Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend Recap! Run For The Cure!!

Good afternoon Beautiful,

I don’t even know where to begin. This weekend, well, hasn’t been my typical weekend. My weekends usually consist of waking up whenever my little butt feels like getting out of bed. Doing basically nothing all day, staying up late at night and then going to bed and doing it over again. On Friday night I was in bed by eleven, and Saturday morning I had my alarm set for 8am so I could get up and go to Crossfit for 10am with my friend Katie. I hated waking up to an alarm on Saturday morning. Obviously I wanted to go to Crossfit with Katie, but sleeping was sooo tempting. Luckily when I met up with Katie I learned that she isn’t a morning person as well.
We made our way to Crossfit and I was nervous because it’d been a while since I had gone to Crossfit and I knew I had a run on Sunday (today) so I didn’t want my body to be completely immobile from this intense workout. The first thing I did when we got there was check the WOD board to find out what the Workout of the Day was, and of course it was 100% squats. This was the WOD:
30 Overhead Squats 95#
40 Front Squats 65#
30 Overhead Squats 95#
Every time you set down the barbell (including weight changes) you had to complete 15 double unders and 6 burpees.
I obviously did not do this exact workout because I’m not a Crossfit goddess and I don’t have the strength in my body to do this, so the coach said we could do this:
30 front squats (I used just a 35# bar)
40 back squats (I added 20# onto the 35# bar)
30 front squats (I used just a 35# bar)
Then for every time we set down the bar, do 30 singles and 6 burpees.
We had a 25 minute cap on the workout, and I finished in 18:03 – not bad! But, like I had anticipated, I can’t really bed over, or bend down, or walk properly today.
Before I get into that however, on Friday I used one of the pre-mixed packages of gluten free goodness from the wonderful ladies at Allergic Solutions. I made yeast-free, gluten-free, dairy-free bread! It was so unbelievably easy thanks to the premade mix! These are the only things I needed to use:
All ingredients

The final product!

I dug right in!
When I made the mixture, it turned into almost a dough, and because I don’t have a bread tin, I decided to make some muffins! The recipe called for baking a whole loaf of the bread for a little over an hour, but because I made muffins, it only took about 20 minutes for them to finish. As soon as they came out of the oven I had to try them. I used some butter with it and it was delish. The recipe also calls for chia seeds, but I only had organic flax seeds so I ground those up and used them as part of the mixture. The main flour sources in this mix is Chickpea Flour and Tapioca Flour, neither are paleo BUT they are both gluten free so it’s a nice cheat when I’m feeling like bread! Thank god for the premade mixture of flour because lord knows I would have somehow screwed it up if I would have had to do this alone (I can cook fine, but when it comes to baking, I have no patience!).
Overall, this mix is amazing if you’re sensitive to gluten and/or are trying to avoid gluten. The mixes are fairly reasonably priced at $8.99 and you can purchase them online at www.allergicsolution.com. I love this company and so far their products are so great. Tomorrow I’ll be making vanilla cupcakes, so stay tuned for that review as well!
Saturday after Crossfit, I set out to find myself a GPS watch so that I could quit guessing at how far I was running and actually know for sure how far and how fast I’m going. It took a little while to find one that was within my price range (I was so not willing to spend $400 on a GPS watch – please, there are free apps for that stuff, but unfortunately my Blackberry kind of sucks and none of the apps actually work for me, but don’t get me started on that!), but I eventually found one at Sport Chek, and it works great! It’s a Nike+ Sport Watch with a TomTom GPS in it! Check it out! J

I also picked up some Nuun Hydration tabs when I got my watch. I’ve heard a lot about these but I’ve never tried them myself. Have you ever used them? What did you think of them? I’m interested to know!
 
I wore the watch out last night when we went for a walk downtown to check out Nuit Blanche and I tracked almost a 10km walk with it! It’s awesome! We saw a lot of really neat stuff at Nuit Blanche last night, but we didn’t stay out too late wandering the streets because 1. My legs were jelly from that Crossfit workout earlier yesterday, and 2. I had to be up even earlier today to head to Oshawa for Run for the Cure.
 I had to be up at 7 today, which sucked because I couldn’t sleep in again! I picked up Jenny at about 8am downtown and we were on our way to Whitby to meet up with Michelle (Push.Pump.Progress) to head to the run. There were two other girls that ran with the three of us, and two or three guys (I can’t remember them all!). Because my legs were like cement, I took my time and Jenny and I ran really nice and steady through the whole thing. We stopped to walk for about 30 seconds at the water station, but we plowed through the rest and finished with a great time of 32:49. It was Jenny’s first race and I think she had a lot of fun! She even mentioned that she’ll be signing up to run the Toronto Women’s 8km race at the end of October – I think she’s caught a bit of the running bug! Michelle and I also ran into another Sweat Pink and FitFluential Ambassador, Katy from Fit In Heels, here are some pictures from the event!
Jenny & I

The Group of Girls

Katy, Michelle and I

Overall this has been a great weekend, but it’s probably not surprising that I got home from all this morning’s crazy funness and crawled into bed for a nap. When I woke up though, I made some paleo, gluten free, dairy free, raw chocolate icing to go with the cupcakes I will be making tomorrow. Check it out… J

Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients
½ cup of pre-soaked cashews (3-4 hours)
½ cup or organic cocoa powder
½ cup of coconut oil
¼ organic agave nectar

Directions
1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processer (or magic bullet like I did) and blend until it’s creamy.
THAT’S IT!! It’s delicious, it tastes like dark chocolate, it’s not super sweet and it’s a lot healthier than any icing you buy elsewhere. How easy was that?! I’ll be using this recipe a lot when doing baking (I use the words “a lot” loosely since I NEVER bake). Feel free to share any fun and easy recipes with me (dairy and gluten free please!) and I will definitely attempt them at some point!
How was your weekend? Did you participate in any of the Run for the Cure events? Did you do any other races, or did you get to chill out and relax?
Also! You only have 24 more hours to enter my Eat-Clean Diet giveaway! You can see what you'll be entering for here, but basically it's the biggest freakin' giveaway I've ever done and I'm so excited to see who will win it tomorrow! Click here to be taken directly to the giveaway page! You don't want to miss out on this - it's SO MUCH FUN! :)
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Wasn't Going To Post... But Then I PB'd

Good evening Beautiful,

I wasn’t going to write a blog post today because I don’t think I have nearly enough to write about, but that got me thinking… Maybe my blog posts are too long and people prefer to read short and quick entries? What do you like? Give me some feedback so I know what my readers are into!
The main reason I wanted to write today was because I had the most amazing run today. As you know I’m training for an 8km race at the end of October and want to kill it because the last 10km race I did was shameful and I need to make up for it. So I had a 5km training run today and set a PB of 25:51!! I’m not sure how I managed to pull that out from my sleeve, but I’ve “mapped my run” the route I do many times, and two loops of my route always comes out to be 5km. I keep time on my iPod, I have the Nike+ App, it blows for keeping track of distance but I at least can keep track of how long I’ve been running for.
I was super excited for this and I actually had to check my iPod to see if it was working closer to the end of my run because I thought it had stopped! Turns out, today I was just a super speedy runner!
To top off that amazing run, I had an AMAZING performance review at work. I love having performance reviews because I like knowing where I stand and how well I’m doing, and if there’s anything that I could be developing on. I had no negative feedback today and I got to let my boss know what I’d like more development on, which I’m sure she appreciates! I know I’ve said this a million times before, but I really do have the best bosses out there… for real. Sorry to everyone else whose bosses aren’t up to their expectations…. Mine beat yours J haha.
I was looking through my calendar this morning and holy man, have I got a busy few weeks ahead of me. I’m going to be drinking coffee like it’s going out of style. First up, this weekend I have the CIBC Run For The Cure. It’s a laid back 5km race that I’m bringing Jenny to run with us. We have a team of 8 and we’ve raised almost $1000… how awesome is that!? I also need to find a Garmin watch… I’m pretty excited about it. I’m also going to attempt to bake a loaf of gluten-free, yeast-free bread and maybe even some gluten free cupcakes with some raw icing (I found a tweet about chocolate icing that’s raw and dairy/gluten free so I’m going to check it out and whip some up on Saturday! I’ll post about it and post the recipe if it turns out good!
Next week my department is holding a Summit at the Convention Center downtown, on Wednesday I’ll be spending the day helping to get everything ready for that, and on Thursday I have to be there dressed in my professional attire for 6am, and I’ll be there all day helping all of the speakers that we have lined up (if you’re in the TO area and want to learn a ton about workplace/corporate wellness, check out this link, the article I wrote for the GoodLife Blog about the summit! It’s going to go by quickly I think, but it’s also going to be a long few days and I’m going to be exhausted, hence “drinking coffee like it’s going out of style”.
Next weekend is Thanksgiving which I’m getting excited about! C and I are going to Kitchener on Sunday to hang out with my whoooole family. My aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, my mom and dad and my sister! We have to bring a pie. Now, I know I can make my way through the kitchen pretty decently, but I cannot under any circumstances bake a pie from scratch. I would really love to be able to, but it would be a huge waste of money for me to buy everything to make it, spend the time trying to make it only to have it turn out horribly. Maybe that can be a goal of mine in 2013, but not this year folks!
The weekend after Thanksgiving I’m running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 5km race. I’ve never done an actual 5km race before that’s documented, so I’m really hoping I can run as well on that morning as I did today because if my stats are going online, it MUST be good J. The race starts at Ontario Place I believe, and ends downtown somewhere, I can’t remember where. BUT the runners do get a finishers medal and a tshirt. I love races with a finishers medal at the end, it’s HUGE motivation for me. I know that sounds silly, but I love getting them! I have three so far, and I’m fairly certain I will only run races that have medals! J.
On the weekend after we’re supposed to be going to Ottawa to visit C’s parents. I’m not sure if that’s actually going to happen or not, but I’m hoping! I’ll keep you posted about that…
The weekend after is the Toronto Women’s 8km Race. This is the race that I’m training crazy for and I’m hoping to do really well at. So it’s about 4 weeks away…. So far it’s going well!
Then the week after my race is my birthday! Woohooo! My birthday is actually on Halloween, but I’m not going to celebrate it until the second week of November because I actually hate going out on Halloween. Everything is so much more expensive, it’s usually cold, the bars are packed full and it’s impossible to get a cab when you’re ready to go home. So I’m postponing it until November 10th so that it’s like an actual birthday party, rather than a Halloween party. J.
Anyways, thinking about all of this is already making me tired. Oh wait - have you entered my giveaway yet? Are you a big fan of Tosca Reno? The Eat-Clean Diet? Oxygen Magazine? If so, check this giveaway that I currently have going on for only 4 more days! It's a HUUUGE giveaway and I'm so lucky that the wonderful team over at Robert Kennedy Publishing gave me this to give away... Spend 5 minutes and enter here! :)
Now that it’s fall, are you participating in “race season”? What have you got planned?
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Started Christmas Shopping & Some Other Fitnessy Healthy Type Stuff!!

Good evening Beautiful,

Can you believe the week is almost over? I feel like this week flew by reeeeally quickly. My week has been really busy, what about you? Work is insane because it’s September and September is the second busiest month in the fitness industry and it seems like everybody needs something from me all of the time. It’s not surprising that I come home and crawl into bed to write for you guys, write for the GoodLife Fitness blog, connect with my readers and educate myself on blogging and writing. I bought a few books on blogging and writing in general because I want to learn how to become a better writer and I love learning, so why not right?
Also, I don’t know why but I’m feeling overly emotional today. Well, not today, just tonight. I’m watching Anderson Live and I’m watching Kelly Pickler explain why she shaved her head (she made a pact with her best friend who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer that before her first Chemo treatment that they’d shave their heads together) which made me cry, and then I watched a video on Anderson of Carrie Underwood kissing a little guy on stage at one of her concerts so that he can say that Carrie Underwood was his first kiss, which brought tears to my eyes as well. Weird. I’m such a girl. Also, Kellsey Grammar is on Anderson today. I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have an old man crush on Fraser Crane… Kellsey, in my humble opinion, looks better now than he did when he was younger. Yep, old man celebrity crush…. I’ll admit it.
Here are some fun things that I did this week!

First off I got a spice rack. I am the most excited about this because I love kitchen knick knacks like this. It makes excited to have my spices on display and to be honest, easy access for cooking. I like this one, I think it’s better than the ones that spin, and for our small place it makes sense to not use up all the counter space with spices!

Secondly, C brought my home this cookie last night and it’s made from quinoa. I know this isn’t paleo but I still needed to eat this cookie because I was so curious what a quinoa cookie tastes like. Basically, it tastes like a chocolate chip cookie except it falls apart a lot easier than a normal cookie and is a little less decadent, but overall I was impressed that it was made from quinoa, would have fooled me if I hadn’t known.

Lastly, I got my plank record! Yaaaye 2:15 for me! It was hard, I was shaking, but hopefully I’m a little stronger now J.
I started my training program for the 8km race I’m doing in 4 weeks. So far, I’ve ran once. Haha, clearly I’m not too into the program and it also isn’t that hard of a program, the farthest I have to run is 10km on two different weeks. I did a 5km run yesterday and managed to do it in 26:31. I was running fairly quickly, but I really want to make that my normal pace so I’m going to try and do all of my training at that pace. Today I actually signed up to do the Scotiabank 5km race in three weeks because I’ve never done an official 5km race before and I want to see how quickly I can do it and have it documented (I’m all about the stats). I’ll also add a finisher’s medal to my collection and a bib to my cubicle wall!
Today I did some resistance training for my chest and legs (weird combo, I know.) and it looked like this:
Pec Dec – 55lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets
Leg Press – 150 lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets
Chest Press Machine – 55lbs/40lbs, 2 sets, 10 reps
Leg Curl – 85lbs, 2 sets, 10 reps
Leg Extension – 85lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets
One-Arm Chest Press on Cable Machine – 15lbs, 2 sets per arm, 10 reps
This was a quick workout, it lasted about 30 minutes because I wanted to make sure I had a lot of time left over to foam roll my legs. Ok, so here’s my beef with foam rolling. It friggen hurts man! I started foam rolling this week after my 10km race, and promised that I’d be doing it daily because I have some knots in my quads and some IT band tightness and wanted to sort it out via the foam roller. Today I did some foam rolling and I was clearly sore from foam rolling yesterday and the day before. Is it supposed to leave you tender!? I actually think I’m going to have to take a day off of foam rolling tomorrow because my quads and IT bands are so tender! Oy vey. Tomorrow after my 5km run I’m going to focus on stretching more than rolling (because I’m taking the day off of rolling).
I found out today that the NYC Half-Marathon is a lottery system and I think the lottery opens after the NYC Marathon in November. I’m definitely going to put my name into the lottery, and I’m going to let the universe determine my fate. If I get picked, I’ll know that I’ll be able to do it and I’ll kick some butt (although I also read that the first half of the run goes through some of Central Park’s biggest hills…. Wuh oh, you know how I feel about hills), and if I don’t get picked, well, I’ll probably look into doing a different half. Perhaps Chicago or the Rock n Roll half in Vegas! I want my next half marathon to be a really cool race, I won’t settle!!! I promised myself that the next time I train for a half, I’m not going to my skimpy on hill training or speed training (I basically skipped them entirely during the training for my first half) and I’m going to foam roll the crap out of my muscles, get proper shoes, stretch often and get some stretching sessions from the massage therapists at my gym. I’m going to do it right and I’m going to be successful! J It’s all about positive mental attitude J.
While I’m on the topic of running… basically my Blackberry sucks. It’s a brand new Blackberry Bold 9900 and all running apps that include a GPS function to track your distance when running DOESN’T WORK! It’s so heart breaking because they worked fine on my old Blackberry. So because of that, I have no way of tracking my exact distance when I’m out for a run, so I started researching different GPS watches that I could potentially buy and I think I’m going to go for the Garmin. I spoke with a friend (who has run multiple marathons!) and she likes her Garmin GPS watch, so I was sold once she recommended it, she’s not an easy critic! I’m going to scout out some this weekend, so I’ll let you know what I decide to do!
Oh! Guess what. I start my Christmas Shopping today. I figured it out and we only really have 6 pay cheques until Christmas, and I’m trying super hard not to use my credit cards for things so I’m starting now with hopes of spreading everything out so I’m not splurging last minute. ARE YOU SO EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS!? It’s in less than 100 days – I LOVE CHRISTMAS! In 1 month and 2 weeks I’m putting up my Christmas tree. It is so pretty! Look, this is what it looked like last year:

GORGEOUS RIGHT?
You have no idea how excited I get for Christmas… it’s my favourite holiday because I love love love giving amazing gifts to all the important people in my life. I love Christmas music and I love the energy in the air around Christmas time. I just thought you should know that…. I bought C a Christmas present today, so I also have to figure out where to hide this stuff long term. Last year I hid it under my desk, we’ll see if that works this year, I might have to use my bosses office or something… Ahh! Christmas. So fun! J
On that note, I’m off to do some planks and cook some dinner!
Are you a big fan of Tosca Reno? The Eat-Clean Diet? Oxygen Magazine? If so, check this giveaway that I currently have going on for only 4 more days! It's a HUUUGE giveaway and I'm so lucky that the wonderful team over at Robert Kennedy Publishing gave me this to give away... Spend 5 minutes and enter here! :)
Do you have a GPS watch that you like? Can you recommend anything for me to check out?
Do you get as excited about Christmas as I do? I can’t wait to wrap presents!!!
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Monday, September 24, 2012

To Do Another Half-Marathon, Or Not...

Good afternoon Beautiful,

I hope your week got off to a good start! I started planning out my training program for my 8km race coming up in 4 weeks. Like I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t do so well in my last 10km run (The Zoo Run) so I want to really do well on the Toronto Women’s 8km race to kind of “redeem” myself per se. My program for my 8km consists of 2 long runs that are longer than 8km (they’re 10km), 2 long runs that are exactly 8km and 2-3 short runs per week (5-7km). On my rest days I’m going to be doing resistance training and really focus on foam rolling.
I did some foam rolling of my IT band and my quads today for the last half of my workout, and holy man… I have some serious knots in my quads and my IT bands I already knew were tight which is what was causing me hip pain while I’ve been running. It was so painful; there was two points at which I had to take a break because I couldn’t handle the pain of trying to work the knots out of my legs. I can actually still feel where they are. I’m going to do a little bit more foam rolling tonight after dinner, I really want to get everything stretched out so I’m a little bit more pain free. I’m also pretty sure I need to take a hot yoga class. I actually really don’t like hot yoga. I don’t like how muggy it is and I have this fear that I’m going to barf or pass out and be really embarrassed, but I guess if it helps me stretch out everything from the waist down, it’s kind of worth it. The best part of hot yoga for me is when I walk out of the hot room at the end and can breathe in actual quality air (however “quality” Toronto air is…) because it feels basically like I’ve been like born again or something, that’s the ONLY motivation I have to go to hot yoga, and the potential pain reducing benefits.
The race and my results had me thinking about running all day, and my best friend Lauren actually sent me a text asking if I’d ever want to do another one, or if I was going to do another one this year. My initial response was “Hell no, not this year”, but I got to thinking about it and I think I might want to again. I have no idea why, the first one was obviously painful for me and resulted in shin splints and hip/ankle pain, but hey, why not. I googled “coolest half-marathons around the world” because I thought it’d be cool to do a half-marathon in another part of the world, and came across the New York City Half-Marathon (not to be confused with the full marathon which I will probably never do). I think I kind of want to do this! It’s in March, registration isn’t open yet, and it starts in Central Park and makes its way down by Times Square and finishes in Lower Manhattan.
If you’re a loyal reader then you know I went on a trip to Manhattan last year and fell absolutely in love with the city. I loved the energy, the shopping, the food, the buzz, the nightlife, it was an amazing trip and the city is beautiful. What better and cooler way to return to the city for a weekend than to do it and running a half-marathon through the city? The only thing is that it costs a bit more to register than runs here do, I’d have to pay for a flight and save a lot of money to do some shopping (obviously) and dining (obviously) and I’m praying that they confirm the date soon because it’d be very helpful if I could ask my cousin if we could use his condo again, except not as long! If you’re a newer reader then here are some pictures from my last trip to Manhattan!







So that’s definitely something to think about. Really think about. I can feel my IT band pulling right now and all I’m doing is laying in bed typing. I’d need to get new runners and probably some orthotics, some more winter running gear… you know, I’ve found running is kind of an expensive sport lol.
I’m also thinking about running the Scotiabank Toronto 5km run which is in about 3 weeks. I’ve never done a 5km before, and I’m interested in seeing how fast I can do it. Again though, it’s like $60 to register to run for half an hour. Ugh, I’ll probably end up doing it. I’m hoping that my mom, dad and sister can come down that weekend so they’re able to see me run as they never have before! At least in a race setting, so that would be really cool.
Where is the coolest place you’ve done a race before? Or what is the coolest race you’ve ever competed in?
It’s going to take me a while to decide about this half-marathon thing again…. What should I do!? I’d have to start training like, now. Oh my god….
Stay sweet.
xoxo
PS - I got a few more entries to my giveaway today thanks to the wonderful Tosca Reno and the Eat Clean Diet Team retweeting about my giveaway (a big thank you to both!). If you missed it, you can check it out here. Two magazine subscriptions and three books - it's a bit insane!! You can enter here!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zoo Run Recap, My Amazing Weekend And A TON Of Photos...

Good afternoon Beautiful,

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday night. Really! This weekend flew by, but in a great way. What an amazing weekend I had! As you know, Michelle from Push.Pump.Progress and I ran the Toronto Oasis Zoo Run 10km race yesterday morning. You know, I went into this race, not really that nervous. I could easily run a good 7.5km training run (ok, not “easy” but it wasn’t like running a half-marathon or anything…) so I assumed that this race would be challenging, but I’d be able to finish it in under an hour no problem. Michelle was the same. We had heard that the course was pretty hilly, but for some reason that didn’t register in my head as anything that tough.
WRONG!
Holy crap guys, this race was easily the hardest run I’ve EVER done in my life. Seriously, the course was made up entirely of hills, up, down, up, down… never ending hills. By the time I made my way up one hill, my legs were dead/jelly/burning/useless, then running downhill kind of gave them a break, but then as soon as that was over it was back up hill, it was BRUTAL!! There was more than 1 occasion where 1. I wanted to die and 2. Wanted to let Michelle just go ahead of me so I could walk more. Thank the sweet lord I decided against that, I tried to keep up with Michelle the best I could although at some points I think I held her back a bit… but she kept me motivated, coached me through the stupid hills and we finished the run at 1 hour 4 minutes. It’s the worst 10km time both of us have ever had… which was very shocking to both of us because we both felt like we were running so fast. In the first half we were running less than 9 minute miles, so we have no idea what went wrong. I blame it on the hills.
The race set up was also a bit strange. They did a lot of cutting pathways in half, which I didn’t like. It left no space to pass anyone unless you went onto the muddy grass (it was raining), and at the end of the 10km, the 5km race started so all of the paths out of the zoo you weren’t allowed to walk on due to the race. I feel like someone did some poor planning on that part, because I didn’t like having to walk in mud to get out of the zoo. All in all though I wish the weather would have been a bit nicer, but it was definitely a challenging run, but fun all at the same time!
Another fun part about the Zoo Run is the fact that you’re running through the zoo! During the run I saw some bison, zebras, giraffes, monkeys and flamingos. How fun is that! I didn’t stop running to snap any photos, although that would have been a nice break (ha), but after the race was over we got to walk through the zoo on the way out and we got some really cool photos! Check this out!



That monkey gave us the death stare eh? It’s a bit freaky…
The last quarter of the race my IT band started to really hurt, which in turn results in hip pain. Today it’s a lot less tender, but I can still tell it’s a bit irritated. I need to foam roll it again today. Anyways though, here are some fun photos from race day!

 
After the race, C and I went to the grand opening of the new GoodLife Fitness club in Mississauga, our now Meadowvale location. It was such a big, beautiful club. I was so glad I got to see it! I also got to see one of my oldest friends, my very first roommate that I ever had. It was so great to see her again. I don’t get to talk to her much and I hardly ever get to see her, I miss her a lot. We were really close in college so it’s always like old times when I run into her again. J. We actually had some fun chats yesterday about some people we knew in college. It’s fun to relive that time of our lives because it was so fun and she will definitely always have a small little spot in my heart! J Love you A.. xo.
C and I then went to the mall because I wanted to buy myself some Lulu for getting through that hell of a race. I ended up buying these Wunder Under pants!

Annnnd I decided to pop into Lush. I’ve heard some cool things about the company and I always smell their products whenever I walk past, so I ended up purchasing two bars of soap and some face ocean salts…

The reason I like Lush, well, there are many reasons. Basically it can be summed up by the text on their bags:
A Lush Life
We Believe
… in making effective products from fresh organic fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics
We believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not conduct or commission tests on animals and in testing our products on humans.
We invent our own products and fragrances, we make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients and tell you when they were made.
We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.
We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and the right to make mistakes, lost everything and start again.
We believe our products are good value, that we should make a profit and our customer is always right.
We also believe words like “fresh” and “organic” have an honest meaning behind marketing.
That’s pretty cool huh? So far, I’m enjoying their products. I’m currently using the soap called The Godmother, it smells so nice and leaves my skin so nice. I like knowing that it’s all organic as well. The face salts brighten my skin, and leave it so soft. I can’t wait to see how my skin looks after a few weeks of using this product. Have you tried Lush products before? If so, what’s a product that you’d recommend I try?
Then last night C and I went on a double date. We went to Ruth Chris’s Steak House. It was so amazing and my meal was completely paleo with the exception of the chocolate cherry martini I had. Everyone in the restaurant looked at me when my flash went off... oh well.

It was VERY sweet, but I only had 1. Dinner was two steak medallions with huge shrimps on top, with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed mushrooms! It was AMAZING. Then we went out for some drinks after to my signature spot, Williams Landing, and I only had 2 drinks! I had made the goal to not go hard for about 3 weeks because I really just wanted to give my body a break so I’m really happy that we had such a low key weekend.
Next weekend is the CIBC Run For The Cure. It’s a 5km race, but it’s not timed which is nice. Our team (team Sweat Pink!) is made up of people with a wide range of fitness levels so it’s just going to be super fun, and no stress. It will actually be Jenny’s first race so I’m excited to go through that with her – I know she will do awesome, she’s already ran more than 5km before so she’ll do so well J. I hope she’s excited!
Today my best friend asked me if I was going to do another half-marathon soon. You know, I don’t think I want to do another half this year. I want to get over my injuries, I want to build some strength and endurance and I think I’m going to stick to smaller races (10km max). I totally need to redeem myself after this last 10km (1 hour 4 minutes… really!? My best time was 55m!) so I’ll be doing another 10km sometime in the near future. But in the meantime, I will focus on smaller runs, and eating clean! This is tonight’s dinner, curried shrimp and spinach!
Ingredients
2 lbs of shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp ghee, butter or coconut oil (I used butter)
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp tomato paste
½ cup homemade chicken stock (I used organic chicken broth that was store bought. I’m not domestic enough to have made my own chicken stock – sorry!)
1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
2 tightly packed cups of shredded spinach
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Directions
1. Heat a large skillet over a medium-low heat and cook the onion in the butter until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
2. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, stir in the curry powder and continue cooking for a minute.
3. Place mixture in a blender or food processer, add the tomato paste as well as the chicken brother and coconut milk and blend until smooth.
4. Pour the mixture back in the skillet and bring to a simmer.
5. Add the shrimps and spinach and cook covered for about 5 minutes, until the shrimps are just cooked.

It turned out really well! C ate his over some white rice and I had mine over some steamed cauliflower to make sure it’s completely paleo! Blending the onion into the curry tasted DELICIOUS… It’s definitely a recipe that I’ll be doing again… and eating as leftovers tomorrow! J.
Today we went shopping at IKEA and I had to share the amazing mirror that I got! I’m so excited about it, it’s so pretty! I have visions of painting it white in the future… look!

You love it right? J
How was your weekend? Did you partake in any of the insane amounts of races that happened? Did you do anything super fun?

Make sure to check out my Eat Clean Diet giveaway happening RIGHT NOW until October 1!! Check it out here, it's an amazingly HUGE giveaway Tosca Reno inspired!!
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Cooked, It Deserves A "Meh"...

Good evening Beautiful,

I don’t usually start a blog post with my recipes, but I am today, because I’m frustrated, happy and a bit indifferent about some of the things I made tonight. So tonight is my last night home alone (YAY!) and so I wanted to make something fun for dinner. I Googled a couple of recipes, and decided I wanted to make paleo butternut squash soup, and these things called chicken tostada’s. I went to the grocery store right after work, bought all of the ingredients and got my little behind home to start cooking!
First, I tackled the Chicken Tostadas. Actually, first I put the butternut squash into the oven to cook, but while it was cooking I tackled the Chicken Tostada’s. Basically, the idea of this recipe is to make a gluten-free crisp type of thing, in which you place some guacamole and some salsa on top and DELICIOUSNESSS happens. This is the recipe:
Ingredients
- 3 avocados, peel and mashed with a fork
- the juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup of fresh cilantro
- Freshly prepared salsa
- 2 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken
- the juice of ½ of a lime
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
Indredients for the Tostadas
- 2 cups of almond flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp of EVOO, plus 2 tbsp EVOO for frying
Directions
1. Combine avocados, lime juice and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Combine chicken, juice of ½ a lime and smoked paprika into the bowl. Stir to combine. Just before eating, warm the mixture in a microwave for 60-90 seconds if desired, but it’s also good cold.
3. Prepare tostada shells by combining almond flour, sea salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add eggs and 1 tsp of EVOO and mix thoroughly with a spoon until a nice dough forms. If it seems dry, keep stirring for a bit. If needed, add a touch of water.
4. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each piece into a ball. One at a time, place each dough ball between two sheets of parchment paper and press with the palm of your hand to form ¼ - 1/8 inch thick circles.
5. Warm 2 tbsp EVOO in a skillet. Fry each tostada in the hot oil for about 30-40 seconds on each side. Transfer to a double layer of paper towels to drain.
6. To serve, place 1-2 tostadas on each plate, spread with avocado mixture then top with chopped chicken and garnish liberally with salsa.
OKAY. So “What the hell went wrong?” Is what you’re probably wondering. Well, being that I’m a culinary master, I usually assume I’m pretty good in the kitchen. So first off, when the recipe called for 2 cups of almond flour, I figured coconut flour was the same thing. WRONG! The one lesson I learned today is that coconut flour cannot under any circumstances make dough. It’s ridiculous! I ended up using 4 eggs, lots of water and oil, and NO DOUGH. This is what it ended up looking like in the frying pan before I threw it into the garbage.

So I’m not sure if this recipe actually works, or if it was the coconut flour over the almond flour. Any suggestions? I ended up just using the guacamole as a dip for some cucumbers I had cut up. Meh.
 
Ok, the butternut squash soup wasn’t so bad, although it turned out to be more of a puree. I’m not jumping out of my seat “thrilled” with it, but I think I need to add some water… I will try that tomorrow. But this is what I did for make the “soup”:

Ingredients
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 can of coconut milk
- Sea salt and black better
- a few dried herbs that you have laying around
Directions
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the squash length wise, and bake in the oven with the cut part on the baking sheet for 45 minutes.
- When it’s done, let it cool and once it’s cool, scoop it out of the skin into a blender with the coconut milk (I added garlic and oregano as well).
- Blend, and stir, and blend and stir…
This is how it turned out…

See how thick it is? I think it needs some water. I’ll let you know if it works. Anyways – that’s why I have all these mixed emotions about dinner tonight. It was definitely fun to cook it up though! Even if I threw part of it away L.
I didn’t exercise today… I know, I know, I should have ran today and taken tomorrow off so I could get ready for my race Saturday morning. However, at work today I had to go to PepsiCo to be there for a health fair for part of the day, and being at a health fair is exhausting! It’s totally fun and I like going to them, but being so happy and talking to so many people and standing for so long just wears a girl out! So I came home and after I cooked my almost dinner, I crashed in bed J. The point I think was that I didn’t exercise, but I ate so well today. I opted out of the sandwich lunch they had at the health fair, and ate my broccoli soup with some organic sausage at lunch, it was delectable and my stomach and organs thanked me for not making them inflamedJ.
Ok – because it’s my last night alone I’m going to take advantage of it and call it a night at 9pm – GLORIOUS!
One last thing – in case you were not one of the almost 600 people to view my blog yesterday (AWESOME!!!) and missed my post about my Eat-Clean Giveaway (1-year subscription to Oxygen Magazine and Clean Eating Magazine as well as 3 of Tosca Reno’s books) you can check it out *and enter*here! Have a great night!
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Journey To Eating Clean, & An Eat Clean Giveaway!

Good afternoon Beautiful,

HAPPY HUMP DAY! Tomorrow is Thursday – this week is FLYING BY. This is my second night alone without C, and it’s sad. I miss him. It’s been like, 36 hours since he left, and I have another 48 to endure. I’m sure they’ll fly by. Tomorrow I’m out of the office most of the day at a health fair and Friday, well, it’s Friday. I usually put a post-it over my computer clock on Fridays or else they go reeeeeeeally slow.
Speaking of Friday, I just learned that I need to go to bed at like 7pm on Friday because the Zoo Run that I thought was in Mississauga is actually more near Pickering, which is the complete OPPOSITE end of the city for me. And the race starts at 8:15am, which means I need to leave my house at like….. 6:30am. BRUTAL! I clearly didn’t think it through when I signed up for this race lol. Just kidding. I’m super excited to run it, but I’m also getting a touch nervous. I’ve heard the course is fairly hilly and that’s the part that’s scaring me the most. I’ve done ZERO hills since I started “training” for this 10km so I’m probably going to die. Oh the joys.
Today I did a “long” run… 6 months ago I wouldn’t have called 9.3km a long run since I was running anywhere from 15-21km for my long runs, but today, for me, now, this was a long run. I ran it in the 10/1 format (run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute) and managed to pull out a 9.3k run in about 53 minutes. Not too shabby if I do say so myself! I still have a little bit of the running bug in me. Although, I noticed something extremely awkward on my run today. A little background behind where I run, I do a 2.5km circle around my work, and then today I did it like 3 times plus a little bit more at the end. At two different points on my route, there were guys doing construction. Could it possibly be any more awkward to have to run past a bunch of men in and of itself… but let along having each and every one of them stop what they’re doing to watch you run past? Seriously! It happened a total of 6 times, and by the last lap I’m pretty sure each group said something to me, but I was in the zone and had headphones on so I couldn’t be bothered to stop and chit chat. Near the very end of my run I did two little loops around my office but not past any construction men, but one drove by in a truck and gave me a thumbs up. Really? It was annoying. No wonder some women prefer to run on a treadmill. Sheesh.
As soon as I got in from my run, my friend Katie sent me a text asking if I wanted to go to CrossFit tonight with her. UHMM YES I DO! But my legs did not. My legs are still jelly and it’s 4 hours after my run lol. I don’t think I could have handled any squats or really anything to do with legs, so I opted out (sadly) and told her we should go on Sunday. She’s getting back to me (hopefully with a yes – right Katie? J). I haven’t done crossfit in so long. It would probably kill me, in an amazingly amazing way. I really hope she says yes.
Ok so I have a super fun giveaway planned for tonight (sorry – tons of giveaways happening all at once! I promise, in November it will slow down! But I hope you enjoy them! I wanted to try and spread out my giveaways, but this one and the next one are near and dear to my heart, and I get excited really easily, so I had to share tonight! J) but I want to write a bit of background to the giveaway and why it’s super important to me.
As most of you know, I try my best to stick to a paleo diet, which basically when you sum it up means no grains of any kind (yes, corn is a grain), no dairy, no processed foods, no sugar. Basically I eat meat, veggies, fruit and root vegetables (squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes). For a long time I’d been struggling with what to eat and how to eat. In my first year of college I was a broke student who didn’t know any better and ate pizza, ramen noodles and kraft dinner like they were their own food groups. I also didn’t notice that I, me, the girl who was so into fitness and “health” had gained the freshman 20. I have pictures of me at that size, but I honestly don’t want people seeing it, that’s how embarrassed I am of it. So in the summer in between college years, I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian after having seen the Skinny Bitch girls on Ellen and how Ellen talked about how she’s a vegan. Both of those girls were skinny so OBVIOUSLY I needed to become a veg. Well I was a vegetarian for 3 years, and I don’t remember a single day during those three years that in the afternoon I wasn’t a bloated mess. Every single day I was bloated and I had no idea why. It was something I just eventually got used to and that’s how it was.
Living with men (I had 3 male roommates for about 6 months before I moved to Toronto!), and the plan of moving in with my boyfriend got me back on meat. I started with chicken breast cooked so well that it was so hard to chew, and it was mixed in with a huuuuuge salad. Then eventually I worked my way into eating meat like a normal non-veg human. When I finally did move in with my boyfriend, I took on a job as a CSR at one of our GoodLife clubs downtown. I had no idea what I was walking into, but all of the trainers and the managers went by this crazy diet of eating “paleo”, at the time I had no idea what this was and I thought it was some nonsense people did to build lean mass and get huge.
It honestly wasn’t until after I left the club that I actually started reading about the paleo diet and the “Eat Clean Diet”. I read about the anti-inflammatory parts of this diet and thought I needed to try it. I bought a book by Robb Wolf and I bought some of the Eat Clean Diet books by Tosca Reno and once I read them I was sold. I related more to Tosca’s book probably because we’re both women and she writes in more of a non-scientific manner. I love the way she writes and I love the way she speaks (I had been to her sessions at canfitpro before) and so I absolutely needed to take her advice and start eating “clean”. I started this way of eating when I first started training for my half-marathon, and within weeks I noticed how I wasn’t bloated, I felt great, my skin was clear… this was obviously working for me!  Sometimes people ask me questions about it, sometimes they think I’m crazy and sometimes they don’t, it doesn’t matter to me because clean eating works for me, it makes me feel 100% better than I have in years and that’s enough to keep me motivated to eat this way for life.
If you read my blog often you probably know that I’m pretty passionate about food and nutrition and eating to fuel your body rather than to “feed” your body (if you ask anyone I work with they will tell you this is 100% true. Every morning I come in, heat up my chicken or steak and brussel sprouts and eat my breakfast. It’s not the most delicious and decadent meal ever, but it fuels my body and I’m not hungry 2 hours later…). I really believe that food is the answer to a lot of problems that people deal with in terms of disease and inflammation, and if anyone were to ask me, I would strongly recommend food over medicine any day. I’m actually taking a couple university courses on nutrition and obesity in January/April 2013, I’ll fill you in on those closer to the date, but I’m really excited for them!! J
So this summer at canfitpro I was lucky enough to actually meet Tosca, tell her how wonderful she is, how great she looks and how I love her books… and of course snap a photo with her:

I also got to attend some of her sessions. I tweet to her a lot and she always tweets back and so I was thinking one day, and the thought came to me… “I know I only want to promote products and people that I genuinely enjoy” and I was looking for a giveaway. And taadaa…. This is what I have for you to win (this is INSANE… I was completely shocked when I got the news):
  • A 1-year subscription to Oxygen Magazine
 
  • A 1-year subscription to Clean Eating Magazine
 
  • A copy of the Eat-Clean Diet Recharged book by Tosca Reno
 
  • A copy of the Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian book by Tosca Reno
 
  • A copy of Just The Rules by Tosca Reno
 
ISN’T THIS AN INSANE AMOUNT OF THINGS TO BE GIVING AWAY!?
You have no idea how excited I am for this! I want to give this giveaway to myself! If you’re unfamiliar with Tosca and her publications, you can look at her website here www.toscareno.com or www.eatcleandiet.com. I highly recommend you do this and you will fall in love with her like I have!
So to enter this UNREAL giveaway, here is what you need to do:
Mandatory
- Like The Eat-Clean Diet and My (Mostly) Healthy Life on Facebook.
- Share this giveaway on Facebook and please tag myself and The Eat-Clean Diet in your post so we know you’ve done it.
Additional Entries
- Follow Tosca Reno and The Eat-Clean Diet on Twitter.
- Follow me on Twitter.
- Tweet the following “I just entered the @eatcleandiet @sarahohm Giveaway for a ton of Eat-Clean Diet Stuff! You can enter here http://tiny.cc/xhpwkw
- Follow My (Mostly) Healthy Life via Google Friend Connect (by clicking “join this site” on the right hand side of my blog).
This gives you a total of 6 possible entries! I ask that you please leave 1 comment per entry on this blog post so I can keep them in one spot, and so it’s easy to find the winner of this giveaway!! I also want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to the Eat-Clean Diet Team, Robert Kennedy Publishing and Tosca Reno for providing me with some amazing prizes for this giveaway. I really hope this giveaway helps someone transition into the world of clean eating! :)

This giveaway is open until October 1, 2012 at 8:00 EST. GOOD LUCK!
I’m off to finish some laundry and cook myself (boo, I like cooking for C…..) dinner and snuggle up with my iPad and get caught up on all my reading!
I hope you all have a terrific night, chat soon!
Stay Sweet,
xoxo

Monday, September 17, 2012

And The Larabar Giveaway Winner Is........

Good evening Beautiful,

Happy Monday! Well, Monday is pretty much over… do you ever find that Monday’s go past so much faster than any other day of the week? Mine do… Today flew past! I got to work around 8:30, worked out at 1:30, left work at 5, got home at 6:30 (stopped at the grocery store), made dinner and now I’m writing… wheeeeeew!
Today was my first workout in the weight room in a long time, probably over a month. It felt good. It was somewhat busy and I had some guy tell me I looked “absolutely amazing” (score 1 for Sarah!) but I also took it easy on myself because I didn’t know how I was going to feel tomorrow morning. I did about 30 minutes of resistance training (chest, shoulders, triceps), then planks, then some tabata sprints. The whole workout looked like this:
Pec Dec, 2 sets, 55lbs, 10 reps
Lateral Raise Machine, 2 sets, 40lbs/50lbs, 10 reps
Chest Press, 2 sets, 55lbs, 10 reps
Shoulder Press Machine, 2 sets, 20lbs, 10 reps
Tricep Pressdown on Cable Machine, 1 set (I got bumped off by a PT), 22lbs, 10 reps
Rotator Cuff External Rotation, 5lbs, 10 reps, 2 sets on each side
Dips, 55lbs of help, 10 reps/8 reps, 2 sets
Lateral Raises with Dumbbells, 8lbs, 2 sets, 10 reps

Then I did a plank, for 1m31s and a side plank on each side for 45s.
10 crunches
Tabata Sprints, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds work.
10 seconds “rest” was 6.0 on the treadmill, and work was 9.0 on the treadmill.
I was pretty sweaty by the end of my workout. A couple of weeks ago after one of my TRX sessions I had a protein shake, vanilla whey protein. It made me bloated. I’ve noticed before that I’ve been getting bloated after workouts, but it was only last week that I noticed it was after a protein shake, so needless to say I think I have a sensitivity to whey. Wonderful, because my protein was reeeeally cheap and I don’t care if I waste it (except the opposite). So today I bought this:

I’m hoping I feel better when I use this. I’m going to start drinking it in the morning. I need something to get my day started right, so I’m hoping this works! Have you ever used this before? What do you think?
Tomorrow C leaves for Quebec until Friday. Booo! I’m going to miss him! It’s the longest we’ve been apart for almost two years! I’m kind of excited to have the bed to myself, and sleep in some serious silence… although I’m a bit nervous for it to be TOO quiet, you know? Aww… I’m going to miss him. I have a lot of hugging to do tonight, to make up for 4 days!! Since most of you probably don’t know me well, I enjoy hugs, so I hug a lot, so 4 days of hugging to make up for is A LOT…. C – if you read this, toodle-loo… I love you! J I have a feeling that when he’s gone I’m either going to be a creative genius in the kitchen, or I’m going to be super lame and just eat random things and not cook so I can relax (I’m not joking when I say that I could be in bed by like 8:30 on more than one occasion this week…). Thursday is going to be a really exciting day because I’m meeting up with 3 bloggy friends! I’ve mentioned this before but obviously I’m really excited for it! We’re meeting up at 8:30, so I won’t be in bed at that time on Thursday, which means it’s tomorrow and Wednesday. J
OKAY!
So for the fun stuff…. I’ve got a winner of the Larabar giveaway! Drum Roll please………………………..

 
GINA MCKNIGHT!

Woohoo! Congrats Gina – you’ve won 16 different kinds of Larabars! I need you to email me your shipping details within 48 hours, sarah.ohm@hotmail.ca. Congrats girl!! I hope you tell me how you enjoy them, and your favourite flavour!! And again, thank you so much to Larabar for providing an awesome giveaway prize!
Have a great night everyone. I’m off to spend some time chatting and hugging my man before he leaves me for four days! L Hehehe. Stay tuned too, I’m going to be announcing another giveaway on Wednesday. This is going to be the biggest and the best giveaway so far I think… it’s HUGE… I’m so super lucky to be able to share it all with you guys! Seriously though, mark Wednesday in your calendar. I’m not joking... J.
Stay sweet.
xoxo