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Cookie Monster

Okay. Before I even start things, I must tell you, Holly’s no-bake protein cookies were awesome.

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I mixed up:

  • 2 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • sprinkle mini chocolate chips
  • splash water

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I thought the mix looked really small, but I got three cookies out of it! Balled them up, rolled in coconut, and flattened them a little bit. I popped them in the freezer for a couple minutes, but it really wasn’t necessary. The puuuurfect dessert!

Despite my bad spin class last Monday, I braved it again today. Didn’t feel sick, but didn’t push it as hard. I think I may be tiring of it a little – I can’t wait until I can bike outside!

Breakfast today was another cookie ;)

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • chocolate chips
  • dried cherries
  • splash soy milk

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Mixed up and flattened on a plate to harden in the fridge overnight. I always scrape it off the plate, flip it over, and stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes before eating. Or today, while I took the puppy dog outside.

Not only did I have enough time to eat breakfast at home after spin class, but I also came home at lunch!

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I’d pre-packed some salmon & quinoa w/ tomatoes on top of a spinach salad. 

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I LOVE cold quinoa salads. Even more than as a heated grain seed.

Oh! And my coworkers inhaled the fruit pizza. They all enjoyed the cinnamon roll crust. I had a piece that had not been contaminated by pineapple. Cream cheese “sauce” still the best part. I could eat that stuff with a spoon.

Wait. I think I did while I was making it ;)

Hey look! I drink stuff too!

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Out of tacky whale glasses apparently. I actually don’t care for carbonated drinks, but I drink club soda all the time to help my digestion. And by help my digestion, I mean make me burp, because people don’t like to pat the backs of 24-year-olds.

In other news, it’s been raining for three days straight and there’s a poodle in my apartment who is going stir crazy.

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I bought him a treat to chew on to keep him entertained – and he cut his nose on it!! Poor pup. Tomorrow should hopefully be dry enough for a prance walk on the trail.

He also started doing this thing where he lays on the end of the couch, and rests his head on the coffee table.

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There’s no food on there, he sleeps like that! Strange. So fun to watch all these quirks develop while he’s staying at my place. Definitely making my last couple weeks here a lot more entertaining :)

Speaking of my last couple weeks here…

I finally found a subtenant!! She signed a sublease today and gave me post-dated checks and bought my cheap-o furniture so I don’t have to worry about throwing it out. I like her much better than the first guy and have a good feeling about this. Funny how the pieces just fall into place eventually. Made me think of Sophia and her current housing debacle as well!

 

So, remember when I made a list of Goals for April 19 days ago?? Yeah, neither did. I totally forgot to check in every week! Better late than never I guess!

Goals for April 2010

Continue the spirit of the sleep challenge, aiming to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I’d say I’m on average getting an extra 15-30 minutes sleep a night. Not as much as I’d like, but it really has been hard. Especially when I was studying all last week.

Get rid of as many of my belongings as possible. Does selling my furniture count? Otherwise I am seriously lagging on this. Would like to clean out my closet ASAP.

Get my bike on the road. Pffft. It’s been like 8 C everyday and raining. As if.

Pass my personal training exam. Eeee… still checking my e-mail obsessively for the results. Hopefully I’ll get my mark in the next couple days!

Chill the eff out. I’m getting much better at this one. Stress is starting to turn into excitement. I have SO many exciting things on the horizon. Not only am I moving to Toronto and getting a new job there, but I also have plans to travel to Banff, Ottawa, Chicago and New York this summer!!

 

Well, that’s all she wrote! I was off dining with the ladies this evening and it’s time I hit the hay. Going to change things up tomorrow and go to a different gym before work. Little things like that make me excited to work out!

 

Question of the Day: Do you find yourself dreaming of summer travels yet? Got any planned? Mine are above!

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.

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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. 

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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.

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

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

All together now!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ;)

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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?

Fitness Test Day

Happy weekend!! I hope it’s been happy anyways :)

Once again, thank you for all the recommendations for my skin. I’ll keep you updated on the hydrocortisone. It has worked on my eczema numerous times in the past, but the strange spots on my leg I don’t know…

Anyways, moving on from that embarrassing (for me) topic! I managed to not embarrass myself doing a fitness test at personal training class today. Yay!

I first have to admit that I totally cheated on the sleep challenge last night. I was up late going through the bones and muscles of the human body that I wanted to know for today. I squeaked by with about 6.5 hours. Fail. Especially for a weekend, when I like to catch up on sleep. No worries, I am already in my peejays and ready for Sunday’s 6am alarm!

Today was my first day both eating breakfast and showering at my own apartment since last WednesdaySt. Patrick’s Day! I was at my grandparent’s last weekend, then at the gym every other morning. I’m losing my breakfast skillz, this was all I could come up with…

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Homemade marshmallow protein bar and two boiled eggs. I’m thinking I may venture out and actually make something hot tomorrow ;)

I had another marshmallow protein bar for my mid-morning snack.

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One great thing about making my own protein bars is that I don’t stress about eating them all the time. I’m not scared about what crazy chemicals I’m putting in my body if I eat more than one a day :)

Lunch was a peanut butter protein sandwich.

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Plus an orange. For the “protein,” I just dissolve some chocolate protein powder with water and use it as a spread. With the PB, it tastes like nutella!

Afternoon snack attack:

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I love how healthy my fellow personal-trainers-to-be eat! Usually I feel like a weirdo opening up my mini cans of tuna in public, but one guy bust out a full-sized one today with a can opener. I am with “my people” ;)

Highlight of today was definitely the fitness test. We did it firstly to learn how to conduct one, but also put ourselves through it to experience it from the client’s point of view. It’s nothing hard or overly strenuous, but intimidating no matter what shape you’re in!

We started with the Rockport Walking Test for VO2 max. VO2 max, put simply, is how much oxygen you can take in during exercise. It’s a pretty good indicator of how fit you are. Athletes for example, will have a high VO2 max, as the ability to take in more oxygen fuels activity better.

For the test, we just walked on a treadmill for a quarter mile as fast as we could. It’s supposed to be one mile, but for time’s sake, we multiplied our time by four. So I did my “mile” in 13:08 (walking at 4.8mph!). The second you stop the treadmill, take your pulse for 15 seconds. Then multiply that number by four, and it will give you your heart rate or beats per minute (bpm). Mine was 128 bpm. Then you plug those numbers into a hugely complicated formula, or you can just fill out this form. I ended up with a VO2 max of 51. So that’s 51 millilitres of oxygen that I take in per kilogram of weight, per minute. According to all the “charts,” it’s above normal for my age, so that’s nice :) Men are always higher, I think there were a few dudes who had theirs in the 60s.

After that we also did a push up test, curl up test and sit and reach test. I only did the first and last ones, both of which I sucked at. Okay, I still did 25 push ups on my knees, which again, is “above normal,” but I really wish I could do that amount on my toes by now!

For the sit and reach test, you sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, then reach for your toes, measuring how far your fingers go past them (or, how far they are from your toes). I managed to get my fingers a half-inch past my toes, which is better than I was expecting. I didn’t think I could even touch my toes!

None of these tests are hugely important. They help a little in program design, but they’re really meant to benchmark your current fitness. Six weeks from now, I will hopefully be able to crank out more push ups, and it will be nice to have quantitative results of fitness improvement rather than just “I guess I feel kinda better…”

We stayed a little late to practice more training sessions. If anything, it’s been a lesson on machines for me, as I’m a dumbbell/barbell girl. Machines just always feel awkward, however they are ideal for the “new exerciser” who hyperventilate at the thought of a squat rack. Gosh! I used to be that person!

Anyways, after the hour+ drive back home, I could feel my tummy eating itself from the inside out. It’s a careless beast sometimes.

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Polished off the last of my veggies with my fave salad of all time – maple balsamic spinach salad. With some roasted sweet potato for good measure.

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Nothing fancy here. I just wrapped the salmon and sweet potato in tinfoil, doused it in balsamic vinegar, maple extract and sugar-free syrup, and baked till it was done! I can’t believe after a week of going through a package of maple smoked salmon, I came home and made more maple salmon for supper tonight. It’s that good!

I got an excellent question in my last post about buying equipment for strength training at home. I wanted to get to it tonight, but my 8 hours of sleep are more important, so I’ll get into it tomorrow!

 

Question of the Day: How do you measure your fitness level? I’m a number nerd, and a slave to my heart rate monitor. When I do cardio, I love seeing how quickly it peaks and recovers. I also love hitting those high numbers and sustaining them for longer periods than before. Of course, discovering I could actually complete toe push ups was pretty awesome too ;)

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