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Take Heed

Ahhh, it was yet another glorious day around these parts. Mid 20’s and clear blue skies. Felt like a summer day!

I loved reading through everyone’s goals for May. One of the reasons why I keep doing it! Here is just a snippet for inspiration ;)

  • Kristin: “Run at least 20 times… that is 5x a week! I am officially in race training” 
  • April: “My new goals are to STRETCH!!” 
  • Morgan: “my goals are to relax and enjoy the little moments. I spend a lot of time thinking about my future but I don’t live in the moment very much. I need to change this!”
  • Julie: “My May goals are no beef or bread. I’m also working hard on Weight Watchers and trying to lose 5 pounds.”

So now when I check in every week this month you can keep me updated on how it’s going! I think I’ll make Sunday check-in days again. Seems to be the only day of the week I can remember…

Once again I am putting my ugliest photos at the top of the post. Probably not the best blogging technique ;)

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But this has to be shared!

Last night, I microwaved 3/4 cup egg whites in a mug, then added blueberry jam and peanut butter.

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Are you gagging yet? I assure you it was delicious. I’ve had eggs with fruit before, but the nut butter really brought it up a notch. Scrumptious snack!

I was up at 6am with a growling tummy. It required a special remedy.

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Hey, it was never specified which type of jar oats in a jar should be eaten out of ;)

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The last of my marshmallow fluff now that I’m trying to lay off the refined sugar. Cream of wheat cooked with egg whites, topped with PB and chocolate chips for good measure.

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The fluff melts on the hot oats and it transforms into the thing dreams are made of.

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before, but I added a splash of vanilla extract to my coffee today – delightful!

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Thankfully, I don’t drink regular cow’s milk or cream, so reducing my dairy consumption should not affect my coffee consumption. I normally just use a splash of almond milk. Cow’s milk has always made me squeamish :\

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Are you singing it now?

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Naner and dates with crunchy almond butter. I’m back and forth with crunchy and smooth. I just can’t decide which is best.

Then it was off to Body Step! I went to the big gym again and it was beyond stellar. My heart rate skyrocketed because I was pushing myself to the max. It’s such a motivating class. I credit it entirely to the instructors – they bring it out of me! 

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My whole life, my eyes have always been bigger than my stomach.

Except in the case of salads. I’d say they’re on par here ;)

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Highlights being spinach, kale, rotisserie chicken breast, and pickled beets. Dressing made out of watered down hummus.

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I’m trading in my usual romaine lettuce for dark leafy greens to make up for some of the calcium I’m missing out on without the usual dairy. I’ll also add a little more tofu, almonds and sardines which are all notably high in calcium as well. And of course, I take a daily calcium supplement! There’s tons of conflicting research out there about calcium absorption. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that’s been highly politicized.

After lunch, I took the pooch out for his walk in the sunshine. It was hot out!

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He passed out at the bottom of the stairs again after. This is probably my favourite picture of the bugger yet. Archie + Running shoe = <3

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I think I’m losing my love for honeycrisp, it’s been replaced by galas. This snack powered me through cleaning out my closet. I am getting rid of exactly half of my wardrobe!

I had full plans of eating up my cupboards this week, but I just couldn’t do it. I caved and bought fresh produce

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I’ll throw out my 2-year-old box of lasagna noodles and expired box of soup. The fresh veggies were worth it.

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Steamed green beans + broccoli, topped with 2 whole eggs that were scrambled with smoked salmon, capers and honey mustard. Scrambled eggs + mustard may be my new favourite thing. Awesome pairing!!

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And some butter on hot toast. Nothing like it my friends!

I was supposed to meet a friend to practice for my personal training practical – but the gym was closed! I dropped her off at home, and intended to drive back to my place. But I drove right past the turn off to my neighbourhood and kept driving.

I drove across the river to the other side of town, and kept driving.

I rolled my window all the way down and turned up Death Cab For Cutie’s Narrow Stairs album.

In the two years that I’ve been driving, I’ve never just driven. I’ve always been on a mission, a deadline, somewhere to be.

I had no clue where I was going tonight, but that didn’t stress me out. Instead I relished in the scent in the air and the feel of it on my face. It was fantastic.

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It’s helps that I live in a gorgeous river valley. I may be sick of this city, but that river definitely stole my heart.

I effortlessly found my way back home and hour later. I took the dog out for another evening stroll. Again, soaking up every minute. Day 2 of my May Goals, and I’m already reaping the benefits.

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Finished the night off with some Averie inspired protein popcorn. Microwave popcorn tossed with a little water and chocolate protein powder. Another fabulous treat :)

 

I am off to go cuddle up in bed and read magazines. Busybusy day tomorrow packing up!

 

Questions of the Day:

1. Nut butter – smooth or crunchy? Flavoured or natural? I’m back and forth, but I think I like crunchy best. Definitely natural.

2. What moment recently made you stop and take heed? Tonight, I walked up the hill and looked over the river as the sun was setting. And the smell of freshly cut grass coming in through my car window!

Upper-cuts and Burgers

So while I was blogging and watching Jamie’s Food Revolution last night (in preparation for Jamie and I’s wedding day, of course) I munched on some notable munchables.

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I started doing high-protein snacks at night because it helped me in the belly-pudge department. But after writing that exam, I just wanted to veg and munch away! Behold, kettle popcorn with almond butter, cinnamon and raisins. When you toss hot popcorn in creamy almond butter, it melts and coats everything. Messy to eat but SO worth it. I’m sure some people would be proud ;)

Anyways, it was late by the time I wound down last night, and my body clock didn’t clue in to the fact that it was a Saturday. If I can’t sleep, at least I can eat well.

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Protein pancakes basking in the morning sun.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • cinnamon
  • maple extract
  • 1 stevia packet

All blended up with my immersion blender and cooked on the stovetop.

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Fun fact: most of you said you enjoy your waffles best topped with syrup and butter. So in your honour, that’s how I ate my pancakes today. Okay, butter-ed and syrup-ed is also my fave way to eat pancakes.

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Pancakes were dipped into the syrup. I’m anti-drizzle. The edges must stay crispy at all costs.

Spent my morning in bed reading blogs. I wish every day could start this way!

I decided to go to a noon-hour exercise class, so I split my morning snack into two parts so I wasn’t hungry for lunch by the time I showed up at the gym.

Snack numero uno.

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Homemade Dark Chocolate S’mores Protein Bar. One of the little end-piece nubbins because I suck at cutting equal sized pieces of anything.

Snack numero dos.

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Naner with cinnamon and raisins. I’m on a raisins kick! I want them in everything!

This fuelled me up perfectly for my first ever kickboxing class!!! My gym, GoodLife Fitness, does Les Mills exercise classes. Pre-choreographed classes by some guy in New Zealand that gyms use all over the world. At first I didn’t like the concept of doing the same thing every class (they change them every three months or so), but they’re really well done! I thrive on music when I work out, and they’re all very well choreographed to go with the music. Which is surprisingly not that awful.

So far I have done:

So today I tried out the final class they offer, Body Combat. Here’s what a typical class looks like according to the website:

1. WARMUP

This is where you will learn all the moves that will be used throughout the class and warm up your body and mind for the battle ahead.

2. COMBAT 1

Visualise your opponent and unleash into your first fight combination.

3. POWER 1

Enter an aerobic training zone with a focus on speed, power and endurance.

4. COMBAT 2

Fight for your life! Inject all your power and energy into every combination as you again challenge your imaginary opponent.

5. POWER 2

You’re halfway through the fight. Use punches only to drill the upper body for a second time.

6. COMBAT 3

Time to recover as we lower the intensity to prepare for the final phase.

7. MUAY THAI

Explode into a Muay Thai encounter, push yourself to a higher fitness level and leave your opponent for dust!

8. POWER 3

Go hard out and don’t look back until you complete this upper body power blast and seal the deal on your fitness objectives.

9. CONDITIONING

Take to the floor and cap off the workout with some strength training.

10. COOLDOWN

Payback time – stretch out and lengthen all those hard-worked muscles.

The main reason why I ended up doing this one last is because I thought I wouldn’t like it. I’m the least aggressive person you’ll ever meet. I figured I’d injure myself through some horribly executed roundhouse kick. I was going to blow my rotator cuff punching the air for sure.

And you know what? I absolutely loved it. For realz!!! It reminded me a lot of Body Attack, but with more upper body movements. It kept me interested, worked me hard, but didn’t kill me. I got a pretty good workout out of it, burning 400 calories. Which is a typical workout burn for me. We had one of the gym’s best instructors teaching it today too – which always helps!!

It’s also worth mentioning that the fittest people I have ever seen in my gym were all in this class. I don’t know where they came from, but I was suddenly surrounded by perfectly sculpted, gorgeous women, who all had some aggression to take out. If there are any Fredericton men out there reading, Saturdays at GoodLife is where you can find them :P

My body felt great during the class too – three days of consecutive rest did it good!

Aaaaanyways! Came home and had 30 minutes before I had to show my apartment to a prospective subletter. I had time to shower or eat, but not both. You know which won.

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Turkey salad pita with carrots. I’m back on the pita wagon and it feels good. But typing this out, I realize I forgot to explain to the potential subletter why I was stinky and wearing tight shorts.

Was going to take the boy out for a walk, but it started raining. So I had to put up with him looking up at me expectantly all day. Whyyy are dogs so good at guilt trips!?

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Fun fact: Archie likes to squeeze himself into tight spaces. Much like in this picture where he’s in the side of the couch. He also has the habit of taking his doggie kibbles and hiding them around my apartment. So if there’s not a poodle between my couch cushions, there’s definitely a few pieces of dog food.

Boring snack, pretty bowl.

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Yogurt with strawberries and Grape Nuts. I just wanted to take a picture of it :)

For dinner, I went out to a new burger joint in town called Relish. I was here a few weeks ago, but it went unphotodocumented, didn’t want it to happen again! 

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Let’s hope dude at the counter has a bike outside.

And why yes, that would be half of Chris’ face in that photo! We were catching up. T’was nice to hear what my former best friend’s been up to since the great divide. He broke a rib snowboarding!! And hasn’t been out biking yet, which makes me feel slightly better about having ole’ Scottie (my road bike) still cooped up.

I asked all my Twitter friends what I should get,  and the consensus was the L.A. is my Lady: sliced avocado, roasted peppers, basil pesto, creamy goat`s cheese.

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My Twitter friends are so smart :) You can’t see the toppings in this pic because the turkey patty was so huge, but they were delicious!! And there were beets mixed with caramelized onions on there too! For the side I ordered the sundried basil bean salad that was on special. It was okay. I think it was actually green beans, mango and walnuts. I polished off the burger and loved every single bite!!!

Now I am back home cozied up with my poodle. Thinking of…

a) Finishing up some work I didn’t get to Friday afternoon

b) Catching up on America’s Next Top Model

Guess which one will win? :P

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite burger topping? Mine is RELISH! (oddly, I didn’t get any at the place called “Relish”)

Bonus question: Have you tried kickboxing? Like? Dislike? I think I might actually go again next week :)

It’s Sunday… Check-In Time!

Hello friends! Hope you all had fantabulous weekends :) Mine was the usual 5am-1pm shift at the office. Only three more weekends left!! Who knows? Maybe I’ll have a social life again! :P

A little calorie counting update:

  • Turns out I’m getting lots of protein, but still not getting enough fat. I have a digestive intolerance to high-fat foods like cooking oils and avocadoes. Nuts, eggs and tofu seem to be the only high-fat foods I can eat that don’t keep me bed-ridden for four hours after. More peanut butter? Yes please! :P
  • I eat a lot of fibre! Like 50g a day. Who knew?
  • Measuring every little thing seriously sucks. Weighing my apples seems so silly, I just want to eat the damn thing!
  • I spend a lot less time thinking about food. I log what I eat, or plan to eat, then forget about it. After I stopped tracking, I still kept counting in my head. I’m like the Rainman of calorie counting and can’t be stopped. It takes up a lot of mental energy. When I’m done tracking in a few days, I’m going to work much harder at not thinking about the calories in my foods. Shouldn’t be a problem so long as I’m choosing whole, fresh foods :)

Besides working, napping and eating today, I had a stellar gym sesh! One of those Sunday afternoons where I just pump and sweat my time away playing with all the equipment :)

Warm-up:
5 minutes easy on the elliptical

Elliptical:
0:00-1:00 – sprint @ level 17
1:00-3:00 – recovery @ level 14
3:00-4:00 – sprint @ level 18
4:00-6:00 – recovery @ level 15
6:00-7:00 – sprint @ level 19
7:00-9:00 – recovery @ level 16
9:00-10:00 – sprint @ level 18
10:00-12:00 – recovery @ level 15
12:00-13:00 – sprint @ level 17
13:00-15:00 – recovery @ level 14

A1 – Romanian deadlift to barbell row:
2 sets @ 50 lbs x 8

B1 – Incline dumbbell shoulder press:
2 sets @ 20 lbs (ea) x 8

B2 – Wide-grip lat pulldown:
2 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

C1 – YTWL:
2 sets @ 7.5 lbs (ea) x 4 each letter

C2 – Tricep cable pulldown:
2 sets @ 25 lbs x 8

Stairmill:
0:00-1:00 – level 6
1:00-2:00 – level 7
2:00-3:00 – level 8
3:00-4:00 – level 9
4:00-6:00 – level 10
6:00-7:00 – level 9
7:00-8:00 – level 8
8:00-9:00 – level 7
9:00-10:00 – level 6

Whittle My Middle!:
Plank:
90 sec
Side planks: 30 sec each
Plank on swiss ball: 90 sec
Prone jackknife: 10 reps (I’ve always sucked at these!)
Stabiliy ball rollout: 60 sec
Plank rotations: 60 sec

Treadmill:
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Cool-down:
5 min. stretching

Phew! Props if you read through all of that. I know a lot of people skip past my workout details, but I also know there are a few nerds out there like me who love going through other people’s workouts! :)

 

Oh, and the eating part of my day? I snacked on some Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas at work.

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I liked them better this time around. Although I think they need to be 1) roasted longer and 2) more cinnamon!! ;)

Last of my un-frozen chili leftovers.

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On top of some spaghetti squash. Delish!

Wasn’t very filling though, so my evening snack attack hit early. Mixed in 1/2 tbsp almond butter with a small bag of popcorn.

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If you use drizzly nut butter, it kinda coats the hot popcorn. Mmm, sweet and salty…

And for some reason, I crave flavoured drinks when I eat salty food (I’m usually an all water, all the time kinda person).

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Obviously, I don’t keep any flavoured drinks in the house because of that. So I mixed up a PVL peach whey cooler. Perfect!

 

November Goal Check-In

Halfway through the month! Let’s see how I’m doing…

Have fun workouts.
I actually got all three yoga sessions in this week, it was fabulous!

Monday – BodyFlow yoga class at the gym

Tuesday – Weight lifting and HIIT sesh. Left me SORE!

Wednesday – 8 mile trail run, t’was wonderful!

Thursday -  60 minutes of living room yoga, courtesy Dave Farmar and Yoga Today

Friday – Mediocre step class but a perfect BodyFlow yoga class at the gym

Saturday – Chilly 45 minute run

Sunday – HIIT, upper body weights and abs. Driving tomorrow should be fun ;)

*I do low intensity yoga, so those are technically my “rest days.” No crazy sweaty power yoga happening over here. I do it to relax :)

Be less complacent with food.
Temporarily tracking my calories again has really helped with this. It’s been a nice little kick in the butt for me.

Get more sleep.
Meehhhh. I didn’t work very hard at this this week. In fact, I don’t think I got 8 hours once this week. Tonight, I promise!

Make it through the last month of work with a positive attitude.
Hey, I’m still showing up for those 5am shifts, aren’t I?

Try my best to not let anything hold me back.
In terms of the job search, I’m not letting anything scare me out of not applying for certain jobs :)

Figure out a way to get into the holiday season.
I actually thought of something this week that got me really excited for Christmas. This year, I’ll get to blog about it!! I’ll get to share all my family traditions (and by traditions I mean food + booze). And I’ll get to invite you all into my loving home for the holidays. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it? :)

Spend more time with my grandparents.
Didn’t get to see any this week. But perhaps I’ll make the hour long trip to see my Grammie and Grampie this week. At the very least, I will call or write them.

Be more honest with people.
I caught and stopped myself numerous times this week from giving generic responses to questions. If someone asked me how I was doing, I did not respond “good” if I was not feeling good. Pretty sure this is why everyone I know thinks I loved being a reporter. It’s because when asked if I liked it, I just gave a simple “yes” instead of delving into how I really felt about it…

Look for a job.
Sent out lots of resumes!!! Fingers crossed I actually get a response this week.

Start playing music again.
Nope, nada. Still feeling very uninspired.

 

And one more piece of randomness for this Sunday evening (or Monday, if you’re an office reader. Or Thursday, if you’re behind on your blogs). Holly over at The Healthy Everythingtarian is doing something wonderful this year for Christmas. Instead of asking for presents, she is asking people to donate money to help build a well in Cambodia. Holly spent time in Cambodia herself so this gift is very close to her heart. Read about it here and then go donate! Minimum donation is $10. That’s two eggnog lattes. Skip the lattes, give to people who need it, everybody wins :D

 

Question of the Day: How is everyone coming along with their goals? Setting any new ones? The Whittle My Middle and Yoga challenges are new since making the list. Always good to update your goals to keep yourself motivated :)

Now if you don’t mind, I have a date with Edward Cullen Jacob Black then the 8 hours sleep I promised. Night night!

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