Great start to the weekend!

I’ve finally pretty much overcome my cold and stuffiness that I’ve been experiencing this past week. Which made for a very long week at work to say the least. I don’t think it helped much that I also had a lot of presentations to do for a number of health and social classes in the high school!

Talking non-stop + sore throat = not great/one manly sounding Jamie!

But luckily, yesterday after work I got a fabulous bicep and back workout in AND managed a great 5 mile run. I managed to reach over 8 km in 40 minutes which is an amazing time for me! Not  too bad, not too bad 🙂

I’m here to post my faaaabulous bi and back work out for you all to have a try with:

bi and back

Clearly the weights I used are not specified, it’s meant to tailor to whatever level you are at right now. However, I typically use 10 pound free weights for myself and between 20-40 pounds when using the machines. I ain’t the strongest gal in the world (yet) but I’m working on it!

After the gym and shower, I headed home and quickly whipped up a little something to eat before heading to my friends place. For dinner was a spinach and arugula salad with roasted mushroom, tomato and brown rice in a Thai dressing.

salad

Then it was time for a night out (in!) with some great friends. We stayed in with drinks and played some hilarious board games. I brought Tanner with me and he was reunited with his best doggy friend that he hasn’t seen in a while!

bestdogs

The nights that I spend IN with my friends are usually my favourite. You reallyyy come to appreciate each other’s company a lot more.

My absolute favourite game that we played was one that I’m totally excited to share with you guys.. It’s called QUELF!

quelf1

I had never heard of this game before last night and am soo happy they introduced it to me!!

It gives a whole new meaning to the word RANDOM. It’s filled with hilarious trivia, ridiculous stunts you have to do (for example I had to go 3 rounds using NO hands whatsoever, others had to mime, rap a crazy poem, etc), other outrageous rules, costume creations, and other nutty stunts like balancing acts and turning yourself into a toilet paper mummy!! I seriously recommend this game to everyone and it will guarantee you a night full of laughs!

Today I’m shortly heading to the gym and then going out to culture days festival in town! Can’t wait!

I will catch up with you all soon!

Beating treadmill boredom

So I got to sleep in an hour later today, lucky me!

Today’s smoothie..
protein pumpkin peanut butter goodness!

ingredients
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder (I always use harmonized vegan vanilla protein powder)
5 cubes of ice
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup water
2 drops of liquid stevia sweetener
and then I always add in some quick oats in the end, I love the consistency it makes!

Combine into a blender and voila, enjoy my friends 🙂

Unfortunately I was on the go go go and could not stop to take a picture, but I’m sure you’re familiar with what this type of smoothie might have looked like! Autumn orange!

Workout

Treadmill HIIT workout for today, since the weather is less than desirable outside!

We all know that treadmill workouts can be daunting to say the least. I found myself dreading the task before heading to the gym this morning, so i order to make it a little more interesting, I devised a solid workout with a lot of speed work to keep my motivation up!

It kept my mind and body entertained and made it go by a lot faster 🙂

Here it is for all you lovelies to give a try:

hiit treadmill

Things I’m Loving “Monday” 4 (Tuesday)

Hey all!

It’s been a hectic past few days and weekend, so I didn’t have time to post my things I’m loving segment yesterday, but here it is!

First of all a recap of my last few days – it was a gorgeous weekend with amazing weather! I got a chance to go to the beach, hang out with friends, family biking, and had new pet visits with my friends brand new kittens (so cute!) Yesterday was a crazy looooong day at work. Meetings after meetings pretty much, and my sickness (talkin’ an elephant standing on my head) did not help whatsoever. Then my night consisted of lesson plans for my wellness programming in the school board. WOW! But not I am feeling a bit more organized and relieved.

I can also take this time to share with you my favourite workout of the weekend! 6x6Workout_thumb

This is again thanks to the wonderful PBFINGERS blog! If you take a look under her workouts tab there are plenty of routines that are good to give a try. I like this one because you can challenge yourself and get what you put into it. The hardest part for me was actually the push ups, I need to work on those!

Now let’ s get to the things I’m loving…. 🙂

  • Catching up with old friends and laughing your toosh off

Who doesn’t love this?? By random chance, my elementary school best friend messaged me on Facebook and it turned into a conversation with another one of my old friends, Laura, this went on for over an hour and we just reminisced together over old times and traveled down memory lane. It was actually the best timing too because I was having a rough day. It’s crazy how reaffirming connections and your relationships with others can re-instill your feeling of purpose and love in your life! If you’re ever having a rough day just give an old friend, new friend, family member a call! It will make a HUGE difference.

  • Free stuff!

I am the Queen of free things. I love free stuff. But I especially love free things that actually will bring purpose into my life. My work team had a community showcase over the weekend where I was able to collect multiple wellness tools that I will use! I’m talkin water bottles, snacks, vegan soap, new agenda, and there were also a number of free draws to enter! Fun stuff!

  • The fact that the PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE IS BACK! 🙂

psl2

I do not even need to explain nor justify my happiness for this… Pumpkin everyday!

psl

  • Baby kittens!

  • photo 2

These are the cute kittens my friend just got! They have yet to be named. They’re sister kittens, anyone have name ideas?

  • Cauliflower crust pizza recipe

Pizza in general is amazing, we all know that. But putting a healthy spin on it is always good and makes us feel better about the indulgence. I found this recipe which actually wasn’t too difficult and turned out so deliciously! The hardest part I found was actually grating the cauliflower. If you have a good blender (which unfortunately I don’t) it would make it much easier I’m sure!

photo 1

Ingredients:
1 cup raw, grated (or chopped in food processor) cauliflower*
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
(may add other Italian spices as desired–such as dried or fresh basil)
Any other desired toppings

Directions

Makes 4, 1-slice servings. Can be doubled for a larger pizza

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or use parchment paper. (Optional: Use coconut oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before laying dough onto baking surface. Increases calories but I like health benefits of coconut oil. Some in this forum may not appreciate using this oil.)

In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg, mozzarella and all desired spices. Press evenly on baking pan or pizza stone.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (up to 20 minutes if you double the recipe). You may turn over once if desired.

Remove the pan from the oven. To the crust, add sauce, then toppings and cheese. (Get creative and top with chopped apples and cheese or your own combinations of whatever you like on a pizza. Some examples to choose from are jack cheese, onion, fresh or dried tomatoes, artichokes, shredded/cooked chicken, turkey pepperoni, pineapple, mushrooms, marinara sauce, bell peppers, whatever peppers you like, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil…your imagination is the limit.)

Place under broiler, on high heat, until cheese is melted.

Reheats nicely and can still be held in the hand, even the next day. (If you don’t press “dough” too thin, make small rounds and add enough egg to hold together.)

Pizza crusts can be frozen after the initial baking and used later.

*If using frozen cauliflower, prepare according to package directions. After cooked and slightly cooled, shred cauliflower with a cheese grater, (or grater blade on food processor) and then measure for the recipe. (An “unpacked/loose” cup.) Be sure to drain WELL.

Guestimate~Approximately 2 1/4 cups of 1″ cauliflower would grate into one cup of grated (or riced) cauliflower.

For lower calories, substitute two egg whites for whole egg and low or no fat mozzarella cheese.

Don’t spread this too thin or it will fall apart; if it’s too thick, it’s doughy in the middle.

4 Ingredient cookie

So I’m in the middle of my day at work right now, having a little bit of a break.

In the high school we are working on a kindness campaign to spread as much joy and happiness in the community and amongst the schools as possible. A part of this campaign is baking up a storm in the school’s kitchen with the junior high students and dispersing them amongst the classrooms with positive messages.

One particular baked good that we made turned out being one of my new favourites. And it’s SO simple to boot. It’s a 4-ingredient cookie (my kinda cookie!) So I thought I’d share the recipe. You likely have these ingredients in your cupboard already so don’t be afraid to go home and give these cookies a whirl, they’re good for sharing (and to consume on your own hehehe) Plus you shouldn’t feel guilty having a couple of these because they are uber clean and healthy. Perfect combination I’d say!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 4 tablespoons of peanut butter (I prefer all natural)
  • 1 tablespoon egg whites

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended together, use the mixture to form round cookie balls and place on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes
  • Let cool for 10 minutes or so
  • Eat them up! Or hide them away so they don’t magically disappear from family, friends, roommates..

Keep in mind you can also add anything else to the mix! Nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, it’s all up to you and your taste buds!

Yes, they are as good as they look.
Yes, they are as good as they look.

Protein pancakes & Work it out Wednesday!

I don’t normally have pancakes in the morning.. but when I do, I make sure that they are the most epic and delicious pancakes EVER. Which brings me to my recipe today…

I got this recipe from an old friend from highschool and uni!! Thanks Parisa!

 Protein Pancakes
Ingredients (for 3 pancakes):

proteinnnn

½ cup of rolled oats
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
½ a banana
1 tsp coconut flour  (optional, but adds fluffiness)
1tsp of stevia (or sweetener of choice- keep it natural)
3 egg whites
1 tsp hemp seeds (optional)
1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
cinnamon (optional)
almond butter
fruit and walnuts for garnish (optional)
coconut oil
Directions:
Combine the protein powder, oats, coconut flour, seeds, stevia and cinnamon
Mush half the banana and mix with the egg whites
Mix the wet mix with the dry mix until you have a desired pancake consistency- you may need to add a little bit of water if the mix isn’t smooth enough

fryin' them up!
fryin’ them up!

Heat the skillet, and cook the pancakes in coconut oil for about 2 minutes on each side (until golden brown)
Next is the fun part – add your favourite toppings to garnish the pancakes
I used almond butter to replace syrup, the other half of my banana, some blueberries and walnuts. I also sprinkled some cinnamon and try to add it to as many recipes I can because it’s a natural fat burner and makes any dish smell and taste delicious! These pancakes are the perfect breakfast to have after a workout, or even before because they will give you a ton of energy. I have tried a few powders, and so far I like Power Whey the best. You can buy it at any supplement store such as Popeye’s or GNC for approximately $40 for 908 grams which will last you a long time, especially if you use it only for baking and cooking. If you are sensitive to whey protein powder, there are other options (vegan powders) that you can use instead.  These pancakes are PACKED with nutrients, leave you full and I promise your taste buds will thank you, so give these bad boys a try! 🙂

Yes I ate them all :)

WORKOUT

This morning I worked out before heading to school for work.
Here was my routine:

work it out wedneday

It was a good and sweaty session! On top of this, I also did 35 minutes on the elliptical. After work today I also upped my cardio by going on a nice speed walk with my doggy Tanner! Gotta enjoy this nice weather while it’s here! 🙂

How did you spend your ‘work it out’ wednesday??

Fires and fun

Yesterday’s lunch consisted of spaghetti squash ‘pasta’, yum yum was that ever good. I just wish this squash was easier to prepare. I mean, it is relatively easy but I like things to be realllll simple, especially when it comes to cooking for just myself.

spaghetti-squash-veggie-casserole-2

But it DOES look good right?
You half the squash, bake it at 375 for 40 minutes, scoop out the insides (noodles) and then mix in your veggies, sauce, whatever you’d like. I added cheese on top too ofcourse. 🙂

Later on, my friends and I had a big bonfire on hole 9 of the golf course just outside of town. Our friend happens to own the place, so it was completely legal don’t worry! It was a well spent night…

fiaaa

This morning’s breakfast was another oatmeal creation! You probably aren’t surprised by this. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it, forgive me, but it wasn’t overly complicated and I’m sure you can imagine what it might look like. I combine banana, PB and cocoa powder in a blender with some vanilla yogurt and ice and mixed this into my oatmeal. YUM

I also forgot to take my daily dose of vitamins yesterday. D’oh! I tend to really notice when my body doesn’t get enough hydration nor the vitamins that I usually take to get me through the day.

vitamin daily

This is what I normally take…

B-complex. Vitamin D, fish oils, calcium magnesium, women’s multi-vitamin, and there’s an advil there as well in order to keep any inflammation in my knee down.

Being a runner, I’ve started making sure to take my calcium magnesium because it’s so vital in healthy bones and joints. It’s better to be preventative rather than too late, right!?

Workout

Today’s workout:

20 minute elliptical warm up

ABS, this routine got my heart pumpin’ and abs burnin’!

go through these moves non-stop without a break and then rest, repeat 3 times through.

45 second plank
15 superman
12 woodchops (then did other side)
15 stability ball legs to arms pass
12 stability ball lower ab tuck ins
30 second mountain climber
10 burpees

TADAH!

If you give it a go you’ll be feeling great afterwards trust me 🙂

I finished up my workout with a 25 minute run/walk outside, I am still trying to take it easy because of my knee.

outdoorsy

Ah I love the outdoors!

Now I am going out to meet up with a pal, chat soon. 🙂

me out

Breakfast obsession

Saturday morning has arrived!

My morning routine thus far has consisted of a walk with tanner.

IMG_3903.JPG

He was happy by the end of it, I’m sure you can tell 😊

Then came my favourite meal.. Breakfast time!! I’ve come to realize the reality of my obsession with breakfast… I know a lot of people have it as their favourite meal but I honestly think I could live off breakfast everyday every meal! It may have to do with the high carb contents of my breakfasts, but healthy complex carbs ofcourse! That’s what powers me through my days.

The combination of peanut butter and pumpkin might sound a little strange but I thought I would give it a try this morning, and I’m so glad I did!

I put 1/3 cup pumpkin purée, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, a little
Almond milk, stevia into a blender and blend until smooth.
Then in a bowl I combined 1/3 cup of quick oats with 1/3 cup of wheat puffs.
I poured the blend over the oats and puffs and topped with some nuts and voila!

IMG_3926.JPG
Carbs carbs carbs I need carbs in the morning.

IMG_3923.JPG
They make me happy and taste delicious 😍

This will give me the energy I need for my workout later on ( I’ll keep you updated on that!)

On a side note, I also tried making pumpkin spice and cinnamon roasted chickpeas yesterday! I recommend it, it’s very simple!

IMG_3924.JPG
Just pop these suckers on a baking sheet in an oven at 375 for 30 minutes after sprinkling them with cinnamon and pumpkin spice 🙂

Have you noticed I’ve been pumpkin cray cray lately?
Can you blame me though?

Happy eatin’!

Friday morning smoothie and workout

Ahhhh I have a few spare minutes this morning so I thought I’d share with you my early morning workout today!

It consisted of:

40 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill. It looked like this routine below:

Min.              Speed                Incline

0-2               2-3                     1
1-3                 6                      1
3-4                6.5                    1
4-5                7                       2
6-7               7.5                     2
7-9                8                       1
9-11              6.7                    1
11-15            6.5                    2
15-16            8                      1
16-17            9                      1
17-20            6.3                   2
20-22            6.6                   1
22-24            6.8                   1
24-25            7.5                   1
25-26            8.5                   1
26-28            6.5                   2
28-30            6.7                   2
30-32            7.5                   1
32-33            8                      1
33-35            6.7                   1
35-38            6.5                   1
38-40            6                      1

I loves me a good HIIT workout, it gets your heart pumpin’ so good and you always feel like you worked hard afterward. It’s especially nice for me in the morning because I always feel like I start on the right foot.

I then took it fairly easy. I did some pilates core work consisting of planks and stability ball work. Then I stretched it out.

smoothie

My smoothie today is a weird concoction. I am in need of upping my veggie intake so I used some of the Progressive vegan vegegreens powder in blueberry medley flavour, then mixed in half a banana, ice, 1/2 cup almond milk, stevia, cinnamon and 1/3 cup oats.

veggiegreens

It’s actually fairly good tasting! And nearly 8 servings of vegetables in it! Talk about SUPERFOOD

Sounds interesting to say the least. It was pretty good, but I still prefer my all time favourite PB and banana smoothies in the morning 🙂

handful of almonds

I also had a handful of almonds because I was starving after hitting the gym this morning. BAH!

What is your favourite breakfast smoothie?? I need new recipes to try!

Pumpkin spice smoothie and cardio circuit day!

My day consisted of some of my regular fitness regime, I got up and went to the gym in town around 5:50 and did a circuit, mixing 15 minute cardio, followed by strength focusing on core and upper body, then I repeated this 3 times.

AKA = 15 minute cardio, core, 15 minute cardio, upper body, 15 minute cardio, tadah!
My cardio was the elliptical today.
My knee isn’t fully recovered so I’m not looking to risk it. Better to be safe than sorry!

Anddddd

Since Summer time is slowly coming to an end and fall is quickly approaching that can only mean 1 special thing… PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!!
Pumpkin is one of my all time favourite flavours, pumpkin pie.. pumpkin lattes… pumpkin scents… cookies… chilli… you name it, I love it in it’s pumpkin version!!!

So in honour of this wonderful season, I decided to whip up a morning smoothie using my can of pumpkin puree in my fridge.

It was a little bit of an on-the-whim smoothie, but man oh man, did it ever turn out D-LICIOUS!!!

pumpkin spice 2
Does it look good or does it look good??

pumpkin spice

Spice on pumpkin spice!

This is what I did…

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup of ice cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
generous amount of pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons of plain oatmeal to thicken it up a bit
stevia (or any other sweetener) to taste, I used 2 tablespoons

Put all of that into a blender and blend away! Soooooo good. I could eat that every morning. I just might actually….

On another note, this got me thinking of what other things I have to look forward to for Fall:
New shows! So many seasons start up at this time!
Changing leaves
Scarves
Mittens
Riding boots (overall fall fashion in general)
Thanksgiving
Fall scents for candles and lotions, Bath and Body works comes out with some unreal ones at this time! pumpkin apple spice, hello!
Autumn walks along trails
The brisk feeling in the air in the morning
Wow, I could go on and on…

Tell me what some of the things that you are looking forward to are!!

Things I’m loving Sunday/Monday

It’s been a long week and weekend! We pretty much got the last of our Canadian summer weather this weekend. It’s already claiming to go down to 6 degrees this week… 😦 I can’t believe it came and went so fast! Ah well, all a part of living in this beautiful country.

My running has stayed at the same level. I’ve stuck with short runs (20 minutes) mixed in with cross-training, mainly cardiovascular work on the elliptical machine which still gets my HR up as well as a lot more pilates and core building work which will benefit me big time when I get back into my regular running routine! I’m used to running outside, which passes the time much quicker in comparison to doing cardio in the gym….
I feel like I’m constantly watching the clock. tick tock tick tock.
However, there are ways I’ve made the time go by a littleeee bit faster, utilizing some great HIIT elliptical workouts. I’ll share with you my favourite one this week:

elliptical-interval-workout

I got this one from the blog pbfingers.com – I always check her blog out, it’s really entertaining and has a lot of good recipes and workouts!! And this workout certainly kicked my butt!!! You can also adjust the resistance according to your fitness levels so that it works best for you. But I actually felt great after this one.

Now I’ll get to my things I’m loving Monday (or late Sunday for some) segment!!! Here we go…

  • Hiking Days

hikingday2hikingday3 hikingday4hikingday1

I made the most of this warm weather this weekend because I knew it would probably be the last time it would reach 24 degrees and sunny here for a while. So Tanner and I headed out to the trans Canada trail and went for a nice long hike. You can tell the leaves are already beginning to change colour (AHHHH!) However, I’ll say it does look beautiful.

  • Cheshire cat mug

cheshire cat1cheshire cat2

My good girlfriend gave this to me, it’s probably one of my new favourite mugs. A huge reason being because I am a Disney fanatic! Anything Disney I usually fall instantly invlove with. This mug is amazing because when it’s hot, the cheshire cat DISAPPEARS and you see only his smile!!! And when cool, he reappears! How amazing is that?!

  • Let’s Be Cops

let's be cops

I saw this movie on Saturday night with some friends. If you’ve ever watched the show ‘New Girl’, the main characters in this movie are actually also 2 of the main male roles in that show. I didn’t really know what to expect going into this movie, and the ratings weren’t all that great. But man oh man, I laughed sooo hard from beginning to end! Seriously hilarious. I recommend everyone go see it (but not so much for little ones)

  • Crockpot Texan chili recipe

texas chili

I had lean ground turkey in the freezer and really wanted to utilize my slow cooker in some way. And I loves me some chili!! It’s also a yummy choice, especially when it’s healthy (like this recipe).
I love crockpot recipes because they are the easiest things ever, literally just dump everything into it and let it sit for 6-8 hours.

Yields:  8|
Ingredients
• 2 pounds lean ground turkey, cubed
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 onion, minced
• 1-2 jalapeño peppers, minced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 3 tablespoons Ancho chili powder
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
• 1 can chili seasoned tomatoes
• 1 can mixed beans
• 1 can corn kernels
• Chopped green onions and fat-free Greek yogurt for topping

Directions
Put everything into a slow cooker. Make sure the ground turkey is covered by the mixture and leave in the slow-cooker for 6-8 hours!

Let me know how you enjoyed your weekend!