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Meal Plan + Fitness for the Week (09/09/13)

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food, Uncategorized, Workout | Leave a comment

Friends, I’m about to seriously change my (currently barely existent) exercise routine. I’ve gained a few too many lbs. over the past few months and it’s time to stop blaming it on the move to a different country, paperwork to do, etc. It’s time to make it a priority again.

Yeah, my legs don’t look nearly as slim as they did a year ago. Ironically, I was in a much better shape the first 12 months after giving birth to our son. I was not as toned as pre-pregnancy, but my weight was at it’s lowest, since I was a teenager.

Living car-less in Vancouver, we had to walk everywhere, so I naturally was a lot more active than I am here in Southern California. You might think: “But what about surfing/going running on the beach/hiking?” Umm, I have a two year old to take with me. ;)

Plus, walking in a million degrees feels like death to me and I have sweat running down my face from a short 20 minute walk in the blazing sun.

But then I remembered the pool!

My gym has a huge lap pool. With the little guy being taken care of in the child care area, this was the perfect workout for me this morning and I cannot believe I “forgot” about the awesomeness of swimming. Assuming the pool is 25m, I swam 1 km (40 laps) in about 30 minutes. My arms are a sore mess this afternoon, but I’m definitely adding this back into my life!

I’m hoping to get rid of about 15 lbs over the next few motnhs, and here’s my tentative workout schedule for this current week:

This might not seem like a crazy workout schedule for you, but let me tell you, I’ve been lazy those past few months, and it WILL make a huge difference in my calories-burned account.

On to the food. Meal planning is one of my favorite ways to make sure we’re not a) going over-budget and b) keep eats clean(ish) and healthy.

Some dinners for the week: 

  • Monday: Baked Butternut Squash Pasta – we had a butternut kicking around in our kitchen for the longest time, and I decided it would make the perfect base for today’s Meatless Monday!
  • Tuesday: Chili + baked sweet potatoes
  • Wednesday: leftovers
  • Thursday: Swedish Pea Soup and Pancake night
  • Friday: Braised Chicken Taco Salad

Do you have any fun workouts planned for the week? What about your meal planning – do you plan ahead or go with the flow?

Sugar-Free Week

Posted on by Susan Posted in Food | Leave a comment

That’s it, friends! I’ve had it.

After a recent faceplant into  a box of Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Brownie Bites, I decided it’s about time to go separate ways. It’s been a little out of control lately. Not sure what happened, but I think Costco had something to do with it (umm, hello 15-pack Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars…) . And then this happened a few times this summer:

Here’s the deal: I can’t ditch the coffee. I need it to function and I’ve already cut way down. But the ice cream has to go!

I also had fitness assessment with my personal trainer a few days ago, and I don’t like what I’ve seen. I gained weight. Quite a bit. It’s time to take charge of my health again, after these months of moving and paperwork stress.

I figured that my little guy loves the gym play care so much, I might as well go a few times per week, but in addition to working out regularly again, I know I must also change my food habits.

So, to kick-start my new challenge to becoming healthier (again!), I’m saying no to sugar for a week. That’s right, folks – 7 long days!

Here’s my plan:

  • No added refined sugar in treats or drinks – replace sweet cravings with a piece of fresh fruit
  • focus on whole, fresh foods, mostly veggies and fruit, and whole grains
  • More green smoothies!
  • more lean protein – I don’t think I’m getting enough protein, which results in my cravings (nutritionist/RD  friends, please correct me if that’s wrong, it’s just a suspicion I have)
  • No weird sauces/condiments that contain sugar – luckily we don’t keep those around, this would be more of an issue when eating out
20120317 - green smoothie

Of course I will write a recap for you to let you know how it went.

So now I need your help! What are some good, easy, refined sugar-free, healthy treats that tame a sweet tooth? I’m thinking: Lärabars, banana and nut butter, smoothies instead of ice cream, but all I want is a Sea Salt Brownie Bite. Good thing I ate them all.

Wanna join me? You can tweet about your #SugarFreeWeek adventures and follow me @susoniadotcom to see how it will work out for me.

New favourites and WIAW

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats | 4 Comments

I really can’t seem to catch up with blogging lately. Chasing a one and a half year-old around all day long will do that to a blogging schedule. Add a whole bunch of outings, appointments, paperwork and a cold into the mix and I’m one tired mama. But at the same time I’m savouring every minute with my little man, because he is just growing so fast!

So, what’s been happening so far this week?

  • Toddler family yoga! Love it! The instructor is so nice with the little ones, I almost regret not joining the class earlier.
  • There’s a whole bunch of mindless snacking going on, but I won’t go into details, because it will make me crave more of that stuff.
  • The slow cooker and I are BFFs.
  • Oh, and we got our work visas for the US!! California, here I come!!! We’re already looking for places to live and things to do, and we are super excited to be living in sunny San Diego.

Yesterdays eats were easy-peasy, because I felt lazy and had a cold, so I didn’t want to hang out in the kitchen all day. As usual, I’m linking up with the lovely Jenn from Peas & Crayons. Feel free to hop over there to 1.) congratulate her on her recently announced pregnancy and 2.) to check out some other fabulous food bloggers!

Breakfast was ready when I woke up:

I basically filled my large Nutribullet cup with 1/2 a chopped mango, an apple and spinach and stored in the fridge overnight. In the morning I just added some water and blended for about 45 seconds – done! I also had a small container overnight oats (rolled oats, chia seeds, plain almond milk) to fill me up for the morning. This combo kept me full for about 4 hours!

Lunch (sorry no pic): Warm Portobella, goat cheese and arugula salad from Terra Breads + HUUUGE latte. I needed a buzz. Don’t judge! ;)


Cornbread (also from Terra)


Slow cooker pinto and black bean soup & half a yam topped with cottage cheese and green onion.

I told you the crockpot and I are getting along much better now. I guess I figured out that it simply cooks different from the stove or oven, and therefore I’m making different dishes, rather than trying to adapt a recipe for the slow cooker that’s actually meant to cook up quick.

I also found some more slow cooker recipes I definitely want to try:

Do you have any favourite crock pot meals you want to share? I’d love to read your ideas!