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Out of Hibernation

Success!!

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I finally ran outdoors today!! Oooh, it was awesome! But I’ll tell ya all about it in a second ;)

First, I was rudely awakened by my alarm at 6am on a Saturday because I had to work :( I’d been planning on an outdoor run this afternoon, but still did an exercise DVD in case I wouldn’t be able to squeeze the run in. 50 minutes of Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones. It’s mostly a strength-based DVD using hand weights and bodyweight. I like it!

And that “old favourite” I prepared last night? The breakfast cookie!!

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Oooohhhh man. I used to eat one of these every single Sat & Sun when I was working the 5am shift every weekend at the radio station. It’s been too long! (for the breakfast cookie, not the 5am shift).

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • raisins
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp butternut squash baby food

Mixed all up in a bowl, flattened on a plate, and left in the fridge to harden overnight.

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I usually eat these with my hands, but decided I wanted to “frost” it with yogurt, thus a fork was required. It was awesome! My homemade protein bars by the way, are essentially breakfast cookies with extra protein powder. Easy peasy!

Work actually wasn’t that bad today. I was working with a film crew to capture a student event. I wasn’t stuck at a desk or anything :)

I was feeling experimental when I came home, so I decided to try my hand at Heather’s homemade coconut butter. An extra source of fat? Yesplease!

I started with a bag of cheap unsweetened shredded coconut.

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Dumped into my food processor…

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And processed!

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…and processed…

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I added a tablespoon of coconut oil, but it still wasn’t getting nice and creamy like I’d pictured. Perhaps it was my cheap, dried-out coconut? Would it be better toasted?

Whatever, coconut is coconut and I still have a jar of a tasty oat topper :)

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I felt my intense food processing was adequate warm-up for my first outdoor run of the season!! A momentous occasion indeed. According to my blog archives, November 14 was the last time I ran outdoors (in similar conditions actually – 6C, or 42F).

After exactly four months of running maybe 5-10 miles a week on the treadmill, I had absolutely no expectations for today’s run. I didn’t get to take my favourite trail as parts of it are still snow covered. Instead, I took the more populated road to downtown along the river. A quick out-and-back route that took me about 29 minutes. One thing I noticed right away is that my cardiovascular abilities have improved a lot! I wasn’t huffing and puffing like I used to and my heart didn’t feel like it was going to beat out of my chest :P It’s definitely going to take my legs a little while to adjust again though. They were a little shocked today!

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Solid run folks. Felt good to dust off my running hat :D

It was 4pm by the time I got back, and I technically hadn’t eaten a “real meal” since my breakfast cookie (ie just lots of snacks to hold me over). So I dug deep into my cupboards and came up with this:

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Canned salmon and Health Valley lentil soup.

It was still missing something though, so I then burrowed into the freezer and pulled out this:

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I never have any memory of buying these blocks of spinach, and yet there’s always some in my freezer?

After a little curry, maple syrup and 15 minutes to simmer on the stove, I had this fabulous bowl:

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Impressed. I’ll definitely be buying this lentil soup again! I’ve heard people complain that Health Valley is bland because it has no salt, but I just see it as a blank canvas. I can add any flavouring I want!

After dinner I put an official end to No Grocery Week and spent a ludicrous amount of money on groceries, undoing all the savings from this past week. A stocked fridge just makes me happy :)

Then it was off to another play being put on at my university. Technically, more “work” but watching plays doesn’t really feel like work. Once again I was impressed by the talent my school has to offer!

Now it’s waaaay past my bedtime. Not to mention, losing an hour tonight with Daylight Savings! Hope y’all had a great Saturday!

 

Question of the Day: Do you exercise outdoors in the winter? I don’t. It gets cold and I just can’t handle the harsh air. Especially when it comes to running, it’s dangerous with the ice! And then there’s the summer, where I have to be out there at 5am before the insane heat sets in. Yes, I am a running princess :P

TGIFF – Thank Goodness It’s Flashback Friday

TGIF!!!!! This is how I party on a Friday night…

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I’ve been looking forward to this aaallll week. I actually woke up sick this morning. No doubt from my 6-hour nights and 10-hour work days this week. I feel like junk, I can’t believe I photographed this for you guys to see!! :P

Had I known my head was going to be invaded by mucus last night, I wouldn’t have set my alarm for a morning workout. Alas, when it went off at 6am, there was no falling back asleep for an extra glorious hour. How do you snoozers do it??

I thought today I could attempt to do all three levels of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred video. Umm, did you know those levels are technically 25 minutes each? Well I didn’t. At 50 minutes, I finished the second level and had taken up most of the hour I allotted for exercise. This is my excuse anyways. Truth be told, I was done at the squat thrusts. I tend to get cocky with exercise videos, but it kinda kicked my butt!

I had breakfast waiting in the fridge for me. The only way to have oats cold ;)

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The childhood nostalgia breakfast cookie.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • splash almond milk
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • mini chocolate chips
  • sprinkles!!!

Maybe it’s because I haven’t had one in a while, but this b-fast cookie was beyond awesome. Or maybe it was the sprinkles ;)

Work was busybusy. My mucus/headache/sore throat/cough/chills/aches only got worse as the day progressed. Oh, did I mention? We apparently got a snow storm last night that I unexpectedly had to shovel out of this morning. I spent the day in wet clothes. The only thing worse than getting snow in between the cuff of your jacket and mittens, is when it sneaks under your pants and on your ankles!! Brr!!

Thankfully, my boss sent me home a half hour early when he noticed I’d been clinging onto kleenex all day just in case I get another bloody nose.

One of those days where I was craving absolutely nothing for dinner, but a girl’s gotta eat!
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Baked salmon filet topped with feta and Kirkland no-salt seasoning. On a garden salad. I drizzled watered down tzatziki for my dressing.

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Looooooved everything about this salad. The saltiness of the feta went wonderfully with the richness of the salmon. And tzatziki makes for a really nice cool and refreshing dressing :)

 

A January Flashback

That’s right! ‘Tis that time of the week – Flashback Friday!! I’m feeling a little uninspired tonight (blame the mucus brain) so I thought I’d flashback to photos from past Januaries. I actually think it’s kinda fun to see what I was doing at this time last year, and years before. Unfortunately, my earliest January photo only goes back to 2006.

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This is me getting a scooby-doo chia pet as a b-day gift in 2006. Little did I know, four years later, those seeds would be an addition to my favourite granola

(P.S. I killed Scooby just like every other plant that has ever entered my house. Including cactuses)

In 2007, I was mastering my mad pool hall skillz.

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With my BFF Matty. He’s off gallivanting in England now, I miss him! By the way, let the record show we both suck at pool. I honestly don’t know why we thought this was a good idea. One game took a solid hour.

In 2008, I was apparently not doing a good job of dyeing my hair.

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This was my first ever fondue experience. I learned that it takes forever to cook and just tastes greasy. I believe I’m seen here bobbing for a lost mushroom.

Aahhh. 2009. Whatta year. Here I am with my J-Class (that’s J-speak for “journalism”) trying to help a classmate dig out his car.

n115400581_30824848_6379Or, at least standing by watching as he spins his tires. This was an awesome night when I got to meet the editor-in-chief of Macleans, Canada’s weekly news magazine. It was a big deal. I’m a dork.

Also worth mentioning, I got my university grad photos done in January ‘09!!

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I can’t believe I’m here now one year later, working at the same university! I’m all kind of mushy these days about being back there. I love that freakin’ school.

 

So back to current day – January ‘10. I’m in my fuzzy slippers as promised.

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Watching MTV, as promised.

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It’s 9:12 and I’m about to hit the hay. I worked hard this week, and in some serious need for down time. Two words for the weekend ahead: low key. Can’t wait!!

 

Question of the Day: What were you doing exactly one year ago? Exactly five years ago?? In January 2005, I’d just started going to university part-time and thought I wanted to be a high school English teacher. I also went to Cuba for the first time with an ex-boyfriend!! Ooohhh how things have changed :)

Flashback Friday!! “Feelin’ Irie Mon”

Hello!! So it seems most of you are creatures of habit. I was actually surprised!! I encourage you to go do something spontaneous!

For the first time ever, I contemplated staying in bed instead of going to the gym this morning. But I was already awake, and going back to sleep wouldn’t have guaranteed me all that much extra sleep in the long-run. Tonight I’ll just get a solid 8 hours.

Here’s how it went down:

Elliptical 20 min:

Minutes Level
3 10
2 12
1 16
2 13
1 17
2 14
1 18
2 14
1 17
2 13
1 16
2 12

Lower body:

Exercise Sets Weight Reps
Barbell Squat 3 55 lbs 12
Static Lunge 3 15 lbs ea 12
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 3 15 lbs ea 12

Abs:

Exercise Sets Reps
Plank 1 90 sec
Side Plank 1 each side 45 sec ea
Stability Ball Roll Out 1 15
Prone Jackknife 1 15

Stairmill 10 min:

Minutes Level
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11

 

Then I cooled down with some stretching :) Obviously, today was a lower body + abs day. I contemplated throwing a calf isolation move in there, but decided against it. Oddly, my calves are the most sore!! Well, right now anyways. I predict the pain will move to my glutes tomorrow…

In order to maximize sleep time, I prepared everything last night so all I’d have to do is just come home, shower and shovel food and coffee in my face before rushing off to work. Enter an old favourite: the breakfast cookie!!

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Today’s was a PB&J breakfast cookie. Can you believe I’ve never thought of this before?? It was awesome!!!

  • >1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Crofter’s raspberry/yumberry jam
  • splash almond milk

All mixed together, flattened on a plate, and chilled in the fridge overnight to harden. Must do these more often on my early a.m. workout days :)

It was a busybusy day at work!! It flew by! Happy to have my first week under me. I actually got a few projects accomplished that I’ll get to see go up on the website this weekend. I’ve also got some interesting projects coming up that I’m excited to get my hands on :)

Work eats today included…

IMG_2470An awful photograph of a quark/yogurt/vanilla protein powder/strawberry combo. This is quite possibly one of the worst food pictures featured on my blog. For being so delicious, yogurt is not always photogenic.

Moving on! Lunch!

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…was delicious. Hummus, cheddar cheese, tomato, sprouts, spinach on an everything bagel. With a particularly juicy bag of baby carrots. Stellar combo, will do again!!

Snack attack…

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Two carrot protein squares that I sandwiched laughing cow cheese in (gotta have that cream cheese frosting!) and a granny apple sauce cup. I miss my homemade sauce :(

Supper was some sort of weird take on chili cheese fries…

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Butternut squash fries, turkey breast, baked beans. I’d originally planned on making these three things separate components on my plate. Then thought “what the hell” and just threw it all together.

Halfway through though, I decided it needed ketchup.
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I also got more bloggie presents today! That’s three in one week! I feel like such a lucky gal :D

Today was my belated Blogger Secret Santa package. It’s awesome. So many goodies! I’m so grateful Chandra was my BSS – you know my tastes perfectly!!

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Naturally More Almond Butter, Mrs. May’s Cran-Blueberry Crunch nut clusters, Larabar in Tropical Fruit Tart, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Pecan Pie, and a mug! (which I think may be designated my office mug). Thank you SO much!!!  

And don’t worry about it arriving late Chandra. My birthday is in two weeks, so we’ll call it a Christmas/New Years/Birthday gift ;)

Obviously, I had to dig into some of the goodies right away. I had to try this almond butter. Check out what’s in it:

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For some reason, I thought it would be ground flax. But it’s whole flax. It makes the nut butter not crunchy – but crispy!!!

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I’m in love.

In other news, I also got my first big paycheck today from my new job. It called for a little celebratory spending…

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Shoes!! Not just any shoes, but ones with heels. I’m pushing 5’7” and never wear heels because they make me feel like an Amazon Woman. But, my office is pretty dressy, and my usual clunkers just aren’t cutting it. I feel like such a grown up!

 

Not only is it TGIF ‘round these parts – but it’s also Flashback Friday!!!

I think it’s been a while since I’ve participated in Janetha’s fun bloggie feature. Today’s FF is all about my trip to Jamaica in 2008.

I’ve done the resort thang a few times, but I was reeeeally excited about Jamaica. Maybe it’s just the Bob Marley fan in me, but of all the Caribbean islands I felt it had a really distinct and interesting culture.

Of course, as any Canadian knows, if you travel in March you will fly out on the day of a snow storm. It’s a guarantee. It’s happened to me every. single. time.

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Thankfully, the weather in Jamaica was fabulous. I’m always cold, and found even the evenings stayed quite warm.

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I was definitely right about Jamaican culture. It really is distinct. They have their own language which sounds like English, but is actually reallyreally hard to understand! It’s called Patois and includes things like “feelin irie” instead of “feeling alright.”

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Before we left, everyone told us to be careful because Jamaica is a really dangerous country. This is true, I would not want to wander around by myself. But with that said, the Jamaicans we did meet were amazing people!!! Chris and I always joked that everything ran on “Jamaican time” (timely customer service does not exist) and the country’s motto is “No problem mon.”

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Chris and I did a lot of day trips. Probably too many, as we were pretty exhausted by the end. But in retrospect, I’m still happy with everything I got to see. Highlights were definitely travelling to various waterfalls.

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We also did the touristy thing to do there and climbed Dunn’s River Falls.

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It was a damn big waterfall, and tough work to climb up. Amazing though. I dunno, I’ve always had a thing for swimming in waterfalls…

Now you may be wondering why after aaallll these Flashback Fridays, I’m only just talking about this trip now? Well, I ate. A lot.

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I was a good 5+ lbs from my highest weight at the time. While it was an awesome trip, I ate and drank way too much. I continued the vacation once I came home, and skyrocketed to my highest weight soon after.

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Looking back on these pictures brings mixed emotions. It was an amazing trip (seriously, Jamaica is an fun country). But I also feel kinda sad for myself. I can’t believe I let myself get so out of control.

I wasn’t making the best food or drink choices…

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And the rum. My god the rum was good. And cheap.

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Oh, and did I mention? If you’re Canadian, it’s also guaranteed you’ll get a snowstorm when you’re trying to fly out of a foreign country in March.

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Okay folks, that wraps it up for me! I’ve got some Real World to watch!

 

Question of the Day: Name one place you’ve travelled to that had amazing food. My family travelled to Germany when I was younger and I’ll always remember the bread+meat+cheese. Sounds simple, but all three were soooo much better than anything I’ve had since. There’s nothing like some authentic German bratwurst and cream cheese on a freshly baked roll.

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