Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years

I made this soup yesterday and it is uhhhmazing! It's hearty, sweet, salty, delicious. I got the recipe from Oxygen magazine, and though I didn't follow any of the directions, it turned out great!

Curry Peanut Soup With Shrimp
I added double the veg and substituted tamari for regular soy sauce

  •  2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 cups shrimp, cleaned (I just used frozen)
  • 32 oz of veg stock
  • 1 can of rinsed and drained chick peas
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter (I used about 5 hehehe)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
Directions: I boiled the onion and sweet potato in the tamari with a 1/2 cup of water. I did this for about 2  minutes and then I tossed everything else in. I whisked together 1/3 cup of water with the peanut butter and then tossed that in too. I left it uncovered and then cooked it for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots were at the perfect softness.

Now, since it's New Years, I figure I better post my resolutions. I usually forget what they are, but since they're now going to be on my blog, there's no excuse to forget. I have five this year, some big, some small.

1) Become a personal trainer and get out of my current job

This is something that I have been wanting to do forever but never thought I could do. I told myself that no one would take advice from someone who looked so out of shape as me. But lo and behold, I am now in shape! I still need to add a bit more muscle and toning, but I'm finally happy with where I am. I want to be out of my current job by the summer, so I just need to save a little money, get my certification, and hope I get lucky with finding a job.

2) Become more organized

I lose my drivers license, my debit card, keys, papers, you name it, ALL THE TIME. I don't have a wallet, well I do, I have tonnes of them, but I don't use them. I just put whatever cards I need at the time into my pocket. This method is not very effective. I really need to work on this. I will try to only have one wallet, and keep everything in it at all times. Also, I need to go through old papers and organize everything, because when the time comes that I actually need to find some of the stuff, I can never find it.

3) Spend more outdoor time with the dogs.

They don't get enough time outside and I take the blame for it. Although Lola won't step outside in this weather and looks at me like I'm punishing her, Gigi loves it. So I have to dedicate more time in my day playing with them outside.

4) Continue with my healthy lifestyle.

I enjoy where I am now today in terms of my healthy lifestyle, so I want to keep it that way and maybe even improve it.

5) Try one new fruit or vegetable a month.

I pretty much stick to what I know. I've recently discovered asian pears, and have been eating them everyday. I will soon be sick of them and forget about them completely. I really need to work some variety into my diet, especially with vegetables. Kale, here I come!!!

I also wanted to mention that I want to be at 14 % body fat by the end of the year, but this is just part of the healthy lifestyle goal.

I was planning to spend a nice relaxing night at home with Ryan but then he dropped the bomb on me today that he's been planning a night with his friends for the past few days (that's why he was always talking so low on his phone I figure---> sneaky Ryan). So I decided to make my own plans. Since I got called off work tonight, a couple of my co-workers invited me out with them. We're going on a pub crawl, which will be a bit weird for a non-drinker. But i'll manage. Soda water for me please!

I'm making sure to make a healthy dinner, which i'll post later, and bring some snacks with me in my purse (anyone else do this), so that I don't cave and eat bar food.

Hope everyone has a great and healthy new year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yoga Meltdown Review

I really wanted to try Bob Harper's yoga DVD, but they didn't have it at the store, so I went with Jillian Michaels instead. I should have waited for Bob's. I found this DVD to be way too short, very easy, and had none of the positive yoga characteristics (savasana, breathing, etc). I understand that she meant for this to be more of a cardio/sculpt type of DVD, but it wasn't long enough for either. Going in and out of warrior 15 times and then holding it didn't make my legs burn the way the DVD said, even when I had done an intense leg workout earlier in the day. All of the movements were yoga movements, but they weren't static, you were moving in and out of them quickly. Kind of like yoga aerobics. There was a nod to stretching, but it wasn't as much as you would expect from a normal yoga glass.

I wore my Garmin, and in the 40 minutes of level 2 I burnt 106 calories, with my maximum HR reaching 128. I think that this DVD serves no purpose except for an extreme beginner. It is too easy to offer much in the cardio sense, and not "yoga-ish" enough for those who want to do yoga. Out of 10 I would give this a 2. I do like Jillian Michaels, but I don't like this DVD. Her Shred It DVD is much, much better.

When I get Bob Harper's yoga DVD I will let you know how it goes.

I'm off to make a curry peanut soup with shrimp. See you guys later!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drop sets

Today's blog post is titled "Drop Sets" because they nearly broke my shoulders. I am  giving myself over to drop sets, not only do they make you feel the burn, but they make YOU feel like you're actually pushing yourself. I don't usually sweat too much during strength training (except on legs), but with these drop sets, I was sweating buckets. If you don't know what a drop set is it's very easy to do and a great way to add muscle. Let say, like today, I am doing lateral shoulder raises. I will take 3 weights, I did 15 lbs, 12 lbs, and 10 lbs. On my first set I use the 15 lb weight until failure, and then right away I use the 12 lb weight to failure, followed by the 10 lb weight to failure. Make sure you keep your form because it gets really hard near the end, and its tempting to just jerk around like a crazy person to get in some more reps. Injuries are not worth it.

This is what I felt like today :)
Shoulder Workout:

  • Seated shoulder press ( 20 lbs each arm) (12,12,12)
  • Rear delt fly (12 lbs each arm) (12,12,12)
  • Front raise (12 lbs each arm) (12,12,12)
  • Shoulder row (25 lbs each arm) (12,12,12)
  • Lateral raise (15 lbs x 7) (12 lbs x 7) (10 lbs x 5), (15 lbs x 9) (12 lbs x 9) ( 10 lbs x 10), ( 15 lbs x 9) (12 lbs x 9) (10 lbs x 9)
A great shoulder workout, I highly recommend you go out and do it right now! As well as this, I did a 10 minute ab workout, which I want to try and get on video to post, and 40 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill.

Now for the food! I haven't had a stirfry in ages, mostly because there was too much oil, too many vegetables to cut, and I always seemed to screw them up. But I succeeded this time. Just a note though, I am a firm believer that most vegetables should be eaten raw, so in this stirfry, I only had them on the fry-pan long enough to heat them up, not really to cook them.

Vegetables in the stir-fry included celery, red bell pepper, radish, red onion, and grated carrot.

While the noodles and vegetables were in the fry-pan I added about 3 tbsp tahini, 1 tbsp franks red hot, and 1 teaspoon tamari. Feel free to add more salt or seasonings, I just wanted something easy and plain.

Now I have to get ready for work (again), and start to plan tomorrows leg workout.

P.S. I made a kick-ass smoothie yesterday. I steeped some chai tea, about 2 cups worth, and waited for it to chill. I then blended it with a sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 tsp honey, 1.5 scoops Sun Warrior Vanilla Protein, 4 handfuls of spinach and a medium sized banana + ice. It was sooooooo delicious, and it gave me lots of energy so that I could smile at people while they were completely rude to me at work :) I think I might need another one of those tonight.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spaghetti how to

Ryan ended up getting Subway for dinner last night (he's obsessed), so I was the only one doing the breakfast-for-dinner idea. I did two slices of Ezekiel toast with hummus, scrambled egg whites, tempeh bacon, and some leftover veggie salad from last night. It hit the spot.

I liked the spaghetti squash from the other night so much that I made it again today for dinner. Below is a "how-to" for spaghetti squash, seeing as how I had to search for 20 minutes on the internet on how to cook a spaghetti squash.

Step 1: Cut the ends off your squash, and then cut down the middle. Also, preheat the oven to 350.

I did a hack job. Don't cut it as badly as I did.

Step 2: Scrape out the insides with a spoon or fork and make sure your dogs don't eat the pieces that fell out of the garbage.

Step 3: Fill your baking sheet up with about 1 cm of water

Step 4: Place your gutted squash face down into the water.

Step 5: Bake for about 45 minutes. Let it cool enough so you can handle it, and then scrape the insides out with a fork into spaghetti strands :)

Step 6: Top with your favourite toppings ( butter and salt, tomato sauce, etc).

Delicious! Now I am off to work again! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Protein Pancakes

I made these delicious protein pancakes after watching my Dad eat pancakes at Fresh (I couldn't get the craving to go away after I saw them). I got the recipe from The Fitnessista and they are very easy to make!

High Protein Pancakes:

  • 1.5 scoops Sun Warrior Protein (or other vanilla protein)
  • 2 tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 egg white (or 1 chia egg)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinammon
  • 1 hand-full fresh berries (I used blueberries)

Mix it all up and put onto hot frying pan. I don't use oil in my frying pan because it's non-stick, so I save on some fat there (awesomness).

The protein powder adds a lot of sweetness, so you don't really need syrup or sweetener.

Ryan cooked a really fancy dinner last night for himself and my dad, which included pork tenderloin and rack of lamb. In lieu of the intense carnivorous night, I made a few dishes for myself ahead of time:

Ugly picture: spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce

Topped with nutritional yeast

My mixed veggie salad with a dill vinaigrette

I headed to the gym this morning and passed all of the people waiting in line at H & M, I don't know what kind of sales they were having, but lots of people wanted it. Ryan and I braved the mall crowd, and after five minutes Ryan had had enough and left. I still managed to find a pair of good jeans (been looking for forever) at Lucky for 50% off! Score! That hardly ever happens at their store. I am officially their size 2 now! So exciting! Though I think it may be mis-tagged or fit differently than their other jeans. We also went to go visit my Uncle Sam last night, who lives 500 feet away from me, and I brought him some home-made vegan ginger cookies that I previously made on the blog.

Although I already ate a pancake for dinner/lunch, Ryan and I will be making a breakfast inspired dinner tonight! Exciting! Vegan french toast maybe?

See you later :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Walnut pesto and Christmas

Ryan and I both couldn't wait one more day to give each other presents. It was such a great time, and Ryan got me exactly what I asked for, a Lululemon Yoga Mat (the dogs peed on my other mat). This mat is ultra squishy, and my hands don't slide during downward dog.

Ryan with the bears, getting ready for some present opening!

Our weird but very sentimental Christmas tree.

Grandma got the bears this toy and Gigi loves it!

Ryan is really into molecular gastronomy, and the book I got him from an Australian restaurant that specializes it it went over really well with him, he couldn't put it down!

It's only 9:30 and I'm ready to call it a night. I went to the gym really early this morning and didn't get a chance to take a nap like I normally do. I did 30 minutes of moderate eliptical work, and a bicep/back workout. I got the back workout from oxygen magazine ( t-bar row, lat pulldown, reverse grip lat pulldown, narrow grip lat pulldown, low pulley row) and my back is pretty sore. I just can't find a way to really tire out my biceps.

Dinner was brown rice noodles with a walnut and basil pesto. It was delish!

Walnut Basil Pesto:

  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup noodle water
Blend all ingredients in food processor. If you need it more liquidy add more noodle water. Serve onto noodles with some more toasted pine nuts and enjoy! :)

My Dad found some Sun Warrior for me! He went looking and calling around everywhere for it and got lucky! The company that I ordered it from a while ago sent me an email said they don't know when they'll get any in, which really made me angry. So thankfully my Dad is bringing up a few bags. I think I might O.D on it when it gets here.

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas and don't forget to keep eating healthy and exercising! It will be a great way to ring in the new year!