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Meatloaf Pizza and Goal Check-In!

Ooohhhh maannnn. Anyone else have a rough Monday? I think it was a combination of having a busy weekend, plus the time change. I didn’t have a great sleep last night and felt like a cranky zombie until about 2pm. Spin class didn’t even do it for me. It was far more torturous than it usually is. In fact, most people had that “just been run over by a truck look.”

Oh, and my day totally got started off on the wrong foot. I went to put my contacts in first thing this morning, except, they weren’t in the case. I dug my finger all through the solution and couldn’t find them. After a couple minutes, I realized they were still in my eyes. Even worse, they’d been in since Saturday!! I woke up with crusty eyes Sunday morning and briefly thought I was getting pink eye. Then I forgot all about it and wore my glasses all day! Then I woke up with super dry and crusty eyes again today and was really grossed out realizing they were still on my eyeballs. *shudder*

Aaaanyways, moving on! Desk-breakfast was solid today. I’m finally starting to get used to these! (I used to hate cold breakfasts)

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Greek yogurt, almond butter, stevia, fresh strawberries, homemade granola. It’s a classic combo for a reason.

Lunch was the exact same salad I had last night, just in giant tupperware.

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Highlights of the salad were definitely the pickled beets and tzatziki. SO good! It also contained pieces of my first ever attempt at cooking pork. I over-cooked it, which I suppose is better than under-cooking it :\ I picked it up because two pork tenderloins were one-third the price of two chicken breasts. Holy shit.

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I always put half the spinach on the top so I’m not left with a bunch of dry spinach at the end.

Highlight of the day definitely came at 2pm (when my mood improved!). My boss lent me his car to run an errand and had The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album in the CD player. I cranked it, rolled down the window to let the spring air in, and sang along to Think For Yourself. Good times :)

Dinner was, ahem, “inspired” by this magazine I stole from my mom’s house (busted) which you can get for free at Sobey’s. (Canadian grocery store)

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Always on the lookout for high-protein dinners, this Crustless Meatloaf Pizza caught my eye.

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From the website:

1 cup Compliments Balance Tomato & Herbs Pasta Sauce, divided

1/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko)

1 egg, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried Compliments Italian Seasoning (I used Kirkland no-salt seasoning)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used extra-lean ground turkey)

1 cup Compliments Finely Shredded Pizza Cheese Blend (used 3/4 cup Kraft shredded old cheddar)

2 cups assorted vegetables such as sliced onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms (I used artichoke hearts, onions, mushrooms, yellow pepper, spinach and tomatoes)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place 3 tbsp (45 mL) pasta sauce in a large bowl; stir in bread crumbs, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Crumble in the beef and mix gently to combine. Press evenly onto a 12-inch (30 cm) rimmed pizza pan.
  2. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the beef. Sprinkle with cheese and top with vegetables. Bake, on the lowest rack, for 15 to 20 min. or until the pizza is set and the cheese is bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve.

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My kitchen takes crappy photos, but I wanted to get a shot of it as a “pie” :)

The yumminess in some natural light with steamed veggies topped with coconut…

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HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. This was so good. If you like meatloaf, make it now!!!

I went back for seconds ;)

 

Okay, it’s Monday, which means it’s time to check in on my March Goals:


1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted.
Apartment is 85% subletted! I have someone who has offered to take it, but I still need to get a deposit and signature from him (should be Wednesday). As soon as that happens, then it’s officially done! I also cleaned out my car and took pictures of it yesterday, so I’ll be posting ads for it soon too.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Definitely lagging on this. But I’m not stressing about it that much. I know no matter what I do, I’ll have enough money to at least survive, so that’s comforting…

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’ve been really busy at work, but people are at least noticing the time and effort I put into it, which means a lot :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I lagged on this last week! I still have to complete my online lessons, which will be time consuming. Hoping to get that done in the evenings this week – I start my in-class learning this Saturday at a gym in Saint John!!

5. Run outdoors again. CHECK!! I got three, surprisingly “easy,” miles in on Saturday. I’m hoping to get another outdoor run in after work this Wednesday :)

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month?

Bonus question: Do you sing in the car? I do. No shame.

Flashback Friday: Beaches and Bikinis

Happeeee weeeeekend!!! I’m actually not all that excited. I have to be at work for 8:45am tomorrow :( Which means I have to be up at 6am to squeeze in some exercise before. Funny how when I was a student I never had days off, but now I’m so spoiled with whole weekends!

Despite only sleeping six hours last night, I was still up and ready for a 6am spin class today. I missed spin on Monday! It put me in such a good mood for the rest of the day. They must put drugs in the air exchange or something. I was glowing walking out of that studio :D

I’d prepped my favourite desk-breakfast for today…

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  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Grape Nuts cereal

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The key is to let the Grape Nuts sit on top of the mix in the fridge overnight, then to stir them in in the morning. That way it’s a little mushy with a little crunch ;)

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I’m a texture person. Sorry if this shot makes you gag Janetha (who only likes savoury cottage cheese). And I’m sorry if it also makes any other CC-haters out there gag. Meanwhile, I’m having a love affair with it :)

I was at work at 7:45am today!! That’s super early for my office. I looooove the quiet moments in the morning as I get to sit at my desk and putter through e-mails. Our blooming geranium in the sunlight also made me grin.

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I can take no responsibility for this plant. Our cleaning lady is the only one keeping it alive.

I had my usual mid-morning snack of a homemade PB&J protein bar.

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I eat one of these everyday. Much cheaper than eating the store-bought variety everyday.

Lunch was leftovers from last night plumped up with extra veggies.

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Seeing as I didn’t buy groceries this week, the only green food I had was a bag of frozen brussels sprouts and broccoli. I polished them off with this lunch!

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Also in there is quinoa and shrimp that I cooked in vegetable soup. It was good!

It was a gooorgeous day today, sunny and +9 C (48F). I spent a chunk of the afternoon skipping around campus hanging up posters. I even wore flats and a spring jacket! (the college kids were all in shorts of course – that’s still a little much for me).

I came back to another usual snack, eggs + cheese.

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This cheese you’ve been seeing is Armstrong smoked cheddar. It’s probably my least favourite of their cheese sticks. It tastes too smoky.

I left work a little early so I could get back in time to show my apartment. I’d come home on my lunch break to tidy up, which is actually an awesome idea. I’m always too tired to clean at night, but coming home to a tidy place at the end of the day is so nice!

Anyways, the first couple who looked at it were so not interested. I think they were expecting a one bedroom. Or maybe a kitchen larger than a broom closet.

The second person however was a single guy in his 20s and he loved it!! He says he’s going to give me a deposit for it next week, so here’s hoping he comes through! My lease goes until September, but I’m moving to Toronto in June, so I need someone to sublet for the remainder of my lease. If he takes it, it will be a major item crossed off my to-do list :D

I was starving when I came home, but didn’t have time for dinner, so I snacked a lot. By the time I was done showing the apartment, I wasn’t hungry for a huge meal anymore. Or in the mood for cooking. Enter my current obsession:

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PB + Protein sandwich. On the left is some crunchy peanut butter, on the right is a protein spread made from chocolate protein powder dissolved with water.

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Joined together to make a delicious trifecta of carb, protein and fat. YUM. There was an applesauce after this too. Just so you don’t think I ate just a sandwich for dinner!

And I actually had something different for dessert for the first time in weeks! A protein cake.

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  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butternut squash baby food
  • 2 tbsp egg whites

Mixed up in a large mug and nuked for 90 seconds in the microwave. Topped with more PB. Besides protein pudding, this is probably my second-favourite night-time snack. 

Flashback Friday

Yesyes, I did a flashback on Tuesday. This one won’t be as heartfelt, but more like a fun look back :)

Exactly one year ago, I’d just returned from a week in Cuba. It was back in the early blogging days. I did a food recap here, a resort recap here and a Havana recap here. But I thought it would be fun to show some of the pictures that didn’t make it to the blog! 

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We stayed in Veradero, that peninsula off in the distance. By far the prettiest beaches I’ve been to, especially in the city.

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Cuba is of course known for still driving cars from before the revolution. Always makes for a good photo op wherever you are.

Another thing Cuba is known for….rum.

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Ohman you guys. You know I’m a old-fashioned whiskey drinker, but there is nothing like fresh rum made with fresh sugar cane. Put that in some club soda with more fresh cane sugar, fresh lime, and some mint, and you’ve got Susan Heaven.

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This photo was taken after trying for ten minutes to figure out how to flush the toilet. A lot of them had these nubby things on the top you had to pull!! Really though, I think it would take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

We also did all the tourist-y things. Like seeing buildings I’d never heard of.

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And the dork that I am, I got really excited to see the building that houses Cuba’s Ministry of Communications.

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That’s where the Propaganda People are!!

We also gallivanted through the streets of Havana and randomly posed in front of cars that matched what we were wearing.

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One thing I will always remember about this Cuba trip (my second time there) is that it was the first time I ever wore a bikini.

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Actually, it’s the only time I ever wore a bikini! Shortly after this, I bought a one-piece Roots suit for triathlon training. The bikini shown here is too big for me now! Perhaps I should buy a new one and find an excuse to wear it? Where do Canadians wear bikinis anyways? :P

 

That’s all for tonight kiddos! I’m off to prepare breakfast (an old favourite) and hit the hay super early so I’m on my a-game for work tomorrow. Have a great start to your weekend!!

 

Question of the Day: Bikini or one piece? I’m very comfortable in my sport swimsuit, doing my triathlon definitely beat that out of me. But bikinis still make me anxious. I feel like I’m wandering around in my bra and panties :P

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Hiya! Well, Monday is behind us, on to my least favourite day of the week… Tuesday. Ugh. What a waste of a day Tuesday is :P

A lot of you have food allergies and intolerances! Most popular being dairy and gluten. Although a couple mentioned people they know with allergies to onions which would SUCK. So would a nut allergy.

Anyways, my Monday started fabulously as it does every week now with an RPM spin class. This morning was a little tough though, more so than usual. But I still finished class strong, leaving happy and endorphin-ated :)

Got to the office and attacked one of my new fave desk-breakfasts.

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  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup faux-nola granola

Morning snack was, dare I say, the best homemade granola bar yet!!

homemade protein bar
Apple cinnamon flavour. Should have known the one with the cinnamon would be the winner ;)

Lunch!

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Nooo, not an apple and more cottage cheese. I’m cheap when it comes to tupperware.

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Last of my leftover tofu potato salad. Will definitely be making this again, in fact, I think it will get a recipe page :)

Lunch dessert was a Mini Egg cookie. The cookies by the way were a total hit at the office. Even the seasoned bakers of the bunch wanted the recipe! I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a solid chocolate chip recipe with something a little different.

This afternoon, I had one of my favourite new snacks.

Beemster cheese

Meat + cheese. Or, Yves meatless roast beef slices wrapped around Beemster cheese. Full fat cheese! Gotta keep my fingernails growing at lightning speed ;)

I always have intentions to run errands after work, but I’m SO hungry by the time the day is over! So per usual, I rushed home and started throwing supper together before I barely had my coat off.
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That would be a chicken breast coated in egg whites, panko bread crumbs, ground flaxseed and Kirkland no-salt seasoning.

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Roasted veggies on the side tossed in 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, pepper and 2 tbsp shredded old cheddar cheese. And yes, I dipped my chicken it kethcup, then went and got some bbq sauce too. Delicious dinner!

 

Q&As – Round Eleventeen

Do you ever worry about getting bored being a personal trainer or about the lack of financial security in that job longterm?
Thanks!
(I think being in a gym all the time would drive me crazy-the lighting, the germs on the machines,the smell of sweat…wondering your thoughts esp since gyms are known to be big carriers of flu bugs, staff infections, skin diseases etc???!)

Funny, whenever I go to the gym now I think to myself “hell yeah I could spend the day working in here.” My gym is really nice though. Big, naturally lit with large windows, well ventilated, etc. Not in some dank basement like many gyms I’ve been to.

In terms of germs, I work in a university right now which is also a breeding ground! College kids aren’t necessarily shining examples of cleanliness and hygiene :P

I also make a point to never worry about financial security. I’m really good at saving money so I always have a nice cushion. Having lots of money has never appealed to me, and I try not to let money deter me from taking risks. I’m a strong believer that if you’re passionate and driven, you can be successful no matter what your chosen profession. Hell, I went into journalism. I made more money as a barista than I did as a reporter!!

I think the most important thing though is that I do not plan on being a personal trainer for the rest of my life. I view it as a starting point for me. I have a really strong desire to help people get healthy, but I want to expand that out of the gym walls and reach a larger audience someday. Okay. My dream is to write for fitness magazines and websites – so what? :P

 

Lori (Finding Radiance) Said:

Question: Is there a food that you hate that really wished you liked? (mine would be fish)

And – do you take any daily vitamins or supplements?

I wish I liked canned pumpkin!! Odd, because I like mushy baby food, but canned pumpkin still makes me gag. I wish I could plump up my oats with that tasteless orange mush, but it just makes them inedible :\

I just started taking fish oil! But besides that, no. I reallyreally should. I say this every time someone brings this topic up. Especially Calcium, Vitamin D and a B complex.

 

helenapooh Said:

How long have you been blogging for? Is it hard to develop the habit to post everyday?

I’ve been blogging for almost one year and two months. I never had trouble getting into the habit of posting regularly. I started blogging during my last semester of university, so I was looking for a way to procrastinate :P I really enjoy it, and it’s something I look forward to doing every day. I will admit to pre-writing posts when I know I’ll be busy though!

 

Lara (Thinspired) Said:

I have no idea how you can tough it out for an entire HOUR on the treadmill! What are your tricks for beating boredom?!

It reeeeally helps when I have some rockin tunes on my iPod. I like upbeat, melodic songs that I can run with. Also, I don’t run “hard” during my long treadmill workouts. When I’m sprinting, I can’t think of anything besides remembering to breathe and counting down the seconds. But when I’m going at a lower intensity, I have an easier time letting my thoughts wander, and that’s entertaining enough :) Also, I never keep it at the same speed or incline for longer than 10 minutes. For my favourite 60 minute treadmill workout, I change the speed every 60 seconds!

 

I think I have just a couple questions left before I wrap up this latest round of Q&As, so if there’s anything else you still want to get in, just leave it in the comments or send it to thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com

 

Question of the Day: What’s one food you dislike that you really wish you liked? Lori doesn’t have to answer this one since she already did :P

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