Good Food, Bad Food, and a New Set of Monthly Goals

Hello friends!! Welcome to August :) This is going to be a good month, I can feel it! For the first time in a long time, I’m setting out some goals for myself this month. But we’ll have to wait till the end for those. I’ve got a plethora of food photos first!


It’s been a while since I did a big food post, so some of these are a few days old. The other day I mixed up 30g chocolate whey powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp ground coffee, 2 tbsp egg whites and 2 tbsp plain yogurt.

You want to put this is a biiiiig mug. After 2-3 minutes in the microwave, it puffs up into beast.


If you are a volume eater, this one’s for you. Sliced up into three sections and topped with a mix of marshmallow fluff, chocolate peanut butter, laughing cow cheese.

I don’t know why I’ve never thought of a mocha protein cake before. This was freakin’ divine.

Plus, the mid-day caffeine kick didn’t hurt ;)

Next up we have my first ever visit to Chipotle!


Chipotle is a cafeteria-style Mexican restaurant with a focus on organic and ethical food.


Their specialty are the burritos and tacos, but I was trying to keep it on the low-cal side, so I opted for a salad.


I must say, I was a little disappointed by their salad options. Just a bit of romaine with sautéed veggies, a choice of two beans, three meats, four salsas and some cheese.


I opted for the black beans, chicken and mild tomato salsa. No guac as I can’t eat it. The spices were right on and it was certainly filling. Buuuut, it was 9 bucks and I like a salad chock full of veggies.

Oh, and as a side note, while eating this on the patio I got recognized by a reader!! How cool is that? Hi Ashley, thanks for coming up to say hello :) I’d like to say I’m usually not that awkward in real life, but alas, that is not my reality.

Chugging right along here, I had yet another new-food experience in Toronto!


My roommates were pretty horrified when they found out I’d never had dim sum before. Actually, I’d heard the term, but never really knew what it was. Billy took me to a restaurant called the Pearl Court in Chinatown East. For those of you who haven’t experienced it either, dim sum is Cantonese dining where the food comes in small portions. The restaurant workers came around yelling out dish names and we had to put our hands up if we wanted it. They marked it off on a little card and we paid at the end.


The most confusing part is that they were yelling out the dishes in Cantonese, so I had no idea what was coming around! Thankfully, Billy knows his Chinese food.

The above are pork spring rolls. Very crispy.

Below are shrimp thingys in a wrapper thingy.


Like my descriptions? :P Actually, I think these were shrimp dumplings.


The above are some pork dumplings perhaps? They were quite good.

I am missing a picture of my favourite food! They were pot stickers with cabbage in them and lightly fried. Yumyum.

Second favourite were these buns with a sweet pork filling and sticky glaze on top. I’ve seen similar buns many times on Sophia’s blog and can’t wait to try more varieties!

Least favourite dish from the meal were the chicken feet.



I’ve said many times that my food curiosity often gets the best of me!! These are actual chicken feet, cooked in a sort of barbecue sauce. You’re supposed to bite a piece off, suck off the skin, then spit out the bone.

I tried, I really tried. I can get past most “gross-out factors” when it comes to food. But these chicken feet defeated me. The skin was a lot more light and soft than I was expecting, otherwise, it was kinda of what you would expect scaly chicken feet to taste like :/


Everything was chased down with some very delicious tasting tea. I think it was a green, but it didn’t taste quite so bitter. Billy told me the tea is served because it helps your body cut down on the grease.

In all, a wonderful first dim sum experience!! I ate just enough and despite it being a pretty greasy and heavy meal, I felt good after. It will be more fun to go back as I start to recognize the dishes and know what I like. Can’t say I’ll be getting the chicken feet again ;)

After an indulgent day yesterday, I’ve been trying to clean up my act today. Unfortunately, I was without groceries for half of it.


An empty fridge and cupboard often leads to my more interesting food combinations. Today being no different.


This would be a pita pizza of sorts with a base of tuna, cottage cheese, mustard, pickles and onions.


That’s not mozzarella on top, but sauerkraut!


I dunno, I saw the jar of sauerkraut in the fridge and went for it. I looooove sauerkraut and thought this was pretty tasty!

I kept with the cabbage theme for dinner after purchasing groceries.


Browsing the internets today, I stumbled across a recipe for Mango Slaw With Cashews and Mint from Smitten Kitchen. I followed the recipe almost precisely, except I used regular green cabbage, added sesame oil for my oil, and traded in the cashews for soya nuts.


The soya nuts were $5 cheaper than the cashews, and the nutritionals are 5x better.


That’s better than most protein bars!!

I paired the mango slaw with some sweet & spicy chicken breast.


I’m really happy with how the slaw turned out. It was a cinch to throw together and is the perfect flavour for summer.



And finally, my goals for August.

1. Eat out twice a week, at no more than $15 a meal. This is going to be hard, as eating out is sooooo fun and easy in Toronto. But for the sake of my wallet and waistline, it needs to happen. I’m starting to get on a more regular work schedule, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the habit of preparing meals and snacks for when I’m not home.

2. Read more. Actually, I already have been reading more, to the tune of four books in July. But I’d like to keep it up!

3. Do at least one outdoor activity a week. Now that I’m working in a gym, it is so easy for me to just keep my workouts within the gym walls. But summer will be gone before I know it, so it’s important I get out in the fresh air! Already off to a good start with this one – put in an hour long bike ride along the waterfront this evening. Plus, I’ve got some more fun outdoor stuff in the works ;)

4. Look for part-time work and volunteer work. One, because I need the extra moulah, and two, because I want to get more involved in my new community.

5. Update my blog pages. They’re once again behind the times. I haven’t put any work into my blog since before I moved in May!

6. Lose weight. I know, when did this become a weight loss blog?? :P Truth of the matter is that I’m over my “happy weight,” thus not very happy with how I look and feel in my skin. It just means I’ll be a little more vigilant about my food and servings and probably stepping on a scale more often than I typically like.


There you have it! Will start checking in on these goals weekly to keep myself accountable. Now my question for you: what are your goals for August?? Write them down in the comments and we can check in together next week :)

Posted on August 1, 2010, in Restaurants and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. I love Chipotle! Yum! In my fat days, I would scarf a whole burrito – with extra sour cream….

    Do you find this recipe of protein cake to be tough and chewy? I haven’t liked the consistency of these.

    • To an extent, I find whey always cooks up to be a little tough and chewy. But this particular one becomes quite fluffy! I actually like the whey better than soy for the microwave cakes, as the soy just gets way too eggy and dense. It may have something to do with the whey I use. It’s an isolate/concentrate mix, not 100% isolate.

  2. My goal is to continue to my financial challenge and to also spend my two weeks off relaxing, and not over comitting myself. Easier said than done! I love dimsum – we have a few places here that have a whole veg menu, it’s awesome. The mango slaw looks awesome – must bookmark recipe.

  3. My blog became a weight loss blog a few months ago too lol. I am about 10 pounds over my happy weight ;)

    1. Find ways to love my workouts again.
    2. Cuddle with my daughter more.
    3. Cook more.
    4. Stop frowning so much (I’m not even 25 yet and I’m getting frown lines!)

  4. Ewww, chicken feet!

    My goals for August:

    – get everything ready for college (I start on August 18th!)
    – have some fun outdoorsy days with my boyfriend: picnics, bike rides, and random nature picture taking
    – bake, bake, bake!
    – keep this Body For Life thang going! I love it!
    – drink lots of waterrrr

    I think that’s it. :)

  5. Those sweet pork buns may be my favorite dim sum item. So delicious!!

  6. Oh my gosh I got dim sum in Chinatown today too!! We went to Rol San though, and we were so full afterward that we never actually ate any real meal for the rest of the day. And we definitely did not get chicken feet :)

  7. I’d like to commit to cooking (and blogging about!) some healthier options. I keep finding all these delicious baked goods to make and have somewhat neglected delicious healthy fare. It’s summer which means eating fresh should not be an issue AT ALL.

    I also want to plan at least one more trip to round out what’s been a really amazing summer of weekend getaways!

    Loved this big catch up!

    • Yes!! I also came across a recipe yesterday for brownie stuffed cookies and I wanted to make them sooooo bad. But I figured I should probably instead take advantage of all the great produce that’s now cheap and in season ;)

  8. the chicken feet..omg I just posted on my blog a couple days ago about most exotic food…and someone wrote in with that! yuck!

    ok the dim sum is a vegan AND a food allergists worst nightmare…have no idea what’s in it due to language barrier and let’s face it, those kinds of places are not really gonna tell you what’s what if it has this or that ingredient in it..but glad you enjoyed

    chipotle- have NEVER understood the appeal to it. It’s over priced fast food that’s trying to be healthy but isnt. Either go eat fast food or make a salad at home, but dont go there type of thing. i dont get it when i see the lines…i must be a raw vegan :)

    your goals…love them. I have not paid for a meal out in over 5 yrs. Food allergies, child, budget, better cook than what i can buy. There you have it. YOU CAN DO IT!

  9. Great goals your meal looks fab but the chicken feet yuk! Oooooooo I just couldn’t have a fun day x x

  10. My goals:

    – Get to the gym three times a week. (After going through a phase of *cough* sporadic.. training).
    – Lose one kilogram. (I would be happy with losing 1 kilo a month for three or so months. Something that’s sustainable.)
    – Spend a maximum of $60 on food each week. Save any extra cash.
    – Stay up to date on university work. (Easier said than done!)
    – Say no to the snooze button.

    Yum Cha (what it sounds like you had).. is a-maz-ing. The End.

  11. You and your marshmallow fluff LOL!

    Mmmm…I am for sure a volume eater so I will try that muffin w/o yogurt, no dairy is on my goal list for a bit.

  12. I love chinese food but I would have drawn the line at chickens feet too! I’ve recently discovered roast soya nuts, so good in salads and the protein content is great, I need to go and bulk buy some more. Love your August Goals, I’m also looking to knock off a couple of pounds but as I’m training for my first ever half marathon in September thats my priority! x

  13. Susan. i need marshmallow fluff, you are driving me crazy with the stuff.

    I’ve done chicken feet before but hated them, I feel bad for the little guy.
    I love mexican but Chiptole looks too oily for me. I’d much rather create it at home.

    My goals for August:
    1. No more than 5 cups of coffee a week
    2. Finally send the packages out that are ready to go out
    3. Find the perfect egg white scramble or omelette in my local area
    4. Eat out only twice a week, spending no more than $25

  14. My goals for August:
    -Continue meditating daily
    -Remember I want to loose 10lbs so eat properly and workout. I put atoken in a small vase everytime I workout so I can see my accomplishment. I have 11 now.
    -Think before I speak.
    -Make new recipes.

    Love your blog Susan

  15. I like your goals for August AND that delicious looking chipotle salad :P

    My goals? hmm..

    1. get back to my “healthy eating”
    2. excercise more regularly
    3. enjoy the last weeks of summer
    4. plan my autumn

  16. My goals

    1. To appreciate what I have and find happiness in that (try not to mope about wanting a baby &b being single …)
    2. Step outside of my comfort zone a few times (which I never do!_
    3. Go to hot Yoga classes as much as possible.
    4.Start walk/light jogging in park.
    5.Reduce portion sizes (lots of weight to lose!Prob 60 lbs needed)
    6.Most importantly,get to the ocean,breathe and enjoy August before it slips by!

    Thanks for your blog :)

  17. I love your outdoor activity goal! We live in such a beautiful earth and dont take advantage of being outside in it!

    my main august goal this week is to track my spending to the tee.

  18. Dim sum looks good (minus the feet!). Probably bad for a gluten free diet though! I’d say the tea was oolong. It’s kind of inbetween green and black. Not as bitter. I love it! :)

    Good goals! I guess mine are to get back into a regular routine with working out, clean up my diet (I’ve been a junk food-a-holic), and to try to actually spend time outdoors this summer!

  19. I’m addicted to Chipotle, but the thing about the salads ther is that they’re not that healthy. The dressing is 260 calories per container. You would have done better to get a burrito bowl (no tortilla, just rice) as the rice is 130 calories. The website ChipotlefanDOTcom is good for letting you see the calories in your Chipotle creation. If you go again, try the barbacoa. SOOOO much better than chicken!

  20. oh my god you’re SUCH a celeb! haha how cool is that :) you totes should have offered your autograph hahaha

    i’m so big on cabbage these days! right now i’m eating a salad beast filled with purple cabbage! so delcious AND pretty haha

  21. August goals:

    Start doing Bikram yoga again (I’ve taken a year+ break!) – I really feel that my body “needs” it and my runs are becoming increasingly less satisfying

    Find healthy, satisfying meals to make for my husband (he just quit smoking after almost 20 yrs!) but is getting depressed about the weight he is now putting on

    • Aaahhh, congrats to your husband!! I quit smoking 4.5 years ago (after 6 years of daily smoking) and never looked back. One thing that helped me was sipping on a glass of ice water whenever I got antsy. The motion and breathing of it mimicked smoking a little, and i would get so full of water i didn’t want to eat :P

  22. While I love a burrito that’s the size of my head, I can’t really allow myself to eat at Chipotle without a partner in crime to split the meal with. Their portions are too big!

    My goals for the future month closely resemble yours. Especially the losing weight and reading increase. I’m also going to do vinyasa flow yoga podcasts at least three times a week, I find it’s an exercise that helps me stay my most nimble and toned.

    Major props to you for trying chicken feet! I consider myself an adventurous eater, but that is seriously ballsy!

  23. i think you had FANTASTIC goals!!! you will acheieve each and every one of them too! :() sauerkraut on pizza?!?! who would have thought! but sounds awesome! I haven had sauerkraut in foreverrrr

    I cannot believe I also have never been to a chiptole! they are on every corner here in boston but I have never been! i would get that big ole chicken fajita bowl FOR SURE!

    my goal for august…figure competition prep perhaps?!?!

  24. I’ve never had dim sum before either so you’re not alone!

    Right now I don’t really have any goals for August, but perhaps I should think of some?!

  25. Ok so many things:

    I’m behind- you’re working in a gym!?!?! Must get the scoop.

    Dim sum- GOOD FOR YOU that you tried the chicken feet- You tried and you didn’t like it- at least you gave it a good honest try. Funny too because when you described dim sum where they ‘yell’ at you- I remember one phrase and one phrase only from dim sum… (screaming at me) ” CHICKEN FEET!! CHICKEN FEET!!” OK OK!! I heard you! The tea you had might have been jasmine tea.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE soy nuts- they are my new fave nut- the best nutritionals ever- way less than regular nuts and higher protein etc etc. I keep them in my purse at all times now and I chop them up and use it as a topping for my smoothies-in-a-bowl and protein ice cream or yogurt.

    Calling all volume eaters!?! Um, yes, that would be me! I’m gonna try this- perhaps tonight! So excited- I really really need to find the perfect protein cake that’s light and fluffy, yet filling and voluminous. I have a feeling that you will find it (just like with the bars).

    August goals: lose weight, what else is new? I, too do not feel comfortable in my own skin at the moment. I have also mapped out a bunch of exercise classes- some new- to take- I have re-discovered my love for dance- I found a super fun hip hop class today- and previously mondays were a bust at the gym- now they’re a bust-a-move :-)


    • Yes!! I got a job as a personal trainer at a small gym here in Toronto! Already have a dozen clients and I am lovelovelove-ing it. The gym is a perfect fit for me and the clients can’t be beat :)

  26. I love that you share your goals, even the tough ones like losing weight. It helps to know you are human too, ya know?

    That pork, sticky, bread thingy looks fantastic and I have a confession I’ve never done dim sum either.

  27. greensandjeans

    Dim sum is the besttttttttt! When I was in college I lived in the “international dorm” and a few of my friends were always on the hunt for “authentic” dim sum and we would try a new place every month. It was ammmazing.

  28. I’m all over the place when it comes to my goals. I have started reading more. I need to keep my eating out to a minimum. But, I am starting a new job next week so hopefully I will be more on a schedule. I think I’m going to hold off ‘official’ goals until September.

  29. You’ll have plenty of time to do some reading on the PLANE TO CHICAGO next week! :)

    My major goal for August is to cut back on spending. I’m usually really frugal and during the past month I’ve gone WAY over budget so I definitely need to scale it back!

  30. i love you and your goals and your posts.. which i just caught up on. i have also been loving your tweets about the job! i am so happy you are doing something you LOVE. it makes my heart smile.


  31. I’ve yet to try a protein cake! I’m scared!
    Great goals for the month, girl! I’m definitely with ya on the eating out – it gets expensive! And my goal for reading is two books a month, but I’m already behind from last month LOL. Can we get roll over days?

  32. I LOVE Yum Cha, which is “Drinking Tea” in Cantonese and what it’s called in Sydney. We have lots of good options in in Sydney’s china town. I had yum cha in Hong Kong one time, fantastic 3 story building all for yum cha. Dish’s were same as Sydney, but tasted sooo much better.

    You gotta see if they have any mango pancakes, they are to die for. A creamy rolled up mango crepe, I often get one dish first and a second at the end as desert :)

    My goal’s at the moment
    1. Get back to the gym 2-3 days a week (still shaking my flu).
    2. Need to start my FODMAP diet.
    3. Saving my spending money for Thailand next month.

  33. i think the fact that you can’t have chipotle’s amazing guac is the reason why you weren’t impressed. just sayin’.

    LOVE YOUR GOALS! i have a couple excess pounds of fun chub to lose too, so i am trying to clean things up over here. i mean, i hate those people that are like yeah, i lose weight in the summer because i am active and eating salads. i’m like what? i go to BBQs, happy hours, special events and vacay – before i know it, 5 pounds right there. no worries – with a bit of regular normalcy, all should be good again :)

    and i need to stop eating out as well. its draining my bank account!!!!

  34. Just catching up…sorry for the late comments!

    DIM SUM! Oh my. With the exception of the chicken feet, that is all my favorite stuff to order. The shrimp dumplings are my #1 favorite!

    Chipotle is also a favorite of mine, though I have never tried their chicken. Their steak salad bowl is delicious, though, and sometimes I just go veggie and get both types of beans for my “meat.”

    It’s refreshing to see the goal to lose weight. I am also a little over my normal happy weight, and (though it does not look like you have to lose any weight AT ALL), it is nice to see that even the lovely, kick ass personal trainer Susan can sometimes go over her happy weight :) Makes me feel a little more human!

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