Home is where the workout is

Hello friends! Hope everyone had a good weekend, or long weekend if you had one of those too ;)

So today was my last shift at Starbucks. I had high hopes of getting up early, shovelling the wall of snow at the end of my driveway, and heading to the gym for a treadmill date before work. Yeah. Looked outside and it was still dark and raining. Tackling the snow boulders the plow leaves behind didn’t sound too appealing at that hour. Luckily, Chris and I turned my apartment into a workout friendly place last night! Check it…

This is what my bachelor apartment looked like before…

There was a lot of debate about how to set up my small space when I moved in. My mom and sis were adamant on having my dinner table in the living room. But it didn’t leave me much space in there, and left my sleeping area open to the rest of the apartment.

After a little rearranging, here’s what I’m now working with…




The coffee table is pushed to the side in that photo, but it still provides much more open space than before. My bed is now behind the couch, so my sleeping area is sort of “cut off” from the living room. It’s how I originally wanted the couch, and as soon as Chris and I moved it, I immediately felt a sense of comfort in my own home. Something I haven’t really had yet. My mom believes in all that Feng Shui stuff, and I can see why now. I feel so much better in my space already!

The kitchen table is also where I originally wanted it…


The microwave stand that was there is a little awkward in it’s new spot, but I’ve only got so much space to work with.


My first living room workout turned out to be a stellar one!! I started with 40 minutes speed intervals on the trainer. I originally planned on 20 minutes, but then figured and extra 10 wouldn’t hurt, then pushed out another 10! It helped that I was being entertained by the television (watching one of my old classmates do live hits on a national news network!!!!).

The trainer itself is kinda fun. It was nice to be on my own bike. Unlike spin bikes, mine is set up to fit me perfectly. It was weird having the back wheel spin though! I was a sweaty mess. I’ll have to put a mat underneath it. The lack of fancy air system in my apartment made a big difference.

As you probably spied in the above photos – I tried Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred for the first time!


I did Level 1 which consists of three circuits. Each circuit has 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs. I’ve heard Level 1 is easy – but I found it quite challenging! Albeit, I was kinda wiped from my bike sesh. But the quality of a workout is always the quality of the work you put in ;)

Oh, and the best part? I burned 500+ calories in 67 minutes! In my living room. Love it :D


Now how about some random eats? Some highlights if you will ;)

Last night I tried a new-to-me product – quark!!

I remembered Ellie telling me about this stuff she can buy in Scotland that resembles Greek yogurt (which I can’t buy here). Pretty sure my eyes bulged out of my head when I spotted it in the grocery store.

Apparently, quark is a cheese. The nutritionals are awesome.



Ellie said it’s quite thick, but this stuff was more just like a thick yogurt. But with a slight cheesy taste underneath the typical yogurt “tang.” I ate it the usual way…


With stevia, vanilla extract, strawberries, ground flax and unsweetened coconut. Messed up, of course ;)


I really, really liked it! If it wasn’t so dang expensive, I’d add it to my regular rotation. Alas, it will have to remain a special treat.

Other random eats include a new-to-me Simply Bar flavour – Lemon Coconut.

IMG_2278 IMG_2280 IMG_2291

It was “meh.” Too much lemon, not enough coconut. The lemon flavour reminded me of the Lemon Zest Luna a little, but not nearly as sweet. If anything, it was a little too plain.


I got sent home from work early today because the mall was d-e-a-d. Apparently, no one else wanted to attack their driveway snow boulders. It was pretty sweet, as I was definitely not feeling my last shift at the Bucks today. Plus, I got to come home and bake!


Carrot Cake Protein Bars 

I found this recipe here but I can’t find the original on Jamie Eason’s website. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 cup oat flour (made by putting rolled oats in my coffee grinder)
  • 2 tsp 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup fat free low-fat Ricotta cheese
  • 24oz 7oz baby food carrots
  • 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
  • 1 cup quick cooking rolled oats

Mix up dry ingredients, add the wet stuff. Pour in a 9×9 pan and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.


I cut it into 16 squares, each having 74 calories, 1g fat, 5g carbs, 1g sugar, 1g fibre, 10g protein. Not too shabby! The best part is that they actually taste good!!! Yes Deb, even with the protein powder! :P Next time I’ll add a little shredded carrot, golden raisins and walnuts, but like this they are quite edible.


I tried out another random recipe for dinner: Indian Cauliflower Stew.



1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 med. carrots, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. curry powder
2 1/2 C vegetable broth
1 med. head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 C chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 C plain lowfat yogurt

In a dutch oven, heat oil and add carrots and onion. Cook 10-12 mins or until tender. Stir in ginger, curry, and 3/4 tsp. salt into mixture, cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth, cover and heat to boiling. Stir in cauliflower and chickpeas. Cover and cook on medium 15-20 minutes longer, gently stirring until cauliflower is tender. Stir in chopped cilantro and yogurt. Serve over rice.

I pretty much followed the recipe to a tee. Only changes were that I added 1/2 tsp ground ginger instead of the fresh stuff, 1 tsp ground cumin, and ate it over top a bed of shredded chicken ;) I loved this. I don’t make a lot of Indian food at home, I should!


Last but not least, here’s a photo I swiped from the New Year’s party – better late than never!

There’s obviously a lot more, but I don’t really want to post pics of Chris’ friends without their permission! I was a little overdressed for the party, but I didn’t give a damn. It was New Year’s – I wanted to feel pretty!


Hm. This post was kinda all over the place. Keeping ya on your toes ;)


Question of the Day: What’s your favourite “ethnic” food to make at home? I guess I use the term ethnic lightly here, perhaps “regional” would be more appropriate. Mine’s mostly North American, but I like making Greek-inspired stuff. I also much prefer my homemade Chinese-inspired dishes to the stuff I buy in restaurants.


See ya tomorrow for a recap on my first day at my new job!! Eeeee!!!

Posted on January 3, 2010, in Fun, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. Angela (Oh She Glows)

    So excited for you tomorrow!!!!!!!! Cant wait to read how it goes.
    Happy New Year!

  2. I love your trainer- I may need to get one of those at some point. Is there any way to tell how “far” you have gone with those?

    Good luck with the new job!

    • That’s a good question! My trainer is pretty basic, I just have something to adjust resistance with. But you can get fancy ones that may have an attachment to tell you distance traveled. Chris has a nice one that can even measure his watt output!

  3. Must try those carrot cake protein bars. Look great. I am doing the Julian’s Shred tape and the pushup part is killing me. I could hardly do the rest. If I skip that part I do better on the other parts. To modify I ran in place for some of the jumping jacks. Each time I do it my endurance improves.
    Happy New Year!

  4. thai and indian are definitely my faves!

    Good luck tomorrow at your new job!!!!

  5. Just spoke to my Mom and she said 30-60 cm on the way tonight! Ick!!!

    Hands down my favorite (and most prepared) ethnic style here is Greek. Biiiiiiig surprise.

  6. Gosh I just love your blog! :] Love how you moved the couch around! That really works! I lived in a little bachelor and I LOVED it. There is just something sweet about being able to get creative with space. ;] Nice job on the KICKASS workout, and whoo, way to start a new job! I have no idea what it is, so I can’t wait for tomorrow’s recap.

  7. New reader – HELLO!! :)

    I am really enjoying your blog.

    I have to agree with your mom on the feng shuei (sp) stuff! When my place is all cluttered and things are misplaced I notice how my mood is affected.

    You did a great job rearranging your stuff, and I think it’s important to have your bed blocked off.

    Good luck at your new job!!!

  8. Glad your appartment worked out well for your work out!
    Protein bars look great as well as your dinner!

  9. I am so jealous of that trainer! I’d steal it if I lived closer to you ;P

    Good luck on your first day of the new jayohbee tomorrow! Hope it is all you want it to be :D

    I love making Indian food at home. It’s so flexible and easy. We also do our fair share of chinese stirfry.

  10. The bars look great…I need to try making some.
    Good luck tomorrow!!!

  11. I love the apartment changes, it looks great! My husband and I lived in a studio last year and I know how hard it is to squeeze everything in, it looks like you really managed to set up different “rooms.”


  12. I did Jillian Michaels today in my living room as well! I did level 2 and it’s way harder than level 1. Try that one next time!

  13. Where did you find the quark? I’ve been wanting to try that also. It’s a German cheese :)

    • I got it at the Atlantic Superstore, which is part of a Canadian chain of supermarkets. I found it in the section where they keep all the ricotta and fresh mozzarella. No sure where you’d find it in the US though!

  14. OMG the Carrot Cake Protein Bars look amazing!!!!! And I could vegan them by taking out that cheese AND they are already GF and Soy free, too. Wow, amazing. I will be making these as soon as i eat all my Raw Balls up! LOL

    The indian food. I never make it either, but i should! I never make anything ethnic unless raw baked goods count :)

    Great eats Susan!!! Thx for your living in the past/present/future reply too :)

  15. Haha, I think your apartment seems to exist for you to work out more than to sleep in. ;-) But you’re really creative with the ways to squeeze in stuff in a small space!

    Oh, and favorite ethnic stuff to cook is Korean…not pure Korean, but bastardized Korean (preferably with cheese and kabocha)

  16. Hi Susan! Happy New Year, friend! Oh my…so much going on for you! How exciting about your new job. I am thrilled for you.

    I remember Ellie telling me about Quark, too. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet…but I am so intrigued! If both of you like it, I am sure I will, too!

    Great New Years picture. You two make a great couple! And the apartment is so cute and cozy with the new layout–I think that is the perfect place for a dining room table.

    Hope you have been well! Good luck tomorrow!

  17. GOOD LUCK at your new job girl!! you will OWN it!
    what great, new eats!
    NEW yogurt..so exciting..and new bars too!

  18. Good luck today!

    I am impressed by how you use your space- I think our apartments are pretty similar in size. I keep floor clear now so I can do some Jillian Michaels…definitely have a love/hate thing going on with that woman.

    Hooray for Quark! The stats are unbeatable- it’s so cheap here (about $1.30 for 2 x 3/4 cup servings) and the texture is more like cream cheese than yogurt (spoon stands up in it!). I am hooked.

    Noting that recipe- those bars sound great :) I haven’t had much luck yet baking with protein powder- always seems to add an odd texture.

    Favourite cuisine to cook at home would be Italian. Mainly because the thing I am best at cooking (ie, I can cook it with no recipe and it always comes out well) is a basic tomato sauce which is so versatile and easy :D

    • Yes, I’m pretty sure the quark I got is a little different. It’s much closer to yogurt than cream cheese, but it’s also 0.1% fat, which may make a difference (only kind I spotted there, I’ll look harder next time!). Either way, it gets a thumbs up for sure!

  19. Hands down, Indian food is my favorite. Now you need to try daal, bhindi, aloo gobi!!!! :D Looks like you made a Gobi Korma/Channa basically. LOVE IT.

  20. The apartment redo looks great – glad you have some more space now! You and Chris look great in your NYE photo!!

    I don’t know what recipe I like more – the carrot cake protein bars or the cauliflower stew?! YUM! Thanks for the recipes.

    My favorite to ‘make’ is Greek because it’s not that hard to scoop out a dollop of hummus ;)

  21. I tend to make Greek, Lebanese, and Morrocan style foods because they are my favorite and in my rural area if I don’t make it myself I’m not going to get to eat it!

    Amusing story: I told a girl at work Middle Eastern foods were my favorite and she asked if that was where my family was from. I’m ghostly pale with extremely light blue/gray eyes.

  22. Wow you are so creative with you baking! I’m impressed…I really need to go back to trying to make healthy baked goods…I’m scared enough to try the unhealthy kind! I think my favorite “ethnic” food to cook is Asian…not really any region in general, but with soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin, ginger, and rice wine vinegar, almost anything can have an “Asian-twist.” Mitch is the Mexican-food king so I leave that to him.

    • I really want to start making more homemade Mexican dishes. I loooove authentic Mexican, but for some reason never do!! I’ve definitely noticed it’s way more popular in the States…

  23. way to go on that workout – i meant to start the shred on jan 1 (oops!), but i think i might just do it like 2-3x a week or something for a strength training workout. thanks for reminding me!


    have a great day!

  24. erintakescontrol

    Nice re-arranging! Looks like it will be roomier that way!

  25. Can’t wait to hear about the new job. And fun that your apt got feng-shuied! :-)

    Nice job on the non-protein-tasting protein carrot bars- they look nommmy. Great stats too!!

    I’m with ya on the lemon Simply bar. Very meh. I am ridiculously in love with the PB/choc flavor. Didn’t love any of the other ones to be honest. Poor London’s didn’t know what hit them when I cleared them out (hey, when will I be in Canada again!)

    They sell special “sweat catchers” for your bike- just for that purpose! :-) Suppose a towel or two could do also.

    Have a great night.

  26. Love your eats Susan. love love love. :) Hmm.. but what else is new? haha

    As for your apt turned gym= genuiss! And seriously, you really were an all star with making do with what you got. 500 cals. Ka ching.

    I love ethnic food but almost HATE making it at home. Being a coook, a lot of time, money, prep, shopping goes into a dish. If I really want true thai, indian, lebanese (fav as well as greek) I just go to get it. That’s why so many of my eats are sure.. healthy.. but kind of boring. I probably make greek/italian/mexican inspired dishes the most at home, but asian, or indian, etc etc gotta go and get it.

  27. So awesome!!! I lvoe the living room workout! Over 500 cal? Go girl! Thats amazing!!
    Ive never heard of Quark although it sounds really great. And you carrot cake protein bars sounds absolutely fabulous! SO cant wait to try these! Have a great first day at your new job! my fav ethnic food is Mexican food!! Does that count as ethnic? I grew up eating it so it might not. But I LOVE it!

  28. Awesome workout!! Sometimes I prefer working out at home instead of driving to the gym! Plus you can sing or workout in a bra or do whatever you want! haha.

    And wonderful protein bar recipe! I’m bookmarking that one for sure!!

  29. Quark!!! OMG, I have heard of that stuff,but can’t find it here yet :( Boo. Thanks for posting the carrot bars–funny, cuz D and I were just talking about making some homemade protein “snacks” for him becuase he’s started going to the gym at lunchtime. Love ya! xoxo

  30. ohmygosh i love this post! so many things to mention. love the espresso and coffee art on your wall. the new setup is simply perfect, i like what you and chris did. and 500 cals in 67 min? you know i am impressed! those carrot cake bars have GREAT stats, i will definitely be bookmarking them. um what else? that indian stew looks so good too. annnnd quark is a cool word. never heard of it! great stats, you’re right. ok, next post please!

  31. Great protein bars! I have made these before too. I found her recipe on youtube :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmRdj_NsgTs

  32. Oh my goodness! Just made the protein bars, and I’m inlove! I didn’t have enough oats for oatflour, so used bob’s red mill low-carb baking mix for the oatflour. And, we had no carrots, so I opted for pumpkin puree. Everything was incredible though, thank you so much!

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