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Pigs n’ Bunnies

Happy Easter.

Do bunny suits scare the crap out of anyone else?? When I was a kid, Easter used to scare me because I thought a man in a bunny suit was breaking into our house to hide things. Not a friendly man either. But the kind that stinks of bourbon and cigarettes, with furry eyebrows and deep growl for a voice. This was my innocent mind as a child. Thankfully, my parents were bad at pretending it was someone other than themselves hiding the chocolate behind the couch :P I will however say, they expertly put money under my pillow whenever I lost a tooth. That Tooth Fairy thing was a real shocker.

I loved hearing the diverse genres of music that everyone listens to while working out in my last post. Some fun ones:

Madeline admitted to listening to blasting the pop music, although she listens to indie the rest of the time.

chillel said classical music makes her feel powerful while working out.

Ellie is hooked on Glee because showtunes pump her up.

…and John ran 10 miles to NO music today. Whoa. I am thoroughly impressed.

 

Anyways! I was up at 6:50am today. Babysteps. Maybe I’ll crack 7am tomorrow. I know it’s Pancake Sunday and all, but I am not one to argue with the Waffle Monster.

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Two Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles topped with a mix of cottage cheese, cashew butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and raisins. 

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That’s how you make freezer waffles filling :)

Actually, a little too filling! I had my two hour group exercise medley at 9:30, and I didn’t want to go without something extra in my tummy. I reached for a homemade apple cinnamon protein bar for that long-lasting energy.

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Thankfully, we didn’t start with Body Attack, or I would have thrown up :P

The breakdown went a little something like this:

30 minutes Body Pump – For a girl who loves weight lifting, I just can’t get into this class. Doing squats and chest presses for 5 minutes each is not fun, and my joints don’t like it.

30 minutes Body Step – I was not expecting there to be a step block! I got all excited when I saw the crazy step instructor there today. Favourite part of the day. She even referred to me as one of the “seasoned steppers” for all the newbies to follow :)

30 minutes Body Attack – Ever do “high knees?” Well it’s all that, all the time. Except, we did one song from the Hairspray soundtrack where we jumped side to side and waved our hands in the the air like we just didn’t care.

30 minutes Body Flow – I was SO sweaty and tired by this point I was ready to collapse into the pool of sweat that gathered on my mat. I don’t think the instructor for this one adequately planned, as she had us doing a lot of challenging warriors, when we really just needed to chill and streeeetch.

Overall, a fun day of exercising!! I wish they offered these medleys more often, they typically only do it on holidays when they don’t do the regular class schedule. Two hours may sound like a lot, but it’s all about pacing yourself and knowing when not to push too hard so you don’t crash.

After this I went straight to the after hours medical clinic. I don’t have a doctor in town, so I can’t just schedule an appointment with one (there’s a waiting list). So I have to go to the drop-in clinic. I finally broke down and went, because my arms are essentially covered in rashes, and I can’t put up with it anymore!!

After a three-hour wait, I walked out with some cream and pills.

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The cream is a type of cortisone cream for my arms, which the doctor said looked like eczema. The pills however are for my legs. I’ve had skin problems there for well over a year now. The doc said it looked like it might be a bacterial infection in the hair follicles, so he prescribed a form of antibiotic. I’ve got to go back in a month to see if it helps. I really hope my arms clear up – the itching is driving me batty.

Oh. I ate a ham sandwich during the wait. And studied. Then I came home and had more ham. It’s freakin’ Easter!!

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For the veggies, I tossed broccoli and butternut squash in bacon peanut butter and maple syrup and roasted them.

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Since I did maple syrup for the veggies, I skipped it for the ham. Instead I pan-fried it and topped it with sauteed onions and a sauce made from laughing cow cheese, almond milk, dill and garlic powder.

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Excellent, excellent meal. Not a bad Easter dinner for one if I do say so myself :) After dinner I called my Nana who is also home alone today. Kicking myself I didn’t just go stay with her instead!

 

I’ve read a billion blogs today, here’s a couple you should check out:

Lisa wrote a great post about control issues with food and body image.

Tam made the prettiest waffles I’ve ever seen.

 

Happy Easter!! Don’t let the man in the bunny suit get you!!

Question of the Day: Did you believe in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause as a kid? As for Santa, I found out he didn’t exist by matching “his” handwriting on the presents to my mother’s. It was much too girly ;)

Fatty February

As I mentioned yesterday, it is one of my goals for this month to get more fat in my diet. You would think that the amount of nut butter I eat would be enough. But it’s not. In fact, some days, I get around only 20g, which in my opinion is too low.

Part of this is because I buy a lot of low-calorie foods, which in turn are low-fat. Dairy and lean meats are good examples of this. Another reason is that I just gravitate towards foods that aren’t fatty. Lunch everyday for me is typically a tuna or turkey pita with a side of raw veggies or fruit. It’s what I usually crave, and the thought of a high-fat meals don’t really appeal to me.

Most importantly though, the number one reason why I don’t eat a lot of fat is because I have a digestive intolerance to it. Foods like avocadoes, olive oil and butter make my stomach literally churn. Guacamole will have me keeled over for hours in pain. The idea of an oil fondue is like pure torture to me.

As a result of this, my skin, fingernails and hair are in awful shape. My nails are brittle, grow slowly, and often chip and peel apart. My skin is actually cause for concern. It is not only dry and flaky, but my shins and forearms now have rashes and scabs from scratching it unconsciously. It’s gotten to the point where I’m embarrassed to wear shorts to the gym, and will probably have to see a dermatologist.

As we all know by now, fat is actually good for you. Studies are now showing that even the uproar over saturated fat may have been a bit premature. Trans fat is really the only thing I do not eat. Ever. There’s also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, and the coveted omega 3’s, with the frowned upon omega 6’s. At this point, I don’t really care what monopolyomega fat it is, I just need any fat I can get!

When I started increasing my protein intake waybackwhen, I did it by making sure I got a protein in every single meal and snack. If I missed one, then I would make sure I made up for it the next time I ate. This frame of thinking got me from eating 70g of protein a day to 130g of protein a day, and now I don’t even have to think about it, it’s second nature. It’s this line of thinking that I’m going to apply to fats as well. With each meal and snack I’m going to ask myself “where is the fat in this meal?”

So, what will I be using as fats?

Salmon.

Oh, sorry, this is a food blog, right.

Better? :P I love salmon, why I don’t eat more of it, I don’t know.

In the same vein, I’ll also be eating more sardines.


Bonus: the bones have lots of calcium!

Butter.


I’ll admit, I grease my pans with Pam. While butter does give me tummy pains, a light coating when I cook up protein pancakes should be fine. And um, make them more delicious!

Cooking Oils.

 
This is the one that scares me the most as my tummy pains are often directly linked to olive oil. But like butter, I’m going to experiment with using just small amounts of olive oil, as well as sesame oil, canola oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, etc. Well, okay, maybe just one or two of those. Cooking oils are expensive!!

Flax seeds.

I can pretty much throw a tablespoon of flax in anything and not even know it’s there! Helloooo omega 3.

Nuts.

 
I’m a volume eater, so a small handful of nuts never sounds as good as a big bag of fresh veggies to me. But, while dense, nuts are also incredibly filling and an easy grab-and-go snack for work. I’d also like to include more nuts in my dishes, like adding some roasted pecans to my veggies, or topping salads with sliced almonds.

Nut butter.

This is the most obvious, and my current main source of fat. It’s that big dollop of nut butter on my oatmeal that keeps me going all morning!

Whole eggs.

Yolks are your friend :) Also, Vitamin D is very important this time of year!

Tofu.

Did you know tofu is high in fat? It’s a new discovery for me – and a good one! Bonus: this is high in calcium too ;)

Cheese.

   

Not that low-fat crap. But the real, full-flavoured good stuff. I’m licking my lips at the thought of the above brie.

Olives.

Another ingredient that I can add to things to enhance flavour. I’m already sticking them in all my salads!

Avocado.

Maybe. This is another food that is directly linked to digestive issues for me. But I can eat the small amounts in sushi, so maybe a slice here and there won’t hurt.

 

So how did I do with my fat intake today??

Well first I had to work up the appetite! :P

Hit up the gym for a treadmill and weight lifting sesh.

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0.0
5-6 5.5 0.0
6-7 6.0 0.0
7-8 6.5 0.0
8-9 7.0 0.0
9-10 5.5 0.5
10-11 6.0 0.5
11-12 6.5 0.5
12-13 7.0 0.5
13-14 5.5 1.0
14-15 6.0 1.0
15-16 6.5 1.0
16-17 7.0 1.0
17-18 5.5 1.5
18-19 6.0 1.5
19-20 6.5 1.5
20-21 7.0 1.5
21-22 5.5 2.0
22-23 6.0 2.0
23-24 6.5 2.0
24-25 7.0 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Romanian deadlift to row 50 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Reverse lunge with forward reach 15 lbs ea 8-12 2
Dumbbell shoulder press  15 lbs ea 8-12 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Incline pushup bw 8-12 3
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Bulgarian split squat 15 lbs 8-12 2
YTWL  7.5 lbs ea 5 ea letter 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell 21’s 20 lbs 21 3
Cable Pushdown 30 lbs 8-12 3

 

Another awesome weight workout! I kinda made this one up as I went along too. I gotta thank Janetha for the Barbell 21’s. It reminded me a lot of what we do in Body Pump. Curls kill my forearms and wrist though.

Then it was off to work where I enjoyed a fatty breakfast ;)

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A big piece of April’s low carb sweet bread with some peanut butter and Crofter’s superfruit spread sandwiched in between. Mega tasty!  

My fatty lunch featured a smoked salmon sandwich.

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With laughing cow, mustard, capers, sprouts and romaine. Baby carrots and sugar snap peas for extra munchables on the side.

Dinner came in two courses, because I was starving! While I waited for the main course to bake, I threw together a garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Those are pickles on top btw ;) Normally I come home starving and that’s when a lot of the major munching damage is done. But having a small salad while dinner cooks curbs that immediate hunger and gets some veggies in me :)

Oooh, and the main course was worth waiting for!

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Mollie Katzen’s Spinach Ricotta Pie from the Moosewood Cookbook. Except I skipped the crust and de-vegetarianized it by adding ham.

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Yum! This will make for some excellent leftovers.

After dinner I did something I haven’t in a while – I went to yoga! Specifically, Body Flow at my gym. The times they offer it aren’t always the best for my sometimes wacky work schedule. But it was well worth the trip tonight. This release has some good tunes, and the twisting song is full of my favourite mix of warriors :)

After yoga, I decided to continue the relaxation with Deb’s hot chocolate smoothie.

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This time I added 1/4 tsp each guar and xanthan gum as well a 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp splenda. The extra gums made it so much thicker! Check out this consistency!

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It was amazing.

Total fat for the day: 67g! Heck yes!

 

Now that we have the appetizing food out of the way, I’m going to share some “before” pics of my awful, awful skin. If anyone out there can diagnose it for me, please feel free! I’m prone to stress-induced eczema, so I’m hoping this is related to it and can easily be fixed. Here’s the worst part, my legs:

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My forearms:

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And my hands:

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You can see my lifting calluses under my fingers! I forgot to take a picture of my nails, but they’re really embarrassing too. Being a guitar and piano player, I’ve always kept them short and ignored.

Hopefully increasing my fat intake will help some of my skin issues among many other things. Fat is also quite satiating for me, so I’m interested to see how it affects my hunger levels!

 

Question of the Day: Will you be participating in Fatty February with Emily and I? What are some of your favourite ways to incorporate fat into your diet?

Moments that make you go “a-ha!!”

Happy Monday! Or, er, Tuesday. Thursday? Crap, doesn’t matter when you’re reading this, you get my point! It’s a holiday week, I’m allowed to be chipper :P

I loved reading everyone’s goals for this week. There’s a good mix of people who feel they need to be mindful of their food and exercise this week, and another group who recognize it’s time to loosen up on their iron grip! I’m in the in-between group. Bring on the gravy and Bailey’s coffee, but keep the sugar cookies away from me please :)

I tried to recreate my turtle pretzels for breakfast this morning…

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 banana, cooked in
  • mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter
  • pretzel pieces

I thought this was going to be uh-mazing, but it was just good. The pretzels got kinda soggy :\ And I missed the creaminess of custard oats!

I unloaded some cake balls and peanut butter cup cookies on my Starbucks co-workers today. For people who are surrounded by cookies and cakes all day, they went pretty quick! Had what’s becoming my usual drink of a tall Americano with four shots espresso, 2 pumps sugar-free caramel, 1 pump sugar-free hazelnut and a splash of soymilk. 

I was mega lazy this morning, and didn’t bother packing a lunch. Easy to do when I work seven steps from a Subway.

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6 inch turkey breast on whole wheat, no cheese with mustard and all the veggies available. I was thinking that while Subway can be a good choice for eating out, I really shouldn’t make this a habit. Not only because it’s weirdo processed food – but this sandwich was five bucks! That shite adds up.

We were oddly over-staffed today and I got sent home early! Lost about 1.5 hours pay, but I also could have used the extra time in my day. I headed over to Sport Check to use the gift certificate my old co-workers gave me as a going away gift. Fiiinnaaally bought some long workout pants! Not only will they be great in the cold weather, but they’ll be added to my new “personal trainer wardrobe” I’m working on ;)

The second I pulled in my driveway, I saw a bright package sitting on my mailbox. I pretty much ran to get it and ripped it open. I’ve been anxiously expecting it!!!

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Eeeeeee!!!!!! SO MANY GOODIES!!!! Sent my way from the lovely, hilarious, heavy liftin’, smoothie genius Deb. Thank you SO much Deb!!!! She remembered me saying I didn’t have hot water bottles on her blog a while back and sent two to me. Deb, these will pretty much keep me alive at my mom’s frigid house this week. Other goodies include Wonka Tinglerz, a Jordan’s bar (never tried, but love his muesli!) Primal Strips (can’t wait to try!!) Cocoa Roast Almonds, mini Chewy granola bar and a Japanese marshmallow candy. Even the marshmallow is fitting because y’all know I love me some fluff ;)

Even though I wanted to dig into my snacks right away (okay, okay, I had to sample the Tinglerz), I’m going to save them as emergency snacks for my trip home. I instead made up a snack plate.
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i.e.an excuse to eat almond butter ;) AB on half a banana, and then on two light wasa rye crackers with cinnamon and honey. But apparently my snack attack wasn’t over. I somehow ended up with one of these in my hand…

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Gah! So good! I think these may be my favourite item I baked this weekend. Which is why I can’t wait till they’re out of my house :P

Dinner was leftover butternut squash soup.
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Tonight’s version included herbed tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, 1tbsp peanut butter.

You see, I am slightly obsessed with the butternut squash + peanut butter combo. Holy moly, it was even good stirred into the soup! Try it!!

Getting off work early gave me extra time to get my chores done, which cleared up my schedule for yoga tonight!! I haven’t been to a Body Flow class at my gym in weeks. It was just what I needed. Yoga has an amazing ability to make me feel good about my body. More so than a sweaty session at the gym ever could.

For my evening snack, I blended together 3/4 cup cottage cheese, 2/3 cup frozen blueberries, stevia and cinnamon. It was a wonderfully thick and creamy snack.

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 Hiii!!!101_1536
That’s my yoga face. Not to be confused with my running face.

 

In honour of Deb, I felt it only made sense to answer a question she posed after I’d wrapped up Q&A week. But no question is a bad question, and hers is particularly good! So here’s your answer :)

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) Said:

I’m so behind on reading/commenting that I think you already answered your Qs. I do have one though if it hasn’t been asked: was there an a-ha moment that made you turn your life around from drinking/drugs etc to your healthy current self?

I’ve had a series of “a-ha” moments. My first one was when I was 16 years old. I’d been heavily into, ahem, “bad things.” One night, I watched a very good friend of mine get injured in a fight and I couldn’t do anything about it. That was my first notable “a-ha” moment. I never wanted to put myself in a position where I was that helpless again. After that, I stopped doing drugs altogether. I started doing better in school, hanging out with a solid group of friends, and my life almost resembled that of just your normal rebellious teenager.

Unfortunately, I still continued my bad relationship with food, smoking and alcohol. I moved in with my high school boyfriend when I was 18, and it was just a bad time for me. Kinda like these past few months since finishing university have been. Something in my gut was just telling me “you’re not supposed to be doing this right now.”

The high school boyfriend got ditched after I started university,and so did the smoking. Chris also entered the picture around this time, and my confidence took a nice little turn upward. Unfortunately, so did my drinking and eating habits. For the record, I cannot keep up with a 27-year-old boy in the beer or nacho department. However, I did not realize this until over two years later.

That a-ha moment came after several months of increased indulgence. Chris and I took a trip to Jamaica, and I continued the food and drink vacation once I got home. I knew my weight had skyrocketed. I had just gotten my first TV job and could see it onscreen every night. I was breaking down and buying sizes I’d never seen. But I’d resigned to the idea that I’d just always be a chubby person. I liked food and beer too much, so I just gave up in favour of that.

That is, until my roommate got a Wii Fit. We plugged it in one night after I’d downed two big Coronas (two litres!!). While setting up my Mii character, I saw my weight, and my jaw dropped. I knew I’d been gaining weight, but it didn’t fell real until I saw those numbers in front of me. That same night I put down the Corona. The next day I started looking up my calories online and writing them down in a little book. A couple weeks later, I found The Daily Plate and that’s when the weight really started falling off. I committed to doing 30 minutes of activity every day. Soon I was setting fitness goals and falling in love with it. And eventually I started taking pictures of my food and posting it on the internet! :P

 

Question of the Day: What was your food/fitness/healthy-living “a-ha” moment?

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