Blog Archives

The Cat, The ‘Hood and The Goals

Remember that elusive cat I mentioned in yesterday’s post? Well, I went to bed armed with my camera last night ready for when he made his appearance.

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He’s fast, getting this shot was not easy. 

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You see, my roommates and I have been cat-sitting for a couple weeks now. Mew Mew (the furry one’s given name) has thus far taken refuge in my roommate’s bedroom. But they are both out of town this weekend, which brought Mew Mew wandering into mine.

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Mew Mew does not cuddle or purr. No. He will walk right up to you and aggressively start head-butting you in the face.

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Do not be fooled. This is not “cute.” That is one thick-skulled feline. At one point my eyes starting watering because he conked me right in the nose.

Jerk.

I love all of God’s creatures, but dogs totally rule ;)

Before being attacked, I was reading my current book of choice:

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The first in the Stieg Larsson series, thanks to the several recommendations I got for it in this post. (psst, click on that link and read the comments for tons of great summer books to read!)

Woke up after a glorious 8 hours of sleep with flapjacks on my mind, it’s Pancake Sunday after all ;)

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My protein pancake batter consisted of:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

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For my dipping sauce, I mixed sugar-free syrup with mixed berry jam. Omg. Why don’t I do this more often??

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I really want to make a pun using the word “berry” right now, but I will refrain. Instead, I will just tell you to try this :)

All big plans I had for the day went out the window once it started raining. That paired with it being a Sunday made me want to stay in and tackle some chores!

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When my family visited a few weeks ago, they brought all my stuff from New Brunswick (I only arrived in Toronto with three suitcases). The stuff has been piled in my closets untouched since then. Today, I created rightful spots for everything and my room is beginning to feel a whole lot “roomier.”

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Broke for some Bbq Chicken Pita Pizza. Aka bbq marinated chicken breast on top of a pita with sauce, veggies, cheese, and stuck in the toaster oven for 15 minutes.

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Fact: I have not used the oven since moving to Toronto. It’s too damn hot.

I started to get a little stir crazy after a while and wanted to do something after the rain cleared. In this ginormous new city of mine, that can mean a million things. Out of all the parts of the city I’ve so far explored, ironically I haven’t spent much time in my own neighbourhood!

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I took a couple hours wandering up and down Queen Street East poking my head into antique shops, clothing shops, ice cream shops (not buying, but ya know, scoping out the goods), butchers, cheese shops and bakeries.

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I found this one cute little bakery just off Queen on Logan Ave called Brick Street Bread. They had a million different kinds of artisan loaves, as well as some tasty looking sweets. They are expensive – $5 to $6 per loaf. But they provided samples for many so I knew what I was getting into first. Plus, why can’t a gal treat herself to a loaf of carbs once in a while? ;)

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The girl at the counter said their Organic Basil & Parsley bread is their best seller – but I tried a taste of this Organic European Rye and knew it was mine.

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I lovelovelove rye bread, especially with some good cheese and meat. Sliced it up into quarters and froze it when I got home. That way I can defrost it just a bit at a time.

I stumbled into a cheese shop, but I just could not open my wallet to the high-end prices. I did however find some good sausage.

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Rowe Farms has tons of local, organic, free-from-all-the-bad-stuff meat. Most of it was horrendously priced, but if you looked hard enough, you could find something decent. These four Italian sausages cost me $5.

I continued on to the grocery store where I found my favourite kind of deal…

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Expires on August 19?? Pfft, no problem ;)

I came home hungry after exploring my ‘hood all afternoon, so I whipped up something quick.

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Into a frying pan went:

  • 1 chopped Italian sausage
  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 head of green cabbage
  • sliced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a zucchini
  • 2 tbsp pizza sauce
  • oregano, basil, parsley

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All topped with cheddar cheese. Solid meal. Loved the sausage.

 

Weekly Goal Check-In!

Ahhh, yes, ‘tis that time of the week already. Let’s see how I’m doing one week into this month’s goals…

1. Eat out twice a week, at no more than $15 a meal. Technically, I only ate out twice. I spent $9 on a Freshii salad on Friday and $14 at the Greek fair on Saturday. However, I also spent $5 on a beer on Thursday and $5 on frozen yogurt on Friday. Does beer and dessert count? I sure hope not :P

2. Read more. I spent close to two hours reading a day this week. I spend a lot of time on public transit reading, then always for a bit before bed. Making progress on that Larsson book!

3. Do at least one outdoor activity a week. All I’ve done is tons of walking, which I’m going to say counts. A few times, I ditched the streetcar or bus and just took the extra 20-30 minutes to walk where I was going.

4. Look for part-time work and volunteer work. Thumbs down!! This week, promise!

5. Update my blog pages. Nope :( But I did get catch up on getting my content up on Healthbuzz.

6. Lose weight. I am by no means back normal, but I’m starting to feel better in skin. Progress. Honestly, I think this past week was my first week in two months where I didn’t eat a meal out every day. That alone made me feel a lot less puffy and better in my clothes. However, the battle still rages on! :P

 

You’re turn!! How did everyone else do on their goals this week??

Weekend Delight

Hellohello!! Hope everyone had wonderful weekends :) I went MIA yesterday, but hopefully my new Fitness Friday series was enough to hold you over! I’m trying not to get all bent out of shape about posting every single day anymore. When it comes to writing, I’m a true believer in quality over quantity. But I’m happy to finally be sitting down to share my weekend with you!

Let’s get to the highlights, in a topical and orderly manner.

 

Breakfast

I like to think of Friday’s breakfast as the black & white cookie of oatmeal.

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Dark chocolate dreams + marshmallow fluff atop protein oats.

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Post picture, I swirled together the two melted toppings. My father said marshmallow fluff is not appropriate breakfast fare. I beg to differ.

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I can’t get my new protein waffle recipe off my mind. On Saturday, I made another fluffy batch with date pieces cooked in. Dipped in a sauce of syrup and almond butter. It was nothing short of amazing.

This morning, I wanted more waffles, but was missing an ingredient.

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Next best thing – coconut walnut french toast. Bread dredged through a mix of two eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, flaked coconut and walnuts. Ohyes.

 

Snacks

A dark chocolate vitatop smothered in my Easy Peasy Cream Cheese Icing and flaked coconut.

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Just how easy is it? One wedge of laughing cow cheese + one tablespoon marshmallow fluff = instant deliciousness.

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New tasty snack thanks to Lynndates stuffed with cream cheese. Sugar and cream cheese were meant to be!

 

Music

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My friends rocked it out on Friday night. I’m trying to learn how to take decent band pictures. The low light and movement makes it pretty damn hard! The pictures don’t do them justice either, you can listen to The Station Agents here ;)

 

Exercise

During my fitness assessment last week, I realized that I’ve been ignoring my core a little too much. Okay, I hate working my abs. But I know having a strong midsection is so important to not just sports and exercise, but everyday mobility. So here’s the ab-focused full-body strength workout I came up with:

Exercise Sets Reps Load Target
Assisted pull-up  3 12 70 lbs Back, biceps
Push-up  3 12 Chest, triceps
Swiss ball crunch with dumbbell pullover  3 12 10 lbs Abs, upper back, chest
Curtsy lunge  3 24 30 lbs Quads, glutes
Swiss ball leg curl 3 12 Hamstrings
Prone jackknife  3 12 Abs
Front raise with lateral open 3 12 5 lbs ea Shoulders
Back extension on roman chair 3 12 10 lbs Lower back, glutes
Captain’s chair  3 12 Abs, hips
Cable pushdown  3 12 40 lbs Triceps
One arm cable bicep curl  3 12 12 lbs Biceps
Cable horizontal woodchop  3 12 25 lbs Obliques

I did these in mini-circuits of three exercises, indicated by the different colours. With a 15 minute cardio warm-up, whole thing took me 65 minutes :)

 

Beer

I did pretty well in terms of beer this weekend. I went out both Friday and Saturday nights, which provided ample opportunity to consume mass quantities of alcohol. I waited till Saturday night to splurge on any, and they were worthy splurges indeed.

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Mill St. Lemon Tea Beer: “Sunset-coloured (orangey-amber) slightly sweet, malty palate with dry lemon-tea finish. Beer made with addition of Black tea leaves and lemon in aging tank. Very smooth and quenching; unfiltered.”

Smelled like tea, tasted like beer! A good tasting beer, thumbs up.

On an impulse, I treated myself to my new favourite beer, Fruli.

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I know how some people feel about fruity beers, but this strawberry white is downright delightful.

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The view at Sin & Redemption pub isn’t too bad either. Nice bike, no? ;)

 

Sausage

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Because you can’t attend a barbecue without grilling up some of the delicious sausage prepared by your neighbourhood butcher. Featured here is a handmade garlic mushroom sausage. Probably one of the best sausages I’ve ever had. No joke. Not pictured is the sauerkraut that was eaten on top. Not audible are the “MmmMMmMmmms” made while eating this.

 

Salad

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Because there’s no better way to wrap up a weekend than with a giant bowl of greens. This one here included some kale, tuna, olives, mozzarella cheese, and a dressing made up of pesto and lemon juice whisked together.

 

Last but not least, I bought a watermelon for two dollars today. A pretty stellar end to a pretty stellar weekend, I’d say :)

 

Question of the Day: What are your weekend highlights?

Can’t Stop the Heat

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It’s hot people!!!

I am sitting here in front of the fan with sweat dripping off me. It’s gross. But I felt the need to share.

Some great “keep cool” tips and recipes shared in the comments yesterday!

Jennifer suggested squeezing lemons and adding stevia for a fresh and low-sugar drink option.

Tamizn shared a healthy sundae recipe.

Angela suggested her strawberry rhubarb frozen yogurt.

Yes to all of them :)

After posting yesterday, I hit up the friendly neighbourhood sausage shop. I walked in and bought just one sausage. I felt so silly. But it’s all I wanted for dinner!

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I took my lonely sundried tomato chicken sausage and chopped it up to pan fry.

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Thrown on top of a garden salad with hummus, olives and feta.

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YUM to the sausage!! Living so close to a sausage and butcher shop is going to be awesome. I want to try all of their sausage flavours now, one lonely sausage at a time.

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Cantaloupe + cottage cheese was all I could muster in the heat this morning. I briefly thought about running early before the heat set in, but it was already 26C by 8am!!

Instead, I went to the gym and it’s actually really growing on me!! The number one thing I was upset about leaving Fredericton over was my gym there. I’d really grown to love it. But I get good vibes at my new gym here in Toronto – way important!! You’ve got to love the gym you go to, or else you’ll never make it there.

Ohyes, I suppose you may like to know what I did there ;) Full-body weightlifting day!

The following exercises are all in straight sets, meaning I did the sets for each exercise all in a row with a short rest time in between. Normally I alternate, but it’s fun to switch it up from the norm sometimes.

Exercise Load Reps Sets Target
Sumo squat  70 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, glutes, thighs
Barbell split squat  60 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, glutes
Cable twisting chest press  17.5 lbs 8-12 3 Chest, front shoulder
Seated cable row  60 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Good morning  50 lbs 8-12 3 Lower back, glutes, hamstrings
Standing calf raise  50 lbs 8-12 3 Calves
Barbell upright row  30 lbs 8-12 3 Top/side of shoulder
Cable pushdown  30 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps
Preacher curl  25 lbs 8-12 3 Biceps
Captain’s chair  b/w 15 3 Abs

Oh, and my warm-up was a torturous mile on the treadmill. Running is sonotfun when you’ve got a stuffy nose. And when it’s hotter than a sauna. Otherwise, awesome weightlifting workout! :)

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Post-lifting snack = protein powder + banana. Whipped up some of my favourite protein goo (ie chocolate whey with a dash of water). Stellar snack!!

Then I rush-rushed (and sweat-sweated) off to Kensington Market for a reader meet-up!

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Please excuse our “I just stepped out of an oven” look. It’s the fashion in the Tee Dot right now ;)

Jamee moved to Toronto on the same day as me!! She took the plunge coming all the way from British Columbia. It was so much fun bouncing things off someone who is brand-spankin-new to the city as well.

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Jamee is a vegan and had already scoped out Hibiscus Cafe for us.

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Their menu consisted of mostly delicious looking buckwheat crepes. I ended up with one that popped out at me immediately: pear, pecan and chutney. The flavours together were fabulous. Jamee got a yummy looking salad that I want to come back and try…

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It also must be noted that we sampled one of their vegan peanut butter crisp bars and it was amazing. Like, reallyreally good. Definitely recommend!

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Afterwards, Jamee and I wandered around Kensington Market, peeking into many of the shops and things on the street.

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Including shopping in an organic market!! I may suck at clothing shopping, but I’m happy in any grocery store ;)

Jamee and I then said goodbye, but I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be seeing lots of each other. She was so sweet and fun to hang out with!

I wandered back down to catch the streetcar, stopping through Chinatown along the way.

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The rumours are true – Chinatown really does have the cheapest produce!! Left with a 69 cent head of romaine and a $1 pint of strawberries :)

Ohyes, and another drink to beat the heat after walking around for so long.

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Fresh watermelon juice.

Aka the best dollar I’ve spent in a long time. 

Now I’m off to go heat up more leftovers and shower for the second time today.

Ohoh!! And I got another job interview at another location. I totally wasn’t expecting it so I’m pretty pumped about it – it’s on Monday :)

 

Question of the Day: What’s the best dollar you spent recently? ;)

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