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marliecohen

Veggie Burgers

I have to say my meal prep game has been strong and consistent for a few years now. I’ve mastered the act of big batch cooking and it typically sets me up for a successful week.  However, while my prep work does allow me to throw together easy meals, I still do wish I was better at making recipes.

The problem with making recipes for me is that it changes my whole grocery shop and cooking routine. Right now I can mindlessly shop a grocery store getting exactly what I need for the week. But if I am shopping for a specific recipe, for some reason I will be in the grocery store for twice as long, looking for ingredients I don’t normally cook with. 

Therefore, any type of home cooking for me always means the same thing: baked chicken, roasted veggies, cooked grains and hard boiled eggs. Throw them altogether in a bowl and that’s as close to a recipe as I’ll get.

Yet now that I work from home, I feel like my beautiful, dust-covered cookbooks are just staring at me, begging me to open them and try a recipe. So the other day I picked up the Oh She Glows cookbook by vegan master chef Angela Liddon and browsed the picture perfect pages for a recipe that didn’t require me buying a whole new pantry.  

I decided to go for her veggie burgers and changed up the recipe to incorporate what I already had at home. This meant substituting breadcrumbs with my all time favourite snack, Mary’s Organic Crackers. A long with a few other tweaks, the recipe turned out delicious and at the end of the day, it wasn’t too much of a hassle to change up my grocery shopping routine. 

Veggie Burgers
Serves 8
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  2. 1 cup chickpeas
  3. 1 cup red kidney beans
  4. 1 cup grated carrots
  5. 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  6. 2 garlic cloves
  7. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  8. 3/4 cups gluten free rolled oats processed into flour
  9. 3/4 cups Mary's Organic Crackers (or other crackers of choice) processed into "bread crumbs"
  10. 2 tablespoons tamari
  11. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  12. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  13. 1 teaspoon cumin
  14. Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flaxseed with 1/3 cup warm water and set aside until thickened.
  3. In large bowl combine all ingredients with flaxseed mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Form 8 patties out of the mixture with wet hands to avoid stickiness.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, flip and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Adapted from Oh She Glows "Our Perfect Veggie Burger"
Kale & Krunches http://kaleandkrunches.com/

 

A New York Minute with Old Navy

When I transitioned from my corporate job in real estate to full-time fitness instructing, personal training and health coaching, there were some lifestyle changes that came with the territory of pursuing my passion, which I expected, and other changes that I was simply unprepared for.

Working longer hours, expected. A smaller paycheque, expected.
 
But the amount of times I have to change my clothes in one day? Well for some reason, I just never seemed to consider that. And let me tell you, when you go from training a client, to a business meeting, to teaching a super sweaty spin class…let’s just say, I am changing in and out of workout clothes a lot
 
While there are some cons to this, such as my actively growing laundry pile, there are also many pros, like having a good excuse to buy lots and lots of activewear. 
 
But that smaller paycheque and buying new workout gear don’t always mesh well. So when Old Navy approached me to try out their new activewear line, I jumped (both figuratively and literally) on the opportunity. 
 
I’ve always been a fan of Old Navy‘s classic, comfortable and most importantly affordable styles so I knew this invitation could not have come at a better time. 
 
The cherry on top was that we were celebrating the launch of #oldnavyactive in New York, so off I went with fellow blogger Meghan Yuri Young to try out Old Navy‘s new gear in the Big Apple.
 
  As a full-time spinning instructor, I know the ultimate test to any workout gear is a spin class because I get just as sweaty on the bike as most people do in hot yoga! So when we went to Soul Cycle on our first night in New York I knew I would be putting my new Old Navy outfit to work.
 
I chose to wear the Go-Dry High-Rise Mesh-Panel Compression Tights as I prefer a high waist band while I ride and the Go-Dry Seamless Light Support Sports Bra on top – in cute, bright colours of course. Aside from feeling good walking into the studio, I was incredibly happy with how the fabric held up during class as well. I felt comfortable on the bike and the sweat absorption was on point. 

Wearing: Old Navy Active Go-Dry High-Rise Mesh-Panel Compression Tights for Women and Go-Dry Loose-Fit Hooded Tunic for Women

Wearing: Go-Dry Seamless Light Support Sports Bra for Women

 The following day we attended the official launch of #oldnavyactive which was like Disneyland for fitness! Complete with a trampoline, hula hoops, workout equipment, cold pressed juices and a glam bar, I was seriously in heaven. 

Wearing: Go-Dry Mid-Rise Fitted Running Tights for Women and Go-Dry Performance 1/4 Zip Pullover for Women

 As if the activities and food were not enough, there was also an adorable “pop-up shop” showcasing all of the current and upcoming pieces in the Old Navy Active collection. From inspirational quotes to pink and purple florals, the clothing in the spring-inspired line was not only beautiful but extremely motivational.
 
In addition to the price, my favourite thing about Old Navy Active is the functionality of the clothes, which can transition me from workout class to lunch date to business meeting. For example I love that I can throw on my Go-Warm Front-Wrap Fleece Hoodie over my leggings and a sports bra for a simple but cute look that serves my fitness training and the rest of my day-to-day activities. 
When asked who the ultimate Old Navy Active customer is,  Lauren Guthrie, General Manager of Old Navy Performance Active says

” Our shopper is someone who’s always on-the-go and is fully committed to a healthy lifestyle by keeping active.  She looks for functional pieces that are stylish enough to extend beyond the gym, and that can easily mix with the rest of her wardrobe.”

That is exactly what the new gear embodies and why the brand resonates with me. It also helps that the colours and designs are both beautiful and inspirational. And after all, what is more motivating to get you active than new workout gear?
 
Thank you Old Navy for the incredible New York minute and I look forward to continuing to run around and sweat it out in my #oldnavyactive gear. Be sure to check out the new line at your local Old Navy or online
 
 

Corporate Health Shaming

Did you make a New Years resolution to lose weight, make better lifestyle choices or simply to just be healthier?

Have you been following through with those resolutions, by packing your lunch, hitting the gym and saying no to those 3:00 pm sugar cravings?

Do you have an office job or work with others in a corporate setting?

If you answered yes to all of those questions, it is likely you may be experiencing what I like to refer to (although did not coin) as Corporate Health Shaming.

I worked in the corporate sphere for approximately seven years, in an industry that is predominated by men. While I spent my first eighteen months of my office job joining my colleagues at fast-food restaurants for lunch and hitting coffee shops for a donut in the afternoon, I quickly learned this was not a sustainable lifestyle for me and made many changes. I started packing my lunch or choosing healthier options like Freshii, I always had nutritious snacks stashed at my desk and I traded in coffee for water.

Now I’m not saying anyone who vowed to be healthier in 2017 should make such dramatic changes themselves. However, if you have been trading in your McDonald’s burgers for homemade salads, you may me experiencing some negativity from co-workers, which is the same thing that happened to me.

At the office, my two battlegrounds were lunch invites and lunch rooms.

If I turned down going out to a restaurant for lunch it was often met with some attempted persuading or even hostility; “just come, you can order a salad”…”one burger isn’t going to kill you”…”I’ll pay this time”…”fine, it’s your loss.”

 If I brought my food back to the lunchroom, I felt better about being able to eat with my colleagues but comments about my choice of food were always made; “the rabbit is eating another salad”…”aren’t you going to be hungry?”…”don’t you get sick of the same thing for lunch?”…”I’ll pay you to take a bite of this pizza.”

You name it, they’ve said it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been lucky to work with some amazing people and have always loved my colleagues that I worked closely with. The truth is, I think the negativity comes from everyone else’s own insecurities about their lifestyle choices. It’s not uncommon to second guess your food choice when the person next to you orders a salad after you ordered a cheeseburger.

Whatever the cause of this corporate health shaming may be, I have some tips to navigate the negativity and keep you on track with your goals:

  1. Continue to pack your lunch and your snacks. There are so many benefits to sticking with these healthy habits such as controlling what goes in your food and saving money. Don’t be discouraged by one comment and completely give up. Try and stick with it.
  2. Leave the preaching to the preacher. While you may believe in lemon water and celery sticks, it is not your place to project those values onto your co-workers. The same way you don’t like the comments they make on your brown rice sushi, you don’t need to comment on their slice of pizza. Let the lectures come from their partners or health professionals.
  3. Come for the walk. This is a phrase I used on a daily basis at my job. No thanks, I don’t want a donut, but I will come for the walk. And most of the time I would end up ordering a tea. Just because you are not going to indulge in that old fashioned glaze doesn’t mean you can’t be good company and take a mental break from your desk.
  4. Practice saying no. This is probably the hardest lesson and takes practice. Leftover birthday cake from a kid’s party, children’s halloween candy that mom wanted out of the house, chocolates from Christmas baskets. There will always be something in the office tempting you. Be okay with saying no even though everyone else is eating it. The same goes for lunch invitations. You don’t always need to say yes to going out for lunch. Be okay with eating alone sometimes. Catch up on some reading or have a phone call with a friend. I promise the FOMO is not that bad.
  5. Save one day to eat out. I always liked to pick Friday’s to go out with my colleagues for lunch. by the end of the week my packed lunches aren’t as fresh anyways and it is mentally good for you to socialize and go out with friends. It is also good motivation to continue packing your lunch on a daily basis knowing you have Friday to look forward to for your big outing. 
  6. Don’t sacrifice your job for your diet and don’t sacrifice your diet for your job. Sometimes your job requires you to eat out a lot. Maybe you have to entertain clients. Or maybe the CEO asked you out to lunch on a Tuesday. Be smart and respectful and go for lunch, which brings me to my next tip.
  7. Learn how to read a menu. It is so easy to be tempted by unhealthy options on a menu but understanding what to order can be helpful. Skip the appetizers, pastas and pizzas and try a protein. Look for key words such as bakedgrilled or poached. Avoid dishes that are heavily fried or saucy. Nine times out of ten there is a garden salad that you can add chicken to. Get comfortable asking for what you want. Dressing on the side, no cheese, whole wheat – these are all simple requests that don’t sound obnoxious when you are ordering and can save you some significant calories.

At the end of the day, understand that your healthier lifestyle choices should not come between your job, friendships and overall happiness. Is it hard work? Yes. Does it take practice? Yes. Does it just suck some days to not have a slice of pizza? Yes. But if it were easy, you wouldn’t stand out at your workplace for being the healthy one. Remember that overall the pro’s ought-weigh the con’s and when your skin clears up, your clothes start fitting better and you are glowing from the inside out, your co-workers will start asking you how.