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Working Girl

Before we even get into things, I have to address several comments I got in my last post that deeply concerned me.

Some of you do not know what marshmallow fluff is!!

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Marshmallow fluff my friends, is made up of sugary pillows sent straight from the heavens.

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In all reality, it’s a lot like spreadable marshmallows. Fabulous with anything peanut butter or chocolate related.

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I typically only ever use a tablespoon at a time, which only sets me back 24 calories.

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So there you have it! I typically don’t allow sweets like cookies or pastries in my pantry, but dark chocolate and marshmallow fluff are the two exceptions that must always be made :)

 

You may have noticed that I was MIA again yesterday – and with good reason! I’ve been working! After 2.5 months of being unemployed “between opportunities,” it’s nice to get up and have a job to go to. My days have a sense of purpose again. Plus, I was starting run out of things to complain about ;)

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Monday had a late start, so I took my time preparing my new protein waffle/pancake recipe.

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/3 cup skim milk (it seems skim milk produces a different consistency than almond, before I used 1/2 cup almond milk)

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These weren’t any ordinary pancakes, ohno.

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I also added a tablespoon each of flaked coconut, walnut pieces and chopped dates.

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Made better only by the presence of iced coffee.

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In these troubling humid times, iced coffee is a must.

Now, y’all know I am not about fancy or complicated recipes. To me, the idea of simple food pairings is tasty enough. On Monday, I got to put together a pairing I’ve been dyyyying to try.

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Watermelon + feta cheese. It was delightful!! I love pairing berries with cottage cheese, or apples with cheddar cheese, and this combo was just as tasty. Watermelon is very sweet and juicy, which paired wonderfully with the saltiness of the feta. Thumbs up!!

I then proceeded to spend the rest of the day training clients at the gym! My very first client that I trained last week was back in and said she already felt a giant increase in energy and gained a ton of confidence at work. After a week! I was brimming with pride for her :D

T’was close to my bedtime by the time I made it home, so I opted for a light and simple dinner.

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A small chunky salad tossed in cottage cheese, feta & hummus. Looks gross, but I assure you, it was awesome.

Before I knew it, my alarm was blaring at 4:30am to get up and ready to hit the gym once again. It was eerily familiar to the days when I worked the morning shift as a radio newscaster.

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My years of getting up at 4am have turned me into a pro for these early mornings. I had these overnight oats and iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge. For the oats, I just mixed up some yogurt with a dash of milk, scoop of oats, raisins, fresh apricot, cinnamon, maple syrup and a dollop of almond butter. The measurements here don’t seem to matter, as I’ve noticed the outcome is always different for everyone. Experiment! :)

Today, I was shadowing one of our best trainers at the gym. He specializes in functional training, something I’m not overly familiar with, so it was really fun and interesting to watch! It’s not something I can see myself specializing in, but I really appreciate aspects of it, and would love to start incorporating more of it into my programs.

Even though I kinda wanted to go back home and pass out, I stuck around the gym for a workout of my own. Full-body:

Straight set x1:
One arm dumbbell snatch 12 x 20 lbs

Alternating sets x3:
One arm dumbbell row 12 x 25 lbs
Plie squat 12 x 25 lbs

Straight set x1:
Alternating Step-up w/ forward knee lift for 1 min
Alternating Step-up w/ back leg lift for 1 min

Alternating sets x3:
Standing one arm cable chest press 12 x 25 lbs
Bulgarian split squat 12 x 10 lbs

Straight set x1:
Mountain climber for 1 min

Alternating sets x3:
Barbell upright row 12 x 30 lbs
Good morning 12 x 45 lbs

Straight set x1:
Reverse lunge w/ forward kick 20 each leg

Alternating sets x2:
Skull crusher 12 x 30 lbs
Barbell curl 12 x 30 lbs

Straight sets x 2:
Plank 60 sec

Whole thing with 15 minutes warm-up on the treadmill and 5 minutes cool-down stretching took me 65 minutes and burned 450 calories. It also left me unable to run up and down the stairs in the subway station without my legs wobbling ;)

After the workout, I was ready to come home and nap. I closed my eyes and fell asleep for what felt like an hour, only to find 10 minutes had passed. I claimed defeat and made lunch.

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Giant kale salad topped with shrimp, egg whites, and a dressing made of pesto/laughing cow/lemon juice. The egg whites were an afterthought, and a delicious one at that! I just zapped half a cup in the microwave and added the bits to the salad. Such an easy and delicious way to add protein.

I also polished off this Chakra Bar that I hate half of on Monday.

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I purposely left the price tag on because $2.99 is pretty frickin’ steep for a granola bar. But if you look closely, there are two servings, which sort of justifies it. And in all honesty, the full bar is kinda huge (110g).

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Not gonna lie, I was attracted to this bar because of the ingredients:

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See that?? The first ingredient is love!! Not any kind of love, but organic love!! I’m such a sucker.

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The spirulina is what makes it green. According to the Chakra Bar website, spirulina  is “a blue-green algae and is known as a green "superfood". It has over 60% digestible vegetable protein, is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals and is a great source of chlorophyll (antioxidant).”

Taste-wise it had that “grassy green” taste to it, but I don’t mind it. It was a little sticky from the syrup, but I liked the additions of the seeds. I probably won’t buy it again because it’s $$$. But it was fun to try!

It is approximately here where I dropped off the face of the planet for three hours.

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I read the final Harry Potter book when it first came out, and forgot completely what happened!! It was like reading a new book all over again. But now I’m depressed it’s all over. Anyone else ever suffer from post-book depression? I think I may stick with this theme and re-read the final books in the Twilight and Golden Compass series. I love children’s fantasy novels, I cannot deny it. Plus, it is summertime and I want something that won’t make me think too hard ;)

I did eventually stumble out of my room, disoriented, to make a quick dinner.

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That would be grilled pork in a mesquite flavouring with a microwaved sweet potato slathered in Heinz BBQ beans. Classy :)

 

Now it is time to get my things ready for another 4am wake-up call. But I’m excited for my morning client. He wants to bulk up, which means some old-school heavy weightlifting, my favourite!!

 

Question of the Day: What’s on your summer reading list? Any recommendations for the class? As Holly would say, sharing is caring!!

Checking In On Those Goals…

Happy Monday!! Well, it was happy for me anyways. They call it “funemployment” for a reason ;)

I must say, I’ve been living back at my mom’s for a week now and I love it. I do not miss Fredericton at all. I don’t  miss living alone. For the past 10 days I’ve woken up happy. This has not always been the case over the past year. Life is what you make of it my friends, and I am so grateful I’ve been able to turn mine around :)

So what is a happy girl to do but make a pot of oats first thing?

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For the second time, I could just not get oatmeal to absorb all the liquid on my mother’s stove. It doesn’t make sense to me, and I feel like I messed up the measuring cups. Or am losing my mind. So I added a 1/2 tsp each of guar gum and xanthan gum to thicken it up. Worked like a charm!! Would highly recommend for thick n’ gooey oats :)

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I am very jealous of my mother’s oatmeal spoon/spatula. It is perfectly shaped to scrape down the sides of a pot. Must get one of these for new place.

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Topped the egg-white custard oats with maple pecan peanut butter, coconut and maple syrup.

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Check out that thick texture. Ooohhhyeah.

Hot bowl of oats + hot coffee = sweaty Susan. Definitely woke me up, but not this pup.

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And my heart just turned to oatmeal mush.

Tried out one of the new-to-mew bars I got in Halifax for my morning snack.

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The Elevate Me! bar is made out of whey protein, nuts and dried fruit – that’s it!

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The nutritionals are pretty decent. A little high on the sugar and carb side, but it comes from all dried fruit and no additional sweeteners.

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I really liked how this bar was divided into three sections. Each square is 80 calories, which would make for good fuel during activity as well.

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Soooo, how did it taste??

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Honestly, I did not like my first bite. I’ve never been a chocolate and fruit person, so I should have known better when getting something made of dried fruits and cocoa powder. BUT, I did enjoy it more with each bite. My favourite part of this bar was the texture. It was dense and crumbly, which is by far my favourite way to have a bar. At $2.50 a pop, I would not buy this again, but I’d probably try the other flavours out if I caught them on sale.

Shortly after this I hit up the gym with my mom. I still had to run last week’s 3-miler, so I figured I could do that then goof around on some of the other cardio machines.

Except, it was hard. Like, way harder than usual. I should have known better than jumping into a tough cardio session on a Monday after a weekend of hammering my body with booze, junk food, and no sleep. Alas, sometimes I must learn these lessons the hard way.

I also have to add that my left foot is killing me again. I’m scared it’s plantar fasciitis. I started getting symptoms about three weeks ago after walking 5 hours in one weekend. I stayed off it for a week and the pain went away, so I thought I was in the clear. Apparently not. It still hurts. WAIN.

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Coming out of a workout in a worse mood than how I went in is never a good thing. But the tasty lunch after helped.

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Scrambled some eggs with collard greens, put it on toast, then topped with a mix of hummus, nutritional yeast, mustard and water. Broiled to harden up a bit. Odd combo, but good.

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Paired with belly-busting watermelon (ie, it felt like I was going to birth one after. SO filling)

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And a reminder that things are never as they seem – I topped everything with hot sauce after. This has been happening a lot lately.

Spent the afternoon reading blogs and helping my mom with housework. Breaked for the world’s best muffin.

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Deep chocolate Vitatop topped with peanut butter.

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See the crystals? I like ‘em frozen. The texture is much fudgier that way. Honestly, I think I’d take this over a real brownie!

While I snacked and relaxed, my mom was in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

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She basted the turkey in the leftover hummus/mustard/nutritional yeast/water mix. Ohmy. It was delicious.

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Paired along with baked corn. THE best way to cook corn in my opinion, is to keep it in the husk and pop it in the oven for 30 or so minutes. The husk comes off much easier, and it gets all steamy on the inside. Seriously, if you haven’t done this yet, do it. My mom was sceptical, but she is now a believer.

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And some lovely sweet potato pillows in the back there. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside. Perfection.

 

Monthly Goal Check-In:

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
Only got in two full-body workouts. But those two yoga sessions this past weekend made me a whole new kind of sore. So that counts for something!
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. Only got one 5 miler in. This goal may be put on hold until I get my foot thing sorted out. Honestly, I don’t care enough about running to be that upset about it – I just want to be able to walk without pain!

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” I did really well on this, sticking with only 20g of cheese a day MAX (if any). But then I greatly failed over the weekend with a giant piece of coconut cream topped with two inches of whipped cream. Whoops.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. I give myself a big ole’ fail on this one. I’m trying, but not hard enough. I just really like sugar. A lot. Which is why I’m trying to cut back! :P

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Didn’t do much of this, but I did get 20+ guest posts together, so that’s something!

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
I need to get back on this. Not only do I need to plan for a big move, but I’m also going on a big trip to Banff in three weeks.
Spend time with my family. It’s all I’ve been doing :) 
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. I know this isn’t a very measurable goal, but I feel like I’m doing really good at this one. Sometimes I just stop and breathe in whatever it is I’m doing in that moment. It is making this brief time at home much more enjoyable, and I feel very thankful for it :)

 

Your turn! How is everyone doing with their monthly goals? Any new ones?

Off to work on a post for tomorrow on Easy Tone shoes. Oh yes.

Letting it all out

When was the last time you cried? I mean, really cried. Wept, sobbed, shook your shoulders and snotted everywhere…

I did that tonight. It’s been too long since I let it all out. Apparently, I had a lot building in me.

I have to be out of my current apartment before my new apartment is available. I’ve hired movers for Saturday who are too expensive to cancel. I work at 5 am both Saturday and Sunday. There is a very real chance I will have to sleep on the futon in the newsroom.

Both my sisters are in the province this weekend with their significant others. I would love nothing more than to be at our beautiful cottage with my beautiful family this weekend.

My dad and his family are going through rough times. I wish I could be there to help them.

For the first September in my life, I will not have plans to return to school. I am working a permanent job indefinitely. This terrifies me.

The last of my friends has moved away. I am left behind in this city, alone.

 

As of right now, I am looking forward to:

  • going to the gym in the morning
  • Waffle Wednesday
  • reporting on important trials tomorrow
  • getting my new glasses frames on Thursday
  • swimming for the first time since the triathlon
  • my long run on Friday
  • seeing my mom and one of my sisters on Monday
  • joining a new gym
  • starting my new life in a place to call my own

And what’s life without a little flavour?

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Savoury oats

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • chopped up breakfast sausage
  • fried egg
  • hot salsa
  • mozzarella

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Mahi mahi in a peach sauce. Pan-fried mahi mahi filet in Bragg’s topped with one chopped peach, onions and plum sauce. Brocolli and brussel sprouts with a little Bragg’s for the side.

Also, do not freeze watermelon then thaw it out. It turns slimy and meaty, and can only be saved in a smoothie.

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At least it was pretty. 1/2 cup plain yogurt, handful watermelon meat, handful frozen papaya chunks. 

 

When was the last time you cried? What is stressing you out at the moment? What are you looking forward to?

Thankfully, today is over. I’m going to bed and look forward to the brand new day ahead of me. It will be better. My outlook alone will allow that to happen.

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