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Progresso Soup

19 Oct

I was in the states today for like, a minute, well ok, about 20 minutes, and while there I bought some soup and some yoghurt – both specific types I can’t get here, in the land of maple leafs and hockey.

I’ve written about the yoghurts before, I buy them it seems almost every time I go to the states but today I bought a new soup. Theoretically you can’t go wrong with soup but alas, today proved that line of thinking wrong.

I bought one of the Progresso Light soups, specifically the Beef Pot Roast flavour. If you follow Weight Watchers one serving is 2 SP and the can holds two servings. I ate the entire can for dinner, hey! don’t judge, that’s mean! πŸ˜› Β If you are not on Weight Watchers well, the nutritional info is below, take from it what you like…

I had high hopes for this soup, you’d think I’d learn to stop doing that! *rolls eyes*

The broth was good but weak, it is hard to describe, think of hot chocolate that isn’t quite chocolately enough, it has potential to be good and you can get hints of a good flavour when you taste it but it isn’t quite there yet, it needs to be stronger. The broth is like that, decent but weak, needs to be stronger.

The meat, oh geez, the meat is where this soup fails, and truthfully, where Progresso soups always seem to fail. The beef cubes were dry, and chewy, and had no flavour, and I wouldn’t feed them to a dog let alone another human being. I, however, obviously have lower standards for myself, or I was too lazy to scoop the beef chunks out of my bowl, so I ended up eating them. πŸ˜›

The veggies though were good, actual chunks of vegetables, good texture, good taste. In all the Progresso soups I have had the vegetables are always good. The meat is always terrible. Which is why I tend to lean towards buying only their vegetarian soups but today I thought I’d give them another chance.

Lesson learned. Don’t give Progresso another chance lol Buy what they are good at, their vegetable soups, avoid the meat, it is always dry and chewy and just not worth it.

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Bubble bubble toil and trouble…

The broth has a nice colour, and look at those vegetables! Mmm veggies! πŸ™‚

Overall I wouldn’t rate this soup high, and wouldn’t buy it again, the veggies don’t make it worth eating the beef and the lightly flavoured broth. The extremely low amount of WW points makes eating those beef cubes worth it though, especially since my meeting is tomorrow. πŸ˜‰

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Sky Zone

6 Oct

I was going to write this for a Try It Tuesday post but well, it is no longer Tuesday, not even close! Oops!

A couple of Tuesdays ago a friend and I went to Sky Zone which is a trampoline place in Surrey, BC.

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Here is their website…

http://www.skyzone.com/ca/surrey

They have a one hour fitness class that we tried out, they claim you can burn 1000 calories per workout.Β I gotta say, I think that is a tad bit of an exaggeration, but it was fun so really, who cares, right?

I was nervous at the beginning because I worried my bad knee would not be able to handle jumping on a trampoline, it isn’t good with activities that involve quick changes and a lot of stabilizing but it didn’t pop out of joint and I eventually got used to the jumping and had fun.

By the time you are done the class walking on solid ground feels funny, like when you get off a boat and have sea legs. πŸ˜›

When you get there you have to sign-in at a computer terminal, you answer a bunch of questions, nothing too interesting. Then you get to the counter and you fill in a paper form, more legal stuff, shrug. They ask your shoe size because you have to wear special socks when on the trampolines, they are a lovely bright orange with grip bottoms. You’re given a large sticker you have to attach to somewhere on your body so that employees can easily see it and then you’re let loose.

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My stylish socks

Because we were signed up for a specific class we were told which trampoline area to go to. There were two other people there for the class and one instructor. The instructor was nice but it wasn’t as organized or as fluid as a normal exercise class. By that I mean she kept forgetting what she should be having us do next so there were pauses as she tried to figure it out and she seemed hesitant to suggest certain activities and a couple times she mentioned she hasn’t taught the class in a while and couldn’t remember what to do.

If I was treating this class as a serious workout I would be upset that the instructor wasn’t more prepared but since I went to have fun and the workout was a happy by-product of having fun it didn’t bother me too much.

If it is your first class it is $6, after that it is $12, plus the $3 for the socks and the $1.50 for parking. All in all not a bad amount of money.

Sky Zone is a bit too far of a distance from me to become a regular work-out place but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t go again. Just means it would be more of a random, get a bunch of friends together and go bounce around for a while type of thing vs a weekly exercise class.

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Don’t mind me as I lounge here oh so gracefully…

Oh and fyi, if you wear a Fitbit be warned, Fitbit doesn’t recognize jumping as exercise so my activity level for the evening kinda sucked because apparently jumping up and down for an hour equates to nothing in the land of Fitbit. sigh. Does a workout count if Fitbit doesn’t track it? Something to ponder…

 

Try It Tuesday: Simple Fun

13 Sep

Remember when you were a kid and it didn’t take something super high tech, or complicated, to make you smile? Somewhere along the way we lose that, the ability to find joy in something little. I find that sad, when I think about it that is, which isn’t all that often lol πŸ˜›

Well today I was kind of rocking the whole “grown-up” thing. I had a work training session that I wasn’t late for, I ran errands (and actually got them all done! that never happens!), decided that instead of buying take-out I would make a meal at home (saving money and eating healthier), then cleaned the apartment…and when I say “cleaned” I don’t mean I just hid things in drawers, Β I actually organized drawers, put things away nicely, dusted (who am I??), reeeeeal cleaning.

Seriously grown-up stuff happening over here!

After finishing as much cleaning as I was going to get done I made a cup of tea and did something that sure, is a kid thing, but made me smile, and isn’t that what is important here? Smiling? Not caring how it came about? Just nod your head ok? πŸ˜‰

I found one of those add water and the item will grow things, who knows where I got it from *shrug* and I decided to add water and while I am not exactly watching it grow it is within range of my eyes and I maaaay be glancing over every now and then, while I sit here drinking tea and blogging (like a grown-up), mildly impatient to see the fish grow to 400% their original size (not quite a grown-up activity…).

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As you can see, it is a little aquarium with two fish and three coloured balls. I added warm water like the package said and am hoping by tomorrow morning those little fish will be much bigger, maybe 400% bigger…after all, the package wouldn’t be lying about the amount of growth possible, riiiiiight? πŸ˜‰ lol

I know “growing” fake fish in an aquarium isn’t going to make everybody smile but maybe think back to what simple things made you happy as a kid and see if you can’t find time one day to find some happiness in one of them again. It can’t hurt and hey, it might even help you destress after a day of being a grown-up. πŸ˜€

Try It Tuesday: Butternut Squash & Quinoa Pilaf

23 Aug

Oh Jamie Oliver, Β how you tempt me!

It seems every time I go grocery shopping and am in the frozen aisle I see a Jamie Oliver product I want to try, dangerous not only to my eating plan but also to my budget lol Lucky for me I seem to spot his items when they are on sale, or maybe they are always on sale…nah, that can’t be it!

Once again I bought the item thinking it was a meal on its own and it turned out it is actually meant to be a side dish. I figured I’d try eating is as such which meant I had to cook an entire meal -the horrors!

Here is what I started with…

Sorry it isn’t in focus, I would have sworn it was when I took the picture and the box is in the recycling now so too late to try again, oops.

Like the box says, this is a butternut squash & quinoa pilaf with mixed rice, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. The box makes a point of saying how it is made with whole grains and contains no preservatives or artificial flavours, so ya know, if that matters to you, there ya go. πŸ˜‰

When frozen it looks like this…

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Pretty decent huh? I chose to microwave it because (1) the box says I can do that and it’ll be fine and (2) my oven was busy cooking other things and coordinating multiple food items in the oven is not a strong skill of mine…something always ends up either burned or not fully cooked, ugh.

So yeah, this sucker got microwaved and turned out great! I paired it with some chicken from M&M Meat Shops and McCain’s Super Fries. Random? Yes. Tasty? Also yes. πŸ™‚

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A portion is 1/3 of the package, or 125 grams. I weighed my portion out then portioned out the remainder of the package so it would be ready for when I wanted the leftovers and there is actually more in the package than three full servings. Not a big deal, just a large spoonful over but if you are really strict about portions you’ll end up having a bit left over. I may have eaten the random spoonful and pretended it didn’t count but ya know, that is me, you do you! If you follow Weight Watchers the Smart Points are 6 per serving.

It isn’t some flavour packed dish, not that I was expecting that, I mean c’mon, it is butternut squash, quinoa and rice…none of those are particularly flavourful items. Having said that, it tasted good. It isn’t covered in some sauce or trying to pretend it is anything other than what it is, which is a nice change for packaged, microwavable food lol. I did put a spoonful of salsa on the left over serving I had the next day at lunch and it took it from good to yum, but you have to keep in mind I love salsa so I’m biased. πŸ˜›

I’d put this on my buy again list, as long as it is on sale! πŸ˜‰

 

Try It Tuesday: Grow Something!

26 Jul

A couple of months ago I bought a sweet potato and somehow didn’t eat it. Distressing enough. Even more distressing is that when I picked it up it was sprouting things, *shudder* I find the sight of a potato with shoots growing from it highly disturbing. Normally when this happens I throw it out. This time, for reasons I can’t explain, I had an urge to see if I could grow another sweet potato from this one.

After much research, thank goodness for Google!, I learned that step one is to chop the potato and put it in a water bath. Basically you chop off the end, stick toothpicks in the potato, then rest the potato in a glass (I put mine in a small tupperware container) so that the flat part is immersed in water but not touching the bottom of the glass (or in my case, tupperware). You have to change out the water every couple days or so and have the patience of a saint because you are waiting for roots to grow. The roots look like thin, stringy, pale white / almost see through hairs…think something that looks like it belongs to a jellyfish.

While waiting for the roots to grow the shoots kept getting taller and taller, to the point that the tallest one was flopping over so I piled tupperware beside it so it had something to lean on. Along the stalk / stem there were these very tiny little bumps, I have noooooo idea what they are, or if they are good or bad, but I’m leaning toward good because, well, the idea that they are something gross and were living in my kitchen for months is distressing. πŸ˜›

So finally, roots have grown, yay! Back to google I went and I learned that growing this thing in a pot is going to take a bit of effort, sigh. If it was not yet full on summer, when I planted it I’d have to make a little tent over the dirt it was planted in to help the dirt stay warm enough for it. I kid you not! A freakin tent! Lucky for me it is summer, full on summer, lots of heat happening over here, so no tent is needed. I however did have to buy a pot, and dirt, and take care of assembly.

Another way I lucked out is having a friend that grows stuff, lots of stuff, an entire garden worth of plants and veggies and fruit. She basically knows everything there is to know aaaaand has tools!

Mr. Pots and I (that is what I named the sweet potato) went over to her place, along with the dirt and the pot I purchased and she helped a lot!

This is during transport. You can see in the picture on the left the toothpicks that were in Mr. Pots. I put soaking wet paper towel in a small container and rested Mr. Pots on top, I couldn’t travel with the water because it would slosh everywhere so that was my compromise. I added the picture on the right to show how tall the one shoot got. Oh and see that spade at the bottom? That is my one and only garden tool, it still has the tag on it and I still haven’t used it cause my friend had a better one lol

Once at my friends place she pulled out her drill and kindly put four holes in the bottom of the pot for me. See, when growing a sweet potato in a pot you need to water it a lot because they are thirsty little guys but you have to provide an escape for the excess water so you don’t drown the sweet potato. They are a tad finicky. Also, you have to line the pot with a mesh sheet so that when the water drains from the pot the dirt doesn’t go with it. Lisa, my friend, had some of that stuff also, I swear, she has everything!, so she let me have some. We lined the entire pot, I would have only thought to line the bottom but she suggested it go all the way up the sides of the pot so that is what we did. I bow to her knowledge. πŸ™‚

Once the pot was lined I used her massive spade shovel thing to fill most of the pot, then we made a bit of a hole, plopped in Mr. Pots sans toothpicks and wet paper towel, buried him and voila! We planted a sweet potato!

Because I was going to be bringing him home in my suv we gave him some water but not too much, didn’t want to mess up my vehicle. Once I got him home I thoroughly watered him and got him a snazzy spot in the garden. He has to be watered every day but I don’t have to worry about that because my landlords, whose garden Mr. Pots now resides in, have their sprinkler system on a timer so Mr. Pots gets watered every morning around 5:30am. I check on him every couple days, make sure his dirt is wet, and basically leave him to do his thing…not that I know what that is…I did notice some ants crawling on his dirt which worries me, what if the ants hurt him? I don’t like him being outside and exposed to things but he seems to be ok with it because he has noticeably grown since being put out there. I figure he’s highly enjoying photosynthesizing, since while in my place he wasn’t able to do that and we all know that’s what leaves like to do.

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Mr. Bartholomue Pots

He is much taller now, and those short little shoots you can see in the picture have shot up, I’m taking that as a sign he is thriving.

Now I have to figure out how to tell when he is ready to dig up, that is something Google has yet to teach me but I’m sure I’ll find an article somewhere. So far everything I read mostly talks about how to grow sweet potatoes and seems to assume once it is growing I will psychically know how to figure out the rest…silly internet, thinking I know something! lol πŸ˜‰

 

Try It Tuesday: Cat Edition

19 Jul

I figured all these new things I am trying, why shouldn’t the cat get to try something new? Seems only fair to me! πŸ™‚

I found a new treat for cats and figured odds were good the little furball I live with would love it, what with it being tuna an all.

Whenever I open tuna, which is rare because I’m not a huge fan of the stuff, Striker gets his share…and then some! The treat I found is tuna in water. That’s it. Pretty simple huh? Apparently it is even better than the tuna in cans that us silly humans consume because this is flaked tuna in water in a plastic container, so less leaching of who-knows-what from a tin. Also, less sodium etc because nothing is added to this tuna.

It was a dollar and change and also comes in salmon. I played it safe and got tuna since Striker is ridiculously picky about what he will eat.

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Pretty gross looking. I wasn’t sure if I should drain it or not, I opted not to initially and figured if he turned his nose up I’d drain it and see if he liked it better that way. Turns out I didn’t have to drain it, he loved it!

He may have loved the treat but he didn’t much care for being photographed while he ate sooooo after I got that look from him I put the phone down.

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He didn’t eat it all in one go, he prefers eating small amounts so he ate some, walked away, came back later, ate some more, and so on until it was all gone. He really liked the liquid, or at least I am assuming he did since he lapped it up. Over the course of 4 hours or so he ate the entire dish and then meowed at me for more lol

Next time I think I’ll get him the salmon also, see if he likes that one as much. πŸ™‚

Try It Tuesday: Smart Ones Ravioli Florentine

12 Jul

I work shift work which means I get to eat at odd times. Depending on the day my dinner could be at 11pm, 7pm, 4pm…or any other random time, shrug. Because of this I have been trying to stock up on quick and easy meals so when I get home at 10pm I don’t have to do a lot of work to get a meal.

Safeway had Smart Ones Ravioli Florentine on sale last week, it is a frozen dinner that is endorsed by Weight Watchers so I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

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Side note, in the Smart Point program this is 7 points.

 

Well…ok, while it technically didn’t hurt or anything it wasn’t great, heck, I wouldn’t even rate it as good. In fact I am kind of regretting wasting my points on it, sigh.

If you prefer tomato based sauces you might be ok with this one. I prefer cream sauces with my pasta, ya know, the higher in calorie sauce cause hellooooo, so yummy! But yeah, so it isn’t like there was anything specifically wrong with the sauce, I just didn’t like it. One good thing about the sauce was the vegetables that are in it. All the veggies are cut small but not so small they turn to mush once heated up. I really enjoyed the zucchini pieces.

The pasta itself was ok. Good sized pieces of ravioli filled with cheese, can’t go wrong there.

This definitely wouldn’t be big enough to eat on its own as a meal, I was ok because I ate it as sort of a second dinner / later night snack type of thing but if I had taken this to work to have as my real dinner I would of had to supplement it with a salad or something on the side.

I wouldn’t buy it again but only because I am not a tomato sauce type of person and 7 points for this amount of food seems ridiculous to me. I can make a burger and put it on a bagel thin, with cheese, for roughly the same amount of points and get waaaaay more enjoyment out of that meal.

I’ll probably take a look at their other offerings next time I am in the store, see if they have something I might like better cause the ease of heating something up in the microwave can not be overlooked. Gotta love that microwave! πŸ˜‰

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