Monthly Archives: October 2009

Things I Learned – October 2009

Another month, a whole new set of Things I Learned! If you’re curious, you can also check out what I learned in September and July. (apparently, August was void of any life lessons…)

October turned out to be a big month for me, I learned:

  • I am the only person who can make ME happy. In every sense of the phrase.
  • Sometimes, the small things no longer cut it, and it takes some big things to change that
  • Running out of coffee when you’re up at 4am really, really sucks
  • Gas station coffee will never cut it

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  • Never buy cheap cheese, it’s not worth it.

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  • Sometimes the known is much scarier than the unknown
  • Home is wherever your family is. Whether it be immediate family, extended family, or a family of friends
  • There is no such thing as too many apples

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  • Size and weight do not dictate my happiness. Being thin may make life easier sometimes, but in no way does it make life perfect.
  • Daylight savings is awesome when the clocks go back and you work at 5am the next day.
  • Just because I can’t hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, doesn’t mean I can’t hand it out to myself.

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  • Goals are meant to be accomplished, no matter how lofty they may seem.
  • When my body speaks, I should to listen
  • Simply Bars have awesome nutritionals

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  • But the cocoa cacao with raspberry flavour just doesn’t do it for me.

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  • Nothing in my kitchen is off-limits. Sometimes, I just need to get my hands dirty and try out new dishes.
  • I really, really enjoy exercise classes
  • Candy corn is not at all the jujube candy I expected, but a sweet, creamy, addictive treat.

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  • I need to listen to my gut more often
  • Some days a little bit of living room yoga is enough
  • When I can’t be what I want to be doing, I can at least lose myself in one of my favourite books

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Happy Halloween everyone!!!!

Question of the day: What did you learn in October?

Flashback Friday – Food Blogger Edition

Thankyousomuch for all the nice comments about my journey to double-digit land! I was surprised by how many of you said you have yet to reach any fitness accomplishments. Bullshit! As I told Ang, some days, just making it to the gym is an accomplishment in itself. We don’t all have to be running marathons here :)

Speaking of which! I do have plans to do a half marathon next spring. I’m iffy about doing one sooner because I’m not too keen on training in the snow and ice. Plus, I think the winter is a great time to focus on strength training and doing those other activities that get neglected while training for races during the summer. I would also love to do a full marathon in 2011. I think next summer will be the season for my half-mary, duathlon and metric century. The summer after that will be The Big One ;)

I thought for this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, it would be fun to look back to the beginnings of the blog. As most of you know, I started The Great Balancing Act in July because blogging at Trying For A Tri felt weird after I finished my triathlon!

To see my first ever blog post go here. It was kind of boring, and the pictures aren’t great. I actually didn’t even tell anyone about the blog until I’d been at it for a week so there would be some content on there first.

I was still calorie counting during those first few months, I gave it up for good in April ‘09. There were some good eats in my first six months as a food blogger though :)

Tofu and fried egg sandwiches…

01-19-09 sandwich

My first ever sushi…

01-24-09 sashimi01-24-09 maki

Experiments in homemade protein bars…

01-28-09 bar

Ginormous mugs of coffee…

01-29-09 coffee02-13-09 coffee 02-18-09 coffee

Alotta almond butter…

01-25-09 almond butter

Oatmeal parfaits

01-23-09 oatmeal

Pre-workout snacks…

01-21-09 banana

…and post-workout shakes.

02-03-09 shake

Luna bars.

 

02-14-09 lunas

02-15-09 luna 2

02-21-09 luna2

 

A lot of pitas.

02-15-09 pita2 02-15-09 pita3

02-15-09 pita4 02-15-09 pita5

Hmmm…I think my favourite of all though was my homemade birthday carrot cake.

01-23-09 cake

Droooool. Can we do this again this year mom? Or maybe…pie!?

I also miss my cute puppies.

01-23-09 rudy 01-23-09 archie

But I do not miss this:

02-01-09 deck 01-21-09 snow

Uugggghhh :P

Okay, that’s enough fun with old blog pictures. Wanna see what I’m eating these days?

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PB&J oats, now pronounced “peeeebjuh”

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp PB
  • 1 tbsp blueberry jam

I “sandwiched” half the PB and jam in the centre of the bowl again. You can see it peeking out a little!

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Dinner was a rather large salad.

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These days, I’m eating them out of a casserole dish.

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Anyone else eat their romaine lettuce by the head? I guess they’re on the small-ish side, but I still feel pretty badass chopping up a whole head of romaine for just one salad.

  • romaine
  • peeled carrot
  • chickpeas
  • roasted sweet potato
  • cottage cheese
  • cajun spice, cumin and pepper

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I ate it all, and still had chocolate after ;)

My legs are feeling pretty good today, so I’m happy a light workout may be in the picture for tomorrow after all! Otherwise, it’s my usual 5am-1pm shift. With no candy, costumes or other Halloween joy. I don’t get trick-or-treaters where I am and I love handing out candy. Anyone in Fredericton care to hire me as a candy-hander-outer tomorrow night? :P

If you are celebrating on Saturday, have fun!! And have a package of rockets for me please ;)

Question of the day: What would be in your flashback Friday food edition? When I do this again another six months down the road, there will definitely be waffles :P

A Tale of Two Digits

Okay, no more job talk today! :P I actually had a big day in that I hit what I consider to be one of my biggest fitness goals.

I kinda-sorta slept in today and tried to make a fancy feast of french toast. However, I made the rookie mistake of over-soaking the bread in egg whites.

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Still delicious, they were just super egg-y and fell apart on me. Had an orange dipped in almond butter on the side.

And don’t worry – I’m still eating lots of apple treats!

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These apple oatmeal muffins have taken up the space in my freezer that’s usually dedicated to vitamuffins. Slathered in PB. Of course.

I couldn’t wait for lunch today so I could make a pita with my leftover roast chicken.

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Do I even have to say this was good? :P Who needs deli meat?

I used a new-to-me hummus on the pita as well.

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I’m told this is the closest thing to Sabra hummus that you can find in the Maritimes. It’s pretty darn good! I liked the garlic in the centre. Besides the presentation, it wasn’t anything to run home about though. President’s Choice Organics hummus, in my opinion, is just as good.

Theeeen, I waited 2.5 hours, mustered up all my courage, and hit the trails for 10 miles. That’s right my friends! Double digits!!!

This is a huge running accomplishment for me. I have no idea why, but I’ve always put double-digit runs on a sort of “pedestal.” I always thought they were so hardcore, and I’ve never considered myself hardcore at, anything!

I tricked myself into thinking that I was just going on a very long jog. No stress. It was a nice and sunny day out, 6 C (43 F) so not too cold. Not a lick of wind either, the river looked like glass.

My first 5 miles were easy, other than the fact that I was having tummy troubles. For the record, garlicky hummus and dark chicken meat do not make the best pre-run meal :P My stomach doesn’t digest high fat foods well, and I was very crampy/burpy for the first half. But, since this was such a long friggin’ run, it did eventually pass.

I did my usual 9 minutes running, 1 minute walking intervals. I went at what felt almost like a “jogging” pace for me. I figured, if I was going to run a whole 10 miles, they didn’t need to be high intensity!

After 70 minutes, I dug into my cran-razz Clif Shot Bloks. I had three left, so I popped one every 10 minutes (during my last three walking breaks). This was my second experience with these and I loved them! I was scared they would bring my stomach cramps back, but spacing them out made them easier to digest. They were easy to chew and swallow, and didn’t leave a gross sugary taste in my mouth like some sport gummies or gels do. They provided me with the perfect amount of energy to get back home :)

I was actually feeling good enough at the end that I skipped my last walking break, and even sprinted towards the end! Total stats:

Time: 1:44:17
Distance: 10 miles
Avg Pace: 10:25

I’m thrilled with that. I was secretly hoping to get it done in under 1:45:00. Now I just don’t know where to go from here When I started focusing on running after my triathlon this summer, it was my goal to get up to the double digits before it started snowing. Now that I’ve done that, should I just keep going? Should I lay off? Maybe I just won’t set any more running goals and do whatever the hell I want :P

Walking down the stairs to my apartment after was so hard. My legs were really sore to begin with today from all the exercise classes I’ve been doing. I was literally hobbling around. I immediately took a couple ibuprofen then foam rolled and stretched for about 20 minutes. Then I took turns icing my hips, knees and ankles while drinking a delicious smoothie.

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  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop peach-mango protein powder
  • 2 big scoops plain yogurt
  • handful each of frozen papaya chunks, frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries and frozen raspberries (remember not that long ago when these were super cheap fresh? Boo.)

Here’s my “holy crap I just ran 10 miles” face.

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Ha, I look a little tired. Rightfully so!!!

Dinner was another tofu quesadilla because the first one was so good.

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  • 1/4 block crumbled tofu
  • red pepper
  • red onion
  • chili powder, paprika, cajun seasoning
  • EXTRA cheddar cheese (10 miles deserves extra cheese, dontcha think?)

I had leftover potatoes and carrots from yesterday’s feast. Re-roasted and much better the next day. The chicken grease made them crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside.

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I always put the salsa on top of my quesadillas as not to make anything soggy. Plus it’s more fun that way.

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Yumm, perfect recovery food!

Thankfully, I’ve regained mobility in my legs. My upper body was surprisingly stiff too, either from tensing up or my camelbak. But that’s back to normal as well. Tomorrow will definitely be a rest day. Then maybe some light activity on Saturday to get my muscles moving and blood flowing again. Praying I don’t wake up with a Charley Horse tonight!

 

Question of the day: What’s your biggest fitness achievement so far? I talked about this on Brie’s blog before. But being able to run 20 minutes straight was a huge one for me. Others include swimming my first kilometre, squatting an olympic bar for the first time, and of course, the triathlon! And now running 10 miles!! :D

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