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Snow Problem

This is the view out my window today:

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It’s been snow storming all day. We’re could get up to 20 cm (~9 inches). Sooo not looking forward to shovelling out of my driveway to get to the gym before work tomorrow! I’m contemplating going out and doing some of it later tonight. I hate shovelling. With every ounce of my being,

Anyways, so last night Chris and I found a great website called DSLR Tips. It seriously has everything you could want to know about the settings and options on an SLR camera. As you know, I got a Canon Rebel XS for Christmas. I know a little bit about photography from taking photojournalism and broadcast television in school, but I still have a lot to learn!

So after watching the videos last night I started playing around with my aperture settings. Here it is at F3.5…

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And F22…

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Neat eh?? I also learned about taking cool action shots, scenic photos and finally figured out my manual focus. (I’m not very good at reading manuals, I’m more of a “experiment till I figure it out” person)

So far I have no immediate plans to get a new lens, because I think the one I have now (18-55mm) is good enough for my current purposes. However, I want to get one of those little table-top tripods asap, and might start looking into getting a detachable strobe flash. Fun!! :D

Okay, now I’ll get to the food photos I took with said camera (which reminds me, I should really put that battery back into my smoke alarm…).

One notable thing from yesterday was the Primal Strip that Deb gave me.

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It’s meatless beef jerky made out of seitan. I’ve never had this before and I was so excited to try it! Definitely a good pick on Deb’s part ;)

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I really liked it. I ate it plain, but wished I had some crackers and cheese to pair it with. Also, now I really want to try real beef jerky again – I haven’t had it since I was a kid!

Speaking of Deb, I attempted a bowl of protein pimped oatbran for breakfast.

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There’s a wonderful pictorial of what to do if you click on the above link. Basically, you mix egg whites till they puff up,and add them to your oatbran to make it uber fluffy. I don’t have a hand or stand mixer, so I attempted to puff my egg whites using an immersion blender. Didn’t go so well. I got a few big bubbles, but it mostly just increased in volume a little. No major pouffage :(

The bowl was still mega delicious though, and the egg whites did make for a more voluminous bowl. I also stirred in some of Emily’s dried apples and topped it with almond butter and white chocolate chips. 

After finally getting my Google Reader down to zero, I braved the winter storm for an awesome lifting workout. I actually pre-planned this one before leaving. I wanted to make it a full-body workout, and alternated my sets with ab moves a la Janetha ;)

Warm-up:
20 minutes “MIIT” (medium intensity intervals) on the elliptical
3 min @ level 10
2 min @ level 12
1 min @ level 16
2 min @ level 13
1 min @ level 17
2 min @ level 14
1 min @ level 18
2 min @ level 14
1 min @ level 17
2 min @ level 13
1 min @ level 16
2 min @ level 12

Assisted pull-up: 3 sets, 75 lbs x 8
Plank: 3 sets, 60 sec

Barbell lunge: 3 sets, 30 lbs x 20 (alternating legs) 
Side plank: 3 sets, 30 sec each side

Barbell curl: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Skull crusher: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Barbell upright row: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15

Medicine ball squat: 3 sets, 11 lbs x 12
Russian twist: 3 sets, 11 lbs x 24

Dumbbell pullover: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Plank up: 3 sets, bw x 8

Cool-down:
Stretching :)

Good times. The New Year Resolution-ers are starting to show up at the gym, but they seem to stick to the cardio machines. The weight area was just full of all the usual suspects.

Lunch was my typical fare. Can never go wrong with a sandwich or pita midday :)

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This one had Italian tofurkey slices, spinach dip, olives, pickles, pickled onions + spinach. Veggies with a little hummus on the side. Yum! I’m still on a pickle kick. I promise you I am not preggers.

I decided to head back into the storm this afternoon for groceries. It was either today or wait till Tuesday night. Yeah, wasn’t gonna make it. Had a snack first in case I got stuck in the snow somewhere.

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The third and final flavour of my Vega bar haul they sent me to test – Chocolate Decadence. 

vegainfo vegainfo 
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So my first bite was kinda icky. It tasted like chocolate mud. But, the more bites I took, the more i got into it. I’ll basically eat anything with chocolate in it. However, I don’t think I’d ever willingly spend my money on this flavour. Again, the nutritionals that accompany this bar are awesome, but if I want “chocolate decadence,” I’m cracking into my 80% Lindt.

My grocery trip was successful. My fridge is now full of ingredients to make meals and snacks for my first week at my new job!

Dinner had to be warm and comforting because of the weather. But it also had to be easy so I could clean while it cooked. Enter: roasting pan dinner.

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Directions: throw a protein source and appetizing veggie combos on a roasting pan. Season, and bake! This mix is tofu, brussel sprouts, red onion, mushroom, sweet potato, garlic and Kirkland no-salt seasoning. Took 30 minutes to cook – just enough time to do my dishes and scrub the floor ;)

 

So I kinda feel like today was my first day “back on track” from the holidays. Not gonna beat around the bush here – my pants are tight. Nothing major, around 3-ish lbs with some nice tummy bloat. Yesterday’s eats weren’t documented, but I ended up going to Chris’ parent’s place for a roast beef dinner. Delicious, but definitely the end of the line for me. Time to get back to my simpler eats :)

Also, I’ve devised a new workout schedule for myself! I’ve been anti-schedule for several months now after all the training I did in the summer. But I find myself wanting something to follow now, and working Mon-Fri at my new job should make that much easier. Here’s what I’ve got planned for this month:

Monday: 60 min spin class
Tuesday: Yoga/Rest
Wednesday: 40 min run, shoulders, abs
Thursday: Yoga/Rest
Friday: Lower body, abs
Saturday: 60 min run, chest, abs
Sunday: Step class, biceps, triceps

So normally I do full-body or upper-body workouts, with a lot of compound moves. But I’ve decided to try separating my muscle groups and pairing some of it with cardio. There’s no specific reason why I’m doing this, I just thought it would be nice to change it up for a while. Don’t want to get bored with my routine!

It also bears mentioning that I’ll likely only do yoga once a week, and take one total rest day. I’ve also designed it so my hardest workouts are on the weekend (my days off) and that there’s some flexibility with trading out days, or doing morning/evening workouts.

Again, this is just for this month to see how it works. Next month I’ll probably start thinking about half marathon training :)

 

Phew! This was a rambly post. Hope you’re not putting off anything important to get through it all :)

 

Question of the Day: What does your usual workout schedule look like? I’m genuinely interested, I always love to hear about what other people do for workouts!

Christmas Through a Viewfinder

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all had a wonderful day :D I sure did – I got my baby!!

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A Canon EOS Rebel XS. Lovelovelove. (ps that’s one of my craft projects in the back – a painted ceramic beer mug I gave to my sis!)

Goodbye old Kodak Easy Share. You were a trooper, but it was time to go…

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Now get ready for a plethora of photos taken with my wonderful new camera today ;)

It was a glorious Christmas morning around these parts. I was the first one up because of that faithful body clock of mine. Had an egg + ham + cheese sammie on ezekiel bread while brewing a ginormous pot of coffee to lure the sleepy heads out of bed.

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My mom put together a gorgeous “Montreal” brunch for us. The star of the show was this GIANT hunk of smoked meat courtesy of Costco.

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Served with rye bread, swiss cheese, mustard and relish.

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Leftover meat pie and scrambled eggs (with cottage cheese – so good!)

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Baked beans…

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And tea! Special Twinnings “Lady Grey” tea my sister picked up in England. It’s got bergamot with orange and is so good.

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My plate…

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Definitely a protein-filled meal. We were joking about how us girls were all vegetarians at one point – and now we eat like this!!

After brunch, my mom and I got started on the next feast. My mom’s bird ready to go in the oven…

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I got started on Martha Stewart’s Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce.

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It turned out awesome!! It’s a little on the tart side and yummmm-y. I highly recommend you put this one on file!

Then it was on to my first ever homemade pie.

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This was a Chef Michael Smith recipe (Yay At Home Chef in P.E.I.!) Whole Grain Crusted Pie with Maple Yogurt Topping.

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My mom and I agreed the crust might me a little too much on the top as well, so I added some butter and honey and crumbled it on top instead. It was a solid decision on our part ;)

Then it was time for the Sweet Potato, Parmesan & Goat Cheese Galette that Janetha made for her Thanksgiving feast. Sweet potato and goat cheese?? Yes please!!

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Everything my mom has is giant – even her sweet potatoes!!! I think it’s a Costco thing ;)

The galette was delicious, although, it could have used a little more time in the oven. Will make for good leftovers!

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Meanwhile, as I was puttering away in the kitchen, my family was having fun with my new camera…

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Cutest photo ever.

Okay, back to the food. My mom and I had all four burners going…

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What’s that I spy in the frying pan? Brussel sprouts, Bacon & Figs a la Agharad.

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Put bacon in anything and anyone will eat it ;)

My plate!

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Also featured is my mommy’s mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots & turnip and gravy.

The requisite Christmas table photo!

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Looking at this, I realize we didn’t do paper hats this year. Sorry Ellie!

Then the wine started flowing..

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Which I didn’t partake in. I don’t like wine, but I’m also DD to take Nana home tonight.

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Once we’d digested enough room for even more food, I pulled out the pie!

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My piece, with the maple yogurt topping. 

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I was scared the crust wasn’t going to work – but it was really good! It turned out quite soft. And the topping was deeelicious.

Paired with more of the Queen’s tea ;)

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Now my family is talking about Glee :)  

I’m with Archie…

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Sister Sara and I are doing treadmill and weight lifting tomorrow. She tried to get me running in the snow, but I’m not hardcore enough. Instead, I’m putting her through one of my weight routines ;)

Loved hearing everyone’s favourite foods from yesterday! So many fun and interesting things. I polled my family, and here’s what their food highlights from today were..

Jane – Pie, smoked meat

Sara – Stuffing with cranberry sauce on top

Nana – The tea

Mom – Sweet potato galette

Me – Turkey with cranberry sauce

Mark is unavailable for comment. I think he’s passed out in his “man cave” :P

 

Hope you all had a wonderful, fun, relaxing and delicious holiday!!! xoxo

Question of the Day: Spill it. What did ya get for Christmas?? Besides my camera I got lots o’ cold hard cash ;)

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