Blog Archives

Catch Up

Hi friends!! It feels like a while, doesn’t it? Would you believe, that after 15 months of blogging near daily, I’ve never gone more than one day without updating? I usually have guest blogs or something. But this time I’ve gone a whole weekend!

It was nice to use what little downtime I had doing nothing. But that gets boring after a while, and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

First things first, this girl can do a good grilled cheese.

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Wednesday night, Morgan and I had a conference call for No Limits Canada. Since I was without internet for what felt like a gajillion years, she invited me over for the Skype date!

She offered a choice of beer to start. I chose “Tuborg” because I could pronounce it in a funny Eastern European accent and the can claimed it was “pure gold.”

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Not bad actually!

I was most excited however for her grilled cheese! Morgan and I sort of have an ongoing joke between our blogs about grilled cheese sandwiches. When discussing what to make for supper, it was the obvious choice.

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Immediately impressed by her usage of the panini press.

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Poor Morgan was worried about getting the right bread and cheese for me. She doesn’t know yet that I’m easily pleased and the sandwich was deeelicious!

Of course, what’s grilled cheese without soup?

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An “everything but the sink” soup. Perfection! Thanks for the dinner Morgan! Bagels at my place next? ;)

 

I can’t remember what happened on Thursday. But I do know I was at work all waking hours and did a leg workout that made it hard to sit down all day Friday.

Friday though, I got off work a little early which meant I had time to make a hot dinner! Those are hard to come by these days. I’m a busy bee!

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I started with this box of Eden Organic Kamut pasta. I assume ditalini refers to the little shape of the pasta.

I’m usually not a huge pasta fan because of the mushy texture, but I don’t mind these kinds made without white flour. The nutritional stats are a lot better too!

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I only cooked half the tiny box…

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…so I could plump the rest up with meat! 

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A plain turkey sausage from my amazing local butcher. The sausages are HUGE. I threw it in a pan with some leeks, carrots, celery, spinach, tomato, onions and garlic.

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Defrosted a serving of tomato sauce I made a while ago with watered down tomato paste and various spices.

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The point of the meal was to eat something that would fill my belly up for the rest of the evening and that it did! Meat + pasta has a funny way of doing that ;) The pasta itself was pretty good, I really liked the shape and texture (remember, I don’t like regular pasta!). The sausage totally stole the show though.

Friday was also a special day in that it was National Fluffernutter Day (and my sister’s birthday – hi Sara!!)

Of course, this was a U.S. food holiday. Living in another nation, I thought it was okay I celebrate a day later on Saturday.

For those of you who don’t know, a fluffernutter is a sandwich spread with both peanut butter and marshmallow fluff.  It is a fabulous combo that seems to be mostly consumed by children. And, well, single 24-year-olds such as myself.

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So why am I talking about fluffernutters and showing you waffles? Oh friends. You know me better than that.

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This would be a fluffernutter wafflewich – french toasted. I mean, I had to celebrate in style, right?

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I spread my PB + fluff between two defrosted freezer waffles (I like Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon), then I dipped my wafflewich in egg whites and cooked in a pan.

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Dipped in syrup of course! Look too decadent for you? The whole ridiculous wafflewhich with the sugar-free syrup is only 357 calories, 14g fat, 5g fibre, 40g carbs and 15g protein and 15g sugar.

I chased mine back with the usual coffee, in an unusual mug.

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Bahahaha, thank you Janetha for seeing this elephant mug and thinking of me!!! The ridiculousness of it suits me perfectly. Also, elephants are my favourite animal :)

 

The rest of my weekend was spent working at the running store with a wonderful run in between. I ditched my usual waterfront trail for a busy city street and it was fun!! I used to hate running on populated roads when I first began running because I was embarrassed. But now I’ve got enough kilometres under my feet that I just don’t care. It was entertaining to whiz down the sidewalks of the city.

Of course, after working 17 hours on my feet in two days and running in between, my legs are pretty darn cranky with me. Namely, my IT band, which is a brand new pain for me. So the plan for this holiday Monday is to rest, relax and recharge. I haven’t had a day off in 21 days so I think I deserve to be lazy for a day ;)

 

A few extra things:

Congrats to my bloggie friend Brie who completed her first ever marathon yesterday in Chicago!! She had many bumps through her training program and I couldn’t be more proud that she finished it!

In case you haven’t noticed, I didn’t make it through to the next round of Project Food Blog. Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their days to vote for each of the challenges! It was really fun to participate in, but I’m happy I no longer have to stress about it.

I wrote not one but two guest posts last week! Head on over to Leah’s blog to read my thoughts on Pre and Post Workout Nutrition. Then stop by Morgan’s blog for my tips on Meeting People in a New City.

Finally, the most exciting thing: I’m going to the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival! That means in less than four weeks, I’ll be in San Francisco with hundreds of other food bloggers. Cause ya know, I’m the type of person who casually goes to California for the weekend (that’s a joke, I’m SO not!). But after some careful planning, shifting of funds, and wonderful bloggie friends, I’ve decided that I should just GO. I mean, you’re only young and reckless once ;)

 

And with that, me and my giant flannel pants are back to bed to watch movies for the rest of the day. Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians! Eat some extra stuffing for me! Q&A’s will resume tomorrow, so you still have time to submit questions. See ya then!

Refined Sugar 101

Hello friends!

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Apparently someone thinks they’re a princess.

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That’s right. He thinks he’s a princess. 

 

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But what a cute princess he is.

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And we can’t forget about Rude Rudy. Who actually isn’t as rude as the princess above ;)

Right, you’re here for the food pictures, aren’t you? I could easily become one of “those” dog owners :P

Speaking of which, The Princess busted into my room this morning without my realizing. I woke up at 8am spooning a poodle.

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Essentially the two eggs + two pieces of ezekiel bread of yesterday, but dipped in the eggs and french toasted today.

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The mandatory citrus. Scurvy watch!

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Dipped into sugar-free syrup. I actually prefer table syrup to maple syrup for dipping. Not as rich.

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Admittedly, the ezekiel was not ideal for french toast. I prefer fluffier breads for this. But it was still edible to say the least ;)

Declared it a rest day in order to make amends with my body. So I spent the morning catching up on blogs. Definitely not the type of Monday mornings I’m used to!

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Natural sugar + peanut butter. Nomnom. There may have been a couple bites of Queen Elizabeth cake, but there is no photographic evidence to prove this.

Lunch was another gargantuan salad.

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Massaged kale for the base, with some feta, tuna and watered down hummus for the dressing.

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Have you tried watered down hummus as a dressing yet?? It’s ohsooogoooood.

Was out running errands in my hometown today (I technically grew up across the river from where my mom lives now). Population 16,000. Ran into half a dozen people I know in a span of 30 minutes. Oh, and I hung out in my dad’s office for a bit – we made plans to go to a spin class together this week!

Afternoon snack:

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I need to make some homemade protein bars while I’m here – I’m missing them! This will make do in the meantime, a Kashi Seven Whole Grain Almond bar and four egg whites with Frank’s hot sauce. Egg whites make a really good snack!

I originally thought my mother was going to make dinner. We started talking about how to use up the chicken breasts and eggplant that were in the fridge. Then I said I’d get started on it because I was hungry. 45 minutes I was calling her upstairs to come eat while it was still hot. How did that happen?

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She definitely weasled her way out of this one.

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I chopped up the chicken breasts and fried them in one tablespoon olive oil, with some onions, mushrooms, green pepper and garlic.

I then added that to a pot with a can of diced tomatoes and tomato soup, with the chopped eggplant, few pinches of basil, few shakes of hot sauce and a few cranks of the pepper grinder. Served on top of whole wheat egg white noodles.

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My mother also took the pretty bowl. Thanks mom ;)

 

Refined Sugar 101

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to elaborate on refined sugars, what they are, and why I want to cut back the amount in my diet. It’s no secret I have a rabid sweet tooth. I can, and have, eaten sweets until I feel sick. I’m hoping by cutting back on refined sugars in particular, I can train my palette not to crave it, and hopefully do my body some good!

Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. The refining process begins by extracting the sucrose through a number of cycles including boiling, putting through a centrifuge and filtering. The result is called “raw sugar,” contains 95% sucrose, and sold as turbinado sugar (the larger, brownish crystals).

Table sugar is raw sugar usually bleached with lime or carbon dioxide. Water is then added and it is further whitened by being put through an animal char filter, which also removes any leftover minerals, further refining it to a near complete sucrose state. Bone char by the way, is charred animal bones, and also often used to remove heavy metals from water. This is also why strict vegans don’t eat white sugar or salt (and why I didn’t when I was vegan).

Table sugar is about 99.9% sucrose, and contains virtually no vitamins or minerals for its high calorie content. It’s high on the glycemic index, meaning it quickly affects your blood sugar levels and your body’s reaction to regulate them.

Molasses is the by-product of the second extraction of the refining process, and blackstrap molasses is the by-product of the third extraction. Brown sugar is simply table sugar with added molasses, and powdered sugar is pulverized table sugar.

Some terms you may want to know:

Saccharose – aka sucrose
Oligosaccharides – short-chain carbohydrates found in things like beans and onions. Not very sweet.
Glucose – a sugar found in many plants, as well as in blood. Sweeter than sucrose.
Fructose – sugar in mostly fruits and honey, almost twice as sweet as sucrose.
Dextrose – another term for glucose
Lactose – the sugar found in milk
Maltose – the sugar found in malt and beer
Palm sugar – the saccharose/sucrose from dates

So, I’m attempting to get my sugars from real foods and using things like maple syrup and honey which are sugar solutions made with water. I also use stevia, which is a whole other post!!

As always, read the ingredients labels to see what foods have sugar, and what kind of sugar it is. It has a funny way of sneaking into diets ;)

Sources
http://www.becomehealthynow.com/article/carbs/1082/
http://www.ehow.com/about_5444701_refined-sugars.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_char
http://www.food-info.net/uk/products/sugar/types.htm

 

Pssst… don’t forget! I’m giving away a waffle maker!!

You like free junk?

Heeeyyyyy. We’re halfway through the week!! [insert giant smiley face here]

First things first. Thank you all for chiming in on my wondering rambles about the grey stuff around egg yolks.

Most of you said it’s caused by a) overcooking, and b) letting them cool too slowly. Culinary student Kristin laid it all out:

Susan,

The reason for the “ring” around your egg yolk is sulfur, a compound that is created when eggs are overcooked. (It also causes that yucky boiled egg smell- it can be avoided!) Either you are overcooking them too long in the water (it needs to be timed!) or you do not cool them immediately in COLD water to stop the cooking, put them in the fridge and they continue cooking in the shell. They do NOT cool that fast in the fridge, it’s the opposite!! I wrote a post on it here:http://kristinsnibbles.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-perfect-food

xo
K

Guilty and guilty! I am 100% aware that I overcook my eggs. I usually just bring the pot to a boil, turn it off, then walk away and forget about it. Eventually, I remember I have eggs on the stove and put them in the fridge. I can’t say I will time my eggs for exactly 10 minutes from now on, but I’ll at least refrain from walking away :P

In other news, I actually grabbed a shot of my pre-workout snack this morning.

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I usually eat around 100-200 calories of carbs, sugar and nut butter before hitting the gym every morning. It can’t not eat the second I roll out of bed, but I only have 30 minutes to digest between eating this and hitting “start” button on the cardio machine.

Future roommie Megan (hi Megan!!) asked me if I eat a lot of protein on rest days as well. If anything I eat more because this carby pre-workout snack is taken out of the equation. Our diets are always a work in progress, no?

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P.S. I roll it up. Scientific data shows that food tastes better when rolled.

I hit up the heavy weights again this week after a lighter upper-body day last week. No two workouts are ever the same around these parts! Too much fun fitness stuff to experiment with.

Warmed-up for 25 minutes on the treadmill first. 

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0.0
5-6 5.5 0.0
6-7 6.0 0.0
7-8 6.5 0.0
8-9 7.0 0.0
9-10 5.5 0.5
10-11 6.0 0.5
11-12 6.5 0.5
12-13 7.0 0.5
13-14 5.5 1.0
14-15 6.0 1.0
15-16 6.5 1.0
16-17 7.0 1.0
17-18 5.5 1.5
18-19 6.0 1.5
19-20 6.5 1.5
20-21 7.0 1.5
21-22 5.5 2.0
22-23 6.0 2.0
23-24 6.5 2.0
24-25 7.0 2.0

This treadmill routine is getting too easy for me!! I used to finish this breathless, and I hopped off feeling fine today. Will do harder next time.

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target
Straight sets:        
Assisted pull-up  70 lbs 4-6 4 Back
Barbell bench press 50 lbs 4-6 4 Chest
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lb barbell 4-6 4 Back
Push-up  bodyweight 3 4 Chest
Dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 lb dumbbells 4-6 4 Shoulders
Alternating sets:        
YTWL  7.5 lb dumbbells 5 each letter 3 Shoulders
Tricep pulldown  30 lbs 8 3 Triceps
Cable bicep curl 20 lbs 8 3 Biceps

Finished off with a sweaty 10 minutes on the stepmill.

I’m really starting to wish I had a spotter for these high-weight days. I originally picked up 20 lb dumbbells for my shoulder presses and almost lost it. It was frightening! My arm wobbled backwards and I barely regained control. I could have really injured myself :(

I arrived at the office shortly after for a wonderful breakfast I had packed away.

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SO filling! Two mini bagels with egg whites, mustard and ham. Meat in the morning fills me up like none other.

Morning snack came late.

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New batch of apple cinnamon protein bars. I still think these are my fave flavour for the homemade bars. Cinnamon and oatmeal is just such a killer combo…

Lunch!

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The return of the pita! It’s been a while! This was was ohsogood with baba ganouj and turkey as the base. Then stuffed silly with all the veggies I had in my fridge.

For my afternoon snack I mixed vanilla cottage cheese with plain yogurt and strawberries.

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My last container of strawberries were quite sweet and flavourful, these are borderline bitter with no flavour. Boo.

I also snacked on some nuts and dried cranberries at 4pm because I am always SO hungry by the time 4pm rolls around. I am ready to gnaw my arm off by the time I bust through the door after work. More tweaking may be needed to fix this issue. A diet is always in a state of progress, never is it perfect!

I am glad I had the extra snack because dinner was worth waiting for!!

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Janetha’s Turkey Goulash

recipe adapted from the eating for life cookbook.

serves 6

ingredients:

  • 20 ounces lean ground turkey breast I used a lb. Is that 20 oz?
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can roasted garlic & onion diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic. I used an extra for good luck.
  • 1 yellow squash Used spaghetti squash as extra filler
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini Again, I added another for good luck
  • 1 red onion Used half a gigantic one
  • 1 (10 oz) can tomato sauce Used garlic & herb flavour
  • 2 TB fresh basil 2 tsp dried basil. Boo.
  • egg white noodles
  • added mushrooms, lots of them

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I usually don’t like noodles because I find they’re too squishy, heavy and tasteless. But I love these Catelli Healthy Harvest whole wheat yolk free noodles!

I had only half a serving tonight, which was one heaping cup of cooked pasta, and still got 4g of fibre for 155 calories.

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Thumbs up JB!!! My tummy is thanking you right now :)

 

In case you missed it, I’m giving away free shizz because the people who read this blog rock my socks, and everyone needs a little blueberry syrup in their life. 

As a small disclaimer, don’t expect to see a lot of giveaways on this blog. I’ve sort of made an unofficial decision to turn down company offers unless they really line up with my area of interest, or I think they could be of real benefit. I really don’t want to give junk away just because I can. And I don’t want to feature junk on here just because I get it for free. I’m aware that I may not get as many readers because of this, but I hope that I can instead draw people in through quality content :) Blame my old journalism professors, they instilled some sort of lame set of beliefs in me :P

 

Question of the Day: Giveaways, yay or nay? Some turn me off by how obvious of a plug they are, but some are a fun way to share interesting products with people :)

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