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Fatty February Wrap-Up & Then Some

Hey bloggie friends!! Well, I was watching Food Inc online. But I apparently maxed out my streaming time, so I thought I’d take a little break to blog :)

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback on my Oatmeal & Beauty for Dummies post! First, I should add my mom commented that the typical oat-to-liquid ratio is 1:2, which is true. I do 1:3 because I cook them slowly and like them suuuuper creamy.

Secondly, all you straight hair pros out there gave my Chi straightener a thumbs up! Yay!! :D Some of you asked what my hair is like naturally, here’s an au naturelle pic I tracked down – naturally styled and my natural colour.

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Please excuse the mega awkward look in this photo. I’m an awkward person in real life, and it apparently translates onto film. I also cut my friend/bandmate/co-host out of this picture because I didn’t know if he is ready for his blog debut yet. Soon though, right Billy? :P

Okay, so if I had blogged yesterday, I would have said my whole-body weight workout was a little lacklustre. But the great thing about typing it up the next day is that I can tell you I’m sore! So I must have done somethin’ right!

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 1.0
5-6 5.5 1.0
6-7 6.0 1.0
7-8 6.5 1.0
8-9 7.0 1.0
9-10 7.5 1.0
10-11 5.5 1.5
11-12 6.0 1.5
12-13 6.5 1.5
13-14 7.0 1.5
14-15 7.5 1.5
15-16 5.5 2.0
16-17 6.0 2.0
17-18 6.5 2.0
18-19 7.0 2.0
19-20 7.5 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell deadlift  50 lbs 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  75 lbs 8 3
Chest fly 15 lbs each 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Good morning 40 lbs 12 3
Barbell upright row  20 lbs 12 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Single leg romanian deadlift  15 lbs each 10 3
Seated cable row  55 lbs 10 3

 

Exercise – Alternating Weight Reps Sets
Medicine ball squat  11 lbs 15 3
Russian twist  11 lbs 30 3
Lying medicine ball throw  11 lbs 15 3
Pullover to ball crunch  11 lbs 15 3

Stairmill

Minutes Level
0-1 6
1-2 7
2-3 8
3-4 9
4-5 10
5-6 6
6-7 7
7-8 8
8-9 9
9-10 10

Yeah. Looking back I can see why I’m hobbling today. I would also like to add that I could have sworn I saw some shoulder rippling during those upright rows. Yesss! That’s why I’m a strong advocate of wearing shorts and a tank-top to the gym. They allow you to see all your muscles, instead of hiding them up in sweats and baggy tees. Wearing nice workout clothes can be a huge confidence booster!

I had another decent cold breakfast at work after…

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  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Grape Nuts cereal
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp blueberry jam
  • cinnamon

The tiny bit of Grape Nuts left to soak overnight made for a wonderful texture!

Also wonderful, this week’s Apple Cinnamon protein bar.

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Just one of those batches where everything comes together perfectly.

Let’s see… I also stunk up my office again with boiled eggs.

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Then tried to mask the smell with a fragrant citrus fruit.

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I’m trying really hard to like grapefruit, but every time I eat one I just wish it was a sweet orange!

Let’s skip everything else and get to today, shall we?

Good thing I went to bed at a decent time last night, because my body clock still kicked in this morning. Left me lots of time to make a beautiful breakfast before step class. PB&J Oatmeal Sandwich.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (whisked into pot)
  • cinnamon, stevia
  • blueberry jam
  • peanut butter

To “sandwich” it, I pour half the oatmeal in the bowl, top it with half of the PB and jam, then layer the rest on top. Makes for a little PB&J “pocket” in the centre ;)

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Unfortunately, it was an “off: day for me at BodyStep. It started badly after the first song when I noticed I had a wobbly step. I had to swap it out for another one, but it left me a little off my game for the rest of class. We did a lot of new songs with moves I’ve never done, which means more time spent fumbling instead of pushing myself. Lastly, I’m sore!! Did I mention that already? :P My shoulders and hamstrings are beat.

Treated myself to a hot lunch, one of the great things about weekends.

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Butternut squash fries with two Sol veggie burgers topped with salsa and old cheddar. Hit the spot!

I had a banana I wanted to use up, so instead of making protein bars for this coming week, I made Low Carb Banana Bread. 

 

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It’s essentially April’s Low Carb Sweet Bread, with the pumpkin swapped out for banana.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup wheat-bran
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pure pumpkin (depending how moist you like your bread- I like mine really moist so I used 1/2 cup) 1 mushed banana
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp each baking powder and cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pure stevia extract 4 packets of stevia

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Pour into baking pan, bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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I had a piece right away topped with PB of course! Turned out really well! One piece (1/8 of the loaf) is 123 calories, 6g fat, 13g carbs, 7g fibre and 5g protein. Not bad!

Of course, my hot lunch then had me craving a cold supper.

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Egg salad sandwich with pickles, onions, mayo and mustard. Then carrots + salsa on the side. Check out how thick that filling is. Two eggs a sandwich is how it’s done ;)

 

Fatty February Wrap-Up & Then Some

Seeing as tomorrow is the last day of the month, I wanted to combine all my thoughts about my Fatty February challenge. For about four weeks, I’ve been consciously increasing the amount of healthy fats in my diet, with hopes improving my hair, skin and hormonal levels.

It occurred to me today that my results with Fatty February may be a little skewed. You see, I also went off the birth control pill at the end of January, and I’m realizing that what could have been a side-effect of increasing my dietary fat, could also be a side-effect of going off the pill.

For example, one thing I noticed is that my belly pouf shrank. Apparently water-bloat can disappear when you go off the pill, so who knows if it’s related.

As for satiety, I think increasing my fats may have improved it. I did a lot less munching this past month, especially at night. Perhaps it’s because I felt more satisfied with the food I was eating?

I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my skin. My face is still the same, my arms are still pretty dry, and the rash on my legs is only slightly better. Again, it’s hard to judge my skin now that I’m not taking a daily dose of hormones!

Finally, my nails grew at lightning speed. This was probably the thing I noticed most. I could barely keep up with them!

I can say for certainty, that I will be continuing a diet high in fat. Shooting for a 30-30-30 carb-protein-fat ratio worked really well for me this month, and I would like to keep doing it. Every body is different in terms of macronutrients, so perhaps this is just the one that works for me :) I’ll be sure to do more check-ins as I notice things.

As a side note, Caitlin wrote a wonderful post today on the “Big Birth Control Question” that I encourage you women and men to check out. Some interesting conversation in the comments of that post. I can tell you I was on the pill for four years and felt myself starting to drag towards the end. I hope going off it will get my hormones back to where they’re supposed to be, and I’m looking forward to being back to my body’s natural cycle. To be perfectly honest though, I’m a little weary about what will (or won’t) happen!

 

Okay, that’s enough getting personal for one evening. Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! I’m off to finish Food Inc now…

Oatmeal and Beauty for Dummies

Woowoo!! Tomorrow is Fridaaaay!!! I contemplated going home this weekend, but the weather is going to be nasty and I don’t want to take the bus. So next weekend it is. I have personal training material to study anyways!

Also loved reading your comments on my Single Lady post. Such a wide variety of people who are with their high school sweethearts, single and ready to settle down, married for decades, engaged, or in a brand new relationship. I definitely forgot to mention that a person’s happiness in or out of a relationship depends on the people in their lives. Duh. It takes two to tango!

So I fiiiinally get to answer another Q&A today. I’ve been waiting until I made oatmeal!

Susan –
I actually do have a question for you … do you think that at some point you could do an oatmeal for dummies post?  I see your oatmeal combinations and think they all look just stellar, but I don’t know the first thing about buying oats or cooking them.  I’m also really intrigued by these custard oats that you keep making, but since I don’t know about making regular oatmeal, I really don’t know when I’d mix the egg in!
Thanks – hope you’re doing well!
Amy

Thanks for the wonderful idea Amy!! Oatmeal does not actually have to be all that intimidating. First off, oats are just another grain, much like wheat, barley or buckwheat. Oatmeal is just the oat grain ground up for easier cooking and consumption.

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The different kind of oatmeals you see on the shelves are all just different kinds of cuts. Steel cut for example is the least processed of the bunch. They’re the whole grain “groat” just cut up into a few pieces. Rolled oats are the groats rolled out into a “flake.” Instant oatmeal is the same kind, just smaller and thinner so it cooks quickly. Oat bran is the outer layer of the grain, known mostly for its fibre content. The nutrition info varies slightly with cut, but overall is generally the same. Especially when you compare the volume after cooking.

Since today was a well-deserved rest day from the gym, I had time to make stove-top oats before work. I obviously opted for my new favourite combination – custard oats.

First, I put a small pot on the stove and set the burner on slightly below high.

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Yes, my oven is old. It’s got character ;)

I added 1/2 cup rolled oats to the pot. 

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Then dumped in 1 1/2 cups water.

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Once the water is in, I add one whole egg.

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And whisk!

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I keep an eye on it, whisking frequently, as within a couple minutes it starts to show signs of bubbling. 

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Then I immediately turn the heat down to medium/low.

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Keep whisking!!!

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You don’t want little clumps of egg whites popping up, so keep stirring, and keep the heat low so it doesn’t cook too quickly. The slow simmer is also necessary for optimal creaminess ;)

This is usually when I make my coffee or pack my lunch, or this morning I emptied my garbages :)   (Garbages is apparently not a word??)

After about 15 minutes, my oatmeal is looking good, but is missing a key ingredient – cinnamon!

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And depending on my toppings, I’ll add a little sweetener to the mix. Sometimes it’s brown sugar, maple syrup or molasses. Today’s was stevia.

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You may have noticed I also traded my whisk in for a spatula. Or rubber scraper. What the heck are these things called?

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It keeps it from sticking to the sides. Once the oatmeal starts to thicken, I start stirring with this puppy.

And just when it seems like it can’t get any thicker, I take the oatmeal off the heat and stir in a couple pours of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.

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Oatmeal will continue to absorb liquids even after you remove it from the heat. I find stirring a little extra liquid in after cooking ups the creaminess ;)

Then pour the mixture into a bowl and top with whatever you’re in the mood for!

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Today I was in the mood for sliced banana, peanut butter and even more cinnamon (cause you can never have enough cinnamon).

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If you can cook rice, you can cook oatmeal. You don’t have to do the slow-simmer method like I do. On the mornings I’m a little more rushed, I opt for oat bran which is a finer cut. Takes about 5 minutes for it to cook up on the stove!

In other news, I joined the world of the professionally groomed today.

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New hair straightener!!! A Chi kind. I think it’s one inch? And the plates wobble. And it gets HOT. Everywhere I went told me it was a good one.

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That’s my polka-dot ironing board by the way. I don’t have a working outlet in my bathroom, so I have to groom in the hallway.

I washed then blow-dried my hair. Here’s what the rats nest looks like brushed after blow-drying.

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I think you may now see the problem here :P

I sprayed in some TRESemme no frizz mist before straightening. Not exactly the proper protector, but will do for now.

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After straightening, I put in my essential product – serum. In this case, John Frieda Frizz-Ease.

IMG_4288 The “after”:

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Hmmm…it was alright. My hair was still a little damp in places, and I didn’t have time to pin it up while ironing. So I didn’t quite get all the kinks out. Plus, my straight bangs were pissing me off, so further styling was required…

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I tried to get a shot of the back for you guys…

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And tried again…

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Success!!

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Definitely think I need to work on my technique. But hey, baby steps! My co-worker almost died the other day when I told her I only recently bought my first bottle of nail polish. Make-up is the only girly thing I ever got into, and that was because thick black eye-liner was a must as a teenage punk rocker :P

I didn’t think about supper at all while at work today (rare!) and didn’t feel like cooking when I came home. Thus, I had the classy meal of a peanut butter sandwich.

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PB+Protein to be exact, with one side of the bread spread with my protein powder/water goo. A gorgeous red delicious on the side, because apples and peanut butter sandwiches are made to be together.

 

Well that’s all folks! A pantry tour is coming soon, as well as my usual monthly wrap-up. Looking forward to writing posts over the next few days! Hope you all have a fabulous Friday and start to your weekend!! xoxo

 

Questions of the Day:

1. What’s your favourite cut of oatmeal? I’ll always be an old-fashioned rolled oats gal. I love the chewy creaminess of it :)

2. Beauty product you can’t live without? Mine’s concealer, mascara and that hair serum. I’ve even admitted to leaving my mascara on at night so it’s still on when I go to the gym in the morning!! :P

Single Ladies

I’m watching hockey again. Who am I?? :P It’s actually really exciting. Canada is dominating Russia. Pent up anger over the loss to the US I suppose…

Chugging right along.. I ran 10k today! According to my blog archives, I haven’t done this since December 27. I have a sneaking suspicion I snuck one in January somewhere, but regardless, it’s been a while! Longest distance I’ve done on the treadmill all winter, so it’s nice to know I could maintain it :) Here’s the speed breakdown:

Minutes Speed – MPH
0-5 3.5
5-10 5.6
10-15 5.8
15-20 6.0
20-25 5.8
25-30 6.0
30-35 6.2
35-40 6.0
40-45 6.2
45-50 6.4
55-60 6.2
60-65 6.4
65-70 6.6

I love this speed pattern because 1) it takes me almost exactly 60 minutes to do a 10k, and 2) the first half is “easy” and the second half is really challenging! A nice mix of both efforts. I increased the incline a tad from 1% to 1.5% and I could totally feel it. I need to challenge myself more with inclines. I don’t want to turn into a treadmill wuss :P

Now, I know it’s Waffle Wednesday and all, but I do not have a waffle iron at my office like some people. Actually, all we have is a dinky microwave and mini-fridge in the photocopy room. Both of which I put to use today. I had a hot breakfast!

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That does not look appetizing. Microwave oats never do. But it was quite tasty! It was one package of President’s Choice cinnamon multigrain oats, with 1 cup water, 1/2 cup egg whites, topped with a mix of 1 tbsp cashew butter and 1 tbsp molasses. The egg whites in the microwave were… interesting. Not creamy like on the stove. More like a cross between oats and a quiche. Not bad, just not custard oats. The topping was delish!

I had more oats for my mid-morning snack. Why mess with a good thing? ;)

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Homemade Apple Cinnamon Protein Bar. It’s love.

Lunch was another ginormous salad.

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Spinach and various veggies mixed with leftover salmon and quinoa stew. Mmm…this stew is just as good cold, and even better as a salad! I showed my giant tupperware who’s boss.

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Yumyum.

I spent my lunch break spending more money on beauty products. Gosh, looking good is expensive. I finally broke and bought a professional hair straightener. I’ll post about it tomorrow when I test it out. The girl who sold it to me laughed out loud when I told her my current straightener is a Conair from Walmart. Thanks lady.

Rushed home again for supper. This time with good reason – I had a movie date with the girls from work!

Was feeling something simple…

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Burgers and fries… kind of ;)

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Sol veggie burgers. They’re made with beans and soy. Kinda mushy, but I dig it! Topped with heaps of salsa.

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Sweet potatoes and carrot fries. Miraculously, I’m not orange yet.

I have to admit, dessert after the movie is the same thing I’ve had every night for a week!

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Protein cookie batter. I mix up 1 1/2 scoops chocolate whey powder with almond milk until it is a wonderfully thick goo, then top with PB, chocolate chips and sprinkles. It’s amazing. Kinda like a gooey fudge. Thanks to April for introducing me to it!

 

So the movie we went to tonight was Valentine’s Day. The type of cheesy chick flick I pretend to be too cool to like but secretly love. Anyways, it got me thinking about how happy I am to be single right now. I know, totally not what those types of movies are supposed to do :P But I see so many girls who whine about wanting to be in a relationship, while I am ecstatic to finally be on my own. I’m really excited to spend this next period of my life being selfish, getting to know myself, and making decisions that satisfy my own self-interests. I still dream of a boy, house and dog someday, but I know I won’t be happy with it until I spend more time with me. I’ve been feeling this odd contentment with my life lately, and I think that’s why :) I spent Valentine’s Day alone this year (well, with friends!) and I didn’t have one pang of loneliness, if anything my heart feels more full!

I also want to thank you for all the wonderful comments on my weight lifting post. I had a lot of fun reading them in between work assignments today :)

 

Question of the Day: Single? In a relationship? If so, how long? I’ve been in serious relationships since I was 17!! No wonder I’m happy to be single :P