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Sweet Tooth

Heyo!!! How is everyone’s weekend going? I will keep this short. Why? Because I instruct you to go soak up some of your weekend once you’re done reading :)

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I got my eggs and biscuits!

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My tummy was still off for the most part of the day, but I could at least still fill it with good stuff. Including my homemade rosemary yogurt biscuits. Sara and I have nearly demolished the whole batch already.

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Eggs were scrambled with a little butter, pepper and half and half. Avec du crispy chicken bacon!

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And citrus. Whether juice or whole, there must always be citrus.

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I piled the eggs and bacon on the biscuits. This was an amazing combo. Biscuits > english muffins. Just sayin!

(p.s. Ellie and I did extensive research today on the difference between scones and biscuits. Read here for more very important bread info)

Shortly after my sister woke up and reminded me we’d planned on running this morning. Damn. It was cold, and raining, and I was just not into it. Somehow, she convinced me out. It was so humid it felt like I was running through pea soup. Pretty sure I wheezed the whole time and had to take a couple walk breaks. Got through the 4-ish miles though. Thank you to my sis for hauling my butt out. But I was damn glad when it was over ;)

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A nomination for world’s ugliest food photo.

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For lunch, I mixed up a heaping scoop of unflavoured soy protein powder, cocoa powder, stevia, almond milk, a tbsp almond butter and a banana. This was a lot of chocolate, even for me. It’s just too tempting sometime to eat chocolate for a meal! It was however very filling :)

After this Sara and I hit the road to visit an old friend outside of the city. We munched on a special Luna bar in the car.

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Chocolate Raspberry is not available in Canada, I had my girl Holly smuggle it in for me.

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One of my top fave flavours!

Even though we feasted on some delicious hamburgers at our friend’s place, Sara and I were still a little snacky later on.

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We picked up some Tartinade au Tofu aka Tofu spread ;) I am obsessed with tofu in spreadable form.

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And dill cheddar!

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My first time trying rainier cherries. Delicious.

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Solid snackage happening here folks. However, it was more like an appetizer to things to come…

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GELATO!!

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My first gelato ever!! I’ve never had the opportunity to try it in during my sheltered Maritime upbringing. As soon as I saw Pure Gelato on Elgin Street, I told Sara it was meant to be. I’m not a huge fan of ice cream because it is too sweet and creamy for me, but gelato is made with a lower butterfat and sugar content. I went for cinnamon, apple pie and pistachio.

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Sara got hazelnut, chocolate mint and pina colada.

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Excitement!!! We both agreed that pistachio was the best, closely followed by hazelnut. I did indeed enjoy it more than ice cream, and it took all my strength not to get it in a waffle cone (despite the differences, it seems gelato is similar in calories to ice cream). My new place in Toronto is apparently close to a gelato place. Danger!

 

Okee dokie bloggie friends. I am off to cuddle up with the sis and watch Alias. Now you go off and enjoy your free time!! xoxo

 

Question of the Day: Ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt? Favourite flavour? So far I love real frozen yogurt the best, with fresh raspberries mixed in.

A Waffleless Wednesday

Hello friends!! Another Waffle Wednesday without waffles! Boo! My Belgian waffle maker is actually in Ottawa right now with my sister. Long story, but I will be reunited with it once again in two weeks time :)

This time next Wednesday I’ll be landing in Calgary! Eeeee!!

Anyways, as always, I am getting ahead of myself again.

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This morning I brought back an old favourite – Oatmeal & Yogurt Parfait.

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I started with a base of rolled oats cooked with egg whites. Then topped with frozen berries.

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The layers continue with yogurt, fibre cereal and sliced almonds.

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First time having yogurt in over a month!!! It hasn’t changed much in a month ;) My belly digested it just fine!

I must also report that my family completely wrecked and demolished the pan of chocolate chip blondies in less than 24 hours.

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I played my part by having one as the pre-workout snack of champions. Blondie + apple. It was the perfect fuel!!

I dragged my mom to the gym with me today. We both wanted to do plyometrics and knew we’d need the moral support to get through it ;)

We started with 15 minutes on the elliptical to warm-up. The recommended warm-up time is only 3-5 minutes to get oxygen to your muscles. If you don’t warm-up, you demand too much of your body too quickly and you will tire out sooner. Obviously, my usual 15 minutes is above and beyond my muscular needs, but it’s just long enough to get my heart rate into a working zone. Personally, once it reaches that level through straight-up cardio, I can keep it pretty elevated during strength training. However, it doesn’t get that high with strength training alone. I just don’t have the muscular power yet to make my heart pump that much. Make sense? There’s a method to my madness!

Today’s workout had one upper-body move alternated with one plyometric move. It was brutal.

Back set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Two arm dumbbell row 3 12 20 lbs each
Squat jumps 3 24 bodyweight

Chest set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Push-up  3 10 bodyweight
Lunge kicks 3 30 sec each bodyweight

Shoulder set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Prone cuban snatch (on ball) 3 10 5 lbs each
Weighted jumping jacks 3 60 sec 5 lbs each

Ab set:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Plank on bosu ball 3 45 sec bodyweight
Bosu ball russian twist  3 30 8 lbs

Triceps/Biceps:

Exercise Sets Reps Load
Cable pushdown  2 15 45 lbs
Cable curl 2 15 25 lbs

 

And then we collapsed into a sweaty mess :P No, it was an awesome workout and I’m glad I had my mommy to suffer through the squat jumps with me!

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I came home with images of meltycheesy pitas dancing in my head.

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Pepperoni + cheddar. Halfway through I remembered I forgot to put the mayo on and didn’t even miss it! Just goes to show that condiments aren’t always required.

Chocolate however is always a necessity.

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My mom and Nana are going to Newfoundland the day after I leave for Banff, so my mother gave me permission to polish off this box.

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I only just noticed today that it says “Newfoundland Wild Berries” on the box – no wonder they all had a hint of fruit!

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Apparently each box is different. I have no clue what kind this was or what kind of berry was in it. But I can tell you it was delicious ;)

I spent aaallll afternoon applying for jobs and getting life details sorted out. I found out yesterday that my subtenant in my old place isn’t moving in after all. She had some sort of falling out with my landlord, but still agreed to pay the remainder of my lease. Jeeze louise, what a headache!

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I took a break for a Honeybar Sweet & Salty bar. I lovelovelove this bar. It reminds me of those Nature Valley Sweet n’ Salty bars – but BETTER!

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Ingredients: Peanuts, honey, peanut butter, almonds, almond butter, crisp brown rice, kosher salt. Nutritional info here!

I had a special dinner date today – I got to see one of my best friends!!

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Meghan and I have been friends since the first grade and even lived together during part of our undergrad (oddly enough, one of my new TO roommies is named Megan too!) She’s living back at home doing fun things like working with monkeys and lemurs. 

Meghan is also a fabulous cook. I arrived to a beautifully set table.

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I want those placemats please.

Meg whipped up some General Tso’s chicken. I can’t remember all what was in the pan, but I recall garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chicken broth, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and probably magical fairy dust because it was freakin’ good.

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Paired with coconut lime rice.

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And a salad dressed with Newman’s Own sesame ginger dressing.

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SO delicious!! I miss living with Meghan!!! I miss our Lost nights and MSN-ing each other when we’re too lazy to get out of bed and speak face to face ;)

I was lucky enough to have a dining companion by the name of Simon.

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Simon’s name is pronounced in a British accent ;) Meg also works at an animal shelter, and this is one face she couldn’t let go. I don’t blame her!!

Dessert was the perfect end to the perfect meal.

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It went with the rice!
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With chamomile tea. It made me sleepy :)

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Check out Meghan’s Mom’s mug – Supernatural!!

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The other bestie Erika got me hooked on this show and I squealed like a schoolgirl when I saw this.

I regret typing that. These are some things I should just not admit to on the internet.

Simon is not the only cute kitty face I came across tonight.

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Meet Peter. His proper name pronunciation however is “Pedro.” Don’t forget to roll the R… Pedrrrroo.

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Simon suffered brain damage from smoke inhalation in the house fire he was rescued from. He’s a little slow, but in the most endearing of ways :)

 

Gosh, I have turned into a crazy cat and dog lady. But I need to get my fill – I’ll be without pets soon :(

 

Question of the day: What’s your favourite kind of Chinese food? I don’t have a lot of experience in either traditional or North American Chinese food. All I know is that I genuinely love the taste of fortune cookies ;)

Sweet Endings

Happy happy weekend friends!!

My weekend is off to a good start! It actually began last night when I saw my first ever 3D movie with my dad and little step-sister. I know, I’m like a bazillion years behind the times. I normally don’t go to movies because they are so frickin’ uncomfortable. But the theatres here are larger, thus nice cushy seats. Shrek was pretty entertaining – the fat Puss in Boots stole my heart ;)

After the movie I finally watched Lost!!! Wow. So many hours of my life have gone into watching that show…

Moving on!

In case you have not yet noticed, I’m sort of off the oatmeal. I ate hot cereal every single day for a month while trying to clear out my pantry before moving. I haven’t really re-established my taste for it.

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Yup, lately I’m all about the breakfasts I grew up on – eggs, toast, pancakes, freezer waffles and… french toast!

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Syrup is a must for many of these items. In these cases, I prefer table syrup over maple syrup. Both of which are quite sugary for the morning.

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So I rely on sugar-free syrup. I am not a splenda addict, or Diet Coke guzzler, but I do love my sucralose syrup. We all have our weak spots, and at 10 calories a tablespoon, this stuff is mine.

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Besides, the the light syrup allows for more egg-drenched bread to be consumed, and in my books, that’s good :)

Wait, did I say I watch my sugar in the morning? I take that back. I forgot about breakfast dessert.

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Finding this in my mother’s fridge was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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I have been on a huge milk chocolate kick lately, and I would say this stuff is la creme de la creme.

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Hello lover.

My morning was spent puttering around. I didn’t get to the gym until noon, so I popped a couple giant medjools to keep my lunch hunger at bay.

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I know a lot of people don’t do fats before working out, as it can cause digestive and abdominal distress during intense activity. That thankfully does not happen to me, and peanut butter is always my go-to snack before exercise.

My legs are still sore from the full-body workout I did on Wednesday. So I kept today to an upper-body workout. I haven’t been getting as sore upstairs as I used to, so I switched it up to high weights, low reps, extra sets. I went up at least a good 5 lbs for all my weights then completed 6 reps and 4 sets of each exercise. Because I was doing such heavy weights, I kept it to straight sets and rested for about a minute between each set. I also threw some cardio spurts in there to keep my heart rate up and keep it fun :)

20 minutes high intensity intervals on the treadmill

Length Level
1 minute 8
2 minutes 10
1 minute 17
2 minutes 10
1 minute 17
1 minute 30 seconds 10
1 minute 17
1 minute 10
1 minute 17
30 seconds 10
1 minute 17
1 minute 10
1 minute 17
1 minute 30 seconds 10
1 minute 17
2 minutes 10

Strength:
Romanian deadlift to row 
Reverse fly
Incline dumbbell fly 
Reverse push up

Cardio:
5 minutes on the rowing machine

Strength:
Dumbbell shoulder press 
Cable pushdown 
Barbell curl 

Cardio:
10 minutes on stairmaster

 

I didn’t do any abs, but if you want some suggestions for ab moves, here are all the ones I got in yesterday’s comments:

All awesome. I did decline bench sit-ups a couple weeks ago and it hurt to laugh for a few days!

Came home from the gym to yet another ginormous salad.

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Highlights being massaged kale, leftover roast chicken, shredded cheddar and leftover cider vinegar/oil dressing.

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For my fellow big salad eaters – it is important to own the size of your salad. When people come up to you, googly eyed by the sheer enormity of your bowl, do not flinch. Be it boss, mother or step-brother (not that I’m speaking from experience here) do not be scared to say “yeah, and I’m going to eat it ALL.” They are just amazed by how many veggies you can consume in one sitting, and do not know how to properly express this jealousy ;)

Mommy dearest whipped up her famous spaghetti sauce this evening using buffalo meat.

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My mom and I plumped up our noodles with spaghetti squash. We also cooked a garlic bread for the kids, and I enjoyed a special cheese-free piece for myself :)

Such a fantastic dinner needed a fantastic dessert though. The household was slightly bitter that Rudy (aka the gut-weiler) ate a whole box of Lindt special dark chocolates today. Not to mention, tomorrow is Mark’s birthday. Dessert needed to be extra special.

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I finally, finally, made Heather’s famous Maple Nut Oaties!

I followed her recipe and directions to a tee:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toasted rolled oats.  I just toast them in the toaster oven set on 350° for a few minutes.  Watch them as they burn easily.
  • 1/2 cup nut butter almond butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate/carob chips or dried fruit (One really good combo is cashew butter with dried pineapple.  Yum!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted nut butter)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 325°.
  • Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Scoop cookie dough by TBSP (I actually use a melon ball scooper) onto parchment lined or greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes.
  • Let cool for a minute or so, and then I just pick them up and form into balls before placing on the cooling rack.

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I was weary of toasting the oats in the toaster oven after The Great Fire.

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Thankfully, my mother’s kitchen is still intact. I let the dough chill just as instructed, then enlisted the help of my little step-brother to form the oaties.

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He didn’t care for getting his hands dirty. When I told him getting messy is the best part, he replied “No, eating them is the best part.” Touché.

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They smelled heavenly (ie maple-y) coming out of the oven. We all wanted to gobble them up right away, but good things come to those who wait.

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I can totally see why these are famous on the interwebs. SO good! The best part though, is the stellar ingredients. I really can’t feel guilty for one of these guys when I know each is made out of few and quality ingredients. HEAB also claims they’re calorie dense, but I got 23 little balls, at 112 calories a pop. It’s all about the small serving sizes. I just dare you to stop at one ;)

 

Well friends, it is much past my bedtime (whatever that is these days). I just finished watching Sherlock Holmes with the fam and would definitely recommend it. That Robert Downey Jr. is just so damn charismatic. Tomorrow is shaping up to be a busy day with a long run, a short hike and who knows what else! See ya then!! xoxo

 

Question of the Day: Is there one special treat you always request on your birthday? Or, a specific treat you really want to request this coming birthday? I’m different every year, and I think this coming birthday I’d really like to go out to an old-school diner for greasy fish n’ chips and a giant slice of chocolate pie ;)

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