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Beer, Bread, Burgers, Ohmy.

Aahhh… you know what is even worse than a Sunday evening? The Monday after a long weekend. Three days is enough to completely check out of real life. Having to face it again on a Monday night is always a rude awakening!

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Another bummer is the fact that I am out of Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter. Sound the alarms. This is an emergency situation.

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I stuffed the near-empty jar with cottage cheese, peaches, raisins, cinnamon, coconut flakes, raw oats and sugar-free syrup. I ended up putting my finger in there to ensure no seed butter remained. Then shed a single tear *sniff* Trader Joe’s needs to come to Canada.

I ended up spending aaallll morning in bed watching MTV shows on my computer and catching up on a few blogs. It was grand. Even though it’s a holiday, my gym is still open and I had a client who wanted to work out this afternoon. Not quite a holiday for me! Lunch before work:

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Pan-fried ham slices with swiss cheese, sautéed red pepper, spinach, on an english muffin. Then squashed and melted in the hot pan. Not pictured is the plethora of baby carrots and salsa that accompanied this. Yum.

Thank goodness I had that client today though because it got me to the gym! I was definitely bit by the lazy bug today, but I still managed to squeeze out a decent back/biceps workout. I am really enjoying my new lifting split! I feel like my workouts are a lot more efficient. It’s easier to wrap things up in an hour when I only have two muscle groups to focus on.

Even though I am officially on a Buffalo detox, my day did involve a little more Blue Moon beer. (brought back across the border)

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But not straight up. I had some flour and sugar with it.

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Not separately, ohno.

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Mixed all up in my roommate’s Kitchenaid mixer.

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And placed into a bread pan.

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You know where this is going ;)

April’s Beer Bread

3 cups of self-rising flour

1/2 cup of sugar

1 can or bottle of beer

mix ingredients and put in loaf pan

melt 1/2 stick of butter and pour over top

bake at 375 for 45 minutes!!

I used 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat, then mixed in 3 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt because I didn’t have self-rising flour. Also, I definitely did not use that much butter – maybe like 2 tbsp ;)

It rose!

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Avec du beurre…

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It turned out very dense and sweet.

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I of course tried a piece right away with a little smear of Lori’s pear cranberry jam.

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Good!! And SO easy!! Baking with yeast admittedly scares me, so the idea of pouring beer in sounded a lot more appealing. You really can’t pick up that much of a beer taste because of the sugar. Next time I want to try Guinness for the beer and molasses for the sweetener. So many possible combos!

I wasn’t just baking beer bread for the hell of it though. Something this good needs to be shared!

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BBQ. Labour Day style.

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This is not my backyard. My backyard is a parking lot. And there is a definite lack of bbq back there.

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What is happening in these photos? I do believe it is a foot high five.

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That girl on the left was in Schindler’s List. True story!

Seeing as I’m on a Buffalo detox, I made a point of keeping my bbq grub somewhat healthy.

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Earlier in the day I threw together a pound of ground chicken with some chopped red pepper, spinach, a couple scoops of salsa and a few shakes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I formed the mix into patties and brought one of them to the bbq with me.

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Spicy spinach chicken burger? Yesplease!! And yes, that is my second english muffin of the day. It made for a killer bun.

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For veggies I put a chopped sweet potato on the ‘cue but I couldn’t finish it all. My chicken burger was too huge!

But there’s always room for dessert ;)

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My roommie Megan brought chocolate crinkle cookies that her mom always makes. They were deeeelicious. Kinda like a cross between a cookie and fudge. Rolled in icing sugar. The perfect little chocolate treat.

And for those of you fretting over the start of your work week or school year, don’t worry…

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As seen outside an Indian restaurant on Queen West in Toronto ;)

As Madeline would say – make it a good one!!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite thing to grill? Mine is bread!! We used to go to this restaurant when I was a kid where you could pick flavoured butters, different kinds of bread, then grill it yourself. Amazing.

Where The Buffalo Roam

How is everyone’s weekends going?? Mine has been stellar, I spent it in the Empire State ;)

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Friday night I drove to Buffalo, NY with some friends. It’s only about an hour and a half from Toronto without heavy traffic, so it’s a short and fun trip to the States for us!

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Emphasis on the fun and a definite lack of healthy. Hey, I’m young and carefree. I know most bloggers skip over these parts, but excursions such as these have been an important part on my journey to find “balance.” I’ve been a good girl these past few weeks in preparation for this…

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When in Buffalo my friends. You leave all your rules and regulations at the border ;)

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We started off Friday night at a cool bar called Mulligans.

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I stuck to mostly whiskey & club soda with a lemon wedge. It’s my go-to drink, a little lower calorie and I lovelovelove the taste of whiskey!

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I have no idea what this bar is called, but it’s where we ended the night. Did you know the bars are open till 4am in Buffalo?? That’s crazy! They’re only open until 2am in Toronto and most other parts of Canada. As hard as we tried, we just couldn’t make it to last call and stumbled back early ;)

We woke up Saturday in need of two things: coffee & greasy grub. I asked the front desk where the best breakfast in town was and he directed us to the Towne Restaurant.

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It was a nice Greek restaurant with a home-style breakfast menu.

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There were a lot of Greek-inspired breakfast options as well, but I went for something more traditional.

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Corned Beef Hash & Eggs.

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I ate the eggs and hash on top of my toast and it was gooooood. Hit the spot ;)

We spent Saturday afternoon shopping at the outlet stores in Buffalo. So many good deals! I got a pair of Gap jeans for $16. Unreal. I’d normally pay 80 bucks for those! Also hit up the Under Armour outlet for some workout gear. Excited to try it out.

After the shopping, we needed to fuel up again. We lucked out this weekend because it also happened to be the Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival. Apparently people travel from all over to check this out!

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Now I’ll be honest here, I don’t like Buffalo wings. I’m not a fan of the excessive sauce, the crappy and minimal meat, and of course the mess! I decided to give wings one last try. I figured if I didn’t like them here, then it was just not meant to be.

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I got some mild and bbq wings from the Anchor Bar tent. Anchor Bar invented the chicken wing so I thought they’d be the best. My thoughts? Still don’t like ‘em. Give me a juicy chicken breast or plain turkey drumstick any day ;)

I counteracted the heat of the wings with a cool mixed berry fruit smoothie.

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As well as a corn on the cob to get those veggies in!

Hands down, the best thing I tried at the festival…

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There weren’t any chicken wings on it – just tortilla chips with spices and a cheese that tasted like con queso dip. Phenomenal.

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As we were leaving, we walked past the deep-fry tent. Omg. My stomach lurched.

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We continued to class it up Buffalo style Saturday night ;)

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I stuck to Blue Moon – my new favourite American beer.

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Also tried a Rolling Rock which was quite refreshing!

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And, erm, jager bombs…

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Believe it or not, I actually took it easy with the alcohol on Saturday. I didn’t feel the need to go all out two nights in a row.

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Back to Mulligan’s!

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I am a HUGE fan of how many of the bars in Buffalo have jukeboxes. I can be a control freak when it comes to music and looooove picking out songs to listen to!

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We ended up at another bar to play some pool, where I lost horribly every time.

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Anyone seen Inception? Upside down hotel scene??

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Silly boys…

Wait.

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Oh dear.

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I think I will need to do a little more training before I’m agile enough to run up walls :P

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I woke up feeling a lot more chipper Sunday morning. I had my heart set on going to IHOP for the first time, but the Buffalo location is closed! So we went to the Denny’s across the street instead.

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I tried to keep it healthier here. I’ve never been to a Denny’s before either and parts of the menu were frightening.

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Dry english muffin, egg whites and a chicken sausage.

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Avec ketchup et fruit!

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On our way back we stopped at a Target, which I’ve also never been to!

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Unfortunately by this point I was done spending money, but it was neat to poke around. For some reason it’s hard to find big stores like this in Toronto. I haven’t been to a Wal-Mart in forever.

 

So no, definitely not a healthy weekend to talk about on this healthy living blog. But in my opinion, letting loose and living life is sometimes the healthiest thing we can do ;) Now if you don’t mind, I have to go to bed. I have an appointment with the treadmill tomorrow!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite greasy spoon breakfast? I’m all about the soft poached eggs on dry wheat toast and a pile of fresh fruit! Okay, and I’ll take some fried potatoes in there too ;)

Weekend Delight

Hellohello!! Hope everyone had wonderful weekends :) I went MIA yesterday, but hopefully my new Fitness Friday series was enough to hold you over! I’m trying not to get all bent out of shape about posting every single day anymore. When it comes to writing, I’m a true believer in quality over quantity. But I’m happy to finally be sitting down to share my weekend with you!

Let’s get to the highlights, in a topical and orderly manner.

 

Breakfast

I like to think of Friday’s breakfast as the black & white cookie of oatmeal.

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Dark chocolate dreams + marshmallow fluff atop protein oats.

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Post picture, I swirled together the two melted toppings. My father said marshmallow fluff is not appropriate breakfast fare. I beg to differ.

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I can’t get my new protein waffle recipe off my mind. On Saturday, I made another fluffy batch with date pieces cooked in. Dipped in a sauce of syrup and almond butter. It was nothing short of amazing.

This morning, I wanted more waffles, but was missing an ingredient.

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Next best thing – coconut walnut french toast. Bread dredged through a mix of two eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, flaked coconut and walnuts. Ohyes.

 

Snacks

A dark chocolate vitatop smothered in my Easy Peasy Cream Cheese Icing and flaked coconut.

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Just how easy is it? One wedge of laughing cow cheese + one tablespoon marshmallow fluff = instant deliciousness.

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New tasty snack thanks to Lynndates stuffed with cream cheese. Sugar and cream cheese were meant to be!

 

Music

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My friends rocked it out on Friday night. I’m trying to learn how to take decent band pictures. The low light and movement makes it pretty damn hard! The pictures don’t do them justice either, you can listen to The Station Agents here ;)

 

Exercise

During my fitness assessment last week, I realized that I’ve been ignoring my core a little too much. Okay, I hate working my abs. But I know having a strong midsection is so important to not just sports and exercise, but everyday mobility. So here’s the ab-focused full-body strength workout I came up with:

Exercise Sets Reps Load Target
Assisted pull-up  3 12 70 lbs Back, biceps
Push-up  3 12 Chest, triceps
Swiss ball crunch with dumbbell pullover  3 12 10 lbs Abs, upper back, chest
Curtsy lunge  3 24 30 lbs Quads, glutes
Swiss ball leg curl 3 12 Hamstrings
Prone jackknife  3 12 Abs
Front raise with lateral open 3 12 5 lbs ea Shoulders
Back extension on roman chair 3 12 10 lbs Lower back, glutes
Captain’s chair  3 12 Abs, hips
Cable pushdown  3 12 40 lbs Triceps
One arm cable bicep curl  3 12 12 lbs Biceps
Cable horizontal woodchop  3 12 25 lbs Obliques

I did these in mini-circuits of three exercises, indicated by the different colours. With a 15 minute cardio warm-up, whole thing took me 65 minutes :)

 

Beer

I did pretty well in terms of beer this weekend. I went out both Friday and Saturday nights, which provided ample opportunity to consume mass quantities of alcohol. I waited till Saturday night to splurge on any, and they were worthy splurges indeed.

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Mill St. Lemon Tea Beer: “Sunset-coloured (orangey-amber) slightly sweet, malty palate with dry lemon-tea finish. Beer made with addition of Black tea leaves and lemon in aging tank. Very smooth and quenching; unfiltered.”

Smelled like tea, tasted like beer! A good tasting beer, thumbs up.

On an impulse, I treated myself to my new favourite beer, Fruli.

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I know how some people feel about fruity beers, but this strawberry white is downright delightful.

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The view at Sin & Redemption pub isn’t too bad either. Nice bike, no? ;)

 

Sausage

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Because you can’t attend a barbecue without grilling up some of the delicious sausage prepared by your neighbourhood butcher. Featured here is a handmade garlic mushroom sausage. Probably one of the best sausages I’ve ever had. No joke. Not pictured is the sauerkraut that was eaten on top. Not audible are the “MmmMMmMmmms” made while eating this.

 

Salad

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Because there’s no better way to wrap up a weekend than with a giant bowl of greens. This one here included some kale, tuna, olives, mozzarella cheese, and a dressing made up of pesto and lemon juice whisked together.

 

Last but not least, I bought a watermelon for two dollars today. A pretty stellar end to a pretty stellar weekend, I’d say :)

 

Question of the Day: What are your weekend highlights?

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