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The Saturday Chill

Happy weekend all! My cheeks are permanently red from all the nice comments on my new ‘do. If only I had a hair dresser to style it for me everyday ;) And might I add, taking emo face shots is a lot harder to do with a DSLR!

So I totally fell asleep watching the Real World last night. I was wiped! Was still up at the usual time today (6am) but at least it gave me some lazy time before step class. Pre-step breakfast: candy oats. 

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I am an adult, just with the tastebuds of a child.

  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • M&Ms

Step was fab!! First time there since before Christmas!! I felt a little more lost than I normally do, but it was still a fun way to work up a sweat. Maybe a Saturday morning ritual in the making?

Yoga class was immediately after in the same studio and I wanted to stay sooo badly!! But my tummy was having none of it – it wanted food! Next time I will bring a snack to eat in between ;)

Instead I came home and had a homemade protein bar.

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I opted for a fancy lunch since I was actually home to make one…

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Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

IMG_2876 Mini turkey meatloaf with reduced sugar ketchup.

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Mashed cauliflower (with laughing cow cheese, pepper, and garlic powder)

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Roasted brussel sprouts. They were the frozen variety though, nothing beats the fresh stuff.

The stellar eats continued with probably one of the best new bars I’ve had in a long time: Honeybar Sweet & Salty flavour. 

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Honeybar is a Canadian company that makes natural bars with minimal ingredients. Check these out:

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Not bad, right? Even the stats are good – 8g protein, 3g fibre and only 17g carbs. High fat – 16g – but that’s actually preferred for me!

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The taste? Amazing. The bar had a light “candy-like” coating over it that gave it a wonderful chewy texture. The addition of the of the crisp brown rice was nice with the peanuts. It tasted like I was eating a candy bar, but without the yucky ingredients. Just the good stuff, straight up :)

This afternoon I got to visit a good friend who just had a baby!! It was so weird to hear her talk about how mommyhood has already changed her. While I declined to hold the little one, I can’t help but turn to mush around babies. It’s their little fists. They get me every time.

I came home to yet another giant salad. I had a lot of greens in the house this week. Eaten out of a giant casserole dish, right Bekah? ;)

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  • spinach
  • romaine
  • zucchini
  • onions
  • green pepper
  • pickles
  • olives
  • roasted soy nuts
  • grilled turkey breast
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • parmesan cheese

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N-O-M. Another killer combo. I guess there are worse kicks to be on ;) I just gotta balance out all the M&Ms and marshmallow fluff!!

Dessert/evening snack was another notable one.

IMG_29121/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp almond butter, stevia to taste, all blended up. It was so decadent. Well, as decadent and chocolate cottage cheese can get anyways.

 

I wish I had more fun things to report, but it was a pretty chill day! It’s actually 9:30pm and I’m headed to bed. Sometimes, sleep is more important than a gal’s reputation, ya know? ;) How bout some fun questions!

1. What was the best thing you ate today? Mine was tied between the turkey meatloaf and Honeybar.

2 Do you have kids? Do you want them? Tell me about it! I’m still iffy about having babies at this point. I’ve always had my heart set on getting foster children when I get older. I feel like I’ve been through enough hardships that I could really help some kid out there get on the right path again…

 

Sunday is kitchen day ‘round these parts. See ya tomorrow with some recipes! :D

Home is where the workout is

Hello friends! Hope everyone had a good weekend, or long weekend if you had one of those too ;)

So today was my last shift at Starbucks. I had high hopes of getting up early, shovelling the wall of snow at the end of my driveway, and heading to the gym for a treadmill date before work. Yeah. Looked outside and it was still dark and raining. Tackling the snow boulders the plow leaves behind didn’t sound too appealing at that hour. Luckily, Chris and I turned my apartment into a workout friendly place last night! Check it…

This is what my bachelor apartment looked like before…

There was a lot of debate about how to set up my small space when I moved in. My mom and sis were adamant on having my dinner table in the living room. But it didn’t leave me much space in there, and left my sleeping area open to the rest of the apartment.

After a little rearranging, here’s what I’m now working with…

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The coffee table is pushed to the side in that photo, but it still provides much more open space than before. My bed is now behind the couch, so my sleeping area is sort of “cut off” from the living room. It’s how I originally wanted the couch, and as soon as Chris and I moved it, I immediately felt a sense of comfort in my own home. Something I haven’t really had yet. My mom believes in all that Feng Shui stuff, and I can see why now. I feel so much better in my space already!

The kitchen table is also where I originally wanted it…

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The microwave stand that was there is a little awkward in it’s new spot, but I’ve only got so much space to work with.

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My first living room workout turned out to be a stellar one!! I started with 40 minutes speed intervals on the trainer. I originally planned on 20 minutes, but then figured and extra 10 wouldn’t hurt, then pushed out another 10! It helped that I was being entertained by the television (watching one of my old classmates do live hits on a national news network!!!!).

The trainer itself is kinda fun. It was nice to be on my own bike. Unlike spin bikes, mine is set up to fit me perfectly. It was weird having the back wheel spin though! I was a sweaty mess. I’ll have to put a mat underneath it. The lack of fancy air system in my apartment made a big difference.

As you probably spied in the above photos – I tried Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred for the first time!

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I did Level 1 which consists of three circuits. Each circuit has 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs. I’ve heard Level 1 is easy – but I found it quite challenging! Albeit, I was kinda wiped from my bike sesh. But the quality of a workout is always the quality of the work you put in ;)

Oh, and the best part? I burned 500+ calories in 67 minutes! In my living room. Love it :D

 

Now how about some random eats? Some highlights if you will ;)

Last night I tried a new-to-me product – quark!!

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I remembered Ellie telling me about this stuff she can buy in Scotland that resembles Greek yogurt (which I can’t buy here). Pretty sure my eyes bulged out of my head when I spotted it in the grocery store.

Apparently, quark is a cheese. The nutritionals are awesome.

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Ellie said it’s quite thick, but this stuff was more just like a thick yogurt. But with a slight cheesy taste underneath the typical yogurt “tang.” I ate it the usual way…

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With stevia, vanilla extract, strawberries, ground flax and unsweetened coconut. Messed up, of course ;)

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I really, really liked it! If it wasn’t so dang expensive, I’d add it to my regular rotation. Alas, it will have to remain a special treat.

Other random eats include a new-to-me Simply Bar flavour – Lemon Coconut.

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It was “meh.” Too much lemon, not enough coconut. The lemon flavour reminded me of the Lemon Zest Luna a little, but not nearly as sweet. If anything, it was a little too plain.

 

I got sent home from work early today because the mall was d-e-a-d. Apparently, no one else wanted to attack their driveway snow boulders. It was pretty sweet, as I was definitely not feeling my last shift at the Bucks today. Plus, I got to come home and bake!

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Carrot Cake Protein Bars 

I found this recipe here but I can’t find the original on Jamie Eason’s website. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 cup oat flour (made by putting rolled oats in my coffee grinder)
  • 2 tsp 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup fat free low-fat Ricotta cheese
  • 24oz 7oz baby food carrots
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
  • 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats

Mix up dry ingredients, add the wet stuff. Pour in a 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

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I cut it into 16 squares, each having 74 calories, 1g fat, 5g carbs, 1g sugar, 1g fibre, 10g protein. Not too shabby! The best part is that they actually taste good!!! Yes Deb, even with the protein powder! :P Next time I’ll add a little shredded carrot, golden raisins and walnuts, but like this they are quite edible.

 

I tried out another random recipe for dinner: Indian Cauliflower Stew.

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 med. carrots, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. curry powder
Salt
2 1/2 C vegetable broth
1 med. head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 C chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 C plain lowfat yogurt

Directions
In a dutch oven, heat oil and add carrots and onion. Cook 10-12 mins or until tender. Stir in ginger, curry, and 3/4 tsp. salt into mixture, cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, cover and heat to boiling. Stir in cauliflower and chickpeas. Cover and cook on medium 15-20 minutes longer, gently stirring until cauliflower is tender. Stir in chopped cilantro and yogurt. Serve over rice.

I pretty much followed the recipe to a tee. Only changes were that I added 1/2 tsp ground ginger instead of the fresh stuff, 1 tsp ground cumin, and ate it over top a bed of shredded chicken ;) I loved this. I don’t make a lot of Indian food at home, I should!

 

Last but not least, here’s a photo I swiped from the New Year’s party – better late than never!

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There’s obviously a lot more, but I don’t really want to post pics of Chris’ friends without their permission! I was a little overdressed for the party, but I didn’t give a damn. It was New Year’s – I wanted to feel pretty!

 

Hm. This post was kinda all over the place. Keeping ya on your toes ;)

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite “ethnic” food to make at home? I guess I use the term ethnic lightly here, perhaps “regional” would be more appropriate. Mine’s mostly North American, but I like making Greek-inspired stuff. I also much prefer my homemade Chinese-inspired dishes to the stuff I buy in restaurants.

 

See ya tomorrow for a recap on my first day at my new job!! Eeeee!!!

I’m baaa-aaaack!!

HII!! It feels like soooo long since I’ve last peeked in! Thursday? Luckily, there were some awesome guest posts in my absence. A big ole’ thanks to Brie, Emily, Seth and Janetha for stepping up and creating wonderful content for my little piece of the internet while I was off gallivanting in Ontario :)

So. Where to start. From the beginning? Good idea.

 

Friday!

I started the day off early to get a lifting workout in at the gym since I knew I wouldn’t get any weight time in while I was gone. It was awesome, but led to a sore first few days of vacay! :P

Chris and I took off early afternoon to Moncton. We were flying from there direct to Hamilton to save some $$.

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Poor Chris was coming off a night shift, so he snoozed while I drove. My mommy was sweet enough to drive us to the airport, and after a very brief delay we were off!

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WestJet has little TVs with satellite cable on the back of each chair. Made the short flight even shorter!

When we landed, it was a three hour drive to our friend’s place in Windsor. It was late when we got there and we hit the hay shortly after.

 

Saturday!

This was the only day we could go into Detroit because my passport inconveniently expired on Sunday! I have no food photos from this day unfortunately. It was fairly uneventful, aside from a giant hamburger on my part. When in the U.S, right? :P

We went to the Henry Ford Museum to entertain the two car geeks I was with.

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There was also an abundance of test driving Shelby Cobras. I spent the majority of the day car sick as a result!!

We also did some shopping, including a successful trip to Lululemon. But we ran out of time to go to any of the grocery stores, like Trader Joes and Whole Foods, that we don’t have out East. It’s probably for the best anyways :P

Saturday night we were all exhausted, but felt the need to at least go out for a drink. We went to a nice bar at the casino in Windsor.

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The boys got girly drinks. Ever notice they secretly love fruity cocktails? :P

Us gals got wine and a rye and water.

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Then we went back to their place where I proceeded to conk out for almost 9 hours.

 

Sunday!!

Sunday had a wonderful start. With a run!! We were staying just outside of Windsor, which oddly turns into farm country just 5 minutes outside the city. I ran a wonderfully flat and windy 5.3 miles along rows of corn.

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We didn’t have any plans for Sunday, so after a lot of puttering around, we decided to head down to Point Pelee – the southernmost point in Canada.

I have to say, I was disappointed. For being so “south,” it was not very warm :P

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And the water there, Lake Erie, was wild!!

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Chris and I thinking we may have to go further south than just Canada…

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We spent Sunday night in. Our hostess made us wonderful spreads the whole time we were there.

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The meal above was salad, chicken and potatoes. There were also A LOT of chips and salsa consumed during the trip!!

 

Monday!! 

Chris and I were left to our own devices on Monday because our friends had jobs to go to! We played with their pet bunny, Hunter, for a bit first.

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Ahhh! So cute!! Very well-behaved too, litter trained and everything :)

We went shopping in Windsor, where I proceeded to buy too many things. I discovered I’m officially down another size!! Woot! :D

I also tried my first FullBar in caramel apple crisp.

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The whole point of these things is to eat them 30 minutes before a meal, so you don’t eat as much. Silly really, since if you ate 160 calories of anything before any meal you probably wouldn’t eat as much!

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It was definitely HUGE!!!

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Tastewise, I thought it was pretty edible. I mean, I love puffed wheat and caramel, so you can’t really go wrong there! It was a little on the mushy side, the puffed wheat had absorbed some of the syrups. Most importantly though, it did not live up to its name. It didn’t keep me full in the slightest! I had to have a few crackers almost right after to keep me going till dinner.

Oooh, and what a dinner it was!! Chris and I had the lovely opportunity to meet Jenn, one of my wonderful blog readers. Apparently Windsor is a bit of a Italian/pizza hub, so we obviously had to try it out ;)

Except, Chris and I can’t remember the name of the restaurant! You’ll have to help us out Jenn! All I remember is that they had wooonderful pizza ovens that are a rare find here in New Brunswick.

Chris ordered sundried tomato pizza. 

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Jenn had a four cheese (I recall there was asiago?)

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And I had sausage and mushroom. 

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You can probably tell by the photos, but the pizzas were huge!!!

We spent a good chunk of the evening chatting away. It’s so funny meeting blog readers, I feel like even though we’re “strangers,” we already have tons in common!

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We finished our meals off with a little coffee. I got a straight up espresso.

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Yumyumyum. Fabulous meal, thanks Jenn!! :D

 

Tuesday!! 

Phew! Still with me? Let it be known I ate a whack of leftover pizza for breakfast. It seemed like an awesome idea at the time, but I think there’s a reason why most people quit doing that after college. :P

We left Windsor early this morning, for another three hours back to Hamilton in the bejeezus Yaris.

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Silliest car ever. Where’s the trunk??

Had a light lunch once we got to the airport. This…

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…turned into this…

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A can of tomato & onion tuna on pita bread with some veggie sticks bought at the airport. I also munched on some raw cauliflower which proceeded to do a real number on my stomach. I can’t digest a number of raw veggies, apparently cauliflower is on that list! Noted.

My mommy picked us up from the Moncton airport again and took us out for dinner at my favourite restaurant ever. Seriously.

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Calactus may or may not be New Brunswick’s only vegetarian/vegan restaurant.

I ordered an appetizer since I felt like I had a cauliflower brick in my belly.

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“Thousand and One Nights” – Chapati bread, feta cheese and olives, falafels, hummus, tofu cream and veggie sticks.

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Baaah, so good!!! I must recreate that tofu cream, especially since I couldn’t even finish all of this.

Chris got the usual Big Marc burger, which in my humble opinion, is the best on the planet.

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And my mom ordered their burrito.

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There was a lot of “mmm-ing” coming from her end of the table.

Wish I could say we had a good final drive home, but my stomach was bugging me the whole time. Plus, we’re pretty exhausted. I at least don’t have to be at work until 10am tomorrow, so I won’t be rushed at the gym in the morning.

I definitely splurged on food all weekend, but I don’t feel like I overdid it. Nothing a few days of getting back into my regular routine can’t fix. In terms of exercise, I was elated to get that 5 mile run in. My legs were otherwise stiff the whole time from walking and sitting while travelling. I’m sure they could have used the break :)

Now, since I was MIA from the internet all weekend, I’m gonna pull a Janetha and ask you all to fill me in on what I missed! Anything exciting happen in your lives since last Thursday??

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