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Whole Paycheck

Hellohello! I had a blast reading through everyone’s random tidbits!! How fun!! Two extra tidbits I forgot to add yesterday:

1. I did a guest post on Deb’s blog on the method behind my homemade protein bars. Ch-ch-check it out!

2. I munched on something delicious while blogging last night.

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A take on Holly’s no bake protein cookies – peanut butter protein balls. To make this, I mixed together 2 tbsp chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp flaked coconut, 1 tbsp peanut butter, splash of water.

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All rolled up and stuck in the freezer for half an hour. The perfect bedtime dessert!

That little snack was just enough to hold me through my slumbering hours. I awoke this morning ready to refill my belly.

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Egg + bacon sandwich with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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Fruit salad with fresh peach, strawberries and blueberries sprinkled with cinnamon and coconut.

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Definitely a breakfast worth getting up for ;)

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T’was already stinkin’ hot first thing this morning, so I made my second cup of coffee iced. I just stuck the glass in the fridge for about an hour then topped it up with a pack of stevia, cold almond milk and ice.

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I continued cooling down all morning with Mr Freezes. They’re only 10 calories a pop. Which I suppose can add up if you like to eat them throughout the course of the day ;)

Enjoyed a leisurely morning watching the Tour de France. Contador is so close to catching up to Schleck, it is making me nervous. I’m an Andy fan…

Even though his arms are the same circumference as the frame tubes on his bike. Contador just looks like a villain…

Evil.

Moving on!

Snacked up in preparation for the gym.

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Lemon flavoured yogurt with 2 tbsp unflavoured protein powder, blueberries, plain rolled oats, cinnamon and more coconut. Gah! I want it to always be berry season! These bloobs were so good!!

My legs are a little wrecked from the torture exercises I’ve put them through this week, so I focused on upper-body weights today with cardio spurts in-between. Kept the weight heavy, reps low, and added a set to shock the ole’ muscles.

Cardio
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the rowing machine, alternating grip

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the stepmill

Alternating sets

Cardio
15 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute sprints followed by 2 minutes of walking

Phew!! I haven’t done a workout like this in a while and it was tons of fun. It took me almost 90 minutes, so don’t attempt it unless you’ve got extra time. I suggest it as a good rainy Sunday workout ;)

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Was positively starving by the time I got home and immediately whipped up a steaming plate of spicy chicken stir-fry.

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Chopped up a giant marinated jerk chicken breast bought at the local butcher, and stir-fried it with onions, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and hot sauce. So simple, and so delicious :) Kept me satisfied foreverrrr.

Good thing too! As I had another big shopping trip planned for today.

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Yes my friends, my first ever trip to Whole Foods!!

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I’ve heard good things about it all over the internets for years now. We don’t have one out East, so I was excited to pay a visit as soon as I got to Toronto. Food shopping > clothes shopping.

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First and foremost, I was really excited about all the free samples they had out. Sure, they were covered in germs from people’s sticky fingers. But free food is free food.

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My favourite aisle: the nut butter aisle.

In all, my Whole Foods trip was fun, but in all honesty I wasn’t that impressed! Most of the items you can find in smaller organic stores closer to where I live, so the trip out to Yorkville isn’t worth the time to me.

I did enjoy an iced cafe au lait on the bus home though :)

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Don’t be fooled, I didn’t leave Whole Foods empty handed. There were some splurges!!

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  • Deep chocolate VitaTops
  • Silver Hills Steady Eddie bread (got with a free coupon – review to come!)
  • Essence of Peach Kombucha iced tea
  • Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • Fresh figs
  • Jicama

The whole thing (not including the bread) cost me just over 20 bucks. Mmmm…yeah. I can see how they call it “Whole Paycheck” :P I was thisclose to buying Sunshine Burgers – but they were $6.99 for only three burgers, too rich for my blood!

The chocolate peanut butter though, I just couldn’t say no to.

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Protective seals are meant for licking ;) Not bad. I think I like Nutella better.

And would you believe it if I told you I’ve never tried a fresh fig before??

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I’ve had tons of dried figs, but fresh ones are so hard to find in New Brunswick. For some reason they are a lot more abundant in Ontario. I immediately tore into one once I got home.

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Yet another thing I think has been talked up too much. It was kinda bland? Not very flavourful. The texture is fun though!

Last but not least, for dinner I prepared a much cheaper version of any burger you’d find at Whole Foods.

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Yesterday, I bought a pound of ground turkey for $4. Then, for 79 cents I bought a can of black beans to add to the turkey to “plump” it up.

Mixed the two together with a clove of garlic and tbsp of chili powder.

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Ended up getting six large spicy black bean turkey burgers out of the mix. Take that Sunshine Burger :P

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I ate one on a half a pita, smothered in ketchup, mustard and pickles. They turned out really good!!

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With a side of jicama fries. Sliced them up and baked at 450F for about 35 minutes. I was expecting them to taste like yucca fries, but they weren’t anything like them!! They were still kinda crunchy and tasted like water chestnuts. Interesting. I think I will try the rest of it raw on a salad…

And with that, I am off!! Sorry to leave you so abruptly, but my roommie is playing a show tonight and I’m laaaaate!! See ya tomorrow!! xo

Question of the Day: How do you save money at the grocery store? I always buy the cheap canned goods, it can sometimes be a difference of two bucks!

Goals for June + My Favourite Food

For those of you that leave your pets at home all day and wonder what they’re doing while you’re gone – I have your answer.

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Nothing.

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They spend the day sprawled out on the furniture they’re not allowed on when you’re home.

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Puppy nose!!! Paige posted a picture of her dog’s nose a few days ago and my heart melted into a giant puddle. Best doggy part there is.

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Followed closely by paws. And I die.

The dogs weren’t the only comatose beings in the house today – my mom and I both slept until 9am!!

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That’s 9 hours of sleep. I’m not a solid sleeper, so that’s very rare for me. I must have needed it. Or the step-fam was just quiet rushing off to school today.

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Bacon was had to celebrate my lovely night’s sleep, with an egg, mayo, lettuce and tomato on ezekiel bread.

Unemployment is starting to get to me…

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…I thought it was Waffle Wednesday!

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Instead, it was just another Tuesday. Boo. The Van’s Mini Waffles at least make for a great snack when topped with homemade maple pecan peanut butter.

After this, I went to the gym for a 3-mile run, followed by 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and then 10 on the stairmaster. Not gonna lie, my treadmill sesh was bruuuutalll. Not nearly as fun as this contraption I played on yesterday:

It’s the Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer. I’ve tried it before, but couldn’t figure it out and hopped off after a couple minutes. Then Julie posted about it, and I felt the need to step back on. You can do a circular motion like a regular elliptical, swoosh back and forth like an arc trainer, or step like a stair machine.

I did 15 minutes using a regular circular motion and I really liked it!! The best part is that it doesn’t have a set range of motion like most other ellipticals. My freakishly long legs were able to move freely :)

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This is where I show you I ate green food today, because the following set of pictures may lead you to believe otherwise.

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First, I must thank Hallie for introducing me to the World’s Best Recipe – ie Smitten Kitchen blondies.

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It is no secret that I favour sweets above all else. Chocolate chip cookies and brownies are my favourite sweets, ergo my favourite foods. Ever.

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I had never heard of blondies until I started reading food blogs. They are not popular around these parts. Our idea of a “sweet” is a boston cream from Tim’s.

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It eventually dawned on me that blondies are like brownies without the brown. Or, “blonde” “brown”ies if you will ;) I still thought it sounded like a boring ole’ square. Give me my chocolate brownies, or regular chocolate chip cookies and I am good to go. Why would I need more sweets in my already sweet-filled life?

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Oh, how very, very wrong I was. For blondies are like a combination of my two favourite foods in the world. As I explained to my little step-brother while he poked at what I was making, “They’re like brownie cookies!” Sold.

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The recipe is incredibly simple:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup flour

And then there are the fixins. People tend to get crazy creative with blondies. Me? I just like a little chocolate with my butter and sugar please.

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It is approximately here where I regret committing to these blondies, as I’d prefer to just gobble up the rest of the dough from the bowl.

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But I know this is one treat so good that it must be shared.

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Just don’t forget to save a lick for yourself!! Baker’s rights!!

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Then my mother and I proceeded to get in our first argument since I moved back home.

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After 25 minutes in the oven, I felt they only needed one more minute. She felt they needed 5. We bickered before compromising on 3. This is serious business people!!!

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Perfection!!

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My secret to baked goods such as these is to portion them out reeeeal small. I cut it into 24 squares, making them 108 calories each.

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Perhaps still a lot for you volume eaters out there, but I assure you, worth every single calorie.

Not to be outdone, my mother prepared salisbury steak for dinner.

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Along with garlic mashed potatoes and assorted veggies.

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I must admit though, I don’t really care for steak all that much. People say chicken is flavourless, but I find steak is a lot more bland.

No surprise what dessert was.

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With two blurry dog faces in the background. Mind my chocolate-y fingers ;) I think it’s safe to say half the squares are already gone. I heard my mother say “These are so good I’m going to DIE.” :P

 

Last, but definitely not least, it is time to set my goals for June! June is shaping up to be another crazy month. I leave for Calgary next week, to spend a week in Banff with Holly. Then it’s off to Ottawa for 10 days to hang out with my sis, then finally move to Toronto on June 25! Gah!

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to achieve this month, and I’m happy with what I’ve come up with. It’s something I will at times have to consciously work on, but it is most certainly achievable.

 

My goal for June is to SMILE.

 

I want to have fun on all my travels and soak up every experience. I can’t say I’ll be able to adhere to a strict exercise or eating schedule. I know there will be times of stress and anxiety. But I think June has the potential of being one month I will look back on fondly for the rest of my life. I want to keep a smile planted on my face no matter where I am or what I’m doing, hopefully collecting a few good belly laughs along the way :)

 

Question of the Day: Your turn! What are your goals for June??

P.S. I loved hearing everyone’s lessons learned. Those posts always get some of the best comments!!

Goaltender

Hellohello! Just finished watching a movie featuring this man:

Cary Grant in Charade. Much more dapper and debonair than this man I just watched in Up in the Air.

However, neither are as ruggedly handsome as this man:

Sigh.

Where were we??

Ohyes. I’m here to ramble about food.

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I had to bring oatmeal back into my life this morning. An empty jar of nut butter demands it.

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I previously pretty much scraped this puppy clean, so I added a little dollop of peanut butter and nutella on top for good measure.

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And then I reeeeeally scraped it clean.

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This image always entertains me. It looks like I ate a whole jar of almond butter with a spoon.

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Not that I’m above that or anything ;)

Just so we’re clear, I’m not off the bacon yet either.

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Someone *coughmymothercough* enjoyed themselves a little too much at a beer festival last night. She woke up craving a bacon sandwich, which in turn filled the house with the aroma of bacon. It’s a smell that can’t be denied once unleashed. I went straight to the bacon stash when doing up my lunch, adding an egg, mayo, tomato and lettuce between two pieces of ezekiel bread. Heaven.

I traded in my lifting workout today for a long walk with the dog. My body wasn’t too keen on yet another day of intense exercise, and the sunshine looked pretty darn inviting. Archie and I were out for about 45 minutes. He did really well this time, but still collapsed once we got home.

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You’d think I had a death wish for this poodle. But I swear, it’s for his own good!

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I was quite chipper after the walk. I’ve taken to listening to podcasts while on these jaunts. Today’s was Jillian Michaels’ show of course. She was talking about NEAT.

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For the record, the poodle is alive. He’s sleeping at my feet, twitching from puppy dreams :)

Made my new favourite snack again this afternoon!

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5 tbsp soy protein powder + 2 tbsp hot chocolate mix + 1 tbsp coconut.

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Mixed up with almond milk until everything is dissolved.

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It’s like ice cream, but better. Which is easy for me to say, because I don’t like ice cream ;)

Supper was a… you guessed it! Big salad!

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The family went over to the step-grandparent’s place for Chinese food. The thought of it made my stomach turn, so I opted to stay home and eat salad while watching Gossip Girl.

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It was a good choice. Have you seen the season finale!?!? Holy dramz. The dressing for this salad is White Bean & Grilled Red Pepper dip. Protein is tofu, base is kale and romaine and the “fun” is shredded swiss cheese. Solid.

 

Final May Goal Check-In:

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
I only got two lifting workouts in this week. But the hard labour I did at the cottage counts for something… Right??
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. Yay! I ran twice this week and my foot is pain-free! I did 2 miles on the treadmill then 6 miles outdoors.

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” The only dairy I had this week (as in previous weeks) was one serving of hard cheese a day. I really like it on top of my salads, and I wasn’t ready to give that up.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. Failfailfail. Did you see that Nutella up there? I think this may make for a better short-term goal like Lori did. Doing this for a whole month is a long time for me.

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Hmm… I haven’t done anything new to the blog since I checked in last! Boo.

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
I organized my belongings and travel plans this past week, so that’s a plus. I still have a lot to do though.
Spend time with my family. Happy to not just be hanging out with my family, but my step-families as well (I have one on each side – including five step siblings!)
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. Now that my departure date is getting closer, it’s becoming harder not to get ahead of myself. So long as I have everything in place, whatever will happen in the future will happen. I need to enjoy right now :)

 

Overall, I feel pretty good about this month’s goals. I don’t think I hit both of my fitness ones in one week. But I was doing other activities instead, which is better than nothing.

As for my food goals, I will not be continuing them. I will keep an eye on my refined sugar, but I’m just not at a point right no where I can experiment by cutting it out completely. I fully expect to eat desserts when I go to Banff next week. I also didn’t notice a huge difference without dairy. I think I may allow one serving of yogurt or cottage cheese a day on top of the hard cheese. So two servings of dairy a day. My tummy will be able to handle that. I think it was the 5 servings I was having before that was the problem.

There will definitely be a few more blog updates before I start travelling. I also really enjoyed paying attention to my life goals this month. So many moments are now etched in my memory because I took a second to be still and absorb them. Bliss :)

 

Questions of the Day:

1. How did you make out on your goals for this month?

2. Who’s your Hollywood crush? Robert Redford circa 1973-1976. Yes, I have eras for my crushes.

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