Blog Archives

New Month, New Goals!

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on the Things I Learned in February post! Those are some of my favourite posts to write, but I kind of selfishly love reading all the things you learn in the span of a month. For example….

Morgan learned “I need to be more patient. Good things come to those who wait! (and work hard)”

ellie said “the biggest thing I learned is that only I have the power to change my life.”

Angela learned that “fortune cookies are hard to make at home and look much uglier.”

Angharad said “Despite what I *think* my body can do, it NEEDS a rest day at least one day a week, if not more.”

So many good lessons among us!! Even better, it’s a whole new month. One for new discovery, new mistakes and many more lessons learned ;)

For example, today I already learned that the spin bike in front of the fan is the most coveted spot in the room. I live in a university town and it’s March Break, so all the kids students are gone. Which means it’s pretty dead everywhere – including my gym! I credit my rest day yesterday and a constant stream of cool air to my kick butt spin class today. Felt goooood :)

I prepared a wonderful breakfast to devour once I got to the office.

IMG_4431
Smoked salmon, laughing cow cheese, mustard, capers, tomatoes and spinach on an english muffin and a pear. But my hunger levels have been pretty low today (something I blame on the excessive amount of blondie eating I did yesterday which we won’t discuss).  Anyways, I tossed the pear after a few bites.

Drank all my iced coffee though!

IMG_4433

Mid-morning I dug into some low-carb banana bread.

IMG_4424
Which I kinda turned into a PB sandwich – it’s Peanut Butter Lovers Day after all!!

Lunch was a beastly chicken and spinach salad.

IMG_4435

My salad dressing was homemade again – Mae’s Pizza Cheese!

IMG_4428
2 tbsp hummus, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp water. All shaken up to coat everything.

IMG_4437
Yum!!! LOVED it!!! The hummus + nutritional yeast is a stellar combo, I can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before! Next time I’ll try it on an actual pizza ;)

Unfortunately, I suffered from some digestive discomfort after this. My salad had 1/4 of an avocado that didn’t sit well in my tummy. Avocado usually does this, nothing like pineapple, but unpleasant nonetheless.

Carbonated drinks usually settle my tummy when it gets like this (ie I need to burp!). So I hit up the vending machine for some aspartame diet pepsi.

IMG_4438

I actually don’t care for pop that much, the bubbles hurt my tongue! But it at least did the trick ;)

Afternoon snackage was a couple of boiled eggs and a piece of cheese. 

IMG_4429

Perfect example of a low-carb snack. I’m trying to keep my macro ratios in check :)

Dinner was random, but still turned out pretty well!!

IMG_4443

In the oven:

  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • mushrooms, halved

In the frying pan:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • few shakes ground cumin
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • Many more cumin shakes, plus a dash of curry and chili powder

IMG_4447
I love just combining meat, veggies and a legume in a bowl and calling it supper! I have three more bowls like this sealed up for the week. Yumyum :)

Dessert was a new chocolate bar:

IMG_4449

Like how my nail polish matches the wrapper? This picture may have been set up to highlight that…

IMG_4450

Luuurved the raisins in the chocolate. I may have gone back for another square ;)

 

So now that it’s March 1st, it’s time for me to set some new goals for the month! First, let’s look back to the goals I set for February:

1. Work out no more than 6 hours a week. I know this is kind of a backwards goal, but I am seriously addicted to endorphins. If I don’t watch myself, I can over-train and injure very easily. Here’s a weekly breakdown:

Week 1 – 5 hours, 25 minutes
Week 2 – 5 hours, 18 minutes
Week 3 – 5 hours, 4 minutes
Week 4 – 5 hours, 38 minutes

Met goal and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t have to take an extended break at some point this month because I wore myself out at the gym :)

2. Say yes more. YES!! My best friend asked me to go to Halifax – yes! I wanted to move to Toronto – yes! Hung out with some new people – yes! Took on some challenging work projects – yes!! Actually, I don’t think I had anything to say no to.

3. Make more leftovers. I finally succeeded at this one! I never had access to microwaves or refrigerators in past jobs, so making food with leftovers was always tricky. I could never repurpose them for lunch. But now that I can, every single week I whipped up something random like tonight’s meal and lived off it for the rest of the week. Makes meal time so much easier!

4. Eat more fat. Obviously, I did this one, read my Fatty February wrap-up to hear more!

 

So what’s on tap for March??

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. Yes, this is number one. There’s a lot of things I need to do before I move to the tee-dot in June, but I can’t start building a life there, until I tie up the loose ends here.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Cause someone’s gotta bite…right?

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’m exactly halfway through my four-month contract as a communications officer at my old university. I feel very comfortable there now and I do not want to coast through the rest of my time there. I want to bring more to the table and make the most of this wonderful career opportunity that has been given to me.

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I’m doing my in-class component of the course the last two weekends in March. I want to finish my textbook and online class work before then. And I want to fill my brain with as much info as I can before my exam in April, and eventual on-the-job experience.

5. Run outdoors again. It’s March! It’s almost spring! The streets are slushy and full of black snow, but it’s at least above zero! I think it’s time my new running shoes get broken-in outdoors ;)

 

Question of the Day: Your turn! What are your goals for March?

Opening the Floor

Did you have your waffles today??

IMG_3937

Waffle Wednesday has officially become my third favourite day of the week (behind Saturday and Sunday, of course). Wednesdays are now my regular full-on rest day from the gym. Which means sleeping in late(er), making breakfast in my peejays, and drinking a whole (giant) mug of coffee while perusing the internet.

IMG_3942

Until I realize I have 20 minutes to shower and primp, and rush off late for work :P Today was just one massive waffle instead of my two regular big ones ;)

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • dash vanilla extract
  • 1 package stevia

All blended up and made in the belgian waffle maker, then topped with peanut butter, blueberry jam and maple syrup. Puuurrrfect way to get over that mid-week hump!

Work’s been pretty good this week. Things have slowed down a bit so it feels like I have time to catch my breath between assignments. I actually love being busy at work, but I also need that down time of easy stuff in-between.

Snacks!

IMG_3928

Banana+cashew butter mid-morning. I totally thought I packed peanut butter and got quite the surprise when I tasted it.

Lunch!

IMG_3931

Leftovers from supper yesterday – Olive & Feta hummus stuffed chicken breast, roasted pepper quash, parsnip and turnip. Dude. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to realize that making extra food at suppertime makes for suuuuuper easy lunch preparation the next day. I guess it’s because I have access to a microwave at work for the first time. This meal would not have been as yummy cold.

Speaking of cold meals – check it out!!!

IMG_3922

GREEK YOGURT!!!! In my fridge. Better yet, in my belly.

Not sure if everyone knows, but I’ve never tried Greek yogurt before. Up until now, there hasn’t been a brand that made it available where I live in New Brunswick. Thank you Liberte.

Now, I know making Greek yogurt is easy peasy, but I could never figure out if the stats on the homemade stuff would be the same. Anyone got any insight on this?

IMG_3923 
Doesn’t get much better than 20g protein for 110 calories!

I paired the yogurt with a free sample I got off the Kashi website.

IMG_3924

Toasted Berry Crisp cereal. The stats are just like many of the other Kashi cereals… decent on the protein, good on the fibre.

IMG_3926

All packed up for my afternoon snack!

IMG_3935
So what did I think?? Well, first off, I wasn’t that impressed by the cereal. It was too fake tasting with the weird chewy berry bits. And some parts got soft real quick in the yogurt. As for the yogurt – um, Greek yogurt is just thick yogurt. Actually, I didn’t really notice much of a taste or texture difference between the regular Liberte stuff (which is really thick to begin with anyways). I suppose it does taste like sour cream plain. And you can’t beat the protein content. But it’s also five bucks a pop, and I don’t rely on yogurt for protein. So it’s nice as a treat!

All these hot lunches had me craving a cold supper! It’s been almost a week since I had a pita! That had to be remedied at once.

IMG_3945

  • smoked mackerel
  • laughing cow cheese
  • mustard 
  • pickles
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • spinach

IMG_3948

Can you see the mackerel poking out from behind the spinach?? Wikipedia tells me that Atlantic mackerel is extremely high in vitamin B12 and has almost twice the Omega 3 of salmon. Suh-weet!!

This evening I “attended” a webinar on the Can-Fit-Pro conference being held in Moncton next month. Still debating whether or not to go. The timing and price aren’t that great, but it will be a great learning opportunity for me as a future personal trainer, and maybe I could make some contacts?

While webinar-ing, I snacked on a carrot protein cake. 

IMG_3959

  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • 2 tbsp carrot puree (ahem, baby food)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites

All mixed up in a mug then popped in the microwave for 90 seconds. Turns into a HUGE cake. I topped mine with a peanut butter/almond milk mix to make the nut butter go farther ;) Yumyum!

 

So I contemplated doing the anonymous questionnaire on formspring that many bloggers have been doing lately. But I’m one of those losers who doesn’t appreciate anonymity on the internet. Maybe it’s the journalist in me. Aaaanyways, I would really like to do another round of Q&A, it’s been a while since the last time and I lot has changed in my life since then! So I’m opening the floor for questions, silly or serious, don’t be shy! You can leave them in the comments, or e-mail them to me personally at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com If you don’t want your name attached, just let me know. I’m pretty open about most things, so go nuts! :D

Fatty February Update!

I had a blast reading through everyone’s favourite alcoholic drinks! Glad to hear I’m not the only rye/whiskey girl. Many of you probably know that I’m not a huge drinker anymore. In fact, I consume alcohol maybe only once a month now? If even! I wrote about it in this post. I lost my taste and desire for it, but at the same time, I still need a big night out on the rare occasion :)

Monday was a pretty typical day for me. I was quite proud of myself for dragging my butt to the Monday morning spin class despite my whacky weekend. I pulled myself to the gym again today for some treadmill work and a full-body workout. Nothing suuuuper intense, but a solid sweat sesh nonetheless.

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
Barbell squat  45 lbs 12 1
Barbell squat  55 lbs 10 1
Barbell squat  65 lbs 8 1

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 3
Pistol squat  bw 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Incline dumbbell shoulder press 20 lbs ea 8-12 3
Static lunge  10 lbs ea 12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 12 3
Hanging leg raises  bw 12 3

 

I feel like I should add that I’m still in the beginner stages of the pistol squat! Someday my leg will stick out perfectly in front of me and I’ll get my bum to the floor. But right now my foot just sort of dangles as I try to get my thigh parallel to the ground. It’s tough! I’ve got old-lady hips too, so my threshold for lower-body weightlifting is pretty darn low. My hips were popping and hurting by the time I got to the leg raises.

Today’s desk-breakfast was more cold goo.

Grape nuts and yogurt
Not overnight oats but Grape Nuts! I randomly picked up a box of Grape Nuts cereal because I’d never tried it before. I mixed it with yogurt, almond butter and blueberries. It made my breakfast almost cake-like in texture. I hear the cereal is good heated up, I’ll try that next :)

Morning snack was one of my new favourites, inspired by my mom!

Armstrong cheese
While my mom was visiting, she kept eating deli meat wrapped around cheese. Turns out it’s an awesome high-protein, high-fat snack. Today’s was smoked tofurkey slices around Armstrong herb & cheddar cheese.

Lunch was leftovers!

IMG_3881 
This is what I also had for supper on Monday. It was crazy good for being so crazy simple and made-up on the spot.

  • ground turkey
  • 1 can Heinz chili-spiced kidney beans
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • sweet peppers
  • minced jalepeno
  • minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp garlic tomato paste
  • fresh green beans

I was so excited about my leftovers today, I forgot to pack an afternoon snack. I had to venture down to the university’s cafeteria where there were unusually slim pickings.

So God chocolate soy milk

They didn’t even have granola bars!! The chocolate soy milk was pretty good though, I haven’t had it in a while.

I’m also doing well on “operation-become-an-office-tea-drinker.”

Lipton chamomile tea

Today’s chamomile was also brought to me by the cafeteria. Not sure how I feel about these Lipton teas they offer. They never actually taste like what’s on the label.

I needed to clean the kitchen when I got home, which means a roasted dinner. Throw everything in the oven then clean while it cooks!

white turnip
I had tons of root veggies in my fridge to use up – white turnip and parsnip. I used to hate turnip growing up, but I loved it tonight!

And some pepper squash.

pepper squash

Spread with some real buttah ;)

And a giant chicken breast stuffed with Olive & Feta Hummus.

stuffed chicken

To stuff my chicken, I just slit it down the side and sandwich the good stuff in there :) Hummus and laughing cow are probably my favourite stuffings.

Evening snack was another one of my new favourites – protein cookie dough.

IMG_3921
Mixed up 30g chocolate whey protein powder and vanilla almond milk until it was a nice thick goo. Then I stirred in 2 tsp peanut butter, mini chocolate chips and sprinkles. Love this. It seems teeny tiny, but I assure you it’s filling – and that means a lot coming from me!

While licking on my protein batter, I finally cracked open this beast:

IMG_3907

IMG_3905

Oof. It’s been a while! I kinda stopped studying after my course was delayed by three months. Alas, the course date is fast approaching again (mid-March!) and I still have a lot to get through. Tonight, I learned all about muscular concepts. Lots of info.

 

Fatty February Update!

Seeing as its past the mid-month mark now, I want to do a quick Fatty February update! I was doing reallyreally well before my Halifax trip. Adding olive oil to things, eating fatty fish and having lots of nut butter. But it obviously all went out the window for a few days there :P Right now, I’m just trying to get back on track with it! These past couple days I’ve been relying on nut butter waaay too much – about 3-4 tbsp a day as my main fat sources. I haven’t tracked my food intake, but I know it’s not enough, and not a balanced way to get it. Making sure I get a wide variety of healthy fats is definitely going to be a continued effort on my part. I’m workin’ on it!

As for any noticeable difference – my belly pudge shrank. Seriously. I half-credit it to my cutting out carb-heavy snacks at night (been doing mostly protein snacks before bed). But I think upping my fat has balanced my macronutrients out to a ratio that is much kinder to my belly bloat.

I weighed myself this morning, and even after the mass consumption of high-calorie sugar foods this weekend, I’m back at my pre-Christmas “happy weight.” Again, I can’t fully credit this to upping my fats, but I think consciously choosing fattier foods has just led to a more balanced diet on my part. One that has helped me maintain my weight better.

So far so good! No noticeable difference with my skin and hair, but I swear my nails are growing faster.

 

Question of the Day: Fatty February-ers – how are you doing? Any noticeable changes? Any fatty foods you’re loving?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 485 other followers