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In A Fog

Hellooo friends!! Did many of you have to work today? I didn’t, I’m on a four-day weekend, and I’m honestly excited to go back to work! How weird is that? I don’t think I’ve ever had a job I liked that much before :P

Even after four days, my body clock is still set on early. It’s at least nice to be able to eat in bed and not at my office desk :)

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Today’s breakfast was cream of oats cooked with soy protein powder, benefibre and cinnamon. It cooked up so quick on the stove! Five minutes flat.

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Topped with blueberry jam and peanut butter. Cream of wheat isn’t quite the nutritional powerhouse of oats, but it is notably high in iron. I know some ladies need to keep on top of their iron levels ;)

I took the day off exercise after yesterday’s two-hour extravaganza. The only part of me that’s sore is my chest after doing 5 minutes of chest presses. I noticed I only had one serving of coffee grinds left, so I decided to skip it today since I wouldn’t be working out anyways. I’ve been in a fog all day! Not to mention, suffering from a dull headache. I drink one french press a day, and I hadn’t realized I’d become so dependent on it. Boo. I’m not giving it up though, blasphemy! :P

I spent the morning cleaning and watching the last of the Real World DC. Broke for an early lunch because my hunger is always out. of. control. on rest days.

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Tuna + baba ganouj pita with yellow bell pepper and tomatoes. Carrots in the back. T’was colourful :)

After everything was clean, I got into the kitchen to mess it up again. Started with some treats for Treat Monday Tuesday at work!

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I made a batch of homemade turtle pretzels that I first made over the holidays. This time I was able to find waffle pretzels, and I used mini Rolos instead of the giant caramel cups I used before. Oddly, I can’t find regular sized Rolos anywhere.

Anyways, stuck the Rolos on top of the pretzels and put them in a 250 F oven for about 5 minutes – just enough to soften up the chocolate. Then I pressed a pecan half on top of each one and let cool.

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And by “let cool” I mean taste test ;)

These were a hit over Christmas, so I knew they deserved a re-make for the office.

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Not to mention, they’re a little on the lower-calorie side compared to the cookies and squares I’ve been bringing in. A nice post-Easter indulgence ;)

Afterwards, I got adventurous and tried out a new homemade protein bar recipe. These aren’t perfected yet, but I’ll share anyways in case you want to build upon it to make it better. My goal was to have a dense and crumbly baked bar. 

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Started with 2 cups oat flour, which I made by blending oatmeal in my food processor.

Then I mixed in 4 packets Benefibre, 2 scoops chocolate whey powder, 2 scoops vanilla whey powder, 6 tbsp crunchy peanut butter, 1/2 cup egg whites.

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And flattened into a square baking pan…

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Baked at 350 F for 15-20 minutes (however long it takes to do the dishes).

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Et voila! Makes 8 bars.

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Like I said, needs work. I don’t like the “squeaky” texture whey gets when it’s baked, even though I thought I was going to avoid it here. And oddly, they’re a little more bland than the unbaked variety, even though it’s the same exact ingredients. Still edible though, and will make for easier transportation :)

Supper was a four ingredient dinner. No ham today!!

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  1. Turkey breast
  2. Broccoli
  3. Sweet potato
  4. Barbecue sauce

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Tossed together and baked. I’m loving these minimal ingredient dinners! So simple and tasty :) I like being able to taste every ingredient…

Ohyes, and there was a lot more studying today…

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I can name the main structures of the heart! Yayyy! Exam is April 17, and I still feel like I have a lot to get through. I also fell asleep while studying today. I never just randomly fall asleep like that! I conked out for a solid 30 minutes, only to wake up with my laptop still on my tummy and my glasses on. That’s what happens when I skip my coffee!!

 

Question of the Day: Are you a coffee person? Do you rely on caffeine? I drink two big cups, or a french press’ worth, of coffee a day. All before 10am, any later and it effects my sleep at night. I drink one of those cups before I work out in the morning and it makes a world of difference in my workout. I never thought I was dependent on it, but I guess I am. I better sleep well tonight!

Goals and a Giveaway!!!

Woooonderful suggestions on my Strength Training at Home post. A lot of extra pieces of equipment like bosu balls, jump ropes and medicine balls were suggested. Be sure to read the comments if it’s something that interests you :)

So I started my day after a solid 7.5 hours sleep and took off for a spin class. I thought I’d kill it today after a whole weekend off exercise (goofing around in personal training class doesn’t count). Usually after two whole days off, my body is mega energized. But today notsomuch. Albeit, I’m very worn out after two weekends in a row of “work,” but I think it was actually a nutrition thing. I just could not push that high intensity like I normally can, and I felt a little dizzy once I hopped off the bike.

Looking back, I was very protein heavy in my eating over the weekend, and I think I was lacking in sufficient carbs to draw from this morning. Ever since I increased my fat intake, my protein has naturally increased while my carbs have gone down, often being my smallest percentage of macronutrients. Not good for someone who is as active as me! What a delicate balancing act it all is ;)

Anyways, I raced to the office this morning to gobble down my breakfast and refuel.

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Two boiled eggs and a marshmallow protein bar.

I have a vague memory of my old roommie (hi Meghan!) telling me the cause of grey yolks in boiled eggs…

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I think it happens when you put them in the fridge right after boiling and they cool too quickly. Is this true? Am I making it up?

In other news, the geranium in my office is thriving.

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I can’t take credit this, it’s all because the cleaning lady waters it regularly. But hey, at least it didn’t wilt in my presence like most plants. It’s very pretty, makes for a more lovely work environment :)

Mini bagles > regular bagels.

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Why would you want to eat one bagel when you can have TWO?? Topped with laughing cow cheese and veggie ham slices. Paired with a melt-in-your-mouth mango.

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It’s been forever since I had mango!! It was amazing.

This afternoon I broke down and had a molasses cookie that someone brought to work. I am so glad I caved and ate it!! Molasses cookies are one of my favourites, and it was hands down one of the best I ever had. Totally worth the unplanned splurge. Sometimes giving in to the office treats is worth it ;)

I was met with a bare fridge when I came home, so I ended up with another three ingredient dinner. 

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  1. roasted butternut squash
  2. baked chicken breast
  3. bacon peanut butter

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Not gonna lie. It was awesome. And crazy filling.

I’d like to say that’s why I had a small evening snack, but let’s face it, there was a lot of snacking in between!

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A new-to-me product: President’s Choice vanilla cottage cheese. Of course, I had to spice it up with some cinnamon and raisins.

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Yum!! This little container has 110 calories ,12g protein and 3g fibre (with added inulin). Not too shabby!

 

It’s Monday! Time for…

Final Monthly Goal Check-In for March

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. Um, so yeah. The guy who was supposed to sublet my apartment backed out last week! The day after he signed the agreement and gave me a deposit. I’m keeping the deposit, but it means I have to find someone else. Giant BOO.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. I started sending out unsolicited resumes today to fitness companies saying they need me as a content writer/editor for their website. Why not, right? ;)

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I knocked off a bunch of recruiting publications at the university I work at. SO nice to see my work put into hard print. I was also sorta offered a job to work as a recruiter in admissions. But that’s not my bag. I’m not perky enough.

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. Finished personal training classes!!!

!!!!!

I also skipped lunches last week to study. Working hard on cramming that poor brain of mine.

5. Run outdoors again. Fail. Rightfully so. The weather last week sucked. Woke up to snow every morning, cold, windy, rainy, wet. Miserable.

 

On top of my monthly goals, I set a weekly goal to get more sleep. I did alright on this. I failed on one day, but got a solid 7.5 hours all the other nights. I actually had my lights out by 9:45 every night before my 5:30 alarm. Much better that the 10:30-11 I was doing before. This is 100% something I’m going to keep up. It’s all about resetting my thinking to seeing 9:45 as my lights-out time instead.

I also challenged all of you to do the same thing. In order to motivate y’all to tuck in early, I promised a gift for those of you that participated. Well I’m following through on that promise! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

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  • Mountain Maples blueberry syrup
  • 100% pure honey
  • The Simply Bar in Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cocoa Coffee, and Lemon Coconut flavour.
  • Taste of Nature bar in Quebec Cranberry Carnival flavour
  • Greens + “Hip to be Healthy” square

All Canadian goods, the syrup and honey being from right here in New Brunswick. The syrup is actually from my hometown of Riverview, NB!

So, I told those of you participating to keep track of your hours slept so I could see you at least tried. Well, I’m also an awful liar, because this giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere!!

That’s right, sleep or no sleep, blog or no-blog. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name and e-mail address. That’s it!! I’ll pick a random winner on Thursday, April 1, 9pm Atlantic Time. Consider it an April Fool’s gift of sorts – or a present from the Easter Bunny!

Aaaaand go!

Sleeping Beauty

Anyone else out there become completely and utterly useless in the evenings? I always have big plans of things I want to do, but unless I commit to something with other people, they always fall through. Case and point – I wanted to go to the after hours clinic tonight to get a referral to a dermatologist. But the idea of going out in the snow (yes, it’s snowing!!) and spending my whole evening in a waiting room did not sound appealing. Mom, if you’re reading this, please book an appointment with our GP. That way I can take a day off work and drive home! ;) Sounds a lot more fun – no?

In other news, I turned my alarm off in my sleep last night. I woke up at 5:33am (3 minutes after my alarm is supposed to go off) and realized it wasn’t set. I specifically remember setting it before bed last night. Then a hazy memory returned of me physically getting out of bed and turning it off at three in the morning. I keep my alarm a couple steps away so I don’t do this, but apparently I need to put it in a different room or something! Whole lot of good it did too… I was still up at the scheduled time!

Seeing as it’s snowing today (boohiss) my run was obviously done on the treadmill. Opted for my fave 5-mile speedwork run. Technically, it’s closer to 5.5, but these days I go more by time than distance when I run.

Breakfast was pretty good for a cold desk-breakfast, despite what this picture tells you.

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Yogurt, cottage cheese, peach-mango protein powder, almond butter, homemade granola. The last of the homemade granola (boohiss).

My mid-morning snack blew my mind.

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Homemade marshmallow protein bar. Ohhellsyes. Scroll down for the recipe! (if I’d even call it that, it’s SUPER simple)

Wait a second, isn’t it Waffle Wednesday? I celebrated with lunch.

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I probably should have taken it out of the plastic bag to photograph… It was crazy delicious. Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles with laughing cow sprinkled with cinnamon and maple smoked salmon. I toasted the waffles last night with hopes of them remaining crispy, but that was not the case. I heated it up in the microwave at work instead. The sweet maple salmon paired with the sweet waffle was nothing short of amazing.

This afternoon saw a plethora of veggies + hummus.

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Once again, I stink up my office. This time with garlicky hummus.

Dinner was one of those ones that’s plain, simple, and delicious :)

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Assorted veggies in Bragg’s and chicken topped with almond butter.

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Yes, almond butter! It got all lovely and melty on top, and the richness of the nut butter was most excellent with the chicken. Gotta get those fats in!

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am still eating protein pudding for dessert every night.

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Topped with marshmallow fluff because I am a marshmallow fiend.

Hey! That’s a great segue into my new protein bar recipe!

 

Homemade Marshmallow Protein Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops (120g) vanilla protein powder
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ~1/2 cup water

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, adding water slowly. Mix and mix until the protein powder is all dissolved. It should still be crumbly and quite sticky (not gooey!). Flatten into a 9×9 pan. Or 8×8 pan. The square one.

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Let chill in the fridge for a couple hours, then cut into 8 bars. I wrap mine up to grab for snacks during the week.

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Each bar has around 220 calories, 8g fat, 20g carbs, 4g fibre and 17g protein.

 

Last but not least, I want to keep on this week’s theme of sleep. Many of you commented that you have trouble sleeping. I wanted to talk about my most recent sleep issues and how I almost fixed them!

You may remember that one of my November Goals 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 get to the bottom of it I did! At the beginning of November, I was in a rough place. I was in a job that I didn’t like, and was wearing me out more with each passing day. I had no friends, no social life, and living alone was proving to be, well, pretty lonely. I had no fun things on the horizon, no life goals in mind, and my outlook for the future was pretty damn bleak. Oh yes, and I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t sleep at night, and my body was often waking me up at 5am or earlier, even on my days off. Sleeping more than 6 hours was a good night for me.

All of that started to change after I quit my job. The job I did four years of school for, the job most new graduates would kill for. Within days of quitting my job, I started to sleep more soundly. Not perfectly, but the quality definitely improved.

Then, towards the end of November, I started to work at my fave job ever, Starbucks. I also decided to take the plunge and pursue personal training as an additional career. It was my passion, why the hell not? With my new sunny outlook and sense of positive direction in life, I found myself falling asleep easier at night.

I didn’t end up staying at Starbucks for long, because right before Christmas, I was offered an amazing job opportunity to work in the communications department writing for my alma matter. It was when I started that job in the new year, along with ending a long-term relationship, that my sleep patterns drastically improved. I found myself in a daily environment I felt comfortable and happy in. I felt confident as a single woman, made friends with my new co-workers, and worked on projects that fell within my realm of abilities (as opposed to journalism, where you’re always challenged with doing the impossible).

It was only days after the new job and new singleness that I was waking up to the sound of my alarm everyday. As opposed to waking hours before it was scheduled to go off. Even more strangely, I started dreaming again. I hadn’t had one notable dream for over a year, and now I’m suddenly having them nearly every night. My imagination is starting to flourish again.

So that my friends, is my long winded way of saying that there are many factors that contribute to sleep. You can have all the chamomile and turkey you want, but I think some things require a lot more soul searching to be solved.

 

Okay, enough for one evening! Thursday is shaping up to be a fun day – see ya then!

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