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):

Larabars

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!

Toast

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!

Oatmeal

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!

Pancakes


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.

Fruit

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.

BROWNIES!!

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?!


WIAW on tuesday

Hello, hello! Another Wednesday has landed on our doorstep, so you know what that meeeeaaaannnssss…

WIAW hosted by Jennnnnn

Today I’m bringing you my eats from Tuesday (aka: yesterday). Who doesn’t love a little gander into what other people are eating?! Especially those Tuesday eats, love me some Tuesday eats…

Breakfast (9:00am)

  • One juicy-ripe nectarine (don’t mind how weird my hand looks for some reason hahaha!)

  • Hot oatmeal with a little brown sugar on it (from Timmy’s since we were still on the road coming back home) – unpictured
  • Iced coffee with vanilla stevia and coconut milk – unpictured (my bad!)
Lunch (12:30pm)
  • Mixed greens salad with sweet onion, carrot, cucumber and avocado.
  • On the side, an Amy’s organic veggie burger topped with some Daiya pepperjack cheese and Dad’s bbq sauce

  • 2 squares of chocolate with sea salt (pretty much addicted)

Snack (2:30pm)

  • apple with PB (you can’t go wrong)

Snack (4pm)

  • Luna bar (chocolate dipped coconut)

Dinner (6:30pm)

  • roasted potato and green bean salad + a million extra potatoes eaten on the side 😉

In the day, I also drink about 17 liters of water, just for good measure 😉

I still like to think of myself as a newbie to WIAW (hello! third post), but here’s a look at the other two that I did partake in, in case you missed them:

And there you have it, another (WIA)Wednesday, another fun-filled food experience with all the other lovely bloggers. Until next time my friends, keep tracking what you eat and make me drool over! 

Like:
Michelle’s dinner and dessert or Jessica’s pancakes (which I’m so making in T-minus 15 minutes) or Chelsea’s pancakes (which look so tempting, too!) or Jemma’s dhal curry or Donna’s chickpeas or Corey’s skinny pina colada (or four) or… I think you get the picture – a lot of people have great eats. Make sure to check them out 😉

It’s officially pancake time over here! Have a great Wednesday!

Quote of the day:

“Agree to these ground rules: Be curious, conversational and real. Don’t persuade or interrupt. Listen, listen, listen.”

—  Elizabeth Lesser

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…


my tuesday plans

The hubby and I have gotten in the habit of writing out our goals – well, it actually comes in waves. Needless to say, we’re back on the goal kick! In fact, I might make a ‘goal’ page just to stay utterly committed to reaching my goals – the big and the small! Like today, my goals aren’t huge, but they need to be done. Here they are:

  • Mail income tax
  • Call the learning centre that I took my chem courses through to get transcripts sent to my university ASAP!!
  • Get groceries – especially the things needed for baking and making dinner for today/tonight
  • Workout/run
  • Get water – I love this water
  • Go to the health food store to get coconut milk
  • Finish making a wheatberry salad…cooked them up yesterday
  • Maybe look for a dress for Friday’s festivities (aka girl’s night downtown)!!!
  • Go to the Bulk Barn – will hold off til later since I know the sis wants to go with me!

You ever get really attached to a product? Taste? Smell? Touch? Etc?! Well here’s the new segment I’ll be featuring on my blog…

I’m loving it!

This + toast = awesomeeeeeee {insert Barney from How I Met Your Mother saying it}

‘I’m loving it!’ will be all about me telling you about the things I’m loving right now! FYI…peanut butter I’m loving all the time…just this one in particular at the moment.

Hope you have an awesome Tuesday!


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.

Morning:
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… 😛

Afternoon:
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!

Ingredients:

  • 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
Directions:
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!


easter takeover

I’d like to attribute my neglect to the blogging world over the past day and a half due to the fact that Easter takes priority. Since Easter = family and most of my hubby’s fam (sister and boyfriend, mom and dad) live nearly 6 hours away, we squeeze in as much time as we can get when they’re in town.

On Friday, we ventured over to the sister’s house after the hubby finished work…I should really start using names because I can see this being VERY confusing. We feasted on lasagna and salad that night, and the Easter meal was set for Saturday night. I’m glad I ran for an hour earlier that day because Easter really is a bully to your waistline HA!

The hubby had Saturday off (the one and only day that week :(), so we hung around in the morning before heading back to the sis’s. Let me just note: I never noticed how much stuff I put into smoothies…can someone say cutbacks?

This doesn’t even include the protein powder, which I forgot to picture here! After the smoothie (which wasn’t a hit for me – I added too much ‘green’ to mine), I did a bit of running around. I finally picked up something I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. Peanut Butter & Co’s White Chocolate PB!

First response, was to eat it on my fingers an apple! Although, I couldn’t resist and DID taste test on my way home. I was just happy that after Friday’s incident, all the stores were open today, so I could grab the few things I wanted.

Later that afternoon, we took the scenic route to the sis’s house. I really did enjoy living on the west coast, but I do love the country area around Ontario…specifically a little place called Hockley + getting to enjoy driving with the hubby! We detoured a bit when I saw a sign for maple syrup, and this is what I got.

I was happy.

When we got to the sister’s house we hung out and the niece and nephew had a mini-easter egg hunt.

They found them all…with a little help ;). That night we had delicious ham! I’ve been trying to eat less meat lately, but still had a small piece of ham, and was glad I did! After din, we hung out and played some games.

Today I managed to squeeze a 40 minute run in, since the dinner’s continue! The hubby’s working, but hopefully won’t miss too much of the evening.

But it’s time to go since the grandparents just arrived! HAPPY EASTER!!!!


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?