Category Archives: helpful tools

Open Faced Burgers

This is not so much a recipe but a new idea I’ve been seeing around. I don’t remember where I first saw this sadly but I’m starting to see it more and more. It quite simply the exclusion of the top bun, it cuts those bun calories and fat in half of course and to me it seems to be a more elegant burger as a result.

I feel like it opens up a whole new world to topping the burger.  A much prettier world indeed, rather than just mushing the toppings under a bun. Like a burger crostini perhaps? I’m pretty boring usually about my prefered toppings, ketchup, mayo, maybe a bit of mustard and relish if I’m feeling squirrely. No wonder I was hiding it under a bun. For these burgers I blended ground pork, extra lean ground beef, onions, beef oxo and montreal steak spice. The buns were toasted with a bit of margarine, garlic, pepper, and italian seasonings. The top was just a few slices of avocado sprinkled with lime, some minced dill garlic pickle, and a dollop of sweet heat mustard. The colours were awesome and the burgers were delicious!! I’m definitely a convert to this fancier way of getting my burger on. I look forward to getting more creative and decorative with the toppings too. Another great side effect? We only needed two buns to feed the both of us instead of four. Elegant and money saving? Epic win!

How I learned to stop worrying and love the exercise.


This weekend we popped out and got me a set of wireless headphones for using while on the treadmill. The closed captioning on our tv is being silly so instead of cranking up the volume (which I hate to do) to hear it over the treadmill, I can now hear it beautifully. The headphones even block out the noise of the treadmill itself. They aren’t even expensive awesome ones either. We picked them up from xs cargo for 9.99. Sure they aren’t perfect but they do the job! Today was the first day of using them and they did a great job! It helps pass the time while I’m running my wheel. Which makes it all the less painful and really something to look forward to. Just keep it in mind that you finally get a bit of undisturbed tv time when you make it workout time in front of the tv.

So, now that I have all this tv time I’ve been using it while I exercise to catch up on those series that I missed. I’m horrible about catching weekly tv shows.  The only ones I’ve been able to catch regularly this season have been Lost and Flashforward…only after we used exercise time and cuddle time to help us catch up on those past seasons. Oh yeah we need tivo or a pvr in a bad bad way. Just can’t justify that tivo monthly fee though. Not after we already pay so much for cable…to then pay something to record cable for me just seems silly. Maybe one day I will come around.

Today during my workout I finished watching Jericho. What a crime that show was cancelled mid 2nd season. I was really enjoying it and I’m sad I don’t get to watch some more. Then again I’m always a sucker for a good apocalypse or post apocalypse. It actually would have been interesting to see how that civil war would have played out. *sigh* Now I need to find more tv to work out to and sadly Jericho has left me with a want for more apocalypse tv. Dangit. Well there’s a bunch of Glee I haven’t seen. Maybe that can help? There’s an apocalypse in there somewhere right? Please?

Shows I have enjoyed working out to so far:

  • Lost
  • Flashforward
  • Jericho
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl (I love Billie Piper dammnit!)
  • The Prisoner (The old one, the new one just didn’t grab me and make me raise an eyebrow in a naughty way)
  • Dollhouse
  • The umpteenth rewatching of Firefly (have I mentioned one of my dogs is named Kaylee? Shiny)
  • True Blood (Gearing up for the next season in June…have I mentioned my other dog is named Godric? Yeeeaaah. Have I not mentioned we are geeks here?)

and ofcourse countless movies. Love my movies. I think the one that amused me the most while I was working out was Zack and Miri make a Porno. Then again I just love Kevin Smith.

So yes, stop worrying about it. Grab a series on dvd or *cough* otherwise pilfered. Get yourself caught up in wanting to catch the next episode…the next time you exercise. Make the exercise itself a reward. Seems to be working pretty good over here!

Oh Glorious Gum

Having a craving for something sweet? But don’t have the calories to spend on that?

Meet my good friend gum. Have you met this tasty gum exerciser? There are so many tasty flavours out there ranging from only 3-5 calories a stick. Which I have a feeling you burn off just by chewing! I always try to keep a couple of packs on hand and they have been really helpful. Be careful you pick gum that is not very high in calories like those ones aimed at kiddies. Cinnamon and Mint flavours have apparently proven to be helpful in curbing appetites…but flavours such as berry, melon, tropical fruit, etc. are fun and helpful too. Also when you are craving something sweet sometimes reaching for a stick of mint doesn’t quite have the appeal and reaching for a very berry sensation, right?

Just yesterday I busted my sweet craving by having a stick of melon gum as I took the dogs for a walk. Craving busted and fresh air to boot! I thought I was definitely going to go over my limit, but somehow I didn’t by combining my quick fix and an activity that distracted me for an hour and a half.

Hurray for that glorious gum!

hehe oops!

A word about calories:

So I had an appointment with my doctor today and during our discussion I brought up that I was in a challenge to lose weight. After his congrats on having lost so many pounds so far I asked him something I had been wondering.

After I workout am I supposed to add the calories I burned to what I’m allowed to eat that day?

You see, the calorie counting program I’m using for my blackberry does this so I thought it meant I could indulge more if I worked hard. Well no. If I am looking to maintain my weight then yes this is the case. Since I am trying to lose weight this is not the case. No wonder the past couple of weeks have been a bit slower. Doing a circuit and burning a few hundred calories does not give me license to have a piece of spice cake above and beyond my daily limit. Dangit!

Well, good thing I asked before I got off track. Not sure if it will reflect in this week’s effort since I only found this out yesterday but soon. I’m still on track, eating tasty things, working out, and waiting impatiently for my weigh in tomorrow. Wish me luck!

The Life Saving Kitchen Scale

During some boxing day shopping I found myself in an xs cargo and found a digital kitchen scale there for 9.99. I have seen this sale often over there but this is the first time there were actually some on the shelves for me to snag. My original application for it was for measuring out portions of the dog treats that I make and sell. Since I have taken up this challenge though this thing has been such a life saver!! I’ve been able to measure out the proper portions of things like pasta, flour, dried fruit, etc. How did I survive without this thing? Definitely a great tool for making sure I’ve got the proper portion size to count those calories. If you don’t have one and you are trying to keep an eye on things I highly reccommend it. Don’t be discouraged by those high priced ones you find at those specialty kitchen stores we all love, a little shopping around will yield a lower priced but reliable one soon enough.

I totally heart my kitchen scale.