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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?

To the Stars on the Wings of a Pig

Hey friends! So I’ve finally got some news on the work front. I’m just gonna tell you right now because I’m a blabber mouth who sucks at telling secrets, and I’ve already been tweeting about it all day ;)

So first off, I got hired at Starbucks! Yayyyy! I’m going to be working as a full-time supervisor for the next few months, and start training this week. I’m happy there will be no void in my paychecks, and the Starbies job should actually pay just as much as the reporter gig :)

I’m not going to just be working at Starbucks though. You all know I realized a long time ago that I do not want to be a daily reporter, and I don’t want to be a PR person unless I find the perfect company. These are the only things my skills and background would allow me to do.

But why just do what my background allows? Especially if it would just make me miserable? (again) So I’ve decided to instead follow my heart, my gut and my passions. I’m throwing all sense and rationality to the wind and working toward a personal training specialist certification with CanFit Pro (Canada’s national standard).

I know, right? Me? A personal trainer? Why not!? Exercise and fitness isn’t just a phase or a hobby, it’s my life. What draws me to jobs like reporting and Starbucks are the people. I love meeting fabulous people, and even more I want to help the ones that are looking for it. My mom told me this wonderful thing along the lines of “the day you discover your passions is when you’ll never work another day in your life.”

Of course, I expect to work :P And I expect it to be hard at times. I don’t also plan on plugging away with people at the gym all day. I plan to continue my education with a future certification as a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant. Perhaps I’ll even want to be a class instructor – who knows! Basically, I see this as the first step in many steps to come. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m taking a step forward, and not just another step back.

I also plan to keep the journalism thing up. My new experience and titles will allow me to delve further into health and wellness writing. I’m lucky to have made a lot of contacts in journalism school, and I have a long list of Canadian publications I hope to freelance for.

I’m so excited!!!

And before we move on, I have something else I have to get off my chest – I’m back on the VitaMuffins.

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I toasted my favourite deep chocolate flavour last night and put some marshmallow fluff on top. ohmysweetlord. It got crunchy on the outside, but soft and melty on the inside, then the fluff was all frosting-like on the top. Every single bite was worth every penny spent :D

Breakfast this morning was not very photogenic, which usually equals deliciousness.

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Two Nature’s Path flax waffles smothered in 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp faux-syrup (mixed with a hand blender). And sprinkled with cinnamon of course. SO good! Freezer waffles are only filling when you throw protein + fat into the mix.

Then it was off to BodyStep, ie the funnest class ever (sorry spin, you hurt too much to be fun :P ). Step class is definitely not one of those workouts you can just phone in. You definitely get out of it what you put in, more so than some of the other classes. I think that’s why I always come out feeling so satisfied and accomplished :)

Afterward, I came home and drank some chocolate Amazing Meal blended with almond milk, half a banana, yogurt and ice.

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I was a sweaty mess. But I had to look decent for my job interview this afternoon. Enter lots of showering, hair straightening, caking on make-up, ironing clothes (ugh) and digging out accessories and voila!

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Hi!! I’m actually modelling my new necklace and earrings. For years I wore nothing but giant flashy earrings, but I’ve been on a chunky necklace kick lately. And I’m a sucker for girly flowers :P

And apparently the gussying up worked!

Oh, and there was a lunch, carefully eaten as not to spill anything on myself.

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Smoked salmon on a bagel with laughing cow cheese, capers and spinach and an orange on the side. This salmon is local bbq flavoured stuff. SO good!! We Maritimers know how to do our smoked salmon ;)

After all my running around, I came home and tried out my other KIND bar. This time in Walnut & Date.

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I had high hopes for this bar after Kath raved about it on her blog recently. Plus, dates are one of my favourite foods and I love them in just about anything. But, I wasn’t a huge fan! Maybe my expectations were just too high. I loved the walnuts, their texture reminded me a lot of sugar cookies. But I couldn’t really taste the dates. Honey is the third ingredient, and it was definitely the overpowering flavour in this bar.

Supper was (what else) chicken salad pita made with my leftover roast chicken from yesterday.

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YUM!! You can see my running hat in the background. Meh. I’m a slob.

Finally, you may be wondering what “To the stars on the wings of a pig” means. Technically, it’s “Ad astra per alia porci.” It was the motto and personal stamp of John Steinbeck and appeared on the insert of all his books. It was a jab at an old teacher who once told him he’d only be a successful writer when “pigs flew.” I studied Latin and have a soft spot for Latin phrases. I’ve adopted it as my personal motto, to remind me that anything is possible :)

 

P.S. I’ve updated my About page so feel free to go check it out!

Till next time!

Giveaway AND Video Post!!

Oooh, exciting things in store my friends! It’s all at the end though. I won’t be hurt if you scroll through, but just know you are missing out on a lot of muffin and apple pictures if you do :P

Apparently, my camera uses a lot of battery power while not being used, because the batteries were randomly dead this morning. Thus, no office eats! You’re not missing much. I dropped a raw egg on the break room floor while trying to make lunch. I almost cried. I never thought I could be so attached to one egg.

I made up for it when I got home though :)

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Usual frozen deep chocolate vitamuffin with a smear of PB. But what’s that white stuff you ask?

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Oh yes. I did.

I was actually on a mission for mini marshmallows, as I thought they’d make a great addition to my candy bowls of oats. But then this jar caught my eye, and I was sold.

I mean for something that’s essentially sugar, the ingredients aren’t that bad. I’m pretty sure the M&Ms I’ve been eating are worse…

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I can blame an ex-boyfriend for introducing me to this dreamy product, and the fluffernutter sandwich. This was the kind of stuff that was never allowed in my house growing up.

Some people do ice cream. I do fluff :P

The muffins didn’t stop there though. I finally attacked the bag of macoun apples I bought at the market last weekend.

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First, I got to work on apple oatmeal muffins. I followed Rhodey Girl’s recipe for Apple Walnut Raisin Muffins.

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The only changes I made were that I omitted the raisins and walnuts for more apple-y goodness, and substituted a 1/2 cup of flour for 1/2 cup rolled oats.

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I of course had one immediately out of the oven, with some Earth Balance spread (the only way to eat baked goods straight from the oven in my opinion).

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While all that muffin business was going down, I was also working on some of Brie’s applesauce. Three ingredients: apples, water, cinnamon. Doesn’t get much easier than that! Well, actually, it was quite labour intensive to peel and chop a dozen apples. May have helped if I didn’t break my apple corer last year trying to get it through a gigantic honeycrisp…

Yay flash photography!

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Okay, to be honest, I really wanted to add a shot of whiskey to this process. Doesn’t whiskey apple sauce sound awesome? I held back though. That will be for my special “after lunch” batch ;)

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The end product was amaaaaazing.I kept dipping a spoon in here to lick it up :)

Afterwards, it looked like an apple orchard exploded in my kitchen. So once the clean-up was finished, I wanted a simple dinner.

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  • mixed greens
  • romaine
  • shredded carrot
  • spanish onion
  • red pepper
  • tomato
  • mushroom
  • zucchini
  • lemon juice
  • Gardein mustard “chicken breast”

Eaten while tweeting and msn-ing.

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Today was my first day using tweetdeck, I like it!

Oh, and another apple oatmeal muffin for dessert…

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With peanut butter. Yes that is my third muffin today! It could have been worse, I could have put Fluff on this one too! :P

Okay. Congrats, you’ve made it to the end.

Drumroooollll pleeeeease……..

Oh wait! it’s in a video!

(turn you speakers WAY up for this one)

So in case you couldn’t hear, I’m giving away a free jar of almond hazelnut butter!

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This stuff is seriously, seriously good. The two nuts blend together perfectly to create a rich and versatile nut butter.

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I’m kinda jealous that I’m giving this away, because I think it would taste really good on my mocha oats!

So how do you win??

1. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite nut butter + food combination is. For example, some of my favourite combos are cashew butter + dates, peanut butter + bananas, or sunflower seed butter in hummus!

2. Tweeeeeet a link to this post. Just include @balancesusan so I know ya did.

3. Link back to this post on your blog.

4. Add me to your blogroll and leave an extra comment saying you did (or that I’m on your blogroll already).

So there ya go! It’s open to anyone and everyone no matter where you live. I’ll be taking entries until Tuesday, October 27 at 5pm Eastern time. I’ll announce the winner in Tuesday night’s post.

Now I’m off to go do some more food experimenting. That’s what weekends are for! :)

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