Hi friends! Happy Wednesday :) Hope you have been having a great week and are enjoying the spring weather… finally! What’s new with you? Did you follow the marathon? Every story I have read is just beautiful.

I can’t believe we are leaving to London tomorrow. Craziness. I’m packed (obvs over-packed) and so ready to be there! Our flight is tomorrow night… eeeeeeeeek!

Other than that, life has been pretty ho-hum. I had my exam on Monday – I passed, yay! I started on the next course, which I am loving more than the first one because it applies the principles to everyday life. I am so glad I decided to go back to school.

It’s also really nice to have Les home for the summer. She’s obviously my favorite person to adventure with (Peru!) and I am starting to love her foodie-company now too. We went to Bolt Fresh Bar for lunch this week. It was fresh (duh), delicious but I inhaled it in 2.5 seconds. It would have been perfect with a piece of grilled chicken. So I obviously had some when I got home.

Anyways, I’m getting really off track and all over the place. Salmon.

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon1

It’s usually “every man for themselves” at my house for meals. We of course eat together and sometimes have family dinners together where we all pitch in, but the idea is that we are all adults who like different things and can fend for ourselves. It’s legit.

So I’ve gotten pretty used to cooking for one. But since Les has been back, I’ve been trying to be a good sister and cook for the both of us – she helps too but I enjoy cooking, so why not? And it’s nice to have someone to cook for – oh hello single life, we meet again.

It’s a fun challenge to change up my meals and cater to someone else’s palette rather than my own. Friends with significant others, I am sure you can relate. There are lots of things Les and I both love. Like salmon. I don’t buy salmon too often anymore (um, yeah, budget) and I usually just bake it up in the oven with a bit of seasoning. But last time, I made this super easy honey-balsamic mixture. This is definitely something Les would like too and it’s so easy to double or triple the ingredients to cater to the number of mouths that you’re feeding.

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon6

Before I leave you with this simple and delicious recipe: be sure to check out my post today on Deryn’s blog kicking off the start of her REAL stories series: Relatable, Everyday, Amazing Ladies. Here’s a sneak peak:

“Forget the calories. Forget the clock. Forget the low-fat. Forget hours on the elliptical. Nourish your body, eat more real foods and get sweaty.”

Please join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #weareREAL. Deryn will be stopping by on Monday with her inspirational story, I can’t wait! I’m finishing up a post on being a food snob for Friday and then I should be back next Wednesday with a quick recap of our time in Londy. That’s the plan :)

If you care to follow along with the food, fitness and fun while I’m traveling – Instagram is my spot. And cross your fingers that the rain stays away for us.

Sending lots of love, health and happiness – talk soon friends!

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon5

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Ingredients (For one)

  • 1- 8 ounce salmon fillet
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic, crushed

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a small baking sheet with tin foil – set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine balsamic, honey, ginger and garlic.

3. Use a brush (or spoon) to spread approx. a third of the balsamic-honey glaze onto the salmon.

4. Bake for 15 minutes (or until the inside is opaque – not shiny) basting the salmon with the remaining glaze every 5 minutes.

5. Enjoy!

Honey Balsamic Glazed Salmon2

 

 

Questions of the day…

How many people do you cook for? How do you decide what to make?

 

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I stood at the finish line for three years straight – every year I was in college, but last.

Boston Marathon 2013 Finish Line

I was in Toronto for the 2013 Boston Marathon for job interviews. I wasn’t there for the bombing. I was a Canadian living in Boston but that day has had a profound effect on me – on us all. I felt what it was like to be a part of a tragedy. I didn’t know anyone who lost their lives or lost their limbs but I felt like I knew them. I ache for their families and loved ones and cannot understand how such terrible things happen to such good people. It still seems unbelievable to me. That day has forever changed the city. It was horrible. It was really unexplainable. But that city united. That city is united. And I will forever feel a part of Boston Strong.

Boston Strong

[Image source]

I flew back to Boston the day of the man-hunt. I didn’t know if my flight would arrive or how I would get to my apartment but that’s when my flight was, so I went to the airport, got on the plane and flew. I landed in Boston minutes before the taxi ban was lifted. I was in the only car on Storrow Drive driving back to my apartment near Copley Square – the marathon finish line. It was a very eerie feeling. I remember it being a beautiful sunny day and the flowers were abloom on Beacon Street. I remember thinking how such beauty can be so quickly clouded by such terrible things.

I lived four blocks from the bombing site. I lived alone. The city was on lock-down. I was scared. I made a bowl of oatmeal and sat on my couch and watched CNN. I watched Anderson Cooper on the television – knowing that he was reporting three blocks away from my apartment was very weird.

I was glued to my TV. I remember arguing with my boyfriend at the time because he insisted on coming over. “But the lockdown! You can’t leave.” He didn’t listen but I have to admit – I’m glad he came over. I remember even going for a walk down the street just to get some air. There were military personnel everywhere and blockades and reporters and camera crews. It was almost surreal: days ago I was walking to Trader Joe’s, going for a run, going to lunch on Newbury and now this. Now this tragedy.

Boston Mile 26

It was one of the longest days of my life – we all know how the day ended. I remember being haunted by seeing boats parked in driveways for months afterwards.

It took awhile for the city to “go back to normal”. Whatever that means. When Boylston Street re-opened, I went for a walk. I stood at the bomb site. And I cried. A lot. I can’t describe all of my feelings – I just couldn’t believe it happened. Here. In Boston. At the marathon.

I looked forward to Marathon Monday every year. Freshman year, I walked around trying to find the best place to watch. Cheering and jumping every-time a runner came through. I remember being in awe. I had never seen a marathon before. I couldn’t believe these amazing runners just ran twenty.six.point.two.miles. I remember thinking how I want to do that one day. My friend even put me on his back so I could see better. Sophomore year, I woke up extra early so I could get a spot at the finish line – in the front so I could see. Junior year, I saw the first place finishers come through and walked along Boylston and Newbury Street (it was too hot to stand in one place). Senior year, even though I was not there, I will always remember.

I love Boston. I am proud to have called it my home for four amazing years. Boston will always have a very special place in my heart and today I am thinking of all of those who lost their loved ones last year. I am thinking of those whose lives are forever changed by those events. I am thinking of the runners, spectators, paramedics, security personnel, volunteers, families, friends, loved ones, Bostonians – everyone. I know this year’s marathon will be a special one. I wish I was there but I can feel the strength of the city.

Today, I am going for a run. No it’s not 26.2 miles. But it’s a run. It’s a run for Boston.

 

 

 

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I had a crazy busy week at work. I love being busy but holy moly, I’m exhausted. But all is well. I wasn’t all that sore from the race so I’ve been having a solid week of workouts: CrossFit-ing, running and resting – not a fan of the last one. I finallyyyyy met the lovely Liz for lunch – she’s even cooler in person and I love how much we can relate. Also, I have my first exam on Monday and my study skills have seriously been lacking. I even went to the library to try to focus better but who can focus with screaming children? And who allows screaming children in a library? Kids these days…

Chicken Bites6
I should tell you that I barely cooked this week. I ate Passover leftovers and ground beef with veggies like everyday. And chopped liver, aka liver pâté. Yes I eat liver. I loved it as a kid and I love it again. It’s delicious. And sooo good for you: iron, vitamin A, B vitamins and selenium. I’m still obsessed with salsa. I put that shit on everything – like these chicken bites. Salsa is the new ketchup.

Chicken Bites3
And something pretty exciting happened this week. My amazing sister with a “horseshoe up her ass” won a trip for two to London and guess who she’s taking?! ME! Cue hyper ventilation. I seriously cannot believe it. Lesley entered (possibly a thousand times) a contest though the Hudson’s Bay Company for a trip to to the Kate Moss for TopShop launch. Um, so, she won. Say what?! We are leaving on Thursday for five days – oh. em. gee.

So what do I wear? What snacks to pack? I love London. It’s such a great city with alwayssss more to see and do. Oh and I have a meet-up planned with Lauren! Anyone else in the London area who wants to say hi?! Better yet, anyone want to come to CrossFit London with me on Monday April 28 at 7am?! Pretty please? I’m nervous! But I’m already registered so I’m going.

Chicken Bites2

I’ll still keep up my blogging schedule while I am there because I have a few posts planned – yay! But if I disappear randomly, that is why.

Okay I have totally rambled and neglected talking about this recipe – the one you guys voted on for today! But here it is. Chicken bites. The word nuggets reminds me of poop (or Easter egg hunting, long story, so we can pretend these are festive) so that’s why I called them bites – bites are cute. And delicious.

Don’t worry, you salmon lovers… it’s coming your way next week. But until then, enjoy these simple and scrumptious bites. For dinner. Tonight.

Chicken Bites4

Chicken Bites

Ingredients (Makes approx. 20 bites – 1-2 servings or lots of appetizers)

  • 2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. 14 ounces)
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (plus more to grease baking sheet)
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. chilli powder

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and brush with olive oil (approx. a teaspoon) – set aside.

3. Cut chicken breasts into bites and place in a bowl.

4. Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil onto chicken pieces and mix to coat.

5. Combine almond flour and all the spices in a small bowl.

6. Dip in mixture and place on baking sheet.

7. Bake for 10 minutes and flip.

8. Continue baking for another 15 minutes.

 

Questions of the day…

Will you come to CrossFit London with me?! 

How was your week? What’s up for the weekend? 

 

_______________________________________________

Keep in touch:

Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee

Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee

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Growing up, I hated Passover. No bread. No cereal. No crackers. No pasta. Just cardboard (aka matzah), inedible Passover-fied treats, gefilte fish and brisket. Ew. I’m still not a huge fan of this Jewish holiday (sitting at a table for hours reading an ancient story, singing songs and reciting prayers nibbling on bitter food isn’t my idea of fun) but the unleavened part isn’t an issue anymore.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies4

On Passover you cannot eat anything that is leavened. The Jews left Egypt in a haste. The bread couldn’t rise. Thus, matzah. So we eat it and nothing else. I’m kidding, we eat other stuff but let’s just go with it. I am not a particularly religious person but spending time with my family, watching Charlton Heston and baking treats is my idea of fun.

The past two nights, we have had the traditional Passover Seders (dinner + other stuff) at our house. It has been nice catching up with family, friends and spending time with my grandparents, who are in town from Montreal.

The most important part of Passover is watching The Ten Commandments. Rabbis would disagree with me but that’s why I’m not a Rabbi. Yes, I have it on DVD. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this incredible film. It’s a little scary considering it is like five hours long. When I was little, I used to dress-up like the Egyptian Queen, Nefertiti. I bought fabric from the fabric store and pretended they were gorgeous gowns. I am still obsessed with her (I think she is gorgeous and her clothes are incredible) but I have (mostly) stopped playing dress-up. Now, I bake.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies2

Baking kinda terrifies me and my success rate isn’t great. I feel like every baked good recipe I post I make a disclaimer how I am not good at baking, which may explain why I only have like four baked goods and like two of those are adaptations from another recipe. Okay enough of these disclaimers but it’s not my thing. Except these cookies. These are my thing. Sorry that I’m tooting my own horn.

Mom put me in charge of making the desserts for our Passover festivities, which I knew I could handle. Gluten free? Grain free? Done. Move over matzah meal (blech) and cake meal (ew) and hello almond flour, coconut and everything is better with chocolate chips.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies3

I experimented making these last week for Mom to taste-test. Mom verdict: “They actually taste like cookie brittle!” Cookie brittle = flour, butter, sugar, chocolate chips. (Remember from my dad’s WIAW?) Then dad tried them after eating store-bought-Passover-desserts (not sure why they were purchased) and claimed they were the best of the dessert bunch. Yeah, they’re good.

I brought leftovers to CrossFit and everyone loved them too – so clearly these cookies are not just for Passover. They are perfect for a grain/gluten-free lifestyle or if you just like eating good food. Substitute maple syrup for the honey and they are vegan to boot. Throw them on a pastel plate… boom… Easter!

Oh yes.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies5

 

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients (Makes 15 cookies)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. honey (vegan option: maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a silpat (or parchment paper) and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

4. Add the coconut oil mixture to the almond flour mixture and stir to combine.

5. Add chocolate chips and coconut flakes to the batter and combine.

6. Use a tablespoon to drop 15 cookies onto the baking sheet – use another spoon to ‘tap’ out batter from the tablespoon.

7. Bake for 10 minutes.

8. Transfer to wire rack to cool and enjoy!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies1

Questions of the day…

Are you celebrating Passover? 

What do you make for the holidays? 

Have you seen the Ten Commandments?! 

 

_______________________________________________

Keep in touch:

Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee

Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee

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Some fun fitness stuff has been happening lately (and good food too, keep reading) so I’m gonna talk about it. Or just feel free to come back on Wednesday for cookies. Yes, cookies.

I had the best week at CrossFit. Well other than missing the FIRST RUNNING WOD of the spring it was the best, which was the one morning I “slept in”… sleep in = 5:30am hah. Ugh I love when running is part of the WOD. Anyways, we did a workout on Tuesday called the Metric Tonne. It was a 15 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) of 1 deadlift, 1 backsquat and 1 jerk (from the rack). So you do each of those exercises 5 times over the course of the 15 mins trying to add weight to accumulate as many “tonnes” as possible. 1 lb = 1 point. Your score = the total amount of weight you lift. I was really happy with my score and PRd my deadlift at 160lbs – 5 more than my previous lift.

On Thursday, we did Ollie again. I love doing WODs a second time and remembered this one right away. It’s friggin hard. 11 rounds of: 5 push press @ 65lbs, 4 pull-ups, 5 burpee box jumps and 4 toes-to-bar. Death. The first time/last time I did this WOD was at the end of January. I used 45 lbs for my push press, the baby box for the box jumps and did negatives for my pull-ups. It took me 25 mins and 58 secs. On Thursday I used the 65 lbs (!!!!), the real box (and didn’t fall), and did jumping pull-ups. 23 minutes and 48 seconds! Ugh I love progress. Sometimes CrossFit sucks but sometimes it’s awesome and that the beauty of being an athlete.

I love this article in Vogue about Annie Thorisdottir (a two-time CrossFit Games Champion). You probably won’t read the article so just read this:

“Of course I want to win the Games, but I want to do it to show people that if there’s something you want, no matter what happens, you can find a way to do it—if there’s an obstacle in your way, you have to figure out how to get over it.” She also wants to inspire women, especially young girls, to focus more on what their bodies can do than on how they look. “I’m not preaching that everyone should try to become a CrossFit champion,” she says. “But I want to show them that training can give them more confidence—and that being strong is beautiful.”

Love.

I ran 3.5 miles on Friday with some speed-work thrown in. I set out to run 5 but clearly that didn’t happen. I dunno, I just wasn’t feeling it. So I texted Morganne and (as always) she made me feel loads better.

Okay weekend. On Saturday, I headed to CrossFit Toronto to watch my Metric family compete at the Threshold Open - a local CrossFit competition. I was debating doing the competition but decided it might be a good idea to watch a comp before participating. The Open was a form of a competition but it’s not really the same.

Anyways, I am so glad I went to support the crew and see what a competition is like.

Metric Team

The atmosphere made me feel like I was at my basketball tournaments back in the day. I could only stay for the morning but I saw the first two events that seeded the athletes.

Sean flew through the first workout. I thought the bar was going to come crashing down as he was banging out pull-ups…

Sean Chin Up2

He also snatched the most weight (265 x 3) during the second workout. He totally could have done 285!

Sean Snatch

I checked the results online during the rest of the day and saw that the Metric crew killed it. So proud of everyone and… Sean won! So, so, so happy for him. He is so deserving and I feel lucky to call him my coach.

It’s so exciting to see how hard these athletes work – it motivates me to work even harder. The sense of community and camaraderie during the competition was incredible. Athletes finished their workout but didn’t sit down or stop cheering until everyone else finished – the people they are competing against! CrossFit gets such a bad wrap so I am clearly making it my mission to place an emphasis on the supportive atmosphere.

I brought Deryn’s chocolate coconut cream bites for everyone because I knew they would be hungry. I also made them for my office this past week and they were a huge hit too! But I think I ended up eating most of them… of course.

Coconut Cream Bites

Yesterday, I ran the Yonge Street 10K - aka 10km down Yonge Street. I signed up for this race awhile ago because I wanted to revive my running now that the Canadian climate is cooperating and I like races. So I woke up, stretched a bit and then had a nourishing pre-race meal: a scrambled egg, a banana and some almonds and cashews.

Pre-race eats

Then I agonized over what to wear. I hate being cold when I am running but I didn’t want to be too hot either. Should I layer? No. Should I wear a rain jacket? They were calling for rain but it was clear outside.

Anyways, I finally picked out an outfit and decided to wear my running jacket because it was a little nippy in the morning. Mom dropped me off at the starting line and I ran around a bit and stretched some more. Then we were off.

Yonge Street 10K Starting Line

I was in the 2nd wave and weaved around people to get to a part of the road where I was relatively alone. I hate running near people – two dudes almost ran into me! They both tripped and I almost went down with them. I hope they were okay but honestly it just made me run faster to get away from them. Sorry…

My thoughts:

0km: Ugh, why am I doing this again? (Looking around) Maybe there is a cute guy. Nope. What am I going to eat when I get home? Mmm.

0.5km: Oh I like running. Yes I do.

1km: That was fast, I’m doing well! Glad I wore my jacket, it’s kinda cold.

2-4km: Wooo I’m feeling great. I think I am going to set my personal best! Just stick with headband-man ahead of you.

5km: I’m hot and I have a stitch in my side. Keep running.

6km: Nope probably not going to set my personal best. I’m annoyed. But my stitch is gone. Lost headband-man.

7km: Second wind! Maybe I can set it! Keep up with frizzy-haired-woman ahead of you.

8km: Nope, not gonna set it. Accepting it and running.

9km: Almost there. Passed frizzy-haired woman.

9.5km: I see the finish line – turn on the jets.

10km: Done. That was fun. I’m thirsty. And I want a banana. Where’s Mom?

Yonge Street 10K - Amy Finish Line

I felt really good about the race. It’s the farthest I’ve ran since my half (yes, true story) and I really have not been running that much (maybe 1-2x per week). I think this race showed me that being strong and in shape will allow me to run if I continue to train smart. But I’m an athlete and I’m competitive with myself so naturally I wanted to set a personal best – as evident from my race thoughts. I set my personal best in my first 10K race this past August – 46:40. I thought I could crack 46:30 and if I pushed each kilometre a little more I probably could have. But I also didn’t think that was the smart thing to do. I didn’t want to push my body and possibly risk injury for a number. It’s so easy to get too obsessed or caught up with the numbers that surround our life. Now I am so much better able to recognize this and listen to my body. I like running with my Garmin and for time. It motivates me to be the best athlete I can be but I have learned (the hard way) how important it is to run smart. My official time was 47:50 and I am really proud of it.    

Oh and I found Mom! Thank you for being there for me and I’m sorry again about the parking ticket it cost you :)

Yonge Street 10K - Amy and Mom1

She’s a hottie, I know. Sidenote: we all need one distance system. Flip-flopping from kilometres to miles and back again is annoying and confusing. Feel me?

All of this activity called for lots of food so I spent a bit of time in the kitchen too. I made my apple chicken burgers to have in the freezer, which obviously called for a photo re-shoot. I also created some delicious new recipes and ate them. But no, not everything was successful. I had two baking failures, which always make me so upset. Baking is hard and it’s crazy what a difference a tablespoon can make.

This chocolate cake is amaze-balls but clearly there are some technical issues. Namely my patience… I did not let it cool. Oops. Photo-shoot fail.

Cake fail

Don’t worry the good ones are coming your way Wednesday and Friday! You’re getting a sweet treat on Wednesday but I haven’t decided which recipe to post on Friday so I am leaving it up to you…

Chicken Bites Option

OR

Salmon Option

So…. which one do ya want? #1 or #2?

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you! My garden is actually growing… so excited! Check out that little cucumber leaf… at least I think it’s a leaf.

Cucumber growing

Okay that was a long post. I guess that’s what happens when I cut back to blogging 3x per week – lots to say!

Over and out.

 

Questions of the day…

Which recipe do you want to see on Friday?

What did you do this weekend?

 

_______________________________________________

Keep in touch:

Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee

Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee

Facebook –> The Little Honey Bee

Pinterest –> thelilhoneybee

Bloglovin –> The Little Honey Bee

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