Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tasty Tuesday's #2 - Thai Basil Pesto on Rice Noodles

I've had a pretty chaotic work week as I prepare to go on two weeks of (well-deserved!) vacation. GOOD FOOD FAST has been the order of the day. This week I'm sharing another of my favourite healthy recipes - a fast, flavourful noodle dish that tastes even better the next day in your lunchbox. Serve this with a delicious salad to keep portions in check.

Ingredient Round Up: lean ground pork, vermicelli, olive oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, pine nuts and rice vinegar. Also, minced red thai chili pepper or sriracha chili sauce (not shown).

Secret Ingredient: Fresh basil from my garden.

I had to sneak in a photo of my Assistant Gardner (and jogging partner), Tito!

In a food processor, combine your pesto ingredients. Now, I am notorious for not measuring my ingredients, but I'll do my best! Add about 2 cups of basil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to liquify the ingredients), chili to taste - I used about 1.5 tablespoon sriracha for a spicy one. Pulse until all ingredients are combined into a nice, smooth pesto. You should also start boiling a large pot of water for your noodles at this time.

Brown your ground pork over medium-high heat. When it's cooked through, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of oyster sauce.

When the pork is complete, it's time to drop your noodles. These guys cook super-fast, so be prepared to pull them out of the water after about 2-3 minutes. Drain.

Combine your pesto and ground pork together in a large bowl. Add your noodles and mix to combine.

I actually don't have a picture of the finished product because I was FAMISHED by this point and hubs and I had cleaned our plates before I even thought to take a pic. Trust me - it is a thing of beauty! ;)

I always serve this with an asian-inspired salad. This one contained: arugula, romaine, sesame oil & rice vinegar 'dressing', nectarine wedges and sesame seeds.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Earthquakes, Tornadoes and G20 - oh my!

To all my faithful readers - I apologize for not blogging recently, but it has been one helluva week in Toronto!

We experienced the aftershock of a small earthquake which took place on the Ontario/Quebec border and watched tornadoes touch down north of the city. To top it all off, we have been forced to watch the city turn into a Police State with the onset of the G8 and G20 Summits taking place this weekend. The giant security fences are up, the downtown core is boarded up, and the protesters are already making their presence known.

To lighten things up a little, this picture captures the extent of the devastation suffered as a result of the earthquake:

To top it all off, I've had a crazy schedule with work this week which has kept me sitting on my BUTT watching focus groups for 14-hours a day and well clear of the running trails for the past 3 days * grimace*. OKAY - NO EXCUSES! NO PITY PARTY! I am dedicating my weekend to getting myself back on the program and moving forward.

Hope you're all having an awesome week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

264.6 (-2.4)

That's what I'm talkin' about! See what a week of compulsive meal planning and steely will power can do?

This is one of my biggest weekly losses in a while. Throughout this entire week I was begrudging the meal plans and loathed the fact I had to spend half an hour during prime-time to prepare my meals for the next day...but it paid off!

Three cheers for Clean Eating Magazine which inspired my menu this week.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Workout Wednesdays #5

Is it Wednesday already? I don't know where this week has gone!

I was able to stick to my plan this week, for the most part. I actually got up the courage to take my treadmill workout to the streets...well, to the local trail system, at least! I ran outdoors three times this week:

Run #1: The only time I actually remembered to bring my watch along to time my 45-second running bursts. I found it much more difficult outdoors, but it was totally doable.

Run #2: No watch this time. I sprinted as long as I could and then walked in between - 8 sets.

Run #3: Loooooooong and slow. Guess what? I think I went 1 full kilometre before stopping on my first stretch!

I'm starting to find my recovery time between running spurts is getting much easier and shorter. Yeah - such a great feeling!

In other news, my golf clinic has started up again on Monday nights. It's amazing that I can actually work up a sweat when hitting the balls properly, ha! I went through an extra large bucket in 45-minutes and pained myself with the reality that I have to re-learn how to swing a club. It happens every year unfortunately....all those bad habits creep back. I've noticed a big improvement already and can't wait to challenge D to a game this weekend.

For the week ahead my goal is to:
- GOLF: one round on the course, one clinic and one round of practice balls at the range
- RUN: increase my runs to 1-minute or more; get in at least 4 sessions

I think I'm going to try adding one new activity per week. What do you think of that challenge? I know that some form of strength training should be on my list, but it's the one thing I hate most. I admit it! Even when I was super fit back in the day I'd just loathe it. Maybe next week! :P

Have a great week!

Monday, June 14, 2010

267 (-1.6)

I'm down about one pound this week. To be honest, my first reaction to seeing this number on the scale was "One stinkin' pound!? That's IT?? But I was soooo 'good' this week." I suppose I expected the pounds to come off more quickly than they have been.

Then, I shook it off and decided to focus on the following facts:
1. I lost weight.
2. I didn't gain weight.
3. I didn't maintain.
4. I lost.


Ok...on to the next week!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Workout Wednesdays #4

I really didn't want to run last night. I was full of excuses. My shins were sore from doing a hard outdoor trail run the day before. It was getting late. I had a hard day at work. Then, as I was cruising my favourite blogs in search of some motivation and a proverbial kick in the arse to get moving, the universe answered my call! Check out this verification word I was given while commenting over at See How She Runs :

Run R(a)e. Sounded like an instruction to me! I mean, how can you ignore THAT!?

The Week In Review
- did run/walk for 25-minutes with 45-second running bursts 4 times
- golfed 9 holes walking (got a 52.....ouch!)
- last night's trail "run"; 20 minutes light jogging continuous (but super slow)

I'm sticking with the run/walk for the week ahead because....well....it seems to be working. I'm going to try to increase the amount of run time to a full minute. I know I'm taking this very slowly, but I am reluctant to go too fast for fear of injuring myself. You see, the last time I did this I ended up with shin splints by Week 6.

Hope you're having a great week!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays #1

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

I've been experimenting with many a healthy recipe and new ingredient since taking my health more seriously. I also happen to be a hobby 'chef' that likes to play with her food. I thought I'd share a few recipes on the blog. Let me know what you think!

Today I cooked with bulgur for the first time. And NO - that's not an attempt at profanity! Bulgur is basically a form of wheat that's been parboiled, dried & cracked. This morning, I used this grain commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking as a replacement for my steel cut oats at breakfast. Without further adieu, Rae's Sweet & Nutty Summer Grains recipe!

You will need: bulgur, unsweetened applesauce, hazelnuts, fresh blueberries and vanilla extract.

Bulgur is easy to cook. Just boil some water and walk away from the stuff until the water is absorbed. Use a ratio of 2:1. In other words, I brought 2 cups of water to a boil for 1 cup of bulgur. Once the water is boiling, add a dash of vanilla extract and your bulgur.

Get it off the heat and get a lid on the stuff. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up 5 hazelnuts with a sharp knife.

Grab one cup of bulgur and stir in half a cup of applesauce. Note: You will have at least one cup leftover. Tabbouleh salad, anyone?

Top with blueberries and hazelnuts. Enjoy!

The Stats
Calories: 285
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 58g
Protein: 7g

Mix It Up
Use any combo of fruit and nuts or try adding a little maple syrup or agave nectar for a sweeter version. I can't wait to try:
- strawberries + almonds
- banana slices + coconut
- pineapple + pine nuts
- pear + walnuts

Friday, June 4, 2010


Goodbye 270's! Parting is such sweet...SWEETNESS! Woot!!

Today marks my first ten pounds and I couldn't be happier. I've been working pretty diligently since my last weight in. I'm going to be making Fridays my regular weigh-in day and I have to say, seeing a nice number on the scale is the perfect thing to keep me motivated and on-plan as I go into the weekend. Success breeds success, me thinks.

I have the day off today so I've been able to squeeze in a nice hike with the dog, some gardening and...3 loads of laundry. If the nice weather holds up, D and I are going to walk 9-holes of golf this evening before heading to the local fair. What are you looking forward to this weekend?


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Workout Wednesdays #3

Can you believe it? I can actually do my little jogs without huffing, puffing and wheezing now! I'm so surprised at how good I feel compared to just three weeks ago. Don't get me wrong - I have a long way to go and most would probably chuckle at my excitement over these little 20-minute sessions, but hey....it's working!

This week, I did 45-second bursts of running with 75-seconds of fast walking recovery. I plan to step up the number of sessions I do in the week ahead, aiming for 5. I also went for a great 1-hour bike ride with D this past weekend and I'd like to make that part of the normal routine as well.

Wish me luck!

PS - forgot to weigh-in on my usual day, but the scale is suggesting I'm down a couple of pounds. I think I'm going to make Fridays my regular weight day, as it's one of the few days I can almost guarantee I'm home and able to post!