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Sweet Gifts and A New Routine

Reason #592 why I love blogger friends.

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Because even when I can’t have lunch with some of them, we can still share food :)

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A ginormous THANK YOU to Lori who thought of me after making homemade buckwheat honey marshmallow fluff. She immediately popped a jar in the mail to spread the fluff love.

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If you know anything about me, you know that I immediately popped the lid off and scooped it out with my finger.

Ohmygoooood SO good! I love the honey flavour in the fluff. I must try making this now that I’m finally all settled in a kitchen!

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As a bonus, she included a jar of homemade pear cranberry jam. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This jam is uh-mazing. Love the combo of these two fruits, juuuust sweet enough, and the chunky texture is fabulous.

Lori, that coffee shop we’re opening can’t come soon enough! ;)

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I picked up the goods last Thursday night and had to try them all on my oatmeal Friday morning. A trifecta!

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Too bad I ate this at 6am before natural sunlight made it through my windows. These kitchen photos don’t quite to it justice.

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And because I neeeeed nut butter on my oatmeal – almond butter.

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The pear cranberry jam made a reappearance for breakfast this morning.

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Made protein pancakes by mixing:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet
  • cinnamon, lots of it
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

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I thinned out a tablespoon of almond butter with almond milk to get more out of it.

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PB&J pancakes on a Monday morning?? I’ll take it! ;)

 

My mid-morning snack had been waiting patiently for me in the cupboard since yesterday.

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I heated it up in the microwave first before unravelling to the gooey centre.

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That right there is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Hands down.

 

Fret not, I haven’t just been eating sweet things.

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On Friday, I “healthified” a meal I used to love – beans and wieners. Oddly, this is not a dish I grew up eating like most people, but introduced to me by a boyfriend when I was 18. Same boy who introduced me to fluffernutter sandwiches as well. His childhood was apparently a lot tastier than mine.

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For this, I mixed together:

  • 1 can soy beans in a tomato sauce
  • 3 veggie hot dogs
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 onion, carmelized with a clove of garlic
  • few handfuls spinach, cooked
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 can herbed tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

I ate it plain on Friday, then re-heated on top of spinach with cheddar cheese tonight. Such comfort food!

 

Finally, I want to talk a little bit about my own personal exercise schedule. I’ve gotten so much into the habit of talking about exercise for other people that I forget some people like to hear what I am doing myself!

As mentioned in this post, I took a little break from exercise. This is something I do quite often. Every three months or so I take several consecutive days off all intense activity such as weight lifting, running, spinning, etc. It’s a welcome physical break for my body, which gets put through quite the beating with my workouts everyday. But it’s an even better break for my mind. Working out all the time can really drain you mentally.

This summer has obviously been a little hard on my workout schedule what with moving, getting a job in a gym, then giving up my old gym membership. Even worse is that I like to rely on the outdoors in the summer months for my exercise. But I only do it when it’s enjoyable – and running in the heat is not enjoyable. We’re on track for being the hottest summer on record here. I have been without a working bike since the spring. I eventually got bored of my same ole’ gym routine snuck in between clients. I burned out.

After 5 days of complete rest, I hopped on the elliptical last Friday for 50 minutes. Nothing too hard, but I still found it exhausting. I took Saturday off again, then did some yoga and a lot of walking yesterday.

I’m happy to report that I’m finally feeling recharged and enthusiastic about starting a new chapter of fitness for myself. After perhaps too much thought, I’ve decided to start a split weight lifting routine. The only split I’ve ever done before is upper/lower body. My new split will have me working these muscle groups on separate days:

  • Back/Biceps
  • Chest/Triceps
  • Shoulders/Abs
  • Legs

I’ll be throwing a lot of cardio intervals into the mix, with a few fitness classes, yoga classes and hopefully running outdoors again if the heat ever stops. This is just my “starter split” and I expect to be experimenting a lot more as time goes on :)

Also – I’m leaving my heart rate monitor at home on lifting days. Of all the exercises in the world,  I love weight lifting the most. I’m seeing this as just staying at the gym to do an activity I love. No pressure of burning calories.

I won’t be posting every single one of my workouts in the main blog posts anymore because it’s just too time consuming for me. But I am going to work harder at constantly and consistently updating my fitness page with workouts y’all can try out for yourself :) I’ll also get better about including workout tidbits and new moves I learn in the regular posts because I am learning SO MUCH now as a working personal trainer.

 

So thurrr ya go!

Questions of the Day:

1. Weight lifting or cardio? I find most people are either or. I’m sure it says something about you!

2. Favourite kind of jam? Mine is blueberry! Or plain strawberry. Nothing with crunchy seeds please.

Life in a Jar

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Going through my food photos, I noticed this one from last week that I never shared with you. I swear, it’s not because I am ashamed of it.

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That would be oatmeal in a Fluff jar topped with chocolate peanut butter and strawberries. The fluff melts and becomes a sweet syrup. SO good.

Apparently, oats in a jar continued to be a popular breakfast into this week.

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Either that, or I have a tendency to blow through fluff and peanut butter at the same pace ;)

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One of my pet peeves used to be the hard bits of nut butter at the bottom of the jar, but putting oatmeal in it solves that problem. What’s that purple stuff in there you ask?

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Jam of course!! When you’re out of fluff, jam is the next best thing to pair with PB ;)

This morning I got a grip on myself and ate breakfast out of a bowl.

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Yogurt with protein powder, dry oatmeal, cinnamon, blueberries, almond butter, and the kicker…

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Mint. If I could keep plants in the house without killing them, mint would be my herb of choice. Not just for the mojitos, but it makes for an excellent yog-mess topper!

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In a perfect world, blueberries would also be in season all year round ;)

You may recall that I tried fresh figs for the first time not that long ago, and wasn’t that impressed.

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Well, those were black figs. This weekend I spotted some green figs and decided to give them another try.

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Verdict? Much better! The center was a lot sweeter and more flavourful. Thumbs up!

I may not be baking much these days, but I sure am making lots of summery salads!

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I meant for this to be a quinoa salad, but when I opened my cupboard all I had was pearl barley. I still think quinoa will be better, thus, that’s what I’m putting in the recipe ;)

Hearty Tofu Quinoa Summer Salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut in 1cm cubes
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 block tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried chilis

Cook the quinoa, sweet potato and tofu in the water for around 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let chill in the fridge for several hours (one day is best to let the flavours come out!)

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I tossed some of the leftovers with spinach, zucchini, green pepper and tomatoes today for lunch. Yumyum!! I am aalll about the protein packed summer salads these days ;)

Supper wasn’t quite as successful.

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It started good – a Rowe Farms Italian Sausage on toasted rye bread from Brick Street Bread.

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Both are exceptionally tasty, made better only by the addition of ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut.

But then there was this pile of green…

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I normally love piles of green food. I though this frozen broccoli rapini would be no different. For lack of a better word, ick. It was chewy. Could not chew enough to swallow and the taste wasn’t that great. I get rapini is not one of those veggies that freezes well…

 

I also have some big news!!

Two pieces of news actually…

First, I finally picked out something to wear to the Healthy Living Summit Cocktail party.

Yes, this is big news :P

You have no idea how much mental energy I have put towards worrying about this stupid outfit. I am not a fashionista. Apart from whether or not it wicks moisture, I do not care about my clothing to any great extent. I think it comes more from the fact that I’m cheap and can’t bring myself to spend my hard-earned bucks on expensive pieces of material.

I had a few old dresses I thought I could wear to the event, but I didn’t feel right in any of them. And I’m all about feeling good in your own skin. You will have to wait till Friday to see my new $30 dress :)

Also, apparently everyone is wearing yoga pants during the sessions on Saturday. But I haven’t worn pants since I was in Alberta two months ago. I would have to disagree with the Gap and say that I do indeed look good in shorts. Anyone ever do yoga in jean shorts? :P

 

Okayokay, now on to the news that’s actually important…

I’m getting a Nutrition & Wellness Specialist certification!

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a loooong time and the time is finally right. I’m doing it through Can-Fit-Pro, the same as my personal training certification. I’ll be given a textbook and take a weekend of classroom instruction at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Right now, my hands are kind of tied as a personal trainer when it comes to nutrition advice. The new certification will allow me to give nutrition counselling and advising on top of creating fitness programs so my clients will sort of have the whole package. Diet is such a huge part of the fitness and health journey, it’s important that people get some info on that too!

My classes are in September and my exam in October. This is just another part of what will be a long education journey for me, I can’t wait! :)

 

Question of the Day: Are you a fashionista? What’s your favourite piece of fashion advice? One that I always follow is that I never show off my upper and lower parts at once. If I’m wearing a short skirt, then I pick a modest top. If I’m wearing a low-cut shirt, then I’ll go with something longer on the bottom.

Things I Learned The Month I Found A New Home

Having a bed and a closet to put your clothes in is luxury I previously took for granted.

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Things have a funny way of working out. I definitely make the decisions, but the universe still nudges me around.

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Gaining weight is not the end of the world when trying to maintain a weight loss. But when you’ve been maintaining for so long, trying to lose again sucks.

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There is a very real possibility that this healthy living blog will exclusively turn into a waffle blog.

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I spent years being sleep deprived when an eye mask was all I needed. I now sleep close to 9 hours a night in utter darkness.

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Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter whisked with sugar-free syrup makes for a most excellent dipping sauce.

There is such a thing as too much bacon.

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I shouldn’t feel pressure to blog every single day, nor should I. In order to blog about my life, I have to live it :)

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I am a nerd of epic proportions, proved by squealing with delight at Harry Potter props with 13-year-olds.

This country girl may have a bit of a city girl in her.

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It’s possible to wake up one day and be living the life you always wanted.

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Marshmallow fluff makes the world go round.

Kensington Market eludes me.

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Getting paid to meet wonderful people and put them through workouts is amazing.

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I have a lot more drive and energy than I ever gave myself credit for. 

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It’s really important to actively stay in touch with people. Old friends, new friends, relatives. Don’t always count on others to make the connection.

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Pitas make the best easy pizza crust. No, really.

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I’m finally in a place where I can go out to bars with people, stay sober, and still have tons of fun. It’s taken a long time to get here.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can always find a sense of comfort.

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Going to bed last night, I looked up and spotted the moon through my skylight. I spent a long time looking at it, just as I did as a little girl while sitting on my bedroom window seat. I think it would be so easy for me to feel an overwhelming sense of drowning in this big new city. But my heart is so full, my eyes so wide, and my mind so peaceful. Following my gut was the best thing I ever did.

Question of the Day: What did you learn in July?

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