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Hot and Cold

Hi! Remember me? It’s been a while. And by “been a while,” I mean two days. Good news is that we now have the internet!! Yayyy!!! Now I can live stream the Tour de France which makes me a very happy girl indeed.

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The simple eats continue, especially considering this heat we’re in. The idea of putting anything in an oven sounds suicidal.

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Monday night I made a big pot of sumthin’ in preparation for the heat wave. Always nice to have a ton of leftovers that I can just pop in the microwave when I don’t feel like cooking! Featured above is a mix of quinoa, black beans, tofu and frozen veggies. For those two bowls, I mixed it with salsa + laughing cow cheese.

I have also spent many more hours internetting in my new favourite cafe.

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Many lightly sweetened iced teas and coffees have been consumed. However, I’ve learned that if I come with rations, I can stay away from the delicious looking baked goods they sell :)

While I may not have been blogging, I was most certainly talking about blogging with another blogger. Bloggity blogging bloggers.

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Kristen from Cook, Bake, Nibble!! We’ve been planning to get together ever since I first announced I was moving to Toronto. We couldn’t wait until the big meet-up on Sunday!

We’d originally planned on going to a specialty pizza place, but it was closed. Really, it was just a sign that we needed to re-visit Fresh.

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I was tempted to get another immunity boost juice to help my cold along, but I also wanted to try something different. After much debate, I ended up with the hangover helper:  orange, banana, ginger, spirulina, wheatgrass. I hoped the wheatgrass would help “the sickness” and having a cold can sometimes feel like a hangover anyways ;)

More debate ensued over what to eat. Kristen and I were both feeling salads – must be the heat!!

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Not surprisingly, I went for the Super Protein Salad: chick peas, grape tomatoes, cucumber, grilled tempeh & our high protein omega rich *salad topper on salad greens (*puffed quinoa, goji berries, currants, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds & sea salt).

The protein mix sounded too unique to pass up! I got the house dressing (apple cider vinegar, tamari, lemon juice, mustard, garlic & organic flax oil) and really enjoyed it. The tempeh was amazing and the puffed quinoa added a really cool texture to the mix. So creative!

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I must also thank Kristen for putting up with my incessant hacking and nose blowing. Hopefully I’ll be better for the meet-up on Sunday! Kristen is super bubbly and loves chatting about food as much as I do. I see many Toronto eating adventures in our future!!

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Today is Waffle Wednesday. An occasion I was excited to celebrate in my new place, but it was not meant to be. I forgot to buy baking powder. Oops!

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Egg white french toast was the next best thing. Smothered in a sauce made up of mashed banana, peanut butter, maple syrup and cinnamon.

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No waffles, but just as tasty. You can’t really go wrong with eggs and bread :)

After this I went to the gym! Notable, because Monday was my first day there in 5 days, and then I couldn’t bring myself to go back on Tuesday. Monday’s weightlifting sesh was a little on the brutal side. I was coughing and snotting all over the place, which is not very sanitary given the environment. Today I went back and did a “moderate” cardio workout on the elliptical, rowing machine and stepmill. Much better. I’m still sick, but I left feeling good! Yay!

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The gym also provided a nice air-conditioned escape from the heat. I hope you runners are being careful out there!! I came home starving and immediately hit up those leftovers – this time dressed with black olives, feta and hummus, eaten as a cold salad.

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“Baked” sweet potato (ie microwaved for 6 minutes) topped with cottage cheese.

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The perfect hot weather meal!!

Ohyes, and many of these:

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Iced tea to beat the heat, and soothe my sore throat.

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And, erm, gelato for the same reasons mentioned above ;) Half melted from the two-second walk home (yes, I now also live a hop, skip, and a roll from a gelato place – danger!). Went for coconut raspberry and blood orange flavours. Might I add it also worked perfectly to cool me down. Well, the word “cool” is rather relative these days.

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite way to stay cool in the summer heat? I know we’re not the only ones in a heat wave! I’ve definitely been enjoying a couple cold showers day :)

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.

Pineapple? Pine-evil.

Boys oh boys, I’m watching the Olympic Canada-US game right now and it’s already action packed! I’m not a huge team sports fan, but as a Canadian, I can appreciate a good game of hockey ;)

Anyways, I did not have the best of days today. It started well, with a bowl of custard oatmeal.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (stirred in while simmering)
  • cinnamon, vanilla, stevia
  • 2 chopped sates
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

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I don’t get to make stove-top oats at home during the week since it takes so long (it’s all about the slow simmer ;) ) so they make for an extra-special weekend treat!

Except, it kicked my sweet-tooth into gear, so I enjoyed a Lindt Fleur de Sel with my morning pot of coffee.

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Just a splash of almond milk in the coffee. Mostly to cool it down.

Then, the trouble started. I opted for a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar as my pre-workout snack. The sugar from the dates always gives me lots of energy.
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I’ve never tried this flavour before, but didn’t think much of it. Even when I took this photo of the ingredients!

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It was small as always. Larabars are not for volume eaters.

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As I was chowing down on the bar, I looked at the wrapper again and noticed pineapple was listed a the second ingredient. I’m allergic to pineapple!! I didn’t worry too much though, as I’ve eaten crystallized pineapple in the past with no incident. I figured it would be dried pineapple in the bar… right??

Well, whatever it was, it made me sick, real sick. I’ve gone for tests, but apparently vomiting upon consumption of anything pineapple related isn’t a common problem. I ate this at 10:30am and the pain/sickness didn’t subside until 3pm. It’s the kind of pain where I can’t do anything but shrivel up in a ball and moan. I couldn’t even stand the sound of the television. I think I may have drifted in and out of sleep a little, but who knows.

Aaaanyways. I’ve learned my lesson. Absolutely NO pineapple is entering this belly EVER again!

Sometime during the tummy episode, I hoped a settling sandwich might help things along.

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This is my favourite sandwich combo at the moment – PB + protein powder. I took half a scoop of chocolate whey powder and mixed it with water until it formed a goo, then spread it on one side of the bread. PB went on the other side. Delicious.

I actually briefly considered going to the gym once I was able to move again. I had a stellar upper-body sesh planned that I was sad to have to skip. But my mom always says things like this are the universe’s way of telling me to sloooow doooown. So I took the hint, and went to the grocery store instead.

Holly asked if I could show my grocery haul and what’s in my pantry/fridge. So for today’s Q&A I’ll show ya what’s in my grocery bag! (pantry/fridge coming soon!)

First off, I wanted to show you the protein powders I bought after my protein post yesterday.

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By coincidence, I ran out of both chocolate and vanilla today, so I went to GNC to find naturally sweetened powders. On the left is Iso Natural in vanilla flavour and Kaizen Whey Isolate Protein in chocolate flavour on the right. Both are sweetened with stevia.

Produce!

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  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • bag of onions
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 bartlett pears
  • bag of carrots
  • baby spinach
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • bag of green beans
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • bag of mixed fresh veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
  • sliced mushrooms
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 zucchini

Meat and Dairy:

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  • dozen eggs
  • Western Creamery 1% plain yogurt (never tried this kind before!)
  • Laughing Cow light cheese wedges
  • Scotsburn 50% less sodium 1% cottage cheese
  • Compliments egg whites
  • Maple Leaf light swiss cheese
  • Yves veggie roast beef slices
  • 1 lb salmon
  • 2 chicken breasts

Random stuff:

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  • Panko bread crumbs (on special!)
  • can diced tomatoes
  • Nestle lime carbonated water
  • cantaloupe
  • Bick’s garlic dill pickles
  • cinnamon
  • lemon juice
  • butternut squash
  • E.D. Smith sugar-free syrup

More random stuff:

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  • unsweetened vanilla  Almond Breeze
  • dates
  • butternut squash baby food
  • Bob’s Red Mill quinoa
  • Thompson raisins
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Finn Crisp rye crackers (new-to-me food!)
  • Mini Eggs
  • Beemster single-serving cheese
  • Eden Organic garbanzo beans

Phew! That’s a lot! And it’s all for ME!! I eat every last crumb that I buy. I do buy some higher-end food products, but food is one of the few things I splurge on. I don’t spend anything on clothes and I never eat out, so it fits into my budget :) Tour of my fridge and pantry will come this week!

I was starving by the time I got home, my belly was in working order again. Luckily, I had leftover potato tofu salad.

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I’ve got to pat myself on the back for this salad. Adding cottage cheese, eggs, and tofu is a great way to get protein in a potato salad, and it’s delicious!!

After dinner, I whipped up a batch of my homemade protein bars for the week.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey powder
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • one applesauce cup
  • 1/4 cup water

Mixed until crumbly, then flattened into a 9×9 pan and stuck in the fridge to harden.

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Makes 8 servings, at 210 calories, 9g fat, 4g fibre, 23g carbs, 16g protein.

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I think these may be one of my best batches yet!!

Then it was on to the more decadent stufff…

Mini Egg cookies!! 

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I took the recipe from here. Only changes were that I cut the recipe in half and left out the macadamia nuts. Essentially a chocolate chip cookie recipe with the world’s best chocolate chips ;)

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I made these specifically to bring into work for “Treat Monday.” Something we decided was necessary to start doing. I am proud to say that not only did I not eat my weight in cookie dough while preparing these – but I also didn’t try one when they were done!!! First time ever. I think telling myself that I’d have one with my coworkers tomorrow was enough to keep me from giving in to the temptation.

Plus, I also promised myself another kind of sweet treat once I was done baking.

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Protein cookie batter ;) Made with my new Kaizen chocolate whey powder and a few dashes of almond milk. Topped with peanut butter, chocolate chips and spinkles… of course. Protein powder gets a BIG thumbs up. One of the best ones I’ve tried yet!!

Well that’s all from me tonight. Despite spending half the day in bed, I’m exhausted. My Monday morning spin class is more important than hockey, sorry sports fans! :P

 

Question of the Day: Do you have any food allergies/intolerances? I thought I was such a weirdo until I started reading food blogs and realized almost everyone has some food issue. Pineapple is by far the worst for me, but raw spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bananas, kiwis, avocadoes, mangoes, and many more have all given me an upset tummy. Same goes with cooking oils.

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