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Odds, Bits, Ends and Bites

Ohwow, there is some good venting happening over on my last post. So happy I opened up the floor to let you guys get some of your marketing pet peeves off your chest! Elizabeth mentioned food companies telling women they can “indulge” without the “guilt.” Ohyes, that makes my blood boil! We should never-ever feel guilty about the food we eat. We eat it, and move on!

Speaking of which, I’m moving on ;) Har har.

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I “slept in” this morning because I had plans on going to spin class after work.

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But I still had to work hard this morning at clearing out the four kinds of hot cereal in my cupboard.

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Today’s poison was cream of wheat cooked with 1/2 cup egg whites and topped with PB&J. That’s only 1/3 cup of the dry stuff. It cooks up HUGE. Me likey.

Then I put my new $20 outfit on! I hate getting dressed in the morning, but today it was fun :) I wore pink!!

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Having spent most of my working life in coffee shops, I’ve always complained about not being able to dress up for work. Well now I have to, and I can’t stand it! Sometimes I manage to sneak yoga pants in, or today’s comfy/casual new shirt :)

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Dressed it up with the new $2.99 necklace. All my necklaces are big and chunky, needed something a little more simple and classic. The pants are a little big around the hips, but hey, they were $12 ;)

Today I attempted to do the impossible – exercise after work. People are always so impressed that I get up at 5am to workout. But honestly, I am more impressed by people who can put in a full work day then drag themselves to the gym. All before dinner!! For me, with each minute that passes, there is another reason for me not to work out. So jumping out of bed and doing it first thing gives me absolutely no opportunity to put it off.

I was worried about this. I knew my chance of success was low. As per usual, I shared my concerns on Twitter.

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This worked pretty well. I didn’t want to have to tell them tomorrow that I didn’t go.

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This is usually a pretty good technique for me. I feel like I need to follow through with a workout after that sugary snack.

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I raced home to let the dog out and got into my spin outfit asap. Once I’m in my workout clothes, the chances of me getting there are pretty high. Especially when I’m wearing cycling shorts, as the padding is really awkward to hang out in.

And I made it!! Albeit, my glutes are furious with me right now, but they’ll just have to deal ;) It was a regular spin class, not one of the Les Mills RPM ones, so it was nice to change it up that way. Lots of sitting sprints to some decent music.

Of course, I was ravenous when I walked in the door. Don’t ask me why, but in my hungry state I thought it would be a good idea to cook every vegetable in my fridge.

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The left side is roasted broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potato and brussels sprouts in garam masala spice.

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The right side is sauteed onions, mushrooms, zucchini and tofu in butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Topped with a healthy dose of parmesan cheese.

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So. Many. Vegetables. I will have leftovers for days :)

Finally, after many taste tests, I’ve decided to share the recipe for my newest homemade protein bar.

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Homemade Apple Oatbran Protein Bars

  • 2 cups oatbran (I like Quaker best)
  • 1 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 4 packets stevia
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 packaged cups of applesauce (I think they’re 1/3 cup each)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Mix all the ingredients, minus the water, together. Add water only as needed (it takes a while for the protein powder to dissolve, so mix it for a while first). Flatten in a 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

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The texture of these bars is just what I’ve been going for! Dense and crumbly. I thank the soy protein powder for that. However, they’re still a touch on the bland side. Likely because the protein powder is unflavoured and oatbran is well, bland. But definitely a step in the right direction!

Now if you don’t mind, I have to do my taxes. I have put them off to the last possible minute. Whoops.

 

Question of the Day: When do you work out? When would you prefer to work out? My energy is highest mid-morning after a hearty breakfast and mug of coffee. Even when I’m not working out – it’s when I’m most productive.

Muscle Monday

Awesome feedback on my Confessions post! Y’all made me feel a lot more normal for many of my confessions :) I am now offering free personal training services to someone who can hang up my clothes and do my dishes. Takers? No?

As I confessed yesterday, I’m growing weary of these early morning workouts. Today may have been the last one. Gonna try out the after-work-workout thing tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Here’s what my full-body workout looked like today:

Warm-up: 20 minutes on the elliptical

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Muscle
Front squat push press 40 lbs 8-12 3 Legs, shoulders
Superset:        
Wide-grip lat pulldown  50 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Bulgarian split squat  15 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, glutes, inner thighs, calves
Superset:        
Barbell bench press  50 lbs 8-12 3 Chest
Good morning  50 lbs 8-12 3 Hamstrings, glutes, lower back
Superset:        
Dumbbell shoulder press  15 lbs ea 8-12 3 Shoulder
Reverse lunge with forward reach  10 lbs ea 8-12 3 Quads, calves, back
Superset:        
Barbell bicep curl  25 lbs 8-12 3 Biceps
Skull crusher  25 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps
Plie squat  20 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, glutes, inner thighs

Finished off with a set each of roll-up, reverse crunch, side knee drops, bicycle crunches.

Good times :) I could have spent all morning playing around in the weight area if time allowed.

Today was my last Monday at my job. Boo :(

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Been coming home at lunch to let the pup out. But also to secretly watch The View.

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It also allows me to assemble salads of epic proportions.

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Salad highlights include pickled beets, pickles, basil feta and chicken breast cooked and seasoned to perfection. The best part of course was the salad dressing: hummus + pickle juice. Seriously, pickle juice makes the best dressing.

I baked five chicken breasts last night in preparation for the week. SO easy. Threw them on a pan, watched TV for a while, then took them out, chopped them up, and tossed in the freezer. Badabing. No sketchy sodium in my chicken breasts thankyouverymuch.

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Of course, it also equals an excess of chicken consumption when I’m cramped for time. Consider this lunch, pitafied.

Where I rushed off to after supper is top secret.

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But it may have involved a cute girl with a camera ;)

IMG_6100Hi Melanie!!!!

After that business I went to the mall. This is bolded because I haven’t been shopping since I bought Lululemon pants in February. And before then, since Christmas. I actually went there to get tax stuff, but the sales lured me in. Picked up a new pair of pants, long-sleeved shirt and pretty necklace ALL for $20. Score. I’ll take a picture when I wear them all to work tomorrow :) I’m getting rid of all my “chubby” and raggedy clothing. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much left behind.

Then I came back home and amped up.

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With a Muscle Brownieeeeeee. 

Raaaaawwrrrrr.

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I’ve been living alone for too long.

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You can read the long ingredient list in further detail here

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Waaaiit a second. The front of the package says 20g protein, and this says 10g protein. WAIT a second!! Gah!! Foiled. There is two servings in a package. This is a GIANT pet peeve of mine. I thought I was getting a huge beefcake brownie for 170 calories. Apparently, it has the caloric density of a beefcake too.

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At least I don’t feel so gypped for paying $3 for this anymore, since I am getting two servings out of it.

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I ate the piece on top, and… um… it was delicious. The texture was spot on. Kinda fudgy, not the least bit dry or tasteless.

And I think I feel my biceps tingling ;)

Well that’s all from me! Archie just rose from the dead and is looking at me with those puppy dog eyes. Unfortunately we can’t walk. I injured myself walking this weekend. Ugh. Don’t even get me started…

Hope everyone had a great Monday!

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Question of the Day: What are some of your biggest marketing pet peeves? I have many! Currently my biggest one is this commercial where a pretty woman is running in a little tank-top and no bra. Any woman out there knows running without support it impossible, and painful. Jeez. :P

Flashback Friday!! “Feelin’ Irie Mon”

Hello!! So it seems most of you are creatures of habit. I was actually surprised!! I encourage you to go do something spontaneous!

For the first time ever, I contemplated staying in bed instead of going to the gym this morning. But I was already awake, and going back to sleep wouldn’t have guaranteed me all that much extra sleep in the long-run. Tonight I’ll just get a solid 8 hours.

Here’s how it went down:

Elliptical 20 min:

Minutes Level
3 10
2 12
1 16
2 13
1 17
2 14
1 18
2 14
1 17
2 13
1 16
2 12

Lower body:

Exercise Sets Weight Reps
Barbell Squat 3 55 lbs 12
Static Lunge 3 15 lbs ea 12
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 3 15 lbs ea 12

Abs:

Exercise Sets Reps
Plank 1 90 sec
Side Plank 1 each side 45 sec ea
Stability Ball Roll Out 1 15
Prone Jackknife 1 15

Stairmill 10 min:

Minutes Level
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11
1 7
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11

 

Then I cooled down with some stretching :) Obviously, today was a lower body + abs day. I contemplated throwing a calf isolation move in there, but decided against it. Oddly, my calves are the most sore!! Well, right now anyways. I predict the pain will move to my glutes tomorrow…

In order to maximize sleep time, I prepared everything last night so all I’d have to do is just come home, shower and shovel food and coffee in my face before rushing off to work. Enter an old favourite: the breakfast cookie!!

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Today’s was a PB&J breakfast cookie. Can you believe I’ve never thought of this before?? It was awesome!!!

  • >1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Crofter’s raspberry/yumberry jam
  • splash almond milk

All mixed together, flattened on a plate, and chilled in the fridge overnight to harden. Must do these more often on my early a.m. workout days :)

It was a busybusy day at work!! It flew by! Happy to have my first week under me. I actually got a few projects accomplished that I’ll get to see go up on the website this weekend. I’ve also got some interesting projects coming up that I’m excited to get my hands on :)

Work eats today included…

IMG_2470An awful photograph of a quark/yogurt/vanilla protein powder/strawberry combo. This is quite possibly one of the worst food pictures featured on my blog. For being so delicious, yogurt is not always photogenic.

Moving on! Lunch!

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…was delicious. Hummus, cheddar cheese, tomato, sprouts, spinach on an everything bagel. With a particularly juicy bag of baby carrots. Stellar combo, will do again!!

Snack attack…

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Two carrot protein squares that I sandwiched laughing cow cheese in (gotta have that cream cheese frosting!) and a granny apple sauce cup. I miss my homemade sauce :(

Supper was some sort of weird take on chili cheese fries…

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Butternut squash fries, turkey breast, baked beans. I’d originally planned on making these three things separate components on my plate. Then thought “what the hell” and just threw it all together.

Halfway through though, I decided it needed ketchup.
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I also got more bloggie presents today! That’s three in one week! I feel like such a lucky gal :D

Today was my belated Blogger Secret Santa package. It’s awesome. So many goodies! I’m so grateful Chandra was my BSS – you know my tastes perfectly!!

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Naturally More Almond Butter, Mrs. May’s Cran-Blueberry Crunch nut clusters, Larabar in Tropical Fruit Tart, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Pecan Pie, and a mug! (which I think may be designated my office mug). Thank you SO much!!!  

And don’t worry about it arriving late Chandra. My birthday is in two weeks, so we’ll call it a Christmas/New Years/Birthday gift ;)

Obviously, I had to dig into some of the goodies right away. I had to try this almond butter. Check out what’s in it:

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For some reason, I thought it would be ground flax. But it’s whole flax. It makes the nut butter not crunchy – but crispy!!!

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I’m in love.

In other news, I also got my first big paycheck today from my new job. It called for a little celebratory spending…

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Shoes!! Not just any shoes, but ones with heels. I’m pushing 5’7” and never wear heels because they make me feel like an Amazon Woman. But, my office is pretty dressy, and my usual clunkers just aren’t cutting it. I feel like such a grown up!

 

Not only is it TGIF ‘round these parts – but it’s also Flashback Friday!!!

I think it’s been a while since I’ve participated in Janetha’s fun bloggie feature. Today’s FF is all about my trip to Jamaica in 2008.

I’ve done the resort thang a few times, but I was reeeeally excited about Jamaica. Maybe it’s just the Bob Marley fan in me, but of all the Caribbean islands I felt it had a really distinct and interesting culture.

Of course, as any Canadian knows, if you travel in March you will fly out on the day of a snow storm. It’s a guarantee. It’s happened to me every. single. time.

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Thankfully, the weather in Jamaica was fabulous. I’m always cold, and found even the evenings stayed quite warm.

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I was definitely right about Jamaican culture. It really is distinct. They have their own language which sounds like English, but is actually reallyreally hard to understand! It’s called Patois and includes things like “feelin irie” instead of “feeling alright.”

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Before we left, everyone told us to be careful because Jamaica is a really dangerous country. This is true, I would not want to wander around by myself. But with that said, the Jamaicans we did meet were amazing people!!! Chris and I always joked that everything ran on “Jamaican time” (timely customer service does not exist) and the country’s motto is “No problem mon.”

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Chris and I did a lot of day trips. Probably too many, as we were pretty exhausted by the end. But in retrospect, I’m still happy with everything I got to see. Highlights were definitely travelling to various waterfalls.

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We also did the touristy thing to do there and climbed Dunn’s River Falls.

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It was a damn big waterfall, and tough work to climb up. Amazing though. I dunno, I’ve always had a thing for swimming in waterfalls…

Now you may be wondering why after aaallll these Flashback Fridays, I’m only just talking about this trip now? Well, I ate. A lot.

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I was a good 5+ lbs from my highest weight at the time. While it was an awesome trip, I ate and drank way too much. I continued the vacation once I came home, and skyrocketed to my highest weight soon after.

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Looking back on these pictures brings mixed emotions. It was an amazing trip (seriously, Jamaica is an fun country). But I also feel kinda sad for myself. I can’t believe I let myself get so out of control.

I wasn’t making the best food or drink choices…

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And the rum. My god the rum was good. And cheap.

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Oh, and did I mention? If you’re Canadian, it’s also guaranteed you’ll get a snowstorm when you’re trying to fly out of a foreign country in March.

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Okay folks, that wraps it up for me! I’ve got some Real World to watch!

 

Question of the Day: Name one place you’ve travelled to that had amazing food. My family travelled to Germany when I was younger and I’ll always remember the bread+meat+cheese. Sounds simple, but all three were soooo much better than anything I’ve had since. There’s nothing like some authentic German bratwurst and cream cheese on a freshly baked roll.

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