Blog Archives

Getting To Know You

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!!

IMG_7048
Yup! I ate that whole stack :)

Fear not, for they are Van’s Mini Waffles. 

IMG_7107
This is the other kind of waffle I chose to buy with the free coupons the company sent me. I love mini foods (mini bagels also come to mind).

IMG_7109 

IMG_7110

Nutritionals aren’t as great as the gluten-free Apple Cinnamon waffles, but they are mini, so I will cut them some slack.

IMG_7051 
I had my pile o’ waffles dipped into a syrup/almond butter mix and a side of egg whites for protein.

IMG_7052
Thoughts on the waffles? They were sweet! I felt like I was eating little waffle cookies! If you like dessert for breakfast, then they’re the one for you.

I ate this while reading the responses on my last post on muscle toning shoes. Some great thoughts were shared! Just a snippet:

Lori (Finding Radiance)

Those shoes. First off, I despise the word “toning”. Ugh! And, they are just another gimmick to get people to think they can be exercise-free and get in shape. However, if they actually get people to put them on and move about, it’s better than nothing.

Fattie Fatterton

I’m so glad that you wrote about those shoes. It proves again that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Madeline – Greens and Jeans

My mom had a pair of MBTs when they first came out and she thinks they helped her posture, but that’s about it!

Kelly @ Kelly B Well

I actually participate in a Reebok ‘new products’ forum to test the water. They recently sent me a pair of these goofy shoes to try.
I agree with everything you’ve stated above. I am supposed to wear them for 3 months, and I can’t stand them. It feels like ‘corrective shoes’ for being pigeon-toed, or something, but…worse than that.
They’re uncomfortable, and they don’t do anything.
There are no shortcuts to fitness and health.

Good reading!! Thanks for all the feedback!

After breakfast, I drove 20 minutes to the other side of town (okay, technically, a different municipality) just to go to a spin class. It’s a really nice gym – worth the drive!

I do not like those particular Star Trac spin bikes though.

The class was great! It was only 40 minutes long, and the instructor chose music I actually enjoy and would listen to outside of class. Because it was shorter than I’m used to, I went straight across to the gym’s yoga studio for a 60 minute yoga class. Very strange to go from a high-energy spin class to a very mild and gentle yoga class. It was very easy and more about the breathing, still fun though!

Busted through the door once I got home because I was staaaarving. Started throwing ingredients into a frying and pan and ended up with this:

IMG_7057

I did however stop to snap photos of the funny looking veggies as I chopped them up.

Long red pepper.

IMG_7056 
And a baby carrot with a core??

IMG_7090

It was like a chopstick in the centre of my carrot. Weird.

Anyways, back to the stir-fry at hand.

IMG_7059 
Other notable veggies included celery, broccoli, mushrooms and collard greens. Protein was two scrambled eggs, flavoured with feta cheese and hummus.

IMG_7065 
Oh yeah, and bacon. Bacon makes everything better ;) Hit. The. Spot.

Polished off with a Newfoundland chocolate.

IMG_7066

Milk chocolate. With something in the centre – marzipan? Whatever, it was good.

Oh, and there may have been a few sugar-free Mr. Freezes today.

IMG_7069
And by a few, I mean four.

I was struck with inspiration this afternoon while reading Naomi’s blog. She made Dreena Burton’s Super Charge Me Cookies.  I’ve been hearing how amazing these cookies are for what feels like years now, and I still haven’t tried them! I glanced at the ingredients and saw my mom had them all on hand. Score! It was finally time to get baking :)

IMG_7071 

1 cup quick oats rolled oats
2/3 cup spelt flour whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 –1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
3–4 tbsp carob or chocolate chips (optional; or use more dried fruit, nuts, or seeds)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flax meal (not flax seed)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp almond butter (may use cashew, peanut, hemp seed butter)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp organic canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and carob or chocolate chips, sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet evenly space apart, and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out). Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.

IMG_7074
The recipe says 11-12 cookies, but I got 18 decent-sized ones out of the mix,

IMG_7080 
I licked the bowl clean – baker’s rights!!

IMG_7078
I didn’t think the cookies looked quite done after 13 minutes, but I trusted the recipe. Plus, being vegan, there were no raw eggs that needed to cook anyways.

IMG_7082
Sure enough, they came out perfectly!

IMG_7083
I was going to save one for after dinner, but my mom suggested having one for an appetizer. Who am I to argue!?

IMG_7086

Verdict?? Heckyes. These are good! Plain ole’ chocolate chip cookies with eggs and butter will always be my favourite, but these are definitely a fun alternative. I love how you can really taste the maple in them too.

IMG_7089

And they get the thumbs up from my three step-siblings, who are definitely tough critics.

While my cookie business was going on, my mom was working on dinner beside me.

IMG_7092

We seem to have a plethora of tortilla chips in this household. Which clearly called for a mexican dip

IMG_7094

Mom dug out her recipe from the 1970s for this one. Made with buffalo meat, black beans, salsa and spices. The cheese-free section is mine :)

IMG_7096

Mom also made a smooth guacamole, which I did not partake in because I can’t digest avocado :(

IMG_7097

Instead of dipping the chips in the dip, I assembled a salad, then put the good stuff on top.

IMG_7098

With extra salsa for good measure ;)

IMG_7100

Solid meal!! Well done mom :)

 

Tamzin tagged me in a questionnaire for getting to know bloggers a little better. I thought it would be fun to do! Here are my answers:

Where would you be able to spend hours and be happy?

My bed. In fact, I have spent hours there and been perfectly happy doing it ;)

What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?

Chocolate glazed donut from Tim Horton’s. These days though, I limit them to the Timbits ;)

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

Just my earlobes! I’m scared of needles, and didn’t get the guts to do my ears until I was 18 years old.

What is your favorite movie?

High Fidelity. John Cusack + Nick Hornby + Good Music + Top 5 Lists = Perfection.

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

My mom! I called her while I was out today.

Are you still friends with the people you knew in middle school or high school?

Yes, my closest friends are those I’ve had since childhood. My BFF in Halifax I just visited went to kindergarten with me. My other best friend and old roommie, Meghan, as known me since Grade 1.

What is the last thing you ate?

The above salad! Although, there will be a microwave protein cake in my belly very soon.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Everything. When I was really young, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I wanted to be a rock star, high school English teacher, flight attendant, journalist, and now personal trainer. I don’t think anyone ever figures out what they want to be when they grow up!

Name three things that are close to you right now:

My camera, Women’s Health Magazine, and Rudy.

What was your best subject in school?

Surprisingly, Chemistry! I took Level 1 Math and Chemistry and got 90s in both. Actually, I got 98% in grade 12 Chemistry. And then I went to a Liberal Arts university…

What is your favorite restaurant?

Calactus!

Any hidden talents?

I just asked my mother this and she says it’s my wicked sense of humour. Hm. How bout that!

What is your middle name?

Elizabeth. Common, but I still like it :)

What is your favorite website?

Gmail!! Ha! I go through phases, right now it’s 1000 Awesome Things and The Pioneer Woman.

How old were you when you had your first kiss?

I was in Grade 7… sooo…12 or 13?? It was sloppy.

Chocolate or vanilla?

If it’s flavour we’re talking about, then vanilla. But I will choose a piece of plain chocolate above all else at any time.

What is your favorite girl’s name?

I’m holding on to the name Wendy in case I ever need it for a baby. It’s my mom’s middle name and I LOVE Peter Pan!

Favorite store?

The Running Room.

Would you rather be a rock star or a famous athlete?

Rock star (see above)

Favorite food?

Chocolate chip cookies (see above)

What are you wearing right now?

Jean shorts (not cut-off!!) a flowery top and a black cardigan. See, I get out of my yoga pants sometimes ;)

What is your favorite animal?

Elephants are number one, owls are number two.

Did you graduate from college?

Yes, although in Canada colleges and universities are two different things.

What does your last text message say?

Haha…of course.” From a friend when I told him I expected pictures of his upcoming Vegas trip on Facebook :)

Do you have any nicknames?

Sus, Susie and Susie Q. Nothing fancy!

 

And now I’m off to get ready to snag a ticket to the Healthy Living Summit!!

 

Questions of the Day:
1. What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?
2. Any hidden talents?
3. What is your favorite girl’s name?

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Hiya! Well, Monday is behind us, on to my least favourite day of the week… Tuesday. Ugh. What a waste of a day Tuesday is :P

A lot of you have food allergies and intolerances! Most popular being dairy and gluten. Although a couple mentioned people they know with allergies to onions which would SUCK. So would a nut allergy.

Anyways, my Monday started fabulously as it does every week now with an RPM spin class. This morning was a little tough though, more so than usual. But I still finished class strong, leaving happy and endorphin-ated :)

Got to the office and attacked one of my new fave desk-breakfasts.

IMG_4175

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup faux-nola granola

Morning snack was, dare I say, the best homemade granola bar yet!!

homemade protein bar
Apple cinnamon flavour. Should have known the one with the cinnamon would be the winner ;)

Lunch!

IMG_4172

Nooo, not an apple and more cottage cheese. I’m cheap when it comes to tupperware.

IMG_4168

Last of my leftover tofu potato salad. Will definitely be making this again, in fact, I think it will get a recipe page :)

Lunch dessert was a Mini Egg cookie. The cookies by the way were a total hit at the office. Even the seasoned bakers of the bunch wanted the recipe! I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a solid chocolate chip recipe with something a little different.

This afternoon, I had one of my favourite new snacks.

Beemster cheese

Meat + cheese. Or, Yves meatless roast beef slices wrapped around Beemster cheese. Full fat cheese! Gotta keep my fingernails growing at lightning speed ;)

I always have intentions to run errands after work, but I’m SO hungry by the time the day is over! So per usual, I rushed home and started throwing supper together before I barely had my coat off.
 IMG_4181

That would be a chicken breast coated in egg whites, panko bread crumbs, ground flaxseed and Kirkland no-salt seasoning.

IMG_4185 
Roasted veggies on the side tossed in 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, pepper and 2 tbsp shredded old cheddar cheese. And yes, I dipped my chicken it kethcup, then went and got some bbq sauce too. Delicious dinner!

 

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Do you ever worry about getting bored being a personal trainer or about the lack of financial security in that job longterm?
Thanks!
(I think being in a gym all the time would drive me crazy-the lighting, the germs on the machines,the smell of sweat…wondering your thoughts esp since gyms are known to be big carriers of flu bugs, staff infections, skin diseases etc???!)

Funny, whenever I go to the gym now I think to myself “hell yeah I could spend the day working in here.” My gym is really nice though. Big, naturally lit with large windows, well ventilated, etc. Not in some dank basement like many gyms I’ve been to.

In terms of germs, I work in a university right now which is also a breeding ground! College kids aren’t necessarily shining examples of cleanliness and hygiene :P

I also make a point to never worry about financial security. I’m really good at saving money so I always have a nice cushion. Having lots of money has never appealed to me, and I try not to let money deter me from taking risks. I’m a strong believer that if you’re passionate and driven, you can be successful no matter what your chosen profession. Hell, I went into journalism. I made more money as a barista than I did as a reporter!!

I think the most important thing though is that I do not plan on being a personal trainer for the rest of my life. I view it as a starting point for me. I have a really strong desire to help people get healthy, but I want to expand that out of the gym walls and reach a larger audience someday. Okay. My dream is to write for fitness magazines and websites – so what? :P

 

Lori (Finding Radiance) Said:

Question: Is there a food that you hate that really wished you liked? (mine would be fish)

And – do you take any daily vitamins or supplements?

I wish I liked canned pumpkin!! Odd, because I like mushy baby food, but canned pumpkin still makes me gag. I wish I could plump up my oats with that tasteless orange mush, but it just makes them inedible :\

I just started taking fish oil! But besides that, no. I reallyreally should. I say this every time someone brings this topic up. Especially Calcium, Vitamin D and a B complex.

 

helenapooh Said:

How long have you been blogging for? Is it hard to develop the habit to post everyday?

I’ve been blogging for almost one year and two months. I never had trouble getting into the habit of posting regularly. I started blogging during my last semester of university, so I was looking for a way to procrastinate :P I really enjoy it, and it’s something I look forward to doing every day. I will admit to pre-writing posts when I know I’ll be busy though!

 

Lara (Thinspired) Said:

I have no idea how you can tough it out for an entire HOUR on the treadmill! What are your tricks for beating boredom?!

It reeeeally helps when I have some rockin tunes on my iPod. I like upbeat, melodic songs that I can run with. Also, I don’t run “hard” during my long treadmill workouts. When I’m sprinting, I can’t think of anything besides remembering to breathe and counting down the seconds. But when I’m going at a lower intensity, I have an easier time letting my thoughts wander, and that’s entertaining enough :) Also, I never keep it at the same speed or incline for longer than 10 minutes. For my favourite 60 minute treadmill workout, I change the speed every 60 seconds!

 

I think I have just a couple questions left before I wrap up this latest round of Q&As, so if there’s anything else you still want to get in, just leave it in the comments or send it to thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com

 

Question of the Day: What’s one food you dislike that you really wish you liked? Lori doesn’t have to answer this one since she already did :P

Pineapple? Pine-evil.

Boys oh boys, I’m watching the Olympic Canada-US game right now and it’s already action packed! I’m not a huge team sports fan, but as a Canadian, I can appreciate a good game of hockey ;)

Anyways, I did not have the best of days today. It started well, with a bowl of custard oatmeal.

IMG_4090

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (stirred in while simmering)
  • cinnamon, vanilla, stevia
  • 2 chopped sates
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

IMG_4097

I don’t get to make stove-top oats at home during the week since it takes so long (it’s all about the slow simmer ;) ) so they make for an extra-special weekend treat!

Except, it kicked my sweet-tooth into gear, so I enjoyed a Lindt Fleur de Sel with my morning pot of coffee.

IMG_4099

Just a splash of almond milk in the coffee. Mostly to cool it down.

Then, the trouble started. I opted for a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar as my pre-workout snack. The sugar from the dates always gives me lots of energy.
 IMG_4102

 IMG_4103
I’ve never tried this flavour before, but didn’t think much of it. Even when I took this photo of the ingredients!

IMG_4105
It was small as always. Larabars are not for volume eaters.

IMG_4109

As I was chowing down on the bar, I looked at the wrapper again and noticed pineapple was listed a the second ingredient. I’m allergic to pineapple!! I didn’t worry too much though, as I’ve eaten crystallized pineapple in the past with no incident. I figured it would be dried pineapple in the bar… right??

Well, whatever it was, it made me sick, real sick. I’ve gone for tests, but apparently vomiting upon consumption of anything pineapple related isn’t a common problem. I ate this at 10:30am and the pain/sickness didn’t subside until 3pm. It’s the kind of pain where I can’t do anything but shrivel up in a ball and moan. I couldn’t even stand the sound of the television. I think I may have drifted in and out of sleep a little, but who knows.

Aaaanyways. I’ve learned my lesson. Absolutely NO pineapple is entering this belly EVER again!

Sometime during the tummy episode, I hoped a settling sandwich might help things along.

IMG_4113

This is my favourite sandwich combo at the moment – PB + protein powder. I took half a scoop of chocolate whey powder and mixed it with water until it formed a goo, then spread it on one side of the bread. PB went on the other side. Delicious.

I actually briefly considered going to the gym once I was able to move again. I had a stellar upper-body sesh planned that I was sad to have to skip. But my mom always says things like this are the universe’s way of telling me to sloooow doooown. So I took the hint, and went to the grocery store instead.

Holly asked if I could show my grocery haul and what’s in my pantry/fridge. So for today’s Q&A I’ll show ya what’s in my grocery bag! (pantry/fridge coming soon!)

First off, I wanted to show you the protein powders I bought after my protein post yesterday.

IMG_4118

By coincidence, I ran out of both chocolate and vanilla today, so I went to GNC to find naturally sweetened powders. On the left is Iso Natural in vanilla flavour and Kaizen Whey Isolate Protein in chocolate flavour on the right. Both are sweetened with stevia.

Produce!

IMG_4121

  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • bag of onions
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 bartlett pears
  • bag of carrots
  • baby spinach
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • bag of green beans
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • bag of mixed fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 zucchini

Meat and Dairy:

IMG_4123

  • dozen eggs
  • Western Creamery 1% plain yogurt (never tried this kind before!)
  • Laughing Cow light cheese wedges
  • Scotsburn 50% less sodium 1% cottage cheese
  • Compliments egg whites
  • Maple Leaf light swiss cheese
  • Yves veggie roast beef slices
  • 1 lb salmon
  • 2 chicken breasts

Random stuff:

IMG_4125

  • Panko bread crumbs (on special!)
  • can diced tomatoes
  • Nestle lime carbonated water
  • cantaloupe
  • Bick’s garlic dill pickles
  • cinnamon
  • lemon juice
  • butternut squash
  • E.D. Smith sugar-free syrup

More random stuff:

IMG_4128

  • unsweetened vanilla  Almond Breeze
  • dates
  • butternut squash baby food
  • Bob’s Red Mill quinoa
  • Thompson raisins
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Finn Crisp rye crackers (new-to-me food!)
  • Mini Eggs
  • Beemster single-serving cheese
  • Eden Organic garbanzo beans

Phew! That’s a lot! And it’s all for ME!! I eat every last crumb that I buy. I do buy some higher-end food products, but food is one of the few things I splurge on. I don’t spend anything on clothes and I never eat out, so it fits into my budget :) Tour of my fridge and pantry will come this week!

I was starving by the time I got home, my belly was in working order again. Luckily, I had leftover potato tofu salad.

IMG_4129

I’ve got to pat myself on the back for this salad. Adding cottage cheese, eggs, and tofu is a great way to get protein in a potato salad, and it’s delicious!!

After dinner, I whipped up a batch of my homemade protein bars for the week.

IMG_4134

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey powder
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • one applesauce cup
  • 1/4 cup water

Mixed until crumbly, then flattened into a 9×9 pan and stuck in the fridge to harden.

IMG_4142

Makes 8 servings, at 210 calories, 9g fat, 4g fibre, 23g carbs, 16g protein.

IMG_4160
I think these may be one of my best batches yet!!

Then it was on to the more decadent stufff…

Mini Egg cookies!! 

IMG_4146 
I took the recipe from here. Only changes were that I cut the recipe in half and left out the macadamia nuts. Essentially a chocolate chip cookie recipe with the world’s best chocolate chips ;)

IMG_4148

I made these specifically to bring into work for “Treat Monday.” Something we decided was necessary to start doing. I am proud to say that not only did I not eat my weight in cookie dough while preparing these – but I also didn’t try one when they were done!!! First time ever. I think telling myself that I’d have one with my coworkers tomorrow was enough to keep me from giving in to the temptation.

Plus, I also promised myself another kind of sweet treat once I was done baking.

IMG_4154
Protein cookie batter ;) Made with my new Kaizen chocolate whey powder and a few dashes of almond milk. Topped with peanut butter, chocolate chips and spinkles… of course. Protein powder gets a BIG thumbs up. One of the best ones I’ve tried yet!!

Well that’s all from me tonight. Despite spending half the day in bed, I’m exhausted. My Monday morning spin class is more important than hockey, sorry sports fans! :P

 

Question of the Day: Do you have any food allergies/intolerances? I thought I was such a weirdo until I started reading food blogs and realized almost everyone has some food issue. Pineapple is by far the worst for me, but raw spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bananas, kiwis, avocadoes, mangoes, and many more have all given me an upset tummy. Same goes with cooking oils.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers