Lil Miss Fitness Freak

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Dem Leftovers

My friends!

Ahhh our long weekend has come to an end sadly and I’m now here back at school in my empty apartment chattering at you guys. Em will be coming in tomorrow morning and Rita is MIA at the moment. I have thrown line out for her via text saying that I brought her thanksgiving leftovers (she’s from China so they don’t celebrate, but she loves food- my kinda girl HA- and wants to try these new types of dishes) but no reply. Maybe she’s actually doing work unlike myself at the moment because she NEVER passes up food… 😉


Anyways, so I know not everyone who ventures into this lil space celebrates Thanksgiving here in October (holler Canadians!) but I wanted to share some fast and easy, yet creative and new, ways of using up those leftovers. We like variety right? Yes, turkey and stuffing is all good, but why not use it in a new and interesting way?

And hey, my American readers could use this post when November hits and they also get their grub on.

Whatcha think?

I’m always wanting to share cool new ideas for meals for fellow students that are easy and fun and with these, half the job is already done because the things that would take the longest to cook are already done.

All hail the leftovers….Transformed!


So here goes some #BlogLovin as I share some non-conventional ways to use up those goodies your parents bagged up for ya to trek back to school with.

And there ain’t no plain jane turkey sammiches on this list. 😛

I decided to do a week of leftovers with different meal times for different thanksgiving favourites. Of course, please do not keep things for too long to stretch them out for the week. Stay safe my friends. Please don’t reply back saying you got food poisoning! I just wanted to show you that breakfast and even snacks can also be tackled using leftovers.

Monday, the day after the feast…

Maybe you are feeling a bit full still and want something a lil on the lighter side for breakfast or even brunch if you’re sportin that “sleeping in on the holiday Monday” life.

Using up: Dem cranberries


Cranberry Sauce Smoothie From Cook The Story.

Tuesday’s Turkey Dinner…

But very different

Using Up: Gobble gobble meat.


Leftover Turkey Spring Rolls From The Pioneer Woman.

How easy is that? You can even wrap up some of those leftover veggies in there if you want!

She also gives you a cute and light lil salad with the filling ingredients as well.

***If you don’t want the noodles or don’t want to buy any noodles, you can try ‘ricing up’ some leftover raw cauliflower into a rice consistency and then lightly steaming it***

Wednesday’s Getting Crispy!

Love your stuffin? Crunch it up and throw it on a salad (or soup or anything else really!) as croutons!

Using Up: Mama’s stuffing.


Stuffing Croutons From First We Feast

Best salads for these types of croutons?

A nice hearty kale salad with dried cranberries and some goat cheese would be tasty. For a more substantial meal, throw some of that turk’ in there too.

Or do as First We Feast did and do a roasted veggie salad. Top kale, spinach or mixed greens with your favourite roasted veggies and your now crisped up stuffin cubes.

Thursday Breakfast Pizzas

Who says pizza is only for Fridays and only for dinner?

Be a rebel and hey, we gots a grain-free and paleo option all up in here!

Using Up: Mashed sweet potatoes


Breakfast Pizza From Hold The Grain

Where are them snacks?

Friday Snack Attack.

Save yourself the trip and money at Starbucks and maybe yo-self a PSL (pumpkin spice latte for all you non pumpkin obsessed like myself)

Plus, you are using real ingredients and leftover pumpkin puree from that pumpkin pie filling.

Using Up: Punkin.


Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte From Eating Bird Food

Maybe something a lil indulgent…Oh the hell with it and just throw all the leftovers into one fancy looking yet so easy (in the ‘wish I thought of that!’) dish

Saturday Show Off

Using Up: Errrryythang!


Turkey and Waffles Sandwich From Real Food From Dad

Bam. Waffled stuffing (yes you can really waffle anything!) makes the ‘bread’ of these ‘throw all the leftovers between bread’ sandwiches. This aint not boring turkey sammich amirite?

Sunday Freeday

Take a break from all things turkey and go wild.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if any of you try anything here, let me know how they went. BIG thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who brought these cool recipes to life!



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Workless Holidays Are Marvellous

My Friends!

To all the Canadians who read up on lil space, Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope your belly’s are filled with all kinds of turkey, pie and goodies.


Okay maybe Halloween comes first…but fyi in my world Christmas >>>>> Halloween. Just saying.

I’m linking up with Healthy Diva Life with to share my Marvellous Weekend (hello five days!) with you all. Thanks for the party Katie!


1. Getting to actually enjoy the holiday and the famjam is so Marvelous

It is rare that I get a Thanksgiving weekend that isn’t right in the middle of midterms so I totally took advantage of the fact that this year my two first midterms were right before the long weekend by doing what any tired student would do



The best.

So yes, I actually got to spend time with my family when they came up for dinner on Sunday for Thanksgiving and didn’t have to have my mind elsewhere or have to run away to study. Also, I got to do what I love doing which is cooking a big part of the dinner!

2. Remembering that gelato is amazing too is quite Marvelous.

Due to being home I knew my Friday Ice Cream Challenge Day would take place at my favourite ice cream shop. Unfortunately for me, my favourites (salted caramel and caribous caboose) are apparently seasonal and got the boot September first. After crying on the inside a lil bit I decided to wander over to their homemade gelatos to find Snickers gelato..


Yes Snickers gelato! It had so many mixin’s too which is why I was not going for my beloved gelato because I really have come to love those mixin’s and gelato is generally smooth.

On the top was pralines and creme which is really good (caramel and more caramel) but I’m kinda kickin myself for not getting the Reeses (peanut butter gelato with Reeses and peanut butter…I know I would smack me too) gelato along with my other candy inspired flavour (which was amazing btw!).

Peanut butter and caramel = love in my eyes.

Next time it’s going down!

3. Dem shoes are Marvelous 


Got my shoes ladies and gents! Aren’t they purdy. Yes, I’m that girl who wants the loudest colours possible! Went with the Nike Frees and they are super comfy so I’m happy. The flynet 5.0’s were great but unfortunately the smallest size they manufacture was still too big for my child-size feet.

Sometimes being #DollSized is not cute.

Speaking of shopping…

4. Binge-Buying Lululemon after a craving is also Marvelous

Three items…


Wunder Under Crop Hi-Rise

332 bucks..


Swiftly Tech 1/2 Zip

Oppps. But hey, I’m content.

2013 1125 Lululemon Wunder Under Pant Herringbone

Wunder Under Pant iii In the herringbone

Plus my Dad bought me a cute lil hat from Honey, a cute lil boutique that makes me wish I knew about this place when prom hit…


Looks like this but its a rose colour all around…and not a baby hat 😉 

5. Food is Marvelous

Turkey on the grill via Dad..


Sides by my Mama and I…

Mom’s new addition was her craving for a sweet mashed potato. It was simply mashed sweet taters with booth, brown sugar, cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg.

Plain mashed potatoes with buttah and milk for the gravy dumpers..and my Dad.

Roasted root vegetables by moi….purple sweet taters (thank you Whole Foods for bringing back my favs!), regular sweet pots, brussels and green beans with rosemary, olive oil and thyme

Roasted Asparagus

My Mom’s infamous roasted mustard glazed ham with roasted pineapple. Always a crowd pleaser.

Maple roasted carrots that I made for my Mama

Stuffing..not homemade, we will tackle that one at Christmas

My Dinnah plate..


Hit the spot.

Oh and the unpictured peach pie and MY ICE CREAM (the Kawartha Salted Caramel Truffle my Dad bought for me a while ago)…which I haven’t touched yet…Fear Food:1, Chelsea:0, was the dessert for the fam. Yes, peach is not very Thanksgiving like but when it’s made with the last of the in season peaches from the farmers market, you bring that **it out in all it’s glory. The fam really enjoyed it. We did good Mom!

6. Finally making what you meant to make eons ago is Marvelous

Remembering that I had some beautiful ground lean elk in the freezer that I wanted to make up using the grill ended off becoming a foil pan full of freezer ready sliders (X2 servings), meatballs (X1 serving) and burger patties (X2 servings).


Sorry for the horrible pictorial…it was getting dark by the time I snappsied the goods.

I really love the flavour of elk. It’s my new favourite game meat.

For these I simply seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, diced onion, garlic powder, chill flakes, fennel seed, and lots of cracked black pepper and then formed them up and tossed them on the grill.

Easy Peasy and now I got #RedMeatGains for days that I can just pull out of the freezer as I please.

7. Stocking up on your ‘at home goodies’ is always Marvelous

Those things that you can only really get when at home.


So you make sure to get allllll them goods. For me, it’s taking a trip to my Freezer Place (a hidden gem here in Acton with all bulk frozen stuff but that includes organics, my game meats and lotsa local fish for great prices). So I hustled my lil tussle over to there and picked up a few hundred things essentials

~1 Arctic Char Fillet

~2 4ounce Venison Medallion Steaks

~2 4 Ounce Elk Medallion Steaks

~1 Package of Jumbo Sea Scallops

Thanks Mom and Dad 😉

8. Seeing my new Coach who will lead me to better health the way I want it to be done.

I expressing great gratitude to a family friend, Michael Grayer, for taking my challenging self on as I have finally accepted that I need help in this weight restoration process. The difference between him and a dietician…


Bodybuilder, Torque Barbell Club Owner and very successful Prep Coach.

He will push me to gain weight I need to in the way that is more focused around my goals. Weight that is not just weight but that is strength and beauty. #MoeMusclesPlease

Yes we are working towards the same picture, but I know this process will still be tough. I need to give my control to him and know that he will not steer me wrong and that will be very hard for me. He will bring my physique to new heights which will not only make changes aesthetically, but it will bring me back up to an acceptable health status as well.

I can’t thank him enough. See more about him here.

Well thats it my friends! I have one more day off tomorrow (that is our winter ‘reading break’…one day HA! but hey I will take it) and that is when I trek over to the Barbell Club to chit chat with Michael and plan out how things are gunna be from now on. I’m nervous for the change but more excited then anything to see what he can bring for me.

Have a great week!

Favourite Thanksgiving side dish? I make a mean savoury and spice sweet tater mash that I really enjoy, but roasted veggies are always good.


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When The Bird Hits The Charcoal…Thinking Out Loud

My Friends!

Wow what a week so far. I’m so looking forward to sleeping in my bed (much needed!) after this week I had. We had a houseguest (remember Emily’s Chad?) come up for the weekend and I hated the fact that I couldn’t explore Guelph with them as I was stuck studying for my two midterms Tuesday (biomammalian  physiology) and Wednesday (research methods). With those back to back, plus a typical weekly quiz and assignment due, I was a lil bit busy…


Oh the life of learning. When I get busy that is not an excuse to miss the gym. That is my sanity and stress release. Post workout stir fry in my new buddy (i.e. thermos life) with some nice company…ie my backpack before my second midterm yesterday.

Not to worry though, I rewarded myself nicely with this…


And baking! Did some pumpkin-a-fying last night (aka pumpkin rampage) because I apparently needed to get a baking itch that had been suppressed for way to long.

So what did the housemates get?


Amanda’s Flourless Pumpkin Muffins.

I made them in my bundt pan and added some dark chocolate in the middle. They loved them last year and loved them just as much last night. They are currently more then half gone over the past 12 hours

Emily likes them…a lot 😀

She and Rita also enjoyed some good ol’ punkin and peanut butter oats in a jar as well because, well, if you open the pumpkin jar you mind as well just keep going right?


Well one OIAJ and one make shift OIAJ which just means a bowl that will have to be scraped with a hack saw to get the oatmeal off of it…

Don’t let oatmeal bowls go unsoaked my friends. You will be sorry if you do…



So onto this weekend, what are you all doing for Thanksgiving?

I’m grilling a turkey.

No really.


Hopefully it’s more successful then Mr. Bean’s first turkey attempt.

I’m wondering how cooking a turkey on the grill (i.e. rotisserie) will turn out.

…then again, grilled food is always better food, right?


So why am I worried?

Speaking about being home, do you ever have those stupid lil things that you get excited about when you go home and miss when you leave?

For me, there are some obvious ones..


The Grill

My parents (…Mom if your’e reading this, this was not in any specific order and thus the grill is not before you :-P)


and the car

But then there are those that are just so silly it seems…

My parents fridge because it has an crushed ice maker.

Being able to buy and eat alllll the best food I want because I buy groceries… 😉 #Interest

So I’m thinking that since I have said car in my possession and a weekend where I’m doing virtually no school work (thanks for scheduling my midterms before the holiday for once!), I’m thinking of going to Square One on Saturday to squash a Lululemon craving


Solution: just shop there more often so that you don’t binge shop. Amirate?

Yes I have a craving for a store.

What that hasn’t happened to you?

You know what other inedible item I’m ‘craving’?


I think it might be these 4.0 Flyknit ones. All I know is that they are really snug to the foot…minimalist like just like my beloved vibrims

A pair of bright Nikes.

And I’m currently kicking myself for not asking the girl I have been shoe-stalking for the past month at the gym what type her Nik’s are.

Anyways this night has been a bit emotional for me (a post will come) so I’m gunna call it while we are still keeping it light and cheery.

One last thing though..

I have been asked to do a ‘grocery haul tips for student’ post by the lovely Laura.

Of course I will definitely do one and hopefully it can be beneficial to those students out there who are looking for some tips but inspire me a bit…

What specific tips are you looking for?

Shoppin on a budget?

Organics tips?

Talk to me and I will make it up pronto.

Thanks to Amanda for letting me Think Out Loud on this Thursday.




When Food And College Life Collide

Let me tell you a story…

So you’re off to University. You’re all giddy that you’re now all on your own. No parents. No rules. No chores. Party all day erry day.

The first couple days you go out with your new friends and housemates to grab food on campus. This nifty lil meal card buys me anything I want. COOL! Unlimited food. All the better as it leaves me with loads of dolla dollas for…

What else?


After lovin on some good ol’ campus food for a week and drankin the night away during frosh week shindigs, you’re now feelin a bit slower than usual. A bit foggier than what you’re used to. Are my pant’s shrinking? Why do I not have food prepared in my fridge when I’m too lazy to leave the house? Mooooooommmmmmm!!

Pardon the language...but you get the point.

Pardon the language…but you get the point.

Can anyone relate?

Basically I’m telling this lil story not to be mean or judgemental. Instead, I’m using it as an introduction to….

College Student Cooking 101

Most students generally reach a breaking point where they decide its time to learn to cook. This most often comes after the Freshman 15 hits OR perhaps some health reason has made them second guess what they are ingesting. Sometimes though, some people make changes simply because they want to make healthier choices. Although this change comes about for very different reasons for different people, they all can lead to one big question

Cooking…What’s that?

Again, not to make any assumptions, but if you have been lucky enough to have your parents cook for you over your teenage years than you may not know how to cook ANY food for yourself let alone make a nutritious meal. So, with all that said, I want to try to provide some tips on how a University student can go about buying affordable, but still healthy, food and cooking it. Hopefully this answers some of my readers questions about how to cook healthfully on a student budget.

Okay so lets break this post down a lil bit shall we. I will pose certain situations and form my responses from those mmmkay?

Scenario #1. You live at home and your parents buy and cook your food. Lucky you! 😉

Scenario #2. You live at school but your parents help ya out with buying groceries.

Scenario #3. You’re doing it all…and you’re doing it yoooouuuuur way. You buy your own food.

Scenario #4. When all else fails, you don’t have food on you and you’re HANGRY (when hunger turns dangerous for those around you)! Where to eat on campus or near by and how to make healthier choices.

Scenario #1

So you’re crashin at your parents house while going off to school. Meals are taken care of for you. Seems like you’re all good right? Well, what if you are wanting to make some changes to your diet and your parents don’t? They are still buying and cooking the same foods as before.

What do you do?

There are a couple things you could do here:

  1. You could talk to your parents about your concerns and desire to make some different food choices and try to get them on board to try them out with you. This way, your journey may be easier to get a’rollin as you would have your parents support and action too. TIP: Be ready with a course of action as they are bound to ask questions when you want to change their routine. What are some recipes you would like to try. How much is this going to cost them? Do they have time to make these new things? Can you prep things in advance to make the meal time run more smoothly? Thinking about all these things could help your case and also allow for you to see the process of what is to come when making these changes.
  2. If you’re parents like what they are eating than perhaps it’s time for you to make your own food. It doesn’t have to be super complicated if you don’t want it to be. For example, say your parents have planned to have a big ol’ bowl of pasta for dinner and you are not a fan. You could take some pasta and add some veggies (get some frozen and steam them OR buy a pack of pre-chopped stir fry veggies and steam or cook those) to your pasta and a protein source if you have one on hand. If you can cook up some chicken or fish yourself, bake up a couple servings to have on hand for just these types of situations. In the end, you will be eating what your parents planned, just with a few tweaks.
  3. Cook a completely separate meal. This is if you are able to make something entirely on your own. See later in the post for more details and ideas. Sometimes there comes situations where you really don’t want to eat what your parents are having. For example, Hamburger Helper is on the menu for tonight and your goal is to eat more whole foods. In this case, you’re going to have to do it yourself. After all, most parents won’t have the time to cook a separate meal for everyone.

Scenario #2

So you lucky duck still get free groceries eh? Well that’s all fine and dandy if you know what to do with them. Lets do a working example shall we? Okay so say these are the groceries your parents so graciously bought for ya:


  • Salad mix
  • Head of broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes


  • Ground beef
  • Package of chicken breasts
  • Piece of salmon


  • Yogurt
  • Dozen eggs
  • Milk


  • Loaf of bread
  • Oats
  • Granola bars
  • Package of whole grain pasta
  • Brown Rice


  • Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Jar of pasta sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • Few cans of tuna

Okay whatcha gunna make?

So I have picked a stereotypical list of groceries here. I’m not going to throw in kale, organic this and organic that because that’s not what most parents would buy for their kids if they are already footin the bill. So provided these are your groceries to deal with, how would you use them up for meals and snacks to get you through the week? Here’s some examples of what you could do that doesn’t require too much effort or savvy cooking skills.

Prep before hand. Yes, you may need to cook a few things in advance so they are easy to grab and go

  • Cook your chicken. If you are completely new to this here’s a simple way of doing it. Take a oven safe dish with a lid and put a lil bit of water in the bottom of the dish (like I’m talking a cm here). Cut away any excessive fat on the chicken and place in the dish. Top with whatever sauce or spices you prefer. Don’t leave it naked as you probably won’t be amused with that. Some examples could be topping with some low sodium salsa, homemade BBQ sauce (check out pinterest!), spice rubs/blends (I love Mrs. Dash!), etc. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the chicken is cooked through (Firm to the touch and no more pink in the middle if cut into). What’s even easier? Pull out the old Foreman grill if you have one and simply grill your chicken (with your topping/sauce/herbs) until the middle is not longer pink)
  • Hard boil a few eggs. These can be useful for snacks, breakfast or lunch/dinner salads
  • Cook up some rice. For most rice it’s 2:1, water to rice ratio. Add your water to a pot and bring to a boil. Toss your rice in the water, pop a lid on the pot and drop the heat down to medium. The rice is done when all of the water has been absorbed.
  • Chop some of your veggies. Pre-cutting things like peppers and broccoli makes it easy to throw these into meals or for snacking on too.

Meals to cart around on campus

  1. Big ol’ salad. Salad mix + pre-cooked chicken (or tuna) + some of your pre-chopped veggies + a homemade dressing (can do just vinegar and oil if you choose, or, for extra flavour, throw in some dried herbs and mustard for a thicker dressing) makes for a quick and easy meal. Added extras if you have time: Roasted sweet potato would make this meal more filling as it adds a carbohydrate source AND roasted vegetables in salads is actually amazing.
  2. Cold pasta salad. Cooked pasta + raw veggies + diced onion + tuna + homemade Italian dressing ( ->you can sub some water for some of the oil if you would like and don’t add the sugar. If you need it to be sweeter, use the honey option OR better yet, Stevia).
  3. Bowl of stuff. My favourite kinds of meal. Throw whatever you have on hand into a container and you’re good to go. Cooked rice + chicken + veggies (lightly sauteed-> cook in a little bit of oil with some spices on the stove)= easy peasy squeezy.
    Baked fish (basa) + buckwheat (cooked in water) + veggies

    Baked fish (basa) + buckwheat (cooked in water) + veggies

    Canned chunk tuna + brown basmati rice + veggies

    Canned chunk tuna + brown basmati rice + veggies

  4. Sandwich. Be a bit more creative than just a plain peanut butter sammich.  Adding more fillings will not only fill you up more but it will also be more nutrient dense. For example, you could do a quick throw-together sammich of sliced chicken + spinach + any veggies of your choice (tomatoes, cucumber, what ever) + healthier spreads (mustard, hot sauce, etc) OR, if you have the time and patience, you can get more creative and try making a more involved version. Again, check out Pinterest for some amazing sandwich ideas OR Instagram using the hashtag #SandwichSundays for some intense sandwich makin.

Meals to eat at home

  1. Salmon dinner. Baked salmon + carb source + veggies. You can bake your salmon simply in the oven at 350 until it flakes with a fork. For seasoning you can add a squirt of lemon juice and some dried herbs (rosemary works nicely, dill is a common pairing too) OR you can have some pesto to spread on top (basil pesto is amazing). Your carbohydrate source could be some of your cooked rice OR you can roast some potatoes (set oven to 400. Chop potatoes into cubes and toss with olive oil, pepper, rosemary and garlic powder (optional). Roast in the oven until they are crispy (anywhere from 30 minutes onward depending on size of the chunks. Small= cooks faster. Just remember to toss them around once and a while to get all sides to crisp up). For your veggie source you can steam some veggies OR boil (loose more nutrients than steaming) them OR roast them (place chopped veggies in a piece of aluminum foil with olive oil and some herbs. Seal the aluminum foil into a pouch and bake with the potatoes until they are soft.). You could also do a lil side salad too.
  2. The quick dinner: Pre-cooked chicken + pre-cooked rice + side salad. This will literally take you about 5 minutes to put together.
  3. The pasta dinner. Cooked pasta + Easy meat sauce + side salad/steamed vegetables. For your meat sauce, chop some onion and garlic and cook in a lightly oiled pan until fragrant and the onions are clear. Add some ground beef to the pan and cook until no pink is left. Add some of your pasta sauce to the pan, herbs (basil, oregano, chili, pepper, parsley, italian spice would all be good here) and any vegetables that you would like to be in your sauce. Bring your sauce to a boil (turn up heat until bubbling) then pop a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Let simmer (at that medium heat and the sauce should be bubbling gently) for a few minutes to let the flavours come together and to soften any vegetables. Top your pasta with your sauce and add your veggies.
  4. Egg-tastic breakfast. Eggs + sauteed vegetables (cook veggies in a lightly oiled pan until soft) + toast. This breakfast is very customizable to your taste and hunger levels. You can choose to have 3 full eggs if you’re really hungry (or a male) OR you could choose to have 1-2 full eggs and 1-2 egg whites if you need less. You can also create many different versions of this meal. For example, make an omelet with a side of toast. Make your omelet into a breakfast sammich. Add beef or chicken to your eggs. Make big scramble. Etc. Etc. Next level cooking. Make a mini quiche. Set your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk the number of eggs/egg whites you would like. Add a little bit of milk (maybe a few tablespoons), toss in some vegetables, pre-cooked meat and herbs of your choice. Pour into a sprayed/lightly oiled oven safe dish. Bake in the oven until the top is golden and the eggs have cooked all the way through (should be opaque at that point). Serve with toast, fruit or whatever you would like.
  5. Oatmeal breakfast. Oats + milk + cinnamon. For the most basic oatmeal all you have to do is use those 3 ingredients and cook either via stove top or microwave style. For stove top-> Add double the amount of liquid (milk/water/mix of the 2) as you have oats in a pot. Bring that to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium (simmer) and add your oats. Let the oats cook, stirring occasionally and add spices of your choice. You can also add fruit at this point if you like it hot or wait until they are done to have the fruit on top. Your oatmeal will be done when all of the liquid has been absorbed. Top with whatever you please. For the microwave version, add everyting (liquid, oats, spices, fruit, etc) to a bowl (make sure it’s big enough to have some space at the top for expansion). Nuke for 2-4 minutes depending on temperature preference and style of oats (rolled oats take longer than quick oats). Be mindful to watch for overflowing oatmeal! For more protein packed oatmeal bowls or just some ideas for toppings and flavourings check out my post on oatmeal. Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 7.15.57 AMSnacks
  1. Granola bars. My best suggestion would be to make your own bars as many granola bars at the grocery store do not contain the healthiest of ingredients. Check Pinterest or Google for recipe ideas! If you are stuck and need to choose a pre-made bar, ensure that there is a good amount of protein and fibre to help with satiety, little to no added sugar (none would be the best option but these types of bars are hard to find), not candy coated, have a fairly short ingredient list with items that you understand and have some healthy fats in them (nuts, seeds, coconut/coconut oil, etc). Don’t fear the fats as they help with taming the 3pm hunger beast! Some bars I would recommend would be Questbars (obviously!), Larabars (5ish ingredients in most of them and all whole foods. Slightly high in sugar because of the dates), Simply bars (lowest sugar bars, other than Questbars, that I have seen), Kind bars are okay (gluten free, short ingredient list), Rise bars (GMO and gluten free, minimal ingredients that are whole foods, little high in sugar due to dried fruit and/or honey use).
  2. Hard boiled egg(s). Easy grab and go from your prep
  3. Piece of fruit with peanut butter. Again easy to grab and most people really enjoy it.
  4. Homemade parfait. Yogurt + fruit + oats. Combine these ingredients together with any other spices you would like or sweeteners (Stevia is preferred if you must sweeten). Optional add-in: Peanut butter for more holding power.

So what do ya think? Not too bad right? You can be as elaborate or non-elaborate as you feel comfortable with. Your cooking will get better as soon as you start actually doin some. I promise.

Scenario #3

This is pretty much the same as #2 with regards to my cooking suggestions. Again, cook what you are comfortable with. The difference here is that you are buying all your own food and are than more conscious perhaps of price. Due to this, you may be tempted to buy what you think will be the cheapest

Processed stuff.

This is not true. Wholesome food is actually not crazy expensive unless you are buying some exotic fruits and vegetables, sirloins and gluten-free, organic breads. Here are some things that are mad cheap.

Fruits and Vegetables. One note here-> things in season will always be crazy cheap compared to the off season. Take advantage of local produce when you can!

  • Apples (fall especially)
  • Bananas
  • Frozen berries (the bulk bags)
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini (seasonal-summer)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Squash (especially during harvest-fall)
  • Salad mixes aren’t too bad price wise, especially if they contain spinach and don’t have added ‘goodies’ (dressing and toppings)
  • Onions and garlic


  • Ground meats (go for lean types)
  • Beef (eye of round is very cheap, fast fry)
  • Turkey breast meat (chicken is a tad bit expensive compared to turkey)
  • Canned tuna (go for low sodium)
  • Discounted frozen fish (a lot of fish counters will freeze excess fish stock and reduce the price. You just have to eat it once it has thawed, don’t refreeze)

Milk/Alternatives. Dairy is going to be expensive no matter how you look at it. Pick and choose what you need

  • Almond milk and other dairy free alternatives are around the same price as regular milk.
  • If you want cheese, pick up some kraft cheese strings. No seriously, I have read the labels on these things and they don’t add any preservatives or weird things as they are for kids. They also give you a nice serving size to go off of, good source of protein and they are cheaper than buying a block of cheese.
  • Eggs are fairly cheap and so are bulk cartons of egg whites.
  • Yogurt is not cheap. Plain and simple. If you’re buying yogurt, I would go for PLAIN Greek style as they are packed with protein, have no added sugars and give you good options for snacks. Good bang for your buck!


  • Big bags of pasta, oats and rice are probably the cheapest things you can pick up. Gluten free versions of pasta (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc) get a lil bit more pricy but theystill aren’t that bad.
  • For other whole grains like bulgar, buckwheat, couscous, millet, etc, head over the to bulk bins and bag it out yourself.
  • Loaves of pre-packaged bread are not expensive. Anything fancy will be the thing to jack up the price.


  • Canned legumes and beans are very cost effective and are great for easy snacks or adding protein to meals. Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, etc are all great vegetarian alternative proteins to meat. Raid the bulk bins for these too if you don’t mind boiling them yourself.
  • Spices. Go for bulk bins as packaged ones tend to be overpriced.
  • Other canned veggies are also low in price. Things like tomatoes can help you out in making a fast and easy meat sauce. ***I would recommend buying organic for any high acid canned goods as that acid leads to more leaching of the can into the food. Organic cans are at least BPA free, making them a bit better***
  • Nuts. Natural nut butters (don’t buy the cheap Kraft or Skippy as they are loaded with hydrogenated oils, sugar and other chemicals) are going to range in price based on the type of nut used. This is the same as when you buy raw nuts. Peanuts and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) will be your cheapest options, almonds will come in next and things like cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, etc will be the more expensive ones.
  • Sauces. Lowest cost would probably come from ketchup and mustard. Although I’m personally not a fan of ketchup (sugar bomb), mustard is my jam. Use your own judgement for other sauces like pasta, BBQ, soy, and hot sauces as there can be some hidden ickies in there. I prefer to make my own sauces because I don’t like the ingredients in most pre-made ones but that’s just me being uber picky about what I eat.
  • Dressing. I always go with a homemade oil, vinegar, mustard and herb version of a dressing but if you are really wanting a bottled version for cost and time saving, ensure the one you pick up doesn’t contain sugar or too much chemicals or salt.

Finally we reach …

Scenario #4

You forgot your lunch at home and are staaaaarrrving. How can you make healthier choices while eating out?

It’s actually fairly easy despite what you may think. There is always a “healthier option” at every establishment….even McD’s! Here are some examples of what you could do at a few common restaurants/fast food places (NOTE that these are common Canadian places, sorry US friends, I’m not sure what is common in your neck of the woods).


Known for their heart attacks on a plate burgers and fries, what the heck could you order there?

  • You could go for a salad. For example, their Tuscan Entree salad has the option of grilled chicken rather than fried ‘crispy’ chicken, you can forgo the cheese and you can use as much or as lil dressing as you please. Pros: You’re getting some protein (chicken) and veggies. Cons: Sodium, dressing is fairly high fat and processed. TRY THIS. Ask if you can have their garden salad (no cheese) with some added chicken (grilled).
  • Mediterranean Veggie Signature Wrap. If you’re gunna go with a sammich of any kind this would be your best bet. Also helps our vegetarians out too. Pros: hummus gives you some protein and fats to keep you fuller, it’s on a whole wheat wrap (meh, whole wheat vs. white, not much difference…later post), you get some vegetables and the cheese they used is a naturally lower fat one (feta) but you can ask to have this left out. Cons. A LOT OF BREAD. This could lead to you being hungry later because of a sugar crash (yes I know it’s whole wheat, more on that in a later post), tons of sodium and an unknown sauce.

So okay, not the best, but hey, if you’re stuck there and need food, you work with what is there to the best of your ability.

Tim Hortons.

  • Breakfast panini (not the sausage ones). They have some that are just eggs or egg whites and cheese in a multigrain panini. You could dump the cheese and ask for some lettuce and tomatoes in there (as they make them in the store so that shouldn’t be a problem). Pros: Protein from the eggs, healthy fat from the yolk if you choose to get that and hopefully some veggies. Cons: Sodium and lots of carbohydrates which may lead to a quicker energy crash.


Salads. They’re actually pretty decent and you can ask for vinegar as a dressing or their olive oil blend which is much better than the pre-made dressings. I believe you can also build your own salad! If you want a pre-made version, here are a some good examples: Double chopped chicken salad, oven roasted turkey, turkey salad, veggie delight (for the vegetarians) with added hummus for staying power (from the sandwich topping station). Pros: You can order extra toppings like avocado (healthy fat) if you would like as they make it in front of you, good choices for dressings, lots of veggies, good amount of protein and the sodium isn’t horrible for a fast food place. Cons: Vegetarians may be hungry in an hour off a salad with low protein.

Sandwich. I tend to have an issue with bread loaded options (sugar spike) BUT if you are less picky than me, you could go ahead and just make your own sandwich and have a pretty healthy meal. Load’er up with veggies, the non-deli style meats (they are sodium loaded) and a more natural sauce like mustard. To cut some of the bread, you can order a sammich as you like it and take off the top half of the bun and eat it open faced.


Very limited but sometimes the smallest of coffee shops are all you have.

  • Bistro Boxes. Some are better than others but these might be your best bet at this lil coffee shop. Chicken and hummus, protein and the chicken lettuce wrap boxes all look pretty good. Pros: You can pick and choose what you eat from the boxes. All of the boxes contain a vegetable of some kind, a protein source and some healthy fats. Cons: The ones with dressings may be questionable and higher in sodium. They are also small so they may not fill you up for a meal.
  • Wraps. Again, some are better than others and some of the cafes may not carry many options. They have a breakfast wrap with sundried tomatoes, egg whites, feta and spinach that doesn’t look too bad while also having a nice roasted turkey wrap. Again, your choices will depend on the location. Pros: Good source of protein with some veggies involved. Cons: They are pre-made and packaged so sauces cannot be taken off or other things cannot be added.

A little extra for my McMaster University readers…

  1. Teriyaki. Veggies and protein. This is a great spot if you are looking for a hot meal quick that is veggie loaded and filling. I believe they sell brown rice now which you can choose to have or not. You can also choose not to have sauce (or get a low sodium one if they have it) if you don’t like the extra salt. Pros: Bowls are customizable in the sense that you can have less rice/noodles if you want, have it cooked in water or choose to not have the sauces for less sodium. You’re getting quality protein (vegetarian options too!), lots of vegetables and it’s nice and hot. Cons: Salt.
  2. Tomasitos (Student Centre). Another good option as you get to choose what goes in your food. Pick your veggies, protein and carb source (pasta of some kind). Pros and cons will be similar to Teriyaki.
  3. Salad bar (Student Centre). You can make your own lil salad with the toppings provided. Pros: Lots of vegetables, some protein options (chickpeas). Cons: the pre-made grain and pasta salads have no labels as to their nutrition, a salad is not really going to fill you up as there aren’t very many protein options to make it more satisfying.
  4. Bridges. They are yet another option for customized meals with many vegetarian options. You can make your own stirfry or pasta dish allowing you to choose how it’s cooked and what’s in it. I can’t comment on their other menu options though as I cannot find that online to check out.
  5. Williams Cafe. Like Starbucks, items may be in some locations but not in others. The larger the cafe, the more options you will have so the one on Main Street West will have the most for ya. They have some salads that you can add protein to (you can also probably swap out the dressing for basic balsamic if you would like) for holding power. Their sandwiches and panini’s tend to be very bread heavy so perhaps the wraps may be a better option OR go for open faced (take one half of the bread off). Grilled chicken or their Mediterranean wraps don’t look too bad but I would loose the dressing if you can. Some cafes also have hot rice boxes that have brown rice, a protein source and some veggies. Go with the veggie or chicken options as the salmon version is rubbed in brown sugar.

I really hope this post can help out some of my readers! I always have to restrain myself from giving suggestions that may be perceived as too extreme. Not everyone is as picky as I am so just go for what makes you happy and feeling your best! 🙂

Happy hump day everyone! Also, for more quick and easy meal ideas, check out Mrs. Jen’s page over at Peas and Crayons for the Wednesday WIAW tradition. I will be bowing out this week, but will be back next week for the partying 😀



Oat Flour Wraps (Gluten-Free)

Hey Friends,

I mentioned recently that I had gone gluten free completely and although this is not much of a change for me, there is one lil problem I’m now faced with

What do I eat when I’m on cash at work?

I used to make sammiches with my Ezekiel bread as they are more inconspicuous to munch away on while at work. I’m not a bread person at all and would much rather have the ability to bring a bowl of stuff to eat for lunch but alas, I’m technically not supposed to be eating at all while on cash….Ooops


This girl has to eat! So a sandwich it was.

I actually learned to quite enjoy my sandwich creations…

IMG_3240…but unfortunately for me, that bread is not actually gluten-free…It’s flour free and sprouted grain (which has great health benefits if you’re gunna go for the grain) but not gf. So there goes my sammiches

Now you may ask me:

Why don’t you just buy gluten free bread?

Easy peasy answer!

Most are made of crap.

Sorry I’m Not Sorry for being blunt.

Rudi’s: Water, potato extract, high oleic sunflower/safflower oil*, rice starch, rice flour, evaporated cane juice (cane sugar), inulin, egg whites, honey, sugar cane fiber, yeast, molasses, sea salt, xanthan gum, flaxseed, millet, sunflower seeds, cornmeal, vinegar, natural enzymes.


Gluttino: Water, potato starch, canola oil, corn starch, tapioca starch, dried egg whites, rice bran, molasses, cellulose powder, yeast, inverted sugar, sugar, modified cellulose, sugar beet fibre, salt, xanthan gum, calcium sulfate, enzymes.

…All have random sugar added to them. YOU DONT NEED SUGAR IN BREAD PEOPLE! They also tend to have weird preservatives in the mix too. Maltodextrin, gums, inulin, cellulose gum, etc. I always say that if I wouldn’t bake or cook with a given ingredient that I shouldn’t eat it in a pre-made product.

Looks like I will be paroozing Pinterest for some gluten free bread recipes using actual wholesome ingredients

Until then I needed a solution fast. Thank you Pinterest and Susanna over at TastyHealth for saving me last second when I needed to make my lunch for the next day at GoodnessMe!

Oat Wrap 3 egg whites, 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (or 2-3 tbsp coconut flour for a low carb version), 1 tsp psyllium husk (can omit), 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/6 tsp salt  Any spices you'd like

Voila! Something easy to make and that I can eat. Score! 😀

I modified the original recipe a touch to meet my carbohydrate needs and in the end it turned out great! Here’s my take.

Gluten Free Oat Flour Wrap

Serves 1

1/3 cup gluten free oats (blend into a flour)

1 tsp psyllium husk

2 egg whites (1/4 cup)

~1/4 cup water (more if you want a thinner consistency)

1/2 tsp baking powder (optional, I didn’t use it)

Preheat a greased pan to medium heat. Mix all of this up and then add whatever spices/herbs you would like. I added garlic powder, dried parsley, chili and basil to mine. Pour your batter on the pan and smooth it out to the thickness and size you would like. Cook like you would a pancake.

Once it’s done, let it cool for a few minutes then fill away!

Here’s what it looked like fresh out of the pan. Sorry for the non pretty, on-a-paper-towel, picture, but it was early and I was in a rush.

IMG_3950Then I attempted to fill it with my usual sammich toppings:

  • avocado
  • sauteed mushrooms and onion
  • spicy grilled chicken
  • wilted spinach
  • mustard


IMG_3953…I have a problem with overstuffing okay!

IMG_3956Had to take some out and add that to my squash on the side.

IMG_3965Ahah! Success. Mmmm tacos 😀

IMG_3957All wrapped up and ready to go. How you doin Mr. Twist Tie?

This wrap was super tasty. It has a great chewy texture and despite my filling being hot and liquidy, the wrap never split or broke. It’s a miracle! Don’t you hate that? I do! You can thank the psyllium husk (can find at a bulk store!) for that binding power. These wraps are also great because you can customize them as well.

  • Change up the spices
  • Make them larger (more oats)
  • Make them lower carb (use coconut flour)
  • Probably make them vegan with a flax or chia egg (I’m sure it would work I just haven’t tried that)

After devouring my lovely wrap during my hectic times at work during the lunch hour, I then had to Instagram my masterpiece for Kim (@pbeechie) and Angela’s (@angelamccafferty) #WrapItUpWednesdays contest.

IMG_3969Bam. Delicious!

This is also jumping into Kierston’s #RecipeFriday as I haven’t joined in on that partay in a while and I miss it! Thanks for the shindig FU 😀






Food Preppin It Out!

Hey Friends,

After posting this image on my facebook page

BowlOfStuff Collage!

BowlOfStuff Collage!

….and slightly ranting about not making excuses about eating healthy…cough…I promised that I would do a Food Prep post with some simple throw-together recipes to help out those who are runnin a lil short on time but still want to nourish their bodies with healthy, yet yummy, foods.

But before I start this post, I just want to say a few things to add to my lil rant.

This is not to judge!


I feel like too many people make too many excuses on why they ‘can’t’ eat a healthy, fueling and nourishing meal EVERYDAY.

Lets take a look at some of the common ones shall we….

  • It takes too long.
  • It costs too much
  • Healthy food is bland and boring
  • I can’t cook
  • Too much effort
  • Fast food tastes better
  • I hate cooking

So I hear all of these all too often and, to be honest, I think they all stem back to “I don’t want to make the effort” because if it really mattered to you, you would find a lil time to fit in some prep time so that you could eat well. I’m sorry if that sounded harsh, but it’s my own opinion. I currently work 2 jobs and I eat 6 homemade meals EVERY DAY and somehow my lil self manages to still eat real, whole foods that provide my body with fuel to get me through my workouts and my long days. I also love everything I eat, so it’s totally possible to make it work even when you are running around like a crazed person!

So with all that in mind I will stop with the negativity and bring on some tips and recipes that I hope will help to change your outlook on food preppin. A big goal of mine is to show people that healthy eating is not hard, it doesn’t have to cost a million dollars and it can actually taste good!

So without further ado, here’s my attempt to portray all that to you in one post. L-E-G-O

The Easy Steps to any good Food Prep

  1. Ensure you have basic staples in your pantry. These will give you the foundation to work with and are mostly ready to go when you need them. Of course, when I say staples, I’m still talking about whole foods. These would be your vegetables (fresh and/or canned), canned proteins (like tuna perhaps), pre-bought carbohydrate sources, spices, oils, vinegars, etc.
  2. Determine what you need to prep. Figure out what extra foods are in your budget and make sure to have those on hand for your prepping. Then think about what you like to eat during the week and/or make a meal plan. This will provide you with some guidance as to what things you might want to prep early. You will need protein and carbohydrate sources (veggies are included in this list) to prep for sure, the fats are not that hard to add later in the cook process for the most part. Make sure you include the foods that you really like as much as possible so that you will enjoy your meals!
  3. Determine what you like. Spice up your life! This includes style of food preparation, flavourings (spices, herbs, sauces, etc), cuisine types, etc
  4. Pick a day and time to do some basic food prep. This prep will build the foundation of your meals so that you have the majority of your meal components already good to go.
  5. Have some Go-To recipes. These should be ones that are easy to make, quick and pack in as many nutrients and things you love as possible. I will post some of my top go-to’s and some sites that may help you out with some recipe inspiration a lil later in the post!

Okay that’s it! Doesn’t sound too hard right? Well, now I’m going to break these down a lil bit and show you how I follow these steps while also giving some tips on how to make it as easy and smooth operating as possible! As I mentioned, I will provide some of the ‘recipes‘, if you want to call them that, for some of my favourite go-to’s.

1. Ensure You Have Basic Staples In Your Pantry

My cupboards and fridge ALWAYS have these staples:


  • Low sodium canned skipjack tuna (lower mercury than albacore)
  • Probiotic New Zealand whey protein powder (not necessary for everyone!)
  • Liquid egg whites (free-run as much as possible)
  • Free run, organic eggs


  • Bulgar wheat (I have Bob’s Red Mill, organic)
  • Organic brown jasmine rice
  • Oats (I use Quaker)
  • Beans and lentils (dried and canned, if canned, no salt added)
  • Green veggies (brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus when it’s cheap, leafy greens)
  • Bagged salad mixes (Dole)
  • Tons of spinach
  • Salad veggies (peppers, cucumbers)
  • Squashes (I mix them up but will always have a kabocha on hand and one other variety like buttercup)
  • Sweet potatoes (I swap between Japanese purple sweet taters, with regular to now purple fleshed and skin sweet potatoes)
  • Onions and garlic
  • Fruits like bananas, apples, berries (frozen or fresh), unsweetened apple sauce (mostly for baking)
  • 1 or 2 Ezekiel products including their breads, wraps and english muffins (eaten 1-2 times per week)


  • Nut butters (most are homemade, my go to peanut butter is my homemade crunchy)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado

Dairy (NOTE that I’m lactose intolerant):

  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Goat yogurt (I use 2.7%, plain)- mostly for baking
  • Goat cheese (I have blue menu light)- I eat on occasion, mostly for my boyfriend
  • Plain 0% Greek yogurt- for my boyfriend


  • Balsamic and apple cider vinegar
  • Mustard (Frenches)
  • Chia seeds
  • Tons of spices and herbs
  • Questbars (I’m an addict okay ;-))
  • Sriracha (best hot sauce, but use in small amounts due to sodium)

Remember that these are MY OWN STAPLES. Make sure to include your own favourites in your list to always have on hand.

2. Determine What You Need To Prep

For my basics, I know that I will need PROTEIN! Protein is the most important thing for me to have cooked on hand to make my life easier. These are my protein sources of choice:

  • Chicken breast. I go through TONS of these, no joke…it’s kinda bad lol
  • Fish. I absolutely LOVE fish. I try to buy wild as much as possible but sometimes I cave and buy farmed because that is all I have access to at my grocery store (ie. trout varieties). Current favourites include trout (fattier fish), tilapia, haddock, and tuna (canned, low sodium options). If I can squeeze a pricier one into my budget that week I may splurge on scallops (rare treat as they are $$) or a moderately priced (generally on sale) white fish such as marlin or swordfish.
  • Ground turkey/chicken. I used to buy it more frequently but then I learned that extra lean ground chicken/turkey contain both white AND dark meat. Sadface. So, I have switched over to buying higher quality organic, ground chicken or turkey BREAST MEAT when it is on sale, which is every couple of weeks.
  • Beef. I don’t eat that much beef, but it’s not because it’s not yummy or great for you because it is both of these things! I just like to buy good quality beef when I want it so this means I wait for the sales on organic, free range extra lean ground beef OR if I have some room in my budget, I will go for my favourite game meats such as bison instead.

For my carbs, I tend to cook those as I go as I like them to be fresh (when it comes to veggies) and easy to measure out (grains). They usually don’t take long anyways. Feel free to bulk cook your starches and vegetables if that helps you out and you aren’t picky like I am. Here are my preferred carb sources:

  • Sweet potatoes. (generally eaten as my post-post workout lunch)- various varieties (normal, purple, yams, etc)
  • Squash. I love squash and tend to rotate this with more starchier carbs. My favourite is kabocha, but I also love buttercup and plan on trying new varieties as they come into season.
  • Oats. My favourite meal by far is my protein oatmeal in the morning. Cooked in the microwave, I have a bunch of recipes for my bowls here.
  • Bulgar wheat. My newest carb addition for dinner. It’s easy and fast to cook, tastes good (nutty kinda) and gets some grains in me.
  • Brown organic jasmine rice: Generally only eaten on leg day when my carbs are at the highest point. Fast to cook, smells amazing and just easy.
  • Veggies: I love them all but tend to stick to the green varieties for their alkalizing properties and I have just come to love their taste! Favourites include leafy greens (swiss chard is my fav), broccoli, brussels, mushrooms (not green but good for ya!), asparagus and the occasional beet or two (love them, but because of the sugar I keep them saved for leg day generally).
  • Fruits: I’m a fruit lover at heart but I tend to keep these around my workouts as that is when their natural sugars are most usual for my body. Bananas are my go to as they fuel my muscles with the carbs they need for my tough workouts. Berries and apples also make their rounds (mostly on rest days) and the occasional other seasonal fruit (peaches, nectarines). My fruit is almost always eaten as a nice hot and ooey gooey mess in my morning proats.

3. Determine What You Like

Cooking preparation styles


  • Chicken/beef/turkey is mostly grilled via my George Foreman Grill
  • Fish is most often baked in my toaster oven/oven


  • Veggies- either roasted (sweet potatoes, squashes, brussel sprouts are always roasted, broccoli, asparagus sometimes) with a small amount of olive oil or lightly sauteed with onions and garlic in a lil bit of coconut oil (greens). Salads are an exception obviously, they are raw but I throw in some roasted veggies ALWAYS. It’s good, try it out!
  • Grains: Cooked on the stove as per package directions (oatmeal done in microwave) in water. I try to soak as many of my grains as possible as this helps with digestion and makes them fluffier when they cook up.


Don’t leave your food high and dry or your won’t like it! It’s really NOT hard to toss in some spices and herbs and they will make a huge difference in the satisfaction you will get from your food! My favourite herbs and spices include:

  • Cinnamon. Major staple in my house. Oats and snacks generally get a heavy handed shake from the cinna-jar
  • Chili flakes and Powder. Always a staple as I like my food spicy! I prefer chili flavouring over cayenne and tabasco
  • Curry. My newest obsession.
  • Rosemary. All of my roasting gets tossed with dried rosemary.
  • Basil. Used to be my favourite but isn’t used as often anymore unless I can nab some fresh and make basil pesto (used for a thick spread on fish generally)
  • Garlic. Staple for sure. All saute’s get some garlic in them. Great for cleansing the body and immunity!
  • Mrs. Dash salt-free spice blends. OMG these are amazing! I season almost all my proteins with them and even the occasional veggie dish. My top favourites are the chipotle and extra spicy blends.

4. Pick A day And Time To Do Some Basic Food Prep

If you want your meals to come together as easy as possible, you need to have some basics on hand. These basics are generally those things that may need a lil bit longer cooking time or things that you want to just want to have ready to throw into a container and go. Take 1 to 2 hours out of your week to help yourself out would ya? Here’s some things that you can easily prep in that allotted time and simply wrap up and keep in the fridge.

  • Starches like rice, grains, quinoa, oatmeal can easily be cooked in large volumes during your prep time and be kept in the fridge for days. All you have to do is scoop out your portions as you need them.
  • Vegetables can also be done in advance. Like your veggies roasted? Roast a huge batch and keep them in the fridge. Sautee some greens early to keep for 2-3 days. OR If you’re like me and want your vegetables freshly cooked, you can just ensure that you have what you need on hand and/or pre-chopped so that they are easy to access when it’s time to cook’em up.
  • Proteins can be cooked early and kept in the fridge for a few days. The time frame that you keep them in the fridge is up to you and your comfort level, but in general I will keep cooked chicken anywhere up to 5-6 days (is that bad? lol) and fish up to 3-4 days (rarely lasts that long as I eat it up :-D). Beans, lentils and other legumes can be cooked up and kept for a few days as well (if they are dressed, the time is less). In general though, meats/poultry can be kept for a lil bit longer (when cooked) than seafood.
  • Snacks can be prepped during this prep time as well. For snacks, your choices will depend on the amount of time you have to prep taste preferences. Here are some snack options that are in order of time it takes to prep.

-Yogurt/cottage cheese with a low glycemic fruit (berries, apples, etc). Choose plain dairy options (low sodium for cottage cheese) as they are not loaded with sugars. Also, watch for high levels of preservatives and chemicals. Sometimes 0% is not always best. If you are lactose intolerant like me, you can try out goat or coconut yogurt

Veggies and dip. Simply prep your vegetables (peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and make a quick dip like hummus (blend 1 can no salt added chickpeas, garlic, cracked black pepper, tbsp or two of lemon juice, tbsp or two of tahini (optional) and enough olive oil or water to get it moving and smooth).

Smoothies. If you are a smoothie lover, they can be perfect, nutrient dense option for a meal or snack and fairly quick to put together. Really short on time? Make some smoothie packs in your prep time (chop your fruits/veggies and portion them out into baggies with any other smoothie add ins) that you can just grab, blend and enjoy. Check out here and here for some inspiration and tips.

Homemade goodies. These will take a lil bit more of your time but the options are endless. Homemade protein bars (like ones from here), healthy bites (like here or here), muffins or quick breads (like my muffin experiments here and here), etc. Beware of high sugar items, even those with natural sugars as they can spike insulin and leave you feeling hungry quickly. Keep the higher sugar options (like the energy bites, goodies with dried fruits, etc) for pre-workout snacks and keep your other snacks lower in sugar and higher in protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.

5. Have some Go-To recipes.

Okay here is where I will give some of my go-to’s when it comes to quick cooking. Your go-to’s should be recipes that you enjoy, are quick and easy to assemble and/or cook and are balanced nutritionally. When you are really short on time, these will be your savior to get a healthy meal on the table (or in a container to go) that you don’t have to put much thought into. Below I have put some of my favourite easy meals. Remember that you don’t have to use the same spice pairings or methods as I do, they are just what I’m diggin currently. 😀

IMG_2440Meal 1. Dinner On Leg Day

For me, this is my high carb (slightly lower fat) day, so it’s a given that there will be a higher carbohydrate starch (brown rice), a lean protein and a green of some kind. This picture in particular takes me about 15-20 minutes to assemble, but could be less if I wasn’t picky about my greens being freshly cooked.


1. Get your brown rice cookin. While that is cooking you can make your greens.

2. First, preheat a pan with a lil bit of coconut oil on medium heat. While you’re waiting for the pan to heat up, chop some beets into cubes, toss them in a steamer pot and nuke for about 5 minutes. Chop garlic and onions. Measure out greens (I used swiss chard), separate leaves from stems and chop the stems up.

3. Pan hot? Add the garlic, onions and chard stems to your pan and sautee (stir around periodically) until nicely browned (about 2-3 minutes). Now your beets should be done. Add those and the chard leaves to the pan with some water (few tbsps), stir and pop a close-fit lid on the pan. Turn the heat down a lil bit and just watch to make sure the liquid doesn’t all dry up and cause your greens to burn. Not to fret though, you have a few minutes to burn…

4. Your brown rice should be done (when the water is all gone) so toss that in your container. Throw in 1/2 a can of low sodium tuna (or the whole can if you don’t care about variety or don’t have another protein on hand) and some pre-prepped chicken breast.

5. Check on your greens, all the liquid gone yet? Yes? Add about 2 tbsp more water to the pan, stir and add whatever spices you like. Right now I am adding chili flakes and powder, curry powder and sometimes turmeric, but do what you like. Stir to distribute the spices and pop that lid back on. When the water is all gone again, dump that in your container too and you are DONE

Easy peasy?


  • Steam your beets before you add them to the pan or they will take forever to cook
  • I don’t flavour my rice with any spices because I love the smell of the brown jasmine rice but feel free to season as you please
  • REMEMBER you don’t have to use anything that I did (If you hate swiss chard, don’t use it, etc). This is simply a guide
  • Don’t fret if this seems intimidating, I know that not all people actually like or cook often. The speed of this will come with time
  • Prepping your rice early (and/or your veggie side dish) would cut the assembly time virtually to nothing so keep that in mind for your busy days
hunk o' avocado in this bowl of stuff

hunk o’ avocado in this bowl of stuff

2. Typical Training Day Dinner

I LOVE fish and choose it often. My method of cooking my fish is super quick and easy so it works in a time pinch and is something I always look forward to. As my carbs have been on the rise lately, I have also been adding a starcher carb to some of my normal training days as well. On the other days, I like to have my favourite carb, which is roasted squash of some kind. Here, the choice is bulgar wheat. I have also added a nice helping of healthy fats to this dish to balance it out as the fish is very low in fat.


1.Get your fish cookin. Here I have tilapia which I season with whatever spices I want (typically some form of Mrs. Dash, chili flakes and maybe some lemon juice) and throw in my toaster oven at 350 bake for about 15 minutes. They are thinner fish so they cook fast. NOTE you can use your regular oven too, same settings but the time may be a bit different as its a larger space to heat.

2. Get your bulgar cookin. It’s 1:2 bulgar to water/stock/liquid just like rice. Once again, you have some time (not as much as the rice) to prep some other things.

3. Get your greens prepped!. Preheat a pan with some coconut oil on medium heat. While that is heating, chop onions, garlic, broccoli and whatever other veggies you want. Here I think it was only broccoli because I ran out of other options. Plop those into the pan when it’s heated and sautee.

4. Your bulgar will probably be done while you are sauteeing your veggies, so take that off the heat. When the onions and garlic are fragrant, like the chard dish, add a few tbsp of water to the pan and pop a lid on it to let it steam. This will soften the hard stems of the broccoli.

5. Depending on how done you like your fish, it may be done here, so take that out of the toaster oven (or oven). Is the water all dried up in your greens yet? Yes? Again add a few more tbsp of water to the pan, add your spices and pop that lid back on until the water is absorbed again. Unlike the chard, which wilts fast, continue to add water and put the lid on until the broccoli is softened to your liking.

6. When everything is done, plunk it all into a container and top with avocado (or healthy fat of choice) and you’re good to go.


  • If you don’t want to use your oven for one lil piece of fish, bulk cook your fish. Don’t like fish? Use another lean meat.
  • Once again, prepping your starch, veggies and protein would have cut this time to basically nothing.
  • Green veggie pairings that I like: broccoli&zucchini, broccoli&asparagus, chard&asparagus, chard&mushrooms

IMG_24633. Typical Training Day Dinner (with my favourites!)

This is my favourite fish, with my favourite side dishes! Baked steelhead trout with roasted kabocha squash and a side of sauteed chard, asparagus and cremini mushrooms. Ermagawd, I look forward to meals like this!


1. IF YOU HAVE NOT PREPPED YOUR FISH, get’er in the oven first. When I buy trout, I buy a slab of it and cook it all at once so it will be done and I can portion it out as I go. I don’t have to worry about it being in the fridge too long because, like I said, it’s my favourite and goes quickly. I seasoned it here really simply here with chili flakes, dried rosemary and lemon juice. If I have homemade pesto on hand I will choose that as pesto on fish is amazing! Bake the fish at 350 degrees until it flakes or until your desired doneness (generally about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish).

2. While your fish is cookin, chop up your squash, throw it into your steamer pot and nuke for about 5 minutes (until soft). While that is microwaving, get your greens ready to be sauteed. Chop up garlic, onion and your choice of veggies (I used asparagus, the rest of my swiss chard and cremini mushrooms).

3. Preheat a pan on medium heat with some coconut oil. By this time you squash should be done, toss that on a pan with a lil olive oil and dried rosemary and toss either in a toaster oven like me, or the oven at about 400 degrees.

4. Your pan should now be heated by now so you will toss your garlic, onions and chard stems into the pan and sautee those until the onions are translucent. Add your asparagus and mushrooms and sautee a lil more. Finally, add your chard leaves, a few tablespoons of water and like the other greens, pop a lid on that pan to allow for the steam to soften the veggies.

5. Check your fish. Is it done? Take it out of the oven. Hows your water level in your pan? Dried up yet? Yes? Put another few tbsp of water in the pan and whatever spices you like. I use my regular favourites (curry, turmeric, chili powder), stir and pop that lid back on.

6. Once the liquid is all absorbed, take off the heat and dump into your container. Take your squash out of the toaster oven/oven and add that to the container and finally top with your portion of fish. Delicious!


  • Prepping your fish early will save you the time it takes to prep and bake the fish. Your fish should keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days (or whatever you feel comfortable with).
  • Prepping your veggies during an earlier prep time will also cut down cooking time, I just prefer to cook these as I go because I’m picky and demand them freshly made 😛
  • More resilient fish like trout and salmon can also be steamed if that’s a style of cooking you like. Place an inch or two of liquid (stock, wine, whatever floats your boat) in a pan with some spices/herbs. Heat the pan so that your liquid is simmering (the liquid is bubbling gently, not boiling) and place your fish in the pan. Pop and lid on it and allow it to steam until the fish is cooked through (ie. flaking with a fork). Steaming makes it super tender and moist. Need simple flavour ideas? Try using fish stock for the liquid with a squeeze or two of lemon juice and adding rosemary and chili flakes. OR try the fish stock, lemon juice and dill if you are a dill-salmon person. Experiment!

OKAY wow that was a super long post but I hope that it is useful for those who are a lil more cooking shy. Cooking is not hard, it’s simply something to practice so that you can get more comfortable with it and learn what foods work well together based on your personal tastes. And hey, maybe you will actually start to enjoy the process of cooking like I do.

I will end this post with three final words of advice….

1. USE SPICES! Don’t leave your food bland or you will not enjoy your food. It takes two seconds to shake some spices on your food and you will like it that much more trust me!

2. Make sure you keep some variety or else you will get bored (plus variety is better for getting different nutrients!). Switch up your protein, carbohydrate and fat choices to keep yourself interested.

3. PREP IN ADVANCE! Take 1-2 hours and just do it! If you know you will be busy, help yourself out a lil bit and bulk cook the things that you can keep in the fridge for a few days. If you have the food already there and waiting, you will be more likely to use it over grabbing something packaged.

AAAANNND….I also want to give you a few sites to check out that have some really great food preppin tips and some easy-peasy meal and snack ideas/recipes.

  • Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean has an awesome Sunday Food Prep post every week where she displayed what she made to prep herself and her hubby for the oncoming week. She also highlights a few of her readers who send in their own personal prep! Check her latest food prep post out here.
  • Britt over at Britt’s Blurbs does a weekly meal plan and prep post to show you how you can plan out your weekly meals and also how you can prep some food early to make those meals come together smoothly. Her latest Meal Plan blog post is here.
  • Kim over at Not Consumed put together a nice list of tips, links and recipes that make food prep a lil easier. Check it out here.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I really want it to be a tool/aid to my readers. Let me know what you think in the comments as you know I love hearin from ya! 😀



What I [Baked] Wednesday

Hey Friends,

So I’m going to throw a lil switch up at you and instead of just showing some of my eats (I have to include some though…you need your weekly dose of proat-porn right? ;-)) and show you the outcome of my crazed baking spree that I went on over the week, into the weekend and…well..okay fine still going strong this week. I had mentioned in this post that I was feeling super baking deprived during my study times before my PT exam and, well, we all know what happens when one deprives themselves of something they enjoy….

They go on a mad baking BINGE!

Ok so maybe ‘binge‘ is a weird term to use but the point is that I went a lil crazy and literally baked EVERYTHING (…and MORE!) that was in my lil noggin. Oat’s were a’flyin, banana’s were a’mashin, sinks were a’fillin and guess what? It was marvelous…[insert mischievous face here]. So what was included in my list of goodies? Let’s see shall we…

Peas and Crayons

Don’t forget to send some food blogger love over to our wonderful hostesses, Jen and lil Chickpea, over at Peas and Crayons. and drool over all the other food bloggers weekly noms.

Sooo it all began with my need desire to make more homemade Nuttzo as my boyfriend decided that the previous jar of nutty goodness was a free-for-all snack. Aka, the jar DID NOT last that long at all. BUT of course being me I had to make this version BETTER than the last batch by adding even more nuts to the mix. This led to waaayyy too much money being blown on organic nuts in the Whole Foods bulk bin. We won’t revisit that incident as I’m trying to forget that ever happened…oopps. 😀

Crunchy...just the way I like it!

Crunchy…just the way I like it!

So the first recipe is for my ‘new and improved’ version of Nuttzo. AKA I added pistachios and hazelnuts this time too. Despite taking the time to measure it all out to calculate the nutritional stats for you guys, those will prolly mean nothing to you as the whole point of making this mixed nut butta is to throw in all your favourite nut varieties. So, the measurements in this write-up were based on my butta, but adjust to suit your own tastebuds. Oh and excuse the random measurements…it just happened to be the amount of each that I bought.

It made tons!

It made tons!

Homemade Nuttzo

82 servings (1 serving= 1 tbsp or approximately 15g)

1/4 cup organic flax seeds

200g + 58g raw organic almonds

200g + 80g raw organic peanuts

120g + 54g raw organic cashews

110g + 32g raw organic walnuts

100g + 29g raw organic hazelnuts

112g + 29g raw organic brazil nuts

65g + 23g raw organic pistachios (shelled)


  1. In the oven (or toaster oven) roast all of your nuts (leave out the flax seed). Time depends on which oven you are using but set the oven at 350 and watch them carefully so that you don’t burn them. Roast for anywhere from 10 minutes upward depending on how toasty you like them to be.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend the flax seeds and the larger amount (the first number in grams) of each nut variety until smooth. This may take a few minutes depending on the power of your machine. Scrape down the sides as needed to help get it moving.
  3. Chop the remainder of the nuts and add that to your smooth butter to make a chunky nut butter (* you can omit this step and just blend the entire batch of nuts if you prefer a smooth butter consistency)
  4. Jar it, refrigerate it and enjoy!

Calories: 89 cal Fat: 8g Protein: 8g Carbohydrates: 3g Fiber: 1g

The great thing about this butter is the crunch of all the different nuts and the omega 3 fatty acids that the flax seeds bring into the mix! Healthy fats anyone? Also something to note is that mine tastes more along the almond butter side but, as I mentioned, adjust the nut proportions to suite your preferences. Want a sweeter butter? Add more cashews. Allergic to nuts? Use seeds like sunflower, pumpkin and chia for your personalized nut-free butta. The options are endless.

Next on my list to do was my own peanut butta…Man oh man after this day I was so tired of making nut butter. It’s not that they are hard to make, but because I insist that they must be chunky, the chopping of the nuts to stir in can get annoying and tiresome.

IMG_1695For my peanut butter I just follow the same procedure as outlined for the Nuttzo except I’m only using organic raw peanuts.

After a day of making nut butter I was sooo ready to move onto some real baking so this beauty was then created.

IMG_2011The recipe for my Vanilla Fig Upside-Down cake was already posted and you can check it out here. My boyfriend really enjoyed this cake. You know what he also enjoyed? Being my ‘holding the plate’ model. 😉 Oh how I love that he puts up with my crazy antics.

He also enjoyed another lil treat. This one was suuuper simple and quick to make.

IMG_1985These cookies were not my recipe, in fact the came from a recipe that my boyfriend happened to post on my Facebook wall. Was that a hint? 😛

Perez Hilton apparently shared this recipe and despite the short ingredient list, my boyfriend said they were probably the best [healthy] cookies he has had! The only thing I changed was that I also added some unsweetened carob chips because I was runnin really low on raisins and my boyfriend just loves those lil chips. 😀 He gobbled down the whole batch (I managed about 9 large cookies), minus 3 that he gave to his friend that stopped by, in one night. Satisfied customer I would say. 😉

The last thing I had in my head was another loaf of my version of the Quest Protein Bread. The original version I made can be found here. Since then I have made some additional changes because apparently I just like forever tweaking things….

IMG_2059The changes I have made include….

  • I use 2.7% (random % much?) plain GOAT yogurt in the place of the greek….this makes it so that I don’t have to pop a lactaid to have some
  • 3 tbsp liquid egg whites in place of the whole egg… balance out the fat from the yogurt (keeps the stats the same)
  • 1tbsp unsweetened carob + 1 tbsp cacao powder in place of the 2 tbsp carob….cacao has more benefits/nutrients
  • I used a peanut butter chocolate Questbar in place of the brownie…I was running low on the brownie ones
  • I actually baked it at the right temperature…aka 325 NOT 350…makes it softer/more moist.

Yes I have a problem…I just can’t let a recipe be the way it is. MUST CHANGE SOMETHING! Sigh..

One last thing that came out of left field ended up being created was inspired by all the sweet tater porn on Instagram. My boyfriend had been in Toronto doing his acting thing for 2 days so I decided to make him his own sweet tater creation when he came home yesterday night.

Oozzzing sweet tater

Oozzzing sweet tater

BAM! That is a thing of beauty aint’ it? I have seen soooo many sweet/dessert-like takes on a sweet potato and although I have a soft spot for savory (roasted with rosemary) sweet taters, I thought it would be super fun to create something sweet. So this lil baby is simply a foil baked sweet potato (stab the tater with a fork, wrap in foil and roast in the oven at 375-400 until soft) with the following toppings.

  • Cinnamon Swirl yogurt (aka about 1/4-1/3 cup plain greek yogurt with 1/2 scoop Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl whey)
  • 1 tbsp YouFreshNaturals Vanilla Maple Coconut Almond Butter (sooo good!), melted slightly
  • raw cacao nibs
  • Unsweetened carob chips (they are hiding under the yogurt…I pushed them into the sides of the tater to melt a lil bit)
  • Cinnamon
  • Pure maple syrup (you can use sugar free if you would like but my boyfriend LOVES the real stuff)

Once your tater is cool enough to handle, cut it down the centre and stuff your carob chips into the sides of the potato so the steam can melt them a lil bit. At this point (once the chips have melted a lil bit) put the entire thing in the fridge to chill. When you are ready to serve it up, mix the yogurt together with the protein powder (or you can just add lots of cinnamon and maybe some stevia) and throw that inside the tater. Then, take your almond butter and soften it up in the microwave and throw that on top too. Sprinkle with your cacao nibs, cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup. Cue faceplant!

Andre LOVED it and said it would be an amazing idea for a dessert!

And that my friends ends my baking spree. Phew…lots of good stuff that is waiting to be eaten up! 😀 Before I leave you all I wanted to quickly share some recent noms that I snapped shots of.

IMG_2064Rest Day Proats. Base: Oats, Cellucor Cinnamon Swirl Whey, 1/2 tsp coconut oil, tsp chia seeds, cinnamon, 1/3 cup each water and unsweetened almond milk. Morning add-ins: 2.5 egg whites, fresh organic blueberries (half nuked til liquidy and 1/2 warmed) and 2 tsp YouFreshNaturals Vanilla Maple Coconut Almond Butter.

That YouFreshNaturals stuff is awesome btw! Check out their two flavours!

IMG_1980Yes, that’s cookie dough! 😀 It was insta-love! They make their nut butters using only natural ingredients with no added sugars! What is super cool about their butters is that they make them using coconut butter so you get your healthy dose of medium chain fatty acids in your nut butter! The Cookie Dough one has real vanilla powder, pure maple, nutmeg, coconut flour, and dairy/salt/gluten free chocolate chunks inside it. Super yum eh? The Vanilla Maple contains real vanilla powder, pure maple and dates to give it a nice vanilla-maple essence. You should really check them out! Heres their webpage if you want to order any of their products.

IMG_2066Random restday snack: 1 scrambled egg+2 egg whites, grilled chipotle spiced (ms. Dash) chicken breast, onion, garlic, chili flakes, curry powder, swiss chard and brussel sprouts

IMG_1988Another restday proats bowl. Same basic ingredients as the first but used topped with strawberries (nuked), raw cacao nibs, goji berries and YouFreshNaturals Cookie Dough Coconut Almond Butter

IMG_1968Preworkout proats: Base: 1/3 scoop Cellucor Peanut Butter Marshmellow whey, 1/3 cup+ 1tbsp oats, 1/3 cup each unsweetened almond milk and water, 1/2 tsp coconut oil, 1 tsp chia seeds, cinnamon. Morning add-ons: 1/2 peanut butter supreme Questbar (have baked, half raw), banana, 1/2 tbsp crunchy pb. Peanut butter on peanut butter!

IMG_1993AMAZING date night dinner with Andre. On my plate, grilled bison tenderloin (thanks dad ;-)) with sauteed mushrooms and onions and a 1/4 ounce light goat cheese, swiss chard saute with beetroot, onions, garlic, and chili flakes and roasted rosemary kabocha. Soo Soo Soo Soo good. Bison = LOVE I tell you!

IMG_2069Restday lunch. 2 Ezekiel corn tortillas with avocado (lovin that green stuff lately..shocked yes!), wilted spinach, grilled chipotle chicken and mustard. side of roasted brussels and the extra chicken. Chipotle and avocado go perfectly together! No wonder Mexican food always combines these flavours….

IMG_2082Dinner with work at West Town on Locke Street in Hamilton. Kept it clean! Warm salad of mixed greens, raw veggies, warmed mushrooms and onions, grilled chicken breast and my homemade dressing (1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1-2 tbsp water, 2 tsp Frenches, mustard, dried rosemary and chili flakes) and avocado brought from home. Gotta meet those macros…

IMG_2085My favourite salad as of late: tons of spinach, romaine salad mix, lil bit of orange pepper, cucumber, roasted veggies (kabocha, broccoli and brussels), avocado, baked spicy tilapia (extra spicy ms Dash seasoning), chipotle grilled chicken breast, 4 shrimpies, and my go-to dressing. Super Yum! I love the variety in this salad.

IMG_2033Restday nightly snackie: 1/2 a baked cookie dough Quest (1/2 on my restdays to help bring up my carbs) and my casein pudding (1 scoop chocolate Optimum Nutrition casein, 4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon and 1/2tbsp + 1 tsp my crunchy peanut butter mixed in and 1/2 tbsp of that peanut butter for the top). Love my fats at night!

Alright I am finally dunzo for the night. Hope you had a good humpday!