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Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Hello friends!! Thank you sosososo much for all the kind words on my last post. Physically, I am feeling much better. My glute soreness has been downgraded from severe to just high. I got up and showered today, grocery shopped, cleaned and interacted with the outside world :)

Mentally, I’m still a little drained. There are a lot of things I have to adjust to, but I think know I will be better for it.

In other news, I am completely obsessed with custard oats. They’re all I want for breakfast when I have time to make them. This morning, I decided to see if the deliciousness transferred to oatbran.

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  • 1/2 cup oatbran
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole egg (whisked into pot at start of cooking)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (splashed in intermittently) 
  • 2 chopped dates
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter

I remember Leah mentioning a long time ago that she eats oats in shallow bowls because it cools quicker and you get more toppings in each bite. I’ve been trying it out lately, and I would have to agree!

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The egg definitely made the oatbran creamier than usual, but still not as thick as with rolled oats. I find rolled oats leave me feeling satisfied longer too.

My morning was uneventful. Finally caught up on my MTV watching (already love the new Real World!) and did some stuff for work. I wanted to clear up the rest of my fridge for lunch to make room for groceries today. The only three fresh things in there were egg whites, cottage cheese and baked beans. Here’s what I came up with…

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Egg white frittata with cottage cheese and frozen veggies. I also found a lonely slice of swiss cheese that I threw on top. The beans on the side. Oh, and I may have smothered the eggs in hot sauce ;)

I spent soooo much money at the grocery store. I would say food shopping is definitely my form of retail therapy. I did more fridge-clearing once I got home, finishing up the carrot protein sqaures topped with laughing cow cheese, cinnamon and sugar. In the back are the tiniest mandarins I’ve ever seen.

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Size comparison next to a Larabar (which are also pretty small).

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Wee tiny wedge!!!

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A nice fruit for munching mindlessly. Might make their way into to a salad if they last that long ;)

Minutes after polishing off last week’s protein bars, I got started on a fresh batch for this week! I poured over various recipes, and ended up just doing a variation of the breakfast cookie.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • ~ 3/4 cup water

All mushed up in a bowl, flattened into a 9×9 pan, and stuck in the freezer till hard. Then I cut them into 8 pieces and wrapped them up for the week.

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The stats are pretty stellar: 190 calories, 7g fat, 18g carbs, 2g sugar, 3g fibre, 15g protein. I think they’ll need to be kept in the freezer, but that’s fine by me. I’ll just put it on top of an ice pack in my lunch bag :)

Dinner was one of my favourites – roast chicken!

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I make a really basic roast chicken. Stuffed it with lemon wedges and garlic, then rubbed salt and pepper on top. Baked at 425 F for 90 minutes. Easy peasy (and that’s coming from a former vegetarian!)

Veggies were roasted zucchini, carrots and parsnips.

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This was my first time trying parsnips!! (or not, mom, you can correct me on that one). The consensus on Twitter was that roasted is the best way to have them. I loved the texture. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside. They’re almost like a starchier version of turnip (or rutabaga?). Next time, they’ll get the fries and ketchup treatment ;)

 

So seeing as life has been a little rocky lately, I thought it would be prefect timing to participate in the Happy 101 game Tam tagged me in.

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The rules are to list 10 things that make me happy then pick 10 other people to do the same! First, my list:

  1. Mornings in bed. My ideal day starts off with breakfast in bed, the Today show, blog reading, and then a trip to the gym. I got attached to it while taking evening classes in university.
  2. My remote car starter. Sure, I’m polluting the environment and wasting gas, but it’s pretty sweet getting into a warm car with a clear windshield on a frigid day.
  3. The last second of a sprint. I love that moment when I’m giving it 110% in a sprint, be it on the bike, running, or elliptical, and I get to that last second and slow down. It’s a mixture of “omg I’m going to die,” “omg I’m going to live,” and “omg I can’t believe I did that.”
  4. Pigeon pose. If it were socially acceptable, I would work at my desk in pigeon pose. I want to live in it.
  5. Children’s fantasy books. Yes, they are my favourite genre. Yes, this includes Harry Potter and Twilight. His Dark Materials series, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, I love them all.
  6. The first day of spring. And by that I mean the first day of the year I wear flats. Usually a little earlier than I should, as I always end up stepping in some slush. But it’s always a moment of hope knowing the long, harsh winter is over and nothing but warm days are ahead.
  7. The recovery shake/meal. I love coming home from a tough workout and replenishing my system with delicious food. It tastes better, digests better, and just makes me feel good about my body.
  8. Dogs. Particularly, roughhousing with them on the floor. You know what I’m talking about. When you get down on the floor and start teasing them so they bark and wag their tail. Good times.
  9. Clean bedsheets. Ahhhhhh…..
  10. Making delicious food and sharing it with others. I love most of the things I cook for myself. But it’s awesome when others do too. It puts a huge smile on my face whenever someone clearly enjoys something I’ve made :D

So in order to pass the happy thoughts along, I’m going to pick 10 random people who commented on my last post to participate:

Jessica
Hallie
Ellie
Danielle
Kate
Morgan
Stephanie
Erin
Lori
Paige

Can’t wait to read what makes you ladies happy too! :D

 

I’ve also decided to tweak my weekly workout plan a little. I’m going to be switching out my Friday lower-body workout with an at-home bike trainer + workout DVD session. This way I’ll only be getting up super early to go to the gym two of my five work days. To me, that sounds super doable, and hopefully keep me from burning out. We’ll see how it goes this week!

 

Last but not least, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!!

Tomorrow is a B-I-G day around these parts. Make sure you stop in for some bloggie fun, mm-kay? ;) Can’t wait – see ya then!!

Question of the Day: What puts a smile on your face?

The Christmas Issue…

Ohmygosh you guys. I slept for almost nine hours last night. Amazing. I believe the last time that happened was last March when Chris and I were in Cuba. For some reason we slept like 10 hours a night when we were there. The rum maybe? I swear I wasn’t drunk last night :P

Aaaanyways, there was only one thing that could follow such a stellar night’s sleep. Fluffernutter oatmeal. On top of my TV (watching CBC’s new televised version of Information Morning).

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  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • cinnamon
  • peanut butter
  • marshmallow fluff

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MMmmmm… Fluff is so dreamy when it goes all melty on oats…

I put my tofu spread to work for lunch today, by mixing it with… more tofu!

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Crumbled tofu (cooked in the microwave for a couple minutes first) mixed with tofu spread, bell pepper, onion, tomato and mushrooms then crammed into a pita.

By the way, I don’t picture everything I eat at work! Well, I don’t picture everything I eat period. I’m a snacker, so there’s a lot of snacks that happen in between meals that don’t get shown on the blog. It’s especially difficult for me to photograph everything I eat at work as it’s usually consumed while doing something. For example, I had some homemade trail mix this morning while sitting in on a government hearing. Didn’t really want to whip out my camera and take pictures of the plain ole’ nuts I was eating. Especially while listening to a presentation on infanticide with the province’s attorney general, ya know?

But I did have time to photograph the crazy delicious supper I made :D

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A hummus frittata:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper. chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 2 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • dash paprika and onion powder
  • 2 tbsp red pepper hummus
  • 1 piece of whole wheat toast

Sautee the veggies in paprika and onion powder. Beat eggs together, pour into pan, and cook on medium-low heat until mostly solid. Stick pan under broiler for a couple minutes until top is slightly browned. Top with hummus and toast pieces.

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I thought about putting the bread pieces in the frittata, but I didn’t want it getting lost in there. And what I really wanted was some toast. Hence the random pieces on top – but it was delicious!! And hummus and eggs are a wonderful combo too :)

 

The Christmas Issue…

Ahhh….yes. The Christmas issue. It’s one of my November Goals to “get into the Christmas spirit” this year. You see, I don’t like Christmas, and I’ve gotten a lot of questions as to why. I figured I might as well get it out of the way as we’re only getting closer to the damn thing.

I actually don’t like talking about why I don’t like Christmas. Most people who know me, know I’ve never been into it. But I doubt even my family knows exactly why it bothers me. Although, the reason shouldn’t be the least bit surprising to them.

That’s because my dislike for the holiday is because of my family. Wait! I lovelovelove my family to pieces! But that’s exactly the issue.

My dad moved out on the second day of grade 7. I was 12 years old. It was rough. I will never, ever, go into the details publicly. I do not share them with even people I know personally, so don’t expect to ever see it on the blog. Those first few months of my parents separation were, to put it bluntly, awful. Everyone in my family could probably attest to that. Many arguments were had, tears shed, and lives changed forever.

That first Christmas, as you can imagine, was just as awful. It’s something I’ll never forget. My “perfect” family was shattered. None of us were “healthy” in several senses of the word. It was just a very depressing and heart wrenching time for us.

Christmas has since improved with every passing year. My family is apart, but we are all now happier because of it. I would never wish for things to be the way they used to be, because I can see how much better they are now. But that doesn’t change the longing I feel during the holiday season. I think of the happy Christmases I had as a child, contrasted with the awful ones that followed. Now, my holidays are spent between two homes, with two “new” families.

Again, I need to reiterate that I love my family the way it is now. The holiday season just conjures up a lot of emotional issues I have surrounding that dark period in my family’s history. Not to mention, it’s kind of awkward to separate a holiday between two parents. I guess the idea of “togetherness” may have to be modified to fit today’s modern family.

 

So there ya go. I just totally spilled my guts, and to be honest, feel really vulnerable about it! At the same time, you can understand why it’s important that I learn to overcome these emotions and really learn how to embrace the Christmas season. Everything happened so long ago, and yet sometimes it feels like the wounds are still very raw. This year, I’m going to help heal them a little :)

 

So to help my efforts in learning to love Christmas, I ask you: What is your favourite thing about the holiday season?

And with that, I’m off to y-y-yoga. Juuuust what the doctor ordered :)

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