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Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Hello friends!! Thank you sosososo much for all the kind words on my last post. Physically, I am feeling much better. My glute soreness has been downgraded from severe to just high. I got up and showered today, grocery shopped, cleaned and interacted with the outside world :)

Mentally, I’m still a little drained. There are a lot of things I have to adjust to, but I think know I will be better for it.

In other news, I am completely obsessed with custard oats. They’re all I want for breakfast when I have time to make them. This morning, I decided to see if the deliciousness transferred to oatbran.

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  • 1/2 cup oatbran
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole egg (whisked into pot at start of cooking)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (splashed in intermittently) 
  • 2 chopped dates
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter

I remember Leah mentioning a long time ago that she eats oats in shallow bowls because it cools quicker and you get more toppings in each bite. I’ve been trying it out lately, and I would have to agree!

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The egg definitely made the oatbran creamier than usual, but still not as thick as with rolled oats. I find rolled oats leave me feeling satisfied longer too.

My morning was uneventful. Finally caught up on my MTV watching (already love the new Real World!) and did some stuff for work. I wanted to clear up the rest of my fridge for lunch to make room for groceries today. The only three fresh things in there were egg whites, cottage cheese and baked beans. Here’s what I came up with…

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Egg white frittata with cottage cheese and frozen veggies. I also found a lonely slice of swiss cheese that I threw on top. The beans on the side. Oh, and I may have smothered the eggs in hot sauce ;)

I spent soooo much money at the grocery store. I would say food shopping is definitely my form of retail therapy. I did more fridge-clearing once I got home, finishing up the carrot protein sqaures topped with laughing cow cheese, cinnamon and sugar. In the back are the tiniest mandarins I’ve ever seen.

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Size comparison next to a Larabar (which are also pretty small).

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Wee tiny wedge!!!

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A nice fruit for munching mindlessly. Might make their way into to a salad if they last that long ;)

Minutes after polishing off last week’s protein bars, I got started on a fresh batch for this week! I poured over various recipes, and ended up just doing a variation of the breakfast cookie.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • ~ 3/4 cup water

All mushed up in a bowl, flattened into a 9×9 pan, and stuck in the freezer till hard. Then I cut them into 8 pieces and wrapped them up for the week.

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The stats are pretty stellar: 190 calories, 7g fat, 18g carbs, 2g sugar, 3g fibre, 15g protein. I think they’ll need to be kept in the freezer, but that’s fine by me. I’ll just put it on top of an ice pack in my lunch bag :)

Dinner was one of my favourites – roast chicken!

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I make a really basic roast chicken. Stuffed it with lemon wedges and garlic, then rubbed salt and pepper on top. Baked at 425 F for 90 minutes. Easy peasy (and that’s coming from a former vegetarian!)

Veggies were roasted zucchini, carrots and parsnips.

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This was my first time trying parsnips!! (or not, mom, you can correct me on that one). The consensus on Twitter was that roasted is the best way to have them. I loved the texture. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside. They’re almost like a starchier version of turnip (or rutabaga?). Next time, they’ll get the fries and ketchup treatment ;)

 

So seeing as life has been a little rocky lately, I thought it would be prefect timing to participate in the Happy 101 game Tam tagged me in.

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The rules are to list 10 things that make me happy then pick 10 other people to do the same! First, my list:

  1. Mornings in bed. My ideal day starts off with breakfast in bed, the Today show, blog reading, and then a trip to the gym. I got attached to it while taking evening classes in university.
  2. My remote car starter. Sure, I’m polluting the environment and wasting gas, but it’s pretty sweet getting into a warm car with a clear windshield on a frigid day.
  3. The last second of a sprint. I love that moment when I’m giving it 110% in a sprint, be it on the bike, running, or elliptical, and I get to that last second and slow down. It’s a mixture of “omg I’m going to die,” “omg I’m going to live,” and “omg I can’t believe I did that.”
  4. Pigeon pose. If it were socially acceptable, I would work at my desk in pigeon pose. I want to live in it.
  5. Children’s fantasy books. Yes, they are my favourite genre. Yes, this includes Harry Potter and Twilight. His Dark Materials series, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, I love them all.
  6. The first day of spring. And by that I mean the first day of the year I wear flats. Usually a little earlier than I should, as I always end up stepping in some slush. But it’s always a moment of hope knowing the long, harsh winter is over and nothing but warm days are ahead.
  7. The recovery shake/meal. I love coming home from a tough workout and replenishing my system with delicious food. It tastes better, digests better, and just makes me feel good about my body.
  8. Dogs. Particularly, roughhousing with them on the floor. You know what I’m talking about. When you get down on the floor and start teasing them so they bark and wag their tail. Good times.
  9. Clean bedsheets. Ahhhhhh…..
  10. Making delicious food and sharing it with others. I love most of the things I cook for myself. But it’s awesome when others do too. It puts a huge smile on my face whenever someone clearly enjoys something I’ve made :D

So in order to pass the happy thoughts along, I’m going to pick 10 random people who commented on my last post to participate:

Jessica
Hallie
Ellie
Danielle
Kate
Morgan
Stephanie
Erin
Lori
Paige

Can’t wait to read what makes you ladies happy too! :D

 

I’ve also decided to tweak my weekly workout plan a little. I’m going to be switching out my Friday lower-body workout with an at-home bike trainer + workout DVD session. This way I’ll only be getting up super early to go to the gym two of my five work days. To me, that sounds super doable, and hopefully keep me from burning out. We’ll see how it goes this week!

 

Last but not least, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!!

Tomorrow is a B-I-G day around these parts. Make sure you stop in for some bloggie fun, mm-kay? ;) Can’t wait – see ya then!!

Question of the Day: What puts a smile on your face?

Snow Problem

This is the view out my window today:

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It’s been snow storming all day. We’re could get up to 20 cm (~9 inches). Sooo not looking forward to shovelling out of my driveway to get to the gym before work tomorrow! I’m contemplating going out and doing some of it later tonight. I hate shovelling. With every ounce of my being,

Anyways, so last night Chris and I found a great website called DSLR Tips. It seriously has everything you could want to know about the settings and options on an SLR camera. As you know, I got a Canon Rebel XS for Christmas. I know a little bit about photography from taking photojournalism and broadcast television in school, but I still have a lot to learn!

So after watching the videos last night I started playing around with my aperture settings. Here it is at F3.5…

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And F22…

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Neat eh?? I also learned about taking cool action shots, scenic photos and finally figured out my manual focus. (I’m not very good at reading manuals, I’m more of a “experiment till I figure it out” person)

So far I have no immediate plans to get a new lens, because I think the one I have now (18-55mm) is good enough for my current purposes. However, I want to get one of those little table-top tripods asap, and might start looking into getting a detachable strobe flash. Fun!! :D

Okay, now I’ll get to the food photos I took with said camera (which reminds me, I should really put that battery back into my smoke alarm…).

One notable thing from yesterday was the Primal Strip that Deb gave me.

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It’s meatless beef jerky made out of seitan. I’ve never had this before and I was so excited to try it! Definitely a good pick on Deb’s part ;)

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I really liked it. I ate it plain, but wished I had some crackers and cheese to pair it with. Also, now I really want to try real beef jerky again – I haven’t had it since I was a kid!

Speaking of Deb, I attempted a bowl of protein pimped oatbran for breakfast.

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There’s a wonderful pictorial of what to do if you click on the above link. Basically, you mix egg whites till they puff up,and add them to your oatbran to make it uber fluffy. I don’t have a hand or stand mixer, so I attempted to puff my egg whites using an immersion blender. Didn’t go so well. I got a few big bubbles, but it mostly just increased in volume a little. No major pouffage :(

The bowl was still mega delicious though, and the egg whites did make for a more voluminous bowl. I also stirred in some of Emily’s dried apples and topped it with almond butter and white chocolate chips. 

After finally getting my Google Reader down to zero, I braved the winter storm for an awesome lifting workout. I actually pre-planned this one before leaving. I wanted to make it a full-body workout, and alternated my sets with ab moves a la Janetha ;)

Warm-up:
20 minutes “MIIT” (medium intensity intervals) on the elliptical
3 min @ level 10
2 min @ level 12
1 min @ level 16
2 min @ level 13
1 min @ level 17
2 min @ level 14
1 min @ level 18
2 min @ level 14
1 min @ level 17
2 min @ level 13
1 min @ level 16
2 min @ level 12

Assisted pull-up: 3 sets, 75 lbs x 8
Plank: 3 sets, 60 sec

Barbell lunge: 3 sets, 30 lbs x 20 (alternating legs) 
Side plank: 3 sets, 30 sec each side

Barbell curl: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Skull crusher: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Barbell upright row: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15

Medicine ball squat: 3 sets, 11 lbs x 12
Russian twist: 3 sets, 11 lbs x 24

Dumbbell pullover: 3 sets, 20 lbs x 15
Plank up: 3 sets, bw x 8

Cool-down:
Stretching :)

Good times. The New Year Resolution-ers are starting to show up at the gym, but they seem to stick to the cardio machines. The weight area was just full of all the usual suspects.

Lunch was my typical fare. Can never go wrong with a sandwich or pita midday :)

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This one had Italian tofurkey slices, spinach dip, olives, pickles, pickled onions + spinach. Veggies with a little hummus on the side. Yum! I’m still on a pickle kick. I promise you I am not preggers.

I decided to head back into the storm this afternoon for groceries. It was either today or wait till Tuesday night. Yeah, wasn’t gonna make it. Had a snack first in case I got stuck in the snow somewhere.

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The third and final flavour of my Vega bar haul they sent me to test – Chocolate Decadence. 

vegainfo vegainfo 
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So my first bite was kinda icky. It tasted like chocolate mud. But, the more bites I took, the more i got into it. I’ll basically eat anything with chocolate in it. However, I don’t think I’d ever willingly spend my money on this flavour. Again, the nutritionals that accompany this bar are awesome, but if I want “chocolate decadence,” I’m cracking into my 80% Lindt.

My grocery trip was successful. My fridge is now full of ingredients to make meals and snacks for my first week at my new job!

Dinner had to be warm and comforting because of the weather. But it also had to be easy so I could clean while it cooked. Enter: roasting pan dinner.

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Directions: throw a protein source and appetizing veggie combos on a roasting pan. Season, and bake! This mix is tofu, brussel sprouts, red onion, mushroom, sweet potato, garlic and Kirkland no-salt seasoning. Took 30 minutes to cook – just enough time to do my dishes and scrub the floor ;)

 

So I kinda feel like today was my first day “back on track” from the holidays. Not gonna beat around the bush here – my pants are tight. Nothing major, around 3-ish lbs with some nice tummy bloat. Yesterday’s eats weren’t documented, but I ended up going to Chris’ parent’s place for a roast beef dinner. Delicious, but definitely the end of the line for me. Time to get back to my simpler eats :)

Also, I’ve devised a new workout schedule for myself! I’ve been anti-schedule for several months now after all the training I did in the summer. But I find myself wanting something to follow now, and working Mon-Fri at my new job should make that much easier. Here’s what I’ve got planned for this month:

Monday: 60 min spin class
Tuesday: Yoga/Rest
Wednesday: 40 min run, shoulders, abs
Thursday: Yoga/Rest
Friday: Lower body, abs
Saturday: 60 min run, chest, abs
Sunday: Step class, biceps, triceps

So normally I do full-body or upper-body workouts, with a lot of compound moves. But I’ve decided to try separating my muscle groups and pairing some of it with cardio. There’s no specific reason why I’m doing this, I just thought it would be nice to change it up for a while. Don’t want to get bored with my routine!

It also bears mentioning that I’ll likely only do yoga once a week, and take one total rest day. I’ve also designed it so my hardest workouts are on the weekend (my days off) and that there’s some flexibility with trading out days, or doing morning/evening workouts.

Again, this is just for this month to see how it works. Next month I’ll probably start thinking about half marathon training :)

 

Phew! This was a rambly post. Hope you’re not putting off anything important to get through it all :)

 

Question of the Day: What does your usual workout schedule look like? I’m genuinely interested, I always love to hear about what other people do for workouts!

Random Facts

Hola blog peoples! Wow, today has been a day of playing catch-up and I still have tons to do! Never leave a messy house when going on vacation. My apartment is a disaster, the last thing I want to do is come home and clean it!

Seemed like the only uncluttered spot in my apartment was my fridge. In fact, it was bare! I got up early to do a little cardio and lifting. Nothing fancy, just wanted to get my joints and muscles moving again. I of course wanted waffles when I came home (it is Waffle Wednesday after all!) alas, that was not an option.

Instead, breakfast was inspired by this…

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Starbucks Via instant Colombian coffee. I picked up a little package in Detroit. I’m not a huge instant coffee fan, but I knew the Starbucks stuff would at least be strong tasting. Of course, what fun is just plain ole’ coffee?

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Mocha oats!

  • 2/3 cup oat bran
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 package Via instant coffee
  • chocolate chips
  • roasted almonds
  • coconut

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SO good! Usually I’m rushed to down a big bowl of hot oats with my mug of coffee in the morning. It’s too many hot things at once and makes me break into a sweat. This way I killed two birds with one stone. One tasty stone :P

Another new (to me) product I tried today was a white chocolate Clif!!!

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I’ve been trying to track down this flavour in both the Clif and Luna for-ever. I found this hidden at the local bike shop.  I popped it in the microwave at work for 22 seconds to make it all warm and gooey (the only way I eat a Clif now). It was deeee-vine! Not sure if it topples Maple Nut on my list, but a well deserved second spot perhaps ;)

After work, I proceeded to the grocery store and spent SO much money on groceries. I can justify that by an empty fridge, right? I was craving one of my favourite healthy meals after my weekend of indulgences.

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Maple curry salmon on a garden salad with balsamic vinegar as dressing.

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I just pan fry the salmon in some cooking spray and curry powder. About 6 minutes on each side. I always cover the pan, I find it locks the juices in that way :)

And what’s a dinner without a sweet treat after?

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M&Ms! What can I say, I fell victim to the Halloween candy at the grocery store.

And because it is Waffle Wednesday, I found a picture of the waffles I had before I left on Friday. I forgot all about them and they were so good!!

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That beautiful icing on top was a mix of ricotta, cashew butter and maple syrup. Not to be dramatic or anything, but it was mind blowing. Just putting that out there.

Apparently my bloggie friends were feeling quite generous while I was away because I got an award!

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Brie and Hallie, two of my favourite bloggers passed this on to me. Not without an assignment though! I must share 7 random facts about myself:

  1. I have to eat the second I open my eyes in the morning. I often get started on breakfast before I even use the washroom.
  2. It still amazes me that cucumbers and pickles are the same food. For the longest time, I thought they were two separate vegetables.
  3. I think music videos are really, really boring.
  4. I never played sports as a kid, but I did do highland dancing and synchronized swimming.
  5. I don’t like ice cream.
  6. I played guitar in an all-girl punk band called The Brats.
  7. I’m a natural blonde.

Okay, okay, enough about me. What’s one random fact about you?

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