Blog Archives

Sleeping Beauty

Anyone else out there become completely and utterly useless in the evenings? I always have big plans of things I want to do, but unless I commit to something with other people, they always fall through. Case and point – I wanted to go to the after hours clinic tonight to get a referral to a dermatologist. But the idea of going out in the snow (yes, it’s snowing!!) and spending my whole evening in a waiting room did not sound appealing. Mom, if you’re reading this, please book an appointment with our GP. That way I can take a day off work and drive home! ;) Sounds a lot more fun – no?

In other news, I turned my alarm off in my sleep last night. I woke up at 5:33am (3 minutes after my alarm is supposed to go off) and realized it wasn’t set. I specifically remember setting it before bed last night. Then a hazy memory returned of me physically getting out of bed and turning it off at three in the morning. I keep my alarm a couple steps away so I don’t do this, but apparently I need to put it in a different room or something! Whole lot of good it did too… I was still up at the scheduled time!

Seeing as it’s snowing today (boohiss) my run was obviously done on the treadmill. Opted for my fave 5-mile speedwork run. Technically, it’s closer to 5.5, but these days I go more by time than distance when I run.

Breakfast was pretty good for a cold desk-breakfast, despite what this picture tells you.

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Yogurt, cottage cheese, peach-mango protein powder, almond butter, homemade granola. The last of the homemade granola (boohiss).

My mid-morning snack blew my mind.

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Homemade marshmallow protein bar. Ohhellsyes. Scroll down for the recipe! (if I’d even call it that, it’s SUPER simple)

Wait a second, isn’t it Waffle Wednesday? I celebrated with lunch.

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I probably should have taken it out of the plastic bag to photograph… It was crazy delicious. Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles with laughing cow sprinkled with cinnamon and maple smoked salmon. I toasted the waffles last night with hopes of them remaining crispy, but that was not the case. I heated it up in the microwave at work instead. The sweet maple salmon paired with the sweet waffle was nothing short of amazing.

This afternoon saw a plethora of veggies + hummus.

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Once again, I stink up my office. This time with garlicky hummus.

Dinner was one of those ones that’s plain, simple, and delicious :)

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Assorted veggies in Bragg’s and chicken topped with almond butter.

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Yes, almond butter! It got all lovely and melty on top, and the richness of the nut butter was most excellent with the chicken. Gotta get those fats in!

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am still eating protein pudding for dessert every night.

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Topped with marshmallow fluff because I am a marshmallow fiend.

Hey! That’s a great segue into my new protein bar recipe!

 

Homemade Marshmallow Protein Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops (120g) vanilla protein powder
  • 6 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ~1/2 cup water

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, adding water slowly. Mix and mix until the protein powder is all dissolved. It should still be crumbly and quite sticky (not gooey!). Flatten into a 9×9 pan. Or 8×8 pan. The square one.

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Let chill in the fridge for a couple hours, then cut into 8 bars. I wrap mine up to grab for snacks during the week.

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Each bar has around 220 calories, 8g fat, 20g carbs, 4g fibre and 17g protein.

 

Last but not least, I want to keep on this week’s theme of sleep. Many of you commented that you have trouble sleeping. I wanted to talk about my most recent sleep issues and how I almost fixed them!

You may remember that one of my November Goals was to get more sleep. I wrote:

This is an ongoing issue that I think is more than just scheduling and bad time management. There are reasons I can’t sleep, and it’s time to get to the bottom of it.

Well get to the bottom of it I did! At the beginning of November, I was in a rough place. I was in a job that I didn’t like, and was wearing me out more with each passing day. I had no friends, no social life, and living alone was proving to be, well, pretty lonely. I had no fun things on the horizon, no life goals in mind, and my outlook for the future was pretty damn bleak. Oh yes, and I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t sleep at night, and my body was often waking me up at 5am or earlier, even on my days off. Sleeping more than 6 hours was a good night for me.

All of that started to change after I quit my job. The job I did four years of school for, the job most new graduates would kill for. Within days of quitting my job, I started to sleep more soundly. Not perfectly, but the quality definitely improved.

Then, towards the end of November, I started to work at my fave job ever, Starbucks. I also decided to take the plunge and pursue personal training as an additional career. It was my passion, why the hell not? With my new sunny outlook and sense of positive direction in life, I found myself falling asleep easier at night.

I didn’t end up staying at Starbucks for long, because right before Christmas, I was offered an amazing job opportunity to work in the communications department writing for my alma matter. It was when I started that job in the new year, along with ending a long-term relationship, that my sleep patterns drastically improved. I found myself in a daily environment I felt comfortable and happy in. I felt confident as a single woman, made friends with my new co-workers, and worked on projects that fell within my realm of abilities (as opposed to journalism, where you’re always challenged with doing the impossible).

It was only days after the new job and new singleness that I was waking up to the sound of my alarm everyday. As opposed to waking hours before it was scheduled to go off. Even more strangely, I started dreaming again. I hadn’t had one notable dream for over a year, and now I’m suddenly having them nearly every night. My imagination is starting to flourish again.

So that my friends, is my long winded way of saying that there are many factors that contribute to sleep. You can have all the chamomile and turkey you want, but I think some things require a lot more soul searching to be solved.

 

Okay, enough for one evening! Thursday is shaping up to be a fun day – see ya then!

Meatloaf Pizza and Goal Check-In!

Ooohhhh maannnn. Anyone else have a rough Monday? I think it was a combination of having a busy weekend, plus the time change. I didn’t have a great sleep last night and felt like a cranky zombie until about 2pm. Spin class didn’t even do it for me. It was far more torturous than it usually is. In fact, most people had that “just been run over by a truck look.”

Oh, and my day totally got started off on the wrong foot. I went to put my contacts in first thing this morning, except, they weren’t in the case. I dug my finger all through the solution and couldn’t find them. After a couple minutes, I realized they were still in my eyes. Even worse, they’d been in since Saturday!! I woke up with crusty eyes Sunday morning and briefly thought I was getting pink eye. Then I forgot all about it and wore my glasses all day! Then I woke up with super dry and crusty eyes again today and was really grossed out realizing they were still on my eyeballs. *shudder*

Aaaanyways, moving on! Desk-breakfast was solid today. I’m finally starting to get used to these! (I used to hate cold breakfasts)

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Greek yogurt, almond butter, stevia, fresh strawberries, homemade granola. It’s a classic combo for a reason.

Lunch was the exact same salad I had last night, just in giant tupperware.

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Highlights of the salad were definitely the pickled beets and tzatziki. SO good! It also contained pieces of my first ever attempt at cooking pork. I over-cooked it, which I suppose is better than under-cooking it :\ I picked it up because two pork tenderloins were one-third the price of two chicken breasts. Holy shit.

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I always put half the spinach on the top so I’m not left with a bunch of dry spinach at the end.

Highlight of the day definitely came at 2pm (when my mood improved!). My boss lent me his car to run an errand and had The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album in the CD player. I cranked it, rolled down the window to let the spring air in, and sang along to Think For Yourself. Good times :)

Dinner was, ahem, “inspired” by this magazine I stole from my mom’s house (busted) which you can get for free at Sobey’s. (Canadian grocery store)

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Always on the lookout for high-protein dinners, this Crustless Meatloaf Pizza caught my eye.

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From the website:

1 cup Compliments Balance Tomato & Herbs Pasta Sauce, divided

1/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko)

1 egg, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried Compliments Italian Seasoning (I used Kirkland no-salt seasoning)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used extra-lean ground turkey)

1 cup Compliments Finely Shredded Pizza Cheese Blend (used 3/4 cup Kraft shredded old cheddar)

2 cups assorted vegetables such as sliced onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms (I used artichoke hearts, onions, mushrooms, yellow pepper, spinach and tomatoes)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place 3 tbsp (45 mL) pasta sauce in a large bowl; stir in bread crumbs, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Crumble in the beef and mix gently to combine. Press evenly onto a 12-inch (30 cm) rimmed pizza pan.
  2. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the beef. Sprinkle with cheese and top with vegetables. Bake, on the lowest rack, for 15 to 20 min. or until the pizza is set and the cheese is bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve.

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My kitchen takes crappy photos, but I wanted to get a shot of it as a “pie” :)

The yumminess in some natural light with steamed veggies topped with coconut…

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HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. This was so good. If you like meatloaf, make it now!!!

I went back for seconds ;)

 

Okay, it’s Monday, which means it’s time to check in on my March Goals:


1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted.
Apartment is 85% subletted! I have someone who has offered to take it, but I still need to get a deposit and signature from him (should be Wednesday). As soon as that happens, then it’s officially done! I also cleaned out my car and took pictures of it yesterday, so I’ll be posting ads for it soon too.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Definitely lagging on this. But I’m not stressing about it that much. I know no matter what I do, I’ll have enough money to at least survive, so that’s comforting…

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’ve been really busy at work, but people are at least noticing the time and effort I put into it, which means a lot :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I lagged on this last week! I still have to complete my online lessons, which will be time consuming. Hoping to get that done in the evenings this week – I start my in-class learning this Saturday at a gym in Saint John!!

5. Run outdoors again. CHECK!! I got three, surprisingly “easy,” miles in on Saturday. I’m hoping to get another outdoor run in after work this Wednesday :)

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month?

Bonus question: Do you sing in the car? I do. No shame.

Numbers Game

Happy Waffle Wednesday friends!!

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Today’s batch was two Nature’s Path Maple Cinnamon waffles defrosted in the microwave and dredged in egg whites. Then cooked in a pan to make waffle french toast! 

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Topped with some almond butter, frozen strawberries and sugar-free syrup. Yummzzz. Although, it kinda makes me miss fresh berries. Remember when strawberries were less than $5 a pint?? Those were the days…

Today was my rest day from the gym, which meant my hunger was out of control! Body needs the fuel to repair itself from all that stress I put it though ;) Morning snack came early with a homemade PB&J protein bar.

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These may be a little mushy, but my gosh are they good!!

I didn’t quite make it to lunch though, I broke into my second snack at 10:30.

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I ate the Kashi raspberry chocolate bar. These are growing on me. Kashi bars are like eating air though.

Lunch was something different for me – a yogurt mess!

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I only ever have these for breakfast or a snack, but it made for a decent lunch! With the yogurt was also cottage cheese, peach mango flavoured protein powder, cashew butter and homemade granola. Surprisingly satisfying. Thumbs up yog mess :)

I then rushed home to furiously clean my apartment for my lunch break. Someone was supposed to come look at it at 6 o’clock, but shortly before I got off work, they cancelled! Boo-urns. I have someone else coming tomorrow though, so at least it wasn’t all for nothing I guess…

It did leave me more time to EAT when I came home :)

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A steamy bowl of broccoli + brussel sprouts with Braggs.

Paired with a real hamburger on an english muffin. Topped with hummus, hot sauce and swiss cheese.

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Holy crap the burger was awesome. The hummus was amazing on it!! Is there anything hummus doesn’t taste awesome on? Wait. Don’t answer that. Because the answer is NO!! :P

 

All about the numbers?

Bloggers. How many of you out there obsessively check your page views, website hits, and clicks?

I was reading the always insightful, smart and entertaining MizFit today and she mentioned something that really hit home for me:

I also yammer to my IRL friends about how I never check my blog stats.  For me it’s the same as the scale: why let a number dictate my self-worth!

Bingo. When I first started blogging at Trying for a Tri over a year ago, I would check that WordPress stats page everyday, and feel awful because I wasn’t getting any readers. I didn’t feel good enough, or entertaining enough, or informative enough. It made me question my self worth. I let it control my emotions. A popular day for page views could lift my spirits, and in turn a low day with no comments would bum me out.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped caring. I decided I would take that daily “stat check” out of my morning routine. I started writing what I wanted to write about, and not what I thought others wanted to hear.

When people ask me how many readers I have, I can give them a ballpark, but I don’t really know. What I do know, is that the people I have met through blogging are amazing. I feel SO lucky to have had the opportunity to communicate with people through my blog, e-mail, comments, Twitter, and even real life.

The numbers don’t really mean much in the end. That one e-mail I get from a girl saying I helped her with an eating disorder, or a girl who says my blog helped inspire her to do a race, that’s worth it.

So my bloggie friends, I just wanted to remind you to not let those numbers dictate your self-worth. I’m telling you straight up, readers or no readers, you are worth it!! Keep writing!

x’s and o’s <3

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