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Catch Up

Hi friends!! It feels like a while, doesn’t it? Would you believe, that after 15 months of blogging near daily, I’ve never gone more than one day without updating? I usually have guest blogs or something. But this time I’ve gone a whole weekend!

It was nice to use what little downtime I had doing nothing. But that gets boring after a while, and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

First things first, this girl can do a good grilled cheese.

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Wednesday night, Morgan and I had a conference call for No Limits Canada. Since I was without internet for what felt like a gajillion years, she invited me over for the Skype date!

She offered a choice of beer to start. I chose “Tuborg” because I could pronounce it in a funny Eastern European accent and the can claimed it was “pure gold.”

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Not bad actually!

I was most excited however for her grilled cheese! Morgan and I sort of have an ongoing joke between our blogs about grilled cheese sandwiches. When discussing what to make for supper, it was the obvious choice.

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Immediately impressed by her usage of the panini press.

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Poor Morgan was worried about getting the right bread and cheese for me. She doesn’t know yet that I’m easily pleased and the sandwich was deeelicious!

Of course, what’s grilled cheese without soup?

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An “everything but the sink” soup. Perfection! Thanks for the dinner Morgan! Bagels at my place next? ;)

 

I can’t remember what happened on Thursday. But I do know I was at work all waking hours and did a leg workout that made it hard to sit down all day Friday.

Friday though, I got off work a little early which meant I had time to make a hot dinner! Those are hard to come by these days. I’m a busy bee!

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I started with this box of Eden Organic Kamut pasta. I assume ditalini refers to the little shape of the pasta.

I’m usually not a huge pasta fan because of the mushy texture, but I don’t mind these kinds made without white flour. The nutritional stats are a lot better too!

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I only cooked half the tiny box…

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…so I could plump the rest up with meat! 

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A plain turkey sausage from my amazing local butcher. The sausages are HUGE. I threw it in a pan with some leeks, carrots, celery, spinach, tomato, onions and garlic.

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Defrosted a serving of tomato sauce I made a while ago with watered down tomato paste and various spices.

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The point of the meal was to eat something that would fill my belly up for the rest of the evening and that it did! Meat + pasta has a funny way of doing that ;) The pasta itself was pretty good, I really liked the shape and texture (remember, I don’t like regular pasta!). The sausage totally stole the show though.

Friday was also a special day in that it was National Fluffernutter Day (and my sister’s birthday – hi Sara!!)

Of course, this was a U.S. food holiday. Living in another nation, I thought it was okay I celebrate a day later on Saturday.

For those of you who don’t know, a fluffernutter is a sandwich spread with both peanut butter and marshmallow fluff.  It is a fabulous combo that seems to be mostly consumed by children. And, well, single 24-year-olds such as myself.

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So why am I talking about fluffernutters and showing you waffles? Oh friends. You know me better than that.

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This would be a fluffernutter wafflewich – french toasted. I mean, I had to celebrate in style, right?

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I spread my PB + fluff between two defrosted freezer waffles (I like Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon), then I dipped my wafflewich in egg whites and cooked in a pan.

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Dipped in syrup of course! Look too decadent for you? The whole ridiculous wafflewhich with the sugar-free syrup is only 357 calories, 14g fat, 5g fibre, 40g carbs and 15g protein and 15g sugar.

I chased mine back with the usual coffee, in an unusual mug.

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Bahahaha, thank you Janetha for seeing this elephant mug and thinking of me!!! The ridiculousness of it suits me perfectly. Also, elephants are my favourite animal :)

 

The rest of my weekend was spent working at the running store with a wonderful run in between. I ditched my usual waterfront trail for a busy city street and it was fun!! I used to hate running on populated roads when I first began running because I was embarrassed. But now I’ve got enough kilometres under my feet that I just don’t care. It was entertaining to whiz down the sidewalks of the city.

Of course, after working 17 hours on my feet in two days and running in between, my legs are pretty darn cranky with me. Namely, my IT band, which is a brand new pain for me. So the plan for this holiday Monday is to rest, relax and recharge. I haven’t had a day off in 21 days so I think I deserve to be lazy for a day ;)

 

A few extra things:

Congrats to my bloggie friend Brie who completed her first ever marathon yesterday in Chicago!! She had many bumps through her training program and I couldn’t be more proud that she finished it!

In case you haven’t noticed, I didn’t make it through to the next round of Project Food Blog. Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their days to vote for each of the challenges! It was really fun to participate in, but I’m happy I no longer have to stress about it.

I wrote not one but two guest posts last week! Head on over to Leah’s blog to read my thoughts on Pre and Post Workout Nutrition. Then stop by Morgan’s blog for my tips on Meeting People in a New City.

Finally, the most exciting thing: I’m going to the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival! That means in less than four weeks, I’ll be in San Francisco with hundreds of other food bloggers. Cause ya know, I’m the type of person who casually goes to California for the weekend (that’s a joke, I’m SO not!). But after some careful planning, shifting of funds, and wonderful bloggie friends, I’ve decided that I should just GO. I mean, you’re only young and reckless once ;)

 

And with that, me and my giant flannel pants are back to bed to watch movies for the rest of the day. Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians! Eat some extra stuffing for me! Q&A’s will resume tomorrow, so you still have time to submit questions. See ya then!

Tour de Fredericton – Partie Deux

Thank you sooooo much for all the positive feedback on yesterday’s post! I don’t know why I was so nervous about posting that picture and talking about it. I guess I didn’t want to look like I was “showcasing” my weight loss in a “look at me” kind of way. But I have the awesomest readers ever, and you all understood the meaning behind the rambles :)

For the record, my blogging uniform isn’t as nice.

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Sometimes I like not living with my boyfriend!! :P

I think I deserve to be lounging around in an oversized tee after my 4:30 am wake-up and crazy long bike ride today. Wanna hear about it?

Work eats were the norm. Breakfast cookie.

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I changed things up and added sliced almonds instead of coconut. Livin on the edge.

My new favourite bar (Luna is in trouble!)

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Peanut butter PowerBar. Kinda like a bar-shaped cookie! One of the best things about these bars is that the first ingredient is “whole oats.” Can’t go wrong with that, especially in a “protein bar.”

Lunch was not the usual white – but pink!

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Smoked salmon and laughing cow cheese on an english muffin.

And a braeburn…

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I was excited as this was my first braeburn experience. But I think I got a bad one, because there were some brown mushy spots inside even though it looked bruise-free. Good thing I’ve got more!

I then rushed home to watch the last 10k of the Tour de France. It was so exciting!! Cavendish (on his Scottie) whipped out in the last 1k and took his sixth stage. He may have lost the green jersey, but it was still pretty sweet :)

Then there was a little food porn to get me ready for my bike ride.

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Cinnamon raisin bagel, 1/2 a smooshed banana, 1 tbsp almond butter. Sweet jebus, this was good.

I was thisclose to putting off my long bike ride for this week. But in the end, I liked the idea of spending my afternoon on a “leisurely” bike ride :)

Duration: 2 hour and 24 minutes
Distance: 55 km (34 miles)
Avg Speed: 23 km/hr (14 mph)
Max Speed: 40 km/hr (25 mph)

The first 30 minutes seemed to drag on, but I eventually got into a groove. I ate four dates with PB at the 90-minute mark. It was perfect! My energy was starting to wane a little, but it was just enough to carry me through that last hour. I just wish I didn’t have to pee after the first 20k :( By the end of the ride I didn’t want to get off!! However, my crotch, neck, wrists and bladder would not have been impressed with that.

Next week – 60 km!!

I’m putting my morning workout off tomorrow until after work so my body has a proper 24 hours to recover from the bike ride. While it wasn’t overly taxing, it was still a significant amount of activity.

I had lots of time to think of what I was going to make for my recovery shake.

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  • 2 scoops Vega Smoothie Infusion
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 scoops plain yogurt
  • handful frozen papaya chunks

The papaya chunks were added after I tried it and felt the texture was off. They make it so much smoooother!

After stretching, rolling and showering, I got started on another awesome homemade burrito.

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This burrito contained 1/2 cup Eden Organic Caribbean rice & beans, 1 scrambled egg, onions, mushrooms and a laughing cow cheese wedge (cause they make everything taste better).

Don’t worry, I also had my “congratulatory piece of chocolate” for my bike ride ;)

Eeek! My landlord just stopped by and said they’re showing my apartment on Tuesday!!! I’m going to have to whip this place into shape! Oh my gosh, I don’t know if that’s possible. There are some closets that need some serious cleaning, and a floor that hasn’t been vacuumed in weeks because my vacuum cleaner is broken (a certain boyfriend told me not to fix it myself because he can do it, I have yet to see these “skillz”)

Random Question: Are you a tidy person??

This may or may not be obvious, but I’m really messy. I have this tendency to not notice when things are lying around or in the way…

Have a great start to your week! :D

Edited to add: I forgot! I’m on Twitter!! I joined in a moment of office boredom. Please come visit me over there, I’m completely lost and have no friends! http://twitter.com/BalanceSusan

Little Moments

Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that bring me joy. Like packing up my work eats in a new lunch bag.

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Oooh! And there were lots of goodies inside :D

Chocolate & PB breakfast cookie.

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VitaMuffin, applesauce, cheese.

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Last VitaMuffin :( Gotta say, I think I like them best straight up, unheated. They taste just like brownies that way, and you don’t mess with brownies :P I see myself forking out another $5 for a pack of four again. I’m a sucka like that.

Cinnamon raisin bagel with egg white pillows.

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I love how my egg whites microwaved into the shape of the bagel. It’s like they knew! Unfortunately I did not dig the sweetness of the raisin bagel with the eggs. Not my favourite combo.

Oh yes, apparently California has run out of oranges and South Africa had to step in.

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I put in a little overtime today so I could watch the crazy mountain climb of the Tour de France. It must have been a steep and windy climb, because they were pulling Susan speeds for much of it. I’m not a huge Lance fan, but I give him props for today. I definitely appreciate his sheer skill in the sport. They need to have an “old guy” jersey!

When not watching the Tour, eating African oranges and reading the news, I also visited the New Brunswick Highland Games Festival at Old Government House.

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Our Lieutenant Governor lives here!! It’s absolutely gorgeous inside, the most beautiful library I’ve ever seen (better than Parliament).

I walked over at 9am to do interviews, so there weren’t many people out. Mostly just kilts and bagpipes.

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And um, poutine?

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Definitely a sign of a Canadian Scottish festival :P I wanted haggis, but they weren’t serving it at that hour. Apparently people prefer scones and shortcake over sheep organs in the morning.

I ended up interviewing the nicest lady doing genealogy. Sometimes my job is a lot of stress and hard work. But getting to sit down and chat with people like her always reminds me of why I love it. I’m not a naturally outgoing person, but I love meeting interesting people. She took down my name and said she’d look it up for me. My Papa’s family was from Scotland and I feel like I connect with my Scottish background the most. Although, that may just be the pasty skin and frizzy hair talking…

I pulled a Polly and had a peach and almond butter when I got home.

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With some cinnamon toast popcorn.

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Munchmunchmunch.

My afternoon was unproductive. Hey, I don’t need to be productive every day!!

Dinner featured something rare for me – canned soup.

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I don’t buy it a lot because of the insane amounts of sodium. Even the “low sodium” stuff is too much, especially if I want to have more than one serving. But this can was on sale super cheap, and looked safe.

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I wanted to add tofu for extra protein, but the package I had in the fridge expired :( That always happens to me! So I added some frozen edamame and a couple spoonfuls of Eden Organic Caribbean rice & beans to “beef” it up a little.

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The rice and beans added a little spice, but it was still missing a little somethin, so I stirred in a laughing cow cheese. Works every time!

 

Okay, I’ve been debating about whether or not to post a pic of what I wore today. It was nothing fancy, new or special. But while getting dressed this morning I had a huge moment.

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In the past 13 months, I have lost 30 lbs, and around 14 inches from my waist, hips and chest. It’s been a slow process as I cleaned up my eating and got more active. Only those closest to me have really noticed. Sometimes, I can’t even notice.

Seeing as I’m a busy person with a low income, I have very few clothes that are actually my size. Only a handful of tops and bottoms fit me properly, the rest are belted and safety-pinned items bought before the weight loss.

I don’t put much thought into my clothes for my morning shifts. I usually just aim for something somewhat professional and warm for my cold office. I threw on these brown pants that I bought during a brief “weight loss” stint in 2004. I couldn’t wear them for years after because they didn’t button up. I held on to them because they were nice pants, and some days, during a good period, I could just barely squeeze them on. Now, they go over my hips fully buttoned.

I bought this cardigan to wear over a dress at a New Year’s ‘06 party. It was a small, and too tight back then. But it matched my dress perfectly, so I bought it anyways. I continued to wear it for years, despite not being able to button it over my belly, or that the material looked like a second skin over my arms. This morning, I buttoned it up with ease, and with room left over.

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I can see how people haven’t noticed my weight loss. Looking back, besides a bit of belly chub, I don’t really look that different. If they have noticed, they probably just assume it’s from all the crazy triathlon training :P

I always forget just how far I’ve come. I especially never take the time to realize how amazing it is that I’ve kept it up. I now have more enthusiasm and passion towards my new lifestyle than ever before. But for some reason, little reminders like today’s clothes always take me by surprise.

Most importantly, it reminds me that having a good relationship with food and my body is perfectly possible. I obsess about food as much as anyone else (hello, I blog what I eat). But I think I’m starting to settle into a good place with both food and exercise.

That being said, I’m not 100 per cent there yet. When I started losing weight last summer, I think the pendulum swung a little too far in the other direction. I’m trying to get it somewhere in the middle now. There’s also the cereal munching thing… but that’s a whole other post!!!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!!! :D

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