Blog Archives

A Peek Into The Camera of A Food Blogger

Hellohello friends! Before we even get into today’s topic, I first want to thank you for the kind and supportive comments on my last post. If having a balanced life was easy, then everyone would be living a perfect life! I just do what I can :)

I woke up not a happy camper today. I think it’s a combination of being run-down, fighting off some flu-like symptoms, and the fullness of the moon lately (yes, I believe in the effect of lunar cycles).

IMG_1290

Thank goodness it’s Waffle Wednesday or I may have just resigned to my bed for the rest of the day. Now this is something worth getting out of bed for!!

IMG_1292 
Whipped up a batch of protein waffles (recipe found here) and topped with a mixture of plums, raisins, sugar-free syrup, cinnamon and sunflower seed butter.

IMG_1296

Adding the topping just a bit at a time. I do not like soggy waffles!!

Now usually, I would stop here with the enticing waffle photos, but today I’m doing something a little different.

I want to show you the food photos that didn’t make the cut. Here are the ones you would have otherwise missed out on (all taken on my Canon EOS Rebel XS):

IMG_1285 IMG_1286

IMG_1287 IMG_1288

IMG_1289 IMG_1291

IMG_1293  IMG_1299

IMG_1297 IMG_1300

I usually take anywhere from 5-15 photos per dish. I aim to get a view from the top, from the side, and close-up. Most of the time photos are not used because they’re not as crisp as the others. Crispness is key. If it’s the least bit fuzzy, I don’t use it.

Lunch!

IMG_1305

Chicken slices and laughing cow blue cheese on a pita with onions, tomatoes and spinach. I’m back to eating pitas and carrot sticks every day. One meal that I never tire of!

If this were a regular post, I would keep it to that one photo. But here are the other ones I captured…

IMG_1301 IMG_1303

IMG_1304 IMG_1306

IMG_1307 IMG_1308

I’m not a huge fan of the composition in the top photos. The bottom part of the pita that is closest to the camera is not what’s in focus. For some reason I get really bothered when the foreground is blurry and the background is focused. It’s my “thing” I guess. Also, the loser photos are either too shaded or too blanched out from the light. It’s tricky getting sunlight to hit textures juuuuuust right.

Lunch was polished off with an Adora disk. I got a bag of these for free at the Healthy Living Summit. I reallyreally like them. 30 calories a pop for a little piece of calcium infused chocolate.

IMG_1312

The shots that didn’t make the cut:

IMG_1309 IMG_1311

One of my pet peeves is when people review a packaged good and don’t reveal what’s inside of the package. Instead of taking a shot of the chocolate in the wrapper, I decided to capture what the chocolate actually looks like along with the packaging. You get the best of both worlds in one frame :)

Also, I went for the angled shot here so you can see both the width and height of the chocolate. That way you get a better feel for its size. The last loser picture is very similar to the shot I chose. The only difference is that the chosen one has more of the chocolate in focus when enlarged. The area of focus on the loser one was too small.

Finally, there was dinner.

IMG_1316 
Stir-fried tofu, grated carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic with pesto and laughing cow cheese.

IMG_1313

This bowl also got a lot of camera lovin’…

IMG_1314  IMG_1315

IMG_1317 IMG_1318

 IMG_1323IMG_1320

IMG_1321 IMG_1322

I really like doing long shots with plates and bowls because you get a feel for just how overflowing they can be. Plus, I kinda liked the packaged Ikea bed slats as the diagonal background ;) The close-up shots in this series unfortunately all turned out blurry, so they were ditched. The bottom two turned out okay, but were too similar in composition to the first photo I chose. If I’m going for more than one photo of a dish, I want them all to come from noticeably different angles.

 

And that my friends is a little peek into my camera!! I always joke that if someone were to steal it on me, they’d think they stole the camera of a crazy person. Which I guess may partially be true ;)

I’m taking the day off from blogging on Thursday, but if there are any requests for what you’d like featured on Fitness Friday this week, let me know!

 

Question of the Day: Food bloggers – do you photograph all your food? How many shots do you take per dish? I obviously don’t photograph everything. But I do admit to sometimes featuring boring food on here just because I think the picture turned out pretty :)

Fabulousness + Rawlicious

Today was a day of fabulousness. <—Also fabulous is that “fabulousness” is a word according to my Windows Live Writer.

Anyways, here are all of the day’s fabulous events in order of occurrence:

1. Andy Schleck edged out Alberto Contador for the yellow jersey in Stage 9 today at the Tour de France.

2. I received three times the amount of money I was expecting for my tax return.

3. I got that job I interviewed for yesterday and reallyreally wanted (!!!!)

4. I celebrated all these fabulous things with a fabulous meal with fabulous bloggers tonight :)

 

Okay. I will stop using the word fabulous ;)

So about that job? I’ll be doing personal training in a Toronto-area gym starting next week! It really is the perfect gym and ideal situation for me and I could not be happier about it :D Of course, I won’t start making any money until I get clients, so that extra boost I got from the government today definitely helps!!

IMG_9562

For all the wonderful things that happened today, it was actually a pretty lazy morning and afternoon.

IMG_9564

Started with a Toronto-style bagel topped with butter + mixed berry jam.

IMG_9567

With a side of microwaved egg whites topped with laughing cow cheese. All on a Wall-E plate ;)

I had full intentions on going to the gym before lunch, so I thought a Run Glo Bar would be an appropriate pre-gym snack.

IMG_9569

I love the idea of a small nutrition bar meant specifically as pre-run fuel.

IMG_9571

Again, I liked how you could really taste the peanut butter, and it had dates! Those are always my go-to pre-run snack! I can totally see this being easily digested for energy before a run.

IMG_9575

Except, I didn’t end up going to the gym after eating this. I got caught up in the last 20k of today’s Tour de France, and then the Harry Potter book I’m reading started calling my name.

IMG_9579
I eventually had to break from all this laziness for lunch.

IMG_9582

I mixed some of my leftover white bean-pork-mushroom-pesto with chopped green pepper, red onion, zucchini, beets and feta. Holy delicious. I ate it cold like a salad and it was awesome!

I eventually did make it to the gym late this afternoon. Walked the 25 minutes there because I was too lazy (or impatient) to wait for the streetcar. I know this doesn’t make sense. Can you tell I was in a mood today?? :P

Went straight to the weight room and tortured myself thusly:

 

Exercise Load Reps Sets Target
Deadlift 65 lbs 12 3 Lower back, glutes, thighs
Forward lunge  40 lbs ea 20 3 Quads, glutes
Reverse fly  10 lbs ea 12 3 Upper back
Jump squats bodyweight 20 3 Quads, glutes
Dumbbell bench press  20 lbs ea 12 3 Chest
One arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 12 3 Shoulder, quads, glutes
Lateral raise w/ side lunge  5 lbs ea 12 3 Top/side shoulder, inner thighs, quads
Cable pushdown  45 lbs 12 3 Triceps
Single arm cable curl  10 lbs 12 3 Biceps
Prone jackknife  bodyweight 12 3 Abs
Stability ball leg curl bodyweight 12 3 Hamstrings, hips, calves

Colour coded to indicate straight or alternating sets! I really hated doing the jump squats between sets, so I know it was good for me :P I then proceeded to walk home in the humidity. I was starved by the time I got back!

IMG_9589
One thing I’ve noticed about Ontario is that the produce is cheaper than in New Brunswick. Cantaloupe is only 99 cents. 

IMG_9585
I’ve been eating excessive amounts of fruit now that it’s so hot out. That’s what summer is for I guess – it tastes so fresh and delicious!

I also snacked up on a little extra protein…

IMG_9598
Yes, protein desserts are still in my life. This is just a scoop of chocolate whey powder mixed with a tablespoon cocoa powder + stevia and a splash of water. Super rich and satisfying :)

I may have also been filling up on protein because of the blogger meet-up I had in store!!

IMG_9599
Angela got a recommendation for Rawlicious and we immediately had to try it!

IMG_9603
They have a mostly all raw-vegan menu and a super cute dining area!! We were in a room called the “Zen Den” hanging out on pillows and chatting away per usual.

IMG_9606

Jess, Angela, Laura, Kristin, Sarah, Me, Jessica, Jenn. Missing is Callie, she’s the photographer ;)

Rawlicious has a juicer on hand so I figured I might as well take advantage of it to continue the fight against this never-ending cold I have.

Veggie juice: celery, cucumber, parsley, carrot.

IMG_9604
Not bad actually. It tasted mostly of cucumber. I now know that juice is supposed to be drunk warm for whatever reasons, but seriously. Will a couple ice cubes really hurt?

We also ordered a Nacho Platter for the table: the classic trio of Guacamole, “Sour Cream” & Salsa, served with sliced green olives, green onions, hot banana peppers and a pile of Rawlicious Nacho Chips.

IMG_9613
Excuse the blurry picture, but I had to just say the raw tortilla chips were awesome! As was the “sour cream.” The consensus was that it was probably cashew based. I say it was based of deliciousness.

Everything on the menu sounded so unique and amazing. I finally ended up with a Taco Wrap: Seasoned Nut-Loaf, Guacamole, chopped Tomatoes, Red Onion, shredded Romaine, Salsa and Nut Cheese.

IMG_9618

Thumbs up!!! I asked for it without the guacamole (“allergic”) but otherwise everything on it tasted great! The nut-loaf was a little spicy and had a great crumbly texture. The nut cheese reminded me a little of hummus. I really enjoyed this, and for being a raw meal, it was pretty darn filling!!

When the waitress asked if we wanted to see the tea menu after the meal, I couldn’t help but take part.

IMG_9619

Knowing it was getting close to my bedtime, I chose one of the “non-caffeineted” ones, Rooibos Samarkhand: Rooibos, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Calendula & Rose Petals.

IMG_9622

All served in a cute little mug to boot. Good for my sinuses!

There may have also been a little raw dessert action…

IMG_9620

Much better than my last raw dessert experience. Y’all know I’m a butter and sugar girl, but this raw brownie was definitely tasty! It was mostly coconut based, but my favourite part was the icing, which I think had something to do with coconut butter.

IMG_9624
Fun fact: Callie (right) and I are driving to Chicago together for the Healthy Living Summit!! Blogger road trip?? Yesplease :)

IMG_9627
I’m pumped that Sarah (left) and Angela (right) will also be at the Healthy Living Summit! Also, props to Jessica (mid-right) for suggesting the restaurant. It was a total win, and I have a feeling we’ll be going back to the “Zen Den” till we’ve tried everything on the menu!!

I should also thank Laura for her TTC tips (Toronto Transit Commission). Thankfully, I didn’t have to act crazier than the crazy people on the subway to stay safe on the way home. Another win!!

 

And with that, I bid you a goodnight!! *muah!*

A Blogging Fiesta

Hellooo!! How was everyone’s weekend?? Everyone watch the soccer match? Don’t care? I’m indifferent, it’s Tour de France season people!!! :P

IMG_9448
I have this bad habit of walking into bakeries, not to buy anything, but just to drool over the things they have on display. I found one not too far from my new place that had some Toronto-style bagels (as opposed to Montreal style). I asked the clerk what made them Toronto style and she had no idea. Thanks.

IMG_9452

I had one for breakfast on Saturday topped with laughing cow cheese and egg whites.

IMG_9454 
I don’t care what style of bagel this is, it was delicious. Getting things fresh from a bakery makes a world of difference. A million times better than any bagged stuff at the grocery store!!

After blogging yesterday, I really did drag my sorry butt to the gym. I told myself I’d take it easy, and that’s just what I did. 35 minutes of sprint intervals on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine, and 15 minutes of torture on the stepmill. Amazing how good an hour at the gym can make you feel for the rest of the day!!

IMG_9456

Popped the rest of the tempeh in the toaster oven with chopped onion and bbq sauce. Stuffed it in a pita with feta, tomatoes and romaine.

IMG_9460

I perhaps owe my first born to Lori for introducing me to the bbq-feta combo. SO good!! I still enjoyed the tempeh, however be forewarned, it’s not for everyone. I’ve heard it get compared to stinky feet before.

For dinner I went in the opposite direction. Traded in my vegetarian protein for some animal protein.

IMG_9462

Went to the grocery store and found these pork loins on sale. I then made up the following combination in my head as I browsed the grocery store aisles. Most of my dinners are created that way!

IMG_9464

Seared the chops on either side first, then cut them up and added white kidney beans, whole mushrooms and pesto to the pan.

IMG_9470

Meanwhile, I prepared a salad of simple garden veggies, including beets and olives because they rock my socks.

IMG_9473

You know what happened next…

IMG_9482

Haha, you can see the difference between the low light in my kitchen and the natural light in my living room. Anyways, the pork-bean-mushroom-pesto combo was amazing. Another great grocery store brainwave!!

And would you believe it if I said I was in bed before midnight last night? Yup! My body needed it as it’s still trying to fight off a stupid cold.

I woke up 9 hours later and immediately threw on my running gear for what ended up being a very hot 4-4.5 miles. I’d had intentions of being out earlier to run before the heat set in, but I slept too long!! It actually wasn’t that bad for being my first run in almost two weeks. But I am so happy I didn’t sign up for a half-marathon this year. I can’t imagine training in this heat. I’ll take the stepmill in my air conditioned gym anytime ;)

IMG_9485

I was still sweating even after taking a cold shower. I’d dreamed of thick and fluffy oatmeal pancakes but somewhere something went horribly wrong.

I made my usual protein pancake recipe (with 1/3 cup measurements) and didn’t bother blending it. They stuck to the pan!! I ended up with what looked like scrambled oatmeal.

IMG_9488

Some people may have thrown them out, but not I. Instead, I slathered them in almond butter.

IMG_9491

Then topped with yogurt, strawberries, blackberries and sugar-free syrup.

IMG_9495

And you know what? They tasted fantastic!!

IMG_9499
Best scrambled oatmeal ever. I’d actually make this again and again it was that good.

I made sure not to fill up on too many pancakes though, I had to save my appetite!!

IMG_9502

Suddenly, I don’t feel so strange for taking pictures of my food ;)

IMG_9519

Angela and I decided that a big healthy-living blogger fiesta was in order once I arrived in the city. She picked Calico Cafe based on their yummy looking vegan brunch menu and their ability to take large reservations! SO happy so many people could make it.

IMG_9508

Angela, Jess, Jenn, Therese, Callie

IMG_9510
Jenn, Kristin, Angela, Laura.  

Seriously you guys, how freakin’ lucky am I to be surrounded by so many fabulous women?? Also, anyone else ever notice that healthy living bloggers are always gorgeous and well dressed?? Just sayin!

IMG_9501 IMG_9504

I ordered a chai iced tea to drink. Picture on the left was taken with my stock Canon Rebel lens, picture on the right was taken with Callie’s 50mm lens. Apparently they’re only 150 bucks or so and take stunning food photographs! I want one.

IMG_9511

Like many vegan restaurants, the menu at Calico Cafe is very unique. I ended up with a vegan omelette: creamy seitan filling, with potatoes, salad, toast + jam.

IMG_9516
The waiter told me the omelette was a mix of tofu and cornbread, but wouldn’t reveal anything else ;) This was my first time trying seitan and I really enjoyed it. It had a similar texture to tofu and was perfectly spiced in this dish.

IMG_9518

Thank you for coming out everyone!! I had a blast gabbing with them about everything from photography to seaweed to yoga. Next Sunday we’re doing a blogger potluck picnic, so if you couldn’t make it this time, e-mail me at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com for details!! :)

While delicious, my meal wasn’t very filling. I was hungry again by the time I got home.

IMG_9522
Angela was sweet enough to bring Glo Bars for everyone. I pretty much tore into mine the second I bust through the door.

IMG_9524
Impressed by the nutrition stats!

IMG_9527

I really enjoyed the taste of this bar. The peanut butter really stuck out, and the huge chunks of cranberry were nice. I also really dig the incredibly gooey and crispy texture. Thank you Angela!! Hopefully I’ll get to see you in Oakville soon ;)

 

On that note, I am going to wrap up this incredibly long post and leave you to the rest of your day. I’m off to read a book. Don’t be fooled by how smart that statement sounds, I’m reading Harry Potter for the gazillionth time ;)

 

Question of the Day: What was the best thing you ate all weekend?? I love asking this question because I always get such great answers!! Mine was the above “oatmeal scramble.” Kitchen disaster turned kitchen fluke!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers