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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 ;)

Good Sweat, Good Eats

Happy weekend!!

This is what I look like right now as I type this post, listening to a Lou Reed concert on TV.

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Mom grabbed the camera from me as I started writing up this post. See that? That right there?? That’s my blogging game face y’all. Just keepin’ it real.

I’m glad you all enjoyed my most embarrassing post ever. And thank you for sharing your most ludicrous hair styles as well. Made me feel much better about my own style faux-pas :)

Breakfast this morning was a no-brainer. I had homemade Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Scones to eat!

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Toasted with a little buttah for good measure. For my fat/protein I boiled a couple eggs.

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Who needs orange juice when you can have a juicy orange?? ;)

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This was a spectacular breakfast. Another combination I used to have all the time when I was younger. I need more biscuits and scones in my life!!

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However, my mother and I both agree there is a smidge too much baking soda in the scones, and next time I will decrease it to 1/2 tsp from 3/4 tsp.

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Only thing that could have made this breakfast better? Freshly ground Haitian coffee with the Saturday paper. *Insert giant “aahhhh” here*

Hit up the co-ed gym today for a weightlifting session because they have better equipment there (don’t get me started on the dinky stuff they carry at women’s-only gyms). I specifically planned to do this on a Saturday so I wouldn’t have to pay for parking. Like I said before, there’s a method to my madness! Muhaha.

Started off with 15 minutes on the adaptive motion trainer. Got my stride a little better on it today and ended up with a tough and sweaty warm-up! Unfortunately, the real work had barely started ;) Did the usual full-body workout alternating between upper-body and lower-body so I could blast through it without having to rest too much. Plus, well, it’s more fun this way!

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Front squat push press  3 10 30 lbs Quads, Glutes, Shoulders

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Barbell bench press  3 10 45 lbs Chest, Front Shoulder
Sumo squat  3 10 65 lbs Quadriceps, Glutes

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
One-arm dumbbell row 3 10 25 lbs Whole back
Good morning  3 10 55 lbs Hamstrings, Glutes

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Dumbbell one arm lateral raise 3 10 8 lbs Top/Front Shoulder, Top of back
Bulgarian split squat  3 10 15 lbs Quadriceps, Glutes

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Kickback  3 10 10 lbs Triceps
Cable hip adduction 3 10 15 lbs Inner thigh

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Incline curl  3 10 10 lbs Biceps
Seated calf raise 3 10 50 lbs Calves

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Cable horizontal woodchop  3 10 25 lbs Obliques
Captain’s chair 3 10 bw Abs

 

Phew! Whole thing took me 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was a stellar workout though, and every muscle in my body was worked! You can cut the warm-up in half, or cut out some of the isolation moves at the end to make it shorter (triceps, biceps, adductor, calf and abs). Of course, I’m unemployed, so I have nothing better to do than waste my morning at the gym ;)

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I tend to crave melty cheese on pita bread after weight lifting. Today’s melty pita featured swiss, pepperoni and mustard, with red pepper, onion and romaine.

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Late morning workouts are the greatest, because I get to come home and refuel with a wonderful lunch :)

And, erm, a wonderful dessert.

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I only had three, but it took me almost five minutes to eat while I let the chocolate melt in my mouth. Mmmmm…

I took over dinner prep tonight. We all agreed we wanted hamburger of some sort, and after throwing around a few ideas, the thought of Meatloaf Pizza popped into my head. Perfection!!

Started with:

  • 3 tbsp pizza sauce (I use the Eden Organic pizza/pasta stuff)
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • a pinch each of salt and pepper

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Then comes the fun part, add one pound of lean ground meat and mix it up with your hands.

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Tonight I used buffalo meat, but last time I used turkey and both tasted just as well!

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Flatten onto a sprayed pizza pan and cover with more pizza sauce.

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Add any toppings you like!

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We kept it classic tonight with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. The original recipe calls for one cup of shredded cheese, I used about 3/4 cup and it was still lots. Mozzarella of course!

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Then bake in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes on the bottom rack.

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It was ready after about 19 minutes in my mom’s oven. Just as the veggies were getting tender in the steamer!

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Why have crust when you can just have more meat and vegetables?

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My plate!!

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Mark gave it another one of his famous “gold stars.” However, I was informed the best rating is in fact a “platinum star” and that is reserved for chocolate goods only.

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I overheard my mom and Mark planning on ways to get me to skip over Toronto and come back here to be their live-in homemaker. I cut a deal with my mom that I’d go hone my culinary skills in Toronto, then come back and accept the position ;)

The poodle however, is still coming with me.

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How am I going to leave this face!? Even more, how does he sleep like that??

Remember this photo?

Silly poodle.

 

Okee dokie, I am outta here. Time to take this blogging game face and go stick it in a book. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about what the experts are saying about pre-workout nutrition. See ya then!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite kind of pizza? Since it’s my own question I’m going to cheat and say cheesy garlic fingers dipped in donair sauce ;)

Reebok Easy Tone the Easy Way Out?

Who’s that doggie in the windoooowww…

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I couldn’t help it. My mom and I went for a walk yesterday evening and could see a cat or dog peering out the front window of nearly every house we passed. It’s so nice to come home to this little face in the window every day :)

Rudy meanwhile, is only ever in the kitchen. He’s got one thing on his mind, and it’s in the fridge.

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I can relate though. I woke up this morning with food on my mind. More specifically, waffles. 

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I know, it’s Tuesday. But it’s hard to deny oneself of melted butter pooling in the squares of a waffle…

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And then drenching every groove in syrup. Life does not get much better than this.

Today’s waffles have been bought to you by Van’s.

 
Please excuse the teeny internet picture. My mother does not yet understand the importance of my photographing everything remotely food related.

Van’s sent me a couple coupons to try out their stuff. I really wanted to get some of their new French toast sticks, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Instead, I was drawn to these gluten free Apple Cinnamon waffles. 

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The ingredients on these are “Susan approved.” Although, I thought it could use a little more apple and cinnamon flavour. The texture is slightly “off” compared to regular waffles because they’re made with brown rice flour. But it’s disguised well when toasted.

Paired them with my favourite source of fat and protein.

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Boiled eggs.

Pre-workout snack was something I picked up at a new local health food store called Sequoia in Moncton.

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I love Bumble Bars but don’t buy them often because they’re expensive, and I make most of my own bars at home now. But I had to pick this up because I’d never tried the Cherry Chocolate flavour before!

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I know I said I don’t like fruit and chocolate together yesterday. But I lied. I really like chocolate and cherry. And chocolate and cranberry. But that’s it – I swear!! :P

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Okay, and the chocolate covered cherry may be my favourite in the assorted chocolate box ;)

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This bar did not disappoint. In fact, it was more tart cherry than overly sweet chocolate. Don’t let the pictures fool you, this is a really chewy bar, not hard or crunchy in the least.

My foot is still hurting today, so I tried to be nice to it while doing a full-body workout at the gym.

Warm-up: 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance (ouch to the foot)

Alternating sets:
Close-grip lat pulldown 
One-point dumbbell row

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing chest press
Some exercise I do not know the name of where I stood in a static squat, and with dumbbells, palms facing the back wall, swept my straight arms backwards.

Alternating sets:
Standing barbell shoulder press
Curtsy lunge 

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing dumbbell curl 
Dumbbell front lateral raise with a side lunge

Alternating sets:
This ab move thanks to this girl
Prone jackknife 

Alternating sets:
Decline crunch
Reverse crunch 

Then I did an easy 10 minutes on the recumbent bike while reading a magazine and waiting for my mom to show up. Afterward, I showed her around the gym, pointing out proper form and techniques on the equipment. Especially for the cable machine, which I will do a post on in the future!

Needless to say, I was hungry by the time I got back home.

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A can of tuna is probably my favourite post-lifting meal. Today I mixed it with Hellman’s olive oil mayo (yum) celery, onion and pepper. Smooshed on collard greens and sesame ezekiel bread.

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With some crunch on the side.

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Blue chips > yellow chips.

Hit up a brand new grocery store with my mom and Nana this afternoon. We were all equally excited to be scoping out food in a new joint. It was hot out today, and when I saw this in the store’s cooler, I couldn’t resist.

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Damn refreshing that aspartame is ;)

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Accompanied by a snack of egg whites topped with coconut oil. Not a fan of the egg + coconut combo.

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I blew through my deep chocolate Vitatops and convinced my mom to get the Vitamuffins today. She’s hooked now too. ‘Tis a slippery slope with these things.

Then I spent an hour applying for my dream job while sitting on the deck. Le sigh.

The summer weather inspired the fam to haul out the bbq!!

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Mommy dearest made buffalo patties with Worcester and Frank’s.

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We were bunless, so I ate it atop a small piece of naan. Burger was topped with ketchup, mustard, relish and pickled jalepenos. NOM.

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More baked corn! My family may now be obsessed ;)

And what better way to end a summer-inspired meal than with a Mr. Freeze.

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Sugar-free. But not Splenda free.

 

So Is Easy Tone Really That Easy?? 

I got a lot of comments the other day when I mentioned the Reebok Easy Tone shoes. So I thought it would be worth it to take the time to explain why I don’t personally support them. Now, I’m no podiatrist or specialist, so my knowledge only goes so far. This is just based on my training to date, along with the biases of the experts who taught me.

 

Reebok EasyTone shoes have “balance pods” on the soles, which create instability, forcing your calves, hamstrings and glutes to work harder just by walking.

In order to keep myself from going into a rant, I will not delve into their borderline offensive commercials and marketing campaign. I trust you can click on that yourself and be astounded by what some tactless marketing team came up with.

There are several other shoes that are similarly designed and carry the same claims. There’s the Skechers Shape-ups.

The Fit Flop.

And the MBT shoe, aka the “anti-shoe.”

We will also ignore the fact that these shoes are downright hideous. I am by no means a fashionista or particularly concerned about my appearance. But I would not be caught dead buying groceries in the above MBT shoe.

During my personal training instruction, I was taught that proper body mechanics hails above all else. My PRO trainer made sure that we all left with some form of expertise on how the body is meant to move and work. I’m beginning to hone my skill in watching people, and can now pinpoint when someone isn’t moving correctly. I can tell by my mother’s grip that she has arthritis, or that my friend has inflexible shoulders by the way she does a push-up.

My problem with these shoes, is that they do not align with our proper body mechanics. It is one thing to put your body off balance for brief periods of time to challenge yourself during exercise. It is another thing to completely change the way you walk, with a distant hope of maybe-sorta-kinda making your butt firmer. Not to mention, at a cost of $100. I’m sure fellow runners out there cringe with me at the idea of wearing a shoe that is designed to make life harder on your muscles.

The other thing is that the body is highly adaptable. Your body will adapt to your new walking gait, and within a few short weeks, your muscles will not work as hard in the shoes. It may feel sore the first couple times. But wear them every day for two weeks, and you’ll no longer feel the results.

I’ve also heard claims that these shoes will burn more calories and zap cellulite. I am sorry, but bullshit. The only way to burn more calories is to increase your heart rate. Skip the $100 price tag and walk faster. Cellulite is a tricky kind of fat, and even people with near-perfect diets still have remnants of it.

Reebok claims that the Easy Tone shoes work your glutes 28% more, while working your calves and hamstrings 11% more. Instead of walking around town all day to do this, I have another suggestion. Do a set of bodyweight squats. Climb the stairs at work. Save your money, your ankles, your knees, and your back. Please, do real exercise, and buy some real shoes that give your body the support it needs.

 

Now there’s my two cents – what’s yours?? What are your thoughts on toning footwear?

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