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Whole Paycheck

Hellohello! I had a blast reading through everyone’s random tidbits!! How fun!! Two extra tidbits I forgot to add yesterday:

1. I did a guest post on Deb’s blog on the method behind my homemade protein bars. Ch-ch-check it out!

2. I munched on something delicious while blogging last night.

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A take on Holly’s no bake protein cookies – peanut butter protein balls. To make this, I mixed together 2 tbsp chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp flaked coconut, 1 tbsp peanut butter, splash of water.

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All rolled up and stuck in the freezer for half an hour. The perfect bedtime dessert!

That little snack was just enough to hold me through my slumbering hours. I awoke this morning ready to refill my belly.

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Egg + bacon sandwich with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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Fruit salad with fresh peach, strawberries and blueberries sprinkled with cinnamon and coconut.

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Definitely a breakfast worth getting up for ;)

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T’was already stinkin’ hot first thing this morning, so I made my second cup of coffee iced. I just stuck the glass in the fridge for about an hour then topped it up with a pack of stevia, cold almond milk and ice.

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I continued cooling down all morning with Mr Freezes. They’re only 10 calories a pop. Which I suppose can add up if you like to eat them throughout the course of the day ;)

Enjoyed a leisurely morning watching the Tour de France. Contador is so close to catching up to Schleck, it is making me nervous. I’m an Andy fan…

Even though his arms are the same circumference as the frame tubes on his bike. Contador just looks like a villain…

Evil.

Moving on!

Snacked up in preparation for the gym.

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Lemon flavoured yogurt with 2 tbsp unflavoured protein powder, blueberries, plain rolled oats, cinnamon and more coconut. Gah! I want it to always be berry season! These bloobs were so good!!

My legs are a little wrecked from the torture exercises I’ve put them through this week, so I focused on upper-body weights today with cardio spurts in-between. Kept the weight heavy, reps low, and added a set to shock the ole’ muscles.

Cardio
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the rowing machine, alternating grip

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the stepmill

Alternating sets

Cardio
15 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute sprints followed by 2 minutes of walking

Phew!! I haven’t done a workout like this in a while and it was tons of fun. It took me almost 90 minutes, so don’t attempt it unless you’ve got extra time. I suggest it as a good rainy Sunday workout ;)

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Was positively starving by the time I got home and immediately whipped up a steaming plate of spicy chicken stir-fry.

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Chopped up a giant marinated jerk chicken breast bought at the local butcher, and stir-fried it with onions, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and hot sauce. So simple, and so delicious :) Kept me satisfied foreverrrr.

Good thing too! As I had another big shopping trip planned for today.

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Yes my friends, my first ever trip to Whole Foods!!

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I’ve heard good things about it all over the internets for years now. We don’t have one out East, so I was excited to pay a visit as soon as I got to Toronto. Food shopping > clothes shopping.

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First and foremost, I was really excited about all the free samples they had out. Sure, they were covered in germs from people’s sticky fingers. But free food is free food.

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My favourite aisle: the nut butter aisle.

In all, my Whole Foods trip was fun, but in all honesty I wasn’t that impressed! Most of the items you can find in smaller organic stores closer to where I live, so the trip out to Yorkville isn’t worth the time to me.

I did enjoy an iced cafe au lait on the bus home though :)

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Don’t be fooled, I didn’t leave Whole Foods empty handed. There were some splurges!!

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  • Deep chocolate VitaTops
  • Silver Hills Steady Eddie bread (got with a free coupon – review to come!)
  • Essence of Peach Kombucha iced tea
  • Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • Fresh figs
  • Jicama

The whole thing (not including the bread) cost me just over 20 bucks. Mmmm…yeah. I can see how they call it “Whole Paycheck” :P I was thisclose to buying Sunshine Burgers – but they were $6.99 for only three burgers, too rich for my blood!

The chocolate peanut butter though, I just couldn’t say no to.

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Protective seals are meant for licking ;) Not bad. I think I like Nutella better.

And would you believe it if I told you I’ve never tried a fresh fig before??

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I’ve had tons of dried figs, but fresh ones are so hard to find in New Brunswick. For some reason they are a lot more abundant in Ontario. I immediately tore into one once I got home.

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Yet another thing I think has been talked up too much. It was kinda bland? Not very flavourful. The texture is fun though!

Last but not least, for dinner I prepared a much cheaper version of any burger you’d find at Whole Foods.

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Yesterday, I bought a pound of ground turkey for $4. Then, for 79 cents I bought a can of black beans to add to the turkey to “plump” it up.

Mixed the two together with a clove of garlic and tbsp of chili powder.

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Ended up getting six large spicy black bean turkey burgers out of the mix. Take that Sunshine Burger :P

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I ate one on a half a pita, smothered in ketchup, mustard and pickles. They turned out really good!!

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With a side of jicama fries. Sliced them up and baked at 450F for about 35 minutes. I was expecting them to taste like yucca fries, but they weren’t anything like them!! They were still kinda crunchy and tasted like water chestnuts. Interesting. I think I will try the rest of it raw on a salad…

And with that, I am off!! Sorry to leave you so abruptly, but my roommie is playing a show tonight and I’m laaaaate!! See ya tomorrow!! xo

Question of the Day: How do you save money at the grocery store? I always buy the cheap canned goods, it can sometimes be a difference of two bucks!

Dog treats, Meatballs and a Photoshoot

Hiiii!!!

I accidentally just published a guest post I was working on, so I apologize if you got something weird in your Readers. Consider it a tease ;)

My mother insisted on taking a picture of me today because I looked “pretty.” This is what happens when you get dressed after not wearing makeup, real pants, or straightening your hair for almost two weeks.

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Please don’t ask why I’m hanging out on the hardwood floor, or why I’ve grown velociraptor arms. Such are the mysteries of life…

My mother and I are at least on the same schedule. She’s newly retired, and myself newly unemployed.

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I was up at 7am though. The poodle busted through my door again – how does he do that??

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Not butter or french toast today. It was all about the bacon with my fried eggs on toast.

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Traded in the citrus for fresh watermelon.

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Incredibly satisfying meal. I lovelovelove eggs. I could never ever give them up :)

Instead of doing “nada” between 11am & 12pm, I went to the gym. So I’m not entirely useless ;) Hit up the co-ed location for a full-body workout. However, the free weights and weight machines are on different floors, which is incredibly irritating when I want to do alternating or supersets using both. I think gym design should be a specialty career position.

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

Straight Set: (x3)
One arm dumbbell snatch

Superset: (x3)
Assisted chin-up
Plie squat

Superset: (x3)
Barbell bench press
Step-up

Superset: (x3)
YTWL
Stiff leg deadlift

Superset: (x3)
Cable pushdown
Hanging leg raises

Superset: (x3)
Preacher curl
Cable horizontal woodchop

Funnnn! I’ve been too lazy to type out my usual tables for weightlifting. Let me know if you miss it!

Walked in the door and heated up some leftover eggplant chicken tomato soup asap.

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Another incredibly satisfying meal. Yum!

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I took the pretty bowl today ;)

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I’m not the biggest fan of noodles. It’s a slimy texture thing. But egg noodles and angel hair pasta I can do. Oh, and Kraft Dinner – but does that actually count as pasta? :P

Even after yesterday’s sugar post, I still needed a treat to finish off this meal.

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I literally found this in the very back of my mother’s fridge. Hidden treasure!

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I’ve never met a truffle I didn’t like.

In the spirit of sharing, I also treated the doggies.

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I got bored last night and whipped up some of Peanut Butter Boy’s Peanut Butter Dog Treats.

Ingredients:

1 large banana
1/4 cup egg substitute (1 egg)
1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter w/ salt added a pinch of salt to batter
1 T honey (more if you plan on eating them too) added an extra tbsp
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup wheat germ ground flax seed

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. Mash the banana with the back of a fork in a medium bowl until very few clumps remain. Add the egg, peanut butter and honey until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the flour and wheat germ and mix well.

3. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/4″ thick. Cut into desired shapes.

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The only cookie cutters I could find were in the shape of the alphabet, so I did up a bunch of A’s and R’s for Archie and Rudy.

Rudy is the gutweiler, so he got first grab.

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Archie is the real test, he’s quite picky. But he gobbled it up!

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Let it be known that my mother and Mark also ate a couple out of the oven last night. Just keepin’ it real here folks! ;)

Decided to go “shopping” this afternoon (ie look at things I can’t afford to buy). I somehow ended up at a natural foods store packed with amazing things I’d love to try. I walked out with a Bumblebar and six medjool dates. I was pretty proud of myself :)

My mom and Mark are out of town for the next couple nights, so it’s just me holding down fort with the pups for the rest of the week. I was on my own for dinner. A shame, because they really missed out ;)

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Started with some extra lean ground buffalo meat and I immediately knew I wanted to put it towards Danica’s Healthy and Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. Yes, I used buffalo in buffalo spice :)

Started with some carrots, celery, onions, chives and parsley in the food processor.

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Mixed up with the meat and 2 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce. Something therapeutic about mixing up ground meat with your hands… no?

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Fry in a pan until browned on each side.

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Then baked in more Franks until fully cooked.

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I ate mine in a salad.

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With spinach, romaine, tomato, onions, mushrooms and red pepper.

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For the dressing, I whisked together Italian vinaigrette, honey mustard and nonfat yogurt (just a lil’ bit!)

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YUM. I haven’t had meatballs in forever! I cut back on the spice just a tad, and they were perfect for my palette. I think I may have used a little too many veggies, as I was dealing with 2/3 pound meat. But it did cut back on the calories a bit. The more balls the better. [insert lewd joke here]

Finally, if you’re not sick of looking at my mug yet – I got the photos back from my photo shoot! You may have noticed the new spiffy one on the sidebar.

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I got my friend Melanie to take some professional headshots for marketing purposes as a personal trainer and freelance writer (just started doing a little web freelance…yayyy!).

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I met Melanie while working at Starbucks way back in the day. She’s an awesome photographer, who’s had the chance to shoot some pretty nifty musicians.

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These shots were actually taken around her parent’s yard. We lucked out with some great weather and lighting.

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It’s so funny, because as a person who suffers from sometimes severe social anxiety, you would think being in front of the camera would terrify me. But I used to co-host a TV show and worked on the radio. Cameras and microphones are easy. You don’t have to watch the reaction of your audience.

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You can check out more of my friend’s great photography at her website here.

Question of the Day: What scares you more? Being on camera or being in front of an audience? Any tips on how to get over those fears? For me, a lens is just a lens, and a microphone is just a microphone. In my head, they’re innocent inanimate objects. As for public speaking or performing, I practice till I’m blue in the face, helps ease the nerves… a tad…

Edited to add: The winner of my waffle maker giveaway will be drawn tomorrow at 8pm Atlantic Time!!

The Perfect Protein Bar- One Step Closer

It was close, but crunchy nut butter won out over smooth 9 to 7 ;) These are important global matters people!

I was up early with a growling belly again today. Whyyyyy.

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Something quick and speedy – egg, laughing cow, smoked salmon breakfast sandwich.

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Ever since destroying my toaster oven I’ve been making my toast under the broiler. It’s a tricky process!

As a side note – I dropped an oven mitt on the oven element today and it caught on fire. Thankfully I was able to grab the mitt and fan it out. But I lost another year off my life from the moment of panic. I’ll be lucky if I make it to 50 :\

What was I making??

Homemade Maple Cinnamon Oat Bran Protein Bars

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  • 2 cups oat bran (I like Quaker)
  • 1 cup unflavoured soy protein powder (I use “Purely Bulk”)
  • 1.5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 packets stevia
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free table syrup
  • 4 tbsp almond butter (crunchy!!)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water

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Mix it all up until the powder is dissolved, but mix is still crumbly. Flatten into a 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

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Makes 8 decent-sized bars.

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My third attempt at a baked bar and my best one yet!! The extra cinnamon and maple really added some flavour. The best thing about the baked bars is that they’re stable at room temperature, so they’re much easier transport :)

I didn’t stop there though! Maple Pecan Peanut Butter.

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Threw 2 cups roasted peanuts, 2 cups roasted pecans and 2 tbsp pure maple syrup into my food processor.

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The processor gave out on me just as it was about to turn into that wonderful creamy consistency. Still pretty freakin’ good though.

Dinner put a dent on my overflowing cupboard!

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Cooked up one cup dry bulgur and one cup dry green lentils. Then added some chopped carrots, crumbled tofu, feta, hummus, garlic, parsley, dill and turmeric.

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This was definitely one of those meals where I just kept adding things to the pot with no forethought. It was good though! I think I may try to make patties out of the leftovers tomorrow. I didn’t feel like doing that extra step tonight.

Kept me full for a while, but not so much that I went without a bedtime snack ;)

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Microwave protein cake made up of 1/2 cup soy protein powder, cinnamon, stevia, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup applesauce, 2 tbsp egg whites. Microwaved in a mug for 4 minutes.

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Topped with some of that Maple Pecan Peanut Butter ;)

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While eating this, I was amazed by how large it turned out. That’s when I realized I used half a cup of protein powder when I meant to use a quarter!! Oops. I contemplated putting the other half in the fridge for later, since I usually stick to a regular serving size for snacks. But then I realized I was being silly, and that maybe it would be nice not to wake up hungry tomorrow :)

 

Food aside, today was my first day of unemployment! Eek! By 8:52am I was already restless and unsure of what to do with myself. I ended up being fairly productive though. Packed up all my clothing, which I’ve downsized to just two laundry hampers. Donated the rest (3 garbage bags worth). Also started throwing out some old junky decorations and things no one will ever need. Felt good to purge it all!

I also hit up the gym with an old co-worker to run through what I plan on doing for my practical exam on Wednesday for my personal training certification. We had to go figure out how to use the weight machines – I’ve never used them at my gym before!! Hopefully I sound like I know what I’m talking about come test day :\

And with that, I leave you today’s Archie picture.

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Yesterday it was one running shoe, today he cuddled up with three :)

 

Question of the Day: Bloggers – do you listen to music when you blog? Watch TV? Do it in silence? I always used to blog with the TV on in the background, but lately I’ve been listening to music and it makes the process a lot more fun. Tonight’s post was brought to you buy the new George Harrison “Let It Roll” cd :)

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