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Take Heed

Ahhh, it was yet another glorious day around these parts. Mid 20’s and clear blue skies. Felt like a summer day!

I loved reading through everyone’s goals for May. One of the reasons why I keep doing it! Here is just a snippet for inspiration ;)

  • Kristin: “Run at least 20 times… that is 5x a week! I am officially in race training” 
  • April: “My new goals are to STRETCH!!” 
  • Morgan: “my goals are to relax and enjoy the little moments. I spend a lot of time thinking about my future but I don’t live in the moment very much. I need to change this!”
  • Julie: “My May goals are no beef or bread. I’m also working hard on Weight Watchers and trying to lose 5 pounds.”

So now when I check in every week this month you can keep me updated on how it’s going! I think I’ll make Sunday check-in days again. Seems to be the only day of the week I can remember…

Once again I am putting my ugliest photos at the top of the post. Probably not the best blogging technique ;)

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But this has to be shared!

Last night, I microwaved 3/4 cup egg whites in a mug, then added blueberry jam and peanut butter.

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Are you gagging yet? I assure you it was delicious. I’ve had eggs with fruit before, but the nut butter really brought it up a notch. Scrumptious snack!

I was up at 6am with a growling tummy. It required a special remedy.

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Hey, it was never specified which type of jar oats in a jar should be eaten out of ;)

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The last of my marshmallow fluff now that I’m trying to lay off the refined sugar. Cream of wheat cooked with egg whites, topped with PB and chocolate chips for good measure.

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The fluff melts on the hot oats and it transforms into the thing dreams are made of.

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before, but I added a splash of vanilla extract to my coffee today – delightful!

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Thankfully, I don’t drink regular cow’s milk or cream, so reducing my dairy consumption should not affect my coffee consumption. I normally just use a splash of almond milk. Cow’s milk has always made me squeamish :\

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Are you singing it now?

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Naner and dates with crunchy almond butter. I’m back and forth with crunchy and smooth. I just can’t decide which is best.

Then it was off to Body Step! I went to the big gym again and it was beyond stellar. My heart rate skyrocketed because I was pushing myself to the max. It’s such a motivating class. I credit it entirely to the instructors – they bring it out of me! 

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My whole life, my eyes have always been bigger than my stomach.

Except in the case of salads. I’d say they’re on par here ;)

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Highlights being spinach, kale, rotisserie chicken breast, and pickled beets. Dressing made out of watered down hummus.

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I’m trading in my usual romaine lettuce for dark leafy greens to make up for some of the calcium I’m missing out on without the usual dairy. I’ll also add a little more tofu, almonds and sardines which are all notably high in calcium as well. And of course, I take a daily calcium supplement! There’s tons of conflicting research out there about calcium absorption. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that’s been highly politicized.

After lunch, I took the pooch out for his walk in the sunshine. It was hot out!

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He passed out at the bottom of the stairs again after. This is probably my favourite picture of the bugger yet. Archie + Running shoe = <3

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I think I’m losing my love for honeycrisp, it’s been replaced by galas. This snack powered me through cleaning out my closet. I am getting rid of exactly half of my wardrobe!

I had full plans of eating up my cupboards this week, but I just couldn’t do it. I caved and bought fresh produce

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I’ll throw out my 2-year-old box of lasagna noodles and expired box of soup. The fresh veggies were worth it.

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Steamed green beans + broccoli, topped with 2 whole eggs that were scrambled with smoked salmon, capers and honey mustard. Scrambled eggs + mustard may be my new favourite thing. Awesome pairing!!

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And some butter on hot toast. Nothing like it my friends!

I was supposed to meet a friend to practice for my personal training practical – but the gym was closed! I dropped her off at home, and intended to drive back to my place. But I drove right past the turn off to my neighbourhood and kept driving.

I drove across the river to the other side of town, and kept driving.

I rolled my window all the way down and turned up Death Cab For Cutie’s Narrow Stairs album.

In the two years that I’ve been driving, I’ve never just driven. I’ve always been on a mission, a deadline, somewhere to be.

I had no clue where I was going tonight, but that didn’t stress me out. Instead I relished in the scent in the air and the feel of it on my face. It was fantastic.

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It’s helps that I live in a gorgeous river valley. I may be sick of this city, but that river definitely stole my heart.

I effortlessly found my way back home and hour later. I took the dog out for another evening stroll. Again, soaking up every minute. Day 2 of my May Goals, and I’m already reaping the benefits.

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Finished the night off with some Averie inspired protein popcorn. Microwave popcorn tossed with a little water and chocolate protein powder. Another fabulous treat :)

 

I am off to go cuddle up in bed and read magazines. Busybusy day tomorrow packing up!

 

Questions of the Day:

1. Nut butter – smooth or crunchy? Flavoured or natural? I’m back and forth, but I think I like crunchy best. Definitely natural.

2. What moment recently made you stop and take heed? Tonight, I walked up the hill and looked over the river as the sun was setting. And the smell of freshly cut grass coming in through my car window!

The Last Lunch

My mother texted me today to tell me she will be back from Florida on Sunday and that she misses me.

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I sent a message back, saying I missed her too, but she’s not getting her dog back.

Actually, after tomorrow I start the process of getting rid of my belongings and bringing what’s left to my mom’s place about 90 minutes from here. I’d like to spend as much of May there as possible before I move to Toronto June 1st. So she’s lucky. She’ll get her dog back after all ;)

Ce matin, j’ai mangé le petit déjeuner dans une jarre de beurre de cajoux.

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Wait. That doesn’t sound right.

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There we go :)

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Cream of wheat + egg whites + maple syrup + raisins + cinnamon + cashew butter. Getting through the many jars of nut butter in my fridge. I may be eating cream of wheat for a while though!!

Even though tomorrow is my last day at work, we all went out for a celebratory lunch today because my boss is out of town tomorrow.

My boss gave me full reign over the location. He told me this two weeks ago, and it took me two weeks to decide. This was serious business people!! I wanted to choose a spot that was relatively healthy, inexpensive (since he was paying) but had regular food everyone would enjoy.

Then I realized the one thing everyone loves is breakfast. Who doesn’t love breakfast at any time of day? So the group of us went to a local-ish place called Chez Cora that specializes in brunch-like fare.

Recycled photos. There is a time and place to take pictures of your food. This was neither.

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But this is my favourite dish there, so I already have photos on hand! Piece of toast with a perfectly poached egg (someday I will do that!). And cottage cheese dumped on top of the fruit (minus the kiwi today, since I am now off it).

Afterwards, my boss took us to a place called Johnnie Java. A counter and espresso machine tucked in the back of a specialized import store. They roast their own beans there and supposedly have the best coffee in town. I got an espresso macchiato, and it was pretty darn good! Went down smoooooth. They also sell green beans there, so it’s my goal to try roasting my own (using Lori’s popcorn method) before I get rid of my popcorn maker. So, like, this weekend :)

The rest of my afternoon was spent sobbing over leaving my job.

Joking.

Kind of ;)

Lunch was light, and even with my afternoon snack I was still starving for dinner! Threw together what is quickly becoming a staple around here.

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Giant junk salad

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There are many reasons why I keep resorting to these. Besides being super quick and healthy, it’s also HUGE and takes a while to devour eat.

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Highlights included pickled beets, chicken, cottage cheese, feta and olives. Only dressing was fresh lemon juice. Amazing.

And…um…in case you’re wondering, I am still eating protein powder batter every night.

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1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, water. With sprinkles and chocolate chips. Tastes like chocolate icing. It makes me happy.

My eats are going to be repetitive, boring and random over the next little bit. Instead of apologizing, I’ll instead reassure you that they will get exciting again soon. I already have a dessert list of things to feed my step-siblings in Moncton, then a list of fun things to make in Toronto. One of my new roomies (hi Megan!) is a fellow foodie, so I suspect we’ll be having tons of fun in the kitchen :)

And with that, I’m going to wrap up this post with a little April Goals wrap-up.

Continue the spirit of the sleep challenge, aiming to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I got around 7-7.5 every night, which is all I can ask for. My body functions best on 7.5 now. Anything over that is just a distant memory…

Get rid of as many of my belongings as possible. Totally didn’t do this. But this is what I’m dedicating all next week to.

Get my bike on the road. Pffft!! It was SO cold ALL month. Any other Maritimers out there agree that we had sucky weather this month? Cold, cloudy or rainy most of the time :(

Pass my personal training exam. Check!! I passed my written exam :) My practical is next Wednesday. Eep!

Chill the eff out. No stress here. Now that I’m funemployed, I have nothing but time to focus on all my obligations. We will just ignore the fact that I no longer have a steady paycheck coming in….mmmkay?

Hope you all have a great Friday!! Mine will be spent working my last day at the university, hopefully eating lunch with the old man, attempting another evening workout, then coming back here for Flashback Friday! See ya then!!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite restaurant and what’s your favourite dish to get there? My favourite restaurant is Calactus, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Moncton, featured here, here, here, and here. But my favourite dish there is the Big Marc Burger, blogged about here. Hands down, the best veggie burger ever!!

A Little Blog-spiration

Whyyyy is the weekend over already?? It went by so quickly! I only have two weeks left at my job. Then I’m on my own till I head to Toronto! I actually plan on moving back home for a few weeks before heading to TO for June 1st. And yes anyone living in the area – there will be tons of bloggie meet-ups in our future!

But there I am getting ahead of myself again. It’s Sunday. The end of Sunday. Sigh.

My body didn’t get the memo about it being the weekend again.

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Was up in the 6 o’clock hour again and stumbled to my stovetop right away to get started on a batch of cream of wheat. 

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Cooked with unflavoured soy protein powder and dates. Topped with cashew butter and molasses. End of the jar for the cashew butter, and it’s almost solid! That’s why it’s all broken up like that.

I was sooo not feeling the gym today, I just wanted to lay in bed reading all morning. But I forced myself out to a step class. As a little background, I usually go to step at the small women’s-only location. It’s the only time I ever go to that gym, but I just got into the habit of going there any time I went to step. It’s a small class of 25 women or so and pretty tight-knit.

Well, today I went to my usual, much larger, co-ed gym. There were at least 50 women packed into the class and two instructors I’d never had before. I was a little nervous, because step is one of those things that you need to get into a groove with. I didn’t want this new environment throwing me off my game!

Well, can I just say, it was the best step class I’ve ever been to. Ever. For a person who hates being in crowded environments, I love being in jam-packed exercise classes. I think it’s because I can blend in a little more. Plus, I feed off the energy of others, and today’s class was flying!

The instructors were hilarious and entertaining. I pushed hard because I was having a great time – my HR maxing out at 174 bpm, which only ever happens when I run! Between step today and kickboxing yesterday, it’s been a fun weekend of exercise for me :)

Like I usually do after hard workouts, I was craving eggs.

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A couple boiled eggs mushed up with mayo, mustard, onions, pickles, olives and feta cheese.

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And why just have an apple, when you can have an apple sprinkled with cinnamon? Just sayin’ ;)

All together now!

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I wasn’t full after this, but then I wasn’t hungry for a very long time. Weird.

Showed my apartment again – I may have found a subletter! Maybe. She’s signing a sublet agreement tomorrow. But I won’t believe it until she actually moves in.

After grocery shopping, I realized that I had three cartons of egg whites in my fridge. Whoops. It’s one of those things I automatically buy every week. Apparently, I didn’t eat much last week.

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For a snack, I poured egg whites into a mug, and added a de-strung (??) string cheese, nuking it for 3 minutes. Topped with Frank’s hot sauce.

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The cheese is key. Then you get little pockets of melty heaven.

So, a girl at work is celebrating her birthday tomorrow, and it’s Treat Monday. Clearly, this called for something extra amazing!!!

Word on the street is that Janetha’s fruit pizza is the bestest, and I’ve been drooling over it forever. It calls for two rolls of premade cookie dough rolled out onto a baking sheet and baked. Then topped with a mix of whipped cream cheese/condensed milk/vanilla extract and fresh fruit.

Except! My grocery store only had chocolate chip cookie dough! I panicked, and bought cinnamon rolls.

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I started imagining a fluffy cinnamon-y crust, but realised this may not be the case when I popped it open and the rolls were already cut up. Could we get any lazier??

So I squished up all the dough and rolled it out with a water glass because I don’t own a rolling pin.

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And then I baked it! Predictably, the dough in the center didn’t cook while the edges browned. But it came apart pretty easily and I was able to get a few mini pizzas.

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I bought a container of fruit salad for the toppings. It’s got pineapple in it though, so I may not be able to partake tomorrow as I’m allergic (even to the juices). But I did by a melon salad, and tried a little pineapple-free piece tonight.

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I gotta test the goods!! It was deeelicious. The “sauce” is the best part. Maybe next time I’ll just make my own cookie dough or something ;)

Dinner was another blogger inspired recipe. This time from Leah! I wanted leftovers for the week, and she’s my go-to gal for those ;)

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Quinoa & Salmon w/ Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 a giant sweet onion, chopped
1 cup finely chopped small bulb of fennel Still can’t find it in my grocery store!
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, undrained
1 pound salmon fillets, skin removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
¼ cup tightly packed chopped fresh 1 Tbls dried dill
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 small lemon

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid). Return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and boil gently over medium heat until quinoa is translucent and tender, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in salmon. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until salmon turns opaque and is cooked through, about 1 minute. (Check and cook an additional minute if needed.) Turn off heat. Stir in dill, lemon juice, and zest, plus remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add salt to taste, if needed.

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I served it on top of some steamed green beans and broccoli. I’ve actually made this once before and loved it. Definitely deserved a make-again! It’s really quick and easy too. 20 minutes, minimal chopping, and all you have to do is throw a few things in a pot.

Oh, and look at who I ran into while waiting in line at the grocery store today!!

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Lori!!!! Eeeeee!!!! So. Freakin. Exciting. She’s featured as one of the real-life weight loss stories in May’s Shape magazine. She looks fabbity fab in the photo too. Stellar wardrobe choice Lori! I love that you’re picking up a big-girl’s dumbbell in the shot too ;)

Oh, and remember this shot of Archie I shared yesterday?

Well, I didn’t share the one of him winking at the camera.

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Sorry ladies, he plays for the other team, if you catch my drift *wink*

And for the record, my mom is never getting him back :P

Now I think I’ll wrap up this blogger-inspired day by making one of Holly’s no bake protein cookies. See ya tomorrow!!

 

Questing of the Day: What blogger-inspired foods have you been eating lately?

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