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Three Generations

Alas, the end of another weekend :( You know what though, weekends are always so glorious because we work hard for them! Imagine how boring they’d be if they were undeserved? :P

Remember that snack I was after last night? Here’s what I came up with…

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Marshmallow protein pudding! I mixed up a scoop and a half of vanilla protein powder with a little water, then stirred in cinnamon, mini marshmallows and cheerios. It was delightful!

I had more dessert for breakfast today, the temptation was just too great!

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A big hunk of my Nana’s banana bread toasted with cream cheese. As well as a couple boiled eggs on the side.

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I’m on a boiled eggs kick. They are the perfect snack for a protein/fat boost.

My mom and I decided on a cardio day today, so I snacked on a Toasted Nuts n’ Cranberry Luna bar before going.

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This is one of the “new recipe” bars, with only 170 calories now. I think it actually tastes better than the old kind, the fruit and nut chunks are larger.

At the gym I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine and 10 minutes on the stairmaster. It was one of those days where I wasn’t feeling very motivated, but I knew doing a little bit on every machine would keep me entertained :)

I was a voracious beast by the time we got home, and my mom had the bright idea of cooking up some bison burgers.

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No buns, but I just wanted the meat anyways ;) I’ve only tried bison once before and I wasn’t entirely sold. But my goodness it was goooood today. My mom said she just put bbq sauce, worchestire and curry in the mix? Regardless, it was heavenly. Perfect post-workout meal!

We also had a greek salad on the side.

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And I apparently have a larger appetite than everyone, because I needed some extra baby carrots to fill me up.

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I eat at least two servings of these bad boys a day, Seriously, how am I not orange??

Then we scooted over to my Nana’s to get a visit in before her curling started (curling does not make for very entertaining television…).

Here I am at my Nana’s. The bowl of grapes next to me significantly smaller…

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And my mom. I think I can see that post-elliptical glow ;)

IMG_4614 And Nana!!

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Three generations. I’ve got a lot to look forward to based on these two women!! My Nana will be 87 this spring and has been doing yoga for 5 years! I should also add that she’s never died her hair. My fingers are crossed I inherited her hair pigment ;)

Remember this picture I took of my mother’s yard yesterday?

Well I came home to my yard in Fredericton looking like this:

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Crazy! We’re only a 90 minute drive apart, I can’t get over the difference. It was warmer in Freddy this weekend too. Running next weekend maybe??

I was totally bummed having to come back to the real world after my lovely weekend home. But a package hanging out of my mail box immediately lifted my spirits.

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Olympic mittens!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou Jaime!! I was lusting after her mitties during our blogger meet-up in Halifax a few weeks ago, and she got her mom to pick some up out West to send this way!! I feel like such a proud Canadian now – as I should dammit! We kicked some mayjah booty this year :D

I’m all out of groceries and wanted something super simple for dinner, so I tried out a sweet omelette that I’ve seen on a few blogs now.

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I mixed up 1 scoop vanilla protein powder with 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 tsp baking powder and cinnamon and fried it up in a pan. It turned out kinda fluffy like a pancake, mostly due to the baking powder I added. I sandwiched some blueberry jam and almond butter in there. It was actually quite good! In the back is a sliced granny smith with cinnamon and honey.

 

Well, I’m going to get a few chores done to get ready for my busy week ahead. I will not be watching the Oscars tonight as they start at 9:30pm on the Atlantic coast, which is precisely this girl’s bedtime!! I’ve got a date with a spin bike at 6am tomorrow ;) Have a great start to your week!!

Question of the Day: What’s the best thing you ate this weekend? I love asking this question, as there’s always so many different answers! Mine was probably the above bison burger :)

Spicy Thursday

I’m on my weeekeennd!!! Tomorrow, I will be arriving here:

Sigh. One thing I will miss about the Maritimes is being so close to the ocean. My mommy always used to bring me to Halifax when I was a kid and ask me if I could see England :P

But let’s be realistic here, a good chunk of my time will be spent here:


Lululemon! I’ve been saving up. That should allow me to buy one pair of pants :P

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. It’s still Thursday!

I got up this morning for a cardio machine workout. I’ve been doing a lot of these lately because I lost my iPod. I used to run on the treadmill for my cardio days. But 60 minutes on the treadmill without music sounds mind-numbingly boring to me. So instead I did the now-usual 35 minutes intervals on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine, 10 minutes on the stair mill. The elliptical intervals get my heart pumping, the rowing machine works my upper body and the stairmill does a number on my lower body. Perfection!

Then it was off to work for another successful cold breakfast.

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  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • raisins
  • 1/2 chopped apple
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter

Another winner!! Well, as far as cold breakfasts go. We have a microwave at my office, but the room it’s in is always locked till later in the morning :(

Morning snack was a peanut butter & jelly Larabar.

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I think this may be my new favourite Larabar flavour? I still have to try the peanut butter cookie, then a real decision can be made.

Lunch was spectacular!!

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I know, looks like a boring sandwich and orange. But for the sandwich I spread on 1 tbsp peanut butter then mixed 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder with a touch of water to make it into a thick goo. Then I spread it on the other slice of bread. Omg. So. Good. It tasted like nutella!! Plus, it was a great way to add some protein to a PB sandwich :)

Afternoon snack included baby carrots and Olive & Feta Hummus.

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I had to cut the baby carrots in half again – they make them too big!!

Also, I tried another Yogi tea in my attempts to be an office tea-drinker.

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I expected this to taste like NeoCitran, but it was really good! More ginger-y than lemon-y. For some reason, I don’t like fresh ginger, but I love ginger-flavoured things. Plus, it totally cleared up my sinuses :)

Came home and tried something different for supper – parsnip fries!

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And by “fries” I mean, “sliced in small strips and sprayed in oil, salt and paprika.” I do the same exact thing with all root veggies and call them “fries.”

Next to the fries was an egg scramble.

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Featuring an 1 egg, 1 cup egg whites, onions, tomatoes, spinach, old cheddar and a minced chipotle pepper.

Aaalll together now!

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This was only my second time using chipotle, and hot damn those things are… hot. My lips were burning! But I really enjoy the smoky taste of it. The parsnip fries were quite good as well. They hold up really nicely, and don’t get floppy like some other veggies tend to.

Well I wish I had more exciting things to ramble about, but I jut finished putting all the posts up for this weekend and I’m all blogged out! I will miss you guys this weekend… but not too much ;) Have a great Valentine’s Day! <3

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite spice? Four of the C’s get the most use in my kitchen – Cinnamon, Chili, Curry and Cumin. Sometimes all together! ;)

Hittin’ the HIIT

Soooo…guess what? I forgot my camera at work today. I didn’t have many food pictures to begin with – but I always like including my yummiest eats in my posts! Ah well, you will just have to wait until tomorrow to see the awesome breakfast I had (I know, you’re holding your breath, aren’t you :P)

Anyways I do have a lil’ somethin’ I want to discuss tonight. It’s called interval training. Namely, cardio intervals.

I love interval training. Especially in the wintertime when I’m stuck on boring gym equipment. I especially love doing something people fondly refer to as HIIT – high intensity interval training. This is doing what I like to call “sprints” or just a burst of high intensity cardio, followed by a period of recovery, and repeated several times. Because it’s high intensity, it shouldn’t be drawn out for too long.So it’s a perfect way to get sweaty and breathless in a short period of time. You can do it on things like treadmills, ellipticals, rowing machines, stair machines, stationary bikes, or basically any machine you can get your hands (or feet) on.

First and foremost, you need some sort of continuous training base before attempting interval training. You should be accustomed to exertion, because well, you’re going to exert yourself!

Interval training is based on a work-to-rest ratio. What ratio this is depends on your fitness level. Some people are fine with 1:1, some require a little more rest in-between like 1:3. I personally like 1:2, particularly one minute of work followed by two minutes of rest. I don’t recommend recommend doing your high intensity intervals longer than two minutes as it’s hard for your body to provide proper fuel after that length.

However, even short bursts of 10 seconds work, followed by 30 seconds rest is perfectly doable. This could be something like jumping jacks, followed by marching in place for recovery. These shorter bursts can also be done in “sets” with an easier recovery in between. (Hmm, sound like weight lifting to anyone else? Hint hint ;) )

Proper relief between intervals is important so your body has time to replenish its ATP stores, otherwise it will rely on lactic acid (ie ow). Relief also clears the lactic acid in your system and helps its ability to handle it.

But what is this ATP I speak of? ATP is a chemical compound which stands for adenosine triphosphate. More importantly, when food is broken down, the energy it releases is captured by this compound to power your body’s cellular needs. Basically, if you want to perform an activity, you need ATP. 

 

The easiest way to monitor your intensity is by heart rate. I have a Polar F11 heart rate monitor to do this. Today for example, I peaked at 183 bpm during my treadmill intervals. This is damn high for me, and I knew I was challenging my cardiovascular system. But I also like to keep an eye on it to make sure it lowers enough during my periods of recovery. A lot of people have the tendency to work too hard during their rest interval. Mine will often dip down to 140 bpm during recovery, but it’s all up to the individual.

If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, the RPE scale is a pretty good measure. It stands for rate of perceived exertion. In order to not make this post a novel, go read Janetha’s amazing post on the RPE scale to get an idea of how it works.

Intervals also lead to something called EPOC, aka excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This is when your body continues to take in oxygen after exercise is finished. This doesn’t happen as much in steady-state cardio because there is faster recovery, which means less of an oxygen deficit. But in anaerobic activity (when the body can’t get oxygen to the muscles in time to produce ATP) there are increases in lactic acid, body temperature and hormone levels. Depending on the intensity and duration of exercise, it can take up to 24 hours to return to normal oxygen levels. This is commonly referred to the “after burn” in weight lifting – when your body continues to burn calories at an increased rate for a certain amount of time after you workout is finished.

On top of the sweet after-burn, interval training will also increase your speed and endurance. You will train your heart and muscles to endure high levels of intensity, making it feel easier the next time you do it.

Okay, so let’s recap all the awesome things about high intensity interval training:

  • It’s short and efficient. You can challenge your ticker and burn calories in a shorter period of time than with lower intensity cardio.
  • It breaks up the monotony. You’re always changing it up so it keeps you interested.
  • Mentally, it’s easier to talk yourself into, knowing you’ll get a period of rest between each interval.
  • EPOC. Depending on what you do, you can burn calories at a higher rate for a certain period even after you leave the gym.
  • It will build your endurance, training your body how to handle higher exercise intensities.

A few things to remember:

  • You should only to anaerobic training 2-3 times a week.
  • Remember to warm-up and cool-down for at least 5 minutes. An improper warm-up will use up your body’s ATP stores so you don’t have access to adequate stores during your actual workout. It’s also important to get your heart rate back to normal during your cool-down, as well as flush out the lactic acid in your muscles.

Any questions of the day for me to answer? How about you? What’s your favourite interval workout?

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