I went for the Super Protein Salad: chick peas, grape tomatoes, cucumber, grilled tempeh & our high protein omega rich *salad topper on salad greens (*puffed quinoa, goji berries, currants, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds & sea salt).

The protein mix sounded too unique to pass up! I got the house dressing (apple cider vinegar, tamari, lemon juice, mustard, garlic & organic flax oil) and really enjoyed it. The tempeh was amazing and the puffed quinoa added a really cool texture to the mix. So creative!

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I must also thank Kristen for putting up with my incessant hacking and nose blowing. Hopefully I’ll be better for the meet-up on Sunday! Kristen is super bubbly and loves chatting about food as much as I do. I see many Toronto eating adventures in our future!!

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Today is Waffle Wednesday. An occasion I was excited to celebrate in my new place, but it was not meant to be. I forgot to buy baking powder. Oops!

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Egg white french toast was the next best thing. Smothered in a sauce made up of mashed banana, peanut butter, maple syrup and cinnamon.

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No waffles, but just as tasty. You can’t really go wrong with eggs and bread :)

After this I went to the gym! Notable, because Monday was my first day there in 5 days, and then I couldn’t bring myself to go back on Tuesday. Monday’s weightlifting sesh was a little on the brutal side. I was coughing and snotting all over the place, which is not very sanitary given the environment. Today I went back and did a “moderate” cardio workout on the elliptical, rowing machine and stepmill. Much better. I’m still sick, but I left feeling good! Yay!

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The gym also provided a nice air-conditioned escape from the heat. I hope you runners are being careful out there!! I came home starving and immediately hit up those leftovers – this time dressed with black olives, feta and hummus, eaten as a cold salad.

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“Baked” sweet potato (ie microwaved for 6 minutes) topped with cottage cheese.

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The perfect hot weather meal!!

Ohyes, and many of these:

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Iced tea to beat the heat, and soothe my sore throat.

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And, erm, gelato for the same reasons mentioned above ;) Half melted from the two-second walk home (yes, I now also live a hop, skip, and a roll from a gelato place – danger!). Went for coconut raspberry and blood orange flavours. Might I add it also worked perfectly to cool me down. Well, the word “cool” is rather relative these days.

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite way to stay cool in the summer heat? I know we’re not the only ones in a heat wave! I’ve definitely been enjoying a couple cold showers day :)

Upper-cuts and Burgers

So while I was blogging and watching Jamie’s Food Revolution last night (in preparation for Jamie and I’s wedding day, of course) I munched on some notable munchables.

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I started doing high-protein snacks at night because it helped me in the belly-pudge department. But after writing that exam, I just wanted to veg and munch away! Behold, kettle popcorn with almond butter, cinnamon and raisins. When you toss hot popcorn in creamy almond butter, it melts and coats everything. Messy to eat but SO worth it. I’m sure some people would be proud ;)

Anyways, it was late by the time I wound down last night, and my body clock didn’t clue in to the fact that it was a Saturday. If I can’t sleep, at least I can eat well.

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Protein pancakes basking in the morning sun.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • cinnamon
  • maple extract
  • 1 stevia packet

All blended up with my immersion blender and cooked on the stovetop.

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Fun fact: most of you said you enjoy your waffles best topped with syrup and butter. So in your honour, that’s how I ate my pancakes today. Okay, butter-ed and syrup-ed is also my fave way to eat pancakes.

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Pancakes were dipped into the syrup. I’m anti-drizzle. The edges must stay crispy at all costs.

Spent my morning in bed reading blogs. I wish every day could start this way!

I decided to go to a noon-hour exercise class, so I split my morning snack into two parts so I wasn’t hungry for lunch by the time I showed up at the gym.

Snack numero uno.

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Homemade Dark Chocolate S’mores Protein Bar. One of the little end-piece nubbins because I suck at cutting equal sized pieces of anything.

Snack numero dos.

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Naner with cinnamon and raisins. I’m on a raisins kick! I want them in everything!

This fuelled me up perfectly for my first ever kickboxing class!!! My gym, GoodLife Fitness, does Les Mills exercise classes. Pre-choreographed classes by some guy in New Zealand that gyms use all over the world. At first I didn’t like the concept of doing the same thing every class (they change them every three months or so), but they’re really well done! I thrive on music when I work out, and they’re all very well choreographed to go with the music. Which is surprisingly not that awful.

So far I have done:

So today I tried out the final class they offer, Body Combat. Here’s what a typical class looks like according to the website:

1. WARMUP

This is where you will learn all the moves that will be used throughout the class and warm up your body and mind for the battle ahead.

2. COMBAT 1

Visualise your opponent and unleash into your first fight combination.

3. POWER 1

Enter an aerobic training zone with a focus on speed, power and endurance.

4. COMBAT 2

Fight for your life! Inject all your power and energy into every combination as you again challenge your imaginary opponent.

5. POWER 2

You’re halfway through the fight. Use punches only to drill the upper body for a second time.

6. COMBAT 3

Time to recover as we lower the intensity to prepare for the final phase.

7. MUAY THAI

Explode into a Muay Thai encounter, push yourself to a higher fitness level and leave your opponent for dust!

8. POWER 3

Go hard out and don’t look back until you complete this upper body power blast and seal the deal on your fitness objectives.

9. CONDITIONING

Take to the floor and cap off the workout with some strength training.

10. COOLDOWN

Payback time – stretch out and lengthen all those hard-worked muscles.

The main reason why I ended up doing this one last is because I thought I wouldn’t like it. I’m the least aggressive person you’ll ever meet. I figured I’d injure myself through some horribly executed roundhouse kick. I was going to blow my rotator cuff punching the air for sure.

And you know what? I absolutely loved it. For realz!!! It reminded me a lot of Body Attack, but with more upper body movements. It kept me interested, worked me hard, but didn’t kill me. I got a pretty good workout out of it, burning 400 calories. Which is a typical workout burn for me. We had one of the gym’s best instructors teaching it today too – which always helps!!

It’s also worth mentioning that the fittest people I have ever seen in my gym were all in this class. I don’t know where they came from, but I was suddenly surrounded by perfectly sculpted, gorgeous women, who all had some aggression to take out. If there are any Fredericton men out there reading, Saturdays at GoodLife is where you can find them :P

My body felt great during the class too – three days of consecutive rest did it good!

Aaaaanyways! Came home and had 30 minutes before I had to show my apartment to a prospective subletter. I had time to shower or eat, but not both. You know which won.

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Turkey salad pita with carrots. I’m back on the pita wagon and it feels good. But typing this out, I realize I forgot to explain to the potential subletter why I was stinky and wearing tight shorts.

Was going to take the boy out for a walk, but it started raining. So I had to put up with him looking up at me expectantly all day. Whyyy are dogs so good at guilt trips!?

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Fun fact: Archie likes to squeeze himself into tight spaces. Much like in this picture where he’s in the side of the couch. He also has the habit of taking his doggie kibbles and hiding them around my apartment. So if there’s not a poodle between my couch cushions, there’s definitely a few pieces of dog food.

Boring snack, pretty bowl.

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Yogurt with strawberries and Grape Nuts. I just wanted to take a picture of it :)

For dinner, I went out to a new burger joint in town called Relish. I was here a few weeks ago, but it went unphotodocumented, didn’t want it to happen again! 

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Let’s hope dude at the counter has a bike outside.

And why yes, that would be half of Chris’ face in that photo! We were catching up. T’was nice to hear what my former best friend’s been up to since the great divide. He broke a rib snowboarding!! And hasn’t been out biking yet, which makes me feel slightly better about having ole’ Scottie (my road bike) still cooped up.

I asked all my Twitter friends what I should get,  and the consensus was the L.A. is my Lady: sliced avocado, roasted peppers, basil pesto, creamy goat`s cheese.

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My Twitter friends are so smart :) You can’t see the toppings in this pic because the turkey patty was so huge, but they were delicious!! And there were beets mixed with caramelized onions on there too! For the side I ordered the sundried basil bean salad that was on special. It was okay. I think it was actually green beans, mango and walnuts. I polished off the burger and loved every single bite!!!

Now I am back home cozied up with my poodle. Thinking of…

a) Finishing up some work I didn’t get to Friday afternoon

b) Catching up on America’s Next Top Model

Guess which one will win? :P

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite burger topping? Mine is RELISH! (oddly, I didn’t get any at the place called “Relish”)

Bonus question: Have you tried kickboxing? Like? Dislike? I think I might actually go again next week :)

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