Let the weekend begin

Hey friends, it’s been a great couple of days! Last night was my friend Conor’s birthday. It was a fun time! We celebrated with about 10 of us at boston pizza. The restaurant is a great socializing spot but I’m not the biggest fan of their food, I opted for a simple chicken flat bread which I packed half of it up for my lunch today! 🙂 I try to do this always when going out for dinner – cost effective AND healthier!

IMG_3980.JPG And today has been a productive day at work where I got the chance to work with some special kids all day and teach them the importance of being active! Wow I love my job. however TGIF!!! 🙂

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My workout was a leg and calf day of the Jamie Eason program, I loved it! It was a simple and effective leg workout.

IMG_3972.PNG I love my morning workouts 🙂 I also included a steady 45 min cardio session on the elliptical.

IMG_3985.JPG My weekend begins now! I’ll be heading to another friends birthday tonight. I will keep in touch! Xoxo

Things I’m Loving Monday 5

I thought I’d firstly update you on the happenings of the rest of my weekend! Culture days happened at our local rec centre. The event ran 2-6 on Saturday and included some amazing performances and music originating from all parts of the world, including a lot of Native American dances and songs (as we are in Canada!) It was all great! There were also a number of appetizers and finger foods out and it was a free for all!

FREE FOOD? Im there.

Unfortunately the event called for no photography, so I wasn’t able to capture the event for you all to get a little glance. But trust me when I say it was good entertainment!

Saturday night called for a movie night in and Sunday was good enough weather to get a nice long hike/walk in with Tanner and a couple of my gal friends. It’s funny how just walking through nature is sooo stress relieving. It tends to make me feel as though my problems are a lot less problematic than what they are laid out to be in my head.

I also got a little shopping in and purchased some new fall boots!

You can check them out here

Oh oh oh, and I did a wicked abs routine on Sunday that you should all give a try as well:

I like to call it, FAB ABS

fall boots fababs

Now let me tell you about my Things I’m Loving this week

  • Tim Horton’s pumpkin spice tea

pumpkin spice

It’s baaaack! Every fall I get über excited about the fact that Timmie’s starts to carry this tea again. Needless to say, I went out and bought a package of it. It’ll probably be gone in a matter of a week so I know I’ll be stocking up before it runs out!

  • Homecoming and spirit

hoco 2012

I am sooo sad to have missed my McMaster University homecoming this year. I will always ‘bleed maroon’ and be a spirited alumni! Some of the best times of my life (thus far) were through out university.

  • Gone Girl

gone girl

I haven’t yet finished this book, but I’m about 3/4 the way through, and I got through that much in out 3 days… It is VERY good and captivating. I really wanted to read it before the movie comes out, I think it’s set to come out in North America this weekend, so time’s a tickin’!

  • All of my favourite Fall shows

big bang how-to-get-away-with-murder-poster forever poster

Where do I begin? Gotham, Forever. New Girl, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and How to get Away with Murder have all started up and GOSH are they all ever good! I highly recommend giving all of these shows a watch, but forewarn you it maaaaay take up a lot of your free time! There’s also Grey’s Anatomy and The Voice (I’m a sucker for reality TV gah!) The list seems to be never ending!

  • Baked goods from friends

homemade banana oatmeal cookie

Yuuuuum! I happened to receive this yummy treat from my friend at work today this morning. It definitely set myself up for a happy day. It’s banana oatmeal chocolate chip! She knows the way to my heart.

What have you been loving this week? Any food/movie/book recommendations?!

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

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??

Things I’m Loving Monday 3

Sooo last night was a quiet night in with some friends. It was a good Sunday night! We watched the comedy ‘Hit and Run’ with Bradley Cooper!

hit-and-run-poster-2

It was funny, but not as good as I was hoping. We also shared some popcorn yummy 🙂

Work has settled down (so far) this week. No crises of any sort at the schools I work at and we spent our lunch hour playing music and handing out Tim Horton’s smile cookies in the highschool foyer as a little kindness initiative! It was fun and great to see a lot of the kids happy who have been having a tough time!

Now to my Things I’m Loving segment..

  • cheecha puffs

cheecha
These tasty guys are only 70 calories per 2 cups and gluten free! I saw them in my local grocery store and had to give them a try, so glad I did!

  • TABATA workouts!

For those of you unfamiliar with tabata, it’s like another version of Hight Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You really get a lot of bang for your buck because you’re exerting crazy amounts of energy mixed with short breaks.
Prepare for a sweaty cardio session!

  • My new donezo office

new officeCheck itout! I’m loving the blue and yellow, it brings some light into my life on those dreary days.

FOOD TODAY

Breaky was a quick and usual one… Into the blender went a banana, milk, greek yogurt, creamy peanut butter and a little chocolate syrup 🙂

pb  choco smoothiebottoms up!

I was pretty hungry later on and then snacked on an apple 🙂

Lunch time was also another super quick one because I had a lot to do at the schools and had a short lunch hour, so I went across the street to the grocery store and grabbed myself a premade chicken spring salad! Then I had some carrots and hummus on the side.

yumma

I didn’t make it to the gym this morning because for some reason I was soooo tired. It was one of those sleeps where you have super vivid dreams and when you wake up you’re majorly groggy! Know what I mean?
Needless to say as soon as the alarm went off I pressed snooze….

Which lead me to a 5 mile run after work with Tanner 🙂 So it ended up being okay because the weather today was unbelievable and sunny!

My tummy was grumbling when I got in and I made myself up a little plate of things that were in my fridge..

Pretty random but those snacks usually are the best.

random snackHummus, carrots, cheeyuh puffs, there’s some pickles in there… oh and 1 random BBQ chip?

HAVE A GOOD ONE 🙂

Breakfast obsession

Saturday morning has arrived!

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

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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!

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Carbs carbs carbs I need carbs in the morning.

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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!

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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!!