Blog Archives

Granola, Chocolate and Hummus, oh my!

Helloooo! As with most Sundays, I have a ton of food photos to share! And I’ve got a ton more food to prepare for my day tomorrow – so let’s get to it, shall we?

Woke up this morning and made my mom and I a waffle feast. 

IMG_3667
For three waffles:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

IMG_3671
For the topping I heated frozen strawberries in the microwave, then stirred in 1 tbsp maple syrup and a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt. I think the pictures speak for themselves – major yums!

I spent the morning lazing around. Sundays are meant to be lazy! By the time I’d gathered the energy to go to the gym, it was time for another snack.

IMG_3673

Almond butter + banana. Basically the same thing I eat everyday before I go to the gym. Never fails.

Then it was off to the gym for treadmill, upper body and abs.

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0.0
5-6 5.5 0.0
6-7 6.0 0.0
7-8 6.5 0.0
8-9 7.0 0.0
9-10 5.5 0.5
10–11 6.0 0.5
11-12 6.5 0.5
12-13 7.0 0.5
13-14 5.5 1.0
14-15 6.0 1.0
15-16 6.5 1.0
16-17 7.0 1.0
17-18 5.5 1.5
18-19 6.0 1.5
19-20 6.5 1.5
20-21 7.0 1.5
21-22 5.5 2.0
22-23 6.0 2.0
23-24 6.5 2.0
24-25 7.0 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Dumbbell incline bench press 20 lbs ea 8-12 2
Underhand grip lat pulldown 55 lbs 8-12 2
Dumbbell bench press  20 lbs ea 8-12 2
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell upright row  20 lbs 15 2
Barbell curl  20 lbs 15 2
Skull crusher  20 lbs 15 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 12 2
Plank  bw 60 sec 2

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-1 3.0 0.0
1-3 3.5 0.0
3-4 8.5 0.0
4-6 3.5 1.0
6-7 8.5 1.0
7-9 3.5 0.0
9-10 9.0 0.0
10-12 3.5 1.0
12-13 9.0 1.0
13-15 3.5 0.0

I wore my new running shoes today and they were awesome :) Amazing how much the cushioning wears down in just six months, I could notice a huge difference!

I went straight to the grocery store after the gym, so I picked up a Bolthouse Farms vanilla chai tea and drank it right in the store as I shopped. I was ravenous!

It was way sweeter than I was expecting! Not bad for 20g protein, but awful at 42g sugar in 450 mL. Blech.

Came home and had some real food, including a new (to me) food!

IMG_3677

 Armstrong garden herbs cheddar cheese.

IMG_3681

I guess I can’t really call this a “cheesestring” as it’s not stringy. Cheese stick perhaps? Regardless, it was creamy, full-fat, treat :)

Then it was on to my weekly food prep!

First up: some of Deb’s Puffy Pimped Protein Faux-nola.

IMG_3687

It’s a lower-cal, higher protein version of regular granola. Subbing out puffed rice for some of the oatmeal. I followed the directions almost exactly and it turned out amazing. Seriously. Cooking down the maple syrup first, and then stirring in protein powder, gave it such an awesome flavour!! Once you’re done making coconut chia granola, go make this :)

In between stirring the granola, I got to work on Averie’s Vegan White Chocolate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups. 

IMG_3693

Except I used totally non vegan ingredients ;) As with most of Averies’ recipes, this one is super simple. Just stir up some peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and agave nectar for the filling. Pour a little white chocolate into the cup, plop in your filling, then top it off!! Keep reading to hear the results of these bad boys.

Theeeen it was some Olive & Feta Hummus a la me ;)

IMG_3683

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 3.5 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

All blended up in my food processor. This turned out great. I can’t wait to make tomorrow’s turkey sandwich with it.

Oh yes, and while all this was going on, I also roasted a chicken.

IMG_3698

With some roasted brussels sprouts and parsnips. One of my fave dinners!

And the best part – dessert!

IMG_3702

IMG_3705 
Ohheckyes, it was good. I was scared I didn’t sweeten the filling enough, but the white chocolate is so sweet it goes perfectly. The rest of these will be pawned off on my coworkers tomorrow, muhaha ;)

Okee doke, I hate to blog and run, but I have to go get ready if I intend to get up for spin class tomorrow! Have a great start to your week!!

 

Question of the Day: White, milk or dark chocolate? I’m dark chocolate all the way, but I lovelovelove white chocolate too :)

Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

Sooo…yeah… I’m still at my mom’s place. I swear, the Universe is trying to tell me something :P It’s been snow storm-y here all day and I didn’t want to worsen my mother’s ulcer by hitting the highway. Had to rearrange a couple shifts at Starbucks to do it. Pretty sure they hate me there now because I also gave my notice today!

To jog your memory, I got offered a full-time contract doing communications work until May at my old university. I got confirmation today that I start next Monday at 8:30 am! I’ve been working at Starbucks since the beginning of December to make ends meet after leaving my full-time reporting gig at a radio station. The plan is to become a personal trainer eventually and this new job will basically last the duration of my course. How convenient! And it came totally out of the blue – they just called me up! :D

Phew. When did my life get so complicated? :P

Aaaaanyways, I was up and at ‘em early this morning for a visit to the new Nubodys women’s-only gym downtown. Fuelled up with half a banana, PB and a handful of cheerios before I left.

Warm-up:
shovelling my car out 5 minutes walking/jogging on treadmill

Treadmill:
Incline @ 1%
0:00-1:00 – 6.0 mph
1:00-2:00 – 6.2 mph
2:00-3:00 – 6.4 mph
3:00-4:00 – 6.2 mph
4:00-5:00 – 6.4 mph
5:00-6:00 – 6.6 mph
6:00-7:00 – 6.4 mph
7:00-8:00 – 6.6 mph
8:00-9:00 – 6.8 mph
9:00-10:00 – 6.6 mph
10:00-11:00 – 6.8mph
11:00-12:00 – 7.0 mph
12:00-13:00 – 6.8 mph
13:00-14:00 – 7.0 mph
14:00-15:00 – 7.2 mph

A1 – Dumbbell shoulder press:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

B1 – Barbell bicep curl:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

B2 – Skull crusher:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

C1 – Seated cable row:
3 sets @ 75 lbs x 10

C2 – Chest fly:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

Treadmill:
0:00-1:00 – 5.5 mph @ 0% incline
1:00-2:00 – 6.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
2:00-3:00 – 6.5 mph @ 0.5% incline
3:00-4:00 – 7.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
4:00-5:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1% incline
5:00-6:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1% incline
6:00-7:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1% incline
7:00-8:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1.5% incline
8:00-9:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1.5% incline
9:00-10:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1.5% incline

Plank: 2 sets @ 60 sec
Side plank: 2 sets @ 30 sec

Treadmill:
Incline @ 0%
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Anyone else feel like a crazy person when they run sprints on a treadmill? There were only four of us in the gym, and I had a feeling they were getting ready to rush to my side in case I fell off…

I had plans to meet the fam at my Nana’s after, so I stopped by the grocery store next door to pick up breakfast.

101_1709 
Boiled eggs, cinnamon oatmeal packet, vanilla yogurt, crappy coffee.

Added half a chopped pink lady apple to the oatmeal and topped it with the yogurt.

101_1710
Yum!!! I love my Nana’s dishes too. I’m such an old lady. 

Lunch was more leftovers. Sick of looking at these yet?

IMG_2045
Well I’m not sick of eating them yet ;) The last of the Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese & Parmesan Galette, mom’s meat pie and homemade Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce.

Today has been a lazy snow day at my mom’s. We’ve been reading, playing video games and watching movies. A perfectly relaxing day!

I broke into my bar stash when my afternoon snack attack hit.

IMG_2051

A Jordan’s Luxury Absolute Nut from the UK, sent my way by the lovely Deb.

 IMG_2053

IMG_2056

Love the foreign food label ;)

IMG_2058

I usually buy Jordan’s muesli, so I was excited to try one of his bars! (yes, the company is a person in my head). It was a little on the crunchy side, but I loved how it was plain tasting. Yes, I like that taste! I could pick out every ingredient and flavour in the bar – and all were tasty :)

Dinner was, erm, more leftovers. We are making good progress on my mother’s fridge. I think I saw an open space in there the last time I opened it…

IMG_2075 
Mom’s turkey casserole (with biscuits) and steamed broccoli, carrots and brussel sprouts on the side. The extra veggies were a good call – I’ve been craving them!

 

Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

As I was running my last sprints on the treadmill at the gym today, I noticed the inverted outline of a poster the gym has on display in one of their windows. All their windows are plastered with pictures of happy, fit looking women with words like “enthusiasm” and other stupid things. But this particular poster really got my blood boiling…

101_1708 
A woman’s feet standing on a scale that says “HAPPY” where the weight is usually displayed, and then “Success” written next to the image.

Aofnefusefsblj!!!! Whhyyyy do we let women think that a number on a scale should dictate their happiness??

It’s as if it’s saying getting to your goal weight will give you instant happiness. As if it’s perfectly okay to let your mood be influenced by how much you weigh. Or, that all thin people are happy because they’re not fat.

Right.

Let me tell you from experience that I have all the same emotional issues at my goal weight than I did when I was heavier. In fact, I was downright miserable a few months ago, whilst being the most fit I’ve ever been. Being thin doesn’t make your job easier or relationships any better.

Even worse is that this line of thinking is coming from a women’s-only gym. Women’s gyms are supposed to be safe havens for women who are self-conscious, or need a good community to get motivated. But at the same time, this poster only perpetuates the negative feelings that so many women associate with their own body-image. I really wish women would stop letting ideas like this continue to circulate. It’s like we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot.

As my mother just eloquently put it – “Don’t weigh your self-esteem.” Don’t give the scale more power than it deserves. There is only one thing that can make you happy and that’s you. It really does come from within. Any happiness found from an outside source is just fleeting and temporary.

So I beg you to not let your happiness be swayed by what the scale says – especially this week! I can tell you up front that I’ve gained 3 lbs in the past month, my pants are getting a little snug, and I don’t give a shit. I’ll soon be returning to my cookie-free apartment, and leaving the temptations at Starbucks. My weight is in a constant state of flux, and it will return to normal eventually. But right now I’m still happy as a clam cuddled up in my peejays with my family :D Oh, and did you see? I did three HIIT sessions today. Yeah, take that scale.

 

Question of the Day: What are your feelings on the poster?

 

P.S. Check out my guest post on Maria’s blog, Chasing the Now, on some of the 101 things I want to do in 1001 days :)

Sweet Saturday

Uff. I am soooo full of sugar right now. I spent all night baking, and sampling those baked goods :\ At least I had a decent day leading up to it.

I fell asleep watching “The Goods” with Chris last night. Not a very funny movie. However, we watched “Zombieland” before that and it was awesome. All together, I think I finally got 8 hours sleep. Yesss!! Went for a simple breakfast.

101_1314

Everything bagel with crunchy PB on one side and strawberry jam on the other. In the back is an egg white pillow to round the meal out. I was scared a bagel wouldn’t fill me up – but it totally did!! I think I’ve finally found the secret to a filling breakfast for me. It’s got to be around 400 calories and have significant amount of each protein, fat and carbs.

I had a stellar gym visit this morning. I think the extra sleep put more of a bounce in my step.

Warm-up:
Walk/jogging on the treadmill for 5 minutes

HIIT:
incline = 1%
0:00-1:00 – 6.0 mph
1:00-2:00 – 6.2 mph
2:00-3:00 – 6.4 mph
3:00-4:00 – 6.2 mph
4:00-5:00 – 6.4 mph
5:00-6:00 – 6.6 mph
6:00-7:00 – 6.4 mph
7:00-8:00 – 6.6 mph
8:00-9:00 – 6.8 mph
9:00-10:00 – 6.6 mph
10:00-11:00 – 6.8mph
11:00-12:00 – 7.0 mph
12:00-13:00 – 6.8 mph
13:00-14:00 – 7.0 mph
14:00-15:00 – 7.2 mph

A1 – Front squat push/press:
3 sets @ 40 lbs x 8

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

B2 – Barbell upright row:
3 sets @ 15 lbs (ea) x 8

C1 – Seated cable row:
3 sets @ 50 lbs x 8

C2 – Dumbbell fly:
3 sets @ 20 lbs (ea) x 8

HIIT:
@ 0.0 incline -  2 min @ 5.5
@ 0.5 incline – 1 min @ 6.0
                           1 min @ 6.5
                           1 min @ 7.0
@ 1.0 incline – 1 min @ 6.0
                           1 min @ 6.5
                           1 min @ 7.0
@ 1.5 incline – 1 min @ 6.0
                           1 min @ 6.5
                           1 min @ 7.0
@ 2.0 incline – 1 min @ 6.0
                           1 min @ 6.5
                           1 min @ 7.0
@ 0.0 incline – 1 min @ 3.5

Plank: 90 sec
Side planks: 30 sec each
Stability ball rollout: 15 reps
Jackknifes: 15 reps

HIIT:
incline = 0%
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Cool-down:
Stretching

The HIIT was tough, but I felt sooooo good when I was done :)

Came home to a wonderful lunch!

101_1321

It was delightful! I love cumin :)

Today’s plan was to pick up the last of my presents and brave the grocery store the weekend before Christmas for baking ingredients. It called for a solid snack.

101_1336

Three light wasas, soy nut butter, honey, raisins, cinnamon. This is probably one of my favourite snacks and always fills me up :)

I survived the grocery store and got straight to baking!

Warning: a plethora of pictures featuring baked goods devoid of any nutritional value follow. 

You guys. It’s Christmas. Healthy treats are for the rest of the year! :P

First up: peanut butter cup cookies that I actually first saw on Hallie’s blog.

101_1343

Mmmm….hydrogenated oil…

101_1347

Generic PB cups, no Reese’s to be found!

101_1348

My first mini muffin pan :)

101_1354

Slice up cookie dough into inch-thick rounds. Then cut each round into quarters and drop into greased pan. Baked for about 5 minutes at 350 F until just slightly golden.

101_1367

They naturally started to sink into the pan!

101_1362

Don’t forget to unwrap your PB cups ;)

101_1372

Drop PB cups into fluffy or sunken dough, and bake for an additional 3-ish minutes. It smells crazy delicious. But you have to wait until fully cool before removing from the pan. Don’t want to mangle all that doughy chocolate nutty goodness!
 101_1379

 101_1381

 

Then it was onto Brie’s famous cake balls. Aka Bakerella’s red velvet cake balls.

Except I’ve never seen red velvet cake around these parts. So I grabbed the yummiest cake flavour I saw. People were trying to hustle me out of the aisle – I almost lost my ankle to a shopping cart!

101_1375
I followed the box instructions exactly. While that bad boy cooked, I sat down to a healthy dinner of a tofurkey + jarlsberg lavash wrap. At least I got lots of veggies with my sugar today ;)

101_1394

Dessert was… what else!? A peanut butter cup cookie! 

101_1398 101_1402

I’ve been obsessed with trying these ever since I first laid eyes on them. And with good reason!! I mean, how can you go wrong? Chris loved them too. He promptly popped two whole ones in his mouth.

101_1401

Thankfully, he brought the bulk of the cookies back home to his parents. That is, if they made it there :P

Somewhere along the way, my cake came out of the oven and had the chance to cool.

101_1397

I then got to rip it all apart and mash it up with this even healthier product:

101_1382

101_1408
I then rolled the mixture into a gazillion little balls, and stuck them in the freezer to harden.

101_1415
While my balls were hardening (I’m not going there) I got started on my next baking project! This one I’ll call “homemade turtles” and got from Zesty’s blog.

I looked everywhere for waffle-shaped pretzels and could only find giant ones and sticks. I went with the latter.

101_1419

More cups!! This time in caramel.

101_1424
And the final piece of the puzzle – pecan halves. Which I quickly threw in the oven to roast first.

101_1421

I tried to shape my pretzel sticks like pretzel waffles, but Chris said they looked like pretzel rafts :P

101_1426 
Put this in a 300 F oven until the first sign of melting (2 minutes maybe?) Then take out and squish the pecans on top!

101_1437 
I did three batches of this, then stuck it in the fridge to harden. While those babies were hardening in the fridge, I pulled my now hard balls out of the freezer (seriously guys, I am not going there).

More chocolate was needed to coat my cake balls. I couldn’t decide on milk chocolate or dark chocolate with almonds. So I chose both and melted them together :)

101_1385

Two chocolate bars weren’t enough to coat all the balls though! I ended up melting one of my beloved Lindt 70% bars (cause ya know, I happen to have a lot of them lying around). But that wasn’t enough either! So I dug around my cupboard and found some yogurt chips that I melted with unsweetened coconut. The result was a variety of balls…

101_1455

Butter pecan cream cheese cake balls in a chocolate almond coating, dark chocolate coating and yogurt coconut coating.

And as those dried, I wrapped up my hardened homemade turtles!

101_1462
These packages are going to the kiddies in my family. Grandparents will be getting cake balls, and any leftovers are going to buttering up my new coworkers ;)

I don’t know how all of you bake without licking/sampling. I actually did good on the spoon and bowl licking front (kept it minimal anyways). But I still had to sample one of each of my goodies. Way more treats than I usually have and now I’m in a sugar coma. And maybe a hydrogenated oil one :P Uff.

On the bright side, I have a 90 minute spin class to look forward to for tomorrow!! Seriously. Can’t. Wait.

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite holiday goody? Mine are candy canes and my Grammie’s peanut butter balls :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 486 other followers