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A Sign From the Gods

I lovelovelove reading the comments when I ask food questions. So many tasty answers to what foods make you go OMG.

I have some really pretty food pictures to share today (yay for more natural sunlight!), however, I am going to start off with the ugliest one on my card.

IMG_5545 In a mug, that would be:

  • 1/4 cup soy protein powder
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1 benefibre packet
  • cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 banana
  • 2 tbsp egg whites

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The mix was still thick after that so I added about 2-3 tbsp of almond milk. Popped in the microwave for three minutes and voila, a protein cake!

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Sliced in half and toasted a la Deb. Figured I might as well keep up with the theme and topped it with some of Deb’s OMG OMG OMG nut butter (spiced chocolate hazelnut).

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First attempt at doing this with soy powder, liked it much better without that weird whey texture. But it was too egg-y! Experimentations will resume this evening ;)

Oh yes, and my jazz concert was lovely last night. The university I work at has a 21-piece jazz ensemble and they just released a cd I played a small part in promoting. I love hearing large ensembles like that perform live – and I’m a sucker for jazz/blues/swing!

I also used my spare time when I got home to prep my apartment to show, again. Here’s hoping the next subletter doesn’t back out! Anyways, it didn’t leave me much time to prepare my gym stuff, so instead I worked out at home this morning.

It was nice having Jillian Michaels as a workout buddy today, she makes sure I don’t “phone it in” ;) I did Levels 1 & 2 of the 30 Day Shred. Fifty minutes of butt-kicking! Each level is made up of three circuits of 3 minutes strength + 2 minutes cardio + 1 minute abs. The squat thrusts in the second level get me every time.

I treated myself to one of my fave breakfasts after – the breakfast cookie! This one is strawberry banana.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • cinnamon
  • banana extract
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • chopped strawberries

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Frosted with marshmallow fluff of course!

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Oh breakfast cookie, how I missed you. It was so lovely to be reunited.

Work was kind of interesting this morning, I got to go to an event celebrating all the different faith communities in my city. I got to hear speeches from representatives of each faith explaining what they’re all about. So many different kinds of faith here I never even knew about! I would love to go visit all their places of worship until I find one that fits. It would be nice to be a member of a church some day…

Dinner this evening was a remake of yesterday’s salad, except this time I threw it all in a pan first.

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  • spinach
  • red onions
  • mushrooms
  • bell pepper
  • garlic
  • black olives
  • rotisserie chicken
  • feta cheese
  • hummus

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I debated putting hummus in this, as I didn’t know how it would hold up in a stir-fry…

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Silly me, hummus is good in everything! Two very big thumbs up :D

And check out what arrived in the mail today!

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As a member of Can-Fit-Pro (Canadian Fitness Professionals), I get their magazine. This month’s is all about personal training in relation to running.

I note this because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what aspect of fitness training I want to specialize in. I think it’s a field where it’ important to find a focus and hone your skill in that one area. Well, I’m pretty sure I want to focus on weight training for endurance athletes. The idea of strength training to aid in long-distance running, cycling, swimming, etc, really interests me. I love how weight lifting can help improve endurance, and correct imbalances and injuries caused by it.

Anyways, I got all excited when I saw this, and it’s almost like it was a sign from the gods. Now if only I could go find a church to thank them/him/her/it! :P

 

Heyhey! It’s almost Friday! I’m going home after work tomorrow to hang with the fam. The highlight will be bringing my mom’s poodle back with me! I’m looking after the furball while she’s in Florida for a couple weeks. I’m pumped to have the little rascal come stay at my place. I could use a furry friend!

 

Question of the Day: Do you belong to a “faith community”? I was raised Anglican, and in some ways still feel very connected to the Anglican church. There’s an old-school ritual about it that I love – not to mention, the hyms are rockin ;)  (sarcasm!!)

Click click!

Alyson wrote a great post on sports and genetics

Caitlin/Operation Beautiful is on Oprah’s new web channel!!!

Be your own nutrition expert

The history of the waffle!!

Flashback Friday – Being Healthy AND Social

Happy weekend everyone! Or, at least, I hope it’s a happy one :)

I got my day off to a good start with the Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones DVD.

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It’s a 50-minute strength DVD, divided into seven circuits, going through about four moves two times in each circuit. Mostly made up of combination moves that work both lower-body and upper-body at the same time. It’s perfect for days like today where I want a low intensity workout. Although, it’s no walk in the park either. I was sweating up a storm and my shoulders are sore!

Only had 20 minutes for breakfast today so I went for one of my favourite quick n’ tasty morning meals.

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Waffles! What else :P Nature’s Path maple cinnamon freezer waffles, topped with a mixture of cottage cheese, cashew butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Since I scorched my toaster oven, I had to make these in my full-sized oven. Still have to learn how to do that without burning them…

Morning snack at work was a banana and almond butter.

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Except this banana gave me a tummy ache :( Sometimes they do that, I have no idea why…

I broke into my lunch at 11:30am. No point in waiting till noon if I already have a growling belly!

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Tofurkey sandwich with the usual suspects: pickles, mustard, onions, tomato, spinach, side of baby carrots.

I ended up running errands over my lunch break, and what was supposed to be a quick stop at Shoppers Drug Mart turned into a $150 haul.

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I never budget for beauty supplies, nor do I ever splurge and buy nice beauty items. So in celebration of being paid yesterday, I did! That hair straightener by the way, is a wireless one. While it’s a nifty gadget to have, I don’t think it’s the quality iron that I need. I may have to throw down close to another $100 to get a more solid one :( I hate spending money on beauty crap!

Afternoon snack was a stinky one…

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I get so embarrassed eating boiled eggs in public. I had to apologize profusely to my officemate.

Dinner had more eggs – a smoked mackerel egg white scramble.

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  • onions
  • sweet peppers
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • chopped chipotle
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • smoked mackerel
  • old cheddar cheese

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Nomnom. The smoked fish/smoky chipotle flavour combination was a great one. Don’t know why I don’t do “spicy” with smoked meats more often!

 

Flashback Friday – Q&A Edition

As soon as I got tonight’s question, I knew I had to save it for a Flashback Friday post.

What was the biggest struggle you faced with your weight loss and maintenance journeys? Sorry if this is already asked, and if it is then feel free to ignore it. I know you have talked about in the blog in general, but I’m just wondering what the one hardest thing was. Thanks!

Tina

I suppose I’ve yammered on a lot about various struggles I encountered while losing weight and maintaining my 30 lb weight loss, but I’ve never picked out one aspect that I really struggled with throughout. For me, the hardest part was, and is, leading a normal social life.

When I first began my journey, I would say I lead a pretty active social life. I was in my third-year of university, had a solid group of friends and a boyfriend I hung out with regularly. Thing is, I really only did two things when I hung out with other people – drink and eat. I’d been able to keep my weight at a reasonable level up until that point by walking everywhere. But once I got my car, it all went downhill (or technically, “up-scale”)

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This picture of me in Jamaica is probably 5 lbs below my highest weight. I was eating and drinking like I didn’t have a care in the world. Litres of draft beer would be consumed, with piles of nachos, and pieces of cake, all the while laughing and having a grand ole time with my friends.

Then I realized enough was enough, and I changed. The first course of action I took was giving up beer. At first, my friends laughed, as if it were some sort of joke. But I dropped close to 6 lbs those first three weeks without beer, which was motivation enough for me not to go back.

Then the peer pressure began, my friends would try to force it on me, or said I was being a party pooper. In all honesty, I felt like a party pooper too. Hanging out in a dark pub while people ate and drank what they wanted was no longer fun for me. I found myself obsessing over what I couldn’t have, and ignoring the conversations going on around me.

I also became very controlling over what I put in my body. About a month into my weight loss journey, I went on a trip up north with my family.

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By this point, I’d lost around 15 lbs and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was on-track, and determined not to let anything throw me off. But this trip was probably one of the hardest for me socially. I had been learning about the nutritional value of all my foods, and found it very difficult to let myself go knowing what I was consuming. Back then, no one even knew I was trying to lose weight, so I’m sure they were all confused as to why I was freaking out about eating potato salad!!

I also felt out of place when I would make healthy substitutes in front of other people. I really wanted to be one of the normal people at barbecues who could gobble up sausages and buns with reckless abandon.

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Instead, I felt like I had a huge target on my back for going with the healthier options.

Part of my struggle with this also came from the fact that I was a university student. Drinking on the weekends (okay, weeknights too) is just what college kids do. So not wanting to do those things made me feel very much like an outsider.

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Then of course there was the fitness aspect of it. It took me a really long time to learn how to explain to people that I’m up at 5am to workout everyday. Or that I’m training for things like triathlons and half-marathons. 

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Even now, trying to explain to friends, family and colleagues about my personal training aspirations is difficult.

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I hate to sound like a broken record here, but the two things I’ve learned about having a “normal” social life while losing/maintaining weight is that it’s all about honesty and balance. I was never straight-up with people about my trying to lose weight. I’m sure my family and friends would have understood and been more accepting had I just been like “I don’t want to go to the pub tonight because I’m trying to lose weight, let’s do something else.”

In terms of balance, I should have loosened up on myself a little in the early weight-loss days too. I needn’t have been so strict in situations where I should have focused on the people around me, not the food being offered. Instead of saying “absolutely no beer,” I now have no problem with drinking a couple with friends every once in a while. It doesn’t really add up to much in the grand scheme of things. Same goes with exercise – it’s worth it to skip one early morning workout sometimes so I can have a late night out with friends!

I’ve also learned that having a good social life also important to my overall health. Perfect diet and exercise patterns aren’t the only things required to make me a happy person. I need more interaction, thought provocation, and whole-hearted belly-laughs to keep me thriving on a daily basis :)

And with that, I send all my bloggie friends a giant HEART!! <3

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Thank you to Emily for showing the Valentine’s Day love (only 5 days late, not bad for Canada Post!). Now it’s my turn to give it back to all my readers :)

Lost catch-up beckons! Night night! xoxo

 

P.S. I’m still taking questions for the Q&As, comment or e-mail away!

Manufactured Beauty

Thank you soooooo much for all the kind, supportive comments on my news from yesterday. Break-ups are always sensitive topics and I had no idea how to approach it. I am 100% okay. In fact, I’m in a really good spot right now :)

So last night after blogging, I decided to try out April’s Protein Cake. I started off by mixing 30g chocolate whey protein powder, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp Splenda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp strained bananas, 3 tbsp egg whites.

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Oh, and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips for good luck ;)

And by “strained bananas” I mean “baby food.”

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This stuff is just organic banana puree, organic lemon juice, ascorbic acid. It’s actually a little on the tart side because of the lemon juice. Wonder if it’s like your banana jam Ellie? Anyways, regardless, baby food is awesome.

I stuck my bowl/cup in the microwave for one minute and returned to a giant puffed-up monstrosity.

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It exploded over the rim of the bowl, hence the “muffin top.” I should have put this next top Deb’s cellphone for a size comparison cause this bad boy was HUGE.

I broke it apart and put a light swipe of PB on it.

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I did the calculations, and it was 180 calories, twice that of April’s. I commented on it, and then April e-mailed saying she actually meant 15g protein powder!! Oops. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sold on the spongey texture of this, but I guess I can’t really judge if I made it wrong :P Gives me an excuse to try it again!

Moving on… I’m sleeping awful lately. I keep waking up 1-2 hours before my alarm goes off. I think it’s because I’m still paranoid about being late for work. That will hopefully go away once the newness wears off! :P

Anyways, I was seriously out of it when I popped in Jillian this morning.

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Brie recommended No More Trouble Zones when I asked her which Jillian Michaels DVD to get. I can see why she thought I’d like it. It’s comprised of six strength circuits, each circuit going through ~4 exercises two times. They’re legit moves, combining a lot of upper and lower body stuff to save time and keep your heart rate up.

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I’m still not a fan of doing low weights/high reps, but this was a great at-home strength video. I burned 300 calories in 50 minutes (including warm-up + cool-down) which is more than a Body Pump class for me. What can I say, Jillian is good ;)

Oh! And I totally did today’s workout in my peejays ;) Breakfast after was a belated Waffle Wednesday celebration. I’m a Thursday Slacker.

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Two Nature’s Path maple cinnamon waffles topped with 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tsp almond butter, 1 tsp maple syrup, cinnamon. I didn’t blend it today, just mixed it up with a fork. Stayed thicker and turned out better!

No food photos from work. I’m always rushed in the mornings, so if I pack my food in the a.m. I honestly can’t spare 2 minutes to snap a photo. Sad. I was so rushed today I had didn’t have 4 minutes to brew a french press and had to make instant coffee. Double sad :(

On the bright side, I made dinner plans with some girls from work! They’ve graciously adopted me into their little “clique” and I’ve been eating lunch with them in the university’s cafeteria everyday. We decided that we need to go out once a week so tonight was the inaugural outing. Just dinner at a local “gastro pub.” I was hungry, but didn’t want to spoil dinner, so I had a snack to tie me over.

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Banana + Naturally More almond butter. I’m saying it again – I love the crispiness the flax seeds add to that almond butter!!

Diner was fabbity fab. We gabbed and giggled for a solid four hours. I ate an okay chicken salad with a draft beer. It’s been a long time since I had a group girls to hang out with. The majority of my friends in university were guys!

 

Now yesterday I mentioned that I was riled up over an upcoming story in which Heidi Montag says she’s”beyond obsessed” with plastic surgery. Most recently undergoing 10 surgeries in one day. Remember Heidi? The cute bubby girl in the first season of MTV’s The Hills?

Of all the “young celebrity” stories out there, I think hers is one of the saddest. I remember thinking she was drop-dead gorgeous when I first started watching the show. I can understand the insecurities and drive to consider making a few changes, but I think this is an extreme example.

Her most recent surgeries include a mini brow lift, Botox in the forehead, nose job revision, fat injections in cheeks and lips, chin reduction, neck liposuction, ears pinned back, breast augmentation revision, liposuction on her waist and thighs and a buttocks augmentation.

 

Dude, she’s my age. Why on earth does a girl my age need Botox?? Actually, my real beef here is that no on needs Botox.

There are a lot of things that make a woman beautiful and attractive. Manufactured is not it. A striking woman is not one that gets to pick and choose her own looks, but works what she’s got to the fullest.

Plastic surgery is obviously expensive and dangerous. But I think it’s just another one of our culture’s “easy fixes.” Why take the time to eat well, exercise, sleep and treat our bodies well, when we can just fix the damage in an afternoon?

Plastic surgery has always irked me. More than that, it rattles me to the core. I’ve admittedly looked in the mirror and thought “I wish my body wasn’t this way.” But never would I undergo the knife as a healthy person to fix it. Even the “prettiest” girls out there still look in the mirror and see imperfections. I think that’s the problem with plastic surgery – especially at such a young age. Because no number of tweaks and injections can cure a woman’s insecurities. That’s something that has to come from the inside. And that is when she truly is beautiful :)

 

Okee doke folks. I’m beat! T’was a late night with the gals and I’ve got a date with my bike trainer in the a.m. Night night!!

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on plastic surgery?

P.S. Hair appointment is set for Friday. Will be back with pics!

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