My Favourite Foods

A lot of people ask me what I eat on a regular basis or what type of meal plan I follow. Well, I do not “diet” or restrict any food group. I eat whatever I want – in moderation. I do follow IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) closely, but not to the extreme. If you don’t know what IIFYM is, then I suggest you go to their site to educate yourself and see if it is something that you would consider. Basically, IIFYM pays closer attention the amount of macro-nutrients (carbs, fats and protein) that you need as a individual, instead of worrying about eating only “clean” or “healthy” foods. I find this is really good for people who are looking to make certain body composition changes such as building muscle, or losing weight. It really opens your eyes to how much you should be eating and from what types of foods, to accomplish your goals. With that being said, no, I do not strictly measure my food, or follow my macro-nutrient recommendation everyday because that is simply unrealistic.

Below of I have listed some of my favourite foods and why. These are foods I eat on a regular basis. No, eating these foods won’t make you “skinny”. I am not saying that you have to eat these foods to be “healthy”. I am simply listing foods that I love and why I like to eat them 🙂

My favourite foods and why.

banana

1. Bananas – I eat a banana every day. They are the perfect fruit because they are nutrient-dense. They provide me with a good source of energy, carbohydrates, and potassium  I like to eat them as either part of my breakfast, or as a post-workout snack (or sometimes both ;)) You NEED carbs to replace the glycogen you used during your workout.

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2. Peanut Butter –  I eat peanut butter everyday. Yes, peanut butter has a high amount of calories compared to its serving size, and it’s high in fat, but because of its density it keeps me full and satisfies my sweet-tooth. Peanut butter contains mono-saturated fat, which is linked to decreased likelihood of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Also, it tastes good on everything and I eat it from the jar.

3. Sweet Potatoes –  I eat sweet potatoes regularly, and hardly ever eat white potatoes. There is nothing wrong with eating a balanced portion of white potatoes. White potatoes aren’t unhealthy and they don’t make you fat. I honestly just like the taste of sweet potatoes better. Both white and sweet potatoes are close in terms of calories and sweet-potatoes have slightly less carbohydrates than white potatoes. They are a good source of carbohydrates to have with your meals. Sweet potatoes also taste great with peanut butter on top. TRY IT!

4. Oatmeal – When I tell people I eat oatmeal regularly, they think that it’s so “bland” and “boring”. Yes, if I was to just eat oatmeal cooked with water, I would describe it as bland and boring. But, who eats oatmeal alone? No one. I like to cook mine with egg whites (there is nothing wrong with a whole egg, I just don’t like a whole egg in my oatmeal), add berries, cinnamon and obviously top it with peanut butter. I usually have this as breakfast or lunch (which ends up being my post-workout food). Oatmeal is a fantastic source of carbs and fibre, and when you pair it with protein and fat, you have a complete meal that is satisfying and does wonders for the body. Seriously delicious.

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5. Spinach – I’m not really sure if people enjoy eating spinach. Like does someone ever crave a huge bowl of spinach? I definitely don’t, but I eat it regularly. The nutritional facts of spinach actually amaze me. It’s like 7 calories for 1 cup of spinach. I wish peanut butter was 7 calories/cup. Anyways, spinach is loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium, iron and fibre. It’s actually like the perfect food. Basically, I make salads with spinach instead of other greens. I try to have spinach with my supper on a regular basis because of it’s amazing nutritional content.

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6. Questbars – I just had to add this one in here. I have a previous post on why I love Questbars -> QUEST-A-LICIOUS. Basically, they are delicious. They taste like heaven and they are a great snack, you can eat them a million ways and make so many recipes. Instead of going for 10 Oreos, you can have a Cookies and Cream Questbar and know that it is giving you a phenomenal source of protein and carbohydrates for your individual goals. You can buy Questbars here. And check out previous posts for recipes! 🙂

 

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My Workout Routine

“What does your workout routine look like?” – another question people constantly ask me. If I could answer this question with one word, I would use variety. I don’t think I have ever done the same workout twice. I constantly change my workouts to keep my body guessing, to keep myself motivated and because I get bored really easily. Also, it’s important to change your workout because your body will get used to the same routines over and over.  I never ever dread doing a workout because I do things I enjoy and find fitness and exercises fun and empowering. To be honest, if I didn’t like training, I probably wouldn’t do it. My workouts consist of weight training, HIIT, Pilates and yoga.

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Weight Training

I typically do weight training every other day and I do this at the gym. I started off doing full body workouts to build up strength because I wasn’t strong enough to do a full workout that just focused on 1-2 muscle groups. Once I got stronger I started splitting my days into back + triceps, shoulders + biceps, and legs. (Or something of the sort). Currently I still do that, or sometimes I do a full body strength workout. I honestly just decide what I’m doing the day before, write it all out in advance so I go to the gym and know exactly what exercises and sets/reps I am doing. I don’t like wasting time and I like moving quickly from one exercise to the next. This keeps my heart rate up and my body moving. Also, when I first started strength training I had a trainer set up a program for me. She went through every exercise with me to ensure I knew how to perform them properly. I highly suggest this if you are a beginner because there is nothing worse than going to the gym and not knowing what you are doing. Use your resources and don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s the only way you can improve.

HIIT

High intensity interval training. This is alternating periods of intense anaerobic exercises paired with less intense recovery periods. I love love love HIIT. This burns fat like crazy (more than steady-rate cardio) because it increases your RMR (resting metabolic rate), which means you burn more calories AFTER your workout. I honestly get a high from doing this. I incorporate high intense moves such as burpees, kettle bell swings, squat jumps, skipping, plank jacks, sprints, battle ropes and the list goes on. I would do these exercises for 1 minutes, and then recover with a less intense exercise, which is usually a core/ab focus. For example, weighted crunches, hip twist butt-ups, bicycle crunches, planks, side plank dips and again, the list goes on. I typically make up circuits with 2-3 exercises, perform them for 1-2 minutes each and do the circuit 3 times. I pair different circuits together to make up a 30-45 minutes workout and then I usually end my workout with 10-15 minutes focusing on just core. I have found amazing results with this technique. I personally hate steady-rate cardio. My only workouts used to be the treadmill and I hated it. I didn’t see results I wanted and it was the worst hour of my life (lol). HIIT keeps me engaged mentally the entire time, I focus entirely on the exercises and this is when I found the definition and strength I wanted in my core.

Pilates & Yoga

I started doing Pilates when I first began my fitness journey. It helped me gain so much strength, flexibility and control. I learned how the mind controls the body and I also learned the importance of controlling movements instead of rushing through them. I love Pilates workouts that move up and down on the mat, including standing exercises, plank exercises and of course, mat work. Pilates is no joke. It takes extreme stamina and body strength. I find it so empowering that you can use your own body weight to change and shape your body however you want. I am currently practicing to become a Certified Pilates Instructor, and I can guarantee that my classes will be a lot of “up and down” movements that will make you break a sweat, gain strength and get a killer core.

I only recently started doing Yoga and I have absolutely fell in love with it. I am currently doing Hot Power Flow yoga about 2 times a week. This is an extremely intense style of yoga because you are constantly moving non-stop, going through a series of power movements that use your entire body and also, you’re in a 40 degree room. I have never sweat so much in my entire life. It is literally the best feeling in the world. This type of yoga has allowed me to gain a crazy amount of lower body strength, helped me stretch and gain more flexibility and it’s 100% a mental exercise as well as a physical one. It’s the definition of empowering and I highly recommend trying it!

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My favourite post-workout snack is obviously a Quest Bar. If I’m at home I usually broil them because they are delicious broiled, but still just as good eaten as they are right out of the wrapper. You can buy them by clicking this link. You also get a free bar with your purchase 🙂 Check out recipe posts for ideas on how to add Quest Bars to make delicious recipes!

 

White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar Protein Cheesecakes

Haven’t made a Questbar recipe in a while! Do you ever just sit and dream up all the possibilities that can be made from Questbars? I do. This time I decided I wanted to make something with a fruity bar instead of a chocolate/peanut butter flavor (my favourite). The White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar is one of my favorites! Especially heated up – that white chocolate gets all warm and gooey and delicious. Omg so good. I always wanted to try a version of a cheesecake recipe, so this is what I did!

Ingredients

  • 1 White Chocolate Raspberry Questbar (You can use any Qubestbar)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp protein powder of choice

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Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 and spray 2 muffin tins
  • Microwave Questbar for 10 seconds and then cut in half
  • Mold Questbar halves into each tin
  • Blend all other ingredients together and pour into each mold (I had extra leftover because I wasn’t sure how much would fit into the molds, so you can probably use less yogurt/cottage cheese)
  • Bake for ~20 minutes

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Macros (For entire recipe)

Calories: 265

Carbs: 26g

Fat: 9g

Protein: 35g

Buy Questbars to make recipes like this here! (You also get a free bar with your purchase :))

 

Back Workout + Easter Weekend

Monday: Back + Biceps + HIIT/Core

My main focus for my workout yesterday was back, but I also ended it with some tricep work and a short HIIT/core routine. Listed below is my exact workout with links on how to do the exercises. Ps. I’m all about the cut-out back shirts lately. This shirt is from Blogilates clothing line.

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Here are some snapshots from my Easter Weekend. OMG made the best protein pancakes and topped them with Mini Eggs. SO GOOD.

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Recipe:

  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Powder
  • 3tbsp Soy Milk (I used Chocolate – you can use any kind of milk)
  • 1tbsp Oat Flour
  • 2tbs Egg Whites

FINALLY there was some spring weather in good old Canada, so I got to bust out some spring attire that I’ve been dying to wear 🙂 Sunshine makes me happy.

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Today my workout was over an hour of HIIT paired with my favourite ab/core exercises. I’ll post the exact workout next time! I can’t just name the exercises cause half the time I make up names for them (haha) and you won’t know what they are. So, I’ll list my workout and link you to the exercises 🙂 Post-workout snack was a Questbar. And it took me a good 15 minutes to decide which one I wanted! (LOL) I ended up broiling the Double Chocolate Chunk. SO GOOD. You can buy Questbars here. And get a free one!!

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Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake

Happy Good Friday! OMG woke up so sore. My legs are killing me! It actually hurt to sleep last night! Giving myself a rest day.

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I like to train most days because I enjoy it and I want to, but giving myself rest days are just as important.  I usually rest when I literally cannot fit training into my schedule because of other priorities (aka work, school, vacation, etc.). Life isn’t revolved around working out, well kind of 😉 I also listen to my body, I know a lot of people say “half a workout is better than no workout”, but sometimes if I’m sore, and I know my body is physically not into it, I know I won’t get a good session in. So, I rest up and recover and know that tomorrow I’ll have even more energy to make progress. Also, it gives me more time to think up recipes and experiment in the kitchen because I am devoted to eating well and proving to you that you can eat healthy and balanced, while still having delicious meals!! Today I was in the mood for a Cinnamon Roll Quest Bar so I created another version of a delicious mug cake.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cinnamon Roll Quest Bar
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used Chocolate Soy Milk)
  • 2 tbsp PB2
  • 2 tbsp oat flour (take regular oats and grind them in a Magic Bullet)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

Directions

  • Cut up Quest Bar into little pieces (half go in mug cake, half go on top)
  • Spray mug with cooking spray
  • Combine all ingredients in mug (remember to keep half of the Quest pieces for topping)
  • Microwave for 1 minute and the continue for 10 second intervals making sure it doesn’t overcook
  • Add toppings!
  • I topped mine with 1tbsp of peanut butter, rest of Quest Bar & cinnamon.
  • Enjoy!photo-23

Macros (without peanut butter topping)

Calories: 245

Carbs: 29g

Fat: 7g

Protein: 26g

You can buy Quest Bars by clicking on this link.

You also get a free bar with your purchase!

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Inside Out Quest Bar Peanut Butter Cups

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As you can tell, I love chocolate and I love peanut butter and there is nothing better than chocolate and peanut butter combined.  And what’s even better is chocolate + peanut butter + Quest Bars. Below are a few recipes of these combinations 🙂

For this recipe get your Quest Bars here

Inside-Out Quest Bar Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
  • 1/2 Cookies & Cream Quest Bar (or any kind you like)

Directions

Mix PB2 in a bowl while adding little bits of water as you stir until it gets to a spreadable constancy.

Cut 1/2 of your Quest Bar into 4 little pieces (technically each piece will be 1/8th of a full bar)

Fill half of a muffin mold with PB2 mixture, put Quest Bar piece in center, and then cover the rest of it with Pb2.

Fill up all your cups and put it in the freezer.

*Tip adding more water when mixing PB2 makes more of a mixture and allows amount of PB2 to be used further 🙂

They turn out looking like these babies 🙂

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Macros (1 serving = 2 cups

Calories: 90

Carbs: 11g

Fat: 4g

Protein: 11g

…… And another chocolate cup idea:

Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1/8th Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar

Directions

Melt dark chocolate in the microwave and stir

Fill up bottom half of muffin mold with chocolate.

Put Quest Bar piece in center and then fill the rest of the muffin mold with leftover dark chocolate.

Freeze. Devour

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Macros

Calories: 164

Carbs: 21g

Fat: 11g

Protein 5g

Don’t forget you can order Quest Bars here! And you get a free bar with your order 🙂

 

Quest-a-licious

 Questbars. What’s the big deal? Okay, I have to hand it to Quest, they are really good at marketing. So many people rage over these bars, especially people who are into health and fitness. It’s almost like a new fad. You see them all over social media with members of the “fitfam” talking about how amazing they are. Creating recipes with Questbars that look better than any DQ Blizzard I’ve ever seen. These people are still lean and fit while consuming these delicious chocolaty bars on a daily basis. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!?!

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How can you eat these on a regular basis, and still promote a healthy lifestyle?

So, let’s do a little comparison here. If I had to choose I would probably grab a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup as a choice of “candy”. Let’s compare it to my favourite Questbar at the moment, which is Double Chocolate Chunk. (Go here to buy your own Double Chocolate Chunk)

Reese’s PB Cup Double Chocolate Chunk Questbar
Calories 210 160
Fat 13g 6g
Protein 5g 20g
Carbs 24g 25g
Fibre 1g 16g
Sugar 21g 1g

 

After making these comparisons, what stands out?

First of all, the Double Chocolate Chunk has LESS calories, and over less than half the amount of fat compared to Reese’s PB Cup. Compare the 20g of protein in the Questbar to 5g in the PB Cup and that speaks for itself. Now, the carbs are basically the same in both products, but what stands out is the fibre and sugar content. Quest has 16g of fibre and 1g of sugar. Why is fibre important? A lot of people ignore its value. Fibre is good for so many reasons because it helps our digestive tract, helps us feel full longer, and it’s proven that people who consume more fibre are at lower risk of cardiovascular diseases (among a million other things).

Now in all honesty comparing a Reese PB Cup to a Ques bar is like comparing apples to oranges, but you get the point. Basically, a Questbar is a “bigger bang for your buck”. With fewer calories, more nutrient-dense value and to be completely honest, better tasting than any “candy” bar.

For more Questbar nutrition facts go here

“Let’s be honest, if you could eat candy all day and get lean, you probably would.”- Quest

Yes, Questbars are functional with their nutrient value, but my favourite thing about Quest, is that I can satisfy my sweet-tooth every day without having to indulge in other products that are full of sugar and trans-fat. I can eat these and know that they are contributing to my fitness goals. So many people think they have to deprive themselves from good-tasting food when they are trying to get fit, but you don’t have to do that with Quest!!

To give a little more perspective, below is a comparison of a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest bar to a McDonalds Chicken Snack Wrap & a Tim Horton’s tea biscuit.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Dough Quest Bar

McDonalds

Chicken Snack Wrap

Tim Horton’s

Plain Tea Biscuit

Size 60g 112g 76g
Calories 190 290 240
Fat 8g 13g 9g
Protein 21g 14g 5g
Carbs 21g 30g 35g
Fiber 17g 3g 1g
Sugar 1g 2g 5g

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The lesson here is to eat more nutrient-dense foods (whether it be Quest or not). This means eating food that has a lot of nutritious value in terms of healthy carbs, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals for fewer calories. I mean look, a tea biscuit is 240 calories and has more fat than a Questbar, and I guarantee you, you will still be hungry after eating that biscuit (not worth it). Where is the fiber and where is the protein? It’s in the Questbar.

So, moral of the story: I love Questbars, Questbars are good. They are a must try if you haven’t already!!

Click here to buy Questbars (best choice I ever made ;))