Blog Archives

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

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Hiya! Well, Monday is behind us, on to my least favourite day of the week… Tuesday. Ugh. What a waste of a day Tuesday is :P

A lot of you have food allergies and intolerances! Most popular being dairy and gluten. Although a couple mentioned people they know with allergies to onions which would SUCK. So would a nut allergy.

Anyways, my Monday started fabulously as it does every week now with an RPM spin class. This morning was a little tough though, more so than usual. But I still finished class strong, leaving happy and endorphin-ated :)

Got to the office and attacked one of my new fave desk-breakfasts.

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  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup faux-nola granola

Morning snack was, dare I say, the best homemade granola bar yet!!

homemade protein bar
Apple cinnamon flavour. Should have known the one with the cinnamon would be the winner ;)

Lunch!

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Nooo, not an apple and more cottage cheese. I’m cheap when it comes to tupperware.

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Last of my leftover tofu potato salad. Will definitely be making this again, in fact, I think it will get a recipe page :)

Lunch dessert was a Mini Egg cookie. The cookies by the way were a total hit at the office. Even the seasoned bakers of the bunch wanted the recipe! I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a solid chocolate chip recipe with something a little different.

This afternoon, I had one of my favourite new snacks.

Beemster cheese

Meat + cheese. Or, Yves meatless roast beef slices wrapped around Beemster cheese. Full fat cheese! Gotta keep my fingernails growing at lightning speed ;)

I always have intentions to run errands after work, but I’m SO hungry by the time the day is over! So per usual, I rushed home and started throwing supper together before I barely had my coat off.
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That would be a chicken breast coated in egg whites, panko bread crumbs, ground flaxseed and Kirkland no-salt seasoning.

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Roasted veggies on the side tossed in 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, pepper and 2 tbsp shredded old cheddar cheese. And yes, I dipped my chicken it kethcup, then went and got some bbq sauce too. Delicious dinner!

 

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Do you ever worry about getting bored being a personal trainer or about the lack of financial security in that job longterm?
Thanks!
(I think being in a gym all the time would drive me crazy-the lighting, the germs on the machines,the smell of sweat…wondering your thoughts esp since gyms are known to be big carriers of flu bugs, staff infections, skin diseases etc???!)

Funny, whenever I go to the gym now I think to myself “hell yeah I could spend the day working in here.” My gym is really nice though. Big, naturally lit with large windows, well ventilated, etc. Not in some dank basement like many gyms I’ve been to.

In terms of germs, I work in a university right now which is also a breeding ground! College kids aren’t necessarily shining examples of cleanliness and hygiene :P

I also make a point to never worry about financial security. I’m really good at saving money so I always have a nice cushion. Having lots of money has never appealed to me, and I try not to let money deter me from taking risks. I’m a strong believer that if you’re passionate and driven, you can be successful no matter what your chosen profession. Hell, I went into journalism. I made more money as a barista than I did as a reporter!!

I think the most important thing though is that I do not plan on being a personal trainer for the rest of my life. I view it as a starting point for me. I have a really strong desire to help people get healthy, but I want to expand that out of the gym walls and reach a larger audience someday. Okay. My dream is to write for fitness magazines and websites – so what? :P

 

Lori (Finding Radiance) Said:

Question: Is there a food that you hate that really wished you liked? (mine would be fish)

And – do you take any daily vitamins or supplements?

I wish I liked canned pumpkin!! Odd, because I like mushy baby food, but canned pumpkin still makes me gag. I wish I could plump up my oats with that tasteless orange mush, but it just makes them inedible :\

I just started taking fish oil! But besides that, no. I reallyreally should. I say this every time someone brings this topic up. Especially Calcium, Vitamin D and a B complex.

 

helenapooh Said:

How long have you been blogging for? Is it hard to develop the habit to post everyday?

I’ve been blogging for almost one year and two months. I never had trouble getting into the habit of posting regularly. I started blogging during my last semester of university, so I was looking for a way to procrastinate :P I really enjoy it, and it’s something I look forward to doing every day. I will admit to pre-writing posts when I know I’ll be busy though!

 

Lara (Thinspired) Said:

I have no idea how you can tough it out for an entire HOUR on the treadmill! What are your tricks for beating boredom?!

It reeeeally helps when I have some rockin tunes on my iPod. I like upbeat, melodic songs that I can run with. Also, I don’t run “hard” during my long treadmill workouts. When I’m sprinting, I can’t think of anything besides remembering to breathe and counting down the seconds. But when I’m going at a lower intensity, I have an easier time letting my thoughts wander, and that’s entertaining enough :) Also, I never keep it at the same speed or incline for longer than 10 minutes. For my favourite 60 minute treadmill workout, I change the speed every 60 seconds!

 

I think I have just a couple questions left before I wrap up this latest round of Q&As, so if there’s anything else you still want to get in, just leave it in the comments or send it to thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com

 

Question of the Day: What’s one food you dislike that you really wish you liked? Lori doesn’t have to answer this one since she already did :P

Monthly Goal Check-In

Hiya! How was everyone’s Monday? Mine was surprisingly good! Despite missing my bedtime by almost two hours last night, I still found the energy to charge through another Monday. Getting up for a 6am spin class always helps though. I’ve learned my lesson – every Monday should begin with a spin class. Sweating buckets in a room full of people in padded cycling shorts just sets the week up right, ya know? :P

I also felt pretty legit walking in and out of the gym with my shmancy new gym bag.

Went straight to the office after class and got there at 7:45am! Gave me plenty time to dig into my packed breakfast of overnight oats.

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  • 1 40g package of spiced multigrain instant oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • healthy dose of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp cashews

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As far as overnight oats go, the yogurt/applesauce combo is definitely a winner for me. I specifically used cashews in there because I knew they’d get soft in the fridge overnight… mmm…

I never photograph it, but my at-work breakfasts always include a mug of iced coffee.

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I chug half a french press worth of iced coffee before the gym, then drink the rest after.

My snack was an un-homemade bar.

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These were $0.99 each at the grocery store this week, so I picked up a few. Did they change the Luna bar recipe in Canada?

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I could have sworn the old version of these had 180 calories, not 190, and less rolled oats. Also, it looked smaller. Or I’m going crazy, which is a likely possibility as well.

Lunch!

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Turkey pita with veggies and Olive & Feta Hummus. That odd-shaped fruit on the side is a ya pear. Another on-sale purchase. I find it tastes very similar to an Asian pear – super crunchy and mild in taste. Wikipedia says it’s a Chinese white pear with a taste similar to rose and pineapple. Either way, I prefer my bartletts.

My snack looks disgusting, which means it was really good!

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Ham and cheese. I ended up only eating one of the herb & cheddar cheese sticks because there was more ham in the bag than I thought. I wrapped the ham around the cheese and it made for a stellar high fat, high protein snack. Seriously yummy.

Work was busybusy today, but one of those good busy days. Lots of fun projects to putter away on. Then I came home my Secret Bloggie Valentine gift!!

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Eeeeee!!!! I was especially excited for this to arrive seeing as I’m a single gal this Valentine’s Day. I was even more excited when I saw who it was from – Adrien from Confessions of a Health Nut!! She’s one of the many new bloggers I’ve stumbled across lately, and I was super pumped to see a name and blog I recognized on the card :D

Ohyes, the goods!

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First, the Yogi Tea in lemon ginger, kombucha, peppermint and chai rooibos. Funny, because lately at work I’ve been saying I’m going to join the tea-drinker club. Everyone there chugs back tea all day but me! I’m totally bringing in my stash tomorrow. Also funny that she sent me romantic word magnets. My mom used to have these and we had so much fun coming up with hilarious and inappropriate combinations on her fridge. Something to do while I wait for my waffles to cook ;)

My mom stayed at my place all day painting my kitchen. How sweet is that? She’s been hard at work whipping my apartment into shape. I am so grateful she’s willing to do it! Anyways, my kitchen is full of wet paint, so I made us a cold dinner.

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On the beastly sandwich:

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I ate 1/4 of an avocado and didn’t die!!! Yessss!!! I did have slight tummy pains, but I also chewed a lot of gum today, which does that to me too. Regardless, a successful Fatty February experiment :)

Dessert was, what else, chocolate from Adrien!

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Being the foodie nerd that I am, I noticed this was organic chocolate from BC, close to where Adrien is. So I checked out the Denman Island Chocolate website, and was really really impressed by it. They sound like a wonderful company, manufacturing natural food in a beautiful part of the world. Oh, and the chocolate was delicious. Although, my mom insisted it had hemp in it, but she just thinks people in BC are hippies :P 

 

Monthly Goal Check-In!

Okay, so I usually do this on Sundays. But hey, better late than never? Let’s see how I’m doing with my monthly goals after a week…

1. Work out no more than 6 hours a week. I worked out five times at 5 hours and 25 minutes. Perfection! My body was challenged, but not overworked. I almost worked out a sixth time, but listened to my body and slept in instead. That extra day off was just what I needed to finally combat the cold I had.

2. Say yes more. Yes, yes, and yes. Went out for some jazz and drinks last week, and I’m going on a trip this weekend!

3. Make more leftovers. I made a recipe last week from an actual cookbook. I got four meals out of my Spinach and Ham Ricotta Pie, and an addition 52 meals out of the ham I bought for the recipe. (that’s exaggeration btw, it was more like 38)

4. Eat more fat. Yesss!! I’ve been tracking my calories on and off and I’m getting about 30% of my calories from fat these days. That’s around 60g of fat a day – triple what I was eating before! I’ve been doing just little things like adding a dash of oil or butter here and there, switching to full fat cheese, and even eating avocado and dark chicken meat like I did for dinner today.

 

I also have a couple more updates. Remember one of my monthly goals in November 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 I’m happy to report that my sleeping patterns are back to normal!! For some reason, at the end of 2008, going into my lat semester of university, I just stopped being able to sleep. I used to be the girl who could sleep 10 hours a night, no problem. I blamed it on aging and stress from school, but it never went away. I graduated, worked a job I didn’t like, and it continued.

I made that goal on November 1, two days after I quit my job. The sleeping got a little better after that. I stopped naturally waking up at 5am everyday at least. But now with a more regular schedule, and a few more life changes (ie less things to worry about and weigh me down) I feel relaxed enough to be able to sleep the whole night through – 8 hours plus!!

However, it’s not all good news.

Remember the awful rash on my legs?

Well, my mom and I have been sharing a bed these past few nights. And she says she woke up last night to the sound of me furiously scratching my legs. I had a suspicion I was doing this in my sleep, but she said it was pretty bad last night. I think it has something to do with my anxiety disorder, I used to grind my teeth when I was a teenager. Anyways, I have no clue how to train myself to stop doing this. The obvious solution is to wear gloves to bed. But it would be really nice to get to the heart of the issue so I don’t have to worry about it at all. My mom says I need 1) massage, and 2) to get out of my unhappy living environment. I couldn’t agree more.

 

Last but not least I am going to Halifax this weekend! This means two things:

1. I am looking for three guest posts for those days. E-mail me at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com if you’re interested, first come first serve!

2. Blogger meet-up!!! I’ve already been in contact with some wonderful Halifax ladies, and we’re planning on meeting for lunch on Sunday. If you want to join in on the Maritime bloggie fun, send me an e-mail! thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com :D

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing with you February goals? Fatty February? Let me know!

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