On Fi-yah

Hello friends! Apparently a lot of you want me to make banana softserve and homemade larabars in my new food processor! I couldn’t agree more :) But first things first you guys, I’ve got to get my hummus on ;)

Well, I started today off like I start every Wednesday – Waffle Wednesday!!

You know the drill…

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon

All blended up, with 1/3 cup frozen blueberries added, then into the Belgian waffle maker.

Yummmm. I ate these with my hands :)

I decided to skip my usual morning snack and see if I could hold it out till lunch. Sometimes I feel like I have a snack just for the sake of having it, when I don’t really need it. Well, I made it to lunch, without eating my arm off. But I was quite hungry, and my lunch was too small.


Tofu + tofu spread pita. Usually I have a side of veggies or fruit to go with my pitas, but I thought this would be enough. Skipping snacks, then going for lighter meals apparently doesn’t work (HUGE duh!!)

Ninety minutes later I broke and had a snack.


Taste of Nature Argentina peanut plains bar. This is one of my new bar finds – and it’s Canadian!

Ingredients are about as simple as you get: “peanuts, agave nectar, brown rice syrup.”


I had high hopes for this bar. I mean, how is sugar and peanuts not good? But it was crunchy (not chewy) and almost like a brittle. Very plain tasting, needed some salt. Honestly, I think I’d just rather a handful of peanuts.

So lesson of the day is: I sometimes still suck at intuitive eating. But I didn’t die without a snack this morning. I made up for it by snacking all afternoon though because I was never satisfied from lunch. I guess, if my diet ain’t broke, why am I trying to fix it? :P

Then the highlight of my day came: I got to see the Olympic torch!!!!




How cool is that!?!? Canada is hosting the Winter Olympics, so they’re bringing the torch through all the small cities as part of its international run. Chris and I caught the start of the run. It was so neat to see. This HUGE entourage of decked out vans (including one with dancers) pulled up. The first torchbearer waited nervously until they lit the torch and brought it out. Then she was off! They did a little tour around the city and had a big ceremony tonight that I purposely avoided (eeek, crowds).

After the brief excitement, Chris and I went across the street to Boston Pizza for some grub.


Boston Pizza is definitely one of those scary chains that people warn you about. Hard to order healthy here, and the food isn’t that great to begin with.

Chris pulled a Garfield.


I got the lemon baked salmon.


BLECH. Ugh, I try not to be a food snob, but this salmon was majorly sub-par. Waaaay overcooked. You can tell it was just a frozen hunk that was thrown in the oven. The saving grace of this meal was the balsamic vinaigrette with sundried tomatoes on the side. So not worth my money.

But it didn’t matter, cause afterwards we went to go see New Moon and that was definitely worth my money! I liked it much better than the first. The acting was better, and well, I’m a Jacob fan. Edward just isn’t my type ;)


Python business… 

Lara mentioned that maybe I should talk about what workouts I’ve been doing to get my little muscle bumps on my arms. Honestly, I haven’t been doing much! I dedicate two workouts a week to weightlifting. One of those is full-body the other is upper-body + abs. My legs get so much work in with running, spinning and step class, that I really can’t do weighted squats and lunges more than once a week. Not just for the sake of my muscles, but my hips are really sensitive to it too.

Works out fine for me because upper body has been my focus lately! Back in my triathlon days I didn’t have much time for weight training on top of my six cardio workouts a week. But my shoulders started to look awesome with all the swimming I was doing! I actually haven’t swum since the triathlon itself, and when I didn’t pick up the weight training again right away (running and biking in the summer is just too much fun!) my newly sculpted shoulders started to disappear.

So. What exactly have I been doing? First off, I lift heavy. I usually do 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps at really challenging weights. Basically, I want my last rep to feel like I can’t push out any more. I know my weights are too low if my muscles don’t feel tired by the end, and too high if I can’t squeeze out more than two reps. I’m not entirely against low weights at high reps, as it’s good for increasing strength and endurance. But for straight up muscle building, I like the idea of heavy weights. A mix of the two is perfect!

I also really like to do alternating sets working two different muscles at a time. This allows for shorter rest times in between sets, and a better heart-pumping workout :) When I do my full-body work, I’ll alternate a lower-body and upper-body move for three sets, then move on to to another upper/lower combo. OR, I just do straight sets of compound moves that work both upper and lower at the same time. Squatting with a front grip on a barbell then pressing it over my head as I come up (front squat push press) is a perfect example of that.

I approach my upper body only days the same way. Except, I try to work opposite muscles in my alternating sets. It’s really easy to fatigue quickly when you’re working the same muscle in two consecutive sets. I also try to alternate pushing motions and pulling motions. A perfect example would be alternating sets of chest presses and lat pulldowns. Both work opposite muscles using opposite motions.

Of course, you don’t have to do two alternating sets. You can also do circuits of 3+ moves in a row repeatedly until, well, you’re blue in the face. But for the sake of not hogging all the equipment, I stick to two at a time.

If you’re not into the alternating thing, pyramid sets and drop sets are another great way to challenge your muscles which I addressed in this post.

And if you’re a complete newb and don’t know many lifting moves this page should keep you busy :) It’s all about getting in the weight room and trying things out! I’m a nerd, and I bring in notes and diagrams of any new exercises I want to try when I’m in there. Sometimes I get funny looks from people, but I’m never scared to ask for help if I need it :) Although, I gave a man a dirty look once for trying to help me adjust a bench. I don’t know why, but I do not appreciate chivalry in the weight room.

Aaaaand I’m off! Night night! :)


Question of the Day: What’s your least favourite restaurant chain? I really dislike Tim Hortons. They’re coffee tastes like grass water and their muffins are innocent looking cake bombs.

Posted on November 25, 2009, in Fun, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Boston Pizza! lol I’m from Boston, I didn’t know we had a pizza chain in Canada! How fun.

    I’m not a big chain person. I like nice chains like Rustic Kitchen, but small ones like Applebees and the 99 gross me out. My fav chain is Chili’s! They can do no wrong.

  2. Ah. It’s totally unhealthy but I love Applebees. So yummy!

    That is AWESOME that you got to see the torch. How cool!?!

  3. I’m the same way with eating.. I thought I’d be ok with a small lunch today but ended up snacking all afternoon!

    I couldn’t agree more with you on the weight traning! I’ve learned that heavy weights are key.. and I don’t work my legs much either! They get too tired!

  4. Another canadian blogger :)
    awesome blog!

    I agree.. Boston Pizza is AWEFUL. I am really not a fan of any chain restraunts, to be honest.. Spaghetti Factory, pizza hut, .. icky

  5. Those waffles sound excellent! I like most Taste of Nature bars, but I haven’t tried that one – it does sound like it could use some salt!

    I don’t like Boston Pizza either. Too many years of it being the only restaurant in the town I grew up in. haha.

  6. I really hate all major pizza and Italian restaurant chains. They just never get it right! I’d rather go to a local place where you can get an amazing thin crust pizza and real homemade pasta. Mmmmm…now I’m hungry :)

    And shame on you for saying nasty things about Tims!!! It is what keeps me fuelled at work (we have 3 Tims in the hospital) and I practically have more caffeine than blood cells running through my veins lol

    Oh, and re: the movie. Taylor Lautner stole the show. My fave part was when she bonks her head and he gets up, takes off his t shirt to wipe up her blood. Everyone absolutely *gasped* when he whips off his shirt. Too funny!

  7. those waffles look heavenly!!

    ok i really dont like waffle house..people here at school are obsessed w. it and i dont like it at all!

  8. Frisch’s may be my least favorite. Their food is overpriced and unhealthy. Taste wise, if memory is correct, McD’s is better and cheaper.

  9. “Very plain tasting, needed some salt.”–Thanks for the honesty. Although i will prob never see that bar b/c it’s canadian, at least i know to pass. I love peanuts, and sugar. Hello. But that sucks that it was meh.

    All restaurant chains are quite impossible for me…if they say they’re vegan which none do, then they cook with a crap load of salt, gluten, or soy. Which is why I eat out precisely 0 times per year. Yes, I never ever dine out anymore which sucks but I have become a great cook since getting to the bottom of my food allergies, albeit not exac what i woulda planned :)

    Arms…funny people tell me my arms look great and I have not touched a weigh in 20 yrs, since i was 13 in gym class. My guns come from yoga. My entire body does. It’s awesome you have found something that works for you and is cutting you up. I love it when people find “their thing”. For you it’s weight, me, yoga. Which is why the whole ACE/P.T. stuff we were talking about is interesting…like could I approach it from “my way” of exercise….hmmmm….


    • I can totally see how yoga gets you ripped. Chaturangas kiiillll my arms and some of the side angles poses leave my legs shaking. And I don’t even do intense yoga classes!

  10. I don’t know what my least fav chain is… I’ve been really negative towards olive garden and applebees lately. Subpar food, not stellar service or options. Blech. We hardly eat at chains though. Like maybe once or twice a year?!

  11. I also dislike Tim Horton’s. For some reason cars line up down the street every morning at all the Tim Horton’s in my city and I just don’t get it. I really hate donuts though and the coffee is crap. Although they’ve just started introducing Cold Stone Creamery within some Tim Horton’s locations and I tried it and really liked it. I’m not a big ice cream fan so I was pretty impressed by how much I liked it. I had the pumpkin flavour mixed with coconut and walnuts.

    Yeah, Boston Pizza is very meh. My most hated chain – Starbucks. Sorry! But it keeps killing all my favourite coffee shops and I just don’t like their coffee very much.

    • Ugh! Whyyy can’t people just get out of their cars and go inside!? The same thing happens here and it actually backs traffic up downtown. But I’ll remember to try Coldstone if it makes it’s way here too ;)

  12. So cool you saw the torch :D I think you should come to the UK for the London Olympics ;)

    The salmon looks undercooked to me- I like mine black and DRY. Then I cover with condiments so i guess that defeats the purpose :P

    Most hated chain- Dunkin Donuts. Their coffee taste like water and their pumpkin donut tastes like a regular greasy flavourless donut. FAIL.

  13. Dear Susan, please email me ever day and remind me to make those protein waffles! I really, really need to try those–they look so good and probably pretty filling, no?

    Even with limited options, it looks like you did a great job of ordering something healthy–too bad it tasted like shise.

    Super stoked for the tips on the guns! I agree that lifting heavier is the way to go. Even though my heavy is probably most people’s light :)
    I know it’s not Thanksgiving up there today, but I am thankful for YOU! xoxo

    • Emily, my version of heavy is actually less than most people’s too. Doesn’t matter cause I know it’s still damn hard for me! ;) And the protein waffles/pancakes are soooo filling. Especially when I add blueberries or dip them in a nut butter syrup. I know many people cut the measurements down to 1/3 cup for everything and find it’s enough. I’m just a hungry monster in the mornings ;)

      Heart ya! <3

  14. Thank you for writing this!! And I guess this is just further proof that heavier weights are the way to go!

    Bucca di Beppo comes to mind as one of my least favorite chains (besides obvious ones like Dennys!). Don’t know if they have it in Canada, but it’s a family-style Italian restaurant. They have NO windows (aprantly it means “Joe’sbasement” in Italian, or something like that), and the portions are ridiculous, and it is impossible to order anything healthy there!

  15. Looks super yummy!! I’ll have to try your recipe above.

    Great blog :)

  16. Yum! Those waffles look awesome. I’ll have to try the recipe.

    Just found your blog and have now bookmarked you. Looking forward to reading more!

    As for restaurant chains, I cannot stand Milestones. The food is just disgusting and they always have have the strangest combinations.

  17. How cool to see the torch!

    Lifting heavy rocks!!

    Chain restaurants, I really dislike Hooters. More for the whole objectification thing than the food, though.

  18. Ewwww, I can not stand Boston Pizza – it rates high on my WORST chain restaurant list (along with Kelsey’s; Applebees; East Side Marios; Cracker Barrell)

    In general, my husband and I share a dislike of MOST chain restaurants in Canada and prefer to support locally owned places. I will make an exception for The Keg on this side of the line and when over in Detroit, I love me some PF Changs .

  19. Oh, I forgot to add….my Mom sent pictures this morning of the torch as well. I’ll have to ask her where she went to see it. And that torchbearer looks exactly like a friend of mine from highschool. I wonder if it was her?!?!

  20. OH I am alll for the heavy lifting girl! Whoever said you’d get man muscles if you lifted more than 5/10 lbs was seriously disturbed. Lifting heavy weights gives you lean muscle- ah, I couldn’t agree more with this post.

    You’re going to be an awesome personal trainer. ;)

  21. I agree with Beeks, you’ll be an awesome PT. You obviously have spent a great deal of time in the weight room and know all the tips and tricks.

    I’m going to link you on a couple of upcoming posts on strength training :-)


  22. PS Worst chain? I haven’t been to one in years but Jack In the Box was pretty revolting back in the day! :-)

  23. Those waffles look so good–I totally need to get a waffle maker :) And it’s so awesome you got to see the olympic torch. How cool!

  24. i have no idea how 5 posts accumulated for your blog in my reader. holy sheeeeeit. here i go!

    really cool about the torch! i saw it a whole bunch when the olympics were here in SLC. burrr.. looks so cold there. here too though!

    HEY we have boston’s here! and blech.. it is not that good.. it is just like run of the mill food that is nothing special i think. least fave chain has to be crapplebees though!

    loved the lifting tips. heavy is the way to go, i agree! i love your workouts susan. all the time!!

  1. Pingback: How Strength Training Changed my Life « SmoothieGirlEatsToo

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