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Outrageous Lies

Hello bloggie friends! Some excellent goals being set over on this post. I’m going to be checking in again every Monday to update with how I’m doing on my monthly goals. I suggest you write down your goals so you can check in too!! This way we won’t forget about them and actually get them achieved :)

Well the worst is behind us. That’s right, Tuesday is over. Today was actually a decent day in Susan-land. T’was a fun day at work. Started off spectacularly with a heavy upper-body weight lifting sesh.

Elliptical Sprints

Minutes Level
0-3 10
3-5 14
5-6 17 (sprint)
6-8 15
8-9 18 (sprint)
9-11 16
11-12 19 (sprint)
12-14 16
14-15 18 (sprint)
16-17 15
17-18 17 (sprint)
18-20 14

Straight Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted chin-up 55 lbs 5 4
Romanian deadlift to row  60 lb barbell 5 4
Incline chest fly 20 lb dumbbells 5 4
Close-grip lat pull down 70 lbs 5 4
Seated cable chest press 35 lbs 5 4
Arnold press 17.5 lb dumbbells 5 4

Alternating Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Seated hammer curl 15 lb dumbbell 5 each arm 3
Tricep extension 20 lb dumbbell 5 3

Straight Set:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
YTWL  7.5 lb dumbbells 5 each letter 3

Straight Sets:

Exercise Reps Sets
Plank  60 sec 1
Boat pose 60 sec 1
Plank knee to elbow 15 each side 1
Side plank rotation 15 each side 1
Prone jackknife  15 1

 

Pheeeewie! My arms feel pretty good right now, but I know they’re going to be dead tomorrow. All last week it hurt just to hang my arms at my side, I expect nothing less this week ;)

Got to work nice and early to enjoy breakfast at my desk.

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  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • cinnamon
  • raisins
  • drizzle maple syrup

Morning snack was a piece of low-carb banana bread.

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Today I sandwiched some of my fave protein goo (protein powder + water) in there.

Lunch was leftovers from last night.

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A random mish mash of ground chicken, chickpeas and veggies. Tasted wonderful the next day.

However, I didn’t portion enough leftovers for myself, so I had to dig into my afternoon snack early.

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  Apple Cinnamon Protein Bar. Click on the link – it’s got a recipe page now!!

Dinner was a big ole’ salad.

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  • spinach
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • yellow & red bell pepper
  • roasted soy nuts
  • herbed tofu

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The dressing was watered down pizza cheese with 2 tbsp hummus, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes and 2 tbsp water. The tofu was also sautéed in a new food buy!

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Coconut oil!!
I’ve been wanting to try it forever after reading so many rave reviews on blogs. Fatty February finally gave me the extra push I needed to spend ten bucks on a jar. You only need a little bit, so I think my $10 will actually spread pretty far! I couldn’t really pick up the flavour on the tofu though, I’ll have to try it with veggies next.

Speaking of veggies, see that dark tomato there?

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It’s actually a kumato!

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One of those things I saw at the grocery store and couldn’t not buy ;) Apparently kumatoes are a specially sweet tomato. The texture was to die for!

 

Not a very exciting day in terms of food. Very simple, but my body is feeling good about what I fed it today :) Luckily, Ellie tagged me in a fun award!

The rules are as follows:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate seven “Creative Writers” who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

Ahem. Thank you Ellie ;) Now onto my outrageous lies + one truth:

1. I read 36 books one summer in elementary school.
2. I won the highland dancing provincials when I was 6 years old.
3. I’ve been to Sidney Crosby’s house in Halifax although he wasn’t home at the time.
4. The fastest mile I ever ran was done in 7 minutes and 14 seconds.
5. I once made a vanilla latte for Jack White of the White Stripes.
6. When I was a reporter, I did a live television hit for Canada’s national news network, CBC Newsworld.

 

So my Question of the Day is which one do you think is the truth??

My nominations are randomly selected from the comments on my last post:

Renee
Brie
Jenna
Kristin
sophia
Lynda
Julie

Have fun!!!

 

Oh! One last thing! I want to start posting pictures/links to people who try out my recipes/eats. If you’re a blogger, leave me a comment or e-mail me with a link to your post and I’ll feature it. If you’re a non-blogger, send me some pics and you’ll be a blogger for a day ;) E-mail is thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com So if you’ve tried out a recipe in the past you want to share, send it my way, and keep it in mind for all future attempts!

See ya tomorrow for Waffle Wednesday!

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.

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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!

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

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

Lunch was a beastly chicken and spinach salad.

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

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

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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.

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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. 

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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!!

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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

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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:

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

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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?

Fatty February Wrap-Up & Then Some

Hey bloggie friends!! Well, I was watching Food Inc online. But I apparently maxed out my streaming time, so I thought I’d take a little break to blog :)

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback on my Oatmeal & Beauty for Dummies post! First, I should add my mom commented that the typical oat-to-liquid ratio is 1:2, which is true. I do 1:3 because I cook them slowly and like them suuuuper creamy.

Secondly, all you straight hair pros out there gave my Chi straightener a thumbs up! Yay!! :D Some of you asked what my hair is like naturally, here’s an au naturelle pic I tracked down – naturally styled and my natural colour.

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Please excuse the mega awkward look in this photo. I’m an awkward person in real life, and it apparently translates onto film. I also cut my friend/bandmate/co-host out of this picture because I didn’t know if he is ready for his blog debut yet. Soon though, right Billy? :P

Okay, so if I had blogged yesterday, I would have said my whole-body weight workout was a little lacklustre. But the great thing about typing it up the next day is that I can tell you I’m sore! So I must have done somethin’ right!

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 1.0
5-6 5.5 1.0
6-7 6.0 1.0
7-8 6.5 1.0
8-9 7.0 1.0
9-10 7.5 1.0
10-11 5.5 1.5
11-12 6.0 1.5
12-13 6.5 1.5
13-14 7.0 1.5
14-15 7.5 1.5
15-16 5.5 2.0
16-17 6.0 2.0
17-18 6.5 2.0
18-19 7.0 2.0
19-20 7.5 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell deadlift  50 lbs 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  75 lbs 8 3
Chest fly 15 lbs each 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Good morning 40 lbs 12 3
Barbell upright row  20 lbs 12 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Single leg romanian deadlift  15 lbs each 10 3
Seated cable row  55 lbs 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Medicine ball squat  11 lbs 15 3
Russian twist  11 lbs 30 3
Lying medicine ball throw  11 lbs 15 3
Pullover to ball crunch  11 lbs 15 3

Stairmill

Minutes Level
0-1 6
1-2 7
2-3 8
3-4 9
4-5 10
5-6 6
6-7 7
7-8 8
8-9 9
9-10 10

Yeah. Looking back I can see why I’m hobbling today. I would also like to add that I could have sworn I saw some shoulder rippling during those upright rows. Yesss! That’s why I’m a strong advocate of wearing shorts and a tank-top to the gym. They allow you to see all your muscles, instead of hiding them up in sweats and baggy tees. Wearing nice workout clothes can be a huge confidence booster!

I had another decent cold breakfast at work after…

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  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Grape Nuts cereal
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp blueberry jam
  • cinnamon

The tiny bit of Grape Nuts left to soak overnight made for a wonderful texture!

Also wonderful, this week’s Apple Cinnamon protein bar.

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Just one of those batches where everything comes together perfectly.

Let’s see… I also stunk up my office again with boiled eggs.

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Then tried to mask the smell with a fragrant citrus fruit.

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I’m trying really hard to like grapefruit, but every time I eat one I just wish it was a sweet orange!

Let’s skip everything else and get to today, shall we?

Good thing I went to bed at a decent time last night, because my body clock still kicked in this morning. Left me lots of time to make a beautiful breakfast before step class. PB&J Oatmeal Sandwich.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (whisked into pot)
  • cinnamon, stevia
  • blueberry jam
  • peanut butter

To “sandwich” it, I pour half the oatmeal in the bowl, top it with half of the PB and jam, then layer the rest on top. Makes for a little PB&J “pocket” in the centre ;)

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Unfortunately, it was an “off: day for me at BodyStep. It started badly after the first song when I noticed I had a wobbly step. I had to swap it out for another one, but it left me a little off my game for the rest of class. We did a lot of new songs with moves I’ve never done, which means more time spent fumbling instead of pushing myself. Lastly, I’m sore!! Did I mention that already? :P My shoulders and hamstrings are beat.

Treated myself to a hot lunch, one of the great things about weekends.

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Butternut squash fries with two Sol veggie burgers topped with salsa and old cheddar. Hit the spot!

I had a banana I wanted to use up, so instead of making protein bars for this coming week, I made Low Carb Banana Bread. 

 

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It’s essentially April’s Low Carb Sweet Bread, with the pumpkin swapped out for banana.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup wheat-bran
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure pumpkin (depending how moist you like your bread- I like mine really moist so I used 1/2 cup) 1 mushed banana
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp each baking powder and cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pure stevia extract 4 packets of stevia

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Pour into baking pan, bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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I had a piece right away topped with PB of course! Turned out really well! One piece (1/8 of the loaf) is 123 calories, 6g fat, 13g carbs, 7g fibre and 5g protein. Not bad!

Of course, my hot lunch then had me craving a cold supper.

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Egg salad sandwich with pickles, onions, mayo and mustard. Then carrots + salsa on the side. Check out how thick that filling is. Two eggs a sandwich is how it’s done ;)

 

Fatty February Wrap-Up & Then Some

Seeing as tomorrow is the last day of the month, I wanted to combine all my thoughts about my Fatty February challenge. For about four weeks, I’ve been consciously increasing the amount of healthy fats in my diet, with hopes improving my hair, skin and hormonal levels.

It occurred to me today that my results with Fatty February may be a little skewed. You see, I also went off the birth control pill at the end of January, and I’m realizing that what could have been a side-effect of increasing my dietary fat, could also be a side-effect of going off the pill.

For example, one thing I noticed is that my belly pouf shrank. Apparently water-bloat can disappear when you go off the pill, so who knows if it’s related.

As for satiety, I think increasing my fats may have improved it. I did a lot less munching this past month, especially at night. Perhaps it’s because I felt more satisfied with the food I was eating?

I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my skin. My face is still the same, my arms are still pretty dry, and the rash on my legs is only slightly better. Again, it’s hard to judge my skin now that I’m not taking a daily dose of hormones!

Finally, my nails grew at lightning speed. This was probably the thing I noticed most. I could barely keep up with them!

I can say for certainty, that I will be continuing a diet high in fat. Shooting for a 30-30-30 carb-protein-fat ratio worked really well for me this month, and I would like to keep doing it. Every body is different in terms of macronutrients, so perhaps this is just the one that works for me :) I’ll be sure to do more check-ins as I notice things.

As a side note, Caitlin wrote a wonderful post today on the “Big Birth Control Question” that I encourage you women and men to check out. Some interesting conversation in the comments of that post. I can tell you I was on the pill for four years and felt myself starting to drag towards the end. I hope going off it will get my hormones back to where they’re supposed to be, and I’m looking forward to being back to my body’s natural cycle. To be perfectly honest though, I’m a little weary about what will (or won’t) happen!

 

Okay, that’s enough getting personal for one evening. Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! I’m off to finish Food Inc now…

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