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Goals and Updates

Hellooo!! Gee whiz, thanks a bunch for all the compliments on my cottage pictures! To be perfectly honest, I’m a little paranoid that I’m, ahem, “filling out” a little since moving back home to my mom’s. So it was beyond awesome that some of you noticed all my hard work in gym paying off :)

Well, hard work I was doing. As there was absolutely no time spent in the weight room today. Instead, my day began at 6:30 am, a mere six hours after falling asleep.

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I was hungry. I have this bad habit of waking up with my tummy in mid-growl. I’ve been like this all my life, it’s always a challenge finding a way to tame the beast!

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I fell out of bed, hair wild, old mascara well on its way to my cheeks. Chugged a glass of water and felt my way to the kitchen.

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Van’s mini waffles, sweet little breakfast cookies I like to think of them as. Dipped in a concoction of almond butter, protein powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract and almond milk.

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I remember this being delicious. It truly is all about the dipping. It’s a lot more fun than topping and dripping everywhere.

I then stumbled back to bed, read a few blogs, and promptly passed out until 10am.

The second time around was much better. I was functioning enough to put on a pot of coffee and became a member of the living once again. My mom is still getting used to this bad habit of mine of getting up early to eat breakfast then going back to bed. I’m sure this is not the healthiest thing to do… but it at least deals with that hunger beast!

By this time though, I was hungry again. My stomach doesn’t sleep while the rest of my body does.

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This is a new-to-me Larabar flavour purchased while in Halifax not that long ago.

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I don’t eat Larabars that much anymore because they’re too sugary and calorie dense for their size, despite the natural ingredients. But I do love the taste of them, now including this flavour!

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I can confidently say this is my second favourite flavour now (after PB&J). Although, I really want to make my own version of this. The ingredients are just dates, peanut butter and peanuts. Easy peasy!

I then proceeded to get lost in a vortex of planning and booking various travels. My stomach eventually told me it was lunch. But not before I had to start “la-la-la-ing” and shut off the TV when Whoopi Goldberg started talking about the Lost finale. I haven’t watched it yet!!

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Fridge was empty after our weekend getaway. Scrounged together an egg and bacon salad with mayo, onion, celery and red pepper, spread on top of ezekiel toast.

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Bacon is my new love. I never used to buy bacon when living alone because it intimidated me. But it is plentiful in my mother’s fridge and I like it. I like it a lot.

This afternoon I re-packed all my belongings. I hate packing. But I think I hate unpacking everything and repacking it more. It called for an afternoon chocolate fix.

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Ohyes, I’m still eating my little bowls of protein brownie batter! This version is 40g natural whey powder (unflavoured) with 2 tbsp hot chocolate mix. Made fudgey with a dash of water and bits of chocolate chips. I’m easy to please, and this did the trick :)

Mark (my mom’s boyfriendlifepartner) showed up with arms full of groceries just as I was beginning to gnaw on my forearm. Score!!

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I called him today and requested kale be in this week’s haul. I’m obsessed with this stuff you guys. Best salad base ever.

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Just rip it off the stem and mush it all up with your hands. It softens the leaves (leafs?) and gets rid of the bitter juices.

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The usual combo with tuna as my protein, hummus as my dressing, and feta as the extra sumthin’ to make my tastebuds happy :)

 

Monthly Goal Check-In:

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
In case you are wondering, “muscular power” means “plyometrics.” I hate plyo. Hatehatehate. But I did do a little of it in my weight sessions last week. Progress!
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. I only ran once, a 4-mile trail run at my cottage. My foot feels fine – I really think it’s the walking that’s killing it! Strange.

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” I’m still essentially off all cottage cheese and yogurt with 20g of hard cheese a day. Nothing new here, but I will be writing out some thoughts on this at the end of the month.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. Wain! I love sugar! I had Oh Henry bars and cinnamon rolls, and a piece of Queen Elizabeth Cake my Nana conveniently froze for me. I think this goal was doomed from the start.

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Check! I updated my About page and added a new recipe page for Dairy-Free (ish) Protein Pancakes.

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
Check! I got a handy dandy notebook and have been writing all the important details of life in it. Amazing how much stress can be relieved just by transferring it to paper.
Spend time with my family. This has been my life as of late. I love it.
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. Step classes with my mom, Lost nights with my dad, even cleaning out a cottage with my big sis. I will cherish these moments for a very, very long time :)

 

Now, some other updates in my life for those of you who may keep track (which, really, is sort of impossible these days). I’d been planning on moving to Toronto for June 1st, but there’s been a change in plans! I’m staying at my mom’s a little longer. Here’s what my new future looks like:

June 9 – Fly to Calgary, Alberta from the Maritimes.
June 10 – Go into Banff for what promises to be the blogger journey of a lifetime featuring Holly and Karen.
June 16 – Fly from Calgary to Ottawa and spend 10 days hanging out in my big sis’ sweet bachelorette pad!
June 25 – Train to Toronto with my sis and stay there for good!!

Well, there will be another trip to Ottawa in July, and the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago in August, but Toronto will be my new home :)

Needless to say, figuring out the logistics of this has been slightly mind-bending. Hence the need to unpack and re-pack my things today. I won’t sugar-coat things. I haven’t worked in almost a month and I’m flat broke. I’ve tucked away some spare change for some of this madness, but I’m also a very lucky girl to have a family that can support my falling back on them. For some reason they aren’t sick of me yet and are more than willing to help out.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get to bed. There will be some plyo in the gym tomorrow, all before an 11am folk concert!

See ya then! xoxo

 

Question of the Day: How is everyone doing on their goals? Do you even remember them? You better!! :P

Reebok Easy Tone the Easy Way Out?

Who’s that doggie in the windoooowww…

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I couldn’t help it. My mom and I went for a walk yesterday evening and could see a cat or dog peering out the front window of nearly every house we passed. It’s so nice to come home to this little face in the window every day :)

Rudy meanwhile, is only ever in the kitchen. He’s got one thing on his mind, and it’s in the fridge.

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I can relate though. I woke up this morning with food on my mind. More specifically, waffles. 

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I know, it’s Tuesday. But it’s hard to deny oneself of melted butter pooling in the squares of a waffle…

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And then drenching every groove in syrup. Life does not get much better than this.

Today’s waffles have been bought to you by Van’s.

 
Please excuse the teeny internet picture. My mother does not yet understand the importance of my photographing everything remotely food related.

Van’s sent me a couple coupons to try out their stuff. I really wanted to get some of their new French toast sticks, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Instead, I was drawn to these gluten free Apple Cinnamon waffles. 

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The ingredients on these are “Susan approved.” Although, I thought it could use a little more apple and cinnamon flavour. The texture is slightly “off” compared to regular waffles because they’re made with brown rice flour. But it’s disguised well when toasted.

Paired them with my favourite source of fat and protein.

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Boiled eggs.

Pre-workout snack was something I picked up at a new local health food store called Sequoia in Moncton.

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I love Bumble Bars but don’t buy them often because they’re expensive, and I make most of my own bars at home now. But I had to pick this up because I’d never tried the Cherry Chocolate flavour before!

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I know I said I don’t like fruit and chocolate together yesterday. But I lied. I really like chocolate and cherry. And chocolate and cranberry. But that’s it – I swear!! :P

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Okay, and the chocolate covered cherry may be my favourite in the assorted chocolate box ;)

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This bar did not disappoint. In fact, it was more tart cherry than overly sweet chocolate. Don’t let the pictures fool you, this is a really chewy bar, not hard or crunchy in the least.

My foot is still hurting today, so I tried to be nice to it while doing a full-body workout at the gym.

Warm-up: 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance (ouch to the foot)

Alternating sets:
Close-grip lat pulldown 
One-point dumbbell row

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing chest press
Some exercise I do not know the name of where I stood in a static squat, and with dumbbells, palms facing the back wall, swept my straight arms backwards.

Alternating sets:
Standing barbell shoulder press
Curtsy lunge 

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing dumbbell curl 
Dumbbell front lateral raise with a side lunge

Alternating sets:
This ab move thanks to this girl
Prone jackknife 

Alternating sets:
Decline crunch
Reverse crunch 

Then I did an easy 10 minutes on the recumbent bike while reading a magazine and waiting for my mom to show up. Afterward, I showed her around the gym, pointing out proper form and techniques on the equipment. Especially for the cable machine, which I will do a post on in the future!

Needless to say, I was hungry by the time I got back home.

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A can of tuna is probably my favourite post-lifting meal. Today I mixed it with Hellman’s olive oil mayo (yum) celery, onion and pepper. Smooshed on collard greens and sesame ezekiel bread.

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With some crunch on the side.

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Blue chips > yellow chips.

Hit up a brand new grocery store with my mom and Nana this afternoon. We were all equally excited to be scoping out food in a new joint. It was hot out today, and when I saw this in the store’s cooler, I couldn’t resist.

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Damn refreshing that aspartame is ;)

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Accompanied by a snack of egg whites topped with coconut oil. Not a fan of the egg + coconut combo.

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I blew through my deep chocolate Vitatops and convinced my mom to get the Vitamuffins today. She’s hooked now too. ‘Tis a slippery slope with these things.

Then I spent an hour applying for my dream job while sitting on the deck. Le sigh.

The summer weather inspired the fam to haul out the bbq!!

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Mommy dearest made buffalo patties with Worcester and Frank’s.

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We were bunless, so I ate it atop a small piece of naan. Burger was topped with ketchup, mustard, relish and pickled jalepenos. NOM.

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More baked corn! My family may now be obsessed ;)

And what better way to end a summer-inspired meal than with a Mr. Freeze.

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Sugar-free. But not Splenda free.

 

So Is Easy Tone Really That Easy?? 

I got a lot of comments the other day when I mentioned the Reebok Easy Tone shoes. So I thought it would be worth it to take the time to explain why I don’t personally support them. Now, I’m no podiatrist or specialist, so my knowledge only goes so far. This is just based on my training to date, along with the biases of the experts who taught me.

 

Reebok EasyTone shoes have “balance pods” on the soles, which create instability, forcing your calves, hamstrings and glutes to work harder just by walking.

In order to keep myself from going into a rant, I will not delve into their borderline offensive commercials and marketing campaign. I trust you can click on that yourself and be astounded by what some tactless marketing team came up with.

There are several other shoes that are similarly designed and carry the same claims. There’s the Skechers Shape-ups.

The Fit Flop.

And the MBT shoe, aka the “anti-shoe.”

We will also ignore the fact that these shoes are downright hideous. I am by no means a fashionista or particularly concerned about my appearance. But I would not be caught dead buying groceries in the above MBT shoe.

During my personal training instruction, I was taught that proper body mechanics hails above all else. My PRO trainer made sure that we all left with some form of expertise on how the body is meant to move and work. I’m beginning to hone my skill in watching people, and can now pinpoint when someone isn’t moving correctly. I can tell by my mother’s grip that she has arthritis, or that my friend has inflexible shoulders by the way she does a push-up.

My problem with these shoes, is that they do not align with our proper body mechanics. It is one thing to put your body off balance for brief periods of time to challenge yourself during exercise. It is another thing to completely change the way you walk, with a distant hope of maybe-sorta-kinda making your butt firmer. Not to mention, at a cost of $100. I’m sure fellow runners out there cringe with me at the idea of wearing a shoe that is designed to make life harder on your muscles.

The other thing is that the body is highly adaptable. Your body will adapt to your new walking gait, and within a few short weeks, your muscles will not work as hard in the shoes. It may feel sore the first couple times. But wear them every day for two weeks, and you’ll no longer feel the results.

I’ve also heard claims that these shoes will burn more calories and zap cellulite. I am sorry, but bullshit. The only way to burn more calories is to increase your heart rate. Skip the $100 price tag and walk faster. Cellulite is a tricky kind of fat, and even people with near-perfect diets still have remnants of it.

Reebok claims that the Easy Tone shoes work your glutes 28% more, while working your calves and hamstrings 11% more. Instead of walking around town all day to do this, I have another suggestion. Do a set of bodyweight squats. Climb the stairs at work. Save your money, your ankles, your knees, and your back. Please, do real exercise, and buy some real shoes that give your body the support it needs.

 

Now there’s my two cents – what’s yours?? What are your thoughts on toning footwear?

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