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This n’ That

Hey! Before I get into things, don’t forget to check out my first video post if you haven’t watched it yet! ;) The funny part is, after going through all that breakfast cookie business on film, I didn’t even take a picture of it this morning! I do however have some fun new products I’ve been eating that I wanted to share :)

First up, soy nut butter.

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I looooove plain roasted soy nuts, so why not soy nut butter? I had it on a wasa cracker today with some cinnamon and raisins.

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I’m not a huge fan of the nut butter plain, but it’s really good on things! Overall though, I think I still like my soy nuts plain and roasted, and not from a creamy jar ;)

Product numero deux…

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Aaahhhh!!! A new kind of VitaMuffins!!! Blueberry bran to be exact. Ooohh, Vita, why must you continue to deliciously steal my money?

I enjoyed it my favourite way to eat blueberry muffins – toasted with some earth balance spread – paired with new product find number three!

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Old cheddar cheese strings! I lovelovelove old cheese (or, I think you American’s call it “sharp cheddar,” which I guess sounds more pleasant). But I stopped eating it because of the calories, blah blah blah. Well now it’s back in my life in a convenient single serving package :)

All together now…

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This actually served as the perfect post-workout snack. I hit up the gym for a little pre-10k race sesh:

  • 20 minutes intervals on the elliptical
  • 10 minutes on the rowing machine
  • 10 minutes on the stepmill
  • alternating sets of the horizontal woodchop and weighted back extension
  • 10 minutes of various plank poses

It looks like a lot, but I took it fairly easy. I just wanted to get the blood flowing. It was also my first time on the stepmill!

I keep it no secret that I looooaaathe the stairmaster. I would run a marathon on a treadmill before putting any time in on the stairmaster. So I had pretty low expectations for this. I figured I’d just jump on for 10 minutes for the hell of it. Thing is, I really liked it! It took a lot of concentration not to fall off, but I thought the movement was really fun. Yay for new machine finds! :)

After the gym (and my snack) I got to work on making a feast for Chris and I. I should preface this by saying that my city is obsessed with samosas. Seriously, every corner store and restaurant sells samosas. People will stand in line outside for an hour, in the dead of winter, just to get their hands on the farmer’s market samosas. I swear, some people probably start foaming at the mouth at the thought of them!

Anyways, so when I saw a samosa recipe in the Moosewood cookbook, I knew I had to make it. Regardless of it being a little more complicated than recipes I generally cook, I just had to try my hand at this “local” favourite!

I made some coleslaw from the cookbook as well, and Chris brought the beer ;)

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We also had some plum sauce and ranch dressing for dipping.

My plate:

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The coleslaw was a mix of cabbage, carrots, apples, yogurt, lemon juice and a small amount of mayo.

The samosa recipe was vegetarian, but both Chris and I prefer chicken ones. So I added some pulled chicken breast to the potato, pea, onion and cayenne filling.

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To my amazement, they tasted really good! I was kinda scared of the crust, as I don’t do “doughs” very well. I bought white flour specifically for this recipe because I didn’t know what difference using whole wheat would make. Next time I’ll give the wheat flour as try, because I’m definitely making these again!!

Happy bellies :)

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Chris has decided to go biking tomorrow afternoon instead of doing the race with me (pffft). But he said he’ll come out for a 5k practice run with me when he’s home next weekend :)

As for me, I’m starting to get excited for the 10k! Technically, the sprint triathlon I did in July is the “longest” race I’ve ever done. But tomorrow’s 10k will be my longest running distance in a race. I know I can hammer the distance out no prob, it’s just going to be weird running in a race for such a long period! Start time isn’t till 11am, so at least no huge stress to get up early, and the weather is supposed to be peachy :)

Aaand finally – go check out my guest post over at Meals and Moves!! It’s all about how I got started with weight lifting :)

See ya tomorrow for the race recap!

Step It Up

Happy weekend everyone! I got my weekend off to a most excellent start – with a Friday off!! Ooohhhh, it was glorious. I slept in until 8am, but after a very late evening, so I sort of felt like I’d been run over by a truck. I was croaking for two things – coffee and waffles.

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Maple cinnamon waffles with almond butter and blueberry jam and a few grapes on the side. This was supposed to be a light breakfast because I had step class an hour later. But the behemoth-sized mug of coffee I had filled me up soooo much! Oops.

To be honest, I was kind of scared for BodyStep. I’d watched the videos of the moves online. Or rather, studied, full of hesitation and fear. I thought I’d be lucky to make it out of the class alive, or even with my ego intact! Here’s a breakdown of what the class looked like.

  • Warmup
  • Step warmup (easy moves on the step)
  • Step orientation (more easy stuff, but a little faster with some jumps)
  • Step athletic (lotsa moving, getting the heart rate up)
  • Mixed strength (a mix of steps and squats)
  • Power peak (intense, confusing)
  • Step recovery
  • Party step (fun and silly, kinda do what you want)
  • Speed step (on a low step, moving your feet super fast)
  • Recovery/Push-ups/Abdominals (to get a little whole-body work in)
  • Cooldown/Stretch  

So my verdict? I absolutely LOVED it!! Who woulda thought? I’m a really clumsy person, and thought I would be in over my head. Granted, at times it was a little too complicated for me. But I think I could really get into it after a few more classes.

I also took this at the “women’s only” location, so it was smaller and more “communal.” The instructor was amazing. And everyone in the class was at all different levels, doing a variety of different step options that I could mimic.

Oh, and I burned almost 400 calories, which is pretty good for me. I burn only slightly more in spin class, so you know it was intense!

The rest of my day wasn’t really noteworthy. Vegged out for a little bit, ran a bunch of errands around town. Had a wonderful “snacky” lunch.

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Yves veggie salami sandwich with marble cheese then mushrooms, carrots and hummus.

I was supposed to make a special feast for Chris and I tonight, but I forgot to buy the key ingredient! It was too late to go back and get it, so we ended up just going out for dinner. There’s a music festival going on downtown this weekend, so in order to avoid the crowds, we went across the river for some pub fare.

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The Cannon’s Cross Pub to be exact. The same people who own the Snooty Fox, where I frequent, um, frequently.

Chris ordered his usual mountain o’ nachos.

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So eager to dig in he couldn’t even wait for me to take a photo!

I went for the Chef’s salad, as I was really craving some plain meat and veggies.

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Just a regular garden salad topped with grilled chicken, ham and a boiled egg. I ordered it without cheese, and got some light Italian that I drizzled on post-photo.

Exciting news: Chris is going to run the race with me on Sunday!! Well, maybe. He’s never actually ran before, but we both think he could do the 5k. He’s in crazy good shape from cycling. He’d have no cardiovascular problem getting through it, it would just be a shock to his legs and joints I think. We went out and bought proper running shoes for him tonight (he liked the New Balance). Even if he decides against the race on Sunday, he’s going to take up running as it gets too cold for road biking here. Yay for running buddies!

To be honest, I think he just wants to get good enough to beat me :P

Sorry I don’t have much more for you tonight! I was actually hoping to have a video post up on how to make a breakfast cookie. But it’s a “hugh jass” file as they say, and has 10 hours left to upload!! No, I didn’t film a 4 hour documentary on the breakfast cookie, Chris just felt the resolution needed to be high enough to see my pores. Hopefully it’ll be up tomorrow!

Question of the day: Do you prefer working out alone or with others? Ultimately, I prefer alone, as my exercise time is my “me time.” But it’s really nice to have a companion sometimes, keeps it fun and light :)

New 5k Record!!

I did it!!! I made my goal of running the 5k in under 27 minutes! I finished in 26:49!!!

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The course was actually 3.2 miles and not 3.1, so that’s the time it took me to run the 5k distance. It took me just under a minute to run the rest.

My previous PR for a 5k was during a training run, when I did it in 27:13. My last 5k race also happened to be my first race ever, and I did that in 29:24. 

My average pace was 8:40 min/mi. Not gonna lie, I thought my chest was going was going to explode out of my chest during my sprint to the finish line! :P My heart rate monitor went up to 190 bpm, but I’m not sure if I even believe that!

I don’t think I mentioned it, but today’s race was the annual Terry Fox Run.

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I’m not sure if Terry Fox is well known outside of Canada, but I would definitely call him one of our national heroes! After losing his leg to cancer, he set out to run across the country on a prosthetic leg to raise money for cancer research. He called it the “Marathon of Hope.” Unfortunately, he died in 1981 before he could finish, so now people across Canada run every year to sort of “continue the marathon.” One great thing about the race is that there’s no registration fee or required fundraising amount. Terry Fox’s whole thing was that he wanted to raise just one dollar from every Canadian.

Anyways, it’s got me kind of nervous for my 10k race next weekend! It made me realize that I have to remember to pace myself. I want to finish it in one hour, but I may tucker myself out if I get caught up in the excitement at the beginning. And I think I will take walk breaks if I feel so inclined. Seeing as they tend to speed up my pace! :P

Okay, enough babbling, I’ve got some food pics too :)

Day started off mega early with a breakfast cookie.

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Hmm…looks like I had a smudge on the lens. Or my morning haze just translated into the photograph. Chris can take long videos on his camera, so I’m thinking of doing a breakfast cookie how-to when he’s home next!

I also tried out my Montreal smoked beef slices from the market.

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On a pita with some laughing cow cheese, mustard, tomatoes, onions and romaine. Loved it!! I’m a total carnivore now.

I opted for a larger pre-race snack after I got off work, because it would be a couple hours until I actually started running.

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Sliced banana with peanut butter and a couple dates with cashew butter. These are my no-fail foods before exercise. It never, ever upsets my tummy and gives me an excellent burst of energy.

While snacking, I worked on my 5k playlist.

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This actually ran at 30 minutes. I like choosing songs with a beat that I can pace to. Keeps me going fast :) I also can’t stand exercising to boring songs. They’ve got to be quick and catchy!

I was a sweaty mess when I got home. It was way too hot to be running today. For me at least. Around 25 C with the sun beating down on us. So I rehydrated with my fave Vega smoothie.

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1 box One coconut water, 2 scoops Vega Smoothie Infusion, handful frozen papaya chunks.

I also foam rolled and iced, which I don’t always do for shorter runs, but I am definitely feeling the effort! My legs are stiff, and I feel a little woozy from the heat still.

Dinner was very purple. Well, it was supposed to be purple. I steamed some purple potatoes and purple “green” beans:

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Except the beans turned green when I cooked them!

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The potatoes stayed purple though ;) I had a grilled chicken breast stuffed with baba ghanoush on the side. It was delicious, I love fresh veggies steamed. In case you’re wondering, I also smothered them in parmesan cheese. Not the fancy kind, oh no. The processed Kraft kind. Yup! I love the stuff, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! April wrote a wonderful post on the pressure we sometimes feel to show perfect foods on our blogs all the time. Sure, I try to eat whole, unprocessed stuff as much as I can. But I love my fake syrup, Kraft parmesan and protein bars. I think balancing these things out with “real” foods is the key to a happy way of eating :) For me anyways.

Now I’m just doing some major couch sprawling. Going to get up soon and do some cleaning though! Gotta stretch out those legs! Hope you all had a great weekend!

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