what i ate [pre] workout

Since I’m horrible at the whole ‘What I Ate Wednesday‘ biznaaasss, I thought I’d give it another try, buuuuut a little altered.

I can honestly say that in the last few weeks I have not taken a full day’s worth of ‘what I eat’ pictures. Shame. On. Me.

I’ve maybe taken the odd picture here and there – but never what I fully eat in a day. So instead (inspired by my run this morning), I decided to do a WIAW on my pre-workout (ie: pre-run) foods for fuel. But, first, a little link up love:

Thanks Jen, for being the rockstar behind this idea!

Here are just a few samples of what I would typically eat before heading out for a run (long or short – doesn’t usually change):


I use this as my first example because this is exactly what I did choose to eat before my run this morning. Notice the flavour?? Which is, by the way, delicious!

I ate half of it before and then half after. I’m honestly surprised that I had the resistance to not eat the whole thing before heading out. That’s dedication people!


I like to do mine up with some organic natural PB and organic raspberry jam (which totally trumps strawberry, in my opinion). Sometimes it’s just the one piece, other times, it’s two (note: this is a recycled picture).

I always get the same peanut butter, and I love it because it’s so ‘sticky’ in your mouth. I know this isn’t ideal for eating before running (take my half marathon, for example), but with a little water and even the jam on it, it definitely helps. Plus, it keeps you full!


Honestly, you knew this one was coming. It’s a great pre-run fuel and tastes friggen delicious. Some of the toppers/mix-ins I usually go for:

  • PB
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • jam
  • ground flax
  • chia seeds
  • a lil chocolate (never hurt anyone)
  • banana
  • berries and/or other fruit
  • maple syrup
  • pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • nutmeg
  • vanilla protein powder
  • and the list goes on and on!


I have been in love with pancakes lately. I swear I eat them every week, sometimes even twice a week. This was a hard to admit and now you all know how much of a carb overloader I am at breakfast. I’ll just go cry myself a maple syrup river onto these pancakes #thankyouverymuch.


If I’m not overly hungry when I wake up (which let me tell ya, hasn’t been a lot recently), then I’ll just snack on some natural sugar/fiber sources and get out there!

Fruit with nut butters

Can you see the reoccurring theme of peanut butter here people? Somebody enter me in an intervention…asap.

And there you have it; my pre-workout fuel sources. Before I sum up though, just for fun, I’d just like to show you the things I wish I was eating before (during and after) running – or typically what I would blend into one big post-run feast (if my stomach and waistline could handle it).

Chocolate chunk cookies. Angela has me addicted!

Dairy-free chocolate cupcakes from Whole Foods? I think so!

A little fro yo.


And yes, pancakes again. You’re seeing this right. Twice a week, people, twice a week…(but these I would actually eat post-run and pre-run…oh dear me. I’ve revealed too much!)

Q: What was your fav WIAW moment this week?!


the enemy

I know the first thing that you’re thinking is, “how could Char ever have an enemy; she’s the nicest person ever!” And to that I respond, why thank you.

But, this is a different enemy. Not like the girl you hate for stealing your barbies when you were younger.

Or, the kid who tattled on you for taking the last cookie.

Or even the kid who got you sent to the corner for a ‘timeout’ because the teacher didn’t believe your ‘he tripped’ story. He actually did trip, for your information.

No, this enemy doesn’t even brush close to these people. It’s actually not even human. My enemy is an inanimate object.

Go ahead, laugh. But the truth is…

I hate needles. Or rather, the thought of needles. They make me faint. So when I put off getting one for almost three weeks, the idea of actually getting it today started to freak me out a little bit. I wanted to run away, but that’s what scaredy cats do, and I was not going to be one of those…anymore.

I got in there (read: hesitantly approached the nurse), took my spot lying down on the table (sitting is not an option at this point in my needle career), closed my eyes, covered those closed eyes with my hand (this is serious), and got it done.

Did I faint? Surprisingly, not! Which means, my enemy will soon be the one sitting in the corner with the time out…take that!

For being so brave, my husband rewarded me with Starbucks – an iced coffee from Starbucks to be exact.

And, Chelsey was right…it’s legit crack. I’ve never had an iced coffee from Starbucks before, but it totally kicks my $1 iced coffee [from McDonald]’s @$$.

After conquering the enemy and finding a new iced coffee addiction, I got suckered into the whole fall/pumpkin thing, with these:

Pumpkin Pie Oats

These are creamy, not too sweet, part of the trend (since pumpkin will pretty much explode in the blogging world – starting today) and perfect for the approaching colder days. They might just make you feel peachy err, pumpkin-y.


~1/2 cup rolled oats
~1/4 cup spelt bran
1.5 cups water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 scoop vanilla Sunwarrior
1 tsp brown sugar
splash of vanilla
splash of maple syrup
toasted walnuts


In a small saucepan, add oats, bran, water and pumpkin. Over med-high heat bring to a boil and stir until thick (5-7 mins). Once thick, remove from heat and add in the flax, cinnamon, nutmeg and Sunwarrior; stir until everything is mixed together. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the splash of maple syrup, along with the walnuts. Enjoy!

Now that the the enemy is officially going down and the growl in my stomach has diminished, it’s time to get down to business and figure out my goals for September. I’ll make sure to get right on that while my cake pops set.

Question of the day:

How do you feel about August being over and preparing for the fall?!

eat, bake, run…repeat

I had other ideas of things in mind that I was going to do today…but that’s ok because today still turned out to be pretty successful. And yes, I would repeat it everyday if I could.

Started it off right with some oats – in went 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 coconut milk (unsweetened), 1/2 a naner. Stir in a pot over med-high heat until desire consistency, then mix in your toppings. Mix ins: 2 tsp ground flax, 1 tsp chia seeds, sliced almonds, shredded unsweetened coconut and white chocolate PB. Top it off with a tea and voila – perfecto breakfast.

I squeezed in a little time to study chem (hello, teacher call me, so I can get this final written by next week!). Somehow studying chem always turns into going into my Google Reader…it’s a mystery to me… 😛

I have been on the hunt for a banana bread for the past day now (banana’s won’t stay overripe forever…haha) and finally just scraped the search and made my own variation on two recipes I was looking at.

Coconana Bread

Inspired from here and here.

Coconut and banana fusion!


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 small very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax + 6 tbsp water)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup  *next time I would up the amount of this
1. Preheat over to 350*
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, soda, powder, coconut, salt)
3. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl (start with bananas, mash with a fork, add milk, flax eggs and maple syrup)
4. Add wet ingredients to the dry and combine
5. Add mixture to a loaf pan and bake for 40-50 mins *I eventually increased the temp to 375* in frustration 🙂

mashed bananas!

Things I would do differently next time:
  • sweeten, sweeten, sweeten! I definitely neglected the sweet aspect of this recipe (and also didn’t have any vanilla on hand which might have made a difference)
  • increase the temperature of the oven from the beginning. This took way too long to bake. I’m not one to hang around for an hour while a banana bread bakes!
  • coconut oil, anyone?! I’m kicking myself for not adding it.

Once you added a little Earth Balance, it definitely increased my liking for it.

A little pre-run carb load up and I was good to run!

My workout outfit :
Which happens to all be lululemon…except for the shoes!

Today’s run was 6.56 miles in 60 mins. Hubby got home from work when I was 10 mins away from being done my run. We had just enough time to talk for about 10 mins post-run before he was heading out the door to go teach a golf lesson. In that time, I squeezed in a quick workout on top of the run.

  • shoulder press on stability ball – 3 sets, 12 reps, 8lb weight in each hand
  • lateral shoulder raises sitting on stability ball – 3 sets, 10 reps, 5 lb weights in each hand
  • tricep dips on stairs – 3 sets, 12 reps, body weight
  • hip lifts lying on floor – 2 sets, 10 reps followed by 10 pulses at the top , using two 5 lb weights
  • leg extensions on stability ball – 2 sets, 10 reps
  • 50 crunches with feet on stability ball
  • 20 stair jumps (to get that heart rate back up) – I jumped 2 steps
  • lunges – 2 sets, 10 reps (each leg), 8 lb weight in each hand
  • dead lifts – 2 sets, 12 reps, 8 lb weight in each hand

After racing through that, I managed to convince the hubby to make a pitstop at Starbucks (this is how dedicated I am – we drove separately, so he wouldn’t be late to teach his lesson, because I wanted Starbucks so bad and I knew he needed it after his early morning start today). So I met him after a 3 min car drive to Starbucks, we ordered together, then he was off. Nothing like some quality time with the hubby 🙂

The reason for the need to go to Starbucks? 1/2 price frappuccino’s obviously! I got the new mocha coconut with soy milk and it was delish!

yum in a cup!

I’m afraid that I might get sucked in and get one each day the 1/2 price deal is on (which goes until may 15th…yikes!)

That brings me to this point in time: writing blog and thinking about how I should have showered before I wrote this blog post (today’s run was a sweaty one…TMI?). And that is that. Happy Friday!

Q: What is your fav drink from Starbucks?
I normally love chai tea latte’s, but love when Starbuck’s does great promotions like this because it allows you to try other great products for a fraction of the price!

What gear do you like to workout in?
I love lululemon, especially since I stocked up on gear when I worked there, and haven’t really branched on to new things!

What’s your favourite way to sweat?
I love running, and when given the chance also like to use the stairmaster! I used to dance and loved that as exercise and would like to get back into it. I haven’t done yoga in a while (especially hot yoga for the sweating purpose of this question) and think I should do more of that just to make sure my flexibility stays intact!

soup day

I wish I could say that Earth Day/Good Friday entailed awesome weather here, but sadly, it didn’t. Oh well, you move on and make the best of it. I started the day off right with another bowl of PB & J oats…seriously, how CAN you get enough?

It fills you up and taste SO good. I want more just writing about it!

I feel so unorganized lately and feel like I’m constantly struggling – struggling to fit some time in to get chemistry done (goal is to be done and start studying for my final exam by Sunday), read blogs (hardly a struggle, I know), make some awesome meals in the kitchen and do the little things on my to do list. I had either a blond moment today or an “I’ve lost track of where I am and what’s going on” moment when I started to leave my house today to run some errands. Good thing I didn’t get far before I realized, “hey, it’s Good Friday – everything is closed!” I quickly turned around and decided to make the soup I had planned to make many a few  days earlier.

I had already wanted to use quinoa in a soup, and Chelsey pushed me to do it…so I did it, I made a vegetable soup with quinoa.

I’ll post the recipe tomorrow because I’m exhausted tonight and I don’t know why! Let’s just say it was delish…tons of veggies (onion, snow peas, zucchini, tomaters, carrots, red pepper, celery, spinach; basically a small vegetable village!) and obviously quinoa.

The thing I love most about soup, is not how it’s the easiest way to add spinach to a dish, because it basically cooks itself and allows you to put a dent in the big container you bought for some reason.

Also, not because it smells as good as it tastes. Or is pipin’ hot, yet so so good in your mouth.

But because, you are provided with a ton of leftovers that are good for freezing or eating an hour later the next day.

The one with the red lid is successfully in the freezer so we can enjoy it next week! Now, they look small, but trust me, they hold a lot. Did I mention that I would love a good camera and perhaps some 3D love so you can really get a feel for what I mean?! Someone pass the camera message onto the husband :D?? K, thanks!

Later in the day, we went to the hubby’s sister’s place for a nice din with all his family. The hubby had a super long day at work, so we decided to leave a bit earlier tonight and rest up so we could enjoy the day with them tomorrow all that much better! We got a little loot bag on our way out and was pretty happy to discover that we got some mini eggs, because I totally made a comment on the drive over that I wanted some. Guess the Easter Bunny read my mother-in-law’s mind!!!

Q: What are your Easter plans this weekend? What does the Easter Bunny bring you, if he still visits haha?

again and again

The weather just doesn’t surprise me time and time again, you’d think it would. I woke up to this today:


It’s honestly what I’ve come to expect from living in Canada. Almost May…who cares, let it be cold and snowy! So, can someone just take me back to here:

I don’t think a trip to Florida is too much to ask!

To warm me up, I had the same oats as yesterday – PB &J! I think I would have enjoyed them a little more if I wasn’t rushing out the door to go to training. The real bummer with that, was someone told me yesterday that training started at 8:30am, but it was actually 9am. I coulda used the extra 30 mins in bed. I was just dead tired sitting there the whole day…NBD!

What did Dementia training entail? Well, you definitely learn a lot about the different diseases, how family copes with it and how to work with them. It’s pretty interesting and also very scary at the same time. It really put in perspective what they’re going through and hopefully I can apply that to my job in a manner that serves them better.

Even though it’s a disease they have no control over, they aren’t stupid, and that was the message I really got today. Sometimes they just want to feel included or useful. I know I only serve them their meals, but I think even when I interact with them in those 30 mins that I will try my best to just talk to them and get to know them as people!

Training was suppose to finish at 5pm, but we were done by 3:30pm – always a bonus! I love going home early!

I have Easter weekend off (thank you boss!) so I really have to get through chem tomorrow so I can make fun Easter cupcakes with the little sis!

Q: What do you do with your family & friends for Easter?

We’re going to the hubby’s sister’s tomorrow, to eat with his sis, her husband and our niece and nephew and the hubby’s parents are in town, too! Then My fam on Saturday or Sunday…still up in the air!

PS – I’m totally addicted to smoothies. I had another mixed berry smoothie with vanilla protein. Why do they have to taste soooo good?!?

one of those days

I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day today. I didn’t have enough time to do chem. I didn’t have enough time to get groceries and make some sweet protein bars. I didn’t have enough time to make snacks before work…ok, I did, but didn’t have enough time to eat them. Where did the time go? I swear I wasn’t moving slow today…I actually tried to move quite quickly!

And I can’t say that I fueled myself improperly, because it’s nearly impossible when you eat this:

That’s right…peanut butter and jam oatmeal – as delish as it sounds! All I did was add some PB, (blackberry) jam, a little maple syrup, and slivered almonds. Fantastic!

After I ate, I did some chem, then headed to the grocery store. I only say this because I’m completely comfortable in my marriage. But, if the hubby wasn’t my amazing love (build him up, right?), this would be it:

The pomegranate. I don’t know why, but this magical superfood gets me. Like really gets me. It keeps me from getting sick and taste so delicious. We haven’t been able to find them in the grocery store for a few months now and have been going crazy! Until today. I would have bought fifty five, but ‘budget Char’ told me to only buy one.

The hubby and I have a theory that this little bit of awesomeness is the reason we weren’t getting sick. When we were in Florida with the hubby’s family back in December, everyone else got sick but us, you know why? We ate pomegranates everyday. I stand by this statement 1000000000%.

After I came home from the grocery store and ate half the pomegranate in like two seconds, I knew I had to make my lunch for work. It was a close call to finishing that pomegranate over making a lunch, but ‘longterm Char’ thought it best to make the lunch and learn a little thing called ‘self-control.’

I prepared my lunch for that evening, not knowing when I would eat it, since it was first day of work and all. I also didn’t know if I would have the chance to take pics of my food without looking like a weirdo, so I decided to just take the pic while I prepared it.

For my salad I did spinach, red pepper, carrots, cucumber, vegan cheese, black beans and edamame. Not pictured, is the sweet potato hummus I topped it with. It turned out awesome – mainly because I’m hooked on the sweet, sweet taste of sweet potatoes right now.

So I made a lunch and with little time to spare needed something to give me the boost I needed before the first day of training at work. This did the trick:

I did a mixed berry smoothies with vanilla protein powder. It’s always a safe bet and taste delicious. I sipped on this on my way to work. Good thing I brought it with me because I barely ate my whole shift. Since I’m in dietary services, the job at night involves serving the meals, but since it’s such a short  and time consuming shift, you don’t get breaks. So I hadn’t eaten since 2:30pm and worked until 7:30pm. To make matters worse, I work with food! Next time I’ll know better and bring a snack with me in my pocket or something!!

Since I work in long-term care, you hear some interesting stories about the residents. Too bad some of them are PG and beyond the level of boundaries I offer on this blog :D. Although, I do hope there are a few that I’ll be able to share…even if they only bring a few laughs! i forgot to mention that I work in the Dementia unit, so it is very interesting in terms of what they eat – a lot of minced and purees.

Time for bed, I have a Dementia training course tomorrow that I’m attending!!

Q: What’s one food that you would die for right now that you haven’t had in a while?

oatmeal revelation

Today I had a revelation. An oatmeal revelation. It all started from a little bowl that held the world (or at least it did for me this morning). I was up early with the hubby since he had an early work start, wide awake and with a full day ahead of me – so, I started thinking about oatmeal. Oatmeal is obviously one of the best breakfast’s out there, but there had always been something missing over the years…

I was doing it all wrong! So I hopped on Kath’s site, since she has a whole page devoted to the beloved oatmeal, and came across a video she made. I noticed how she actually cooked the oats with water and milk. The vital step I had been missing! How had I never managed to simmer my oats with milk?! I would normally add it in after they were done cooking – this is a totally different breakfast that way!

I let my oats cook in some water, coconut milk and (sadly) some 1% milk, since I ran out of coconut milk. I swear that stuff is my drug lately – I go through it like it’s going outta style! I could immediately tell that the oats were going to be great, just by looking at them – nice and creamy.

Now, I would consider myself an oatmeal amateur having not discovered this little tidbit sooner, so I needed verification as to what I should top my oats with. I saw lots of nut butters, nuts themselves, seeds, granola, coconut butter, chocolate, and the list goes on, on other blogs…so I knew I was in safe territory to pick the ‘right’ toppings. I chose slivered almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, ground flax, bananas and peanut butter.

Never before have I ever put peanut butter on my oatmeal. Cue the silence/looks of disbelief/the ‘whaaaat?!’s because yes, you heard me right. Peanut butter has never touched my oatmeal before today. Not because I’m a PB hater – I’m actually quite the opposite. This was probably what made the revelation so profound. I discovered my love for peanut butter just expanded into a whole new world *refer back to reference above.*

It tasted like heaven and never will I go back to my childhood ways of eating oats, which aren’t that different in preparing, but take on a whole different taste!

I only used half a cup of oats, but boy was I full not even nearly close to being done them.

Don’t think for a second that I left them at that…no, no, no. I ate them anyways! I wasn’t leaving such deliciousness in a bowl – in my belly was where it belonged! Totally awesome revelation.

Honestly, this oatmeal revelation had me pumped for the majority of the morning – both figuratively and physically!

I worked out on them. Insert hideous pic, because when you workout at home, you don’t need to look pretty!

This involved running an awesome 6.4 miles.

And I did homework on them, too! I studied until I was bored hungry. All in all, this new oatmeal thang I got going, actually ain’t going anywhere. I’m sticking on it, like it’s doing to my ribs! (Or how the story goes…)

One last thing before I go, because I must share this; I made some pretty awesome quesadillas for #meatlessmonday (twitter, anyone?). They’re my own variation from this amazing restaurant that the hubby and I love near my uni I used to go to.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 head of broccoli, cubed
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 each red, yellow & red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 red onion
1/3 – 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
spices of your choice (I used oregano and marjoram)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
grated cheese (either cheddar, marble, mozzarella or anything of your choice – I used vegan rice cheddar cheese and mozzarella)

guacamole (I just mashed some avo with a little lemon juice, salt and peper)
mock sour cream (Greek yogurt + lemon juice)
salsa (feel free to go spicy!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Steam sweet potatoes for 5-10 mins then add broccoli for another 5 mins.
3. In a large frying pan over med-high heat, add olive oil, garlic and onions, let cook for 3 mins.
4. Add all those veggies to allow them to cook! Then add the spices to the frying pan.
5. Once everything is cooked, prepare on tortilla, then add beans, some salsa and the cheese.
6. Place another tortilla on top and bake for 20 mins – or just enough time for the beans to heat and cheese to melt!


They tasted amazing! I really do apologize for the extra long post. I hope I didn’t lose you halfway through!

What’s the last food revelation you had?