Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Weekend Full of Fitness Festivities!

Good Afternoon Beautiful,

AHH tomorrow is Friday already!! That's absolutely insane! This weekend is full of fun fitness adventures and I'm really looking forward to it! On Saturday morning I'm going to be spinning for 1 hour to help raise money for the GoodLife Kids Foundation. Here's the lowdown on the GoodLife Kids Foundation!

The GoodLife Kids Foundation is a Canadian private foundation with a vision for every Canadian kid to have the opportunity to live a fit and healthy good life. We are inspiring parents, role models, mentors, leaders and individuals like you, to deliver the message to kids, that being active is not only good for their body and mind but also a lot of fun. To date, the GoodLife Kids Foundation has provided grants that have contributed to programs supporting active lives of almost 200,000 children across Canada. Our grant program primarily focuses on initiatives that provide opportunity for sustainable behavioural change in the area of physical activity. (source)

I'm super excited! I'm Captain of the team "I'm Kind of a Big Wheel" (haha, get it?) so it's been really fun putting it all together, our team has raised almost $1000 so far! If you feel like being generous and supporting a great cause, you can click here to donate on my personal page! I've had some amazing people donate to me today (tomorrow is the last day for online donations) and I'm so grateful and happy - thank you to all who sponsored me!

Jason Crandell
The second really exciting event I'm participating in this weekend is The Power of Movement. It's on Sunday and it's a 1.5 hour yoga class with celebrity instructor Jason Crandell. He was recently named on of the U.S.' "next generation yoga teachers" for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga. Can you tell I pulled that directly from his bio? :).

Let me give you a little read about the Power of Movement...

To date, the Power of Movement has raised $1.3 million dollars for the Arthritis Research Foundation and our goal is to raise an additional $400,000 through the 2013 campaigne. The money goes directly to the Arthritis Research Foundation supporting a host of research initiatives.
Neat right? My dad had arthritis in both of his hips and had both hips replaced before he turned 50, so I know how debilitating arthritis can be! If you'd prefer to sponsor me in this instead of Spin4Kids, that's up to you and you can click here to do so (haha, assuming that everyone who reads this will sponsor me in SOMETHING, right? :P). For POM, I'm part of the team "Hot Yogi's" and it's made up of some seriously cool bloggers, myself being one of them, Michelle (whom I talk about all the time so you should know very well) and Katy from I'm excited to see these gals again! After the yoga session, we'll be meeting up with Krysten from for a coffee and chatter, I'm excited! I've never met Krysten in real life before but follow her blog religiously and feel like I do already! :)

It should be a very motivating and empowering weekend and I can't wait to snap tons of photos to share with you all!

So if you don't know, or don't follow the weather, or don't live anywhere close to Toronto, Toronto got hit with more weather a couple of nights ago. Needless to say, the city is covered in slush and dirt and it hasn't really stopped raining. Not exactly idea running outside weather.So in all fairness, it's safe to say that my training for the Toronto Yonge St 10km hasn't started. Ugh - I'm hating it! Everyday I think I'm going to go out for a run, but then I remember that I don't have anything to track my kilometers which sucks because I like/want to know how far I have ran/want to run to make sure I actually fun as far as I need to according to the training program. Then I get over that and think "I'll just plan out a route and run it and that way I'll know how far I've gone", then Mother Nature poops on this city and... bleh. March is tomorrow! Here's hoping it brings new weather with it!

With that being said however, I've been killing INDOOR workouts like it's my job! :). Yesterday I wanted to run but my legs felt so heavy for some reason, I just wasn't feeling the whole "work out" thing. I got my ass into the cardio space of the gym, with iPad in hand, and set up shop on the stepper. Not as good as the treadmill, but better than an elliptical. I had bought the book Wheat Belly on my iPad months ago but never got around to reading it...  so I started while stepping up stairs for 45 minutes! Obviously I'm a huge nutrition geek. I read about food on my spare time and then come home and study it afterwards. Have you ever read it? I'm still in the very beginning so I haven't gotten into it much - it's really popular, so I'm assuming it's worth the read? Anyone? Comments?

Speaking of being a nutrition geek, I finished my second course in my program last night and submitted my test today! This test was harder than the first, so please keep your fingers crossed, I need higher than 80%! So now I'm officially on course number 3, which is Anatomy & Physiology... And well, you know my feelings on that.

If you missed my post about the cleanse I'm doing next week - click here. I'd love for you to join us! There's a group of about 4 of us doing it, if you're interested please email me at, I'm going to send out a group email on Saturday with some mild guidelines on the cleanse and ideas about how to keep each other motivated!

I'm going to bounce out for the evening, watch some Dawson's Creek and sip on some tea! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday - I Surprised Myself, Big Time.

Good afternoon Beautiful,

Today isn't typically a blog day, I have to finish writing out my test (not much  more to do!!) however, last night I had an amazing experience that has forever changed my life. I'll give you a little background information.

For as long as I can remember, I've absolutely hated peppers in every form. The only way you could get me to eat peppers was if they were diced very finely, and in soup, so I knew I could just swallow them without tasting them. This has gone on, probably since I was a young kid. C loves peppers, so you can imagine the pain he endured when he found out I hated them.

Yesterday I was on the phone and was speaking to a friend/co-worker and somehow it came out that I hate peppers. She quite literally had a minor freak-out on the phone, she just couldn't believe I hated peppers. She was just so shocked that I, the veggie queen, hated peppers. She told me I should try them again since it had been years since I had, and I just kind of brushed it off. I've always WISHED I liked peppers, so shiney and colourful, however the smell and taste just threw me right off.

Anyways, last night while doing a little grocery shopping, I decided to buy 1 red pepper and take her up on her challenge of trying them again. I was nervous, I'm not going to lie, but I HAD to document the whole experience of me trying a pepper just in case something hilarious happened (I don't know what I was expecting..). I'm now going to share with you all, the video of me trying a raw red pepper for the first time in... I'd say 14 years?

I apologize for the background noise. I didn't really know what to say to introduce myself so I just filmed.


This opens up a whole new REALM of recipe possibilities! I told my story at work today and a co-worker had some orange and yellow peppers cut up as well, I totally tried them and I totally liked them too. I already know I'm making stuffed peppers for dinner at some point this weekend, and I can't wait! Some people might not understand the significance of finding out I like peppers. Do you know how many recipes contain peppers? Soups? Salads? Ordering food at restaurants and ENSURING they don't put peppers on it? I'm not diving into green peppers quite yet as I hear they aren't sweet. Baby steps...

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for some recipes that contain peppers. Ha. This is fantastic...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are You Up For A 7-Day Cleansing Challenge?

Good afternoon Beautiful,

It's a fairly grey day today. It's grey outside and they're calling for a lot of snow fall tonight (Hello Canada, what else is new?). I recently got my intense winter boots fixed and C made fun of me a little bit about getting them fixed after winter was over. HA! I hope it snows a lot tonight just so I can wear them and prove him wrong :).

How is everyone's week going? Mine is surprisingly very productive! I sent all of my tax forms off to the Tax Man (the man I hire to do my taxes) today so he can get a start on them (fingers crossed for money back please!). I also started test number 2 last night and got half way through it. Seriously. In two hours I got through half the stinking test. Mind you, it is open book and the test coveres a span of about 400 pages so it's fairly time consuming to flip through the pages just to make sure all of my answers are correct... god, I love open book tests. How can you mess up?? This coming from the girl who missed out on 12% on her last test by being too lazy to ensure my answers are correct lol.

This test is different from the first. The first test was ALL multiple choice, so for every question I had to look up a potentional 4 different answers. This time there was a few multiple choice questions, there's a section of 34 questions that require paragraph answers, a true/false section and a definition matching section. I like the change of pace. It's nice to write out my answers. Taking a test has been so foreign to me lately, but it all came flooding back! I remembered when I was taught that when you answer a question that you have to write the answer for, you always start the sentence off with a piece of the question, ie:

Q: What are the 4 main food groups of the Ideal Diet?
A: The 4 main food groups of the Idea Diet are....

Remember that? Haha, it's funny how little things like that come back to you when you do something for the first time that you haven't done in a while. Hopefully I will be finishing up my test tonight/tomorrow, and I'll be onto course number 3 - Anatomy & Physiology. I took this in college, both years, and you know... I didn't miss it when it was gone. It's dry, it's time consuming and it's 100% memorization. It's probably a lot easier to learn it if it's something you're super interested in, but when I was in college, learning anatomy was less of a concern to me than figuring out my plans for the evening. With that being said however, I did pass every course and still know the names of some very random body parts (can you tell me where you would find your sternocleidomastoid, anyone? Google counts as cheating.).

During the last bit of this past course, I learned a lot about using diet to help with disease prevention and treatment, and I learned a lot about fasting and cleansing. Although I already know that fasting isn't for me (read Hangry) I was intrigued by the thought of a cleanse. There are a lot of different types of cleanses from juice, to clean foods, to a vegan diet for the non-vegan to just plain water for an extended period of time. So I've decided that next week I'm going to participate in a cleanse, mostly to get any toxins that are built up in my system out of there! This is what I'm going to eat/drink for 7-days starting... Sunday or Monday.

- No meat
- Fruits
- Veggies
- Eggs
- Nuts
- Water
- Herbal Teas
- my Sun Warrior vegan raw protein if I have a great workout

I'm aiming for as much organic and raw as possible! Want to join me? It's only 7 days... It won't be THAT hard, I mean, I was a vegetarian for 3 years, I think I can do 7 days. I'm going to keep a journal of everything I eat and note how I'm feeling throughout the day. I actually started getting into it this week so it's not that big of a change. I'm only eating 3oz of meat at breakfast, and waiting until dinner before I eat more. I'm logging all my foods/carbs/calories just for fun and to see what I'm eating. I'm slowly coming off coffee (I didn't have one today!) and conciously thinking about getting in more water, I need to drink TONS of water next week to help flush toxins from my body! I'm nervous about not feeling full after breakfast when not eating meat. I'll have to hard boil some eggs and bring a snack just in case.

Who's with me??? Comment below if you want to take on this 7-day challenge!!

Workout's this week (2 days in...) have been good!! Today I did some heavy lifting for my upper body, caught a glimpse of my back and saw it was fairly muscular - sweet! I upped my weight on a lot of exercises. I did 60lbs Pec Dec, 55lbs Lateral Raise Machine, 70lbs Lat Pulldown, 35lbs Dumbbell One-Arm Row and 20lbs Dumbbell Shoulder Press! And I did a fast paced 1 mile run on the treadmill, I ran at 6.4 for 10 minutes to end the workout which resulted in about 1.12 miles I think.

Yesterday I did a fast 5km on the treadmill (does anyone else find they run faster outside than on a treadmill, but then running faster on a treadmill is exhausting?) and finished 3.21 miles in 30 minutes. I ran the first 10 minutes at 6.2, ran the second 10 minutes at 6.4, ran 2 minutes at 6.5, 2 minutes at 6.6, 2 minutes at 6.7, 2 minutes at 6.8, 1 minute at 6.9 and 1 minute at 7.0. I was a sweaty mess by the end of that run, but it felt great and I felt accomplished after!

Ok - I'm off to finish this exam and get started on a blog design for a client! I want to know how you've been productive this week! AND if you're in for the 7-day cleanse challenge! Please please please join me so I'm not alone and am accountable to someone!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Blonde In the Kitchen & Some Oscar Red Carpet Commentary

Good evening Beautiful,

I write this as I'm watching the Oscar Red Carpet, so please bare with me if I say something random or have some gramatical/spelling errors, although I hope I don't because I have spell check.

How was your weekend??

I feel like this weekend ended much too quickly! I didn't get up to too much this weekend which was nice. I had a little bit of a funky stomach on Saturday, but I'll bare you the details of that! Unfortunately I didn't break a sweat one time this weekend, kind of pathetic, I know. I also didn't eat well... so double pathetic. I got my hair done on Saturday morning. A friend of mine does it for me and her and her roommate were both home. We all got to talking about how we've ALL been in such a funk lately! Gillian was saying how she hasn't been to the gym (in 2 days, that's a long time for Gill) and has been eating crappy. LIKE ME!! We're blaming it on the crappy cold, grey weather. We're all ready for summer to be here... Ugh. I really want to get running outside but the days that I plan on doing it end up being shitty in terms of weather so I just don't go. The good news about the whole thing is that I now have my spring time hair! Check it out -

AHH! It's SO BLONDE!! And more blonde I've ever been in my entire life!! I was a little surprised to see how blonde it was, but I like it! It's A LOT different than what my hair was before, but it's cool! Very summer! I just need to work on getting the summer bod now as well!

Random question - Is Hugh Jackman's wife the lady that played Genie in I Dream Of Genie?? She's so darn pretty.

Today I finished my second course in my Holistic Nutritionist program! Haha I'm so excited!! I almost bailed on blogging so I could start my test, but I'm going to do that tomorrow night. I'm actually SUPER excited about ending this course because the text book was just the second half of my first course's text book so it didn't really feel like a new course... but now I'm done the 800 pages of reading and I'm onto my next learning adventure! I think it's Anatomy and Physiology, but I'm just guessing at this point. YAY!!

So I knew if I wasn't going to the gym today I had to do something that was both healthy and productive so I decided to find a new recipe and cook it and share it with you! Now this recipe didn't come from one of my paleo cookbooks, and it's not 100% paleo because it includes sugar and peanut butter. It looked so amazing though so I had to give it a shot. Here it is!

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce


4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp ground tumeric
1tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp of thai fish sauce
2 tbsp of sugar
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 large green chile
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of lemon grass
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
4 heaping tbsp of peanut butter (the recipe calls for crunchy but I used smooth)
1 handful of fresh cilantro
20 wooden or metal skewers


1. Wash each chicken breast and cut each breast into 5 long strips length wise.

2. Peel ginger and finely grate the ginger and put it into a large bowl. Mix in the tumeric, ground coriander, 1 tbsp of the fish sauce, 1 tbsp of the sugar, 1 tsp of the cumin and 1 tbsp of the coconut milk. I poured this over the chicken and mixed it up with my hands. You can let it marinade for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in the fridge.

Chicken with marinade!
3. If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water while you wait for them to marinade. This will stop them from burning while under the broiler.

4. Seed and very roughly chop the chile. Roughly chop the onion, garlic and lemon grass. Put them all into the bowl of a food processor with the remaining cumin, sugar, 1tbsp of the oil and 2 tbsp's of water. I ended up using my Magic Bullet because I don't have a food processor, BOO.

5. Process the ingredients together to make a smooth paste. Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the paste then fry over a high heat for 4 minutes, until fragrant. Stir it as it cooks. I used a pot instead of a pan...

6. Add the peanut butter and a scant 1/2 cup of water into the pan and stir. The sauce will boil and then thicken quickly. Season with the remaining fish sauce. Set aside while you cook the chicken; add a splash of hot water if it starts to thicken up. When I added in the peanut butter and water it boiled SO fast and because it was thick, when it boiled it basically exploded everywhere! So I took it off the burner immediately and it was fine! I also added salt, but you can decide if you want to do that or not.

7. After you've marinated the chicken, thread each piece of chicken onto a skewer. Put the skewers onto a baking sheet, well spaced apart. Preheat the broiler (it doesn't give a temperature which is odd, but mine was pretty high..)

8. Broil the chicken until it's brown on top and then flip the chicken over and broil the other side. Spoon a little of the remaining coconut milk onto the chicken as it cooks. Service drizzled with more of the coconut milk, sprinkled with the cilantro leaves and with the peanut sauce ready for dipping.

Mmm, I just finished eating some with kale chips and it was SO GOOD. I think I wouldn't use a whole onion in the peanut sauce next time, but other than that I wouldn't change anything! And obviously I didn't soak my bamboo skewers long enough because they burnt and the condo smells like campfire now. Oh well. :)

Ann Hathaway totally reminds me of Audrey Hepburn with her pixie cut... LOVE HER. She's also wearing Tiffany jewels tonight, so obviously Audrey!

One last Oscar comment, Kristen Chenowith is annoying.

How was your weekend??? I saw a ton of people ran races this weekend, if you ran one, which did you run and how did you do??

Friday, February 22, 2013

Foods For Healthy Hair & The Extension Room 1-Year Anniversary Party

Good afternoon Beautiful,


Do you have any big plans for the weekend? I'm really excited about tomorrow because I'm getting my hair done. My hair grows at a ridiculously slow, glacial pace. Seriously. I have to cut/highlight my hair about twice per year. I guess it's cool that I don't have to spend a hundred bucks every 6 weeks on getting my hair done, but still. I'd like it if my hair grew even medium quickly. I started wondering what I could eat that could help me grow a lucious mane? Obviously if we want something to change on us, we have to start with what we put in us... so the quest began! I found a very informative artcle about the foods that are best for hair health... let me share them with you!

1. Lean Red Meat
A study conducted in the US showed that having an iron deficiency can cause baldness! Whaaaat??? This is more prominent in women - so if you're shedding a lot and hair isn't growing as quick as you'd like, you might be a wee bit deficient in the iron! Iron rich foods include turkey, egg yolks, whole grains (if you eat them), dried fruit and dried beans that have been soaked and cooked.

2. Eggs
Eggs are full of the vitamin Biotin which is a B-vitamin that promotes hair growth and overall scalp health. A definiceny in this vitamin can make hair brittle. Foods that high in biotin include peanuts, almonds, wheat bran, salmon, low-fat cheese (weird?) and avocados.

3. Bananas, beer, oats and raisins (this is a strange variety.. hm)
These all contain the mineral silica, which improves hair thickness (read - want a lucious mane? DRINK BEER! Just kidding folks, beer makes me bloated and is so not my drink of choice).

4. Dark Green Veggies
Getting our daily dose of green veggies is important for overall health, and important for hair health. They are packed with vitamin A&C which both help the body produce sebum which is a scalp oil that works as a natural hair conditioner!

5. Oysters (yes, please!)
It's no secret that oysters are packed with zinc. Zinc helps produce androgens. Androgens are hormones that are associated with hair loss, slow hair growth and dandruff if levels are too low. Other food sources of androgens are crab, clams, liver, lean beef and wheat germ.

6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of beta-carotine which converts into Vitamin A in the body which is a nourishing agent for your hair and since. Vitamin A protects against dull hair, dry skin and a deficency in it is a leading cause of dandruff. You can get vitamin A from carrots, kale, butternut squash, asparagus and pumpkin!

7. Beans
They are rich in iron! See #1 for why iron is good for your hair health.

8. Fruits & Veggies
These are full of vitamin C which helps the body absorb iron. Not enough Vitamin C makes hair dry and weak. You can obtain vitamin C from broccoli, leafy greens, green peppers, citrus fruit and strawberries.

9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These beauties promote scalp health, a deficincy can lead to dry scalp and dull hair. Good sources include salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, flaxseeds and walnuts!

10. Vegetable Oil
When a diet is too low in fat it results in dry, lack luster hair. Healthy oils like peanut, safflower and sunflower can restore the shine, about a tsp a day should do it!

So a few of these foods have now made it onto my "must-eat" list to see if it helps me grow locks of golden beauty (actually, they would be locks of brown beauty but I'd highlight them golden). Hopefully this list teaches you something! Have you ever heard of eating certain foods to try and get your hair better?

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany my new found friend Cory to a 1-year anniversary party of the Extension Room which is a Toronto based dance studio and it was so much fun. I met Cory through the Toronto Yonge St 10km Digital Champion program which we are both a part of! We bonded over our love for Audrey Hepburn and became instant friends! At the anniversary party there were performances of all kinds, there was an opera singer, hip hop dancers, acrobatics, contemporary and ariel silks! Check out some of the photo's Corey took...

The studio is beautiful and they don't only teach dance there, they have bootcamps, pilates, yoga... it's so cool! I got to meet the owner of the studio, Jennifer, and she was absolutely gorgeous. I love going out and meeting new people, it's so cool. Have you ever heard of the country singer Amy Sky? You might remember this song, it was one of her most popular..

I don't think this is the official video but it's her song! Anyways, she was actually there last night! Because I wanted to act cool and not a loser who wants her picture with every famous person she runs into, I refrained from telling Cory I wanted a picture. There was one time where Amy Sky was walking towards me and she looked me square in the eye while smiling. I thought she was going to talk to me! I was excited for like 2 seconds because as it turns out, I was just in her way and she just needed me to move. Darn.

Here's a picture of Cory and I before we left for the night. It was so much fun, thanks for bringing me along Cory!

Because I met up with him around 7:30, I didn't have time to make dinner, but I had had a late lunch so I wasn't really concerned with being hungry. I got hungry however, and guess what I ended up eating for "dinner"? 3 cubes of cheese, a slice of chocolate cake and popcorn. WTF? I have to admit, the cake was delicious. But I've felt kind of crappy all day today. Oh well, it was worth it :).

Did you do anything out of the norm but fun this week? Cory is the second friend I've met through blogging/social media (Michelle being the 1st!) and they're both so great! Have you met any really good friends through blogging/social media?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday & A Partner Circuit Workout!

Good evening Beautiful,

I feel like this week just started. I think I now enjoy long weekends where the day off is on the Monday as opposed to the Friday. For some reason I think I'd be more productive on a Monday holiday than a Friday holiday. Probably because when Friday's are holidays I take the day to prepare myself for going out. When Monday's are holidays, I'm not going out so I use the day for more productive things, like cooking, groceries, laundry, blogging, learning, reading... you get the idea.

Today I decided to participate in the famous What I Ate Wednesday posts that I see tons of people doing. I'm doing this as part of my foodie check-ins for the week! I always see people making these posts themed, or having a specific lesson in mind when telling you what they ate. I'm going to try and do this more often and try to educate in some sort of way when I do... but today it's just going to be a post on what I ate and how I felt. So here are pictures of what I ate today :) let's start with breakfast.

Ok! Breakfast today consisted of a delicious meal of blueberries, strawberries and a half of a fillet of salmon which was leftovers from last night's dinner. The salmon was cooked in olive oil with basil and fresh garlic and the berries were eaten plain and raw. I love eating salmon for breakfast because the fattiness of the food keeps me feeling full for a very long time. The fattiness in the salmon is GOOD fat however, and isn't something to be concerned about if you're looking to lose weight.

I consumed this bad boy before breakfast. I couldn't resist including him in my post. Coffee is a very important part of my life and he deserves some recognition! *cue applause for coffee*.

Lunch today was a bit tricky. I had a meeting to go to today at around 1:30 and so I ate my fresh, raw veggies before we went to said meeting. I had organic baby carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and cauliflower. I didn't eat my chicken because I felt good and wanted to feel light and awake during my meeting, not weighed down. By the time the meeting was done and I was back in my office, I was feeling a bit hungry so I ate my chicken. It was delicious. It was cooked in olive oil with homemade seasoning and fresh garlic and mushrooms.

I did something I don't usually do today, I took a snack to work! I saw a large jar of dill pickles in my fridge and couldn't resist. They were SO GOOD! I love pickles so much!! Mmm mmm mmm....

C and I maaaaay have made a quick stop to the LCBO on the way home form work where I picked up a bottle of Pinot Grigio. I'm totally having a couple glasses tonight - it's delightful! And yes, for those of you wondering, I do put ice in my wine when it isn't cold yet. Lol.. I'm not a huge fan of "room temperature" drinks so I usually add ice to them.

I didn't exercise today because I had that meeting I mentioned, however it's probably a good thing because I'm SO SORE from my past two workouts!! I showed you all what I did in the workout I had on Monday, so now I'm going to share the workout Jenny and I did yesterday. It was fun and we totally made it up on the spot given the equipment we had to work with!! It's amazing having a workout partner because it's so much more fun doing stuff like this and it's great to have two minds to think of exercises to do instead of just one!

Basically we set up 4 stations and at each station there were 2 exercises. Each of us were completing both exercises before moving onto the next station and we did the whole circuit 3 times in a row. I believe our time came in at 25:58 (which included some talking and a brief water break, so you can probably beat our time no problem). I challenge you all to do this and tell me your time in the comment section below! If you have any questions about the exercises let me know and I can explain them to you! Needless to say my biceps and my shoulders are sore, as well as my hamstrings (Hey Carly! My HAMSTRINGS are sore from dead lifts, and not my back :) Be proud!). I'm hoping to get to a yoga class soon to help me stretch out my legs.

Do you workout with a buddy often? ALSO! I want to share the What I Ate Wednesday love so share your post in the comment section for everyone to read!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Family Day! A Workout & Foodie Check-In #1

Good afternoon Beautiful,

How did your family day go?? I just got home from visiting my local family (my cousin, his wife, their kids and his wife's sister!). We spent the afternoon there and it was so much fun, like always! We had Ethiopian food for dinner, I've never had it before but it was delicious!! There was two different types of curry, a chickpea/carrot with curry and green beans/cabbage curry. There was a yogurt sauce, a cucumber/tomato mixture and this neat pancake like bread (except it wasn't sweet and looked like a sponge almost, and was slightly purple) which is called Injera. You use your fingers to eat it and use the injera as a sort of "wrap" even though you used it in little pieces and it wasn't really wrapping around the food. This is a photo I found on Google of injera:

I was actually surprised because I had no idea what Ethiopian food would be like! I ate way too much and topped it off with a nice vanilla cupcake. SERIOUSLY. I told you I was going to be strict with  my diet this week, and that doesn't classify as strict. Oh well... too late now! Before we ate we snapped some photos of me and the kiddies :).

Aren't they so adorable? They're getting so big....! I love the pink fur vest she's rocking :)

This morning before we went over to cousin's house, we hit up the condo gym! Carlton hit the bike hard again (he's really liking the bike lately! Love it! He ends up drenched in sweat, it's really putting him through a great workout!) and I decided to take a day off running and worked out my upper body really well. He was biking for 45 minutes so I did everything I could think of to fill up the 45 minutes we were down there. I'm not sure I'll be able to remember everything, but I'm going to try :)

I think I missed a couple of things... but overall this is what I did! My arms are still a bit fatigued, hopefully I feel it tomorrow!

*Fitness Brag* - I've never been able to do Tricep Pushups... but I totally did some today!! That's why you only see them as being 5 reps, and I did them from my knees, but I still felt totally badass! I thought I would share :).

So now to formally show you my food journal for today:

*Breakfast - a smoothie containing frozen berries, fresh berries, hemp milk, flax seed, raw protein, hemp hearts, a banana, almond yogurt and some organic cocoa. That seems like a lot, but it was delish.
*Post-workout - 1 piece of jerk chicken and water
*Lunch - Ethiopian curries and bread. It was actually a vegetarian meal and it was so good! Topped off with a cupcake (which I admitted earlier, and make me feel poopy after. Should have known!....)

Dinner tonight is going to be chicken breast with a chicken and white wine sauce that Carlton makes and is delicious (it's the dish that he made on valentines day if you saw it on Instagram). Can't wait for the leftovers :).

That's it for now! I'll be tuning in tomorrow with Foodie Check-In #2! How are you staying on track with your eating this week? Do you have any specific goals in terms of diet?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Reason My Running Hasn't Been Happening

Good Morning Beautiful,

I hope you've all been having a great weekend, and a great LONG weekend to my fellow Canadians!! I'm loving that today is my Saturday, I feel like I'm going to be getting more accomplished, except for I'm totally not. Want to know why? I recently discovered a new tv show called Scandal. Have you heard of it? Kerry Washington is the main role as Olivia Pope and she is.. well... BADASS! Season 1, which was a short season of only 7 episodes, is on Netflix so that's how I got hooked. It's an unbelievably good show I would highly recommend it, only if you have the time on your hands because I haven't blogged in like 4 days and that's easily because I've been so distracted by this show.

The last time I blogged I believe I had ran on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and had two work events to go to on Thursday and Friday so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get a run in on those days. I, unfortunately, have not gotten any runs in since Wednesday which is not good. However, today is a brand new day and I plan on hitting up the treadmill quite soon actually. It's beautiful outside but for some reason my Nike+ GSP Watch has stopped working and last time I used it told me I was running 4-4.5 minute km's, which is so not what I run, I'm more of a 5.5-6 kinda gal, so I haven't had much faith in the watch since then. I've actually been avoiding running outside because I don't have anything to help me track my km's, and because I run on path's along the water, it's hard to map it out online to see how far I went... and if I did have a specific amount of km's to run, I'd never know when I hit it. My Blackberry also won't allow any GPS apps to work for some reason (Reason #1224324 why I hate BB's) so I literally have no device that allows me to track my km's. So until I do, it's the treadmill.

What do you use to track your km's/miles when running? Do you have any recommendations for something I should invest in for this?

On Friday night, I made my famous cauliflower curry soup again - ugh, I just love it so much. I ate a massive bowl of it and then had a bloated belly because I ate so much. Needless to say we stayed in on Friday night and just hung out with some red wine. It was nice. Yesterday C and I went for a fun walk downtown. We had seen this store online that he wanted to check out which said it was close to us. We ended up walking a lot and not finding the store, but we did get to check out other stores and that's always fun! I love walking downtown Toronto because you always see something new. There were like 4 different places that I hadn't known about and saw for the first time today, even though I used to run down those streets all the time. There was also a few new bars that I saw that I want to check out now! I love exploring the city on foot :). After walking for about 2 hours, we had worked up an appetite so we picked up some Caribbean food... have you ever had Jamaican food before? It's one of my favourite cuisines out there... These are some of my favourite Jamaican foods...

Curry chicken with Rice and Beans

Jamaican Patty

Fried Plantain

Jerk Chicken
We don't get Jamaican food often, so it's a delicious treat when we do :). Yesterday I got curry chicken with a piece of jerk chicken and a patty. Mmmm... I actually just ate leftovers for breakfast. This weekend has not been paleo.

In all honesty, I haven't been as strict with my diet lately. So I figured out a way to get me through this week by clean eating and being strict with myself!! I'm going to keep a strict food journal for the week and share it daily with you. My posts on my normal days off might be shorter because of my studying but I will check in every day with how I'm doing, and any and all forms of motivation would be great! I'm not sure why I've fallen off the bandwagon, but it's time to get back on! Today we're going to get groceries so I am going to plan out my meals in advanced so I know exactly what I'm eating. I've never planned out my meals before, I usually just take whatever is in the fridge, so this should be new to me. Wish me luck!

Other than groceries and going for a workout today, I'm going to be studying! Wahoooo! I want to see how close I can get to finishing my current course this weekend. I hope I can concentrate and really get a lot done. Maybe I should go down to the common room of our building, it's usually quiet and there's no internet to distract me. Hm...

Tomorrow is Family Day here in Canada so C and I are going for lunch to my cousins house! It's always fun to see the kiddies and catch up, I'll take photos so you can see the munchkins. Happy Family Day!!

I'd love reco's on what to use to track km's outside... so please leave me a comment and let me know! See you tomorrow for a foodie check-in and some photo's from Family Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The "Skinny" On Being "Skinny Fat"

Good Afternoon Beautiful,

Woah - I can't believe Hump Day is already over. Seriously? Where did the week go? The rest of my week is bound to fly by because I get to go to 2 events for work which I'm SUPER pumped about. I love getting out in the community and spreading the "fitness/wellness love"! This week has actually been extremely productive and just very well rounded. I feel rested from getting good sleeps, I feel fit and alert from all the running I've been doing and it's just been a great week!

This week my focus for my workouts has been on running. I haven't been running outside like I should be, but I've been hitting the treadmill hard so far, I'm actually almost at the 20km mark for my total km's this week! I have to admit, yesterday's run was hard. It was hard to get my butt upstairs to the treadmill, and it was hard to keep running without taking a walk break because my quads were sore and my legs were heavy from the run I did on Monday. But I powered through and this was yesterday's end result:

3.85 miles in 40 minutes... it was hard! Took a few walk breaks
Along with Monday's end result:

4.51 miles in 45 minutes.. not shabby!
I didn't have my phone with me today to take a picutre of the end result, but I managed to pump out 3.2 miles in 30 minutes. Not bad! I ran at 6.1 for the first ten minutes, and then at 6.3 for the next ten minutes, then 6.5 for the next 5 minutes, 6.4 for 1 minute, 6.3 for 1 minute, 6.2 for 1 minute, 6.4 for 1 minute, 6.5 for 30 seconds and 7.0 for 30 seconds (I think that makes 30 minutes? Don't ask how I remember these things..), but overall it's been a great week! I might not be able to get in runs tomorrow or Friday because of the events I'm heading to, but hopefully I can squeeze in at least 1 run between the two days, hopefully it's nice out and I can run outside after I get home! :)

Last week, Jenny and I both took our body fat %'s with the machine we have up in the club. My current body fat (I can't believe I'm sharing this with the entire world) is 21%. My goal over the next couple months is to get down to 19%. I think that's attainable.. although "I think" are the main words used there. I actually have no idea how long it would take to burn 1%, let alone 2% of my body fat. My current weight is 151 lbs and I'm 6 feet tall. It might be harder than I think, but I'm going to try! I remember back when I was in highschool, right before I was graduating. I was definitely "skinny fat", even though I didn't know it at the time. I took my body fat % back then and it was a solid 33%. I was totally confused by this number. I wasn't overweight by any means, and I did workout a lot. As it turns out, I was constantly using the eliptical (which burns calories, but is not so good when trying to lose weight) and some light weights and it really wasn't doing anything to my body, especially since I ate a lot of processed foods. Have you ever heard the term "skinny fat" before? Let me elaborate...

According to Urban Dictionary, the term Skinny Fat is "a physique, while not overweight (and possibly underweight) lacks any visible lean, striated tissue.". Basically it means you can have a slim figure, but because you have very little to no lean muscle mass, your whole figure consists of body fat. I had no idea that this was even possible until I started studying fitness and nutrition on a deeper level. I guess I just never really thought about it much, but it totally makes sense and it's totally what I was. Now I've grown to love the weight room and lifting heavy weights and bars and plates, the treadmill and the concrete outside and I'm not longer "skinny fat", but "skinny fit"! :)

It occured to me today that I haven't tried a new recipe in weeks... how sad! My goal over the long weekend (which I didn't know about until Monday and it made me extremely happy!) is to try a new recipe from one of my fabulous paleo cookbooks! I got an email from a reader this week telling me that he's going to be trying the orage-herb chicken that I posted a few weeks back... it still haunts me to this day, but I'm glad people are enjoying the recipes and trying them out! I'd love to know if you're looking for any specific types of recipes, cooking styles, ingredients to use, ect because I love a good challenge and I love providing useful information for my readers!

So speaking of useful information, some of my information is fun to learn but may not be useful for some people... but with that being said, today I'm going to teach you about the health benefits of one of my favourite new ingredients... fresh basil!

We've only recently started using fresh basil to cook with, and I don't know why we didn't start using it sooner. I love the smell and the taste of it! I've used it before to make a Basil Ceaser (which I learned from a Drinks Show we went to last year...) but never to cook with. I'm actually not even sure why we bought it in the first place... oh wait! I totally know, I bought it to use in my first go at the gluten-free chicken noodle soup! Anyways... we've been using it basically in everything since then and I'm loving it (on a random side note, I think I want to grow a herb garden this summer...). So what are the benefits of fresh basil anyways?

1. Basil is rich in carotenoids, such as beta-carotene which can be converted into vitamin A. It's an antioxidant that's even more potent than vitamin A and it not only protects the cells from free radical damage but it also aids in keeping free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream (which means it doesn't build up in your arteries and veins!).

2. Another way it's antioxidant properities are useful is in cancer prevention. As I mentioned above, it helps protect the body from free radical damage which helps fight most forms of cancer!

3. The oil of basil when it's used on the skin or in the hair, can help enhance the luster appearance of the dull appearance you might have!

4. The oil of basil contains a liquid called eugenol which inhibits the activity of cyclooxygenase which causes swelling in joins and bones, which makes the oil of basil a good anti-inflammatory food that can help people cope with arthritis!

5. The same enzyme as above (eugenol) helps reduce symptoms of IBS and can provide immediate releif from gas in your stomach and intenstines, treat constipation, stomach cramps, indigestion and flatulence!

6. The oil of basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth! Studies have shown that washing produce in a solution that is 1% oil of basil resulted in killing off bacteria, which is mighty helpful!

Whaaaaat? Seriously? I'm learning all of this stuff only slightly in advanced of you, so I'm as shocked as you are by the crazy amazing benefits of basil. I didn't know you could get oil of basil extract. Interesting, I'll have to look into that! 

Alright - that's all from me for tonight! I have a minor confession - I ate another gluten-free chocolate chip cookie tonight and I'm indulging on some 4-year old, white cheddar cheese. I so don't regret this. I don't normally eat dairy foods except for cream in my coffee because dairy is not part of my paleo based diet. However, because I've been so good and cheese used to be one of my favourite foods, I'm having some, and not caring! 

I'm also going to leave you with my current favourite song. I love this song. I listened to it like 12 times when I was running today. I hope you enjoy it too! :) It's Closer by Tegan and Sara!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Haven't Blogged Since Thursday! Ahh! Minor Freakout.

Good evening Beautiful!

Oh gosh, I feel like I haven't written in forever. Probably because the last time I did write was... Thursday? I can't even remember. So sorry about it!! I guess I just realized that I needed some down time, and I'm feeling more refreshed than ever! I think it's because C's snoring solution came in the mail on Friday and good news, IT WORKS!! It's like a mouth guard he wears when he's sleeping... and my god, it's been amazing. I haven't been woken up by snoring since last week and I actually feel rested.... it's fantastic! I forgot what it felt like :). I still wear earplugs for backup, but it's been great so far! I hope it continues to work!

This weekend was such a fun weekend!! On Friday C and I spent the night inside and watching some serious Netflix. I think ever since we've gotten American Netflix, our internet bill has gone way up and we never watch actual shows on tv anymore. I wish Canada had unlimited internet. All I'd do is watch Netflix! I think Nova Scotia has unlimited internet.. weird, why doesn't Ontario? Anyways.... I also made some gluten-free chocolate chip cookies because Michelle from had bought me a pre-made batter, so all I had to do is all butter and eggs. I should have thought about this before hand, but after I made them, I was left with like 30 gluten-free cookies. In caes you didn't know, just because they're gluten-free doesn't mean I can eat all 30 without gaining weight. It's been tough to try and not nibble on a cookie at all points throughout the day. I've actually been failing horribly.. but can you blame me? Look at these things!...

Also, I got a neat surprise from Vitamin Water Canada in the mail on Friday - it was a nice surprise to come home to!

The water came with a little tote bag which is pretty hilarious, "You can always count on me to tell you the truth whenever your lying to yourself".. haha! Too funny. The vitamin water is actually really good and I got sent flavours that I really enjoy! I'm a huge fan of the berries and those are the flavours that I got sent! It was super nice of them to give me some samples, thanks Vitamin Water Canada!

On Saturday C, myself and one of our friends went to Yorkdale mall together. Yorkdale is not convenient in the least to get to from our house, however it is my favourite mall in Toronto so I love going there. I went into David's and held my future shoe. Just seeing them and holding them again makes me motivated to get after them! I grabbed some new face cream from The Body Shop and used a gift card I had for Artizia and bought myself a new dress - more on the dress later!

We were all in the fairly new Kate Spade store and C asked me to pick out a Valentine's day present because he knows I love Kate Spade and he prefers to get me things he knows I like as opposed to guessing... so I guess we technically did Valentine's Day early! I got a cross-body bag, and I'm in love with it!

I've worn it everywhere everyday since I got the bag! The interior is bright red... it's so nice! :) I'm a very lucky girl :)...

Saturday night we went out with the same friend that went to the mall with us, D and our friend from London, A, came down to visit for the night! We hit up our local watering hole, William's Landing where Mr. D found himself a date next weekend (YAYE HIM!) and we got to see some people we haven't seen in a while! Around 12:30 we left Williams Landing and went to The Drake Hotel to meet up with other friends. Thanks to our friend who has some serious hook-ups, we by-passed the entire line and waltzed our tooshies into the bar and down to the booth they had for another friends birthday! Here are some fun pictures from the night, and the dress I'm wearing is the dress I bought with my gift card at the mall!

That part of the night was a blast, however once we got outside and realized there were absolutely NO cabs, we were a bit concerned. We got a burrito (yes, I ate a steak burrito) and me, being the genius that I am, was wearing a spring jacket with a dress and heels, no tights or leotards and ended up having to walk in the snow, in the freezing cold trying not to focus on how bad my feet were hurting. I don't know how long we were walking for, at one point I was so cold I was crying... yes, when I'm not at a a certain comfort level I cry.... I've come to terms with it... Eventually C convinced a cab driver to ditch his call and take us home. He's such a good boyfriend. I got home, heated up the burrito, downed the burrito and went to bed. AND because he wasn't snoring, I ended up sleeping till 11:30AM! HOLY! I don't remember the last time I slept that much!!

Needless to say I didn't get any exercise (besides dancing and walking in snow in heels) and ate medium-well. On Friday night we ordered pizza, however I did make sure my crust was gluten-free. Saturday I woke up and made myself a healthy smoothie, and when we were at the mall I had some delicious Indian Food (A green chicken and herbs box... a bed of brown rice topped with green curry chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, pomegranate seeds, herbs, chick peas, and cherry sauce), it's the best and I will get it every time I'm at Yorkdale. For dinner I had a 6'' sub from subway (that wasn't healthy at all, I even had extra bacon lol) and then my burrito at around 3am. On Sunday I think I ate like 5 of those gluten-free chocolate chip cookies but we made steak for dinner so I had steak, mushrooms and kale :).

I'm more than half-way through my second course!! I'm excited to finish this course and move onto my next textbook. I've been using the same textbook for both of these courses and I feel like it's just one big course because the book is the same. I think once I move onto a new book it will feel more like I'm making progress :). I'm currently learning about good ways to help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer and just making sure people keep themselves overly healthy. Loooove it!!

Today I hit the treadmill hard. I didn't bring outside running gear, but needed to kill it due to only eating medium-well and sitting on my butt all weekend...

I did 4.5 miles (7.2km) in about 45 minutes. Not my best, but it felt hard today so finishing felt like a super accomplishment. This is my first training run of the Toronto Yonge St 10km! I'm excited to be one of their Digital Champions this year! There's about 25 of us who got asked to be a Digital Champion so I jumped at the opportunity! Since I'm somewhat representing them, I want to do really well! I don't think I'll be doing as well as I did last year, but I still want a sub-58 minute 10km. Last year I ran the 10km in 55 minutes and some odd seconds, but I had also been training for the half for 14 weeks at that point and was running around 20km on my long runs. 10km felt like NOTHING. I totally remember. I was tired at the end, but it was a lot shorter of a race than I was used to running so it felt good.

My workout goal for this week is to do 3 runs at least 4 miles in length. I've gotten one down, so two more to go! I'm getting my motivation back up - it's so exciting and nice! Wish me luck!

What are your workout goals for the week? How was your weekend??? Please tell me you did more exercise than I did?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Sleepy Girl With The Dragon Fruit.... ?

Good evening Beautiful,

TOMORROW IS FRIDAY!! Haha, we made it!! I can barely believe it. By the looks of outside right now, a lot of people might be having an extended weekend (it's super snowy and windy and the trafic is insanely slow). Good ol' Canadian winters!

This week I've been extremely tired. I have no idea why. I get home and could basically fall asleep for the night as soon as I walk in the door. Needless to say I've been drinking a lot of coffee and tea. I'm trying to stay clear of the energy drinks, however I may have caved once or twice this week... It's almost necessary because I have things to get done! Studying, blogging, blog designs, reading, oh and... I don't know... spending time with Carlton? Lol.. I've been heading to bed around 9:45 pm every night and I'm basically passed out by 10:15. I know that's super early for a lot of people. I think it's early too BUT my body just craves sleep. Is it possible that I'm sleeping too much? Wait, I'm going to go Google it. Be right back...

... Alright. So I just read some very interesting stuff.

- The bodies "sleep/wake" cycle follows a regular pattern called a circadian rhythm. Too much sleep causes your rhythm to shift.
- When our bodies circadian rhythm's start "telling the wrong time" we feel lethargic, fatigued, and basically like we didn't sleep at all.
- The average sleep cycle lasts 80-120 minutes, with the average being 90 minutes. The average person has 5 cycles per night totalling about 7.5 hours of sleep.
- When you sleep in, you extend the number of cycles and usually wake up in the middle of a cycle. If the part of the cycle you wake up in is REM or deep sleep, you may wake up feeling worse than when you fell asleep.

So I also found some tips to help you (or me) sleep better:

- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day including weekends. The most important part is your wake-up time... even if you go to bed later than usual, wake up at the same time and go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier the next night. 
- Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
- Try to schedule exercise in the morning as opposed to later in the day.
- Avoid napping past 3pm. The best time to nap is early afternoon (1pm - 3pm). Make your naps wither 30-90 minutes in length. If you nap longer than 30 minutes but shorter than 90 minutes you run the risk of waking up during a sleep cycle and waking up groggy.
- Try to avoid sleeping in on weekends, it shifts your circadian rhythm. 
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bed because they keep you from entering a deep sleep and your body will try and make-up for the lack of deep sleep when you're almost ready to wake up.

Damn... I've been doing this sleep thing all wrong. I was so convinced that getting a solid ten hours of sleep per night was awesome. Napping after work on Friday from like 6pm - 8pm so I could prepare myself for a night out was GENIUS. Makes sense why I'd be dying for a liquid-pick-me-up like Red Bull. Tonight I will be trying the 7.5 hours of sleep trick which means I'll be heading to bed around 11:10 pm. Wish me luck! I guess I shouldn't have just had that green tea. I can promise by 11:10 it will be like I never had it at all. 

Today Jenny and I worked out with our Trainer Friend again. It's hard for me to type and hold my mug of tea because my arm muscles are so friggin exhausted!! We did another one of his insane circuits again today, except the whole thing took us almost an hour, as opposed to 30 minutes. The circuit was this:

3 rounds:

20 situps
20 kettlebell swings
20 renegades
20 box jumps
20 ab roll out thingies
20 chest press on stability balls
20 assisted pull-ups
20 deadlifts
4 rounds of farmer walks

And then barf when you're done if you want to. It was SO HARD I had sweat dripping off my face when doing renegades or the ab rolley outty thing. We almost didn't do the third round but then we had the time so we did it anyways. I'm glad we did. Obviously - I never regret doing hard workouts because they feel great afterwards. I instantly downed some Sun Warrior protein when I got back to my desk... but I'm still so shakey and weak. 

On a fun note, I got some fun things at the grocery store this week! Well, one is new and one is just a refill...

Fun! I eat hemp hearts every morning in my dairy-free yogurt parfait. 2 tbsp! They're full of fiber and omega's... and all around greatness! The dragon fruit below is something I don't get often because they're very expensive when they aren't in season. I guess they're in season now because the price is much lower than usual, about half! And guess what? Dragon fruit are full of greatness.. check it!:

- a great snack for those trying to lower cholesterol as it contains little to no harmful cholesterol.
- dragon fruit is packed with Vitamin C!
- they are full of antioxidants (which help eliminate free radicals in the body that could potentially be cancerous).
- they contain a good amount of fiber, about 1g of fiber/100g of fruit!

Neat right? I like them mostly because they are so darn pretty.

What are your sleep patterns like?? I'm curious to know if I was the only one thinking that 10 hours of sleep was a great idea. Have you had dragon fruit before? Today was Jenny's first time trying it! :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why & How I'm Working On My Financial Health

Good evening Beautiful,

I'm running out of ways to start my blog posts. I usually talk about how my week is flying by, or the weather, or something that would classify as small talk.... but meh, it's getting old. I don't know how I'm going to start my posts going forward (until I decide to switch it up again).. I have some ideas in mind, but nothing too concrete yet. I know, this is super important and I need to figure it out ASAP. Just kidding. It's not that important, but mostly it's just a ramble to get this post started off on a somewhat interesting foot.

So far this week I'm 2 for 2 workouts. Whoop! I've decided that I want to start running longer distances now that we're back into race season which means doing shorter, maintenance runs during the week. Which means I might be back to 2-a-day workouts. It really all became clear to me today during my workout. One of my trainer friends was putting Jenny and myself through a workout on TRX. If you've been following along on my blog for a while, you know that like 6ish months ago Jenny and I did a TRX camp and in the beginning I really didn't think it was going to be all that hard (aka not worth $200). However by the end it did start challenging me more and I was impressed. Today... well, today was a much different story. We did TRX for about 30 minutes before Trainer Friend had a client. I remembered a lot of the exercises, but I didn't remember how to get into some of the exercises and I didn't remember exactly how to complete some of the exercises. Most importantly, I felt defeated by 30 minutes of TRX, when I used to be able to go HARD for 60 minutes of it.

Wah waaaaah....

Most of the workout today was legs. A lot of lunging, one-legged lunging, squatting, jump squatting, one-legged squating... stuff like that. I was a complete mess trying to complete TRX hamstring curls and hip raises. I couldn't do more than 2 hip raises in a row (given this was basically the end of the workout, but still)... I felt so unfit and so pissed (for lack of a better term) that I wasn't as fit as I was 6 months ago. We made it through the workout however, and went on to do this hard ab workout that Jenny found on Pinterest. There's supposed to be 3 rounds of 3 sets of 3 exercises, but we only made it through round 1 before we were both dying. Then to top off the whole workout, I introduced Jenny to tabata sprints on the treadmill. We started slow today because our legs were like jello and she had never done them before. Our "sprint" speed was only 7.0 but it was ok because we got to feel what it was like so we'll be able to increase our speed next time.

Can we talk about my lack of fitness again for a second?

Sorry - I'm just totally frustrated with the whole thing. I do admit time and time again that I'm not IN LOVE with running like a lot of people. I run to maintain my fitness, my body weight and my legs (lol). I don't find running relaxing. I have no desire to run a full marathon, although I might attempt another half next year. It's something I sometimes look forward to, but most times I dread. Is anyone else like this? When I was training for my half-marathon last year, my workout schedule for the week consisted of 4-5 runs, 2-3 strength workouts, 1 pole dancing/pole tricks class (yes... I took pole dancing and it's so insanely fun! I can successfully hold myself upside down on a pole and slide down very smoothly... at least I used to) and 1 yoga class. That's a lot of friggen working out for a week. No wonder I was so fit before. I need to get that motivation BACK. Any ideas on how to muster the energy for all of this working out? I won't be pole dancing again soon (I'm trying to be as frugal as possible this year) but that still leaves me with a lot of working out...

Maybe the Toronto Yonge St. 10km race will motivate me. Last year I ran this 10km race in 55 minutes. I was 2 weeks out from my half marathon and was running like 20-21 km each week, so 10km felt like NOTHING. I literally just ran the entire race, no walk breaks. Could I perhaps finish this year in 55 minutes again? I won't go as far as to say that I could get 54 minutes... but I think a good goal is to finish less than 56 minutes. That race is like 8 weeks away... which is the perfect motivation to get my butt out on the pavement running! Let me sleep on this, I'll get back to you on Thursday with my definite answer.

So back to workouts. Yesterday Jenny and I did the Dirty Thirty workout from Fit In Heels again. This is one of our favourite workouts, and our second time doing it.

The first time we did it, we split the 30 kettlebell swings and 30 push-ups into 2 sets of 15. I didn't find the workout that difficult because of it. This time however, we did everything straight through and let me tell you... my lats are DYING today. It was awesome! I ran at 6.3 for all 3 rounds of 10 minutes of running and by the end of the third round of kettlebell swings and pushups, I was dead. Sweat dripping down my face, I think I actually had to walk it out a bit to get my heart rate down lol.

Hello dream shoes.
In a totally unrelated topic (which is odd since this section of the post is basically what I titled this blog post around), I haven't gone shopping in 2013 for anything besides groceries. Not even once. If you know me and my history with shopping (Heeey Andrea! I know you're reading this and laughing) you know that I have never once been able to go more than like ten days without buying SOMETHING, a pair of shoes, a sun dress, a tank top... ANYTHING. But I haven't! Want to know why? I'm saving up for something I've been dreaming for years about... My bloggy friend Katy from Fit In Heels would totally support my in my decision to save for a pair of black pumps designed by Christian Louboutin himself.

I'm about 3 months out from these amazingly fabulous shoes and I can't wait. The pair I want don't have the platform because I'm already so tall, these shoes would make me like 6'5". Anyways, I just wanted you all to know that not shopping is a super amazing accomplishment for me and I'm proud. I'm also excited that I officially no longer have overdraft on my bank account and my next paycheque will be the first time in about 5 years that all of the money I'm being paid is actually MINE. None of it is making up for overdraft... I'm all in the positive baby! Part of my goals for 2013 is to really work on my financial health. The first thing I did was consolidate all of my debt into one easy payment, and it also cut my interest in half. I then proceeded to cut up all of my credit cards except for the one I've had the longest, and I lowered the limit and paid it off. I have a little bit of money on there now, but nothing insane that isn't manageable. I then proceeded to get a financial planner who has helped me make some decisions when it comes to planning my financial future. I'm saving more money than I ever have before and paying off my overdraft is a massive obstacle I've overcome. It feels great!

Being healthy isn't just about having a strong physical body, although that's a lot of it. It also means having a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Not a lot of stress, being in control of your own future and not feeling overwhelmed by such silly things like credit cards and student loans. Balance is key! I plan on being completely debt free by the time I'm 26 (including student loans) and have enough saved to contribute some money towards buying a house! Whaaaaat?? Andrea (as mentioned before who is a former colleague of mine) would be so proud of me! She also probably never thought I'd actually run outside (she runs marathons), let alone a half marathon. Oh crap - Andrea, am I turning into you? :)

Now somewhat back on the fitness train, on March 3rd I'm Spinning 4 Kids! It's a fundraiser put on by the GoodLife Kids Foundation every year. The GoodLife Kids Foundation is a foundation that provides grants to programs that get our children and youth active, while helping to prevent the spread of the rising epidemic of childhood obesity. It's a great cause and it would be so great if you could help support the cause. I'm captain of the team "I'm Kind of a Big Wheel" (haha, I did not make this up) and the goal for our team is $1000. My individual goal is $125. Our team will be occupying a spin bike for 8 hours and someone must be riding at all times! Any little bit helps, you can donate to the cause by clicking here. It would be sooo appreciated and it would mean so much!

Alright... now that I've bored you with all of my "financial health" jabber, I'm off to hit the books for a while. I realized the other day that the course I'm working on now as part of my Holistic Nutritionist program is about 20 pages of questions to answer SHORTER than my first course, which makes me really want to finish it and ace another test. So I will bid you adieu and wish you a wonderful evening!

One thing before you go though...

If you look on the right hand side of my blog you'll see a button for Raw Elements. I really enjoy this company because 1. They're Canadian and 2. They carry some seriously awesome products. If you're in the market for some great supplements, check it out! You can get 10% off your order if you use the code "sarahohm".

Have you ever saved up a lot of money for something you've reeeeeeeally wanted even if people thought you were crazy?? What actions are you taking in 2013 to get yourself a little more financially healthy? Also, please leave me some words of encouragement so I start getting as fit as I was last summer!! Please please please please please! :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why Are Super Fruits Sooooo Super???

Good evening Beautiful,

The weekend is oooover!! Boo! I think it's at this point every weekend that I say "I'd pay $500 for it to be Friday night...", but alas - I'm never offered the opportunity.

How was your weekend?

I just got back from seeing Zero Dark Thirty with Carlton. It was SO GOOD! It was really long, the movie started at 1:40 and we got out at 4:30... however, you know how during some movies you get bored at some point through out really long movies? I didn't find myself bored at all during this movie. I didn't know any of the actors in the film, but I kind of liked that. I won't describe the movie in case you haven't seen it. However, I would highly recommend going to see it. Super interesting!!

I ended up not doing a yoga video yesterday. Why? Because for some reason I was exhausted yesterday! I was studying and fell asleep.. woke up to go do the groceries and around 10pm even Carlton was ready for bed. What the hell? I feel like I'm 50 years old, going to bed at 10pm on a Saturday? Oh well. Needless to say unfortunately I did not sleep well last night because of C's snoring habits again. He ordered this mouth guard type thing that's supposed to help with the snoring but it hasn't arrived yet. I ended up getting up at 7:30 this morning and had a small nap between 10:15 and 11:15. I really hope that I'm tired enough tonight that I can pass out into a deep sleep so I'm not woken up by some snoring.

Needless to say I didn't workout today either. To be honest with you, I think I knew after I was finished work on Friday that I wasn't going to be working out this weekend. I worked out 5 days this week so I wanted a break. The lack of sleep wasn't part of the plan, but it happened so it really confirmed my plans of not working out. My meals have been pretty great this weekend though! Yesterday I had the smoothie that I had talked about and then I made my gluten free chicken noodle soup, except instead of chicken I used shrimp and sausage. It was sooo good, and I have more left over that I will be eating as part of dinner tonight.

This morning when I got up I decided to cook myself and C a great breaky!

We had scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and fruit! Delish :). I guess for lunch I technically had theatre popcorn. I know, I know.. and know what else? I'm eating chicken wings tonight because it's the SUUUUUPERBOOOOOWL! I used caps and multiple vowels to make it sound like I'm excited, however I really don't know much about football, so I'll probably just study. Haha, I'm so lame when it comes to sports.

I recently had someone ask me about super fruits so I want to share some fun information about them with you! A lot of people think they are the “cure all” answer they’ve been looking for... but do you really know which fruits are actually deemed “super”? Or what the actual benefits are from said Super Fruits? Let me answer your questions for you!

Here is a fun little list of the most popular super fruits right now...

The first thing I wanted to set straight was the question, what is it that makes a fruit a “super fruit”? Why are they so much better than everything else...? Fruits that are deemed “super” are done so because they combine exceptional nutrient richness and antioxidant quality with appealing taste that can stimulate and retain loyalty for consumer products. A superfruit is thought by many consumers to be any fruit offering value beyond basic nutrition. Key criteria for superfruit success appear to include novelty, perceived health benefits, convenience, reliable supply, and effective promotion (source).

I won’t go through and explain the significance of each superfruit, because that would result in a seriously long post and a lot of reading for you. I’ve linked each food above to a website that states the benefits of it, so if you have some specific fruits from the list that you want to look into, just click and read for yourself :).

Some of the superfruits such as Acai Berry which are indigenous to the rain forests aren’t available in the fresh form in this area, so I’d recommend buying them in a powder form so you can add them to smoothies (as an example)!! You can get some those kinds of Vitamin supplements from Multivits! They have great vitamin D supplements as well!I'd definitely recommend consulting a doctor or naturopathic doctor before trying to treat a medical issue with super fruits. If you have any additional questions about them, leave me a comment and I'll try and answer them for you!

Ok! I'm off to study and eat chicken wings and gluten free soup. 

What did you do this weekend??? Did you run any races? I saw a lot of people did... Did you see any movies? Sleep well? :)

PS - Don't forget, only 2 days left to enter my Sun Warrior protein giveaway! Click here to enter!