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Highlighting The Week in Food

Hello friends! Here we are again at the end of another week. My weekend will be spent packing and possibly brunching. I only have SIX days left in Toronto! Holymoly!

Anyways, I like to keep it light here on Fridays seeing as most people are “checked out” for the weekend. Here are some highlights from my eats at home this past week…

1. The world’s fluffiest protein pancake

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That picture really doesn’t do it justice. It is so thick!! Here are the ingredients, but the instructions are the important part:

  • 1/4 whole wheat flour
  • 1 scoop (30g) soy/pea/hemp protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the peanut butter and egg whites for a few minutes. If you have an electric mixer, you can use that to fluff them up more. Combine with the dry mixture, adding almond milk until batter is still very thick. Pour into greased pan on medium heat. The smaller the pancakes, the more likely they are to fluff up. Also, don’t over-flip them. They really should only cook once on each side. But knowing when is the right time takes practice!

 2. Canadians! President’s Choice has Greek yogurt!

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For some reason, Canada is waaaay behind on the strained yogurt trend. We only just got Greek yogurt here about a year ago and it was a so-so and very expensive version of it. Now Loblaws, one of the country’s largest grocery chains, has their own version of it. Which means it’s 1) more accessible and 2) cheaper! Plus, it’s significantly thicker than the Liberte brand. At $4 for 500g, I could see myself splurging on this a lot more often.

3. It’s mine. All mine.

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I happened to get care packages from both Brie and Theresa on the same day, and they both contained my favourite goodies from Trader Joe’s!! You have no idea how ridiculously excited I was to open not one, but two jars of my favourite nut butter. I’m blown away by the support from my blog friends since my accident. This week in particular was a bad week for pain and recovery. These packages were a definite bright spot through all that. And no, I will not share ;)

4. Canada’s got some competition.

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Dare cookies better watch out. Trader Joe’s is making a much better version of their maple leaf cream cookies. There is so much filling in these babies. I still maintain Canada makes the best maple syrup (sorry New England) but these American cookies rock my socks.

5. Sweet quinoa is the best thing since savoury oatmeal.

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I combined two of the above foods with cooked quinoa – Greek yogurt and sunflower seed butter. Along with some sugar-free syrup for sweetener and more sunflower seeds and raisins to garnish. I love the texture of quinoa. The little chewy balls of quinoa paired perfectly with the creaminess of thick yogurt. Plus, it kept me satisfied for a really long time.

6. I’m a tea drinker!

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Well, kind of. Ever since my injury, I’ve been sipping on liquids to prevent me from boredom munching because I’m in the house all day. And by “liquids” I mean Diet Coke. In efforts to reduce my Diet Coke consumption, I started subbing it out with tea. I’m up to about two cups a day! Rooibos is my tea of choice, whether with spicy chai, sweet vanilla or creamy cinnamon apple yogurt.

7. Kitchen sink granola.

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Y’all know the drill. The panic and frenzy of eating up your pantry and freezer before moving. I made quite the dent on my pantry today by throwing together all the random grains, nuts and dried fruit I had in there. Here’s the basics:

  • 6 cups “grains” (5 cups rolled oats + 1 cup graham crumbs)
  • 1 cup nuts (sunflower seeds)
  • 1/4 cup oil (coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup liquid sweetener (pure maple syrup)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Add ins! (2 cups dried coconut, 1/4 cup crystallized ginger pieces, 1/3 cup raisins)

Mix the grains, nuts, oil, sweetener and spices together. I included the coconut in this as well. Spread evenly on two large baking sheets and bake at 300F for about an hour. Checking on it frequently and mixing it around a few times. Let cool before eating. Trust me on this.

Now I’ve got a HUGE bowl of yummy granola that I think I’ll divide and give away as thank-you gifts before I leave. On top of that – a near empty pantry!

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

Early Riser

Ohboy.

So. I had an 8:30 client today. I like to leave my house an hour early to make time for inevitable streetcar and subway delays. I set my alarm for 6:30am. It goes off, I hop out of bed, wash, dress, groan about how dark it is in the mornings now.

I go to put on a pot of coffee and notice the clock says 5:27am. I whip my head around to look at the stove – the numbers 5:27 glow back at me. Finally, I run to my computer, which is always right on time. 5:27. W.T.F.

Suddenly, a fuzzy memory returns. It’s somewhere around 1:30am and I’m fumbling around with my alarm clock next to my bed. Why I am doing this, I have no idea. Nor do I know what I did to my clock in the very wee hours of the morning. I try to go back upstairs to get back that 90 minutes of sleep I just lost But my mind and body are awake. I am angry at my subconscious self and already dreading the long day I have ahead of me. What is a girl to do?

Make pancakes. 

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Using the same whole wheat protein waffle recipe as yesterday.

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As my flapjacks flat waffles cooked in the pan, I finally got to that pot of coffee. I decided I might as well enjoy these quiet, dark hours before my busy day began.

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For dipping, I mixed up 3 tbsp sugar-free syrup 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff.

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That’s right, fluffernutter pancakes ;)

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Suddenly, my day didn’t seem like it was off to such a bad start. As for that alarm clock, it’s being moved far, far away from my bed. I have a feeling my sub conscience will be too lazy to get out of bed to make any future changes to my wake-up time ;)

 

September Goal Check-In

Has it really been a week since our last goals check-in? Wasn’t it just Labour day? Am I in a sci fi movie??

1. Get organized. I would be getting at this famously if I stopped accumulating extra projects!! :P Finally got my personal training schedule sorted out to allow for part-time shifts at the running store. I’ve started working on my laptop during my down-time between clients. I stress “work” and not “reading blogs.” This way I’m getting better at not falling behind my e-mails and commitments!

2. Professional development. My Nutrition & Wellness course has been postponed!! Gah!! I was supposed to take it next weekend and now I have to wait until November. The same thing happened with Can-Fit-Pro when I was trying to do my personal training course. Must keep telling myself these things happen for a reason…

3. Turn on the oven. I made Shepherd’s pie this week! I meant to make bread but I never got around to it. I’m still giving this one a check.

4. Love my workouts. I have honestly been loving my new weightlifting split. Weightlifting is my favourite form of exercise and doing it four times a week opposed to twice a week like before just makes more sense for me! I had a glorious outdoor run on Saturday and made it to a relaxing Hatha Yoga class at Lululemon on Sunday. Did I mention the instructor was cute? It helps.

 

Question of the Day: How did you make out on your goals this past week? Any new ones?

Bonus Question: Got any funny sleep stories? Have you ever sleep-walked? I’m typically a deep sleeper. Nothing wakes me up and if it does I don’t remember it by morning!

Sweet Gifts and A New Routine

Reason #592 why I love blogger friends.

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Because even when I can’t have lunch with some of them, we can still share food :)

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A ginormous THANK YOU to Lori who thought of me after making homemade buckwheat honey marshmallow fluff. She immediately popped a jar in the mail to spread the fluff love.

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If you know anything about me, you know that I immediately popped the lid off and scooped it out with my finger.

Ohmygoooood SO good! I love the honey flavour in the fluff. I must try making this now that I’m finally all settled in a kitchen!

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As a bonus, she included a jar of homemade pear cranberry jam. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This jam is uh-mazing. Love the combo of these two fruits, juuuust sweet enough, and the chunky texture is fabulous.

Lori, that coffee shop we’re opening can’t come soon enough! ;)

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I picked up the goods last Thursday night and had to try them all on my oatmeal Friday morning. A trifecta!

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Too bad I ate this at 6am before natural sunlight made it through my windows. These kitchen photos don’t quite to it justice.

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And because I neeeeed nut butter on my oatmeal – almond butter.

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The pear cranberry jam made a reappearance for breakfast this morning.

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Made protein pancakes by mixing:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 stevia packet
  • cinnamon, lots of it
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

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I thinned out a tablespoon of almond butter with almond milk to get more out of it.

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PB&J pancakes on a Monday morning?? I’ll take it! ;)

 

My mid-morning snack had been waiting patiently for me in the cupboard since yesterday.

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I heated it up in the microwave first before unravelling to the gooey centre.

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That right there is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Hands down.

 

Fret not, I haven’t just been eating sweet things.

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On Friday, I “healthified” a meal I used to love – beans and wieners. Oddly, this is not a dish I grew up eating like most people, but introduced to me by a boyfriend when I was 18. Same boy who introduced me to fluffernutter sandwiches as well. His childhood was apparently a lot tastier than mine.

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For this, I mixed together:

  • 1 can soy beans in a tomato sauce
  • 3 veggie hot dogs
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 onion, carmelized with a clove of garlic
  • few handfuls spinach, cooked
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 can herbed tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

I ate it plain on Friday, then re-heated on top of spinach with cheddar cheese tonight. Such comfort food!

 

Finally, I want to talk a little bit about my own personal exercise schedule. I’ve gotten so much into the habit of talking about exercise for other people that I forget some people like to hear what I am doing myself!

As mentioned in this post, I took a little break from exercise. This is something I do quite often. Every three months or so I take several consecutive days off all intense activity such as weight lifting, running, spinning, etc. It’s a welcome physical break for my body, which gets put through quite the beating with my workouts everyday. But it’s an even better break for my mind. Working out all the time can really drain you mentally.

This summer has obviously been a little hard on my workout schedule what with moving, getting a job in a gym, then giving up my old gym membership. Even worse is that I like to rely on the outdoors in the summer months for my exercise. But I only do it when it’s enjoyable – and running in the heat is not enjoyable. We’re on track for being the hottest summer on record here. I have been without a working bike since the spring. I eventually got bored of my same ole’ gym routine snuck in between clients. I burned out.

After 5 days of complete rest, I hopped on the elliptical last Friday for 50 minutes. Nothing too hard, but I still found it exhausting. I took Saturday off again, then did some yoga and a lot of walking yesterday.

I’m happy to report that I’m finally feeling recharged and enthusiastic about starting a new chapter of fitness for myself. After perhaps too much thought, I’ve decided to start a split weight lifting routine. The only split I’ve ever done before is upper/lower body. My new split will have me working these muscle groups on separate days:

  • Back/Biceps
  • Chest/Triceps
  • Shoulders/Abs
  • Legs

I’ll be throwing a lot of cardio intervals into the mix, with a few fitness classes, yoga classes and hopefully running outdoors again if the heat ever stops. This is just my “starter split” and I expect to be experimenting a lot more as time goes on :)

Also – I’m leaving my heart rate monitor at home on lifting days. Of all the exercises in the world,  I love weight lifting the most. I’m seeing this as just staying at the gym to do an activity I love. No pressure of burning calories.

I won’t be posting every single one of my workouts in the main blog posts anymore because it’s just too time consuming for me. But I am going to work harder at constantly and consistently updating my fitness page with workouts y’all can try out for yourself :) I’ll also get better about including workout tidbits and new moves I learn in the regular posts because I am learning SO MUCH now as a working personal trainer.

 

So thurrr ya go!

Questions of the Day:

1. Weight lifting or cardio? I find most people are either or. I’m sure it says something about you!

2. Favourite kind of jam? Mine is blueberry! Or plain strawberry. Nothing with crunchy seeds please.

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