Monday, October 27, 2014

Most Productive Monday Ever!

Usually after work, I collapse and do very little with my evening. But tonight has been insanely productive! I washed a ton of dishes (there are still some in the sink, but we can discuss my housekeeping habits another time), went to a bootcamp class, and got a few groceries. Now I am simultaneously doing several loads of laundry AND writing a blog post! That's five different things! At least four more than usual.

Last week, I participated in a Clean Eating Challenge run by the lovely Ashley through Facebook. I have to confess, I did not follow her guidelines completely, but I did manage to make some delicious food:

Double green smoothie jars at work!

Delicious lentil soup.

These "turtle"-like treats were AMAZING and very simple to make. Recipe from Meghan Telpner.
Today I was talking to my friend Ben at work and found out that he sometimes goes running early in the morning. One thing led to another and... he's picking me up at 6 am on Wednesday for a run. 6 am. In the morning. What have I gotten myself into?!

Friday, October 17, 2014


Hi to all those out in Blogland!

I really can't believe it's been more than two months since my last post. I have lots of updates for you!

In August, I traveled with my friend Michelle to Nashville and Memphis. Then I took an overnight Amtrak train from Memphis to Chicago, where I stayed by myself for a weekend.

Don't I look like I can sing?

Hunter Hayes was the headliner when I went to the Grand Ole Opry...  I must confess, I had never heard of him before, but he certainly had lots of screaming teenage fans.

I made a new friend. P.S. Do you like my Graceland outfit?

I took a Chicago Pizza Tour and it was the best decision of my life. That's whipped ricotta cheese!

Can you tell that I'm wearing the same outfit I wore the previous day in Memphis and all night on the train?
Needless to say, it was an amazing trip!

Soon after I was back in Canada, I had booked my road test to get my G2 driver's licence (I tried once before in July... let's just say that at that time I was "not up to ministry standards"). But I'm proud to say I'm now an almost-fully licensed driver (I have one more road test to complete under Ontario's graduated licensing system)! It was a great way to end the Summer of Katie. I feel like such an adult now. (Sometimes.)

I know that you're all waiting with bated breath to hear how my healthy eating and exercise is going. At the beginning of September, the personal trainer I'd been seeing all summer moved away. Since I really can't afford to keep seeing one anyway, I decided to sign up for a weekly bootcamp class at the same gym. So far, I've really been enjoying the class, but definitely have NOT been keeping up with exercising on my own. I'm still trying to get back into the habit of exercising regularly...

As for healthy eating, the lovely Ashley is hosting a clean eating challenge through Facebook next week. I quickly signed up, and I'll be sure to tell you all about it. For the past few weeks, my eating has been a bit all over the map. Mostly bad. But, I'm still feeling good and motivated. I'll get there. :)

In other news, it's my 29th birthday tomorrow! I'm planning on meeting one friend for lunch, then having dinner with a couple of other friends. I was also surprised with a birthday cake after Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's on Sunday.

Yes, it is an ice cream cake! Yes, that is pumpkin pie beside it, which I also ate!
On that note, I will end this post. I have a wild Friday night of knitting ahead of me...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Six Weeks of Tracking: Wrap Up

Sunday marked the end of my six weeks of tracking. So, how did I do?

The green swirls indicate that I tracked, so you can see I kind of ran out of steam near the end there. But overall, I'm pleased with how I did. And I'm EXTRA pleased with all the exercising I've been doing! Each pink star indicates a workout (and I also wrote in what the exercise was). I worked out 6 times each week! Here I am after my run on Sunday:

I did something unusual for me, which was running in mid-afternoon in the heat. I didn't die! I brought water with me and I didn't run far, so it wasn't really a big deal... but I usually avoid the heat at all costs.

Speaking of avoiding the heat, as you may recall, the six weeks of tracking was leading up to a trip down south! I leave at 3 am tomorrow for Nashville, Memphis, and Chicago! I am a notorious overpacker, so I've been trying to condense as much as possible. I am extremely excited and will be sure to post about my trip when I return.

I am planning/hoping to get some exercise in on the road. I'm travelling with a friend who's training for a half-marathon, so she will definitely be going for a couple of runs while we're gone. I obviously can't run at her speed or distance, but maybe I can kind of jog in a circle while she does whatever insane distance she has planned. ;)

I'm not going to pretend that I'm going to track or eat perfectly while I'm gone (I've booked myself on a Chicago Pizza Tour, for goodness sakes), but I am DETERMINED to get right back on track when I return. I cooked a huge batch of healthy chili yesterday that's all portioned out in my freezer for when I get back.

I'd better finish getting ready for my trip! See you in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Step-Ups of Doom

This summer is just flying by! I've been a busy bee and haven't had a chance to squeeze in a post.

Last weekend I went to a lovely wedding. I saw a few friends from teacher's college (including the bride) that I hadn't seen in about two years.

I looked up a fun french braid hairstyle on Youtube and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out!
The food was amazing! There were seven courses, and I'm not ashamed to say I ate every single one (and multiple types of cake!).

So far, that's been the only day I haven't tracked during my six weeks of tracking challenge… But I got up early (as in, early enough to be ready for a noon checkout) the next morning to work out in the hotel gym! I'm basically a superstar.

I have also been taking some random food photos with intentions of writing blog posts about them. I can't recall exactly what I planned to say, but I can show you a couple of pictures at least.

Ginormous salad

I always bring a ridiculous amount of food to work.
I am still seeing my personal trainer (I'm planning to keep seeing her for the rest of the summer, except for the two weeks I'm out of town, and then in September I'll probably stop). I know that I don't need a trainer to get in shape, but I work out so much harder with her than I would on my own. Yesterday, after running some drills with an agility ladder, I had to do 15 squats with a kettlebell, then run a short sprint, then do 14 squats, then run, then 13 squats... all the way down to 1 squat. Needless to say, the sprints quickly turned into slow, stagger-y jogs. After that, she had me do 15 slams with a medicine ball, then 20 walking lunges, then 14 ball slams, then 20 walking lunges... luckily, I was only at 9 ball slams when my hour was up.

I saw her again today, and the workout was so hard that I honestly wanted to cry. Not so much because it was the most physically challenging workout we've done (although it was really tough), but it was very challenging mentally. I did step-ups tonight on a higher step than I've ever used before. Even though I did the first few without any problem, I stumbled a couple of times and totally lost my confidence. I had to REALLY psych myself up before attempting each step-up, and I was a bit scared that I was just going to go headfirst over the other side. My trainer kept reminding me that I was completely capable of doing them, which I was, and somehow I made it through. I really didn't believe I was going to, though. Oh, and I also had to flip a tire a bunch of times.

By the time I came home from personal training (my session was after work today), I really wanted to just buy something junky to eat for dinner. I was so exhausted and felt like I "deserved" it. But somehow I ended up just microwaving some vegetables and leftover chicken. Who am I!?

That's all for today! Have a great, healthy weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Biggest salad ever!

I'm still here! I haven't quit yet. I've been tracking (albeit slightly creatively on occasion) and exercising consistently.

Today I'm feeling very motivated. The past two days, I went a bit overboard with my eating. I kept thinking that little things here and there wouldn't make a difference (like a muffin with my coffee, some wine with dinner, an impromptu bagel as a morning snack...), but when I sat down and tracked everything, I discovered I had used up ALL of my weekly Weight Watchers points (which don't reset until next Monday). Instead of giving up for the week (or longer), I planned out my meals for today and made a huge salad to bring for lunch. I also brought my french press to work to brew my own coffee instead of buying it. I tend to buy treats whenever I'm at a coffee shop, so I think this will be a big help (and more economical!).

This morning, I talked to my trainer about my nutrition and it made me think more about exactly which foods I'm choosing to eat. On Weight Watchers, you can pretty much eat whatever you want as long as it fits your points. That's what makes the program easy to follow - but it's also one of the potential problems with the program (depending on how you look at it). I'm very proud of the changes I've made to my eating habits over the past few weeks (just the fact that I have been preparing most of my meals, rather than eating out constantly, is huge), but I still have lots of room for improvement. If choosing healthy, filling, whole foods becomes automatic for me, then this lifestyle will truly become sustainable... I hope. :)

Anyway! I have a couple of snazzy lunches to share with you.

From last week:

Red peppers and a wrap! There's hummus in the tiny container.
Today I brought a HUGE lunch to work in my Aladdin collapsible salad set (I know I've mentioned my addiction to fun lunch containers before). I bought it months ago, but didn't use it until today for some strange reason. Here it is all closed up:

And here's what's inside:

I had lots of greens and some broccoli coleslaw with chicken, cheddar cheese, corn chips, salsa, and some guacamole. This salad was SUPER filling. The container was a bit cumbersome to carry TO work, but after lunch all the containers collapsed to a very manageable size.

I am exhausted so I think I will head to bed. I have plans for an early-morning workout! Ta!

Monday, July 7, 2014


I have a problem.

I suffer from a major weakness for fun lunch containers.

On Saturday, I was at one of my favourite stores, Fenigo, "just browsing." Lately I've been looking at lots of pictures (and some youtube videos) of bento-style lunches, and when I saw some cute Japanese bento boxes at Fenigo, I just couldn't resist. I bought one for myself, and one to give my sister as a thank-you for all of the times she's taken me out to practice my driving.

On Sunday, we met for one last practice session before my road test on Thursday (yes, THURSDAY! Aaaahhhhh). I decided to pack us a fun picnic lunch in our new bento boxes. First, I set out all of my bento ingredients:

I followed this tutorial on Youtube to make hatching chicks from hardboiled eggs. Look, I know they're deformed, but it was my first attempt:

Lettuce for the eyes and carrot for the lips!
In the boxes were pinwheel sandwiches, carrot and cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, the hardboiled eggs/hatching chicks, grapes, strawberries cut to look like hearts, and mini cinnamon buns in silicone baking cups. Oh, and cheesestrings to really bring things to the next level. (And some fun animal toothpick things that I had lying around in a cupcake-making kit.)

 Here are the boxes all closed up:

Mine is the yellow one!
 I packed the bentos (and some extra food...) in my big cooler bag, and was on my way.

I'm pleased to say the bento boxes were a hit! My sister was very impressed. We've since decided that everything we eat from now on has to be out of a bento.

In other food news, a few weeks ago I discovered a really cool meal delivery service here in Waterloo called Food Naturally. It's run by holistic nutritionist Dana Rourke. You have the option of ordering one or two portions of three different meals. The meals are vegetarian and gluten-, sugar-, and dairy-free (not to mention made from scratch with whole foods!). As you know, I often find it EXTREMELY difficult to garner the motivation to do as much cooking as I should. Sometimes, I also have trouble thinking of interesting, healthy meals to cook. So, this meal service sounded like the perfect occasional treat.

I tried it for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it. When I saw the meal plan for this coming week, I knew I had to order again. I picked up my meals for the week this evening:

I received two big, delicious salads; two servings of falafels with brown rice, millet tabbouleh, hummus, and tahini sauce; and lots of tomato soup. She also included some complimentary granola! I had the falafel meal for dinner tonight and it was FANTASTIC.

Ordering the meals is obviously more expensive than making the food myself, but it's no more expensive than buying my lunch everyday (which I was doing just a few weeks ago... as well as buying many unhealthy breakfasts and dinners). I think it's definitely worth it to give myself a break once in awhile and still enjoy lots of super-healthy food. :)

Well, it's almost my bedtime! I'm meeting my trainer at 7:00 am tomorrow - which is better than our usual time of 6:45, but not by much... Toodles!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Adventures with Wheat Meat

I can't believe it's Thursday! The Summer of Katie is just zooming by (fabulously, of course).

I mentioned on Sunday that I was attempting to make seitan (a fake meat made from wheat gluten). I've never had seitan before, so I don't know if mine turned out "correctly," but I was pretty pleased with it.

Here are two seitan lumps after simmering in broth for awhile:

I grilled slices on my George Foreman grill:

I put the seitan on top of Isa Chandra Mokowitz's Dragon Noodle Salad.

I know this isn't all THAT impressive-looking, but it looks much nicer than the meals I usually eat.
It was delicious! I brought some leftovers with carrot sticks to work the next day in this awesome lunch container. I bought it awhile ago but for some reason hadn't gotten around to using it yet... I suppose until this week, I didn't have a lunch worthy of it!

Love the colours!
Yesterday was a long day for me. I went to the gym before work, worked until 7, and then rushed home for a driving lesson at 8 (my G2 road test is next week! ack!). I managed to prep a bunch of food the night before to bring to work. Even though I was exhausted, it didn't feel like a big chore... what a change from just a few weeks ago!

I brought a huge salad with goat cheese and a small can of lemon pepper tuna, carrots and hummus, plain yogurt with frozen mango pieces, brown rice pasta with meat sauce (which I made awhile ago and froze), an apple and banana, some crackers, and a granola bar. I barely had time to eat it all before it was time to go home!

This morning I met with my trainer. We spent some time with the foam roller. At first I was psyched that we were doing that instead of the usual torture lunges and such. But my muscles are so tight, it turned out to be pretty painful, especially when I was rolling over my IT band. And then I had to do a million lunges anyway. I have a foam roller, so I am determined to start using it regularly to loosen up a bit. I've been having some foot pain and I think it will help a lot.

That's all to report for now! I'm sure I'll be back soon with more random lunch pictures and gym updates. :)