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Tips For Staying Healthy in College

You guys. I feel so much closer to you all now. You love waffles as much as I do!!! <—click for a chance to win a free waffle maker ;)

I also have to thank everyone for the congratulatory comments about my becoming a certified personal trainer. I swear I woke up feeling different today! John asked if I’d be like Jillian (Michaels, for those of you who aren’t on a first-name basis with her like John and I). I joked back that I’m more of a Bob (Harper). But really, I can’t wait to be ME! Hopefully I can bring all my personal experiences, attributes and knowledge to the table and create a training experience that’s unique.

Heidi asked if I have any idea where I’d like to work. Answer: not a clue. Honestly, at this point, I will take whatever I can get in Toronto. Yes, there are more jobs there, but there’s also more competition. So far I’ve been applying to jobs in my various fields – writing, communications, barista, fitness. My dream job is of course to be the columnist that appears after Tosca (Reno) in Oxygen. But realistically, I think I really want to give this training thing a shot! Even just doing it on the side for some extra $$. Preferably at a chain where the clients are provided for me. At least until I get some more experience and confidence to try other things. So that’s where I’m at!

Lunch.

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I am all over the fruity/salmon combo. Salmon lends itself well to sweet flavours to begin with, and this is becoming a favourite!

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I microwaved the remnants of a bag of frozen berries with some maple syrup.

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And put it on top of smoked salmon and english muffin. It was missing the usual laughing cow, but beyond that was stellar. If you’re a salmon fan I urge you to try it!

I spent the morning taking out the TWELVE bags of garbage to the curb, and loading up some of my car. Then it started to rain. Then I really wanted to go to the gym, I didn’t yesterday. So I said “screw it” to packing and cleaning and hit the iron. I think this is the first time I felt guilty for actually going to the gym! :P

It was a momentous gym visit too – my first one as a personal trainer. (I’ll stop this, eventually). Even more fun is that I ran into a girl I did my PT classes with and we squealed over passing. Good times :) Oh right! My workout!

Warm-up: 15 minutes on elliptical, increasing resistance

Superset x3
Lat pulldown (mid-back)
Barbell Sumo squat (quads, glutes)

Superset x3
Barbell bench press (pecs, front delts, triceps)
Barbell split squat (quads, glutes, adductors, soleus)

Superset x3
Arnold press (deltoids, traps, triceps)
Stiff leg deadlift (hamstrings, glutes, lower back)

Superset x3
Cable pushdown (triceps)
Cable bicep curl (biceps)

Superset x3
Cable horizontal woodchop (obliques)
Hanging leg raises (lower abs)

And then some stretching. Totally worth putting off packing for. I felt SO much better after. I just hope I’m not paying for it when I’m trying to move boxes tomorrow.

Came home and refuelled with some beer a smoothie.

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The healthiest drink to be in a Molson draught glass I’m sure – soy milk, Vega smoothie infusion, a banana, ice, and 1/2 tsp each of guar and xanthan gum.

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For my girl JB!! (soontobeJG) Even worse than posting a smoothie stache photo post workout, is going into the Bulk Barn a sweaty mess after in my workout leggings. Classy. This is what I’ve become in my unemployment.

The rest of the afternoon was spent tearing around town tying up loose ends before I blow this joint tomorrow. Stopped by the old office where they gave me a card that almost brought me to tears. My old officemate was my “victim” yesterday for my practical. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share these past four months with!!

Anyways, I did eventually pull it together. Picked up my new antibiotics for my legs *unenthusiastic yayyyy*

I’m down to the very last pieces of fresh food in my fridge/freezer.

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A turkey breast sliced up and coated in egg whites, panko bread crumbs, Kirkland no-salt seasoning.

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And roasted sweet potato slices.

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Aka cheetahs because they have spots! Check out the salt on those suckers too – love coarse sea salt :)

And while we’re talking about food – I added a recipe page for my Homemade Maple Cinnamon Oat Bran Protein Bars.

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I’m eating one right now!

Tips for Staying Healthy in College

Now on to an e-mail that I just had to share.

I’m studying journalism at University and since beginning a little over eight months ago, have gained nearly five kilos!  I think you use pounds, so that is like i guess 12 pounds?  I know that you went through something similar when you started at College, and I was wondering if you had any tips or exercises that you found useful?  It is hard with the whole drinking, hamburger eating, nights out in the pub culture.
Thanks so much.
Vanessa.

 

Now before I even delve into this, I feel like I should say, I’m no expert on staying healthy in college. I made a lot of mistakes and some bad choices, but in the end did find a few things that worked for ME.

1. Use the campus gym. Most universities have free gym access that hardly any students (besides those on teams) use. I did a lot of my weight lifting workouts during a 90 minute break between classes Mon-Wed-Fri. Remember, even going to the gym for 20 minutes is better than not going at all – it adds up!

2. Walk to class. I gained the bulk of my weight when I bought a car and stopped walking everywhere. If it’s less than 20 minutes away, walk there!

3. Join a sports team. If there’s one thing I would have changed about my university experience, I would have joined the cross country team. Joining a team isn’t just a great way to socialize and meet friends, but it’s also a great way to get exercise and stay active on top of school work.

4. Drink smart and drink slow. Don’t go to the pubs and guzzle back 6 beer on $2 draught night. Find a “light” drink that works for you. Mine is whisky and water. A single has 60-70 calories, and is strong enough that I can’t chug it back. Other great ones are vodka and club soda (NOT tonic, it’s sweetened!!), rum and diet coke, light beer. Or you can just order a diet pop and skip the booze altogether.

5. Find light options at all the late-night hangouts. When I first started losing weight, I googled the nutritional value of foods at many of the local eateries. I wrote down some lighter options for each one and kept it in my wallet. That way, if I ever found myself out with friends who had to eat at this one spot, I wasn’t thrown off guard and had an idea of what to order. If you know the 2am visit to the pizza joint is inevitable, find something on the menu other than a big slice that you can have without breaking the calorie bank.

6. Use working out as a method of procrastination. This worked fabulously for me ;) Going to the gym and sweating for an hour always sounded more appealing than reading about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for an hour.

7. Be honest. I experienced a lot of peer pressure in university, it just comes with the environment. You’d be surprised by how many people will stop bugging you when you tell them avoiding the freshman 15 is more important to you than spaghetti night at the cafeteria.

8. Don’t be too strict. University is meant to be enjoyed (well, in between all the stressful parts). Don’t ever, ever skip out on a social function because you’re scared of the food or drinking. I did this, and I regret it. I got smarter toward the end. I realized that being able to go out and have a beer with my friends was more important to me than being my dream size. I’ll take a few good belly laughs over a size 2 any day. Just like I never regret a workout, I never regret hanging out with my friends :)

 

Hopefully that helps Vanessa!

 

Question of the Day: Any tips you want to add to the list? As Holly would say, “sharing is caring!”

You like free junk?

Heeeyyyyy. We’re halfway through the week!! [insert giant smiley face here]

First things first. Thank you all for chiming in on my wondering rambles about the grey stuff around egg yolks.

Most of you said it’s caused by a) overcooking, and b) letting them cool too slowly. Culinary student Kristin laid it all out:

Susan,

The reason for the “ring” around your egg yolk is sulfur, a compound that is created when eggs are overcooked. (It also causes that yucky boiled egg smell- it can be avoided!) Either you are overcooking them too long in the water (it needs to be timed!) or you do not cool them immediately in COLD water to stop the cooking, put them in the fridge and they continue cooking in the shell. They do NOT cool that fast in the fridge, it’s the opposite!! I wrote a post on it here:http://kristinsnibbles.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-perfect-food

xo
K

Guilty and guilty! I am 100% aware that I overcook my eggs. I usually just bring the pot to a boil, turn it off, then walk away and forget about it. Eventually, I remember I have eggs on the stove and put them in the fridge. I can’t say I will time my eggs for exactly 10 minutes from now on, but I’ll at least refrain from walking away :P

In other news, I actually grabbed a shot of my pre-workout snack this morning.

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I usually eat around 100-200 calories of carbs, sugar and nut butter before hitting the gym every morning. It can’t not eat the second I roll out of bed, but I only have 30 minutes to digest between eating this and hitting “start” button on the cardio machine.

Future roommie Megan (hi Megan!!) asked me if I eat a lot of protein on rest days as well. If anything I eat more because this carby pre-workout snack is taken out of the equation. Our diets are always a work in progress, no?

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P.S. I roll it up. Scientific data shows that food tastes better when rolled.

I hit up the heavy weights again this week after a lighter upper-body day last week. No two workouts are ever the same around these parts! Too much fun fitness stuff to experiment with.

Warmed-up for 25 minutes on the treadmill first. 

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

This treadmill routine is getting too easy for me!! I used to finish this breathless, and I hopped off feeling fine today. Will do harder next time.

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target
Straight sets:        
Assisted pull-up  70 lbs 4-6 4 Back
Barbell bench press 50 lbs 4-6 4 Chest
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lb barbell 4-6 4 Back
Push-up  bodyweight 3 4 Chest
Dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 lb dumbbells 4-6 4 Shoulders
Alternating sets:        
YTWL  7.5 lb dumbbells 5 each letter 3 Shoulders
Tricep pulldown  30 lbs 8 3 Triceps
Cable bicep curl 20 lbs 8 3 Biceps

Finished off with a sweaty 10 minutes on the stepmill.

I’m really starting to wish I had a spotter for these high-weight days. I originally picked up 20 lb dumbbells for my shoulder presses and almost lost it. It was frightening! My arm wobbled backwards and I barely regained control. I could have really injured myself :(

I arrived at the office shortly after for a wonderful breakfast I had packed away.

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SO filling! Two mini bagels with egg whites, mustard and ham. Meat in the morning fills me up like none other.

Morning snack came late.

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New batch of apple cinnamon protein bars. I still think these are my fave flavour for the homemade bars. Cinnamon and oatmeal is just such a killer combo…

Lunch!

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The return of the pita! It’s been a while! This was was ohsogood with baba ganouj and turkey as the base. Then stuffed silly with all the veggies I had in my fridge.

For my afternoon snack I mixed vanilla cottage cheese with plain yogurt and strawberries.

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My last container of strawberries were quite sweet and flavourful, these are borderline bitter with no flavour. Boo.

I also snacked on some nuts and dried cranberries at 4pm because I am always SO hungry by the time 4pm rolls around. I am ready to gnaw my arm off by the time I bust through the door after work. More tweaking may be needed to fix this issue. A diet is always in a state of progress, never is it perfect!

I am glad I had the extra snack because dinner was worth waiting for!!

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Janetha’s Turkey Goulash

recipe adapted from the eating for life cookbook.

serves 6

ingredients:

  • 20 ounces lean ground turkey breast I used a lb. Is that 20 oz?
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can roasted garlic & onion diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic. I used an extra for good luck.
  • 1 yellow squash Used spaghetti squash as extra filler
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini Again, I added another for good luck
  • 1 red onion Used half a gigantic one
  • 1 (10 oz) can tomato sauce Used garlic & herb flavour
  • 2 TB fresh basil 2 tsp dried basil. Boo.
  • egg white noodles
  • added mushrooms, lots of them

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I usually don’t like noodles because I find they’re too squishy, heavy and tasteless. But I love these Catelli Healthy Harvest whole wheat yolk free noodles!

I had only half a serving tonight, which was one heaping cup of cooked pasta, and still got 4g of fibre for 155 calories.

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Thumbs up JB!!! My tummy is thanking you right now :)

 

In case you missed it, I’m giving away free shizz because the people who read this blog rock my socks, and everyone needs a little blueberry syrup in their life. 

As a small disclaimer, don’t expect to see a lot of giveaways on this blog. I’ve sort of made an unofficial decision to turn down company offers unless they really line up with my area of interest, or I think they could be of real benefit. I really don’t want to give junk away just because I can. And I don’t want to feature junk on here just because I get it for free. I’m aware that I may not get as many readers because of this, but I hope that I can instead draw people in through quality content :) Blame my old journalism professors, they instilled some sort of lame set of beliefs in me :P

 

Question of the Day: Giveaways, yay or nay? Some turn me off by how obvious of a plug they are, but some are a fun way to share interesting products with people :)

Meatloaf Pizza and Goal Check-In!

Ooohhhh maannnn. Anyone else have a rough Monday? I think it was a combination of having a busy weekend, plus the time change. I didn’t have a great sleep last night and felt like a cranky zombie until about 2pm. Spin class didn’t even do it for me. It was far more torturous than it usually is. In fact, most people had that “just been run over by a truck look.”

Oh, and my day totally got started off on the wrong foot. I went to put my contacts in first thing this morning, except, they weren’t in the case. I dug my finger all through the solution and couldn’t find them. After a couple minutes, I realized they were still in my eyes. Even worse, they’d been in since Saturday!! I woke up with crusty eyes Sunday morning and briefly thought I was getting pink eye. Then I forgot all about it and wore my glasses all day! Then I woke up with super dry and crusty eyes again today and was really grossed out realizing they were still on my eyeballs. *shudder*

Aaaanyways, moving on! Desk-breakfast was solid today. I’m finally starting to get used to these! (I used to hate cold breakfasts)

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Greek yogurt, almond butter, stevia, fresh strawberries, homemade granola. It’s a classic combo for a reason.

Lunch was the exact same salad I had last night, just in giant tupperware.

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Highlights of the salad were definitely the pickled beets and tzatziki. SO good! It also contained pieces of my first ever attempt at cooking pork. I over-cooked it, which I suppose is better than under-cooking it :\ I picked it up because two pork tenderloins were one-third the price of two chicken breasts. Holy shit.

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I always put half the spinach on the top so I’m not left with a bunch of dry spinach at the end.

Highlight of the day definitely came at 2pm (when my mood improved!). My boss lent me his car to run an errand and had The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album in the CD player. I cranked it, rolled down the window to let the spring air in, and sang along to Think For Yourself. Good times :)

Dinner was, ahem, “inspired” by this magazine I stole from my mom’s house (busted) which you can get for free at Sobey’s. (Canadian grocery store)

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Always on the lookout for high-protein dinners, this Crustless Meatloaf Pizza caught my eye.

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From the website:

1 cup Compliments Balance Tomato & Herbs Pasta Sauce, divided

1/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko)

1 egg, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried Compliments Italian Seasoning (I used Kirkland no-salt seasoning)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used extra-lean ground turkey)

1 cup Compliments Finely Shredded Pizza Cheese Blend (used 3/4 cup Kraft shredded old cheddar)

2 cups assorted vegetables such as sliced onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms (I used artichoke hearts, onions, mushrooms, yellow pepper, spinach and tomatoes)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place 3 tbsp (45 mL) pasta sauce in a large bowl; stir in bread crumbs, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Crumble in the beef and mix gently to combine. Press evenly onto a 12-inch (30 cm) rimmed pizza pan.
  2. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the beef. Sprinkle with cheese and top with vegetables. Bake, on the lowest rack, for 15 to 20 min. or until the pizza is set and the cheese is bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve.

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My kitchen takes crappy photos, but I wanted to get a shot of it as a “pie” :)

The yumminess in some natural light with steamed veggies topped with coconut…

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HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. This was so good. If you like meatloaf, make it now!!!

I went back for seconds ;)

 

Okay, it’s Monday, which means it’s time to check in on my March Goals:


1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted.
Apartment is 85% subletted! I have someone who has offered to take it, but I still need to get a deposit and signature from him (should be Wednesday). As soon as that happens, then it’s officially done! I also cleaned out my car and took pictures of it yesterday, so I’ll be posting ads for it soon too.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Definitely lagging on this. But I’m not stressing about it that much. I know no matter what I do, I’ll have enough money to at least survive, so that’s comforting…

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’ve been really busy at work, but people are at least noticing the time and effort I put into it, which means a lot :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I lagged on this last week! I still have to complete my online lessons, which will be time consuming. Hoping to get that done in the evenings this week – I start my in-class learning this Saturday at a gym in Saint John!!

5. Run outdoors again. CHECK!! I got three, surprisingly “easy,” miles in on Saturday. I’m hoping to get another outdoor run in after work this Wednesday :)

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month?

Bonus question: Do you sing in the car? I do. No shame.

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