Blog Archives

Keeping it Sweet

Aahhhhh, it was so hard to leave this face this morning!!!!!

IMG_5704

I got up even earlier this morning (5am) to take him outside before going to spin class. He was so upset when I left, it tugged on my heart! Archie’s been following me everywhere, kinda like a poodle-shaped shadow ;)  But my mom says it’ll get better once he realizes that I actually come back.

Spin class today was probably my worst. I don’t know what happened! It definitely felt tough, but halfway through I started feeling sick. Thirsty, but the thought of drinking made me want to throw up. I felt okay on the bike, but knew I’d be in trouble once I got off. Sure enough, during the stretching, I got a ringing in my ears and started seeing black dots everywhere. I quickly wiped off my bike praying I wouldn’t topple over before getting out of there. I immediately went into the air-conditioned hallway and sat by a window until I felt like I could stand again, then took a cold shower.

So frightening! I didn’t do anything different from my usual routine, except perhaps ate my pre-workout snack (bread + PB + jam) 15 minutes earlier than I normally do. My gut tells me I was dehydrated/undernourished. Perhaps lacking in electrolytes, as I lose them quickly compared to most people. Just when I think I’ve got it down to a tee, my body throws me a curveball! Going to try weightlifting tomorrow with extra food/water. If it happens again, I will leave and take a few more days off.

Breakfast was nourishing to say the least.

IMG_5692

Clementines, boiled eggs, Taste of Nature Persian Pomegranate Garden bar.

IMG_5702
Nutritionals for the bar found here. It was better than I was expecting!! The first two ingredients are sesame seeds and fig pieces so it had a wonderful gooey, crispy texture. Thumbs up!

Morning/afternoon snacks were homemade dark chocolate s’mores protein bars.

IMG_5697

Oooohhhhh yeeeaaahhh. Recipe at the end of the post!

Lunch!

IMG_5699 
Sundried tomato tuna, hummus, feta, black olives. And the usual plethora of baby carrots.

IMG_5700 
Carrots are high in sugar, I think that’s why I like ‘em so much ;)

After eating, I proceeded to drive to the grocery store, shop, drive home, put the groceries away, take the dog out and drive back to work all in a 60 minute lunch break! This is me tooting my own horn. Toot.

Getting groceries at lunch meant I could rush home after work and get started on this feast right away.

IMG_5716
Two chicken thighs off a rotisserie chicken. Heated up in the oven.

The real star of the show was the veggies!

IMG_5711 
I sprinkled sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower with garam masala before roasting them. I used the Clubhouse kind which includes a mix of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, coriander, red pepper, onion, carrot, garlic, etc. SO good. It was such an amazing flavour, loved every delicious bite.

The chicken was good too – I love dark meat!

IMG_5712
The skin was given to the pooch :)

Archie by the way has a really funny way of eating. He grabs one piece of food, brings it into the living room, then starts playing with it like a cat.

IMG_5681

He throws it around, gets down and starts wagging his bum like he’s going to attack. One piece at a time… :P

Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying decadent protein desserts.

IMG_5727 IMG_5729

I’ve been adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a stevia packet to my usual protein pudding (1 1/2 scoops chocolate protein powder mixed with water to thicken). I kid you not, it tastes just like brownie batter. I feel like I’m licking the brownie bowl eating this!! It’s almost too rich. Almost ;)

Ooooh, speaking of rich and decadent, my new protein bars!

 

Homemade Dark Chocolate S’more Protein Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops chocolate protein powder (I use whey)
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 tbsp mini chocolate chips

Mix everything but the fluff together, adding water until powder is just dissolved and sticky. (the more you mix, the more it dissolves, so add sparingly). Lightly stir in fluff. Flatten into a square pan and let harden in fridge.

IMG_5684

Makes 8 rich, knock-your-sweet-tooth-out bars.

IMG_5685

image
And with that, it’s someone’s bedtime!

IMG_5723

I apologize if I’m MIA from blogland this week, I’m spending all spare minutes cramming my brain with personal training info before my test on Friday. Wait a tick, I don’t apologize. It’s important that I pass!! (and can pass all my knowledge on to you guys ;) )

 

Question of the Day: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you grade your sweet tooth? (10 being the sweetest) Umm, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, it should come as no surprise that mine comes in at a solid 9.2. Chocolate of course is my favourite, generic candy a close second.

On Fi-yah

Hello friends! Apparently a lot of you want me to make banana softserve and homemade larabars in my new food processor! I couldn’t agree more :) But first things first you guys, I’ve got to get my hummus on ;)

Well, I started today off like I start every Wednesday – Waffle Wednesday!!

101_0485 
You know the drill…

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon

All blended up, with 1/3 cup frozen blueberries added, then into the Belgian waffle maker.

101_0487 
Yummmm. I ate these with my hands :)

I decided to skip my usual morning snack and see if I could hold it out till lunch. Sometimes I feel like I have a snack just for the sake of having it, when I don’t really need it. Well, I made it to lunch, without eating my arm off. But I was quite hungry, and my lunch was too small.

101_0493

Tofu + tofu spread pita. Usually I have a side of veggies or fruit to go with my pitas, but I thought this would be enough. Skipping snacks, then going for lighter meals apparently doesn’t work (HUGE duh!!)

Ninety minutes later I broke and had a snack.

101_0501

Taste of Nature Argentina peanut plains bar. This is one of my new bar finds – and it’s Canadian!

101_0507 
Ingredients are about as simple as you get: “peanuts, agave nectar, brown rice syrup.”

101_0511

I had high hopes for this bar. I mean, how is sugar and peanuts not good? But it was crunchy (not chewy) and almost like a brittle. Very plain tasting, needed some salt. Honestly, I think I’d just rather a handful of peanuts.

So lesson of the day is: I sometimes still suck at intuitive eating. But I didn’t die without a snack this morning. I made up for it by snacking all afternoon though because I was never satisfied from lunch. I guess, if my diet ain’t broke, why am I trying to fix it? :P

Then the highlight of my day came: I got to see the Olympic torch!!!!

101_0518

101_0519

101_0520

How cool is that!?!? Canada is hosting the Winter Olympics, so they’re bringing the torch through all the small cities as part of its international run. Chris and I caught the start of the run. It was so neat to see. This HUGE entourage of decked out vans (including one with dancers) pulled up. The first torchbearer waited nervously until they lit the torch and brought it out. Then she was off! They did a little tour around the city and had a big ceremony tonight that I purposely avoided (eeek, crowds).

After the brief excitement, Chris and I went across the street to Boston Pizza for some grub.

101_0525

Boston Pizza is definitely one of those scary chains that people warn you about. Hard to order healthy here, and the food isn’t that great to begin with.

Chris pulled a Garfield.

101_0528

I got the lemon baked salmon.

101_0530

BLECH. Ugh, I try not to be a food snob, but this salmon was majorly sub-par. Waaaay overcooked. You can tell it was just a frozen hunk that was thrown in the oven. The saving grace of this meal was the balsamic vinaigrette with sundried tomatoes on the side. So not worth my money.

But it didn’t matter, cause afterwards we went to go see New Moon and that was definitely worth my money! I liked it much better than the first. The acting was better, and well, I’m a Jacob fan. Edward just isn’t my type ;)

 

Python business… 

Lara mentioned that maybe I should talk about what workouts I’ve been doing to get my little muscle bumps on my arms. Honestly, I haven’t been doing much! I dedicate two workouts a week to weightlifting. One of those is full-body the other is upper-body + abs. My legs get so much work in with running, spinning and step class, that I really can’t do weighted squats and lunges more than once a week. Not just for the sake of my muscles, but my hips are really sensitive to it too.

Works out fine for me because upper body has been my focus lately! Back in my triathlon days I didn’t have much time for weight training on top of my six cardio workouts a week. But my shoulders started to look awesome with all the swimming I was doing! I actually haven’t swum since the triathlon itself, and when I didn’t pick up the weight training again right away (running and biking in the summer is just too much fun!) my newly sculpted shoulders started to disappear.

So. What exactly have I been doing? First off, I lift heavy. I usually do 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps at really challenging weights. Basically, I want my last rep to feel like I can’t push out any more. I know my weights are too low if my muscles don’t feel tired by the end, and too high if I can’t squeeze out more than two reps. I’m not entirely against low weights at high reps, as it’s good for increasing strength and endurance. But for straight up muscle building, I like the idea of heavy weights. A mix of the two is perfect!

I also really like to do alternating sets working two different muscles at a time. This allows for shorter rest times in between sets, and a better heart-pumping workout :) When I do my full-body work, I’ll alternate a lower-body and upper-body move for three sets, then move on to to another upper/lower combo. OR, I just do straight sets of compound moves that work both upper and lower at the same time. Squatting with a front grip on a barbell then pressing it over my head as I come up (front squat push press) is a perfect example of that.

I approach my upper body only days the same way. Except, I try to work opposite muscles in my alternating sets. It’s really easy to fatigue quickly when you’re working the same muscle in two consecutive sets. I also try to alternate pushing motions and pulling motions. A perfect example would be alternating sets of chest presses and lat pulldowns. Both work opposite muscles using opposite motions.

Of course, you don’t have to do two alternating sets. You can also do circuits of 3+ moves in a row repeatedly until, well, you’re blue in the face. But for the sake of not hogging all the equipment, I stick to two at a time.

If you’re not into the alternating thing, pyramid sets and drop sets are another great way to challenge your muscles which I addressed in this post.

And if you’re a complete newb and don’t know many lifting moves this page should keep you busy :) It’s all about getting in the weight room and trying things out! I’m a nerd, and I bring in notes and diagrams of any new exercises I want to try when I’m in there. Sometimes I get funny looks from people, but I’m never scared to ask for help if I need it :) Although, I gave a man a dirty look once for trying to help me adjust a bench. I don’t know why, but I do not appreciate chivalry in the weight room.

Aaaaand I’m off! Night night! :)

 

Question of the Day: What’s your least favourite restaurant chain? I really dislike Tim Hortons. They’re coffee tastes like grass water and their muffins are innocent looking cake bombs.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

101_0222 

No, you’re not on the wrong day. This is my Friday blog post, I just had the exact same thing for breakfast this morning. It was that good.

  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 chopped dates
  • unsweetened shredded coconut

And since I have to be in bed by 9pm tonight, my usual giant-sized coffee was just medium-sized.

101_0223

With a little almond milk and stevia because I was feeling like a treat :) After five years of working at Starbucks, I have a ridiculous mug and tumbler collection. Many are chipped or scratched in some way and were brought home for free. If I return, I am not allowed to acquire any more mugs. At least, that’s the plan.

I had full intentions on going to a 9:30 Hatha yoga class this morning, but my body was having none of that. I typically take a day off exercise every 3-4 days, but this week I did a full 6. My workouts were all pretty low-ish intensity (no crazy 10 mile runs this week) and I felt good when I woke up every day, so I just went with it. Well today, I took my hobbling as a sign that even a few gentle warriors were not going to fly.

So I stayed in bed. All morning. It was fab :D

I felt like I needed a breakfast numero deux seeing as I didn’t get out of bed and showered till lunchtime ;)

101_0229 

I never feel guilty eating my protein waffles as a meal, because they are pretty well balanced with the oats, egg whites, cottage cheese and flax. I threw in some blueberries for a little fruit ;)

101_0228 
Divine. I think there is a Belgian inside of me just bursting to get out :P

I braved the madness that is the grocery store on a Friday afternoon, and saw something that made my month. I started bouncing and squealing in the aisle, and could not contain my excitement. Behold:

101_0241

Eeeee!!!!! First, KIND bars!!!!! Second, PB&J and Coconut Cream Larabars!!!!! Thirdly, some tasty looking Canadian bar I’ve never heard of! :P

They had more flavours of these bars too, but this was all my wallet could take. And I can always go back and get more :) I’ll be sure to feature the bars as I go through them, especially the Canadian “Taste of Nature” ones.

I really enjoy grocery shopping by myself, I find it very therapeutic. But sometimes I wish there was someone with me when I start freaking out about food finds :P

Once unpacked, I assembled what could almost pass as a breakfast #3.

101_0246

Smoked salmon, capers, spinach, cream cheese on a bagel. And then some carrots, mushrooms and red pepper with red pepper hummus.

101_0252 
Solid meal. Good day of eats all around (including unpictured snacks).

 

Finally, I just have to say this week has been a very emotional week for me. I of course don’t moan on about every little detail of my life on the blog, and there are some things I don’t get into because other people are involved and it’s not fair. This week did not start good for me, but I got a lot sorted out and today feel content for the first time in a long time.

I’ve also made a somewhat solid decision about what I want to do work-wise. I’ve sent out at least a dozen resumes for communications jobs and I haven’t heard back from one person. To be honest, my heart isn’t in it, I’m just doing it because it’s what fits my current skill set. Maybe I could be happy in that type of position if I worked for a company I loved. But right now it’s not working for me, and I have a feeling I’m sending that negative energy out there with my cover letters and resumes.

So I will be working “service” jobs for the next little bit and while pursuing something completely different. Not sure if it’s what I see myself doing 20 years from now, but it’s what I feel is right right now. And there will be a lot of room for me to grow. My heart is in it 100% and that’s what truly matters. I will get back to you guys with the details once I get them hammered out!

Question of the day: What’s your favourite breakfast food? Mine is actually eggs! I know I don’t eat them much for breakfast, but runny eggs on toast is one of my favourite morning comfort foods. Oatmeal is just more filling for me, so it’s typically my go-to.

 

And with that, I’m off to start watching Crazy Sexy Cancer before my crazy early bedtime. See ya tomorrow!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers