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Hometown Runner

Mmmm… can you smell the bacon??

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Damn, no wonder I wake up starving every morning. My belly is already awake in anticipation for the goodness that’s about to enter it.

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Breakfast was ready in 5 minutes flat. Egg + bacon + laughing cow + ezekiel.

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Citrus on the side as always. Why have orange juice, when you can just have a juicy orange ;)

Breakfast needed to be quick, so I could digest sooner. It was shaping up to be a hot day and I wanted to get a long run in before it got too unbearable. I’m a bit of a goldilocks when it comes to running outdoors – the climate has got to be juuuuust right ;)

I decided to test out my new and improved mummified foot by re-introducing the long run. I’m working on building up my mileage over the summer months, and this week’s was a 6-miler.

One of the challenges of moving back to my mom’s place has been finding decent running routes. There are a couple lakes that I can loop around, but both loops are short, thus better suited for shorter runs.

My mom and Mark told me the city improved on their waterfront trail. Waterfront trails are my favourite running routes ever. The surface is agreeable for my body, the view is fantastic, and the people are always friendly. My favourite trail in Fredericton ran along the St. John River. I took that trail for every single outdoor run, and loved it more with each outing.

So not surprisingly, I got quite excited by the idea of finding my very own riverfront trail here in Moncton. Now, those of you who know the area are probably beginning to clue in to what I’m getting at here, because there is a glaring difference between the two rivers. Fredericton’s St. John River is beautiful. Moncton’s Petitcodiac most definitely is not.

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It’s a pile of mud. With flocks of seagulls. When the tide is out, it smells like sewer and boiled eggs. Oh yes, and see that little hill on the left? That’s where much of the trail is. Looks like a nice mound of grass, doesn’t it? It’s a landfill.

So no, my run wasn’t as beautiful as Fredericton, nor was it as pleasant to the olfactory. BUT, it is still the best trail I’ve found in Moncton so far. And I guess the landfill provides some fun challenging hills. Actually, it was a pretty darn good run :)

I made it back home just as the sun was starting to beat down on me. I immediately refuelled with half a bunch of grapes.

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Other half was consumed for my pre-run sugar ;)

Gave my muscles an extra good stretch and iced all my hot spots (ie trouble areas).

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Then sat back with an article on Bieber Fever.

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It was actually a really good article on how his management team used a new internet marketing model. I didn’t know he sold “mini albums” online. Neat-o.

Eventually, The Hunger kicked in and I had to get up to make a meal.

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A pita stuffed with sautéed tofu, red pepper, onion, mushrooms and kale.

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Carrots + salsa!

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Hit. The. Spot. So good. So filling.

I used a new-to-me pita bread for the sandwich. I was quite excited to discover it at the Superstore!

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It’s made in Halifax, but what really got me is that it’s only 80 calories!

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Mind you, it is a very thin pita, but I much prefer it that way.

I also tried out a new dip on the pita.

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It’s no hummus, but I love red pepper anything.

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Despite being thin, the pita bread held up perfectly. Sticking it in the microwave for a few seconds keeps it from tearing when you assemble it.

I played chauffeur to my mom and Mark all afternoon. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Snacked on a couple Maple Nut Oaties.

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I also stopped by a new cafe in town called Cafe Codiac. I was very excited to check it out as the building used to be a liquor store, and I wanted to see what they did with the place!

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Got a soy sugar-free vanilla iced latte. Verrrry tasty. I will have to go back with my camera, they had a vegepate sandwich I was was eying. If I was staying in Moncton, I would 100% apply for a job there. I was at one point a career barista afterall ;)

I also got roped into going over to my mom’s friend’s place on a whim. She told me there would be free chicken burgers. Who am I to turn that down?

Just finished off my evening with my new favourite protein snack.

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Hmm. Doesn’t look very appetizing, does it? I thought the image looked a little yellow-ish. Then I remembered I can change the white balance on my camera.

I watched this video, and figured out how to do it.

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Et voila!! C’est magique!

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Neat, eh? I think I will keep manually adjusting the white balance, I’m almost embarrassed that I wasn’t already!

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Ohyes, and the snack! It’s 5 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder, 2 tbsp hot chocolate mix, 1 tbsp flaked coconut and enough almond milk to dissolve everything. The soy protein powder has a completely different texture than that of whey powder. It’s very fine like flour and puffs up instead of getting gooey. Instead of being like a protein pudding, it was like a protein mousse cake!

 

Now I am off to finish up this fine Saturday by catching up on Gossip Girl. My step-sister says the season finale was shocking, and I have to know what happened! See ya tomorrow for a final goal check-in!!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite thing about your hometown? Your least favourite? I actually grew up in a smaller town across that muddy river. My favourite part is that everyone knows everyone. My least favourite part is that everyone knows everyone!! :P

Cottage Country

Peek-a-boo!

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I’m baaaaaack!! :D

How was everyone’s weekend? Or, I suppose start to the work week now :) I’ve got lots of cottage pictures and tales to share so I’ll get right down to it. But first I have to thank Diane and Caitlin for wonderful contributions to my Blogger Interview Series as well as all the funny feedback on my Flashback Friday – Babies! So. Much. Fun.

So first things first, I had a stellar full-body weightlifting session on Saturday morning thanks to this magazine:

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I’m partial to designing my own workouts, but sometimes it’s fun to try out something someone else made up! I really recommend this special edition of Women’s Health. It’s got tons of great moves and recipes in it. Here’s the workout I stole:

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Except, instead of the bodyweight lunge, I did a power kick:

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Lovely.

Came home to the best breakfast sandwich I’ve had in a while.

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Egg, ham, real mayo, tomato, onion, lettuce on ezekiel. With watermelon and grapes in the back. Ohman. It hit the spot.

Then it was off to the cottage!!!

Victoria Day weekend, aka “May Two-Four Weekend” is known as the time when Canadians open up their cottages and drink copious amounts of beer. My family is no different.

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My family cottage is on the Northumberland Straight in Nova Scotia overlooking New Brunswick and PEI. It’s downright beautiful.

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Wait. Do you see something in the photo?? Let’s look closer…

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I do believe that is a poodle running free!!

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Pretty sure the cottage is heaven on earth for these dogs. One of the few times we let them off the leashes and run around like the animals they are. I love seeing them so happy in that element :)

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We don’t have much of a beach, but we aren’t the type of family who goes to the beach as an excuse to wear bikinis anyways. That’s what Shediac is for ;)  (sorry, local humour)

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Beautiful Sister Sara underneath the chestnut tree.

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Et moi!

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The best thing about my cottage is the giant deck that overlooks the Baie Verte.

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Also notable, is that we don’t have full walls. Not very good for keeping secrets.

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My family has been coming out here since before I was born and then some. I’ve lived in many houses in my life, but this spot has always been the one constant. I quite literally grew up in it!

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As did many other people – it was built in the 1930s.

Another great thing about the cottage is the FOOD! We always eat well there.

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Saturday night my mom roasted a chicken. We had some more of that glorious roasted corn on the cob and steamed potatoes and butternut squash.

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Come Sunday morning I knew the leftover squash and potato would make for a perfect hash.

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Fried up after a glorious 4 mile trail run through the nearby provincial park with my big sis. Trail running is super challenging. It felt like I was running so slow because of all the obstacles, but my heart rate was super high!

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We’d picked up some thick cut bacon at the nearby country corner store. Paired with scrambled eggs and it was quite possibly the best post-run recovery breakfast I’d ever had.

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I know I’m “off” the dairy for the time-being, but I put cottage cheese in the eggs. My secret to the perfect texture and cheesiness :)

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Cribbage players will appreciate this mug. I spent many rainy days at the cottage playing crib with my Grampie in his cottage next door.

Our real reason for being out there this weekend is because my sister Sara is now the owner of my grandparent’s cottage next door! We had a lot of cleaning to do to get it habitable again. My 86-year-old grandfather made the trip to show us the ropes.

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This included a lesson in basic plumbing.

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Note: this is not what a well pump should look like :\

T’was a tough morning getting everything opened up, and my mom once again saved the day by whipping up a wonderful meal.

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Salmon sandwich and fruit.

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And while I didn’t partake in any of the above beer, that’s not to say I didn’t join in on the sweets.

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I’m sure there is a rule out there that one must indulge in warm cinnamon rolls when at the cottage. Right??

Sara and I worked our tails off cleaning up our “new” cottage this weekend!

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It’s wonderful to think that the cottage we spent so much time in as children, will get to be the place where we bring our own kids someday :)

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My Grammie fed me so much chocolate pie and ice cream on that countertop!

We also found some neat old-timey things while cleaning up. Including this copy of The Financial Post from 1959!!

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Maybe it’s the newsie in me, but I found this completely fascinating. Newspapers have oddly not changed that much in the last half century.

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I also read my fair share of up-to-date newspapers this weekend. As well as the book Skinny Bitch.

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I’m sure many of you have heard of this book, written by two former models who say eating a vegan diet can make you thin. I didn’t really care for it. Having already spent a near decade of my life as a vegetarian or vegan, I now feel like I’ve heard it all before. It was also very short, so it didn’t elaborate on anything. I found myself wanting to know exactly why these things are bad for me, instead of just being told I’m a fat moron because I eat them.

I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I eat animal carcasses. My body likes it, and the descriptions in the book didn’t phase me in the least.

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Case and point: meat pie.

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A blend of animal meats stuffed into a pastry crust. The meat filling was frozen from Christmas!

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Meat pie = love. I know some people can appreciate a savoury pie with me ;)

Mommy dearest also made a parsley and lentil salad to go with.

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There is no recipe for this as she made it up as she went along. It was delicious though – think of it as tabbouli but with lentils and sunflower seeds instead of couscous.

After a trail run and a day of hard labour on Sunday, I woke up positively wiped this morning.

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My mom, sister and I had some hope of doing an outdoor bootcamp this morning. But we all immediately agreed that our bodies were already in rough enough shape! My feet are completely wrecked. So, I put them up, read, and ate a bowl of apple cinnamon peanut butter oatmeal instead. So worth it.

However, today was another hard day of cleaning, scrubbing and moving things around. The highlights of my day today were definitely eating up the yummy leftovers.

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Leftover falafel from a long time ago, with the last of the parsley and lentil salad on top of a much larger salad.

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I added a little extra dressing made up of mustard, canola oil and white wine. Mygosh it was good. White wine is almost better than vinegar!

Other leftovers included a verrry yummy soup my mom made with the leftover roast chicken.

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She taught me how to save the juices on the bottom of the roasting pan, scrape the fat off, then make soup with it. I am so doing this next time.

Well, that pretty much brings us up to speed! Believe it or not, I have another busy week of unemployment ahead of me. How does that happen?? I’ve made some new travel/moving plans which I’ll mention tomorrow. Right now, I’m ready to go pass out on the couch with the dogs. See ya tomorrow!! xo

 

Question of the Day: Do you have a cottage? What’s it like? If not, what sort of cottage would you like? Our cottages our out in the middle of nowhere away from any form of civilization. There aren’t many people there. It’s quiet and positively beautiful. I think it’s the real reason why I’m a country girl at heart!

The Perfect Protein Bar- One Step Closer

It was close, but crunchy nut butter won out over smooth 9 to 7 ;) These are important global matters people!

I was up early with a growling belly again today. Whyyyyy.

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Something quick and speedy – egg, laughing cow, smoked salmon breakfast sandwich.

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Ever since destroying my toaster oven I’ve been making my toast under the broiler. It’s a tricky process!

As a side note – I dropped an oven mitt on the oven element today and it caught on fire. Thankfully I was able to grab the mitt and fan it out. But I lost another year off my life from the moment of panic. I’ll be lucky if I make it to 50 :\

What was I making??

Homemade Maple Cinnamon Oat Bran Protein Bars

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  • 2 cups oat bran (I like Quaker)
  • 1 cup unflavoured soy protein powder (I use “Purely Bulk”)
  • 1.5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 packets stevia
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free table syrup
  • 4 tbsp almond butter (crunchy!!)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water

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Mix it all up until the powder is dissolved, but mix is still crumbly. Flatten into a 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

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Makes 8 decent-sized bars.

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My third attempt at a baked bar and my best one yet!! The extra cinnamon and maple really added some flavour. The best thing about the baked bars is that they’re stable at room temperature, so they’re much easier transport :)

I didn’t stop there though! Maple Pecan Peanut Butter.

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Threw 2 cups roasted peanuts, 2 cups roasted pecans and 2 tbsp pure maple syrup into my food processor.

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The processor gave out on me just as it was about to turn into that wonderful creamy consistency. Still pretty freakin’ good though.

Dinner put a dent on my overflowing cupboard!

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Cooked up one cup dry bulgur and one cup dry green lentils. Then added some chopped carrots, crumbled tofu, feta, hummus, garlic, parsley, dill and turmeric.

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This was definitely one of those meals where I just kept adding things to the pot with no forethought. It was good though! I think I may try to make patties out of the leftovers tomorrow. I didn’t feel like doing that extra step tonight.

Kept me full for a while, but not so much that I went without a bedtime snack ;)

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Microwave protein cake made up of 1/2 cup soy protein powder, cinnamon, stevia, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup applesauce, 2 tbsp egg whites. Microwaved in a mug for 4 minutes.

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Topped with some of that Maple Pecan Peanut Butter ;)

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While eating this, I was amazed by how large it turned out. That’s when I realized I used half a cup of protein powder when I meant to use a quarter!! Oops. I contemplated putting the other half in the fridge for later, since I usually stick to a regular serving size for snacks. But then I realized I was being silly, and that maybe it would be nice not to wake up hungry tomorrow :)

 

Food aside, today was my first day of unemployment! Eek! By 8:52am I was already restless and unsure of what to do with myself. I ended up being fairly productive though. Packed up all my clothing, which I’ve downsized to just two laundry hampers. Donated the rest (3 garbage bags worth). Also started throwing out some old junky decorations and things no one will ever need. Felt good to purge it all!

I also hit up the gym with an old co-worker to run through what I plan on doing for my practical exam on Wednesday for my personal training certification. We had to go figure out how to use the weight machines – I’ve never used them at my gym before!! Hopefully I sound like I know what I’m talking about come test day :\

And with that, I leave you today’s Archie picture.

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Yesterday it was one running shoe, today he cuddled up with three :)

 

Question of the Day: Bloggers – do you listen to music when you blog? Watch TV? Do it in silence? I always used to blog with the TV on in the background, but lately I’ve been listening to music and it makes the process a lot more fun. Tonight’s post was brought to you buy the new George Harrison “Let It Roll” cd :)

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