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Whole Paycheck

Hellohello! I had a blast reading through everyone’s random tidbits!! How fun!! Two extra tidbits I forgot to add yesterday:

1. I did a guest post on Deb’s blog on the method behind my homemade protein bars. Ch-ch-check it out!

2. I munched on something delicious while blogging last night.

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A take on Holly’s no bake protein cookies – peanut butter protein balls. To make this, I mixed together 2 tbsp chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp flaked coconut, 1 tbsp peanut butter, splash of water.

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All rolled up and stuck in the freezer for half an hour. The perfect bedtime dessert!

That little snack was just enough to hold me through my slumbering hours. I awoke this morning ready to refill my belly.

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Egg + bacon sandwich with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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Fruit salad with fresh peach, strawberries and blueberries sprinkled with cinnamon and coconut.

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Definitely a breakfast worth getting up for ;)

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T’was already stinkin’ hot first thing this morning, so I made my second cup of coffee iced. I just stuck the glass in the fridge for about an hour then topped it up with a pack of stevia, cold almond milk and ice.

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I continued cooling down all morning with Mr Freezes. They’re only 10 calories a pop. Which I suppose can add up if you like to eat them throughout the course of the day ;)

Enjoyed a leisurely morning watching the Tour de France. Contador is so close to catching up to Schleck, it is making me nervous. I’m an Andy fan…

Even though his arms are the same circumference as the frame tubes on his bike. Contador just looks like a villain…

Evil.

Moving on!

Snacked up in preparation for the gym.

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Lemon flavoured yogurt with 2 tbsp unflavoured protein powder, blueberries, plain rolled oats, cinnamon and more coconut. Gah! I want it to always be berry season! These bloobs were so good!!

My legs are a little wrecked from the torture exercises I’ve put them through this week, so I focused on upper-body weights today with cardio spurts in-between. Kept the weight heavy, reps low, and added a set to shock the ole’ muscles.

Cardio
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the rowing machine, alternating grip

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the stepmill

Alternating sets

Cardio
15 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute sprints followed by 2 minutes of walking

Phew!! I haven’t done a workout like this in a while and it was tons of fun. It took me almost 90 minutes, so don’t attempt it unless you’ve got extra time. I suggest it as a good rainy Sunday workout ;)

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Was positively starving by the time I got home and immediately whipped up a steaming plate of spicy chicken stir-fry.

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Chopped up a giant marinated jerk chicken breast bought at the local butcher, and stir-fried it with onions, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and hot sauce. So simple, and so delicious :) Kept me satisfied foreverrrr.

Good thing too! As I had another big shopping trip planned for today.

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Yes my friends, my first ever trip to Whole Foods!!

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I’ve heard good things about it all over the internets for years now. We don’t have one out East, so I was excited to pay a visit as soon as I got to Toronto. Food shopping > clothes shopping.

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First and foremost, I was really excited about all the free samples they had out. Sure, they were covered in germs from people’s sticky fingers. But free food is free food.

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My favourite aisle: the nut butter aisle.

In all, my Whole Foods trip was fun, but in all honesty I wasn’t that impressed! Most of the items you can find in smaller organic stores closer to where I live, so the trip out to Yorkville isn’t worth the time to me.

I did enjoy an iced cafe au lait on the bus home though :)

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Don’t be fooled, I didn’t leave Whole Foods empty handed. There were some splurges!!

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  • Deep chocolate VitaTops
  • Silver Hills Steady Eddie bread (got with a free coupon – review to come!)
  • Essence of Peach Kombucha iced tea
  • Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • Fresh figs
  • Jicama

The whole thing (not including the bread) cost me just over 20 bucks. Mmmm…yeah. I can see how they call it “Whole Paycheck” :P I was thisclose to buying Sunshine Burgers – but they were $6.99 for only three burgers, too rich for my blood!

The chocolate peanut butter though, I just couldn’t say no to.

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Protective seals are meant for licking ;) Not bad. I think I like Nutella better.

And would you believe it if I told you I’ve never tried a fresh fig before??

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I’ve had tons of dried figs, but fresh ones are so hard to find in New Brunswick. For some reason they are a lot more abundant in Ontario. I immediately tore into one once I got home.

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Yet another thing I think has been talked up too much. It was kinda bland? Not very flavourful. The texture is fun though!

Last but not least, for dinner I prepared a much cheaper version of any burger you’d find at Whole Foods.

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Yesterday, I bought a pound of ground turkey for $4. Then, for 79 cents I bought a can of black beans to add to the turkey to “plump” it up.

Mixed the two together with a clove of garlic and tbsp of chili powder.

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Ended up getting six large spicy black bean turkey burgers out of the mix. Take that Sunshine Burger :P

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I ate one on a half a pita, smothered in ketchup, mustard and pickles. They turned out really good!!

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With a side of jicama fries. Sliced them up and baked at 450F for about 35 minutes. I was expecting them to taste like yucca fries, but they weren’t anything like them!! They were still kinda crunchy and tasted like water chestnuts. Interesting. I think I will try the rest of it raw on a salad…

And with that, I am off!! Sorry to leave you so abruptly, but my roommie is playing a show tonight and I’m laaaaate!! See ya tomorrow!! xo

Question of the Day: How do you save money at the grocery store? I always buy the cheap canned goods, it can sometimes be a difference of two bucks!

Getting To Know You

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!!

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Yup! I ate that whole stack :)

Fear not, for they are Van’s Mini Waffles. 

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This is the other kind of waffle I chose to buy with the free coupons the company sent me. I love mini foods (mini bagels also come to mind).

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Nutritionals aren’t as great as the gluten-free Apple Cinnamon waffles, but they are mini, so I will cut them some slack.

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I had my pile o’ waffles dipped into a syrup/almond butter mix and a side of egg whites for protein.

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Thoughts on the waffles? They were sweet! I felt like I was eating little waffle cookies! If you like dessert for breakfast, then they’re the one for you.

I ate this while reading the responses on my last post on muscle toning shoes. Some great thoughts were shared! Just a snippet:

Lori (Finding Radiance)

Those shoes. First off, I despise the word “toning”. Ugh! And, they are just another gimmick to get people to think they can be exercise-free and get in shape. However, if they actually get people to put them on and move about, it’s better than nothing.

Fattie Fatterton

I’m so glad that you wrote about those shoes. It proves again that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Madeline – Greens and Jeans

My mom had a pair of MBTs when they first came out and she thinks they helped her posture, but that’s about it!

Kelly @ Kelly B Well

I actually participate in a Reebok ‘new products’ forum to test the water. They recently sent me a pair of these goofy shoes to try.
I agree with everything you’ve stated above. I am supposed to wear them for 3 months, and I can’t stand them. It feels like ‘corrective shoes’ for being pigeon-toed, or something, but…worse than that.
They’re uncomfortable, and they don’t do anything.
There are no shortcuts to fitness and health.

Good reading!! Thanks for all the feedback!

After breakfast, I drove 20 minutes to the other side of town (okay, technically, a different municipality) just to go to a spin class. It’s a really nice gym – worth the drive!

I do not like those particular Star Trac spin bikes though.

The class was great! It was only 40 minutes long, and the instructor chose music I actually enjoy and would listen to outside of class. Because it was shorter than I’m used to, I went straight across to the gym’s yoga studio for a 60 minute yoga class. Very strange to go from a high-energy spin class to a very mild and gentle yoga class. It was very easy and more about the breathing, still fun though!

Busted through the door once I got home because I was staaaarving. Started throwing ingredients into a frying and pan and ended up with this:

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I did however stop to snap photos of the funny looking veggies as I chopped them up.

Long red pepper.

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And a baby carrot with a core??

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It was like a chopstick in the centre of my carrot. Weird.

Anyways, back to the stir-fry at hand.

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Other notable veggies included celery, broccoli, mushrooms and collard greens. Protein was two scrambled eggs, flavoured with feta cheese and hummus.

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Oh yeah, and bacon. Bacon makes everything better ;) Hit. The. Spot.

Polished off with a Newfoundland chocolate.

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Milk chocolate. With something in the centre – marzipan? Whatever, it was good.

Oh, and there may have been a few sugar-free Mr. Freezes today.

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And by a few, I mean four.

I was struck with inspiration this afternoon while reading Naomi’s blog. She made Dreena Burton’s Super Charge Me Cookies.  I’ve been hearing how amazing these cookies are for what feels like years now, and I still haven’t tried them! I glanced at the ingredients and saw my mom had them all on hand. Score! It was finally time to get baking :)

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1 cup quick oats rolled oats
2/3 cup spelt flour whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 –1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
3–4 tbsp carob or chocolate chips (optional; or use more dried fruit, nuts, or seeds)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flax meal (not flax seed)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp almond butter (may use cashew, peanut, hemp seed butter)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp organic canola oil

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and carob or chocolate chips, sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet evenly space apart, and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out). Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.

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The recipe says 11-12 cookies, but I got 18 decent-sized ones out of the mix,

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I licked the bowl clean – baker’s rights!!

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I didn’t think the cookies looked quite done after 13 minutes, but I trusted the recipe. Plus, being vegan, there were no raw eggs that needed to cook anyways.

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Sure enough, they came out perfectly!

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I was going to save one for after dinner, but my mom suggested having one for an appetizer. Who am I to argue!?

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Verdict?? Heckyes. These are good! Plain ole’ chocolate chip cookies with eggs and butter will always be my favourite, but these are definitely a fun alternative. I love how you can really taste the maple in them too.

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And they get the thumbs up from my three step-siblings, who are definitely tough critics.

While my cookie business was going on, my mom was working on dinner beside me.

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We seem to have a plethora of tortilla chips in this household. Which clearly called for a mexican dip

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Mom dug out her recipe from the 1970s for this one. Made with buffalo meat, black beans, salsa and spices. The cheese-free section is mine :)

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Mom also made a smooth guacamole, which I did not partake in because I can’t digest avocado :(

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Instead of dipping the chips in the dip, I assembled a salad, then put the good stuff on top.

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With extra salsa for good measure ;)

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Solid meal!! Well done mom :)

 

Tamzin tagged me in a questionnaire for getting to know bloggers a little better. I thought it would be fun to do! Here are my answers:

Where would you be able to spend hours and be happy?

My bed. In fact, I have spent hours there and been perfectly happy doing it ;)

What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?

Chocolate glazed donut from Tim Horton’s. These days though, I limit them to the Timbits ;)

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

Just my earlobes! I’m scared of needles, and didn’t get the guts to do my ears until I was 18 years old.

What is your favorite movie?

High Fidelity. John Cusack + Nick Hornby + Good Music + Top 5 Lists = Perfection.

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

My mom! I called her while I was out today.

Are you still friends with the people you knew in middle school or high school?

Yes, my closest friends are those I’ve had since childhood. My BFF in Halifax I just visited went to kindergarten with me. My other best friend and old roommie, Meghan, as known me since Grade 1.

What is the last thing you ate?

The above salad! Although, there will be a microwave protein cake in my belly very soon.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Everything. When I was really young, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I wanted to be a rock star, high school English teacher, flight attendant, journalist, and now personal trainer. I don’t think anyone ever figures out what they want to be when they grow up!

Name three things that are close to you right now:

My camera, Women’s Health Magazine, and Rudy.

What was your best subject in school?

Surprisingly, Chemistry! I took Level 1 Math and Chemistry and got 90s in both. Actually, I got 98% in grade 12 Chemistry. And then I went to a Liberal Arts university…

What is your favorite restaurant?

Calactus!

Any hidden talents?

I just asked my mother this and she says it’s my wicked sense of humour. Hm. How bout that!

What is your middle name?

Elizabeth. Common, but I still like it :)

What is your favorite website?

Gmail!! Ha! I go through phases, right now it’s 1000 Awesome Things and The Pioneer Woman.

How old were you when you had your first kiss?

I was in Grade 7… sooo…12 or 13?? It was sloppy.

Chocolate or vanilla?

If it’s flavour we’re talking about, then vanilla. But I will choose a piece of plain chocolate above all else at any time.

What is your favorite girl’s name?

I’m holding on to the name Wendy in case I ever need it for a baby. It’s my mom’s middle name and I LOVE Peter Pan!

Favorite store?

The Running Room.

Would you rather be a rock star or a famous athlete?

Rock star (see above)

Favorite food?

Chocolate chip cookies (see above)

What are you wearing right now?

Jean shorts (not cut-off!!) a flowery top and a black cardigan. See, I get out of my yoga pants sometimes ;)

What is your favorite animal?

Elephants are number one, owls are number two.

Did you graduate from college?

Yes, although in Canada colleges and universities are two different things.

What does your last text message say?

Haha…of course.” From a friend when I told him I expected pictures of his upcoming Vegas trip on Facebook :)

Do you have any nicknames?

Sus, Susie and Susie Q. Nothing fancy!

 

And now I’m off to get ready to snag a ticket to the Healthy Living Summit!!

 

Questions of the Day:
1. What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?
2. Any hidden talents?
3. What is your favorite girl’s name?

New Favourite Cake and Goal Check-In!

Hi there! Hope you all had wonderful weekends spent with your moms (sounds like it!). It was a busybusy day around these parts, feels like I haven’t stopped yet!

Started off after a solid 8 hours of unconsciousness.

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One of my favourite breakfasts of all time: 2 eggs on toast and an orange.

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My favourite kind of toast too – sesame ezekiel.

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And a smidge of buttah to go with the runny yolks. Mmmmm…

My mom however got no brunch or breakfast in bed from me. Nope! Instead I dragged her to the gym for Mother’s Day!

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Actually, more like she dragged me. There were a few mother-daughter duos there, very cute :)

We went to the woman’s only gym which is a drag because their weight area is seriously lacking. How are women supposed to lift heavy? Boo. Anyways, here’s what I managed to muster. Upper-body only. My glutes are wrecked.

Warm-up: 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight set (x3):
Dumbbell pullover (chest, back of shoulders, lats, rhomboids,triceps)

Alternating sets (x3):
Incline chest fly (chest, front of shoulders, biceps)
Incline dumbbell row (lower lats, rhomboids, middle traps)

Cardio: 10 minutes on the rowing machine, alternating grips

Straight set (x3):
Cable lateral raise (top and front of shoulder, traps)

Alternating sets (x3):
Dumbbell twist curl (biceps)
Forward triceps extension (triceps)

Cardio: 10 minutes on the stairmaster, increasing speed   

Not too shabby! Didn’t kill myself in the weight area what with all the moving over the last few days.

I didn’t get to eat until an hour after , which may explain the ginormous dish that followed.

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Whenever I’m really hungry, I think I need 10x more food than can fit in my stomach.

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A massaged kale salad with leftover roast chicken and watered down hummus for the dressing.

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I made my mom buy me kale to keep on top of that calcium!

Shortly after it was on to my Nana’s Mother’s Day present:

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I have never heard of Queen Elizabeth Cake before. But when I said I wanted to bake something, my mom pulled out this recipe and said it was my Nana’s favourite. Figures, my family are such monarchists ;)

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My Nana loves to bake with two things: dates & oranges. Her date squares are to die for. Must be where I got the taste for it!

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Clearly, as soon as I saw dates in this recipe, I knew it was a winner. And topped with coconut? Yesplease!

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I will not lie, I licked the bowl clean and tried a couple tastes of the topping. The deliciousness of plain old butter and sugar will never cease to amaze me.

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The recipe called for a 9×12 pan, which I completely disregarded and put in a 9×9 pan. Oops.

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Not all hope was lost. It cooked up wonderfully, and it meant the topping was extra thick ;)

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Once put under the broiler, the sugar hardened like in a brulee. Mygosh.

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Look at that thick icing. How have I never heard of this cake before??

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The photo below is a setup. This is my mother’s piece. Mine was twice as big.

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And worth every. single. bite. My Nana was so happy and impressed that we thought to make her favourite cake. I am starting to learn where that sweet tooth of mine comes from ;)

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting with Mark’s family. Then we came home to a late dinner. I made a stir-fry for Mark and I while my mom feasted on her Mother’s Day lobster.

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Spot that pinwheel shaped veggie?

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Fiddleheads! For all you West-coasters, fiddleheads are a young fern that’s harvested in the springtime. It’s actually late in the season for them. My mom steamed some before I added it to the stir-fry. I’d compare the taste to broccoli or asparagus.

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And quinoa! I didn’t have a grain at lunch, so I figured I should probably add one to the mix for dinner. Was tasty all mixed up.

By the bye, after dinner I went to my dad’s to help him move furniture. If it’s not my crap, it’s someone else’s. The moving never ends!! :P

 

Sunday! Time for my Monthly Goal Check-In.

 

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
Got in two lifting workouts this week, but I think I should get at least an extra two more with moving ;)
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. Check! Got in a 4-mile and 3-mile run this week – both outdoors!

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” I haven’t had cottage cheese, yogurt or milk since writing this last week. I’ve had maybe one 15g serving of feta or cheddar cheese a day since, and a little butter here and there.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. Oooh, not as great on this one. I’m still eating regular chocolate, and a piece of cake today that was definitely packed full of refined sugars. Will do a detailed post about this tomorrow!

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Check! Added a new recipe page, and new workouts are up under the workout tab. Oh, and there’s a new pic of me on the sidebar –>

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
Well, I did make a list, but I never referred to it. I’m still disorganized… but I don’t think I forgot anything! 
Spend time with my family. Giant check! Spent all day with various family members :) 
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. You know, ever since writing this, I’ll occasionally stop and take notice of what I’m doing in a single moment. I never realized how little I do this, and how enjoyable life is when you do. Check.

 

Question of the Day: What were your goals for this month, and how are you doing on them?

 

Congratulations!! to Brie on her wedding and Heather on her little HEABlet!!!

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