Monthly Archives: July 2009

Little Moments

Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that bring me joy. Like packing up my work eats in a new lunch bag.

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Oooh! And there were lots of goodies inside :D

Chocolate & PB breakfast cookie.

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VitaMuffin, applesauce, cheese.

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Last VitaMuffin :( Gotta say, I think I like them best straight up, unheated. They taste just like brownies that way, and you don’t mess with brownies :P I see myself forking out another $5 for a pack of four again. I’m a sucka like that.

Cinnamon raisin bagel with egg white pillows.

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I love how my egg whites microwaved into the shape of the bagel. It’s like they knew! Unfortunately I did not dig the sweetness of the raisin bagel with the eggs. Not my favourite combo.

Oh yes, apparently California has run out of oranges and South Africa had to step in.

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I put in a little overtime today so I could watch the crazy mountain climb of the Tour de France. It must have been a steep and windy climb, because they were pulling Susan speeds for much of it. I’m not a huge Lance fan, but I give him props for today. I definitely appreciate his sheer skill in the sport. They need to have an “old guy” jersey!

When not watching the Tour, eating African oranges and reading the news, I also visited the New Brunswick Highland Games Festival at Old Government House.

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Our Lieutenant Governor lives here!! It’s absolutely gorgeous inside, the most beautiful library I’ve ever seen (better than Parliament).

I walked over at 9am to do interviews, so there weren’t many people out. Mostly just kilts and bagpipes.

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And um, poutine?

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Definitely a sign of a Canadian Scottish festival :P I wanted haggis, but they weren’t serving it at that hour. Apparently people prefer scones and shortcake over sheep organs in the morning.

I ended up interviewing the nicest lady doing genealogy. Sometimes my job is a lot of stress and hard work. But getting to sit down and chat with people like her always reminds me of why I love it. I’m not a naturally outgoing person, but I love meeting interesting people. She took down my name and said she’d look it up for me. My Papa’s family was from Scotland and I feel like I connect with my Scottish background the most. Although, that may just be the pasty skin and frizzy hair talking…

I pulled a Polly and had a peach and almond butter when I got home.

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With some cinnamon toast popcorn.

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Munchmunchmunch.

My afternoon was unproductive. Hey, I don’t need to be productive every day!!

Dinner featured something rare for me – canned soup.

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I don’t buy it a lot because of the insane amounts of sodium. Even the “low sodium” stuff is too much, especially if I want to have more than one serving. But this can was on sale super cheap, and looked safe.

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I wanted to add tofu for extra protein, but the package I had in the fridge expired :( That always happens to me! So I added some frozen edamame and a couple spoonfuls of Eden Organic Caribbean rice & beans to “beef” it up a little.

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The rice and beans added a little spice, but it was still missing a little somethin, so I stirred in a laughing cow cheese. Works every time!

 

Okay, I’ve been debating about whether or not to post a pic of what I wore today. It was nothing fancy, new or special. But while getting dressed this morning I had a huge moment.

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In the past 13 months, I have lost 30 lbs, and around 14 inches from my waist, hips and chest. It’s been a slow process as I cleaned up my eating and got more active. Only those closest to me have really noticed. Sometimes, I can’t even notice.

Seeing as I’m a busy person with a low income, I have very few clothes that are actually my size. Only a handful of tops and bottoms fit me properly, the rest are belted and safety-pinned items bought before the weight loss.

I don’t put much thought into my clothes for my morning shifts. I usually just aim for something somewhat professional and warm for my cold office. I threw on these brown pants that I bought during a brief “weight loss” stint in 2004. I couldn’t wear them for years after because they didn’t button up. I held on to them because they were nice pants, and some days, during a good period, I could just barely squeeze them on. Now, they go over my hips fully buttoned.

I bought this cardigan to wear over a dress at a New Year’s ‘06 party. It was a small, and too tight back then. But it matched my dress perfectly, so I bought it anyways. I continued to wear it for years, despite not being able to button it over my belly, or that the material looked like a second skin over my arms. This morning, I buttoned it up with ease, and with room left over.

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I can see how people haven’t noticed my weight loss. Looking back, besides a bit of belly chub, I don’t really look that different. If they have noticed, they probably just assume it’s from all the crazy triathlon training :P

I always forget just how far I’ve come. I especially never take the time to realize how amazing it is that I’ve kept it up. I now have more enthusiasm and passion towards my new lifestyle than ever before. But for some reason, little reminders like today’s clothes always take me by surprise.

Most importantly, it reminds me that having a good relationship with food and my body is perfectly possible. I obsess about food as much as anyone else (hello, I blog what I eat). But I think I’m starting to settle into a good place with both food and exercise.

That being said, I’m not 100 per cent there yet. When I started losing weight last summer, I think the pendulum swung a little too far in the other direction. I’m trying to get it somewhere in the middle now. There’s also the cereal munching thing… but that’s a whole other post!!!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!!! :D

Tunes to move to

Hi!! Happy weekend!! I’m especially chipper coming off my own weekend. I only have three days of work ahead of me until my next “weekend.” Wacky schedules sometimes suck, but sometimes, they’re also awesome :)

Chris and I are both mega proud of ourselves today. If you missed it in my last post’s comments, he got up early for a two hour bike ride to beat the rain. Similarly, I hopped out the door at 7 am on my day off to go for a run. We both outsmarted mother nature and had awesome workouts to boot! My stats:

Duration: 40 minutes
Distance: 4.2 miles
Avg pace: 9:30
Avg HR: 159
Max HR: 171

This was supposed to be my “long run.” My plan is to do one 3-mile maintenance run a week, and then one long run a week based on time and not distance. Every week, I’m going to increase the time by 5 minutes. May not seem like a lot, but I rather take it slow and not get injured. I attribute my now-healed hip injury to three things:

1) Old running shoes
2) Doing too much too fast
3) Doing too much too fast after a period of inactivity (sitting on my butt studying for exams)

So hopefully keeping those three things in mind will prevent it from happening again!

I also have to add how shocked I am by today’s pace. Who knew not running for two months would take a minute off my average pace? Clearly, it’s because of the cross-training I’ve been doing. Just goes to show you don’t have to run every day to improve at it :)

Post-run breakfast:

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Soooo muuuuch fruit!!! I loved it! Those are two Nature’s Path maple cinnamon waffles with cashew almond butter, yogurt and berries. This is definitely my favourite breakfast of the summer.

My lunch featured some more crazy delicious Mediterranean cottage cheese.

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I put the cottage cheese on a pita with turkey slices, heritage tomatoes and lettuce. I will definitely be stocking up on this stuff again!!

My afternoon snack featured this:

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Ha, just joking! I actually did laundry today and this lovely vending machine is in my laundry room. Back in the day I was known to leave with a bag of peanut M&Ms, but now not so much. Instead, I snacked on this:

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Parfait a la K/A/J. It’s not nearly as pretty. The VitaMuffin crumbled everywhere. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the rich-chocolate/yogurt combo. The texture of the muffin in yogurt was amazing though, I bet it would be good with a different flavour (and Greek yogurt, if my city ever joins the 21st century and starts stocking it).

I also picked up a package from Amy!

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The wonderful and fellow triathlete answered my lunchtime woes and sent me a thermal purse along with some homemade cloth bags. They’re fabulous! The lunch bag is fashionable enough to wear as a regular purse, and just small enough to fit in my larger work bag.

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Insulated to keep my yogurt cold!! (and zipped to keep the tuna smell in…) Thank you so much Amy!!! You are the bestestestest :D

Chris and I went out for an early dinner tonight at our favourite restaurant in town – Isaac’s Way. Ever since my first hamburger, Chris has been telling me I need to try the one at Isaac’s Way. Who am I to argue with the expert?

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“The Big Isaac beef burger is piled high with onion rings, grilled mushrooms, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and pesto mayo on a Kaiser bun. How big is your bite? Served with your choice of side.”

I ordered it without the cheese and mayo, but couldn’t say no to the onion ring. It was mouth-watering good! Ohmy. I may not be a steak girl, but I’m definitely a burger gal!

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Chris also had an anti-cow meal.

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But he really prefers to drink his cycling calories back.

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I almost finished mine, but decided it wasn’t worth the tummy pains to cram in those last few delicious bites.

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I finished with a ginger peach tea.

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The boy had more beer ;) Overall a delicious meal! I love that I can eat things like this now without suffering from food guilt. One ginormous hamburger once in a while isn’t going to make me re-gain all my weight. One a day however may have different effects…

 

Now onto even more fun things… Workout Tunes.

I was reading in Canadian Running Magazine the other day that songs with the right beat and rhythm could increase athletic performance by 20%, by taking our attention away from discomfort and fatigue. That’s pretty impressive! I spent much of this past year without an iPod, and found working out without one to be pretty gruelling at times. Especially running.

There are some fun websites out there that get science-y about it. You can download a BPM analyzer to pick songs that will match your heart rate. Run2Rhythm has all types of running playlists available for download. Of course, there’s also a slew of podcasts out there designed for any activity you can think of.

This is great and all. But really, I just like to move to tunes I enjoy! Music is up there on my list of passions, and these days, my workouts are the only chance I get to indulge in it. Sometimes a song will come on my iPod, and I’ll just zone out. It’s amazing the effect good music can have on your mind and body.

So, without further ado, here is my current Top Ten List of Songs to Work Out To:

1. Mass Romantic – The New Pornographers
2. 3’s & 7’s – Queens of the Stone Age
3. Windsurfing Nation – Broken Social Scene
4. Blue Orchid – White Stripes
5. Don’t Lose Your Head – INXS
6. Dvno – Justice
7. Easy – The Beta Band
8. Fit But You Know It – The Streets
9. Wow – Snow Patrol
10. Sweet Ones – Sarah Slean

Some days, knowing I get to listen to my favourite music is motivation enough to get me moving :)

So what are some of your favourite songs to work out to?

A little cycling, and a lot of eating

I’ve got lots of food photos today! Not really sure how that happened… Oh wait, yes I do. I’ve been eating all friggin’ day. It’s just been one of those days where I have no energy or desire to do anything, except eat. It’s not just boredom eating either, I’ve been genuinely hungry all day. My body never ceases to confuse me…

I slept for about 7 hours last night, not too bad. Got up and did some yoga for low back. Then I had a chunk of frozen oatmeal.

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Looks appetizing, no?

It’s this stuff:

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Beside it’s ability to knock someone out, the frozen block is relatively safe.

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After about 5 minutes and some fixins, the frozen block turned into this:

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Muuuuch better :) I stirred in 1 tbsp soy protein powder, then topped it with half a banana, peanut butter and cinnamon.

Taste wise, it was pretty good. Just a hint of sweetness, the perfect amount for my taste buds. Texture wise, it was awesome. I’ve only ever had frozen steel cut oats before, but I absolutely love what I have tried. Kind of like a smaller, creamer version of wheat berries.

it was not very filling though, so some serious snacking begun. I should know better than to snack on odd things here and there, because they never satisfy me. I probably end up consuming a lot more calories by munching on things instead of sitting down and having a legitimate snack.

Aaaanyways, here’s one of my random snackables.

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Dried turkish fig. I’ve only had the calimyrna variety before. This was much bigger, and slightly less sweet?

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Love the crispy/chewy texture!

More morning snacks included a VitaMuffin. I took a cue from Brie and slathered it in PB after warming it up.

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Still crumbly, still delicious.

I finally caved and had an early lunch. The star of the show was this guy:

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President’s Choice Mediterranean cottage cheese. Holy crap. This sh*t is good. I had to force myself to stop eating it out of the container so I could put it in a wrap.

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The wrap is just the cottage cheese with assorted veggies, then some extra assorted stuff on the side with tzatziki. SO GOOD.

Then started my agonizing over whether or not to go for a bike ride. Sheesh, I was getting annoyed even with my internal dialogue!

“My body does not want to move today. I don’t think I can get out of bed let alone force myself through a hill workout on my bike.”

“But it’s going to rain tomorrow and Saturday has to be a rest day. It’s now or skip it.”

“There’s spin class tonight, I could just lay around some more and do that later.”

“Ugggghhhh but I don’t feel like doing anything.”

 

This lasted for about 2 hours, and included a 20 minute nap. It took me an extra hour to get into my gear, have a snack, and get out the door. But by golly, I got out there!!

Duration: 1 hour and 11 minutes
Distance: 29 km (18 miles)
Avg Speed: 23 km/hr (14 mph)
Max Speed: 41 km/hr (25 mph)
Avg HR: 137
Max HR: 167
Calories: 538

Not gonna lie, most of my motivation came from knowing the ride would offset a lot of my snacking. I hate making calorie burns the reason for my workouts. But hey, I’m a girl, it crosses my mind.

Overall, I give this ride a solid decent. I tackled the biggest hill known to man (I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s an exaggeration) only once. I skipped it the second loop around. Only because I was getting weird pains in my legs and my energy was pretty nil. I had to dig deep to get up it at all. Much like this…

I’m glad I went biking, but I’m also glad it’s over. Now I’m even more pooped than I was to begin with.

 

Moving along, my reward supper was awesome to the MAX. Homemade burrito!

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I’m quite proud of this little spicy nugget. The contents contained a Sol spicy bean burger, laughing cow cheese wedge and Eden Organic Caribbean rice & beans.

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The bulk of my canned goods are Eden Organic. It’s more expensive, but one of those expenses I’m willing to pay for.

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My least favourite thing about those Sol burgers is that they’re a little on the mushy side. But it made for an awesome mashed filling!

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The laughing cow definitely made it though. I didn’t want to use cheddar because I had the feeling the flavour would get lost. It was a good call. Oh, and I’m trying to use up those white flour tortillas, hence two of them today. They are definitely made for burritos!! Best use for them yet!

Okay, that’s about as exciting as I’m going to get today. I’ll stop the rambling here. Tomorrow, I’m going to do a post on workout music – I’m excited!

 

Question: Have you been following the Tour de France? Thoughts on Contador? I’ve determined he’s a douche. But it’s looking like he’s going to take it now. I’ll at least be content if Andy and Lance are on the podium with him. I like Wiggins, but I’ve still got my panties in a knot over what Garmin and Astana did to George-y boy in 14.

If you’re not into the Tour, what sports do you follow?

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