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Sleeping Beauty

Anyone else out there become completely and utterly useless in the evenings? I always have big plans of things I want to do, but unless I commit to something with other people, they always fall through. Case and point – I wanted to go to the after hours clinic tonight to get a referral to a dermatologist. But the idea of going out in the snow (yes, it’s snowing!!) and spending my whole evening in a waiting room did not sound appealing. Mom, if you’re reading this, please book an appointment with our GP. That way I can take a day off work and drive home! ;) Sounds a lot more fun – no?

In other news, I turned my alarm off in my sleep last night. I woke up at 5:33am (3 minutes after my alarm is supposed to go off) and realized it wasn’t set. I specifically remember setting it before bed last night. Then a hazy memory returned of me physically getting out of bed and turning it off at three in the morning. I keep my alarm a couple steps away so I don’t do this, but apparently I need to put it in a different room or something! Whole lot of good it did too… I was still up at the scheduled time!

Seeing as it’s snowing today (boohiss) my run was obviously done on the treadmill. Opted for my fave 5-mile speedwork run. Technically, it’s closer to 5.5, but these days I go more by time than distance when I run.

Breakfast was pretty good for a cold desk-breakfast, despite what this picture tells you.

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Yogurt, cottage cheese, peach-mango protein powder, almond butter, homemade granola. The last of the homemade granola (boohiss).

My mid-morning snack blew my mind.

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Homemade marshmallow protein bar. Ohhellsyes. Scroll down for the recipe! (if I’d even call it that, it’s SUPER simple)

Wait a second, isn’t it Waffle Wednesday? I celebrated with lunch.

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I probably should have taken it out of the plastic bag to photograph… It was crazy delicious. Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles with laughing cow sprinkled with cinnamon and maple smoked salmon. I toasted the waffles last night with hopes of them remaining crispy, but that was not the case. I heated it up in the microwave at work instead. The sweet maple salmon paired with the sweet waffle was nothing short of amazing.

This afternoon saw a plethora of veggies + hummus.

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Once again, I stink up my office. This time with garlicky hummus.

Dinner was one of those ones that’s plain, simple, and delicious :)

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Assorted veggies in Bragg’s and chicken topped with almond butter.

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Yes, almond butter! It got all lovely and melty on top, and the richness of the nut butter was most excellent with the chicken. Gotta get those fats in!

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am still eating protein pudding for dessert every night.

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Topped with marshmallow fluff because I am a marshmallow fiend.

Hey! That’s a great segue into my new protein bar recipe!

 

Homemade Marshmallow Protein Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops (120g) vanilla protein powder
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ~1/2 cup water

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, adding water slowly. Mix and mix until the protein powder is all dissolved. It should still be crumbly and quite sticky (not gooey!). Flatten into a 9×9 pan. Or 8×8 pan. The square one.

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Let chill in the fridge for a couple hours, then cut into 8 bars. I wrap mine up to grab for snacks during the week.

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Each bar has around 220 calories, 8g fat, 20g carbs, 4g fibre and 17g protein.

 

Last but not least, I want to keep on this week’s theme of sleep. Many of you commented that you have trouble sleeping. I wanted to talk about my most recent sleep issues and how I almost fixed them!

You may remember that one of my November Goals was to get more sleep. I wrote:

This is an ongoing issue that I think is more than just scheduling and bad time management. There are reasons I can’t sleep, and it’s time to get to the bottom of it.

Well get to the bottom of it I did! At the beginning of November, I was in a rough place. I was in a job that I didn’t like, and was wearing me out more with each passing day. I had no friends, no social life, and living alone was proving to be, well, pretty lonely. I had no fun things on the horizon, no life goals in mind, and my outlook for the future was pretty damn bleak. Oh yes, and I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t sleep at night, and my body was often waking me up at 5am or earlier, even on my days off. Sleeping more than 6 hours was a good night for me.

All of that started to change after I quit my job. The job I did four years of school for, the job most new graduates would kill for. Within days of quitting my job, I started to sleep more soundly. Not perfectly, but the quality definitely improved.

Then, towards the end of November, I started to work at my fave job ever, Starbucks. I also decided to take the plunge and pursue personal training as an additional career. It was my passion, why the hell not? With my new sunny outlook and sense of positive direction in life, I found myself falling asleep easier at night.

I didn’t end up staying at Starbucks for long, because right before Christmas, I was offered an amazing job opportunity to work in the communications department writing for my alma matter. It was when I started that job in the new year, along with ending a long-term relationship, that my sleep patterns drastically improved. I found myself in a daily environment I felt comfortable and happy in. I felt confident as a single woman, made friends with my new co-workers, and worked on projects that fell within my realm of abilities (as opposed to journalism, where you’re always challenged with doing the impossible).

It was only days after the new job and new singleness that I was waking up to the sound of my alarm everyday. As opposed to waking hours before it was scheduled to go off. Even more strangely, I started dreaming again. I hadn’t had one notable dream for over a year, and now I’m suddenly having them nearly every night. My imagination is starting to flourish again.

So that my friends, is my long winded way of saying that there are many factors that contribute to sleep. You can have all the chamomile and turkey you want, but I think some things require a lot more soul searching to be solved.

 

Okay, enough for one evening! Thursday is shaping up to be a fun day – see ya then!

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 ;)

Three Generations

Alas, the end of another weekend :( You know what though, weekends are always so glorious because we work hard for them! Imagine how boring they’d be if they were undeserved? :P

Remember that snack I was after last night? Here’s what I came up with…

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Marshmallow protein pudding! I mixed up a scoop and a half of vanilla protein powder with a little water, then stirred in cinnamon, mini marshmallows and cheerios. It was delightful!

I had more dessert for breakfast today, the temptation was just too great!

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A big hunk of my Nana’s banana bread toasted with cream cheese. As well as a couple boiled eggs on the side.

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I’m on a boiled eggs kick. They are the perfect snack for a protein/fat boost.

My mom and I decided on a cardio day today, so I snacked on a Toasted Nuts n’ Cranberry Luna bar before going.

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This is one of the “new recipe” bars, with only 170 calories now. I think it actually tastes better than the old kind, the fruit and nut chunks are larger.

At the gym I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the rowing machine and 10 minutes on the stairmaster. It was one of those days where I wasn’t feeling very motivated, but I knew doing a little bit on every machine would keep me entertained :)

I was a voracious beast by the time we got home, and my mom had the bright idea of cooking up some bison burgers.

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No buns, but I just wanted the meat anyways ;) I’ve only tried bison once before and I wasn’t entirely sold. But my goodness it was goooood today. My mom said she just put bbq sauce, worchestire and curry in the mix? Regardless, it was heavenly. Perfect post-workout meal!

We also had a greek salad on the side.

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And I apparently have a larger appetite than everyone, because I needed some extra baby carrots to fill me up.

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I eat at least two servings of these bad boys a day, Seriously, how am I not orange??

Then we scooted over to my Nana’s to get a visit in before her curling started (curling does not make for very entertaining television…).

Here I am at my Nana’s. The bowl of grapes next to me significantly smaller…

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And my mom. I think I can see that post-elliptical glow ;)

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Three generations. I’ve got a lot to look forward to based on these two women!! My Nana will be 87 this spring and has been doing yoga for 5 years! I should also add that she’s never died her hair. My fingers are crossed I inherited her hair pigment ;)

Remember this picture I took of my mother’s yard yesterday?

Well I came home to my yard in Fredericton looking like this:

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Crazy! We’re only a 90 minute drive apart, I can’t get over the difference. It was warmer in Freddy this weekend too. Running next weekend maybe??

I was totally bummed having to come back to the real world after my lovely weekend home. But a package hanging out of my mail box immediately lifted my spirits.

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Olympic mittens!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou Jaime!! I was lusting after her mitties during our blogger meet-up in Halifax a few weeks ago, and she got her mom to pick some up out West to send this way!! I feel like such a proud Canadian now – as I should dammit! We kicked some mayjah booty this year :D

I’m all out of groceries and wanted something super simple for dinner, so I tried out a sweet omelette that I’ve seen on a few blogs now.

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I mixed up 1 scoop vanilla protein powder with 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 tsp baking powder and cinnamon and fried it up in a pan. It turned out kinda fluffy like a pancake, mostly due to the baking powder I added. I sandwiched some blueberry jam and almond butter in there. It was actually quite good! In the back is a sliced granny smith with cinnamon and honey.

 

Well, I’m going to get a few chores done to get ready for my busy week ahead. I will not be watching the Oscars tonight as they start at 9:30pm on the Atlantic coast, which is precisely this girl’s bedtime!! I’ve got a date with a spin bike at 6am tomorrow ;) Have a great start to your week!!

Question of the Day: What’s the best thing you ate this weekend? I love asking this question, as there’s always so many different answers! Mine was probably the above bison burger :)

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