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Keeping it Sweet

Aahhhhh, it was so hard to leave this face this morning!!!!!

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I got up even earlier this morning (5am) to take him outside before going to spin class. He was so upset when I left, it tugged on my heart! Archie’s been following me everywhere, kinda like a poodle-shaped shadow ;)  But my mom says it’ll get better once he realizes that I actually come back.

Spin class today was probably my worst. I don’t know what happened! It definitely felt tough, but halfway through I started feeling sick. Thirsty, but the thought of drinking made me want to throw up. I felt okay on the bike, but knew I’d be in trouble once I got off. Sure enough, during the stretching, I got a ringing in my ears and started seeing black dots everywhere. I quickly wiped off my bike praying I wouldn’t topple over before getting out of there. I immediately went into the air-conditioned hallway and sat by a window until I felt like I could stand again, then took a cold shower.

So frightening! I didn’t do anything different from my usual routine, except perhaps ate my pre-workout snack (bread + PB + jam) 15 minutes earlier than I normally do. My gut tells me I was dehydrated/undernourished. Perhaps lacking in electrolytes, as I lose them quickly compared to most people. Just when I think I’ve got it down to a tee, my body throws me a curveball! Going to try weightlifting tomorrow with extra food/water. If it happens again, I will leave and take a few more days off.

Breakfast was nourishing to say the least.

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Clementines, boiled eggs, Taste of Nature Persian Pomegranate Garden bar.

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Nutritionals for the bar found here. It was better than I was expecting!! The first two ingredients are sesame seeds and fig pieces so it had a wonderful gooey, crispy texture. Thumbs up!

Morning/afternoon snacks were homemade dark chocolate s’mores protein bars.

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Oooohhhhh yeeeaaahhh. Recipe at the end of the post!

Lunch!

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Sundried tomato tuna, hummus, feta, black olives. And the usual plethora of baby carrots.

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Carrots are high in sugar, I think that’s why I like ‘em so much ;)

After eating, I proceeded to drive to the grocery store, shop, drive home, put the groceries away, take the dog out and drive back to work all in a 60 minute lunch break! This is me tooting my own horn. Toot.

Getting groceries at lunch meant I could rush home after work and get started on this feast right away.

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Two chicken thighs off a rotisserie chicken. Heated up in the oven.

The real star of the show was the veggies!

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I sprinkled sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower with garam masala before roasting them. I used the Clubhouse kind which includes a mix of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, coriander, red pepper, onion, carrot, garlic, etc. SO good. It was such an amazing flavour, loved every delicious bite.

The chicken was good too – I love dark meat!

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The skin was given to the pooch :)

Archie by the way has a really funny way of eating. He grabs one piece of food, brings it into the living room, then starts playing with it like a cat.

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He throws it around, gets down and starts wagging his bum like he’s going to attack. One piece at a time… :P

Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying decadent protein desserts.

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I’ve been adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a stevia packet to my usual protein pudding (1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder mixed with water to thicken). I kid you not, it tastes just like brownie batter. I feel like I’m licking the brownie bowl eating this!! It’s almost too rich. Almost ;)

Ooooh, speaking of rich and decadent, my new protein bars!

 

Homemade Dark Chocolate S’more Protein Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use whey)
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 tbsp mini chocolate chips

Mix everything but the fluff together, adding water until powder is just dissolved and sticky. (the more you mix, the more it dissolves, so add sparingly). Lightly stir in fluff. Flatten into a square pan and let harden in fridge.

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Makes 8 rich, knock-your-sweet-tooth-out bars.

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And with that, it’s someone’s bedtime!

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I apologize if I’m MIA from blogland this week, I’m spending all spare minutes cramming my brain with personal training info before my test on Friday. Wait a tick, I don’t apologize. It’s important that I pass!! (and can pass all my knowledge on to you guys ;) )

 

Question of the Day: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you grade your sweet tooth? (10 being the sweetest) Umm, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, it should come as no surprise that mine comes in at a solid 9.2. Chocolate of course is my favourite, generic candy a close second.

Goals and a Giveaway!!!

Woooonderful suggestions on my Strength Training at Home post. A lot of extra pieces of equipment like bosu balls, jump ropes and medicine balls were suggested. Be sure to read the comments if it’s something that interests you :)

So I started my day after a solid 7.5 hours sleep and took off for a spin class. I thought I’d kill it today after a whole weekend off exercise (goofing around in personal training class doesn’t count). Usually after two whole days off, my body is mega energized. But today notsomuch. Albeit, I’m very worn out after two weekends in a row of “work,” but I think it was actually a nutrition thing. I just could not push that high intensity like I normally can, and I felt a little dizzy once I hopped off the bike.

Looking back, I was very protein heavy in my eating over the weekend, and I think I was lacking in sufficient carbs to draw from this morning. Ever since I increased my fat intake, my protein has naturally increased while my carbs have gone down, often being my smallest percentage of macronutrients. Not good for someone who is as active as me! What a delicate balancing act it all is ;)

Anyways, I raced to the office this morning to gobble down my breakfast and refuel.

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Two boiled eggs and a marshmallow protein bar.

I have a vague memory of my old roommie (hi Meghan!) telling me the cause of grey yolks in boiled eggs…

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I think it happens when you put them in the fridge right after boiling and they cool too quickly. Is this true? Am I making it up?

In other news, the geranium in my office is thriving.

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I can’t take credit this, it’s all because the cleaning lady waters it regularly. But hey, at least it didn’t wilt in my presence like most plants. It’s very pretty, makes for a more lovely work environment :)

Mini bagles > regular bagels.

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Why would you want to eat one bagel when you can have TWO?? Topped with laughing cow cheese and veggie ham slices. Paired with a melt-in-your-mouth mango.

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It’s been forever since I had mango!! It was amazing.

This afternoon I broke down and had a molasses cookie that someone brought to work. I am so glad I caved and ate it!! Molasses cookies are one of my favourites, and it was hands down one of the best I ever had. Totally worth the unplanned splurge. Sometimes giving in to the office treats is worth it ;)

I was met with a bare fridge when I came home, so I ended up with another three ingredient dinner. 

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  1. roasted butternut squash
  2. baked chicken breast
  3. bacon peanut butter

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Not gonna lie. It was awesome. And crazy filling.

I’d like to say that’s why I had a small evening snack, but let’s face it, there was a lot of snacking in between!

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A new-to-me product: President’s Choice vanilla cottage cheese. Of course, I had to spice it up with some cinnamon and raisins.

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Yum!! This little container has 110 calories ,12g protein and 3g fibre (with added inulin). Not too shabby!

 

It’s Monday! Time for…

Final Monthly Goal Check-In for March

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. Um, so yeah. The guy who was supposed to sublet my apartment backed out last week! The day after he signed the agreement and gave me a deposit. I’m keeping the deposit, but it means I have to find someone else. Giant BOO.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. I started sending out unsolicited resumes today to fitness companies saying they need me as a content writer/editor for their website. Why not, right? ;)

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I knocked off a bunch of recruiting publications at the university I work at. SO nice to see my work put into hard print. I was also sorta offered a job to work as a recruiter in admissions. But that’s not my bag. I’m not perky enough.

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. Finished personal training classes!!!

!!!!!

I also skipped lunches last week to study. Working hard on cramming that poor brain of mine.

5. Run outdoors again. Fail. Rightfully so. The weather last week sucked. Woke up to snow every morning, cold, windy, rainy, wet. Miserable.

 

On top of my monthly goals, I set a weekly goal to get more sleep. I did alright on this. I failed on one day, but got a solid 7.5 hours all the other nights. I actually had my lights out by 9:45 every night before my 5:30 alarm. Much better that the 10:30-11 I was doing before. This is 100% something I’m going to keep up. It’s all about resetting my thinking to seeing 9:45 as my lights-out time instead.

I also challenged all of you to do the same thing. In order to motivate y’all to tuck in early, I promised a gift for those of you that participated. Well I’m following through on that promise! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

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  • Mountain Maples blueberry syrup
  • 100% pure honey
  • The Simply Bar in Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cocoa Coffee, and Lemon Coconut flavour.
  • Taste of Nature bar in Quebec Cranberry Carnival flavour
  • Greens + “Hip to be Healthy” square

All Canadian goods, the syrup and honey being from right here in New Brunswick. The syrup is actually from my hometown of Riverview, NB!

So, I told those of you participating to keep track of your hours slept so I could see you at least tried. Well, I’m also an awful liar, because this giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere!!

That’s right, sleep or no sleep, blog or no-blog. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name and e-mail address. That’s it!! I’ll pick a random winner on Thursday, April 1, 9pm Atlantic Time. Consider it an April Fool’s gift of sorts – or a present from the Easter Bunny!

Aaaaand go!

Meatloaf Pizza and Goal Check-In!

Ooohhhh maannnn. Anyone else have a rough Monday? I think it was a combination of having a busy weekend, plus the time change. I didn’t have a great sleep last night and felt like a cranky zombie until about 2pm. Spin class didn’t even do it for me. It was far more torturous than it usually is. In fact, most people had that “just been run over by a truck look.”

Oh, and my day totally got started off on the wrong foot. I went to put my contacts in first thing this morning, except, they weren’t in the case. I dug my finger all through the solution and couldn’t find them. After a couple minutes, I realized they were still in my eyes. Even worse, they’d been in since Saturday!! I woke up with crusty eyes Sunday morning and briefly thought I was getting pink eye. Then I forgot all about it and wore my glasses all day! Then I woke up with super dry and crusty eyes again today and was really grossed out realizing they were still on my eyeballs. *shudder*

Aaaanyways, moving on! Desk-breakfast was solid today. I’m finally starting to get used to these! (I used to hate cold breakfasts)

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Greek yogurt, almond butter, stevia, fresh strawberries, homemade granola. It’s a classic combo for a reason.

Lunch was the exact same salad I had last night, just in giant tupperware.

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Highlights of the salad were definitely the pickled beets and tzatziki. SO good! It also contained pieces of my first ever attempt at cooking pork. I over-cooked it, which I suppose is better than under-cooking it :\ I picked it up because two pork tenderloins were one-third the price of two chicken breasts. Holy shit.

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I always put half the spinach on the top so I’m not left with a bunch of dry spinach at the end.

Highlight of the day definitely came at 2pm (when my mood improved!). My boss lent me his car to run an errand and had The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album in the CD player. I cranked it, rolled down the window to let the spring air in, and sang along to Think For Yourself. Good times :)

Dinner was, ahem, “inspired” by this magazine I stole from my mom’s house (busted) which you can get for free at Sobey’s. (Canadian grocery store)

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Always on the lookout for high-protein dinners, this Crustless Meatloaf Pizza caught my eye.

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From the website:

1 cup Compliments Balance Tomato & Herbs Pasta Sauce, divided

1/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko)

1 egg, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried Compliments Italian Seasoning (I used Kirkland no-salt seasoning)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used extra-lean ground turkey)

1 cup Compliments Finely Shredded Pizza Cheese Blend (used 3/4 cup Kraft shredded old cheddar)

2 cups assorted vegetables such as sliced onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms (I used artichoke hearts, onions, mushrooms, yellow pepper, spinach and tomatoes)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place 3 tbsp (45 mL) pasta sauce in a large bowl; stir in bread crumbs, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Crumble in the beef and mix gently to combine. Press evenly onto a 12-inch (30 cm) rimmed pizza pan.
  2. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the beef. Sprinkle with cheese and top with vegetables. Bake, on the lowest rack, for 15 to 20 min. or until the pizza is set and the cheese is bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve.

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My kitchen takes crappy photos, but I wanted to get a shot of it as a “pie” :)

The yumminess in some natural light with steamed veggies topped with coconut…

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HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. This was so good. If you like meatloaf, make it now!!!

I went back for seconds ;)

 

Okay, it’s Monday, which means it’s time to check in on my March Goals:


1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted.
Apartment is 85% subletted! I have someone who has offered to take it, but I still need to get a deposit and signature from him (should be Wednesday). As soon as that happens, then it’s officially done! I also cleaned out my car and took pictures of it yesterday, so I’ll be posting ads for it soon too.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Definitely lagging on this. But I’m not stressing about it that much. I know no matter what I do, I’ll have enough money to at least survive, so that’s comforting…

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’ve been really busy at work, but people are at least noticing the time and effort I put into it, which means a lot :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I lagged on this last week! I still have to complete my online lessons, which will be time consuming. Hoping to get that done in the evenings this week – I start my in-class learning this Saturday at a gym in Saint John!!

5. Run outdoors again. CHECK!! I got three, surprisingly “easy,” miles in on Saturday. I’m hoping to get another outdoor run in after work this Wednesday :)

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month?

Bonus question: Do you sing in the car? I do. No shame.

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