Blog Archives

Manufactured Beauty

Thank you soooooo much for all the kind, supportive comments on my news from yesterday. Break-ups are always sensitive topics and I had no idea how to approach it. I am 100% okay. In fact, I’m in a really good spot right now :)

So last night after blogging, I decided to try out April’s Protein Cake. I started off by mixing 30g chocolate whey protein powder, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp Splenda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp strained bananas, 3 tbsp egg whites.

IMG_2782 
Oh, and a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips for good luck ;)

And by “strained bananas” I mean “baby food.”

IMG_2784

This stuff is just organic banana puree, organic lemon juice, ascorbic acid. It’s actually a little on the tart side because of the lemon juice. Wonder if it’s like your banana jam Ellie? Anyways, regardless, baby food is awesome.

I stuck my bowl/cup in the microwave for one minute and returned to a giant puffed-up monstrosity.

IMG_2793

It exploded over the rim of the bowl, hence the “muffin top.” I should have put this next top Deb’s cellphone for a size comparison cause this bad boy was HUGE.

I broke it apart and put a light swipe of PB on it.

IMG_2800

I did the calculations, and it was 180 calories, twice that of April’s. I commented on it, and then April e-mailed saying she actually meant 15g protein powder!! Oops. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sold on the spongey texture of this, but I guess I can’t really judge if I made it wrong :P Gives me an excuse to try it again!

Moving on… I’m sleeping awful lately. I keep waking up 1-2 hours before my alarm goes off. I think it’s because I’m still paranoid about being late for work. That will hopefully go away once the newness wears off! :P

Anyways, I was seriously out of it when I popped in Jillian this morning.

IMG_2803

Brie recommended No More Trouble Zones when I asked her which Jillian Michaels DVD to get. I can see why she thought I’d like it. It’s comprised of six strength circuits, each circuit going through ~4 exercises two times. They’re legit moves, combining a lot of upper and lower body stuff to save time and keep your heart rate up.

IMG_2806 
I’m still not a fan of doing low weights/high reps, but this was a great at-home strength video. I burned 300 calories in 50 minutes (including warm-up + cool-down) which is more than a Body Pump class for me. What can I say, Jillian is good ;)

Oh! And I totally did today’s workout in my peejays ;) Breakfast after was a belated Waffle Wednesday celebration. I’m a Thursday Slacker.

IMG_2812

Two Nature’s Path maple cinnamon waffles topped with 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tsp almond butter, 1 tsp maple syrup, cinnamon. I didn’t blend it today, just mixed it up with a fork. Stayed thicker and turned out better!

No food photos from work. I’m always rushed in the mornings, so if I pack my food in the a.m. I honestly can’t spare 2 minutes to snap a photo. Sad. I was so rushed today I had didn’t have 4 minutes to brew a french press and had to make instant coffee. Double sad :(

On the bright side, I made dinner plans with some girls from work! They’ve graciously adopted me into their little “clique” and I’ve been eating lunch with them in the university’s cafeteria everyday. We decided that we need to go out once a week so tonight was the inaugural outing. Just dinner at a local “gastro pub.” I was hungry, but didn’t want to spoil dinner, so I had a snack to tie me over.

IMG_2820

Banana + Naturally More almond butter. I’m saying it again – I love the crispiness the flax seeds add to that almond butter!!

Diner was fabbity fab. We gabbed and giggled for a solid four hours. I ate an okay chicken salad with a draft beer. It’s been a long time since I had a group girls to hang out with. The majority of my friends in university were guys!

 

Now yesterday I mentioned that I was riled up over an upcoming story in which Heidi Montag says she’s”beyond obsessed” with plastic surgery. Most recently undergoing 10 surgeries in one day. Remember Heidi? The cute bubby girl in the first season of MTV’s The Hills?

Of all the “young celebrity” stories out there, I think hers is one of the saddest. I remember thinking she was drop-dead gorgeous when I first started watching the show. I can understand the insecurities and drive to consider making a few changes, but I think this is an extreme example.

Her most recent surgeries include a mini brow lift, Botox in the forehead, nose job revision, fat injections in cheeks and lips, chin reduction, neck liposuction, ears pinned back, breast augmentation revision, liposuction on her waist and thighs and a buttocks augmentation.

 

Dude, she’s my age. Why on earth does a girl my age need Botox?? Actually, my real beef here is that no on needs Botox.

There are a lot of things that make a woman beautiful and attractive. Manufactured is not it. A striking woman is not one that gets to pick and choose her own looks, but works what she’s got to the fullest.

Plastic surgery is obviously expensive and dangerous. But I think it’s just another one of our culture’s “easy fixes.” Why take the time to eat well, exercise, sleep and treat our bodies well, when we can just fix the damage in an afternoon?

Plastic surgery has always irked me. More than that, it rattles me to the core. I’ve admittedly looked in the mirror and thought “I wish my body wasn’t this way.” But never would I undergo the knife as a healthy person to fix it. Even the “prettiest” girls out there still look in the mirror and see imperfections. I think that’s the problem with plastic surgery – especially at such a young age. Because no number of tweaks and injections can cure a woman’s insecurities. That’s something that has to come from the inside. And that is when she truly is beautiful :)

 

Okee doke folks. I’m beat! T’was a late night with the gals and I’ve got a date with my bike trainer in the a.m. Night night!!

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on plastic surgery?

P.S. Hair appointment is set for Friday. Will be back with pics!

Step by Step

Well, I failed on getting that 8 hours sleep I promised. My rumbling tummy had me up at 6am. Once I awake to a growling stomach, there is no falling back asleep.

So I whipped up a morning feast to quiet my tummy beast.

101_0089

French toast! I dredged two pieces whole grain bread in 1/2 cup egg whites and cinnamon. I dipped them in my favourite mix of fake syrup and almond butter. And a little citrus on the side for good measure ;) Awesome! Totally makes up for my last failed attempt at french toast. I used Sobeys bakery bread too, which is one of my favourites!

I told myself last night that I’d make the call on going to step class based on how I was feeling this morning. I wasn’t really feeling my last step class and I didn’t want to force myself through another one if I wasn’t into it. However, I decided to approach it a little differently today. Instead of lugging myself down there and just going through the motions, I convinced myself it was going to be a good workout.

So as I drank my coffee and let my breakfast digest, I started getting myself pumped up. I got to class early, picked out a prime location, while smiling at my fellow class goers. The second the instructor blasted the music, I was in it. No dragging necessary. I hopped, skipped, jumped, and even shook my booty a little. I tried more complicated versions of the moves, and made sure to jump extra high when I could. It was awesome.

Point of the story is, sometimes all it takes is a little positive thinking. A workout is what we make it. If you’re groaning about getting through a run after work, or having to be up at 5am to sneak in that pump class, just try to tackle it with a positive attitude. Not only will you have more fun (gasp! enjoy a workout!? :P ) but the extra effort you put in will pay off physically as well :)

I came home drenched in sweat, with a stupid grin on my face, and whipped up my new favourite Amazing Grass smoothie.

101_0094

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 2 scoops plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Meal
  • handful ice cubes

This stuff has seriously grown on me!! I still can’t get over how filling it is. I’m convinced it’s the 6g of fibre in one scoop. Someday I’m going to get the guts to add more banana and a scoop of almond butter and see how it fares as a meal. Maybe ;)

So I did something borderline embarrassing today – I applied and two Starbucks locations I used to work at! I told them I’m just looking for a couple shifts a week through the holidays. I’m finished at my full-time job Dec. 6, so it would be nice to have something to get me through until I find a new job. I’m not too sure either place will hire me back. My old roommate is in charge at one location, and we did not end on good terms. The other place is now run by a guy who was acting manager at a Starbucks until they offered the position to me. Drama, I know. I’m convinced Starbucks implants chips in our brains so none of us can ever leave :P

I tried my best to coast through the mall without getting pulled into sales. But I’m weak. And this coat was just too cute.

101_0099 
Hi!!! I regret nothing. One has to be fashionable when begging for jobs.

Oh, and those chocolate protein muffins I made?

101_0101

They were a no-go. I should have stuck to Seth’s original recipe. Way too hard and dry. And the protein powder gave them a funky taste. Thankfully, Emily gave me the excellent idea to make bread pudding with the remaining muffins. Genius!

Yogurt however, is a delicious vehicle for chocolate protein powder. I am officially obsessed with this combo.

101_0105

I purposely don’t mix it thoroughly so I get chunks of chocolate-y protein powder. Yeah, I love the taste of it :)

That’s it for me today! I’m working all evenings this week. In a way it’s a nice change of pace to have my mornings off. I get to catch up with all my favourite daytime TV personalities :)

 

Question of the Day: What are some jobs you’ve held in the past? Favourites? Any disasters? I’ve spent the majority of my working life as a barista or reporter. But my first job was as a cashier at Zellers when I was 16. I suppose my most notable job was hosting a cable news show here in town. I don’t think I’m cut out for television though. My TV boss told me I had hair for radio :P

A Day in the Kitchen

Well first off, I want to say how impressed I am no one chewed my head off for counting calories again! Everyone understood my personal need to “check-in” on how I’m doing with maintaining my weight loss. That’s why I love you all :) For the record, it’s not entirely to track the number of calories I’m eating, as I’m pretty sure I’ve done a decent job at keeping that steady. But I want to take a look at how much sugar I’m having, and how I’m doing with protein. Plus, I’m a nerd and get a kick out of seeing the numbers sometimes :P

Moving on! I have a ton of food photos so I’m going to skip over the morning food.I did however make it to my favourite step class. I don’t know what was up today, but I was feeling kinda “meh” about it. I got that vibe from the whole class. I just wasn’t in the mood for jumping over a bench for an hour. Too bad I didn’t figure that out until I started! Oh well.

I made up for it with a noon-hour yoga class. Yes, I like to spend my days off doing exercise classes :P It was a 45-minute BodyFlow class and it was juuuust right. I’m really happy I committed to doing yoga three days a week this month. I love it so much more when I do it often!

I must share my lunch, as it featured my version of a “crack wrap.”

100_9979

Crack pita ;) Sabra red pepper hummus, swiss cheese on a whole wheat pita toated in a frying pan. And yes, it is so good, it’s just like crack.

On the side I had my leftover roasted tofu and veggies on top of spinach and tomatoes. I’m a volume eater, so the spinach made my plate look more full :)

100_9977

Aalllll together now!

100_9973

Yum! Such a treat to eat a hot lunch. I can only have cold ones when I’m at work. 

Work lunches don’t often include dessert either.

100_9981

100_9984

80% chocolate seems to be juuuust right for me. 90% is too intense, and 70% is too bland. The best thing about the dark stuff is you don’t even need a whole square to satisfy that sweet tooth.

My afternoon was then spent in the kitchen!

First up: Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas.

100_9999 
I’ve been hearing amaaaazing things about these all around the blogosphere. I don’t know what I was expecting, but these just tasted like chickpeas to me (duh). Clearly I need to quadruple the cinnamon in every recipe :P

Next up were some of Seth’s Low-Fat Chocolate Muffins:

101_0013

I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m a little wary. I never screw with baking recipes, because I don’t really know the first thing about baking. But I subbed out the sugar and cocoa in this recipe for chocolate protein powder, left out the applesauce and added 1 tbsp ground flax. I also accidentally overcooked them because I was busy snacking and forgot about them. I’ll let you know how they turned out tomorrow!

Oh, but what was I snacking on? A persimmon! 

100_9987

Kinda looks like a tomato, but it’s actually a sweet fruit. I’ve been seeing a lot of these on blogs lately as well. I believe it’s because they’re in season, also why they were on sale at the grocery store (Sobey’s).

I had no idea what to expect when I cut into it, or how to eat it. So I just sliced it up and ate the whole thing!

100_9994

I would say it’s like a firmer, milder peach. Apparently you’re not supposed to eat the skin, but I thought it tasted good! It was a little tough, like a mango’s (but I’ll eat mango skins too). I think this one was just slightly under ripe, as it was quite crispy like an apple in the center, and then really soft like a peach towards the outside. Overall, downright delicious!! I hope they’re still on sale – I want more! :)

Then it was back to the kitchen for my third and final dish of the day – chili!! Probably one of my favourite meals ever, and my first batch of the season. I eat a lot of chilis, soups, stews, etc, in the winter.

Typically, I like to do fun recipes for chili, but I wanted my first batch to be old-school. So I just winged it.

 

Thick n’ Spicy Moo-Beef Chili

101_0028

  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 14 oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz can black beans (I used the Eden Organic no-salt kind for both beans)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (again, organic no-salt kind)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar

Sautee the onion and green pepper until slightly soft, then add beef and jalapeño. I did this in my pot because it’s giant and has a wide bottom. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 45-60 minutes.

101_0038

This is my first real-beef chili since childhood! (hence the name) It tastes so different, even from turkey. It’s definitely thick and meaty. A “man’s” chili if you will ;) 

Well, I know it’s Flashback Friday and all, but I’m going to have to skip this week. My bedtime is quickly approaching (work at 5am tomorrow!) and I still have this to deal with:

101_0040

Yes, that’s the size of my whole kitchen. Enough counter space for one cutting board. At least it’s less surface to keep sanitized! (and no mops required, floor can be hand-scrubbed in 5 minutes ;) )

Hope you’re all getting a wonderful start to your weekend!!

 

Question of the Day: Do you prefer cooking or baking? I definitely feel more in my element making meals. Add some flour or sugar to the mix and I get totally lost!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 485 other followers