Blog Archives

Life in a Jar

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Going through my food photos, I noticed this one from last week that I never shared with you. I swear, it’s not because I am ashamed of it.

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That would be oatmeal in a Fluff jar topped with chocolate peanut butter and strawberries. The fluff melts and becomes a sweet syrup. SO good.

Apparently, oats in a jar continued to be a popular breakfast into this week.

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Either that, or I have a tendency to blow through fluff and peanut butter at the same pace ;)

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One of my pet peeves used to be the hard bits of nut butter at the bottom of the jar, but putting oatmeal in it solves that problem. What’s that purple stuff in there you ask?

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Jam of course!! When you’re out of fluff, jam is the next best thing to pair with PB ;)

This morning I got a grip on myself and ate breakfast out of a bowl.

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Yogurt with protein powder, dry oatmeal, cinnamon, blueberries, almond butter, and the kicker…

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Mint. If I could keep plants in the house without killing them, mint would be my herb of choice. Not just for the mojitos, but it makes for an excellent yog-mess topper!

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In a perfect world, blueberries would also be in season all year round ;)

You may recall that I tried fresh figs for the first time not that long ago, and wasn’t that impressed.

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Well, those were black figs. This weekend I spotted some green figs and decided to give them another try.

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Verdict? Much better! The center was a lot sweeter and more flavourful. Thumbs up!

I may not be baking much these days, but I sure am making lots of summery salads!

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I meant for this to be a quinoa salad, but when I opened my cupboard all I had was pearl barley. I still think quinoa will be better, thus, that’s what I’m putting in the recipe ;)

Hearty Tofu Quinoa Summer Salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut in 1cm cubes
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 block tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried chilis

Cook the quinoa, sweet potato and tofu in the water for around 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let chill in the fridge for several hours (one day is best to let the flavours come out!)

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I tossed some of the leftovers with spinach, zucchini, green pepper and tomatoes today for lunch. Yumyum!! I am aalll about the protein packed summer salads these days ;)

Supper wasn’t quite as successful.

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It started good – a Rowe Farms Italian Sausage on toasted rye bread from Brick Street Bread.

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Both are exceptionally tasty, made better only by the addition of ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut.

But then there was this pile of green…

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I normally love piles of green food. I though this frozen broccoli rapini would be no different. For lack of a better word, ick. It was chewy. Could not chew enough to swallow and the taste wasn’t that great. I get rapini is not one of those veggies that freezes well…

 

I also have some big news!!

Two pieces of news actually…

First, I finally picked out something to wear to the Healthy Living Summit Cocktail party.

Yes, this is big news :P

You have no idea how much mental energy I have put towards worrying about this stupid outfit. I am not a fashionista. Apart from whether or not it wicks moisture, I do not care about my clothing to any great extent. I think it comes more from the fact that I’m cheap and can’t bring myself to spend my hard-earned bucks on expensive pieces of material.

I had a few old dresses I thought I could wear to the event, but I didn’t feel right in any of them. And I’m all about feeling good in your own skin. You will have to wait till Friday to see my new $30 dress :)

Also, apparently everyone is wearing yoga pants during the sessions on Saturday. But I haven’t worn pants since I was in Alberta two months ago. I would have to disagree with the Gap and say that I do indeed look good in shorts. Anyone ever do yoga in jean shorts? :P

 

Okayokay, now on to the news that’s actually important…

I’m getting a Nutrition & Wellness Specialist certification!

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a loooong time and the time is finally right. I’m doing it through Can-Fit-Pro, the same as my personal training certification. I’ll be given a textbook and take a weekend of classroom instruction at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Right now, my hands are kind of tied as a personal trainer when it comes to nutrition advice. The new certification will allow me to give nutrition counselling and advising on top of creating fitness programs so my clients will sort of have the whole package. Diet is such a huge part of the fitness and health journey, it’s important that people get some info on that too!

My classes are in September and my exam in October. This is just another part of what will be a long education journey for me, I can’t wait! :)

 

Question of the Day: Are you a fashionista? What’s your favourite piece of fashion advice? One that I always follow is that I never show off my upper and lower parts at once. If I’m wearing a short skirt, then I pick a modest top. If I’m wearing a low-cut shirt, then I’ll go with something longer on the bottom.

No Limits

Hello friends! Hope everyone’s weeks are off to a good start! It’s a four-day week in most parts of Canada as Monday was a holiday. Got a text message from my mom saying she’s in Cap-Pele, New Brunswick eating seafood straight from the ocean. Not gonna lie, I got my first twinge of homesickness!!

If I’m going to be truthful with you guys, then I have another confession to make. I haven’t been meditating.

About six weeks ago, I made a commitment to meditate for 20 minutes a day. My goal was to calm down, find some peace, deal with my anxiety over my life changes, and hone in on my spirituality.

It lasted five days.

I am not going to try to justify my quitting, nor am I going to re-commit myself. You may remember that on the third day, I got very anxious during the meditation. My thoughts started to race, my breath quickened, my pulse became rapid. It was not at all the peaceful, calming experience I was expecting. On day four it got worse, and on day five I came out of the meditation early to keep from hyperventilating. Then I didn’t do it again.

I had high hopes of using meditation to get to the root of my diagnosed anxiety disorder, but instead it seemed to pull it out of me. Maybe I am suppressing it, but I can honestly tell you that I feel more in control of it now than I ever have. I’m a former agoraphobic who now packs on to a sardine can of a subway to work every day. That feels like more progress to me than forcing a panic attack on myself by sitting still and worrying about all the things in the world that need to be worried about.

So that’s where I’m at. Maybe some day I will try the meditation thing again. But at this stage in my life, it’s not for me.

Don’t be shy to share your thoughts on this!! Has anyone else ever had a similar experience??

Anyways, I do have a few food photos for you today. We’ll start with dessert, as it should be.

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A Holly inspired protein cookie, or what we’ll call a chocolate marshmallow protein thumbprint cookie.

  • 1 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp chocolate whey protein powder
  • liiiitttle bit of water to make it crumbly

Form into three cookies, press your thumb in the centre, add a scoop of fluff, then let settle in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is a stellar dessert!!

Alright, now that dessert is taken care of, we can go into breakfast.

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What? Were you expecting breakfast to be anything other than waffles?

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My favourite waffle recipe as of late:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 packet stevia
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (beware! this measurement may change if you use a different “milk” just pour it in until you get a good batter consistency)

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Batter alone is 270 calories, 3g fat, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 0g sugar, 37g protein. Bam.

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Waffles however require toppings. This one here had fresh strawberries (a buck a pint in Chinatown!!) and a drizzle of sugar-free syrup whisked with chocolate peanut butter.

Remember that Mango Slaw I made over the weekend? Well it was a million times better after a day in the fridge. The flavours mingled and the dressing softened the mango and cabbage.

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I added some cubed tofu that I pan-fried in Bragg’s soy sauce. This combo was SO good. So good that I had it yesterday, then again today, and now I’m mourning the last of the summery slaw.

Today’s breakfast contained more summery flavours.

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A base of yogurt and protein powder, with fresh blueberries and blackberries.

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Toppings included fresh mint (yum), raw oatmeal, cinnamon, flaked coconut, maple syrup, almond butter.

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I never used to get how people could eat bowls of yogurt for breakfast and feel satisfied. I stand corrected. This bowl had around 400 calories with all the balanced macros. I got a good 4 hours out of it. Not to mention, t’was tasty ;)

 

In terms of fitness, I was all excited to start a bootcamp in the park today, but I read the location wrong :( Thursday, I will be bootcamped!!

 

Last, but most definitely not least, I have exciting news!!

Many of you who are into the whole healthy blogger scene know that there are a ton of conferences that happen every year on the subject. They are an amazing chance to get a group of like-minded people together to talk about the things they love, learn from each other, and of course have fun!

Unfortunately, so far most of these events have been held in the United States, and there seems to be a real need for something up north! Myself, Morgan, Karen, Scott, Jen and Nienke are happy to finally share:

No Limits Canada: Health, Wellness & Fitness Conference

 

That’s right!! A Canadian conference that anyone anywhere can come to! It will be held in Toronto in May 2011. So pleasepleaseplease mark your calendars! Details are still forthcoming, but I can tell you it is going to be a blast. We’re planning on fun, active sessions that will have you learning and keeping busy. Plus, I’m superduper excited to show everyone my fabulous new city ;)

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow here for updates as we have them for you. The website will be growing as we move forward, and I’ll of course let you know all the important stuff here on the blog! Get excited!! It’s happening!!

A Worthy Gain

What’s up.

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That would be me in my new personal training uniform. So unreal to be able to wear it now!! My client roster is slowly starting to fill and I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to go to the gym, help people get in shape, and call that “work” :)

Mucho gracias for indulging me in my last post about Jagerbombs. Despite being an employed trainer now, my behaviour has been decidedly “un-trainer-like.”

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We’ve had people visiting these past few days, which should always be met with celebrations. When they said they were going to Smoke’s Poutinerie I had to go. I knew it was going to be bad. Real bad. But I seem to have this insatiable food curiosity that sometimes takes away from my better judgement.

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I know a few people would be horrified by their treatment of the classic poutine – a dish of fries, beef gravy and cheese curds. Smoke’s has a large menu filled with various toppings and varieties. We’ll agree to call it a “fry and gravy” place ;)

I went for the Country Style: slow roasted chicken breast, double smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions.

Not gonna lie, I was a little horrified upon seeing what I’d ordered.

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LOOK AT ALL THAT BACON!!!

I had to dig deep to find the actual poutine part…

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Omg, I can feel my arteries clogging all over again just looking at this. I think I finally have my This Is Why You’re Fat submission.

I arrived to the Poutinerie after a heavy weight-lifting workout, which in retrospect was perhaps not the best idea. My stomach was loudly growling and I polished off the whole thing. The whole thing! In terms of how poutines go, it was just alright. I think I liked the Elgin Street Diner in Ottawa better. I prefer shoestring fries and mushroom gravy :)

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We walked down to Trinity Bellwoods park to enjoy our greasy boxes. The same place as the blogger picnic, and my favourite park in Toronto!! Okay, the only park I’ve been to in Toronto…

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Chris got the triple pork poutine with pulled pork, smoked bacon and Italian sausage. A little something he coined “poutirnalism.” Eating mass quantities poutine for the sake of mankind.

I of course immediately regretted stuffing myself with such food as I had to go directly to a job interview (part-time job at a coffee shop – fingers crossed!), and then to a fitness assessment!

I offered to be the victim of a fitness assessment at my new gym to get an idea of how they go about doing them. Keep in mind, mine was much harder than what they do to the average person. The trainer I was working with obviously wanted to see what I’m made of ;)

I tried to explain to him that I’d just eaten a pound of poutine, and that I’ve been feeding on hamburgers and cake since travelling to Banff in June. I can’t say I was surprised when I stepped on the scale and discovered I’ve gained 6 lbs in the last three months. Every ounce of that gain is the result of good food and good times I wouldn’t trade in for the world. But there’s always something about that numerical value that seems to sneak out of the scale and slap you across the face.

You mean I can’t eat a pound of poutine on the daily?? :P

Yeahyeahyeah, I guess now that I’m settled in my new home, it’s time to settle back into my usual eating routine as well. Noted Mr. Scale. Noted.

Weight gain aside, I did pretty well on the fitness assessment. There were a lot of lateral raises, ab moves and lunges among other things. My core strength needs work, but my legs and back are waaaay stronger than I was expecting. My shoulders are still struggling a little, but I’m workin’ on it :)

Lunch was eaten at 1:30pm and I didn’t start to feel snacky until 9pm!!

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I reached for this Daryl’s All Natural Regular Elite Granola Bar. A Canadian-made protein bar that I spotted in the fridge section of a local natural foods store.

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Ingredients and stats are okay…

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But the taste? Meeehhh. Notsomuch. The texture was lovely and reminded me a lot of my own homemade bars. But I thought there was too much honey and the dried fruit was a little tart.

I awoke this morning with the determination to get back on the straight and narrow. This of course meant celebrating Waffle Wednesday!!

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I whipped up quite possibly my best protein waffle recipe yet:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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Made two medium-sized waffles. While they were cooking, I also cooked peach slices with cinnamon in a frying pan.

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Thrown on top with flaked coconut and sugar-free syrup.

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They tasted like real waffles!!

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The recipe has 270 calories, 3g fat, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 0g sugar, 37g protein.

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It’s love!!

Even though I woke up incredibly sore from weightlifting and the fitness assessment the day before, I was still pumped for a noon-hour spin class.

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Pre-spin fuel was a few figs topped with my Easy Peasy Cream Cheese Icing.

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All I did was mix together a wedge of laughing cow cheese and a tbsp of marshmallow fluff. SO good!!

Unfortunately, I got my days all messed up and there was no spin class happening once I got to the gym. Instead I just hopped on various cardio machines while watching Sex and the City. Just as well!

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For lunch, I stir-fried every fresh veggie I had in the fridge and added tofu balls.

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I tossed the whole thing in Averie’s peanut sauce and it was divine. Stir-fries are becoming one of my favourite summer meals!

I’ve been trying to avoid the chocolate cake my roommie brought home, so I snacked on my own version later in the day.

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Deep Chocolate Vitatop with Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter.

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That right there, really is the stuff dreams are made of ;)

 

I will leave you with the above image to drool over. My dad, big sis and little step-sis are arriving in less than an hour and I’ve got things to do! I’m superduper excited to see them and show them my new city :)

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