Before we even get into things, I have to address several comments I got in my last post that deeply concerned me.
Some of you do not know what marshmallow fluff is!!
Marshmallow fluff my friends, is made up of sugary pillows sent straight from the heavens.
In all reality, it’s a lot like spreadable marshmallows. Fabulous with anything peanut butter or chocolate related.
I typically only ever use a tablespoon at a time, which only sets me back 24 calories.
So there you have it! I typically don’t allow sweets like cookies or pastries in my pantry, but dark chocolate and marshmallow fluff are the two exceptions that must always be made :)
You may have noticed that I was MIA again yesterday – and with good reason! I’ve been working! After 2.5 months of being
unemployed “between opportunities,” it’s nice to get up and have a job to go to. My days have a sense of purpose again. Plus, I was starting run out of things to complain about ;)
Monday had a late start, so I took my time preparing my new protein waffle/pancake recipe.
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- several shakes cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1/3 cup skim milk (it seems skim milk produces a different consistency than almond, before I used 1/2 cup almond milk)
These weren’t any ordinary pancakes, ohno.
I also added a tablespoon each of flaked coconut, walnut pieces and chopped dates.
Made better only by the presence of iced coffee.
Now, y’all know I am not about fancy or complicated recipes. To me, the idea of simple food pairings is tasty enough. On Monday, I got to put together a pairing I’ve been dyyyying to try.
Watermelon + feta cheese. It was delightful!! I love pairing berries with cottage cheese, or apples with cheddar cheese, and this combo was just as tasty. Watermelon is very sweet and juicy, which paired wonderfully with the saltiness of the feta. Thumbs up!!
I then proceeded to spend the rest of the day training clients at the gym! My very first client that I trained last week was back in and said she already felt a giant increase in energy and gained a ton of confidence at work. After a week! I was brimming with pride for her :D
T’was close to my bedtime by the time I made it home, so I opted for a light and simple dinner.
A small chunky salad tossed in cottage cheese, feta & hummus. Looks gross, but I assure you, it was awesome.
Before I knew it, my alarm was blaring at 4:30am to get up and ready to hit the gym once again. It was eerily familiar to the days when I worked the morning shift as a radio newscaster.
My years of getting up at 4am have turned me into a pro for these early mornings. I had these overnight oats and iced coffee waiting for me in the fridge. For the oats, I just mixed up some yogurt with a dash of milk, scoop of oats, raisins, fresh apricot, cinnamon, maple syrup and a dollop of almond butter. The measurements here don’t seem to matter, as I’ve noticed the outcome is always different for everyone. Experiment! :)
Today, I was shadowing one of our best trainers at the gym. He specializes in functional training, something I’m not overly familiar with, so it was really fun and interesting to watch! It’s not something I can see myself specializing in, but I really appreciate aspects of it, and would love to start incorporating more of it into my programs.
Even though I kinda wanted to go back home and pass out, I stuck around the gym for a workout of my own. Full-body:
Straight set x1:
One arm dumbbell snatch 12 x 20 lbs
Straight set x1:
Alternating Step-up w/ forward knee lift for 1 min
Alternating Step-up w/ back leg lift for 1 min
Straight set x1:
Mountain climber for 1 min
Straight set x1:
Reverse lunge w/ forward kick 20 each leg
Straight sets x 2:
Plank 60 sec
Whole thing with 15 minutes warm-up on the treadmill and 5 minutes cool-down stretching took me 65 minutes and burned 450 calories. It also left me unable to run up and down the stairs in the subway station without my legs wobbling ;)
After the workout, I was ready to come home and nap. I closed my eyes and fell asleep for what felt like an hour, only to find 10 minutes had passed. I claimed defeat and made lunch.
Giant kale salad topped with shrimp, egg whites, and a dressing made of pesto/laughing cow/lemon juice. The egg whites were an afterthought, and a delicious one at that! I just zapped half a cup in the microwave and added the bits to the salad. Such an easy and delicious way to add protein.
I also polished off this Chakra Bar that I hate half of on Monday.
I purposely left the price tag on because $2.99 is pretty frickin’ steep for a granola bar. But if you look closely, there are two servings, which sort of justifies it. And in all honesty, the full bar is kinda huge (110g).
Not gonna lie, I was attracted to this bar because of the ingredients:
See that?? The first ingredient is love!! Not any kind of love, but organic love!! I’m such a sucker.
The spirulina is what makes it green. According to the Chakra Bar website, spirulina is “a blue-green algae and is known as a green "superfood". It has over 60% digestible vegetable protein, is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals and is a great source of chlorophyll (antioxidant).”
Taste-wise it had that “grassy green” taste to it, but I don’t mind it. It was a little sticky from the syrup, but I liked the additions of the seeds. I probably won’t buy it again because it’s $$$. But it was fun to try!
It is approximately here where I dropped off the face of the planet for three hours.
I read the final Harry Potter book when it first came out, and forgot completely what happened!! It was like reading a new book all over again. But now I’m depressed it’s all over. Anyone else ever suffer from post-book depression? I think I may stick with this theme and re-read the final books in the Twilight and Golden Compass series. I love children’s fantasy novels, I cannot deny it. Plus, it is summertime and I want something that won’t make me think too hard ;)
I did eventually stumble out of my room, disoriented, to make a quick dinner.
Now it is time to get my things ready for another 4am wake-up call. But I’m excited for my morning client. He wants to bulk up, which means some old-school heavy weightlifting, my favourite!!
Question of the Day: What’s on your summer reading list? Any recommendations for the class? As Holly would say, sharing is caring!!
Bonjour!! I am in a bilingual city, I can say that here ;)
Wonderful questions and feedback on my last post: Ripped Arms: A How-To Guide. I made some clarifications in the comments section if any of you are interested. In terms of designing an arm workout, 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps of each a shoulder exercise, triceps exercise and biceps exercise, 1-3 times a week, is enough to do it. Got that? Just don’t forget about your other muscles too! ;)
I also got a great comment from Averie:
10 yrs of yoga gave me a foundation for everything, 4 mos of lifting is giving me some size :)
Couldn’t agree more. If you’re already athletic, but still want to see more arm definition, heavy weight lifting will get you where you want to be in no time.
Now this is where I seamlessly transition to talking about FOOD.
I really just want to show this pic of Sunday’s breakfast because my toes are stealing some of the spotlight in the bottom right of the frame :P One of the reasons why I love reading food blogs, as opposed to professional food publications, is the level of “real life” you get from photos such as these. Hello toes!
Rainier cherries are continuing to rock my face off. They taste milder than regular ones.
The last of my homemade rosemary yogurt biscuits topped with eggs and bacon. If it’s been a while since you last had this combination, I highly suggest you get on it. This is the best post-run weekend breakfast. The HEAB-ster just posted an even easier biscuit recipe just in case ;)
Okay, now that we are done ogling at breakfast, I must introduce you to Sunday’s lunch!! Sister Sara had tickets for a play and the theatre is conveniently located across the street from an amazing vegetarian buffet called The Table. I grabbed a little scoop of everything that struck my fancy. I’m a sampler.
As well as a bit of lentil quinoa salad and dandelion greens. The salads were a little lacklustre (surprisingly!). The hot foods were my favourite. Especially the braised onion and tofu patty. I want to recreate both!!
As we were leaving, Sara heard that you get 20% off if you’re going to see a play. We’d already paid, but we wanted our discount!! So we went back after the play for tea and dessert :)
Not your typical coconut pie. It was surprisingly light and fluffy, not at all chewy like a macaroon. A touch bland though, so I topped it with this:
And the tea!
The perfect flavour to pair with the desserts I’d chosen. I love me some chai!
Me, being my usual contemplative self.
Another highlight from Sunday was biking down to one of Ottawa’s beaches. It may take a while for the idea of a beach not meaning “ocean” to sink in.
Me just looking awkward :P My biking adventures in Ottawa have been my first of the season. It would be an understatement to say they came with a little apprehension. In fact, I had a moment of sheer panic within minutes of being back on the bike. But yesterday I started to feel relaxed again and less like I was chained to a death trap. Also impressed by how strong my legs got over the winter – hills are nuthin’ to me now!
Because of my new-found ease, we opted to take the long way home and enjoy some of the (weird) sights Ottawa has to offer.
Inukshuks on the river!!
Clearly, we had to stop and take silly photos with them.
I just wish I’d read this sign first. I maaaaay have decapitated a statue :\
Today’s breakfast had a significant lack of biscuits.
Eggs and bacon were instead eaten between two seedy pieces of bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato.
I made a fruit salad for us using watermelon, banana, cherries, lime juice and some of this stuff:
From Alberta! It was very pepperminty, but added a nice refreshing kick to the salad.
Let’s see… there was also a notable breakfast dessert.
Camino Coconut gets a thumbs up!
It took me a really long time to get motivated to go the gym today. I am having motivation issues lately. I’m thinking it may be resolved once I finally get settled in Toronto (moving Thursday!). Until then, I forced myself to do a full-body lifting workout.
Started with a 10-minute run to the gym. I did three sets and 10 reps of everything. Colour-coded to indicate which exercises were supersetted together (ie no rest in between alternating sets).
|Sumo squat||70 lbs||Quads, glutes|
|Wide-grip lat pulldown||60 lbs||Back, biceps|
|Good morning||45 lbs||Hamstrings, glutes, lower back|
|Incline push-up||bodyweight||Chest, abs, front shoulders|
|Forward lunge||30 lbs||Quads, glutes|
|Arnold press||15 lbs ea||Shoulders|
|Overhead cable extension||30 lbs||Triceps|
|Seated calf raise||90 lbs||Calves|
|Incline curl||10 lbs ea||Biceps|
I went up in weight on my squats… yayy!!! Only 60 lbs left to go until I reach my lifetime goal of squatting my bodyweight – ha!
Ohyes, then I ran the 10 minutes back to my sister’s place. Mygosh it was hot by then. Brutal.
Sister Sara said I had to try these tofu cutlets they carry at an organic food store called Herb & Spice.
I cut it up cold and put them on top of a salad (dressed with watered down hummus). I would have to agree with my sister, these are amazing!! It almost tasted like they were baked in cream of mushroom soup, but Sara says the spread vegepate on top. Genius.
Late this afternoon I continued my quest to find a decent cottage cheese in Ontario…
Half a cup of Liberty 1% cottage cheese on top of the leftover fruit salad from the morning.
It was good but still not great. Also, Liberty is significantly more expensive than other brands.
I miss my Scotsburn 50% less sodium cottage cheese!! They need to supply outside of the Maritimes!
For dinner, I made Sara and I bison burgers using my mother’s method of locking all the juices in (start with a hot pan, then lower it down to cook)
Sara doesn’t keep ketchup in her place (the horror!), so I loaded up on the tomatoes, and ate it on pita bread. A Susan version of a hamburger thin if you will ;)
Roasted corn in the oven. So easy. Throw it in, husk at all, and cook at 400F for 30-40 minutes.
Sara and I then sat around contemplating what we could do this evening. We both agreed dessert was in order, but I’d already eaten three pieces of chocolate today (as I do every day, fyi).
Somehow we decided it was a good idea to walk 30 minutes to this delightful place called Oh So Good near the Byward Market.
Seriously you guys, I’m not a huge cake person, and I loved every bite of this. Incredibly light and fluffy, with shaved white chocolate on the top. Both Sara and I agreed that the small layer of jam in the center made the cake.
We both enjoyed our cake with a cuppa tea. We briefly discussed the calories in each slice, and agreed it was a pleasure too great to pass up.
That’s why you walk to the cake ;)
See you tomorrow!! xoxo
I’m baaaaaack!! :D
How was everyone’s weekend? Or, I suppose start to the work week now :) I’ve got lots of cottage pictures and tales to share so I’ll get right down to it. But first I have to thank Diane and Caitlin for wonderful contributions to my Blogger Interview Series as well as all the funny feedback on my Flashback Friday – Babies! So. Much. Fun.
So first things first, I had a stellar full-body weightlifting session on Saturday morning thanks to this magazine:
I’m partial to designing my own workouts, but sometimes it’s fun to try out something someone else made up! I really recommend this special edition of Women’s Health. It’s got tons of great moves and recipes in it. Here’s the workout I stole:
Came home to the best breakfast sandwich I’ve had in a while.
Then it was off to the cottage!!!
Victoria Day weekend, aka “May Two-Four Weekend” is known as the time when Canadians open up their cottages and drink copious amounts of beer. My family is no different.
I do believe that is a poodle running free!!
We don’t have much of a beach, but we aren’t the type of family who goes to the beach as an excuse to wear bikinis anyways. That’s what Shediac is for ;) (sorry, local humour)
Beautiful Sister Sara underneath the chestnut tree.
The best thing about my cottage is the giant deck that overlooks the Baie Verte.
Another great thing about the cottage is the FOOD! We always eat well there.
Saturday night my mom roasted a chicken. We had some more of that glorious roasted corn on the cob and steamed potatoes and butternut squash.
Fried up after a glorious 4 mile trail run through the nearby provincial park with my big sis. Trail running is super challenging. It felt like I was running so slow because of all the obstacles, but my heart rate was super high!
Our real reason for being out there this weekend is because my sister Sara is now the owner of my grandparent’s cottage next door! We had a lot of cleaning to do to get it habitable again. My 86-year-old grandfather made the trip to show us the ropes.
This included a lesson in basic plumbing.
T’was a tough morning getting everything opened up, and my mom once again saved the day by whipping up a wonderful meal.
Sara and I worked our tails off cleaning up our “new” cottage this weekend!
We also found some neat old-timey things while cleaning up. Including this copy of The Financial Post from 1959!!
I’m sure many of you have heard of this book, written by two former models who say eating a vegan diet can make you thin. I didn’t really care for it. Having already spent a near decade of my life as a vegetarian or vegan, I now feel like I’ve heard it all before. It was also very short, so it didn’t elaborate on anything. I found myself wanting to know exactly why these things are bad for me, instead of just being told I’m a fat moron because I eat them.
I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I eat animal carcasses. My body likes it, and the descriptions in the book didn’t phase me in the least.
Meat pie = love. I know some people can appreciate a savoury pie with me ;)
Mommy dearest also made a parsley and lentil salad to go with.
After a trail run and a day of hard labour on Sunday, I woke up positively wiped this morning.
My mom, sister and I had some hope of doing an outdoor bootcamp this morning. But we all immediately agreed that our bodies were already in rough enough shape! My feet are completely wrecked. So, I put them up, read, and ate a bowl of apple cinnamon peanut butter oatmeal instead. So worth it.
However, today was another hard day of cleaning, scrubbing and moving things around. The highlights of my day today were definitely eating up the yummy leftovers.
I added a little extra dressing made up of mustard, canola oil and white wine. Mygosh it was good. White wine is almost better than vinegar!
Other leftovers included a verrry yummy soup my mom made with the leftover roast chicken.
She taught me how to save the juices on the bottom of the roasting pan, scrape the fat off, then make soup with it. I am so doing this next time.
Well, that pretty much brings us up to speed! Believe it or not, I have another busy week of unemployment ahead of me. How does that happen?? I’ve made some new travel/moving plans which I’ll mention tomorrow. Right now, I’m ready to go pass out on the couch with the dogs. See ya tomorrow!! xo
Question of the Day: Do you have a cottage? What’s it like? If not, what sort of cottage would you like? Our cottages our out in the middle of nowhere away from any form of civilization. There aren’t many people there. It’s quiet and positively beautiful. I think it’s the real reason why I’m a country girl at heart!