Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm on a Boat!

After randomly taking the full week off from the gym last week, I was itching to get back to the gym this week. Last night I was out for dinner with a friend from work and our respective others, and Mike and I ate a boatload of sushi..no seriously, a boat load of sushi:

But after that minor distraction I went to the gym tonight.  First class back was BODY PUMP. It was great. The instructor, who is very pregnant (as in due in two weeks) was making jokes about going into labour during the class. If she is there next week I will be impressed/think she is crazy!

As much I loved the class, there was something nice last week about not going to the gym. For example, last night I came home from work, got ready to go out, and had a nice dinner, and was home around 8:30. Today I went to the gym, came home ate, and vegged because I was tired from the gym and it suddenly was 8:30. My initial reaction is that it would be so nice to just not care. 

But I can't. After my good scale result last week, even though I took a week off, I am more motivated than ever. I was tempted to do two classes today, just because I had the time, but I think that would have been a bad way to come back after a week off. I also have decided that starting March 1st I am going back to my rule to not eat junk at work (with a one day a week grace period). So for example today there was tons of baked goods at the office and I had some, so for the rest of the week I am not eating any! So that is my plan for March: Gym 4/5 times a week, no treats at work, and HOT YOGA (starting on Saturday!). That should be realistic enough to stick to!

And who needs treats when you can have CRAB DIP for Suppa!

I know what you are thinking, crab dip is super rich, and high and fat, but you would be wrong! Tonight I created this concoction of what I had in the fridge, and it was a success!
Pita w/LF Crab Dip
I had some leftover fake crab to use up (from making sushi). Fake crab has no fat, some protein, but contains 50 million ingredients. Something I only like to use once in a while. If I had the skrillz I would make this with real crab!

3 sticks of Fake Crab
Three handfuls of Spinach, chopped
Few forkfuls of Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Few Squishes of Low Fat Mayo
Palm size of Green Onions, chopped
Dash of Pepper

Mixture waiting to be nomed
Cook spinach to wilt, let cool. Mix with rest of the ingredients. Chuck mixture on top of pita. Chuck Pita in the microwave for 30 seconds. Nom. 

Writing detailed step by step recipes is so not how I roll.

Seriously though, that is how I cook. I actually tasted the cottage cheese/mayo combo before adding it to the spinach/crab mixture. I didn't want to ruin the whole thing if it tasted bad. And it didn't taste bad at all. I think people get freaked out by cooking...for example, check out this recipe for crab dip:
From Here
This recipe looks delicious, but for a simple meal on a weeknight, seems a little bit much. I for one don't have water chestnuts lying around...or cream cheese for that matter. But that is a whole other issue. 

Also note what I am multi-tasking with in chrome, I have pinterest, facebook, two blog copies open, I am a social media fiend hehe. 

Don't get me wrong, I love making crazy extensive meals, and then I follow a recipe. But when I cooking to eat, post gym and work, I just throw whatever I can into some sort of meal form. And most of the time it turns out ok!

Anyone else making March healthy living resolutions?? Does anyone actually know what is in fake crab???

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Waffles and Seaweed...but not at the same time!!

Sometimes you just have to eat pizza, and Waffles, and Chinese food, and...ok you get my point.

Why is it that when everything is going well with the healthy eating bidness, a week like this one happens. WHYYY!

I didn't make it to the gym at all due to various reasons and it is driving me nutso, and can't wait to go this week! And I ate all the stuff listed above..it was delicious.

Case in point:
Waffles for Lunch!
Mike and I made waffles last weekend, and we found the leftovers in the fridge, so waffles at work was born. Included was some fruit and peanut butter and honey. Nom. Problem was it was super not filling for some reason, so I was starving for the rest of the day. My normal lunch of salad or soup may not look like much, but it actually is really filling!

This Friday I had pizza, and it was delicious. 

And Saturday I headed up to the Pacific Mall in Markham with my friend Jackie and her BF, and we spent the afternoon shopping, well mostly window shopping. Pacific Mall and the Market Village next to it "offer visitors a grand Asian shopping experience."  We had lunch at a Dim Sum restaurant, and good thing Jackie can speak Mandarin, I would have had no idea what we were eating :). We also had some dessert tofu..it was kind of like pudding, but tofu, with a syrup, and it was super filling. 

It was a successful shopping trip. I picked up a french press coffee maker, some pocki and seaweed snacks, and a pretty dress! 
Random yet awesome
Pocki is a skinny cookiesque stick, with chocolate, if you haven't tried them before they are delicious. I finally bought a french press because I realized that I am not a good hostess if people who come over who drink coffee/I like a coffee here or there myself. Later in the day I bought timmies coffee, and I made myself I nice big cup of coffee today. It was delicious! The dress was 60% off..nuff said.

The seaweed is my new weird snack. I tried some snack seaweed with salt/pepper a few weeks ago, and bought some from the market last week. I like it as a snack because it is salty, and has nothing bad in it! No bad fats, very low calories, and pretty low sodium considering how salty it is. So after spending $1.50 for 12 little pieces at the fancy market...I found this pack at the mall. It was 400 pieces for 5 dollars. Way better deal! (10x a better deal, actually...I did the math. I am a nerd.)

And after all that fun, I came back to the apartment and immediately left again to go do groceries. This week Mike and I only spent 35$ on groceries..I think we are going to starve this week. Just kidding, we had a lot of stuff in the freezer to eat so we didn't have to get as much. To get back on track I am trying to eat really healthy this week, and go back to my normal gym schedule! No more waffles for lunches!

Anyone else buy things mostly because they are on sale?? Any one else crushing on seaweed?? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Friends, Family and A Mountain of Laundry

The long weekend is over. Boo. But today flew by, and the weekend was fantastic!

On Friday after the blog post, I promptly went to bed. Good times.

On Saturday I got up and went to the St. Lawrence Market with my friend Brittany, and we spent the afternoon sampling food, and buying some veggies and elk jerky. That reminds me I still have some left (runs away to get a piece), it is pretty delicious! Then we transited back to my apartment, and then realized we wanted to go see a movie..over by the market. So we went back to the market, and watched The Artist. If you haven't seen The Artist I highly recommend checking it out. Very different than most movies, but good. Then we went and got some food, came home and made some salads, and Katie and Travis joined us for games night.

On Sunday Mike and I went to the Canadian International Automotive Show. Does anyone else think Canadian International sounds strange..anyway it was 5 hours of crazy crowds and lots of things on wheels.
This was one big room out of 5. This place is GIANT
It was actually pretty cool. My favorite part was the concept cars, and the eco drive test. The eco section was the emptiest and this made me sad face.
Where are all the peeps???
Then we came home and made sushi!

Prepping the table...love when we bust out the big table in our tiny condo
 We made brown rice before the car show, so when we got home all we had to do was a little chopping and some rolling
Carrots, fake crab, cucumber, avocado 

Final product! Sushi rolls and Edamame!
I just found edamame in the grocery store freezer. I may eat it all the time. I love the stuff.

I look like a child in this photo due to the giantness of the table. 
Sushi is actually not too bad to make. I have made it before, but googled to remind me what to do. It may not be perfect, but it tastes good, and it is 10 x cheaper than going out to eat!

Then we had to clean up everything, that wasn't as much fun!
Messy Kitchen
After sushi we went over to Katie and Travis's for another games night, where girls were victorious! Very good night :). 

On Monday (YAY LONG WEEKEND) we went to my Uncle's house where his wife was having a party for her sister. Her sister's baby was 100 days old which is a big celebration in Korean culture. We visited with my cousins, and we ate delicious Korean food, and more sushi. Sushi twice in a weekend is just awesome. 

After spending time with the family, we came home to deal with this....

Luckily it was all clean, so we folded and ironed, and put away clothes the rest of the evening. 
Moseby helped
I also started the process to make some Lentil Curry Eggplant Burgers for tonight's dinner. They turned out really good! They definitely weren't dry like some veggie burgers. We added a side of wilted kale with garlic. Healthy noms. Not as good as sushi though.

Anyone else have a great weekend (long or otherwise)? Anyone else think that laundry expands the longer it sits unfolded???

Friday, February 17, 2012

The 650 Day Totally Typical Weight Loss Challenge


Fun fact..Ontario has Monday off and calls it Family day. I’ll take it.

After a crazy busy week at work this past week, I am definitely in need of a long weekend. I also just went to a body pump class, then a body jam class, so now I am being a vegetable on my couch. I think that is a good excuse to not have any photo's in the post.

I started my day by checking out the scale. As much I have blogged about healthy living and my goals, I didn’t really go into details about my progress so far.  Right after Christmas with a strict no sugar diet I dropped 5ish pounds. BAM. The for the next little bit I kept hovering around the same number. I was weighing myself way too often, and I was hoping for a big change like that.And after a few weeks of no change, or going up a pound or two, I was getting frustrated.

This is a recurring trend in my life. And it is weird to me. For YEARS I didn’t even look at a scale. I had no idea what number I was at, and I didn’t care (that much). And I always estimated my weight 5-10lbs lower than what it probably actually was. Oops. But one thing was for sure, I didn’t know/care if on Tuesday I was 2 pounds heavier than I was on Monday.

So I decided for the past little while to not look at the scale. I know I am doing well with exercise and diet (yay!) so I shouldn’t have to look at the scale EVERYDAY. And it is just crazy to expect to see any major result when looking at the scale EVERYDAY!

I just kept going to the gym, and eating well, and then suddenly (within the past two weeks) I have noticed a significant difference in the way clothes fit. SUDDENLY I am no longer a size 6/8 like I was when I moved to Toronto, but now I can fit into a 4 again, like I was when I started university.  And after checking the scale this morning for the first time in a while, I am down 9 pounds from Christmas. Even crazier is that I have lost 18 pounds since moving to Toronto. I have 7 pounds left to get to my goal weight. 7. That is a very tiny little number. 7 is way closer than 25 pounds away.

I am saying suddenly because it does feel like it did happen overnight, but in reality this has been an ongoing process for almost 2 years. Almost 2 years ago I was walking to school, and I realized that I was out of breath from a 2km walk. This scared the beejezus out of me. After that I joined booty camp fitness, got a gym membership, and tried to stay in shape. Then after school finished, a year and a half ago, I started the first “100 day challenge” then I went on vacation and gained it all back, and THEN I moved to Toronto, did my 2nd 100 day challenge, and plateaued, and now FINALLY, when I have gotten to a point where going to the gym is normal (and needed), eating healthy is routine, and I AM FINALLY SEEING SIGNIFICANT RESULTS. So much for a 100 day challenge, I needed the 650 day challenge :P.

The kind of funny thing is that my goal date for my “goal weight” is the end of April, which is exactly around the 2 year mark of that day when I walked two km and got winded. Hopefully…no scratch that.. not hopefully…I WILL be on a beach in the South of France, healthy, fit and actual comfortable in a bathing suit, AND I WILL BE MY GOAL WEIGHT.  And I will totally be able to walk more than 2 km without being winded.

I think that people need to realize that to lose weight/get healthy in a sustainable way it isn’t going to be a month long quick fix, it isn’t going to be a week detox, and it isn’t going to be super easy. But the rewards of sticking with something, and trying again when you fail (hello NYC trip) is what makes it worth it.

P.S. And the crazyness in all this is that I’m just now in the “Normal” BMI range for my height. Stupid BMI. 


Anyone else FINALLY noticing results?? Anyone else kicking off the long weekend with pjs and Storage Wars??

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Day After Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day (one day late)!!

Fun fact, started writing this blog an hour and a half ago, and now it is almost time to get ready for bed...ooops. I guess having actual phone conversations with real people is more important than blogging.

So I get to keep it short and sweet.
Valentines Day is not really a big deal to me. I don't want/expect a 5 star restaurant/ bling/ fancy gifts etc. I think anniversaries /birthdays are WAY more important and special...and Halloween is already my fav minor holiday. But it still like the idea of valentines day, in all its pink hearty glory.

So this is what happened for my Valentines...well actually Valentines Day happened in four phases in our house...

VDAY #1- A week and a half ago:
So in preparation for the Morocco trip that never was (lesson learned, don't tell anyone/fb/blog about it until plane tickets are in hand) I thought I might have been away for VDay, so I gave Mike his gift ahead of time... I also thought he would find it and ruin the present.

So thanks to pinterest I found this cute idear:

The deal was this year to keep things under 5 dollars. So I bought mike his favorite snack food, and added a cheezey quote. Dawww

Mike and I have Chinese food for Vday. Its our own little tradition. This past weekend we ended up going to Manderin buffet and ended up eating a lot of food. Since 2 times Chinese food in one week is excessive, we made Manderin our Vday dinner with friends. Yay!

I arrived home on Monday to Mike in a suit and one of my favorite snacks:
Mike also cheated and spent more money..and bought me this:
And that brings us to yesterday...actual Valentines.

I had a sexy date with a French Wind Code and a 12 hour work day, while Mike was studying for a midterm. Super fun.

Anyone else like keeping thing simple? Anyone else have a sexy date with an Engineering Code?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Food Inc

What does a normal 23 year old do on Friday night??? Give your liver a workout?? Make irresponsible choices involving boys with accents?? Grab some brewskies with your pals??

I ask this because I am so not a normal 23 year old.

What did my Friday consist of???  Gym, then supper, then watching a food documentary, and then blogging about it. This is my life.

I (and Mike) watched a documentary on netflix called Food Inc. It has been on netflix for a while now and I was always tempted yet afraid to watch it.  Basically it is about the food industry in the states, and the unethical treatment of workers, animals, the environment, the market etc etc etc. The reason why I was interested in watching this is I have weird obsession with documentaries, and this one tugged my healthy lifestyle heartstrings. And here is the reasons why I was terrified to watch it.

First of all, I love the idea of organic, natural, local food. I love knowing where my food came from. However, this kind of whole eating isn't completely budget friendly. So I try to find a happy medium of eating local, buying in season stuff, and still saving money. I also read the labels, and most of my stuff does come from basic ingredients.

This documentary basically summed up my concerns of not eating ethically, which I totally knew it would do. And it made me sadface.

I have (had) a pretty sheltered view of what a farm was like. My uncle runs a beef farm, and near my home town is a pretty rural area. I have been to a dairy farm. In my mind, a farm is a place where cows get to have a good cow life and then they go to the big pasture in the sky...and then they end up on our plate. Or they have a good cow life, give us some milk, and stay happy.

Ok, maybe I wasn't quite that naive, but that is the farm that I envision. I don't envision mass farming, I don't envision ammonia and chicken going together. And all this makes me feel icky.

One thing I appreciated about the documentary was that it wasn't against meat. It showed a non factory farmer raising his chickens and then butchering them, it still made me uncomfortable, but it wasn't even close to as bad as seeing some of the meat processing plants. It also talked a lot about soy beans, where 90% of soy beans in the states have been genetically modified. I think people get "ethical eating" confused with being vegetarian, and it so isn't. It is just as hard to find non modified veggie products (especially soy) as it is to find non modified chicken.

That all being said, anyone who has any interest in this kind of thing should definitely watch the documentary, it was really good!

But it does mean that tomorrow, when I go to do my groceries at No Frills, I will be thinking a little bit more about what I put in my cart. And that is going to be hard. I already try to balance healthy products, money, and now ethical food comes in to play. Ugh.. why can't I just not care and eat kraft dinner and frozen burgers. Boo.

I may do a follow up post tomorrow about what I bought this week, and how much my budget was impacted. I'm not going to crazy, but just change a few things. I'll let you know!

Anyone else watch Food Inc, what are your thoughts?? Anyone else wish that healthy, ethical choices were cheaper???

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Smattering of Things-part 2

Whole bunch of random today:

Firstly, I am not in Morocco yet. My bags are still packed, in case I do have to go. Having a weeks worth of clothes packed away and still having lots of clean clothes all this week means I have too many clothes. I think it might be pre spring cleaning time for my closet! 

Secondly, I have decided that I am writing the Professional Engineering Ethics Exam this spring. The ethics exam is something all engineers in training must pass to be come a P. Eng. And you need to have 4 years experience. I figure get the test out of the way, and just wait until the time accumulates.  

That all being said the test is 2 days after my birthday. The joys of having a mid-april birthday is that it is always exam time. I have not had a proper birthday shindig in a while, so I have decided that next year, when Mike and I are both done exams, I am having a GIANT CELEBRATION. You are all invited. Mark your calenders. 

Thirdly, I listened to a CD yesterday. It felt very nostalgic to actually put in a CD into a player, and not just turn on grooveshark like I normally do. The CD was Feist, and she was awesome!

Fourthly, Mike arrived home last night to this:

I have no idea how he got in there, and he managed to get out too. Silly cat.

Fifthly, I just went to body flow, and it was a great class. I can't go to body flow at my normal Thursday time for the next two months because of my ethics exam prep class, but that means I get to bust out a month long pass I have for HOT YOGA!!! In other gym news my body pump instructor is like 8 months pregnant, so that class is going to change soon. Perhaps I will have to completely rearrange my gym schedule. 

Sixly..speaking of the gym, in the gym I go to for body flow, had a poster for Molson Sublime beer in the locker room and it said something like "Count calories, and reps" and then today it said "If you are sick of seeing this poster congrats for sticking to your resolutions". Well played Molson...and now I really want a Sublime beer..curse you advertising!!!

Seventhly..once you get past thirdly, the rest of the numbers seem weird.

TGIF tomorrow! 

Anyone else happy it is Thursday?? Anyone realize they have never "properly" celebrated a birthday with fancy drinks and all??? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Going to the Gym instead of Going to Morocco

I'm not in Morocco.

Work had a change of plans and now I'm not sure when I am going or if I am going at all...my bags are still packed just in case! Also, because I fit all of my stuff in a carry on sized suitcase, and I am afraid if I unpack it, it will never fit in again.

2 tiny bags, one weeks worth of business clothes, and 5 pairs of shoes...I win. 
So what did I do instead of fly around the world yesterday evening????? I went to Zumba. Good alternative. Zumba was a blasty blast and the instructor played 2 of my fav songs back to back. I then came home and watched some "Come Dine With me Canada" before heading to bed, and having weird dreams about going to Morocco. This evening I went to Body Pump right after work and now I am home watching some tv and catching up on reading some blogs.

On Sunday I made the cabbage rolls, in non-roll form (more like a lasagna). It shortened the very long process of making cabbage rolls because I didn't have to worry about perfectly boiling and peeling each leaf. And the best part was it was still delicious :). I made them planning that I would be away, and I am glad I got a chance to eat them!

So here I am cabbage roll casserole eaten, suitcases being unloved in the corner, thinking what else can I do that I wouldn't be doing in Morocco, and obviously blogging about my new years resolutions was the first thing on my mind.

So here is an update on the Fitness/diet goals!
January I tried the Paleo diet. For 1 solid week I followed the diet  solution program. From then on little cheats snuck back in. Some sugar here and there, some carbs here and there. Nothing major, and I consider a "cheat" on not a weekend being a piece of whole wheat toast...because I am crazy.  I am planning on trying this diet again, because the results I had were pretty awesome. And I definitely was not hungry on the diet, just eating copious amounts of veggies! And I am going to try really hard to keep work a No JUNK zone. I did slip on this about 2 weeks into January, and I want to go back to it. It was very empowering to turn down junk food I didn't want/need.

As for the gym/exercise, I have consistently gotten at least 3 hours of exercise a week, on average I got 4 hours a week. I have been way more consistent with the gym, and I am really enjoying it! Don't see that stopping soon!

And as for those 15 pounds..well if I keep doing as well as I did in January with the exercise and diet, I better lose that haha!

So if I ever get to go Morocco, I won't be sticking to any sort of diet or exercise plan, so for now I am trying to be as healthy as possible!!!

How are you doing on your New Years Goals? Anyone else have a suitcase packed with no travel  details?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Morocco on my Mind

Hey all!

So back in the day I talked about my job. I don't really blog a lot about my job, mostly because I do like to maintain some privacy, but some times work mixes with real life, and I have to SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD.

So at work I am working on a project in Morocco, and I got a call on Friday from the Engineering Manager, asking me very casually if "Hey, would you like to go to Morocco on Monday" my response: "SERIOUSLY?" And then of course yes.

So long story short, either on Monday night or Tuesday I (with 2 other people from work) am heading to Morocco!!!

I will be spending most of my time in Casablanca in an office, doing engineering things, but maybe, Maybe, I will get to see some of the culture/city/market etc. It is going to be 18 degrees and sunny the whole week I am there, hopefully I will spend some time outside!

I am very excited, but because it happened so fast, I am totally not going to believe it until I am on the plane!

I spent last night researching Morocco, and learned some interesting things. Mostly that I need to dress very conservatively at all times because it is quite a conservatively muslim country. My young pale girlness draws enough attention in engineering in Canada, let alone in a foreign country! So today I went shopping for more pants (I normally wear a lot of skirts to work) and long sleeve blouses. I love spending money with a purpose!! And now I have a new work wardrobe! I also bought a whole bunch of travel stuff, I love miniature version of things!!

And in honour of my trip, tonight I made a Moroccan inspired meal from a recipe I found on Pinterest, best part was I was planning on making it anyway this week..oooo physic meal planning!

Introducing Moroccan Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Quinoa Tagine (recipe link on the noms page):
Adapted from Here
Since I don't believe in having the right ingredients on hand (apparently) I substituted the harissa for curry paste, and I didn't have tumeric, cilantro (I used dill instead). I added more chili powder since harissa is basically a really spicy curryesque paste. Oh and I didn't have raisins, preserved lemons or olives. After all those changes it was still DELICIOUS! I topped with steamed swiss chard and plain yogurt.

And I'm off to PACK MY BAGS :D!

Have a good week everyone!!!

Anyone else get a passport renewed just in time??? Anyone else have exciting news??