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The Living Room Workout

So apparently I have an accent :P Haha. Thank you so much for all the comments on my blogaversary and video post! Don’t forget to head over there if you want to win some free Vega bars and read all about the exciting trip Holly and I are taking, which you’re invited to!!!

After three full days off from working out, I got back to it today. Would you believe I still had lingering glute and leg soreness from my lower-body workout on Friday? Crazy. I decided to maximize on my sleep and keep the workout to my living room this morning.

I started with 20 minutes of intervals on the bike trainer, alternating between sitting sprints and standing sprints. Then I popped in Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred for the 20-minute Level 2 workout. Then I hopped back on the bike for 10 more minutes of sprint intervals.

This was my first time trying Level 2 on the DVD, and it was much harder! I was only using 5 lb weights and I was going to failure on everything but the bicep moves. And the lunges killed me. But they always do.

Brie asked me to explain my bike trainer setup. A wonderful question, as it’s a pretty sweet setup ;)

First, meet Scottie. My beloved road bike. Hi Scottie!

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You’ll notice his front wheel is being held in place…

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It’s just a little plastic thingy to keep it stationary, nothing fancy.

The back wheel is where the work is done.

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The wheel fits onto a stand, which is screwed in where you would normally remove the back wheel.

The stand makes sure the bike is sturdy, and holds it up off the ground the wheel can spin freely. But a free-spinning wheel does not make for a very challenging bike ride. You need resistance!

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At the bottom of the stand, is a small roller. Here, you can see there’s a teeny space between the tire and roller. But when I go to use it, I turn that little knob on the left and it pushes the roller up to press against the wheel. This creates some resistance while allowing the wheel to still spin.

There’s also a little tube that runs from the roller to a knob that attaches to the handlebars. Clicking the knob forward adjusts the roller, and creates greater resistance.

IMG_2739I can also use my gears to change the resistance too. Today I switched between the lowest and highest gear on my largest chain ring for the sprints, and it was perfect!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, you get really sweaty on a trainer! My basement apartment does not have the fancy air system of a gym. Thus, a fan and towel are required. You can also buy specialized mats to place them on as well.

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Finally, I wear all my usual bike gear on it minus the helmet and glasses ;) My butt doesn’t get quite the beating without the bumps, but my cycling shorts are still required for the seat. I still have my clipless pedals in, so my shoes are attached to them. I think it may actually help my awful dismounting technique come spring!

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The best thing about it is that I get to watch whatever I want on TV. Today was my usual morning news program – CBC New Brunswick First :)

Oh, and there are tons of different kinds of bike trainers. Mine is pretty basic, but you can get ones that measure your distance and even watt output. There are also bike rollers.


But they look like a death trap :P

 

After my tough and sweaty living room workout, I made a wonderful breakfast!

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Smoked salmon, fried egg, laughing cow cheese on an english muffin with black grapes on the side (my favourite colour grape).

Another good day at work today! I spent it mostly in meetings and didn’t get any real work done. But I did get a much better sense of what I’ll be doing over the next couple months. I think I’m really going to enjoy working on some of the projects! I’m especially excited to be involved in some video projects. It will be a lot more fun getting interviews and footage without the stress of being a reporter :)

Dinner was one of my fave ways to shake up leftovers – on a salad!

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Two of my mini turkey meatloaves heated and crumbled on a big ole’ bowl containing:

  • romaine
  • spinach
  • red onion
  • green pepper
  • mushrooms
  • tomato
  • olives
  • pickles
  • toasted walnuts
  • sundried tomato dressing whisked with mustard

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Yup. It was gooooood. I find it strangely comforting to dive into a giant salad bowl.

I don’t usually have bars for my evening snacks because I’m at home at can make something better. But I was really craving a dessert-like treat tonight, particularly this Larabar!

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The Peanut Butter & Jelly Larabar Chandra sent me as part of my Blogger Secret Santa gift. I cut it up into little pieces like a crazy person.

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Bite sized!! This was my second time trying this flavour and I still really enjoy it. Definitely one of my favourite Larabar flavours now :)

 

Going to try something a little different tomorrow and go straight from the gym to the office in the morning. Usually I come back home to shower and eat. But showering at the gym and eating breakfast at work will allow me more time to sleep! Always a good thing ;) I’m just not sure what I’m going to do with my wet towel and stinky clothes :\

 

Question of the Day: Do you work out at home? What do you do? This is the first time I’ve had a piece of cardio equipment to use, and it’s pretty suh-weet. I went through a period when I scoffed at exercise DVDs, but I’m starting to embrace them again. Some day I’d like to get dumbbells!

Home is where the workout is

Hello friends! Hope everyone had a good weekend, or long weekend if you had one of those too ;)

So today was my last shift at Starbucks. I had high hopes of getting up early, shovelling the wall of snow at the end of my driveway, and heading to the gym for a treadmill date before work. Yeah. Looked outside and it was still dark and raining. Tackling the snow boulders the plow leaves behind didn’t sound too appealing at that hour. Luckily, Chris and I turned my apartment into a workout friendly place last night! Check it…

This is what my bachelor apartment looked like before…

There was a lot of debate about how to set up my small space when I moved in. My mom and sis were adamant on having my dinner table in the living room. But it didn’t leave me much space in there, and left my sleeping area open to the rest of the apartment.

After a little rearranging, here’s what I’m now working with…

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The coffee table is pushed to the side in that photo, but it still provides much more open space than before. My bed is now behind the couch, so my sleeping area is sort of “cut off” from the living room. It’s how I originally wanted the couch, and as soon as Chris and I moved it, I immediately felt a sense of comfort in my own home. Something I haven’t really had yet. My mom believes in all that Feng Shui stuff, and I can see why now. I feel so much better in my space already!

The kitchen table is also where I originally wanted it…

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The microwave stand that was there is a little awkward in it’s new spot, but I’ve only got so much space to work with.

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My first living room workout turned out to be a stellar one!! I started with 40 minutes speed intervals on the trainer. I originally planned on 20 minutes, but then figured and extra 10 wouldn’t hurt, then pushed out another 10! It helped that I was being entertained by the television (watching one of my old classmates do live hits on a national news network!!!!).

The trainer itself is kinda fun. It was nice to be on my own bike. Unlike spin bikes, mine is set up to fit me perfectly. It was weird having the back wheel spin though! I was a sweaty mess. I’ll have to put a mat underneath it. The lack of fancy air system in my apartment made a big difference.

As you probably spied in the above photos – I tried Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred for the first time!

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I did Level 1 which consists of three circuits. Each circuit has 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs. I’ve heard Level 1 is easy – but I found it quite challenging! Albeit, I was kinda wiped from my bike sesh. But the quality of a workout is always the quality of the work you put in ;)

Oh, and the best part? I burned 500+ calories in 67 minutes! In my living room. Love it :D

 

Now how about some random eats? Some highlights if you will ;)

Last night I tried a new-to-me product – quark!!

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I remembered Ellie telling me about this stuff she can buy in Scotland that resembles Greek yogurt (which I can’t buy here). Pretty sure my eyes bulged out of my head when I spotted it in the grocery store.

Apparently, quark is a cheese. The nutritionals are awesome.

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Ellie said it’s quite thick, but this stuff was more just like a thick yogurt. But with a slight cheesy taste underneath the typical yogurt “tang.” I ate it the usual way…

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With stevia, vanilla extract, strawberries, ground flax and unsweetened coconut. Messed up, of course ;)

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I really, really liked it! If it wasn’t so dang expensive, I’d add it to my regular rotation. Alas, it will have to remain a special treat.

Other random eats include a new-to-me Simply Bar flavour – Lemon Coconut.

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It was “meh.” Too much lemon, not enough coconut. The lemon flavour reminded me of the Lemon Zest Luna a little, but not nearly as sweet. If anything, it was a little too plain.

 

I got sent home from work early today because the mall was d-e-a-d. Apparently, no one else wanted to attack their driveway snow boulders. It was pretty sweet, as I was definitely not feeling my last shift at the Bucks today. Plus, I got to come home and bake!

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Carrot Cake Protein Bars 

I found this recipe here but I can’t find the original on Jamie Eason’s website. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 cup oat flour (made by putting rolled oats in my coffee grinder)
  • 2 tsp 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup fat free low-fat Ricotta cheese
  • 24oz 7oz baby food carrots
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
  • 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats

Mix up dry ingredients, add the wet stuff. Pour in a 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

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I cut it into 16 squares, each having 74 calories, 1g fat, 5g carbs, 1g sugar, 1g fibre, 10g protein. Not too shabby! The best part is that they actually taste good!!! Yes Deb, even with the protein powder! :P Next time I’ll add a little shredded carrot, golden raisins and walnuts, but like this they are quite edible.

 

I tried out another random recipe for dinner: Indian Cauliflower Stew.

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 med. carrots, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. curry powder
Salt
2 1/2 C vegetable broth
1 med. head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 C chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 C plain lowfat yogurt

Directions
In a dutch oven, heat oil and add carrots and onion. Cook 10-12 mins or until tender. Stir in ginger, curry, and 3/4 tsp. salt into mixture, cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, cover and heat to boiling. Stir in cauliflower and chickpeas. Cover and cook on medium 15-20 minutes longer, gently stirring until cauliflower is tender. Stir in chopped cilantro and yogurt. Serve over rice.

I pretty much followed the recipe to a tee. Only changes were that I added 1/2 tsp ground ginger instead of the fresh stuff, 1 tsp ground cumin, and ate it over top a bed of shredded chicken ;) I loved this. I don’t make a lot of Indian food at home, I should!

 

Last but not least, here’s a photo I swiped from the New Year’s party – better late than never!

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There’s obviously a lot more, but I don’t really want to post pics of Chris’ friends without their permission! I was a little overdressed for the party, but I didn’t give a damn. It was New Year’s – I wanted to feel pretty!

 

Hm. This post was kinda all over the place. Keeping ya on your toes ;)

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite “ethnic” food to make at home? I guess I use the term ethnic lightly here, perhaps “regional” would be more appropriate. Mine’s mostly North American, but I like making Greek-inspired stuff. I also much prefer my homemade Chinese-inspired dishes to the stuff I buy in restaurants.

 

See ya tomorrow for a recap on my first day at my new job!! Eeeee!!!

[insert clever title here]

Good/long/busy day at Starbucks today! First, I am so happy I racked up my credit card yesterday with the purchase of new shoes. A pair of comfy shoes makes a world of difference when you’re on your feet for nine hours.

Secondly, can I just say how nice it is to laugh and joke with people at work again? Reporting was a social job, in that I spoke to a lot of people. But most of those people didn’t really want to be talking to a me (or wanted to too much!). Gabbing with customers is a lot more fun :)

No workout before work today. I started at 8am and knew it would be a long and active enough day without it. Rolled out of bed and celebrated Wednesday appropriately :)

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With waffles!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon & pumpkin spice
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries

All blended up, and poured on the (greased!) waffle iron with the whole blueberries. I like to rip up the waffles and eat them with my hands. Utensils are for people with roommates ;)

Once I got to work, I made a triple tall, 2 pump sugar-free caramel Americano. Ie, how could I get maximal caffeine in me in the least amount of time possible? :P I also had a Carrot Cake Clif bar as my morning snack. Notable, because I hadn’t had one in a while and I forgot how delicious they were!

Lunch, while studying the different kinds of interval training in the cafe.

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Sandwich with sundried tomato tuna, laughing cow cheese, tomato, onion, sprouts and and orange. I’ve already had two women try to hire me as their personal trainer. I’m flattered they already have so much confidence in me – but I’m not certified yet!!! Hopefully they’re still looking in Feb/Mar ;)

Supper was a burger and “fries.”

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A real beef hamburger (frozen patties, just “meh”) but the “fries” are roasted green beans in salt and chili powder. Eaten, again, with my hands and dipped in ketchup. Reminded me of string fries!

Dessert came a couple hours later. Yogurt and chocolate whey protein powder.

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I’m still kinda peckish though. May have one of my “fat bomb” Peanut ButterNut Squash muffins before bed. I think I’m too low on fat today and it’s affecting my satiety levels. That and I have no idea how many extra calories I burned running around Starbucks for nine hours today. I’m tempted to wear my heart rate monitor, but I also don’t want to expose my Polar watch to the damage that may happen there.

And look what finally came in the mail today!!!

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Yesssssss!!! I’ve been listening to Jillian’s podcasts for months now during my gym visits. She’s grown on me a lot. There’s so much more to her than what you see on the Biggest Loser, and she is seriously knowledgeable. Anyways, I wanted some videos that would get my heart pumping on the days I’m stuck indoors because of snow storms this winter. I thought the short strength workouts in 30 Day Shred would pair nicely with a cardio session on my bike trainer (when I finally get it set up). And Brie recommended No More Trouble Zones as a full video workout. Can’t wait to try them out!!

Last but not least, I finally got a response from Larabar! You may (or may not) remember my review of the Peanut Butter & Jelly flavour. Several of you noticed my Canadian bar had refined sunflower oil listed as the last ingredient, whereas it’s not on the U.S. bar at all. Here’s what they said in the e-mail:

The ingredients are the same in both bars.  The refined sunflower oil isn’t an added ingredient, but is used as a processing aid.  The labeling is due to the differences in the labeling requirements for each country. Canada is required to declare most processing aids while the U.S. is not.

So it seems Canada’s labelling laws differ from the U.S. quite a bit!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite exercise video? I actually really enjoy the “10 minute Solution” videos. They’re pretty easy, but great for times when you just want a little bit of activity. “Yoga X” is the best yoga DVD I’ve tried so far. And I feel silly saying it, but “Turbo Jam” is a pretty decent workout, despite how ridiculous it comes across. I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

 

I’ll be back tomorrow with my tips for working out in the morning. See ya then!

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