My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size


if you read yesterday’s post, you know I was very excited about doing some planning last week to help me get through this week.

planning chaos

Hubs picked up my Eat Savage lunches from the gym fridge on his way home from work yesterday, and Grocery Gateway was at our front door at 6am on the dot this morning.  I had food for the week and all was good in the world.

I had egg whites, English muffins, light cream cheese and ham slices to take to work to cook a yummy breakfast each day:


and I had my Eat Savage meals to work to enjoy as lunches for the week.  Today I had the butter chicken with Paleo naan bread:

eat savage butter chicken

This was delicious!  The naan bread is so good.  Every time I eat it, I’m amazed it’s Paleo.

After lunch I went into MyFitnessPal to log my meal.  I typed in Eat Savage into the search line, hoping by some chance it would have already been entered into the MFP database.  I was lucky.  It was there.  But I was shocked when I saw the nutritional info:

butter chicken naan

That’s 1010 calories and 67 grams of fat for the meal.  That’s actually more calories and fat than in a Big Mac Combo!

big mac meal

My lunch did have more protein (49g vs 30g in the Big Mac Meal) and less carbs (48g vs 94g), which likely makes it a better choice.  But that fat!  I was stunned.  This meal alone has put me over my fat macros for the day.  I’m only allowed 40 for the whole day!  This is going to make sticking within all of my targets for the day a bit of a challenge.  Here’s what my macro breakdown looks like so far today:

macros oct 6

I’ve only got 133 calories left, but still need 111g carbs and 29g protein.  I don’t see that happening.  I’m not 100% sure what’s for dinner tonight, but I can guarantee it’s going to put me over my calories, make my fat consumption even worse and probably not hit my carb or protein targets.  I actually think I should probably skip dinner and just have my post workout shake and dates to try to salvage the situation.


This will still put me over for calories, but only add minimal fat.

This was an eye-opener.  I ordered the meals thinking they would be better than going out for lunch.  Guess I should have checked the nutritional info before I ordered.  All the ingredients in the dish are good, it was just a little more calories and way more fat than I was expecting.  After discovering this, I looked up the other meals I ordered and they are all around what I was expecting (about half of this meal), so they should be okay.  I did order 2 of the butter chicken since it’s so good, so have to figure out when I can eat that without sabotaging my day.  Likely Thursday, when I have a killer CrossFit WOD and hockey on the same night, and don’t really have time to eat before I go to the gym.  That could work.  It will still be too much fat for the day, but I will need the calories since dinner will probably be a protein bar after my WOD on my drive to hockey.

So, seems like a bit of my planning has come back to bite me in the ass.  Oh well…I tried!  And I really do like the butter chicken meal.  I will think twice about ordering it again, though.

Has any of your planning ever come back to bite you in the ass?


Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Holy cow! It is freezing outside today. This morning while I was driving to work it was -21 Celcius (which is about -6 Fahrenheit). However you want to look at it, it’s friggin’ COLD! It gradually got warmer throughout the day, and it’s around -12 now…still cold, but not so bad.

Anyways, enough about the weather, although I will mention it again a little later in the post.

I had another good day food-wise. Breakfast was another ham & cheese scrambled egg bake. These quick and easy breakfasts are hitting the spot for me and keeping me full right up until lunchtime.

Lunch today was a little later than usual since I had to go to the dentist at noon. I ate once I got back to the office around 1pm. I briefly considered eating at the food court in the mall where my dentist is, but made the right decision to go back and eat my clean leftovers. Today I enjoyed the last of the Spaghetti Squash with Chicken & Pears. It was just as delicious as it was the first night. I also enjoyed some snap peas with jalapeño Greek yogurt dip. This lunch was much healthier and probably much tastier than anything I would have found to eat at the mall. I made a good decision! 🙂

Tonight’s dinner took a last minute change. Originally I was planning on a relatively simple dinner of baked chicken (possibly stuffed with spinach and ricotta), broccoli, and corn. This was a special request from my son. I even stopped at the SuperStore to get some chicken breasts since I forgot to take any out of the freezer before work. Then, I walk in the door after work and as I’m searching my magazines for the recipe for the stuffed chicken, the phone rings and it’s Junior asking to eat dinner at his friend’s house. Figures! So, rather than make his “special dinner” when he wasn’t going to be here to enjoy it, I put the chicken in the fridge for tomorrow, and instead whipped up a super quick, super tasty Clean Eating recipe: Spicy Spinach and Chickpeas.

The recipe has paprika and cumin in it, to give it a bit of spice, but I kicked it up a notch with some added Sriracha! Yummo!

Here’s what you’ll need for this dish (from Clean Eating Quick & Easy Meals 2012):

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

    Cooking instructions:

  • Heat oil in a large skillet and add garlic and spinach. Cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach is wilted.
  • In a bowl, combine chickpeas, bread crumbs, paprika, cumin, S&P. Add this chickpea mixture to the skillet with the spinach and cook until the chickpeas are heated – about 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar.

    As is, this recipe serves two, so I doubled it, since I had 3 to feed, plus wanted extra for lunch. Each serving is 1.5 cups for 345 delicious calories.

    Originally I was planning on doing a workout while the chicken was baking, but when I changed the dinner menu, there wasn’t any “bake” time anymore. After dinner I didn’t really feel like working out, and was feeling pretty tired. So, I did the obvious…dragged hubs out for a walk around the hood with me! He was less than enthusiastic since it is freezing outside, but I made him bundle up and off we went. The plan was to head out along our usual route and stop in and pick up our little guy from his friend’s house along the way. After a short visit, I bundled back up and finished the rest of my walk alone, while hubs brought Junior back home. In the end, despite it being -12 degrees out, I enjoyed the walk and wasn’t cold at all. I was dressed for it and the cool temps were a good motivator to keep a good pace! Here’s how the walk looked tonight: 32 minutes and 183 calories burned!

    After the walk I sat on the couch and watched TV totally guilt free!

    Now, it’s almost midnight and I need to get my butt up to bed. 6:30am comes early!

    How was your Wednesday?
    Are you managing to stay warm in this ridiculously cold weather?


    Cleaning Up On Monday

    Happy Monday!

    Normally I am not a fan of Mondays, but after the bad food weekend I had, I was looking forward to a fresh start and getting back on track.

    Today I was determined to eat clean all day and get a workout in.

    So, here’s what was on the menu today.
    Breakfast: 2 eggs (scrambled in the microwave) with a slice if ham, slice of cheese and some blackberries.


    Lunch: Leftover spaghetti squash with chicken and pears.

    with a delicious Clean Eating Dark Fudgy Brownie for dessert…which, by the way, was amazing! (Special thanks to my sister Erin for sharing her yummy baking)


    Dinner: I tried a new recipe tonight – Clean Eating Spicy Corn Chowder, from the Best of Clean Eating 3 Cookbook.

    This recipe was easy, tasty, and in true Clean Eating fashion, made enough for 3 leftover meals. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I have smaller servings than they suggest in the recipes, because I almost always have leftovers?? Oh well…I love leftovers!

    I also had a couple of apples for snacks today – one this afternoon and one tonight while watching Californication. All in all, I’m quite happy with my food choices today…so much better than what I ate this weekend!

    While I was waiting for the chowder to simmer, I headed upstairs and got a quick workout in. I didn’t really have a plan, but I knew I wanted to swing a kettlebell. I’m reading 3 books right now about kettlebell workouts. They all say how great the basic 2 hand swing is, so I thought I would do that tonight. I set my timer for 20 1-minute intervals..and then I started swinging! I did 20 swings per minute. At the beginning I had lots of time left in my minute to rest/recover, but as each minute went by and I did more and more swings, I had less and less time to rest. In the end I did 400 swings and was a sweaty mess at the end of my workout. I wore my Polar HRM and this is what the workout looked like:

    Not bad for 21 minutes, and much better than just sitting on the couch!

    Tomorrow I have more clean eats on the menu – YAY!!! I don’t what my workout will be yet, but I’m sure I will find something good on the Fitness Blender website. I’ll see what I can find tomorrow.

    Today was a good day. I’ve gotten the week off to a good, clean start. Looking forward to keeping it going all week long!

    How was your Monday?
    Did you eat clean?

    Leave a comment »

    Goodbye Weekend

    The weekend is almost over. While it was a very good weekend, I’m not sorry it’s over. I ate so many bad things, it’s not funny.

    Saturday alone, according to MyFitnessPal, I ate and drank 3447 calories…a mere 2247 OVER my recommended calorie intake! Isn’t that INSANE!!!

    Today was slightly better…after a lunch that was less than ideal:

    My dinner was MUCH better….delicious and clean! Spaghetti squash with chicken and pears.

    This dish was from the November/December 2012 issue of Clean Eating magazine. It was easy to prepare and tasted great. I was so happy to be eating something so tasty and clean, instead of more fast food and restaurant food. There was enough left for 2 lunches, so I will eat well at work the next few days too.

    I’ve also got some great meals planned for the upcoming week as well. Dinners for the week (and hopefully a few producing leftovers for lunch) include:

  • Cauliflower, goat cheese & chicken ramekins
  • Curried chicken with apples and pears
  • Spicy corn chowder
  • Spiced spinach and chickpeas
  • Mustard chicken
  • I’m continuing to read my kettlebell books and I’m excited to get started on my kettlebell program. I haven’t got it all planned out yet, so this week I will probably do workouts from Fitness Blender and some of my old Bob Harper circuits. I also hope to get out for a few more walks, either during my lunch break at work or in the evenings at home. After the weekend I had, I need to be sure I’m active with some form of exercise everyday.

    I’m never really excited when a weekend is over, but I’m kind of glad that this one is soon to be behind me.

    How was your weekend?
    Did you stick to a clean eating weakend…or did you completely fall off the wagon like I did?

    Here’s looking forward to a great week ahead!


    The Friday Five – Saturday Edition

    Happy weekend! Welcome to the Friday Saturday Five!

    This slightly late post is coming to you from a hotel room in London, Ontario. We are here with my little guy’s hockey team for a tournament. Without further delay, here’s this week’s Five!

    1. I love watching my little guy play hockey. He has the biggest love of the game and puts his whole heart into every shift. Here he is before the first me the “Come on mom, enough with taking pictures of me for your blog” face.

    And here’s a picture from game 2 of him in the penalty box! He got his first penalty ever for being a little too aggressive when going for the puck in the corner. He was charged with a roughing penalty and when he got called he did that “who me” gesture. It was priceless. The picture is not very good as it was taken with my iPhone from across the rink, but there he is, all alone, in the “sin bin”.

    He was quite proud of his penalty. It makes me laugh because he is so not that kind of player. Although, since his team was shut out that game, at least he made it to the scoresheet!

    2. My food consumption the last two days has been less than ideal. And I’m not talking just a little less, I’m taking just about as far away from clean as you can get! Three meals a day in restaurants is not good. The healthiest thing I have eaten so far this weekend was a Sonoma Chicken Salad from Kelsey’s for lunch yesterday. The worst thing that I had is, by far, this morning’s breakfast. OH. MY. GOD. It was bad…and I mean BAD!

    Seriously, that coupled with the Starbucks Grande Non-fat no water Chai I had with it, and I had pretty much consumed my entire allotment of calories for the whole day by 9:30 this morning. While it was quite tasty (seriously those damn Cinnabons are sooooooo good) I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I could have since every bite I just kept thinking about all those calories, grams of fat and sugar! I probably shouldn’t have looked up the nutritional info on MFP until after I ate it! Oh well. It will be a long time before I eat one of those things again!

    3. GO LEAFS GO!. At long last, the NHL season finally kicks off tonight.

    The Leafs (my team) are starting their season with an away game against the Montreal Canadiens. I will be watching this game with other families from the hockey team. We didn’t advance to play tomorrow, but some families decided to stay over tonight anyways. We’ve got a private room with its own TV booked at Kelsey’s (which is right next door to the hotel). So, I’m sure I will continue my filthy food habits and have beer and chicken wings or nachos while I watch the game!

    4. I am obsessed with kettlebells. I have been looking online and various websites and I’ve found a couple of books from the library’s digital collection that deal with kettlebells and a few specifically kettlebells for women. I am reading like crazy and I think I am going to build a workout schedule that has me “swinging” 3 days a week. I’ve read so many stories about how adding adding kettlebell workouts and eating clean has transformed people’s bodies. I’m talking significant weightless of 100 pounds or more. I only want to lose 5-10 pounds, but I’m very interested in changing the shape of my body. From what I’ve read, kettlebell swings are the perfect exercise as they engage the whole body, burn fat like crazy, and tone muscles, all with very short but intense workouts. So, I’m going to keep reading and come up with a plan. I can’t wait to get swinging!


    5. After the food weekend I’ve had, I need to get right back into Clean Eating BIG TIME. I need to just accept the fact that this weekend was an eating disaster and let it go. I have all my Clean Eating magazines on my iPad, so I will take some time on the drive home tomorrow to plan my meals for the week. Then I need to get groceries and stick to the plan.

    Hopefully for tomorrow’s post I will have an awesome meal and workout plan for the week. Wish me luck!

    Have you ever had a completely disastrous eating weekend?
    How did you get yourself back on track?

    Are you cheering for the Leafs tonight?

    Leave a comment »

    I’m Sore!

    I woke up today and immediately had an internal debate about what tonight’s workout should be.  I knew I had a meeting after work, so would be getting home a little later than usual, and I was trying to think of something quick and intense that would get me sweating a burning those calories but not take up too much time.  I was thinking about a Bob Harper circuit…And then I got out of bed!  Oh…my…god.  My legs were killing me! 

    I knew they were hurting during my workout on Sunday (which was only yesterday…it feels like so long ago!) when I did the Bob Harper Tabata with jump lunges and air squats, but I didn’t think they would be so sore today.  It hurt for my purse to touch my quads when I walked. 

    Taking all of this into consideration…I decided to make today a rest day.  I read somewhere that proper rest is important in weight training.  Of course, I have searched all of my usual twitter sources, fitness blogs, and websites that I regularly visit, and now can’t find the one great article that really hit home with rest and recovery.  Regardless, I think my muscles need rest…and I’m really not sure I could have done a proper workout feeling like this.

    pain is weakness leaving
    This doesn’t mean I didn’t get any exercise, I just didn’t do a weight workout.  After dinner we needed to go up to Shopper’s Drug Mart to pick up our new passports from their mail depot.  Normally we would have driven, but tonight I convinced hubs we should walk. 

    We laced up our shoes, bundled up, and a short 36 minutes and 3.46km later, we were back home, new passports in hand.  Now I could sit on the couch, watch some TV and not feel too guilty about it, since I did burn a few calories on our walk.
    jan 13 walk When we got home, I was able to spend some quality time with my couch and TV, without feeling too guilty about it!

    Tonight was a great TV night.  How I Met Your Mother, House of Lies, and Californication – 3 of our favourites.  I thought Californication was going to be on last night…but apparently here in Canada we get it the day after it runs in the US…so I had to wait until tonight to get my Hank Moody fix.  That show is insane and it makes me shake my head about how messed up all the people on that show are.  Quality entertainment for sure! 

    Now, as has become my typical posting style…it is late, I’m exhausted, and I need to go to bed!  When am I going to learn and get myself to bed at a more reasonable hour? Ugh…

    How do you make sure you give you muscles the proper rest and recovery?
    Do you have any advice on how to get the most out of a recovery day?

    Are you a Californication fan?  What’s your favourite TV show?


    A 46 Minute Ass Kicking

    It’s late and I’m exhausted, so this is going to be short and sweet.

    I was on track with my eating today.  Healthy snacks at work, drank lots of water, and then came home to make a delicious Clean Eating Mexican Lasagna.  Oh.My.God.  It is so good!!!

    mexican lasagnaThis was supposed to serve 8.  We had 4.5 servings at dinner, and still have 7 leftovers!  And you know how much I love leftovers!!!
    mexican lasagna leftovers
    This will give me lunch for tomorrow and we will probably have it for dinner again tomorrow.  This is awesome, but will push tomorrow’s planned crock pot Sante Fe Chicken to Wednesday.  There’s no sense in wasting these yummy meals or cooking if I don’t have to.  It will actually work out perfectly, since I have a massage at 6:45 tomorrow night, so not having to cook from scratch will make tomorrow night a lot less chaotic for me.

    After dinner, I did this killer workout from Fitness Cheerleader.
    saturday workout results Wow!  This workout was killer.  I had to stop and catch my breath a few times and totally wanted to cut it short, but in the end I did 3 full rounds of both cardio and strength circuits.  I am pretty happy with the results.  269 calories with 39% from fat…I’ll take that!

    After my workout, all I had the energy to do was sit on the couch and watch TV.  I wanted to watch The Biggest Loser, but instead hubs and I watched the season premiere of Mr. D.  We like Gerry Dee and like the show.  It was a pretty good episode.  We watched it on PVR, and it finished just in time for me to catch the very end of The Biggest Loser when Nate was getting weighed in.  I can’t believe he only lost 5 pounds…so sad.  He seems to have done well while at home.  I will have to see if I can find the episode online tomorrow at lunch and see how many people cried and got kicked out of the gym this show!  Jillian scares the shit out of me!

    How was your Monday?
    Did you do a killer workout today?

    1 Comment »

    My First Mug Cake

    Before the Elf for Health Challenge, I had never even heard of a mug cake.  So, I hit Google and did a search.  Trust me…there are a LOT of mug cake recipes out there! 

    I finally settled on that I found on Babble.  A Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mug Cake.  I will admit…it was pretty easy to make.  Crack an egg in a mug, add 3 tbsp of brown sugar (I used 1.5 tbsp of brown sugar Splenda since I was out of regular brown sugar), 1/3 cup flour, 1 tbsp softened butter, and 3-4 tbsp of chocolate chips.  Stir and bake in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes. 

    mug cake

    I wasn’t too sure how this was going to turn out, but I mixed it up, stuck it in the microwave for 2 minutes and waited.  I was a bit nervous when the cake started to rise out of the mug while it was cooking, but when the timer went off, it sank back down into the mug. 

    It wasn’t the moistest cake I have ever had, but it was pretty good.  if I do it again, I will take it out closer to the minute and a half time, rather than leave it in for the full 2 minutes. 

    In the end it was a quick and tasty treat.  According to My Fitness Pal, when I punched in all of the ingredients, it is about 500 calories or so.   I will not be eating too many of these bad boys…and I definitely need to got for a run and do a workout tomorrow to burn off some of these extra calories.

    Have you ever made a mug cake? 
    How was it?


    14k Long Run Day

    Today was my long run.  14k…and it was tough.  I was running on cottage country roads and there was a killer hill at the half way point.  It must have been at least a kilometer long and it felt like it was never going to end.  I did walk part of it, but the part I did run was at a snail’s pace…I felt like I was moving backwards at times.  I was doing an out an back run, so I did get to enjoy the downhill after making my turnaround.  In the end, this week’s 14k was just a couple of minutes slower than last week’s and I’m sure it was due to that never ending hill! Here’s how my run looked when finished.

    aug 19 long run

    The best thing about hauling my ass all over cottage country is that it burned 941 calories.  That means I don’t really have to worry too much about what I eat today.  That being said, I still tried to avoid eating crap, but I certainly had a good appetite today!

    The run did make me pretty tired, and I tried my best to stay awake all day, but at 4:45 I finally caved and came over to our sleeping cabin and crawled into bed for a half hour lie down before we had guests coming for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 5:30.  I didn’t sleep, but it was still nice to just relax and chill in some piece and quiet. The kids were all playing Minecraft in the main cottage and their excitement with the game (i.e. yelling at each other) was driving me nuts!  A half hour of alone time was just what I needed.

    Tonight was my brother-in-law’s birthday dinner.  He wanted to prepare a pasta dish he had had once before and really enjoyed.  It is a Jamie Oliver recipe, and It was quite good.  Other than the fact that he made it with regular white pasta, it was also fairly clean.  It was quite tasty. and looked quite impressive.  Here’s the picture of the dish as shown on Jamie Oliver’s website, where you can also find the recipe.

    jamie oliver pasta

    Since it was his birthday, we also had chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert.  I didn’t feel the least bit guilty eating it after all those calories I burnt off on my run!  Plus, after we cleaned up the kitchen and got the kids to bed, we went for a half hour or so walk around the point.

    Now it’s late and I am exhausted.  I can’t wait to get this post uploaded, turn off all the lights, and get back into my book I’m reading.  That’s one of the best things about reading on an iPad.  You don’t need any lights, so you don’t have to get back out of bed to turn anything off.  Just close up the iPad, roll over, and off to dreamland!

    Tomorrow is a rest day on my training schedule.  Yay!  The kids are going to sailing club for the morning and I’m going to lay around a read some more.  I’m supposed to be on holidays this week, but work is too busy and I can’t take it off. I am however, taking tomorrow, since it is my oldest son’s 13th birthday tomorrow and I can’t miss that!  We will have his birthday dinner and I will head back to the city after dinner.  Rory and the boys will have to survive the rest of the week without me.  I’m sure they will manage!

    Did you do your long runs today?  How did they go?

    Read any good books lately?


    Magic Wednesday

    Tonight was a Girl’s Night Out.  I went to see Magic Mike with Toni, her friend Keltie and group of about 10 other ladies.  Let me tell you, we were not the only of ladies out at the movies tonight.  The place was crawling with us!

    While Magic Mike will likely not win any Academy Awards, it sure was good fun.  There were definitely some hard bodies on that screen, and Channing Tatum sure knows how to shake that bootie!  Matthew McConaughey is completely believable in his role as the aging beefcake…doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch for him.

    The movie was okay, good for some good laughs.  I’ve just read online that Magic Mike 2 is “in the works”.  While I’m pretty sure it won’t be any better, I’m also pretty sure that there will be another girl’s night out when it hits theatres!

    I was late getting home from work and didn’t have much time between when I got home until when I was being picked up for the movie, so didn’t have time to eat with my family.  As a result, my dinner tonight consisted of a half a bag of movie popcorn, a few M&M almonds and a diet Pepsi.  Brutal.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s dinner of the Clean Eating Roasted Fennel with Tomatoes, Chickpeas & Lemon.  I finally found some fennel and I have all I need to try the recipe.  The picture sure looks good.  I hope it tastes good too.  It’s sure a light meal, at only 205 calories per 1.5 cup serving.

    Photo from July 2012 Clean Eating Magazine

    I’ve never used fennel before, so I’m looking forward to trying it out.  I guess we will see tomorrow how close to the original mine looks when finished!

    Well, once again, it is late…almost midnight.  When am I actually going to get my act together and get to bed at a decent hour? Obviously not today!

    How was your Wednesday?  Have you seen Magic Mike?  What did you think?