Blog Archives

Beets, Birthdays and Boats

Thank you for all the birthday wishes!! Y’all are too sweet. I’m kinda in that part of my 20s now where they all blend together. Won’t have another exciting birthday till I’m 30 ;)

Started the day off wonderfully – I slept for almost nine hours!!! Insane, most nights I’m lucky if I get seven.

I brought a packet of multigrain instant oats with me to my mom’s. Mixed it in with some of Mark’s vanilla protein powder and topped with banana+PB.

IMG_3158 
Check out Mark’s bowl! I had a little breakfast envy :P

IMG_3160

I believe he said it was Kashi Honey Almond Flax, yogurt, berries, banana and cinnamon. All mixed up into a yog mess of course ;)

After some caffeine and digestion, it was time for the gym! Went to the co-ed Nubody’s downtown as they have a better weights section than the women-only gym. Why do they do that?? Women need good weights too!!

Elliptical 

Minutes Level Effort
0-3 10 low
3-5 11 low
5-6 15 high
6-8 12 low
8-9 16 high
9-11 13 low
11-12 17 high
12-14 14 medium
14-15 16 high
15-17 14 medium
17-18 17 high
18-20 14 medium

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
One-arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 8 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  75 lbs 8 3
Incline push-up bw 12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Single-leg romanian deadlift w/ row 20 lbs 6 ea leg 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 8 3
Plank bw 60 sec 3


Treadmill

Minutes MPH
0-1 3.0
1-3 3.5
3-4 8.0
4-6 3.5
6-7 8.5
7-9 3.5
9-10 9.0
10-12 3.5
12-13 9.5
13-15 3.5

 

For some reason, I just could not get my heart pumping and my muscles didn’t feel that exhausted. I think I was partially half-assing it, and part had way more energy than I’m used to from the sleep.

After the gym, I met up with my dad for a noon-hour brunch (yes, I get that’s technically lunch). We were both craving eggs and fresh fruit, so Cora’s was the natural choice.

I ordered Peggy’s Poached.

IMG_3161
One poached egg, one piece of toast, cottage cheese, mixed fruit.

IMG_3165

Not shown is how I massacred that egg on the toast, and poured the cottage cheese all over the fruit. It was delicious!

And a steamy Americano to go with.

IMG_3162

My dad got eggs benedict with ham.

IMG_3164

Totally hit the spot!

After br/lunch, I went shopping with my mom and nana. Some bee-day purchases included a nice purse to hold my DSLR, bread pan, measuring spoons and a vegetable peeler. Tomorrow I’ll be conquering the Running Room!

Dinner was yet another amazing meal – my mother and I went to a local sushi place called Pink Sushi.

IMG_3171

I love celebrating my birthday with my mom. I kinda feel like it’s just as much her day as mine. I mean, she actually did all the work ;)

We wanted a little bit of everything, so ordered the sushi & sashimi combination boat. 

IMG_3170

It started with some miso soup that I didn’t eat. I don’t really care for miso – too salty!

IMG_3172

And then our boat of sushi arrived.

IMG_3178

I totally failed at capturing its sheer magnificence on film. It was a thing of beauty!

IMG_3180

Every birthday should involve a boat of food ;)

IMG_3181

It really did have a little bit of everything, but I think my favourites were the rolls with teriyaki sauce, and the plain pieces of salmon.

IMG_3182

My mom and I were in food heaven the whole time. It was amazing. We totally killed that boat.

IMG_3187 
Until next year my friend…

And what’s a birthday without cake!?

IMG_3205

Cake I made myself of course – that’s half the fun!

After much debate, I decided on red velvet cake as I’d never had it before. But my mom isn’t the biggest fan of food dye (she was a microbiologist, so with good reason). We tracked down a decent looking recipe that uses beets for the red colouring. So I basically made a beet cake for my birthday :P

IMG_3168

Yes, one is now “over the hill” after the age of 24. And yes, I’m “still cookin’” ;)

Low Fat Red Velvet Cake (Chocolate Beet Cake)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup  1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/3 cups non-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups beets, peeled and shredded 4 large beets, cooked and mashed

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in buttermilk. Beat in butter, egg substitute and vanilla. Add beets. Pour in prepared cake pan. Bake 45 minutes. Cool, then frost with low fat cream cheese frosting.

Low Fat Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. Neufchatel cheese 250g light cream cheese
  • 12 oz. 20ish oz fat-free frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat Neufchatel cheese until smooth. Stir in thawed whipped topping and powdered sugar.

I then decorated it expertly…

IMG_3197
Then cut myself a giant piece. It’s my birthday – I’m allowed a giant piece of cake!!

IMG_3200

It’s reddish, perhaps a nice mahogany? It’s a wonderfully dense and moist cake. You can almost taste the beets, but I think it gives it a really nice earthy sweetness. And the cream cheese frosting is of course to die for. 

Now I’m just relaxing with the fam. I bought some nail polish today (which I haven’t owned since the age of 13) so I’m thinking of giving myself a manicure. I wouldn’t want anything more on the day of my birth than to relax and be with the people I love!!

 

Oh! And check out my horoscope that was in today’s paper:

In the year ahead, there are indications that you could become involved in an endeavour that would yield a second source of income, which could grow into something bigger. But you’ll have to be extremely patient.

 

How cool is that!? I’m hoping it’s PT or blog related – or both! :D

 

Question of the Day: What’s your zodiac sign? Do you believe in that stuff? I’m an Aquarius and I totally do. Yes, horoscopes are generalized, but I like to believe there’s some mysterious meaning behind it all ;)

Hope you’re having a great weekend too!!

Flashback Friday!! “Feelin’ Irie Mon”

Hello!! So it seems most of you are creatures of habit. I was actually surprised!! I encourage you to go do something spontaneous!

For the first time ever, I contemplated staying in bed instead of going to the gym this morning. But I was already awake, and going back to sleep wouldn’t have guaranteed me all that much extra sleep in the long-run. Tonight I’ll just get a solid 8 hours.

Here’s how it went down:

Elliptical 20 min:

Minutes Level
3 10
2 12
1 16
2 13
1 17
2 14
1 18
2 14
1 17
2 13
1 16
2 12

Lower body:

Exercise Sets Weight Reps
Barbell Squat 3 55 lbs 12
Static Lunge 3 15 lbs ea 12
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 3 15 lbs ea 12

Abs:

Exercise Sets Reps
Plank 1 90 sec
Side Plank 1 each side 45 sec ea
Stability Ball Roll Out 1 15
Prone Jackknife 1 15

Stairmill 10 min:

Minutes Level
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11

 

Then I cooled down with some stretching :) Obviously, today was a lower body + abs day. I contemplated throwing a calf isolation move in there, but decided against it. Oddly, my calves are the most sore!! Well, right now anyways. I predict the pain will move to my glutes tomorrow…

In order to maximize sleep time, I prepared everything last night so all I’d have to do is just come home, shower and shovel food and coffee in my face before rushing off to work. Enter an old favourite: the breakfast cookie!!

IMG_2464 
Today’s was a PB&J breakfast cookie. Can you believe I’ve never thought of this before?? It was awesome!!!

  • >1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Crofter’s raspberry/yumberry jam
  • splash almond milk

All mixed together, flattened on a plate, and chilled in the fridge overnight to harden. Must do these more often on my early a.m. workout days :)

It was a busybusy day at work!! It flew by! Happy to have my first week under me. I actually got a few projects accomplished that I’ll get to see go up on the website this weekend. I’ve also got some interesting projects coming up that I’m excited to get my hands on :)

Work eats today included…

IMG_2470An awful photograph of a quark/yogurt/vanilla protein powder/strawberry combo. This is quite possibly one of the worst food pictures featured on my blog. For being so delicious, yogurt is not always photogenic.

Moving on! Lunch!

IMG_2467
…was delicious. Hummus, cheddar cheese, tomato, sprouts, spinach on an everything bagel. With a particularly juicy bag of baby carrots. Stellar combo, will do again!!

Snack attack…

IMG_2468

Two carrot protein squares that I sandwiched laughing cow cheese in (gotta have that cream cheese frosting!) and a granny apple sauce cup. I miss my homemade sauce :(

Supper was some sort of weird take on chili cheese fries…

IMG_2499

Butternut squash fries, turkey breast, baked beans. I’d originally planned on making these three things separate components on my plate. Then thought “what the hell” and just threw it all together.

Halfway through though, I decided it needed ketchup.
 IMG_2517 Much bettah ;)

I also got more bloggie presents today! That’s three in one week! I feel like such a lucky gal :D

Today was my belated Blogger Secret Santa package. It’s awesome. So many goodies! I’m so grateful Chandra was my BSS – you know my tastes perfectly!!

IMG_2477 
Naturally More Almond Butter, Mrs. May’s Cran-Blueberry Crunch nut clusters, Larabar in Tropical Fruit Tart, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Pecan Pie, and a mug! (which I think may be designated my office mug). Thank you SO much!!!  

And don’t worry about it arriving late Chandra. My birthday is in two weeks, so we’ll call it a Christmas/New Years/Birthday gift ;)

Obviously, I had to dig into some of the goodies right away. I had to try this almond butter. Check out what’s in it:

IMG_2483

For some reason, I thought it would be ground flax. But it’s whole flax. It makes the nut butter not crunchy – but crispy!!!

IMG_2520
I’m in love.

In other news, I also got my first big paycheck today from my new job. It called for a little celebratory spending…

IMG_2526

Shoes!! Not just any shoes, but ones with heels. I’m pushing 5’7” and never wear heels because they make me feel like an Amazon Woman. But, my office is pretty dressy, and my usual clunkers just aren’t cutting it. I feel like such a grown up!

 

Not only is it TGIF ‘round these parts – but it’s also Flashback Friday!!!

I think it’s been a while since I’ve participated in Janetha’s fun bloggie feature. Today’s FF is all about my trip to Jamaica in 2008.

I’ve done the resort thang a few times, but I was reeeeally excited about Jamaica. Maybe it’s just the Bob Marley fan in me, but of all the Caribbean islands I felt it had a really distinct and interesting culture.

Of course, as any Canadian knows, if you travel in March you will fly out on the day of a snow storm. It’s a guarantee. It’s happened to me every. single. time.

100_2108

Thankfully, the weather in Jamaica was fabulous. I’m always cold, and found even the evenings stayed quite warm.

IMGP1157

I was definitely right about Jamaican culture. It really is distinct. They have their own language which sounds like English, but is actually reallyreally hard to understand! It’s called Patois and includes things like “feelin irie” instead of “feeling alright.”

100_2119

Before we left, everyone told us to be careful because Jamaica is a really dangerous country. This is true, I would not want to wander around by myself. But with that said, the Jamaicans we did meet were amazing people!!! Chris and I always joked that everything ran on “Jamaican time” (timely customer service does not exist) and the country’s motto is “No problem mon.”

100_2151 IMGP1185

Chris and I did a lot of day trips. Probably too many, as we were pretty exhausted by the end. But in retrospect, I’m still happy with everything I got to see. Highlights were definitely travelling to various waterfalls.

100_2208 cropped 
We also did the touristy thing to do there and climbed Dunn’s River Falls.

IMGP1181

It was a damn big waterfall, and tough work to climb up. Amazing though. I dunno, I’ve always had a thing for swimming in waterfalls…

Now you may be wondering why after aaallll these Flashback Fridays, I’m only just talking about this trip now? Well, I ate. A lot.

IMGP1222
I was a good 5+ lbs from my highest weight at the time. While it was an awesome trip, I ate and drank way too much. I continued the vacation once I came home, and skyrocketed to my highest weight soon after.

IMGP1237

Looking back on these pictures brings mixed emotions. It was an amazing trip (seriously, Jamaica is an fun country). But I also feel kinda sad for myself. I can’t believe I let myself get so out of control.

I wasn’t making the best food or drink choices…

 100_2228 100_2252

And the rum. My god the rum was good. And cheap.

100_2219

100_2223

Oh, and did I mention? If you’re Canadian, it’s also guaranteed you’ll get a snowstorm when you’re trying to fly out of a foreign country in March.

100_2251 Uff.

 

Okay folks, that wraps it up for me! I’ve got some Real World to watch!

 

Question of the Day: Name one place you’ve travelled to that had amazing food. My family travelled to Germany when I was younger and I’ll always remember the bread+meat+cheese. Sounds simple, but all three were soooo much better than anything I’ve had since. There’s nothing like some authentic German bratwurst and cream cheese on a freshly baked roll.

Ch-ch-check in time!

Mmmm…I got to enjoy every little bite of my s’muffernutter breakfast cookie this morning.

101_0298 

Deb and I were discussing the importance of the protein powder in the breakfast cookie today. It really does act as the “binding agent.” The thick goo it creates when mixed with your liquid is what hardens the cookie in the fridge overnight, not the nut butter. But for all you other bloggers out there who don’t use protein powder, do your cookies still work without it? Wouldn’t it be a mushy mess you have to eat with a fork?

I don’t usually bring bars as snacks when I know I’ll just be at the office, but I’m too excited to try out my new bar finds! Today’s pick was the KIND Fruit & Nut in yoghurt coating.

101_0300

101_0303

I didn’t know KIND had a special “nut blend,” or ”fruit blend” for that matter. I must remember to never sell a bar with the same combo :P

101_0305

A little low on the protein, but it is just nuts and dried fruit. Usually I like to pair high-carb bars with a piece of cheese to even things out, but this is a little too high-calorie for that.

101_0307 
The yoghurt coating was actually too thick for my liking. I didn’t realize it was coated on the bottom too. Otherwise it was a verrrry yummy bar. The nuts were toasted to perfection. The brazil nuts in particular were delicious!

Oh, and as for the PB&J Larabar, Ellie and I are looking into why the Canadian and UK versions have added refined sunflower oil. But she did inform me they don’t count calories from fibre in the U.S, and that’s why the calories were listed as higher. I didn’t know that!! No wonder my “Fibre 1” cereal has twice the number of calories as the American “Fiber One” version.

Lunch was more Yves cajun chicken slices with swiss and veggies.

101_0313

One thing that sucks about making lunch the night before is that my bread gets soggy. Boo. My office needs a george foreman grill.

I did little lily dawdling after work and hit up the gym almost right away. I was excited to make up for my lazy Saturday! (and Friday)

Treadmill:
0:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-5:00 – 5.6 mph
5:00-6:00 – 5.8 mph
6:00-7:00 – 6.0 mph
7:00-8:00 – 6.2 mph
8:00-9:00 – 6.0 mph
9:00-10:00 – 6.2 mph
10:00-11:00 – 6.4 mph
11:00-12:00 – 6.2 mph
12:00-13:00 – 6.4 mph
13:00-14:00 – 6.6 mph
14:00-15:00 – 6.4 mph
15:00-16:00 – 6.6 mph
16:00-17:00 – 6.8mph
17:00-18:00 – 6.6 mph
18:00-19:00 – 6.8 mph
19:00-20:00 – 7.0 mph

A1 – Romanian deadlift to row:
3 sets @ 50 lbs x 8

B1 – Wide-grip lat pulldown:
3 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

B2 – Dumbbell chest press:
3 sets @ 20 (ea) lbs x 8

C1 – Tricep cable pulldown:
3 sets @ 25 lbs x 8

C2 – YTWL:
3 sets @ 7.5 lbs (ea) x 4 (each letter)

Stairmaster:
0:00-1:00 – level 8
1:00-2:00 – level 9
2:00-3:00 – level 10
4:00-5:00 – level 11
5:00-6:00 – level 12
6:00-7:00 – level 13
7:00-8:00 – level 12
8:00-9:00 – level 11
9:00-10:00 – level 10

Whittle My Middle:

Plank – 90 sec
Side plank – 30 sec each side
Plank with elbows on stability ball – 60 sec
Stability Ball Jackknifes – 12 reps
Stability ball roll out – 12 reps
Plank Rotations – 2 minutes, 15 sec each rotation

Elliptical:
0:00-1:00 – level 8
1:00-3:00 – recovery @ level 10
3:00-4:00 – sprint @ level 18
4:00-6:00 – recovery @ level 10
6:00-7:00 – sprint @ level 18
7:00-9:00 – recovery @ level 10
9:00-10:00 – sprint @ level 18
10:00-12:00 – recovery @ level 10
12:00-13:00 – sprint @ level 18
13:00-15:00 – recovery @ level 10

Cool-down:
Stretching :) Think I’ll do another stretching post with my routine soon…

 

Well congrats to you if you read through all of that! Abridged version is that it had medium & high intensity interval cardio with upper body and abs. This was by no means a short workout, took me almost an hour and 20 minutes. But I was having fun, it’s how I like to spend my Sunday afternoons :)

I was definitely running on empty by the time I came home though, so I immediately replenished with a smoothie.

101_0322

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 scoop ISO Lean peach-mango whey protein powder
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

Then I got started on dinner! A roast dinner. I threw another bird in the oven. Dang, this is so easy! No pictures of the carcass, but I just rinsed off the small chicken, stuffed it with a head of garlic, lemon quarters and a small bunch of thyme. Rubbed some salt and pepper on it then cooked in a 425F oven for 90 minutes. So frickin easy.

101_0330

I actually kept the chicken in for five minutes longer tonight, but I don’t think I needed to. It was crazy delicious. I can’t believe it took me this long to get the nerve to roast chickens.

101_0326

On the side are sweet potato and carrots tossed in balsamic vinegar and maple syrup and roasted in a separate pan. Then some frozen brussel sprouts in a little pepper and Earth Balance.

How’s that for a Sunday dinner? One of the few times I wish didn’t live alone are occasions when I have a wonderful meal I want to share. At least I get the leftovers all to myself ;)

 

November Goal Check-In

Three weeks in! Already got ideas swimming in my head for next month ;)

Have fun workouts.
First, I only made it to one yoga class and didn’t do any at home. Fail on that front!

Monday – I got my BodyStep on and stepped my little heart out. It was spectacular.

Tuesday – Surprisingly quick 5k run outdoors because it was too beautiful to stay inside, then an evening BodyFlow class to streeetch it all out.

Wednesday – Spin class with Chris. SO much fun!

Thursday -  Missed BodyPump but came up with a lifting sesh of my own.

Friday – Impromptu lifting sesh left me waddling. Day off.

Saturday – Another day off. Needed to fully recharge.

Sunday – Amaaaazing and energetic weight and HIIT workout at the gym.

Be less complacent with food.
My experiment with temporarily tracking calories again was a success. Even though I’m no longer doing it, I find it got me in that mind set of just being aware again. As a side note, I’m also doing much better at not counting in my head. I haven’t a clue what any of my meals were today, and I don’t care! :P

Get more sleep.
Well almost sleeping through work yesterday helped! :P To be honest, going from crazy early morning shifts to evening shifts really messed with my body clock this week. I was going to bed too late, but waking up too early. Perhaps I should re-introduce the afternoon nap…

Make it through the last month of work with a positive attitude.
Not gonna lie, it’s getting worse by the day. But I do find myself appreciating my co-workers more. The job itself may not have been for me, but I worked with really good people.

Try my best to not let anything hold me back.
I’ve finally buckled down and decided to follow what I’m truly passionate about. For the first time in my life, I feel really excited and confident about my future.

Figure out a way to get into the holiday season.
I bought my first Christmas present today! You’re going to love/hate it mom ;)

Spend more time with my grandparents.
I haven’t spoken to any of them this week :(

Be more honest with people.
Ohman, I was the most honest I’ve been in a long time this week. I’ve always known it’s important to be honest with the people you love, but this week just reiterated how important it is. Sometimes you hurt people more by not telling the truth than if you were just honest.

Look for a job.
Got a job interview at Starbucks tomorrow ;)

Start playing music again.
Eff.

 

You know it’s coming…

Question of the Day: How are you coming along with your goals this month?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 486 other followers