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Body Love

Woo!! T-G-I-F!! This is an especially exciting weekend because my mommy is coming to visit! She arrives Friday evening and staying until we get sick of each other :)

I pre-wrote some of this post, so I’m going to keep the food rambles to a minimum. I just got back from an evening out with the gals from work and it’s waaaay past my bedtime!

Started the day off with my new favourite cardio sesh at the gym. 35 minutes of intervals on the elliptical – 1 minute sprints followed by 2 minutes recovery at varying levels. Then 10 minutes on the rowing machine and 10 minutes on the stepmill. I don’t know why but my heart rate was mega high today!! I maxed out at 179 (91%) which I typically only do in races or really fast training runs – not on the elliptical!

Refuelled at the office with smoked salmon, laughing cow, mustard, capers, onions, sprouts, lettuce on an english muffin.

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And an orange :)

Lunch was a beast of a salad.

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Tossed in some canola oil + red wine vinegar and topped with leftover Spinach, Ham and Ricotta Pie. The pie tasted awesome cold on top of the salad! Definitely deserves a remake for tomorrow.

Supper involved more ham because I have a huge chunk of it in my fridge I need to get through! For some reason my mind has been drifting to ham and cheese oatmeal so I made it for dinner.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 whole egg, whisked in while cooking
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 55g ham, cubed
  • 15g old cheddar cheese

Look at those creamy custard oats!!!

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Ohmygaaaahhhhthiswasgood. So, so good. I want it for supper again tomorrow too ;)

 

Now on to more serious matters…

I’ve noticed there are two kinds of food bloggers – those who are losing weight/maintaining a weight loss, and those who are in recovery from an eating disorder.

This has always fascinated me, that two people with seemingly opposite goals can be drawn to the other. While I’m in the former group – a weight loss gal – I know that I have a lot of readers who deal with disordered eating. Conversely, I read a lot of blogs written by those who are in ED recovery.

The obvious similarity is that our problems are problems with food. We eat too much, not enough, obsess over it, control it, and think about it all the time. But it has always gone beyond that for me. The things those struggling with ED write about often hit very close to home with me. While I have dealt with a few food issues, I have never dove deep into disordered eating. Any of my old struggles with food stemmed from a lack of knowledge, nothing deeper than that.

So why do I always read these blogs nodding my head in agreement? I know what it’s like to hate my body. I know what it’s like to find comfort in treating it badly.

I think this is something a lot of people can relate to, not just those who’ve suffered from an eating disorder.

In my REAL story, I say “I went to a deep and dark place, and for a brief moment, myself and my family had genuine concern I wasn’t going to come out.”

At this time in my life, I was suffering from serious anxiety and depression. I found comfort in my depression. I would wake up every morning, and instead of dragging myself through another day, I would cozy up to the awful feelings inside and stay in bed. I would often pull the covers over my head, wishing it was a hole I could just crawl into and lavish in my depressive thoughts forever. There were many mornings where I would collapse on the kitchen floor, crying hysterically to my mother who just wanted me to get up and go to school. I liked where I was in my miserable depressive state, and I stubbornly did not want to venture out.

I also found comfort in treating my body badly. I liked being reckless with it. I found an odd comfort in puffing back cigarettes, knowing they were slowly killing me. Yes, I ingested drugs, again liking how I felt when I was weak and helpless to their effects. I didn’t like myself, so why would I want to take the time to treat my body well? If anything, I wanted to punish my body.

This has been weighing heavily on my mind as I’ve been reading from a lot of bloggers recently about how they found comfort in their eating disorders. It just sounds so much like how I felt about my depression and body during my own darkest days.

So how did I get out of it? It was quite simple actually. My parents brought me to a psychologist who sat me down and told me straight up that I was responsible for my own depression and I was the only person who could get myself out of it. I don’t know what happened, but a light bulb went off in that moment. I realized I didn’t have to find comfort in my depression anymore, but I had the power and ability to crawl out of the hole I dug for myself. Only me. Just one decision.

The body-love took a lot longer to get the hang of. I don’t think that really clicked for me until I decided to lose the extra weight for good. I think part of the reason I was overweight for so long is because I didn’t love my body. During my weight loss process though, I woke up every day with a new confidence in my own skin. It wasn’t because I was getting skinnier, but I was getting skinnier because I respected my body enough to not treat it badly anymore.

So that is my story. My two take-home points are – only you can change your thoughts and state of well being, and your number-one relationship needs to be the one you have with yourself. Love your body, mind and spirit.

 

Question of the Day: What’s one thing you love about your body? One thing you love about your personality? I love my long, lean legs. I’m pushing 5’7” and most of that height is in my legs! I also love my simple personality. I’m a to-the-point kind of person. No drama, no extra fluff. Just plain and simple :)

Protein Waffles & Protein Cakes

So happy so many of you are on board for Fatty February! Emily, my partner in crime on this one, wrote a post on the positive effects of dietary fats on hormones. Go read it!

I also got some great suggestions for extra sources of fat: coconut, hummus, flax oil, fish oil supplements and low or full fat dairy (like yogurt). Today mayonnaise magically occurred to me. Leah also suggested Mexican food, which made me laugh. She’d know though – her doctor put her on a 100g of fat a day diet!

I also got some helpful comments about my skin. Some people noted it could be related to food allergies (although, I have been tested for gluten and lactose allergies and I’m clear there) and sleep! Hmm… verrrrry interesting you guys. I will keep you updated on how all of this goes. And yes mom, I am putting the calamine cream on it every night :)

Okay! It’s Wednesday! Which means it’s time for some obligatory Waffle Wednesday waffle porn!

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See that?? It’s buttah!!

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Oooh, I love it when butter melts on waffles and creates little pools. I used just a tsp and for 35 extra calories I got a little fat and a lot of good taste!

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I used my protein pancake recipe and added some frozen blueberries and ground flax. I maaaay have strategically planned today as my day off from the gym so I could make waffles ;)

Work eats:

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Banana + Naturally More almond butter for my morning snack.

Lunch:

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Ham, cheese and pickle sandwich with mustard & mayo. Baby carrots and sugar snap peas for some munching on the side.

Afternoon snack attack:

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Yoplait Source muesli yogurt cup and roasted almonds. I’m not the biggest fan of flavoured yogurts, but I love these yogurt cups. They’re almost a vice for me.

Dinner was quick n’ easy – leftovers!

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Spinach and Ham Ricotta Pie with some steamed brussels sprouts and broccoli on the side. Once again, my eyes were larger than my stomach and I served myself too much. I ended up not eating one of those pieces of pie. I always overload my plate, then feel like I have to finish it all off. Not a good combo to have!

Now, the real blogworthy event here. One of the best evening snacks I’ve had in a while.

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Sweet potato spiced protein cake.

  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp splenda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash pumpkin spice
  • 2 tbsp sweet potato puree baby food
  • 2 tbsp egg whites
  • 1 tbsp raisins

All stirred up in a mug and nuked for 90 seconds in the microwave. The “icing” is just 1 tbsp peanut butter whisked with a teeeeny bit of almond milk and vanilla extract to fluff it up a little.

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Oh. Em. Gee. This was uh-mazing. First, the texture!! It was the best texture I’ve achieved with a protein cake yet. I think it’s because I doubled the protein powder,which made it more “cake-y” and less “sponge-y.” And how can anything doused in cinnamon and peanut butter not be delicious? Exactly :)

Today’s fat intake: 54g, or 31% of macronutrients. Don’t worry, I won’t be pointing this out everyday. I’ve just been counting my calories these past few days so it’s easy to grab the info!

Yes, I am counting calories. I am still incredibly unhappy with my weight gain, as I touched upon in this post. A weight gain that I blame on goodies such as those seen in this post. I’ve confirmed the extra belly pudge by taking my measurements, so my eyes aren’t just deceiving me when I look in the mirror. ‘Tis the tale of maintaining weight loss – it’s always going up and down and never staying the same. Thankfully, it’s at least no longer going up ;)

Oh, and for those of you that are interested, I tried out Spark People and didn’t care for it. So I went back to ole faithful The Daily Plate/Livestrong. They have a “New MyPlate” option for tracking which I lovelovelove. Much easier.

Okay bloggie friends, that wraps it up for tonight. See ya tomorrow for some more fat, a cardio sesh, and a more serious topic that I think many of you will be able to relate with. See ya then!

Fatty February

As I mentioned yesterday, it is one of my goals for this month to get more fat in my diet. You would think that the amount of nut butter I eat would be enough. But it’s not. In fact, some days, I get around only 20g, which in my opinion is too low.

Part of this is because I buy a lot of low-calorie foods, which in turn are low-fat. Dairy and lean meats are good examples of this. Another reason is that I just gravitate towards foods that aren’t fatty. Lunch everyday for me is typically a tuna or turkey pita with a side of raw veggies or fruit. It’s what I usually crave, and the thought of a high-fat meals don’t really appeal to me.

Most importantly though, the number one reason why I don’t eat a lot of fat is because I have a digestive intolerance to it. Foods like avocadoes, olive oil and butter make my stomach literally churn. Guacamole will have me keeled over for hours in pain. The idea of an oil fondue is like pure torture to me.

As a result of this, my skin, fingernails and hair are in awful shape. My nails are brittle, grow slowly, and often chip and peel apart. My skin is actually cause for concern. It is not only dry and flaky, but my shins and forearms now have rashes and scabs from scratching it unconsciously. It’s gotten to the point where I’m embarrassed to wear shorts to the gym, and will probably have to see a dermatologist.

As we all know by now, fat is actually good for you. Studies are now showing that even the uproar over saturated fat may have been a bit premature. Trans fat is really the only thing I do not eat. Ever. There’s also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, and the coveted omega 3’s, with the frowned upon omega 6’s. At this point, I don’t really care what monopolyomega fat it is, I just need any fat I can get!

When I started increasing my protein intake waybackwhen, I did it by making sure I got a protein in every single meal and snack. If I missed one, then I would make sure I made up for it the next time I ate. This frame of thinking got me from eating 70g of protein a day to 130g of protein a day, and now I don’t even have to think about it, it’s second nature. It’s this line of thinking that I’m going to apply to fats as well. With each meal and snack I’m going to ask myself “where is the fat in this meal?”

So, what will I be using as fats?

Salmon.

Oh, sorry, this is a food blog, right.

Better? :P I love salmon, why I don’t eat more of it, I don’t know.

In the same vein, I’ll also be eating more sardines.


Bonus: the bones have lots of calcium!

Butter.


I’ll admit, I grease my pans with Pam. While butter does give me tummy pains, a light coating when I cook up protein pancakes should be fine. And um, make them more delicious!

Cooking Oils.

 
This is the one that scares me the most as my tummy pains are often directly linked to olive oil. But like butter, I’m going to experiment with using just small amounts of olive oil, as well as sesame oil, canola oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, etc. Well, okay, maybe just one or two of those. Cooking oils are expensive!!

Flax seeds.

I can pretty much throw a tablespoon of flax in anything and not even know it’s there! Helloooo omega 3.

Nuts.

 
I’m a volume eater, so a small handful of nuts never sounds as good as a big bag of fresh veggies to me. But, while dense, nuts are also incredibly filling and an easy grab-and-go snack for work. I’d also like to include more nuts in my dishes, like adding some roasted pecans to my veggies, or topping salads with sliced almonds.

Nut butter.

This is the most obvious, and my current main source of fat. It’s that big dollop of nut butter on my oatmeal that keeps me going all morning!

Whole eggs.

Yolks are your friend :) Also, Vitamin D is very important this time of year!

Tofu.

Did you know tofu is high in fat? It’s a new discovery for me – and a good one! Bonus: this is high in calcium too ;)

Cheese.

   

Not that low-fat crap. But the real, full-flavoured good stuff. I’m licking my lips at the thought of the above brie.

Olives.

Another ingredient that I can add to things to enhance flavour. I’m already sticking them in all my salads!

Avocado.

Maybe. This is another food that is directly linked to digestive issues for me. But I can eat the small amounts in sushi, so maybe a slice here and there won’t hurt.

 

So how did I do with my fat intake today??

Well first I had to work up the appetite! :P

Hit up the gym for a treadmill and weight lifting sesh.

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0.0
5-6 5.5 0.0
6-7 6.0 0.0
7-8 6.5 0.0
8-9 7.0 0.0
9-10 5.5 0.5
10-11 6.0 0.5
11-12 6.5 0.5
12-13 7.0 0.5
13-14 5.5 1.0
14-15 6.0 1.0
15-16 6.5 1.0
16-17 7.0 1.0
17-18 5.5 1.5
18-19 6.0 1.5
19-20 6.5 1.5
20-21 7.0 1.5
21-22 5.5 2.0
22-23 6.0 2.0
23-24 6.5 2.0
24-25 7.0 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Romanian deadlift to row 50 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Reverse lunge with forward reach 15 lbs ea 8-12 2
Dumbbell shoulder press  15 lbs ea 8-12 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Incline pushup bw 8-12 3
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Bulgarian split squat 15 lbs 8-12 2
YTWL  7.5 lbs ea 5 ea letter 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell 21’s 20 lbs 21 3
Cable Pushdown 30 lbs 8-12 3

 

Another awesome weight workout! I kinda made this one up as I went along too. I gotta thank Janetha for the Barbell 21’s. It reminded me a lot of what we do in Body Pump. Curls kill my forearms and wrist though.

Then it was off to work where I enjoyed a fatty breakfast ;)

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A big piece of April’s low carb sweet bread with some peanut butter and Crofter’s superfruit spread sandwiched in between. Mega tasty!  

My fatty lunch featured a smoked salmon sandwich.

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With laughing cow, mustard, capers, sprouts and romaine. Baby carrots and sugar snap peas for extra munchables on the side.

Dinner came in two courses, because I was starving! While I waited for the main course to bake, I threw together a garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Those are pickles on top btw ;) Normally I come home starving and that’s when a lot of the major munching damage is done. But having a small salad while dinner cooks curbs that immediate hunger and gets some veggies in me :)

Oooh, and the main course was worth waiting for!

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Mollie Katzen’s Spinach Ricotta Pie from the Moosewood Cookbook. Except I skipped the crust and de-vegetarianized it by adding ham.

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Yum! This will make for some excellent leftovers.

After dinner I did something I haven’t in a while – I went to yoga! Specifically, Body Flow at my gym. The times they offer it aren’t always the best for my sometimes wacky work schedule. But it was well worth the trip tonight. This release has some good tunes, and the twisting song is full of my favourite mix of warriors :)

After yoga, I decided to continue the relaxation with Deb’s hot chocolate smoothie.

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This time I added 1/4 tsp each guar and xanthan gum as well a 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp splenda. The extra gums made it so much thicker! Check out this consistency!

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It was amazing.

Total fat for the day: 67g! Heck yes!

 

Now that we have the appetizing food out of the way, I’m going to share some “before” pics of my awful, awful skin. If anyone out there can diagnose it for me, please feel free! I’m prone to stress-induced eczema, so I’m hoping this is related to it and can easily be fixed. Here’s the worst part, my legs:

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My forearms:

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And my hands:

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You can see my lifting calluses under my fingers! I forgot to take a picture of my nails, but they’re really embarrassing too. Being a guitar and piano player, I’ve always kept them short and ignored.

Hopefully increasing my fat intake will help some of my skin issues among many other things. Fat is also quite satiating for me, so I’m interested to see how it affects my hunger levels!

 

Question of the Day: Will you be participating in Fatty February with Emily and I? What are some of your favourite ways to incorporate fat into your diet?

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