Friday, June 25, 2010

Foto Friday

Hola Bloggies:

Today’s Foto Friday is brought to you courtesy of Toronto Girl out West Mom. Yup! My mom!

She took pictures of some of the treats she made my dad for Father’s Day. I guess you could say it’s her first ever guest post! smile_regular

Ceviche Aerial

Ceviche Closer

Ceviche Closest

Lattice Pie

Pie Sideways

Pie with ice cream

Not bad for a first time blog post, huh!? I’m particularly proud of the cross section shot of the pie in the Pyrex pan. Woohoo mom!


Question: Any exciting plans for the weekend? I’m heading to the Ironman CDA to hang out with Ron of Punk Rock Tri Guy (and son)! It should be a blasty!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Sound that Made me Remember

Hola Bloggies:

I’ve heard it said that sometimes memories are triggered by smells but this morning mine were triggered by sound.

I was awakened this morning by the noise of construction, traffic, beeping, and people talking. Given that I hadn’t slept very well, you’d think I’d be annoyed. But I have to confess I wasn’t. Instead I enjoyed the slight breeze coming from the open window and allowed my mind to wander . . .

Sacre Coeur Morning


It took me to my time spent in Paris; I lived on Boulevard Saint Michel, one of the main arteries running through the Latin Quarter. The foyer I lived in was housed in a very old building. I don’t know if you’ve ever had occasion to spend a significant amount of time in a building centuries old but they don’t generally have great ventilation. If I left my room locked up for any period of time it would become really musty. To remedy this problem, little grates were built into the exterior walls of the building; when opened they left a small whole completely open (and directly I may add) to the street.

As a result of my little grate, every morning I was treated to the sounds of the city coming alive. I could hear the university students laughing with each other on the way to class, the workers gossiping about the daily news, the sounds of cars whizzing by, and even the older gentleman who liked to whistle classical tunes on his walk. This last fellow was a staple of my everyday life in Paris.

I loved those sounds.

This morning I found myself thousands of miles from the City of Lights. But for an instant, if I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds I was back there all over again. Twenty-two. A student. Loving every second. On Boulevard Saint Michel.



The Eats

Yesterday’s eats were pretty delicious! I was kind of proud of my clean eating self!

Cue the Breaky . . .



My breakfast happily (tee-hee) included my usual chia, banana, almond butter, oatmeal base with the exception that this morning I chose to add half a tablespoon of coconut oil and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. With some carob chips for added effect. Overall it was pretty delicious but I still heart my maple butter concoction just a little bit more.

Cue lunch . . .



Monday court took me a bit further afield from home. Instead, of eating out (at the delicious but not really good for me Italian restaurant) I opted to pack my own lunch. In my trusty container I packed 2 cups of greens, four pieces of oven roasted chicken, two eggs, half a tomato, a handful of sugar snap peas, nutritional yeast, and a bit of balsamic-olive oil-mustard vinaigrette.

As delicious as my lunch was I did learn one lesson: it’s not a good idea to eat in the car then drive for hours. It’s a pretty sure fire way to make yourself nauseous. Next time I’ll make sure it’s not quite as much of a lunch on the go.


Cue Snack Face Time . . .



Notice how I took a picture of my cherries in the car? I’ll confess these were actually eaten while driving (although I was stopped when I took the picture – I’m not that crazy). I don’t know about you loves but I totally look forward to cherry season!!!


Cue Dinner . . .




This was volume eating at it’s finest!!! I’m justifiably proud of how fantastic dinner was last night. First I tossed a quarter of a red pepper, a quarter of a yellow pepper, and half a baby eggplant in aged balsamic vinegar and parsley flakes. I grilled all the lovely veg. along with one Amy’s California burger (my favourite veggie burger!). I paired my cooked ingredients with a handful of sugar snap peas and three strawberries.

I was so full after eating all of this – but in a really good way. Although I knew I wouldn’t need to eat for the rest of the evening I still felt light and energetic. Clearly volume eating is where it’s at boys and girls!

This clean eating thing is going really well. And I have to confess I think it’s getting easier. Bonus.

Join me tomorrow for a Healthy Mexican Tortilla Soup recipe and a recap of P90X days 2 and 3.



Question: I have a bit of a dilemma bloggies. My regularly scheduled Monday dog hike has been rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Problem is it’s at the same time as the Zumba class that I’ve been trying to get to for weeks. It never seems to fit it in with my schedule and this week was finally going to be the week I could attend! Did I mention it will be my first time doing Zumba. What would you do if you were me? Go on the doggy hike (the Fiancé could take Daisy on a hike during the day instead) or go to Zumba!? Help!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The First Market Day of the Season

Hola Bloggies:

I hope your Monday is treating you wonderfully!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, yesterday Daisy and I hit up the local farmers market. Given that it was the first market day of the season, we were particularly thrilled to be out enjoying the sunshine and buying lovely goodies with everyone else.



The market was held in the central plaza of a Bavarian themed town. It’s kitschy but it works; this particular town is mega-popular with tourists (especially in the winter and during the accordion festival).





All kinds of vendors were out hawking their wares. But in the end it was clear who stole the show – the fruit and veggie purveyors.







While I was at the market, one of the vendors suggested I check out a nearby health foods store. It sounded like the kind of place I would absolutely love so I wandered over.







Sprout turned out be fantastic. There were all kinds of products I had never even heard of before. I was one happy blogger.

My loot.







Sure I came home $60 (!) poorer than I started the day but I consider it an investment in my health. Given the choice, I’ve decided to support local organic producers.


Do you make it a habit to visit farmer’s markets? If yes, have they already started in your area?

The Dog Ate my Homework – I think she was trying to tell me something

Hola Bloggies:

This weekend was an important one for the me that is striving to be “the whole package.” Saturday I forced myself to re-evaluate my progress in my journey to wellness. You see this past week I received a call telling me my wedding gown had arrived (!!!) several months ahead of schedule.

WOW. Talk about a reality check.

So I’ve decided to clean up my eating. Say buh bye to refined carbs, excess sugars, mindless eating, and fatty stuff. Say hello to photographing my eats in an effort to keep myself accountable.

Cue breaky . . .



1/3 cup of oatmeal, one tablespoon of Chia Goodness, one banana, half a tablespoon of Maranatha Almond Butter, and a dollop of maple butter (it actually contains no butter and is made by cooking maple syrup to a high temperature, cooling it, then raising it again). This dish wasn’t just good – it was ahmazing! Kind of made me wish that every meal was breakfast. So far so good!

Cue lunch . . .




One lean Italian sausage sautéed with a cup of mushrooms. Paired with 1/2 a banana and about a cup of strawberries. Not too green huh!? My fridge was admittedly low on veggies and since I was trying to hold out for Sunday’s farmers market I didn’t bother re-stocking. Ideally I would have sautéed a pile more veggies in with the sausage. But no could do. Still doing alright.


Cue dinner . . .




Go ahead – say it! “Karen, what were you thinking!? That’s not enough food for dinner!” You’re right . . . you’re so right. I ate 4 1/2 oz. of angus strip loin steak, half of a lean Italian sausage, one orange, and one strawberry. GINORMOUS fail!!! This is where it all fell apart. Sure I felt okay when I finished eating it – maybe even a little stuffed but it just didn’t have the staying power I needed. Soon enough I found myself hungry – which is why I proceeded to eat (un-pictured) two more oranges and 1 1/2 bananas.

Lessons learned from Saturday’s eats? Eat more veggies!!! My body needs something fibrous and slow to digest in order to keep me full between meals. Fruits are delicious and great for summer days but they just don’t have the staying power of veggies. I also learned I need to drink water. A LOT MORE! I need to make sure I keep my absolutely full Nalgene bottle (BPA free) on me at all times. That way I have no excuses. Staying extra hydrated will not only make my skin look baller but it will also help to stave off the hunger.

Let me be clear, I don’t intend on depriving myself but I’m smart enough to realize that revamping cleaning my eating won’t be easy. I expect to crave soft doughy rolls, the sugary treats at the office, or indulgent restaurant food . . . I just need to keep the bigger picture in mind!


Sunday I woke up determined to do better food-wise. I also woke up to discover a very sick Fiancé – le pauvre. While he stayed in bed all day I went about my business.

Cue breaky . . .



For breakfast I had pretty much the same 1/3 of a cup of oatmeal, whole banana, one tablespoon of Chia Goodness, and one tablespoon of Maranatha Almond Butter as yesterday. The only difference was that instead of using maple butter I added carob chips. Delish! Clearly this is going to be a staple around these parts.

After breakfast I loaded Daisy into the car and listened to a Joel Osteen podcast (it was my church substitute) as I drove to a local farmer’s market. We had a glorious time walking around the place, meeting the food producers, buying delicious goodies, and finding a new health food store. Around lunch we headed back home, where I proceeded to make myself a delicious meal with my new ingredients.

Cue lunch . . .




In my massive salad bowl (it’s kind of more bucket-like than bowl-like) went two cups of locally grown greens, half a tomato, two soft boiled organic free-range eggs, three slices of oven-roasted turkey breast, a handful of sugar snap peas, a couple of tablespoons of a homemade vinaigrette, and two tablespoons of nutritional yeast. This was my first time using nutritional yeast and all I have to say is – where have you been all my life!?!?!? Seriously delicious!!! It’s almost cheesy or nutty in taste. I’m not really sure how to describe it other than to say that it added a depth of flavour to my salad that had me totally liking the bowl. True story.

After lunch one of my co-workers called and said he wanted to drop off some home-made caramel ice cream as a thank-you for allowing him to use our PO Box. Far be it from me to turn down delicious homemade treats.

Cue the snack . . .



It was such a warm day the poor little ice cream partially melted on the drive over but that in no way lessened it’s out of this world yumminess!!! You see those dark pieces? That would be home-made salted caramel. It tasted like dulce de leche (think Argentinean milk candy). I had about a scoop of this deliciousness and forced myself to leave the rest for the Fiancé.

I spent most of the afternoon doing chores, writing emails (wedding stuff), and taking care of the sick one. Unfortunately, I also had to take a nap in an effort to try to get rid of the excruciating bout of back pain I faced this afternoon. Once upon a time, I suffered a back injury; years later I still have flare-ups. Truth be told I’ve had my fair share of back pain this week. Boo back pain. Thankfully, I woke up feeling all better and incredibly hungry.

Cue Dinner . . .




Dinner featured approx. a cup of those lovely locally grown greens, one strawberry, more vinaigrette (balsamic + olive oil + organic mustard), one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, one lean Italian sausage, and 4 oz. of pork tenderloin (little known fact – pork tenderloin is amongst the leanest cuts of meat you can buy, and I include chicken breast). Okay I’ll confess, I liked the plate some more!

Also eaten but not pictured was a handful of pizza flavoured pretzels. Ugh. And I was doing so well. But the Fiancé got a snack attack in his sick state so I bought him some goodies. I couldn’t take it. The temptation was too much. Clearly, I need to work on that but overall I’m pretty impressed by how today went.



Operating Bring it! – The Do Over

For a long time now I had been feeling guilty that I started P90X and then stopped doing the workouts on a daily basis. Then, when I re-started the programs I just picked up from where I left off. It just didn’t sit right. It kind of felt like cheating.

Clearly Daisy agreed with me . . .



Those little bits of paper would be my worksheets. The ones where I keep track of how many reps I did and at what weight. The worksheets are key in helping me to know how my progress is coming along and if I need to up or lower my weights. Ideally I want to work to failure on each rep and I heavily depend on those torn pieces of paper.

I don’t know if they tasted like sweat (she likes to lick me right after a workout) but she got into my precious papers and had a ball. But wouldn’t you know it – she barely owned up to the damage.


You see how she wouldn’t even look at me!?!? Ha!



My mangled sheets were just the impetus I needed to do the whole thing over again. For a long time I knew it wasn’t right to pick up where I started off. Looking back on this challenge I wanted to be able to count 12 solid weeks. No breaks in between. In the end I hoped to have an amazing and inspiring story to tell – Janetha style.

I knew what I had to do, Daisy had made it abundantly clear. It was time to start “Operating Bring it!” from scratch. Again

Operation Bring It!” – The Do Over – Day 1, June 20th, 2010

Ah good old chest and back. And endless repetition of push ups and pull ups. The workout that is notorious for leaving me weak in the arms the next day.

I’ve done this workout before so I knew what to expect. But that doesn’t mean it hurt any less. There is just something about an hour’s work of push ups (intermingled with other moves of course) that makes me want to crawl in a ball. Today was no different.

228 push ups later (all but 36 on my knees) I was done for the night. I started off pretty well but near the end I started to feel nauseous. That’s when I decided to call it quits and leave my ab workout until tomorrow morning.

Overall it was a hard workout but I’m proud of myself for sticking with the DVD. As Tony Horton says “Keep showing up. Keep pressing play.” One day at a time, I’ll get there.