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A Wonderful Waffle Wednesday

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In case you don’t have me on Twitter or Facebook, this is the e-mail I got shortly after hitting publish last night.

I am calm about it now but you better believe I freaked out!!

Oh screw it, I’m still freaking out!!!!

I legitimately believed that I wasn’t going to get the 80% required to pass my personal training exam. I was worried about paying the extra $100 to do it again. Embarrassed over how I would explain to people that I’m a fitness delinquent.

Needless to say I’ve been on cloud nine all day. I didn’t even realize how stressed I was about the thing!

I still have to do my practical exam next week. This will consist of taking one of my friends through a fitness test and hour-long training session while my PRO trainer watches and grades me. I’m practicing tomorrow with a couple girls after work. I still need to learn all the proper spotting techniques. But I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about this one. Although, I must say, being watched like a hawk for an hour is nerve wracking, especially for a girl who suffers from serious social anxiety.

Woke up this morning with a big grin on my face. A beautiful day outside and Waffle Wednesday!

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The usual protein waffle recipe (equal parts oatmeal, cottage cheese and egg whites). I’m obsessed with crispy waffles, and each time I leave them in the iron for juuuust a little bit longer. I almost burnt them today! But they were delightfully crispy.

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Topped with lemon flavoured yogurt, almond butter and All Bran Buds. I never buy flavoured yogurt, but it was on sale during a moment of weakness. Yoplait Source brand, tasty.

Snacks today were my new homemade chocolate banana peanut butter protein bars. Got that?

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops (120g) chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp banana extract
  • 1 heaping tbsp chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup water

Mixed and mixed and mixed in a bowl until the protein powder was all dissolved, yet still super thick and sticky. Flattened into a 9×9 pan, hardened in the fridge, and cut into 8 bars.

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Loooove the extra cocoa powder in these, but I am still on the fence with banana extract. It tastes booze-y! (actually, so do bananas sometimes) I think some banana baby food would be much better ;)

Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, today is a rest day. But I went on an hour-long walk with a co-worker at lunch and it was awesome. It’s so nice to get a shot of fresh air midday, and I got back to the office feeling energized for the afternoon. I highly suggest a noon-hour power walk!

I took the pup for another mini-walk once I got home (rather, he took me). I spent the whole time dreaming up ideas of things I could make for supper with the random ingredients I had on hand. Here’s what I came up with:

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Okay, totally random, but totally delicious! I cooked up some butternut squash and chili powder in the microwave. Added it to a skillet with Yves Mexican veggie ground beef, onions, green pepper and salsa. Then topped with a fried-egg. Kind of along the lines of a wonky Mexican hash.

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Um, yeah. It was good. Real good. Random ingredients make the best meals.

Speaking of which! I lovedlovedloved hearing about all of your favourite food pairings! Here is just a snippet, but I highly recommend going back to read them you want ideas:

  • Apples + Sardines (John)
  • Ham + Cheese (Cassie)
  • BBQ chicken+ Feta cheese (Lori)
  • Popcorn + Tabasco (simplyshaka)
  • Peanut butter + Pickles (Madeline)
  • Salmon + Dill (Hallie)
  • Squash + Hummus (Alyson)
  • Nut butter + Honey (Diana)
  • Haagan Daz coffee ice cream + Magic Shell (Angela)
  • French fries + Chocolate milkshake (Angharad)
  • Muffins + Milk (mashed together!) (ellie)
  • Chili + Cornbread (janetha)
  • Chicken + Red grapes (Diane)
  • Cashew butter + Spoon (Erin)

That’s just a fraction of them!! A lot of classics, and then some wonderful ideas for new things to try. Peanut butter and pickles at the top of that list I think. Maybe a pickle peanut butter? ;)

If you’re looking for something else to read, The New York Times recently featured an interesting article on the role (if any) exercise plays in weight loss, and the role it plays in maintenance. Basically, there is research out there that shows exercise is not necessary to lose weight, but helps a lot in weight maintenance. I actually agree with this, as I didn’t exercise a lot during the period where I lost most of my weight. However, I do think regular exercise has been the key to my maintenance. I love to eat, and it allows me to do that. Plain and simple.

Last but not least,  I must share this Bob Greene quote from an interview he did with Fit Bottomed Girls.

“The best advice I can give is to know the life you want, know that you deserve it, and go after it with a passion.” 

Amen Mr. Greene. Amen.

 

Question of the Day: What is the best advice you can give? Mine actually comes from a Lululemon bag: “Do one thing a day that scares you.” You’ll be surprised by what you’re capable of.

Flashback Friday – Being Healthy AND Social

Happy weekend everyone! Or, at least, I hope it’s a happy one :)

I got my day off to a good start with the Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones DVD.

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It’s a 50-minute strength DVD, divided into seven circuits, going through about four moves two times in each circuit. Mostly made up of combination moves that work both lower-body and upper-body at the same time. It’s perfect for days like today where I want a low intensity workout. Although, it’s no walk in the park either. I was sweating up a storm and my shoulders are sore!

Only had 20 minutes for breakfast today so I went for one of my favourite quick n’ tasty morning meals.

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Waffles! What else :P Nature’s Path maple cinnamon freezer waffles, topped with a mixture of cottage cheese, cashew butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Since I scorched my toaster oven, I had to make these in my full-sized oven. Still have to learn how to do that without burning them…

Morning snack at work was a banana and almond butter.

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Except this banana gave me a tummy ache :( Sometimes they do that, I have no idea why…

I broke into my lunch at 11:30am. No point in waiting till noon if I already have a growling belly!

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Tofurkey sandwich with the usual suspects: pickles, mustard, onions, tomato, spinach, side of baby carrots.

I ended up running errands over my lunch break, and what was supposed to be a quick stop at Shoppers Drug Mart turned into a $150 haul.

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I never budget for beauty supplies, nor do I ever splurge and buy nice beauty items. So in celebration of being paid yesterday, I did! That hair straightener by the way, is a wireless one. While it’s a nifty gadget to have, I don’t think it’s the quality iron that I need. I may have to throw down close to another $100 to get a more solid one :( I hate spending money on beauty crap!

Afternoon snack was a stinky one…

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I get so embarrassed eating boiled eggs in public. I had to apologize profusely to my officemate.

Dinner had more eggs – a smoked mackerel egg white scramble.

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  • onions
  • sweet peppers
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • chopped chipotle
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • smoked mackerel
  • old cheddar cheese

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Nomnom. The smoked fish/smoky chipotle flavour combination was a great one. Don’t know why I don’t do “spicy” with smoked meats more often!

 

Flashback Friday – Q&A Edition

As soon as I got tonight’s question, I knew I had to save it for a Flashback Friday post.

What was the biggest struggle you faced with your weight loss and maintenance journeys? Sorry if this is already asked, and if it is then feel free to ignore it. I know you have talked about in the blog in general, but I’m just wondering what the one hardest thing was. Thanks!

Tina

I suppose I’ve yammered on a lot about various struggles I encountered while losing weight and maintaining my 30 lb weight loss, but I’ve never picked out one aspect that I really struggled with throughout. For me, the hardest part was, and is, leading a normal social life.

When I first began my journey, I would say I lead a pretty active social life. I was in my third-year of university, had a solid group of friends and a boyfriend I hung out with regularly. Thing is, I really only did two things when I hung out with other people – drink and eat. I’d been able to keep my weight at a reasonable level up until that point by walking everywhere. But once I got my car, it all went downhill (or technically, “up-scale”)

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This picture of me in Jamaica is probably 5 lbs below my highest weight. I was eating and drinking like I didn’t have a care in the world. Litres of draft beer would be consumed, with piles of nachos, and pieces of cake, all the while laughing and having a grand ole time with my friends.

Then I realized enough was enough, and I changed. The first course of action I took was giving up beer. At first, my friends laughed, as if it were some sort of joke. But I dropped close to 6 lbs those first three weeks without beer, which was motivation enough for me not to go back.

Then the peer pressure began, my friends would try to force it on me, or said I was being a party pooper. In all honesty, I felt like a party pooper too. Hanging out in a dark pub while people ate and drank what they wanted was no longer fun for me. I found myself obsessing over what I couldn’t have, and ignoring the conversations going on around me.

I also became very controlling over what I put in my body. About a month into my weight loss journey, I went on a trip up north with my family.

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By this point, I’d lost around 15 lbs and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was on-track, and determined not to let anything throw me off. But this trip was probably one of the hardest for me socially. I had been learning about the nutritional value of all my foods, and found it very difficult to let myself go knowing what I was consuming. Back then, no one even knew I was trying to lose weight, so I’m sure they were all confused as to why I was freaking out about eating potato salad!!

I also felt out of place when I would make healthy substitutes in front of other people. I really wanted to be one of the normal people at barbecues who could gobble up sausages and buns with reckless abandon.

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Instead, I felt like I had a huge target on my back for going with the healthier options.

Part of my struggle with this also came from the fact that I was a university student. Drinking on the weekends (okay, weeknights too) is just what college kids do. So not wanting to do those things made me feel very much like an outsider.

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Then of course there was the fitness aspect of it. It took me a really long time to learn how to explain to people that I’m up at 5am to workout everyday. Or that I’m training for things like triathlons and half-marathons. 

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Even now, trying to explain to friends, family and colleagues about my personal training aspirations is difficult.

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I hate to sound like a broken record here, but the two things I’ve learned about having a “normal” social life while losing/maintaining weight is that it’s all about honesty and balance. I was never straight-up with people about my trying to lose weight. I’m sure my family and friends would have understood and been more accepting had I just been like “I don’t want to go to the pub tonight because I’m trying to lose weight, let’s do something else.”

In terms of balance, I should have loosened up on myself a little in the early weight-loss days too. I needn’t have been so strict in situations where I should have focused on the people around me, not the food being offered. Instead of saying “absolutely no beer,” I now have no problem with drinking a couple with friends every once in a while. It doesn’t really add up to much in the grand scheme of things. Same goes with exercise – it’s worth it to skip one early morning workout sometimes so I can have a late night out with friends!

I’ve also learned that having a good social life also important to my overall health. Perfect diet and exercise patterns aren’t the only things required to make me a happy person. I need more interaction, thought provocation, and whole-hearted belly-laughs to keep me thriving on a daily basis :)

And with that, I send all my bloggie friends a giant HEART!! <3

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Thank you to Emily for showing the Valentine’s Day love (only 5 days late, not bad for Canada Post!). Now it’s my turn to give it back to all my readers :)

Lost catch-up beckons! Night night! xoxo

 

P.S. I’m still taking questions for the Q&As, comment or e-mail away!

Fatty February Update!

I had a blast reading through everyone’s favourite alcoholic drinks! Glad to hear I’m not the only rye/whiskey girl. Many of you probably know that I’m not a huge drinker anymore. In fact, I consume alcohol maybe only once a month now? If even! I wrote about it in this post. I lost my taste and desire for it, but at the same time, I still need a big night out on the rare occasion :)

Monday was a pretty typical day for me. I was quite proud of myself for dragging my butt to the Monday morning spin class despite my whacky weekend. I pulled myself to the gym again today for some treadmill work and a full-body workout. Nothing suuuuper intense, but a solid sweat sesh nonetheless.

Treadmill

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

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell squat  45 lbs 12 1
Barbell squat  55 lbs 10 1
Barbell squat  65 lbs 8 1

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 3
Pistol squat  bw 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Incline dumbbell shoulder press 20 lbs ea 8-12 3
Static lunge  10 lbs ea 12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Cable horizontal woodchop  35 lbs 12 3
Hanging leg raises  bw 12 3

 

I feel like I should add that I’m still in the beginner stages of the pistol squat! Someday my leg will stick out perfectly in front of me and I’ll get my bum to the floor. But right now my foot just sort of dangles as I try to get my thigh parallel to the ground. It’s tough! I’ve got old-lady hips too, so my threshold for lower-body weightlifting is pretty darn low. My hips were popping and hurting by the time I got to the leg raises.

Today’s desk-breakfast was more cold goo.

Grape nuts and yogurt
Not overnight oats but Grape Nuts! I randomly picked up a box of Grape Nuts cereal because I’d never tried it before. I mixed it with yogurt, almond butter and blueberries. It made my breakfast almost cake-like in texture. I hear the cereal is good heated up, I’ll try that next :)

Morning snack was one of my new favourites, inspired by my mom!

Armstrong cheese
While my mom was visiting, she kept eating deli meat wrapped around cheese. Turns out it’s an awesome high-protein, high-fat snack. Today’s was smoked tofurkey slices around Armstrong herb & cheddar cheese.

Lunch was leftovers!

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This is what I also had for supper on Monday. It was crazy good for being so crazy simple and made-up on the spot.

  • ground turkey
  • 1 can Heinz chili-spiced kidney beans
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • sweet peppers
  • minced jalepeno
  • minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp garlic tomato paste
  • fresh green beans

I was so excited about my leftovers today, I forgot to pack an afternoon snack. I had to venture down to the university’s cafeteria where there were unusually slim pickings.

So God chocolate soy milk

They didn’t even have granola bars!! The chocolate soy milk was pretty good though, I haven’t had it in a while.

I’m also doing well on “operation-become-an-office-tea-drinker.”

Lipton chamomile tea

Today’s chamomile was also brought to me by the cafeteria. Not sure how I feel about these Lipton teas they offer. They never actually taste like what’s on the label.

I needed to clean the kitchen when I got home, which means a roasted dinner. Throw everything in the oven then clean while it cooks!

white turnip
I had tons of root veggies in my fridge to use up – white turnip and parsnip. I used to hate turnip growing up, but I loved it tonight!

And some pepper squash.

pepper squash

Spread with some real buttah ;)

And a giant chicken breast stuffed with Olive & Feta Hummus.

stuffed chicken

To stuff my chicken, I just slit it down the side and sandwich the good stuff in there :) Hummus and laughing cow are probably my favourite stuffings.

Evening snack was another one of my new favourites – protein cookie dough.

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Mixed up 30g chocolate whey protein powder and vanilla almond milk until it was a nice thick goo. Then I stirred in 2 tsp peanut butter, mini chocolate chips and sprinkles. Love this. It seems teeny tiny, but I assure you it’s filling – and that means a lot coming from me!

While licking on my protein batter, I finally cracked open this beast:

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Oof. It’s been a while! I kinda stopped studying after my course was delayed by three months. Alas, the course date is fast approaching again (mid-March!) and I still have a lot to get through. Tonight, I learned all about muscular concepts. Lots of info.

 

Fatty February Update!

Seeing as its past the mid-month mark now, I want to do a quick Fatty February update! I was doing reallyreally well before my Halifax trip. Adding olive oil to things, eating fatty fish and having lots of nut butter. But it obviously all went out the window for a few days there :P Right now, I’m just trying to get back on track with it! These past couple days I’ve been relying on nut butter waaay too much – about 3-4 tbsp a day as my main fat sources. I haven’t tracked my food intake, but I know it’s not enough, and not a balanced way to get it. Making sure I get a wide variety of healthy fats is definitely going to be a continued effort on my part. I’m workin’ on it!

As for any noticeable difference – my belly pudge shrank. Seriously. I half-credit it to my cutting out carb-heavy snacks at night (been doing mostly protein snacks before bed). But I think upping my fat has balanced my macronutrients out to a ratio that is much kinder to my belly bloat.

I weighed myself this morning, and even after the mass consumption of high-calorie sugar foods this weekend, I’m back at my pre-Christmas “happy weight.” Again, I can’t fully credit this to upping my fats, but I think consciously choosing fattier foods has just led to a more balanced diet on my part. One that has helped me maintain my weight better.

So far so good! No noticeable difference with my skin and hair, but I swear my nails are growing faster.

 

Question of the Day: Fatty February-ers – how are you doing? Any noticeable changes? Any fatty foods you’re loving?

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