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Made At Home

Well hello there! Hope everyone had a fantabulous weekend!! Mine was near perfection. I finally got the 8 hours sleep I was craving last night, then made myself a pancake feast.

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My usual protein pancake recipe (found under the “Eats” tab!) topped with a mixture of 1/2 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp banana baby food, 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp sugar-free syrup. A random assortment that was ooohhhsogood.

I spent the morning in bed doing blog updates! I made a new header and some minor changes to my About page, The REAL Story and Fave Posts. More updates will continue next weekend. I’m going to add an exercise page with my favourite cardio and weight lifting workouts. It’s gonna be good! (I hope)

I eventually made it to the gym for some treadmill + upper body weights.

Treadmill – 1% incline

Minutes MPH
0-5 3.5
5-6 6.0
6-7 7.0
7-9 6.0
9-11 7.0
11-14 5.8
14-17 6.8
17-21 5.8
21-25 6.8
25-28 5.8
28-31 6.8
31-33 5.8
33-35 6.8
35-36 5.8
36-37 6.8
37-40 3.5

Back + Shoulders

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up 75 lbs 6 3

Chest + Back

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Dumbbell bench press 20 lbs ea 10 3
Seated cable row 55 lbs 8 3

Triceps + Biceps

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Skull crusher 20 lbs 10 3
Barbell curl 20 lbs 10 3

Shoulders + Abs

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Dumbbell shoulder press 15 lbs ea 8 3
Plank bw 60 sec 3

First, I gotta give Janetha credit for the treadmill intervals. Or, her mom anyways ;) I started out too fast. I wish 6.0 mph was a “jogging” speed for me, but it’s more my legitimate “running” speed. So I had to take it down to get rest between the faster spurts.

As for the weights, my arms are mush. I barely made it through those shoulder presses!

Came home and refuelled with an breakfast sandwich and sweet potato cheetahs.

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Yummm!!! I always crave eggs after weight lifting, I have no idea why.

I hit up the grocery store after and had an exciting food find!!!

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Kashi Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit & Grain granola bar. For the longest time we just had the Kashi chewy bars here, and only just got the cereal ones. I embarrassed myself yet again at the Superstore upon finding these bad boys.

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They also had the pumpkin flavour, but this one obviously caught my eye first. Dark chocolate and coconut? Yes please!! It was pretty small, and tasted borderline stale. But my goodness the chocolate on top is goooood.

After my snack I got to work in the kitchen! First up: Beek’s Coconut Chia Granola.

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You may recall Bekah sent me some of her famous granola over the holidays. I LOVED it. I offered Bekah the opportunity to come here and make the granola for me on a regular basis, but instead she told me to make it myself :P

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I followed her directions almost perfectly…

Bekah’s Coconut Chia Granola:

recipe adapted from the back of the Let’s Do Organic brand of coconut flakes:

  • 3 cups rolled oats, gluten-free if necessary
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2  cup pure maple syrup (I use Grade B.)
  • Vanilla extract and cinnamon to taste. (I like a lot, probably 1 t of each, and then some.) 1/2 T of each
  • 2 T safflower oil canola oil
  • 2 T chia seeds

Mix allllll together in a bowl or directly on a cookie sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, making sure to mix up the granola one or two times while baking, to ensure even coloring (NOT burning!)

I pulled it out to stir every five minutes or so, burning my tongue on a nibble every single time :P

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Best. Granola. Ever. Seriously guys, go make it yourself. The sooner the better.

Next up was another batch of my homemade protein bars. Pretty much the same as last week, but with a touch less water.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • < 3/4 cup water

All mushed together and pressed into a 9×9 baking pan. No baking though, just put in the fridge to harden.

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Then cut into 8 pieces and wrapped up for the week!

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I changed the recipe just a tad, so the stats are slightly different: 174 calories, 6g fat, 17g carbs, 1g sugar, 3g fibre, 15g protein. Still not too shabby!

Then it was on to Homemade Sunflower Mustard Hummus.

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Yes, you read that right mustard hummus.

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (+3 tbsp of their liquid)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter (I used Deb’s!)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • salt + pepper to taste

I added the mustard because I’m out of lemon juice. Oddly, it turned out quite sweet!

Last, but definitely not least, I made my meal for the week. I stumbled upon this Mark Bittman chili recipe in Runner’s World that’s chock full of veggies. Sign me up!

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Bean and Vegetable Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil Canola spray
1/2 pound ground beef, pork, turkey, or chicken – 1 whole pound
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 small one big eggplant, cubed
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup 2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1 fresh or dried hot chile, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 cup canned tomato, seeded and chopped 1 can no-sodium tomato sauce
4 cups canned 2 cans kidney beans, liquid reserved
Vegetable stock as needed (about two cups)
Fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium; add the meat, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned. Remove meat from pan and drain off all but three tablespoons of fat.

Heat the pan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic; cook for about a minute. Add the vegetables; cook for 10 minutes or until they start to caramelize and dry out.

Add the seasonings and stir, then add the tomatoes and beans with enough of their liquid to submerge everything (use the stock if there isn’t enough).

Bring the mixture to a boil and cook about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serves six.

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I thought it tasted a little bland so I topped my bowl with salsa.

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MMmmm…. love me a chunky chili full of veggies :D

Now I am officially ready to start my work week :)

Those of you who expressed interest in the Banff Blogger Trip should have gotten an e-mail update on it :) Our dates are June 8-15 with tons of fun things in between. If you’re interested and didn’t get the e-mail, let me or Holly know: thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com or healthyeverythingtarian@gmail.com

Some things are just a no-brainer:

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SO excited!!!

Okay, it’s waaaaay past my bedtime. I need my beauty rest for spinning tomorrow!

Question of the Day: What store-bought items do you usually like to make at home? I love making my own hummus. And I must say, I’m really getting into this homemade protein bar thing. SO much cheaper, and I feel better eating them knowing the ingredients aren’t as scary.

New Year, New Job

Hi blog friends!! I just got off the phone with my mom blabbing about my first day on the new job. I hope you don’t mind I spilled the beans to her first ;)

For those of you who may not know, I got offered a job in the communications department at my old university right before Christmas. I left my job as radio reporter a month ago, and majored in journalism/communications, so the position makes a lot of sense for me. It’s a four-month contract, and will fill the gap perfectly from now until I get my personal training certification!

My work day now starts at 8:30 am. I decided to skip a morning workout so I could have a relaxing morning before I had to be there. I slept okay, but was feeling a little nervous! Mostly about meeting all my new coworkers. I know I can do the actual work, but getting to know all the new faces always makes me feel anxious!

Breakfast was served the most comforting way possible – in a big mug.

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  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole egg (whisked into pot at start)
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • chopped dates
  • cashew butter
  • unsweetened coconut

One great thing about working on a university campus is that I’ll be close to a couple decent cafeterias. I’ll have access to some pretty healthy options on days I don’t feel like packing a lunch.

In the bag today…
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  • Tofurkey, hummus and swiss cheese sandwich
  • Cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and baby carrots with more hummus
  • Three carrot cake protein squares
  • One cheese string
  • Apple
  • Yogurt/muesli cup

I had the apple and cheese around 10:30, the sandwich and veggies + hummus around 12:15 and two of the carrot squares with the yogurt close to 4pm. My appetite has been off all day, I think my nerves suppressed it a little!

The day itself went really well. I met with my new boss first thing and went over some of the basics. The girl I’m taking over for spent the morning showing me the key things I’ll need to know. Then this afternoon was spent puttering away on some small projects.

Remember how I said in 2009 I learned to follow my gut? Well my gut feels good after today! First and foremost, I think I’ll really enjoy doing the work. I’ll be doing a lot of writing for the school’s website and various publications. My boss is really good about assigning tasks, so I’ll always have something to work on (I can’t stand being bored at work!).

All the people there seem really nice. It’s a small liberal arts university, so the “community” feel spills over into the staff and faculty side of things as well. I ate lunch today with the girl I’m taking over for (who took a job in recruiting), my new office-mate, and another girl who works in alumni affairs. It was nice to be accepted into their group so quickly, and made my day of transition that much easier :)

Oh! And speaking of my office – I have one!! It’s shared with a really nice girl close to my age. I have my very own desk, which is kinda big for me. Newsrooms are notorious for playing musical desks (ie, I’ve never had one to call my own). After work today, I stopped to pick up some office-y things.

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  • Small clock radio. Office-mate says she has no problem with listening to the radio quietly, I need background noise! (Canadians – I am in love with the CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi)
  • Hand cream
  • Post-its
  • Pens
  • Notebook (I’m an obsessive note-taker & list-maker)

I skipped my planned spin class today, well, because I didn’t feel like it! I’m mega sore from my living room workout yesterday, and really craving some down time tonight after my long day. Yeah, first day of my new workout schedule and I’m already switching it up. Ahh well. I’m going to try getting up at 5am tomorrow to do 40 minutes treadmill, shoulders + abs before work. I feel like I function much better when I get my workout in before the start of my day.

Anyways, I spent a lot of time wandering around the store and didn’t sit down for dinner until 7pm. So unlike me!

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Real hamburger with lots of mustard + pickles, and ketchup, onions, tomatoes, spinach. Sweet potato cheetahs seasoned with salt, chili and cajun for my fries. Love my simple dinners :)

Now I’m off to do some chores and catch up on a few blogs. Got an early day tomorrow. And oddly, I’m excited that I already have a list of things to do when I get to work tomorrow!

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Here’s to the start of a new adventure! :D

 

Question of the Day: What’s the thing you dislike the most about starting new jobs? Anything you love about it? As I mentioned, I get really nervous about meeting and working alongside new people. It takes me a long time to warm up to people I don’t know. If anything though, I find I’m always just anxious to settle into a routine at my new job.

Boxer Day

Happy Boxing Day!!! For you American folk, boxing day is holiday here in Canada and many other parts of the world. Click on the link above to learn what it means, then come back and tell me, cause I still can’t figure it out! A day of recovery after Christmas dinner perhaps? :P

I slept for a glorious 8.5 hours last night – a rarity for me! A food coma for sure. I prepared a usual-sized breakfast for myself, ate part of it, and felt stuffed to the gills.

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Smoked meat, swiss cheese, homemade relish, mustard on rye bread and some grapes that went uneaten. I had to wait a solid two hours after this before I could even think about going to the gym! So not like me!

Sister Sara wanted to join me for the workout. She’s a member of the YMCA, and my mom had a handy-dandy pass for me.

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Did you know there’s special VIP change rooms at the YMCA? I didn’t!! It had a whirpool! Anyways, my sis said she wanted to do some upper body weights, so that’s what we did!

Warm-up:
20 minutes on the elliptical w/ 10 min high intensity intervals

A1 – One-arm dumbbell snatch:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 8

B1 – Romanian deadlift to bent-over row:
3 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

B2 – Dumbbell fly:
3 sets @ 15 lbs x 8

C1 – Assisted pull-ups:
3 sets @ 70 lbs x 8

C2 – Cable tricep pulldown:
3 sets @ 30 lbs x 8

Plank: 90 sec
Side plank: 30 sec each side
Swiss ball roll out: 12 reps
Prone jackknifes: 12 reps

HIIT:
15 minutes in treadmill, 2 min recovery, 1 minute sprints

T’was an awesome workout! I typically work out alone, so it was nice having a buddy :)

My hunger returned with a vengeance after the workout. Thankfully, there was leftover lasagna to be had.

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Then it was off to my dad’s place!

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They just got a new puppy – a boxer/bull mastiff mix. I was a little apprehensive, especially when we were greeted by this GIANT kennel in the entrance!

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But the puppy is harmless. Ohmygoodness, the most docile and shy dog I’ve ever met. No beastly doggie to be found.

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It was a wonderful afternoon hanging out with my dad and step-family #2. We noshed on many sweets, fruit, and maple smoked salmon.
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And showed off all the gadgets we got for Christmas.
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The cat meanwhile, snoozed behind the tree. Typical :P Oh, you guys may apreciate this: their cat’s names are Peanut Butter and Cashew ;)

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Then it was back to my mom’s place for even more food!

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Leftovers. Reheated Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese & Parmesan Galette, Brussel Sprouts, Bacon & Figs, Carrots & Turnip and then whole grain baguette that I ate with laughing cow cheese, turkey and Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce. Um yeah. It was good.

Eaten with my two boys by my side…

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Bah! I miss having pets around!

Then I cuddled up with the fam and watched movie about, you guessed it, food!

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I liked it, it was cute :) I also randomly want to debone a duck now.

I gotta say, today I really noticed the difference exercise has on my appetite. I didn’t workout yesterday and basically ate a big breakfast and big supper and was completely satisfied the whole day (when I usually eat 5-6 times a day). When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t stomach my usual sized breakfast. After 90 minutes at the gym, it’s as if those big meals never happened. I got hangry!! And have been all day! Exercise also gets rid of that lingering grossness I have after big meals sometimes. Funny how that works. Another +1 for a solid sweat sesh in the morning! ;)

 

Question of the Day: What’s the number one reason why you workout? I’m addicted to endorphins. Some of it is vanity for me, but nothing beats the way I feel both during and after. It’s incomparable to anything else!

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