My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

The Friday Five – Facebook Memories Edition

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So a while ago Facebook started showing you “memories” from previous years on whatever day it is.  I’ve been getting a kick out of those as it’s a nice trip down memory lane, and it’s been reminding me of not only good times I’ve had with friends and family, but also good eats that I’ve made in the past and forgotten about.  Here are some of my recent “foodie” memories.  Most of these recipes are listed on my “recipes you have to try page”, but I’ve also provided links to the recipes below.

  1. Lean Green Bean Frozen Peanut Butter Cups.  

    These little beauties are quick and easy to make, and since I made them in a mini muffin tin, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about enjoying then as an afternoon treat at work or at night while watching tv.  I currently have some in my freezer at home and at the office! Find the recipe here.

  2. Clean Eating Mediterranean Veg & White Bean Pasta.
    CE med veg and white bean pasta.jpgThis is a delicious and quick pasta dinner.  It’s loaded with veggies and the feta cheese is a nice tangy topping.  Find the recipe here.  I like this one since it usually gives me 2 leftover meals for lunches at work.
  3. Clean Eating Mongolian-Style Beef Crepes
    mongolian style beef crepes.jpgThe bundle of deliciousness popped up in my memory feed this week and I am definitely adding it to next weeks menu when I do my meal planning this weekend.  I had totally forgotten about these, but do remember how tasty they were and I’m looking forward to making them again.  Find the recipe here.
  4. Clean Eating Spaghetti Carbonara with Chicken Sausage
    spaghetti carbonara.jpg
    I had totally forgotten about this recipe too.  I went through quite a phase of cooking from Clean Eating magazine when I first started trying to eat better and exercise more.   I made this last Sunday and it was even better than I remember it.  So good and it will definitely not be another 3 years before I make this again.
  5. This last memory is not food related, but friend related.  For the last 5 years, in early April, I have gone to Brockville to play hockey with my best girls.  This year, we were initially planning to go to Nashville for a tourney instead, but that fell through as it became a bit too expensive and people figured the hockey would get in the way of our drinking.  So, we changed to a tourney the same weekend in Niagara Falls.  All was good, except 2 weeks before the tourney, it got cancelled 😦  It seems lots of teams said they were coming and then never sent their cheques in, so the organizer cancelled.  We couldn’t do Brockville this year because many of the girls had other commitments that weekend and we didn’t have enough to ice a team.  So, we didn’t get our tourney weekend in this year.  That made us all a bit sad, because the Corona Crushers really know how to have a good time at a tourney.  Here’s the memory that came up this week from last year’s tourney.  Love you crazy chicks.  xo
    post game crushers.jpg

I’m sure I will be making more memories this weekend as it’s the Third Annual Jelly Bean Ball – a fundraiser my friend has for Community Living.  If history repeats itself, and I’m sure it will, we will eat, drink, dance and be merry until the wee hours of the morning.  Can’t wait!

Happy weekend!  The weather in the Toronto area is finally looking like spring.  As soon as I hit publish I’m heading to the back deck to enjoy a nice, cold Corona!  Cheers!

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Fresh Start

Happy Monday!

I hate to say it, but I am glad that the weekend is over.  Crazy, I know, but I needed Monday to come to give me a chance to get back on track.

This past weekend I was away with a bunch of girlfriends and I ate and drank too much.  Actually, not too much, I just didn’t do too well sticking to my macro plan.  It was a carb heavy weekend, for sure…with a definite lack of protein!

weekend macros

Today is my day to get back on plan.  Today is my fresh start.

fresh start

How was your weekend?

Do you need a fresh start?

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Monday Quickie

Happy Monday!

Despite my great plans to write at lunch time, I got sucked into my book which I read while I ate my lunch and just keep going, using up all my writing time. Oh well.  Reading isn’t a bad thing!

Anyways, now I’m trying to squeeze in a quick post before I head to the rink to watch my son play hockey. I’m actually writing this in my phone. I’m loving my 6s+. It’s big but I’m not finding it too big at all. 👍🏻

Today was the first official day of the macro MMC at my gym. I’m going to hit my targets as long as I have a very strange snack of a piece of cheese, 10 olives, and 6 slices of ham at some point before I go to bed.   I’m still full from my amazing dinner (see below) so my plan is to eat my snack when I get home from the rink.  Once I eat that, my macros will look like this:


Not prefect but within the 5g difference allowed for carbs, protein and fat. Not a bad start!

Tonight’s dinner was a recipe I had made quite a while ago but was reminded of when I was searching for something on my blog last week. It’s a stuffed squash by Guy Fieri that was in an issue of Clean Eating magazine a few years ago.


So good. And lots left for 3 lunches this week.  😀

How was your Monday?  

Eat anything yummy today?

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Happy Halloween – The Saturday Six

Happy Halloween!

I had this post all roughed out Thursday night in my notebook, and then just never got around to writing it yesterday.  I spent Friday afternoon at the mall (more on that later), hit the 4:30 CrossFit class, and then went out for chicken wings with friends for dinner, so getting this post done just didn’t happen.  That’s okay.  I will write it today and instead of a Friday Five, I’ll go with a Saturday Six!

1.  We carved our pumpkins today.  Nick and Rory took the easy way out and drilled a bunch of holes in their pumpkins, but Jacko and I took our pumpkin carving duties seriously.  I went poop emoji and Jacko went Minion.  We were both pretty pleased at how they turned out.

Pumpkins2.  October is coming to an end and so are my challenges.  The plank challenge just did not happen 😦  but my mobility challenge was awesome  🙂  I spent at least 20 minutes just about every day either foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball.  It was awesome.  It feels so good and I’m really hoping that I can keep this up even though the challenge is over.  Most nights I roll before I get into bed and read while I roll out my back and legs.  After a month of rolling I am surprised at how much my back still cracks when I roll it out.  I would have thought by now the creaks would have been rolled away!

3.  November Member Challenge has been announced.  Now that October is over its time for a new Monthly Member Challenge at CFNC.  November’s challenge is to log everything you eat into My Fitness Pal every day.  This will be a piece of cake for me as I just hit a 400 day streak on MFP.  The powers that be at the gym know there are a number of us that already log daily and track macros, so for us, the challenge has been kicked up a notch.  For this group, the challenge it to come within 2g for each macro (carbs, protein and fat) every day and to actually have perfect macros 2 days a week.  This will definitely make it a much tougher challenge.  I’ve been paying more attention to what I’ve been eating and sticking to clean choices most of the time, but I haven’t been all that close on my macros for quite a while.  I tend to go over on fat and fall short with carbs and protein.  This should be an interesting month as I try to come within 2g every day and getting 2 perfect days a week will certainly keep things interesting.  If any of you out there are on MFP and would like to follow along, feel free to “friend” me, I’m CathyO13 on MFP.

4.  I’ve lined up some good eats for next week.  Knowing I will need to eat pretty healthy for the next month for MMC, I’ve got a few tasty meals lined up:
Guy Fieri’s Stuffed Acorn Squash with Turkey Sausage from Clean Eating Magazine.  I have made this before and it is delicious.  It is currently lined up for dinner Monday night.  I can’t wait!
stuffed squash

I also found a recipe online that looks yummy and is on the menu for Wednesday night.  Paleo Pumpkin Curry by Fed and Fit.  (photo from Fedandfit.com)
Paleo-Pumpkin-Curry-Fed-Fit-3I’m already looking forward to dinners next week!

5.  They say “Go big, or stay home”…so I went BIG!  I mentioned earlier that I spent Friday afternoon in the mall…well, I was at the Apple Store getting a new phone!  I went big and got the 128GB iPhone 6s Plus in Rose Gold.  It’s big, it’s beautiful, and I’m loving it.  It is significantly bigger than my old iPhone 5, but I can actually see things on it.  My old eyes were struggling with small stuff on my old phone.  Not the best picture since I took it with my ancient iPad, but here’s my new beauty on the left and my old 5 on the right.
I6s+ 56.  I haven’t had any Halloween treats yet!  Hubs bought a ton of Halloween candy last weekend.  Not usually a good thing for that much candy around this place as it usually all gets eaten before Halloween if we get it early.  To try to make sure that didn’t happen, I hid it all before the kids saw it and Rory didn’t know where I put it either.  Today I got it out just before the little trick or treaters started knocking at the door.  I had told myself that I could have 5 pieces of candy tonight, but I would need to do 10 burpees before each piece. So far, it’s 11pm, and I haven’t had a single piece!  I even have room for a piece or two in my macros, but I just don’t feel like it. But I really should find something else to eat.  I have 30g protein, and 14g of fat left for the day.  I guess as soon as I hit Publish, I’m off to the fridge to eat some strange combination of food to try to hit those targets!

Well, that’s about it.

Hope you had a good Halloween….and did something more exciting tonight than writing a blob post!  🙂

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Motivational Monday: Planning For Chaos

Happy Monday!

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I was searching online for some sort of quote or image that I could use in my post and found this one that was perfect for today’s topic:

planning chaos

Most days, my life does feel like organized chaos!  Each week we juggle school, work, CrossFit 3 times a week for hubs and 4 times a week for me, hockey twice a week for each kid and once a week for hubs and me.  That’s a lot to fit in. Some days I’m amazed we pull it off!  I rely on the calendar in my iPhone to keep track of things, plus we have a family calendar in the kitchen that we fill in as well.  It has a column for each family member so we can keep track of who needs to be where when.

In general, I think we do a pretty good job of fitting everything in.  Although, when things get hectic, the one thing that tends to fall through the cracks at our house is food.  When our weekends get busy, or we are away, I often don’t menu plan or grocery shop.  This makes the week following a bit of a challenge.  Lunches and dinners get a bit sketchy.

We finally got smart last week.  I knew I was going to be away and not likely back Sunday in time to menu plan or grocery shop before we needed to head out to two rinks on opposite sides of town for hockey with the boys. So, hubs had the genius idea to do a Grocery Gateway order.  Grocery Gateway is an online grocery store that delivers to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).  You go online, fill your “grocery cart” with whatever groceries you need, pick a delivery time, check out and the groceries will be delivered to your home during the delivery window you choose.   He started our order Thursday night and I went in and topped up the cart with things I would need for meals this week.  The first delivery option available was tomorrow…so tomorrow between 6 and 7:30am (before we go to work) our groceries will be delivered and dropped off right in our kitchen.  All we have to do is put them away before we head to work.  You have no idea how excited I am about this.  I am going to have a fridge full of groceries without having to step foot in the grocery store or take an hour to shop.  YAY!!!

I also had a feeling last week that this week might be crazy so on Friday, before I went away,  I made an Eat Savage order for my lunches this week.  Eat Savage is a Paleo meal delivery service.  You order what meals you want by Friday, and they deliver them the following Monday to the drop off/pick up location of your choice.  I get them to deliver to my CrossFit gym and just pick them up when I go to class Monday night.  Tonight one of the boys plays hockey at 7:20 which means I can’t get to class, but I will swing by and pick up my lunches on my way home from work.

So despite having had a busy weekend and not being able to get to the grocery store, I have lunches for the week and all the groceries i need to cook tasty, clean meals – well, tomorrow after the groceries get delivered I will have everything I need 🙂  All this means that I have no excuse not to eat healthy this week…and that makes me happy.

I don’t have an exact menu plan for the week, but with what we’ve ordered, I know we will eat well.  I’m excited to get cooking!  I think I will try one of the casseroles that I mentioned here.

How do you plan for chaos?

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Motivational Monday

Happy New Year!

I’ve been a very bad blogger.  It’s been a month between posts!  Horrible, I know, and I’m sorry.  😦  I will try to do better.

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To get back into the swing of things, I’m going to keep this Motivational Monday short and sweet.

I’m recommitting to clean eating, avoiding crap, limiting myself to one chai latte a week, and working hard at CrossFit.  I didn’t jump on the January 1 bandwagon, but I’m starting today.

start todayWish me luck!

How about you?  Are you getting back on track today?  

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Reverse Menu Planning

It’s Sunday night and that means the weekend is almost over 😦
tomorrow's monda

Normally Sunday means menu planning, grocery shopping and usually some food prep. Today, that wasn’t the case.

Last night hubs and I went to the movies to see St Vincent, and on the way home we were going to make a quick stop at the grocery store to get some bacon for breakfast this morning. When we got to the grocery store parking lot, there were only 3 cars in the whole lot. I made a random comment that it was too bad we didn’t have a list so we could do all of our shopping in the empty store. We ended up deciding to wing it and just bought a bunch of stuff and would figure out the menu plan after.

I made sure we got what was needed for some cauliflower fried rice and Pizza Spaghetti Pie. We also picked up some steaks, chicken breasts, pork chops, a pork tenderloin, eggs, fruit, veggies and stuff for the kids lunches this week. It was our quickest grocery trip in a while. In and out in about 20 minutes. It was awesome!

Tonight for dinner we had steak, roasted sweet potato rounds, and some balsamic asparagus.
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I reverse engineered our menu for the week based on the groceries we bought and we will be eating very well!
Monday: Pizza Spaghetti Pie
Tuesday: Chicken Caesar Salad
Wednesday: BBQ Pork Cauliflower Fried Rice
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pork Tenderloin – I will have to figure out what to serve as a side dish for this, but I’ve got a few days to do that!

The Photo101 course didn’t have any new assignments over the weekend, but a new prompt has been released for tomorrow – “Connect”. I will have to figure out how I will capture that concept in an image. Hopefully I can get out at lunch and find a good shot.

Now, I should sign off and go to bed. I need to leave for work earlier than usual tomorrow. I’ve got a conference call with clients in Sweden tomorrow, so we are starting a bit earlier than usual to account for the time differences.

How was your weekend?
Do anything exciting?

Let’s hope the week flies by!

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Motivational Monday–Finish Strong!

Happy Monday!
motivational-monday1

As you know, I’ve been doing the Whole Life Challenge.  We are in the final week.  Thank God!  I am so ready for this to be over, so I can go back to eating how I usually do, without so many restrictions. 

For the most part, I eat Paleo or Clean.  I do allow myself the odd treat – can you say Chai Latte! – but for the most part, I stay on track.  But since being on the Challenge, I’m finding that not being “allowed” to have something is making me want it more.  Not so much with meals, since I’m pretty good with planning those out and sticking to the plan, but snacks have been a challenge this time.  I can’t seem to find anything that satisfies my cravings.  I would kill for a chocolate bar.  So far I have resisted, but the temptation is vey bad this week as we have so much leftover candy from Halloween. The weather was crap and we didn’t get many kids at the door, so we only gave out half of what we bought and now I have a giant bowl of chocolate bars on my table tormenting me!chocolate

So far I have resisted.  My goal is to make it to the end of the challenge, after the final workout and measurements, and then allow myself to have a mini KitKat and a full-size bag of Peanut M&M’s that my son gave me from his trick or treat bag.

To help with this, I made some Paleo muffins that I can snack on this week:
muffins

These are Lemon Raspberry Swirl muffins from The Paleo Kitchen. They are delicious and I’m hoping they will keep me out of the candy bowl! 

I’ve got 5 more days to stick to the program.  I’m going to work hard at CrossFit, try to not break any food rules, and finish strong!

finish strong

How do you keep yourself motivated to finish strong?

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Motivational Monday

Wow….has it really been 3 weeks since I’ve posted?   Life got busy, and then I was in Jamaica last week (with no internet access!), and blogging just didn’t happen.

I will fill you in on what’s been going on soon (hopefully tomorrow), but for now, know that once again I have fallen off the wagon with workouts and eating, so once again, it’s time to get back on track.  And here’s how I plan to do it:

back-on-track

  • All of my vacations are over (for the most part), and I’m recommitting to my workouts and healthy eating. 
  • I’ve got my meals planned for the week and anything I’m cooking at home is paleo or clean.
  • I’m taking my water bottle with me wherever I go.
  • I’m eating healthy meals and snacks.
  • I’ve charge my FitBit and I’m logging in MyFitnessPal again.
  • While I’ve taken a few steps back, I’m still way ahead of where I started.
  • I had a great WOD tonight to get back into my 4 times a week CrossFit routine.
  • Last week was so much fun (friend’s wedding in Jamaica where I ate and drank way too much), but now I’m home and getting back to a good routine.
  • My fridge is loaded with fruits and veggies.
  • I’m excited to work hard and eat well and see some results. 

I’m looking forward to seeing how I do.  Wish me luck!

Anyone else getting back on track this week too?

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Totally Random Tuesday

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I’m going to use my Totally Random Tuesday post to get caught up on highlights from the last few weeks. Here we go:

1.  I didn’t finish my August Mile A Day Challenge Sad smile Things got hectic before we went to St. Lucia.  I missed my run Tuesday, August 19th, but I did run on Wednesday the 20th (treadmill before work), and then the wheels fell off.  Thursday we had a going away party for friends moving to Australia, Friday we had to run up to the cottage to watch the kids get their awards for Sailing Club this summer, and Saturday we went to St. Lucia. I did bring my running shoes and gear with me…but did not run.  It was too friggin’ hot!  Oh well.  In the end I ran a total of 17 miles in August, which is 17 more than I would have run without the Challenge.  I still don’t love running, but I think the miles may have helped since I feel like I’m a bit faster when we run during WODs. 

2.  St. Lucia was AMAZING!!! We had a fantastic week at Sandals Regency Le Toc doing not much of anything at all.  We lay around in the sun, hung out in the pool, and drank WAY too many blender drinks!  This was our view for most of the week…not too hard to take!
photo 1
We did manage to snorkel a few times:  once right in front of the hotel, and once we took a boat to a spot just a bit south on the coast from the hotel.  We saw lots of colourful fish and a few ugly ones as well!

We played 9 holes of golf on the course at the resort.  It was fun and a few holes were interesting as they climbed up the side of a mountain.  The funniest part of the round was when a crab stole my ball on the very first hole.  I just missed the green and he grabbed my ball and took it down into his hole with him. The caddie said I get a free drop for that!view

We had a great week in the sun and were very sad when we had to go home, as you can see in our last day sad face selfie:
photo 3
3.  Winter hockey has started!  It seemed like this was a very early start to the year, but we played our first game of the winter season last Thursday.  Our team is a bit different this year, as a few of our regulars decided not to play, and others missed the sign-up deadline, but there are 6 of us from last year, plus my sister is back playing again (YAY!!!), and then there are a whole bunch of new players to the team.  One bonus is my friend Nikki from CrossFit randomly got put on my team, so that’s awesome!  We tied our first game 1-1 and I got the goal.  It was ugly, but as long as it went in!  We play again this coming Thursday and I can’t wait.  I friggin’ love hockey!
love hockey

4.  Taking 2 weeks off from CrossFit is NOT a good idea!  Between our hectic week before we went to St. Lucia, being in St. Lucia and Labour Day long weekend, it was 2 weeks between CrossFit WODs for me.  That was not a good thing.  My first WOD back was Tabata This and it was killer. 

I started out strong, with my best row and squats ever, but then I tanked and ended up 3 points lower than what I did last time Sad smile.  Despite doing worse, my pain level after was higher.  My quads killed me for 3 days after!  Going down the stairs was pure torture.  Thankfully I had a massage on Thursday evening and my RMT worked hard on my legs and they felt somewhat better.  Hockey Thursday night seemed to help too, since Friday the pain wasn’t quite so bad.  I need to remember how bad this was and not take 2 weeks off again!
too many rest days

5.  I’m loving all the food prep that I did this week.  I had a busy Sunday of menu planning, grocery shopping and food prep…and it was totally worth it.  I have been eating well and feeling good about my nutrition choices.  This week, I’m eating Nom Nom Paleo Prosciutto Frittata Muffins, Make it Paleo Breakfast Sausage, my own version of sweet potato hash, and The Paleo Kitchen Open Faced Sliders and Raspberry Swirl Muffins.  Yum Yum Yum!!!
photo 4 (2)photo 1 (8)photo 5 (1)photo 3 (5)photo 2 (8) 

Now, it’s late and I’ve had a busy day.  I played golf and hit CrossFit.  I’m exhausted and looking forward to a good night’s sleep. 

Hope your Tuesday was totally random!

Have you made any delicious recipes lately? 
Feel free to share.  I’m always looking for new good eats!

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