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Beat the New Year’s Crowd

Mooooaaaan. That’s the noise I’ve been making all “Moanday” :P For the third week in a row, I had high hopes of making it to a Monday morning spin class. And for the third week in a row, I failed to go! I’m not very good about going to bed early Sunday nights, so the idea lost all appeal by the time I set my alarm last night. Oh well, the sleep and nice breakfast was well worth it!

I went through a period where I was buying a lot of stuff at the Bulk Barn. I thought it was awesome because I could scoop out just as much as I wanted and the price was right. But the more I did it, the more I realized the product quality sucked. Everything was stale, and the oats were a “bad cut” (you oatmeal snobs know what I’m talking about). I finally finished up my bag of bad bulk oat bran last week and went back to my Golden Box.

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It’s like reuniting with an old lover. I made 1/2 cup custard style with a whole egg whisked in.

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Topped with Bekah’s Coconut Chia Granola, cashew butter and molasses. Heaven.

Also bought yesterday was a $3 lunchbag! I’m quite proud of it. The top separates from the bottom, so I don’t have to lug the whole thing to lunch with me if I don’t need to.

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Hiding in that bag  was…

Morning snack:

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Yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder and granola.

Lunch…

IMG_3022Pita with mustard hummus, pickles, turkey, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. The mustard hummus with pickles was awesome.

Afternoon snackage…

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Homemade protein bar. I used just chocolate protein powder on this batch and it actually made it taste more bland! Next week I will spice it up a bit ;)

Had a good day at work today, despite being in a daze for most of it. Have to work tonight too, filming a lecture for the website. So dinner was quick! Good thing I had leftovers ;)

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Bean and vegetable chili. Chili leftovers rock my socks. So does turkey. I don’t know how I was a vegetarian for so long when I’m clearly a heartless carnivore :P

 

Crowded Gyms

I figured it’s pretty much safe to assume that everyone’s gym is crowded these days. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of some helpful tips to beat (or tolerate) the crowds.

1. Stay away during peak times. This is the most obvious one. Everyone goes to the gym at 5pm. If there’s a way you can sneak it in elsewhere – do it! Friday nights and weekend afternoons are some of my favourite times to workout because it’s always abandoned there.

2. Try new machines. Good luck getting a treadmill or elliptical this time of year. Instead of throwing a hissy fit, try something new! Churn out some sprints on the stationary bike, work your arms on the rowing machine, or even (yes) climb onto the dreaded stairmaster. It’s your chance to step out of your comfort zone.

3. Hit up the weight room. New years resolution-ers tend to stick to the cardio equipment. Gym newbies are a little more apprehensive of free weights, so you’ll likely be in there with all the usual suspects. Perfect excuse to incorporate more strength training into your routine ;)

4. Take turns. Forget what I just said – sometimes the weight area is packed! I’ve gotten into the habit of asking people who are obviously doing alternating sets if they mind I use their machine or weights while they’re on their other set. Just because weight lifters are big and scary looking, doesn’t mean they’re not polite and sensible too :)

5. Be a hog. Okay, forget that polite thing I just mentioned too :P If I see a window to grab popular machines or weights, I grab them and hog them for all their worth. I was once the most hated person in the gym by hogging the 10, 20, and 25 lb dumbbells for 30 minutes.

6. Get there early. Exercise classes fill up fast in the New Year! I know getting there is sometimes hard enough, but make the extra effort to get there 10-15 minutes earlier. You can take the extra time to do a slower warm-up, which will boost your performance while you’re at it.

7. Be flexible. Don’t ditch your workout just because you can’t get your favourite treadmill, second last from the water fountain. And do not kick someone off your favourite spin bike! (yes, I’ve heard of both of these things happening before) Now is a perfect time to practice going with the flow.

8. Keep your cool. Don’t let the newbie incorrectly hogging the squat rack ruin your workout. There are worse things in life than having to sub out a set, or opt for a different machine. Remember, we go to the gym to relieve stress, not instigate it!

 

Question of the Day: How do you deal with busy gyms?

Meet me in my office

Happy Tuesday all! I apologize if I’m a little “off” this week. Trying to get settled into the new job,and spending my spare time “catching” up on some things. Also, I’m frantically trying to get through my personal training textbook before my classes in Moncton next week (okay, how exciting will those be!? Can’t wait to share it with you!)

Anyways, tangents aside, I did indeed get up at 5am today to hit the gym before work. I swear it’s not that hard to do. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at falling back asleep. Once I’m awake, I’m usually anxious to get my day started!

My first week of scheduled workouts is already all wonky from taking the day off yesterday. I’ll still get them in, just on different days. So that means I went for 40 minutes running, shoulders, and abs today.

First, the treadmill. I don’t feel like typing it out, but I started with 5 minutes walking. Then I did the following sequence:

5.6 mph, 5.7 mph, 5.8 mph
5.7 mph, 5.8 mph, 5.9 mph
5.8 mph, 5.9 mph, 6.0 mph

…until I got to 7.0 mph, which took 40 minutes :)

Weights/abs were alternated again:

Dumbbell shoulder press: 3 sets, 15 lbs ea x 10
Cable horizontal woodchop: 3 sets, 35 lbs x 10

Barbell upright row: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Hanging leg raises: 3 sets, bw x 8

YTWL: 3 sets, 7.5 lbs ea x 4 each letter
Swiss ball crunch: 3 sets, 11 lbs x 15

I tore through the last part, finishing in 65 minutes. I wanted time to go back home to shower and make a nice breakfast :)

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Custard oats topped with cashew butter and molasses. I am obsessed with custard oats. My protein powder oatmeal just isn’t the same anymore in comparison. Oatmeal lovers – I encourage you to give it a try! The creamy texture is out. of. this. world. All I do is whisk in an egg with the oats and water before I bring it to a boil. Then I reduce it to med-low and simmer for 15 min to make sure it’s all cooked in.

Today was Day Two at my new communications job at the university. Wanna see my office??
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I’m the desk on the right, office-mate is on the left. Office-mate is a sweetheart, and a very similar worker as me. Both of us are pretty quiet, but like to stretch and take chit chat breaks occasionally. I’m not a huge fan of people who blab my ear off while I’m trying to get work done.

The boxes you see are full of university apparel. Apparently we’re also a “sweatshirt shop.”

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I don’t mind actually, makes it feel more school-like :)

And a window!! My old newsroom didn’t have a window.

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Those flowers are already starting to wilt in my presence…

My desk! My very own desk :D

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I got my radio set up today, and plan on replacing that Tim Horton’s cup with a nicer pen holder. I also want to get a mint dish/candy bowl, and maybe some filing trays for my papers.

Classes don’t start until next Monday, so it’s eerily quiet in the building. I’m on a floor with classrooms, so it should get lively shortly! It is so SO weird being back at my university as a staff member and not a student. SO weird!!! I totally flipped when I got my parking pass today…

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It doesn’t say “student!” Plus, staff parking spots are in all the prime locations ;)

It’s definitely neat learning all the “behind the scenes” stuff of my university. Even more, having a hand in what goes on there. I feel like such a proud alumna :D

Got all my assignments done for the day just in time to come home starving and impatient for a meal.

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I didn’t even feel like cooking a chicken breast, so I threw a can of tuna in with some Indian Cauliflower Stew. Tuna was definitely not the right meat for these flavours. But whatever, it was hot, edible and healthy.

 

I’m already exhausted, don’t think I’ll make it through the Biggest Loser tonight! Got a 6am spin class on the sked for the morning. See ya tomorrow!

 

Question of the Day: What is one personal item you must have in your office/workplace? Anything you think my desk could use? I need to have hand cream and chapstick within an arm’s reach at all times! At Starbucks I kept them in my apron pockets ;)

Flashing Back to Christmases of Past

Woooo!!! It’s the weekend!!! I just realized I’ve only had one day off over the past 22 days. So these next two days off will be glorious :D Well, actually, I have a lot of catching up to do. But crossing things off my to-do list feels pretty glorious anyways.

Loved hearing all the other career paths y’all would like to pursue!! Seems like jobs involving animals, travel and food were the most popular :)

I had custard oats on the brain again this a.m. Well, that and mollases. And coconut chia granola.

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There’s almond butter hiding under there too. Dare I say this was better than the first time around? Yum!!!

Worked 8-4:30 today. I’ve taken to not working out when I do this shift. The days are pretty  busy and I need to be on my “A” game!! Also, I’m still sore from Tuesday’s weight lifting workout. That’s some persistent DOMS!!

Packed the usual lunch for today (we don’t have a microwave at the Bucks).

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Smoked tofurkey slices, mustard, swiss + veggies on lavash bread. And a melt-in your mouth ripe pear!

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Janetha posted an apple-pear comparison the other day. Did you know pears are lower in calories, carbs and sugar than apples, and also have more fibre and potassium?? They’re also cheaper these days. The price of apples has for some reason skyrocketed this month!

Oh, and I’ve been studying my personal training textbook on my breaks. Hence all the words in the background ;)

On my afternoon break, I had my first Vega Vibrancy Bar in the wholesome original flavour.

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To be honest, i did not have high hopes for this bar. It just looked too “healthy!”

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Can’t really argue with those stats or ingredients.

Of course, it’s how the thing tastes that’s reeeally important ;)

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It’s a date-based bar, much like a Larabar. But it tastes so different – I loved it!! You can taste the dates, but dates are one of my favourite foods, so that’s always a bonus for me. The little specks you see in there aren’t all nut pieces, but grains. It made for a wonderful texture. And the flavour was really “mellow” with nothing in particular standing out. It’s small, but still managed to hold me over for the last couple hours of work until I made it home for dinner. This gets a thumbs up!

That dinner I made was some standard Friday Night Fare. Burger and fries.

101_1304Real hamburger with sweet potato fries (spiced in cumin & chili powder). I’m still kinda hungry though!! I’m thinking a protein-yogurt dessert may be in order…

 

Friday Flashbacks… Christmas Edition!!!

Last Flashback Friday before Christmas!! Actually, Christmas is technically on a Flashback Friday this year. How fitting :)

Here are some random family photos from over the past four years (as far back as I can find). I stole some off my sister and mother’s Facebooks, so I can’t take credit for all of them.

My wonderful mom in her Christmas morning apparel, drinking coffee and awaiting the Queen’s Message…

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My Dad, looking very studious and lawyer-like. Actually, I think that’s a Stuart Maclean book I bought him one year.

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Sara, Jane and I, three sheets to the wind on Christmas Eve, re-enacting childhood games.

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Archie, napping under the piano, exhausted from all the Christmas excitement.

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Me and Nana (my mom’s mom)

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After the unwrapping frenzy on Christmas morning. I can’t believe my mother actually allowed her home looking like this get caught on film :P

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Last year’s dead bird, courtesy my mom’s new favourite Oprah recipe.

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Last year’s Christmas dinner! This is sister Sara’s plate. I think someone is a budding food blogger ;)

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My three favourite girls, two of which are in the most hideous winter coats I’ve ever seen. How can people who live in and near Quebec not remember to pack warm coats!? And why is my mom still holding on to these!?

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Girls, I will not be letting this happen again this year. :P

 

I’m starting to get really excited to go home! I leave Wednesday afternoon and I’m counting down the days. Almost all my gifts are taken care of. Hopefully I’ll get the rest this weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the same room as my mom and two sisters at once (last Christmas maybe?). Life has been such a rollercoaster lately, it will be nice to be in familiar surroundings with the people I love most :)

 

Question of the Day: What are you hoping to get for Christmas? Yup, I want a completely selfish, material answer for this one!! I think my mommy got me an SLR camera. Not sure what kind yet, but anything will be a step up from my current camera!

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