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Goal Oriented

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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Favourite day of the week? Maybe. Just maybe ;)

Started with this protein pancake recipe. I use pancake recipes for waffles and vice versa – the two are interchangeable!

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For the toppings, I started with almond butter smeared into all the little squares.

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Then slathered on blueberry yogurt and added a few black grapes for fun. Black grapes are my fave kind of grape. I put more thought than necessary into grapes. Including my extreme distaste for wine grapes.

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Speaking of grapes… see the condensation on that one in the front? That’s after being out of the fridge for about one minute. It’s HOT here today!! Well, I think it’s hot all over North-Eastern North America, no? Excruciating.

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So hot that after an hour of being in my apartment, this ($2.50) jar of coconut oil liquefied. Because of its saturated fat content, it’s normally partially solid at room temperature.

It should come as no surprise then, that as my roommie and I were tossing around ideas of things to make in the food processor last night, she jumped at the mention of frozen banana soft serve.

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She immediately grabbed a bundle of bananas out of the freezer and tossed them in the food processor.

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Two minutes later, we had a healthy (albeit, still sugar-filled) frozen dessert to cool us off.

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This dessert has been floating around the foodie blogosphere for a looooong time now, but this was my first time trying it! At first, I thought I would top it with marshmallow fluff. But after tasting a little off my finger, I realized it was already very sweet.

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It really had the consistency of soft serve! It wasn’t nearly as “banana-ey” as I was expecting it to be. If that makes sense. I think because it was frozen, it cut some of that distinct flavour edge off. I topped this with a little dollop of almond butter. But my roommie and I then proceeded to spend the next several minutes discussing all the fun mix-ins we could include next time.

Thanks to the heat, I’ve also been craving very simple meals. Simple is what I do and enjoy best :)

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Like this pita with sliced boiled eggs, baba ganouj and veggies. Eggs + baba ganouj is yet another killer flavour combo!

I’m digging these Pita Gourmet high protein pita pockets.

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140 calories, 20g carbs 10g protein per pocket. Only downside is the sodium – 480mg for one pita?? Whoa. Must be why they’re so tasty :P

Many cold salads have also been had. This is the one I had last night that was so good I replicated it tonight.

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  • lots of baby spinach
  • red pepper
  • tomato
  • red onion
  • mango
  • Trader Joe’s corn salsa (although, I ran out the second time around, so just sprinkled on red pepper flakes for a little spice)
  • 1 pork chop, grilled and cubed

For the dressing, I whisked together 2 tbsp hummus, 1 laughing cow blue cheese wedge, and a little bit of water to thin it out. Tossed all together and it was one of my best salads of the summer! I think the produce and meat were of especially good quality, the flavours and textures were fantastic.

 

Goals for September

It’s that time again! First day of the month, which means a new set of goals to focus on over the next 30 days. I encourage you all to do the same. One month is the perfect time period to complete new goals. Writing them down and checking in on them is a great way to stay motivated! Here are mine…

1. Get organized. I’ve already been working towards this and have made some progress. The time management session at the Healthy Living Summit made me realize that I need to get my butt in gear! I will (hopefully) be working two jobs, volunteering my time, freelancing, and working on many other projects this month. I need to get all that crap out of my head and start putting it on paper!

2. Professional development. I’m taking my course in Nutrition & Wellness this month, but I also want to put more hours into reading studies, fitness literature, shadowing trainers, and basically learning all I can to better my own training.

3. Turn on the oven. I haven’t done it in two months!! If the heat ever ends, I would like to start baking again and making more dishes in the kitchen.

4. Love my workouts. I no longer work out to look a certain way or to keep my weight down. I work out because it’s what I love to do. Exercises will be chosen not by how many calories they burn or what sort of results they will give me. I’m doing activities I love to do and look forward to :)

 

And with that, I leave you with a new workout! Click here to check out one of my many full body circuit workouts. You’ll get your full-body strength training in, while moving quickly and keeping your heart rate up. More to come!

 

Question of the day: What are your goals for September? Write them down and remember them – we’ll be checking in weekly!

A Peek Into The Camera of A Food Blogger

Hellohello friends! Before we even get into today’s topic, I first want to thank you for the kind and supportive comments on my last post. If having a balanced life was easy, then everyone would be living a perfect life! I just do what I can :)

I woke up not a happy camper today. I think it’s a combination of being run-down, fighting off some flu-like symptoms, and the fullness of the moon lately (yes, I believe in the effect of lunar cycles).

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Thank goodness it’s Waffle Wednesday or I may have just resigned to my bed for the rest of the day. Now this is something worth getting out of bed for!!

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Whipped up a batch of protein waffles (recipe found here) and topped with a mixture of plums, raisins, sugar-free syrup, cinnamon and sunflower seed butter.

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Adding the topping just a bit at a time. I do not like soggy waffles!!

Now usually, I would stop here with the enticing waffle photos, but today I’m doing something a little different.

I want to show you the food photos that didn’t make the cut. Here are the ones you would have otherwise missed out on (all taken on my Canon EOS Rebel XS):

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I usually take anywhere from 5-15 photos per dish. I aim to get a view from the top, from the side, and close-up. Most of the time photos are not used because they’re not as crisp as the others. Crispness is key. If it’s the least bit fuzzy, I don’t use it.

Lunch!

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Chicken slices and laughing cow blue cheese on a pita with onions, tomatoes and spinach. I’m back to eating pitas and carrot sticks every day. One meal that I never tire of!

If this were a regular post, I would keep it to that one photo. But here are the other ones I captured…

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I’m not a huge fan of the composition in the top photos. The bottom part of the pita that is closest to the camera is not what’s in focus. For some reason I get really bothered when the foreground is blurry and the background is focused. It’s my “thing” I guess. Also, the loser photos are either too shaded or too blanched out from the light. It’s tricky getting sunlight to hit textures juuuuuust right.

Lunch was polished off with an Adora disk. I got a bag of these for free at the Healthy Living Summit. I reallyreally like them. 30 calories a pop for a little piece of calcium infused chocolate.

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The shots that didn’t make the cut:

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One of my pet peeves is when people review a packaged good and don’t reveal what’s inside of the package. Instead of taking a shot of the chocolate in the wrapper, I decided to capture what the chocolate actually looks like along with the packaging. You get the best of both worlds in one frame :)

Also, I went for the angled shot here so you can see both the width and height of the chocolate. That way you get a better feel for its size. The last loser picture is very similar to the shot I chose. The only difference is that the chosen one has more of the chocolate in focus when enlarged. The area of focus on the loser one was too small.

Finally, there was dinner.

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Stir-fried tofu, grated carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic with pesto and laughing cow cheese.

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This bowl also got a lot of camera lovin’…

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I really like doing long shots with plates and bowls because you get a feel for just how overflowing they can be. Plus, I kinda liked the packaged Ikea bed slats as the diagonal background ;) The close-up shots in this series unfortunately all turned out blurry, so they were ditched. The bottom two turned out okay, but were too similar in composition to the first photo I chose. If I’m going for more than one photo of a dish, I want them all to come from noticeably different angles.

 

And that my friends is a little peek into my camera!! I always joke that if someone were to steal it on me, they’d think they stole the camera of a crazy person. Which I guess may partially be true ;)

I’m taking the day off from blogging on Thursday, but if there are any requests for what you’d like featured on Fitness Friday this week, let me know!

 

Question of the Day: Food bloggers – do you photograph all your food? How many shots do you take per dish? I obviously don’t photograph everything. But I do admit to sometimes featuring boring food on here just because I think the picture turned out pretty :)

A Random Waffle Wednesday

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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This week’s waffle is brought to you by blueberries.

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The usual protein waffle recipe made with a quarter cup each of whole wheat flour, unflavoured soy protein powder and egg whites, teaspoon each of baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla, and a half cup of almond milk.

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Topped with a mixed berry yogurt whisked with almond butter, fresh blueberries and a drizzle of syrup for good measure. Nom to the nom.

Lookie what I got today!!

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Seeing this for the first time was so cool. Caitlin’s blog was the first food blog I ever read. I’ve been following her since 2008. I always knew she had that spark in her, and I am so happy she has become successful doing something so positive (to see what it’s about, check out Operation Beautiful here). Dude, she’s an author! Of a book!

Even cooler, I’m in the book :)

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I submitted a blurb on overcoming gym anxiety and I’m stoked it made the cut into the final product. There are tons of bloggers I recognize in there. Really says a lot about how wonderful this blogging community is :) Oh, and you can read the full-length story on how I overcame my gym fears here.

Just a few years later, the girl who used to get panic attacks stepping into a gym now works at one. Can you believe it? In fact, the gym is probably one of my favourite places to be. I even hang out there to work out once I’m all done training. Here’s the fun full-body weightlifting sesh I tackled today:

Warm-up: 15 minutes on this elliptical:

Precor Elliptical Machine

A Precor CrossRamp. I don’t normally use this machine as I find the range of motion is weird for my legs. The little ramp in the front moves up and down, while guiding your feet along the same plane. It definitely challenged my leg muscles, but I just couldn’t get a high heart rate on it because the motion wasn’t natural for me. It’s important to experiment and find ellipticals that work for you!

After the warm-up, I grabbed a 20 lb kettlebell and did 3 sets of 20 kettlebell swings.

I felt comfortable doing this because I’ve done a kettlebell class before. I definitely recommend getting instruction from a pro before attempting these, as it’s suuuuper easy to injure yourself! On the bright side, it’s an awesome move ;)

Then 3 alternating sets:
Cable twisting standing chest press (12 reps)
Squat to cable row (12 reps)

Followed by 3 straight sets of 20 tactical lunges with a 20lb kettlebell. For this one, you pass the kettlebell between hands under your knee as you lunge forward, you can watch a video on it here.

Then 3 more alternating sets:
Barbell upright row (12 reps)
Dumbbell straight leg deadlift (12 reps)

Circuit done 3 times through:
Skull crusher (8 reps)
Plank on a bench (60 sec)
Barbell curl (8 reps)
Jump squats (20 reps)

 

60 minutes on the dot! This one had my heart pumping throughout. Usually I lower the weight on the isolation moves, but today I upped it to really hammer those muscles ;)

 

Finally, it’s been a while since I did some of the blogger questionnaires out there. Thankfully, Crystal nominated me for this award and I couldn’t resist but participate!

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Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Share seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate fifteen newly discovered blogs.
  • Let your nominees know about the award.

*Ahem* Thank you Crystal for giving me this award!!!

Okay, the 7 things

1. My middle name is Elizabeth.

2. I re-read each Harry Potter book with each new book release, meaning I’ve read them 30 times.

3. I was born with a black eye.

4. If I could choose, my last meal would be my Nana’s egg sandwiches and potato salad.

5. My heart almost physically aches every time I see a dog.

6. I love the smell of second hand cigarette smoke.

7. My feet went down a shoe size when I lost 30 lbs.

 

Okay, so I honest to goodness do not have the time to go through 15 blogs, but I really love passing these things on. Instead, I tag the first 15 people who commented on my last post:

darryn (brio.gusto)

John

Emily

Laura

Katie

Lolzthatswim(andRun)

Angharad

kbwood

Tina

Laura@keepingslimandgettingstylish

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)

greensandjeans

Morgan @ Life After Bagels

runningaroundnormal

Renee

 

And I don’t have time to let y’all know you got the award! Soo, uhhh, I hope you read this! :P

 

You may be wondering why I don’t have time… well I’m leaving for Chicago tomorrow!! Okay, technically Kitchener, then driving to Chicago all day Friday. But it’s after 11pm and I leave at 10am tomorrow and I haven’t started any preparations whatsoever. Oh yeah, and I still have work to do for my real job! Aahhh, leaving things until the last minute, story of my life ;)

Can’t say I’ll be back with an update tomorrow, but I’ll try my darndest on Friday to get something up. I’m still contemplating how to blog about the Healthy Living Summit, seeing as 199 other bloggers will be covering all the same stuff. All I can say is that I’ll try to reflect it through my unique perspective as best I can ;)

 

See ya from Amerrrica!!! xo

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