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New ‘Do + New-To-Me Recipes

Peek-a-boo!

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I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!! Mine has been pretty low-key. Exactly what I needed after a couple hectic weeks.

Instead of hitting the streets of Toronto Friday night, I opted to lay in bed and read in my flannels. I’m currently hooked on this:

Between reading blogs and fitness/nutrition literature, I’ve reintroduced myself to adult fiction (there were a few years of only young adult fiction :P ). I’ve gone through about six books since June. At this rate, I’ll blow through The Lovely Bones in just a couple more days. Highly recommended!

The plan was to go for a run as soon as I woke up Saturday morning. But my body did that “awww hell nah” thing. So I opted to wake up slowly with a big ole’ bowl of oats.

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Mmmm… It’s not often I have hot oatmeal anymore!

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Topped with Lori’s pear cranberry jam + peanut butter. I let it digest for a couple hours and then hit the road running. I still wasn’t feeling very motivated, but seeing as I was out of coffee, I told myself I could stop for some on my way home.

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Having a Starbucks at the end of my running route could be dangerous! I’m trying to get into the habit of running on the weekends. Saturday I covered 4.5 miles in 45 minutes (I’m a solid 10-min pacer no matter what) along the lakefront trail. Unfortunately I was troubled with all kinds of pains. Knee pain during the run, hip pain lasting all day after the run. I need new running shoes!!! But I’m holding out until I get my new employee discount at the running store ;)

I came home and put a bag of frozen corn on my hip, then incorporated it into lunch.

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Corn & Cheddar Omelette. Mixed up a couple whole eggs with egg whites, milk and corn kernels. Then added old cheddar and Frank’s hot sauce for the filling. Awesome combo!

Saturday’s main event was a brand new haircut!!

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I feel so narcissistic for posting this :P I’d been tweeting about it though so I wanted to show the results! Nothing major in terms of length or style. But my last haircut cost me $12 and was so bad I didn’t like wearing my hair down. This new one was done by a legit big-city stylist thanks to my big sis <3 He kept calling my bangs a “fringe” and even showed me how to style it wavy without blow-drying. Most hairdressers insist I wear it straight!

On the way home I passed this scene:

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I try to act all blasé about seeing TV and movie sets in Toronto. I mean, I probably come across one once every few weeks now. But the curious person in me absolutely loves it. It looked like they were filming a winter scene. Some dude was shovelling snow on the street and all extras were in winter coats. Of course, the Toronto International Film Festival has also been going on!

Seeing as Sunday promised to be a busy day, I opted to do my weekly food preparations Saturday night. First up: Janetha’s Spinach Turkey Muffins.

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  • 20 oz lean ground turkey breast
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 package knorr vegetable soup mix
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • cumin, thyme, salt & pepper to taste (eyeballed it all)

Mix it all up and scoop into a muffin pan. I used a pound of turkey and adjusted the measurements a little. Also, I omitted the flax and added a pinch of dried garlic flakes.

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Baked at 350F for 45 minutes. They came out perfectly!

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Not pictured is all the ketchup that accompanied these babies. Ketchup is a must. 

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The veggie soup mix really gave these meat muffins a little extra sumthin’. Thanks for the awesome recipe JG!

Next up is Irish Brown Soda Bread. I found this recipe through Madeline who loves quick breads as much as I do ;)
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From My Recipes

Yield: 1 loaf (about 1 3/4 lb.)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  cold butter or margarine
  • 2  cups  whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4  cup  regular or quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 1/2  cups  plain nonfat yogurt
  • Milk

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in whole-wheat flour and oats.

2. Add yogurt; stir gently. If mixture is too dry to hold together, stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, just until dough holds together; it should not be sticky.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead gently 5 times to make a ball. Set on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pat into a 7-inch circle. With a floured knife, cut a large X on top of loaf.

4. Bake in a 375° oven until well browned, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or cool.

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As far as I can tell, the only difference between brown soda bread and the regular variety is that it’s partially whole wheat with a little sugar and oatmeal added.

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Uh-mazing. Because it’s a soda bread, it has a taste reminiscent of biscuits or scones. The crusty exterior is the best part though. Ohmy.

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I had a piece immediately out of the oven slathered in butter. It’s the one rule to making your own bread at home.

I was stoked to have more of the bread for breakfast this morning. But I couldn’t decide what to top my toast with…

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On one side of the ring we have more of Lori’s cranberry pear jam.

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On the other side was butter + vegemite.

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The bread was even more amazing toasted because it’s so crumbly. Both toppings were winners!

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Of course, what’s a Sunday morning without a little bacon and eggs ;)

From breakfast I went on to a free Vinyasa Yoga class at Lululemon which was amazing per usual. Then it was off to my first shift at my new job! I’m still personal training full-time, but now I’m working in a specialty running store 2-3 shifts a week as well. A little extra money, a way to meet people, and something to keep me out of trouble. I already learned so much about running gaits and how running shoes are constructed. Expect a post on it once I finish my training!

And with that, I am off to prepare my meals for my 15 hour work day tomorrow. Yes. You read that right. I’m looney tunes.

 

!!Don’t forget Project Food Blog voting opens on Monday! Click here if you would like to vote for me. You can check out my contestant profile here. Or read my first challenge entry: Ready, Set, Blog! I’ll be annoying you about this daily – thank you for any and all support!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite thing to eat on toast? Mine is soft poached eggs. Although I supposed it’s something I dip my toast into ;)

Macronutrients: The Daily Jigsaw

Hellohello! Dropping in after a day off blogging yesterday. I watched the Movie Kick Ass instead of blogging last night, and might I say, it was indeed kick ass. A little more gory than what I can usually stomach, but it was both hilarious and imaginative as well :)

First things first, lets discuss waffle makers.

Seeing as I’ve been eating a ludicrous amount of homemade waffles lately, it’s only natural that I’ve been getting more inquiries into what kind of iron I use.

Behold, the Proctor Silex Morning Baker Waffle Iron.

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Cost me $30 at Walmart, use it at least once a week and have absolutely no complaints. Cooks fast and evenly.

It should also be mentioned that you must spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray even if it’s non-stick. Unless you like scrambled waffles, then do as you wish.

There are a million waffle recipes out there, but I prefer a high-protein version. I have three versions of protein waffles: oatmeal cottage cheese, dairy-free-ish, and new one that has yet to be named.

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Yesterday, I went for the new recipe because it requires fewer ingredients. I got a little creative for Waffle Wednesday, adding fresh blueberries and dollops of almond butter to the batter after I poured it on the iron.

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After 3-5 minutes it was smooshed to perfection.

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I used to have one of those waffle irons that made the two rectangles at a time, much like a panini press. I do not recommend those as the waffles are small and take forrreeverrr to cook. Like 10 minutes for two little ones.

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These are not full-size belgian waffles. I don’t fill the iron so I get two smaller ones instead of one big one. That way it feels like I’m eating more :)

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The pockets of almond butter cooked in were awesome!!

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Dipped in sugar-free syrup of course, because a waffle is not a waffle without syrup.

Now onto today’s second topic…

Balancing out your daily macronutrients.

As I’m sure most of you know, macronutrients are the three categories of food from which your body gets energy – carbohydrates, protein, fat.

I have to start out by saying that everyone’s macronutrient ratio is different. Some people do really well on high carb, others well on high protein. Me personally, I do best on a ratio between 40-40-20 and 33-33-33. The first number represents the percentage of calories in a day that comes from carbs, the second is the percentage of protein, and the last is fat.

I don’t track calories, so I usually just wing it. Every day doesn’t always balance out, and sometimes I just need to go with my cravings, but you get the point ;)

My breakfast ratio is always the same 33-33-33. I always have a carb that comes from grains (bread, oatmeal) and/or fruit. I always have lots of protein with the addition of a good serving of fat. Sometimes they come together, like in the case of whole eggs or bacon. Sometimes I add them separately, such as adding protein powder and peanut butter. Every breakfast needs to have a good amount of all three ratios for me to feel satisfied for the rest of the day. This is the one meal that never changes and I’m most particular about.

The rest of the day, I just go with the flow :)

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Mid-morning I usually snack on some fruit accompanied by cheese or nut butter.

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Usually a little low protein, but lunch comes soon enough.

Lunch is typically a sandwich, pita, or salad.

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Sandwich and pita lunches are higher on the carb end. If I had nut butter in the morning snack, then I don’t stress about getting fats in my lunch. If not, I’d go for something like the above which has high-fat tofu balls.

My salad lunches however are higher on the protein.

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My salads are always a mass of veggies topped with a protein and a fat if I can sneak it in.

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The protein here is cottage cheese, but I also do tuna, chicken, pork, etc. My salad fats are nuts, full-fat cheese, dressing oil, or in this case a hard boiled egg with the yolk. The protein and fats are what keep me full!

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In the afternoon, I munch on something similar to my morning snack. Sometimes I grab a nutrition bar, wasa crackers, hummus, carrot sticks, or a protein bar of my own. I don’t stress too much over my in-between snacks, so long as they’re not too heavy on the calories and can keep me going until my next meal.

If my lunch was high on protein, like the above salad, then I have a dinner that’s a little more on the carb-y side.

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I’ll put my protein between some bread – like here where I had a spicy turkey black bean burger in a pita with sauerkraut.

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And I’ll go for a starchy vegetable on the side, like microwaved sweet potato chips!

However, if lunch was on the carby side, then I try to stick to protein and green veggies for dinner. Remember, I’m trying to balance out my protein and carbs for the day, with a few servings of fats!

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I had a tuna pita for lunch today, so instead of having more carbs for dinner, I stuck the turkey black bean burgers on a bed of frozen veggies with salsa and some laughing cow cheese.

Now, you may have noticed my snacks throughout the day still keep my carbs a little high. I balance it all out right before bed with a high protein snack.

My favourite is mixing around 40g of protein powder with cocoa powder, and dissolving it in a smidge of water to create a sticky “batter” like consistency. Strange, perhaps. But it’s absolutely delicious. More over, I find I wake up with less of a belly pouf in the morning when I eat straight up protein before bed instead of the bags of popcorn I used to eat ;)

Hopefully that gives you some insight on how to balance out your macros for the day! I never meal plan and just figure it out as I go. If my day so far as leaned toward one or two macros, then I just make sure I get a good serving or two of the lagging macro in my next meal. As I said at the beginning, everyone’s bodies respond differently to different macronutrient ratios, so don’t be scared to experiment!

 

Question of the Day: Do you focus on macronutrient ratios? Meal plan? Go with the flow?

Whole Paycheck

Hellohello! I had a blast reading through everyone’s random tidbits!! How fun!! Two extra tidbits I forgot to add yesterday:

1. I did a guest post on Deb’s blog on the method behind my homemade protein bars. Ch-ch-check it out!

2. I munched on something delicious while blogging last night.

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A take on Holly’s no bake protein cookies – peanut butter protein balls. To make this, I mixed together 2 tbsp chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp flaked coconut, 1 tbsp peanut butter, splash of water.

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All rolled up and stuck in the freezer for half an hour. The perfect bedtime dessert!

That little snack was just enough to hold me through my slumbering hours. I awoke this morning ready to refill my belly.

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Egg + bacon sandwich with mayo, lettuce and tomato.

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Fruit salad with fresh peach, strawberries and blueberries sprinkled with cinnamon and coconut.

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Definitely a breakfast worth getting up for ;)

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T’was already stinkin’ hot first thing this morning, so I made my second cup of coffee iced. I just stuck the glass in the fridge for about an hour then topped it up with a pack of stevia, cold almond milk and ice.

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I continued cooling down all morning with Mr Freezes. They’re only 10 calories a pop. Which I suppose can add up if you like to eat them throughout the course of the day ;)

Enjoyed a leisurely morning watching the Tour de France. Contador is so close to catching up to Schleck, it is making me nervous. I’m an Andy fan…

Even though his arms are the same circumference as the frame tubes on his bike. Contador just looks like a villain…

Evil.

Moving on!

Snacked up in preparation for the gym.

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Lemon flavoured yogurt with 2 tbsp unflavoured protein powder, blueberries, plain rolled oats, cinnamon and more coconut. Gah! I want it to always be berry season! These bloobs were so good!!

My legs are a little wrecked from the torture exercises I’ve put them through this week, so I focused on upper-body weights today with cardio spurts in-between. Kept the weight heavy, reps low, and added a set to shock the ole’ muscles.

Cardio
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the rowing machine, alternating grip

Straight sets

Cardio
5 minutes on the stepmill

Alternating sets

Cardio
15 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute sprints followed by 2 minutes of walking

Phew!! I haven’t done a workout like this in a while and it was tons of fun. It took me almost 90 minutes, so don’t attempt it unless you’ve got extra time. I suggest it as a good rainy Sunday workout ;)

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Was positively starving by the time I got home and immediately whipped up a steaming plate of spicy chicken stir-fry.

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Chopped up a giant marinated jerk chicken breast bought at the local butcher, and stir-fried it with onions, mushrooms, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and hot sauce. So simple, and so delicious :) Kept me satisfied foreverrrr.

Good thing too! As I had another big shopping trip planned for today.

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Yes my friends, my first ever trip to Whole Foods!!

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I’ve heard good things about it all over the internets for years now. We don’t have one out East, so I was excited to pay a visit as soon as I got to Toronto. Food shopping > clothes shopping.

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First and foremost, I was really excited about all the free samples they had out. Sure, they were covered in germs from people’s sticky fingers. But free food is free food.

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My favourite aisle: the nut butter aisle.

In all, my Whole Foods trip was fun, but in all honesty I wasn’t that impressed! Most of the items you can find in smaller organic stores closer to where I live, so the trip out to Yorkville isn’t worth the time to me.

I did enjoy an iced cafe au lait on the bus home though :)

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Don’t be fooled, I didn’t leave Whole Foods empty handed. There were some splurges!!

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  • Deep chocolate VitaTops
  • Silver Hills Steady Eddie bread (got with a free coupon – review to come!)
  • Essence of Peach Kombucha iced tea
  • Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
  • Fresh figs
  • Jicama

The whole thing (not including the bread) cost me just over 20 bucks. Mmmm…yeah. I can see how they call it “Whole Paycheck” :P I was thisclose to buying Sunshine Burgers – but they were $6.99 for only three burgers, too rich for my blood!

The chocolate peanut butter though, I just couldn’t say no to.

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Protective seals are meant for licking ;) Not bad. I think I like Nutella better.

And would you believe it if I told you I’ve never tried a fresh fig before??

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I’ve had tons of dried figs, but fresh ones are so hard to find in New Brunswick. For some reason they are a lot more abundant in Ontario. I immediately tore into one once I got home.

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Yet another thing I think has been talked up too much. It was kinda bland? Not very flavourful. The texture is fun though!

Last but not least, for dinner I prepared a much cheaper version of any burger you’d find at Whole Foods.

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Yesterday, I bought a pound of ground turkey for $4. Then, for 79 cents I bought a can of black beans to add to the turkey to “plump” it up.

Mixed the two together with a clove of garlic and tbsp of chili powder.

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Ended up getting six large spicy black bean turkey burgers out of the mix. Take that Sunshine Burger :P

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I ate one on a half a pita, smothered in ketchup, mustard and pickles. They turned out really good!!

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With a side of jicama fries. Sliced them up and baked at 450F for about 35 minutes. I was expecting them to taste like yucca fries, but they weren’t anything like them!! They were still kinda crunchy and tasted like water chestnuts. Interesting. I think I will try the rest of it raw on a salad…

And with that, I am off!! Sorry to leave you so abruptly, but my roommie is playing a show tonight and I’m laaaaate!! See ya tomorrow!! xo

Question of the Day: How do you save money at the grocery store? I always buy the cheap canned goods, it can sometimes be a difference of two bucks!

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