Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekend Treat!


So I woke up this Saturday with a craving for some pancakes! Lucky for me, I purchased that buckwheat pancake mix last weekend and all you need to do is add water! I checked the ingredients pre-purchase. All real ingredients and no white flour! you can go wrong with that! YEAH!!!
I topped it with almond butter or strawberry-banana jam. It was DELISH! Obviously my number one choice is syrup, but I don't have any, so these toppings were a great choice. Had a yummy french vanilla coffee on the side. Great start to the weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yummy purchases and Humus!

Hi Everyone! So today was COSTCO DAY! YAHOOO!!! Above is my grocery treat (every now and then I try to buy something new and yummy). Today it was Lara Bars! YUM! I'm impressed, if for no other reason than because of the ingredients. Literally its all real food. No weird chemicals you can't pronounce. Plus, they were tasty. That doesn't hurt! I ate one on the way home from shopping so I would have energy to workout straight away! It was yummy. I liked the texture (its date based.) Anyway. I also saw some other great things I want to get from Costco that I didn't know they had, including quinoa and this buckwheat pancake mix. You gotta be choosy- my grocery bill was 106. Which isn't A LOT when you think about everything I got. But I could have easily purchased 100 more... hehehe. Oh food...

Oh Ketchup, How I love thee... just thought I'd show you. haha

So I got this roasted chicken- YAY! Its going to feed me for days! I plan on incorporating it into a wrap tomorrow... just remember to take off the skin!

Here is the salad I made tonight! Spinach, grape tomatoes, red pepper, chicken (yum), JASON HUMUS (my friend Jason gave me homemade humus for my birthday. I have like 2 tbsp left and it is delicious!) and balsamic vinegar.
This salad was delish. I'm a big fan of humus in salads. YEAH YEAH! Try it out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bulk Buys!

So yesterday I took quite the adventure to BULK BARN!! I know what you are thinking, uhhh Leslie, it is bulk food. So A) Who cares about bulk? B) Yuck, its bulk bin food. They have everything. Candy was also purchased, incase all this weird health food isn't enough to get you over there.
Let me tell you all, this adventure is WORTH IT! (I have to say thank you to my dear friend Benita for even mentioning the place- she is the guru of cool places to shop!)
Here is what I got!
Chia Seeds
Hulled Hemp Seeds
Organic Quinoa
Buckwheat Pancake Mix
Heres some pictures:

This is Quinoa (rinse it off before you cook it, but you can basically cook it like rice. yum)

CHIA SEEDS! hehe they are too cute.

Here is all the purchases (minus the spices) The hemp is that "multi-colored" one next to the pancake mix!

Now, chia seeds are magical! but also very difficult to find. I have never seen them in any grocery store, so the discovery of them at bulk barn made me so happy! They were a litle pricey, But I don't mind! Same thing with the hemp seeds, although I'm fairly certain they would be fairly easy to get if I just looked around more. Regardless, these are my two new foods to munch on and become creative with.
Here is a bit of info on these fantastic little chia seeds (which thanks to katheats for recommending them!) Apparently they are high in fiber, fatty acids (Omega 3- which is the omega you wanna get people!)have tons of IRON (its like eating a decent amount of spinach...), calcium, and antioxidants!
Two TBSP: 78 cals, 5g fat (yay!), 6g carbs, 3.5g protein

For more on hemp seeds check out:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pictures of my creations on a pan

My mantra: make it easy, make it fast, make it healthy and most importantly YUMMY!
Here are some of my most recent dinners! Above is my supper tonight. Its 1 chicken breast, with onions and mushrooms, spinach, garlic, salt and pepper, ragu spag. sauce and light havarti cheese! YUM!. I cook the chicken first (seasoned with salt and pepper) then added onion and mushrooms, cooked them down. Added garlic. Then spag. sauce. Spinach next. Let that wilt down. Finally, havarti! MELT! and then CHOW DOWN! This is just a nutrient packed dinner!

Here is just some chicken. I cooked it the other day in balsamic and it caramelized. I think it would be really good with onions added! Simple and fast!

Here is some left over stuffed salmon from costco. On the side I stir fryed up some yellow pepper, mushrooms, green beans and onion. theres some sliced almonds in there too (CRUNCH!) and then added balsamic vineger. it was great and filling!

Note: all of these dinners took around 20 mins to make! no excuse not to make a healthy and delicious dinner! Also, I just love this pan. I got it the other day at Superstore for 8 bucks (I am super woman!) It has figure skaters on the bottom (yes, its true! I'll post a picture sometime.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Work it out

Here are a few workout moves that are in my current program!
The Bulgarian Split squat is one of my favorite moves! I'm currently doing 3x10 at 50lbs.

Here is a video of a 1-leg Romanian DL. I'm currently working with one 25lb DB 3x10.

Here is a video of deadlifts (i'm not currently doing them but this is by far my FAVORITE exercise..... love love love love.)

Note: unless you are a man, you will not get bulking by lifting heavy weights... you will get fabulous and lean!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Article Worth Reading

I recommend reading the article "The Psychology of Eating" by Jennifer Bowden. Its nice to see something written in mainstream media (not just workout magazines) that really considers why we eat what we eat and some useful ways to change your habits.
This is a great article in contrast to this car wreck of an article. This article was extremely controversial for good reason (obviously I don't think exercise makes you fat, so I'm of the opinion that it helps maintain/lose weight). Fat loss and body recomp is 80% diet!!! While I agree, exercise alone will not make you slim/muscular/whatever it is you want, this article does a terrible job of giving anyone information to help them succeed. It also doesn't give people agency... obviously its up to you to decide NOT TO EAT THE FREAKING COOKIE... gee whiz. Exercise is so important, beyond helping you lose weight, its just plain essential to be healthy (and happy in my opinion.) It's clear that our society believes that slim=happy and that this is the be all end all, when in reality what is more important is that healthy=happy. You can be slim and out of shape.
Anyway, that was a terrible explanation/rant, so here is a significantly better and funny one by Tony Gentilcore

Hopefully these debates and the useful information in them will help you find balance and help you figure out how and why you want to live healthfully!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Here is a great post on resolutions by one of my faves stumptuous.

The New Year is always the most popular time to make weight loss/fitness resolutions. However, its only the right time if its the right time for YOU and not just because you pigged out at Xmas.
Personally, I believe in small changes=big results! I challenge you to make small goals instead of massive ones. Decide to cook at home more often, or take up a sport or activity. How about drinking more water (thats mine!) or going to the gym with a friend! Pretty soon you won't be able to imagine life without it.
I feel a little preachy here, but since I've been dieting since my young teenage years, I know what has stuck with me and why. Believe me when I say, all or nothing is not the way to go! Whatever you do, make that one thing a priority and then move to the next thing when you have it down!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Here are some of the things I usually get at Costco and I recommend a membership even if you are just one person (I am and I have no problem eating all this food- plus a lot of it is frozen stuff so there is no worries about it going bad!) I find that its significantly cheaper to shop there for most things so long as you know you'll eat it! Not to mention they usually have yummy samples to munch on while you shop... hehe.
Frozen Goods- Blueberries (delish with yogurt, cottage cheese and/or oatmeal), Chicken Breast and Shrimp!

Low-Fat Yogurt, Cottage Cheese (BULK STYLE!), Cataloupe and Snap Peas (CRUNCH!)

Also check out these two delicious recipes from Rachel Ray:
Spicy Peanut Chicken
New Year Lucky Lentils- I would omit the sausage or swap them out for a lean turkey version.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

Steel Cut Oats with banana, cottage cheese and almond butter!

Spaghetti Squash!!! Yummy!!
Take a Spaghetti Squash and poke fork holes in it, Stick in Microwave for about 10 mins (turn it halfway through)
Cut in half and scoop out seeds.
Scrape with a fork.
Mix in spaghetti sauce and cheese (i used light cheddar here but parm or mozza is good too)
Put all the squash in one half of the shell and put back in the microwave for a few mins until cheese is melted.
TADA!! Squash is only 40 calories per cup- with low cal cheese and sauce, this is a great low cal sidedish!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Food Mood

Here is something I always knew but never understood exactly how it worked. What you eat effects your mood, there is no doubt about that. This is why its so important to remove processed sugary foods such as certain types of cereal, white foods like pasta and bread and goodies like cookies. These are all okay once and awhile as a treat (i hardly ever eat white bread or pasta anymore!) Here is an explanation of how these foods effect seratonin levels:

Serotonin and insulin

Here is how ingesting sugar -- or some carbohydrate that is broken down into sugar after digestion -- can alter our mood for the better. When we digest carbohydrates, our blood sugar levels rise, and then insulin is secreted, lowering the blood levels of most amino acids with the exception of tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin. When there is more tryptophan than other amino acids, it enters the brain at a higher rate. The brain then produces more serotonin.

Serotinin is a substance found both in our brains and in our gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin has many functions. In the brain, it acts as neurotransmitter, and it helps to regulate mood.

Antidepressants are also called serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, preventing the supply of serotonin in the brain from going down. However, antidepressants are not the only way to elevate serotonin levels. Many ordinary people self-medicate when they are feeling depressed by eating lots of carbohydrates. We don't need a doctor to prescribe us a placebo. We crave carbs when we are feeling down, and eating carbs can be an effective means of elevating our mood. The problem is that the effect only lasts for a little while, and then the patient comes crashing down, in need of an even higher dose of carbs.

This is from a website that has even more details and explanations if you are interested.

Essentially, try to avoid and if possible completely remove these foods from your diet. There are plenty of substitutes for them, not to mention once you have stopped eating them for a certain amount of time, your body will stop craving them. Incorporate exercise to increase endorphins and happy hormones!! Your body will react!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year= Pancakes

Pancake with Berry Jam

Pancake with Strawberry-Banana Jam

Good Old Fashion Maple Syrup!

So this morning my sister and I made New Years day pancakes! Certainly not the healthiest thing to eat but I would say one of the most delicious! We had maple syrup. But then I realized not enough of it... so I had some berry jam as well as strawberry and banana jam as well. I got all my jams from the Jam Lady at the downtown farmer's market this fall. I still have one of the cupboard unopened that has chocolate in it...Yummy! I miss the farmers market, can't wait until summer!
I probably won't eat much else today except dinner. Days like these are lazy days (still in my pjs at 1pm) but I'll go the gym soon. Try to fight off the January Gym Craziness with all the people and their new year resolutions... by February it'll be back to normal I hope.
I think for me the key is to treat myself and enjoy the food I eat- whether its healthy everyday food or a spurlge. Always enjoy it. Don't eat things you don't like just because you think you should eat it. What is the point of that? I really do love oatmeal and cottage cheese and nut butters. I love veggies and fruit. I don't try to shove food down my throat just because its good for me or has a certain amount of protein or nutrients. That being said, some foods grow on you as you eat them more and more. I remember hating cottage cheese the first few times I had it... now some days I eat it 3 times a day... thats when there is nothing else in the fridge, but still... The more you eat something, the more often your body is used to it and craves it. Thats why some people are addicted to fast food too... its all about what you put in your body!
Anyway, if you have New Year Goals- good luck with them. Small changes make big results no matter what your goal is! and remember to enjoy whatever you do (or eat!)