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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.

Goals and a Giveaway!!!

Woooonderful suggestions on my Strength Training at Home post. A lot of extra pieces of equipment like bosu balls, jump ropes and medicine balls were suggested. Be sure to read the comments if it’s something that interests you :)

So I started my day after a solid 7.5 hours sleep and took off for a spin class. I thought I’d kill it today after a whole weekend off exercise (goofing around in personal training class doesn’t count). Usually after two whole days off, my body is mega energized. But today notsomuch. Albeit, I’m very worn out after two weekends in a row of “work,” but I think it was actually a nutrition thing. I just could not push that high intensity like I normally can, and I felt a little dizzy once I hopped off the bike.

Looking back, I was very protein heavy in my eating over the weekend, and I think I was lacking in sufficient carbs to draw from this morning. Ever since I increased my fat intake, my protein has naturally increased while my carbs have gone down, often being my smallest percentage of macronutrients. Not good for someone who is as active as me! What a delicate balancing act it all is ;)

Anyways, I raced to the office this morning to gobble down my breakfast and refuel.

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Two boiled eggs and a marshmallow protein bar.

I have a vague memory of my old roommie (hi Meghan!) telling me the cause of grey yolks in boiled eggs…

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I think it happens when you put them in the fridge right after boiling and they cool too quickly. Is this true? Am I making it up?

In other news, the geranium in my office is thriving.

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I can’t take credit this, it’s all because the cleaning lady waters it regularly. But hey, at least it didn’t wilt in my presence like most plants. It’s very pretty, makes for a more lovely work environment :)

Mini bagles > regular bagels.

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Why would you want to eat one bagel when you can have TWO?? Topped with laughing cow cheese and veggie ham slices. Paired with a melt-in-your-mouth mango.

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It’s been forever since I had mango!! It was amazing.

This afternoon I broke down and had a molasses cookie that someone brought to work. I am so glad I caved and ate it!! Molasses cookies are one of my favourites, and it was hands down one of the best I ever had. Totally worth the unplanned splurge. Sometimes giving in to the office treats is worth it ;)

I was met with a bare fridge when I came home, so I ended up with another three ingredient dinner. 

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  1. roasted butternut squash
  2. baked chicken breast
  3. bacon peanut butter

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Not gonna lie. It was awesome. And crazy filling.

I’d like to say that’s why I had a small evening snack, but let’s face it, there was a lot of snacking in between!

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A new-to-me product: President’s Choice vanilla cottage cheese. Of course, I had to spice it up with some cinnamon and raisins.

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Yum!! This little container has 110 calories ,12g protein and 3g fibre (with added inulin). Not too shabby!

 

It’s Monday! Time for…

Final Monthly Goal Check-In for March

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. Um, so yeah. The guy who was supposed to sublet my apartment backed out last week! The day after he signed the agreement and gave me a deposit. I’m keeping the deposit, but it means I have to find someone else. Giant BOO.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. I started sending out unsolicited resumes today to fitness companies saying they need me as a content writer/editor for their website. Why not, right? ;)

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I knocked off a bunch of recruiting publications at the university I work at. SO nice to see my work put into hard print. I was also sorta offered a job to work as a recruiter in admissions. But that’s not my bag. I’m not perky enough.

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. Finished personal training classes!!!

!!!!!

I also skipped lunches last week to study. Working hard on cramming that poor brain of mine.

5. Run outdoors again. Fail. Rightfully so. The weather last week sucked. Woke up to snow every morning, cold, windy, rainy, wet. Miserable.

 

On top of my monthly goals, I set a weekly goal to get more sleep. I did alright on this. I failed on one day, but got a solid 7.5 hours all the other nights. I actually had my lights out by 9:45 every night before my 5:30 alarm. Much better that the 10:30-11 I was doing before. This is 100% something I’m going to keep up. It’s all about resetting my thinking to seeing 9:45 as my lights-out time instead.

I also challenged all of you to do the same thing. In order to motivate y’all to tuck in early, I promised a gift for those of you that participated. Well I’m following through on that promise! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

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  • Mountain Maples blueberry syrup
  • 100% pure honey
  • The Simply Bar in Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cocoa Coffee, and Lemon Coconut flavour.
  • Taste of Nature bar in Quebec Cranberry Carnival flavour
  • Greens + “Hip to be Healthy” square

All Canadian goods, the syrup and honey being from right here in New Brunswick. The syrup is actually from my hometown of Riverview, NB!

So, I told those of you participating to keep track of your hours slept so I could see you at least tried. Well, I’m also an awful liar, because this giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere!!

That’s right, sleep or no sleep, blog or no-blog. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name and e-mail address. That’s it!! I’ll pick a random winner on Thursday, April 1, 9pm Atlantic Time. Consider it an April Fool’s gift of sorts – or a present from the Easter Bunny!

Aaaaand go!

Goals and Reader Challenge!

A thought just occurred to me as I was uploading my food photos from today. Ever find it strange that other food bloggers say calorie counting is too much work? Or that it’s obsessive and makes them think about their food too much? Um, I don’t think anything requires more work or is more obsessive than taking pictures of what you eat and posting it on the internet. Just sayin’!

So last night I slept for 8 hours for the third night in a row. I had three people tell me that I looked good today, including my boss who asked what I was doing in Saint John because I looked “healthier.” Well jeez louise. Perhaps there’s something to this “sleep” thing after all? :P Okay, no more telling myself 6 hours a night is sufficient – 8 hours every night this week. If I blog about it, I have to do it. Anyone else with me??

All the sleep helped me power through a stellar spin class this morning. I was on my ‘A’ game and it felt gooood. However, realizing I forgot my post-workout iced coffee in my fridge at home was not good. Had to make a mad dash to the cafeteria for the hot stuff as soon as I got there.

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I love the taste of coffee, but I have to admit, I really don’t care for hot drinks. I think I may actually prefer it iced now!

Breakfast was odd but super filling!
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That would be a Maple Nut Clif and two boiled eggs.

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I really dug this breakfast. I’ll have to recreate it with my own bars ;)

Speaking of my own bars – I had a Cherry Dark Chocolate as a snack.

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Lunch was leftovers from last night.

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My hamburger/bean/tomato sauce mix was super duper filling and I didn’t even make it to the carrots. Beans are the most filling food ever. No contest!

After eating at my desk, I did the impossible. I drove to the grocery store, picked up a week’s worth of food, drove to my apartment and put it away, then drove back to work, all within my hour-long lunch break!! Phenomenal. I love grocery shopping on the weekends, but hate doing it on weekdays. I think I may have spent less money too because I didn’t have time to scour the aisles and buy random products :P

My poor office mate, I then subjected her to the stench of canned smoked herring this afternoon.

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On top of a couple rye crackers. The smell of boiled eggs seems to go away pretty quickly, but the fish smell definitely lingered! I eat and drink like an old man.

Came home to a fridge full of fresh ingredients, so a big ole’ salad was the natural choice.

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  • spinach
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • pickled beets
  • green olives
  • feta cheese
  • grilled pork chop (cut into pieces)
  • tzatziki

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My new favourite thing is pickled beets! Try ‘em! Beets are so sweet that they aren’t as “pickly” tasting as cucumbers. Also, you hardly need any dressing if you add them to a salad (although tzatziki never hurts).

I’ve been buying pork chops lately as my weekly “raw meat” purchase because they’re one-third the price of chicken breasts. Crazy! $3 for two chops, $9 for two breasts. I was asking my dad about the price difference, because he knows the answer to everything. Well apparently, he asked his dad, my Grampie the same thing. He went into this big thing about how the pork industry in Canada is in rough shape. They can’t compete with the high production of corn-fed pork in the States.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into the Canadian meat industry ever since watching Food Inc. Surprisingly, there are a lot of differences. For example, it’s illegal in Canada to use hormones or steroids on chickens to make them bigger, which we know is not the case in the States. Also, the Atlantic Superstore gets their beef from the US, which means it’s subject to all the things cows in the States are allowed to ingest. Instead, we deport all of our great Albertan beef! Boo.

 

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes! Monthly Goal Check-In!

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. My subletter was here just an hour ago to sign an agreement!! Consider that one MAJOR check on my to-do list :D The car thing is going slower, I may have to get my mom to sell it after I leave in June…

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Fail. But I did make some good contacts this week in terms of freelance writing work.

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. This is proving harder than I thought! I already have so much on my plate, it’s hard to bring new things forward. I did knock off a kick-ass recruiting video last week which I’m pretty proud of :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I clearly did the best at this one! I already feel a gazillion times more confident AND excited about personal training after just one weekend of classes. I talked everyone’s ear off about it today :P

5. Run outdoors again. Check! Got my second outdoor run of the season in on Wednesday. A 4-miler in the beautiful evening sunshine. Unfortunately, the weather here as taken a turn for the worse. I woke up to snow this morning and it’s going back down to freezing this week. What a tease of spring!

 

Question of the Day: Anyone else in for a sleep challenge this week? I’m thinking a giveaway might be a nice motivator for this one. Pledge to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, then next Monday I’ll take giveaway entries by asking how many hours you actually got. It’ll be fun! Well, in a sleepy kinda way ;)

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