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Sweet Tooth

Heyo!!! How is everyone’s weekend going? I will keep this short. Why? Because I instruct you to go soak up some of your weekend once you’re done reading :)

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I got my eggs and biscuits!

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My tummy was still off for the most part of the day, but I could at least still fill it with good stuff. Including my homemade rosemary yogurt biscuits. Sara and I have nearly demolished the whole batch already.

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Eggs were scrambled with a little butter, pepper and half and half. Avec du crispy chicken bacon!

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And citrus. Whether juice or whole, there must always be citrus.

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I piled the eggs and bacon on the biscuits. This was an amazing combo. Biscuits > english muffins. Just sayin!

(p.s. Ellie and I did extensive research today on the difference between scones and biscuits. Read here for more very important bread info)

Shortly after my sister woke up and reminded me we’d planned on running this morning. Damn. It was cold, and raining, and I was just not into it. Somehow, she convinced me out. It was so humid it felt like I was running through pea soup. Pretty sure I wheezed the whole time and had to take a couple walk breaks. Got through the 4-ish miles though. Thank you to my sis for hauling my butt out. But I was damn glad when it was over ;)

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A nomination for world’s ugliest food photo.

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For lunch, I mixed up a heaping scoop of unflavoured soy protein powder, cocoa powder, stevia, almond milk, a tbsp almond butter and a banana. This was a lot of chocolate, even for me. It’s just too tempting sometime to eat chocolate for a meal! It was however very filling :)

After this Sara and I hit the road to visit an old friend outside of the city. We munched on a special Luna bar in the car.

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Chocolate Raspberry is not available in Canada, I had my girl Holly smuggle it in for me.

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One of my top fave flavours!

Even though we feasted on some delicious hamburgers at our friend’s place, Sara and I were still a little snacky later on.

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We picked up some Tartinade au Tofu aka Tofu spread ;) I am obsessed with tofu in spreadable form.

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And dill cheddar!

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My first time trying rainier cherries. Delicious.

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Solid snackage happening here folks. However, it was more like an appetizer to things to come…

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GELATO!!

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My first gelato ever!! I’ve never had the opportunity to try it in during my sheltered Maritime upbringing. As soon as I saw Pure Gelato on Elgin Street, I told Sara it was meant to be. I’m not a huge fan of ice cream because it is too sweet and creamy for me, but gelato is made with a lower butterfat and sugar content. I went for cinnamon, apple pie and pistachio.

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Sara got hazelnut, chocolate mint and pina colada.

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Excitement!!! We both agreed that pistachio was the best, closely followed by hazelnut. I did indeed enjoy it more than ice cream, and it took all my strength not to get it in a waffle cone (despite the differences, it seems gelato is similar in calories to ice cream). My new place in Toronto is apparently close to a gelato place. Danger!

 

Okee dokie bloggie friends. I am off to cuddle up with the sis and watch Alias. Now you go off and enjoy your free time!! xoxo

 

Question of the Day: Ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt? Favourite flavour? So far I love real frozen yogurt the best, with fresh raspberries mixed in.

A Challenge of Silence

Last night after hitting publish on my last post, I shuffled into my sister’s kitchen to whip up one of my favourite night-time protein snacks.

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Sara gave me this free sample of Dymatize Nutrition Elite whey protein powder. 

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Nothing fancy going on here – just the powder mixed with a little bit of cinnamon, coconut, and enough milk to dissolve into a thick batter.

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Topped with almond butter, of course ;)

I was quite excited to have protein desserts back in my life, but this powder just did not do it for me. Perhaps it would be decent in a shake, but if I don’t like it straight up, chances are I won’t bother trying to mask its flavour in something else.

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That includes dipping dried apricots in it ;)

I was in bed early last night in anticipation of my sister’s 6:30am alarm. You see, she’s out of town this weekend, but forgot to turn the alarm off on her blackberry. I don’t know the code to get on and change it! At least it’s had me up and being productive these past few mornings…

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A “light” breakfast, although still calorie dense. Two servings of Liberte Mediterranee strawberry yogurt with a banana and a dash of granola for good luck.

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Dare I say it?? Mediterranee yogurt is quite possibly better than Greek yogurt!! It’s true. Its thickness doesn’t come from straining, and it’s not high in protein. But mygosh, that 7% milkfat makes for the best taste and texture.

The light-er breakfast was in preparation for two things! First:

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My first ever Yin Yoga class!! I’ve done Yin Yoga postures at home before, but never in a classroom environment. I’m not one of those people who does yoga for a workout, I do it more for that whole mind-body thang. So the idea of holding poses for up to 5 minutes at a time really appeals to me.

Funnily enough, for the first time ever – I fell asleep in yoga!! I’ve never been one to just doze off in Savasana. My mind is always racing by the end of class (usually about what I want to eat when I get home). But today, I was dozing off the whole time. I even fell asleep doing half frog pose:

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I don’t know if I should blame this on my sister’s 6:30am alarm, or that maybe for once I was finally calm enough to let myself go… We’ll see I guess, I got a two-week pass at that studio for only 25 bucks ;)

Ohyes, and the other reason for the light-ish breakfast??

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A bloggie meet-up for brunch!

One reason why I love blogging is that I feel like I have an extended friend network all over the world. Wherever I go, there is always a kind, smart and funny blogger to get to know in person!

Today, I met up with Darryn of Brio Gusto fame and her friend who is a fellow Maritimer :) Darryn is only in Ottawa for a little bit longer before she heads back to Vancouver to do her PhD. Darryn also just returned from a 7-week stay in India for a yoga teacher training course. Amazing. Check out her blog for all her recaps on it!

Funnily enough, Darryn chose this little pub called The Manx for brunch. My sister showed it to me the other day saying it’s got the best food on Elgin Street, and is therefore always packed.

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But we got a table!

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Note: this is not the full brunch menu. I believe there was also a “bruncher” and “brunchist?”

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That would be the Eggs Zucchini: two poached eggs with grilled zucchini and spinach-feta pesto sauce on an english muffin.

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It came with smashed potatoes! I call them “smashed” because they weren’t whipped and still had skins, my favourite way to have them. The best part however, was the spinach-feta pesto on top. I need to make this for myself!

After the wonderful brunch, I went shopping. And not the clothing kind.

Is it strange that I’m mildly excited to not have a car anymore?

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Perhaps I’ll spend less on groceries now that I have to walk home with them. P.S. If anyone has a recipe I absolutelymust try with those artichokes, do share.

It feels like ages since I last baked (11 days maybe?) so I picked up a few choice ingredients to turn my sister’s black bananas into high-protein goodies.

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This is where I would usually google “protein banana bread” or the likes, but I was feeling reckless.

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I mean, maybe this baking thing isn’t so hard afterall?? The recipes do start to all look the same after a while…

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Here’s what I came up with:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup soy protein powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk

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Put it in a 375 F oven for 30-35 minutes, then mixed up a topping.

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1/4 cup walnuts, 2 tbsp shredded coconut and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Spread on top and broiled for just a couple of minutes to make crunchy.

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It smelled divine coming out of the oven, and dare I say… edible??

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I cut them into 12 little triangles for no reason other than it made for a fun serving size.

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These are definitely good, or else I wouldn’t have shared the recipe. But you want to know the funny thing about baking?? A quarter cup of butter would have made these fantastic ;)

In other news, I’m making up for lost time on my greens.

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I barely had a serving a day while in Alberta last week. Not only have I not eaten meat since arriving in Ottawa, but I’ve been loading my belly with fruits and veg.

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It’s not a guilt thing. I just give the bod what it wants :)

Speaking of which!

*segue*

 

A Challenge of Silence

Okay, so this is more of a challenge for myself, but I encourage anyone else out there to participate!!

First, let me explain.

So, I’m reading the book Eat, Pray, Love. I bought it in Banff for some airplane fodder based on Holly’s high praises. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s the true chronicles of a recently divorced 30-something who went to Italy to experience decadence, India to experience devotion, and Indonesia to find a balance between the two. I’m at the India part.

Last night I read the chapter on the author’s experience with meditation and how she learned to quiet her mind, or “ego.” Then today in yoga, our instructor was talking about the same thing. Then I fell asleep.

Ellie mentioned meditation to me today, and I responded that I wanted to try it. She asked, “What’s stopping you?”

Good point.

So this is a roundabout way of saying I am committing to A Challenge of Silence. Starting tomorrow (Monday) I will take 20 minutes out of my day to sit or lay still and meditate. Twenty minutes can either be a short period of time for some, or an eternity to others. I’m going to attempt to do it each morning as soon as I wake up. I want to quiet my racing mind and inner ego while learning to listen and feel my body. It may sound new-age hippy-dippy, but nothing is too silly if it means good health and happiness.

I don’t really have a set period of time for this. Ideally, it will be something I find beneficial and practice indefinitely. But for now, in the sake of “challenges” I’ll settle for every day for 30 days ;) I’ll update you on any progress or revelations along the way!!

 

Last but most certainly not least, Happy Fathers Day!!!

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My dad doesn’t read my blog. I’m pretty certain he only uses the internet to stream the Tour de France when it’s on. But I love the old man just the same ;)

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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