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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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You Win Some, You Lose Some…

I just realized something. When I finish at my job next weekend, there will be no more weekend breakfast cookies!! *Tear* Perhaps it’s something I will have to keep up on the weekends. Especially since I like to do “weekend breakfasts,” like waffles, mid-week anyways ;)

This morning was my new favourite – a s’muffernutter breakfast cookie.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • splash water (didn’t have almond milk last night)
  • marshmallow fluff
  • mini chocolate chips

Snack was another favourite – chopped pear and cottage cheese.

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Dude. Bartlett pears are 74 cents a pound at the Atlantic Superstore. Sorry $2.49/lb honeycrisp apples. You’ve been replaced.

Lunch” was egg white pillows on a whole wheat bagel with laughing cow cheese.

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And edamame.

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Love these little single-portioned containers. Perfect for lunches!

After a quick stop to the grocery store, I came home and got my bake on. First up, Peanut ButterNut Squash Muffins. Y’all know I have an aversion to pumpkin but peanut butter on butternut squash is one of my favourite things to eat. So why not make them into muffins?

I adapted this recipe from Meghann’s Pumpkin Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins which was apparently adapted from VeggieGirl’s Banana Peanut Butter Bread which was apparently adapted from the Veganomicon Cookbook. Phew! These muffins have been around!

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  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash (I cooked one in the microwave and just scooped it out)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, added to the batter as needed

Mix the flour, baking soda and spices together. In a separate bowl, mix the squash, applesauce, oil, sugar and maple syrup. Slowly add wet mixture to the dry, and add almond milk to get it to that “muffin consistency” (hope you know what that is!) Bake in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes (it took mine longer for some reason). This made 12 decent sized muffins.

I of course had one immediately out of the oven slathered in Earth Balance!

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Ohmylanta. Uh-mazing. Now, you must understand, my baking expectations for myself are pretty low (you’ll understand when you see my next experiment). But these are the best muffins I’ve ever made!! Both the butternut squash and peanut butter flavours shine through, and are perfectly balanced. The texture is very dense and soft, not sickly moist like when you bake with pumpkin. I also may have quadrupled the cinnamon from the original recipe, which I think helped a lot ;)

Now. My next, uh, experiment. Well, I was not nearly as pleasantly surprised with this. I had a bruised and battered banana that needed to be used, but didn’t want any more muffins in my apartment. So I wracked my brain (and internet) and ended up with chocolate banana protein bars. They’re based on the Strawberry Banana Meal Replacement Bars I found here.

  • 1 cup raw oatmeal
  • 5 scoops of strawberry protein powder ( 90g of protein) – I used 6 scoops of my chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup fat free cream cheese – I used 4 laughing cow cheese wedges
  • 1/2 cup non fat dry milk powder – Omitted, ran out
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water – Replaced with 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 bananas, mashed – Just used one
  • 2 tsp. canola oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×9 square pan with cooking spray & set aside. In a medium bowl combine oatmeal, protein powder & dry milk. Set aside. In another bowl beat together with an electric hand mixer, cream cheese, egg whites, bananas, water & oil. Add the oat mixture & continue to beat until the two are combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan & bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

First and foremost, they are not muffins. But I don’t own a 9×9 baking pan, or anything remotely close. So I made what I thought would be “circular bars.” Except they puffed up!!!

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I have no idea how this happened! :P The mix was super liquidy and I was expecting them to just harden in the oven. Apparently not. They’re a little squishy, but texture-wise not too bad. It’s just the protein powder. I love the taste of protein powder. But it’s too sweet for me in baked goods. At least in chocolate form anyways. I’m still going to eat them though. Anything is edible with nut butter on it ;)

I was going to make hummus after this, but I ran out of garbanzo beans!! I always have a can on hand so I didn’t bother picking any up at the grocery store. Boo :(

I kept my oven working for dinner, roasting (or baking, whatever) a chicken breast, sweet potato, mushrooms and onions.

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I covered the chicken in some Kirkland organic no-salt seasoning then topped the sweet potato with cottage cheese. Wonderful meal, the chicken was SO juicy!! I think I’m starting to get a hang of this poultry thing.

Now I’m stuffed!! I snacked a lot while I was in the kitchen and cleaning today. But alas, tomorrow is a new day. I took a rest day today because my quads are still wrecked from Friday’s spin class. Now they should be good to go for one of my notorious Sunday afternoon gym visits ;)

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

 

Questions of the Day:

1. What is your favourite kind of muffin? Mine is carrot (no surprise there) but runner ups would be apple oatmeal and banana nut.

2. What is your worst baking FAIL? My first attempt at cupcakes in high school was probably my worst. The pages in my mom’s cookbook stuck together, and I accidentally added three whole eggs to the dozen-sized batter. They turned into little egg cakes :P

Nil, Nada, Zip

This is what I planned for after work today:

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But this is what ended up happening:

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Six miles somehow turned into six chapters from Eclipse. In my defense, it wasn’t nearly as nice out as in the above picture. I’m hurtin’ for some cold-weather running gear and couldn’t bring myself to do it. But getting lost in a book is just as fun as getting lost on the trails :) Tomorrow, I fully expect to get lost in the void that is the empty gym on a Sunday afternoon…

My day didn’t start out this relaxing. I was in and out of consciousness all night, finally coming to at 5:15 am. CRAP!!! I have to be at work for 5am to ensure my 7am newscast gets to air. I have to compile all the news that happened overnight, write, sift through stories, e-mails, phone messages, get the cast together to record on time. Apparently, I just forgot to turn my alarm on last night. Silly. I’ve been living in fear of sleeping through my first newscast for so many years, I find it ironic that it happens just two weeks before I’m due to leave.

In case you’re wondering, I got the 7am newscast on two of our three radio stations. There was one I still couldn’t get to on time, but that was partially a programming mistake and not entirely my fault (although, I could have fixed it had I been there in time).

In the world of broadcasting, deadlines are infinite. Basically, not getting to air on time is not and option. Small mistakes sometimes have big consequences. Ugh. Stress.

Needless to say, I did not get to savour my breakfast cookie as much as I would have liked.

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S’muffernutter!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • couple splashes almond milk

My late start led to one of those work days where I felt like I was trying to catch up the whole time. Luckily, I had awesome food! First up: Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabar!!!!

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I know this flavour is probably old news to all you “big city” bloggers out there, but I’ve been anxiously awaiting these in my small New Brunswick city. Things were starting to look bleak!

Same ‘ole Larabar stats, if not a touch higher on the calorie side.

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I remember some other blogger pointing out the emergence of a new ingredient in the new Larabar flavours…

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Refined sunflower oil? Really? I wonder why…

Anyways, we all know taste is what matters most, even more than dinky size.

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Ohmygodthiswasgood. I’ve never tried the Peanut Butter Cookie flavour, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to on that front. But I looooved the peanut flavour mixed in with the sweetness (and chunks!) of dried cherries. Odd, because the Cherry Pie flavour is really tart, but this balanced the flavours really well. Actually, it was kinda odd to eat a Larabar that tasted like a PB&J sandwich. But for 230 calories, something a little bigger, and more filling, would be appreciated.

“Lunch” was pretty stellar too, as I hammered away at work.

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Smoked salmon bagel (with laughing cow, mustard, capers, tomato and spinach) and a perfectly ripe pear. I’m one of those crazy people who spend ten minutes rummaging through the produce bins looking for the perfect one. This pear was definitely it – yum!

I picked up a new box of Kashi cereal bars after enjoying the blackberry flavour. This time I chose baked apple and had my first one crumbled atop some yogurt (with extra cinnamon).

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Stirred up into a yog mess, of course.

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I really liked it! Better than the blackberry flavour too. I know many people don’t care for the Kashi cereal bars, but I used to love Nutri-Grain bars as a kid, so they’re a nice alternative for me :)

Then I got lost in Eclipse and at some point breaked for a simple dinner.

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I’m still eating that Sabra hummus I got at Costco two and a half weeks ago. How long does that shite last? It still tastes okay… I think…

My sandwich was definitely okay, if not great.

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Yves cajun chicken slices, mayo, mustard, swiss cheese, tomato, onion, spinach  and sprouts. All toasted up for melty-crunchiness. I’ve been on a real sandwich kick lately. Plus, it is Sammie Saturday after all ;)

Now if you don’t mind me, I have another s’muffernutter cookie to prepare (silliest name ever) and a book to get lost in again. Today was definitely a write-off. Some Saturdays I feel like go-go-going after work, some I feel like doing nothing. Guess what today was? :P

Questions of the Day:

1. What’s your favourite way to do nothing? Besides reading, I like to putter away on the internet, which I guess is also just reading. Watching crappy movies and going through old pictures is also fun :)

2. What’s your favourite book? I lovelovelove children’s fantasy novels. The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, A Wrinkle In Time, House at Pooh Corner, the Golden Compass, Harry Potter,and yes, Twilight. I appreciate the simple writing and how the fantastical elements don’t need complicated explanations They’re just accepted :)

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