Perfect Autumn Day

The day started very early with two little tiny ladies coming to join me in bed, at 0600 promptly. I had learned my lesson from yesterday and made sure I had 2 devices Netflix-ready in order to stay in bed until 0700! 😉

We then got up and I received a request from a fairy and a princess for some pancakes. My go-to recipe lately has been this Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes by Veggies by Candlelight. I make mine with vanilla protein powder (for 1/2 the amount of whole wheat flour) and vanilla full-fat greek yogurt. There are a few things I don’t buy low-fat and greek yogurt is one of them. This recipe makes enough for 6 smaller pancakes, just perfect for the girls and I this morning.

Fairy princess helping getting ingredients out of the fridge!

Fairy princess helping getting ingredients out of the fridge!

We then took off for some more grocery shopping and I bought what I missed to make a version of this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Edible Sound Bites. I made mine a little different since I was using my InstantPot.

Perfection!

Perfection!

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed, cubed
  • 1 large Spanish yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup almond/coconut milk
  • 1tsp mild curry powder
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the squash and onions with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and empty the bowl out, making sure the veggies are in an even layer. Sprinkle mild curry powder on vegetables. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until veggies are tender and golden brown.
  3. Transfer the roasted squash and onions to InstantPot; add the chicken stock and almond/coconut milk. Set on “Soup” for 40 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release.
  4. Purée the soup using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender(I used my VitaMix and was done in no time) or food processor until you have a silk smooth soup. Careful it is pipping hot! Adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with 1-2 tbsp pomegranate seeds.

While this was cooking, I took the girls to a furniture store to have a look at some more sectionals for our living room. I’ve seen a few that could do, but since Ben is away, I haven’t made a decision or a purchase yet. Béatrice wanted to show she was very polite upon entering the last store we went to and proceeded to taking off her boots at the door. A few seconds later, she also took off her jacket. That’ll teach me to get her to take her shoes off as soon as she sets foot in the house! I guess she thought we were in a big house since the store was carpeted and there were couches and furniture all over the place! 😉

We came home to a ready to be puréed soup and after I quickly got this out of the way, we enjoyed a little burst of sunshine after a few days of rain and went to play outside (the girls) while we raked some leaves (me). For a small property without any big tree on it, I managed to fill half of our city compost bin and I didn’t even rake the entire yard. The rest will have to wait, maybe when the girls wake up from their nap. For now, Rina has asked me to make her this hat, in purple and white:

Copyright Deja Jetmir

Copyright Deja Jetmir

I must brush up on my crochet technique and cast on while it’s somewhat quiet in here!

 

 

New Gear Review and PRs All Around!

When I head outside early in the morning to go to the Box, my first instinct is to look up to the sky. This morning, as I looked up, I clearly saw the Big Dipper… at 0530… in the city. That’s how dark it was. The sky was full of stars and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Unbeknownst to me, I would be out of the Box with the sun barely just starting to rise on the horizon. Autumn has officially arrived!

Warm-up: I managed to string 4x DUs in a row today! Wahoo!

Skill: Hang Power Snatch + OHS

I started low with these, but manage to PR by 10# when I was done. My last rep at 60# was ugly for the Hang Power Snatch, but very decent for the OHS. My reps were: 35#-40#-45#-50#-55#-60#

WOD: Row 2K

That’s right… 2K! I chose to go in the second heat because I knew I’d be slow and didn’t want to hold back anybody who had to go to work early. I thought for sure I would be around 15:00 for this one as I couldn’t remember what my 1K time was. I know I’m usually slow at rowing and I’m only 5’1″ so that’s a double whammy! Here was my strategy for this WOD:

  • I started slow for the 1st 750m, trying to maintain around 2:35 split.
  • From 750m to 1000m, I tried to up it to 2:30.
  • from 1000m to 1500m, I was aiming for 2:20, but often fell back to 2:25
  • from 1500m to 1750m, I was trying to maintain 2:15, but it was hard to maintain at times
  • from 1750m to 2000m, I tried to go below 2:10, which is pretty fast for me in the shortest distances. It was hard, but my head was in the right place and I just kept fighting for it. This was all mental and I went in with a fighter strategy / mantra and it seemed to work. I was able to keep my split low and I finished in 9:36.1! I was so happy to be sub 10:00!

Earlier last month, Fabletics finally became available in Canada and I signed up for it, not expecting it to be anything out of the ordinary. For my 1st order, I ended up ordering 3 pairs of capris, a t-shirt, a tank top and a cowl. Everything fits beautifully and I’m keeping it all. I haven’t updated my capris for working out since before we moved from Montreal (over 6 years ago) and it is time for me to spoil myself with a new wardrobe, now that I’m feeling more comfortable in my new body. I’ve worked hard for it and I’m proud of it!

The capris are all wonderful quality, thick, but not too thick and soft and they all pass the “squat test”, meaning, they don’t go see through when you squat deep! I like that at 5’1″, they are still capris, even on my short person! They do fall off a bit when you do high impact activities and I found out quickly doing DUs and burpees in the warm-up today.

As for the tank top, I put it through the test this morning at the WOD. It has a built-in bra that offers medium support. Although it looks nice, it is definitely not a bra I will wear for high impact WODs. I will probably keep this one for around the house or for chasing the girls!

Here are the pictures of the outfits I’m keeping:

Capris I wore today

Capris I wore today

The tank top with built-in bra

The tank top with built-in bra

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Super cozy outfit for lounging around!

Super cozy outfit for lounging around!

I came back home after the WOD and went to run some errands before setting out to cook lunch. I had a friend coming over and even though Rina isn’t feeling well (fever and sores in her mouth, I guess it’s her turn to have hand/foot/mouth disease), it was a very lovely lunch with great company!

Tomorrow, I plan on cooking for the potluck on Sunday. Not only am I participating in my 1st Crossfit competition, it’s also a potluck! Gotta make sure to fuel these athletes! 😉

The Return of Friday Run Day… Yay!

The weather has been very decent over the past month and I guess with nicer weather, a return of outside running was doomed to happen at one point! Oh, how I love to run (not)!

For the skill section, I did my Hang Power Cleans with the following weights:

55#-65#-65#-70#-70#

My shoulders are still very stiff from last Sunday and I just couldn’t move fast enough from the shoulder shrug to the flipping of the elbows. Looking forward to my 5 days of (Crossfit) rest. I have decided that even though my schedule would allow me to go in on Monday, I’m not going to. I need to give my shoulders a rest, otherwise, I just won’t progress.

Seeing as my shoulders were so sore, I decided to skip the Push Press for the WOD today. Coach Caleb gave those of us who skipped the push presses 8 burpees to do instead. I did the WOD the following way:

TG+: 4 rounds of

  • 400m run (or drag in my case)
  • 8 burpees
  • 10 back squats @55# (from the rack since I didn’t do the push press)

I finished way dead last at 17:37. I know I gave it my full effort and Mark was nice enough (or cruel enough, depending how you want to look at it) to accompany me on my last run. He said he knew I wouldn’t stop to walk if he came out with me. He knows me too well and he was right!

I had previously finished it in 15:00, but with a weight of 35#. I never know which to consider my PR. Do I go according to the shorter time, but lesser weight, or higher weight and longer time?!? Still so confused at times!

Since I am taking a little rest from the WODs over the next few days, I’ll leave you with what I’ve been cooking in preparation for my return to work tomorrow:

I made this delicious Meat Crust Quiche from PaleOMG. my sausage was turkey, thyme and cranberry and the mix is very tasty. Even Béa shared some of mine this morning! Here’s what mine looked like coming out of the oven:

I am NOT a food photographer! Trust me, this is delicious!

I am NOT a food photographer! Trust me, this is delicious!

I also made a Chicken Mustard Stew from the PaleoLeap  Paleo Recipe Book in my Instant Pot and it was quick and easy. I browned the chicken breasts with the onion and garlic. Added the canned tomatoes  and wine and set it on poultry for 30 mins. Voilà! I ate it with a nice salad last night and it was very comforting!

Today, I plan on making the Crab Stuffed Salmon also front he PaleoLeap Paleo Recipe Book. I have been craving the stuffed salmon fillet from Costco and hopefully, this will come as a close second! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

And just because I can, I will leave you with a picture of Béa yesterday. She stole Rina’s hat and put it on her head and kept it on there for part of the afternoon. I thought she looked like a little Shriner! 😉

Goofy girl!

Goofy girl!

 

Cooking For a Cold Day

I didn’t go to Crossfit on Monday because I had only 4hrs of sleep (the girls were up and Ben was a snoring machine :() and since I was still sore from my massage on Friday, I figured I probably should try to get some sleep instead of risking an injury. I really was looking forward to going as we were doing new (to me) things: Toes-to-bar and Rope Climbs. Not that I would have been successful at either, but I like learning/working on new things. Hopefully, we will be working on those for the next few weeks and I didn’t miss it all!

The last few days have been filled with the regular mommy stuff that fills my days: cleaning, taking care of the girls and cooking. I think Béa is fading out her morning nap (she hasn’t slept in the morning in the past few days and I get her up to play with her), but I can’t complain as she sleeps for a solid 12hrs at night and will still nap 1-2hrs in the afternoons.

Cooking-wise, I have been trying a few new recipes today and so far, I am really happy with these.

I’ve been in a bit of a breakfast rut lately and I was missing my toast and peanut butter, so I thought I’d give this Oatless Oatmeal recipe from The Primal Yogi a try. It didn’t disappoint at all! I felt like I was eating warm uncooked cake batter for breakfast! Perfect on this chilly morning! I doubled the recipe (so I would have some for tomorrow morning when I come back from Crossfit) and added a few raisins to mine (Ben and Rina were having raisin-cinnamon scones and I didn’t want to feel like an outsider). It was really good and even though it was just bananas with almond butter, it felt like a total treat!

Then, I got to chopping and made this Creamy Carrot Chicken Soup from Gutsy. The soup was super easy to make and I had some leftover chicken from a pre-cooked chicken I had bought over on the weekend. The only modification I did was decreasing the amount of butter. I sautéd the onions right in my InstantPot, then I shoved all the remaining ingredients in, sealed the lid, set it on “soup” for 30 mins and voilà! Once it was finished, I blended the whole soup (so the girls will eat it too) and it gave a really creamy soup without any cream. Comfort food at its best!

PaleOMG – Paleo Recipes – Buffalo Chicken Mini Meatloaf

I made this today (for some meals this week) with the only following modifications:

  • I used 2 tbsp of Sriracha (it’s all I had on hand) as the hot sauce which makes this meal definitely NOT kid-friendly! Maybe I’ll decrease that amount to 1 tbsp or even 1/2 tbsp next time.
  • I used the 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken

PaleOMG – Paleo Recipes – Buffalo Chicken Mini Meatloaf.

This was super quick and easy to make and despite the really strong kick to it, the meatloaf is really good and very moist. Maybe I’ll diffuse some of the heat it has by mixing it over salads this week.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Mish-Mash!

I have recently discovered this new (to me) blog full of delicious looking vegan recipes and it has inspired me to cook beautiful foods again! The Nut Butter Cups recipe I posted earlier came from this very same blog and I modified the recipe by using unsalted roasted peanuts and natural peanut butter instead of almonds and almond butter because that’s what I had on hand.

Yesterday, I slaved in the kitchen for about 2hrs for the Winter Wonton Soup and I ended up flushing everything down the toilet… My wonton had all stuck together and although the filling tasted wonderful raw, I was sort of turned off by their taste once cooked. A huge disappointment as they were quite labor intensive and I’m not one to like spending a lot of time in the kitchen! Let’s hope things will turn out better for these: Corn Fritters and Dill + Cashew Cream Dipping Sauce as well as her Asian Quinoa Salad (replacing the pomegranate seeds with dried cranberries as pomegranate isn’t in season right now).

I was not looking forward to Crossfit this morning as I’ve been really tired lately (I know it’s because I haven’t eaten clean and it’s my own fault), but I still managed to go bright and early!

For the Push Press, since I had never done them before, I started with a few practices with the bar (35#) only and decided to start my sets at 45# and increasing 5# with every set, finishing off at 70#. I think I could have probably added more, but my lower back has been sore lately and I didn’t want to risk an injury so I erred on the cautious side. As for the WOD, All I have to say is: Thank goodness for coaches! I had grand ideas of doing the FG, but Coach Caleb forced me to do the TG. A good thing too as I felt like puking in the middle of my 10 burpees. I did manage to do burped step-ups on the 20″ box instead of plates and I scaled down the squats to 18#. My arms are still sore from the push press and the burpees…

In other news, I have made some design changes to the blog, trying out a new theme and deciding on a header picture to integrate to the blog. I have a concept of what I want that picture to be, but I haven’t yet managed to take a picture I like, so I’ll keep working on it! Some of you may have noticed that I recently started blogging again. This blog was originally intended as a love letter to Rina during my pregnancy with her and throughout her 1st year of life. When I went back to work, I decided to stop blogging as I was busy enough with work and family life. Although I still felt the urge to write every once in a while, nothing made me feel like it would warrant a post.

During my pregnancy with Béatrice, I was exhausted all the time and working full-time and taking care of Rina was enough for me. Now that I have somewhat of a schedule established with the girls, I find some down time during the day and I’m not one to sit idle, hence the blog has come alive again! I would still like the blog to be a letter to the girls, but haven’t yet found a format for it that pleases me, therefore, in the meantime, I just write! I hope one day, the girls will be curious enough about their mom to wanna come and read the blog!

 

Raw Nut Butter Cups

Just made these for an after dinner treat and my Ben qualified them as “dangerous” after wolfing down 4 in a row!

avegankitchen

Very short but very delicious post! Been seeing these all over instagram lately, so figured I may as well give some a shot….and oh my god, they were delicious.

Nut Base:

1 1/2 cups almonds

1/2 cup oats

4 tablespoons nut butter

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Topping: 

6 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

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Pulse the almonds until they become the consistency of almond meal

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Do the same for the oats, then place both in a large bowl and mix well

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Add in the coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nut butter

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Stir well, until fully combined. The mixture should hold its shape when pressed together

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In small a silicone muffin liner (or a lined muffin tin), place a heaping teaspoon of the mixture and press down evenly. Repeat for the rest of the mixture

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To…

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