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The Non-Backyard BBQ

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!!

Confession: I couldn’t wait until Wednesday this week, and ate up my waffles on Tuesday. I was waffling in spirit though :) Actually, today was more of a Weightlifting Wednesday. Alliteration Wednesday??

In my unemployment, I’ve become accustomed to waking up at 7am every morning when my mom’s boyfriendlifepartner wakes up. I make breakfast, drink coffee, relax, then go to the gym with my mom when she’s ready. This really is the ideal workout situation for me, as I’m adequately fuelled and caffeinated for when the real work begins.

However, life was not always so agreeable. Back in my working days (almost a month ago!!) I was up at 5am every day to hit up the gym before my office job. I got pretty used to this routine, and my body adjusted to the early morning beating.

Suffice it to say, this is no longer the case :P This morning I woke up, gobbled up a banana, and was on the elliptical within 30 minutes of rising. Whoa. Shock to the ole system. Took me much longer to get into the groove, but once I did it was gooood!

Warm-up: 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight set (x3)
One arm dumbbell snatch (shoulders, quads, glutes)

Superset (x3)
Wide-grip lat pulldown (upper & mid back, biceps)
Single leg squat (quads, glutes, inner thigh)

Superset (x3)
Cable twisting chest press (chest, front of shoulder, triceps, obliques) 
Single leg romanian deadlift (hamstrings, glutes, lower back, hips)

Superset (x3)
Dumbbell front raise with a side lunge (front shoulders, top back, thighs, glutes) 
Standing calf raise (calves) 

Superset (x3)
Incline curl (biceps)
Kickback (triceps)

Superset (x3)
Cable horizontal woodchop (obliques)
Reverse crunch (lower abs)

Solid, solid lifting workout folks! Lately I’ve been alternating between upper-body and lower-body moves with my full-body workouts. I used to do all compound moves, but I’ve noticed more results with a few extra isolation moves thrown in there. Whole thing took me an hour. Doing supersets helps me speed through it.

Oh yes, and why exactly was I up working out so early when I’m unemployed?

I had things to attend to of course!

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Fun things :) Friends of Sister Jane were in town playing a show. Bette & Wallet play vamped up folk music, you can listen to them here! And while we’re on it, Sister Jane is a musician as well. She’s currently working on her third album, and you should most definitely go listen to her music here.

There, I think I have all my shameless plugs accounted for.

The only thing that could have made this concert better was some free food. Wait! It had that too!

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There was a “backyard bbq” theme. Despite the event actually being held on the stage of a theatre. I showed up hungry and figured I could snack on the veggie tray until I found something better after we left. Little did I know it was going to be good food!!

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Albeit, not the “healthiest” food. The options were beef chili, seafood chowder, dinner rolls, bbq drumsticks, ribs and a raw veggie tray.

As soon as I saw the chili I knew I was good. Chili is surprisingly a good choice at times like these (if you love the beef). It’s not made with cream, is chock full of veggies, meat and fibre, and relatively low-cal. I had one scoop of the chili (~1 cup), a piece each of the ribs and chicken just to get a taste, and filled the rest of my plate with veggies.

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It was the perfect serving! I got to try some of the yummy stuff, without feeling gross and overstuffed after. They were also offering black forest cake and carrot cake, but I put my foot down to that. Ohyes, and I think I may have a new addiction to ribs ;)

That held me over for a long time while we visited with my Nana after. Only needed a small snack to hold me over till dinner.

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Homemade Maple Cinnamon Protein Bar made with rolled oats instead of oat bran, and added raisins. Never fail!

Dinner was yet another feast. I have definitely been eating well lately!

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Mother dearest put together a tossed salad.

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While Mark made the dressing – 2 parts apple cider vinegar, one part canola oil, and some secret seasonings. He tells me that Dr. Oz says this oil/vinegar combo can make you burn an extra 50 calories a day doing nothing. Fact: so can adding one pound of lean muscle ;)

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Taters! And the star of the show:

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Baked trout. I love trout, I definitely need more of it in my life. I always seem to gravitate toward salmon instead.

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My plate! Notice the new design? My mom replaced the old 1970s plates with ones from the cottage.

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Fish + veggies is my favourite meal EVER.

Then we dropped Sister Sara off at the airport :( It’s okay though, I’ll be seeing her again in Ottawa in three weeks!

 

Okay, I was totally going to blog all about the Perfect Plank tonight. But honestly, my mommy is downstairs watching the Idol finale and I want to join her! Tomorrow, I will yammer about plank exercises. Promise :)

 

Questions of the Day:

1. What is your favourite kind of fish? Salmon if it’s fresh, tuna if it’s canned.

2. How do you feel about catered events? Do you partake? I never used to, but they don’t frighten me as much anymore. If worse comes to worst, I can have a dinner roll and that emergency protein bar I always carry in my purse :)

‘Til The End

It was another bee-yoo-tiful day here!! It felt like summer, I got to wear a tank-top and shorts! It was 7C this morning when I woke up, so I knew a run before lunch was in my cards ;)

Took a page from Caitlin’s book (hey, she really does have a book!) and made her peanut butter french toast. Except, I used almond butter to mix up in the egg whites with cinnamon.

IMG_5420 I swear that’s not a shot of whiskey in that Crown Royal glass, it’s syrup! Really, I swear. Although, I am not above whiskey for breakfast.

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Oh yeah, and I inserted raisins into the bread too :) The almond butter created a nice outer crust. Nomnom.

Today would have been a perfect day to take my bike out – but I’m having a little bike anxiety. It’s been months and I’m getting flashbacks to all the times I fell off learning how to use clipless pedals last year. I don’t want to re-learn!

Anyways, I did the least anxiety-inducing activity I could think of – I RAN!

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But not without a snack first. PB + banana, vanilla cottage cheese + raisins + cinnamon. Someone (I can’t remember who!) asked me if the cottage cheese is artificially sweetened/flavoured, the answer is no. Plain ole’ sugar and natural vanilla flavour.

So happy I chose to run because it was glooooorious. Last year, I ran with a Nike + all summer so I knew how fast/far I was going. But this year, I don’t really give a damn! I wore my heart rate monitor to make sure my heart was working hard enough, but besides that I just did what felt good. Think it was 5-ish miles in 50 minutes. Saw tons of friendly people on the trail, listened to a great playlist on my iPod, and honestly enjoyed every minute :D

The song “’Til The End” by The Living End came on during my last half mile and it was perfect. Go listen to it and add it to your list, it rocked my socks :)

Came home and iced to keep the pain away (something I always do after longer runs) while eating a ginormous ham and cheese salad.

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Just because I’m not having Easter dinner this weekend, doesn’t mean I can’t still have ham! It’s just cold cubed ham with lots of veggies – including pickles. Topped with old cheddar cheese.

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For the dressing I mixed up two laughing cow cheeses + 1 tsp honey mustard and thinned it out with a little water for drizzling. It was delicious!! Would have been better with a boiled egg, but my tummy did not want to wait the extra 10 minutes for that to happen.

I went to the clinic today to get my skin looked at, but I got turned away :( Too many people were there! I may try again tomorrow.

Instead, I went downtown to soak in the warm air, including retrieving my latest work of pottery art.

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I used a stencil on this and it still looks like a child did it!! Aaahhahaha. Oh well. Will make for a fun yogurt dish at least :)

Then I hit up Second Cup for some personal training studying.

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Cell phone picture. Left the baby at home. Sipped on a sugar-free raspberry Italian soda (ie club soda and aspartame) with a s’mores Luna.

I stayed there all afternoon until my tummy told me it was time to come back home for dinner. And by dinner, I mean leftovers eaten out of a tupperware container.

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Turkey goulash, fourth and final round. Loved every bite!

The rest of my evening has been pretty laid back, and included a lot more studying. This time doing the online theory.

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I’m just reviewing everything over a million times, hoping that it sticks. I think I’ll be going to the gym this coming week with a couple girls from work to show them the strength training equipment, so that should help me feel more comfortable with the practical aspect. It’s getting clooooose!!!

On tap for Sunday:
~2 hour group fitness medley: spin, body attack, body pump and body flow. Bring it on.
~Another attempt at the medical clinic
~Do taxes
~Clean apartment
~More personal trainer studying

I just typed that out to hold myself accountable for it all. The only thing I really want to do on that list is the group exercise bonanza. Honestly, I’m looking forward for this weekend to be over – I kinda miss work!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite genre of music to workout to? I realized the other day while running to Rancid, that I lovelovelove working out to punk music. It gets me the most pumped up!

Meatloaf Pizza and Goal Check-In!

Ooohhhh maannnn. Anyone else have a rough Monday? I think it was a combination of having a busy weekend, plus the time change. I didn’t have a great sleep last night and felt like a cranky zombie until about 2pm. Spin class didn’t even do it for me. It was far more torturous than it usually is. In fact, most people had that “just been run over by a truck look.”

Oh, and my day totally got started off on the wrong foot. I went to put my contacts in first thing this morning, except, they weren’t in the case. I dug my finger all through the solution and couldn’t find them. After a couple minutes, I realized they were still in my eyes. Even worse, they’d been in since Saturday!! I woke up with crusty eyes Sunday morning and briefly thought I was getting pink eye. Then I forgot all about it and wore my glasses all day! Then I woke up with super dry and crusty eyes again today and was really grossed out realizing they were still on my eyeballs. *shudder*

Aaaanyways, moving on! Desk-breakfast was solid today. I’m finally starting to get used to these! (I used to hate cold breakfasts)

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Greek yogurt, almond butter, stevia, fresh strawberries, homemade granola. It’s a classic combo for a reason.

Lunch was the exact same salad I had last night, just in giant tupperware.

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Highlights of the salad were definitely the pickled beets and tzatziki. SO good! It also contained pieces of my first ever attempt at cooking pork. I over-cooked it, which I suppose is better than under-cooking it :\ I picked it up because two pork tenderloins were one-third the price of two chicken breasts. Holy shit.

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I always put half the spinach on the top so I’m not left with a bunch of dry spinach at the end.

Highlight of the day definitely came at 2pm (when my mood improved!). My boss lent me his car to run an errand and had The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album in the CD player. I cranked it, rolled down the window to let the spring air in, and sang along to Think For Yourself. Good times :)

Dinner was, ahem, “inspired” by this magazine I stole from my mom’s house (busted) which you can get for free at Sobey’s. (Canadian grocery store)

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Always on the lookout for high-protein dinners, this Crustless Meatloaf Pizza caught my eye.

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From the website:

1 cup Compliments Balance Tomato & Herbs Pasta Sauce, divided

1/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko)

1 egg, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried Compliments Italian Seasoning (I used Kirkland no-salt seasoning)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used extra-lean ground turkey)

1 cup Compliments Finely Shredded Pizza Cheese Blend (used 3/4 cup Kraft shredded old cheddar)

2 cups assorted vegetables such as sliced onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms (I used artichoke hearts, onions, mushrooms, yellow pepper, spinach and tomatoes)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place 3 tbsp (45 mL) pasta sauce in a large bowl; stir in bread crumbs, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Crumble in the beef and mix gently to combine. Press evenly onto a 12-inch (30 cm) rimmed pizza pan.
  2. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the beef. Sprinkle with cheese and top with vegetables. Bake, on the lowest rack, for 15 to 20 min. or until the pizza is set and the cheese is bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve.

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My kitchen takes crappy photos, but I wanted to get a shot of it as a “pie” :)

The yumminess in some natural light with steamed veggies topped with coconut…

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HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. This was so good. If you like meatloaf, make it now!!!

I went back for seconds ;)

 

Okay, it’s Monday, which means it’s time to check in on my March Goals:


1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted.
Apartment is 85% subletted! I have someone who has offered to take it, but I still need to get a deposit and signature from him (should be Wednesday). As soon as that happens, then it’s officially done! I also cleaned out my car and took pictures of it yesterday, so I’ll be posting ads for it soon too.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Definitely lagging on this. But I’m not stressing about it that much. I know no matter what I do, I’ll have enough money to at least survive, so that’s comforting…

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’ve been really busy at work, but people are at least noticing the time and effort I put into it, which means a lot :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I lagged on this last week! I still have to complete my online lessons, which will be time consuming. Hoping to get that done in the evenings this week – I start my in-class learning this Saturday at a gym in Saint John!!

5. Run outdoors again. CHECK!! I got three, surprisingly “easy,” miles in on Saturday. I’m hoping to get another outdoor run in after work this Wednesday :)

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month?

Bonus question: Do you sing in the car? I do. No shame.

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