No Limits

Hello friends! Hope everyone’s weeks are off to a good start! It’s a four-day week in most parts of Canada as Monday was a holiday. Got a text message from my mom saying she’s in Cap-Pele, New Brunswick eating seafood straight from the ocean. Not gonna lie, I got my first twinge of homesickness!!

If I’m going to be truthful with you guys, then I have another confession to make. I haven’t been meditating.

About six weeks ago, I made a commitment to meditate for 20 minutes a day. My goal was to calm down, find some peace, deal with my anxiety over my life changes, and hone in on my spirituality.

It lasted five days.

I am not going to try to justify my quitting, nor am I going to re-commit myself. You may remember that on the third day, I got very anxious during the meditation. My thoughts started to race, my breath quickened, my pulse became rapid. It was not at all the peaceful, calming experience I was expecting. On day four it got worse, and on day five I came out of the meditation early to keep from hyperventilating. Then I didn’t do it again.

I had high hopes of using meditation to get to the root of my diagnosed anxiety disorder, but instead it seemed to pull it out of me. Maybe I am suppressing it, but I can honestly tell you that I feel more in control of it now than I ever have. I’m a former agoraphobic who now packs on to a sardine can of a subway to work every day. That feels like more progress to me than forcing a panic attack on myself by sitting still and worrying about all the things in the world that need to be worried about.

So that’s where I’m at. Maybe some day I will try the meditation thing again. But at this stage in my life, it’s not for me.

Don’t be shy to share your thoughts on this!! Has anyone else ever had a similar experience??

Anyways, I do have a few food photos for you today. We’ll start with dessert, as it should be.


A Holly inspired protein cookie, or what we’ll call a chocolate marshmallow protein thumbprint cookie.

  • 1 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp chocolate whey protein powder
  • liiiitttle bit of water to make it crumbly

Form into three cookies, press your thumb in the centre, add a scoop of fluff, then let settle in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is a stellar dessert!!

Alright, now that dessert is taken care of, we can go into breakfast.


What? Were you expecting breakfast to be anything other than waffles?


My favourite waffle recipe as of late:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 packet stevia
  • several shakes cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (beware! this measurement may change if you use a different “milk” just pour it in until you get a good batter consistency)


Batter alone is 270 calories, 3g fat, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 0g sugar, 37g protein. Bam.


Waffles however require toppings. This one here had fresh strawberries (a buck a pint in Chinatown!!) and a drizzle of sugar-free syrup whisked with chocolate peanut butter.

Remember that Mango Slaw I made over the weekend? Well it was a million times better after a day in the fridge. The flavours mingled and the dressing softened the mango and cabbage.


I added some cubed tofu that I pan-fried in Bragg’s soy sauce. This combo was SO good. So good that I had it yesterday, then again today, and now I’m mourning the last of the summery slaw.

Today’s breakfast contained more summery flavours.


A base of yogurt and protein powder, with fresh blueberries and blackberries.


Toppings included fresh mint (yum), raw oatmeal, cinnamon, flaked coconut, maple syrup, almond butter.


I never used to get how people could eat bowls of yogurt for breakfast and feel satisfied. I stand corrected. This bowl had around 400 calories with all the balanced macros. I got a good 4 hours out of it. Not to mention, t’was tasty ;)


In terms of fitness, I was all excited to start a bootcamp in the park today, but I read the location wrong :( Thursday, I will be bootcamped!!


Last, but most definitely not least, I have exciting news!!

Many of you who are into the whole healthy blogger scene know that there are a ton of conferences that happen every year on the subject. They are an amazing chance to get a group of like-minded people together to talk about the things they love, learn from each other, and of course have fun!

Unfortunately, so far most of these events have been held in the United States, and there seems to be a real need for something up north! Myself, Morgan, Karen, Scott, Jen and Nienke are happy to finally share:

No Limits Canada: Health, Wellness & Fitness Conference


That’s right!! A Canadian conference that anyone anywhere can come to! It will be held in Toronto in May 2011. So pleasepleaseplease mark your calendars! Details are still forthcoming, but I can tell you it is going to be a blast. We’re planning on fun, active sessions that will have you learning and keeping busy. Plus, I’m superduper excited to show everyone my fabulous new city ;)

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow here for updates as we have them for you. The website will be growing as we move forward, and I’ll of course let you know all the important stuff here on the blog! Get excited!! It’s happening!!

Posted on August 4, 2010, in Challenges and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. Calendar marked! I’d love to go to Toronto!

  2. My love, that is so so exciting about No Limits Canada!! So thrilled for you!
    I am also so overexcited about finally getting on Twitter…now I can stalk you even more. In a totally good way of course…

    Also, I NEED to get a waffle maker. I can’t keep reading your blog otherwise. Thoughts on the best one out there? x

  3. So excited about this! I am hoping I can come cause my May is pretty busy already with graduation and licensing exams, but, I am crossing my fingers!

  4. So excited to hear about the No Limits Canada. Maybe this will finally be the excuse/reason that gets me to Toronto to visit my friends :)

    I tried meditating and just found that I spent 30 mins thinking random thoughts that didn’t actually help me in any useful way (If unicorns were real, would it hurt to saw the horn or is it like a finger nail and you could file it down? Seriously. Thirty minutes on that thought one day…) and so I gave up after a while. What I do now is I write a list every morning while eating breakfast and then cross off what was completed every evening. Even if I only cross off one item (usually the ‘call your mom’ item), I find it helps keep me more focused on life in general.

    It’s awesome that you feel you’ve got/are getting your anxiety disorder under control. I wish you continued success with that. That can be a deal breaker to living life for some people.

  5. meditation…you were having classic panic attack symptoms and you are so smart for not forcing the issue! as a yoga teacher, it happens in yoga sometimes when people are trying to force stillness that their mind/body/spirit is not ready for, does not need/want, etc…when it’s right, it will happen. You may be 70. Fabulous, enjoy it then, dont force it now.

    Fluff protein cakes, nice!!! fluff in the freezer? it doesnt just turn into a hard icky rock? 15 mins isnt that long tho

    mango action. i have a recipe on my stie for a mango/corn/red pepper salsa/slaw that also gets better w/ time, the next day or the day after, excellent

    blogger convention…Omg congrats and bravo for spearheading this up!!!!!! I am beyond impressed that anyone puts something like this on!! I have never gone to one, frankly, b/c i have heard horror stories of them being expensive but more to the point..the women are catty, click-ish, rude, mean, and downright 7th grade lunch table. I have already experienced plenty of that in the blog world; i would never pay money, travel, and take time away from my family to do one. Except for yours, b/c I dont think you’d shun me from your lunch table :)


  6. That’s a great idea to hold a conference in Toronto. I’ve always wanted to visit that city, I love Canada. Looking forward to the updates on this conference, I’m definitely interested!

    Know what else interests me? Your amazing waffle breakfasts and mint laced yogurt messes. They look both gorgeous and delicious.

    As for dealing with anxiety, you have my sympathies. I know what a trap the mind can be, and how frustrating it can get to actively try and slow down racing thoughts to no avail. Just give yourself credit for taking healthy measures to soothe yourself. Also, enduring things like this will inevitably make you stronger!

  7. I wish we had something similar to your blogger conferences here in the UK. I’ll have to do my research and see if I can find any, I would love to meet up with other bloggers! I think if the meditation thing isn’t working for you then your doing the right thing leaving it and moving on. Have you done any yoga? I can’t meditate to save my life but doing 20 minutes of yoga helps me to relax but whilst still moving if you know what I mean? The savasana at the end is about as long as I can keep my mind still for!

    • Yes, yoga helps me relax a lot, and I’ve never had issues in savasana. Maybe surprisingly, working out and getting my sweat on almost daily has been the best thing that ever happened for my anxiety!

  8. Rebecca Thomas

    Hey Susan,
    It really has been years but something about your meditation post got me thinking. I’m big into yoga. I’m not into the crazy hot yoga, just plain old, “morning sun salutation” yoga (really can’t remember the type). A major part of it is regulating my breathing not matter the pose. This whole session is punctuated with moments of meditation. Although my breathing appears to be even and consistent, by the end of some sessions I feel like I can’t get a breath because I’m having a full blown panic moment. I can rationalize myself out of my panic attacks pretty well now but by the end of some sessions I just want to run outside and get a full breath of cold air. I’ve learned that talking it out with myself really helps. “Why am I anxious? I’m going to be fine. Calm down Rebecca”. This is something that works for me. Putting it into works that I can actually hear out loud brings me back down to reality when I’m sitting on a mat trying wrap my elbow around my knee and probably looking ridiculous while trying.

    I hope TO is treating you well. My father lives in Cabbage Town and I try to get up there at least once or twice a year. Maybe we can meet up sometime.

    Wishing you the best,


    • Rebecca!! It’s so nice to hear from you and thank you for sharing your experience!! Yesyes to getting together next time you’re in town. We have a lifetime to catch up on :) Hope you’re doing well!!

  9. AHHH NO WAY! How exciting!!! I can help with anything you guys need, seeing as I am right here! I can also talk to the Chefs about some food presentations…. Now I have something to look forward to in May 2011! Yay!


  10. Aww I’m sorry about the meditation difficulties :( I also have an anxiety disorder, and I know how difficult it can be when your mind starts racing. Because trying to think about nothing didn’t work for you, maybe you’d find more relaxation in something like watching a light TV show for 30 mins or reading instead? I like TV because it keeps your mind from wandering, but you don’t have to think either :)

    And that conference sounds awesome! If you guys need any help just let me know :)

  11. Glad to hear everyone is so excited about NO LIMITS CANADA because it’s basically going to the awesome and then some :)

  12. Very excited about the conference!!
    This is me being selfish but I vote for beginning of May… end of May is really Crazy insane for me at work and I wouldn’t be able to make it.
    If you need any help let me know.

  13. Meditation sounds great, but I don’t think it’s for everyone, and if it is for you, maybe the time just isn’t right. As long as you’re making progress and feeling good about yourself, which sounds like the case!

    I read your reply to Averie, the blog world can be a little cliquey, and I’m glad to hear the Canada conference will try and avoid that! I’m potentially interested, could it be at the end of May? After university lets out for the summer?

  14. thtas great about your goal for meditation. I havent ever gotten into it. I have tried here and there but for some reason i have never gotten into it! i think (it sounds funny) but meditation takes practice! knowing how to get in the ‘zone’ and block everything out, this can be really hard!

    on anoher note, I want to try that waffle recipe!! it sounds DELICIOUS! and I love the idea of fresh mint!!

  15. How cool! I know I want to hit up some sort of blogger, healthy living event next year. I will definitely keep the Canada one in mind. Toronto would be cool to see. :)

    And that is so odd about the meditating. I guess it reminds me of why I don’t like watching the news. Too much focus on the bad stuff. I do have to say that what I’m considering starting in September might be more up your alley though.

  16. wow! i love the addition of fresh mint to your yogurt :) what a great idea! i feel like i would end up eating the mint though..

    …is that normal?

    haha yay for a fun fitness covention!!

  17. wow that IS exciting news! it is a shame i am not allowed in your country.. but i sure can’t wait to see/hear all about it! awesome.

    ya know what else is awesome? that waffle. i LOVE the combo of chocolate and strawberries! and the best vehicle for anything is a waffle, so it all works out.

    hope the rest of your week is fabulous, susan! also have a good weekend, i will be back to lurking on monday.


  18. Thanks for your honesty and bravery. Meditation can a vastly different experience from one person to the next. I find it extremely challenging.

    The more I meditate, the more mental garbage arises. I think this is the point. I’m supposed to work through it. But if I don’t have the time and commitment to do so, it winds up just making me feel bad.

    I really want to get to a point where I can make meditation like second nature. I spend so much time addressing the needs of my body and mind that I forget about my spiritual needs.

  19. I am SO there! And if you need any help, just let me know, I’ll see how my school/work schedule is and see if I can help!

    Thanks so much for putting this together, this is going to be GREAT!!!

  20. AHHHHHHHH WHAT A FABULOUS IDEA! i think us american forget how lucky we are to have all those things going on around us. i have the day marked, and if i can make, i am THERE!

    and i love your protein thumbprint cookies. too dang cute!!!

  21. p.s. the meditating takes time…i am figuring that out. it’s definitely something that i have needed to keep doing in order to benefit from – but if you are feeling great, then just go with what works :)

  22. I liket hat you are honest with yourself about meditation–Ive honestly never tried it. I think it’s definitely something that could be beneficial, but like you said, not to everyone.

  23. This is awesome! I haven’t been to Canada since I was a kid and I’d love to come…can’t wait for details. :)

  24. I am SO SO SO attending the Toronto conference. I’m so sad I have to miss HLS but I’ve marked May 2011 down and I will be there for sure!
    That’s interesting about your meditation – I’ve personally never tried it either, but right now I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love, and Liz talks about how she really struggled with her morning meditation (which was far longer than just 20 mins) and had a ton of racing thoughts. I think I may have to try this to see what you ladies are talking about! Don’t get discouraged though – I’m a firm believer in doing what works for you, not just what’s trendy (hence, I do not partake in Zumba!)

  25. greensandjeans

    Ahhhh! How exciting Susan! Your life is seriously on a crazy awesome path right now!

  26. Wow – Your food always seems to make my mouth water! I MUST make that waffle!

  27. Maybe I can come! Canada isn’t all that far north for me (did I mention I am going to be in Montreal next weekend??).

    Waffles look yum, as usual!

    • Montreal!? Eeee!! Although, I think I’m closer to you now where you live than Montreal :P You mustmustmust get a smoked meat sandwich when there. Omg, and BAGELS!

  28. If meditation isn’t for you then that’s no biggie – no need to justify it!

    I used to wonder how people could feel full on yoghurt as well but I think it;s all about the toppings to make it more of a complete meal.

  29. I am super excited for the Toronto event, I have my calendar marked and added the Twitter name, yahoo!!

    I too have suffered on/off from anxiety issues, and couldn’t leave my apartment for a year at one point in my life, so I can sympathize with your situation and I think it’s so great that you are able to feel good about being on the subway etc. Exercise helps me too! I actually find meditation really calming, and it helps me when I remember to do it – I’m working on relearning now to NOT self medicate with food, so that is my biggest challenge.

    I have a question…how do you approach building your menu for a day when you are breaking down your macros? Do you just take your macros and divide by number of meals and build around that or…? I would love a future post on that!

  30. My confession: I bought Marshmellow Fluff yesterday (on sale no less) and defintiely thought of you. Have to admit that I haven’t had it since i was a kid – it was a bit stale, and I like it like that… but omg I LOVE IT. I never buy it because I live with the BF and he thinks it’s a bit ridiculous, but since he’s on holidayyyyyysss far far away – I picked some up. Teehee.

  31. In general, I find it’s easier to find time to meditate in the winter. When it’s cold, I don’t want to spend all my time outdoors, and I go a little crazy, too, so it all works out:) haha
    Man that waffle looks delicious!! It looks like a tart or some kind of dessert-
    How awesome to start a Canada healthy blogging conference! I’ll bet a lot of hard work went into that! :D

  32. Ooooooooo fresh mint good thinking! x x

  33. Oh yeah, my yogurt messes are always around the 400 calories mark (as are all my breakfasts!). I’ve found it’s the best way to sustain my rumbly stomach until lunch :)

  34. This is amazing!!! I just spent last weekend reading all the posts about HLS and turning green with envy… now there’s finally a conference in Canada, and in my city no less! I’m so excited! And so happy to finally find some local blogs to follow :)

  1. Pingback: Things I Learned The Month I Let Go | The Great Balancing Act

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