Blog Archives

Life in a Jar

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Going through my food photos, I noticed this one from last week that I never shared with you. I swear, it’s not because I am ashamed of it.

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That would be oatmeal in a Fluff jar topped with chocolate peanut butter and strawberries. The fluff melts and becomes a sweet syrup. SO good.

Apparently, oats in a jar continued to be a popular breakfast into this week.

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Either that, or I have a tendency to blow through fluff and peanut butter at the same pace ;)

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One of my pet peeves used to be the hard bits of nut butter at the bottom of the jar, but putting oatmeal in it solves that problem. What’s that purple stuff in there you ask?

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Jam of course!! When you’re out of fluff, jam is the next best thing to pair with PB ;)

This morning I got a grip on myself and ate breakfast out of a bowl.

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Yogurt with protein powder, dry oatmeal, cinnamon, blueberries, almond butter, and the kicker…

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Mint. If I could keep plants in the house without killing them, mint would be my herb of choice. Not just for the mojitos, but it makes for an excellent yog-mess topper!

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In a perfect world, blueberries would also be in season all year round ;)

You may recall that I tried fresh figs for the first time not that long ago, and wasn’t that impressed.

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Well, those were black figs. This weekend I spotted some green figs and decided to give them another try.

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Verdict? Much better! The center was a lot sweeter and more flavourful. Thumbs up!

I may not be baking much these days, but I sure am making lots of summery salads!

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I meant for this to be a quinoa salad, but when I opened my cupboard all I had was pearl barley. I still think quinoa will be better, thus, that’s what I’m putting in the recipe ;)

Hearty Tofu Quinoa Summer Salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut in 1cm cubes
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 block tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried chilis

Cook the quinoa, sweet potato and tofu in the water for around 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let chill in the fridge for several hours (one day is best to let the flavours come out!)

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I tossed some of the leftovers with spinach, zucchini, green pepper and tomatoes today for lunch. Yumyum!! I am aalll about the protein packed summer salads these days ;)

Supper wasn’t quite as successful.

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It started good – a Rowe Farms Italian Sausage on toasted rye bread from Brick Street Bread.

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Both are exceptionally tasty, made better only by the addition of ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut.

But then there was this pile of green…

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I normally love piles of green food. I though this frozen broccoli rapini would be no different. For lack of a better word, ick. It was chewy. Could not chew enough to swallow and the taste wasn’t that great. I get rapini is not one of those veggies that freezes well…

 

I also have some big news!!

Two pieces of news actually…

First, I finally picked out something to wear to the Healthy Living Summit Cocktail party.

Yes, this is big news :P

You have no idea how much mental energy I have put towards worrying about this stupid outfit. I am not a fashionista. Apart from whether or not it wicks moisture, I do not care about my clothing to any great extent. I think it comes more from the fact that I’m cheap and can’t bring myself to spend my hard-earned bucks on expensive pieces of material.

I had a few old dresses I thought I could wear to the event, but I didn’t feel right in any of them. And I’m all about feeling good in your own skin. You will have to wait till Friday to see my new $30 dress :)

Also, apparently everyone is wearing yoga pants during the sessions on Saturday. But I haven’t worn pants since I was in Alberta two months ago. I would have to disagree with the Gap and say that I do indeed look good in shorts. Anyone ever do yoga in jean shorts? :P

 

Okayokay, now on to the news that’s actually important…

I’m getting a Nutrition & Wellness Specialist certification!

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a loooong time and the time is finally right. I’m doing it through Can-Fit-Pro, the same as my personal training certification. I’ll be given a textbook and take a weekend of classroom instruction at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Right now, my hands are kind of tied as a personal trainer when it comes to nutrition advice. The new certification will allow me to give nutrition counselling and advising on top of creating fitness programs so my clients will sort of have the whole package. Diet is such a huge part of the fitness and health journey, it’s important that people get some info on that too!

My classes are in September and my exam in October. This is just another part of what will be a long education journey for me, I can’t wait! :)

 

Question of the Day: Are you a fashionista? What’s your favourite piece of fashion advice? One that I always follow is that I never show off my upper and lower parts at once. If I’m wearing a short skirt, then I pick a modest top. If I’m wearing a low-cut shirt, then I’ll go with something longer on the bottom.

Odds, Bits, Ends and Bites

Ohwow, there is some good venting happening over on my last post. So happy I opened up the floor to let you guys get some of your marketing pet peeves off your chest! Elizabeth mentioned food companies telling women they can “indulge” without the “guilt.” Ohyes, that makes my blood boil! We should never-ever feel guilty about the food we eat. We eat it, and move on!

Speaking of which, I’m moving on ;) Har har.

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I “slept in” this morning because I had plans on going to spin class after work.

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But I still had to work hard this morning at clearing out the four kinds of hot cereal in my cupboard.

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Today’s poison was cream of wheat cooked with 1/2 cup egg whites and topped with PB&J. That’s only 1/3 cup of the dry stuff. It cooks up HUGE. Me likey.

Then I put my new $20 outfit on! I hate getting dressed in the morning, but today it was fun :) I wore pink!!

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Having spent most of my working life in coffee shops, I’ve always complained about not being able to dress up for work. Well now I have to, and I can’t stand it! Sometimes I manage to sneak yoga pants in, or today’s comfy/casual new shirt :)

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Dressed it up with the new $2.99 necklace. All my necklaces are big and chunky, needed something a little more simple and classic. The pants are a little big around the hips, but hey, they were $12 ;)

Today I attempted to do the impossible – exercise after work. People are always so impressed that I get up at 5am to workout. But honestly, I am more impressed by people who can put in a full work day then drag themselves to the gym. All before dinner!! For me, with each minute that passes, there is another reason for me not to work out. So jumping out of bed and doing it first thing gives me absolutely no opportunity to put it off.

I was worried about this. I knew my chance of success was low. As per usual, I shared my concerns on Twitter.

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This worked pretty well. I didn’t want to have to tell them tomorrow that I didn’t go.

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This is usually a pretty good technique for me. I feel like I need to follow through with a workout after that sugary snack.

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I raced home to let the dog out and got into my spin outfit asap. Once I’m in my workout clothes, the chances of me getting there are pretty high. Especially when I’m wearing cycling shorts, as the padding is really awkward to hang out in.

And I made it!! Albeit, my glutes are furious with me right now, but they’ll just have to deal ;) It was a regular spin class, not one of the Les Mills RPM ones, so it was nice to change it up that way. Lots of sitting sprints to some decent music.

Of course, I was ravenous when I walked in the door. Don’t ask me why, but in my hungry state I thought it would be a good idea to cook every vegetable in my fridge.

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The left side is roasted broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potato and brussels sprouts in garam masala spice.

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The right side is sauteed onions, mushrooms, zucchini and tofu in butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Topped with a healthy dose of parmesan cheese.

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So. Many. Vegetables. I will have leftovers for days :)

Finally, after many taste tests, I’ve decided to share the recipe for my newest homemade protein bar.

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Homemade Apple Oatbran Protein Bars

  • 2 cups oatbran (I like Quaker best)
  • 1 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 4 packets stevia
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 packaged cups of applesauce (I think they’re 1/3 cup each)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Mix all the ingredients, minus the water, together. Add water only as needed (it takes a while for the protein powder to dissolve, so mix it for a while first). Flatten in a 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

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The texture of these bars is just what I’ve been going for! Dense and crumbly. I thank the soy protein powder for that. However, they’re still a touch on the bland side. Likely because the protein powder is unflavoured and oatbran is well, bland. But definitely a step in the right direction!

Now if you don’t mind, I have to do my taxes. I have put them off to the last possible minute. Whoops.

 

Question of the Day: When do you work out? When would you prefer to work out? My energy is highest mid-morning after a hearty breakfast and mug of coffee. Even when I’m not working out – it’s when I’m most productive.

Step by Step

Well, I failed on getting that 8 hours sleep I promised. My rumbling tummy had me up at 6am. Once I awake to a growling stomach, there is no falling back asleep.

So I whipped up a morning feast to quiet my tummy beast.

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French toast! I dredged two pieces whole grain bread in 1/2 cup egg whites and cinnamon. I dipped them in my favourite mix of fake syrup and almond butter. And a little citrus on the side for good measure ;) Awesome! Totally makes up for my last failed attempt at french toast. I used Sobeys bakery bread too, which is one of my favourites!

I told myself last night that I’d make the call on going to step class based on how I was feeling this morning. I wasn’t really feeling my last step class and I didn’t want to force myself through another one if I wasn’t into it. However, I decided to approach it a little differently today. Instead of lugging myself down there and just going through the motions, I convinced myself it was going to be a good workout.

So as I drank my coffee and let my breakfast digest, I started getting myself pumped up. I got to class early, picked out a prime location, while smiling at my fellow class goers. The second the instructor blasted the music, I was in it. No dragging necessary. I hopped, skipped, jumped, and even shook my booty a little. I tried more complicated versions of the moves, and made sure to jump extra high when I could. It was awesome.

Point of the story is, sometimes all it takes is a little positive thinking. A workout is what we make it. If you’re groaning about getting through a run after work, or having to be up at 5am to sneak in that pump class, just try to tackle it with a positive attitude. Not only will you have more fun (gasp! enjoy a workout!? :P ) but the extra effort you put in will pay off physically as well :)

I came home drenched in sweat, with a stupid grin on my face, and whipped up my new favourite Amazing Grass smoothie.

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  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 2 scoops plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Meal
  • handful ice cubes

This stuff has seriously grown on me!! I still can’t get over how filling it is. I’m convinced it’s the 6g of fibre in one scoop. Someday I’m going to get the guts to add more banana and a scoop of almond butter and see how it fares as a meal. Maybe ;)

So I did something borderline embarrassing today – I applied and two Starbucks locations I used to work at! I told them I’m just looking for a couple shifts a week through the holidays. I’m finished at my full-time job Dec. 6, so it would be nice to have something to get me through until I find a new job. I’m not too sure either place will hire me back. My old roommate is in charge at one location, and we did not end on good terms. The other place is now run by a guy who was acting manager at a Starbucks until they offered the position to me. Drama, I know. I’m convinced Starbucks implants chips in our brains so none of us can ever leave :P

I tried my best to coast through the mall without getting pulled into sales. But I’m weak. And this coat was just too cute.

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Hi!!! I regret nothing. One has to be fashionable when begging for jobs.

Oh, and those chocolate protein muffins I made?

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They were a no-go. I should have stuck to Seth’s original recipe. Way too hard and dry. And the protein powder gave them a funky taste. Thankfully, Emily gave me the excellent idea to make bread pudding with the remaining muffins. Genius!

Yogurt however, is a delicious vehicle for chocolate protein powder. I am officially obsessed with this combo.

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I purposely don’t mix it thoroughly so I get chunks of chocolate-y protein powder. Yeah, I love the taste of it :)

That’s it for me today! I’m working all evenings this week. In a way it’s a nice change of pace to have my mornings off. I get to catch up with all my favourite daytime TV personalities :)

 

Question of the Day: What are some jobs you’ve held in the past? Favourites? Any disasters? I’ve spent the majority of my working life as a barista or reporter. But my first job was as a cashier at Zellers when I was 16. I suppose my most notable job was hosting a cable news show here in town. I don’t think I’m cut out for television though. My TV boss told me I had hair for radio :P

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