Happy Holidays Blogland!

26 12 2009

Ai-yi-yi! Will I ever get the hang of blogging? I don’t know, but I hold out hope it’ll happen in time. I guess the truth of the matter is my life as of late has just been so boring. Plus I always seem to forget my camera! In any case, I’ve got some food pics to share, but I have a tendency to repeatedly eat the same meals (if you’ve noticed from previous posts), particularly if they’re easy to make and yummy, so this won’t be very interesting.

Green Monster and a red onion/mushroom/cheese sandwich

Mixed greens with chicken breast chunks

Tofu shirataki noodles - a fantastic pasta/noodle substitute! Package contains 2 portions

Shirataki noodles with homemade spinach pesto sauce (basil, spinach, garlic, olive oil), tomatoes, mushrooms and red onions

One portion of the pasta

Quick, easy, delicious, (nutritious?) butternut squash soup. Thank you, Mr. Campbell!

What it looks like after 3 mins in the microwave. (Beware: it got pretty messy. Thank goodness for microwave covers.)

As for the proposed “no refined carbs challenge,” managed to follow it for a few days before the holiday dinners out started. *sigh* what can I say, my self-control hasn’t fully developed yet. My downfall was sushi night. I tried to fill up on salad and miso soup. Ordered tuna and salmon sashimi, but then my friend offered me a dynamite roll (my fave) and I just couldn’t resist. We ended up sharing the order (4 rolls each), so it wasn’t too bad, but it got the ball rolling. 😦

Who was I really kidding? Being restrictive during the holiday season is just a recipe for disaster unless your self-control is fully developed. However, I’m still in the stages of building it up, so it’s probably not a good time for me to start. Oh well, I tried!

On a more positive note, I’ve been pretty consistent with exercise. Right now my goal is to get 30 min in 3-4 times a week, which I’ve managed to do. Didn’t end up trying the hot yoga yet because the studio’s class schedule didn’t mesh with mine and they have an introductory special where you get 1 week unlimited for $20. I want to make sure I can fully utilize that.

I’ve decided to sign up for a 5k race for April! I’m super excited because I think having a commitment like that will motivate me to really train. After all, I don’t want to come in last place. So far, the running hasn’t yet become routine. I did 30 mins twice last week and this past week, but I really think I’ll have to step it up to 3 times a week if I want to have a decent time (i.e. under 30 mins). Slowly but surely is my motto.

Changing the subject entirely, I spent the majority of my Christmas day at the movies. We did a double feature (yes, we were naughty and snuck into another movie) and saw Sherlock Holmes and Avatar. OMG, both movies were AMAZING!!!!

Avatar is a must-see movie. Even if you don’t like sci-fi/fantasy stuff, it’s just got such a powerful message and the CGI is gorgeous! Man, oh man. I wasn’t even planning on seeing it. Hadn’t seen any trailers or heard much beyond there being a lot of anticipation and hype around it and then some general good reviews. We saw it because it had just started after we finished watching Sherlock Holmes and it was in the next theater, easy to sneak into. I was very pleasantly surprised.  I’m notorious for spoiling plots, so I won’t even mention it. I’ll just pass on my enthusiastic approval and strong recommendation.

Sherlock Homes was also fantastic. I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen a Guy Ritchie movie, but I heard he’s had a couple of bombs. Of course, I wasn’t worried it would be bad because Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law are in it and they can do no wrong in my opinion. However, not only was the acting spot on wonderful, I loved the way the film was put together. Light, entertaining and action-packed, go see it!

Next up: my first attempt putting together a belated holiday dinner consisting of a roasted cornish hen (my first time roasting a chicken, yikes!), stuffing (from a box, of course), instant mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, salad.

I hope everyone has had a very Merry Christmas!

The only snow I've seen in awhile...

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Well the weather outside is frightful…

11 12 2009

But no, it’s not delightful. Also, please, no more snow! Not that we got much. It’s just that it’s abso-freakin-lutely freezing 😦 It was definitely a huge shock for me since I hadn’t been outside since Monday. It’s sunny today so I think I’ll brave the cold again and get me a daily dose of vitamin D.

I had to pull another all-nighter yesterday to finish writing my paper. I just work best under pressure! But this one was a bit more challenging because I did it caffeine-free. I’m actually kind of shocked that I was able to stay awake, must have been the adrenaline.

Anyway, I’m excited to get my holidays started off right. I got a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep (I’m surprised I nearly made it 10pm last night!), did the 30 day shred video, made a green monster and now I’m making up a workout playlist to use on the treadmill. That’s right, I’m going to restart my C25k commitment!

I’m also thinking about finally trying out a hot yoga class. There’s one at noon at a nearby studio that I might try out today. I’m a little nervous because my back’s been bothering me from all the sitting hunched over the computer. I went for a deep-tissue massage last week, which helped me tremendously. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a massage and stress had given me muscles knots all over the place. I was bruised for a couple of days, but the pain was totally worth it! I could use another 🙂 But I should probably save my money and get a nice stretch at a yoga class instead.

Food-wise, it’s been a mess. Too much snacking, not enough exercising. Remembered to take some pictures early on in the week. The rest is just crackers, cheese, blueberries (that were on sale at the grocery store and incredibly sweet) and lots of leftover halloween chocolates. Oh boy. Gonna have fun working this binge-y week off.

Repeat of last week's sandwich - clearly a new fave 🙂

One of the few healthy snacks I had

Amy's organic pesto tortellini - High in calories, but delish!

Homemade whole wheat rotis with fake chicken breast strips, mixed greens, and avocado inside

I tried my first vegetarian “chicken” product this week and was pleasantly surprised. Didn’t find that it tasted like chicken, but it had a similar texture. I’m sure if I had used it differently it would have tasted much better. It was still pretty good in the wrap. Bought some basil to make my own pesto sauce to have with shirataki noodles. Those Amy’s bowls are really great in a pinch, though. But I was super surprised at the calorie count. I think the tortellini bowl is 450 cal or something like that.

To detox my body from the copious amounts of sugar I’ve consumed this week, I’m going to start a new challenge on Monday–1 week of no refined carbs.

More details on that and my report back on the hot yoga (if I make it) later. (Hopefully before Monday :)) Happy Friday!





No PGA tours in my future

7 12 2009

Yikes, it’s been awhile! I managed to get through hell week #2 and after Thursday I’ll be done for the holidays 🙂 I’m so stoked (and burnt out) it’s hard to concentrate on doing my work. Anyway, I decided to take this weekend off since it’s been back-to-back deadlines for the last 2 weeks and, with only one last assignment to complete, I figured I should fit in some social time to de-stress. Also, it was a friend’s birthday last week and I felt bad that she postponed celebrating because a couple of people (including me) couldn’t make it. We’re such bad friends!

She wanted a low-key birthday with no alcohol-induced craziness, so she decided on Putting Edge for GLOW-IN-THE-DARK MINI GOLF!!

Freaky fluorescent heaven!

I’ve never been mini golfing before (or regular golfing either), so I was super excited.

Poised for victory!

Yup, so as you can see from my fantastic form (which appears to make me look like I’m 4 ft tall!) at hole 14 no less, it’s going to take a lot of practice on the mini golf course if I someday want to graduate to the real greens. But of course that means no more of this:

Raining fire balls...or lava...can't remember if that was a volcano...

In the end, despite the 7 tries it took to sink my first hole, I was in good company and I tied for first!

Proof of my mad skills :p

Notice all the corrections and math on my column. They were so in disbelief, they double and triple checked my score, LOL. It was funny because the only other groups there were some teenagers and families…but you can never be too old for glow-in-the-dark fun! Following the round of mini golf, we went to Demetre’s, a fantastic dessert place in Toronto (and there are a bunch of locations in the GTA).

It was packed and we had to wait awhile to get seated and served. When our food got there, we all dug in and completely forgot to take pics of the artistically plated chocolatey goodness. Luckily, someone remembered at some point and we were able to salvage one half eaten waffle.

Chocolate icecream, fudge brownies, fresh whipped cream over a beligan waffle

We ended the night by watching Star Trek, which was a fantastic movie! I ❤ Chris Pine and I’ve never really liked Zachary Quinto because of Sylar on Heroes and how disturbing he is, but surprisingly, he made a sexy Spock!

Scruffylicious

Why hello there, Commander Spock 😉

Thought I’d throw in a little eye candy to brighten this place up a bit. 🙂

Foodwise, it’s been a very bad week. I’m a stress eater and with looming deadlines, I feel guilty for spending time exercising, so those good intentions fell to the wayside. I think I was a little too ambitious starting the Run with Ruby workouts right at the tail end of classes/peak of assignments and exams. I’m going to restart it once I’m done school on Thursday so that I can make it a habit over the holidays and won’t let the workouts slide once school starts back up in January.

I’m tempted to wipe the slate clean, clear the page and start fresh, but I won’t. I have been battling discipline and consistency for as long as I can remember. I am disciplined and consistent in some aspects of my life, but in most others I’m definitely not and I find it very difficult to achieve. But I hold out hope that it’s possible to make it part of my nature. Some people can do it right away and I think it has to do with how much they want something or how motivated they are. I don’t know. I’m definitely no authority on the matter, all I can say is that I believe you really have to want it for yourself and get into a routine to become disciplined.

Take swimming. That is really the only exercise I do that has become completely routine for me. I rarely miss a swim and make sure I get a minimum of 2 swims in a week, though I usually do make it for 4.

It’s hard to believe, but in 2008, I probably went swimming once or twice a week that summer only, then completely stopped. In early 2009, there was one month I regularly went 2-3 times a week, then I stopped. Finally, in August, I started up again, making a habit of going 2-3 times a week.

The truth is, I was motivated to go to the pool for the remote chance of bumping into this cute guy who I’d noticed there a couple of times. He seemed to be a regular, and what better way to meet him than to chat him up while resting between laps?

After a month, I rediscovered my love for swimming (I’d taken lessons from the ages of 3-15, then went on to be a lifeguard/swimming instructor) and found it to be an activity where I could just free my mind. It was some much needed “me” time. And it didn’t even feel like exercise even though my muscles would be aching the next day.

5 months later, it’s still the only exercise I keep up consistently. And it gives me hope that any activity can become routine the same way. I won’t clear the Run with Ruby page of my failures inconsistencies, because they’re just proof that getting fit can be difficult, particularly when the rest of your life gets in the way. Hopefully (if I’m successful in making running a part of my life), it will show people that it’s possible to over come it.

Alright, that’s enough philosophizing. Onto some foodie pics from the week!

Baked bitter melon and butternut squash fries

More baked bitter melon and a grilled cheese sandwich with red onions

Sauted mushrooms & red onions with a little marble cheese in a hollowed out bun

Broccoli slaw with store bought Tuscany bean salad & roasted butternut squash, red peppers and onions

I’ve been buying the butternut squash mix and Tuscany bean salad every so often from Metro, but I think I might try making a version of the bean salad myself. Both are delish, I’m just concerned they might use a bit too much olive oil in their vinaigrettes.

Well, I hope this super long post makes up for my long absence. Will try to get into the swing of blogging (ha! unintentional golf pun). The countdown begins…4 more days till I’m D-O-N-E!! (for a little while at least) Wish me luck…