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A Sugary Sunday

Crap. Is the weekend really over? I’m pretty bitter over that lost hour – I coulda used it!

I slept in till 8am today which is pretty much unheard of for me. Except, seeing as it was well past midnight before I went to bed, it doesn’t add up to much extra sleep :(

Decided to take a rest day since I worked out twice on Saturday. Rest days call for fancy breakfasts in bed :)

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Protein pancakes! This is a new recipe that I sort of made up as I went along, and turned out delicious!

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup soy milk

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Topped with coconut, fresh strawberries and sugar-free syrup. Remember when I was complaining about frozen strawberries earlier in the week? Well, fresh ones were on sale for $5/5lbs. And they’re pretty tasty too! They’re the giant strawberries… in season in California maybe?

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I was pretty proud of myself for making up a decent batch of pancakes on a whim like this. However, my usual protein pancakes/waffles with oatmeal and cottage cheese aren’t quite as dry.

Lunch featured some maple smoked salmon.

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On a english muffin with honey mustard, fresh dill, spinach and swiss cheese. Delicious!!! I’m on a dill kick, it adds such an interesting flavour!

Shortly after I had a chat with Holly about our upcoming adventure to Banff, Alberta! Those of you who are interested in coming, expect an e-mail soon. I booked my flights last week and will be booking our accommodations in Banff tomorrow. I am SO excited. I’ve been to California, but I’ve never been to Western Canada before. I can’t wait to see the mountains!!!

Then, it was on to more serious business. Brownie making business.

I saw this recipe from Zesty Cook for chocolate caramel brownies and knew it would make for a perfect Treat Monday contribution. I’m all for healthy-fying sweets, but not when I’m sharing them with other people. Let’s face it, healthy substitutions just plain suck when compared to the real thing :P

I didn’t double-check the recipe before I bought groceries yesterday, so I didn’t have all the right ingredients. But I still made do!

Started by mixing up a Duncan Hines chocolate fudge brownie pack as per the instructions on the box. I baked a little over half of it for about 15 minutes.

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As that was baking, in a pot I melted a package of Kraft caramels with 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup soy milk (less than what the recipe calls for – it seemed like a lot!)

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Poured the caramel sauce on top of the brownies with chocolate chips…

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And added the rest of the brownie batter!

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It took a while for the rest to bake, 20-30 minutes? I really should have timed it as the bottom got a little crunchy. I just wasn’t in a precise mood today I guess ;)

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I cut it up into 25 little squares THREE of which I ate! Three brownies people!! Not to mention licking the bowl. But that’s a given.

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Get these away from me asap! They are sooooo good! I actually felt a little sick after my brownie consumption as I’m not used to digesting so much crappy sugar at once :P Thankfully, I have my co-workers to pawn them off on for Treat Monday.

I made up for my mass brownie consumption with a giant salad for dinner.

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  • spinach
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • bell pepper
  • tomatoes
  • pickled beets
  • artichoke hearts
  • olives
  • grilled pork tenderloin
  • feta cheese
  • tzatziki

I used Liberty tzatziki which was absolutely fab. Thick and creamy, with a nice garlicky flavour to it.

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Might I add the pickled beets were also a wonderful addition. Thanks to Emily for helping me get the guts to try them!! (and now I officially feel like an old man for loving them)

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Short and sweet post tonight folks, I’ve got a 6am date with a spin bike. I have a feeling I’ll be sweating brownie batter out my pores :P

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite sweet treat? Cookies? Brownies? Cake? Cupcakes? Ice cream? Donuts? Pastries? I am 100% a cookie and brownie person. You could dangle any other sweet treat in front of me and I wouldn’t care. But that is definitely not the case with cookies and brownies!!

Flashback Friday: Beaches and Bikinis

Happeeee weeeeekend!!! I’m actually not all that excited. I have to be at work for 8:45am tomorrow :( Which means I have to be up at 6am to squeeze in some exercise before. Funny how when I was a student I never had days off, but now I’m so spoiled with whole weekends!

Despite only sleeping six hours last night, I was still up and ready for a 6am spin class today. I missed spin on Monday! It put me in such a good mood for the rest of the day. They must put drugs in the air exchange or something. I was glowing walking out of that studio :D

I’d prepped my favourite desk-breakfast for today…

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  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Grape Nuts cereal

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The key is to let the Grape Nuts sit on top of the mix in the fridge overnight, then to stir them in in the morning. That way it’s a little mushy with a little crunch ;)

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I’m a texture person. Sorry if this shot makes you gag Janetha (who only likes savoury cottage cheese). And I’m sorry if it also makes any other CC-haters out there gag. Meanwhile, I’m having a love affair with it :)

I was at work at 7:45am today!! That’s super early for my office. I looooove the quiet moments in the morning as I get to sit at my desk and putter through e-mails. Our blooming geranium in the sunlight also made me grin.

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I can take no responsibility for this plant. Our cleaning lady is the only one keeping it alive.

I had my usual mid-morning snack of a homemade PB&J protein bar.

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I eat one of these everyday. Much cheaper than eating the store-bought variety everyday.

Lunch was leftovers from last night plumped up with extra veggies.

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Seeing as I didn’t buy groceries this week, the only green food I had was a bag of frozen brussels sprouts and broccoli. I polished them off with this lunch!

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Also in there is quinoa and shrimp that I cooked in vegetable soup. It was good!

It was a gooorgeous day today, sunny and +9 C (48F). I spent a chunk of the afternoon skipping around campus hanging up posters. I even wore flats and a spring jacket! (the college kids were all in shorts of course – that’s still a little much for me).

I came back to another usual snack, eggs + cheese.

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This cheese you’ve been seeing is Armstrong smoked cheddar. It’s probably my least favourite of their cheese sticks. It tastes too smoky.

I left work a little early so I could get back in time to show my apartment. I’d come home on my lunch break to tidy up, which is actually an awesome idea. I’m always too tired to clean at night, but coming home to a tidy place at the end of the day is so nice!

Anyways, the first couple who looked at it were so not interested. I think they were expecting a one bedroom. Or maybe a kitchen larger than a broom closet.

The second person however was a single guy in his 20s and he loved it!! He says he’s going to give me a deposit for it next week, so here’s hoping he comes through! My lease goes until September, but I’m moving to Toronto in June, so I need someone to sublet for the remainder of my lease. If he takes it, it will be a major item crossed off my to-do list :D

I was starving when I came home, but didn’t have time for dinner, so I snacked a lot. By the time I was done showing the apartment, I wasn’t hungry for a huge meal anymore. Or in the mood for cooking. Enter my current obsession:

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PB + Protein sandwich. On the left is some crunchy peanut butter, on the right is a protein spread made from chocolate protein powder dissolved with water.

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Joined together to make a delicious trifecta of carb, protein and fat. YUM. There was an applesauce after this too. Just so you don’t think I ate just a sandwich for dinner!

And I actually had something different for dessert for the first time in weeks! A protein cake.

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  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butternut squash baby food
  • 2 tbsp egg whites

Mixed up in a large mug and nuked for 90 seconds in the microwave. Topped with more PB. Besides protein pudding, this is probably my second-favourite night-time snack. 

Flashback Friday

Yesyes, I did a flashback on Tuesday. This one won’t be as heartfelt, but more like a fun look back :)

Exactly one year ago, I’d just returned from a week in Cuba. It was back in the early blogging days. I did a food recap here, a resort recap here and a Havana recap here. But I thought it would be fun to show some of the pictures that didn’t make it to the blog! 

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We stayed in Veradero, that peninsula off in the distance. By far the prettiest beaches I’ve been to, especially in the city.

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Cuba is of course known for still driving cars from before the revolution. Always makes for a good photo op wherever you are.

Another thing Cuba is known for….rum.

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Ohman you guys. You know I’m a old-fashioned whiskey drinker, but there is nothing like fresh rum made with fresh sugar cane. Put that in some club soda with more fresh cane sugar, fresh lime, and some mint, and you’ve got Susan Heaven.

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This photo was taken after trying for ten minutes to figure out how to flush the toilet. A lot of them had these nubby things on the top you had to pull!! Really though, I think it would take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

We also did all the tourist-y things. Like seeing buildings I’d never heard of.

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And the dork that I am, I got really excited to see the building that houses Cuba’s Ministry of Communications.

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That’s where the Propaganda People are!!

We also gallivanted through the streets of Havana and randomly posed in front of cars that matched what we were wearing.

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One thing I will always remember about this Cuba trip (my second time there) is that it was the first time I ever wore a bikini.

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Actually, it’s the only time I ever wore a bikini! Shortly after this, I bought a one-piece Roots suit for triathlon training. The bikini shown here is too big for me now! Perhaps I should buy a new one and find an excuse to wear it? Where do Canadians wear bikinis anyways? :P

 

That’s all for tonight kiddos! I’m off to prepare breakfast (an old favourite) and hit the hay super early so I’m on my a-game for work tomorrow. Have a great start to your weekend!!

 

Question of the Day: Bikini or one piece? I’m very comfortable in my sport swimsuit, doing my triathlon definitely beat that out of me. But bikinis still make me anxious. I feel like I’m wandering around in my bra and panties :P

A Day in the Life: Part II

5:30 am – Alarm goes off. I once again frantically leap out of bed, wondering where I am, what day it is, and why on earth such noise is blaring before the sun is up.

5:43 am – Guzzle back an iced coffee, wishing I hadn’t run out of both stevia and almond milk. Black iced coffee is not that great. No-grocery week is rough.

6:00 am – Smile at all the regulars. The chick who runs on the treadmill with an army backpack, the grunting man on the elliptical, and even the creepy bald guy who only speaks to women under the age of 25.

6:10 am – Decide to change my usual warm-up interval routine by not only pyramid-ing the resistance level, but the recovery time between the usual 1-minute sprints. It’s awesome. And sweaty.

6:30 am – I think step-ups are harder on my hands than on my legs. Holding 25 lbs dumbbells is not easy.

6:34 am – Why is this called an arnold press? Did Arnold himself invent it? I wonder what the Susan Press would be? A badly written press release?

6:44 am – Plié squats are awkward to do in front of the mirror when you’re surrounded by men. Just sayin’

7:12 am – NINE PUSH UPS!! ON MY TOES!!! BOO TO THE YAAAAA.

7:38 am – My new skincare regimen makes me feel like a weirdo when I slather baby oil on in the gym change room. I swear I’m not a stripper.

8:11 am: Cottage cheese is thisclose to overtaking yogurt as my favourite dairy.

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8:14 am – See 5:45 am

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8:17 am – Goofy grin as I eat breakfast at my desk and read through all the blog comments from last night :D

830 am-1030 am – work, twitter, work, twitter, work, gmail, facebook, google reader, work, twitter

10:31 am – SNACK

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12:03pm – Lunch with the girls. I eat my protein powder + peanut butter sandwich with applesauce and cheese. We talk about boy drama. Boys are dumb.

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1:02 pm – Lady calls to set up apartment viewing for tomorrow. Score!

1:07 pm – Someone else calls about the apartment. Feeling hopeful I may actually find a subletter for the rest of my lease so I can move to Toronto. Double score!

2:12 pm – I think I’m hungry, and I know ‘I’m bored. Snack!

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2:22 pm – Feel the need to create a Deb phone comparison shot. That’s 130 calories of pure chocolate covered air. Actually, that’s not even chocolate. It’s a dates with cocoa powder!

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3:14 pm – Send off a whack of completed assignments. Feels good :)

3:51 pm – Stomach growling. Shit.

4:27 pm – Boot it outta there to rush home and make food ASAP. Hungrybitchface is setting in.

4:47 pm – Person scheduled to view my apartment wants to come early. Fabulous. I can gnaw my arm off while showing her my messy closet.

5:14 pm – Um, selling a person on the fact that the bedroom is in the living room is hard. It’s called a “swinging bachelorette pad!” Helloooo!

5:31 – Finally, supper is simmering on the stove thanks to this guy:

5:44 pm – Sit down to a bowl of Wolfgang Puck’s Hearty Vegetable soup with quinoa, shrimp and broccoli cooked in.

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5:58 pm – Munch on a piece of dark chocolate that always sneaks the camera’s eye.  A must-have after dinner! (and sometimes lunch. And breakfast)

6:42 pm – Get sucked into watching old indie rock videos from the 1990s on You Tube. Reminisce about how great music used to be and wonder what ever happed to The Wedge on Much Music.

7:14 pm – Rock out to this gem of a video. Written about my hometown :)

7:22 pm – Shit. I’m late. Again.

7:46 pm – Meet up with the gals from work to see an original play put on by the university I work for.

8:22 pm – They’re cooking. On stage. Not just anything, but ham & eggs! I want a breakfast sandwich like nobody’s business.

9:02 pm – Almost moved to tears. Who knew my school had such theatre talent??

9:48 pm – Tuck in to the same thing I eat every. single. night. now. Chocolate protein pudding with chocolate chips and sprinkles. There is no secret to this pudding. Just tasty whey powder with water added until it’s thick and sticky.

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10:10 pm – Blog this exact sentence. Whoa. Mind blowing.

10:20 pm – Get my clothes and lunch ready for tomorrow, set out my cycling shorts for spin class.

10:32 pm – Put on my new shea butter, take my antihistamines, and hit the hay. Ready for a deep sleep so I can start the whole process over again!

 

Question of the Day: What was the highlight of your Thursday? Mine was the play! Doing toe push ups comes in at a close second though ;)

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