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Starting The Week Off Right

No better way to start off the week than with a plate of pancakes.

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Dairy-Free (ish) Protein Pancakes to be exact. I almost scrambled them in my pre-coffee Monday morning daze. But I managed to save them and ended up with crispy edges instead. Score!

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Dipped in 1 tbsp cashew butter whisked with 3 tbsp sugar-free syrup.

Then for my mid-morning snack I had an amazing combo – rosemary biscuit + pear cardamom butter.

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I whipped up a batch of these rosemary biscuits for the crew at the running store this weekend. The flavour paired amazingly with the spiced pear butter. I luuuuurve rosemary!!

Finally, I thought this was an odd thing to find at the grocery store last week:

IMG_5208 Frozen figs! I’ve seen fresh ones, but never packaged frozen ones. Seems like an odd fruit to freeze because of the mushy centre…no?

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They aren’t the little figs either. In fact, quite ginormous.

I defrosted one in the microwave and chopped up the mushy fruit to add to a yogurt mess.

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The usual – yogurt, protein powder, chia seeds, raw oats, cinnamon, almond butter and maple syrup. And of course – fig! The frozen kind was only $2.75 a bag and would probably be decent for cooking or baking with.

 

Simply Switch Check-In

It’s been a week since I talked about the switches I committed to, inspired by The Simply Bar. Time to re-visit them to stay on track!

1. Switch out sugary desserts with natural sweets.

I was thinking today about how much my sugar intake has decreased even in the first two weeks of this year. I can now go full days without any sort of chocolate, which was virtually unheard of just a few weeks ago. I still have a piece here and there, and I still have dessert when the occasion allows. But I don’t feel like I need something sweet after every single meal. And if I do want something, I grab a clementine or small handful of grapes instead.

2. Switch out 5 minutes of internet time for meditation time.

I am struggling the most with this one. I’ve probably only done this one-third of the days so far. It’s not so much giving up the internet time, but sitting and doing nothing for 5 minutes that feels difficult. It’s hard channelling energy inward when I’m so used to sending it outward!

3. Switch out one workout a week with yoga.

I was doing this until I fell onto my death bed with ebola or whatever illness it was that I had. Then I didn’t workout for 10 days. I’m currently working on group coupons for three different yoga studios in Toronto, and I’m reeeealy excited about all of them. So I don’t see this being all that challenging!

4. Switch out unreplied e-mails for replied ones!

This is taking a very conscious effort on my part. It’s like my inherent messy and lazy nature is seeping into how I manage my online inbox as well. Most days when I read an e-mail I have to talk myself into responding to it right away. But I am doing it. Except on weekends. My clients joke that I am unreachable on weekends because I just don’t have the attention span or time to sit down at the computer until Monday mornings.

 

Other switches include grabbing healthier snacks – check! Exploring my city more – got an itinerary planned for the week! Switching my morning munching with my morning vitamins – check! And switching out my afternoon coffee or tea with more water instead – check!

How about you guys? What are your Simply Switches this month and how are you doing with them?

Life in a Jar

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Going through my food photos, I noticed this one from last week that I never shared with you. I swear, it’s not because I am ashamed of it.

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That would be oatmeal in a Fluff jar topped with chocolate peanut butter and strawberries. The fluff melts and becomes a sweet syrup. SO good.

Apparently, oats in a jar continued to be a popular breakfast into this week.

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Either that, or I have a tendency to blow through fluff and peanut butter at the same pace ;)

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One of my pet peeves used to be the hard bits of nut butter at the bottom of the jar, but putting oatmeal in it solves that problem. What’s that purple stuff in there you ask?

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Jam of course!! When you’re out of fluff, jam is the next best thing to pair with PB ;)

This morning I got a grip on myself and ate breakfast out of a bowl.

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Yogurt with protein powder, dry oatmeal, cinnamon, blueberries, almond butter, and the kicker…

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Mint. If I could keep plants in the house without killing them, mint would be my herb of choice. Not just for the mojitos, but it makes for an excellent yog-mess topper!

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In a perfect world, blueberries would also be in season all year round ;)

You may recall that I tried fresh figs for the first time not that long ago, and wasn’t that impressed.

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Well, those were black figs. This weekend I spotted some green figs and decided to give them another try.

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Verdict? Much better! The center was a lot sweeter and more flavourful. Thumbs up!

I may not be baking much these days, but I sure am making lots of summery salads!

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I meant for this to be a quinoa salad, but when I opened my cupboard all I had was pearl barley. I still think quinoa will be better, thus, that’s what I’m putting in the recipe ;)

Hearty Tofu Quinoa Summer Salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut in 1cm cubes
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 block tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried chilis

Cook the quinoa, sweet potato and tofu in the water for around 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let chill in the fridge for several hours (one day is best to let the flavours come out!)

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I tossed some of the leftovers with spinach, zucchini, green pepper and tomatoes today for lunch. Yumyum!! I am aalll about the protein packed summer salads these days ;)

Supper wasn’t quite as successful.

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It started good – a Rowe Farms Italian Sausage on toasted rye bread from Brick Street Bread.

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Both are exceptionally tasty, made better only by the addition of ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut.

But then there was this pile of green…

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I normally love piles of green food. I though this frozen broccoli rapini would be no different. For lack of a better word, ick. It was chewy. Could not chew enough to swallow and the taste wasn’t that great. I get rapini is not one of those veggies that freezes well…

 

I also have some big news!!

Two pieces of news actually…

First, I finally picked out something to wear to the Healthy Living Summit Cocktail party.

Yes, this is big news :P

You have no idea how much mental energy I have put towards worrying about this stupid outfit. I am not a fashionista. Apart from whether or not it wicks moisture, I do not care about my clothing to any great extent. I think it comes more from the fact that I’m cheap and can’t bring myself to spend my hard-earned bucks on expensive pieces of material.

I had a few old dresses I thought I could wear to the event, but I didn’t feel right in any of them. And I’m all about feeling good in your own skin. You will have to wait till Friday to see my new $30 dress :)

Also, apparently everyone is wearing yoga pants during the sessions on Saturday. But I haven’t worn pants since I was in Alberta two months ago. I would have to disagree with the Gap and say that I do indeed look good in shorts. Anyone ever do yoga in jean shorts? :P

 

Okayokay, now on to the news that’s actually important…

I’m getting a Nutrition & Wellness Specialist certification!

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a loooong time and the time is finally right. I’m doing it through Can-Fit-Pro, the same as my personal training certification. I’ll be given a textbook and take a weekend of classroom instruction at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Right now, my hands are kind of tied as a personal trainer when it comes to nutrition advice. The new certification will allow me to give nutrition counselling and advising on top of creating fitness programs so my clients will sort of have the whole package. Diet is such a huge part of the fitness and health journey, it’s important that people get some info on that too!

My classes are in September and my exam in October. This is just another part of what will be a long education journey for me, I can’t wait! :)

 

Question of the Day: Are you a fashionista? What’s your favourite piece of fashion advice? One that I always follow is that I never show off my upper and lower parts at once. If I’m wearing a short skirt, then I pick a modest top. If I’m wearing a low-cut shirt, then I’ll go with something longer on the bottom.

A Worthy Gain

What’s up.

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That would be me in my new personal training uniform. So unreal to be able to wear it now!! My client roster is slowly starting to fill and I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to go to the gym, help people get in shape, and call that “work” :)

Mucho gracias for indulging me in my last post about Jagerbombs. Despite being an employed trainer now, my behaviour has been decidedly “un-trainer-like.”

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We’ve had people visiting these past few days, which should always be met with celebrations. When they said they were going to Smoke’s Poutinerie I had to go. I knew it was going to be bad. Real bad. But I seem to have this insatiable food curiosity that sometimes takes away from my better judgement.

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I know a few people would be horrified by their treatment of the classic poutine – a dish of fries, beef gravy and cheese curds. Smoke’s has a large menu filled with various toppings and varieties. We’ll agree to call it a “fry and gravy” place ;)

I went for the Country Style: slow roasted chicken breast, double smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions.

Not gonna lie, I was a little horrified upon seeing what I’d ordered.

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LOOK AT ALL THAT BACON!!!

I had to dig deep to find the actual poutine part…

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Omg, I can feel my arteries clogging all over again just looking at this. I think I finally have my This Is Why You’re Fat submission.

I arrived to the Poutinerie after a heavy weight-lifting workout, which in retrospect was perhaps not the best idea. My stomach was loudly growling and I polished off the whole thing. The whole thing! In terms of how poutines go, it was just alright. I think I liked the Elgin Street Diner in Ottawa better. I prefer shoestring fries and mushroom gravy :)

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We walked down to Trinity Bellwoods park to enjoy our greasy boxes. The same place as the blogger picnic, and my favourite park in Toronto!! Okay, the only park I’ve been to in Toronto…

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Chris got the triple pork poutine with pulled pork, smoked bacon and Italian sausage. A little something he coined “poutirnalism.” Eating mass quantities poutine for the sake of mankind.

I of course immediately regretted stuffing myself with such food as I had to go directly to a job interview (part-time job at a coffee shop – fingers crossed!), and then to a fitness assessment!

I offered to be the victim of a fitness assessment at my new gym to get an idea of how they go about doing them. Keep in mind, mine was much harder than what they do to the average person. The trainer I was working with obviously wanted to see what I’m made of ;)

I tried to explain to him that I’d just eaten a pound of poutine, and that I’ve been feeding on hamburgers and cake since travelling to Banff in June. I can’t say I was surprised when I stepped on the scale and discovered I’ve gained 6 lbs in the last three months. Every ounce of that gain is the result of good food and good times I wouldn’t trade in for the world. But there’s always something about that numerical value that seems to sneak out of the scale and slap you across the face.

You mean I can’t eat a pound of poutine on the daily?? :P

Yeahyeahyeah, I guess now that I’m settled in my new home, it’s time to settle back into my usual eating routine as well. Noted Mr. Scale. Noted.

Weight gain aside, I did pretty well on the fitness assessment. There were a lot of lateral raises, ab moves and lunges among other things. My core strength needs work, but my legs and back are waaaay stronger than I was expecting. My shoulders are still struggling a little, but I’m workin’ on it :)

Lunch was eaten at 1:30pm and I didn’t start to feel snacky until 9pm!!

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I reached for this Daryl’s All Natural Regular Elite Granola Bar. A Canadian-made protein bar that I spotted in the fridge section of a local natural foods store.

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Ingredients and stats are okay…

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But the taste? Meeehhh. Notsomuch. The texture was lovely and reminded me a lot of my own homemade bars. But I thought there was too much honey and the dried fruit was a little tart.

I awoke this morning with the determination to get back on the straight and narrow. This of course meant celebrating Waffle Wednesday!!

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I whipped up quite possibly my best protein waffle recipe yet:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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Made two medium-sized waffles. While they were cooking, I also cooked peach slices with cinnamon in a frying pan.

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Thrown on top with flaked coconut and sugar-free syrup.

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They tasted like real waffles!!

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The recipe has 270 calories, 3g fat, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 0g sugar, 37g protein.

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It’s love!!

Even though I woke up incredibly sore from weightlifting and the fitness assessment the day before, I was still pumped for a noon-hour spin class.

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Pre-spin fuel was a few figs topped with my Easy Peasy Cream Cheese Icing.

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All I did was mix together a wedge of laughing cow cheese and a tbsp of marshmallow fluff. SO good!!

Unfortunately, I got my days all messed up and there was no spin class happening once I got to the gym. Instead I just hopped on various cardio machines while watching Sex and the City. Just as well!

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For lunch, I stir-fried every fresh veggie I had in the fridge and added tofu balls.

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I tossed the whole thing in Averie’s peanut sauce and it was divine. Stir-fries are becoming one of my favourite summer meals!

I’ve been trying to avoid the chocolate cake my roommie brought home, so I snacked on my own version later in the day.

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Deep Chocolate Vitatop with Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter.

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That right there, really is the stuff dreams are made of ;)

 

I will leave you with the above image to drool over. My dad, big sis and little step-sis are arriving in less than an hour and I’ve got things to do! I’m superduper excited to see them and show them my new city :)

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