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The Cat, The ‘Hood and The Goals

Remember that elusive cat I mentioned in yesterday’s post? Well, I went to bed armed with my camera last night ready for when he made his appearance.

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He’s fast, getting this shot was not easy. 

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You see, my roommates and I have been cat-sitting for a couple weeks now. Mew Mew (the furry one’s given name) has thus far taken refuge in my roommate’s bedroom. But they are both out of town this weekend, which brought Mew Mew wandering into mine.

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Mew Mew does not cuddle or purr. No. He will walk right up to you and aggressively start head-butting you in the face.

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Do not be fooled. This is not “cute.” That is one thick-skulled feline. At one point my eyes starting watering because he conked me right in the nose.

Jerk.

I love all of God’s creatures, but dogs totally rule ;)

Before being attacked, I was reading my current book of choice:

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The first in the Stieg Larsson series, thanks to the several recommendations I got for it in this post. (psst, click on that link and read the comments for tons of great summer books to read!)

Woke up after a glorious 8 hours of sleep with flapjacks on my mind, it’s Pancake Sunday after all ;)

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My protein pancake batter consisted of:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

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For my dipping sauce, I mixed sugar-free syrup with mixed berry jam. Omg. Why don’t I do this more often??

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I really want to make a pun using the word “berry” right now, but I will refrain. Instead, I will just tell you to try this :)

All big plans I had for the day went out the window once it started raining. That paired with it being a Sunday made me want to stay in and tackle some chores!

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When my family visited a few weeks ago, they brought all my stuff from New Brunswick (I only arrived in Toronto with three suitcases). The stuff has been piled in my closets untouched since then. Today, I created rightful spots for everything and my room is beginning to feel a whole lot “roomier.”

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Broke for some Bbq Chicken Pita Pizza. Aka bbq marinated chicken breast on top of a pita with sauce, veggies, cheese, and stuck in the toaster oven for 15 minutes.

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Fact: I have not used the oven since moving to Toronto. It’s too damn hot.

I started to get a little stir crazy after a while and wanted to do something after the rain cleared. In this ginormous new city of mine, that can mean a million things. Out of all the parts of the city I’ve so far explored, ironically I haven’t spent much time in my own neighbourhood!

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I took a couple hours wandering up and down Queen Street East poking my head into antique shops, clothing shops, ice cream shops (not buying, but ya know, scoping out the goods), butchers, cheese shops and bakeries.

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I found this one cute little bakery just off Queen on Logan Ave called Brick Street Bread. They had a million different kinds of artisan loaves, as well as some tasty looking sweets. They are expensive – $5 to $6 per loaf. But they provided samples for many so I knew what I was getting into first. Plus, why can’t a gal treat herself to a loaf of carbs once in a while? ;)

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The girl at the counter said their Organic Basil & Parsley bread is their best seller – but I tried a taste of this Organic European Rye and knew it was mine.

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I lovelovelove rye bread, especially with some good cheese and meat. Sliced it up into quarters and froze it when I got home. That way I can defrost it just a bit at a time.

I stumbled into a cheese shop, but I just could not open my wallet to the high-end prices. I did however find some good sausage.

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Rowe Farms has tons of local, organic, free-from-all-the-bad-stuff meat. Most of it was horrendously priced, but if you looked hard enough, you could find something decent. These four Italian sausages cost me $5.

I continued on to the grocery store where I found my favourite kind of deal…

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Expires on August 19?? Pfft, no problem ;)

I came home hungry after exploring my ‘hood all afternoon, so I whipped up something quick.

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Into a frying pan went:

  • 1 chopped Italian sausage
  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 head of green cabbage
  • sliced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a zucchini
  • 2 tbsp pizza sauce
  • oregano, basil, parsley

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All topped with cheddar cheese. Solid meal. Loved the sausage.

 

Weekly Goal Check-In!

Ahhh, yes, ‘tis that time of the week already. Let’s see how I’m doing one week into this month’s goals…

1. Eat out twice a week, at no more than $15 a meal. Technically, I only ate out twice. I spent $9 on a Freshii salad on Friday and $14 at the Greek fair on Saturday. However, I also spent $5 on a beer on Thursday and $5 on frozen yogurt on Friday. Does beer and dessert count? I sure hope not :P

2. Read more. I spent close to two hours reading a day this week. I spend a lot of time on public transit reading, then always for a bit before bed. Making progress on that Larsson book!

3. Do at least one outdoor activity a week. All I’ve done is tons of walking, which I’m going to say counts. A few times, I ditched the streetcar or bus and just took the extra 20-30 minutes to walk where I was going.

4. Look for part-time work and volunteer work. Thumbs down!! This week, promise!

5. Update my blog pages. Nope :( But I did get catch up on getting my content up on Healthbuzz.

6. Lose weight. I am by no means back normal, but I’m starting to feel better in skin. Progress. Honestly, I think this past week was my first week in two months where I didn’t eat a meal out every day. That alone made me feel a lot less puffy and better in my clothes. However, the battle still rages on! :P

 

You’re turn!! How did everyone else do on their goals this week??

Good Food, Bad Food, and a New Set of Monthly Goals

Hello friends!! Welcome to August :) This is going to be a good month, I can feel it! For the first time in a long time, I’m setting out some goals for myself this month. But we’ll have to wait till the end for those. I’ve got a plethora of food photos first!

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It’s been a while since I did a big food post, so some of these are a few days old. The other day I mixed up 30g chocolate whey powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp ground coffee, 2 tbsp egg whites and 2 tbsp plain yogurt.

You want to put this is a biiiiig mug. After 2-3 minutes in the microwave, it puffs up into beast.

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If you are a volume eater, this one’s for you. Sliced up into three sections and topped with a mix of marshmallow fluff, chocolate peanut butter, laughing cow cheese.

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I don’t know why I’ve never thought of a mocha protein cake before. This was freakin’ divine.

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Plus, the mid-day caffeine kick didn’t hurt ;)

Next up we have my first ever visit to Chipotle!

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Chipotle is a cafeteria-style Mexican restaurant with a focus on organic and ethical food.

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Their specialty are the burritos and tacos, but I was trying to keep it on the low-cal side, so I opted for a salad.

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I must say, I was a little disappointed by their salad options. Just a bit of romaine with sautéed veggies, a choice of two beans, three meats, four salsas and some cheese.

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I opted for the black beans, chicken and mild tomato salsa. No guac as I can’t eat it. The spices were right on and it was certainly filling. Buuuut, it was 9 bucks and I like a salad chock full of veggies.

Oh, and as a side note, while eating this on the patio I got recognized by a reader!! How cool is that? Hi Ashley, thanks for coming up to say hello :) I’d like to say I’m usually not that awkward in real life, but alas, that is not my reality.

Chugging right along here, I had yet another new-food experience in Toronto!

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My roommates were pretty horrified when they found out I’d never had dim sum before. Actually, I’d heard the term, but never really knew what it was. Billy took me to a restaurant called the Pearl Court in Chinatown East. For those of you who haven’t experienced it either, dim sum is Cantonese dining where the food comes in small portions. The restaurant workers came around yelling out dish names and we had to put our hands up if we wanted it. They marked it off on a little card and we paid at the end.

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The most confusing part is that they were yelling out the dishes in Cantonese, so I had no idea what was coming around! Thankfully, Billy knows his Chinese food.

The above are pork spring rolls. Very crispy.

Below are shrimp thingys in a wrapper thingy.

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Like my descriptions? :P Actually, I think these were shrimp dumplings.

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The above are some pork dumplings perhaps? They were quite good.

I am missing a picture of my favourite food! They were pot stickers with cabbage in them and lightly fried. Yumyum.
 
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Second favourite were these buns with a sweet pork filling and sticky glaze on top. I’ve seen similar buns many times on Sophia’s blog and can’t wait to try more varieties!

Least favourite dish from the meal were the chicken feet.

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OhyesIdid.

I’ve said many times that my food curiosity often gets the best of me!! These are actual chicken feet, cooked in a sort of barbecue sauce. You’re supposed to bite a piece off, suck off the skin, then spit out the bone.

I tried, I really tried. I can get past most “gross-out factors” when it comes to food. But these chicken feet defeated me. The skin was a lot more light and soft than I was expecting, otherwise, it was kinda of what you would expect scaly chicken feet to taste like :/

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Everything was chased down with some very delicious tasting tea. I think it was a green, but it didn’t taste quite so bitter. Billy told me the tea is served because it helps your body cut down on the grease.

In all, a wonderful first dim sum experience!! I ate just enough and despite it being a pretty greasy and heavy meal, I felt good after. It will be more fun to go back as I start to recognize the dishes and know what I like. Can’t say I’ll be getting the chicken feet again ;)

After an indulgent day yesterday, I’ve been trying to clean up my act today. Unfortunately, I was without groceries for half of it.

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An empty fridge and cupboard often leads to my more interesting food combinations. Today being no different.

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This would be a pita pizza of sorts with a base of tuna, cottage cheese, mustard, pickles and onions.

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That’s not mozzarella on top, but sauerkraut!

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I dunno, I saw the jar of sauerkraut in the fridge and went for it. I looooove sauerkraut and thought this was pretty tasty!

I kept with the cabbage theme for dinner after purchasing groceries.

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Browsing the internets today, I stumbled across a recipe for Mango Slaw With Cashews and Mint from Smitten Kitchen. I followed the recipe almost precisely, except I used regular green cabbage, added sesame oil for my oil, and traded in the cashews for soya nuts.

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The soya nuts were $5 cheaper than the cashews, and the nutritionals are 5x better.

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That’s better than most protein bars!!

I paired the mango slaw with some sweet & spicy chicken breast.

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I’m really happy with how the slaw turned out. It was a cinch to throw together and is the perfect flavour for summer.

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And finally, my goals for August.

1. Eat out twice a week, at no more than $15 a meal. This is going to be hard, as eating out is sooooo fun and easy in Toronto. But for the sake of my wallet and waistline, it needs to happen. I’m starting to get on a more regular work schedule, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the habit of preparing meals and snacks for when I’m not home.

2. Read more. Actually, I already have been reading more, to the tune of four books in July. But I’d like to keep it up!

3. Do at least one outdoor activity a week. Now that I’m working in a gym, it is so easy for me to just keep my workouts within the gym walls. But summer will be gone before I know it, so it’s important I get out in the fresh air! Already off to a good start with this one – put in an hour long bike ride along the waterfront this evening. Plus, I’ve got some more fun outdoor stuff in the works ;)

4. Look for part-time work and volunteer work. One, because I need the extra moulah, and two, because I want to get more involved in my new community.

5. Update my blog pages. They’re once again behind the times. I haven’t put any work into my blog since before I moved in May!

6. Lose weight. I know, when did this become a weight loss blog?? :P Truth of the matter is that I’m over my “happy weight,” thus not very happy with how I look and feel in my skin. It just means I’ll be a little more vigilant about my food and servings and probably stepping on a scale more often than I typically like.

 

There you have it! Will start checking in on these goals weekly to keep myself accountable. Now my question for you: what are your goals for August?? Write them down in the comments and we can check in together next week :)

Things I Learned The Month I Found A New Home

Having a bed and a closet to put your clothes in is luxury I previously took for granted.

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Things have a funny way of working out. I definitely make the decisions, but the universe still nudges me around.

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Gaining weight is not the end of the world when trying to maintain a weight loss. But when you’ve been maintaining for so long, trying to lose again sucks.

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There is a very real possibility that this healthy living blog will exclusively turn into a waffle blog.

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I spent years being sleep deprived when an eye mask was all I needed. I now sleep close to 9 hours a night in utter darkness.

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Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter whisked with sugar-free syrup makes for a most excellent dipping sauce.

There is such a thing as too much bacon.

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I shouldn’t feel pressure to blog every single day, nor should I. In order to blog about my life, I have to live it :)

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I am a nerd of epic proportions, proved by squealing with delight at Harry Potter props with 13-year-olds.

This country girl may have a bit of a city girl in her.

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It’s possible to wake up one day and be living the life you always wanted.

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Marshmallow fluff makes the world go round.

Kensington Market eludes me.

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Getting paid to meet wonderful people and put them through workouts is amazing.

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I have a lot more drive and energy than I ever gave myself credit for. 

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It’s really important to actively stay in touch with people. Old friends, new friends, relatives. Don’t always count on others to make the connection.

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Pitas make the best easy pizza crust. No, really.

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I’m finally in a place where I can go out to bars with people, stay sober, and still have tons of fun. It’s taken a long time to get here.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can always find a sense of comfort.

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Going to bed last night, I looked up and spotted the moon through my skylight. I spent a long time looking at it, just as I did as a little girl while sitting on my bedroom window seat. I think it would be so easy for me to feel an overwhelming sense of drowning in this big new city. But my heart is so full, my eyes so wide, and my mind so peaceful. Following my gut was the best thing I ever did.

Question of the Day: What did you learn in July?

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