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?!


cutting out meats

Food is something that has become very important to me over the years. So important that it’s actually encouraged me to go back to school.

I’ve talked about cutting meat (but not seafood) out of my diet before, and I wanted to explain why this has made me so much happier.

I actually left a novel comment on Averie’s post earlier on meat, which inspired me to write an actual post about it on my own blog 😀

My decision: I’ve never been a big beef or steak eater to begin with. If I did eat it, it was because I was stealing a bite from the hubby or this was my last option on earth to eat (ie: rarely ever happened). I did choose to eat chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin, bison and seafood.

A while back (around mid-May), I had no desire to eat chicken anymore, so I figured, ‘why eat it, if it doesn’t appeal to me?’ Right then and there, I made the decision to try and go meat-free and see how I felt.

Becoming a vegan has been a lingering thought in the back of my mind for a while now and although I still eat seafood, it is something that intrigues me, and perhaps I will one day become. Overall, I like the idea of a vegan diet, but I’m not to the point (yet) where I’m passing up foods that ‘may contain eggs’.

The ‘Serious’ factor: At first I felt that I wasn’t being taken seriously. My husband came home from work one night with a chicken stir-fry and I asked him if he was joking, thinking I was going to eat it. This was only about a week in that this happened, and I figured if I had gone a week without chicken/pork/turkey/etc, then how much longer could I go?

Well, this has turned into nearly 2 months so far, and I’m still loving it!

Note: I am not doing this as a ‘challenge’ to myself, but as a way to eat what feels right for me and feels good for my body. In no way do I encourage you to try this to ‘see how far you can go.’

Since then, my husband knows how I feel about meat and has not tried to force feed me anymore chicken! He’s actually loving the vegetarian/vegan stuff I prepare!

The changes: So far, I feel fantastic. I’ve made sure to include the right supplements so that I have the energy and nutrients I need for my body.

This may sound super tacky, but since I’ve cut out meat, my ‘fat days’ have decreased significantly. Before I would honestly have some serious self-loathing days for what I ate. Overall, not eating meats has made me more aware of what I am eating and my food choices in general. So hello to feeling better about myself!

Also, I’ve definitely lost some weight. I don’t know if it’s from cutting out meat or from eating better or from both. Either way, I’m at the weight that I wanted to be for my wedding day, that I never made it to. Not that I was disappointed at all on my wedding day, but I am just super shocked that I’m at that weight now.

Overall: I’m honestly glad that back in May chicken started grossing me out (I know this sounds weird to say). But if it hadn’t, then I would probably still be eating meat wondering why my body isn’t looking and feeling the way I want it to. I was always afraid that not eating meat would be hard to do in terms of getting protein or even finding valuable food sources!

I used to joke that vegans have nothing to eat – boy was I wrong! There are so many great food options out there and I sincerely take back that statement!

The foods: Like I said above, I’m not completely checking every ingredient to make sure there are no traces of egg or dairy, but am choosing meatless items. I don’t want to ‘limit’ myself (in a sense), then I might feel overwhelmed with trying to decide on what to eat. So…

I still enjoy bruschetta on Saturday night outings with my good friend.

Pick up great produce at the Saturday Farmer’s Market.

Put together perfect snacks for work.

And perfect snacks for…snacks.

mashed avocado with lentil chips

Make husband and sister drink-worthy smoothies (and me, of course).

acai + strawberries + cranberries + banana

Which come in a sweet glass.

Make Sunday morning fantastic vegan pancakes. It’s a given to put peanut butter and maple syrup on them, right?

I also rock a pretty mean bruise.

poor calf =(

More to come on that…


I don’t know what is up with our crazy Canadian weather, but as far as I know, it wasn’t suppose to snow last night. It snowed last night. In fact, this crazy Canadian weather is SO crazy that it was snowing above freezing yesterday. Figure that one out. Maybe Mother Nature had one too many kahlua + coffee’s last night…and this morning. With that said, here’s the forecast for the week:


Forecast for Toronto

I’m sure Mother Nature and I can be friends if she keeps with the temperatures here, and ditches the snow. Although these temp’s aren’t ideal for my Florida-induced style of living, it’s better than freezing.

Instead of drinking, the weather brings me to bake. It’s probably an easier habit to kick.

My name is Char…and I’m a binge-baker.

Easy Oat Pancakes
Easiest pancakes you’ll ever make!

Inspired and adapted from Whole Foods

1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of homemade applesauce (this one’s the best)
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water)
Butter for greasin’ the pan!

1. Put all ingredients, except for the butter, in a blender and blend until everything is nice and smooth 🙂
2. Preheat a frying pan to medium heat, add the butter once warm, then add scoops of pancake batter. Flip after a few mins.

It’s really that easy!

And really that good.

I opted for one with pumpkin butter and two with peanut butter and syrup…it’s just how I roll!

Next, was onto Cinnamon Sweet Rolls. Have you gathered by now that I love the Whole Foods recipe section?!

These aren’t as easy as the pancakes; they require patience…patience I sometimes don’t have! If ever there was someone looking for a way to speed something up, that would be me.

Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

…is what the recipe says (and ok, yes I did follow these instructions), but, I did induce the ‘warming’ factor by heating the oven and placing them in it. Hey, when you live in Canada, sunshine comes in slim pickin’s! Alright, Canada isn’t that bad, but unfortunately the sun wasn’t out for me when I needed it. So I heated and I waited and wasn’t very happy about the waiting part.

Then, it was time to prep.

walnuts and dates

floured up!

ready to roll

Might I mention…I’m not the cleanest baker. Me and flour probably aren’t great friends.

bleach or flour? ...flour

I had mentioned yesterday that I need an apron – this proves why. It didn’t help when after I said I needed one, my mom said, “I actually was looking at one and thinking about getting it for you.” 😦

Moving on to the good part.

If you’re Canadian, you’ll understand what I mean when I say ‘beaver tail.’ Equally as delicious as cinnamon buns, just not rolled. Flat out goodness. Unfortunately for this one, I rolled it.

Patience has paid off. My little rose buds are ready for the oven!

the wee rolls

The binge-baking ends here, as I have other important things to do…like finish chemistry *yuck*.

But before I go, I have one last pic to share:

swing, batter, batter, swing!

Saturday at one of the Blue Jay’s home opener games with my husband who surprised me with tickets the night before. 🙂

What are your faves to bake?