Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sushi Cures One Legged Squat Pain

Man, going for sushi after Booty Camp was a good idea!

Angie and Lynn said their heart rate monitors told them we didn’t burn as many calories at Booty Camp this time.  Interesting.  We did A LOT of lunges, and Heather gave us these new one legged squats and one legged bridges for the “booty” part of the workout that seriously hurt some muscles I didn’t even know I had!!  Nice.  Look out world, my booty is lifting as we speak.  LOL.

Afterwards, the lovely Halibloggers (plus one Hubbyblogger…now designated group photo taker) headed to Sushi Nami for some big eats.


Look at all this yummy sushi!  We each picked two…the crazy Kamikaze roll, Tropicana roll, 2 x dynamite roll, 2 x spicy tuna roll, California roll, spicy scallop roll, Philadelphia roll, and the all popular sweet potato roll (of which we need to start ordering doubles!)

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Plus miso soup and edamame…


Afterwards, we all shared the Green Tea Cheesecake.  A very weird cheesecake.  Some of us thought it was pretty good, some OK, some not so much!  Quite wiggly for cheesecake…we’re surmising maybe soft tofu or potentially gelatin in there…pretty certain is was no-bake.  But it sure looked pretty!

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Deeeelish!!  I heart sushi!

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True Blood

I was out like a light about 20 minutes after crawling into bed last night.  Must have needed it!  Good thing too because I was up early to drive FH to work and to hit the blood collection clinic to finally get my blood work processed.  Geeeeze, that only took me what?  3 effing weeks!

(I only recently found out that there are pay clinics to get this stuff done here.  I thought I had to go to the public free clinics with the other 150 people at 7am!)

So ya, in and out in under 15 minutes for $12.  Nice.  Let’s hope the results come back with something interesting about what’s wrong with me.

Treated myself to a Starbucks trip.  I know, I know…coffee during the week!  We all knew that wouldn’t last.  I’m still trying though!  But for today, I ‘needed’ a double tall vanilla non-fat latte.  Honest, I ‘neeeeeeeeded’ it!


The benefit to the early rise was the extra hour at my desk it afforded me.  I got to work pre-posting my guest posts (keep them coming!!!  embracingbalance@gmail.com) so now I’m ahead of that game.  Also got some work done early, which is nice since it’s month end and I’m trying work a bit ahead to prepare for being off next week.

Around 10am my latte wore off and it was time for breakfast.  Green Monster!  It was a thick one today!


In today’s blend:  1/2 banana, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 tbsp almond butter, 2 heaping teaspoons ground flax, 3 cups baby spinach, 2/3 cup light vanilla soy milk



Around noon I had an On the Glo granola bar to hold me over.  (I noticed Angela has pulled the recipe down, but I’ve got it if anyone needs it.  I won’t post it because she’s pulled it for her reasons, but I will share if wanted.)


For lunch I was cleaning up some perishables and leftovers.  Quickie guacamole (avocado mashed with lime, cumin & salt) stirred with black beans, on whole wheat mini tortillas, topped with salsa.  One with deli turkey, one with light cheddar.  Served with cukes on the side.

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And since I’m a hungry, hungry hippo today I finally cut up the big, beautiful $2 pineapple I picked up on the weekend.  Yum Yum!! 

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Served myself a dish with some Coconut Crack Liberte yogurt and fresh blueberries. 


Now I’m downing some water in preparation for Round 3 of Booty Camp tonight.  Are you ready ladies??  I wonder what new and fabulous exercise she’ll throw at us tonight.  (at least we are rewarding ourselves with a sushi dinner afterwards…)

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Q & A

Amber from Girl with the Red Hair asked:

“I really like these posts you're doing! I'd love to hear more about how you achieve that balance. For example, do you have a treat once a week, or just whenever you get a craving etc.?”

Good question, Amber!  Honestly, I try not to put too much thought into it.  I found myself super stressing about what I was shoving in my mouth a lot of the time and it made my treats that much less enjoyable.  It also led to a lot of binging if I deprived myself.  Not fun.  Once I was able to take a step back, relax, and realize that treats aren’t the end of the world it actually made it easier to not want them all the time.

As a general rule I try to stick to my clean, healthy eating during the week (especially during the day) and save my indulgences for the weekends.  Obviously this doesn’t always work because things come up, but most of the time it does.

On the days that I do know that we’ll be enjoying some cocktails, or hitting a fabulous restaurant, or just kicking back with some ice cream I make an effort to keep the rest of my daily menu healthier.  Example:  huge salad for lunch yesterday, knowing I’d be enjoying some dessert with friends last night.  :)  When time allows, I will also throw in some extra calorie burning to “earn” the anticipated indulgence.

This process is what works for me.  It may not be for everyone, but it is worth a try to achieve some balance.


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Monday, June 29, 2009

Keep the Guest Posts Coming!

Don’t forget!  I’m looking for guest posts for the week I am away with FH.  So far I’ve got about half of what I need, so keep them coming!! 

If you can participate, please email me at embracingbalance@gmail.com.  I’m looking for your recipes for “healthy” baked goods.  Muffins, cookies, cakes, whatever.  Something savoury you’d like to share…send it in!  Pictures are appreciated but not necessary.  Write a little blurb about yourself or you blog if you wish.

I have to be ready by Thursday night, so get cracking people!


And now for our regularly scheduled programming…

Isn’t it amazing how a trip to the gym can help chase away those blahs?  I did indeed head off for a workout once I digested my gianormous lunch and it was just what I needed.

Solid 25 minutes interval cardio on the elliptical followed by much core work.  Regular crunches, reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, straight leg crunches.  My abs hurt so good!

Took this opportunity for another Operation Beautiful mission.  :)  It was tough to get it done today because the gym was so busy, but I decided the mirrors in the back by the washrooms would be the place for today and I managed to sneak the photo before anyone came out of a stall and caught me.  My heart was pounding!


Followed up with lots of water and a Kashi bar to tide me over until dinner.


Dinner was leftover “heart attack” pizza…about 2/3 of a slice.  I like mine reheated in the oven so I threw some asparagus in to roast at the same time.


Tossed with just EVOO and s&p.  Deeeeelish.

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After dinner we met some friends for dessert at Jack Astor’s.  They were still eating dinner when we arrived, so I just ordered a decaf coffee to drink until they finished.  Their daughter received goldfish crackers in her salad…so cute!


I was hoping FH would share with me, but he wasn’t feeling the desserts.  Thankfully our friend Cosette was down with the dessert so she and I shared the Score Cheesecake…caramelly good!

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This got us home in time to watch some TV from the PVR…True Blood!  I’m an addict.  Sooookie.  Lurve this show.  Now look at me heading to bed by 11pm…holy crap, hasn’t happened in a while!  I’m already thinking about my morning Green Monster

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Monday Blahs

I don’t often get Monday blahs, but today I’m just kinda grumpy and tired.  I even took a 20 minute power snooze to try to snap out of it.  My eyes hurt, my head is fuzzy, and I just feel “meh”.  The super crappy weather doesn’t help.  I think a trip to the gym is in order to get some endorphins pumping.  Yup, as soon as I digest my huge lunch!

Started my morning with some decaf herbal tea (still trying to do weekdays coffee-free…not loving it!) and a simple bowl of yogurt with blueberries & cereal.

Stonyfield Farms organic vanilla yogurt, fresh perfect blueberries, sprinkled with original All Bran (kickin it old school because I don’t want to open a fresh cereal box before our vacation…)


With all the fruit in the house I was craving some for a snack.  Cherries were still delicious…unfortunately this plum was completely tasteless.  Booo to that.


And then my HUGE lunch!  I’ve been waiting for this leftover turkey and black bean mini burger all weekend.  Reheated and topped with light sour cream & salsa.  Served with bigass salad with tortilla toppers, wedge of toasted ciabatta, plus some sliced avocado and tomato drizzled with a squeeze of lime.




In the bigass salad bowl:  mixed lettuces, diced tomatoes, matchstick carrots, minced fresh jalepeno, diced yellow pepper, cucumber, more black beans, salsa & sour cream. 



Now I’m excited for the gym…digest – digest – digest!  :)

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pizza Sunday – Rainy Day Edition

Aw man, I was exhausted when I got up this morning.  I guess I’m not cut out for too many 3am nights anymore!  hehe…I seem to have a lot of them lately.

I started my morning with a much needed cup of coffee, then set to work making a batch of Tina’s Oatmeal Raisin Bars.  We had a BBQ with some of FH’s work buddies to attend…and although we were told not to bring anything I hate to go empty handed.  Those bars are so quick and easy to whip up, it took no time at all.

A bowl of Stonyfield Farms organic vanilla yogurt with delicious fresh blueberries and the last of the Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal was my breakfast for the day…


Sorry no photos at the BBQ (explaining my blog to Navy strangers wasn’t something on my to-do list today!), other than this one of their awesome view.  The weather was crappy today, but can you imagine what this would be like on a sunny day?  AMAZING. 


The food was lovely and simple, so it was easy to eat healthy.  I enjoyed one Strongbow cider (I was driving), one homemade bar-b-qued chicken & veggie skewer, two of my oat bars, and a few trips to the veggie and fruit platters.  Yum Yum.

Once we got home, I got to relax because today was FH’s turn for Pizza Sunday.  Nice.  Look out world, heart attack pizza coming through!!! 

This week’s offering:  Bacon Double Cheeeeeeseburger

His crust was doughy and lovely.  I got him to give me the recipe for you guys this time…he added his own spices to jazz it up, but click here if you want to try it out.

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Topped with sauce, seasoned ground beef, TONS of cheese (mixed cheddars PLUS mozza AND parm), crispy bacon, diced onions, and canned mushrooms.  Cheeeeese heaven.

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I could only handle one (motherin’ huge) piece and served mine with salad so the veggies would help keep me “balanced”.  haha.  In the big salad bowl:  mixed lettuces, tomatoes, yellow peppers, cukes, and matchstick carrots with balsamic vinaigrette.


For the rest of the night it’s been water, water, water…and tomorrow there will definitely some sweating time at the gym!

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Impromptu Hectic Saturday

Hi all!  Sorry for the lack of food post yesterday…my day totally got away from me! 

FH was working a duty shift (which means all day/all night) so I took the opportunity to just relax, run some errands, and had planned for a night in watching TV and doing my nails. 

Started the day off right with a MASSIVE Green Monster.  I jammed the blender so full of spinach that I couldn’t get it to whir it all around without stopping it to smash the greens down.  I think I was a little overzealous because I could definitely taste “a hint o spinach” this time.  Still yummy and it just felt healthy drinking it!


In the blender, the originals:  1/2 banana, 4 strawberries, 2 heaping tsp flax meal, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1/4 cup raw oats, 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, and close to 4 cups of baby spinach.


Knowing I was going to be at the mall for a while I packed a bag of cherries and a Larabar in my purse for when the hunger struck.  The GM actually last me for a solid 3 hours.


The only thing I had to tide me over during that time was a regular coffee at the mall.  (Yes, I’m adding a cup or two of coffee back into my routine here and there…I love it and it doesn’t seem to have any effect on my ulcer-type-situation.)


I stocked up on much needed new undies at La Senza, got some cute new summer jammies, and scored a $10 pair of the softest casual shorts ever at Sport Chek.  Then I left the mall and headed for Lululemon, where I tried on half the store…and then had to chose between five MUST HAVE items!  Like a good girl, I chose to leave with only the sports bra and the shorts I went in there for.  :)

Side note:  I bought the “lift & separate II” bramy boobs have never looked so good!! 

After Lulu I realized I was supposed to get my ring inspected and cleaned at Birks when I was at the mall, so I went back to get that done.  WOW!!!  Sparkly!!!  :)

Then I took myself to the gym.  Had a FANTASTIC incline jog on the treadmill…very slow pace for me, but I could feel my calves working and I was an incredibly sweaty mess at the end.  Finished off with some squats and lots of ab work.  My planks are getting better!

I hadn’t eaten enough for my intense workout so headed straight home to eat.  Two seconds in the door and I was into the fridge looking for something easy and gooey.  :) Settled on broiling some leftover ciabatta bread with fresh parmesan.  Deeeelish! 


This is where my day became impromptu…it was 6:45 and my friend called and said she was putting together a last minute girl’s night and wanted me to come.  Said she’d be by to pick me up at 7:45!!  Yikes, I was still standing here in my sweaty gym clothes!  In record time I showered, picked out an outfit, ironed my skirt, blow dried and flat ironed my hair and got my make-up on.  This is an amazing feat as my hair is thick and takes a LONG TIME to dry.  In the end it was cute…but a little puffy.  hehe.  Thankfully the ladies were about 10 minutes late so I was actually ready when they arrived!

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First stop was Bitter End.  I remember this place being much better than it actually was.  Maybe it’s because I’ve only been there twice a couple of years ago, or maybe it was an off night.  The drinks were fine, but the food and service was only so-so.

I started with a Showbiz Martini (vodka, chambord, grapefruit juice)…followed by a Funkshion Seduction (vanilla & raspberry vodkas, lemon, champagne).  Both were fun, but neither were something I was OK paying $10 for.


The food was disappointing.  I ordered the House Salad because it sounded fresh and fun…not.so.much.  Basically a bowl of fancy lettuce with two cherry tomatoes and four teeny slices of apple…I didn’t find any of the pine nuts or onion crisps that were mentioned on the menu.  In addition to the salad I ordered the Date & Goats Cheese Crostini…again barely OK in my opinion.  It was dry and pretty tasteless.   I love goat cheese, but this made my mouth stick to itself and if there were dates in there I sure couldn’t tell.  The little dots of overcooked prosciutto on top didn’t do much for me either.  Overall it filled my hungry tummy but I left more than half of the ridiculous pile of greens and one whole chunk of the crostini because the hard bread was hurting my mouth.  It didn’t help that our waitress wasn’t too bright…she had to re-ask all of our orders when it came time for the bill. 

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Thankfully my girlfriends were feeling the same way so it was suggested we wander up the street to Onyx to carry on our evening.  So much better!  Beautiful room with great ambiance and a FANTASTIC drink menu.  Creative and interesting martinis, but mainly two full pages of different varieties of mojitos.  So yum!!

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I started with the Melting Coco Mojito…fabulous!  Came in a big glass with a fun big straw…tasted like a minty pina colada, only better!  I would definitely recommend it…especially with the love of coconut around the blogosphere.  :)  For my fourth and final drink of the evening I went for another martini…Twilight…which, let’s be honest, I ordered for the name!  :) 

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We had a ton of fun chatting and harassing our bartender.  He claimed to be a fish out of water behind the bar (a server covering for a vacationing bartender) but if he hadn’t told us we never would have known.  Everything was super delish!

Finally, we opted to try dessert.  We’d seen a few go by, and since we all had a few drinks under our belts we just couldn’t resist.  I ordered the Baked Alaska because it’s not often I can have my dessert set on fire.  :)  It was pretty damn tasty, but I could only eat half of it…too full from my coconut mojito!


By then it was time to start heading for home…my quiet night turned into a late night.  By the time I got home, puttered on the internet, had a snack (helllooooo guacamole!), watched random TV and finally closed my eyes it was almost 3am! 


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