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Moments that make you go “a-ha!!”

Happy Monday! Or, er, Tuesday. Thursday? Crap, doesn’t matter when you’re reading this, you get my point! It’s a holiday week, I’m allowed to be chipper :P

I loved reading everyone’s goals for this week. There’s a good mix of people who feel they need to be mindful of their food and exercise this week, and another group who recognize it’s time to loosen up on their iron grip! I’m in the in-between group. Bring on the gravy and Bailey’s coffee, but keep the sugar cookies away from me please :)

I tried to recreate my turtle pretzels for breakfast this morning…


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 banana, cooked in
  • mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter
  • pretzel pieces

I thought this was going to be uh-mazing, but it was just good. The pretzels got kinda soggy :\ And I missed the creaminess of custard oats!

I unloaded some cake balls and peanut butter cup cookies on my Starbucks co-workers today. For people who are surrounded by cookies and cakes all day, they went pretty quick! Had what’s becoming my usual drink of a tall Americano with four shots espresso, 2 pumps sugar-free caramel, 1 pump sugar-free hazelnut and a splash of soymilk. 

I was mega lazy this morning, and didn’t bother packing a lunch. Easy to do when I work seven steps from a Subway.


6 inch turkey breast on whole wheat, no cheese with mustard and all the veggies available. I was thinking that while Subway can be a good choice for eating out, I really shouldn’t make this a habit. Not only because it’s weirdo processed food – but this sandwich was five bucks! That shite adds up.

We were oddly over-staffed today and I got sent home early! Lost about 1.5 hours pay, but I also could have used the extra time in my day. I headed over to Sport Check to use the gift certificate my old co-workers gave me as a going away gift. Fiiinnaaally bought some long workout pants! Not only will they be great in the cold weather, but they’ll be added to my new “personal trainer wardrobe” I’m working on ;)

The second I pulled in my driveway, I saw a bright package sitting on my mailbox. I pretty much ran to get it and ripped it open. I’ve been anxiously expecting it!!!


Eeeeeee!!!!!! SO MANY GOODIES!!!! Sent my way from the lovely, hilarious, heavy liftin’, smoothie genius Deb. Thank you SO much Deb!!!! She remembered me saying I didn’t have hot water bottles on her blog a while back and sent two to me. Deb, these will pretty much keep me alive at my mom’s frigid house this week. Other goodies include Wonka Tinglerz, a Jordan’s bar (never tried, but love his muesli!) Primal Strips (can’t wait to try!!) Cocoa Roast Almonds, mini Chewy granola bar and a Japanese marshmallow candy. Even the marshmallow is fitting because y’all know I love me some fluff ;)

Even though I wanted to dig into my snacks right away (okay, okay, I had to sample the Tinglerz), I’m going to save them as emergency snacks for my trip home. I instead made up a snack plate.
 101_1513 excuse to eat almond butter ;) AB on half a banana, and then on two light wasa rye crackers with cinnamon and honey. But apparently my snack attack wasn’t over. I somehow ended up with one of these in my hand…


Gah! So good! I think these may be my favourite item I baked this weekend. Which is why I can’t wait till they’re out of my house :P

Dinner was leftover butternut squash soup.
Tonight’s version included herbed tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, 1tbsp peanut butter.

You see, I am slightly obsessed with the butternut squash + peanut butter combo. Holy moly, it was even good stirred into the soup! Try it!!

Getting off work early gave me extra time to get my chores done, which cleared up my schedule for yoga tonight!! I haven’t been to a Body Flow class at my gym in weeks. It was just what I needed. Yoga has an amazing ability to make me feel good about my body. More so than a sweaty session at the gym ever could.

For my evening snack, I blended together 3/4 cup cottage cheese, 2/3 cup frozen blueberries, stevia and cinnamon. It was a wonderfully thick and creamy snack.


That’s my yoga face. Not to be confused with my running face.


In honour of Deb, I felt it only made sense to answer a question she posed after I’d wrapped up Q&A week. But no question is a bad question, and hers is particularly good! So here’s your answer :)

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) Said:

I’m so behind on reading/commenting that I think you already answered your Qs. I do have one though if it hasn’t been asked: was there an a-ha moment that made you turn your life around from drinking/drugs etc to your healthy current self?

I’ve had a series of “a-ha” moments. My first one was when I was 16 years old. I’d been heavily into, ahem, “bad things.” One night, I watched a very good friend of mine get injured in a fight and I couldn’t do anything about it. That was my first notable “a-ha” moment. I never wanted to put myself in a position where I was that helpless again. After that, I stopped doing drugs altogether. I started doing better in school, hanging out with a solid group of friends, and my life almost resembled that of just your normal rebellious teenager.

Unfortunately, I still continued my bad relationship with food, smoking and alcohol. I moved in with my high school boyfriend when I was 18, and it was just a bad time for me. Kinda like these past few months since finishing university have been. Something in my gut was just telling me “you’re not supposed to be doing this right now.”

The high school boyfriend got ditched after I started university,and so did the smoking. Chris also entered the picture around this time, and my confidence took a nice little turn upward. Unfortunately, so did my drinking and eating habits. For the record, I cannot keep up with a 27-year-old boy in the beer or nacho department. However, I did not realize this until over two years later.

That a-ha moment came after several months of increased indulgence. Chris and I took a trip to Jamaica, and I continued the food and drink vacation once I got home. I knew my weight had skyrocketed. I had just gotten my first TV job and could see it onscreen every night. I was breaking down and buying sizes I’d never seen. But I’d resigned to the idea that I’d just always be a chubby person. I liked food and beer too much, so I just gave up in favour of that.

That is, until my roommate got a Wii Fit. We plugged it in one night after I’d downed two big Coronas (two litres!!). While setting up my Mii character, I saw my weight, and my jaw dropped. I knew I’d been gaining weight, but it didn’t fell real until I saw those numbers in front of me. That same night I put down the Corona. The next day I started looking up my calories online and writing them down in a little book. A couple weeks later, I found The Daily Plate and that’s when the weight really started falling off. I committed to doing 30 minutes of activity every day. Soon I was setting fitness goals and falling in love with it. And eventually I started taking pictures of my food and posting it on the internet! :P


Question of the Day: What was your food/fitness/healthy-living “a-ha” moment?


Answered – The Final Round

Omygaaahhhh!!!! The weekend is almost here!! Hell has frozen over, pigs are taking over the skies, because I have a weekend off. I predict it will be amazing :D

But enough about the future, let’s live in the past for a little bit. I couldn’t decide between waffles, pancakes or french toast for breakfast – so I combined two of them.

French toast waffles. I defrosted a couple Nature’s Path pomegranate plus waffles in the microwave and dredged them in egg whites. Dipped in a maple syrup/almond butter mix. Did you know Thursday was National Maple Syrup Day? I didn’t! But I’m Canadian, I have it every day anyways ;)

Long after breakfast was digested, I braved the –28 C (-18 F) windchill to run at the gym. I don’t know what I was thinking when I said I wanted to run outside this winter. I want my runs to be fun, not spent getting frostbite or falling on the ice.

Skipped my usual 5-mile speed run for a 5-mile tempo run. Basically, I slowly increased my speed as time went on, then brought it down slightly. I find running fast on a treadmill is easier than trying to jog on it!

I waited too long after breakfast to go to the gym though, I was staaaarving before I even finished stretching! Came home and whipped up a fast one.


Turkey and hummus pita. Surprisingly, the best part of this pita were the pickles on it. I swear I’m not pregnant, but I’ve been loving the pickles lately.

Worked 2-10pm again today. Hit up Subway again for a veggie sub.

Doctored up with my own mini-can of tomato & onion tuna. The people at Subway thought I was a weirdo for sure after ordering a dry veggie sub. They asked me if I wanted cheese three times.


Noooow it’s time for the fourth and final round of Q&As!

Hallie, Said:

Oh another question, do you ever feel pressure to blog on a certain schedule or about certain things? What do the people in your “real life” think about your blog, given that you talk about some pretty personal stuff on it.

First, I never feel pressure to blog about certain things. One of the reasons why I love blogging so much is that I make it what I want it to be. Some days I have tons of food photos I want to share, but not much content. Other days I have boring food, but some words I just need to get off my chest!! Although, there are days when I have absolutely nothing. That’s usually when I’ll provide links to more interesting articles or posts ;)

As for my posting schedule, I do sometimes feel a slight pressure to post every evening. What I’ve started doing is writing up posts when I get the chance during the day (like right now!), then just publishing before I go to bed at night. Some days I just can’t get anything out, and I won’t publish at all. I like having regularity to my blog though, and I miss it when I skip a post!

So far the feedback from my family and friends has been positive about the blog. I think it’s allowed them to learn a lot more about me, and perhaps even strengthened our relationships because of it. I try not to publish anything personal relating to other people. So while my life may be an open book, if it involves someone else, it’s a no-go zone.


holly Said:

besides journalism and fitness, what career path would you like to pursue?

I still want to open my own cafe someday! But that’s a long way down the road. You need money to open a store, and that’s not something I’m going to have for a very loooong time ;) Nor am I stable at the moment, I’ll likely be moving at least a couple times over the next several years. The cafe will have to be something I do when I’m finally settled a few decades from now ;)

Nowadays though, I’m trying not to think too much about the future. Mostly because the idea of choosing a career path scares the crap out of me. I’m just trying to do what makes sense and makes me happy in the moment (and, ahem, pays the bills).


Bekah Said:

My question- from a fellow embarrassed muncher to another: When you munch, what are your munch foods?

Anything small and in a box :P Cereal, chocolate chips, raisins, dates, crackers, nuts. I actually munched my way through a whole box of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest! I do most of my munching when I go out the door to work out. Usually because I go into a workout with a semi-empty tummy and my mouth doesn’t want to wait till after a workout to have a meal! Or when I first come in the door hungry. I’m pretty bad for munching while I prepare dinner. At the same time though, having a few chocolate chips here and there keep me from having crazy chocolate cravings. So while munching isn’t always the greatest, there are worse things :)


fightingwithfood Said:

Here’s my question for you – If you could, with no consequences, throw the “Great Balancing Act” out of the window for 24 hours, what would you eat and do?

I believe this is called “New Year’s Eve” :P Seriously, that is one of the few days a year where I throw it all out the window. Fortunately, the blog was created just days after New Years last year, so there is no blog evidence of the damage that was done ;) There was a lot of whiskey consumed (the only liquor I really drink). Multiple chicken wings, chips, cookies, mozza sticks, etc. And there may have been some drunken dancing to old Rancid songs in a stranger’s living room.

So to answer your question, I would drink and eat with abandon and have a blast :)


ellie Said:

How are you liking your coworkers? Overall…the job? Good/bad? Ugly? :P

I hate to say this, but being back at Starbucks has made me realize just how much my old job was slowly killing me on the inside. Everything just feels so easy at the cafe. People will sometimes complain about having to do the smallest tasks, while all I can think about was the time I had to be the first to report three teenagers drowned in the river. That, was hard. Having to wipe out the milk fridge is a cake walk compared to that.

The only thing that I’m kinda “meh” about is the drama that always comes with service based jobs. I am a no-drama zone. And already my coworkers are trying to pull me in! I’m just not taking any of it seriously, and I’m not sweating the small stuff :)


That was fun!!! I’ll have to remember to do these more often. As always, you know you can ask me anything at any time. Be it a comment or e-mail. I always try to be active and prompt in responding to comments and e-mails. One of the best things about blogging is that I get to communicate with so many wonderful people out there :D

And with that, I’m hitting the hay! Just closed the cafe, only to open it in 8.5 hours time. I’m thinkin’ an extra shot of espresso may be needed in the morn’. Night night!!


Question of the day: If you could, what career path besides your current one would you want to pursue?

Answered – Motivated for a Healthy Life

Hi friends! I’m answering a couple more questions today, so I’m going to get right to it!!

My body clock is starting to finally adjust to my later shifts. I was up at 7:30 am today. Progress! I had to jet to the gym before work, so I ate a light breakfast while drinking coffee.


Crunchy peanut butter and strawberry jam on a small bagel. There is nothing dreamier than melty PB on toast. I think if I’m ever on death row, that will be my last meal.

I was feeling a hardcore full-body workout today, so I opened up my New Rules of Lifting for Women book and did the first one I found!

10 minutes on the stair machine (not the “mill” kind, but the death kind)
10 minutes on the rowing machine

A1 – Wide grip deadlift:
3 sets @ 60 lbs x 8

B1 – Bulgarian split squat:
3 sets @ 10 lb plate x 8

B2 – Underhand grip lat pulldown:
3 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

C1 – Reverse lunge w/ forward reach:
3 sets @ 12.5 lb dumbbells x 8

C2 – Dumbbell prone Cuban snatch:
3 sets @ 7.5 dumbbells x 8

D1 – Swiss ball crunch:
3 sets @ 5 kg ball x 15

D2 – Reverse crunch:
3 sets @ bw x 15

D3 – Russian twist:
3 sets @ 5 kg ball x 30

E1 – Plank:
1 set @ 90 sec



LOVED doing this workout again!! I worked up a wonderful weightlifting sweat, and had fun doing lower-body moves again (I can’t do them often because of my old-lady hip). However, I switched the lateral flexion with the Russian twists and the prone cobra for the plank solely because I like them better :)

Came home and had a little protein juice before popping in the shower.


PVL peach whey cooler. This wasn’t a whole serving, just wanted to finish of the giant canister I had.

After I was sufficiently clean, I heated up the last of the frozen moo-beef chili remains.


I, ahem, “beefed” it up a little more with some mixed frozen veggies. This left me SO full! I was barely hungry for my snack when I took my break at work 4 hours later.

Like most things though, the fullness didn’t last. I hit up the grocery store after work for what was supposed to be a quick trip. But it’s snowing (again) and the roads are horrible. Then I ran into a fellow reporter/j-schooler and we gabbed about my career change for a while. Before I knew it I was on my way to the checkout at 6:15 pm and I was starving!!! So I detoured to the prepared food aisle and picked up some sushi which I consumed immediately upon arriving home.


Nothin’ special, just a variety pack. I think it was spicy tuna, california and tofu.

With a side of veggies + hummus.


For such a low-key dinner, it was amazingly satisfying!!

Oh, and dessert was a little treat that fell off the shelf and into my grocery cart.

I used to be obsessed with the chocolate covered sunflower seeds my mom used to buy at Costco.


These definitely did not disappoint!!!  Can you tell I’m a sucker for candy coating? :P

That’s actually a perfect photo to lead into my Q&A’s for the day.

chasingthenow Said:

Here’s a question for you: What is your biggest motivation for living a healthy lifestyle? Like, what keeps you from just eating whatever you want and drinking whatever you want and not caring?

Tamzin Said:

I have a question, How do you control your cravings ?

These are kinda similar, so I though I’d answer them together.

First, to answer Maria’s question, my biggest motivator to live a healthy lifestyle is knowing I’ve already done a lifetime’s worth of damage. Most of you know I was a big boozer, smoker, took drugs, ate horribly, and generally just hated myself. I feel really, really bad about doing that for so many years. I see now as my chance to turn things around and make up for all that lost time.

My decision to change my lifestyle did not happen overnight. It was a slow progression that just snowballed over a number of years. To sum it up, I do what I do because I don’t want to hate myself anymore. I don’t want to look in the mirror in disgust, feel embarrassed by the way I act, loathe my body, or think it’s okay to treat myself with disrespect. I did that for many years, and it’s no way to live.

Everything I do – eating lots of veggies, skipping on the beer, weight lifting, to even smiling at the customers at work. Those are all things I do that make me feel good. And those good feelings are kinda addictive! Now that I know how it feels to accept the way I am, I don’t want to do anything that will make me go back to my old self-destructive ways.

I think this links to how I control cravings too. First, I should say that I don’t ever really experience strong cravings. I constantly eat foods I love so I never feel as if I’m missing out on something.

Sometimes this means “healthifying” foods, like I did with yesterday’s Subway sandwich. Sometimes, it means having a little bit of the food I want in moderation. Today for example, I was given a free polar bear cookie. I really wanted the damn cookie (cookies are admittedly my worst weakness). But I also know they’re over 400 calories a pop. Knowing the cookie probably wasn’t worth that, I broke off the nose, savoured every nibble, then threw the rest in the trash before I had time to go back. It was good, but not 400 calories good ;)

Sometimes though, you just gotta go all out. There are 365 days in a year. I see no problem with taking a handful of those days and eating everything you crave. For me, it’s always special occasions, like Christmas will be this year!

So with a combination of healthy versions, moderation, and splurging, I really don’t experience intense cravings for any food. I’m an awful “muncher” though. Walking into the kitchen can turn into a munch-fest for me. It’s something I’m always working on. Some days are better than others. But hey, we all can’t be perfect! :)


And with that I ask you: what’s your biggest motivation for living a healthy lifestyle? Do you have any tricks for controlling cravings?