Monday, September 27, 2010

Blast Through It Baby

So usually when the weather is nice out I wear my gym attire (aerobic shorts & tank) to the YMCA. One beautiful day I was walking to the gym and these two young men coming towards me yelled out something. I wasn't sure at the time what they were saying but as they neared I heard one of them clearly say "nice ass". I pretended not to hear them but they just yelled it out louder and louder as they passed me. Although quite rude, I was oddly flattered. Crazy youngsters.

Sam & I dropped by Meyer's to pay the fellas a visit like we normally do and they had just got a new pre-workout called Razor8 Blast Powder by AllMax Nutrition. Sam, being a self-proclaimed guinea pig, decided to test it out. To my surprise, he even said I could try it out. Only 1/2 a scoop since by looking at the nutritional information this stuff was quite strong. Sam said he felt his eyes bulge about a minute later. I didn't feel anything at first but as I got into my workout it really kicked in. I did an extra set (making it 4) for each exercise. I finished off my leg/glute weight training with a bit of cardio and this time it was spectacular. I did my interval training for much longer (25 minutes) with the running interval for 2 minutes and walking for 1 minute. After my cardio was done, I wanted to do MORE. But I wanted to be smart about it so I skipped directly to the stretching part. Now let's review:

Taste: 8
Focus/Concentration: 10
Price: 7

I have to say this pre-workout is right up there with Purus Labs Muscle Marinade. On a taste level, this is quite tasty as compared to other pre-workouts. My concentration & intensity was unmoving, which I loved. The one downfall I have is the anxious feeling. I was feeling a little uneasy & jittery WAY after my workout. But overall, this one has got to be one of the strongest pre-workouts I have ever tried. Not for the weak at heart that's for sure. So if you want a really strong pre-workout when you really just don't have it in you, this baby will do it for you and then some.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

X Marks The Spot

Today marks the first day of the 6-month long healthy eating challenge (of course minus the bi-monthly or monthly carbload) for the Novice Competition this coming March (if I feel as though I am ready). I call it a challenge because it's going to be challenging staying away from bad food. Why is it that bad food tastes so darn good? Oh what a world!!! With this monumental day comes the beginning of another body composition makeover, alongside a new cycle of my fat burner for a week.

I am quite delighted & satisfied with all the progress I've made within the last year but there is still much to do to get my body prepared. Here is a picture of the Top 3 Bikini Winners from this year's MABBA Novice Competition. OMG do I have my work cut out for myself. Here are some of the things I need to work on in the coming months.

  • Get Balanced
  • - There are some muscles larger than others. I need to even this out
  • Core Needs More
  • - I'm halfway there. It is just the bottom half of my abs that is stubborn. Go away fat.
  • Lower Back Pain
  • - I have a nice upper back but its the lower half that is behind. More homework for me.
  • Get Toned, Tanned, Fit & Ready
  • - Overall, I need to be more toned. My muscles need to come out more. You all know what that means. More cardio for a lower body fat percentage.

    I do believe I have what it takes to place in the top 5. To even be in the top 3 would just be amazing. If I did, I'd happily tell people "I am a body builder", which I believe you can only say after you have been in a competition. One can dream and hopefully make it a reality. My goal. X marks the spot.

    Recently, I have been introduced to this disgustingly great show on the Travel Channel called "Man vs Food" by my friend Ian (thanks bud). Here is a little snippet of what the show is about.
    "...Adam is on a journey to explore the biggest and best eats our nation has to offer, including some of the craziest eating challenges around." This guy is my hero. I was watching this one episode of his journey to Las Vegas. Now I adore breakfast. Breakfast has got to be one of my favourite meals. And I love Eggs Benedict. Take my two loves and increase the size exponentially...well now...I'd just be in food heaven. It looks just insane and sounds equally insane. It consists of sage fried chicken with spinach, hardwood smoked bacon, market tomato, griddled mozzarella, smothered in chipotle cream and topped with scrambled eggs. All Benedicts are served on a fresh split biscuit with griddled mashed potatoes. The bacon even has flare, as it is placed crisscrossed on the Eggs Benedict biscuit. I wonder how many calories are in this thing. My guess...2-3 days worth for a normal person's diet. Eek.

    Which leads me to my next point. What is normal now? The Americas are #1 when it comes to obesity. Yet as years go by, restaurants and large corporations are making their products bigger and bigger (Super Size Me). What kind of example are we setting out for the generations to come? We certainly are on the right path to minimize that dreadful statistic with healthier options available but "they" aren't helping with this saddening epidemic. Sam pointed out something that really stuck with me. He had said something like "...what I don't get is all these American TV shows. If a large percentage of them fall into the obese category, then why are all the characters skinny people." They aren't the "norm". Tell us the truth TV moguls and show us who WE really are.

    So today, I was at a restaurant with Sam for lunch and I think (but I'm not 100 percent sure) my ex was there. It is so weird as today's date marked 6 months of being together on last year's calendar, which we had celebrated in an amazing fashion. Haven't seen the guy in almost a year. Of all days huh? Oh big man, how you work in mysterious ways.

    Whatever the case my be...Life goes on &mine is amazing :D

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Food Festivities...And They're Off....!!!!

    So I know some of you out there are nonbelievers when it comes to myself behaving badly aka eating poorly. Well feast your eyes on this my friends...the next couple of images from the past week will astounded and amaze you for days ("Kim, I can't believe you ate that."). Just keep in mind while looking at these images, these all did not happen in the same day lol. Don't judge me...haha. While I am NOW "paying" for my food options...not so much in monetary terms but by the scale & inches, please do not attempt this at home kids. With any kind of experiment, one must not do alone. Cue my food partner SAM. He also went along for the food-ride of a lifetime with me. It is much more fun when you got someone else gaining pounds right alongside you. With that being said....and they're off...

  • McDonald's Fast Food Restaurant for their loaded sandwich consisting of bacon, egg & cheese served on a small pancake injected with maple flavoring, embossed with the McDonald's logo smiling down upon you. They like to call this creation the "McGriddle". I have to say all these years I've been missing out. Sure, it sounds frickin' disgusting on paper but my mouth & tongue say "delicious". The image below is me analyzing the sugary & fattening concoction. I also had one of my fav menu items, which is the crispy & crunchy hash brown. Greasy...just the way I like it!!!

  • C Cups Bakery was the time killer in between McDonald's & The Royal Fork Buffet before they opened at 11 am. I wanted to check C Cups for many months now; eying it every time I passed by on Regent. I just wanted to see how they made their red velvet cupcakes compared to other shops in Winnipeg. The shop was quaint with pink everywhere(my fav colour). I know I'm such a girly girl. They had about 10 or so cupcakes for customers to choose from and a small selection of cookies. They even had a couple of tables for customers to sit & enjoy their baked goodies. But alas, the icing for the red velvet cupcake I had was way too cream cheesy and overabundant for my liking but overall still good. I give you guys a silver medal :D

  • Royal Fork Buffet is one place I haven't been to in ages. It has probably been a good 5 years since I've stepped foot in there. Sam & I went pretty much when they first opened their doors for the day and there was a line up....yes...a line up. So weird. I knew people lined up for movies on opening night but not for a buffet in Winnipeg. Too funny. The majority of the people who were in line were gray at the hair or with big families. No people our age. Too bad I couldn't pull off the +55 look. I could of got a stamp for a free buffet. Next time I guess. Fun Fact: Did you know you can make our own waffles at The Royal Fork? Love It! So, the image below tells the "partial" story of what happened at the restaurant. I say partial because as you can tell from the last image, I missed a whole bunch of food pics but that was only because I was busy...busy eating. Sorry.

  • Lilac Bakery has been on my hit list of places to go for a long while. Good thing I didn't have to wait very long to go. Once you step into the front doors, you immediately get that "aww" feeling. It's so cute, clean and warming. By far the best bakery I've been to in all of Winnipeg. The reason is this: good quality desserts, not overly sweet, good selection & range, decent pricing and dagnabbit it just tastes so darn good. We had quite a pickle trying to select only two of the many delectable desserts available. We ended up selecting the "Millionaire Shortbread" & "Pumpkin Praline". Now let me give you a description of each: Millionaire Shortbread - Rich squares of shortbread topped with creamy caramel and finished with a layer of milk chocolate. Pumpkin Praline - A Lilac Bakery signature. Spicy pumpkin custard layered over a crunchy oatmeal bottom. Topped with candied pecans. Can somebody say DELICIOUS??? Wow! Both were just absolutely amazing. I highly recommend this bakery to anyone. You have to HAVE TO NOW!

  • The Spotted Cow is such a cute little ice cream shop on Main Street close to the Winnipeg border. It is a "no-fuss" ice cream parlour. Nothing too fancy like those other big chains, which is quite nice sometimes. I love how their walls are filled with funny cartoon caricatures of celebrities and their what-would-be "cow names" (Eddy MOOphy). But really simplicity is key. And by this time, that was exactly what Sam & I were looking for. Mind you, we did have a buy one get one coupon, which definitely aids in our selection of places to go for a little treat. But why not right? We ended up getting a vanilla ice cream sandwich (one of my absolute favourite treats) and a strawberry sundae. I am sure by now you have a sense that both of us have a mild...err...actually a BIG sweet tooth...or teeth. Just can't get enough of it baby. It was plain ol' yummy.

  • Rasoi The Kitchen was our fixin' for a late night snack. What I was really looking forward to was a samosa and butter chicken *drool. I was so hungry when we walked in and placed our order. We waited for a good 20 minutes, which was fine with me as once again I had a buy one get one coupon. Oh how I adore coupons. We sat down and finally tried the goods only to be quite disappointed. The butter chicken was not too pleasant. I definitely had better in the past. The chicken was not moist even with it being soaked in the curry and was somewhat tough. The nann bread was out of this world. I say that only because I have never in my life seen naan bread made this way. Just look at the image. You tell me...haha. It was okay though. Just different. One highlight was the samosas. They were not a disappointment. THANK GOD. I scarfed it down like no tomorrow.

  • Hot n Ready Pizza was a pit stop for a little tune up/fuel up because #1 - we were hungry and #2 - we did not want to wait in the long line up forming outside of the Olive Garden. So with my trusty Show & Save book, what did I find but a buy one get one for pizza. Sweet deals! Now the image you see below isn't four pieces of pizza but two. The portion sizes at Pizza Pizza are just ridonkulous. I couldn't believe my eyes. They also have these great seasoning powders at their concession. I tried the herb and garlic one. Yum! Although the pizza was just so-so, it was a steal of a deal I must say.

  • Back to Olive Garden we go. After countless hours later (okay I may be exaggerating a little bit just because we drove all across the city to find a place to eat on a Sunday night - which poses to be quite a challenge late in the evening and it doesn't help if you are picky *ahem Sam), we finally found ourselves at the REGENT Olive Garden. No line up out the doors at this location. Thanks big man. Olive Garden has a limited time special of All You Can Eat Pasta for just $9.99. No wonder why the Polo Park location was busy. All you cheap people like us want in on the deal. Guess the folks in the Regent area don't give a hoot. More for me then (*sticks tongue out). With the deal, you also get soup or salad and their amazing never-ending bread sticks. I love their bread. I probably ate a handful. I swear. So the image below is the soup we both ordered. I had the gnocchi cream soup, while Sam, being non-adventurous got the Minestrone. We kept on getting more bread and salad. Keep it coming Mr.Waiterman. When it came to the main event of the all you can eat pasta, I had the Mushroom Cream Sauce with Penne Noodles the first time around. The second time, I had something plain and simple: Spaghetti with meat sauce. I had to tap out at round two. My tummy couldn't take it anymore and I also wanted to make sure I saved room guessed it...DESSERT! Again, there are no pictures of the pasta because I was too busy eating. Fun Fact: Olive Garden has one way mirrors. They are watching you. Bogga Booga.

  • Marble Slab for the win. While finishing up our carbilicious dinner at Oliver Garden, the time read 9:52 pm. OMFG, Marble Slab closes in 8 minutes. We rushed out of the restaurant and sped our way to the newest location of the franchise. The time in the car read 9:58 pm. We quickly made our way into the shop. Good thing there was a couple in front of us or else they would've closed the doors on ours for sure. I'm quite certain the counter attendant did no like our presence, but whatever we were paying customers...paying CHEAP customers (Yes I had in my possession yet another buy one get one coupon lol). Since I already knew what I wanted (the best flavour EVER, Birthday Cake with a mix-in of cookie dough), I put my order in first. Melt in your mouth goodness. I was in heaven. Sam took a little while to decide but made a great clutch decision in the end of Strawberry Cheesecake. It was fresh & quite nice. After we left the shop, we finished off our cones in the parking lot in the car with me happily stating to him "WE MADE IT. WE MADE IT." - (Kevin Rudolf). A high five shortly came after..haha. Left is Sam's Strawberry Cheesecake and right is my Birthday Cake with Cookie Dough. Look at the huge glob of cookie dough. Drool. Success all around. Woot woot!!!

  • Donuts & Cookies & Sugar Oh My. Sam was craving something sweet and little to munch. And since I had a coupon for Robins Donuts for buy 3 donuts get 3 free, we decided to take them up on that offer :D I don't even remember which ones we got. I'm thinking probably a couple of crullers, a maple dip, an apple fritter, sour cream and honey dip. Yah those are probably the 6 we got. Sam lives & breaths for donuts when he gets the odd chance to have them. I on the other hand had an itching for Subway cookies. Unfortunately folks, I did not have a coupon. I really didn't care at this point. I just heart white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. We gobbled some of our treats in the car even before we got back. Eating while cruising is just one of my favourite past-times. Too bad we ended up not finishing our treats. We were just stuffed beyond belief. We gave the remains to Sam's buddy instead. But nonetheless, it was Deliciso!!!

  • Bake me a Caramel Crepe as fast as you can. The Forks is probably the best place for a wide range food choices to cater your every need. Whether it be sweet, salty or savory. They got it all. So that is where we decided to chill out for breakfast for what looked like would be a beautiful Saturday morning. Danny's All-Day Breakfast seemed quite busy. So we decided to go to their neighbour at Caramel Crepes. This was the very first time eating there for both Sam & I. I picked the Popeye Crepe (mozza cheese, strips of roast beef, spinach and bacon bits) , while Sam selected the Caramel Crepe (apple, almonds and caramel). Both were just delightful. I really enjoyed the Caramel crepe for it's amazing combination. The almonds made it quite special. The popeye was quite nice with its roast beef and wow bacon bits. I forgot what simulated bacon tasted like. I would of preferred the real thing but it did the job. What you didn't see was shortly after I took this picture, Sam came back with 3 deep fried apple and 5 pizza perogies. Pizza perogy you ask? Well think about it this way...this small treat was kinda of like a miniature pizza pop. pops (Homer Simpson voice). Love Pizza Pops and I just loved these babies!

  • Fergie's Fish & Chips was featured in an article in Ciao! Magazine, which is a magazine mainly dedicated to local food and restaurants. When I saw the words "deep fried chocolate bar", my eyes immediately lit up. This is something I've always wanted to try. I've seen shows on the Food Network with this fatty concoction but I so wanted to try it for myself at least once in my life. Today was the day to test out the waters at Fergie's Fish n Chips (of all places...weird huh?). The guy took about 3 minutes or so to prepare our deep fried goodness. Sam picked it up when it was finished. We sat down with our plastic forks at hand. I had the first bite. It was like a harmony in my mouth. Both sweet from the chocolate and salty with the batter they used to coat the bar. Imagine this...warm milk chocolate all melted in your mouth with the crispy somewhat salty ting of batter. All I can say is WOW and "I need something to drink." What you didn't see after was a picture of our refreshing juice mixes from The Smoothie Bar at the Forks. I once again had a buy one get one coupon (yes I totally got my money's worth from buying the Show & Save. I am proud..haha). We both went with the Apple, Orange Carrot, Ginger fruit. You can taste all flavours. None of the flavours overpower one another. You can taste each one individually, which is quite nice. *Gulp aaah! So Refreshing.

  • Lilac Bakery...again. The first time I went to Lilac Bakery, I just couldn't get enough of it. For that reason, we just had to go back for a second time. This time around we tried 4 different menu items: Butter Tart, Mini Red Velvet Cupcake, Hello Dolly (Graham wafer crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts and condensed milk), & Pineapple Coconut Square (sweet pineapple, coconut custard on a vanilla base). My god Lilac Bakery did it again. They just blow every other bakery out of the water. My absolute fav treat is butter tarts. This one was like no other. I took my first bite thinking it was the same as store brought ones. A couple of seconds later, the tart started oozing out a caramel-looking sticky filling. The red velvet cupcake was way better than the one from C Cups. The cream cheese icing was just right. It almost tasted like a cream cheese ice cream. It was so smooth and not overly sweet. Just amazing! The other two slices we saved for later in the afternoon. The Pineapple Coconut square reminded me of filipino fruit salad, which I thoroughly enjoyed because I always get second, third..maybe even fourth helpings of it sometimes whenever we have a family gathering. The Hello Dolly was a nice chocolately, crispy treat. Everything was in balance. I swear, I will try everything on their menu before the year is up. You guys have got yourselves a long term customer..

  • Dingo's Wild & Crazy Dogs on Corydon was the next stop (and hopefully last) on our list. It used to be the old Sugar Mountain location. Every single time I would pass by it would always be closed. This time it was mid-day so they HAD to be open. We were definitely in luck today. It wasn't too busy. I never knew there were so many things you could potentially do with a hot dog. Wasabi on a hot dog? How weird is that? Although it intrigued me, I chose the safe route and went with "The Godfather" (Pizza sauce, pepperoni, tomatoes, green peppers, grated mozzarella cheese. Sam opted for something a little different which was "The Baba" (Potato & Cheddar perogies, bacon, fried onions, sour cream). Sam loves his poutines, so he also ordered the smothered fries. A whole lot of food..ya I know. While we were waiting for our 'dogs, I couldn't help but notice the wall full of different sodas. They claim to have about 300 different soda pops from around the world and it shows. Since we wanted something cold, our selection was narrowed down to a few. The picture depicts the one I selected. It was called Bug Barf aka Kiwi Pineapple. The bottle says "It's sodasgusting." How clever with the play on words :D
    We got the fries first. Look at the image and tell me...doesn't that look just disgusting....disgustingly good that is...haha. It definitely deserves to be titled "smothered". During our feast, the waitress brought over my "Godfather". When I saw this thing all I could think was "how the heck am I going to fit this in my mouth?" I swear to you the hot dog was almost as long as my forearm and the girth was the size of my fist. I strategically decided to go with the head tilt with biting on one side and then the other. It was a fresh tasting hot dog. I was quite different than the regular ones I'm used to. But when I took hold of "The Baba" this hot dog was just insane. I heart perogies and onions as a dish at itself but seriously on a hot dog? Genius people...Genius! I will definitely be coming back in the sometime near future.

  • So now that you have read my what seemed to be never-ending tales from the non-dieters crypt keeper, please do not attempt this. This is most definitely not the example I want to set out for you guys who do read my blog but more of a "you live & you learn" thing. Now looking back on the food I had ate, I definitely could not do this on a regular basis. I miss the simplicity of my bland chicken breast, those yellow tins of tuna and unsalted broccoli. No more days of yore, especially since the competition is in just 6 months from now. I gotta get myself prepared. This experiment was more so a treat for myself if anything for all the hard work and strict dieting I have been doing for the past year. If you wanna play it smart, only treat yourself once a week. Now time to close that chapter...or...maybe I'll keep a bookmark in know..just in case ;)