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A Peek Into The Camera of A Food Blogger

Hellohello friends! Before we even get into today’s topic, I first want to thank you for the kind and supportive comments on my last post. If having a balanced life was easy, then everyone would be living a perfect life! I just do what I can :)

I woke up not a happy camper today. I think it’s a combination of being run-down, fighting off some flu-like symptoms, and the fullness of the moon lately (yes, I believe in the effect of lunar cycles).

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Thank goodness it’s Waffle Wednesday or I may have just resigned to my bed for the rest of the day. Now this is something worth getting out of bed for!!

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Whipped up a batch of protein waffles (recipe found here) and topped with a mixture of plums, raisins, sugar-free syrup, cinnamon and sunflower seed butter.

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Adding the topping just a bit at a time. I do not like soggy waffles!!

Now usually, I would stop here with the enticing waffle photos, but today I’m doing something a little different.

I want to show you the food photos that didn’t make the cut. Here are the ones you would have otherwise missed out on (all taken on my Canon EOS Rebel XS):

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I usually take anywhere from 5-15 photos per dish. I aim to get a view from the top, from the side, and close-up. Most of the time photos are not used because they’re not as crisp as the others. Crispness is key. If it’s the least bit fuzzy, I don’t use it.

Lunch!

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Chicken slices and laughing cow blue cheese on a pita with onions, tomatoes and spinach. I’m back to eating pitas and carrot sticks every day. One meal that I never tire of!

If this were a regular post, I would keep it to that one photo. But here are the other ones I captured…

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I’m not a huge fan of the composition in the top photos. The bottom part of the pita that is closest to the camera is not what’s in focus. For some reason I get really bothered when the foreground is blurry and the background is focused. It’s my “thing” I guess. Also, the loser photos are either too shaded or too blanched out from the light. It’s tricky getting sunlight to hit textures juuuuuust right.

Lunch was polished off with an Adora disk. I got a bag of these for free at the Healthy Living Summit. I reallyreally like them. 30 calories a pop for a little piece of calcium infused chocolate.

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The shots that didn’t make the cut:

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One of my pet peeves is when people review a packaged good and don’t reveal what’s inside of the package. Instead of taking a shot of the chocolate in the wrapper, I decided to capture what the chocolate actually looks like along with the packaging. You get the best of both worlds in one frame :)

Also, I went for the angled shot here so you can see both the width and height of the chocolate. That way you get a better feel for its size. The last loser picture is very similar to the shot I chose. The only difference is that the chosen one has more of the chocolate in focus when enlarged. The area of focus on the loser one was too small.

Finally, there was dinner.

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Stir-fried tofu, grated carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic with pesto and laughing cow cheese.

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This bowl also got a lot of camera lovin’…

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I really like doing long shots with plates and bowls because you get a feel for just how overflowing they can be. Plus, I kinda liked the packaged Ikea bed slats as the diagonal background ;) The close-up shots in this series unfortunately all turned out blurry, so they were ditched. The bottom two turned out okay, but were too similar in composition to the first photo I chose. If I’m going for more than one photo of a dish, I want them all to come from noticeably different angles.

 

And that my friends is a little peek into my camera!! I always joke that if someone were to steal it on me, they’d think they stole the camera of a crazy person. Which I guess may partially be true ;)

I’m taking the day off from blogging on Thursday, but if there are any requests for what you’d like featured on Fitness Friday this week, let me know!

 

Question of the Day: Food bloggers – do you photograph all your food? How many shots do you take per dish? I obviously don’t photograph everything. But I do admit to sometimes featuring boring food on here just because I think the picture turned out pretty :)

The Cat, The ‘Hood and The Goals

Remember that elusive cat I mentioned in yesterday’s post? Well, I went to bed armed with my camera last night ready for when he made his appearance.

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He’s fast, getting this shot was not easy. 

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You see, my roommates and I have been cat-sitting for a couple weeks now. Mew Mew (the furry one’s given name) has thus far taken refuge in my roommate’s bedroom. But they are both out of town this weekend, which brought Mew Mew wandering into mine.

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Mew Mew does not cuddle or purr. No. He will walk right up to you and aggressively start head-butting you in the face.

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Do not be fooled. This is not “cute.” That is one thick-skulled feline. At one point my eyes starting watering because he conked me right in the nose.

Jerk.

I love all of God’s creatures, but dogs totally rule ;)

Before being attacked, I was reading my current book of choice:

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The first in the Stieg Larsson series, thanks to the several recommendations I got for it in this post. (psst, click on that link and read the comments for tons of great summer books to read!)

Woke up after a glorious 8 hours of sleep with flapjacks on my mind, it’s Pancake Sunday after all ;)

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My protein pancake batter consisted of:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

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For my dipping sauce, I mixed sugar-free syrup with mixed berry jam. Omg. Why don’t I do this more often??

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I really want to make a pun using the word “berry” right now, but I will refrain. Instead, I will just tell you to try this :)

All big plans I had for the day went out the window once it started raining. That paired with it being a Sunday made me want to stay in and tackle some chores!

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When my family visited a few weeks ago, they brought all my stuff from New Brunswick (I only arrived in Toronto with three suitcases). The stuff has been piled in my closets untouched since then. Today, I created rightful spots for everything and my room is beginning to feel a whole lot “roomier.”

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Broke for some Bbq Chicken Pita Pizza. Aka bbq marinated chicken breast on top of a pita with sauce, veggies, cheese, and stuck in the toaster oven for 15 minutes.

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Fact: I have not used the oven since moving to Toronto. It’s too damn hot.

I started to get a little stir crazy after a while and wanted to do something after the rain cleared. In this ginormous new city of mine, that can mean a million things. Out of all the parts of the city I’ve so far explored, ironically I haven’t spent much time in my own neighbourhood!

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I took a couple hours wandering up and down Queen Street East poking my head into antique shops, clothing shops, ice cream shops (not buying, but ya know, scoping out the goods), butchers, cheese shops and bakeries.

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I found this one cute little bakery just off Queen on Logan Ave called Brick Street Bread. They had a million different kinds of artisan loaves, as well as some tasty looking sweets. They are expensive – $5 to $6 per loaf. But they provided samples for many so I knew what I was getting into first. Plus, why can’t a gal treat herself to a loaf of carbs once in a while? ;)

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The girl at the counter said their Organic Basil & Parsley bread is their best seller – but I tried a taste of this Organic European Rye and knew it was mine.

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I lovelovelove rye bread, especially with some good cheese and meat. Sliced it up into quarters and froze it when I got home. That way I can defrost it just a bit at a time.

I stumbled into a cheese shop, but I just could not open my wallet to the high-end prices. I did however find some good sausage.

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Rowe Farms has tons of local, organic, free-from-all-the-bad-stuff meat. Most of it was horrendously priced, but if you looked hard enough, you could find something decent. These four Italian sausages cost me $5.

I continued on to the grocery store where I found my favourite kind of deal…

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Expires on August 19?? Pfft, no problem ;)

I came home hungry after exploring my ‘hood all afternoon, so I whipped up something quick.

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Into a frying pan went:

  • 1 chopped Italian sausage
  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 head of green cabbage
  • sliced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a zucchini
  • 2 tbsp pizza sauce
  • oregano, basil, parsley

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All topped with cheddar cheese. Solid meal. Loved the sausage.

 

Weekly Goal Check-In!

Ahhh, yes, ‘tis that time of the week already. Let’s see how I’m doing one week into this month’s goals…

1. Eat out twice a week, at no more than $15 a meal. Technically, I only ate out twice. I spent $9 on a Freshii salad on Friday and $14 at the Greek fair on Saturday. However, I also spent $5 on a beer on Thursday and $5 on frozen yogurt on Friday. Does beer and dessert count? I sure hope not :P

2. Read more. I spent close to two hours reading a day this week. I spend a lot of time on public transit reading, then always for a bit before bed. Making progress on that Larsson book!

3. Do at least one outdoor activity a week. All I’ve done is tons of walking, which I’m going to say counts. A few times, I ditched the streetcar or bus and just took the extra 20-30 minutes to walk where I was going.

4. Look for part-time work and volunteer work. Thumbs down!! This week, promise!

5. Update my blog pages. Nope :( But I did get catch up on getting my content up on Healthbuzz.

6. Lose weight. I am by no means back normal, but I’m starting to feel better in skin. Progress. Honestly, I think this past week was my first week in two months where I didn’t eat a meal out every day. That alone made me feel a lot less puffy and better in my clothes. However, the battle still rages on! :P

 

You’re turn!! How did everyone else do on their goals this week??

A Worthy Gain

What’s up.

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That would be me in my new personal training uniform. So unreal to be able to wear it now!! My client roster is slowly starting to fill and I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to go to the gym, help people get in shape, and call that “work” :)

Mucho gracias for indulging me in my last post about Jagerbombs. Despite being an employed trainer now, my behaviour has been decidedly “un-trainer-like.”

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We’ve had people visiting these past few days, which should always be met with celebrations. When they said they were going to Smoke’s Poutinerie I had to go. I knew it was going to be bad. Real bad. But I seem to have this insatiable food curiosity that sometimes takes away from my better judgement.

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I know a few people would be horrified by their treatment of the classic poutine – a dish of fries, beef gravy and cheese curds. Smoke’s has a large menu filled with various toppings and varieties. We’ll agree to call it a “fry and gravy” place ;)

I went for the Country Style: slow roasted chicken breast, double smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions.

Not gonna lie, I was a little horrified upon seeing what I’d ordered.

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LOOK AT ALL THAT BACON!!!

I had to dig deep to find the actual poutine part…

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Omg, I can feel my arteries clogging all over again just looking at this. I think I finally have my This Is Why You’re Fat submission.

I arrived to the Poutinerie after a heavy weight-lifting workout, which in retrospect was perhaps not the best idea. My stomach was loudly growling and I polished off the whole thing. The whole thing! In terms of how poutines go, it was just alright. I think I liked the Elgin Street Diner in Ottawa better. I prefer shoestring fries and mushroom gravy :)

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We walked down to Trinity Bellwoods park to enjoy our greasy boxes. The same place as the blogger picnic, and my favourite park in Toronto!! Okay, the only park I’ve been to in Toronto…

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Chris got the triple pork poutine with pulled pork, smoked bacon and Italian sausage. A little something he coined “poutirnalism.” Eating mass quantities poutine for the sake of mankind.

I of course immediately regretted stuffing myself with such food as I had to go directly to a job interview (part-time job at a coffee shop – fingers crossed!), and then to a fitness assessment!

I offered to be the victim of a fitness assessment at my new gym to get an idea of how they go about doing them. Keep in mind, mine was much harder than what they do to the average person. The trainer I was working with obviously wanted to see what I’m made of ;)

I tried to explain to him that I’d just eaten a pound of poutine, and that I’ve been feeding on hamburgers and cake since travelling to Banff in June. I can’t say I was surprised when I stepped on the scale and discovered I’ve gained 6 lbs in the last three months. Every ounce of that gain is the result of good food and good times I wouldn’t trade in for the world. But there’s always something about that numerical value that seems to sneak out of the scale and slap you across the face.

You mean I can’t eat a pound of poutine on the daily?? :P

Yeahyeahyeah, I guess now that I’m settled in my new home, it’s time to settle back into my usual eating routine as well. Noted Mr. Scale. Noted.

Weight gain aside, I did pretty well on the fitness assessment. There were a lot of lateral raises, ab moves and lunges among other things. My core strength needs work, but my legs and back are waaaay stronger than I was expecting. My shoulders are still struggling a little, but I’m workin’ on it :)

Lunch was eaten at 1:30pm and I didn’t start to feel snacky until 9pm!!

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I reached for this Daryl’s All Natural Regular Elite Granola Bar. A Canadian-made protein bar that I spotted in the fridge section of a local natural foods store.

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Ingredients and stats are okay…

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But the taste? Meeehhh. Notsomuch. The texture was lovely and reminded me a lot of my own homemade bars. But I thought there was too much honey and the dried fruit was a little tart.

I awoke this morning with the determination to get back on the straight and narrow. This of course meant celebrating Waffle Wednesday!!

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I whipped up quite possibly my best protein waffle recipe yet:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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Made two medium-sized waffles. While they were cooking, I also cooked peach slices with cinnamon in a frying pan.

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Thrown on top with flaked coconut and sugar-free syrup.

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They tasted like real waffles!!

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The recipe has 270 calories, 3g fat, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 0g sugar, 37g protein.

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It’s love!!

Even though I woke up incredibly sore from weightlifting and the fitness assessment the day before, I was still pumped for a noon-hour spin class.

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Pre-spin fuel was a few figs topped with my Easy Peasy Cream Cheese Icing.

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All I did was mix together a wedge of laughing cow cheese and a tbsp of marshmallow fluff. SO good!!

Unfortunately, I got my days all messed up and there was no spin class happening once I got to the gym. Instead I just hopped on various cardio machines while watching Sex and the City. Just as well!

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For lunch, I stir-fried every fresh veggie I had in the fridge and added tofu balls.

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I tossed the whole thing in Averie’s peanut sauce and it was divine. Stir-fries are becoming one of my favourite summer meals!

I’ve been trying to avoid the chocolate cake my roommie brought home, so I snacked on my own version later in the day.

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Deep Chocolate Vitatop with Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter.

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That right there, really is the stuff dreams are made of ;)

 

I will leave you with the above image to drool over. My dad, big sis and little step-sis are arriving in less than an hour and I’ve got things to do! I’m superduper excited to see them and show them my new city :)

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