Why Not or Why NOT?

Hello from Laguardia airport! I’m currently settled in a chair by my gate with a $13 bag of Blue Diamond roasted almonds by my side (so worth it!), waiting to board. (Update: I’m almost done this post and have probably had about 5 servings. Why are almonds so addicting?!). I took public transit (subway + free bus connection) to the airport , and was really pleased with how smooth of a ride I had. From the time I left the club in midtown to the moment I sat down at my gate, it was about an hour. You can’t beat that! Maybe I’ll start trying to fly mid afternoon on Mondays more often…

Breakfast

After a solid 9-hour sleep, I woke up to a grumbling stomach and a craving for coffee. I quickly put on a pot of coffee, while simultaneously fixing breakfast and throwing a few last minute items in my suitcase. I did my absolute best to not overpack, since 90% of my bag is filled with training clothes, and I know that I’ll have several chances to do laundry over the next 10 days. Plus, I’m hoping to be able to fit my Salming duffel into the overhead bin and not sky check it. All about saving doll-ahs and being efficient over here!

Although breakfast this morning was influenced by clearing out all perishables from the fridge, it was quite tasty!

Today’s scramble mix included:

  • 3 eggs + 1 egg white
  • raw spinach
  • a bucketload of chopped chives
  • Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning (<– love this stuff!)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • sweet potato spirals sautéed in coconut oil that were on the verge of death (not pictured)

I heated up some coconut oil, scrambled it all up, and deemed it very edible! Coconut oil just may be my new favourite sautéing buddy. A little bit goes a long way, and it gives the food a slightly sweet taste, which I love.

Workout

After breakfast/packing, I headed into Manhattan to teach a lesson and sneak a quick workout in. The 45-minute lesson flew by, and after sorting out a couple billing tasks, I debated for about 2 minutes whether or not I should do a little bike workout. I was feeling indecisive, and formed a mental pros vs cons list:

Pros:

  1. I’m well-rested (HRV was also green this morning)
  2. It will energize me
  3. I said I would, and it’s part of the training schedule I set out to do
  4. It’ll only take 20 minutes

Cons:

  1. I’m a little short on time and don’t want to be late/stressed for my flight
  2. I’m ever so slightly hungry, but not really that hungry

Honestly, all this thinking just confused me. In the end, I thought to myself: “Why NOT?“. When you’re motivated, it’s easy to accomplish a given task. Similarly, when you’re unmotivated, it’s quite convenient to go with any number of excuses. But what happens when you’re ambivalent? At this point, the battle becomes mental, rather than physical. For example, I was well-rested today. My body felt good, and my mind was up for it. I had finished the other tasks that needed to be done, and really did have 20 minutes to spare. When I realized I had zero legitimate excuses, I figured I’d better shut my mind up and get on with it.

… I wish this was my setup today! This was taken over winter break.

20-something minutes later, I hopped off the bike, sweaty and out of breath. One of the benefits of being constrained for time, is that I made sure to make every single minute count. The workout looked something like this:

  • 0-5 min: warm up (alternating 1 min seated, 1 min standing, with the beat)
  • 5-10 min: 5 minute “climb”: one 10-25 second sprint every minute, and in between, pedalling out of the saddle with the beat
  • 11-20 min:
    • 20s on/40s off (3x)
    • 30s on/30s off (3x)
    • 40s on/20s off (2x)

After cooling down for a minute, it took me no more than 10 minutes to shower, dress, pack, and head out!

Anywho, now I’m chilling at my gate, munching on almonds, and wondering whether or not I should take a $500 travel voucher for a flight that leaves 3 hours from now…

Open Faced Egg and Avocado Toast

Hello people! I cannot believe it is almost August. The long summer days go by fast!

I’ve been a little MIA over here the past week or so, but only because I’ve been busy studying NASM, visiting with my mom (ok ok that was last weekend), and working.

Breakfast

In other news, I’ve also been very into open-faced sandwiches. Specifically, sourdough + avocado + egg. If I’m feeling a little adventurous, I’ll add some cheese in there too.

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I’d seen so many pictures of avocado toast blowing up blogger’s posts and Instagram feeds, I knew I had to try it for myself. However, I wanted to kick the flavour (and protein) up just a notch, so I made a couple eggs and tossed them on top.

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You know when you make a recipe and it’s so good that you think to yourself, “man, they would charge like $20 for this at a restaurant”! No? Yes? I admit, this may be the first time that’s ever happened to me.

I’m not even a fan of egg sandwiches, but thanks to the hefty amount of avocado, sourdough, and minuscule amount of cheese (eggs + lots of cheese = yuck), I was loving it.

Open Faced Egg and Avocado Toast

Serves 2, or 1 very hungry person (aka me)

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 eggs; fried with slightly runny yolks (sunny side up, I believe that’s called)
  • 1 avocado
  • a little bit of cheese (I used cheddar the first time, and goat cheese the next, and they were both great)
  • seasoning/ salt and pepper to taste

Toast the bread, cook the eggs, mash the avocado, top em up, and voila!

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Workout

I inhaled two open faced sandwiches this morning when I came back from Flywheel. It was my first time back at Flywheel in a couple of years, and I’d completely forgotten how hard you work when you’re competing against the others in the class! To make matters even more intense, I was seated beside an instructor, so I was constantly trying to keep up with him the whole time. Let’s just say I earned my breakfast this morning, and I will need to keep re-hydrating for the rest of the day.

Now I’m off to a meeting, followed by some NASM studying, and then squash later on this evening! Shaping up to be a good day so far!

Questions:

Are you a breakfast sandwich kind of person? If so, what’s your favourite combination?

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Obsession

I thought a ~$1 serving of Greek yogurt + $0.50 banana + large dollop of peanut butter was just about as inexpensive as you could get for a healthy breakfast.

Turns out that there are many more creative, healthy things you can make (besides eggs and oatmeal) for a satisfying yet cheap breakfast!

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Chia seed pudding!

I am one of those wacky people who loves chocolate in the AM (in a healthy way), so chocolate protein powder or cocoa powder often find their way into my breakfast bowls. (You can read my post on how I eat chocolate the “healthy way” here).

Not only is chia good for you, the pudding is super easy to make, and requires no assembly in the morning!

Let’s also appreciate for a second how disgusting my food looks when I put 0 effort into the aesthetics. This is what I eat, people. Funny looking mush.

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The other morning I was rushing off to work training, and had absolutely no time to make breakfast. I quite literally grabbed my chia pudding from the fridge and threw it in my bag before running out the door. Okay, well, I stopped to slice a banana before throwing it in there, but close enough!

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Besides the convenience and the health benefits, I love how cost-effective chia seeds are. I think I bought my 14 serving (2 Tbsp/serving) bag of chia for about $4 or so, which works out to a little less than 30 cents per serving! I usually use about 3 Tbsp of chia seeds in my breakfast, but even so, that still works out to less than 50 cents per serving, which is a huge steal.

My chia recipe usually consists of the following:

  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats (sometimes)
  • ~1 cup of milk or water
  • flavouring (vanilla, maple syrup, hot chocolate mix)
  • sliced banana
  • scoop of peanut butter

Another benefit to the pudding? Unlike overnight oats, which I can nibble on throughout the night, chia seeds actually need at least an hour or more to set, which reduces the chances of me eating them prematurely by a lot! (Raise your hand if you’ve ever pre-made your breakfast the night before, eaten it, and then had to remake it. Guilty).

Questions:

Do you like chia seeds? If so, how do you eat them?

My next chia endeavour is to try them in baking, such as muffins! I’ve also seen some recipes for chia jam, which looks delicious but perhaps a bit too ambitious for now.

Squash on Squash Turns 1 Year Old!

Hello hello! Hope you all had a good week, and have a fun weekend lined up ahead. I’ve had a very busy week, being back up in Princeton helping out with some coaching, training, and getting some PT done on my back. After a small (but exciting) detour in NYC yesterday afternoon, I finally made it back to my suburban home away from home- aka Hadley’s house!

IMG_7102Before we get to Squash on Squash’s little blog birthday celebration, let’s quickly cover breakfast. I woke up this morning not in the mood for eggs or Greek yogurt, which left me a little stumped. What to do when you’re not feelin’ your two favourite breakfast options?! You make lemonade out of lemons! Or, in my case, oatmeal out of oats!

For the first time in ages, I fashioned myself some egg white banana bread oatmeal. In the bowl went:

  • oats (maybe 1/2 cup?)
  • water
  • a banana (mashed)
  • a few generous dashes of cinnamon
  • one egg white

IMG_7110I then microwaved the entire mixture for about two minutes, stopping the machine to stir frequently, before eventually deeming my breakfast edible, and topping it with peanut butter (of course).

It was just as delicious as I remembered it to be, and I foresee an egg white oatmeal kick making a comeback.

Squash on Squash turns 1 year old!

I don’t want to go on and on about how much I love blogging or how much I love squash (because squash just doesn’t get enough attention on this blog…right?), but I do want to touch on just a few things that has made this past year so special- thanks to Squash on Squash.

  • I became a better writer

I would love to say that the mantra, “practice makes perfect” fully applies here, but that would be a bit of a stretch. However, I can say that although I do not write perfectly, nor am I an absolute poet with words, I do find it much easier now to express myself than I did a year ago.

IMG_6499The words come a bit easier, and the sentences flow a little bit better (which, I admit isn’t all that difficult to do when you spend so much time talking about squash or peanut butter). In any case, writing ~600 words nearly every day has given me a certain confidence with words that I would not have otherwise accumulated.

  • I learned about online marketing and (more) about social media

All of last summer, I learned the in’s and out’s of WordPress, Twitter, Facebook pages- you name it. I learned what a “link-up” was. I signed up for Bloglovin’. Thanks to my own research and help from other bloggers, I was able to navigate my way through

  • I made some awesome blog friends

When I had questions, I reached out to some bloggers who seemed approachable and knowledgeable (thanks, Erin aka the Almond Eater!). They were super helpful with blog terminology and other random things that you need to know in the blogosphere.

  • I got to try out some cool health and fitness products and then write about them!

I reached out to some companies, while other companies reached out to me, and either way I still had a fantastic time trying out their products and reviewing them. Some products I reviewed included Boomchickapop, Arctic Zero, and 38th & WICK. (Also, stay tuned for upcoming reviews on Quest, NASM, and Kushyfoot!).

  • I feel more justified in regards to my love for health and fitness

This one may seem strange. I definitely love health and fitness, so 1) why should I question it, and 2) who would think that’s a bad thing? Well, let me tell you- people do question it, whether they are jealous that you enjoy something which is hard for many people (I am not exempt from this- fitness is hard!), or whether they are “concerned” that the health/fitness obsession is motivated by superficial reasons.

IMG_4109The health and fitness blogosphere gave me much more confidence to be okay with my health-nut self. Sure, I still get teased about being a self-proclaimed health freak, but Squash on Squash acts as a bit of a shock absorber. (And fortunately, I’ve never, ever heard any negative or derogatory comments about my blog- a streak which I hope continues!).

Well, there you have it. Happy 1st Birthday, Squash on Squash! Part of me still cannot believe that I decided to name my blog Squash on Squash (other candidates that arose in its first month were “the Squash Nut” and “the Nutty Squasher”), but in the end, Squash on Squash stuck. Here’s to (hopefully) more blog-iversaries in the future!

Questions

What’s your latest favourite breakfast?

Are you celebrating anything around this time? Graduations, birthdays, anniversaries or anything?

My Thesis Alter Ego

Hellloooo!

Didn’t get a chance to pop in yesterday, but I’m here (briefly) today! My lack of blogging doesn’t reflect at all the amount of content I have to say- it reflects my lack of time! As I have stated in probably every single post for the past couple of weeks, my life has been constantly consumed by thesis- so much so that I even had trouble sleeping this weekend! (And I usually sleep really well…).

IMG_6471Anyway! Although thesis has turned my life upside down in some ways, I am finding joy in some strange ways, and kind of feel like a completely different person which is weird. Read on…

  •  Not getting hungry/ignoring/putting off hunger

I like to eat. You know that. However, when “more important” things get in the way (like shopping…or Disneyland!), I forget to eat, or just postpone it because I am so consumed with the task at hand. For example, yesterday I think I had a yogurt for lunch, and then a salad at like 9 pm. I have no idea what is going on with my body.

  • Running

Although running long distances hurts my knee (ahem… catch up post to come on that once thesis is done), I have been turning to it for physical exercise and a mental break.

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at least it’s a pretty library

Yesterday I think I just went and sprinted for about 45 minutes and swear I could have kept going. My mind never gets bored, and I am constantly thinking of things I have to check off my to-do list. 

  • Panera online ordering

Did this tonight at 9:30 pm after I forgot to eat dinner when I was in the library. Saved me. Food was ready in 10 mins. Panera, thank you.

  • Breakfast in library at desk

Fage 0% Greek yogurt + protein bar.

IMG_6477Not a bad way to start off yesterday morning.

  • Freshly baked cookies at midnight

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This building on campus called Murray Dodge offers free tea and freshly baked cookies every night from 10 pm -12:30 am. They are delicious. (Don’t judge their deliciousness based off of my subpar picture).

IMG_6476Sunday night, Hadley and I stopped by on our way back to our dorm rooms from the library. I had three chocolate chip cookies and felt like a million bucks.

  • Gratitude “Dream” Juice

IMG_6473My teammate, Kira, surprised me the other day by bringing my my favourite favourite favourite drink ever- Raw cashew, agave, vanilla and cinnamon juice! It really tastes like a creamy, cinnamon-y smoothie, and it’s pretty filling!

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It was so delicious, and fortunately I was able to savour it over a few days. Thanks, Kira –  you rock!

  • Ghee & Himalayan Salt Popcorn (sent from home)

I got a package the other day from home, a little unlike things you might usually order- organic, locally produced popcorn, from Victoria, BC!

IMG_6444You know it’s supposed to be “healthy” when it has chickens on the front- right?

Thanks Mom! I look forward to more of these packages 🙂

OK that’s all from me! Time to go study!

Questions

When you have academic stresses, do you find your body doing different things? aka does your hunger go away???