Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Fitness #Win!

#iWill turned into #iDID!

Early in May I re-started a fitness plan of HIIT (high intensity interval training) style YouTube videos and promised myself I’d stay on track and complete this 30-day challenge.

I had a few instances where I had to use my rest days to complete workouts, and I even did two in one day to stay on track once! But… I DID IT! 25 workouts in 30 days. Some were harder than others but I’m so happy I got my sweat on for all of them!

I had to do a Fit Test at the beginning and at the end. Here are my results:

IMG_2422Excuse the ripped page. Toddler hands.

But as you can see… I crushed it! Very proud of myself. All the exercises were done for a duration of 50 seconds of work, with 10 seconds of rest in between. I have noticed changes all over my body. Most notably in my upper body. My lower body has gained agility and endurance. I’m going to try to keep that up with running.

IMG_2406Look! Is that an actual butt in the making? Hooray for squats!

I do have a dilemma now, however. How am I going to stay motivated to keep working out now that my challenge is over? I can’t go to the gym, so it has to be an at-home program with limited to no equipment required. Any thoughts are MORE than appreciated!

 

 

Indulgent Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are my absolute favourite thing to have for breakfast. I try to make them for my family once a week for a nice treat. I have tried a few different recipes over the years but I’ve recently found one that works for me.

I think everyone has seen some form of protein pancakes somewhere on the internet. The most simplistic one I’ve used is a mashed banana, protein powder and an egg. They get the job done but they’re not quite as tasty or ‘treat-like’ as I’m used to.

So, I decided to combine my current pancake recipe with the added benefits of a full serving of protein powder! Best of both worlds! The recipe makes about ten 1/4 cup scoop pancakes and they have three times the protein as my regular recipe. Awesome!… So awesome I’ve had them two mornings in a row! Oops.

Protein Powder Pancakes (Adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen):

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  • 1/4 cup (one full scoop) of your favourite protein powder – I use Progressive Harmonized Vegan
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (grind up your favourite oatmeal!)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup non-dairy (or dairy… whatever) milk – I usually use 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water to save on ingredient costs… that stuff isn’t cheap!
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Start by combining the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Start heating your frying pan on a medium heat. I add my coconut oil to the pan and let it melt in there (it coats the pan at the same time).

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Measure out your milk and add the lemon juice to it. It will kind of curdle a little and will help to activate the baking powder. Add it to the dry ingredients, along with the vanilla, egg and honey.

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Your coconut oil will be melted by now, so pour it out of the frying pan (BE CAREFUL!) and into your batter.

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Mix will and let stand for a few minutes while the pan gets nice and hot. The batter will thicken as it stands, so you can decide if you need to thin it out with some more milk or water.

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I use a 1/4 cup measure to pour the pancakes. When they get nice and bubbly and matte on top, it’s time to flip!

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Enjoy with extra coconut oil, fruit, or my favourite, 100% pure maple syrup!

photo 2-1Don’t forget to lick the plate… 🙂

You could omit the honey, if you want to save a few grams of sugar. I add it so that my pancakes will brown on the outside. If you leave out the sugar, yours will be a little pale. That’s normal. You can also leave out the salt if you’re trying to avoid it. I always add it to my baking!

What’s your favourite special breakfast?

Healthier Oatmeal Cookies

This week has turned out to be so busy! Monday was pretty normal, as was Tuesday. But on Wednesday, we crammed in enough activities to make up for that! In the morning, we had a messy playdate organized by my friend who has two littles. The kids got to paint a big canvas with ‘worms’ (spaghetti covered in acrylic paint), catch bugs in nets, and decorate their own caterpillar. It was great! Little B would still rather be on his own, doing his own thing, not getting messy at all. He must take after his mum.

Then we went home, did a quick change into our ‘farm clothes’ and grabbed some snacks. There were some hours available at the farm and we thought we’d better take advantage!

After a couple of hours we returned home, scrubbed off in the tub (another grungy ring to clean) and threw together some batter for a Deep Dish Cookie Pie. I didn’t even have time to bake it before we had to leave for dinner at the same friend’s house we were at earlier (I baked it when we got there).

On Thursday we had another playdate at the library. We hung out there for a bit, had some snacks and then I took Braeden down in the stroller to grab some groceries at the store before driving back home. It was so hot!

Today there are more hours to work at the farm so that’s where we’ll be!

Here is a cookie recipe that I made last week when I had a sweet craving:

Healthy Honey Oatmeal Cookies: From food.com

photo 1After gathering all my supplies, I mixed together the wet ingredients. I only used one 1/4 cup of brown sugar instead of one 1/2 cup. I knew that if these were going to be devoured in an instant, I needed all the help I could get.

photo 2Then I added the dry ingredients. I’m a bad baker sometimes and I don’t sift my stuff together before I dump it in. I do try to shake it evenly over the top so I don’t get clumps of salt anywhere! I must say, I’ve never had a problem with that happening. Also, I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, just because I love that flavour in an oatmeal cookie!

photo 3I used a tablespoon to measure the cookies out onto the pan.

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I baked them for 15 minutes but they were a touch overdone. I usually bake them a few extra minutes because my oven runs cool but I think I got sidetracked this time.

photo 5But they definitely hit the spot! These could be made vegan by using egg replacer (flax, chia, NRG Egg Replacer) and maple syrup instead of honey.

What is your favourite healthy-ish treat?

 

 

 

 

I Worked Out Today… At the Gym!

As I have mentioned in a previous post, we have a bit of a home gym going on at our house. Sure, we could use a few more items to make it even better but for right now, it gets the job done. I like being able to do a quick HIIT workout without having to worry about whether or not Chris is at work and if there’s someone to watch B. Because let’s be real, if Chris is gone, I don’t have ANYONE who can watch B for me while I run to the gym to work out.

It had been a few days since my last work out (forgive me, for I have sinned). I had the chance to actually leave the house to work out, so I took off running! I used the mini-gym (like a studio, with hardwood floors and a storage room with lots of training goodies like weights and BOSUs) and did a few different HIIT workouts from YouTube. It was fantastic!

I did have a faux-pas moment in the locker room however. I weighed myself. FIVE pounds more than the last time I weighed myself. Ouch! How did I not notice this?

Anyway, I’m going to try not to let it bother me. I’m going to focus on eating a little better (like in my new goals for this month!), and trying to be more consistent with working out, even if no one is home to watch little B. I think I’m going to print out the 30-day challenge from bodyrock.tv and try it out! I have a couple of weddings this summer and I want to be looking fab for the parties!

Speaking of little B… he took a tumble today down the back steps while we were all outside. He looks pretty rough but I’m sure tomorrow he’ll be looking a little less red. Poor little bugger. He’s tough though, and took it like a champ!

 

Last Minute Trip Prep!

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We are leaving for the Rockies tomorrow morning! I’m so excited to see the mountains and beautiful landscapes and explore the town of Jasper. We are staying at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for the 2013 Alberta Library Conference.

Today, I made a big batch of quinoa bean salad (Quinoa 365) to pack for myself. I had made a big jar of ready-to-go oatmeal (just add water!) yesterday… but I already sampled some so I’ll have to re-fill the jar. Good news. It’s delicious! I’m also going to make some chocolate macaroon cookie balls before bed to bring as well. If I make them any sooner I’ll just end up snacking on them!

I’m currently washing B’s diapers so they’ll be all clean and ready to go. I will have one more small load of laundry to do once I get home from the arena. I’ve been spending some time at the rink again, working on my next level of coaching certification. I was going to bring my workbook with me, but I’ve actually completed a lot of it so I feel comfortable leaving it at home. It will be here waiting for me when I get back!

I did a quick HIIT workout last night. It was great, except when I was done, my knees felt ‘twinge-y’ again. I think it was a combination of the tuck jumps I was doing along with spending a couple of hours on my skates on Monday. I think today I’ll just do a few yoga stretches in preparation for the long drive tomorrow.

Eep! Can’t wait. Where is your favourite road-trip destination?

Yummy Oats & Workouts

So, I saw this pin the other day. I LOVE oatmeal. I also LOVE tea. And then I saw this recipe from A Dash of Meg for tea infused french toast with blueberry sauce and I thought, “Ok. This is definitely a sign!”

My mum had sent me some bags of chai tea in the mail a little while ago and I haven’t had much of an opportunity to use any yet. I am at the mommy-hood stage where I might get 5 minutes to steep a cup of tea, but it will undoubtedly sit on the counter and become stone-cold before I remember that I made it to begin with.

Anyway, I used one cup of water, one half cup of soymilk and one chai tea bag. I steeped it in a pot with the lid on for 5-10 minutes and then added a heaping half cup of rolled oats. I cooked it up and then added a bit of brown sugar, some coconut oil, a small dash of salt and a few frozen raspberries.

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Verdict? The chai flavour was subtle and tasted amazing with the coconut oil. It was creamy and sweet with a touch of tanginess from the raspberries. I will definitely make this again!

I haven’t been to the gym since returning from New Brunswick; but don’t worry! I have been getting my HIIT workouts in! We moved the workout stuff down to the living room, where the is enough room to use the skipping rope. I love being able to get a little sweat on and not have to drive to the gym and back. I will see how I feel about running outside, because I really only use the gym for the cardio equipment and the free weights. One day we hope to have our own little set of free weights or kettlebells. But the gym membership fee is so small we don’t really worry about how often we go. That will change if my husband decides to find another career, however!

Thanks to Meg for the inspiration to try my yummy breakfast dish this morning! How do you like your tea?

Eating Well While Eating Out – My Vacation Struggle

So we’re still in New Brunswick, visiting with my family. My mum and dad both work during the day, so I’m at home in the morning with my son and we usually venture out to town after noon to visit Nan at work (and bring her a coffee!) and do some running around town. I always make something to eat for breakfast and try to have something for lunch before we hit the road but I end up making less than favourable food choices once I leave the house.

I think it’s half ‘vacation-mode’ mentality and half nostalgia. I have been working out while I’ve been here, so exercise is not a problem. I mean well, and last night I made my Sweet Potato Quinoa soup for my family and sprinkled some hemp hearts on top for some extra goodness. BUT, if my mum asks me if I want Chinese food from the restaurant down the street, do you think I’m going to say no? I can’t decide which would have been worse… The Chinese, or the deep fried chicken that was option #2…

I think the fact that where we live in Alberta is totally devoid of ANYWHERE decent to eat out puts me at a disadvantage because when I come home, I just want to EAT EVERYWHERE (I have this syndrome when I go back to Toronto as well… in the form of sushi. It can very well make you fat if you eat as much of it as I do!!). I want the bakery sweets, the quarter chicken dinners, the burgers, the fish & chips…

I guess I’m not saying deprive yourself of the tasty dishes of yester-year. What I am saying is, when your mother orders you a Daily Special from the Chinese place, don’t feel like you have to eat every single grain of fried rice on your plate! Oy, my tummy. We will have a lighter day tomorrow to recover!

Do you have a dish that you end up over-indulging on? Is it because it brings back fond memories, or that it’s just too delicious? Or both?