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Opening the Floor

Did you have your waffles today??

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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.

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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!

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

Lunch!

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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!!!

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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?

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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.

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

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All packed up for my afternoon snack!

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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.

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

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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. 

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  • 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

Goals For February

Erm, Happy Monday? Or Tuesday, if that’s when you’re reading this. Then I’m sorry, because Tuesdays suck more than Mondays. Is it Waffle Wednesday yet??

So I’m not 100% better today. My body is still producing snot at a high rate. But the rest of me feels okay, so I got up in the minus million celsius weather to go to spin class this morning. Not gonna lie, it was hard to do with a cold! There were a few other people blowing their noses and hacking up gross stuff along with me. I kinda felt like we had a secret hardcore bond, and felt each other’s pain after each brutal hill climb. I also burned 499 calories in 60 minutes. What’s up with that?

Showered at the gym and went straight to work. Got there at 7:50 am!! I kinda like the quiet hours before everyone arrives. I get to enjoy a quiet breakfast and take my time preparing for the day ahead.

Breakfast was another go at overnight oats. Well, kinda.

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  • 200g plain yogurt (3/4 cup?)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • lots and lots of cinnamon
  • raisins
  • 1/2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup coconut chia granola

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The applesauce helped and made the consistency much better! Still didn’t keep me full though.

 

Luckily, I had a PB&J homemade granola bar to keep me going till lunch.

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These are TAS-TEE. But the consistency is off. The jam added more moisture than I anticipated so they’re a little on the gooey side.

Lunch was as boring as boring gets.

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 Tuna salad (with capers) in a pita and a naval orange. Snore.

I was hungry again soon after and dug into my next snack early.

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Yoplait Source muesli yogurt cup and a Kashi blackberry cereal bar.

And a touch of snobbery.

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Although, I guess the classiness is brought down by the fact that I drank it out of a can.

This snack powered me through the next four hours! Not bad eh? I couldn’t help it, I got lost in the aisles of the grocery store after work. Happens every time. Came home to a quick dinner featuring this:

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Turned into this…

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I just mixed it with some tomato sauce, adzuki beans, broccoli, mushrooms and chili powder. Super simple, pretty tasty!

My evening snack was another bar (I try to limit myself to one a day), but I just had to try this new flavour!

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Okay, the Kashi Dark Mocha Almond chewy granola bar is a “new to me” flavour.

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I really liked it! I could smell the coffee flavour as soon as I opened the package (which is saying a lot, as I’m really stuffed up). It was still kinda bland like all the chewy bars are, but hey, you can never go wrong with chocolate and coffee. Except when there’s chocolate chips on top. They always fall off and melt in the most unfortunate of places.

I also just realized that of the six meals I ate today, only two of them didn’t contain oats. At least I’m getting lots of grains?

 

Goals For February

So this is something I used to do every month, but took January off. My goal for January was just to start my new job and “survive” the month. Besides a few close calls, I’d say I did that :) So what’s in store for February you ask??

1. Work out no more than 6 hours a week. You see, I have a bad habit of doing long ass workouts every single day. Then I get run down and sick and have to take a whole weekend off doing nothing to recover (ahemlastweekend). So my goal for this month is to find a balance between reaching my fitness goals and accidentally overtraining.

2. Say yes more. I’m awful for making up lame excuses to get out of doing things. This month, I’m going to say yes more when people ask me to do something. Hopefully I’ll get some new wonderful experiences out of it!

3. Make more leftovers. I have a tendency to make a lot of single-serving meals. Now that I have a microwave at work, it would be pretty sweet to just grab leftovers instead of making a big lunch every night.

4. Eat more fat. This is a big one and I’m going to dedicate a whole post to it tomorrow. A lot of people mentioned in my last post that they too need more fat in their diets. Well Emily and I have decided to initiate a little challenge to make it a Fatty February ;) Our hair and skin will all be shining by the end of it!

 

There ya go. Not really ground breaking goals compared to some of my old ones. But I know I can accomplish every single one of these. And they’re all important in making the next month not only run more seamlessly, but be more fun!!

 

Question of the Day: What are your goals for the month? Big or small, write them down. I’ll be checking in every Sunday!

Going with the Flow – Food Edition

Wow, I can’t believe how many of you have been affected by injury! Especially foot injuries. I forgot to mention in my last post about rest, that I typically take a day off exercise every three days. Sometimes it’s four, sometimes it’s two. It usually adds up to two rest days a week, one being an “active rest” with yoga. The other being a “sloth rest” :P

Today was neither kind of rest though because I finally went for a run! I took it easy – only doing 30 minutes at a medium pace. It was another brisk and sunny day out, but for whatever reason the cold air was hard on my lungs. Maybe it’s because I’m sick, but I was wheezing the whole time. I wish I could say I felt energized and refreshed after almost a week off, but to be honest, my legs were kinda dead. I really had to drag myself through it. But I felt a lot more energized and back to my usual self for the rest of the day :) I iced and stretched like a mofo when I came home and I’m happy to report that I’m 100% free of hip pain :D Yay! All that sitting on my butt paid off :P

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been fuelling with amazing food – it’s Waffle Wednesday!

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Another Wednesday, another stellar waffle combo. This is two Nature’s Path flax waffles topped with 1/2 cup cottage cheese blended with 2 tsp peanut butter + stevia and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I also have a bit of a confession to make. I’m back on the vitamuffins.

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I will be making my own cheaper muffins again, but damn! A frozen deep chocolate smeared with PB is sooooo good. It’s one of my favourite treats and something I always look forward to!

I did a little more kitchen clearing for dinner tonight. This time using up a can of kidney beans that’s been taking up space in my cupboard for a while. 

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This was just a random throwing together of ingredients that I first sautéed, then baked.

  • 1/2 kg lean ground chicken
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 very large mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika

I decided to eat it as a dip, so I baked some ezekiel tortilla wedges with a little olive oil, kosher salt and paprika.

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With the last of my leftover dazzled carrots with pears and balsamic. 

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Aaaalllll together now…

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Yum! I love “active” meals where I get to assemble as I go :)

I also tried out a new-to-me product tonight:

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I think this is new to Canada too? Hopefully this is a sign of things to come! I’d love to try their frozen meals!

Anyways, the stats are okay. High in fibre (yay) and carbs (nay), low in sodium (yay) and protein (nay).

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The ingredients are pretty darn good though.

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Of course,  none of that really matters because this stuff is absolutely delicious!!!

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Something that’s cinnamon flavoured that actually tastes like cinnamon. I ate it with unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze and a spoonful of vanilla whey powder. The protein powder acted as the “frosting” ;) I really like my shredded wheat soggy and mushy too. I kinda like soggy cereal in general.

Moving on…

 

Going with Flow – Food

I talked about going with the flow in terms of exercise yesterday, but today I wanted to talk a little about the other side of the equation – food.

I opened up about previously being rigid with my exercise schedule, so I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was also the same with my eating habits.

I’ve lost 30 lbs since the summer of 2008. I did it by calorie counting and was very successful with it. I figured out my calorie allowance, and stuck to it every day. The number on the scale went down every single week up until my transition into maintenance.

I remember my first vacation during that period. It was a trip up north for a family reunion. I obsessed for weeks beforehand, worrying about how I was going to eat while I was away. I stuck to the same safe foods at home, and the thought of not being in control of that terrified me.

I packed up a cooler full of food to bring with me, but of course, that only did so much. I ended up at a big family function without my backup food. I was a vegetarian then and the main course was meat. I was told by several people not to worry – there was potato salad for me to eat.

I was hungry and the thought of having to fill up on a plate of potatoes swimming in mayonnaise made me to freak out. I was going to go over my calorie number! I wouldn’t lose weight that week! My pants won’t fit!

Well, we are all still here, so I can tell you the world did not end that day :P

I like to think I’ve come a long way from then. I’ve learned that sometimes, when it comes to food, you’ve just gotta go with the flow. We can’t always be in control of what we eat, and it isn’t the end of the world if we have potato salad for a meal.

Looking back, I can see that a lot of what should have been enjoyable social situations for me were fraught with feelings of anxiety over the food being served. I would worry about how much beer I was drinking instead of laughing with friends. Or worrying if restaurants would have low-calorie choices, when I should have focused on who I was at the restaurant with.

I think my latest trip to Windsor was a real accomplishment for me. I snacked on things like crackers and chips, and ate what everyone else was eating. When given the option, I would always pick the healthiest thing possible. I listened to my hunger cues, and snacked when I knew I really needed it. Sure there was some over-consumption, but hell, that’s what vacations are for!

I also want to tack on here that it’s important to be up front with people about your eating habits. I never told anyone at that family function I was trying to lose weight, so they didn’t understand why I was so unhappy with the choices. Since then, my family and friends have learned about my new eating habits and have done a great job at respecting them. My mom always makes sure she has some healthy foods on hand whenever I go home :)

Questions of the day:

1. How do you deal with eating in social situations? Do you bring back-up food? Do you veto certain restaurants?

2. Cereal – crunchy or soggy?

 

Okay, it’s time for bed! I’ve got the next two days off and a wide open schedule! I’m sucking it up tomorrow and trying out a zumba class. I’ll be back with a full report :)

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