Monthly Archives: September 2009

Fant – ab – ulous

Hello!! Hope you all had fantabulous weekends :) I always feel so weird writing weekend posts, because I’m speaking to people who mostly had the days off. But I’m smack middle in my work week!

It was a slow news day, my only assignment was to clean the newsroom. Wow. I don’t think it’s been cleaned since the introduction of computers…

I came home tired and hungry, so I decided to satisfy my hunger first. With a parfait!

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I don’t like wine, so it was nice to find a use for my wine glasses :)

It had a blueberry bran vitamuffin, peanut butter, blueberry jam and yogurt.

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Baaahhh, soooo good!! I just sort of plopped little bits of PB and jam as I layered the muffin and yogurt. Every bite was different and delicious!

Then I promptly passed out for two hours. These early morning shifts still really tucker me out. My body just can’t get used to them!

After navigating my way out of a post-nap fog (and a banana), I went to the gym. Weekend afternoons at the gym are so chill. It’s so easy to just whittle away my day playing around on the equipment. Actually, that’s exactly what I did :P

It’s been a while since I did some serious core work, so I wrote down ab circuits to do, inspired by April’s total core workout.

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I’m a total nerd and often bring cheat sheets to the gym with me. If I’m trying out new moves, I’ll write down descriptions so I don’t flub up and get the form wrong!

Anyways, here’s what I did:

  • 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance every 2 minutes
  • Middle ab circuit (x3)
  • 10 minutes on the rowing machine
  • Oblique circuit (x3)
  • 10 minutes on the stepmill, increasing then decreasing speed
  • Challenge ab moves
    • two 90-second planks
  • 10 minutes running on the treadmill, increasing speed every 2 minutes
  • 5 minutes walking on treadmill

With stretching after, I was at the gym for over an hour and a half! Whoops.

I was staaaarving by the time I got home. So I just threw a bunch of stuff in the oven so it would be ready for when I got out of the shower :)

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I covered some tofu in teriyaki sauce and black sesame seeds.

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Then some green beans, mushrooms and onions with a little Bragg’s.

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Deeeelicious!! My favourite parts were actually the mushrooms and onions. They make such a mean combo when cooked!

I’m still pretty hungry though. This was eaten at 7pm, and my “lunch” was at 10am, with a couple snacks and a long ass workout in between. I find I need a substantial meal every few hours. Now I feel like I just can’t get satisfied!

Well that wraps it up for me. Regardless of my afternoon coma, I’m still exhausted! I want to be nice and chipper for my step class tomorrow. Ohthatsright. I’m going back!

Question(s) of the day:

1. What’s your favourite time to go to the gym? Definitely love my weekend afternoons! I used to go on Friday nights which was a lot of fun. My least fave is after work. It’s when it’s the busiest and just seems like no one wants to be there.

2. What are some of your favourite ab moves? I used to hate the plank, but I love challenging myself with it now. I also really like the Pilates “roll up.”

See ya tomorrow!

Running For The Fun Of It

Aaah! Thank you so much for the positive comments on my last post! You have no idea how good it felt to get that off my chest! As of right now, I’m just going to keep my eyes open for the right opportunity. There are a few avenues I’d like to pursue but I think I need to be still for a little bit before I dive into anything right away. It’s comforting to know I have a decent job to go to every day in the meantime :)

You’ll never guess what I had for breakfast this morning :P

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A chocolate macaroon breakfast cookie! I’m happy to hear that people are having breakfast cookie successes after posting my how-to video last week! The amazing Ellie had her first successful attempt at the overnight cookie. Except she made hers snack sized. Such a great idea!

There was also a honeydew melon at some point as a pre-run snack.

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I always do cottage cheese in a cantaloupe bowl, but I saw this combo on Tay’s blog and knew it was a “must have!”

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In the melon is yogurt, Optimum banana almond cereal and cinnamon. While this was a stellar combo – the cinnamon totally made it! ;)

I was feeling reeeally tired and “blah” today. I wanted to get out for a run, but I decided to not set the usual goals for myself. After two straight weekends of races, and my toughest long run to date, I felt the need to just let loose on the trail. So I set out without any time or distance goals. I didn’t run hard or fast, I just ran to remind myself that it’s fun :)

SO glad I did! I’m not sure about you guys, but I get so caught up in setting fitness goals for myself, I sometimes forget that just doing it is fun. We had a perfect fall day here. Sunny and slightly brisk. I never run along the trail later in the day, so the sun was coming through the trees in the most gorgeous way. It was full of yellow and orange leaves, and I got to say hello to many fellow trail-goers :)

If you must know, I did 4.2 miles in 41 minutes. Perfection! No walk breaks since it was a shorter run. I felt like I could have kept going, but I’m terrified of getting an overuse injury. So I kept my weekly mileage in the “safe” zone :)

My cycling-obsessed boyfriend teased me into thinking he was going to run with me today. Alas, he once again opted for is two wheels. Aaahhh, the woes of being a cycling widow :P Or…is he a running widow?

Anyways, we met up after our respective workouts for some refuelling in the form of a homestyle dinner.

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Canadians, especially Atlantic Canadians, will know what an Irving Big Stop restaurant is. Big Stops are essentially giant gas stations for truckers. They’ve got huge stores attached and rest areas. They also have homestyle restaurants.

It’s by no means classy.

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The food may be simple, but it’s quality. Plus, we kinda like these places. So much so, it’s where we came for Valentine’s Day!

They have one of those “Simply For Life” menus (which I discovered is a local diet centre/program).

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I went for the roast turkey dinner. “All white turkey meat served with mixed steamed vegetables and baked sweet potato.”

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I love turkey dinners!! Probably one of my favourite meals (and why Thanksgiving is actually my #2 favourite holiday after Halloween ;) ). There was soooo much turkey. I ended up mixing it with the veggies and sweet potato to get combination bites. It was mega tasty. The perfect post-run meal.

Chris went a little ahem, bigger, with his recovery meal.

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Chicken poutine. I can’t say much though, bastard burned 1300 calories on his ride! I assume most people know what poutine is, but for clarification sake this one had french fries, turkey gravy and mozzarella. Traditional poutines are made with cheese curds, but cheese is always delicious no matter what the kind :)

I also have an official announcement to make.

I’m going to do a half marathon in May!! It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I ran the 5k portion of the same race this past May. All I needed was a little gentle nudging from Brie who signed up for her first half marathon in April!

It still seems pretty far away in my mind. But it was this time last year that I decided on the triathlon, and that approached pretty darn quick!

The only thing I’m worried about is training during the winter months. I don’t think running in freezing temperatures will be that bad. I’m just concerned about the ice and snow. I don’t want to run on the icy sidewalks, which means a few months training will likely be done on the treadmill. 

Anyone got any tips for training in the winter?

If you live in a warm climate, got a spare room? I jest, I jest :P

Okee folks, cookie is in the fridge, and I’ve got a bed that’s calling my name. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

The Pyramids of the Weight Room

Before I get into this post, I have a confession to make.

I don’t like canned pumpkin.

Fresh roasted pumpkin I love. Pumpkin cream cheese muffins make my mouth water. Pumpkin pie is one of my favourites (okay, I like all pies).

But I cannot stand the mushy tastelessness of the canned stuff. I have to add a whole container of pumpkin pie spice to make it edible in anything, and even then it just makes things… mushy.

So there ya go.

While we’re at it, I don’t like Christmas. But I’ll save that for another day :P

You know what I do like though? Waffles!

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It’s an addiction, I know. Before these though, I had a stellar weight lifting workout.

I picked up the September issue of Oxygen magazine for the first time after hearing Janetha say good things about it. I always shied away from this magazine because it’s full of scary looking fitness models, but it’s got great weight lifting info for women!

One of the tidbits in there is about pyramid sets. In a regular pyramid, you start off at a low weight with high reps, then increase the weight and reduce the reps with each set. It allows you to overload the muscle gradually. A reverse pyramid is just the opposite, starting with a heavy weight and low reps, decreasing the weight and increasing the reps with each set. This allows you to use the heaviest weight at the beginning while your muscles are still strong.

The heavy weight sets will build strength, the medium ones will build lean muscle and the lighter ones will improve endurance and recovery. Mixing these up will shock your muscles instead of letting them adapt.

So I hit up the gym this morning with this in mind. I decided to go old-school with the exercises, and take my time to really focus on the weights I was using and my form.

Warm-up:
15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing the resistance every 2 minutes

Barbell squat:
65 lbs x 8
55 lbs x 12
45 lbs x 15

Wide-grip lat pulldown:
40 lbs x 8
30 lbs x 12
20 lbs x 15

Lunge:
10 lbs x 24 (alternating legs)
15 lbs x 20
20 lbs x 16

Dumbbell shoulder press:
10 lbs (ea) x 15
15 lbs x 12
17.5 lbs x 8

Single-leg Romanian deadlift:
40 lbs x 8 (ea)
30 lbs x 12
20 lbs x 15

Tricep pulldown:
30 lbs x 8
20 lbs x 12
10 lbs x 15

HIIT:
15 minutes on the elliptical, 1 minute sprints, 2 minutes recovery

Cool-down:
Stretching

T’was a good time! I really like switching it up in the weight room. Part of the reason why I’m contemplating not doing another lifting program this winter. I like picking and choosing what I want to focus on :)

Theeeen it was waffle time :)

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The usual. Maple cinnamon waffles with almond butter, yogurt and strawberries. I am singing my love for this combo from the mountain tops! :)

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And a little protein juice to chase it down, otherwise known as PVL peach whey cooler. Not the prettiest photo – I was thirsty!!

I’ve also been quite vocal in the past about my dislike for wraps/tortillas. I’ve just never been a fan of the chewy denseness of them. Plus, all the full to medium-size ones around here are 200+ calories with little fibre and protein. But I found these in the freezer in the health food section the other day and decided to give them a whirl.

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Ezekiel organic sprouted whole grain tortillas. Nutritionals on these are the best I’ve found yet.

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For lunch, I packed one of these babies with leftover curry salmon salad, cottage cheese and romaine lettuce. Then I took an exceptionally bad photo at the office.

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Sorry! I got busy with work once it was unwrapped. The tortilla was alright. Still dense, but at least not chewy. Very seed-y, and quite thick. I think it would be better grilled, or as a quesadilla.

I just got groceries, so I had way too many options for dinner. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, so I just went with the simplest things possible.

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Tempeh burger broiled with a string cheese and dipped in barbecue sauce. A bowl of honeydew melon on the side. Eaten on the couch. Just one of those days!

Except, I’m kinda hungry again. The water in the melon only temporarily filled me up.

Question time!

1. Any popular foods you dislike? I also don’t like rice and pasta. I’m more of a sauce-y gal ;)

2. What’s your favourite holiday? Mine is Halloween. But that’s just because I like dressing up and little bite-sized candies.

Also! I’m going away to Windsor next weekend and I won’t be blogging on my usual schedule. So I’m putting out the call for guest posts! I need 3-4 posts :)

Okay, the boy is here and he keeps staring at me while I blog. I think it’s time I go pay attention to him. Later!

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