Blog Archives

Food. Good food. And lots of it.

Bonjour!! I am in a bilingual city, I can say that here ;)

Wonderful questions and feedback on my last post: Ripped Arms: A How-To Guide. I made some clarifications in the comments section if any of you are interested. In terms of designing an arm workout, 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps of each a shoulder exercise, triceps exercise and biceps exercise, 1-3 times a week, is enough to do it. Got that? Just don’t forget about your other muscles too! ;)

I also got a great comment from Averie:

10 yrs of yoga gave me a foundation for everything, 4 mos of lifting is giving me some size :)

Couldn’t agree more. If you’re already athletic, but still want to see more arm definition, heavy weight lifting will get you where you want to be in no time.

Now this is where I seamlessly transition to talking about FOOD.

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I really just want to show this pic of Sunday’s breakfast because my toes are stealing some of the spotlight in the bottom right of the frame :P One of the reasons why I love reading food blogs, as opposed to professional food publications, is the level of “real life” you get from photos such as these. Hello toes!

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Rainier cherries are continuing to rock my face off. They taste milder than regular ones.

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The last of my homemade rosemary yogurt biscuits topped with eggs and bacon. If it’s been a while since you last had this combination, I highly suggest you get on it. This is the best post-run weekend breakfast. The HEAB-ster just posted an even easier biscuit recipe just in case ;)

 

Okay, now that we are done ogling at breakfast, I must introduce you to Sunday’s lunch!! Sister Sara had tickets for a play and the theatre is conveniently located across the street from an amazing vegetarian buffet called The Table. I grabbed a little scoop of everything that struck my fancy. I’m a sampler.

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Beet salad and carrot ginger salad.

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A tofu patty topped with this sweet & sour onion sauce. They were highly recommended.

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Some sort of black bean loaf.

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Braised onions, roasted mushrooms and a tofu skewer.

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As well as a bit of lentil quinoa salad and dandelion greens. The salads were a little lacklustre (surprisingly!). The hot foods were my favourite. Especially the braised onion and tofu patty. I want to recreate both!!

As we were leaving, Sara heard that you get 20% off if you’re going to see a play. We’d already paid, but we wanted our discount!! So we went back after the play for tea and dessert :)

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I was still stuffed from my meal, so I stopped myself from grabbing a gazillion cookies and went with what looked unique.

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Not your typical coconut pie. It was surprisingly light and fluffy, not at all chewy like a macaroon. A touch bland though, so I topped it with this:

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Vegan rice pudding. I’m assuming it was made with coconut or soy milk. Made for an excellent pie topping actually!

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Apple & mixed berry crumble with whipped cream. This was my favourite of the desserts. You can never go wrong with cooked apples.

And the tea!

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The perfect flavour to pair with the desserts I’d chosen. I love me some chai!

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Sara being her usual social butterfly self.

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Me, being my usual contemplative self.

Another highlight from Sunday was biking down to one of Ottawa’s beaches. It may take a while for the idea of a beach not meaning “ocean” to sink in.

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Sara and her sweet new bike pump. She’s a cycling queen.

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Me just looking awkward :P My biking adventures in Ottawa have been my first of the season. It would be an understatement to say they came with a little apprehension. In fact, I had a moment of sheer panic within minutes of being back on the bike. But yesterday I started to feel relaxed again and less like I was chained to a death trap. Also impressed by how strong my legs got over the winter – hills are nuthin’ to me now!

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Because of my new-found ease, we opted to take the long way home and enjoy some of the (weird) sights Ottawa has to offer.

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Inukshuks on the river!!

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Clearly, we had to stop and take silly photos with them.

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I just wish I’d read this sign first. I maaaaay have decapitated a statue :\

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Today’s breakfast had a significant lack of biscuits.

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Eggs and bacon were instead eaten between two seedy pieces of bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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I made a fruit salad for us using watermelon, banana, cherries, lime juice and some of this stuff:

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Peppermint honey!

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From Alberta! It was very pepperminty, but added a nice refreshing kick to the salad.

Let’s see… there was also a notable breakfast dessert.

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I love that my sister agrees with me that it is very important to have quality chocolate in the house at all times.

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Camino Coconut gets a thumbs up!

It took me a really long time to get motivated to go the gym today. I am having motivation issues lately. I’m thinking it may be resolved once I finally get settled in Toronto (moving Thursday!). Until then, I forced myself to do a full-body lifting workout.

Started with a 10-minute run to the gym. I did three sets and 10 reps of everything. Colour-coded to indicate which exercises were supersetted together (ie no rest in between alternating sets).

Exercise Load Target
Sumo squat  70 lbs Quads, glutes
Wide-grip lat pulldown  60 lbs Back, biceps
Good morning  45 lbs Hamstrings, glutes, lower back
Incline push-up  bodyweight Chest, abs, front shoulders
Forward lunge  30 lbs Quads, glutes
Arnold press  15 lbs ea Shoulders
Overhead cable extension 30 lbs Triceps
Seated calf raise  90 lbs Calves
Incline curl  10 lbs ea Biceps
Captain’s chair  bodyweight Abs

I went up in weight on my squats… yayy!!! Only 60 lbs left to go until I reach my lifetime goal of squatting my bodyweight – ha!

Ohyes, then I ran the 10 minutes back to my sister’s place. Mygosh it was hot by then. Brutal.

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Sister Sara said I had to try these tofu cutlets they carry at an organic food store called Herb & Spice.

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I cut it up cold and put them on top of a salad (dressed with watered down hummus). I would have to agree with my sister, these are amazing!! It almost tasted like they were baked in cream of mushroom soup, but Sara says the spread vegepate on top. Genius.

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Salad also included some wonderful local spinach – yum :)

Late this afternoon I continued my quest to find a decent cottage cheese in Ontario… IMG_9094 
Half a cup of Liberty 1% cottage cheese on top of the leftover fruit salad from the morning.
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It was good but still not great. Also, Liberty is significantly more expensive than other brands.
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I miss my Scotsburn 50% less sodium cottage cheese!! They need to supply outside of the Maritimes!

For dinner, I made Sara and I bison burgers using my mother’s method of locking all the juices in (start with a hot pan, then lower it down to cook)

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Sara doesn’t keep  ketchup in her place (the horror!), so I loaded up on the tomatoes, and ate it on pita bread. A Susan version of a hamburger thin if you will ;)

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Roasted corn in the oven. So easy. Throw it in, husk at all, and cook at 400F for 30-40 minutes.

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Yellow zucchini roasted in rosemary and olive oil. I could never find this anywhere back home!!

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All yellow vegetables tonight :)

Sara and I then sat around contemplating what we could do this evening. We both agreed dessert was in order, but I’d already eaten three pieces of chocolate today (as I do every day, fyi).

Somehow we decided it was a good idea to walk 30 minutes to this delightful place called Oh So Good near the Byward Market.

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We got a little lost on the way, but the extra walk was worth it. They had a wide array of different cakes and sweets. My eyes immediately set on the white chocolate mousse cake.

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Seriously you guys, I’m not a huge cake person, and I loved every bite of this. Incredibly light and fluffy, with shaved white chocolate on the top. Both Sara and I agreed that the small layer of jam in the center made the cake.

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Sara got a slice of the chocolate truffle cake. The chocolate was definitely of high quality and fresh because it was the first piece from the cake!

We both enjoyed our cake with a cuppa tea. We briefly discussed the calories in each slice, and agreed it was a pleasure too great to pass up.

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That’s why you walk to the cake ;)

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See you tomorrow!! xoxo

New Favourite Cake and Goal Check-In!

Hi there! Hope you all had wonderful weekends spent with your moms (sounds like it!). It was a busybusy day around these parts, feels like I haven’t stopped yet!

Started off after a solid 8 hours of unconsciousness.

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One of my favourite breakfasts of all time: 2 eggs on toast and an orange.

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My favourite kind of toast too – sesame ezekiel.

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And a smidge of buttah to go with the runny yolks. Mmmmm…

My mom however got no brunch or breakfast in bed from me. Nope! Instead I dragged her to the gym for Mother’s Day!

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Actually, more like she dragged me. There were a few mother-daughter duos there, very cute :)

We went to the woman’s only gym which is a drag because their weight area is seriously lacking. How are women supposed to lift heavy? Boo. Anyways, here’s what I managed to muster. Upper-body only. My glutes are wrecked.

Warm-up: 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight set (x3):
Dumbbell pullover (chest, back of shoulders, lats, rhomboids,triceps)

Alternating sets (x3):
Incline chest fly (chest, front of shoulders, biceps)
Incline dumbbell row (lower lats, rhomboids, middle traps)

Cardio: 10 minutes on the rowing machine, alternating grips

Straight set (x3):
Cable lateral raise (top and front of shoulder, traps)

Alternating sets (x3):
Dumbbell twist curl (biceps)
Forward triceps extension (triceps)

Cardio: 10 minutes on the stairmaster, increasing speed   

Not too shabby! Didn’t kill myself in the weight area what with all the moving over the last few days.

I didn’t get to eat until an hour after , which may explain the ginormous dish that followed.

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Whenever I’m really hungry, I think I need 10x more food than can fit in my stomach.

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A massaged kale salad with leftover roast chicken and watered down hummus for the dressing.

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I made my mom buy me kale to keep on top of that calcium!

Shortly after it was on to my Nana’s Mother’s Day present:

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I have never heard of Queen Elizabeth Cake before. But when I said I wanted to bake something, my mom pulled out this recipe and said it was my Nana’s favourite. Figures, my family are such monarchists ;)

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My Nana loves to bake with two things: dates & oranges. Her date squares are to die for. Must be where I got the taste for it!

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Clearly, as soon as I saw dates in this recipe, I knew it was a winner. And topped with coconut? Yesplease!

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I will not lie, I licked the bowl clean and tried a couple tastes of the topping. The deliciousness of plain old butter and sugar will never cease to amaze me.

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The recipe called for a 9×12 pan, which I completely disregarded and put in a 9×9 pan. Oops.

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Not all hope was lost. It cooked up wonderfully, and it meant the topping was extra thick ;)

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Once put under the broiler, the sugar hardened like in a brulee. Mygosh.

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Look at that thick icing. How have I never heard of this cake before??

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The photo below is a setup. This is my mother’s piece. Mine was twice as big.

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And worth every. single. bite. My Nana was so happy and impressed that we thought to make her favourite cake. I am starting to learn where that sweet tooth of mine comes from ;)

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with Mark’s family. Then we came home to a late dinner. I made a stir-fry for Mark and I while my mom feasted on her Mother’s Day lobster.

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Spot that pinwheel shaped veggie?

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Fiddleheads! For all you West-coasters, fiddleheads are a young fern that’s harvested in the springtime. It’s actually late in the season for them. My mom steamed some before I added it to the stir-fry. I’d compare the taste to broccoli or asparagus.

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And quinoa! I didn’t have a grain at lunch, so I figured I should probably add one to the mix for dinner. Was tasty all mixed up.

By the bye, after dinner I went to my dad’s to help him move furniture. If it’s not my crap, it’s someone else’s. The moving never ends!! :P

 

Sunday! Time for my Monthly Goal Check-In.

 

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
Got in two lifting workouts this week, but I think I should get at least an extra two more with moving ;)
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. Check! Got in a 4-mile and 3-mile run this week – both outdoors!

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” I haven’t had cottage cheese, yogurt or milk since writing this last week. I’ve had maybe one 15g serving of feta or cheddar cheese a day since, and a little butter here and there.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. Oooh, not as great on this one. I’m still eating regular chocolate, and a piece of cake today that was definitely packed full of refined sugars. Will do a detailed post about this tomorrow!

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Check! Added a new recipe page, and new workouts are up under the workout tab. Oh, and there’s a new pic of me on the sidebar –>

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
Well, I did make a list, but I never referred to it. I’m still disorganized… but I don’t think I forgot anything! 
Spend time with my family. Giant check! Spent all day with various family members :) 
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. You know, ever since writing this, I’ll occasionally stop and take notice of what I’m doing in a single moment. I never realized how little I do this, and how enjoyable life is when you do. Check.

 

Question of the Day: What were your goals for this month, and how are you doing on them?

 

Congratulations!! to Brie on her wedding and Heather on her little HEABlet!!!

Girl’s Weekend

Hiiiii!!!!! Remember me?? I missed you guys!! A big thanks to Allison and Michelle to holding down fort while I was away. My bloggie break over the weekend was fab, but I’m definitely ready to start up again. My coworkers aren’t as into my food and workout rambles :P

Today will be a fun lil’ recap of my weekend away. I feel like I should prelude this by saying that I went all out this weekend. Sometimes a girl just needs to throw all her healthy living ambitions out the window and party like it’s 1999. So that’s what I did :D

I was lucky that a friend from work joined me for the 4.5 hour drive to Halifax. What would have been a very boring drive was a fun one! We chatted the whole time and listened to some good tunes. We arrived right before suppertime and I had a glorious reunion with bestie Erika.

Check out the view from where I was staying:

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Right next to the Halifax Commons! I would like to note that Nova Scotia has significantly less snow than New Brunswick. What’s the deal.

I also made friends with Erika’s cat, Griffin.

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Well, kinda. If biting my ankles is how he shows love.

Friday night was supposed to be our laid-back night. We made plans to meet up with a friend who was celebrating her birthday at a swanky bar. We stocked up Erika’s fridge appropriately. Beer and water is all you need, right?

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Alexander Keith’s beer, very Halifax appropriate I might add.

We also picked up a Dairy Queen ice cream cake to celebrate our belated birthdays together. I don’t even like ice cream that much!

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But I can’t turn down the cookies & fudge interior, and I love that gel icing.

The bestie and I got all dressed up for our night on the town!

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Don’t be fooled by the wine glass – it’s actually rye and water with extra ice. Just like my Papa drank. It’s the only alcohol I still enjoy drinking!

We did end up at the Taboo nightclub, which is a very classy joint. But I guess we had more party in us than we thought, because we ditched it for The Dome which is anything but classy!! It was there that we danced our booties off till the wee hours. Many more rye and waters were had, followed by a giant slice of pizza at 3am. Upon arriving back to Erika’s place we attacked the ice cream cake with spoons! Ooohh it was sooo baaad, but ohsogood.

We didn’t get to bed till 5am and needless to say, were dead the next day. We watched New Moon on the internet in bed, until we finally got up at 2pm to do the Booty Camp Fitness DVD. It was basically 30 minutes of squats and lunges, but hurt so good after such an indulgent night! We also hit up Pete’s Frootique for fresh fruit smoothies and Lululemon. I splurged on a $100 pair of black groove pants. I’ve tried them on three different occasions and finally took the plunge! Mostly because I keep buying cheap-o yoga pants that suck balls. I got fed up and wanted some quality goods that fit me well.

Saturday night ended up being an evening in since we were wrecked from Friday night’s shenanigans. It turned out to be awesome though because Erika found a working Nintendo in the garbage!!

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Nintendo as in NES, the original. Lots of Mario playing followed.

And, ugh, more ice cream cake.

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I’ve officially eaten enough ice cream cake to last me the next five birthdays.

Sunday morning, Erika and I got up and went to her apartment complex’s gym for a quick 30-minute cardio sesh. I sweat out more birthday cake. It felt good.

Then it was time for my Halifax blogger meet-up!!! 

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Left to right: me, Angie, Katie, Renee, Jaime, Lynn and Melanie. Can I just say I love blogger meet-ups? It is so neat to meet up with people you’ve never met, and yet already have so much in common with! We blabbed for a long while before I even opened the menu! 

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We chose The Wooden Monkey restaurant which features lots of organic, locally-grown ingredients.

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I went for the Lentil Burger: lentils, carrots, miso, garlic, onions, daikon, seeds and oats, lettuce, tomato on a fat-free 5-organic grain pita with a sweet honey mustard.

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Did you say pita? Yesplease!

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And an apple salad for the side. I do believe it was greens, green apple, walnuts, goat cheese and some vinaigrette for the dressing. The salad was awesome, as was the burger. My only complaint is that it was way too heavy on the mustard.

Thanks to all the Halifax ladies for coming out for a Valentine’s Day meet-up!! It was sososo nice to put faces and voices to the blogs I read, and get to know some non-bloggers alike. Also really fun to hang out with Maritime foodies!

I picked up my work buddy for the drive home, which also went by smoothly. We of course had to make a pit stop in Oxford, Nova Scotia – Canada’s blueberry capital.

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I don’t know why, but I am fascinated by giant monuments.

Upon arriving home, I decided to finish my sugar-filled weekend with a bang – more sugar!

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 Jaime gave us all sugar cookies at lunch.

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I had a small piece of the red one, then went back for another piece, then devoured the whole thing! Jaime, it was delicious!!

But I’m officially on a sugar detox.

Until I eat that pink cookie ;)

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend full of lovely Valentine’s things, or Olympics watching, or just plain relaxing :)

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite alcoholic drink? Mine will always be rye!

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