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Upper-cuts and Burgers

So while I was blogging and watching Jamie’s Food Revolution last night (in preparation for Jamie and I’s wedding day, of course) I munched on some notable munchables.

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I started doing high-protein snacks at night because it helped me in the belly-pudge department. But after writing that exam, I just wanted to veg and munch away! Behold, kettle popcorn with almond butter, cinnamon and raisins. When you toss hot popcorn in creamy almond butter, it melts and coats everything. Messy to eat but SO worth it. I’m sure some people would be proud ;)

Anyways, it was late by the time I wound down last night, and my body clock didn’t clue in to the fact that it was a Saturday. If I can’t sleep, at least I can eat well.

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Protein pancakes basking in the morning sun.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • cinnamon
  • maple extract
  • 1 stevia packet

All blended up with my immersion blender and cooked on the stovetop.

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Fun fact: most of you said you enjoy your waffles best topped with syrup and butter. So in your honour, that’s how I ate my pancakes today. Okay, butter-ed and syrup-ed is also my fave way to eat pancakes.

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Pancakes were dipped into the syrup. I’m anti-drizzle. The edges must stay crispy at all costs.

Spent my morning in bed reading blogs. I wish every day could start this way!

I decided to go to a noon-hour exercise class, so I split my morning snack into two parts so I wasn’t hungry for lunch by the time I showed up at the gym.

Snack numero uno.

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Homemade Dark Chocolate S’mores Protein Bar. One of the little end-piece nubbins because I suck at cutting equal sized pieces of anything.

Snack numero dos.

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Naner with cinnamon and raisins. I’m on a raisins kick! I want them in everything!

This fuelled me up perfectly for my first ever kickboxing class!!! My gym, GoodLife Fitness, does Les Mills exercise classes. Pre-choreographed classes by some guy in New Zealand that gyms use all over the world. At first I didn’t like the concept of doing the same thing every class (they change them every three months or so), but they’re really well done! I thrive on music when I work out, and they’re all very well choreographed to go with the music. Which is surprisingly not that awful.

So far I have done:

So today I tried out the final class they offer, Body Combat. Here’s what a typical class looks like according to the website:

1. WARMUP

This is where you will learn all the moves that will be used throughout the class and warm up your body and mind for the battle ahead.

2. COMBAT 1

Visualise your opponent and unleash into your first fight combination.

3. POWER 1

Enter an aerobic training zone with a focus on speed, power and endurance.

4. COMBAT 2

Fight for your life! Inject all your power and energy into every combination as you again challenge your imaginary opponent.

5. POWER 2

You’re halfway through the fight. Use punches only to drill the upper body for a second time.

6. COMBAT 3

Time to recover as we lower the intensity to prepare for the final phase.

7. MUAY THAI

Explode into a Muay Thai encounter, push yourself to a higher fitness level and leave your opponent for dust!

8. POWER 3

Go hard out and don’t look back until you complete this upper body power blast and seal the deal on your fitness objectives.

9. CONDITIONING

Take to the floor and cap off the workout with some strength training.

10. COOLDOWN

Payback time – stretch out and lengthen all those hard-worked muscles.

The main reason why I ended up doing this one last is because I thought I wouldn’t like it. I’m the least aggressive person you’ll ever meet. I figured I’d injure myself through some horribly executed roundhouse kick. I was going to blow my rotator cuff punching the air for sure.

And you know what? I absolutely loved it. For realz!!! It reminded me a lot of Body Attack, but with more upper body movements. It kept me interested, worked me hard, but didn’t kill me. I got a pretty good workout out of it, burning 400 calories. Which is a typical workout burn for me. We had one of the gym’s best instructors teaching it today too – which always helps!!

It’s also worth mentioning that the fittest people I have ever seen in my gym were all in this class. I don’t know where they came from, but I was suddenly surrounded by perfectly sculpted, gorgeous women, who all had some aggression to take out. If there are any Fredericton men out there reading, Saturdays at GoodLife is where you can find them :P

My body felt great during the class too – three days of consecutive rest did it good!

Aaaaanyways! Came home and had 30 minutes before I had to show my apartment to a prospective subletter. I had time to shower or eat, but not both. You know which won.

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Turkey salad pita with carrots. I’m back on the pita wagon and it feels good. But typing this out, I realize I forgot to explain to the potential subletter why I was stinky and wearing tight shorts.

Was going to take the boy out for a walk, but it started raining. So I had to put up with him looking up at me expectantly all day. Whyyy are dogs so good at guilt trips!?

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Fun fact: Archie likes to squeeze himself into tight spaces. Much like in this picture where he’s in the side of the couch. He also has the habit of taking his doggie kibbles and hiding them around my apartment. So if there’s not a poodle between my couch cushions, there’s definitely a few pieces of dog food.

Boring snack, pretty bowl.

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Yogurt with strawberries and Grape Nuts. I just wanted to take a picture of it :)

For dinner, I went out to a new burger joint in town called Relish. I was here a few weeks ago, but it went unphotodocumented, didn’t want it to happen again! 

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Let’s hope dude at the counter has a bike outside.

And why yes, that would be half of Chris’ face in that photo! We were catching up. T’was nice to hear what my former best friend’s been up to since the great divide. He broke a rib snowboarding!! And hasn’t been out biking yet, which makes me feel slightly better about having ole’ Scottie (my road bike) still cooped up.

I asked all my Twitter friends what I should get,  and the consensus was the L.A. is my Lady: sliced avocado, roasted peppers, basil pesto, creamy goat`s cheese.

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My Twitter friends are so smart :) You can’t see the toppings in this pic because the turkey patty was so huge, but they were delicious!! And there were beets mixed with caramelized onions on there too! For the side I ordered the sundried basil bean salad that was on special. It was okay. I think it was actually green beans, mango and walnuts. I polished off the burger and loved every single bite!!!

Now I am back home cozied up with my poodle. Thinking of…

a) Finishing up some work I didn’t get to Friday afternoon

b) Catching up on America’s Next Top Model

Guess which one will win? :P

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite burger topping? Mine is RELISH! (oddly, I didn’t get any at the place called “Relish”)

Bonus question: Have you tried kickboxing? Like? Dislike? I think I might actually go again next week :)

Bites & Nibbles

LOVED reading all the jobs you guys have held. There were some good ones:

  • Brie drove a beer cart on a golf course
  • Heidi is an usher at an amphitheatre where she gets to see concerts for free and even Obama!
  • Deb was a sales person at a large-sized women’s shoe store
  • Jenn decorated cakes at Dairy Queen (I have major respect for this, because my friends and I used to be “those people” who would ask DQ workers to write inappropriate comments on the cakes :P )
  • Angela was a reservation agent for Hooters airline (yes, Hooters, as in the restaurant)

I don’t know why, but I get a kick out of hearing about other people’s random jobs :P

Moving on!

I get a big FAIL for sleep last night. 6-ish hours. I’m usually up several times throughout the night, but last night was bad. Starting at 5am I was waking up every 15 minutes! Boo.

Thankfully, I had some steel cut oats soaking in the fridge. Lori posted a quick cooking method for steel cut oats yesterday. All you have to do is soak the dry oats in the water overnight first, then they’re supposed to cook up much quicker in the pot the next day.

Unfortunately, this did not work for me. Maybe it’s the oats I have? I let them cook on the stove for almost 20 minutes until I couldn’t wait any longer. At least I had the perfect dish to eat them out of :)

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Oats in a jar. Aka “OIAJ.” 

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I mushed up half a banana in there too because my serving of oats looked so small. There actually wasn’t much almond butter left in the jar. I have a hard time saving a tablespoon’s worth for the morning!

Today is my day off, so I spent the morning in bed watching the Today Show and getting lost in the vastness that is the World Wide Web. My sweet tooth (and belly) kicked in during Regis and Kelly.

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These taste kinda weird, like a bar full of vegetables (duh) but I really like it!

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I enjoy the crumbly (yet sturdy) texture of the bar and the chocolate on the bottom. The ingredients are pretty darn good too, you can check them out here.

Then the cleaning madness began, and I breaked for a delicious lunch during The View.

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Egg salad sandwich and carrot sticks. The sandwich is two whole boiled eggs, mayo, onion, tomato and spinach.

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Dare I say egg salad is my favourite kind of sandwich? I’m especially a sucker for the little triangle egg sandwiches at church functions. But nothing beats my Nana’s ;)

I was going to take the day off exercise and just clean today, then yoga tonight. But the sun was shining, and we surpassed our predicted daytime high. The weather was just taunting me to go outside and run! I succumbed. It’s going to start snowing soon, and I probably won’t be able to run outdoors anymore. It’s illegal to run on the roads here (I’m in a very busy spot) and the sidewalks are dangerously icy!

Anyways, I kept it short, doing 5k in 28 minutes. I’m pretty happy with this! I haven’t run just 5k in a while, I’ve been doing a lot of looong and sloooow runs. It was nice to see I’ve been able to maintain a little of the speed I gained in late summer :)

I also whittled my middle when I got home. I’ve been getting quite dizzy lately when I do regular planks. I think it’s from being horizontal with my head down. But it’s concerning enough that I’ve cut it short the past few times. Does this ever happen to anyone else? I’ve been known to faint in the past (although, never when working out) so I get concerned when I start getting so dizzy I’m blurry-eyed.

Also odd, is that running short and fast distances always suppresses my hunger. But I always like to get a little somethin’ in me after a workout, so I snacked on some pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas while I iced.

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Unfortunately I did not get back to my cleaning after the run. I knew that would happen! I did however make a wonderful dinner, so that’s something ;)

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Shrimp “alfredo.” It’s whole wheat spaghettini, shrimp, broccoli and cauliflower. The sauce is two laughing cow cheese wedges thinned with a liiiittle bit of plain yogurt with some parmesan, pepper, onion powder and teeny pinch nutmeg. Heated in the microwave to melt slightly before tossing it with everything else.

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I was really craving shrimp pasta for some reason! Which is weird because I don’t usually care for noodles, and that shrimp has been in my freezer for-ever. It was delicious though, everything I wanted and more ;)

But no meal is complete without a little chocolate.

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I nibble away at it so it takes me almost five minutes to eat one piece. Mmmm…

Despite my short run, I really didn’t want to bail on yoga class tonight. I was looking forward to it! One thing I don’t appreciate about the Les Mills classes, is that it’s the same for several weeks at a time. Same songs, same moves. Gets dull after the first three times. But our instructor switched it up a little so it was fun. Hips are appropriately open, hamstrings are adequately stretched :)

Well, that’s just about everything I ate today! There was a handful of soy nuts and a few chocolate chips with my morning coffee, but that about sums it up :) Rare that I ever actually do that. I am about to go make a snack of pita bread and tofu spread so it’s not exactly everything. But you get the gist ;)

 

Questions of the Day:

1. What’s your favourite kind of sandwich? Egg salad here! My Nana also makes these asparagus sandwiches that are deee-licious. I think they’re just canned asparagus (mushiness is optimal) rolled up in bread with margarine and cream cheese.

2. What’s the best thing you ate today? Mine was dinner! But who knows, the snack I’m about to have could knock it out of its place ;)

 

Now I’m off to go log my day’s calories. I haven’t done it since breakfast and it’s going to take soooo long. This tracking thing is getting old pretty quick! But I want to have a week’s worth of numbers before I stop, and it’s only been five days.

See ya tomorrow!

To my mom…

Today she turns fifty-fi…I mean forty-five ;)

My mom is the person I look up to most in the world. She studied for and obtained her third degree while raising three children.

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She taught me the importance of education, hard work and dedication.

She’s also the type of person who will entertain a room and is the life of any party. She’s passionate and opinionated, quite fiery despite her 5’2” stature.

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Ever since my Papa passed away in January ‘08, she’s been caring for my Nana. I know it’s been a big life change for her, and I hope she knows her efforts are not going unnoticed!

Finally, she is a mother through and through. Growing up, she was full of love for her children. Even through some rocky times, I never once doubted she was there for me, 100%.

During my high-school years it was just me and my mom living together in the house. We did a lot of bonding during those years. Watching her struggles has taught me how do deal with my own. She is the strongest person I know. Every valuable life lesson I learned, I learned from her.

Happy Birthday Mom!!

My mom is also a great cook, who always fed us healthy, homemade meals. However, she’s not much of a morning person. Luckily, I learned how to make myself breakfast at a young age :P

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Went a little savoury this morning – egg, cheese, Yves veggie sausage patty, ketchup on a whole grain english muffin. Then a pear sprinkled with cinnamon on the side. I love my sweet bowls of oatmeal in the morning, but sometimes I just want some eggs!

I finally polished off that coleslaw for lunch today. It was getting close to the end, but still very flavourful!

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I mixed up some salmon salad to put on a whole wheat hamburger bun. The salad was canned salmon, canned peas, red onion, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, curry powder, pepper.

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Yum! I always forget about canned salmon. Tuna and sardines are usually my go-to’s. But this was pretty darn good!

I stayed with the curry theme for dinner. It started with some Amy’s organic butternut squash soup.

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I’m not a huge fan of “drinking” my meals though. I like to bulk up my soups! So I chopped up the rest of my wonky butternut squash and 1/3 block tofu and tossed it in maple syrup, curry powder and cumin. Then roasted/baked it.

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It was still missing a little green though, so I dug into my freezer and found some broccoli.

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Threw it all in a pot and let simmer to blend the flavours, then served in a giant bowl.

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Ohmygosh, this was delicious. One of my best “impromptu” meals in a while! The sweetness of the maple syrup blended amazingly with the sweetness of the soup. Then the curry gave it an exciting kick. I also loved having the chunks of squash with the puréed soup. 

Of course, it may have been my hunger talking as I’d just come back from the gym. I’d been psyching myself up for a bike today since the weather was absolutely perfect. But when the time came, I was so unmotivated. If you followed me during my triathlon training, you know I’m not very good at forcing myself to do to scheduled workouts if I’m just not feeling it when the time comes. For me, exercise is fun. And I never want to do anything to take the fun out of it!

I hardly ever blow a workout off unless I really need the rest day. So I considered my options and what jumped out at me the most was spin class. It felt like such a cop out, trading in a legitimate road bike ride with a spin class. But ya know what? I had a blast in class!!

The room was packed full of enthusiastic people, it was my favourite instructor, the tunes were awesome (how can Paradise City not pump you up?). I was able to put my whole heart into the workout, and loved every minute of it, even when my legs were screaming at me!

So my lesson today is if you’re going to be active, make sure they’re activities you really want to do instead of just going through the motions :)

Okay, time for me to go watch the last half of the Biggest Loser! By the way, you guys reminded me of so many shows I forgot about in my last post. I’m really bad at keeping up with things on a weekly basis, it’s so hard to keep track!

Question of the day: I bragged about my mom, tell me something awesome about yours!

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