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Old Soul

Can I just start off this post by saying I have the awesome-est readers ever? Yup. Even those of you that don’t comment, but keep coming back every day. You’re all awesome. I continuously spill my guts on a regular basis, and I continuously get great feedback. On top of that I get feedback that makes me think and challenges my established set of opinions and attitudes. Totally awesome :D

Guess what!? I woke up with the sun again today! Evening shifts will do that to ya. Except now that my body is used to being up later, I’ve got to go back to the middle of the night early morning shifts this weekend.

My oats were happy basking in the sunlight this morning.

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  • 1/2cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 chopped dates
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • unsweetened shredded coconut

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Yummmm. A big ole’ bowl of oat bran is one of my favourite comforts :)

I was all excited for Body Pump class this morning. I’m trying to get more weight training days in my week, and I think including a weight class at the gym is a good way to switch up my usual routine (and keep those muscles guessing!). Anyways, I arrived at the gym to find they were halfway through the class! May-jah confusion on my part. Until I realized the 10:15 class I was looking for was at the other gym across town. Boo. So I wandered out to the machines and weight area and just sort of made it up as I went along:

T’was a good time! I wish I could go on the rowing machine again, but the last time I used it, my hips hurt for days. Now I’m kinda iffy about getting back on, and I loved it so!

After my gym sesh, Chris and I went out for lunch again. We both agreed anything downtown was out because eating down there at lunch time is a pain. Somehow we ended up across the river at my second favourite 50’s diner

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(Steve’s 50’s Diner in my hometown will always be number one). You may recall I ate here on the day of my triathlon, when I had a very well-deserved slice of recovery pie for dinner. However today I looked past the dessert menu and ordered an actual meal.

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The roast chicken special. C’mon, say roast chicken and you know I’m there. I may also be an old lady. It happens.

Chris was all over it too.

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These were HUGE pieces of chicken breast! Holy moly. I ate most of mine because it was delicious, but didn’t make much of a dent in the sides as a result. Digesting 1/4 of a chicken is hard work, but it was worth it :)

Plus, it’s real food!

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I’ll be back for that chocolate pie on the top right. Perhaps after my half marathon next time ;)101_0209

As a result of my giant lunch, I wasn’t very hungry for dinner. I tried to put together something small, but I was still stuffed to the brim with carrot sticks when I was finished (isn’t that always the story?).

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The pita is just a can of smoked herring mixed with a little laughing cow cheese and capers. Simple, and absolutely delicious. I love smoked fish. See? Old.

 

Today also wrapped up one full week of calorie counting. I promised I would share my thoughts on doing it again. At first, I was really into it. I was again fascinated by my stats and numbers. I get a real kick by seeing how much sodium I had, or how much sugar I consumed on fruit alone. The graphs are fun to peruse through, and it makes me feel very much in control.

Three days into it, i was so over it. Firstly, logging every bit of food I eat into a website takes a long ass time. Livestrong is a great site, but it takes a while to load. I had to do a lot of calculating to figure out I ate .424 of a serving, and weighed even my dates.

The worst part, for me, was the calorie “limit.” I felt like I had to reach it every day, even if it meant eating slightly less, or slightly more. I would see that I had “x” amount of calories “left” and think, hey! I can have a big piece of chocolate! when I wasn’t craving it. I was just eating because I could. On the opposite side, if I was calorie heavy in the morning, I found myself eating lighter in the day to make up for it, even though I was still hungry!

I think this part of it goes very much against the way I’ve been trying to eat. Ever since giving up calorie counting last spring, I’ve been working really hard at listening to my body and eating intuitively. Throw numbers and stats into the mix, and all that goes out the window.

With that said, stepping back and taking a look at what I’ve been eating for a week has been really helpful. It gave me the little kick in the butt I needed to clean up my eating, and get rid of the little bits of food here and there that were beginning to add up. I also realized that I’ve been eating too little fat and that I could use to cut back on my added sugars, and even natural sugars.

I will not be logging my food religiously after today. But, I will continue to use calorie counting in the future as a means to “check-in” once in a while. Make sure I’m listening to my body properly, and not getting too complacent with my food choices.

So there you have it! I’m definitely coming off this “experiment” feeling much better than when I went in :)

Oh! And I got an interview at Starbucks! Monday at 2pm :D It’s the location that’s managed by an old co-worker, who apparently no longer holds a grudge that I once took the store manager title from him. I’m hoping the interview is just a formality and I’m as good as hired. I was clear with him that I’m looking for a seasonal job to get me through till I find a more permanent position (whatever the hell that may be). Did you know Starbucks employees get a free pound of coffee a week? That’s worth it alone!

Question of the day: What’s your “inner age?” I’ve always been mature for my age, my family has always called me an “old soul.” I’d say I’m a solid 75 on the inside. Give me my knitting, fuzzy slippers, 9pm bedtime and candy dish and I’m good to go ;)

It’s Sunday… Check-In Time!

Hello friends! Hope you all had fantabulous weekends :) Mine was the usual 5am-1pm shift at the office. Only three more weekends left!! Who knows? Maybe I’ll have a social life again! :P

A little calorie counting update:

  • Turns out I’m getting lots of protein, but still not getting enough fat. I have a digestive intolerance to high-fat foods like cooking oils and avocadoes. Nuts, eggs and tofu seem to be the only high-fat foods I can eat that don’t keep me bed-ridden for four hours after. More peanut butter? Yes please! :P
  • I eat a lot of fibre! Like 50g a day. Who knew?
  • Measuring every little thing seriously sucks. Weighing my apples seems so silly, I just want to eat the damn thing!
  • I spend a lot less time thinking about food. I log what I eat, or plan to eat, then forget about it. After I stopped tracking, I still kept counting in my head. I’m like the Rainman of calorie counting and can’t be stopped. It takes up a lot of mental energy. When I’m done tracking in a few days, I’m going to work much harder at not thinking about the calories in my foods. Shouldn’t be a problem so long as I’m choosing whole, fresh foods :)

Besides working, napping and eating today, I had a stellar gym sesh! One of those Sunday afternoons where I just pump and sweat my time away playing with all the equipment :)

Warm-up:
5 minutes easy on the elliptical

Elliptical:
0:00-1:00 – sprint @ level 17
1:00-3:00 – recovery @ level 14
3:00-4:00 – sprint @ level 18
4:00-6:00 – recovery @ level 15
6:00-7:00 – sprint @ level 19
7:00-9:00 – recovery @ level 16
9:00-10:00 – sprint @ level 18
10:00-12:00 – recovery @ level 15
12:00-13:00 – sprint @ level 17
13:00-15:00 – recovery @ level 14

A1 – Romanian deadlift to barbell row:
2 sets @ 50 lbs x 8

B1 – Incline dumbbell shoulder press:
2 sets @ 20 lbs (ea) x 8

B2 – Wide-grip lat pulldown:
2 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

C1 – YTWL:
2 sets @ 7.5 lbs (ea) x 4 each letter

C2 – Tricep cable pulldown:
2 sets @ 25 lbs x 8

Stairmill:
0:00-1:00 – level 6
1:00-2:00 – level 7
2:00-3:00 – level 8
3:00-4:00 – level 9
4:00-6:00 – level 10
6:00-7:00 – level 9
7:00-8:00 – level 8
8:00-9:00 – level 7
9:00-10:00 – level 6

Whittle My Middle!:
Plank:
90 sec
Side planks: 30 sec each
Plank on swiss ball: 90 sec
Prone jackknife: 10 reps (I’ve always sucked at these!)
Stabiliy ball rollout: 60 sec
Plank rotations: 60 sec

Treadmill:
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Cool-down:
5 min. stretching

Phew! Props if you read through all of that. I know a lot of people skip past my workout details, but I also know there are a few nerds out there like me who love going through other people’s workouts! :)

 

Oh, and the eating part of my day? I snacked on some Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas at work.

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I liked them better this time around. Although I think they need to be 1) roasted longer and 2) more cinnamon!! ;)

Last of my un-frozen chili leftovers.

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On top of some spaghetti squash. Delish!

Wasn’t very filling though, so my evening snack attack hit early. Mixed in 1/2 tbsp almond butter with a small bag of popcorn.

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If you use drizzly nut butter, it kinda coats the hot popcorn. Mmm, sweet and salty…

And for some reason, I crave flavoured drinks when I eat salty food (I’m usually an all water, all the time kinda person).

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Obviously, I don’t keep any flavoured drinks in the house because of that. So I mixed up a PVL peach whey cooler. Perfect!

 

November Goal Check-In

Halfway through the month! Let’s see how I’m doing…

Have fun workouts.
I actually got all three yoga sessions in this week, it was fabulous!

Monday – BodyFlow yoga class at the gym

Tuesday – Weight lifting and HIIT sesh. Left me SORE!

Wednesday – 8 mile trail run, t’was wonderful!

Thursday -  60 minutes of living room yoga, courtesy Dave Farmar and Yoga Today

Friday – Mediocre step class but a perfect BodyFlow yoga class at the gym

Saturday – Chilly 45 minute run

Sunday – HIIT, upper body weights and abs. Driving tomorrow should be fun ;)

*I do low intensity yoga, so those are technically my “rest days.” No crazy sweaty power yoga happening over here. I do it to relax :)

Be less complacent with food.
Temporarily tracking my calories again has really helped with this. It’s been a nice little kick in the butt for me.

Get more sleep.
Meehhhh. I didn’t work very hard at this this week. In fact, I don’t think I got 8 hours once this week. Tonight, I promise!

Make it through the last month of work with a positive attitude.
Hey, I’m still showing up for those 5am shifts, aren’t I?

Try my best to not let anything hold me back.
In terms of the job search, I’m not letting anything scare me out of not applying for certain jobs :)

Figure out a way to get into the holiday season.
I actually thought of something this week that got me really excited for Christmas. This year, I’ll get to blog about it!! I’ll get to share all my family traditions (and by traditions I mean food + booze). And I’ll get to invite you all into my loving home for the holidays. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it? :)

Spend more time with my grandparents.
Didn’t get to see any this week. But perhaps I’ll make the hour long trip to see my Grammie and Grampie this week. At the very least, I will call or write them.

Be more honest with people.
I caught and stopped myself numerous times this week from giving generic responses to questions. If someone asked me how I was doing, I did not respond “good” if I was not feeling good. Pretty sure this is why everyone I know thinks I loved being a reporter. It’s because when asked if I liked it, I just gave a simple “yes” instead of delving into how I really felt about it…

Look for a job.
Sent out lots of resumes!!! Fingers crossed I actually get a response this week.

Start playing music again.
Nope, nada. Still feeling very uninspired.

 

And one more piece of randomness for this Sunday evening (or Monday, if you’re an office reader. Or Thursday, if you’re behind on your blogs). Holly over at The Healthy Everythingtarian is doing something wonderful this year for Christmas. Instead of asking for presents, she is asking people to donate money to help build a well in Cambodia. Holly spent time in Cambodia herself so this gift is very close to her heart. Read about it here and then go donate! Minimum donation is $10. That’s two eggnog lattes. Skip the lattes, give to people who need it, everybody wins :D

 

Question of the Day: How is everyone coming along with their goals? Setting any new ones? The Whittle My Middle and Yoga challenges are new since making the list. Always good to update your goals to keep yourself motivated :)

Now if you don’t mind, I have a date with Edward Cullen Jacob Black then the 8 hours sleep I promised. Night night!

A Day in the Kitchen

Well first off, I want to say how impressed I am no one chewed my head off for counting calories again! Everyone understood my personal need to “check-in” on how I’m doing with maintaining my weight loss. That’s why I love you all :) For the record, it’s not entirely to track the number of calories I’m eating, as I’m pretty sure I’ve done a decent job at keeping that steady. But I want to take a look at how much sugar I’m having, and how I’m doing with protein. Plus, I’m a nerd and get a kick out of seeing the numbers sometimes :P

Moving on! I have a ton of food photos so I’m going to skip over the morning food.I did however make it to my favourite step class. I don’t know what was up today, but I was feeling kinda “meh” about it. I got that vibe from the whole class. I just wasn’t in the mood for jumping over a bench for an hour. Too bad I didn’t figure that out until I started! Oh well.

I made up for it with a noon-hour yoga class. Yes, I like to spend my days off doing exercise classes :P It was a 45-minute BodyFlow class and it was juuuust right. I’m really happy I committed to doing yoga three days a week this month. I love it so much more when I do it often!

I must share my lunch, as it featured my version of a “crack wrap.”

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Crack pita ;) Sabra red pepper hummus, swiss cheese on a whole wheat pita toated in a frying pan. And yes, it is so good, it’s just like crack.

On the side I had my leftover roasted tofu and veggies on top of spinach and tomatoes. I’m a volume eater, so the spinach made my plate look more full :)

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Aalllll together now!

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Yum! Such a treat to eat a hot lunch. I can only have cold ones when I’m at work. 

Work lunches don’t often include dessert either.

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80% chocolate seems to be juuuust right for me. 90% is too intense, and 70% is too bland. The best thing about the dark stuff is you don’t even need a whole square to satisfy that sweet tooth.

My afternoon was then spent in the kitchen!

First up: Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas.

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I’ve been hearing amaaaazing things about these all around the blogosphere. I don’t know what I was expecting, but these just tasted like chickpeas to me (duh). Clearly I need to quadruple the cinnamon in every recipe :P

Next up were some of Seth’s Low-Fat Chocolate Muffins:

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I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m a little wary. I never screw with baking recipes, because I don’t really know the first thing about baking. But I subbed out the sugar and cocoa in this recipe for chocolate protein powder, left out the applesauce and added 1 tbsp ground flax. I also accidentally overcooked them because I was busy snacking and forgot about them. I’ll let you know how they turned out tomorrow!

Oh, but what was I snacking on? A persimmon! 

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Kinda looks like a tomato, but it’s actually a sweet fruit. I’ve been seeing a lot of these on blogs lately as well. I believe it’s because they’re in season, also why they were on sale at the grocery store (Sobey’s).

I had no idea what to expect when I cut into it, or how to eat it. So I just sliced it up and ate the whole thing!

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I would say it’s like a firmer, milder peach. Apparently you’re not supposed to eat the skin, but I thought it tasted good! It was a little tough, like a mango’s (but I’ll eat mango skins too). I think this one was just slightly under ripe, as it was quite crispy like an apple in the center, and then really soft like a peach towards the outside. Overall, downright delicious!! I hope they’re still on sale – I want more! :)

Then it was back to the kitchen for my third and final dish of the day – chili!! Probably one of my favourite meals ever, and my first batch of the season. I eat a lot of chilis, soups, stews, etc, in the winter.

Typically, I like to do fun recipes for chili, but I wanted my first batch to be old-school. So I just winged it.

 

Thick n’ Spicy Moo-Beef Chili

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  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 14 oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz can black beans (I used the Eden Organic no-salt kind for both beans)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (again, organic no-salt kind)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar

Sautee the onion and green pepper until slightly soft, then add beef and jalapeño. I did this in my pot because it’s giant and has a wide bottom. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 45-60 minutes.

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This is my first real-beef chili since childhood! (hence the name) It tastes so different, even from turkey. It’s definitely thick and meaty. A “man’s” chili if you will ;) 

Well, I know it’s Flashback Friday and all, but I’m going to have to skip this week. My bedtime is quickly approaching (work at 5am tomorrow!) and I still have this to deal with:

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Yes, that’s the size of my whole kitchen. Enough counter space for one cutting board. At least it’s less surface to keep sanitized! (and no mops required, floor can be hand-scrubbed in 5 minutes ;) )

Hope you’re all getting a wonderful start to your weekend!!

 

Question of the Day: Do you prefer cooking or baking? I definitely feel more in my element making meals. Add some flour or sugar to the mix and I get totally lost!

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