My Paleo Staple Breakfast

So I’ve decided that blogging is something that I really love, but I sometimes lack motivation or inspiration. I always want to find something really deep and meaningful to write about, but that just doesn’t happen as often as I would like. I think that’s the main reason why I haven’t been writing very much in the last few months. So I decided to start just writing more about my life, and hope that some good stuff comes from that. So I hope you guys like it.

Life has been really busy and kind of surreal lately. Amanda and I are getting married in just over two months. Wedding planning has been stressful at times, but honestly it hasn’t been all that bad. We don’t live together so most of the wedding stuff gets crammed into one or two days a week that we see each other. I think that has reduced the stress on us, just because the planning has been spread out more. I’ve also been tackling a kitchen renovation, which I am happy to say is slowly coming to an end. Once I have the floors done I will do a post on that. Anyways, I was thinking about ways to reduce the stress in my life, and a big thing that always comes up in my mind is making sure I eat properly. Now that I’ve been doing paleo for over a year, I find that my body is much more sensitive to the negative effects of non-paleo foods. Need more of an explanation? Let’s just say that my roommate knows when I’ve eaten bread. I hope that draws a clear picture for you. So… eating properly is something I need to do to physically feel good, which is extremely important for me to reduce the stress in my life. A happy mind starts with a happy body. Since I work long shifts, I always cook my meals ahead of time. And when I’m on a day shift, that means waking up at 5 in the morning. At that disgusting hour there is nothing I want to do less than cook a meal. So I stole and idea from Amanda, and started cooking my wonderful eggs ahead of time in the form of what I believe is called a “quiche”. I love that word. It sounds so refined and high-class.

The best thing about this dish is that there are so many different ways you can make it. Once it’s done, you leave it in the pan and all you have to do is cut a piece from the pan and pop that bad boy in the microwave! It’s done before my damn morning coffee. It makes mornings so easy! You HAVE to try this. It will literally make your life 100% easier. Imagine cutting 20 minutes off of your morning routine. You can sleep in, pushing the snooze button 6 times instead of 3… you can actually shower… or you can even take more than two breaths between bites because you won’t be scared of being late anymore! So here is my favourite form of breakfast quiche. Enjoy!

1. Peel a sweet potato or yam, and then grate it with a cheese grater. Press the potato into the bottom of your pan, creating the crust for your quiche. Amanda likes to dry out the potato in a frying pan to get a crispier crust, but I prefer to pop it in the oven and bake it until it’s golden brown. IMG_3148
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While your crust is cooking, put together your ingredients you want. I usually go with bacon, mushrooms, and onions. You can cook the veggies before hand as well, but I don’t bother. I like them crunchy. I also like my bacon crunchy, so I cook up a pound of meat candy until it’s nice and crispy. Don’t worry – it doesn’t seem to cook much further when it’s inside the quiche.
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I mix up 12 eggs together with my veggies and bacon, and then pour the mixture into the pan on top of the crust.IMG_3155

Cook the dish in the oven at about 400F for about 45 minutes. I know, that’s kind of wishy-washy, but I’ve honestly never written down how long it takes to cook. Just don’t go drive to Calgary with this thing in the oven and I’m sure you won’t burn it. Once you think the eggs are fully cooked, the fun part comes. As you all know, dairy still plays a pivotal role in my eating, despite not being in the strict paleo diet. So I grate some delicious white cheddar on top, and put it back in the oven at 475F for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is nice and bubbly. The best part is the ridiculous crispy crust you get on the edges. WOOOOOOWWWW!!!
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How can you possibly argue with this photo?!? You can’t. So don’t even try. Just make this dish as soon as you can acquire the culinary resources from your local grocery store. Seriously. You will be thanking me in the morning.

Craig

Trust the Process of Exercise

I know I know. Where have I been for the last three months? Well, the answer is simple. I’ve been focusing on other things, and most importantly I have been concentrating on making myself better. Life has been tough and I just haven’t been able to sit down and write. For some reason I just haven’t had the motivation. This is ironic because writing on my blog is quite therapeutic for me, and it probably would have helped me through my funk. I decided instead to take some time off of work to get myself into a routine. For me, this idea was meant to do one thing: give me stability and make my decisions easy.
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I know that exercise is the most important anti-depressant there is, but for me exercising has always been about convenience. Does working out fit into my other things I have to do today? Sometimes it did. But the problem was that there were too many days where I decided it wasn’t convenient enough. So I skipped the gym. But I had finally had enough of that crap. By taking work out of the equation, my decision would become easy. I simply didn’t have enough things to do during the day to make skipping the gym a viable option. Because of my wide open day, the gym became something that was part of my routine. After a few weeks, I didn’t even have to ask myself if I was going the next day. I just was. And that is exactly where I want to be.
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So it’s been a month since the start of my “vacation”, and I can honestly say I have never been in this state of mind before. I have felt physically better, and I have been leaner. But I have never been in this place mentally before. I’m back at work now, which actually worried me. I was scared I would fall out of the routine again. I felt like a contestant in The Biggest Loser, terrified of what would happen to me once I got back home.
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I was sheltered… insulated from the realities of life. For three glorious weeks I was able to worry about myself, and no one else (and maybe a couple other important people – you know who you are). It’s actually strange how much the absence of work can take weight off your shoulders. I know I have talked about the stresses that work brings, but I honestly believe that almost any job has the ability to cause stress in your life if you let it. So taking work out of the picture can do wonders for your life. Yeah yeah, I know. If you won the lottery you would quit your job and life would be amazing. But the reality is that for about 99% of us, having a job is just how it has to be. And even if you happen to somehow luck out and become your own boss, I guarantee the stress will remain. So instead of trying to run away from stress (from work and life in general), why not take action in other ways to fight it? So when I realised I only had enough vacation for 2 weeks, I knew my stress-free life would be over before I knew it. So I used that time to build up the foundation to keep finding other ways to fight stress. And for me, that meant developing the habit of working out again. And that brings me to the main topic of this post.

During the last month, I’ve managed to work out at least 5 days a week every single week. Awesome right? As I mentioned before, I have never felt so focused and determined, and just mentally ready to attack life. But then a problem emerged. I wasn’t losing weight. I was constantly beating personal records in the gym, I was recovering faster from exhaustion, and my workouts didn’t kill me for the rest of the day any more. But my problem is that I am a visual results kind of guy. I weigh myself almost every time I enter the locker room, and after a month of working out more than I ever have been, I’ve only lost 3 pounds. I am discouraged. How can I not be? The scale has always been my sign of progress, and this time that bastard is betraying me. Am I working out too much? Not enough? Am I gaining more muscle than the fat I am losing? In a desperate attempt to find some sort of concrete evidence that I have made progress, today I found myself grabbing the fat on my belly while I was on the treadmill, thinking “is my stomach smaller than it was before”?
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Despite knowing there is so much more to fitness than the scale, I still focus on it and allow it to have this power over me. So after realising that this was stupid, I knew I had to turn my brain around if I had any hope of keeping my momentum going. What did I do? I started thinking about The Biggest Loser. Laugh at me if you must, but if that show doesn’t inspire you then you have a cold, black heart. I know that fitness and weight loss is like 90% mental, and that is why I love the show. The trainers address the contestants’ mental issues all the time, trying to repair broken hearts and figure out the true reason why they became over weight. And one common theme throughout the show has always been to “trust the process”. There are going to be setbacks. You will have shitty days and life will constantly test you to see if you really want to succeed. Someone special showed me a quote the other day that summed up what I am trying to say. It goes something like this: “God doesn’t put up walls to keep you out. He puts them up to test you… to see if you are willing to overcome obstacles to achieve your goal”.

What I am saying is that if you trust the process… if you stay the course and push through setbacks, you will eventually find your way to that place where you have always wanted to be. Trust yourself and keep going. That is what I am going to do.
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Craig

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Sometimes Work Sucks – But it Doesn’t Have To!

Hello again my loyal friends. After a long and frustrating couple of months fighting with an unnamed electronic store, I finally have my laptop back. I now have the distinction of the computer equivalent of writing off a vehicle. Yes, after 4 weeks of examining my beloved laptop, the vendor finally determined that it was too expensive to fix. Although I have my suspicions that the geeks in the back warehouse really just decided they didn’t know what the hell was actually wrong with it… I grudgingly accepted their explanation. Well, I suppose it wasn’t all that bad of a result, since I got to pick a “comparable” replacement. The problem was that the only model available that fit the mould was $100 more expensive. But then the unthinkable happened! The store actually offered me the better laptop at the same price. Whaaaat?!? No arguing? No hopeless negotiating with a manager who is more concerned with his university final exam marks than his job? Nope. They offered it to me without any of that nonsense. And then something even better happened. When I got to the til, I discovered that I was required to again purchase the extended “performance plan”, hence protecting me from falling victim to Murphy’s Law – which would almost ensure my laptop would fail if I didn’t buy the plan. So I prepared to pony up another $139, expecting to receive a 2 year plan. And as I was walking away, the young fellow who took my money advised me he had “thrown in” an extra year on the plan. Wow…I didn’t know the rules for “throwing in” stuff like that were so lax! Based on this new knowledge I shall adjust my negotiation tactics on my next technology purchasing adventure. So anyways, the story ended well as I now have a better laptop to spew out my ramblings for y’all to enjoy. But you don’t want to hear any more boring stories. Continue reading Sometimes Work Sucks – But it Doesn’t Have To!

Find Your Reason to Work Out

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Life has been tough lately, and I have found myself allowing my life’s negative things to seep deeper and deeper into my personality than ever before. I know that life is bigger than my problems, and that I should never let circumstances define me. So when I started feeling like the negative things in my life were starting to dictate my behavior and emotions too much, I became slightly worried. Frustrating things like slow traffic, Tim Hortons messing up my order, or receiving a rude email have started to have more of an affect on me than they should. Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever let normally small problems become big for no apparent reason? I actually yelled at the coffee lady (while my window was rolled up so she couldn’t hear me) because she thought I said “sugar” instead of “sweetener”. Yep, that’s rational Craig. I was even at a red light recently and when the light turned green, I only waited for 1.9 seconds to honk at the car in front of me, instead of my normal 2.9 seconds.
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Continue reading Find Your Reason to Work Out

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Dealing With the “Downs” of Life

So I’ve been trying to think of a way to make myself feel better after a really shitty thing happened yesterday. My friends will know what this “thing” is, but that’s not important. What is important is what I choose to do now. For those of you that don’t know me, I’ll elaborate a bit. I basically applied for my dream job and I was told no. That’s really it. So on the surface, it may not seem all that upsetting to the outside person. But this is the third time I have applied for this job and obviously it’s the third time they have said no. The worst part is that I have to wait another 2 years if I want to apply again. It’s like the air has been sucked out of my lungs, if that makes any sense at all.

But I am not writing this to get sympathy, and I am probably not even writing this to give advice to anyone… other than myself. For some reason my brain tends to respond better to suggestion when it sees words on paper (or a computer screen). I guess that’s why I have been keeping a journal for most of my life. So… although I hope you see these words as inspirational, they are probably intended more as a way to tell myself what to do.
Continue reading Dealing With the “Downs” of Life

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Back From Vegas!

Hello friends! I hope I still have some friends that read my blog. It’s tough to write anything very regularly, because I tend to put a lot of work into making my writing high quality. But that means new content comes around less often… and for that reason I understand that I may be losing some viewers. But at this point the blog is just a casual hobby and I appreciate anyone who enjoys it! 

So I just got back from Las Vegas for a friend’s bachelor party. There were about 12 of us there and we stayed at the Aria. This place was unreal. It’s exactly what Vegas is supposed to be – over the top, ridiculous and expensive. Now I didn’t take many pictures, simply because this was my 4th time to Vegas and it wasn’t all new to me, but I did take a few. At the Aria, you walk into this massive, grand lobby that has these crazy butterflies hanging from the wall.  
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Continue reading Back From Vegas!

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The Moncton Tragedy

I know I said my next post would be about my top 10 songs for stretching after a workout. But after the recent events in Moncton, I’ve been thinking a lot about certain things like the media, and the effects of having a stressful or dangerous job on people’s lives. So that is what I want to talk about today.

For those of you that aren’t aware, a male suspect, armed with a rifle, a shotgun, and a crossbow, was seen walking around Moncton, New Brunswick on June 4. When police responded to investigate, the suspect ambushed them, shooting five members of the RCMP. Three of the officers passed away and two were injured. The RCMP arrested the suspect just over a day later, and he now faces first degree murder and attempted murder charges. I won’t give the suspect any publicity by publishing his name, which is something that leads me to my first observation about the media.
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Continue reading The Moncton Tragedy

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My Top 10 Workout Songs

Hello my friends. I know my blog posts have been slowing down recently, but I promise that wont last long! Life has been really busy lately. For those of you who follow me but aren’t “real life” friends… Amanda and I got engaged last Sunday! The story isn’t super romantic or anything like that, but the events that actually led up to me proposing were kind of interesting. So maybe on my next post I will tell you the story. But for now I’ll just show you the second photo we took as fiancées… if that’s even a word.

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This girl just gets me. I know it’s a cliche but that is the best way I can explain it. Without getting all mushy, all I can say is that I could not possilby imagine a more perfect person to spend my life with. That is all I shall say about my Amanda for now. So on to the meat and potatoes!

I struggle sometimes to find good music to work out to. I usually end up listening to the same 5 bands over and over… which is okay… but if you are anything like I am, you really don’t want to ruin a song by hearing it a million times. It’s like that month when I decided to change my morning alarm song. For a while I had been waking up to the gentle and soothing “BAAAA BAAAA BAAAA!!”.
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Continue reading My Top 10 Workout Songs

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This is what the Tfal is capable of

Okay, so I just had the most amazing birthday in history. After making Amanda very aware that I didn’t want anything big or eleborate for my birthday, I thought I was home free after a nice dinner. But then she turned in the opposite direction of home, and she said we were meeting a friend for a drink at a pub. I was totally fine with that since it seemed to be low key and relaxed. And then we walked into the bar and there were about 40 people, inclucing a damn photographer… all waiting for me. Now I hate being in the spotlight. And people kept on asking me why I had this strage look on my face. First of all, I was trying my best not to cry. At the same time, I was trying to show an expression of happiness, surprise, extreme gratitude, and “I don’t deserve all this” all at once. That’s tough to do. So anyways, it turned out to be one of the absolute best nights of my life. Almost my entire family was there, including all of my closest friends and amazing coworkers. Some people even took the night off work to be there for me! I really wish that night had more hours in it so I could spend a few moments with every person to say thank you with several hugs.
Continue reading RRRRRRRIBS

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The Timing Will Never Be Perfect

I heard a quote the other day that has really stuck with me. It has so many applications in life, and somehow it has become the central theme in my own life lately. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it went something like this: It will never be a perfect time to start something. That’s it. This is a very simple idea but when you think about it, this short sentence can have profound meaning in so many aspects of life.
Continue reading The Timing Will Never Be Perfect