Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm Coming Clean... I'm Addicted...

Good evening Beautiful,

I hope your week is going well! Mine’s flying by as I’m trying to play catch up with all of the work I have from last week! Tomorrow I have all day meetings/trainings and then a work dinner after, so I apologize in advanced for not posting tomorrow and I apologize for not posting last night.. Gosh – I miss you guys! Friday will probably be spent catching up on work that I’ll miss tomorrow and BOOM, weekend is here! It’s the holiday social for my work on Saturday night and I’m really excited for it! I always love seeing and hanging out with the club associates that I don’t get to see often!
Ok so guys.. I have somewhat of an admission. It’s not something I’m proud of…. It’s been going on for like, a month or so, probably more. Basically, I guess you would say I’m “addicted” to energy drinks. I know, I KNOW… it’s bad, I know it’s bad, I’ve known it’s bad this whole time and I feel bad every time I drink one, but then it makes me feel good, and that’s why I keep drinking them. So it’s been 3 days without any energy drinks, however I’ve been consuming about 2 cups of coffee (Starbucks!) per day and a lot of green tea to help get me by. I’ve tweeted about my addiction twice today and the support from my followers has been amazing! I know a lot of you are probably shocked that I would consume something that’s so obviously bad for me…. But I’m human, and I make mistakes sometimes too – the good news is that I’m feeling better and better each day! I was at the grocery store today and it took a lot of effort to not go buy my typical sugar-free Red Bull but I didn’t do it, and I’m now sipping a coffee as we speak.
Obviously you know what this is leading to. I wanted to find out what’s in energy drinks and find out why they’re SO bad for you! So I did some research. Livestrong.com provided some good facts
  1. Emotional Health
    They may cause irritability, restlessness and nervousness. Since people vary in caffeine sensitivity, some people will experience an instant high and an intense crash. People with psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression may have a higher risk for the emotional side effects.
  2. Physical Risks
    Energy drinks are known to cause a rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure and sometimes cause irregular heartbeats which obviously can be very dangerous.
  3. Addictions
    A lot of energy drinks contain guarana which is a Brazilian seed packing three times the caffeine of coffee beans. Because caffeine labeling is not required on beverages, most people are unaware of how much caffeine the energy drinks actually contains. The mild amphetamine-like stimulation and physiological dependency created by caffeine can create addiction resulting in headaches, shakiness and irritability upon withdrawal.
  4. Dehydration
    Because of the caffeine and guarana, energy drinks act as a diuretic causing dehydration in people if water consumption isn’t enough. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps, light-headedness and physical fatigue.
  5. Calories
    According to the Monster Energy Drink website, each can of Monster contains  2 servings, and in each serving these is 100 calories, 26g carbs, 27g sugar, 1.7mh riboflavin, 20mg niacin, 2mg Vit. B6, 6mcg Vit B12, 180mg sodium, 1000mg taurine, 200mg panax ginseng, and 2500mg of the energy blend (whatever that is??)
Needless to say – basically the only plus is that it wakes you up, but for me the cons out way the pros.So there – it’s out there…. I’m hoping this helps me get over my habit! Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated! I’m still craving them here and there but nothing too crazy so far!
I’m also admitting now that I haven’t worked out since Friday, and I won’t be able to work out until Friday if I don’t have a ton of stuff to catch up on from being out of the office yesterday… I really should just suck it up and workout on Friday regardless of my workload. Basically the reason I haven’t been to the gym is because of the following:
Saturday – I woke up, got on the road for 1.5 hours to Wingham. Once in Wingham I spent the afternoon and part of the night at my Family Christmas.
Sunday – I woke up, and we went out for breakfast with my Grandma and we hit the road to come back to Toronto and we got here around 2:30. I was really tired and wasn’t feeling the best so I napped when I got home, blogged, and went to bed.
Monday – Opened up my laptop and said “Good Morning!” to 300 emails. I worked from 8:30am – 5pm with no break and still wasn’t caught up on work.
Tuesday – Made my way through more of the emails from the later part of last week, and again worked from 9am – 5pm straight through.
Wednesday – Caught up on work emails from the beginning of this week and checked and returned some of my 36 voicemails. Luckily I’m almost caught up now.
Thursday – Meetings/Training/Dinner with my team from 10am – 9pm.
Friday – Try and catch up from Thursday emails and fit in a workout.
See… my life this week is nutso and I’ll be glad once it’s back to normal!! Maybe I will do a WOD on Friday since it’s intense but FAST... which is key when time is of the essence.
A lot of you have been taking part in the Frosty Fitness Challenge Week 3’s challenge, 100 push-ups! It’s so exciting to see how many people are participating and how it’s motivating you to get up and get moving! Have you been doing the challenge this week? If so – how many push-ups have you done so far?
And last but not least, the winner of the NourishTea giveaway is Elyse Reyes! I’ve sent you an email so you have 48 hours to get back to me to claim your prize! J
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Study Tips For The Bad Studier... Like Me.

Good evening Beautiful,

This is going to be one of those “short but sweet” posts because I’m exhausted. I have no idea why, but I think it has something to do with my body being addicted to caffeine and the only caffeine I consumed today was tea, which is a lot less than I drink in a normal day. I’m trying to wean myself off of caffeine, and today was day 1.
I got home from work today around 6pm and cracked open my school books. Some of you probably know but some of you might not know that I'm currently in Distance Education with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in t-minus two years. Probably 45 minutes into my studying, I found myself practically falling asleep while trying to commit the words on the pages to memory. Thank god for study notes. I actually haven’t been doing as much studying as I would like to. Last week I got through a bunch while on vacation, but to be honest, I didn’t do as much as I would have liked. That means that this Saturday is dedicated to 1. Getting my fitness on the AM and 2. Getting my study on from the AM to around 5pm because I have my company’s Holiday Social Saturday night. If I’m feeling ok on Sunday, I plan on doing the same as Saturday. Fitness in the AM, study AM-PM. Boom!
I noticed that when I’m studying, I get easily distracted. I can only blame the fact that I live in an 800 sq ft condo, downtown Toronto where C likes to play video games in the living room and that leaves me to study either beside him while he’s “saving the free world” or go study in the bed. Have you ever tried studying in a bed before? I’ve tried it a couple times. Needless to say it usually results in a nap of some sort… or tv watching, anything but studying. So I decided to look up some tips to help me figure out the best way to get my studying done and thought I’d share my findings with you, because I’ve noticed recently that a lot of people on Twitter are studying for different certifications, so maybe this will help you all out!
  1. Schedule your study time.
    When it’s written down, it feels like it’s holding you accountable. Whether you schedule it in your Blackberry or iPhone, your Outlook calendar on your computer or hand written in an agenda, when it’s scheduled in, there’s no  excuse to skip it.
  2. Give yourself a lot of time.
    Cramming for a test or an exam never works. Seriously. You need to prepare well in advanced. When you start studying weeks ahead you have enough time to read everything thoroughly and ask questions about anything that may be unclear. I’ve done my fair share of cramming, and I could have done a lot better had I taken the time well in advanced to prepare myself.
  3. Study a little bit every night.
    I like this rule. Even if you study for 20 minutes a night for weeks, it’s easier than studying 7 hours the night before a big test. It’s a bit different for me because I go at my own pace but I have a set amount of time to finish the entire course, so I must make more of an effort to study a little bit every night. My goal is 30-60 minutes/night during the week and then a nice 5-6 hour study session one day over the weekend, and then have a day off.
  4. Set up a study area.
    One of my biggest downfalls is the fact that I have no designated place to study in my condo. On the weekends when I study I actually go to the 7th floor common room and sit at a table and study there. There’s no wifi, I don’t bring my laptop or my iPad. I just focus on my book and my study notes and bring a coffee or two with me! I need to start doing this during my 30-60min sessions during the week!
  5. Don’t study the content that you already know well.
    You should start with the most challenging content for you and move on from there. There’s no point in studying something you know, a quick review to make sure you remember the details is all it should take.
Writing this has inspired me to start studying smarter going forward, and to make sure I schedule in my study time daily!
I also wanted to share with you the gifts that I made my family this year! I couldn’t mention the gifts sooner because they read this blog and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. For most of the family I made this:

Cookies in a jar! I collected all of the dry ingredients for a batch of Christmas cookies, layered them in a 500mL mason jar, and decorated by putting a bow on the jar, some Christmas tape and a tag with the recipe, a jingle bell ornament and matched the tag with the jar top (not shown in the above photo). These jars were a hit! Everyone thought they were so cool, and then for the family members that can’t have gluten, I made a similar jar except I filled it with different types of tea (tea bags, loose leaf tea, tea pearls) and then tied a tea ball around the rim with the ribbon and taadaa! I don’t have a picture of the tea jars, but my one aunt was REALLY happy with it! Usually her and my uncle get wine or baked goods, and because she has a lot of allergies she can never have them, but she’s claimed the teas for herself! J
I got to work today, opened my computer and loaded 300 new emails into my inbox because I was away last week. I managed to get the inbox down to 23, but I have over 100 different membership requests to process… tomorrow? Hopefully I can get through them. Thank god I got my emails down though, having more than 25 emails in my inbox stresses me out. It's also why I didn't partake in any physical activity today... Sorry. I just sent Jenny a text to bring her workout stuff tomorrow, so it should be good :). If not - I promise to workout alone tomorrow.
This week I was actually invited to the Grand Opening of CHOP Steakhouse out by Pearson Airport because I'm a foodie blogger! It’s an invitation only event and I actually got them to extend the invite to C so that he could come with me! What more could a girl want…. Free food… free cocktails… a VIP Invite Only event!? I can’t go. Boo. I have an all-day training at work with a dinner and awards ceremony at The Keg after work with my office mates. I’m going for the “Living The GoodLife” Award…. To sum up the description of this award, it’s someone who inspires themselves and those around them to live their best life in terms of fitness and health. HELLO BOSS-WOMAN! THAT’S ME!!! I actually shouldn’t say anything about it because there’s only 3 awards and there’s like 12 people going, so the odds of me getting an award aren’t that good. Ok – let’s move on now.
I don’t actually have anything else to move onto. I’m going to go study… more. Sorry, this didn't end up being "short and sweet".
Oh! Last two things. Have you started the Frosty Fitness Challenge Week 3 yet? The goal for this week is to complete 100 push-ups on your toes. We already have about 6 people who have completed the challenge and have got themselves entered into a draw for a really nice Girls Gone Sporty tank top! You have 6 more days to complete 100 push-ups, that's almost 17 push-ups on your toes per day.. I think you can do that!
AND the last thing... Tomorrow is the last day to enter my NourishTea giveaway for a can of Jasmine Dragon Pheonix Pearls. A can of it is enough for 40 cups of tea! That's nuts! And it's probably one of the best tea's I've ever tried personally. Click here to go and enter! I know you want to :).
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend in Wingham, Dinner Recipe & Frosty Fitness Challenge Week 3!

Good afternoon Beautiful,

It’s official. I’m back at work tomorrow… le sigh. I’m absolutely exhausted from this weekend. On Friday at the last minute, C and I went to London again to hang out with our friends. We went to Jo Kools, the bar of choice when we go to London. We had to be up early (ish) on Saturday morning because we needed to leave London by 11 to get back to Wingham in time to head out to my aunts for our annual bit family Christmas bash.
Woke up to my first snow experience of the year in London. Wingham is WAY WORSE.
Toronto has zero snow, just how I like it :)
I may have over indulged with the vodka soda’s on Friday night and I know this because I didn’t even feel like getting food after the bar. Usually I’m always jonesing to get some grub after a night out but I decided to go home and go to bed instead. I don’t think that helped the next morning’s recovery.  We woke up, and didn’t have time to go out for breakfast so I had a coffee while we were on the road. We got to Wingham and had a quick visit with my family before we were headed off to my aunt’s house for Christmas dinner! I should have taken photos of the dinner because it was unreal.

She made organic grass fed lamb in addition to the turkey. I had never had lamb before but it was REALLY good. She made stuffing, a batch or regular and a batch of gluten free. I had the gluten free kind and it was SO good. My mouth actually waters thinking about it. Then there was peas, corn, a batch of cooked root vegetables and buns and cranberry sauce and gravy. My Aunt Janis always makes everything from scratch with vegetable she grows herself in her garden – totally cool, right? In hindsight I should have had another plate of food because it was so tasty. Oh well! She also makes her own elderberry wine and she mentioned she’s going to bring me a bottle at real Christmas. YUM! No preservatives, just pure, all natural goodness that I cannot wait to consume!
It was really fun this year because my little cousins who hardly EVER talk were so hyper and so fun to play with this year! Ava and Ella, they’re like 3 and 4 right now. They NEVER talk to C and they were having so much fun with him, playing games and running around. Ella is usually really quiet but she has really been liking me more lately too! Check out these fun pictures from the weekend!
Me and little Ella! The sun was bright!

Little Ava trying to make C smell her dirty sock!

Ella is able to touch her nose with her tongue, I am not.

My baby Lou... I miss him - he's so cool!

Jake who needs to be touching someone at all times.
At family functions we always eat dinner early so that people who need to travel to go home can get home at a decent hour, so we were back to my parent’s house around 6:30 and started a game of monopoly. Me, C and my sister played while we (with the exception of my sister) had a glass of wine and chatted with my parents. I woke up this morning and I must have bit my tongue in the middle of the night because it really friggen hurts! I also slept funny on my neck, it’s stiff and it’s given me the worst headache… boo L. I went two days without sleeping in my own bed so tonight will be GLORIOUS. We ate breakfast with my grandma and I could barely eat because of my tongue, but I managed slowly to eat most of my breakfast. Here’s me and my dad!

We got back to Toronto around 2:30. I napped all the way from Wingham, and napped again once I got home. I’m just feeling really crappy today for some reason. I’m still going to bust out a new recipe for dinner tonight though. Check it!
Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Chicken
Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp paprika
4 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of wilted spinach
2 cups of sautéed mushrooms
8 oz of marinara sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt to taste
Directions
  1. Sautee up the mushrooms and spinach in a frying pan with some olive oil and garlic.
  2. Slice the chicken in half, but don’t cut all the way through. Season the chicken with the paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the spinach and mushrooms onto the open chicken breast and roll it to close it.
  4. Bake in the oven at 300F until cooked. Serve with marinara sauce on top.
  5. Enjoy!
I got the recipe from Pinterest and from this website.
Before the chicken was cooked
Finished! With a side of butternut squash!
Now week 2 of the Frosty Fitness Challenge has come to an end. This past week was Inspire Yourself and we had a ton of people get out there and do some stuff they either haven’t done before, or haven’t done in a long time! For example, one contestant did a Thanksgiving Turkey run and won a pie at the race which she turned around and donated! She also donated extra money at church today which is so cool! We are giving entries for people who are doing good deeds in the community as well so it’s things like this that make the whole challenge worthwhile! I did my first Yoga class this week as part of the challenge! So with no further adeu, the winner of the Whooha Inspire Yourself picture is………….
Jenelle from miletwentyeight.com, entry #20!! Congrats girl!! You can email pushpumpprogress@gmail.com with your mailing address and we will get your prize out to you as soon as we can!
This week we’re back to a good ol’ physical challenge. This week the goal is to do 100 push-ups! Woohooo! Who doesn’t love pushups! You can definitely do more, but try and perform all of them on your toes if you can. Tweet us using the hash tag #FrostyFitnessChallenge every time you perform some and let us know how many you did, make sure to tag us @sarahohm and @pushpumppro as well so we see it! The prize up for grabs this week is a really cool tank top provided by Girls Gone Sporty! If you haven’t heard about Girls Gone Sporty before, here’s some background information about them:
What is the “sporty life”? It’s more than just fitness and nutrition; it’s an attitude that’s focused on embracing fun and adventure. The sporty woman says, “I can do anything I put my mind to, I just need the resources to do it.” That’s where Girls Gone Sporty comes in. Owned and operated by Laura Williams, a self-proclaimed "sporty girl" and her husband Lance Williams (an equally sporty guy), Girls Gone Sporty is dedicated to sharing the top products, trends and ideas for advancing the fit and adventurous lifestyle
 
Michelle is a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador and I’m hoping to become one soon! You can check out their website here, their Facebook page here and their Twitter page here! I never thought I’d see myself as a “sporty girl” and I’ve definitely surprised myself with my running, weight lifting, and beach volleyball playing ways! Good luck to everyone participating this week!
There’s also 2 days left in my NourishTea giveaway! Click here for the details and to enter yourself! It’s a great giveaway and it’s one of my favourite teas!
What did you end up doing this weekend? How was your Thanksgiving (if you’re in the US)? What did my fellow Canadians get up to?
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Friday, November 23, 2012

I Went Shopping...

Good afternoon Beautiful,

Well – it’s official. It’s almost 5 o’clock which means my real vacation is pretty much over, and I’m SO SAD about it! Actually, on more than one occasion I tried convincing C that I would make the perfect house wifey and that life would be so much less stressful for him if I didn’t have to work. We’d never have to find time on the weekend to do the laundry, he’d always come home to a nice, clean, healthy dinner. I would keep the place tidy and I’d get to keep myself lookin’ HOT at the gym that I would spend time at every single day. Seems like legit reasons for me to not work right? Turns out he didn’t go for it, on any of the 4 times I tried convincing him. Bummer.
Today was somewhat of an interesting, yet super fun day! I woke up and I felt like working out immediately. So that’s what I did. I NEVER workout in the morning, I actually don’t really enjoy it but for some reason today my body was all “please?” and I was like “well, ok.” so I took my body down stairs and let it do some pumping. Please note that this is my Frosty Fitness Challenge post for today because I never workout in the morning, EVER. So I took my body onto the treadmill and we warmed up by running half a mile at speed 6.8. Then my body and I did some upper body…
-          Bench press
-          Lat pulldown
-          Pec Dec (upped my weight!)
-          One arm cable row (upped my weight!!)
-          Bicep curl (I upped my weight today!)
-          Tricep pressdown (upped my weight!)
-          Shoulder press
-          Lateral raise
-          Sit-up bench
-          Back extension bench
Then I started to feel slightly nauseous. I think it was because I hadn’t ate or anything, which is one of the main reasons I don’t like working out in the morning. Anyways, I got a pretty good workout in and I upped a lot of my weights today so it made me really sweaty. It was wicked!
I had heard on breakfast television this morning that the Foot Locker at the Eaton Center was selling for a very limited time, some retro Air Jordan’s (4th edition or something?) from 1989. I instantly thought of getting them for C for Christmas. He has a very broad range of footwear that he likes (for those of you who have been reading about C for a while but don’t actually know him, he’s probably the most well-dressed man I’ve ever met.) which ranges from lime green sailor loafers, to grey leather converse high tops, to light brown leather boots with guns on the toes (yes, guns.) so I don’t like just going out and buying him fashion apparel without already knowing he thinks the item is cool, or has specifically asked for it for Christmas or birthday or whatever. So I sent him a message about these shoes.
Me: “Hey – are Air Jordan 4 shoes from 1989 cool?"

A part of me thought he wouldn’t put two and two together, that he wouldn’t know that this was obviously a question about a Christmas present.
C – “Somewhat cool."

Umm… ok? This wasn’t helpful at all, I needed more of an explanation because if he thinks they’re cool, I would go try and get some. But if they weren’t THAT cool, I wasn’t going to take the TTC to the mall, and go in there asking for these random shoes that they MAY have because they were anticipating that they’d be sold out by the afternoon…
Me – “Cool enough for me to travel and try and take down some peeps to get you a size before they sell out this afternoon?”
C – “Not that cool.”
C – “Let me rephrase. I’M not cool enough to wear them”
That helped. I did not go get the shoes, I had a nap instead.
When I woke up around noon (haha – totally napped from like, 10:30-12) I cleaned up around here a bit and started making sure I had all of my Christmas presents ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the Ohm Family Christmas happening in good ol’ Wingham, ON. I have a large family, so I put together some frugal yet cool gifts to give out tomorrow! Obviously I can’t tell you or show you what they are yet but I will for sure on Sunday – they’re the coolest gift’s I’ve ever made (in my humble opinion). I’m going to try super hard to stick to my Sugar Strike, and not eat anything not paleo. It’s usually somewhat hard because there’s so many different cheeses, crackers, snackies…. MMMMM!! But I’m going to stick to meats and veggies. They can be snack foods too, right?
I got all the gifts in order, and realized I needed a few things to complete them, so I went for a walk down Queen St. W, one of my favourite streets in Toronto! I picked up what I needed to finish the gifts, and then did something I 100% know I should NOT have done… I went into H&M.... my favourite store.
I found a lovely standing hanging rack of coloured denim pants. For a few months now I’ve been in search for the perfect pair of mustard coloured pants. Guess what I found? MUSTARD PANTS!

Not only did I find mustard pants, I found some teal pants which I also adored.

Originally I tried on mustard pants that were too small, so I went out and grabbed a larger size (H&M sizes are always so strange!) and as I was waiting in line to try the larger ones on, there right beside me was a gorgeous yellow blazer, in my size. Staring me down and whispering “try me on… I dare you.” So I grabbed it, and tried it on. The whole time I was in the change room I really, really hopped that I didn’t like it because if I did I knew I wanted it hanging in my closet. Well, turned out it fit me perfectly and I took my two pairs of pants and my blazer and got into line without looking at anything else.

When I first got in line I was beside the pant rack I found my coloured pants on, and I set the teal pants down, hoping to walk away from their beauty in hopes of saving some $. 30 seconds after I set them down I picked them back up again, knowing that I’d regret not buying them for a mere $25. Black Friday shopping deals are becoming more and more popular in Canada, and today I think I scored some! I got two pairs of skinny jeans and a blazer for $90. Pretty good, right?
Tomorrow is the last day to Inspire Yourself for this week's Frosty Fitness Challenge. How many things have you done this week that is outside of your comfort zone? Have you tried a new class? Tried a new sport or activity? How about doing good in your comminity? I know Jenelle from miletwentyeight.com won a pie at her Thanksgiving 5km race, and then donated it! Go Jenelle!
Also, the end of the NourishTea giveaway is slowly approaching - so get in while you can! I'm giving away a can of jasmine dragon pheonix pearls to one lucky reader! It's one of the best green tea's that I've ever had, so I can't wait to share that with someone! Click here for all of the information about the giveaway!
What are you favourite fashion trends this fall/winter? Is anyone else celebrating Christmas this weekend? I’m super excited for mine! J
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Brussel Sprout Chips On My Rest Day

Good evening Beautiful,

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers! I blame the US holiday on the lack of anything social media happening today – I guess its ok for one day. Let’s get back at it tomorrow, shall we?
Today I went to a Health Fair even though I was on holidays. It was only 2 hours of my day so it wasn’t a big deal… it was actually pretty dead and the walk there took about 35 minutes and I wore my new wedge boots and by the time I got to the event my feet were aching. Thank god there were chairs at the function or I would have had to take my boots off. Needless to say I took the bus home, it was so worth that token.
When I got home I was super hungry and realized I had bought brussel sprouts because the Nom Nom Paleo app that I have has a recipe for… wait for it…. BRUSSEL SPROUT CHIPS! You all know how obsessed with kale chips I am, well OMG – these are equal, if not better than kale chips. It’s basically the same premise as kale chips.
Brussel Sprout Chips
Ingredients
2 lbs of fresh brussel sprouts
2 tbsp butter or ghee
Sea salt to taste
Directions
1. Cut the ends off of the brussel sprouts and peel the first layer of leaves off, discard of any additional weird coloured leaves. Peel all the brussel sprouts into individual leaves and put them in a big bowl.
2. Melt the butter or ghee in the microwave for 20-30 seconds
3. Pour the butter over the leaves and mix them up.
4. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
5. Put them onto a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or tin foil.
6. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes (I ended up putting it on broil for a few minutes as well)
7. EAT THEM AND LOVE THEM!

After I was done eating, I tackled the one thing I’ve been DYING to do for weeks now. WRAP PRESENTS!! I had a total of 4 presents to wrap today and I got them all done. Unfortunately I ran out of ribbon and I’m out of bows that match my wrapping paper so I need to go to Costco tonight to get some. Well, I don’t NEED to go tonight, but I really want to because I love finding fun Christmas stuff to decorate with. Maybe I’ll get thick ribbon and YouTube how to make bows with them. Hmmm… now the cranks are turning in my head. How do you wrap presents? Do you make your own bows or go the “pre-tied” route?

Not only did I get to wrap some presents today, but the Christmas cards that I ordered from VistaPrint came in the mail today so now I get to send them out to all of our family members and friends!! I love the holidays J.

Today I took the day off of working out and I think I needed it. I noticed my body felt really tired last night while I was lounging in bed watching The Bachelor Canada (as much as I was a Whitney fan, I did also really like Bianka! I’m SUPER happy it came down to those two girls… not sure why Whitney went all insane at the end though, GO BIANKA!! They’re the cutest thing and the whole ending for sure made me cry) and because I was at the health fair for a lot of the day today I decided just to rest. Rest is super important even though I always feel bad when I take a day off of exercise, here are a couple of reasons why you and I shouldn’t feel bad about taking a day off…
-          Rest is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and real training effect takes place.
-          Rest allows the body to replenish energy stores and repair damage tissues.
-          Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise.
See? The body NEEDS rest in order to help you with training in the future! Without rest, the body can’t repair any damage you’ve done to your muscles by lifting those massive weights or by running those insane distances, or both! It’s especially important for ligament health, because we all know those are a lot harder to repair than muscles, so let’s not damage them at all – ok? J (source)
This week when I was studying, I was reading about vitamins and more specifically, supplementation. Basically I was learning that a healthy, active adult with no health risks should be able to get all the vitamins they need through diet, as long as they eat a healthy, balanced diet full of different kinds of fruits, veggies and lean proteins. I learned about different situations where a person may need to supplement their vitamins. If you don’t know, it’s really important to consume enough vitamins because the body needs them to perform different body functions (ie. Keep your metabolism up! Digest food!) but if a person is sick, or is recovering from an injury or from surgery and may not feel like eating, it’s super important to supplement your vitamins in that situation.  Or if you’re a person who has a really busy life, and you eat out a lot, you should also supplement vitamins because fast food doesn’t provide many nutrients, same with smoking – in the book they mentioned that a lot of smokers are very social people and go out to eat and drink a lot (I’m not sure where these stats came from – so don’t hate me for saying that, I’m just telling you what my book said) so they may not ingest a lot of vitamins, in which  case they should be supplementing.
Because things like this make me curious, I was looking at websites that sell different supplements. I’m just curious about what’s out there and what I could buy to help me improve my health. I’m not usually a huge advocate for supplements but it totally makes sense that at certain points in your life you may need to supplement, because life just gets in the way – especially in this day and age. While I was looking up websites that sell supplements, I came across this fun website based in the UK. Evolution Slimming has a ton of different health products, but I was drawn to the supplements they carry, everything from antioxidants to super foods!  Even though the website is based in the UK, they ship to Canada and the US for like, $5 shipping – SO CHEAP. I might place an order this evening! My UK friends should be pretty excited because while I was on my search, I found some other UK fitness websites – they have a lot of cool stuff, no wonder I hear about how healthy they are over there! Stay tuned friends!
Tomorrow I’m off to do REAL hot yoga at lunch time. It’s been quite the process trying to get me into the hot yoga studio, doing REAL hot yoga, not just a random yoga class. This will be the second thing this week that I’m doing that I haven’t done in years (the yoga class that wasn’t hot was the first one) as part of the Frosty Fitness Challenge!
There’s 5 days left to enter my giveaway for some NourishTea Jasmine Dragon Pheonix Pearls green tea! Click here for all of the details around the giveaway – I can’t wait to see who wins, this has quickly become one of my favourite types of tea!
For my US friends – did you get your fitness on before you started eating and drinking? J If so, what did you do? Is it the first time you’ve done it? Everyone else – did you break a sweat today, or did you need a rest day like me? It’s been INCREDIBLY warm these days, I might go running if it keeps up!
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A "Not So Hot" Yogi... But I'm Trying.

Good afternoon Beautiful,

Today has been, well, a fairly lazy day for this girl. I woke up at 8:30 because I planned on going to GoodLife for hot yoga at 11. I left the condo at 10 and walked about 45 minutes to the club fairly nervous about the whole venture (remember how I hate doing new things alone?). I got there, saw a couple familiar faces (I used to work with the staff there!) and made my way into the hot yoga studio. Except…. I walked in, and it wasn’t hot… and no one was in the room. The instructor was there, she asked if I come to that class often so I said no, and that I hadn’t done hot yoga in almost 3 years. That’s when she said that this class wasn’t hot.
Um….?
Ok – so what the heck. I was definitely annoyed that I had woken up and gone to this gym and was in a class in the hot yoga studio, which wasn’t hot yoga. I was a bit confused, obviously. Whatever, so I was already there, I couldn’t just leave so I stuck around for the 45 minute non-hot yoga class. I’m not sure if you’ve heard my opinion on yoga/hot yoga before. Basically it takes A LOT for me to go to a yoga/hot yoga class because I don’t usually enjoy it and I don’t feel like I get a good workout. Today was the first time I’d done a YogaFit class, and I have some pros and some cons to keep my opinions equal.
Cons
- well, it wasn’t hot yoga which I had planned on. I assumed the classes on the hot yoga schedule were indeed, all hot yoga.
- I didn’t sweat, I felt like I should hop on a treadmill after to actually get my workout in.
- The instructor was using a ton of weird words which I’m assuming was another language and I have no idea what they meant.
- She didn’t do the whole class with us (she walked around a lot) and I couldn’t see someone doing the moves when I didn’t know what the weird words were.
- Apparently in yoga everyone goes at their own speed, which I find odd – I’m just used to doing a class where everyone is doing the same thing.
- I find it awkward to try and breathe loudly, so I didn’t…. but it was still a bit odd.

Pros
- My muscles were tight from yesterday’s jump squats and I did find that it helped stretch out my lower body
- I can feel my back muscles are sore, but that also might have been from the workout yesterday
- It was warm because of being in the hot yoga studio. The other studios I’ve done yoga in have been cold and it’s hard to get a good stretch in.
- It was relaxing in the darker room.
- The instructor was really lovely!
I guess the best part of the class was the fact that I got to stretch out my legs. That, and because I think the universe is against me doing hot yoga, I’m going to go and do HOT yoga on Friday. Take that! The good news in terms of the Frosty Fitness Challenge is that I’ve never done a YogaFit, authentic yoga class before. I’ve only ever done BodyFlow which is a Les Mills program, a combination of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates so it was definitely cool to try something different today!
The whole zen of the yoga class put me in a very relaxed mood however. I came home, make some bok choy, mushroom, beef stir fry and decided to do some studying. I think my first mistake was crawling into bed with my books, because I answered all of 1 question in my study guide before I set everything aside and rented a movie on Rogers On Demand. I decided to watch the Katy Perry movie! Have you seen it? I cried on more than one occasion during the movie. I am a big Katy Perry fan, not just because I love her music but because of her. Check her out.




She is one of the few stars today that looks NORMAL. In the movie she talks about eating Chic-Fil-A for lunch, Taco Bell for dinner, and Pizza for lunch the next day. There’s also a lot of clips of her working out with a trainer, but all in all she doesn’t feel the need to be the size of a tooth pick and I think that’s extremely inspiring to young women today.
Then after the movie I totally napped. Rough day right?
I haven’t updated you on my Sugar Strike in a while! 40 more days to go and so far I’ve done pretty good I think. There have been two times where I had sugar and shouldn’t have. The first was last weekend when I was out in London and got forced to try my friends Long Island Iced Tea (just a sip, not a whole drink) and the second was when I was out for dinner with Michelle and I ordered a cocktail – duh, I totally forgot about my Sugar Strike when I ordered the drink. Frig!
There have been a couple of other times where I had to have sugar because my blood sugar went low. That’s for a medical reason, so it doesn’t count – right?
Are you taking part in the Sugar Strike with me? What about the Frosty Fitness Challenge for this week? Have you done any new activities? If so – I want to hear about it (leave me a comment!)!! Click here for this weeks details, and use the hastage #FrostyFitnessChallenge on Twitter and Instagram to get your entries!
If you had a day like me today and would prefer curling up and sipping on some tea, make sure you enter my NourishTea giveaway! Click here for the rules and Rafflecopter to get your entries!
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vacation Day #2, A NourishTea Giveaway & A Recipe

Good evening Beautiful,

Happy Tuesday! Today was my second day of vacation and it was lovely! It was mostly productive because I woke up around 9, had a shower and then started the laundry! It was a great time doing the laundry because I usually have to fight to get a washing machine but apparently people have better things to do on a Tuesday at 10am than do laundry! I got all the laundry done by noon! I love getting stuff like that done, now I can not do laundry for the rest of the week! :) I spent a ton of time studying today, probably like 4 hours in total (as you can see below in the picture!), then I realized I was becoming super distracted so before my workout I made some lunch...

edamame and tomato juice!
My workout today took place at my condo gym. I went down originally around 1:40 and the cleaning guy wouldn't let me workout till 2. What a stupid time to close the gym. From 1-2? Seriously?? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, but then again I've come to realize that the managers of my condo building aren't the smartest people, whatever. ANYWAYS, I went back down at 2:15 figuring that no one would be there. Wrong, some other guy beat me down, then a couple showed up along with another girl. It always makes me wonder why people aren't working... Maybe they're on vacation like me! :). Anyways, I was basically able to occupy the cable machine the whole time. It went a little bit like this:

- one arm cable row, 3 sets, 10 reps, 40lbs alternating arms
- bicep curl on the cable machine, 3 sets, 10 reps, 50lbs
- tricep press down on the cable machine, 3 sets, 10 reps, 50lbs
- upright row on the cable machine, 3 sets, 10 reps, 60 lbs
- cable crossover for my abs (I'm not sure what this is called?), 2 sets, 10 reps, 40lbs alternating sides

Then I started feeling like my blood sugar was low... When my blood sugar goes low I have to stop exercising to treat it, so I went back upstairs to the condo to get some food. I really didn't want my workout to end so after my blood sugar was better, I did some extra exercises in the condo!

- walking lunges, 16 reps, 3 sets, body weight
- lateral raises, 3 sets, 10 reps, however heavy my bottle of laundry detergent is :)
- frontal raises, 3 sets, 10 reps, the same weight as above
- jump squats, 5 sets, 10 reps, body weight
- tricep dips, 3 sets, 10 reps, body weight

So overall it wasn't a bad workout, and I did something new today - an at-home workout!! I don't think I've done an at-home workout since I've lived with my parents! So fun, also very convenient! After my workout I wanted something delicious and different for my fuel, so I decided to make a shake, rather than just having my protein powder with water. So this is what I made...

- ice cubes (I used like 6 little ice cubes)
- 1.25 cups of frozen blueberries and strawberries mixture
- 1 scoop of my Sun Warrior raw vanilla protein
- 1 spoonful of sunflower seed butter
- 1 glass of jasmine green tea


Yes, I used green tea in my smoothie! I literally just made a glass of tea (I used a jasmine green tea but you could use whatever you want), let it steep for 3-4 minutes and poured it into the Magic Bullet with everything else. It helped the blending process because it melted the ice z little bit, but it was delicious! I would highly recommend using tea in your next smoothie. The possibilities are endless!

With that being said, it's not the first time I've written about tea and written about how much I enjoy tea so when the folks over at NourishTea contacted me to try their product and supply one lucky reader with a jar of their own tea - I couldn't pass up the opportunity!! The kind of tea I was given is called Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls and I'm giving away a jar of the same, enough to make 40 cups of tea!

On the jar is a little letter from the founder of NourishTea, Chris Draper telling you how NourishTea came about...

On a personal quest to become healthier, I made the decision to start drinking tea daily. What I quickly found was that many teas were bitter and lifeless. Then one day, I had a simple cup of Darjeeling tea, served without milk or sugar and my concept of what tea could be was forever changed... Brilliant. My personal quest, developed into a Misson to bring tea to my family, friends and community. I set off to Asia to find the world's finest tea leaves and nourish tea was born. I invite you to try NourishTea today... Simple, authentic, loose leaf tea.

Cool story huh? Here is what the can says is the benefits of the tea...

NourishTea supports estates that are sustainable, ethical and abide by fair labour practices. 5% of our proceeds go to organizations that fight hunger while promoting nutrition. This exquisite tea comes from Fujian province, China. Picture this: thousands and thousands of tea pearls are hand-rolled, and then blended with actual jasmine flower blossoms. Once infused with water, the pearls then majestically unfurl, releasing an exotic jasmine scent.

That is totally what this tea does, I'm totally in love with the scent of it and I love how not bitter it is. You know how some teas just have that aftertaste? This has none of that! So cool! You can enter below via the Rafflecopter, and it will be going on for the next week, open to all US & Canadian residents!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tonight for dinner I'm making a delicious shrimp meal that I found on Nom Nom Paleo. Have you ever checked out his website? It's like the holy grail of paleo recipes.. I need to try more of them! Tonight is.....

Sautéed Shrimp with Onions and Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients
2 lbs of uncooked shrimp, deshelled
2 tbsp of your favourite spice blend (I used 1/2 tbsp yellow curry, and 1 3/4 tbsp of lemon and herb)
4-6 tbsp of your favourite fat (I used butter!)
Kosher salt to taste
1 large onion (or 2 small onions), thinly sliced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, washed
1 package of dried shittake mushrooms
1 lime

Directions
1. Put the shrimp into a corriander and rinse it off, or defrost it with water if it's not already thawed.
2. Dry shrimp off with a paper towel and place it in a bowl and season them with your favourite spice blend.
3. In a large iron sillet melt 1-2 tbsp of the fat (butter in my case) over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and pepper and saute until the onions are soft, caramelized and translucent.
4. Toss in the cherry tomatoes and mushrooms into the melted butter and cook until warm, but not until they explode! We want them to remain whole :).
5. Remove the onions and tomatoes from the pan, and add another tbsp or two to the pan and increase the temperature to medium-high.
6. Saute the shrimp, about a minute on each side - you can do this in more than 1 batch if you prefer.
7. When the shrimp are finished, put them on a plate and top with tomatoes and onions and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Taaadaaaaa....



How is your week going? Thinking about going to hot yoga tomorrow - I'll let you know if I suck it up and do it!!!

Stay sweet.
xoxo

PS - I want to give a huge shout out to Michelle because last night she got ENGAGED! I couldn't tell you about it last night because it wasn't public knowledge but YAY TODAY everyone knows now! I'm so lucky to have been a part of the big night, even if I wasn't there for the special moment! Congrats girl! You're so lucky and totally deserve it - can't wait to see the ring! :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vacation Day #1 - A Semi-Workout & A Double Date!

Good afternoon Beautiful,

Today is my first day of vacation and I feel like it was pretty productive! I woke up around 9am and I was a bit nervous because it feels odd not going into work but the feeling passed quickly. I turned on the television and watched some tv in bed (haha – oh it was so great.) and made some leftover steak for breakfast and a small bowl of mulligatawny soup along with a nice glass of jasmine green tea. I hopped into the shower and all was going well, until the shower turned cold. AHHHHHH. I hadn’t even washed my hair at that point… I guess it was kind of karma for taking my time in the shower. So I washed and conditioned my hair under freezing cold water, so I was FREEZING when I got out of the shower. Turns out there was a notice in the elevator saying there may be breaks in the hot water between 9-5. Damn it.
I got all ready to head to the gym, and I knew I was going out to Scarborough because I wanted to go to Walmart to pick up some stuff for Christmas. Well, my list included some card stock, a couple gifts, a couple things to add to gifts and maybe a banana (for a pre-workout snack). Only this girl would go in for that stuff and come out with that (sans banana) AS WELL AS a new pair of suede chocolate brown thigh/knee high boots (yes Andrea, they come to my knee but would be thigh high boots for the average person. Also good to note that they’re not SUPER baggy around my legs… thanks) and some black suede pumps with black sparkles on the heel for the holiday social I have coming up in about two weeks! So I think that officially puts my shoe collections at like 39 or 40 pairs of shoes. Damn it. I really do need to find a new condo to move into because between C and myself we probably have like 60 pairs of shoes. I need to dedicate a closet to a shoe rack for organizational purposes. I think I have shoes I haven’t worn in years only because I can’t see them. Speaking of which, I realized when I was in London that I had a pair of BCBG flats I bought when I lived in London and they were like $200 – and I CAN’T FLIPPING FIND THEM! Ahhhhh – it’s so frustrating, especially because they’re so pretty. Boo-urns.
After Walmart I made my way to the nearest GoodLife in the area and I have to admit I’ve never been to any of our clubs in Scarborough so I wanted to check one out. I’m a creature of habit and going to a new club is always intimidating for me, even though I’m an employee… they’re all different and no one there knows me so it’s just not familiar. Every time I check out a new club I get a whole new respect for people who step foot in a gym for the first time. It’s a scary thing!! I think the hardest part is just getting your foot through the door. I was very impressed by the service at this location however. I scanned in with the front desk Motivators (staff) and was greeted with smiles! When I asked where the change room is I got a personal escort from a lovely young man (who was also cute, so that didn’t hurt). I told him I was staff so he shook my hand when he found that out. After I changed I found the machines I usually use and stuck to those. I so badly wanted to do a really long workout but my nerves got the best of me and focused on major muscles and got out.
I KNOW!
Being intimidated by a gym of all things isn’t something I should be intimidated by, right? If I had a friend or C with me it would have been a lot easier. For some reason when I have to go somewhere or do something for the first time by myself I get really nervous about it. I wanted to do the rowing machine after my workout but I left instead. BOO… Does going to a new club for the first time count in the Frosty Fitness Challenge? I’m not sure – I can’t win the prize anyways but it was a step outside of my comfort zone, that’s for sure!! If you’re like me, try these two tips to help you get comfortable in new situations:
  1. If you’re driving to a new location and nervous about getting lost, go there before hand so you are familiar with the drive and check out the parking situation! It’s something I get nervous about, finding parking and stuff so I sometimes I go check out the area before I need to be there!
  2. If you’re going to a new gym or something like that for the first time, bring a friend! I’m sure if you offered to splurge for the day pass for your friend so you’re more comfortable they’ll be totally willing to take you up on the free workout! You can both check out the layout of the gym together, get familiar with how it’s set up and maybe check out a class together!
Those are my two most uncomfortable situations so hopefully if you’re like me, that kind of helps you out!
After the gym I decided I wanted to study, so I got my butt home, got myself a bowl of organic tomato soup for lunch and hit the books…. For 15 minutes. Then I decided a nap was a better idea so I napped after watching the last half of Dr. Oz. Deepak Chopra was on talking about how to keep your brain healthy, and he included some herbs! When I made my tomato soup I added chives into the soup for flavour, and since I’m always looking for motivation for blogs, I decided to do some research and find out what benefits some of my favourite herbs have! So my favourites are chives, basil and cilantro. Let me share my findings!
Chives
They belong to the same family as onions, garlic, leeks and shallots and offer the same nutritional benefits, but in a smaller amount. For example, they contain a flavonoid called quercetin which helps fight off free radicals in the body which helps promote anti-inflammation and DNA repair. Chives contain sulfur which helps skin disorders and acts as a powerful detoxifier by helping your liver produce bile which rids the body of toxins. Chives are also oligosaccharides (I just learned about these in school!) and they are carbohydrates that helps support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine, which is good for digestive health!
(source)
Basil
Like chives, basil contains flavonoids which help provide protection to the body at a cellular level. It has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth which is thanks to the volatile oils that basil contains. The volatile oils also promote anti-inflammation and helps provide relief for people suffering from inflammatory health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. Basil is also a good source of magnesium which promotes cardiovascular health by relaxing muscles and blood vessels thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of heart attack and stroke.
(source)
Cilantro
Cilantro is a commonly used herb that is also a powerful natural cleansing agent. It’s been effectively used to help remove heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to heavy metals, loosen them from the tissues, blood and organs and then help transport the harmful compounds from the body through elimination. Cilantro also helps reduce feelings of nausea, wards off UTI’s, adds fiber to the digestive tract, is a source of iron and magnesium and helps in fighting anemia, reduces minor swelling and contains immune-boosting properties.
(source)
I’ve started using herbs in cooking more so in the past year, and I won’t cook without them anymore. Not only do they add amazing flavour and colour to the dishes but obviously they provide so many amazing health benefits!
…. So anyways! After I napped and watched Dr. Oz I had to get ready because we had plans to go on a double date with Michelle and her boyfriend tonight! They’re going to the Neil Young concert here in TO and we went out for dinner together before hand. We went to E11even, and it was SO delish. It was great to see Michelle and Dan not at a race, and not in the rain, and not all sweaty! Michelle and I ordered the same for dinner, butternut squash gnocchi! I also had a Sunset Boulevard cocktail and Michelle had white wine!
Bloggy BFF <3
I’m super thankful for Michelle, she’s wicked awesome. We chat every single day and she’s definitely become a good friend of mine really quickly. I wish she lived closer (even though she doesn’t live that far!). I’m always glad when she comes downtown and we get to see each other!

Double date!
Did you have a great Monday? Tomorrow I’m planning on studying for a good chunk of the day, getting a workout i. I think I’m going to attempt to workout in my condo gym tomorrow in the middle of the day so hopefully it isn’t busy. What did you do for your workout today? Did you try anything new or  do something you haven’t done for a while? If you missed my last post about this week’s Frosty Fitness Challenge, you can check it out here! Also – I want to give a huge shout out to Jenelle from Mile Twenty Eight for posting about the Frosty Fitness Challenge today – what a great way to spread the word and such a nice gesture!! Thanks Jenelle!!
Stay sweet.
xoxo

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Recap, Frosty Fitness Challenge Week 1 Winners & Challenge 2!

Good afternoon Beautiful,

I hope you had a great weekend! Mine had a ton of stuff jam packed into the short period of time it feels like I had. Yesterday at the last minute we decided to take a trip to London to see our old friends. The original plan was to stay in and with UFC, but I dislike UFC immensely so I was wanting to go out to our old favourite bar. We made it out and got not the bar around 11:30. It was so much fun, but I didn't get to bed till 3 am so I'm kind of tired today...

This morning we had to be on the road for noon because we had to go to Kitchener to meet up with my family and see my Aunt and Uncles 40th wedding anniversary and the renewal of the vows ceremony. The ceremony was lovely and my aunt cried, as I knew she would, but it was super cute. They bought new wedding bands and everything!! They had some really delicious and really awful food there which I will 100% admit I ate. They had deep fried mushrooms, deep fried dill pickles and deep fried cheese. Ugh, it was a heart attack on a platter but boy was it good. I stuck to my guns about not eating sugar and passed on the huge cake they had. We're actually on our way back to Toronto now and I'm typing this on my iPad in hopes that it keeps me from falling asleep.

I've been doing really well with not consuming any sugar or processed foods. Last night I did have a sip of my friend Elise's Long Island Iced Tea which was packed with sugar, it was delish! I also didn't really have an option about it because she basically poured the drink down my throat lol. She apologized for it this morning because she's an avid blog reader and knows I'm on a sugar strike but I told her not to worry about it. Typically afterlife been at a bar all night I go for a delicious hot dog to get some food in my stomach. Because I'm trying to avoid bad foods, salas tonight I went for some authentic Indian food. I had basmati rice with curried chick peas and tandoori chicken. I was actually really proud of myself for getting something with some nutritional value after drinking all night. Go me!!

This week has been a total fail in terms of workouts. Seriously. I think I ended up working out only twice this week, on of those two times being yesterday. I didn't on Monday, did on Tuesday, did nothing Wednesday-Friday. Blah. I hate weeks like that. Two days I was out of the office but that's not totally an excuse because I could have worked out in my condo gym or just gone to the gym after work, but I did not. In all fairness I don't like working out after work because I usually come home and either blog or study or write articles for other commitments that I have.

This week gets to be different though!! I get to be home all darn week so at ensures I'm going to get a workout in every single day this week. I'm also going to be doing some Christmas shopping, doing A LOT of school work and get a few blogs in there too!! Next weekend we're heading up to my hometown of Wingham for the big Ohm Christmas. I have to finish making my super neat crafty gifts, get some gifts for the little cousins who are too young for the other gifts and complete the crafty gifts that have to be a bit different for a couple of people. I might head out downtown tomorrow afternoon to pick up a few things to get the show on the road!

I wish I could plan out my week of workouts for you coming up, but I'm not sure what I'm going to want to do. I want to do some stuff I don't normally get to do while I'm working out at work, so maybe I'll go to a club I haven't gone to in a while, or take a class I haven't taken in a while. Or maybe  I'll go for a run. Or maybe I'll do an at-home workout. Or maybe I'll go for a run. My options are really endless and so for that reason, I will just be updating you as I go!

Since I started school I haven't really given you and update about what I've been learning! I'm obviously not going to go through bit by bit, but I'm also still in the fundamentals part, which is the very basic stuff you should probably already be familiar with if your going into nutrition. I'm on Chapter 5 now and s far each chapter has been on something different. I've studied carbs, fats, proteins, water and I'm currently studying vitamins. I can see how it's hard for people to motivate themselves to learn when studying via distance education. I think if you go the distance education route, you have to be super passionate about what it is your learning so you actually want to learn it, as opposed to it feeling like a chore. For me it's been really easy for me so far because I love nutrition. There are a lot of nights where I'd rather study than write. I love them both equally, but I think I'm also still really excited about the whole venture. I'm about half way through that course, so I'll be doing my test on it soon! I want to really spend a good chunk of my week doing school work so I can put a good dent in it.

Alright - so the Frosty Fitness Challenge week 1 was an AMAZING success! We had so many people taking part, and in total we had 57 entries into the Chick Bands/Bondi Bands giveaway for this week! We had a couple entries from people who ran a half-marathon today, we had some entries from women who got motivated to start running again since we started the challenge, so now we're going to announce the winners...

Drum roll please!.......

1. @BoiseRunner
2. Be A Fit Fox
3. Shelley Payne

Congrats everyone! Please contact Michelle at pushpumpprogress@gmail.com to get your prize!

This week's prize is something really fun - Inspire Yourself! This challenge is different than last week as there isn't one specific exercise to do, so we can include ALL fitness and healthy junkies, as opposed to just the runners :). Here's the challenge:

- Try something you have NEVER done before ie. Hot yoga, Zumba, a Spin class, ect - just any form of physical activity that you've never done before! Each activity will get you 1 entry into the draw!
- Do something you've done before, but not for a looooong time. Inspire yourself to get back into something you know you love and tell us about it!
- Get out into your community and help out! Volunteer, donate or somehow give back and inspire others to do the same!

Everytime you do something new or something you haven't done in a while, tag myself (@sarahohm) and Michelle (@pushpumppro) and use the hashtag #FrostyFitnessChallenge. You can also post on our Facebook pages, twitter or instagram! For all of the links to our social media you can click my social media buttons or check out this link.

You might also be wondering... "What are the really sweet prizes I could win this week?!". Well let me tell you. The lovely people at Whooha Gear have donated a matted picture with the theme "Inspire Yourself" to give to one lucky winner! Whooha was started by two ambitious women from Las Vegas who met while mountain biking. Over the years they got involved in other aspects of physical activity like running, road biking, triathlons etc...  Along the way the became an inspiration to each other and to themselves and realized that that had a very similar outlook on life. They both had optimistic objectives and healthy attitudes! Julie and Amy worked together to create Whooha Gear with the aim of creating clothes that would help to inspire other women to inspire themselves! (source). Not only have the Whooha Gear ladies donated a very "inspiring" prize for one luck winner, but they are also offering everyone a discount code (ppp-whooha) to get 10% off any item you purchase from their website! Show them some love and follow them via their Website, Facebook or Twitter.

This is the photo print you could win!

A close up of the words in the print
I hope you can all inspire yourselves in many different ways! I can't wait to hear what you end up doing! Maybe this week I'll takle the hot yoga class I've been scared to do! :)

Stay sweet.
xoxo