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Good Food, Bad Food, and a New Set of Monthly Goals

Hello friends!! Welcome to August :) This is going to be a good month, I can feel it! For the first time in a long time, I’m setting out some goals for myself this month. But we’ll have to wait till the end for those. I’ve got a plethora of food photos first!

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It’s been a while since I did a big food post, so some of these are a few days old. The other day I mixed up 30g chocolate whey powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp ground coffee, 2 tbsp egg whites and 2 tbsp plain yogurt.

You want to put this is a biiiiig mug. After 2-3 minutes in the microwave, it puffs up into beast.

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If you are a volume eater, this one’s for you. Sliced up into three sections and topped with a mix of marshmallow fluff, chocolate peanut butter, laughing cow cheese.

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I don’t know why I’ve never thought of a mocha protein cake before. This was freakin’ divine.

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Plus, the mid-day caffeine kick didn’t hurt ;)

Next up we have my first ever visit to Chipotle!

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Chipotle is a cafeteria-style Mexican restaurant with a focus on organic and ethical food.

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Their specialty are the burritos and tacos, but I was trying to keep it on the low-cal side, so I opted for a salad.

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I must say, I was a little disappointed by their salad options. Just a bit of romaine with sautéed veggies, a choice of two beans, three meats, four salsas and some cheese.

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I opted for the black beans, chicken and mild tomato salsa. No guac as I can’t eat it. The spices were right on and it was certainly filling. Buuuut, it was 9 bucks and I like a salad chock full of veggies.

Oh, and as a side note, while eating this on the patio I got recognized by a reader!! How cool is that? Hi Ashley, thanks for coming up to say hello :) I’d like to say I’m usually not that awkward in real life, but alas, that is not my reality.

Chugging right along here, I had yet another new-food experience in Toronto!

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My roommates were pretty horrified when they found out I’d never had dim sum before. Actually, I’d heard the term, but never really knew what it was. Billy took me to a restaurant called the Pearl Court in Chinatown East. For those of you who haven’t experienced it either, dim sum is Cantonese dining where the food comes in small portions. The restaurant workers came around yelling out dish names and we had to put our hands up if we wanted it. They marked it off on a little card and we paid at the end.

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The most confusing part is that they were yelling out the dishes in Cantonese, so I had no idea what was coming around! Thankfully, Billy knows his Chinese food.

The above are pork spring rolls. Very crispy.

Below are shrimp thingys in a wrapper thingy.

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Like my descriptions? :P Actually, I think these were shrimp dumplings.

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The above are some pork dumplings perhaps? They were quite good.

I am missing a picture of my favourite food! They were pot stickers with cabbage in them and lightly fried. Yumyum.
 
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Second favourite were these buns with a sweet pork filling and sticky glaze on top. I’ve seen similar buns many times on Sophia’s blog and can’t wait to try more varieties!

Least favourite dish from the meal were the chicken feet.

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OhyesIdid.

I’ve said many times that my food curiosity often gets the best of me!! These are actual chicken feet, cooked in a sort of barbecue sauce. You’re supposed to bite a piece off, suck off the skin, then spit out the bone.

I tried, I really tried. I can get past most “gross-out factors” when it comes to food. But these chicken feet defeated me. The skin was a lot more light and soft than I was expecting, otherwise, it was kinda of what you would expect scaly chicken feet to taste like :/

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Everything was chased down with some very delicious tasting tea. I think it was a green, but it didn’t taste quite so bitter. Billy told me the tea is served because it helps your body cut down on the grease.

In all, a wonderful first dim sum experience!! I ate just enough and despite it being a pretty greasy and heavy meal, I felt good after. It will be more fun to go back as I start to recognize the dishes and know what I like. Can’t say I’ll be getting the chicken feet again ;)

After an indulgent day yesterday, I’ve been trying to clean up my act today. Unfortunately, I was without groceries for half of it.

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An empty fridge and cupboard often leads to my more interesting food combinations. Today being no different.

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This would be a pita pizza of sorts with a base of tuna, cottage cheese, mustard, pickles and onions.

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That’s not mozzarella on top, but sauerkraut!

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I dunno, I saw the jar of sauerkraut in the fridge and went for it. I looooove sauerkraut and thought this was pretty tasty!

I kept with the cabbage theme for dinner after purchasing groceries.

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Browsing the internets today, I stumbled across a recipe for Mango Slaw With Cashews and Mint from Smitten Kitchen. I followed the recipe almost precisely, except I used regular green cabbage, added sesame oil for my oil, and traded in the cashews for soya nuts.

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The soya nuts were $5 cheaper than the cashews, and the nutritionals are 5x better.

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That’s better than most protein bars!!

I paired the mango slaw with some sweet & spicy chicken breast.

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I’m really happy with how the slaw turned out. It was a cinch to throw together and is the perfect flavour for summer.

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And finally, my goals for August.

1. Eat out twice a week, at no more than $15 a meal. This is going to be hard, as eating out is sooooo fun and easy in Toronto. But for the sake of my wallet and waistline, it needs to happen. I’m starting to get on a more regular work schedule, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the habit of preparing meals and snacks for when I’m not home.

2. Read more. Actually, I already have been reading more, to the tune of four books in July. But I’d like to keep it up!

3. Do at least one outdoor activity a week. Now that I’m working in a gym, it is so easy for me to just keep my workouts within the gym walls. But summer will be gone before I know it, so it’s important I get out in the fresh air! Already off to a good start with this one – put in an hour long bike ride along the waterfront this evening. Plus, I’ve got some more fun outdoor stuff in the works ;)

4. Look for part-time work and volunteer work. One, because I need the extra moulah, and two, because I want to get more involved in my new community.

5. Update my blog pages. They’re once again behind the times. I haven’t put any work into my blog since before I moved in May!

6. Lose weight. I know, when did this become a weight loss blog?? :P Truth of the matter is that I’m over my “happy weight,” thus not very happy with how I look and feel in my skin. It just means I’ll be a little more vigilant about my food and servings and probably stepping on a scale more often than I typically like.

 

There you have it! Will start checking in on these goals weekly to keep myself accountable. Now my question for you: what are your goals for August?? Write them down in the comments and we can check in together next week :)

Blog Updates!

Thank you once again for your congratulatory comments on my race!! Although, I wasn’t the only one racing yesterday!

I have to give a shout out to reader Faith Ann who did the same 10k and made her goal as well :) Also, congrats to my sister Sara who did a triathlon yesterday!!

Thankfully, my hunger returned to normal today. Or, as “normal” as my active tummy gets :P

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Waffles! Used my protein pancake recipe, and topped them with strawberries heated in the microwave with maple syrup.

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How’s that as a way to start your Monday?

I also had another, much more successful go at a parfait.

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Okay, no fancy parfait glasses, but I’m more concerned about what’s in the glass anyways ;) Yogurt, almond butter, blueberry bran VitaMuffin and cinnamon. This was deeeee-licious!!! Instead of stirring in the nut butter, I just put little dabs of it throughout the glass so I’d get surprise mouthfuls :)

There was also some fun with leftovers.

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I added tuna, cashews and raisins to my leftover coleslaw made up of cabbage, carrots, green apples, red onion, yogurt and mayo. 

On the other side:

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Butternut squash fries. I don’t know, I think butternut squash fries may be in trouble. My yuca fries were pretty damn tasty! 

 

Confession. Sometimes, I buy food based on their shapes.

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Fingerling” grapes. Some were the length of my thumb!

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And butternut squash is always good for a laugh :P

I also went to a pilates class at the new gym today! I used to love pilates. I did pilates DVDs almost every day during the first few months of my weight loss. I also briefly paid for classes on campus.

To be honest though, I was kinda “meh” about today’s class. It was “classical” pilates, thus all moves I’ve done a million times before. Sometimes in the same order. I wasn’t completely sold on the instructor. She was good at walking around the class and correcting our positions, but not very good at getting up front and showing us what needed to be done. If you were a newbie, you’d be completely lost. Not sure if I’ll go back all that frequently, but it will make for a nice yoga alternative on active rest days.

Otherwise, I had a pretty chill day. Put in a very short evening at work, and spent money I don’t have on a long-sleeve running shirt and shell jacket. I’m determined to run outdoors until the snow falls this year. Last year, I was doing Couch to 5k at this time, and retreated to the treadmill as soon as it hit October 1st. Time to toughen up I think! :P

I also did some blog updating. I added Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Hummus, Lentil and Bulgur Salad and Fibre Tarts to the Eats page. Updated my Products page with new “featured products” as well as some of the listed items. Finally, I added a whole new page with all of my favourite posts! So go check it out! I linked a lot of posts from my old blog, because I don’t want them to be forgotten. A lot happened while I was blogging at Trying for a Tri!

Now it’s time for me to go catch up on Greek. How did three episodes happen already?? Any new TV shows you’re looking forward to this fall? Seems like there’s tons now with Gossip Girl, The Biggest Loser and America’s Next Top Model (hey, I watch enough news to counterbalance it all :P ) Of course the one I’m most looking forward to, Lost, probably won’t start till the new year!

This n’ That

Hey! Before I get into things, don’t forget to check out my first video post if you haven’t watched it yet! ;) The funny part is, after going through all that breakfast cookie business on film, I didn’t even take a picture of it this morning! I do however have some fun new products I’ve been eating that I wanted to share :)

First up, soy nut butter.

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I looooove plain roasted soy nuts, so why not soy nut butter? I had it on a wasa cracker today with some cinnamon and raisins.

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I’m not a huge fan of the nut butter plain, but it’s really good on things! Overall though, I think I still like my soy nuts plain and roasted, and not from a creamy jar ;)

Product numero deux…

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Aaahhhh!!! A new kind of VitaMuffins!!! Blueberry bran to be exact. Ooohh, Vita, why must you continue to deliciously steal my money?

I enjoyed it my favourite way to eat blueberry muffins – toasted with some earth balance spread – paired with new product find number three!

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Old cheddar cheese strings! I lovelovelove old cheese (or, I think you American’s call it “sharp cheddar,” which I guess sounds more pleasant). But I stopped eating it because of the calories, blah blah blah. Well now it’s back in my life in a convenient single serving package :)

All together now…

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This actually served as the perfect post-workout snack. I hit up the gym for a little pre-10k race sesh:

  • 20 minutes intervals on the elliptical
  • 10 minutes on the rowing machine
  • 10 minutes on the stepmill
  • alternating sets of the horizontal woodchop and weighted back extension
  • 10 minutes of various plank poses

It looks like a lot, but I took it fairly easy. I just wanted to get the blood flowing. It was also my first time on the stepmill!

I keep it no secret that I looooaaathe the stairmaster. I would run a marathon on a treadmill before putting any time in on the stairmaster. So I had pretty low expectations for this. I figured I’d just jump on for 10 minutes for the hell of it. Thing is, I really liked it! It took a lot of concentration not to fall off, but I thought the movement was really fun. Yay for new machine finds! :)

After the gym (and my snack) I got to work on making a feast for Chris and I. I should preface this by saying that my city is obsessed with samosas. Seriously, every corner store and restaurant sells samosas. People will stand in line outside for an hour, in the dead of winter, just to get their hands on the farmer’s market samosas. I swear, some people probably start foaming at the mouth at the thought of them!

Anyways, so when I saw a samosa recipe in the Moosewood cookbook, I knew I had to make it. Regardless of it being a little more complicated than recipes I generally cook, I just had to try my hand at this “local” favourite!

I made some coleslaw from the cookbook as well, and Chris brought the beer ;)

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We also had some plum sauce and ranch dressing for dipping.

My plate:

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The coleslaw was a mix of cabbage, carrots, apples, yogurt, lemon juice and a small amount of mayo.

The samosa recipe was vegetarian, but both Chris and I prefer chicken ones. So I added some pulled chicken breast to the potato, pea, onion and cayenne filling.

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To my amazement, they tasted really good! I was kinda scared of the crust, as I don’t do “doughs” very well. I bought white flour specifically for this recipe because I didn’t know what difference using whole wheat would make. Next time I’ll give the wheat flour as try, because I’m definitely making these again!!

Happy bellies :)

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Chris has decided to go biking tomorrow afternoon instead of doing the race with me (pffft). But he said he’ll come out for a 5k practice run with me when he’s home next weekend :)

As for me, I’m starting to get excited for the 10k! Technically, the sprint triathlon I did in July is the “longest” race I’ve ever done. But tomorrow’s 10k will be my longest running distance in a race. I know I can hammer the distance out no prob, it’s just going to be weird running in a race for such a long period! Start time isn’t till 11am, so at least no huge stress to get up early, and the weather is supposed to be peachy :)

Aaand finally – go check out my guest post over at Meals and Moves!! It’s all about how I got started with weight lifting :)

See ya tomorrow for the race recap!

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