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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 :)

10 Ways To Live The Life You’ve Always Wanted

 

10. Know it’s never too late.

So what if you’ve been at it for 20 years? So what if you’ve got a family and think you’re stuck? My 87-year-old grandmother started yoga just a few years ago, and my mother went back to school to get her third degree with three small children. Life is long my friends, you have a lot of time to go after those things you want.

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Can we talk about how long and dark my hair was when I graduated university?? Whoa.

 

9. Know that a day spent miserable is a day wasted.

We are given 365 days a year, times 70+ years. But it can all be taken away in an instant. Don’t waste your hours wishing you could be spending them differently. Take advantage of the gifts you have. Get up and do something that makes you happy. Find joy in every day.

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8. Get dirty. Make mistakes.

Then make more mistakes. Learn from them. Teach others what you’ve learned from them. Wear them with pride, and keep chugging along.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." -Sir Winston Churchill

 

7. Know that you are worth it.

No one deserves to be unhappy. No one. Most reasons behind feelings of worthlessness are petty. You deserve better.

 

6. Eat cookies.

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Sometimes, eat them for breakfast.

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Don’t be scared to go against the grain, most rules are silly. Who said you shouldn’t eat dessert first? ;)

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5. Trust the process.

Things will work out if you let them. It may not be your original plan, sometimes things fall through. But keep at it and you will end up where you should be.

 

4. Want it.

Really want it. Go after it with a passion. Think about it, plan it, write it down, let people know about it. Scream it from the mountaintops and take charge.

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3. Learn to be your own best friend.

When you like being around yourself, so will others. You’ll attract good people and create meaningful relationships. Be at peace with who you are. Stop trying to change yourself and be content with who you really are, because that person is awesome too.

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2. Indulge.

Treat yourself. If you’re working as hard as I suspect you are, remember to take a time-out and recharge. Do something selfish or decadent. You can have your protein cakes and your marshmallow fluff.

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1. Ad astra per alas porci.

My motto. “To the stars on the wings of a pig.”

In other words: anything is possible. No really. Anything. What are you waiting for? Go for it!

Someone is the Owner of a Brand New Waffle Maker!

Whooaaa, thanks for all the compliments on my photoshoot!! Haha. They made me feel nice as I read them this morning, in my giant flannel pants, smudged mascara and gnarly hair :P

Okay, I won’t beat around the bush here. I know you’re eager to find out who won the free Belgian waffle maker!! Drumroll pleeeease…

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Woo! Congrats Sarah!!! I’ll be sending you an e-mail to get all the necessary info :)

I apologize to those of you who didn’t win, as I’m about to tease you with another Belgian waffle photo.

Seeing as I’m almost fully off the dairy now, I have to come up with a new protein waffle recipe. My old one consisted of cottage cheese, oatmeal, and egg whites. So today I mixed up a few things as I went along.

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2 tbsp soy protein powder, 2 tbsp whey powder, 2 tbsp whole wheat flour, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1/4 cup egg whites, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1 tsp baking powder, cinnamon.

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It got super crisp and crusty! I bet this would be okay as pancakes, but definitely needs tweaking for waffles. Anyone got a decent high protein, low dairy waffle recipe?

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Topped with strawberries, homemade maple pecan peanut butter, sugar-free syrup and sweetened flaked coconut.

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I usually buy unsweetened coconut, but we needed the sweet stuff for a cake recipe. Um, it’s rad.

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Supah filling!!! 

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Archie watched me from afar, he so wanted some.

I spent the morning applying for personal training jobs in Toronto! Not getting my hopes up though, applying for jobs online is a suck hole. People still like the old-fashioned resume drop-off.

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The rain cleared briefly before lunch, so I had a sugary snack before heading out for a planned 5-miler.

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Two of the medjool dates I bought at the natural food store yesterday, stuffed with almond butter. I usually buy teeny tiny honey dates because they’re cheap. Whoa. These medjools are ginormous and mega sweet. Two was definitely one too many for me, which is saying a lot.

I actually mapped out the run today beforehand, planned for two loops around the lake.

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Not to be a complainer or anything, but I really miss my trail in Fredericton!! Wain! I miss my gym too, learning to exercise in different environments may be the hardest part of moving for me.

On the bright side, there are a few hills around here and I was able to challenge myself in a new way :) Oh, and I totally ran past an old high school boyfriend on the sidewalk. Thank gaaawd I was disguised in my ballcap and sunglasses.

Came home and iced my feet, ankles and knees while eating a big ole salad.

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My mother’s usual salad bowls no longer cut it, I had to revert to one of her mixing bowls.

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Apparently running up hills makes me hungry for whole romaine hearts??

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With leftover spicy buffalo buffalo meatballs in mustard/mayo/olive oil dressing.

On the icing, I remember getting a question a while back on why/when to do it. I ice after long runs to prevent pain after. I never get pain in my muscles or joints during a run. If I do, I stop. But often when I do longer runs, I’ll get pain in my feet, ankles and knees a few hours later, and it can last a couple days. Bringing the inflammation down with ice, and sometimes ibuprofen, gets rid of it 99%.

Despite the super sweet dates earlier, my inner chocolate monster still needed to be put to bed.

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Please disregard the flour on this bar – it’s from making the homemade doggie treats ;)

Pretty stellar ingredients for a chocolate bar, no?

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And it was on sale! Oh yeah, it was delicious. It was chocolate ;)

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This afternoon I whipped up another batch of homemade protein bars.

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Much like this recipe, except I used two cups oat flour (ie oatmeal ground in the food processor). I also left out the raisins and used 2 tbsp pure maple syrup instead of the fake stuff. I seriously missed not having these at my mom’s!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping with my Nana! Yes, my 87-year-old grandmother was looking at yoga pants with me, because she does yoga too!

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I ended up getting a pair of Merrell hiking shoes for my trip to Banff, Alberta in June. I’m hoping they can double as walking shoes, as my feet DO NOT like walking in my running sneakers AT ALL.

As a side note, while I was at the shoe store, three different women came in looking for Reebok Easy Tone shoes. Sigh. The salesperson was thankfully knowledgeable, and warned the women they could lead to further pain down the road. When I asked him about it, he said he’s never seen a shoe sell as much as that one! Double sigh.

Back to the food.

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Baby food to be exact.

And no, I’m not on the baby food diet.

I mixed it with some of this stuff…

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Soy protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and egg whites.

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Popped in he microwave for a couple minutes, and a protein cake is born.

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Topped with more homemade maple pecan peanut butter.

 

Now. Did anyone make it this far, or did you check out at the giveaway winner? :P Don’t worry, I’ve got some free food coming up in the weeks to come!

And with that, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow shall be a fun day – spin class with the pops, lunch at my fave vegan restaurant, and a play at my old middle school! See ya then!!

 

Question of the Day: Runners- what sort of routes do you prefer? Out-and-back? Loops? Pavement? Trail? Treadmill? Flat? Hills? I realized today that I much prefer out-and-back routes to loops. Loops just feel longer! And I love a soft squishy trail, no pavement or sidewalks please.

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