Blog Archives

A Little Blog-spiration

Whyyyy is the weekend over already?? It went by so quickly! I only have two weeks left at my job. Then I’m on my own till I head to Toronto! I actually plan on moving back home for a few weeks before heading to TO for June 1st. And yes anyone living in the area – there will be tons of bloggie meet-ups in our future!

But there I am getting ahead of myself again. It’s Sunday. The end of Sunday. Sigh.

My body didn’t get the memo about it being the weekend again.

IMG_5846

Was up in the 6 o’clock hour again and stumbled to my stovetop right away to get started on a batch of cream of wheat. 

IMG_5845
Cooked with unflavoured soy protein powder and dates. Topped with cashew butter and molasses. End of the jar for the cashew butter, and it’s almost solid! That’s why it’s all broken up like that.

I was sooo not feeling the gym today, I just wanted to lay in bed reading all morning. But I forced myself out to a step class. As a little background, I usually go to step at the small women’s-only location. It’s the only time I ever go to that gym, but I just got into the habit of going there any time I went to step. It’s a small class of 25 women or so and pretty tight-knit.

Well, today I went to my usual, much larger, co-ed gym. There were at least 50 women packed into the class and two instructors I’d never had before. I was a little nervous, because step is one of those things that you need to get into a groove with. I didn’t want this new environment throwing me off my game!

Well, can I just say, it was the best step class I’ve ever been to. Ever. For a person who hates being in crowded environments, I love being in jam-packed exercise classes. I think it’s because I can blend in a little more. Plus, I feed off the energy of others, and today’s class was flying!

The instructors were hilarious and entertaining. I pushed hard because I was having a great time – my HR maxing out at 174 bpm, which only ever happens when I run! Between step today and kickboxing yesterday, it’s been a fun weekend of exercise for me :)

Like I usually do after hard workouts, I was craving eggs.

IMG_5851 
A couple boiled eggs mushed up with mayo, mustard, onions, pickles, olives and feta cheese.

IMG_5854 
And why just have an apple, when you can have an apple sprinkled with cinnamon? Just sayin’ ;)

All together now!

IMG_5849 
I wasn’t full after this, but then I wasn’t hungry for a very long time. Weird.

Showed my apartment again – I may have found a subletter! Maybe. She’s signing a sublet agreement tomorrow. But I won’t believe it until she actually moves in.

After grocery shopping, I realized that I had three cartons of egg whites in my fridge. Whoops. It’s one of those things I automatically buy every week. Apparently, I didn’t eat much last week.

IMG_5856 
For a snack, I poured egg whites into a mug, and added a de-strung (??) string cheese, nuking it for 3 minutes. Topped with Frank’s hot sauce.

IMG_5858 
The cheese is key. Then you get little pockets of melty heaven.

So, a girl at work is celebrating her birthday tomorrow, and it’s Treat Monday. Clearly, this called for something extra amazing!!!

Word on the street is that Janetha’s fruit pizza is the bestest, and I’ve been drooling over it forever. It calls for two rolls of premade cookie dough rolled out onto a baking sheet and baked. Then topped with a mix of whipped cream cheese/condensed milk/vanilla extract and fresh fruit.

Except! My grocery store only had chocolate chip cookie dough! I panicked, and bought cinnamon rolls.

IMG_5861
I started imagining a fluffy cinnamon-y crust, but realised this may not be the case when I popped it open and the rolls were already cut up. Could we get any lazier??

So I squished up all the dough and rolled it out with a water glass because I don’t own a rolling pin.

IMG_5863 
And then I baked it! Predictably, the dough in the center didn’t cook while the edges browned. But it came apart pretty easily and I was able to get a few mini pizzas.

IMG_5878 
I bought a container of fruit salad for the toppings. It’s got pineapple in it though, so I may not be able to partake tomorrow as I’m allergic (even to the juices). But I did by a melon salad, and tried a little pineapple-free piece tonight.

IMG_5864

I gotta test the goods!! It was deeelicious. The “sauce” is the best part. Maybe next time I’ll just make my own cookie dough or something ;)

Dinner was another blogger inspired recipe. This time from Leah! I wanted leftovers for the week, and she’s my go-to gal for those ;)

IMG_5875

Quinoa & Salmon w/ Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 a giant sweet onion, chopped
1 cup finely chopped small bulb of fennel Still can’t find it in my grocery store!
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, undrained
1 pound salmon fillets, skin removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
¼ cup tightly packed chopped fresh 1 Tbls dried dill
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 small lemon

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid). Return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and boil gently over medium heat until quinoa is translucent and tender, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in salmon. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until salmon turns opaque and is cooked through, about 1 minute. (Check and cook an additional minute if needed.) Turn off heat. Stir in dill, lemon juice, and zest, plus remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add salt to taste, if needed.

IMG_5873

I served it on top of some steamed green beans and broccoli. I’ve actually made this once before and loved it. Definitely deserved a make-again! It’s really quick and easy too. 20 minutes, minimal chopping, and all you have to do is throw a few things in a pot.

Oh, and look at who I ran into while waiting in line at the grocery store today!!

IMG_5879

Lori!!!! Eeeeee!!!! So. Freakin. Exciting. She’s featured as one of the real-life weight loss stories in May’s Shape magazine. She looks fabbity fab in the photo too. Stellar wardrobe choice Lori! I love that you’re picking up a big-girl’s dumbbell in the shot too ;)

Oh, and remember this shot of Archie I shared yesterday?

Well, I didn’t share the one of him winking at the camera.

IMG_5824

Sorry ladies, he plays for the other team, if you catch my drift *wink*

And for the record, my mom is never getting him back :P

Now I think I’ll wrap up this blogger-inspired day by making one of Holly’s no bake protein cookies. See ya tomorrow!!

 

Questing of the Day: What blogger-inspired foods have you been eating lately?

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.

IMG_4711 IMG_4712

8:14 am – See 5:45 am

IMG_4705

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

IMG_4715

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.

IMG_4706
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!

IMG_4702

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!

IMG_4718 

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.

IMG_4724

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.

IMG_4727

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 ;)

The Age Old Weight & Rep Debate

Did everyone survive their Tuesday? Mine was looong. Well, the work part was long, the time after work always flies by!

Was up and at ‘em for a lifting workout this a.m. My goal was to do upper-body weights and to lift heavy. High weights, low reps, an extra set, and longer rests in-between. Sometimes it’s nice to change it up and challenge my muscles in a different way!

Warm-up: Sprint Intervals on Elliptical

Minutes Level
0-3 10
3-5 14
5-6 17 (sprint)
6-8 15
8-9 18 (sprint)
9-11 16
11-12 19 (sprint)
12-14 16
14-15 18 (sprint)
15-17 15
17-18 17 (sprint)
18-20 14

Straight Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
One arm dumbbell snatch  25 lbs 5 4
Romanian deadlift to row  60 lbs 5 4
Wide-grip lat pulldown  60 lbs 5 4
Incline dumbbell shoulder press  25 lbs ea 5 4
Incline dumbbell curl 10 lbs ea 12 3
Tricep pulldown 40 lbs 12 3
Swiss ball crunch  14 lbs 20 1
Russian twist  14 lbs 40 1
Prone jackknife  bodyweight 15 1
Plank up  bodyweight 16 1

Cool-down was stretching! It was neat to do all straight sets as well, as I normally alternate many of my moves. The plan is to do one upper-body workout a week at high weights/low reps like today’s. Then I’ll do a low weight/high rep workout (ie a DVD), and then a full-body workout that falls in between. That’s the thought process behind it all anyways :)

My desk-breakfast was less than stellar today. Boo.

IMG_4189

  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 2 tbsp homemade granola
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • handful frozen whole strawberries (defrosted overnight)

I dunno, I was just not into this. I think it was the flax. Too much. It wasn’t hearty enough for a breakfast either. And maybe missing nut butter. I’ll stop complaining :P

I forgot to pack an extra snack today, luckily there were some Mini Egg cookies left.

These were still the talk of the office today. A lot of people asked for the recipe. It’s pretty easy to make a delicious cookie though, all you need is butter and sugar. Ohheckyes.

IMG_4193

And big hunks of Mini Eggs ;) Please ignore my chipping nail polish, but do bring your attention to my talon-sized fingernails. Fatty February baby!!

For 130 calories, my mid-morning snack, while delicious, was not very filling. So I had a cuppa tea to help things along.

IMG_4196 
Yogi Chai Rooibos. Think it’s my favourite flavour from my Bloggie Valentine stash.

My boss walked in while I was eating lunch and told me I eat the largest salads he’s ever seen.

IMG_4198

Leftover breaded chicken breast on spinach and other various veggies. Homemade salad dressing of 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and dash of pepper and parmesan cheese. I’m finally starting to get the hang of making my own salad dressings. This one was quite tasty!

Rushed home for supper again. Tonight’s meal comes courtesy Leah at Leftovers for Lunch. Quinoa and Salmon Stew.

IMG_4207 

Quinoa & Salmon w/ Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided cooking spray
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
small bulb of fennel grocery store didn’t have it!
2 cups water oops, totally missed this
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, undrained
1 pound salmon fillets, skin removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 small lemon

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid). Return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and boil gently over medium heat until quinoa is translucent and tender, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in salmon. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until salmon turns opaque and is cooked through, about 1 minute. (Check and cook an additional minute if needed.) Turn off heat. Stir in dill, lemon juice, and zest, plus remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add salt to taste, if needed.

I served it with a whack of frozen veggies. Was trying to use up the remnants of three different bags!

IMG_4200
Lovelovelove this stew!! For some reason, when I cook salmon I always want to pair it with maple, but dill is such a wonderful flavour with it! I also veggie-fied it a tad by adding carrots and green beans. And yes Leah, I am most definitely having stew leftovers for lunch tomorrow ;)

Dessert!

IMG_4210

Few pieces of the chocolate I also got in my Bloggie Valentine package! Very dark and rich, splendid.

And check out what I got in the mail!!

IMG_4188

A $10 gift certificate to the Running Room. Apparently they track your purchases and give you “points” based on how much you spend. I’ve spent enough for ten bucks! It was a verrrry pleasant surprise seeing as I had no idea they do this. But also unsettling to see how much I’ve spent at that store since last summer :\

 

So as I was coming off my heavy-duty weight workout today (for me anyways!) I saw Fit Bottomed Girls tweet about Tracy Anderson’s new reality show. For those of you who’ve never heard of her, Tracy Anderson is a personal trainer known for working with stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna. Her “claim to fame” is telling women they should never lift anything over 3lbs and doing 40-60 reps. She also loves to isolate small muscles. Bah!

Now, I can understand doing low-weight training for endurance. But I’ve never been able to understand how doing ballet and pilates inspired moves can make a person physically longer andtoned.” Whenever people tell me they don’t want to “bulk up,” I respond by saying by say “muscle only grows one way.” What I mean is that, you’re either building muscle or you’re not. If you want your muscles to show (or look toned), you have to do what it takes to build that muscle. You need to strain it enough to tear the fibres, and then let it recover enough so those tears can repair and grow.

There’s nothing technically wrong with 60 leg lifts in a row, it can make you stronger. My point is, you need to put more strain on your muscles to see results. I just feel this Anderson chick is only perpetuating the “bulk up” myth that so many women are afraid of. I guess it depends on your ideal body composition anyways. I would rather look like this:

…than this:

 

Question of the Day: Thoughts?? Does Tracy Anderson make your blood boil too, or do you think she’s on to something?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers