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Goal Oriented

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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Favourite day of the week? Maybe. Just maybe ;)

Started with this protein pancake recipe. I use pancake recipes for waffles and vice versa – the two are interchangeable!

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For the toppings, I started with almond butter smeared into all the little squares.

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Then slathered on blueberry yogurt and added a few black grapes for fun. Black grapes are my fave kind of grape. I put more thought than necessary into grapes. Including my extreme distaste for wine grapes.

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Speaking of grapes… see the condensation on that one in the front? That’s after being out of the fridge for about one minute. It’s HOT here today!! Well, I think it’s hot all over North-Eastern North America, no? Excruciating.

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So hot that after an hour of being in my apartment, this ($2.50) jar of coconut oil liquefied. Because of its saturated fat content, it’s normally partially solid at room temperature.

It should come as no surprise then, that as my roommie and I were tossing around ideas of things to make in the food processor last night, she jumped at the mention of frozen banana soft serve.

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She immediately grabbed a bundle of bananas out of the freezer and tossed them in the food processor.

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Two minutes later, we had a healthy (albeit, still sugar-filled) frozen dessert to cool us off.

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This dessert has been floating around the foodie blogosphere for a looooong time now, but this was my first time trying it! At first, I thought I would top it with marshmallow fluff. But after tasting a little off my finger, I realized it was already very sweet.

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It really had the consistency of soft serve! It wasn’t nearly as “banana-ey” as I was expecting it to be. If that makes sense. I think because it was frozen, it cut some of that distinct flavour edge off. I topped this with a little dollop of almond butter. But my roommie and I then proceeded to spend the next several minutes discussing all the fun mix-ins we could include next time.

Thanks to the heat, I’ve also been craving very simple meals. Simple is what I do and enjoy best :)

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Like this pita with sliced boiled eggs, baba ganouj and veggies. Eggs + baba ganouj is yet another killer flavour combo!

I’m digging these Pita Gourmet high protein pita pockets.

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140 calories, 20g carbs 10g protein per pocket. Only downside is the sodium – 480mg for one pita?? Whoa. Must be why they’re so tasty :P

Many cold salads have also been had. This is the one I had last night that was so good I replicated it tonight.

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  • lots of baby spinach
  • red pepper
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • mango
  • Trader Joe’s corn salsa (although, I ran out the second time around, so just sprinkled on red pepper flakes for a little spice)
  • 1 pork chop, grilled and cubed

For the dressing, I whisked together 2 tbsp hummus, 1 laughing cow blue cheese wedge, and a little bit of water to thin it out. Tossed all together and it was one of my best salads of the summer! I think the produce and meat were of especially good quality, the flavours and textures were fantastic.

 

Goals for September

It’s that time again! First day of the month, which means a new set of goals to focus on over the next 30 days. I encourage you all to do the same. One month is the perfect time period to complete new goals. Writing them down and checking in on them is a great way to stay motivated! Here are mine…

1. Get organized. I’ve already been working towards this and have made some progress. The time management session at the Healthy Living Summit made me realize that I need to get my butt in gear! I will (hopefully) be working two jobs, volunteering my time, freelancing, and working on many other projects this month. I need to get all that crap out of my head and start putting it on paper!

2. Professional development. I’m taking my course in Nutrition & Wellness this month, but I also want to put more hours into reading studies, fitness literature, shadowing trainers, and basically learning all I can to better my own training.

3. Turn on the oven. I haven’t done it in two months!! If the heat ever ends, I would like to start baking again and making more dishes in the kitchen.

4. Love my workouts. I no longer work out to look a certain way or to keep my weight down. I work out because it’s what I love to do. Exercises will be chosen not by how many calories they burn or what sort of results they will give me. I’m doing activities I love to do and look forward to :)

 

And with that, I leave you with a new workout! Click here to check out one of my many full body circuit workouts. You’ll get your full-body strength training in, while moving quickly and keeping your heart rate up. More to come!

 

Question of the day: What are your goals for September? Write them down and remember them – we’ll be checking in weekly!

Good Food, Bad Food, and a New Set of Monthly Goals

Hello friends!! Welcome to August :) This is going to be a good month, I can feel it! For the first time in a long time, I’m setting out some goals for myself this month. But we’ll have to wait till the end for those. I’ve got a plethora of food photos first!

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It’s been a while since I did a big food post, so some of these are a few days old. The other day I mixed up 30g chocolate whey powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp ground coffee, 2 tbsp egg whites and 2 tbsp plain yogurt.

You want to put this is a biiiiig mug. After 2-3 minutes in the microwave, it puffs up into beast.

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If you are a volume eater, this one’s for you. Sliced up into three sections and topped with a mix of marshmallow fluff, chocolate peanut butter, laughing cow cheese.

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I don’t know why I’ve never thought of a mocha protein cake before. This was freakin’ divine.

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Plus, the mid-day caffeine kick didn’t hurt ;)

Next up we have my first ever visit to Chipotle!

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Chipotle is a cafeteria-style Mexican restaurant with a focus on organic and ethical food.

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Their specialty are the burritos and tacos, but I was trying to keep it on the low-cal side, so I opted for a salad.

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I must say, I was a little disappointed by their salad options. Just a bit of romaine with sautéed veggies, a choice of two beans, three meats, four salsas and some cheese.

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I opted for the black beans, chicken and mild tomato salsa. No guac as I can’t eat it. The spices were right on and it was certainly filling. Buuuut, it was 9 bucks and I like a salad chock full of veggies.

Oh, and as a side note, while eating this on the patio I got recognized by a reader!! How cool is that? Hi Ashley, thanks for coming up to say hello :) I’d like to say I’m usually not that awkward in real life, but alas, that is not my reality.

Chugging right along here, I had yet another new-food experience in Toronto!

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My roommates were pretty horrified when they found out I’d never had dim sum before. Actually, I’d heard the term, but never really knew what it was. Billy took me to a restaurant called the Pearl Court in Chinatown East. For those of you who haven’t experienced it either, dim sum is Cantonese dining where the food comes in small portions. The restaurant workers came around yelling out dish names and we had to put our hands up if we wanted it. They marked it off on a little card and we paid at the end.

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The most confusing part is that they were yelling out the dishes in Cantonese, so I had no idea what was coming around! Thankfully, Billy knows his Chinese food.

The above are pork spring rolls. Very crispy.

Below are shrimp thingys in a wrapper thingy.

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Like my descriptions? :P Actually, I think these were shrimp dumplings.

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The above are some pork dumplings perhaps? They were quite good.

I am missing a picture of my favourite food! They were pot stickers with cabbage in them and lightly fried. Yumyum.
 
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Second favourite were these buns with a sweet pork filling and sticky glaze on top. I’ve seen similar buns many times on Sophia’s blog and can’t wait to try more varieties!

Least favourite dish from the meal were the chicken feet.

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OhyesIdid.

I’ve said many times that my food curiosity often gets the best of me!! These are actual chicken feet, cooked in a sort of barbecue sauce. You’re supposed to bite a piece off, suck off the skin, then spit out the bone.

I tried, I really tried. I can get past most “gross-out factors” when it comes to food. But these chicken feet defeated me. The skin was a lot more light and soft than I was expecting, otherwise, it was kinda of what you would expect scaly chicken feet to taste like :/

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Everything was chased down with some very delicious tasting tea. I think it was a green, but it didn’t taste quite so bitter. Billy told me the tea is served because it helps your body cut down on the grease.

In all, a wonderful first dim sum experience!! I ate just enough and despite it being a pretty greasy and heavy meal, I felt good after. It will be more fun to go back as I start to recognize the dishes and know what I like. Can’t say I’ll be getting the chicken feet again ;)

After an indulgent day yesterday, I’ve been trying to clean up my act today. Unfortunately, I was without groceries for half of it.

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An empty fridge and cupboard often leads to my more interesting food combinations. Today being no different.

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This would be a pita pizza of sorts with a base of tuna, cottage cheese, mustard, pickles and onions.

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That’s not mozzarella on top, but sauerkraut!

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I dunno, I saw the jar of sauerkraut in the fridge and went for it. I looooove sauerkraut and thought this was pretty tasty!

I kept with the cabbage theme for dinner after purchasing groceries.

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Browsing the internets today, I stumbled across a recipe for Mango Slaw With Cashews and Mint from Smitten Kitchen. I followed the recipe almost precisely, except I used regular green cabbage, added sesame oil for my oil, and traded in the cashews for soya nuts.

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The soya nuts were $5 cheaper than the cashews, and the nutritionals are 5x better.

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That’s better than most protein bars!!

I paired the mango slaw with some sweet & spicy chicken breast.

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I’m really happy with how the slaw turned out. It was a cinch to throw together and is the perfect flavour for summer.

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And finally, my goals for August.

1. Eat out twice a week, at no more than $15 a meal. This is going to be hard, as eating out is sooooo fun and easy in Toronto. But for the sake of my wallet and waistline, it needs to happen. I’m starting to get on a more regular work schedule, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the habit of preparing meals and snacks for when I’m not home.

2. Read more. Actually, I already have been reading more, to the tune of four books in July. But I’d like to keep it up!

3. Do at least one outdoor activity a week. Now that I’m working in a gym, it is so easy for me to just keep my workouts within the gym walls. But summer will be gone before I know it, so it’s important I get out in the fresh air! Already off to a good start with this one – put in an hour long bike ride along the waterfront this evening. Plus, I’ve got some more fun outdoor stuff in the works ;)

4. Look for part-time work and volunteer work. One, because I need the extra moulah, and two, because I want to get more involved in my new community.

5. Update my blog pages. They’re once again behind the times. I haven’t put any work into my blog since before I moved in May!

6. Lose weight. I know, when did this become a weight loss blog?? :P Truth of the matter is that I’m over my “happy weight,” thus not very happy with how I look and feel in my skin. It just means I’ll be a little more vigilant about my food and servings and probably stepping on a scale more often than I typically like.

 

There you have it! Will start checking in on these goals weekly to keep myself accountable. Now my question for you: what are your goals for August?? Write them down in the comments and we can check in together next week :)

Goals and a Giveaway!!!

Woooonderful suggestions on my Strength Training at Home post. A lot of extra pieces of equipment like bosu balls, jump ropes and medicine balls were suggested. Be sure to read the comments if it’s something that interests you :)

So I started my day after a solid 7.5 hours sleep and took off for a spin class. I thought I’d kill it today after a whole weekend off exercise (goofing around in personal training class doesn’t count). Usually after two whole days off, my body is mega energized. But today notsomuch. Albeit, I’m very worn out after two weekends in a row of “work,” but I think it was actually a nutrition thing. I just could not push that high intensity like I normally can, and I felt a little dizzy once I hopped off the bike.

Looking back, I was very protein heavy in my eating over the weekend, and I think I was lacking in sufficient carbs to draw from this morning. Ever since I increased my fat intake, my protein has naturally increased while my carbs have gone down, often being my smallest percentage of macronutrients. Not good for someone who is as active as me! What a delicate balancing act it all is ;)

Anyways, I raced to the office this morning to gobble down my breakfast and refuel.

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Two boiled eggs and a marshmallow protein bar.

I have a vague memory of my old roommie (hi Meghan!) telling me the cause of grey yolks in boiled eggs…

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I think it happens when you put them in the fridge right after boiling and they cool too quickly. Is this true? Am I making it up?

In other news, the geranium in my office is thriving.

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I can’t take credit this, it’s all because the cleaning lady waters it regularly. But hey, at least it didn’t wilt in my presence like most plants. It’s very pretty, makes for a more lovely work environment :)

Mini bagles > regular bagels.

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Why would you want to eat one bagel when you can have TWO?? Topped with laughing cow cheese and veggie ham slices. Paired with a melt-in-your-mouth mango.

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It’s been forever since I had mango!! It was amazing.

This afternoon I broke down and had a molasses cookie that someone brought to work. I am so glad I caved and ate it!! Molasses cookies are one of my favourites, and it was hands down one of the best I ever had. Totally worth the unplanned splurge. Sometimes giving in to the office treats is worth it ;)

I was met with a bare fridge when I came home, so I ended up with another three ingredient dinner. 

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  1. roasted butternut squash
  2. baked chicken breast
  3. bacon peanut butter

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Not gonna lie. It was awesome. And crazy filling.

I’d like to say that’s why I had a small evening snack, but let’s face it, there was a lot of snacking in between!

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A new-to-me product: President’s Choice vanilla cottage cheese. Of course, I had to spice it up with some cinnamon and raisins.

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Yum!! This little container has 110 calories ,12g protein and 3g fibre (with added inulin). Not too shabby!

 

It’s Monday! Time for…

Final Monthly Goal Check-In for March

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. Um, so yeah. The guy who was supposed to sublet my apartment backed out last week! The day after he signed the agreement and gave me a deposit. I’m keeping the deposit, but it means I have to find someone else. Giant BOO.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. I started sending out unsolicited resumes today to fitness companies saying they need me as a content writer/editor for their website. Why not, right? ;)

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I knocked off a bunch of recruiting publications at the university I work at. SO nice to see my work put into hard print. I was also sorta offered a job to work as a recruiter in admissions. But that’s not my bag. I’m not perky enough.

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. Finished personal training classes!!!

!!!!!

I also skipped lunches last week to study. Working hard on cramming that poor brain of mine.

5. Run outdoors again. Fail. Rightfully so. The weather last week sucked. Woke up to snow every morning, cold, windy, rainy, wet. Miserable.

 

On top of my monthly goals, I set a weekly goal to get more sleep. I did alright on this. I failed on one day, but got a solid 7.5 hours all the other nights. I actually had my lights out by 9:45 every night before my 5:30 alarm. Much better that the 10:30-11 I was doing before. This is 100% something I’m going to keep up. It’s all about resetting my thinking to seeing 9:45 as my lights-out time instead.

I also challenged all of you to do the same thing. In order to motivate y’all to tuck in early, I promised a gift for those of you that participated. Well I’m following through on that promise! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

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  • Mountain Maples blueberry syrup
  • 100% pure honey
  • The Simply Bar in Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cocoa Coffee, and Lemon Coconut flavour.
  • Taste of Nature bar in Quebec Cranberry Carnival flavour
  • Greens + “Hip to be Healthy” square

All Canadian goods, the syrup and honey being from right here in New Brunswick. The syrup is actually from my hometown of Riverview, NB!

So, I told those of you participating to keep track of your hours slept so I could see you at least tried. Well, I’m also an awful liar, because this giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere!!

That’s right, sleep or no sleep, blog or no-blog. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name and e-mail address. That’s it!! I’ll pick a random winner on Thursday, April 1, 9pm Atlantic Time. Consider it an April Fool’s gift of sorts – or a present from the Easter Bunny!

Aaaaand go!

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