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New ‘Do + New-To-Me Recipes

Peek-a-boo!

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I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!! Mine has been pretty low-key. Exactly what I needed after a couple hectic weeks.

Instead of hitting the streets of Toronto Friday night, I opted to lay in bed and read in my flannels. I’m currently hooked on this:

Between reading blogs and fitness/nutrition literature, I’ve reintroduced myself to adult fiction (there were a few years of only young adult fiction :P ). I’ve gone through about six books since June. At this rate, I’ll blow through The Lovely Bones in just a couple more days. Highly recommended!

The plan was to go for a run as soon as I woke up Saturday morning. But my body did that “awww hell nah” thing. So I opted to wake up slowly with a big ole’ bowl of oats.

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Mmmm… It’s not often I have hot oatmeal anymore!

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Topped with Lori’s pear cranberry jam + peanut butter. I let it digest for a couple hours and then hit the road running. I still wasn’t feeling very motivated, but seeing as I was out of coffee, I told myself I could stop for some on my way home.

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Having a Starbucks at the end of my running route could be dangerous! I’m trying to get into the habit of running on the weekends. Saturday I covered 4.5 miles in 45 minutes (I’m a solid 10-min pacer no matter what) along the lakefront trail. Unfortunately I was troubled with all kinds of pains. Knee pain during the run, hip pain lasting all day after the run. I need new running shoes!!! But I’m holding out until I get my new employee discount at the running store ;)

I came home and put a bag of frozen corn on my hip, then incorporated it into lunch.

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Corn & Cheddar Omelette. Mixed up a couple whole eggs with egg whites, milk and corn kernels. Then added old cheddar and Frank’s hot sauce for the filling. Awesome combo!

Saturday’s main event was a brand new haircut!!

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I feel so narcissistic for posting this :P I’d been tweeting about it though so I wanted to show the results! Nothing major in terms of length or style. But my last haircut cost me $12 and was so bad I didn’t like wearing my hair down. This new one was done by a legit big-city stylist thanks to my big sis <3 He kept calling my bangs a “fringe” and even showed me how to style it wavy without blow-drying. Most hairdressers insist I wear it straight!

On the way home I passed this scene:

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I try to act all blasé about seeing TV and movie sets in Toronto. I mean, I probably come across one once every few weeks now. But the curious person in me absolutely loves it. It looked like they were filming a winter scene. Some dude was shovelling snow on the street and all extras were in winter coats. Of course, the Toronto International Film Festival has also been going on!

Seeing as Sunday promised to be a busy day, I opted to do my weekly food preparations Saturday night. First up: Janetha’s Spinach Turkey Muffins.

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  • 20 oz lean ground turkey breast
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 package knorr vegetable soup mix
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • cumin, thyme, salt & pepper to taste (eyeballed it all)

Mix it all up and scoop into a muffin pan. I used a pound of turkey and adjusted the measurements a little. Also, I omitted the flax and added a pinch of dried garlic flakes.

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Baked at 350F for 45 minutes. They came out perfectly!

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Not pictured is all the ketchup that accompanied these babies. Ketchup is a must. 

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The veggie soup mix really gave these meat muffins a little extra sumthin’. Thanks for the awesome recipe JG!

Next up is Irish Brown Soda Bread. I found this recipe through Madeline who loves quick breads as much as I do ;)
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From My Recipes

Yield: 1 loaf (about 1 3/4 lb.)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  cold butter or margarine
  • 2  cups  whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4  cup  regular or quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 1/2  cups  plain nonfat yogurt
  • Milk

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in whole-wheat flour and oats.

2. Add yogurt; stir gently. If mixture is too dry to hold together, stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, just until dough holds together; it should not be sticky.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead gently 5 times to make a ball. Set on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pat into a 7-inch circle. With a floured knife, cut a large X on top of loaf.

4. Bake in a 375° oven until well browned, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or cool.

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As far as I can tell, the only difference between brown soda bread and the regular variety is that it’s partially whole wheat with a little sugar and oatmeal added.

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Uh-mazing. Because it’s a soda bread, it has a taste reminiscent of biscuits or scones. The crusty exterior is the best part though. Ohmy.

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I had a piece immediately out of the oven slathered in butter. It’s the one rule to making your own bread at home.

I was stoked to have more of the bread for breakfast this morning. But I couldn’t decide what to top my toast with…

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On one side of the ring we have more of Lori’s cranberry pear jam.

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On the other side was butter + vegemite.

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The bread was even more amazing toasted because it’s so crumbly. Both toppings were winners!

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Of course, what’s a Sunday morning without a little bacon and eggs ;)

From breakfast I went on to a free Vinyasa Yoga class at Lululemon which was amazing per usual. Then it was off to my first shift at my new job! I’m still personal training full-time, but now I’m working in a specialty running store 2-3 shifts a week as well. A little extra money, a way to meet people, and something to keep me out of trouble. I already learned so much about running gaits and how running shoes are constructed. Expect a post on it once I finish my training!

And with that, I am off to prepare my meals for my 15 hour work day tomorrow. Yes. You read that right. I’m looney tunes.

 

!!Don’t forget Project Food Blog voting opens on Monday! Click here if you would like to vote for me. You can check out my contestant profile here. Or read my first challenge entry: Ready, Set, Blog! I’ll be annoying you about this daily – thank you for any and all support!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite thing to eat on toast? Mine is soft poached eggs. Although I supposed it’s something I dip my toast into ;)

Tim Tam Slam

Helloooo!! I feel like it’s been forever since I sat down to write a normal blog. Ohhhh and how normal I’ve been all week. After a long weekend filled with excitement, I’ve been thrown head first into a very busy work week. No complaints though. What else would I be doing with my time? Watching Teen Mom?? I came to Toronto to do things, so doing is what I’m… erm… doing ;)

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Most of my breakfasts this week have been rushed and eaten on the go. Thankfully, near-empty nut butter jars make for excellent portable dishware ;)

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This was my first crack at overnight oats/yogurt in a jar. It had about 2/3 cup yogurt with 1/4 cup raw oats, raisins, coconut, cinnamon, protein powder, and of course the >1 tbsp almond butter left on the sides of the jar.

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I must say, I was not a fan of this. The best thing about oats in a jar is that it melts the leftovers stuck on the side of the jar, thus making it easier to get every last bit. Instead I was just left with chunks of hard almond butter in my yogurt.

This morning, I made sure to put a hot meal in that glass jar.

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What?? Who said oats in a jar is only for nut butters?

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I put a small scoop of PB on the bottom for good luck.

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Then poured in my hot oatmeal and topped with another tiny scoop of PB and blueberry jam for more good luck. Muuuuch better. The fluff got all melty and gave me a sugar jolt with my morning caffeine buzz ;)

Speaking of Fluff, I got word they don’t have the marshmallow treat in Australia. A sin really. So I sent off a jar to Laura to make her life complete, and in return she sent me a package chock full of Australian goodies!! I must share.

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First up – Tim Tams. I’ve heard of the name, but never knew what they were. Until now.

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They’re like a chocolate covered chocolate wafer cookies with a chocolate cream in the centre. Dreeeammy. Laura instructed me to You Tube “Tim Tam Slam.” I did. It was awesome. You can watch it here.

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You will have to excuse the crinkled and open packages. My grubby hands got to them before my camera did!

Next up are Jaffas. 

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They’re kind of like a cross between a Smartie and an orange Skittle. Chocolate with a thick orange flavoured candy coating. Verrrry interesting!

And who can forget…

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Dude, I didn’t know you could get this stuff in a tube!! Or that Kraft made it!

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As the package suggests, Vegemite is a concentrated yeast extract. It smells pretty gross… and squeezes out thick.

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Laura said to use it sparingly as it has a very strong flavour. I put some on my beer bread to pair up yeast flavours. It’s much more salty than I was expecting, but with a sweet undertone? I guess the only thing I could compare it to is soy sauce. We can buy Marmite in Canada, which is similar, but I’ve never had the guts to buy it! I think I might actually acquire a taste for this stuff :)

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Thank you for the goodies Laura!! I <3 you too :)

 

September Goal Check-In

It’s been just over a week since we set our goals for September, now time to check in and see how we’re doing! Keeping you (and me!) in check ;)

1. Get organized. I’m religiously writing everything down in my agenda. It’s hard balancing out the schedules of nearly 20 clients, with a new part-time job, e-mails, blogging, getting a new certification, side projects, workouts, volunteering and a social life! I’m still dropping the ball on a few things though. There are a few items that keep getting pushed over on my to-do list, it’s time to finally cross them off!

2. Professional development. Lookie what I got this week!

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My Nutrition & Wellness Specialist certification manual. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve been in my new training job for two months now and studying about health and wellness again is injecting more life into my work. Not to mention, teaching me valuable and useful information that I can use in my job.

3. Turn on the oven. I did it once this week with the above beer bread. This week was a bit of a wash with meal planning because of the short week. Next week I’m kicking it into high gear.

4. Love my workouts. Ooohhh Nelly. Yes, I have been totally loving my workouts this week. But my body sure hasn’t been liking them! :P I took Sat/Sun off because of travel. Worked my back/biceps on Monday, then my legs on Tuesday. I was feeling a little sore on Wednesday, so stuck to an (amazing) Ashtanga Yoga class at my gym. Then I got sore. Real sore. For the sake of muscle repair, I took an unplanned rest day today while hobbling around training clients. This new workout split is fun, but kinda killing me. I may have to take it a bit slower!

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your monthly goals? Don’t have any yet? Make some!

 

See ya tomorrow for Fitness Friday!

The Job Collector

Please, do not adjust your monitors.

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Yes, I know it is Thursday and not Waffle Wednesday. But some weeks, one day of celebration is just not enough.

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Same protein waffle recipe as yesterday. But today topped with Lori’s buckwheat honey marshmallow fluff and almond butter mixed with syrup. 

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So much decadence for 9 in the morning. I almost couldn’t handle it. But then I got a grip on myself and gobbled it all up :)

Other wonderful eats from the day included a homemade shrimp burger. I remember seeing shrimp burgers on the menu of a burger place in Calgary. I desperately wanted to try it, but knew that when in Calgary, you eat the beef. Needless to say, the idea of a shrimp patty has been teasing my taste buds ever since.

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Started with a dozen large raw shrimp (bought frozen then defrosted). Cut up small then mixed in:

  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs (I used a smashed up rye cracker)
  • 1 tbsp egg whites
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (Yes a whole tablespoon. Do it.)
  • Pinch dried garlic
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch black pepper

It’s not a sticky mixture like beef or turkey burgers. Very wet and sloppy because shrimp is so, well, wet. I plopped it on my George Foreman grill, but you could also put it in a frying pan or the oven. Just make sure it’s at a low temp and as time to cook on one side so it doesn’t crumble when you try to flip it over.

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Makes one large patty. Eaten on an english muffin with spinach, red onion, ketchup and mustard.

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Ohmy. It was goooood. The mayo in the mix is what really made it tasty. I have a feeling my taste buds will be wanting this more often!

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On the side I had some of my microwave sweet potato chips. All you do is slice up a sweet tater real thin, spread it out on a plate, season, and nuke for a ludicrous amount of time. For these, I microwaved them for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once cooled, they get crunchy like a chip!

 

While not eating today, I was also exercising. Almost done the first week of my new lifting split and I really like it! My body was completely hammered after a week off exercise. Major DOMS after my first couple days. Even from just doing sprints on the elliptical! Anyways, if you’re curious, here is what my Shoulder/Abs workout looked like today:

Warm-up: 5 minutes walking on the treadmill + 1 mile run

Straight sets:
Arnold press @ 10 lbs x 15
                         15 lbs x 10
                         20 lbs x 5
                         10 lbs x 10

Alternating sets (x3):
Cable lateral raise @ 2.5 lbs x 12
Cable horizontal woodchop @ 12.5 lbs x 12

Superset (x3):
Mountain climber x 60 sec
Plank ups x 10

Superset (x3):
Russian twist on bosu 6lbs x 30
Plank on bosu x 60 sec

Superset (x3):
Squat with front raise x 20 (holding swiss ball)
Prone jackknife x15

Cool-down: 1 mile run + 5 minutes walking

 

That opening press set killed my shoulders. It was all downhill from there ;) And in case you can’t tell, I hate doing crunches. Give me a plank any day!

 

Kind of ironic that I just started myself on a weight lifting focused workout routine, as I suspect I may now be doing a lot more running!

You see, I got a part-time job! At a running store!!

Even though I am a full-time personal trainer, I still don’t work the usual 8 hours a day. My client base is still increasing, but I am finding myself with a lot of down time. Especially on weekends. So I’ll be selling running shoes, clothing, gadgets and apparel to Toronto runners in my spare time. The extra money will be great and I’m really looking forward to meeting some more fitness-minded folk! They also do a run club and running clinics that I’ll probably start participating in as well. I’m pretty stoked about the employee discount. I’m desperate for a new pair of running shoes!

I’d just like to say, as for my full-time job of training, I am loving it. I’m to the point now where I’m starting to see results with my clients (one guy has already dropped 8% body fat with me!) and it is so rewarding. Not to mention, I’ve already had a few clients renew training packages with me, so it’s nice to know they like and respect me enough to want to keep working with me!

Now I am off to pack! I’m heading to Buffalo, NY for weekend with some friends. A special edition Fitness Friday post will be going up, but it will have to last you until I’m back on Sunday. Have a great weekend everyone! xo