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Fatty February

As I mentioned yesterday, it is one of my goals for this month to get more fat in my diet. You would think that the amount of nut butter I eat would be enough. But it’s not. In fact, some days, I get around only 20g, which in my opinion is too low.

Part of this is because I buy a lot of low-calorie foods, which in turn are low-fat. Dairy and lean meats are good examples of this. Another reason is that I just gravitate towards foods that aren’t fatty. Lunch everyday for me is typically a tuna or turkey pita with a side of raw veggies or fruit. It’s what I usually crave, and the thought of a high-fat meals don’t really appeal to me.

Most importantly though, the number one reason why I don’t eat a lot of fat is because I have a digestive intolerance to it. Foods like avocadoes, olive oil and butter make my stomach literally churn. Guacamole will have me keeled over for hours in pain. The idea of an oil fondue is like pure torture to me.

As a result of this, my skin, fingernails and hair are in awful shape. My nails are brittle, grow slowly, and often chip and peel apart. My skin is actually cause for concern. It is not only dry and flaky, but my shins and forearms now have rashes and scabs from scratching it unconsciously. It’s gotten to the point where I’m embarrassed to wear shorts to the gym, and will probably have to see a dermatologist.

As we all know by now, fat is actually good for you. Studies are now showing that even the uproar over saturated fat may have been a bit premature. Trans fat is really the only thing I do not eat. Ever. There’s also monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, and the coveted omega 3’s, with the frowned upon omega 6’s. At this point, I don’t really care what monopolyomega fat it is, I just need any fat I can get!

When I started increasing my protein intake waybackwhen, I did it by making sure I got a protein in every single meal and snack. If I missed one, then I would make sure I made up for it the next time I ate. This frame of thinking got me from eating 70g of protein a day to 130g of protein a day, and now I don’t even have to think about it, it’s second nature. It’s this line of thinking that I’m going to apply to fats as well. With each meal and snack I’m going to ask myself “where is the fat in this meal?”

So, what will I be using as fats?

Salmon.

Oh, sorry, this is a food blog, right.

Better? :P I love salmon, why I don’t eat more of it, I don’t know.

In the same vein, I’ll also be eating more sardines.


Bonus: the bones have lots of calcium!

Butter.


I’ll admit, I grease my pans with Pam. While butter does give me tummy pains, a light coating when I cook up protein pancakes should be fine. And um, make them more delicious!

Cooking Oils.

 
This is the one that scares me the most as my tummy pains are often directly linked to olive oil. But like butter, I’m going to experiment with using just small amounts of olive oil, as well as sesame oil, canola oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, etc. Well, okay, maybe just one or two of those. Cooking oils are expensive!!

Flax seeds.

I can pretty much throw a tablespoon of flax in anything and not even know it’s there! Helloooo omega 3.

Nuts.

 
I’m a volume eater, so a small handful of nuts never sounds as good as a big bag of fresh veggies to me. But, while dense, nuts are also incredibly filling and an easy grab-and-go snack for work. I’d also like to include more nuts in my dishes, like adding some roasted pecans to my veggies, or topping salads with sliced almonds.

Nut butter.

This is the most obvious, and my current main source of fat. It’s that big dollop of nut butter on my oatmeal that keeps me going all morning!

Whole eggs.

Yolks are your friend :) Also, Vitamin D is very important this time of year!

Tofu.

Did you know tofu is high in fat? It’s a new discovery for me – and a good one! Bonus: this is high in calcium too ;)

Cheese.

   

Not that low-fat crap. But the real, full-flavoured good stuff. I’m licking my lips at the thought of the above brie.

Olives.

Another ingredient that I can add to things to enhance flavour. I’m already sticking them in all my salads!

Avocado.

Maybe. This is another food that is directly linked to digestive issues for me. But I can eat the small amounts in sushi, so maybe a slice here and there won’t hurt.

 

So how did I do with my fat intake today??

Well first I had to work up the appetite! :P

Hit up the gym for a treadmill and weight lifting sesh.

Treadmill

Minutes Speed – MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0.0
5-6 5.5 0.0
6-7 6.0 0.0
7-8 6.5 0.0
8-9 7.0 0.0
9-10 5.5 0.5
10-11 6.0 0.5
11-12 6.5 0.5
12-13 7.0 0.5
13-14 5.5 1.0
14-15 6.0 1.0
15-16 6.5 1.0
16-17 7.0 1.0
17-18 5.5 1.5
18-19 6.0 1.5
19-20 6.5 1.5
20-21 7.0 1.5
21-22 5.5 2.0
22-23 6.0 2.0
23-24 6.5 2.0
24-25 7.0 2.0

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Romanian deadlift to row 50 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Reverse lunge with forward reach 15 lbs ea 8-12 2
Dumbbell shoulder press  15 lbs ea 8-12 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Incline pushup bw 8-12 3
Wide-grip lat pulldown  55 lbs 8-12 3

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Bulgarian split squat 15 lbs 8-12 2
YTWL  7.5 lbs ea 5 ea letter 2

 

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Barbell 21’s 20 lbs 21 3
Cable Pushdown 30 lbs 8-12 3

 

Another awesome weight workout! I kinda made this one up as I went along too. I gotta thank Janetha for the Barbell 21’s. It reminded me a lot of what we do in Body Pump. Curls kill my forearms and wrist though.

Then it was off to work where I enjoyed a fatty breakfast ;)

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A big piece of April’s low carb sweet bread with some peanut butter and Crofter’s superfruit spread sandwiched in between. Mega tasty!  

My fatty lunch featured a smoked salmon sandwich.

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With laughing cow, mustard, capers, sprouts and romaine. Baby carrots and sugar snap peas for extra munchables on the side.

Dinner came in two courses, because I was starving! While I waited for the main course to bake, I threw together a garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Those are pickles on top btw ;) Normally I come home starving and that’s when a lot of the major munching damage is done. But having a small salad while dinner cooks curbs that immediate hunger and gets some veggies in me :)

Oooh, and the main course was worth waiting for!

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Mollie Katzen’s Spinach Ricotta Pie from the Moosewood Cookbook. Except I skipped the crust and de-vegetarianized it by adding ham.

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Yum! This will make for some excellent leftovers.

After dinner I did something I haven’t in a while – I went to yoga! Specifically, Body Flow at my gym. The times they offer it aren’t always the best for my sometimes wacky work schedule. But it was well worth the trip tonight. This release has some good tunes, and the twisting song is full of my favourite mix of warriors :)

After yoga, I decided to continue the relaxation with Deb’s hot chocolate smoothie.

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This time I added 1/4 tsp each guar and xanthan gum as well a 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp splenda. The extra gums made it so much thicker! Check out this consistency!

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It was amazing.

Total fat for the day: 67g! Heck yes!

 

Now that we have the appetizing food out of the way, I’m going to share some “before” pics of my awful, awful skin. If anyone out there can diagnose it for me, please feel free! I’m prone to stress-induced eczema, so I’m hoping this is related to it and can easily be fixed. Here’s the worst part, my legs:

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My forearms:

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And my hands:

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You can see my lifting calluses under my fingers! I forgot to take a picture of my nails, but they’re really embarrassing too. Being a guitar and piano player, I’ve always kept them short and ignored.

Hopefully increasing my fat intake will help some of my skin issues among many other things. Fat is also quite satiating for me, so I’m interested to see how it affects my hunger levels!

 

Question of the Day: Will you be participating in Fatty February with Emily and I? What are some of your favourite ways to incorporate fat into your diet?

Things I Learned – January

Another month gone, another list of things I learned! If you’re curious here’s what I learned in…

July
September
October
November
2009

Now on to this month!

  • As much as I wish it could, my body is not built for 6 workouts a week. I need a rest day every three days or my body and immune system shut down. I know this. There is nothing wrong with working out 4-5 times a week. In fact, that is more than enough.
  • I am not as socially inept as I thought I was. Embracing my social awkwardness has actually allowed me to come out of my shell.
  • The only thing that could possibly make custard oats taste better is eating them out of a near-empty almond butter jar.

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  • I do not have to be doing something productive with my time during all waking hours. Even more, I do not have to feel guilty about not constantly checking things off my to-do list.
  • Despite whatever opportunities arise in the future, I will not stay in my current city when my work contract is up. For the sake of my mental sanity, it is time for me to get out.
  • I am no longer allowed to bake or cook when I’m sick and full of mucus. It leads to things like kitchen fires and flat sweet bread.

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  • Protein bars take 5 minutes to make at home, and produce much tastier and healthier results
  • I like going to bed early and being awake early. Plain and simple. There’s no point in pretending I want to do any different.
  • Staying home all weekend because you don’t want to shovel is okay. Staying home from work because you don’t want to shovel is not.
  • Cottage cheese and feta are an awesome pairing, and make for a stellar pita-filler when I’m running low on other protein.

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  • The older I get, the more I appreciate my family. I am so lucky for the family I have.
  • I need more fat in my diet. My skin is in awful shape.
  • I really am not a 9-5, mon-fri person.
  • Sometimes, I just feel like snacking, and it’s okay if that means salt & pepper Popchips and a cheese sandwich for dinner.

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  • My home is a reflection of my state of being. If I am unhappy, my living space becomes an unhappy place to be.
  • Lindt Fleur de Sel is officially the best chocolate there is.

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  • My living room can be an awesome place to work out.
  • I don’t need to be a grown up, I just need to be me.
  • Guar and xanthan gums are intimidating and require more experimenting with on my part.

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  • I don’t have it all figured out, and I probably never will. Maintaining my weight and eating habits will always require a conscious effort on my part.
  • Deb is a genius for inventing the hot chocolate smoothie.

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  • Just because a person turns 24, does not mean they have to give up eating marshmallow fluff and sprinkles.
  • Everyone needs to send their smoothie ‘stache photos to Janetha.

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  • Sometimes I need to dismiss my fear and embrace new relationships. Sometimes I need to work harder to restore old relationships. And sometimes I need to let go of relationships that just don’t work.

Your turn!! What did you learn this month??

Burning Down the House

I have no idea how to even prelude the craziness that went down today. So I’m just gonna get right into it.

First off, I slept 9.5 hours last night. I haven’t done that in years. I must have really needed it. I briefly contemplated going to a step class, but I really just wanted pancakes in bed. More precisely, blue pancakes.

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Apparently Thursday was blueberry pancake day and I missed it. That needed to be remedied at once!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, blended in
  • vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon

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I keep forgetting to mention it, but that brown sludge that’s always on the side of my waffle and pancake photos is almond butter whisked with fake syrup. I’m obsessed with it :)

After this I made a feeble attempt to go to a yoga class. Got outside all ready to go, to find a wall of snow at the end of my driveway. Shovelling out meant being late for class, and my mucus head wasn’t too keen on spending any amount of time in a -20 windchill. So I brought my sorry ass back into the confines of my warm apartment.

Instead I spent the morning scrubbing my kitchen top to bottom, including the cupboards and fridge. Breaked for a super lunch.

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Breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and tofurkey. Nomnom. I would like to eat nothing but breakfast all day.

At some point I caught the baking bug. I wanted to add toasted almonds to this week’s batch of protein bars, so I sprayed some with canola oil and popped them in the toaster oven.

Then I went to Google something. I can’t remember what. I just remember smelling burning and running into the kitchen. My toaster oven was billowing smoke. Acting on impulse, I opened the door and giant flames licked out. I’ve started small kitchen fires before that were put out with oven mitts or water. But this was a real, burn-your-house-down fire. It just kept getting bigger!!!

Thank GOD I remembered seeing a fire extinguisher in the entrance hallway leading to my apartment. I ran up the stairs grabbed it, pulled out what looked like a pin and pushed what looked like a lever.

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First, a lot of foam comes out of those things (I just had a small one). My first spray didn’t put out the fire, so I had to do it a second time.

You couldn’t see through my small bachelor apartment from the smoke and fire extinguisher foam. I was coughing and spitting up godknowswhat. I was in complete and utter shock. Started shaking violently trying to wrap my head around the fact that I almost burnt my house down. Not just my house, but the house I share with several other people.

I immediately called my mother, who seems to only ever talk to me on the phone through hysterical crying these days. Thank you so much mom. You definitely held me together today.

Aaanyways, thankfully, my apartment is already a dump (hey, you get what you pay for). I think there is some actual cupboard damage under the smoke stains.

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And my can of organic raisins will never be the same.

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I also had a thick layer of CO2 dust all over everything in my kitchen. Every little corner I’d scrubbed just hours prior had to be scrubbed again. Including the pile of dishes I’d just washed.

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I have a feeling I’ll be wiping that stuff off things for weeks. It even got on my shoes in the back corner.

I spoke to both my parents after the ordeal, and both suggested I take something to calm myself down. More precisely, they suggested a beer. Who am I to argue with the experts?

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I’m a non-drinker, so it only took half for the shaking to stop and the rosy cheeks to set in. Good call mom and dad :)

I paired the brew with something that was baking in the oven while all this was going down. April’s Low Carb Sweet Bread.
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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) 1/4 cup sweet potato baby food
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp each baking powder and cinnamon I totally missed this step!! Dammit! No wonder it turned out flat :(
  • 2 tsp pure stevia extract 1/2 cup splenda

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 am not allowed to cook with a mucus brain anymore. I can’t believe I forgot the baking powder!

After the fire debacle, there was no way I was using the oven or stove for dinner.

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Pita with teriyaki herring, zucchini, mushrooms, yellow pepper, onion, lettuce.

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And veggies with tzatziki on the side.

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I have to cut my baby carrots in half – they make them too big!

Evening snack was the fire culprit – PB&J protein bar.

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  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
  • 6 tbsp almond butter
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup water
  • NO TOASTED ALMONDS

All mixed up, flattened into a 9×9 pan, put in the freezer, and cut into 8 pieces. These turned out to be a little on the gooey side, so they’ll have to be kept in the freezer. A little fire extinguisher dust got on the mixture too, so they may or may not kill me. But I’m too cheap to throw them out, I put expensive ingredients into those!!

 

Oof. So what was supposed to be a relaxing day of cleaning, turned into a near death experience and approximately four years removed from my life. Inhaling all that smoke was probably not good for my current illness, but maybe the crying helped cleanse it out? :P

Lesson of the day: know where your fire extinguisher is and know how to use it!! Doesn’t matter how careful you think you are, fires can start instantly, and get out of control even more quickly. I’m really lucky that somewhere in the back of my brain i knew how to use one. Must have clung on to that third grade demonstration better than I thought!

Question of the Day: Have you ever had any close calls with fires? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

 

P.S. Emily wrote an eye-opening post that everyone should read. Especially those readers struggling with eating disorders.

P.P.S. Morgan received the blogaversary pacakage! Yay! Much better than the disaster that was my last giveaway.