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Tim Tam Slam

Helloooo!! I feel like it’s been forever since I sat down to write a normal blog. Ohhhh and how normal I’ve been all week. After a long weekend filled with excitement, I’ve been thrown head first into a very busy work week. No complaints though. What else would I be doing with my time? Watching Teen Mom?? I came to Toronto to do things, so doing is what I’m… erm… doing ;)

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Most of my breakfasts this week have been rushed and eaten on the go. Thankfully, near-empty nut butter jars make for excellent portable dishware ;)

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This was my first crack at overnight oats/yogurt in a jar. It had about 2/3 cup yogurt with 1/4 cup raw oats, raisins, coconut, cinnamon, protein powder, and of course the >1 tbsp almond butter left on the sides of the jar.

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I must say, I was not a fan of this. The best thing about oats in a jar is that it melts the leftovers stuck on the side of the jar, thus making it easier to get every last bit. Instead I was just left with chunks of hard almond butter in my yogurt.

This morning, I made sure to put a hot meal in that glass jar.

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What?? Who said oats in a jar is only for nut butters?

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I put a small scoop of PB on the bottom for good luck.

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Then poured in my hot oatmeal and topped with another tiny scoop of PB and blueberry jam for more good luck. Muuuuch better. The fluff got all melty and gave me a sugar jolt with my morning caffeine buzz ;)

Speaking of Fluff, I got word they don’t have the marshmallow treat in Australia. A sin really. So I sent off a jar to Laura to make her life complete, and in return she sent me a package chock full of Australian goodies!! I must share.

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First up – Tim Tams. I’ve heard of the name, but never knew what they were. Until now.

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They’re like a chocolate covered chocolate wafer cookies with a chocolate cream in the centre. Dreeeammy. Laura instructed me to You Tube “Tim Tam Slam.” I did. It was awesome. You can watch it here.

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You will have to excuse the crinkled and open packages. My grubby hands got to them before my camera did!

Next up are Jaffas. 

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They’re kind of like a cross between a Smartie and an orange Skittle. Chocolate with a thick orange flavoured candy coating. Verrrry interesting!

And who can forget…

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Dude, I didn’t know you could get this stuff in a tube!! Or that Kraft made it!

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As the package suggests, Vegemite is a concentrated yeast extract. It smells pretty gross… and squeezes out thick.

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Laura said to use it sparingly as it has a very strong flavour. I put some on my beer bread to pair up yeast flavours. It’s much more salty than I was expecting, but with a sweet undertone? I guess the only thing I could compare it to is soy sauce. We can buy Marmite in Canada, which is similar, but I’ve never had the guts to buy it! I think I might actually acquire a taste for this stuff :)

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Thank you for the goodies Laura!! I <3 you too :)

 

September Goal Check-In

It’s been just over a week since we set our goals for September, now time to check in and see how we’re doing! Keeping you (and me!) in check ;)

1. Get organized. I’m religiously writing everything down in my agenda. It’s hard balancing out the schedules of nearly 20 clients, with a new part-time job, e-mails, blogging, getting a new certification, side projects, workouts, volunteering and a social life! I’m still dropping the ball on a few things though. There are a few items that keep getting pushed over on my to-do list, it’s time to finally cross them off!

2. Professional development. Lookie what I got this week!

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My Nutrition & Wellness Specialist certification manual. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve been in my new training job for two months now and studying about health and wellness again is injecting more life into my work. Not to mention, teaching me valuable and useful information that I can use in my job.

3. Turn on the oven. I did it once this week with the above beer bread. This week was a bit of a wash with meal planning because of the short week. Next week I’m kicking it into high gear.

4. Love my workouts. Ooohhh Nelly. Yes, I have been totally loving my workouts this week. But my body sure hasn’t been liking them! :P I took Sat/Sun off because of travel. Worked my back/biceps on Monday, then my legs on Tuesday. I was feeling a little sore on Wednesday, so stuck to an (amazing) Ashtanga Yoga class at my gym. Then I got sore. Real sore. For the sake of muscle repair, I took an unplanned rest day today while hobbling around training clients. This new workout split is fun, but kinda killing me. I may have to take it a bit slower!

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your monthly goals? Don’t have any yet? Make some!

 

See ya tomorrow for Fitness Friday!

A Sign From the Gods

I lovelovelove reading the comments when I ask food questions. So many tasty answers to what foods make you go OMG.

I have some really pretty food pictures to share today (yay for more natural sunlight!), however, I am going to start off with the ugliest one on my card.

IMG_5545 In a mug, that would be:

  • 1/4 cup soy protein powder
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1 benefibre packet
  • cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 banana
  • 2 tbsp egg whites

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The mix was still thick after that so I added about 2-3 tbsp of almond milk. Popped in the microwave for three minutes and voila, a protein cake!

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Sliced in half and toasted a la Deb. Figured I might as well keep up with the theme and topped it with some of Deb’s OMG OMG OMG nut butter (spiced chocolate hazelnut).

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First attempt at doing this with soy powder, liked it much better without that weird whey texture. But it was too egg-y! Experimentations will resume this evening ;)

Oh yes, and my jazz concert was lovely last night. The university I work at has a 21-piece jazz ensemble and they just released a cd I played a small part in promoting. I love hearing large ensembles like that perform live – and I’m a sucker for jazz/blues/swing!

I also used my spare time when I got home to prep my apartment to show, again. Here’s hoping the next subletter doesn’t back out! Anyways, it didn’t leave me much time to prepare my gym stuff, so instead I worked out at home this morning.

It was nice having Jillian Michaels as a workout buddy today, she makes sure I don’t “phone it in” ;) I did Levels 1 & 2 of the 30 Day Shred. Fifty minutes of butt-kicking! Each level is made up of three circuits of 3 minutes strength + 2 minutes cardio + 1 minute abs. The squat thrusts in the second level get me every time.

I treated myself to one of my fave breakfasts after – the breakfast cookie! This one is strawberry banana.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • banana extract
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • chopped strawberries

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Frosted with marshmallow fluff of course!

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Oh breakfast cookie, how I missed you. It was so lovely to be reunited.

Work was kind of interesting this morning, I got to go to an event celebrating all the different faith communities in my city. I got to hear speeches from representatives of each faith explaining what they’re all about. So many different kinds of faith here I never even knew about! I would love to go visit all their places of worship until I find one that fits. It would be nice to be a member of a church some day…

Dinner this evening was a remake of yesterday’s salad, except this time I threw it all in a pan first.

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  • spinach
  • red onions
  • mushrooms
  • bell pepper
  • garlic
  • black olives
  • rotisserie chicken
  • feta cheese
  • hummus

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I debated putting hummus in this, as I didn’t know how it would hold up in a stir-fry…

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Silly me, hummus is good in everything! Two very big thumbs up :D

And check out what arrived in the mail today!

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As a member of Can-Fit-Pro (Canadian Fitness Professionals), I get their magazine. This month’s is all about personal training in relation to running.

I note this because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what aspect of fitness training I want to specialize in. I think it’s a field where it’ important to find a focus and hone your skill in that one area. Well, I’m pretty sure I want to focus on weight training for endurance athletes. The idea of strength training to aid in long-distance running, cycling, swimming, etc, really interests me. I love how weight lifting can help improve endurance, and correct imbalances and injuries caused by it.

Anyways, I got all excited when I saw this, and it’s almost like it was a sign from the gods. Now if only I could go find a church to thank them/him/her/it! :P

 

Heyhey! It’s almost Friday! I’m going home after work tomorrow to hang with the fam. The highlight will be bringing my mom’s poodle back with me! I’m looking after the furball while she’s in Florida for a couple weeks. I’m pumped to have the little rascal come stay at my place. I could use a furry friend!

 

Question of the Day: Do you belong to a “faith community”? I was raised Anglican, and in some ways still feel very connected to the Anglican church. There’s an old-school ritual about it that I love – not to mention, the hyms are rockin ;)  (sarcasm!!)

Click click!

Alyson wrote a great post on sports and genetics

Caitlin/Operation Beautiful is on Oprah’s new web channel!!!

Be your own nutrition expert

The history of the waffle!!

Strength Training at Home

Personal training classes are officially done!!

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All I have left are my written and practical exams. Written exam will be multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank on April 16. Practical exam will be sometime after that. I’ll have to design an hour-long program and guide someone through it while being observed by my PRO trainer. Eek! I feel like I could use a lot of practice on spotting and explaining things properly. Hopefully I’ll be able to practice on a few people I know before then.

Alarm went off at 6am today, which is mega-lame for a Sunday. I did however make that hot breakfast I promised ;)

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A sweet omelette Ellie style. One cup egg whites, mixed with 1 scoop vanilla protein powder and cinnamon. Fried and filled with mixed frozen berries and almond butter.

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Topped with sugar-free syrup because it just felt right. Good times y’all. This will definitely get a remake!!

No pictures of snacks today. I need a break from my boiled egg photos. For our last personal training class, we just went over some of the business aspects. I have no idea where I’ll be training. I was all gung-ho on a Goodlife Fitness gym, but the feedback I’m hearing on it isn’t that great. Of course, I’ll take whatever I can get when I’m in Toronto, but it would be neat to try something different like boot camps or work on wellness stuff in offices. Of course, writing my little heart out too! ;)

Oh, also notable, I got lost on my way home. I missed the turn-off to my city and ended up on the road to the U.S. border (to Maine). Oops! I managed to get turned around pretty quickly, but there were definitely a few panicked moments and cuss words thrown about.

Dinner was whipped up in 10 minutes, and I was sitting down to eat by 5pm!

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Tofu pan-fried in sesame oil and Bragg’s, with a whack of Europe’s Best Imperial Blend. It’s got edamame, water chestnut, snap peas, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots and bamboo shoots.

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All topped with Diana’s teriyaki sauce and black sesame seeds. The bamboo shoots almost remind me of pineapple in both texture and taste. Or, from what I remember of pineapple, since it makes me sick!

Requisite after-dinner chocolate…

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President’s Choice European extra-dark. It’s alright. I think it’s 85% which is a touch too dark for me, 70-75% seems to be what my tastebuds like best.

 

Strength Training at Home

M. Said:

Could you do a post on this pretty please?….

if one was going to buy a few workout items for home (cheap hopefully!)

what kind of free weights do you recommend and at what weights/how many?

what else-a balance ball?

Would be awesome to know if one could use above items to cover strength training(and abs) at HOME,cause I can’t afford a gym…

Would be SUPER GRATEFUL for a post with advice/tips/what to do!

Thanks if possible.I would be happy if I knew I could get enough strength training in for all body parts at home somehow with free weights….

Merci!

Ask, and you shall receive!

You actually don’t need much to get in a decent strength training workout at home. All you really need is your body! Think about it, our bodies are 100+ lbs of weight to throw around, that sounds like a pretty hardcore workout to me ;)

I did a post on bodyweight exercises waybackwhen, but I see some of the pictures and links in it have expired. To recap, some awesome equipment-free things to do include:

Squats
Lunges
Squat jumps
Lunge jumps
Push-ups
Dips
Planks
Burpees
Mountain climbers
Jumping jacks

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are a million variations of those moves, and the great thing is they’re not only resistance training, but will also keep your heart rate up.

Now, as for specific equipment, you will need a mat. Especially for floor exercises. Carpet can be really uncomfortable when you have to kneel on it. Not to mention the fibres get stuck on you when you’re rolling around on the floor sweaty :\

As for weights, these Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are my dream item:


But, they can also cost almost $500. Something that’s a little more affordable would be closer to this weight set.


You can usually find these for under or close to $100. They’re kind of flimsy, but you get a barbell that adjusts into two dumbbells and over 100 lbs of weight.

If that’s not up your alley, then 5, 10, 15 & 20 lb dumbbells should be a good starting point. That’s enough for most women, or newbie men (although 30 lbs + would be required for intermediate men). Most exercises that require a barbell can be adjusted for dumbbells, and that’s always an additional investment you can make further down the road if you want to.

If you’re lifting weight, a bench is also something to consider.

This could run you another $100, reeeeally nice to have, but not necessary. As mentioned, a ball can be subbed in for many of the exercises you would need a bench for.

  
I also can’t forget tubing/resistance bands.

You can buy tubing in a variety of widths, all at a different resistance. There are a gazillion exercises you can do with tubing. Everything from the seated row seen here, to shoulder presses, bicep curls, donkey kicks. etc. I don’t personally use bands a lot, just because I prefer adding load in the form of actual weight. But these bands work your muscles just as well, and you will be sore the next day! Google can give you better exercises than I can, a quick search led me to this page full of fun animated demonstrations. I just have to stress, that when using bands it’s all about FORM. Don’t let the bands own you, keep it a nice and controlled movement, otherwise you could pull something and do unintentional injury!

Question of the Day: Any at-home strength training items you think are a must? As mentioned, I’m a strong believer that all one needs is their body, imagination, and a sense of humour ;)

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