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.


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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.


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.

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!

Posted on March 24, 2010, in Challenges, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. good food doesn’t have to look nice.
    You seem to have had a good balance,
    thats cool

  2. I love those marshmallow bars. They look so fun and festive!

    I’m so happy you are feeling so much better lately. I remember when you first posted about being a bit down and I felt so stupid because I couldn’t even tell. You are always so positive and inspiring in your posts that I felt bad that you had been struggling and not reaching out for support. I’m glad you’ve opened up a bit more because you deserve it. Your blog has been a great support for me during my own tough times!

    Nicole G

  3. HAHA I love when I do things in my sleep. Especially when I wake up and see that I’ve texted people or spoke to someone on the phone!

  4. That was funny that you got up in your sleep to turn the alarm off yet still woke up at the normal time.

    I agree many things can be behind someone’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. Stress in your case and health in mine. Since I started looking after myself again I’ve found my sleep is even better than before and I can get up with my alarms whereas before this I had a very hard time getting my butt out of bed.

  5. Ooohhh the protein bars look great, and so easy. I have never made my own. I am really working on my sleep issues, hoping once I start my new job, I will be so exhausted I’ll sleep great!

  6. I am impressed that you turn off your alarm in your sleep, but like you I would totally wake up on time even if I did that haha. Sleep is definitely related to our happiness so I’m glad you are sleeping better!

  7. Ok, if it is wrong to stink up the office every day with a bag of veggies and a container of hummus, I don’t ever want to be right. Because, darn it, hummus is in the top 5 fav foods of all time! :)

  8. WOW you have been through a lot and are so stronger because of it! THOSE BARS SOUND AMAZING!! thank YOU For sharing SUGAR!

  9. WOW girl you are so right about sleep!! i love that you are stressing on this-its soo important! THOSE BARS LOOK AMAZING! yum!! thanks for sharing suga! mango protein powder?! DANG sounds good!

  10. I emailed your marshmallow bar to myself- that’s a high honor. :-)

    Yes, sleep is so multi-faceted. I read somewhere that dreams only happen in REM sleep so it’s frightening to think that you went so long with minimal REM (restorative) sleep- glad you’re dreaming again now!

    I have been thinking a TON about sleep since you proposed the challenge. I’ve been taking it very seriously and have been powering down much earlier than before. THank you!

  11. You are SO right about this. (Turkey and chamomile made me laugh, though) I am constantly amazed at the ways in which stress, of all kinds, affects us. It affects EVERYTHING from sleep to weight to mood etc etc etc.

  12. Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    I’m always amazed how sometimes the smallest thing like sleep can lead to so many good and positive things! I know that when I’m getting a good nights sleep and eating well I feel like I can conquer the world!

  13. Those bars look so good even if they are high fat (in my terms) :) haha good fats though!! i might try them soon! so easy! xx

  14. Hehehe marshmellow bars!! I love marshmellows and it’s fun to see them in a health bar. :)

  15. these are genius:Homemade marshmallow protein bar.
    they are so simple and awesome looking and everything tastes better with m’’s too funny, i almost made a random no-recipe in hand rice krispy like thing tonite but was too tired and didnt bother…then i see this and wished i had :)

  16. Those protein bars sound delicious! I think I have everything for them except the protein powder. I’ll have to pick some up so I can make them.

  17. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I suffered from insomnia in the 6 weeks leading up to the break up of a long term relationship. It was torture, not falling asleep til 5 or 6 every morning and then having to wake up an hour later and go to classes. Once I had made that big and scary change in my life, sleep returned.

    Thanks for this lovely post!

  18. Eek snow!! It’s dreary here in Illinois, but just rain – no snow, thankfully.
    So glad everything’s coming around for you, Susan. You deserve it for sure:)
    That’s too funny you got up and turned off your alam without knowing!

  19. I lOVE chicken with almond butter and peanut butter. I’ve been eating it almost every day! Haha!

    That’s too funny about you turning off your alarm in your sleep! I did that once.. it was so weird!

  20. Those bars look insanely good.

    Agree on the sleep thing- so many factors come into play when it comes to sleeping well and it def takes more than a cup of chamomile tea to send people off if it’s an ongoing problem.

  21. Oof, those marshmallow bars look awesome! How fun to throw in a little bit of “naughty” food and still end up with a nutritionally impressive product! Certainly speaks to the appropriate title of your blog =)

  22. Oh gosh Susan..You’ve totally opened up a can
    of worms for me with all those links to previous posts..
    Just realised i can sit and go through your blog archives now..
    Dear oh dear..
    Studying for my university finals is going to prove harder than i anticipated!!
    Your blog’s so informative though..Im sure i’ll
    pick up something to apply to my Romanticism and
    the French Revolution exam! haha..


  23. umm Id like some marshmellow bars now, thank you :) looks So good!

    and the wafflewich wow, smoked salmon in there i woudl have never paired the two togeter, but the idea of savory waffles sounds great!!

    I sometimes hazily THINK that I set my alarm, then it never goes off…nope never did it! sleep is so strange as are the steps right before sleep, sometimes I find myself thinking about the wierdest things!!

  24. I have turned my alarm off in the middle of the night many times.

    I must try homemade protein bars but I don’t do oats. Maybe I’ll try them with rice chexs or something.

    • You could totally get creative with the filling for the bars! Crisped rice would work, or corn flakes, does spelt have gluten? I’ve seen quinoa flakes at the bulk store before too…

  25. After class, a workout and housework… yeah, I’m pretty useless by 7pm ;)

    I can’t believe you turned your alarm off! Good thing you woke up!

    Those bars sound divine!


  26. chicken and almond butter. i am convinced.

    thanks for the sleep rambles. i used to have no problem passing out but all the things going on in life right now cause me to lay awake at night. and this week ive been thinking “SHIT, JANETHA, STOP THINKING! YOU HAVE SUSAN’S SLEEP CHALLENGE TO LIVE UP TO!”

    marshmallow protein bars are so cute. remind me of the smores quaker granola bars i loved as a tyke.

  27. I so gotta try the chicken and almond butter combo! x x

  28. Colored mini marshmallows? How fun! I have been thinking about getting a jar of fluff.

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