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You like free junk?

Heeeyyyyy. We’re halfway through the week!! [insert giant smiley face here]

First things first. Thank you all for chiming in on my wondering rambles about the grey stuff around egg yolks.

Most of you said it’s caused by a) overcooking, and b) letting them cool too slowly. Culinary student Kristin laid it all out:

Susan,

The reason for the “ring” around your egg yolk is sulfur, a compound that is created when eggs are overcooked. (It also causes that yucky boiled egg smell- it can be avoided!) Either you are overcooking them too long in the water (it needs to be timed!) or you do not cool them immediately in COLD water to stop the cooking, put them in the fridge and they continue cooking in the shell. They do NOT cool that fast in the fridge, it’s the opposite!! I wrote a post on it here:http://kristinsnibbles.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-perfect-food

xo
K

Guilty and guilty! I am 100% aware that I overcook my eggs. I usually just bring the pot to a boil, turn it off, then walk away and forget about it. Eventually, I remember I have eggs on the stove and put them in the fridge. I can’t say I will time my eggs for exactly 10 minutes from now on, but I’ll at least refrain from walking away :P

In other news, I actually grabbed a shot of my pre-workout snack this morning.

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I usually eat around 100-200 calories of carbs, sugar and nut butter before hitting the gym every morning. It can’t not eat the second I roll out of bed, but I only have 30 minutes to digest between eating this and hitting “start” button on the cardio machine.

Future roommie Megan (hi Megan!!) asked me if I eat a lot of protein on rest days as well. If anything I eat more because this carby pre-workout snack is taken out of the equation. Our diets are always a work in progress, no?

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P.S. I roll it up. Scientific data shows that food tastes better when rolled.

I hit up the heavy weights again this week after a lighter upper-body day last week. No two workouts are ever the same around these parts! Too much fun fitness stuff to experiment with.

Warmed-up for 25 minutes on the treadmill first. 

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

This treadmill routine is getting too easy for me!! I used to finish this breathless, and I hopped off feeling fine today. Will do harder next time.

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target
Straight sets:        
Assisted pull-up  70 lbs 4-6 4 Back
Barbell bench press 50 lbs 4-6 4 Chest
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lb barbell 4-6 4 Back
Push-up  bodyweight 3 4 Chest
Dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 lb dumbbells 4-6 4 Shoulders
Alternating sets:        
YTWL  7.5 lb dumbbells 5 each letter 3 Shoulders
Tricep pulldown  30 lbs 8 3 Triceps
Cable bicep curl 20 lbs 8 3 Biceps

Finished off with a sweaty 10 minutes on the stepmill.

I’m really starting to wish I had a spotter for these high-weight days. I originally picked up 20 lb dumbbells for my shoulder presses and almost lost it. It was frightening! My arm wobbled backwards and I barely regained control. I could have really injured myself :(

I arrived at the office shortly after for a wonderful breakfast I had packed away.

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SO filling! Two mini bagels with egg whites, mustard and ham. Meat in the morning fills me up like none other.

Morning snack came late.

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New batch of apple cinnamon protein bars. I still think these are my fave flavour for the homemade bars. Cinnamon and oatmeal is just such a killer combo…

Lunch!

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The return of the pita! It’s been a while! This was was ohsogood with baba ganouj and turkey as the base. Then stuffed silly with all the veggies I had in my fridge.

For my afternoon snack I mixed vanilla cottage cheese with plain yogurt and strawberries.

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My last container of strawberries were quite sweet and flavourful, these are borderline bitter with no flavour. Boo.

I also snacked on some nuts and dried cranberries at 4pm because I am always SO hungry by the time 4pm rolls around. I am ready to gnaw my arm off by the time I bust through the door after work. More tweaking may be needed to fix this issue. A diet is always in a state of progress, never is it perfect!

I am glad I had the extra snack because dinner was worth waiting for!!

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Janetha’s Turkey Goulash

recipe adapted from the eating for life cookbook.

serves 6

ingredients:

  • 20 ounces lean ground turkey breast I used a lb. Is that 20 oz?
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can roasted garlic & onion diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic. I used an extra for good luck.
  • 1 yellow squash Used spaghetti squash as extra filler
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini Again, I added another for good luck
  • 1 red onion Used half a gigantic one
  • 1 (10 oz) can tomato sauce Used garlic & herb flavour
  • 2 TB fresh basil 2 tsp dried basil. Boo.
  • egg white noodles
  • added mushrooms, lots of them

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I usually don’t like noodles because I find they’re too squishy, heavy and tasteless. But I love these Catelli Healthy Harvest whole wheat yolk free noodles!

I had only half a serving tonight, which was one heaping cup of cooked pasta, and still got 4g of fibre for 155 calories.

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Thumbs up JB!!! My tummy is thanking you right now :)

 

In case you missed it, I’m giving away free shizz because the people who read this blog rock my socks, and everyone needs a little blueberry syrup in their life. 

As a small disclaimer, don’t expect to see a lot of giveaways on this blog. I’ve sort of made an unofficial decision to turn down company offers unless they really line up with my area of interest, or I think they could be of real benefit. I really don’t want to give junk away just because I can. And I don’t want to feature junk on here just because I get it for free. I’m aware that I may not get as many readers because of this, but I hope that I can instead draw people in through quality content :) Blame my old journalism professors, they instilled some sort of lame set of beliefs in me :P

 

Question of the Day: Giveaways, yay or nay? Some turn me off by how obvious of a plug they are, but some are a fun way to share interesting products with people :)

Tips for Working Out in the Morning

Hey everyone!! Well, as promised, here are my morning workout tips! Most of you know I’m a big fan of getting up mega early and doing my workout before my day’s commitments. I assure you, I haven’t always been a morning person. But these are some of the things that helped me acclimatize. Read on!


The day before:

  • Don’t workout after work Tuesday, then expect to wake up before work on Wednesday for another tough workout. Two workouts within 12 hours is hard, and tiring. Try to allow 24 hours between your workouts.
  • Mentally prepare yourself for your routine the next day. Keep reminding yourself that you’ll be up a little earlier to work out the next day, instead of ignoring it or putting it out of your mind.

The night before:

  • Prepare every last detail. Get your pre-workout snack ready, any coffee you need/want to drink beforehand. I even fill up the water jug in my fridge so there’s lots to hydrate with.
  • Get your clothes/gear ready. I put my workout clothes, down to my underwear and socks, at the end of my bed. On days I’m especially tight on time, I’ll even sleep in my workout clothes. I pack a bag with my wallet, iPod, water bottle, sweat rag and sneakers to grab on my way out the door.
  • I don’t wash my mascara off the night before so I still have a little bit on when I go to the gym in the morning. This way I’m not technically putting make-up on to go to the gym. But at the same time, it keeps me from looking like death at 5am. I have no shame in admitting to this technique.
  • If I know I’ll be tight on time in the morning, I’ll prepare my breakfast and food for work the night before too. (I live close enough to my gym that I can come back home and shower before going to work).

The morning of:

  • Don’t waste time laying in bed!!! I keep my alarm clock on the other end of my bed, so I have to sit up and crawl to turn it off. Do not lay back down at this point!!! That grogginess feeling wears off after 15 minutes or so. Do not let it fool you into thinking you’re too tired (unless you actually slept for 4 hours. Then go back to bed).
  • The first thing I do is put my gym clothes on. It’s hard to talk myself out of it once I’m up and in those clothes.
  • Drink at least 16 oz of water. I always wake up feeling super dehydrated, so this one is easy for me. I chug a glass every morning anyways. But if there’s one thing you should remember in your morning routine, it’s this one. Working out in a dehydrated state is not cool.
  • Have a small snack and caffeine (if you swing that way). This is the difference between a stellar workout and a “meh.” workout for me.

My pre-workout snack is usually around 100-150 calories consisting of nut butter + simple sugar and sometimes a complex carb. Since I start activity about 15 minutes after this snack, the sugar is more effective for energy than the complex carb, but that complex carb can be important for sustained energy. Examples:

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Dates + PB

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1/2 Banana + PB 

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1/2 Banana + PB + toast

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 Smooshed dates + PB + wasa bread.

I don’t vary a lot from these combos because it they always sit well in my tummy and give me lots of energy! Doesn’t mean it will work for you, so I encourage lots of experimenting on your part to find that magic combo :)

The real magic though, is my iced coffee.

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This is my secret weapon to morning workouts. I make a french press the night before and stick it in the fridge. In the morning, I mix half of the french press with almond milk and stevia (in my Jamaican frosty mug, of course). The coffee and snack is downed in about 5 minutes flat, and that’s when my energy soars. I practically bound out the door at that point! (the other half of the french press is consumed with breakfast)

 

So there you have it! I assure you, I never used to be a morning person. In fact, I have old blog entries to prove that fact. But the good of working out first thing far outweighs the negative!

  1. I get the luxury of coming straight home after work and have the time to prepare a nice dinner
  2. I don’t have to spend a good chunk of my day battling mentally whether or not I should go to the gym after work like planned
  3. Working late, or other unexpected reasons don’t get in the way
  4. I have the whole day to replenish my hunger, instead of an evening workout where I spend the rest of the night starving
  5. I get to strut around all day knowing I ran 5 miles while most of my coworkers were still asleep ;)

As a side note, I find my best workouts are often in the morning. Personally, my body performs best when there’s less food and stress from the day to wear me down.

 

And because I can’t leave you without any fun food from the day – I tried a lamb burger! Chris and I went to our favourite restaurant, Isaac’s Way.

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Curried lamb burgerGround lamb seasoned with curry, grilled, and topped with out roasted red pepper pecan spread, spinach, goat cheese and fresh red peppers.”

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I almost went for a “lighter option” on the menu. But this burger is what I really wanted, and I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied without! So I opted for a side salad and got the burger in all its glory. It was delicious. The pecan spread was amazing with the goat cheese. I couldn’t detect a huge difference with the lamb though. The bun overpowered the meat a little.

Chris got one of his standbys.

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Nachos bathed in horrible flash photography.

We were hungry.

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After dinner, we went Christmas shopping – for me!!

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I upgraded from my old Motorola Razr to an LG Xenon :D Phone cost me $10 with a rebate, and I get the browser on it for only an extra $5 a month. HOLY DEAL! I can also e-mail and Twitter from it. I’m in nerdy heaven :)

 

Lastly, I just gotta tell y’all that I brought my own ingredients to make a banana Chocolate Amazing Meal smoothie at work today. Pretty sure it was the healthiest smoothie I’ve ever had out of a Starbucks cup ;) My co-workers already think I’m crazy.

Hope you all enjoy your Friday!!!

 

Question of the Day: When is your favourite time of the day to work out? If I’m running, I do it best as soon as I wake up. But other activities I prefer to do a couple hours after a hearty breakfast. Come afternoon, I just start to drag.

CPR, PBJ, SBUX

Well hello there! How is everybody doing? How is your airway? Your breathing? It’s okay, I’m a trained First Aid responder.

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CPR is actually only a fraction of it. I can also now dress and bandage any wound imaginable. I also learned that “RICE” now stands for Rest, Isolate, Cold and Elevate. They changed the acronym so they have an excuse to make people go back and pay for the course again :P

Before all that though, I was up in the middle of the night (5:30) for a jaunt on the treadmill at the gym. I don’t always photograph the small snack I eat before my a.m. workouts, but I need to eat something as soon as I get out of bed or I die.

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Butt-end piece of bread with PB&J and my secret weapon to early morning workouts – iced coffee. I guzzle this back in less than five minutes and it’s like a jolt of energy to my veins that carries me through my workout. I know some people are iffy about caffeine, but I really like having a little before workouts as a performance booster.

I went for the usual 5-mile speed run. I’m going to get sick of this eventually, but so far I still love it :)

On a 1% incline:
2 min @ 3.2 mph
3 min @ 3.7 mph
5 min @ 5.6 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.0 & 6.4 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.2 & 6.6 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.4 & 6.8 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.6 & 7.0 mph
5 min @ 5.6 mph
3 min @ 3.7 mph
2 min @ 3.2 mph

 

I cannot believe that 7.0 mph is almost a “normal” speed for me now. At this exact same time last year, I would regularly do this same treadmill workout and my highest speed was 6.4 mph! Crazy. Sometimes I get so focused on improving my current fitness, I forget how much I’ve already improved!

I still had PB&J on my mind once I made it back to my apartment, so I incorporated it into my oats.

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Leftover steel cut oats (ccoked with banana & vanilla protein powder) topped with awesome peanut butter and jam.

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Natur all natural 100% peanut butter and Crofter’s strawberry jam. Y’all know I’ve been having a love affair with Crofter’s. But I’m pretty sure of all the jams out there, plain ole strawberry is my favourite. I’ve been wanting to try this peanut butter for a while (I think my dad used to buy it?) and it was on sale so I finally splurged. SO worth it! I love my nut butters crunchy and natural. No salt, no sugar, extra chunks please :)

Then it was off to first aid class, with the luxury of a 90 minute lunch break to come home and make lunch.

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Yves veggie turkey slices, marble cheese, mustard, mayo, onions, tomatoes, sprouts, spinach on whole grain bread. And a pear :) This was mega yummy.

I kept up the yummy theme for dinner. Stuffed a chicken breast with peanut butter hummus and put in on top a bed of sauteed kale, spinach, garlic, mushrooms, onions and green pepper.

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With a baked sweet potato covered in cottage cheese.

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Aaallll together now…

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Solid meal, I loved it :)

 

So starting tomorrow, I am officially a full-time employee at Starbucks. Scary! I’m not sure how long I’m going to stick it out there. After Christmas, I need to get my butt in gear and try to find a sub-let for my apartment. I reallyreally want to move back home. But I just didn’t feel like I could get my act together in time to do it before Christmas. The Starbucks job is essentially just a way to pay the bills until I figure out a way to get outta here! In a couple months, I’m hoping to move back home with my mom for a little bit until I get my feet on the ground. We’ll see! I just want to make sure I do not do anything that will tie me down to my current city any more than I already am. No more commitments or I’ll never leave! :P

Alrighty, time for me to study bioenergetics concepts and watch the Biggest Loser finale. See ya tomorrow for some waffles!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite kind of jam? Favourite nut butter? As mentioned above, strawberry jam is my favourite, but blueberry gets a close second. As for nut butters, I love them all, but natural crunchy PB will always have a hold on my heart (ahem, tastebuds).

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