Friday, December 12, 2014

The Struggle is Real

Goal Day!!

I successfully made it to the gym 6 times in the past two weeks! My reward... SHOPPING!!!

I may have went a little nuts, considering my 'goal' was fairly mediocre and people go to the gym in the morning every day. But... I'm an equally huge fan of positive reinforcement and 'feeling good=looking good'. Therefore, I shop.

For the last day of my challenge I completed this work out (so generously thought out by the staff at my gym!)

Work out

8 minute run at 6.1
10 squats
15 walking lunges (each leg)
10 sit ups
10 lat pulldowns
8 minute run at 7.0

Repeat twice, or three times, or four times....

Today I bought some basic black capris from ONETOOTH ... my other ones were too big and giving me saggy butt...

Word on the street is that ONETOOTH is a less expensive, but similar quality to Lululemon. At first glance they appear to be very similar to Lulu's WunderUnder Crops. The main differences I have noticed so far is that they are shorter, falling just below the knee, whereas Lulu's crops hit mid calf. ONETOOTH doesn't have that little, waist pocket that is found in most Lulu bottoms... the one that I've never used. The fabric is comparable, yet slightly different. I prefer the feel of luon, and Lulu's seem to breath a little bit better. ONETOOTH has made a good effort at creating a similar product to Lulu's WunderUnder crops, however for the mere difference of less than $10 (Lulu = $72, Onetooth = $65) I think I will continue to rave over Lulu's stuff. 

I also bought some classic TYR black swim suit bottoms. I will be surfing during my upcoming vacation and I cannot stress enough the value in a tight fitting pair of bikini bottoms.

Lastly I bought some much needed black spandex... My wardrobe is becoming a spandex/luon market!! 
As I was fashion showing my newly purchased items for my boyfriend, as I got to these shorts, he said, "Ah... you're one of those cool girls now!". So, there you have it ladies, Underarmour spandex are now considered, CoolGirl Shorts. 

Can't wait until I complete my next goal... so I can go shopping again!!

Next Goal: Complete 12, 1 hr, morning Gym sessions in January. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas in December

Of course, Christmas is always in December, however, for some reason my friend just said this out of the blue and it made me chuckle. (I have a strange and simple sense of humor...). 

Christmas in December was a lovely chance for two of my friends and I to get together and have a dinner party sleepover... (You're never too old for sleepovers). 

We had a fairly healthy dinner compared to the traditional turkey, gravy, and potatoes spread I'm sure a lot of you will be having this winter. Our dinner was light, and refreshing. Of course, we had to throw in a little bit of indulgence... ;)


Cranberry Hazelnut Baked Brie 
Citrusy Herbed Baked Salmon
Steamed Broccolini
Fresh Spinach Salad
Baked Butternut Squash
Dana's famous Buns
Berry Cheesecake

A 'Healthy' Christmas in December

Stunning Berry Cheesecake

The highly recommended Piat d'or Merlot... must buy 1.5L. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

A nice little note...

I ordered some vitamins online the other day and when I received them the box had this beautiful message printed on the side.

It reads, "Happiness is something that we decide ourselves. There are a lot of reasons to be unhappy but we choose to be happy because it makes us feel alive. "

Love it!

Run - 5.1km

4/5 days this week I've made it to the gym! Before I started this whole 'go to the gym in the morning' thing, I made a goal for myself that if I went to the gym for 6 morning over two weeks, I will buy myself some luon! I've got my eye on some yoga shorts, capri tights, and a new bra. Can't wait!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Swim - 1.5km

I didn't make it to the gym this morning. My body was TIRED!

I went for a 1.5 km swim last night and it was such a wonderful end to the day. The contentment and empowerment I get from being in a pool all by myself is second to none. Knowing that all the ripples in the pool are because of me and the fact that I could swim in a zig zag pattern and hit NO ONE is a cool feeling.

Another, not so cool feeling, is this weird mystery hair I get on my face after I take off my swim cap and get out of the pool. It feels like I have one strand of hair stuck on my face about mid cheek. Every time I try to grab it or wipe it off it never goes away. I even looked in the mirror right after I got out of the pool and couldn't see any hair... but I could still feel it. I probably had this happen to me 9 out of the last 10 times I've been swimming.

Could it be a nervy thing? Anyways, it's strange...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Bike - 5km

I did not want to run today. I barely even made it to the gym. I tried to run and only made it 1.6 km. After that I switched to the bike and finished the rest of my cardio while watching the news.

Regardless of my lack of 6am gym enthusiasm, at least I looked good. These paisley beauty's always make me feel fit! (both "fitness fit" and "British fit"). 

It's the little things... The guy working the front counter absolutely made my day today. He saved me a month worth of gym membership due to a small typo that was made at registration. Talk about a nice guy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bike: Training Tire

I can finally start cycling indoors!!

I know very little about cycling... but I figure there is no better way to learn about it than to just do it! A couple days ago I got online and starting looking into different types of training tires for indoor trainers and I ended up with this blue rimmed gem.

I still know very little about training tires, but at least this is a start.

Let the living room sweaty-session begin!
Let's just say shipping isn't cheap... I wish I had a cardboardy craft to work on. 

Run - 3.5 km

YAY!!! Second day I've made it to they gym at 6am!

It was a much better run than yesterday. I didn't do any floor exercises but I did spend 5 minutes walking at a 'brisk' pace.

I ran at 6.5 today as well. Slowly getting up to 7.0. I took a 1 minute walk break at 10 minutes (which is a surprisingly refreshing break.)

If you are new to running I would highly recommend the 10:1 run-walk ratio. The running room recommends this 'pace' for a lot of their training programs. However, I prefer to do a 9:1 ratio. Using a 9:1 ratio means that every time you reach a number that ends in '9' you walk, and '0' you start running again.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Run - 2.5km

First morning run of December!!

A friend and I are attempting a two week, morning exercise commitment. Basically we both want to work out in the morning, but we hardly ever do it. Most days, it makes no sense to peel ourselves out of a perfectly comfortable bed, therefore sleeping in beats going to the gym 9/10 times.

However, in an effort to end the year on a good note, we will be attempting to exercise in the morning. (Or at least for two weeks, before I leave on Vacation).

Her and I live over an hour apart so we will be supporting each other by being an additional alarm clock. We call each other each morning, and we cant' hang up until the other is dressed and ready to go to the gym.

Day 1 = success.

As for the run... I only got in 2.5km. My body felt stiff, and I was hungry. However, I was so proud of myself because I was actually at the gym at 6am.

I have been consistently running at 6.0 mph, which used to be a struggle for me. I am now feeling quite confident at this speed, so I'm thinking I'll bump it up to 6.5 mph by mid week. My tri goal pace is 7.0 mph for 10km. :)

I also did some body weight/floor exercises this morning which was a great wake me up (tomorrow I think I'll start with these). The gym I go to is great! They provide sample workouts posted on a bulletin so gym-goers don't have to think about 'what to do next'.

Basic Total Body Warmup:

50 squats w 15 lbs 
40 bicycle situps
30 push ups

Broken down into 3 sets

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Get Outside

Baby it's cold outside... But it's so sunny!   Absolutely stunning day en route home this lovely Sunday. 

Thank goodness this Stache is gone tomorrow. I'm not a big fan of prickly kisses.

Fartin' Around...

Be - Do - Have

It is quite easy to get caught up in believing, for instance, if you have more time, you will do more things, and therefore be happier.This is not the case.... if you are caught up in this you will continually be dependent on 'having' in order to 'be' something you're not. 

A short way of looking at this principle is quite 'deep' but may change the way you look at things.
~In life, you do not have to do anything. It's all a question of what you are being.~

Are you SURE you want to be Healthier!!

I get it... you want to be healthier. But why? Are you just saying that because it sounds nice? Because it's expected? Actually 'being healthy' may be more difficult than you think. Especially if you're not very healthy to start with.

Changing a behaviour can be incredibly difficult. Desire to change is in abundant supply, but the reality of change is that it is hard. Research around behaviour change consistently shows the 80-20 rule to be true: that is, 20% of people show up ready to change and the remaining 80% are not ready to take action (Behaviour Change Institute). Think about a time in your life when you've wanted to just change one thing.. how did that go? Chances are you were part of the 80% that wasn't quite ready to make the change.

In order to set yourself up for success, I recommend setting a very specific goal. Instead of just saying, "I want to be healthier." try shaping it as "I want to eat vegetables at every meal" or "I will go to the gym everyday". Setting goals such as the ones I've suggested, give you more direction and help in adapting your goals if something's not working.

Some things to consider in your attempt to "Be Healthier":

  1. You will go to the gym when you'd rather do ANYTHING else. 
  2. When someone offers you that extra sugary and buttery dessert, you'll say "no". 
  3. You will keep going to the gym even though you don't think anything is changing. 
  4. When you're out with friends and they order the extra big nachos with extra delicious cheese, you will keep telling yourself that 'you don't want any'. 
  5. After a long day of work and you're cuddling up on the couch you'll want nothing more than popcorn and some treats. Instead, you'll just have water. 
  6. When the weather is less than ideal, you'll put on your runners, layer up and go for a run anyways. 
  7. You will be sore a lot of the time and spend way more time stretching than you ever thought possible. 
  8. At times you will think you're hungry... but in reality you're just bored of plain broccoli. (spice things up a bit.)
  9. When shopping for groceries, you will avoid certain aisles. The power of the snack aisle can be overwhelming. 
  10. You will own more water bottles than you need.

2015 New Years Resolution: Be Healthy

Yay!!!  You want to be healthier this year! Congratulations! You deserve it!

First things first... Are you SURE you want to be Healthier?

Second things second...

The 30 day 'Body Loves Health'  Fitness and Food Challenge

How it works:

Because there is already soooo many 'challenges' online I will not be creating a new one. Chances are if you're looking at this post you already know how to 'google' anything.

Body Loves Health will help you to successfully complete this 30 day challenge. For those of you with copious amounts of will-power and drive to complete a 30 day challenge without some assistance... good for you! The majority of us will not stick to a 30 day challenge and before we know it, we're right back to where we started after only doing the 'challenge' for 2 or 3 days.

How to successfully complete a 30 day challenge:
  1. Pick a challenge
  2. Make a Schedule
  3. Identify your Barriers
  4. Have a Back up Plan

  1. Pick a challenge
    1. This may or may not be something that you enjoy doing. Perhaps you're wanting to 'learn to love burpees', or maybe you want to 'be a runner', even though you don't enjoy even 1 minute of running. Remember that, as humans, we are programmed to take the path of least resistance. In this case, the path of least resistance is sitting on the couch, ordering take out, being comfortable. So by changing your habits, you are asking your body to go against what we are programmed to do.... hang in there, keep a long term goal in mind, and constantly try to overcome your human nature of taking the path of least resistance. 
  2. Make a schedule
    1. Ensure this is as specific as possible. I would shy away from generalizing a schedule that sounds like "every morning", or "before I go to bed". Get out your schedule for the next month and determine when you will make the time for your challenge, every day. Don't underestimate the power of special events, birthday parties, dinners out, to take over your "challenge" priority. 
  3. Identify your barriers
    1. This closely aligns with making a schedule. If you know 3/30 days are going to be crazy busy while doing your 30 day challenge, prepare for this. Schedule this day ahead of time to determine when you will make time complete your challenge. You may have to sacrifice some things, but remember... you're doing this for your health. If you know, seeing the 'golden arches' every day on your drive home will make you crave fatty food, then take a different way home. If you need to eat a sugar treat every time you turn on the Food Network, don't watch the Food Network. Instead of sitting on the couch as soon as you get home, go and change into your work out clothes. You may not get to work out right away... but at least having the clothes on is one less barrier to completing your challenge. 
  4. Have a back up plan
    1. Life is not as perfect as you want it to be. Even if you want to clear your entire schedule for 30 days just so you can finish this challenge, something may come up that won't let you do that. All things in life are temporary, and you never know what's going to change and when it's going to change. If you happen to miss a day of the 30 day challenge, don't let it ruin your intent to finish the challenge. At the end of the 30 days, would you rather have quit after missing Day 16 of the challenge or say you completed 29/30 days in a 30 day Challenge. Keep going, and figure out what will work best for you if 'life' happens to get in the way of this precious '30 day challenge'. 

Other tips to help have a successful 30 day Challenge
  1. Write on your bathroom mirror in dry erase marker. If you're willing to sacrifice a clear mirror for one month at the cost of your health, keep a dry erase marker in your makeup kit. Use the mirror as a tracking tool, a motivator, or a goal reminder. Write whatever you want on the mirror, just make sure it acts as a constant reminder of your desire to finish a 30 day challenge. (you could also write on your fridge, microwave, CAR (if you're feeling so brave), glass coffee table, TV(you may want to test this out first), basically any smooth shiny surface is great for dry erase markers)
  2. Set alerts in your phone. For instance if you're doing a 30 day water challenge, set a timer to go off every 20 mins that says, 'Drink Water'. 
  3. Tell people that you're doing a 30 day challenge... some people may not be supportive, but more than likely they will be supportive, ask you about it later, and possibly even join in! 
  4. Remember that you're not doing this challenge because you hate your body and you want to change it... do it because you love what your body is capable of, and because of what you want your future body to be like. 
  5. Control your environment. If you want to take your vitamins or floss your teeth for 30 days, keep floss and vitamins EVERYWHERE that you'll be. Keep running shoes or a spare change of clothes in your car, and NEVER miss a workout because you can't find a hair tie... (I've actually used this excuse before). 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Run - 4.3km

Second run in a hotel today. This one went much better. I had the whole place to myself.
I cranked up the TV and ran alongside some Duck Dynasty adventures.

Near the end of my run a guy came in and started running at what looked like a fairly leisurely pace... however, when I sneakily glanced over he was running at 12mph!! Meanwhile there I was prancing along at an easy 6mph. Somewhat discouraging and motivating....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Juice Plus+

I have recently started taking JuicePlus.

I wasn't sure if this would be right for me, after all, why would I get nutrients from a pill that I can just as easily get from the real thing!! When it comes down to it though, I'm not eating enough fruits and vegetables, even though I could... if I wanted to.

I am taking the Orchard and Garden Blend capsules. 

Juice Plus clearly caters to the time-saving convenience that excites most people, and the fact is, that right now in my life, I appreciate having a sound supplement that's packed full of good things for my body.

In all reality, I can't even go into the grocery store and be confident that my non-organic produce is better or worse than the organic counterpart. With all the different information out there around different types of food, who's to say that one is better than the other? Is it worth the money to spend extra on organic? It's exhausting to say the least.

I'll be giving JuicePlus+ a 4 month trial, and be providing monthly updates on how it's going.

Start Date: November 15, 2014

So far...

  • The pills are tasteless
  • I can have the pills on an empty stomach... even though they recommend you have them with meals. (Before I have disregarded this "take with meal" suggestion, and was dry heaving within 20 minutes of taking it...)
  • Energy levels seem decent

Daily Beauty

It was a wonderfully unusual spring-like day in the middle of November when this leaf stopped me right in my tracks.

Beauty is everywhere. I hope you notice it. ❤️

Food Review: Tim Horton's Chili

I love this stuff!!!

It is my comfort food of all comfort foods... which is awesome because it only costs me about $4. Also, I thought I was doing pretty good because how bad can chili really be for you... turns out this stuff is LOADED with sodium :(. I wish they would create a low sodium version.... but then again, the boost of sodium probably makes it taste that much better.

Serving Size    284ml
Calories (kcal) 290
Total Fat (g)   16
Saturated Fat(g) 7
Trans Fat (g)    0
Cholesterol (mg) 60

Sodium (mg)    1180
Carbohydrate (g) 20
Fibre (g)         5
Sugars (g)        5
Protein (g)      18
Vitamin A (% DV)  4
Vitamin C (% DV) 10
Calcium (% DV)    8
Iron 25

Run - 3.2km

Running in a hotel tonight... and it wasn't the best.

I don't know if was due to the fact that the treadmill was super noisy, the others in the gym were older men that were, for-a-lack-of-a-better-term 'creepy'. Or maybe it had something to do with the carb loaded, sugary, cheese-nation food I had on the weekend (bonspiels have a tendency to do that to a person). Either way... it was great to get on the treadmill and put a couple km's on.

I put on some lbs & age this past weekend

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup

1 Butternut Squash
1 Yellow onion
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Cups Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper

Peel and chop the squash and onion and toss together with garlic and olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Transfer squash mixture to a large pot and add about 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender (be careful! It's Hot!!).

Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer for about 10 minutes more. enjoy!

This recipe keeps extremely well in the fridge.

Health Tip: Drink More Water

Drink Water!!!

It's been said time and time again... yet people still are not drinking enough water. Fill up a water bottle and carry it with you where ever you go! You'll be amazed how much better you feel if you just drink enough water.

Reasons I drink water:
  1. I get to skip out on work... the more I pee, the more I'm not at my desk ;)
  2. I get to buy a new water bottle every so often.
  3. Taking a sip of water can abolish awkward moments in conversations... sometimes....maybe
  4. I get to make pretty food slices to add to my water ie cucumber, lemon, lime etc. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Swim - 1.2 km

It's been about 1 week since I've swam and it felt so good to get back in the pool.
I went for a fairly easy workout today just to get back into the swing of things.

400m - warm up; continuous fr
4 x 100m - I.M. with 1min rest
400m - cool down; continuous fr

Total 1200m (48 lengths)

Swimming is such a nice break for your body if you regularly hit up high impact activities such as running. Even if you're not a strong swimmer you can still hit up the pool. Use a flutter board or pull bouy to assist you in the water while not compromising your workout.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weekly Grocery List

Sometimes it feels like I recreate my grocery list every week... but in reality I pretty much buy the same things all the time! Here's a standard list of things usually on my grocery list...


I have to try very hard to keep junk food out of my house. If it is anywhere in the house, I will be sure to eat it! Even as much as I try to hide it from myself 'just in case' I feel like I want a treat, I can not do it. It will be gone! 

If healthy is my only option, I'll choose it every time. However, when faced with the decision between carrot sticks and sugary granola bar... the carrot sticks don't stand a chance. 

Grocery store tip: Shop the perimeter. If you want to buy food that is more fresh and less processed, you'll likely find it around the outside of the store. This is because fresher foods typically need to stay colder than room temperature, therefore needing electricity which is found against the outside walls.  

Run - 5.1 km

Another fabulous run today! I went faster than I usually do which felt great... I ran at 6.5 for 20 minutes and then slowed it down to 6-6.2 for the last 10 minutes of my run. Nothing feels better than running for longer than you expected... having that desire to keep pushing your body is something that is hard to explain, but one of the greatest feelings in the world.

If you've already pushed yourself to get to the gym, you may as well make it worth while and give yourself the proper work out you deserve. No sense going to the gym only to quit 5 minutes short of your run time, or to drop that last set just because you don't feel like doing it.

When I get the urge to stop running, I have to ask myself why?

Am I stopping just because it is easier than running? Or am I stopping because I have to (pain, time, etc). Nine times out of ten I want to stop just because it's easier. Keep Pushing....

Monday, November 17, 2014

Run - 5.0 km

I'm starting to enjoy running on a treadmill. It's a rather new thing for me... but I prefer the treadmill over cold wintery weather. Not to mention, today I was able to watch a Dr. Phil exclusive on the Honey Boo Boo scandal. (Secretly, I think the only reason I enjoy the treadmill is because I get to watch my fair share of trashy television.)

My run felt awesome today! I kept up a consistent pace of 6.0m/hr and loved almost every minute of it... for some reason when I hit the 20-25 minute mark I struggle, but persistence never fails.

Some Treadmill Running Tips:

  1. Don't hold on to the hand rails (you'll look silly... and it may actually make running more difficult.)
  2. Focus on keeping nice long strides. 
  3. Trashy TV never hurt anyone ;) and I'm pretty sure it's been proven to make your run seem easier. 

Maybe tomorrow I'll incorporate this dance routine into my workout... :)