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Sweet Gifts and A New Routine

Reason #592 why I love blogger friends.

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Because even when I can’t have lunch with some of them, we can still share food :)

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A ginormous THANK YOU to Lori who thought of me after making homemade buckwheat honey marshmallow fluff. She immediately popped a jar in the mail to spread the fluff love.

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If you know anything about me, you know that I immediately popped the lid off and scooped it out with my finger.

Ohmygoooood SO good! I love the honey flavour in the fluff. I must try making this now that I’m finally all settled in a kitchen!

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As a bonus, she included a jar of homemade pear cranberry jam. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This jam is uh-mazing. Love the combo of these two fruits, juuuust sweet enough, and the chunky texture is fabulous.

Lori, that coffee shop we’re opening can’t come soon enough! ;)

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I picked up the goods last Thursday night and had to try them all on my oatmeal Friday morning. A trifecta!

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Too bad I ate this at 6am before natural sunlight made it through my windows. These kitchen photos don’t quite to it justice.

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And because I neeeeed nut butter on my oatmeal – almond butter.

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The pear cranberry jam made a reappearance for breakfast this morning.

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Made protein pancakes by mixing:

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

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I thinned out a tablespoon of almond butter with almond milk to get more out of it.

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PB&J pancakes on a Monday morning?? I’ll take it! ;)

 

My mid-morning snack had been waiting patiently for me in the cupboard since yesterday.

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I heated it up in the microwave first before unravelling to the gooey centre.

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That right there is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Hands down.

 

Fret not, I haven’t just been eating sweet things.

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On Friday, I “healthified” a meal I used to love – beans and wieners. Oddly, this is not a dish I grew up eating like most people, but introduced to me by a boyfriend when I was 18. Same boy who introduced me to fluffernutter sandwiches as well. His childhood was apparently a lot tastier than mine.

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For this, I mixed together:

  • 1 can soy beans in a tomato sauce
  • 3 veggie hot dogs
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 onion, carmelized with a clove of garlic
  • few handfuls spinach, cooked
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 can herbed tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

I ate it plain on Friday, then re-heated on top of spinach with cheddar cheese tonight. Such comfort food!

 

Finally, I want to talk a little bit about my own personal exercise schedule. I’ve gotten so much into the habit of talking about exercise for other people that I forget some people like to hear what I am doing myself!

As mentioned in this post, I took a little break from exercise. This is something I do quite often. Every three months or so I take several consecutive days off all intense activity such as weight lifting, running, spinning, etc. It’s a welcome physical break for my body, which gets put through quite the beating with my workouts everyday. But it’s an even better break for my mind. Working out all the time can really drain you mentally.

This summer has obviously been a little hard on my workout schedule what with moving, getting a job in a gym, then giving up my old gym membership. Even worse is that I like to rely on the outdoors in the summer months for my exercise. But I only do it when it’s enjoyable – and running in the heat is not enjoyable. We’re on track for being the hottest summer on record here. I have been without a working bike since the spring. I eventually got bored of my same ole’ gym routine snuck in between clients. I burned out.

After 5 days of complete rest, I hopped on the elliptical last Friday for 50 minutes. Nothing too hard, but I still found it exhausting. I took Saturday off again, then did some yoga and a lot of walking yesterday.

I’m happy to report that I’m finally feeling recharged and enthusiastic about starting a new chapter of fitness for myself. After perhaps too much thought, I’ve decided to start a split weight lifting routine. The only split I’ve ever done before is upper/lower body. My new split will have me working these muscle groups on separate days:

  • Back/Biceps
  • Chest/Triceps
  • Shoulders/Abs
  • Legs

I’ll be throwing a lot of cardio intervals into the mix, with a few fitness classes, yoga classes and hopefully running outdoors again if the heat ever stops. This is just my “starter split” and I expect to be experimenting a lot more as time goes on :)

Also – I’m leaving my heart rate monitor at home on lifting days. Of all the exercises in the world,  I love weight lifting the most. I’m seeing this as just staying at the gym to do an activity I love. No pressure of burning calories.

I won’t be posting every single one of my workouts in the main blog posts anymore because it’s just too time consuming for me. But I am going to work harder at constantly and consistently updating my fitness page with workouts y’all can try out for yourself :) I’ll also get better about including workout tidbits and new moves I learn in the regular posts because I am learning SO MUCH now as a working personal trainer.

 

So thurrr ya go!

Questions of the Day:

1. Weight lifting or cardio? I find most people are either or. I’m sure it says something about you!

2. Favourite kind of jam? Mine is blueberry! Or plain strawberry. Nothing with crunchy seeds please.

Late Nights in the Tee Dot

Welcome to the weekend!!

I’ve been a little MIA again, but with good reason :)

After last blogging on Thursday, I went out with my friends, proceeded to drink more than intended, and didn’t get home until 3am.

What should have been a shitty morning on Friday (thanks to my weak minded-ness when it comes to cheap draft beer) was quite the opposite.

I got a job offer!! At a gym :D

I have yet to accept as I still have a couple more interviews. But I’m pretty frickin’ happy that after only a week of being in this city, I potentially have a job :)

I’d had high hopes of making it to a spin class Friday morning. Hopes that were dashed somewhere around 1am Thursday night. Instead I got to celebrate my job offer with a new blogger friend!!

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Morgan, from Life After Bagels is another Toronto-area blogger, but she can’t make it to the big meet-up I planned for this Sunday. A lunch date was clearly in order and she picked out a fabulous place called Utopia.

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Utopia is right next to Little Italy. I hadn’t been to that part of the city yet and it’s such a charming spot!! The restaurant is known for their burritos, so my decision was almost easy.

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They had so many fun burrito combos to choose from! I ended up with a Grilled Tuna Burrito: grilled yellow fin tuna, zucchini, onions, pesto, asiago cheese, lettuce, salsa. 

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Delicious combo. The tuna was well cooked and pesto makes anything taste amazing. I had an awesome time chowing down on this while gabbing with Morgan. We started brainstorming about all the fun blogger meet-ups we can do in the future – I can’t wait!!

The burrito kept me full for a while, so when dinner rolled around, I kept it simple.

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I’d only ever found seasoned tempeh “burgers” in New Brunswick, so I was pretty excited when I noticed all the grocery stores here carry the plain regular stuff!

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I sliced it up and put it between toast with almond butter, bbq sauce and lettuce. I know it sounds like a weird combo, but the bbq and almond flavour pair perfectly with the nutty flavour of tempeh.

And here is why I didn’t have time to blog yesterday – immediately after dinner I went to my first ever major league baseball game!

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Toronto is home to Canada’s only MLB team, the Blue Jays. My now deceased Papa was their biggest fan, so I will always have a soft spot for them.

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It was also my first time in the Rogers Centre (aka Skydome). It was a beautiful night to be sitting in there!! We also had a great view of the CN Tower ;)

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Roommies!

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We ended up leaving after the 7th inning, as the Jays were getting completely embarrassed by the Red Sox.

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*Sigh* at least we’ll always have the ‘92 & ‘93 seasons :P Good news for Kelly though!

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Somewhere around here I learned the term “street meat” and realized that watching baseball really does work up an appetite for hot dogs.

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So many delicious toppings to choose from, so dangerous because they’re going to fall all over the place anyways.

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Let’s see… there was ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut and corn salsa. All on a whole wheat bun of course ;)

I decided early on I wasn’t going to get drunk drink a second night in a row. I had legitimate hopes of going to a morning spin class again.

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Those hopes were once again dashed somewhere around 1am when we went to a fabulous bar called Sin & Redemption with an extensive beer menu. Once I saw the Fruli Strawberry Wheat it was all over.

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Delicious. I had just one and it was worth every sip! I’m a wheat beer gal to begin with, and the sweet strawberry was perfect with it.

I also got to experience the madness of Queen St W at 2am on a Friday night. That in itself is an experience. We met an interesting fellow who gave us 20 bucks for no good reason – these Toronto people are so nice!! :P

And with that, I’m taking my sorry butt to the gym. No spin class today, but maybe some fun on the cardio machines. I will make it to that morning spin class someday. Mark my words.

Office eats

Hey there!! Hope all your weekends are going along swimmingly :) Mine’s been pretty dull, as per usual. But that’s okay since I had an awesome cottage trip last weekend.

So today I wanted to talk a little bit about packing lunches for the office. Honestly, I feel kind of silly even talking about this, because I bet there are so many people who do it better than I!! (have you seen Janetha’s rockin’ office hummus platters?)

Plus, this is also the first office I’ve ever worked in. All my past jobs have been in cafes/delis, where the food was already waiting for me at work ;) Although, that’s also what led to my weight gain…

Anyways, my office days are every Saturday and Sunday, and I have to be there for 5am. While most days I wake up earlier to make a nice breakfast, there is no way I’m doing that at that hour. So I prepare all my food the night before.

I usually start with making a breakfast cookie.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp cashew almond butter
  • few chocolate chips
  • few splashes unsweetened vanilla almond milk

All spread out on a plate and popped in the fridge for the night…

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It should be mentioned that I was a little heavy handed on the almond milk with this one. You can tell by how much liquid there is on the top.

Then I mixed up a snack of mango, yogurt and cottage cheese.

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And because I eat lunch at 10am, I like to stick to the breakfast foods. I always pack the same lunch, but I love it and it satisfies my tummy!!

English muffin, laughing cow cheese, naval orange.

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Tupperware container of 5 egg whites (that extra egg white makes all the difference, I swear!!)

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My alarm went off at 4:30 am and I immediately got up, scraped the breakfast cookie off the plate, flipped it over, and popped it in the freezer.

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It especially needed it this morning! I usually shower the night before my early shifts to save time in the morning. So I just washed my face/teeth and painted my face back on while french pressing coffee to bring with me. Then I packed up all the goodies from the fridge/freezer and was off to work!

As soon as I get to work, I eat my cookie with my coffee while checking e-mails and seeing what disasters happened overnight.

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I really like bringing breakfast cookies to the office because they’re portable and easy to munch on while I work. I’ve tried bars, and oatmeals, but this just works best for me. Plus, it’s like a special treat for waking myself up so early :)

Around 7:45 I yanked out my mango mess. Then at 10, I toasted my english muffin in the staff room toaster and microwaved my tupperware of egg whites for two minutes. I spread the laughing cow cheese on the english muffin, cut the egg white pillow in half, and put it on.

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Yummm! After eating cold lunches for work all week, it is such a treat to use a toaster and microwave!! Hot food!!

Enjoyed with an orange

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While watching the Tour de France

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Hey now, I still got my work window open on the side :P I watched the finish when I got home, it was sooo good. George Hincapie was so close to getting the yellow jersey!! Ah! I’m totally rooting for team Columbia-HTC. Cavendish has got to get that green jersey, he’s riding a Scott(tie) like me!

I really wanted a something chocolate-y when I got home. Enter the protein bar. Candy disguised as health food? Yes please!

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I’ve tried this kind before and recall liking it. It’s Iso Femme chocolate decadent almond delight. It’s flipping expensive though, almost $3!!

Scary oils? Check.

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Nutrition facts don’t look so bad. I can’t believe it’s only 160 calories a bar!

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Tastes a little protein powdery, but I still liked it just as much the second time around. I’ve seriously gotta start cutting these sketchy bars out of my diet though. I always buy them as “treats,” but I have one almost every day. Which in my opinion, is too often to be consuming candy bars. I’m just going to stop buying them, I bet my wallet will appreciate it too :) If they’re not in the house, then I’ll (hopefully) reach for better snacks when I’m wanting something sweet and chocolate-y.

I’ve at least been eating lots of these little bowls.

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Berries, straight up. So fresh and delicious, I don’t want to taint them by adding something else!

For supper I had pigs in a blanket!

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Okay, they’re just Yves veggie dogs wrapped in a tortilla.  I had veggies and tzatziki on the side. A good, munchy dinner!

My evening snack was all about volume.

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1/2 cup Nature’s Path blueberry cinnamon cereal with 1 cup Nature’s Path kamut puff, mixed with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It was a huge bowl because of the puffs. Not very filling because of that though. Oh, and I doused it with cinnamon, because that makes everything taste better :)

I was going to go for a “long” run today. But I’m feeling pretty sleep deprived, Add some “heavy mist” into the mix, and it didn’t get done. I have a list of things I won’t workout through – sleep deprivation being one of them. I’m just setting myself up for injury or illness that way. Saturday’s are the worst because I can’t nap if I want to get to bed early for my next morning shift.

Instead, I put what little energy I had to finding my bedroom floor. Apparently, I had one underneath all those clothes!

I also added to my wall of accomplishments.

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I didn’t get a medal or bib from the triathlon, so I added my swim cap :) Also up there are my sailing certifications and the bib from my first 5k. Anyone else think it’s weird my university diploma isn’t up there? I just noticed that…

Two questions of the day:  What is on/would be on your “wall of accomplishments?” aaannnd what is your go-to lunch item to bring to the office?

Also, check out my Eats page, I finally finished it today. 

I’m off to go make lunch for tomorrow. I’m actually looking forward to my 8:30 pm bedtime. How’s that for a wild Saturday night? Night night!

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