Blog Archives

The Good Stuff

In my next life, I’m coming back as a dog.

IMG_5623

I could totally keep up with Archie’s schedule of sleeping all day. Instead – I studied all day!

Was up a little late watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last night. That’s my new fave show. “The Naked Chef” used to air after school when I was in middle school, and I will always credit it for teaching me how to be passionate about food. The man doesn’t know it yet, but he’ll be leaving his wife for me :P

Anyways, there’s no clock in my room, and I magically woke up 8 hours after drifting to sleep. Perfection!

Dug through my mom’s fridge and came up with this for breakfast:

IMG_5607 

I found sesame ezekiel bread in the freezer! Better than finding a $20 bill on the side of the road :P

Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Sesame Bread

This bread is seriously like gold – two pieces have 160 calories, 28g carbs, 6g fibre, 8g protein. However, it’s also priced like gold – $5 a pop. Too rich for my blood, hence the joy when I discovered it.

IMG_5611

Butter was used on both the toast and frying pan for the eggs. Mmmm…

My mom went off to exercise class this morning while I stayed home. Boo! My body’s due for a rest day, and my cold is progressing. I’ve gone from a sore throat, to sore throat and runny nose. It’s all pretty mild though, hoping it gets through all the stages quickly.

Instead, I studied! I studied all freakin’ day. There is SO MUCH material I need to know for my personal training test next weekend. I’m starting to get nervous I won’t be able to cram it all in my brain.

My morning snack did not fall into the healthy category – but I wanted a treat.

IMG_5614

President’s Choice Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Equalizer bar.

The ingredient list might take a while to read…

IMG_5615

Overall it was okay.

IMG_5618

I don’t eat these types of protein bars much anymore, so when I do I want something that’s really good and worth the splurge. This, while chocolatey and edible, wasn’t quite worth it. But ya never know till you try!

Dug around my mom’s fridge some more for lunch and came up with this:

IMG_5628

Turkey salad pita with celery, carrots and cream cheese (better than Cheez Whiz!)

I found this bouquet sale in my mom’s fridge. I have no clue what it is, a rub or tapenade of sorts?

IMG_5624 IMG_5626

Mostly made up of veggie bits, and only 5 calories a tablespoon.

IMG_5627

Plus, it smelled darn good so I scooped a bunch into my turkey salad, which already had some mustard, cucumber dressing, onions and celery.

IMG_5630
Whoooa nelly, it was salty. I got so excited to see it was only 5 cals per tbsp, I somehow missed the 510 mg of salt!! Whoops. My “palette” is sensitive to salt to begin with, so it was overload. Didn’t stop me from polishing it off though ;)

Mark (mom’s boyfriend) found some honey lemon tea for me to help the cold along.

IMG_5635

Drank out of one of my mother’s famed monarchy mugs.

IMG_5634
Yes, we are Anglican monarchists. I could also probably identify the characters on Coronation Street for you. Wished this tea was Earl Grey because honey lemon sucks. Blech. Tastes like Neocitran, Soothed the throat though!

Mom and I teamed up for dinner. She made baked chicken breast with a crazy good mushroom gravy.

IMG_5640
For the gravy, she simmered 1/2 a can of Campbell’s low-fat cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, mushrooms and onions.

Mommy dearest also assembled the Greek salad.

IMG_5638

She buys the good olive oil as well. The stuff that’s actually green. Really, at this rate, she’s lucky I haven’t moved back home yet.

My contribution?

IMG_5639
Cheetahs! Sliced sweet potato sprinkled with salt and chili powder, baked in a 450 F oven for 20-30 minutes. My mom also mashed some taters. Deeeelish meal. Even the kids ate it up.

That’s all from me today! I’m super stiff from studying all day, so I’m going to go stretch out a bit before hitting the books again. Hoping to get lots more sleep tonight so I’m good enough to sneak in a workout and visit to my Nana tomorrow. Will play it by ear. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!! xoxo

 

Question of the Day: What is one grocery item you must splurge on? What is one you won’t? Protein powder is always my most expensive grocery item, but it’s one I refuse to give up. I cannot bring myself to buy expensive frozen dinners though ($6 Amy’s bowls, I’m looking at you).

The Age Old Weight & Rep Debate

Did everyone survive their Tuesday? Mine was looong. Well, the work part was long, the time after work always flies by!

Was up and at ‘em for a lifting workout this a.m. My goal was to do upper-body weights and to lift heavy. High weights, low reps, an extra set, and longer rests in-between. Sometimes it’s nice to change it up and challenge my muscles in a different way!

Warm-up: Sprint Intervals on Elliptical

Minutes Level
0-3 10
3-5 14
5-6 17 (sprint)
6-8 15
8-9 18 (sprint)
9-11 16
11-12 19 (sprint)
12-14 16
14-15 18 (sprint)
15-17 15
17-18 17 (sprint)
18-20 14

Straight Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
One arm dumbbell snatch  25 lbs 5 4
Romanian deadlift to row  60 lbs 5 4
Wide-grip lat pulldown  60 lbs 5 4
Incline dumbbell shoulder press  25 lbs ea 5 4
Incline dumbbell curl 10 lbs ea 12 3
Tricep pulldown 40 lbs 12 3
Swiss ball crunch  14 lbs 20 1
Russian twist  14 lbs 40 1
Prone jackknife  bodyweight 15 1
Plank up  bodyweight 16 1

Cool-down was stretching! It was neat to do all straight sets as well, as I normally alternate many of my moves. The plan is to do one upper-body workout a week at high weights/low reps like today’s. Then I’ll do a low weight/high rep workout (ie a DVD), and then a full-body workout that falls in between. That’s the thought process behind it all anyways :)

My desk-breakfast was less than stellar today. Boo.

IMG_4189

  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 2 tbsp homemade granola
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • handful frozen whole strawberries (defrosted overnight)

I dunno, I was just not into this. I think it was the flax. Too much. It wasn’t hearty enough for a breakfast either. And maybe missing nut butter. I’ll stop complaining :P

I forgot to pack an extra snack today, luckily there were some Mini Egg cookies left.

These were still the talk of the office today. A lot of people asked for the recipe. It’s pretty easy to make a delicious cookie though, all you need is butter and sugar. Ohheckyes.

IMG_4193

And big hunks of Mini Eggs ;) Please ignore my chipping nail polish, but do bring your attention to my talon-sized fingernails. Fatty February baby!!

For 130 calories, my mid-morning snack, while delicious, was not very filling. So I had a cuppa tea to help things along.

IMG_4196 
Yogi Chai Rooibos. Think it’s my favourite flavour from my Bloggie Valentine stash.

My boss walked in while I was eating lunch and told me I eat the largest salads he’s ever seen.

IMG_4198

Leftover breaded chicken breast on spinach and other various veggies. Homemade salad dressing of 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and dash of pepper and parmesan cheese. I’m finally starting to get the hang of making my own salad dressings. This one was quite tasty!

Rushed home for supper again. Tonight’s meal comes courtesy Leah at Leftovers for Lunch. Quinoa and Salmon Stew.

IMG_4207 

Quinoa & Salmon w/ Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided cooking spray
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
small bulb of fennel grocery store didn’t have it!
2 cups water oops, totally missed this
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, undrained
1 pound salmon fillets, skin removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 small lemon

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy, 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid). Return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and boil gently over medium heat until quinoa is translucent and tender, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in salmon. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until salmon turns opaque and is cooked through, about 1 minute. (Check and cook an additional minute if needed.) Turn off heat. Stir in dill, lemon juice, and zest, plus remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add salt to taste, if needed.

I served it with a whack of frozen veggies. Was trying to use up the remnants of three different bags!

IMG_4200
Lovelovelove this stew!! For some reason, when I cook salmon I always want to pair it with maple, but dill is such a wonderful flavour with it! I also veggie-fied it a tad by adding carrots and green beans. And yes Leah, I am most definitely having stew leftovers for lunch tomorrow ;)

Dessert!

IMG_4210

Few pieces of the chocolate I also got in my Bloggie Valentine package! Very dark and rich, splendid.

And check out what I got in the mail!!

IMG_4188

A $10 gift certificate to the Running Room. Apparently they track your purchases and give you “points” based on how much you spend. I’ve spent enough for ten bucks! It was a verrrry pleasant surprise seeing as I had no idea they do this. But also unsettling to see how much I’ve spent at that store since last summer :\

 

So as I was coming off my heavy-duty weight workout today (for me anyways!) I saw Fit Bottomed Girls tweet about Tracy Anderson’s new reality show. For those of you who’ve never heard of her, Tracy Anderson is a personal trainer known for working with stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna. Her “claim to fame” is telling women they should never lift anything over 3lbs and doing 40-60 reps. She also loves to isolate small muscles. Bah!

Now, I can understand doing low-weight training for endurance. But I’ve never been able to understand how doing ballet and pilates inspired moves can make a person physically longer andtoned.” Whenever people tell me they don’t want to “bulk up,” I respond by saying by say “muscle only grows one way.” What I mean is that, you’re either building muscle or you’re not. If you want your muscles to show (or look toned), you have to do what it takes to build that muscle. You need to strain it enough to tear the fibres, and then let it recover enough so those tears can repair and grow.

There’s nothing technically wrong with 60 leg lifts in a row, it can make you stronger. My point is, you need to put more strain on your muscles to see results. I just feel this Anderson chick is only perpetuating the “bulk up” myth that so many women are afraid of. I guess it depends on your ideal body composition anyways. I would rather look like this:

…than this:

 

Question of the Day: Thoughts?? Does Tracy Anderson make your blood boil too, or do you think she’s on to something?

Fatty February Update!

I had a blast reading through everyone’s favourite alcoholic drinks! Glad to hear I’m not the only rye/whiskey girl. Many of you probably know that I’m not a huge drinker anymore. In fact, I consume alcohol maybe only once a month now? If even! I wrote about it in this post. I lost my taste and desire for it, but at the same time, I still need a big night out on the rare occasion :)

Monday was a pretty typical day for me. I was quite proud of myself for dragging my butt to the Monday morning spin class despite my whacky weekend. I pulled myself to the gym again today for some treadmill work and a full-body workout. Nothing suuuuper intense, but a solid sweat sesh nonetheless.

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
Barbell squat  45 lbs 12 1
Barbell squat  55 lbs 10 1
Barbell squat  65 lbs 8 1

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 3
Pistol squat  bw 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Incline dumbbell shoulder press 20 lbs ea 8-12 3
Static lunge  10 lbs ea 12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 12 3
Hanging leg raises  bw 12 3

 

I feel like I should add that I’m still in the beginner stages of the pistol squat! Someday my leg will stick out perfectly in front of me and I’ll get my bum to the floor. But right now my foot just sort of dangles as I try to get my thigh parallel to the ground. It’s tough! I’ve got old-lady hips too, so my threshold for lower-body weightlifting is pretty darn low. My hips were popping and hurting by the time I got to the leg raises.

Today’s desk-breakfast was more cold goo.

Grape nuts and yogurt
Not overnight oats but Grape Nuts! I randomly picked up a box of Grape Nuts cereal because I’d never tried it before. I mixed it with yogurt, almond butter and blueberries. It made my breakfast almost cake-like in texture. I hear the cereal is good heated up, I’ll try that next :)

Morning snack was one of my new favourites, inspired by my mom!

Armstrong cheese
While my mom was visiting, she kept eating deli meat wrapped around cheese. Turns out it’s an awesome high-protein, high-fat snack. Today’s was smoked tofurkey slices around Armstrong herb & cheddar cheese.

Lunch was leftovers!

IMG_3881 
This is what I also had for supper on Monday. It was crazy good for being so crazy simple and made-up on the spot.

  • ground turkey
  • 1 can Heinz chili-spiced kidney beans
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • sweet peppers
  • minced jalepeno
  • minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp garlic tomato paste
  • fresh green beans

I was so excited about my leftovers today, I forgot to pack an afternoon snack. I had to venture down to the university’s cafeteria where there were unusually slim pickings.

So God chocolate soy milk

They didn’t even have granola bars!! The chocolate soy milk was pretty good though, I haven’t had it in a while.

I’m also doing well on “operation-become-an-office-tea-drinker.”

Lipton chamomile tea

Today’s chamomile was also brought to me by the cafeteria. Not sure how I feel about these Lipton teas they offer. They never actually taste like what’s on the label.

I needed to clean the kitchen when I got home, which means a roasted dinner. Throw everything in the oven then clean while it cooks!

white turnip
I had tons of root veggies in my fridge to use up – white turnip and parsnip. I used to hate turnip growing up, but I loved it tonight!

And some pepper squash.

pepper squash

Spread with some real buttah ;)

And a giant chicken breast stuffed with Olive & Feta Hummus.

stuffed chicken

To stuff my chicken, I just slit it down the side and sandwich the good stuff in there :) Hummus and laughing cow are probably my favourite stuffings.

Evening snack was another one of my new favourites – protein cookie dough.

IMG_3921
Mixed up 30g chocolate whey protein powder and vanilla almond milk until it was a nice thick goo. Then I stirred in 2 tsp peanut butter, mini chocolate chips and sprinkles. Love this. It seems teeny tiny, but I assure you it’s filling – and that means a lot coming from me!

While licking on my protein batter, I finally cracked open this beast:

IMG_3907

IMG_3905

Oof. It’s been a while! I kinda stopped studying after my course was delayed by three months. Alas, the course date is fast approaching again (mid-March!) and I still have a lot to get through. Tonight, I learned all about muscular concepts. Lots of info.

 

Fatty February Update!

Seeing as its past the mid-month mark now, I want to do a quick Fatty February update! I was doing reallyreally well before my Halifax trip. Adding olive oil to things, eating fatty fish and having lots of nut butter. But it obviously all went out the window for a few days there :P Right now, I’m just trying to get back on track with it! These past couple days I’ve been relying on nut butter waaay too much – about 3-4 tbsp a day as my main fat sources. I haven’t tracked my food intake, but I know it’s not enough, and not a balanced way to get it. Making sure I get a wide variety of healthy fats is definitely going to be a continued effort on my part. I’m workin’ on it!

As for any noticeable difference – my belly pudge shrank. Seriously. I half-credit it to my cutting out carb-heavy snacks at night (been doing mostly protein snacks before bed). But I think upping my fat has balanced my macronutrients out to a ratio that is much kinder to my belly bloat.

I weighed myself this morning, and even after the mass consumption of high-calorie sugar foods this weekend, I’m back at my pre-Christmas “happy weight.” Again, I can’t fully credit this to upping my fats, but I think consciously choosing fattier foods has just led to a more balanced diet on my part. One that has helped me maintain my weight better.

So far so good! No noticeable difference with my skin and hair, but I swear my nails are growing faster.

 

Question of the Day: Fatty February-ers – how are you doing? Any noticeable changes? Any fatty foods you’re loving?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 486 other followers