Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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Sunday Survey – All About Fall.

Surveys feel like the perfect pasttime on a Sunday morning, don’t they? I saw this survey on Annette’s blog Friday and decided to give it a go. I’ve been loving fall so far, so here’s getting into the specifics.

1. Apple picking or pumpkin picking?

Apples! There was an apple orchard a few roads over from where I grew up, so we went there on Thanksgiving once in a while when I was little. I’ve only been a handful of times in the last 10 years or so, but I love it!

2. Favourite apple recipe?

Apple crisp. Cannot go wrong with apple crisp.

(I’m a little tempted to lick the screen right now).

3. Favourite pumpkin recipe?

As awesome as these muffins are, last Thanksgiving I baked a pumpkin pie (from scratch, pie crust and all) with a pecan crumble topping. It was pretty fabulous.

4. Favourite soup recipe?

Butternut squash, easily. I have a recipe for a butternut squash soup with peanut butter mixed in – sounds crazy, tastes like delicious. Actually thinking I might have to make some of that up soon!

(You can tell I’ve only had the blog for a few months due to my need to steal online images. But rest assured, I will get a butternut squash soup recipe on the blog ASAP).

5. Football: on tv or in the stadium?

I’m going to have to say on TV, because I’ve never been to a live football game (does that make me a terrible person?). That being said, I do actually like football! It’s the only sport I can watch on TV without getting bored in about 15 minutes.

6. Favourite football team to cheer for?

Steelers – Black and yellow, baby! It’s the team my dad cheers for, so I learned at a young age that that is who I should root for.

It runs in my family, apparently.

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(Superbowl 2011)

P.S. I kind of want to marry Troy Polamalu. If it weren’t for the whole, he’s already married thing.

Really, I’d be happy just to touch his hair.

7. Daylight Savings Time: love it or hate it?

Don’t really feel strongly about it either way – I guess it’s a fact of life?

8. How do your workouts change (if at all) for Fall time?

Any running I do moves from outdoors to the treadmill when it starts getting chilly. I HATE running in cold weather! It gives me awful sinus headaches, so I need to move indoors. I do less long runs and focus more on strength training and intervals, because long treadmill runs make me die of boredom a little.

9. Favourite Halloween candy?

All of them?

If I had to narrow it down, I’d say Reese’s. Candy corn is pretty awesome too.

10. Any fashion essentials for fall?

skinny jeans, boots, and leather jackets. Fairly typical female fall uniform. Smile

This one from Forever 21 is cute! (although if it’s cold enough to warrant a leather jacket, it’s probably too cold for those shorts. Just sayin’).

11. Do your meals change when the weather changes?

I tend to switch my salads for soups and roasted or steamed vegetables. I also tend to make a lot of lasagnas, casseroles and chilis. Warming myself up with food!

12. Favourite fall dinner?

Sweet potatoes. Soup. Roasted butternut squash.

I feel like I’m going to be eating a lot of roasted squash this year – I ate two thirds of the squash I roasted on Friday to myself within about 16 hours Smile

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Seriously kind of want it at every meal. Smile

13. Favourite fall dessert?

Pumpkin pie/cake/bars/cheesecake. Anything that uses candy corn as decoration.

Makes me smile. Open-mouthed smile

This is so flippin’ badass.

14. Best thing about fall?

MY BIRTHDAY! Duh. Open-mouthed smile

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Tiara + sparkly ballerina skirt = birthday necessities. Although I’m not going to lie, I don’t remember a lot of that birthday…

15. Worst thing about fall?

It’s the longest possible time before it’s summer again. And the shortest possible time before winter.

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Clearly trying to hold on to summer as long as possible, as evidenced through last night’s dinner. Homemade burgers with goat brie, tomatoes, honey mustard and spinach. Steamed green beans on the side.

16. Best thing (that will happen) in fall 2012?

I’ll turn 23, I’ll get my first semester of grad school done, and then there’s Halloween – my favourite holiday! (Still have to think of a costume though).

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Although I have to admit, it’s pretty unlikely I’ll come up with something cooler than my brother did last year. He made those wings himself!

<— What was your Halloween costume last year? I was a schoolgirl. Original, eh?

<— What football team do you cheer for?

<— Answer any of the above questions! Or fill it out and link it up. Smile


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And Then I Went to GNC.

I started yesterday off with what may be the biggest victory of my week.

In all the time I’ve made green smoothies, Eric has given me a slight look of disgust.

I whipped one up for breakfast today – cottage cheese, peanut butter chocolate protein powder, a frozen banana, spinach, and a bit of unsweetened chocolate almond milk.

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Eric finally agreed to try a sip.

The verdict?

HE LIKED IT!

I’ve been telling him for months that it’s tasty and you couldn’t taste the spinach, but he didn’t believe me. Now he knows better. Smile

Grocery day today!

I hit up the farmer’s market, the dollar store, and one grocery store for today’s purchases.

The meats/dairy/proteins:

S

  • marble cheese (normally I go for something a little better quality, but it was an awesome sale)
  • goat brie (definitely an impulse day. Best impulse buy I’ve made in a while)
  • smoked ham
  • egg whites
  • cottage cheese
  • tofu (can’t remember the last time I had it!)
  • deli turkey

 

The produce:

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  • tomatoes
  • beans
  • bananas
  • baby carrots
  • cauliflower
  • honeycrisp apples (why must you be so expensive!?)
  • red pepper
  • sweet potato

 

The rest:

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  • steel cut oats ($1.25 at the dollar store. That’s pretty awesome)
  • english muffins
  • cashews
  • frozen meals (for Eric if there’s no leftovers in the fridge)
  • hamburger buns

 

I’ve been having a really random craving for the last few weeks.

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So I decided it was high time I acted on it.

Anyone else remember these? I think it’s a nostalgia thing – I remember my grandma always having a stash of these in her house when I was little. Smile

I came in $20 under budget this week – I feel accomplished. Smile

 

After groceries, I had a few other stops to make.

First stop, GNC.

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Protein powders of course – I cannot run out of this stuff.

My usual Whey Gourmet (although I haven’t tried this flavour yet – I’m definitely intrigued) and a container of casein protein.

Casein is a type of protein found mainly in dairy products. Whereas whey protein gets to muscles quickly, casein is slow digesting – basically, perfect as a nighttime snack so that you’re not losing muscle while your fasting (aka sleeping). I’ve been wanting to try it for a while to eat before bed, so we’ll see if it makes a difference in my ability to maintain muscle. I’m thinking some of Meg’s Casein Fudge is in order!

Although after that trip, I’m not allowed to buy anything else until payday. Smile with tongue out Some girls buy clothes, I buy protein powder.

 

My second stop was to check out this place:

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Goodness Me is a health food store that opened in Brantford about 3 weeks ago, but I hadn’t had a chance to go yet. Goodness me boasts a selection of organic produce, organic and natural foods, a huge supply of natural health products, and a salad/smoothie bar to boot.

Umm, why did I wait so long to go here?

Look at this: if you love nut butters, this is pretty much heaven.

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Or bars…bars are good too.

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Aisles upon aisles of delicious-looking, natural foods.

I left empty handed, but I will definitely be back.

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For this if nothing else. Dark chocolate stevia, I need you in my life.

 

Dinner

Simple, tasty dinner tonight.

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Baked chicken breasts with Stubbs Honey Pecan BBQ Sauce, roasted butternut squash (roasted with coconut oil, cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar) and roasted broccoli (coconut oil, salt, pepper, cumin).

I love roasted squash, but I don’t make it often. Probably because all the prep/chopping drives me crazy!

I’m going to be hanging around here a lot this weekend – it seems that everyone around me is sick, so of course I woke up yesterday with a sore throat. Le sigh – lots of rest and sleeping for me.

 

<—Do you buy protein powder? What brand do you use?

<—Does your significant other/family/friends think some of the food you eat is weird? I’ve gotten so many weird looks from people when they see what I eat sometimes…


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Double Happiness + Taking The Stairs.

Happy almost weekend! (or in my case, weekend. Woot Fridays off!)

I got my day started with a massive bowl of pumpkin oats.

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In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup egg whites

 

Tossed in the microwave for about 4 minutes. While I prefer the texture of stovetop oats, I’m lazy, And hate doing dishes. Smile

I topped it with a bit of almond butter, shredded coconut and raisins.

I definitely recommend adding egg whites to oats. Not only does it add protein and fluffiness,to the oats but it makes for massive volume. That’s like a mixing bowl full of oats up there – it kept me full for so long!

 

Dinner

Eric and I are big on anniversaries. On the 27th of each month, we try to have some sort of date (usually dinner) – yes, we are nauseatingly cute.

We decided instead of going out for dinner, we would go pick up some Chinese – something we haven’t actually done together in 15 months of dating.

DSCF1605Chinese food!

There’s a place about a ten minute walk from the apartment called Jumbo Dragon. I called, and we left 5 minutes later. By the time we got there, the food was ready to go – I love it when restaurant are that quick !

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I ordered the Sauteed Double Happiness. Umm, with a name like that, how could you not want to order it?!? I probably would have ordered it regardless of what was in it Smile with tongue out

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Chinese food, you are massive. This also came with white rice on the side. This was tasty, but a little too heavy on the celery for me.

Eric decided on a combo platter. Beef and broccoli, sweet and sour chicken, chicken fried rice and an egg roll. Aka – quintessential Chinese food.

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We also ordered a steamed dumpling appetizer (which we started eating before I snapped a picture – I had 3, he had 5).

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This is where I would normally show you a picture of my dinner plate.

But no – we just broke out the chopsticks and ate out of the containers over the kitchen counter. Smile

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In case you ever wondered what I look like with a mouthful of dumpling.

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Yup, we are classy.

Fortune cookie!

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Apparently, this was not enough for dessert because the ice cream cake was calling my name from the freezer.

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Better. Smile

Somebody needs to figure out how to make the fudgy-crumbly stuff in the middle. And then mail me a bucketful. So good!

 

Taking the Stairs

So although I’m not hitting the gym as often, I still feel like I’m getting a good amount of exercise in day-to-day. A lot of it is because of these babies:

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My apartment has an interesting setup: You go in the front door (you have to go up a flight of stairs to get to my apartment, by the way) and you’re in the living room with the kitchen directly to the left. On the right side is the stairs that lead to the bedroom and the bathroom.

So basically, if you’re watching TV or something in the living room and have to use the bathroom, you have to walk up the stairs. Considering that I have a water bottle pretty much permanently attached to my face, that happens quite often.

Last week I decided to turn it into an experiment: I counted how many flights of stairs I climbed on a daily basis (all stairs, not just the ones in my apartment). This is what I ended up with:

  • Day 1: 10
  • Day 2: 11
  • Day 3: 17 (grocery day)
  • Day 4: 13
  • Day 5: 13
  • Day 6: 16
  • Day 7: 10

 

I was definitely surprised by these numbers – that’s a lot of stairs in a day!

A lot of reports that have come out in recent months point to prolonged periods of sitting as a health concern. According to a study in the European Heart Journal, spending too much time being sedentary leads to an increase in C-reactive protein, which is linked to inflammation. Clearly, that’s not a good thing. Even people that meet the daily recommended levels of exercise can still be affected if they’re sedentary the rest of the day.

(source)

So – clearly climbing a flight of stairs every time I go to the bathroom is definitely combating my sedentary habits! I tend to spend all day on my laptop, so these stairs are actually a bit of a blessing for me (plus they look cool, how often have you seen a flight of stairs in a one-bedroom apartment)?

And, I guess standing at the counter eating dinner kinda counts too :-p

Something else I would like to do – get a laptop perch, kinda like the one Anne describes! Extra time on your feet is never a bad thing for your health. Smile

 

<— Do you microwave your oats or do them stovetop?

<— Do you do anything to combat being too sedentary?