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The Christmas Issue…

Ohmygosh you guys. I slept for almost nine hours last night. Amazing. I believe the last time that happened was last March when Chris and I were in Cuba. For some reason we slept like 10 hours a night when we were there. The rum maybe? I swear I wasn’t drunk last night :P

Aaaanyways, there was only one thing that could follow such a stellar night’s sleep. Fluffernutter oatmeal. On top of my TV (watching CBC’s new televised version of Information Morning).

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  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • cinnamon
  • peanut butter
  • marshmallow fluff

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MMmmmm… Fluff is so dreamy when it goes all melty on oats…

I put my tofu spread to work for lunch today, by mixing it with… more tofu!

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Crumbled tofu (cooked in the microwave for a couple minutes first) mixed with tofu spread, bell pepper, onion, tomato and mushrooms then crammed into a pita.

By the way, I don’t picture everything I eat at work! Well, I don’t picture everything I eat period. I’m a snacker, so there’s a lot of snacks that happen in between meals that don’t get shown on the blog. It’s especially difficult for me to photograph everything I eat at work as it’s usually consumed while doing something. For example, I had some homemade trail mix this morning while sitting in on a government hearing. Didn’t really want to whip out my camera and take pictures of the plain ole’ nuts I was eating. Especially while listening to a presentation on infanticide with the province’s attorney general, ya know?

But I did have time to photograph the crazy delicious supper I made :D

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A hummus frittata:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper. chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 2 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, sliced
  • dash paprika and onion powder
  • 2 tbsp red pepper hummus
  • 1 piece of whole wheat toast

Sautee the veggies in paprika and onion powder. Beat eggs together, pour into pan, and cook on medium-low heat until mostly solid. Stick pan under broiler for a couple minutes until top is slightly browned. Top with hummus and toast pieces.

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I thought about putting the bread pieces in the frittata, but I didn’t want it getting lost in there. And what I really wanted was some toast. Hence the random pieces on top – but it was delicious!! And hummus and eggs are a wonderful combo too :)

 

The Christmas Issue…

Ahhh….yes. The Christmas issue. It’s one of my November Goals to “get into the Christmas spirit” this year. You see, I don’t like Christmas, and I’ve gotten a lot of questions as to why. I figured I might as well get it out of the way as we’re only getting closer to the damn thing.

I actually don’t like talking about why I don’t like Christmas. Most people who know me, know I’ve never been into it. But I doubt even my family knows exactly why it bothers me. Although, the reason shouldn’t be the least bit surprising to them.

That’s because my dislike for the holiday is because of my family. Wait! I lovelovelove my family to pieces! But that’s exactly the issue.

My dad moved out on the second day of grade 7. I was 12 years old. It was rough. I will never, ever, go into the details publicly. I do not share them with even people I know personally, so don’t expect to ever see it on the blog. Those first few months of my parents separation were, to put it bluntly, awful. Everyone in my family could probably attest to that. Many arguments were had, tears shed, and lives changed forever.

That first Christmas, as you can imagine, was just as awful. It’s something I’ll never forget. My “perfect” family was shattered. None of us were “healthy” in several senses of the word. It was just a very depressing and heart wrenching time for us.

Christmas has since improved with every passing year. My family is apart, but we are all now happier because of it. I would never wish for things to be the way they used to be, because I can see how much better they are now. But that doesn’t change the longing I feel during the holiday season. I think of the happy Christmases I had as a child, contrasted with the awful ones that followed. Now, my holidays are spent between two homes, with two “new” families.

Again, I need to reiterate that I love my family the way it is now. The holiday season just conjures up a lot of emotional issues I have surrounding that dark period in my family’s history. Not to mention, it’s kind of awkward to separate a holiday between two parents. I guess the idea of “togetherness” may have to be modified to fit today’s modern family.

 

So there ya go. I just totally spilled my guts, and to be honest, feel really vulnerable about it! At the same time, you can understand why it’s important that I learn to overcome these emotions and really learn how to embrace the Christmas season. Everything happened so long ago, and yet sometimes it feels like the wounds are still very raw. This year, I’m going to help heal them a little :)

 

So to help my efforts in learning to love Christmas, I ask you: What is your favourite thing about the holiday season?

And with that, I’m off to y-y-yoga. Juuuust what the doctor ordered :)

Monthly Goal Check-In!

Bonjour! Or, bonsoir ;) Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I’m suuuper excited the weekend is over actually, I’ve got a fun week ahead! Work Mon/Tue, but then Wednesday is a holiday and Chris and I’s four year anniversary. Then I also have Thu/Fri off. Wooooot.

I woke up exactly one minute before my alarm went off this morning. Love it when that happens. Alarms clocks are so jarring. Went for a s’muffernutter breakfast cookie.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • mini chocolate chips
  • splash almond milk

Fluff makes everything taste better, no?

Lunch was the usual fare, but with some delicious additions. Pita with tofu spread, red pepper, tomatoes and romaine. Bah! Tofu spread is so good!

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And super juicy honeycrisp.

Then after work it was the special Sunday spin class!! It was a-to-the-awesome. As I mentioned yesterday, spin classes are only 60 minutes long throughout the week. Today’s class was a special 75-minute weekend one. We had three instructors, and my favourite tunes. My legs were kinda dragging, but I still pushed it, burning 600 calories in the process ;) They hinted at a possible 90-minute class in the future. I’m so there.

My day had been low in protein, so I took care of that after spin with a delicious snack.

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1/2 cup plain yogurt mixed with one scoop chocolate whey powder. Topped with some chocolate & yogurt chips and coconut.
 
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May-jah yums!!! I don’t know why I don’t have the protein powder/yogurt combo more often. It was perfection.

Come dinner time, I was feeling really indecisive. Mostly because all I wanted was breakfast food! So that’s what I went with :)

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I like to think this is the Sunday morning meal I missed while at work ;)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flax

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I dipped it in 1/4 cup fake syrup whisked with 2 tsp almond butter. Totally hit the spot!

 

November Goals

It’s Sunday! Time to check in on those monthly goals ;)

Spend less on groceries.
Thanks to my mom treating me to Costco and leftovers this week! I think all I bought were cottage cheese and laughing cow (essentials!)

Have fun workouts.
Definitely had a blast working out this week!

Monday – Quite possibly the most fun exercise class there is – step!!

Tuesday - A weight lifting and HIIT extravaganza. It hurt so good.

Wednesday – A fun and sweaty treadmill speed session and abs with my mom.

Thursday -  Rest day :)

Friday – Early morning spin class. Only morning I look forward to my alarm going off.

Saturday - 4-mile trail run on a gorgeous crisp and sunny afternoon.

Sunday - Special afternoon 75-minute spin class at my gym!!!

Be less complacent with food.
I actually surprised myself with this one. As soon as I made the decision to eat with a purpose, my munching dropped drastically. Especially during my visit home this past week, which usually consists of many handfuls of Honey Nut Cheerios. Still working on the serving size complacency, which I’ll probably end up discussing in a future post this week.

Get more sleep.
I set a record this week by getting 8 hours of sleep three nights in a row!! Amazing! Part of it was that I made sure I was in bed really early on those nights (can’t say the same for the other four nights this week).

However, I think it’s also because I’ve been eating a snack immediately before bedtime. It’s no secret I’m a voracious hunger beast when I wake up in the mornings, and I think my morning hunger may be contributing to my early rising. With the night-time snack, I’m sleeping deeper, and longer into the morning. The "not eating two hours before bedtime" thing used to work for me. But let’s face it, my tummy has never slept while the rest of me has my entire life. Even as a child, I would jump out of bed and immediately stuff four toaster waffles down my throat. I think that’s only increased now that I’m more active and have purposely set my metabolism into overdrive.

Make it through the last month of work with a positive attitude.
Damn. I’m sucking at this one. Ever since I gave notice, I’ve been looking forward to it less and less.

Try my best to not let anything hold me back.
Nothing holding me back yet!

Figure out a way to get into the holiday season.
I’ve so far been able to successfully avoid all things Christmas. I suspect this will get harder as the month goes on…

Spend more time with my grandparents.
Check!! Got to see my Nana this week! :D I would like to see my other two grandparents soon though. They’re an hour drive away.

Be more honest with people.
I’m not doing very well with this. Mostly in that people at work keep telling me about these other news and radio jobs I should look into, and I don’t have the heart to tell them that’s not what I want to do. I don’t want them thinking I don’t value my time spent there, because I do.

Look for a job.
Still looking! I’ve been relying on job postings too much though, I have to start sending resumes to places that aren’t advertised as hiring. That’s how I got many of my jobs in the past…

Start playing music again.
I played my guitar for 10 minutes this week. Mostly because after that, my fingers started to hurt and I started losing my voice. I’m out of practice. H-core.

 

Question of the day: How are you doing with your goals?

Oh, and thanks for the feedback on the comment replies. I think I’ll just start replying to the blog from the e-mail notifications and paste your e-mail address in there too so you know I’ve replied :)

Have a great start to you week!

Cold Run, Hot Soup

Happy weekend everyone!! Hope you’re all having a blast out there in blogland. Not gonna lie, weekends are probably my least favourite time of the week because of my work hours (5am to 1pm). But I’m doing what I can to pull through these next five weekends at my job.

Thought I’d spice things up on the breakfast cookie front and prepared a tropical breakfast cookie.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop peach-mango protein powder (ISO Lean)
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 chopped dried apricot
  • 1 tbsp mini yogurt chips
  • splash unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • drizzle honey in top

This was pretty good! Surprisingly, quite tart compared to my usual cookies (which are admittedly waaaay decadent). I think the yogurt chips were my favourite part ;)

I also celebrated Sammie Saturday with a turkey and hummus sandwich at work.

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I only had a bit of roast turkey left, so it was mostly red pepper hummus. SO good!

A lot you also expressed interest in the tofu spread from the Costco haul.

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I just assumed it was one of those awesome products that only Costco carries, but apparently the company, Fontaine Santé, is a Quebec company. So that may explain why it’s not in some stores outside of Canada. They also make a mean hummus, tabouli and couscous salad.

I don’t think I’ve had this stuff since high school. I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since!

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Now I have my hands on the ingredients ;)

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I’ve been munching on it with pita bread and wasa crackers.

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Must resume attempts at recreating this when current stash runs out…

I surprisingly have a lot of energy today after little sleep last night. I knew as soon as I got off work that today was a running kind of day :) Despite the bright sunshine and clear blue skies, it was pretty chilly. +3 Celsius, or, 37 Fahrenheit (ugh, I will never learn how to spell that word, spell check gets it every time).

I ran in this temperature once before and recall my ears and hands being chilly, so I tried to dress accordingly this afternoon.

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A tuque for the for the noggin and some dollar store gloves. Also had a turtleneck technical shirt from the Running Room and some cheap-o spandex capris I bought on sale at the grocery store. Oh yes, and the mandatory paper towel to wipe my snot faucet nose every 2 minutes.

The shirt was perfect, but my shins/ankles were a little cold. It was fine once I got going, but I think it’s time I invest in some long running pants. The gloves came off towards the end, and the tuque kept my ears warm, but had the rest of my head sweating. Must add headband to that gear list :)

I ended up doing 4.3 miles in 40 minutes along my favourite trail. It was a good time, I tried to pick my pace up a bit, and hit 179 bpm during my sprint to the end (so close to 180!). Four miles is one of my favourite distances, short, but I never feel gypped :)

Came home and filled my belly with a post-workout smoothie.

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  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 scoops plain yogurt
  • handful ice cubes
  • 4 small dates (probably equal to 2-3 regular sized ones)
  • 1 scoop chocolate Amazing Grass
  • dash cinnamon

I’m all out of bananas, so I thought the dates would make up for the missing sweetness that I love. But what really made this smoothie was the cinnamon! The cinnamon tasted especially delicious blended with that “earthy” flavour of the Amazing Grass. I love spicy chocolate too, so it was a winning combo for me.

My afternoon was spent catching up on this week’s TV I missed and doing Yin Yoga in my living room. I’m not much of an at-home “flow-er,” I like having an instructor to guide me. But I looooove sitting in a handful of Yin poses for a half hour. Check out a pose guide here :)

For dinner, all I wanted was a big ole’ bowl of warm, comforting soup. So I reached into the depths of my cupboard and pulled out this:

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Campbell’s Gardennay Field Potato with Spring Leek. It expired a week and a half ago, I like to live dangerously ;)

I had about 3/4 of the box plumped up with crumbled tofu, frozen broccoli and cauliflower.

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It was still missing something. I wanted a little cheesy flavour, so I ventured back into the depths of my cupboards and found my nutritional yeast flakes.

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Muuuuch better. It was quite good with the nutritional yeast!

Now I’m thinking of cleaning the kitchen and making tomorrow’s breakfast cookie. Going to be a quiet weekend all around. What I’m reeeeeally looking forward to is a special 75 minutes spin class at my gym tomorrow afternoon. They only have classes in the mornings on weekends, so I always miss them. And the spin classes are usually only 60 minutes long. Can’t wait to get off work and spin it out with two of my favourite instructors :D

 

Questions of the day:

1) What’s your favourite soup? I don’t typically like drinking my calories, and that translates into soup. That’s why I always bulk them up to make them really chunky. I’m not sure if chili counts – but that would be my favourite!

2) Do you guys get e-mails when I respond to comments in the comment section? I think I’ve had people tell me they do, but I’m not sure if everyone does. I usually respond to comments by just hitting “reply” in the comments section, but I’m not sure if you’re notified of that or not. I know I personally hardly ever go back to comments I’ve left on other blogs to see if anyone replied…

 

See ya tomorrow for my November Goals check-in!

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