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A Vegan Recipe + A Very Non-Vegan Favourite

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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Like how I make the Waffle Wednesday font match the colour of the waffle toppings? Yeah, I like to make my blog look professional like that ;)

This week’s topping comes to us from a box of local strawberries I bought for a dollar because they were on their way out.

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They barely had a day left and I didn’t feel like doing anything fancy with them. So I chopped up the good ones and mixed them into plain yogurt. After a day of sitting in the container I had naturally sweetened strawberry yogurt with huge chunks of berries! I loved this, will definitely not scoff at a box of overripe berries again.

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For the waffle, I mixed up my usual protein waffle batter as of late. Except this time I doubled it to get two giant waffles from the belgian press.

  • 1/2 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • even more cinnamon
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 cup almond milk

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I sprinkled flaked coconut and mini chocolate chips on top for good luck. The chocolate chips totally made the waffle. Amazing what a little chocolate can do!

I actually ate the above waffle on Tuesday. After working for 15 hours on Monday, I thankfully didn’t have any clients until 6pm on Tuesday. Which meant I stayed in my jammies until 4pm. However, I still have my Wednesday morning client, which means I’m up before dawn at this time every week now. Thinking ahead on Tuesday, I popped the second waffle in the freezer for an early morning treat.

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I woke up a little earlier this morning so I could eat the waffle at home and not on the streetcar. Had just enough time to pop it in the toaster oven, fry up a couple eggs, and guzzle back a mug of coffee.

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Runny egg yolks combined with sugar-free syrup made for an awesome waffle topper. My oh my. Not to mention, all the fat and protein adequately silenced my morning hunger beast!

Fret not though. I am getting my carbs in as well.

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I was been craving a grilled cheese like woah. I usually don’t get intense food cravings, but the thought of greasy melty cheese between two pieces of hot crispy carbs had been floating in my mind for days. On Tuesday, I finally succumbed with a couple pieces of my homemade Irish brown soda bread and old cheddar cheese.

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To really kick this craving, I did nothing at all to healthify it. Used real butter with thick slices of both bread and cheese. Hit. The. Spot. Kept me satisfied for 5 hours.

Polished it off with a local McIntosh apple.

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McIntosh isn’t my favourite snacking apple. But they’re pretty darn good (and HUGE) when local and in season.

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That’s right my friends. It’s my favourite time of year. Apple season!!

My afternoon off on Tuesday also provided ample time to try out a new recipe:

Snobby Joes.

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This is a vegan sloppy joe recipe using lentils instead of meat. I got it here from the Post Punk Kitchen (my favourite vegan site!) but it actually comes from the book Veganomicon.

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Instead of eating it sloppy joe style on a bun, I ate it on my favourite form of carbohydrate: pita bread.

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The reviews of the recipe said it was a little spicy, so instead of 1 tbsp of chili powder I used 2 tsp chili powder + 1 tsp cumin. But I found it more sweet from the maple syrup! Decent recipe though. Super filling from the lentils.

As a random side note, my muscles are adjusting nicely to my new weightlifting split. Except one thing: my hands are killing me! Apparently my grip strength hasn’t increased with the rest of my strength. Even though my back can pull around heavy dumbbells, my hands are buckling under the weight! It hurts to even hold a pen :( Le sigh. Am doing lots of stretches and hope they will toughen up.

Now I’m off to bed. Away working from 6am to 10 pm again tomorrow! Gah!

 

**Thursday is your last day to vote for The Next Food Blog Star on Foodbuzz. Click here to read and vote for my submission if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thank you!!**

Question of the Day: Let’s talk carbs. What’s your favourite kind of carbohydrate? Mine are apples and pita bread, obviously ;)

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The longest week ever is slowly coming to an end… yayyy!! I’m taking this Friday off work to drive to Halifax, Nova Scotia to visit my best friend from high school. Her birthday was yesterday, so we thought a b-day celebration and some girly time was in order. I haven’t seen her in over a year!!

Also fun is that one of my friends from work is coming with me for the 5-hour drive. Otherwise it would be mega boring!

Anyways, as I teased yesterday, I had a stellar breakfast on Tuesday that I simply must share.

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Sigh. It’s photos like these that make me love my Canon Rebel. Worth every penny I didn’t pay ;) In the tupperware dish went:

  • 1 cup 1% low-sodium cottage cheese
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut chia granola

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I’ve been struggling to find satisfying cold breakfasts for when I get to work after the gym in the mornings. But this was verrry tasty and made me happy till snack time at approximately 10:30am.

Oh! Speaking of workouts! I had a good one on Tuesday too that I want to share in case you feel like stealing. It was treadmill + full-body weights.

Treadmill – 1% incline

Minutes Speed – MPH
0-5 3.5
5-6 5.5
6-7 6.0
7-8 5.5
8-9 6.0
9-10 5.5
1-11 6.0
11-12 6.5
12-13 6.0
13-14 6.5
14-15 6.0
15-16 6.5
16-17 7.0
17-18 6.5
18-19 7.0
19-20 6.5
20-21 7.0
21-22 7.5
22-23 7.0
23-24 7.5
24-25 7.0

Holy smokes. My heart rate reached 183 bpm during this which is ultra high for me. A good kinda high though. I’m one of those people who quits when it gets too hard, so I like it when I can push through and live to tell the tale :)

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
One arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Step-up  55 lbs 8-12 3
One-point dumbbell row 55 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Lunge with twist 11 lbs 16 3
Wide-grip lat pulldown  50 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Medicine ball squat  11 lbs 15 3
Russian twist  11 lbs 30 3
Lying medicine ball throw  11 lbs 15 3
Pullover to ball crunch 11 lbs 15 3

 

Another workout I made up as I went along! I try not to do too many isolation moves in my full-body workouts, but rather compound moves that work multiple muscles, as well as working my stabilizing muscles.

Now we must go from the crisp Canon shots, to cell phone photos!! Boooo. For a mediocre photographer, I’m a complete picture snob. I’m embarrassed to be posting these! But I guess good food sometimes trumps picture quality.

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This is the stir fry I made for my mom and I last night. It was a mix of packaged teriyaki tofu, leftover roast chicken, frozen Asian veggie mix, basmati rice, Bragg’s and Diana’s teriyaki sauce. It was really, really good. Add stir-fry to the list of delicious things to make with roast chicken leftovers.

I can’t help myself, I also have to show you this embarrassing photo of breakfast this morning. I skipped Waffle Wednesday in lieu of an Oatmeal Wednesday. Sometimes you just gotta go with your cravings!

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This wasn’t any bowl of oats though. It was a bowl of Ellie’s apple and cheddar oatmeal. I made my usual custard oats (with a whole egg whisked in), and cooked half an apple in it, then topped with old cheddar. (we call it “old” in Canada, much harsher sounding than “sharp” or “mature” cheese) It was really good! But I think I put too much cheese on top, it was more like a bowl of melted cheese with oats and apples thrown in ;)

Okay, back to the good pictures!

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I’ve decided I’m going to be one of those people who drinks tea at the office. You know the type (heck, you probably are the type). I dug into the Yogi Tea Adrien sent me for my Bloggie Secret Valentine gift.

First up was the Chai Rooibos. Chosen first because I love both chai and rooibos. It did not disappoint!

Then in the afternoon, I tore into the Green Tea Kombucha.

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I had low expectations as I’m not a huge green tea fan, and I’ve heard gross things about kombucha. Which by the way, is fermented tea.

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This stuff however was actually yummy! The spearmint in it helped take the edge off the usual bitterness of green tea.

It wasn’t till the second bag that I noticed there’s messages on the tag.

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My mind is totally in the gutter with this one.

Today is my rest day from the gym, which means it’s my hungriest day of the week. I rushed home to get started on dinner asap.

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A Gardein Sante Fe Chick’n Good Stuffs on top of spinach, mushrooms, onions and green pepper sautéed in olive oil. (the real stuff! Gotta my fat in for Fatty February)

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I really like the flavour of these Gardein things. Even though I find the idea of them to be kinda strange.

My evening snack was colourful.

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A small dish of April’s protein cookie dough. Which is 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder mixed into a goo by adding water. I of course added chocolate chips and sprinkles because I can’t help myself. Can’t forget the glob of PB too!

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All swirled up and eaten slooowly. This was real thick tonight and almost like eating fudge off my spoon. I can see how April is so obsessed with it! It’s tasty and fun to eat!

 

Well that wraps it up for tonight. It’s 9:20 and I’m heading straight to bed. Gotta start getting my beauty sleep in preparation for the weekend ;) Don’t forget! If you want to join in on the blogger fun for lunch in Halifax on Sunday, pop me an e-mail at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com. Can’t wait to meet all you fab ladies!!!

 

Question of the Day: What “childish” food do you still eat? Sprinkles and mashmallow fluff top that list for me. Although cheestrings and mini cartons of raisins are staple around here. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of baby food lately too!

Granola, Chocolate and Hummus, oh my!

Helloooo! As with most Sundays, I have a ton of food photos to share! And I’ve got a ton more food to prepare for my day tomorrow – so let’s get to it, shall we?

Woke up this morning and made my mom and I a waffle feast. 

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For three waffles:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

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For the topping I heated frozen strawberries in the microwave, then stirred in 1 tbsp maple syrup and a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt. I think the pictures speak for themselves – major yums!

I spent the morning lazing around. Sundays are meant to be lazy! By the time I’d gathered the energy to go to the gym, it was time for another snack.

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Almond butter + banana. Basically the same thing I eat everyday before I go to the gym. Never fails.

Then it was off to the gym for treadmill, upper body and abs.

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0.0
5-6 5.5 0.0
6-7 6.0 0.0
7-8 6.5 0.0
8-9 7.0 0.0
9-10 5.5 0.5
10–11 6.0 0.5
11-12 6.5 0.5
12-13 7.0 0.5
13-14 5.5 1.0
14-15 6.0 1.0
15-16 6.5 1.0
16-17 7.0 1.0
17-18 5.5 1.5
18-19 6.0 1.5
19-20 6.5 1.5
20-21 7.0 1.5
21-22 5.5 2.0
22-23 6.0 2.0
23-24 6.5 2.0
24-25 7.0 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Dumbbell incline bench press 20 lbs ea 8-12 2
Underhand grip lat pulldown 55 lbs 8-12 2
Dumbbell bench press  20 lbs ea 8-12 2
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell upright row  20 lbs 15 2
Barbell curl  20 lbs 15 2
Skull crusher  20 lbs 15 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 12 2
Plank  bw 60 sec 2

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-1 3.0 0.0
1-3 3.5 0.0
3-4 8.5 0.0
4-6 3.5 1.0
6-7 8.5 1.0
7-9 3.5 0.0
9-10 9.0 0.0
10-12 3.5 1.0
12-13 9.0 1.0
13-15 3.5 0.0

I wore my new running shoes today and they were awesome :) Amazing how much the cushioning wears down in just six months, I could notice a huge difference!

I went straight to the grocery store after the gym, so I picked up a Bolthouse Farms vanilla chai tea and drank it right in the store as I shopped. I was ravenous!

It was way sweeter than I was expecting! Not bad for 20g protein, but awful at 42g sugar in 450 mL. Blech.

Came home and had some real food, including a new (to me) food!

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 Armstrong garden herbs cheddar cheese.

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I guess I can’t really call this a “cheesestring” as it’s not stringy. Cheese stick perhaps? Regardless, it was creamy, full-fat, treat :)

Then it was on to my weekly food prep!

First up: some of Deb’s Puffy Pimped Protein Faux-nola.

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It’s a lower-cal, higher protein version of regular granola. Subbing out puffed rice for some of the oatmeal. I followed the directions almost exactly and it turned out amazing. Seriously. Cooking down the maple syrup first, and then stirring in protein powder, gave it such an awesome flavour!! Once you’re done making coconut chia granola, go make this :)

In between stirring the granola, I got to work on Averie’s Vegan White Chocolate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups. 

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Except I used totally non vegan ingredients ;) As with most of Averies’ recipes, this one is super simple. Just stir up some peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and agave nectar for the filling. Pour a little white chocolate into the cup, plop in your filling, then top it off!! Keep reading to hear the results of these bad boys.

Theeeen it was some Olive & Feta Hummus a la me ;)

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  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 3.5 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

All blended up in my food processor. This turned out great. I can’t wait to make tomorrow’s turkey sandwich with it.

Oh yes, and while all this was going on, I also roasted a chicken.

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With some roasted brussels sprouts and parsnips. One of my fave dinners!

And the best part – dessert!

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Ohheckyes, it was good. I was scared I didn’t sweeten the filling enough, but the white chocolate is so sweet it goes perfectly. The rest of these will be pawned off on my coworkers tomorrow, muhaha ;)

Okee doke, I hate to blog and run, but I have to go get ready if I intend to get up for spin class tomorrow! Have a great start to your week!!

 

Question of the Day: White, milk or dark chocolate? I’m dark chocolate all the way, but I lovelovelove white chocolate too :)

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