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Working Girl

Before we even get into things, I have to address several comments I got in my last post that deeply concerned me.

Some of you do not know what marshmallow fluff is!!

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Marshmallow fluff my friends, is made up of sugary pillows sent straight from the heavens.

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In all reality, it’s a lot like spreadable marshmallows. Fabulous with anything peanut butter or chocolate related.

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I typically only ever use a tablespoon at a time, which only sets me back 24 calories.

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So there you have it! I typically don’t allow sweets like cookies or pastries in my pantry, but dark chocolate and marshmallow fluff are the two exceptions that must always be made :)

 

You may have noticed that I was MIA again yesterday – and with good reason! I’ve been working! After 2.5 months of being unemployed “between opportunities,” it’s nice to get up and have a job to go to. My days have a sense of purpose again. Plus, I was starting run out of things to complain about ;)

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Monday had a late start, so I took my time preparing my new protein waffle/pancake recipe.

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/3 cup skim milk (it seems skim milk produces a different consistency than almond, before I used 1/2 cup almond milk)

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These weren’t any ordinary pancakes, ohno.

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I also added a tablespoon each of flaked coconut, walnut pieces and chopped dates.

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Made better only by the presence of iced coffee.

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In these troubling humid times, iced coffee is a must.

Now, y’all know I am not about fancy or complicated recipes. To me, the idea of simple food pairings is tasty enough. On Monday, I got to put together a pairing I’ve been dyyyying to try.

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Watermelon + feta cheese. It was delightful!! I love pairing berries with cottage cheese, or apples with cheddar cheese, and this combo was just as tasty. Watermelon is very sweet and juicy, which paired wonderfully with the saltiness of the feta. Thumbs up!!

I then proceeded to spend the rest of the day training clients at the gym! My very first client that I trained last week was back in and said she already felt a giant increase in energy and gained a ton of confidence at work. After a week! I was brimming with pride for her :D

T’was close to my bedtime by the time I made it home, so I opted for a light and simple dinner.

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A small chunky salad tossed in cottage cheese, feta & hummus. Looks gross, but I assure you, it was awesome.

Before I knew it, my alarm was blaring at 4:30am to get up and ready to hit the gym once again. It was eerily familiar to the days when I worked the morning shift as a radio newscaster.

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My years of getting up at 4am have turned me into a pro for these early mornings. I had these overnight oats and iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge. For the oats, I just mixed up some yogurt with a dash of milk, scoop of oats, raisins, fresh apricot, cinnamon, maple syrup and a dollop of almond butter. The measurements here don’t seem to matter, as I’ve noticed the outcome is always different for everyone. Experiment! :)

Today, I was shadowing one of our best trainers at the gym. He specializes in functional training, something I’m not overly familiar with, so it was really fun and interesting to watch! It’s not something I can see myself specializing in, but I really appreciate aspects of it, and would love to start incorporating more of it into my programs.

Even though I kinda wanted to go back home and pass out, I stuck around the gym for a workout of my own. Full-body:

Straight set x1:
One arm dumbbell snatch 12 x 20 lbs

Alternating sets x3:
One arm dumbbell row 12 x 25 lbs
Plie squat 12 x 25 lbs

Straight set x1:
Alternating Step-up w/ forward knee lift for 1 min
Alternating Step-up w/ back leg lift for 1 min

Alternating sets x3:
Standing one arm cable chest press 12 x 25 lbs
Bulgarian split squat 12 x 10 lbs

Straight set x1:
Mountain climber for 1 min

Alternating sets x3:
Barbell upright row 12 x 30 lbs
Good morning 12 x 45 lbs

Straight set x1:
Reverse lunge w/ forward kick 20 each leg

Alternating sets x2:
Skull crusher 12 x 30 lbs
Barbell curl 12 x 30 lbs

Straight sets x 2:
Plank 60 sec

Whole thing with 15 minutes warm-up on the treadmill and 5 minutes cool-down stretching took me 65 minutes and burned 450 calories. It also left me unable to run up and down the stairs in the subway station without my legs wobbling ;)

After the workout, I was ready to come home and nap. I closed my eyes and fell asleep for what felt like an hour, only to find 10 minutes had passed. I claimed defeat and made lunch.

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Giant kale salad topped with shrimp, egg whites, and a dressing made of pesto/laughing cow/lemon juice. The egg whites were an afterthought, and a delicious one at that! I just zapped half a cup in the microwave and added the bits to the salad. Such an easy and delicious way to add protein.

I also polished off this Chakra Bar that I hate half of on Monday.

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I purposely left the price tag on because $2.99 is pretty frickin’ steep for a granola bar. But if you look closely, there are two servings, which sort of justifies it. And in all honesty, the full bar is kinda huge (110g).

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Not gonna lie, I was attracted to this bar because of the ingredients:

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See that?? The first ingredient is love!! Not any kind of love, but organic love!! I’m such a sucker.

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The spirulina is what makes it green. According to the Chakra Bar website, spirulina  is “a blue-green algae and is known as a green "superfood". It has over 60% digestible vegetable protein, is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals and is a great source of chlorophyll (antioxidant).”

Taste-wise it had that “grassy green” taste to it, but I don’t mind it. It was a little sticky from the syrup, but I liked the additions of the seeds. I probably won’t buy it again because it’s $$$. But it was fun to try!

It is approximately here where I dropped off the face of the planet for three hours.

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I read the final Harry Potter book when it first came out, and forgot completely what happened!! It was like reading a new book all over again. But now I’m depressed it’s all over. Anyone else ever suffer from post-book depression? I think I may stick with this theme and re-read the final books in the Twilight and Golden Compass series. I love children’s fantasy novels, I cannot deny it. Plus, it is summertime and I want something that won’t make me think too hard ;)

I did eventually stumble out of my room, disoriented, to make a quick dinner.

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That would be grilled pork in a mesquite flavouring with a microwaved sweet potato slathered in Heinz BBQ beans. Classy :)

 

Now it is time to get my things ready for another 4am wake-up call. But I’m excited for my morning client. He wants to bulk up, which means some old-school heavy weightlifting, my favourite!!

 

Question of the Day: What’s on your summer reading list? Any recommendations for the class? As Holly would say, sharing is caring!!

We Have a Winner!!

Well you guys. It is finally here. April, the long weekend, oh yeah, and the giveaway winner!!! That’s at the end of the post. Always got to save the best part for last ;)

Started this fine Thursday off with 6 miles on the treadmill. I always do some form of intervals on the treadmill, otherwise I’d fall off out of sheer boredom. Usually speed intervals, because the incline button intimidates me, and the “whirrrr” the machine makes as it rises scares me.

Anyways! Not today. I swallowed my fear and lived to tell the tale!

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.6 0.5
5-10 5.8 0.5
10-15 5.8 1.5
15-20 5.8 2.5
20-25 6.0 0.5
25-30 6.0 1.5
30-35 6.0 2.5
35-40 6.2 0.5
40-45 6.2 1.5
45-50 6.2 2.5
50-55 6.4 0.5
55-60 6.4 1.5
60-65 6.4 2.5
65-70 3.5 0.5

In all honestly, it was almost too easy! Again, I use the term “easy” lightly here. I just felt like I could have pushed myself a little more and still have felt fine. I still tend to think of myself as a slow newbie runner, so I tend to underestimate what I can do. Perhaps inclines aren’t as scary as I thought :)

Breakfast was inspired by Holly’s banana split overnight oats. I went into this with full intentions of making it as such – but it turned into spiced banana raisin oats.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • cinnamon, and lots of it
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp banana extract

You may also notice by the above picture that when I opened it at my desk today – it was still soupy!! This is like fail #56 on overnight oats for me. I must be missing the overnight oats gene or something.

Thankfully, the microwave room was unlocked this morning, so I was able to zap it.

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Muuuuuch better. It actually turned really creamy with the almond milk and yogurt (plus that yogurt tang was an excellent addition!)

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The bites with little hunks of almond butter were my favourite :)

Oh. And I think I have discovered how to avoid exploding oats in the microwave. Put them in a bigger bowl. Duh. Hey, I never said I was a clever person here :P

I kept up the same flavour theme with a homemade apple cinnamon protein bar midday.

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Lunch was a ham, egg white, pickle, mustard and laughing cow sandwich.

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And deceptive orange. Looks big, was half the size after I peeled it. I got gypped.

Then this afternoon I snacked on a bag of strawberries dipped in unpictured vanilla cottage cheese and a cheese string.

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That vanilla cottage cheese by the way, is President’s Choice brand, which is available in Superstores/Loblaws across Canada. I also highly recommend their Mediterranean flavour. It’s great in salads and pitas!

Hey, speaking of salads!! ;) It’s what I had for dinner.

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It contained a million ingredients, including a whole head of romaine, whole tomato, pickled beets, sauteed tofu, baba ganouj and feta cheese. 

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I don’t even want to remember life before pickled beets.

I’ve also been experimenting with this stuff over the past few days:

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I’ve noticed that my fibre has decreased ever since upping my fat and protein (obviously). I like to get this sort of thing as naturally as possible, but my body also needs max amounts of fibre. I suck at digesting, and suck even more at it without fibre.

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One packet is about 1 tsp of tasteless powder for 5 calories, 3g carbs, 3g fibre. So far, I haven’t been able to detect it in anything I put it in. Even my nightly protein dessert. 

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1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder and a benefibre packet dissolved with a dash of water, topped with marshmallow fluff and pretty sprinkles. Protein + Fibre = Win.

 

Well, it’s a new month which means a new set of monthly goals. Holymoly. I can’t believe it’s April. Wasn’t it just Christmas??

 

Goals for April 2010

Continue the spirit of the sleep challenge, aiming to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I think 7.5 hours may actually be my magic number, which means I need to be snoring by 10pm. Totally do-able.

Get rid of as many of my belongings as possible. This includes donating clothes, books, and other random shiz. The less I have to cart halfway across the country the better.

Get my bike on the road. Ahhhh, cycling. It feels like nothing but a distant memory…

Pass my personal training exam. Ie, study like hell until April 16, and practice instructing people as much as I can before my practical.

Chill the eff out. There was a time when I made decisions so I could enjoy life more, not stress myself out more. Must remember to find excitement in the chaos again.

 

Five goals, not too shabby! I’ll be checking in every week as per usual. How about every Thursday this month? Why not.

 

Okayokay….you’ve made it this far. Now time to reward your efforts. Here’s what was up for grabs:

Ready???

 

randomorg 

 

66. clip_image002

Ftiness4Looks, on March 30, 2010 at 4:21 pm Said:

Mangos are awesome! I usually try to get about 7-8 hours of sleep! It’s tough finding energy in the morning to work out, but good for you for going to spin class!

Wooo!!! Congrats!! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly :) And thank you to all of you who participated. I had tons of fun seeing new names pop up, and have a plethora of new blogs to check out!!

 

Question of the Day: What are your goals for the coming month?

Bonus question: Did you do anything for April Fool’s? I didn’t, and thank goodness no one did anything to me!!

Monthly Goal Check-In

Hiya! How was everyone’s Monday? Mine was surprisingly good! Despite missing my bedtime by almost two hours last night, I still found the energy to charge through another Monday. Getting up for a 6am spin class always helps though. I’ve learned my lesson – every Monday should begin with a spin class. Sweating buckets in a room full of people in padded cycling shorts just sets the week up right, ya know? :P

I also felt pretty legit walking in and out of the gym with my shmancy new gym bag.

Went straight to the office after class and got there at 7:45am! Gave me plenty time to dig into my packed breakfast of overnight oats.

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  • 1 40g package of spiced multigrain instant oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • healthy dose of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp cashews

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As far as overnight oats go, the yogurt/applesauce combo is definitely a winner for me. I specifically used cashews in there because I knew they’d get soft in the fridge overnight… mmm…

I never photograph it, but my at-work breakfasts always include a mug of iced coffee.

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I chug half a french press worth of iced coffee before the gym, then drink the rest after.

My snack was an un-homemade bar.

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These were $0.99 each at the grocery store this week, so I picked up a few. Did they change the Luna bar recipe in Canada?

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I could have sworn the old version of these had 180 calories, not 190, and less rolled oats. Also, it looked smaller. Or I’m going crazy, which is a likely possibility as well.

Lunch!

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Turkey pita with veggies and Olive & Feta Hummus. That odd-shaped fruit on the side is a ya pear. Another on-sale purchase. I find it tastes very similar to an Asian pear – super crunchy and mild in taste. Wikipedia says it’s a Chinese white pear with a taste similar to rose and pineapple. Either way, I prefer my bartletts.

My snack looks disgusting, which means it was really good!

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Ham and cheese. I ended up only eating one of the herb & cheddar cheese sticks because there was more ham in the bag than I thought. I wrapped the ham around the cheese and it made for a stellar high fat, high protein snack. Seriously yummy.

Work was busybusy today, but one of those good busy days. Lots of fun projects to putter away on. Then I came home my Secret Bloggie Valentine gift!!

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Eeeeee!!!! I was especially excited for this to arrive seeing as I’m a single gal this Valentine’s Day. I was even more excited when I saw who it was from – Adrien from Confessions of a Health Nut!! She’s one of the many new bloggers I’ve stumbled across lately, and I was super pumped to see a name and blog I recognized on the card :D

Ohyes, the goods!

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First, the Yogi Tea in lemon ginger, kombucha, peppermint and chai rooibos. Funny, because lately at work I’ve been saying I’m going to join the tea-drinker club. Everyone there chugs back tea all day but me! I’m totally bringing in my stash tomorrow. Also funny that she sent me romantic word magnets. My mom used to have these and we had so much fun coming up with hilarious and inappropriate combinations on her fridge. Something to do while I wait for my waffles to cook ;)

My mom stayed at my place all day painting my kitchen. How sweet is that? She’s been hard at work whipping my apartment into shape. I am so grateful she’s willing to do it! Anyways, my kitchen is full of wet paint, so I made us a cold dinner.

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On the beastly sandwich:

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I ate 1/4 of an avocado and didn’t die!!! Yessss!!! I did have slight tummy pains, but I also chewed a lot of gum today, which does that to me too. Regardless, a successful Fatty February experiment :)

Dessert was, what else, chocolate from Adrien!

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Being the foodie nerd that I am, I noticed this was organic chocolate from BC, close to where Adrien is. So I checked out the Denman Island Chocolate website, and was really really impressed by it. They sound like a wonderful company, manufacturing natural food in a beautiful part of the world. Oh, and the chocolate was delicious. Although, my mom insisted it had hemp in it, but she just thinks people in BC are hippies :P 

 

Monthly Goal Check-In!

Okay, so I usually do this on Sundays. But hey, better late than never? Let’s see how I’m doing with my monthly goals after a week…

1. Work out no more than 6 hours a week. I worked out five times at 5 hours and 25 minutes. Perfection! My body was challenged, but not overworked. I almost worked out a sixth time, but listened to my body and slept in instead. That extra day off was just what I needed to finally combat the cold I had.

2. Say yes more. Yes, yes, and yes. Went out for some jazz and drinks last week, and I’m going on a trip this weekend!

3. Make more leftovers. I made a recipe last week from an actual cookbook. I got four meals out of my Spinach and Ham Ricotta Pie, and an addition 52 meals out of the ham I bought for the recipe. (that’s exaggeration btw, it was more like 38)

4. Eat more fat. Yesss!! I’ve been tracking my calories on and off and I’m getting about 30% of my calories from fat these days. That’s around 60g of fat a day – triple what I was eating before! I’ve been doing just little things like adding a dash of oil or butter here and there, switching to full fat cheese, and even eating avocado and dark chicken meat like I did for dinner today.

 

I also have a couple more updates. Remember one of my monthly goals in November was to get more sleep? I wrote “This is an ongoing issue that I think is more than just scheduling and bad time management. There are reasons I can’t sleep, and it’s time to get to the bottom of it.”

Well I’m happy to report that my sleeping patterns are back to normal!! For some reason, at the end of 2008, going into my lat semester of university, I just stopped being able to sleep. I used to be the girl who could sleep 10 hours a night, no problem. I blamed it on aging and stress from school, but it never went away. I graduated, worked a job I didn’t like, and it continued.

I made that goal on November 1, two days after I quit my job. The sleeping got a little better after that. I stopped naturally waking up at 5am everyday at least. But now with a more regular schedule, and a few more life changes (ie less things to worry about and weigh me down) I feel relaxed enough to be able to sleep the whole night through – 8 hours plus!!

However, it’s not all good news.

Remember the awful rash on my legs?

Well, my mom and I have been sharing a bed these past few nights. And she says she woke up last night to the sound of me furiously scratching my legs. I had a suspicion I was doing this in my sleep, but she said it was pretty bad last night. I think it has something to do with my anxiety disorder, I used to grind my teeth when I was a teenager. Anyways, I have no clue how to train myself to stop doing this. The obvious solution is to wear gloves to bed. But it would be really nice to get to the heart of the issue so I don’t have to worry about it at all. My mom says I need 1) massage, and 2) to get out of my unhappy living environment. I couldn’t agree more.

 

Last but not least I am going to Halifax this weekend! This means two things:

1. I am looking for three guest posts for those days. E-mail me at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com if you’re interested, first come first serve!

2. Blogger meet-up!!! I’ve already been in contact with some wonderful Halifax ladies, and we’re planning on meeting for lunch on Sunday. If you want to join in on the Maritime bloggie fun, send me an e-mail! thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com :D

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing with you February goals? Fatty February? Let me know!

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