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Digging my way out

Hey guys! How are you all doing? I feel so cut off from the world, these past few days have just been a whirlwind. Did you know tomorrow is already Waffle Wednesday? Gah! How did that happen? Even more – it’s September! Figures, just when the weather starts to get cooler, I move into a basement apartment :P

I was up way before my mom and sister this morning. I quietly tried to throw together something to eat without waking them, which of course meant I dropped and banged into everything I touched.

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PB&J toast made under the broiler because I may have broken my toaster. Applesauce on the side.

My family eventually came to, my mother started croaking for coffee, and my sister and I geared up for our 5k run. This was my first time running with someone else – it was so much fun! Made it go by much quicker, even if our conversation was a little short breathed :P We also pace the exact same, neither of us was faster or slower than the other.

Duration: 27:21
Distance: 5.03 km
Avg pace: 8:45 min/mi

A perfect little burst of energy to wake up our creaky muscles from all the heavy lifting yesterday :)

Once we showered and dressed, we all headed to Cora’s for a late brunch. It’s a Quebec-based chain that specializes in breakfast/lunch.

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She looks like a nice lady, no?

They have a huge menu chock full of delicious looking breakfast items.

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I had eggs benedict on my mind, thanks to Janetha.

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I ordered it with the asparagus and swiss cheese, but minus the Hollandaise sauce. I also got all fruit on the side, and skipped the potatoes.

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I’m jealous of Cora’s perfectly poached eggs! Someday, I will do that.

My mom got sausage in buckwheat pancakes.

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And Sara got a crepe omelette.

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Yes, that’s a spinach and cheese omelette rolled up in a crepe. I tasted it, it was divine.

My only complaint about Cora’s is that their fruit isn’t always as flavourful as I’d like. I assume it’s because they have to buy it in bulk quantities seeing as they go through so much of it. The oranges and kiwis were bitter, strawberries a little worse for the wear, etc.

Me and my running buddy…

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Brunch fuelled us up for a Wal-mart extravaganza. My mom and sister continued to spoil me and basically be the best people in the world, getting me a microwave stand, toaster oven, and countless other household items. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent digging our way out of boxes and getting some semblance of what my place actually looks like! I stopped to munch on my mom’s famous homemade hummus.

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I’ll ask her for a recipe, but I know she uses the same method as me – throw all appropriate hummus ingredients in food processor and blend. She never measures anything, thus every batch tastes slightly different. I think her real trick to making it taste amazing every time is that she cooks her own chickpeas. You can definitely taste the difference between the canned and dried varieties.

Dinner was also courtesy my mother. She and Sara left before supper today, but left some food in the fridge so I could make a meal :)

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Check it out! I can eat at a table now! In my old place, most meals were eaten off my lap :\  New place also has wonderful lighting for food photos.

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Haddock, that my mom had previously breaded, on a bed of romaine, tomatoes, sweet peppers and lemon juice.

A sneak peek of my new dining spot!

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There’s still a lot to be done before it looks “home-y.” I’m still trying to get everything cleaned (the place was filthy) and unpacked before I start decorating. 

Sure can’t beat this view though!

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One of my favourite things about my city is the river that runs through it. I don’t know why, but it gives me happy feelings, and now I can see it from my window!! :D

After dinner, I realized I have absolutely no food for work tomorrow, so I hit up the grocery store. This week’s fun find:

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Barbara’s shredded spoonfuls. I started munching on these right away, caught myself, then realized I should just eat a bowl of the stuff instead of a whole serving from the palm of my hand.

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With some blueberries and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It was quite good! They got soggy pretty quick, but I still love the flavour.

 

So now it’s just me, all by myself, in an apartment that’s all my own. I’ve lived alone for short periods before, but only ever after roommates had moved out. This is the first place I’ve ever had that’s 100% mine! It’s a pretty sweet feeling :) And there will be more photos of the place as I get set-up. We’ll do a formal tour :)

I’m off to do some final cleaning before bed. Getting up early for a lifting workout at my new gym. Super excited to play around in the weight room there!

Question of the day: Got any song recommendations for me? I’m getting pretty sick of what’s on my iPod and I need some new stuff to listen to when I’m at the gym or running!

See ya tomorrow! ;)

Running, Races and More Ellipticals

Hiya! Totally loved all your favourite salad combos!!! Wow, some of you are creative. I was surprised by how many of you like fruit in your salad. Mainly because I don’t. Okay, that’s not entirely truthful. I like some fruits in salads, like oranges, peaches, apples. But I can’t do berries. Especially strawberries or raspberries. They belong in yogurt silly :P

Anywho, I almost lost last night’s salad running 5k in 27 minutes this morning. Yup,I actually did it!!

Distance: 5.01 km
Duration: 27:13
Avg Pace: 8:44 min/mi
Avg HR: no idea, my heart rate monitor was crapping out on me again

That run was so. hard. I’m pretty sure I hit my VO2 max. I had to stop and walk for 45 seconds on the last kilometre. I was wheezing and sputtering and basically on the brink of death. Of course, at that very moment, some jackass wearing nothing but shorts and a heart rate chest strap whizzed past me on the trail. I tried to yell obscenities at him, but it came out as a gurgle :P

At first I felt like a failure for having to stop and walk. But then I realized it was actually a success. I wanted to push myself to my limits today. I wanted to see just how fast I could go. I also learned a couple things:

1. I run best when I start out slow and sprint to the end. I tried to set a 9:00 pace for this whole run and it didn’t work for me. No shame in starting slow and pounding it out at the end.

2. I need to work on sustaining high heart rates for longer periods of time. I had to stop on that last kilometre because I was over 180 bpm much longer than I’m used to. I’m going to start doing interval work on the treadmill, to slowly increase my ability to push those higher heart rates.

Once I no longer thought I was going to throw up, my jar of almond butter threw up some oat bran.

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1/2 cup dry oat bran cooked with 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder, 3 dates, cinnamon. And obviously, whatever was left of the AB. These jar concoctions keep me full for-ever because there’s usually more nut butter than the one tablespoon I typically use. Funny how more calories = fuller longer ;)

Some other highlights of my day included a chilled Luna bar.

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I put this in my fridge to keep it from melting in my sauna of an apartment. Holy moly. So good cold! Try it!!

Smoked salmon sandwich (SSS).

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Smoked salmon, laughing cow cheese, capers, tomato, spinach. On my trusty reporter’s notebook.

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Capers are my new BFF.

Homemade trail mix.

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Pecans, roasted almonds, walnuts, roasted soy nuts, cashews, roasted peanuts, dried apricots, dried mulberries, box of raisins meant for children. Lovelovelove having pre-made baggies of trail mix on hand. So easy to throw in my purse when I’m rushing out the door.

I also got a couple great questions in the comments yesterday that I thought deserved a full answers in a post.

Lara wanted to know if I’m training for something specific right now. The answer to that is, yes. Kind of. There’s a 5k race on September 13 I’m thinking of doing purely because it’s being held later in the day, after I get off work. The race I’m technically “training” for is a 10k on September 20. That will be my longest running race distance and I’m really excited about it!

There’s also the CIBC Run For The Cure 5k happening on Oct. 4. This will be a big deal for me, seeing as I’ve walked it several times and I’ve always dreamed of actually running it. My mother had breast cancer when she was 22 (younger than me now!) so this race for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society has always meant a lot to me. Actually running it this year, will be, well, I can’t think of the words at the moment.

 

Another great question was from April who wanted to know the difference between the arc trainer and other ellipticals. This brought me to my old friend google, who had a lot to say about the matter!

First, I learned that there are three types of ellipticals:

Rear drive elliptical

 

Front drive elliptical

 

Center drive elliptical

The rear driven elliptical was first patented by Precor in 2004 and meant to simulate the motion of running and walking without the strain on your joints.

The front driven elliptical was developed shortly after (mostly because the Precor patent made it tough for other companies to copy it). It has the same circular motion as the rear drive, but imitates the stair climber a little more.

The center driven elliptical is the newest. Their most noticeable feature is that it keeps you centered, whereas the other two either have you leaning back or forward slightly.

Now, for the arc trainer, well according to Cybex, they’re a whole other game.

Cybex says it’s not even an elliptical, claiming it also burns more calories (which I always think is hooey, but a lot of people say they get higher heart rates on it). It has a “reverse arc” motion, that is supposed to simulate more natural movement, often compared to cross-country skiing. It’s also supposed to be easier on the knees, and you can adjust the height, changing how high your knees come up.

You can read more here:
http://www.arctrainer.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliptical_trainer
http://www.fitness-equipment-source.com/elliptical-guide/front-vs-rear.htm
http://walking.about.com/od/treadmilling/a/elliptical_3.htm

 

So there you have it! To be honest, I never even noticed all these differences before!! Looking at this, I realize I love my Reebok Body Trec so much because it’s a front driven machine. For whatever reason, the rear drive ones just bug my knees. But now that I know I can adjust my knee height on the Cybex, I may give it another go (longer than two minutes this time? :P )

 

Phew. This was a long post. I think I’m subconsciously putting off packing. Time to get to it! Lator gators!!

Home sweet home… for now…

Hellloooo!! I loved hearing everyone’s favourite desserts! Not that surprisingly, a lot of people said ice cream. I’m not a huge fan of cow milk, and that unfortunately spills over to ice cream. I know, I know.

Let’s see… I left off at breakfast yesterday. No photo, since it’s the exact same thing I ate on Sunday – eggs on toast with plums. I was however quite proud of myself for getting up and running 5 km at the city park near my mother’s house. Can you believe I lived so close to running trails during high school and have never once gone running on them? A downright shame I tell ya!

I didn’t actually venture too far because I was scared of getting lost. I ended up doing the last half of my run by looping around a pretty lake a few times. Overall I did the 5k in 28 minutes. Pretty norm for me these days. There were some decent hills in there which I’m not used to. Plus, it was at 8 am and it was already scorching hot!! My heart rate went up into the 180’s which is high for me. I was soaked with sweat when I returned home.

Our shopping adventure was something of a fail. Once we got to the mall we realized neither of us were in the mood to shop! So we ate instead ;)

We hit up a place called Bogart’s Bar & Grill. It’s something of a fancier restaurant, and a place I’ve always wanted to try. Luckily, we were there while they were still serving lunch, so it wasn’t quite as expensive!

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I went for the Panini Cubano.Ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, Cuban bread, mustard and homemade aioli with sliced dill pickle.”

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I’ve seen a lot of tasty looking Cuban sandwiches on other blogs, so I was excited to try it!

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I’ll start with the good – the roasted pork was to die for. Amazing flavour and perfectly cooked. The bad? I wasn’t a huge fan of the bread an it was way greasy. Even the crusty top of the sandwich was buttered! I don’t order a lot of sandwiches at restaurants, so it never occurred to me to ask them not to butter the bread. I guess I learned my lesson! I ended up eating half of it open-faced. You can see the saturated top half in that picture. That’s not aioli, it’s buttah! Ick. I like my butter with some bread please :P

Chris got one of the specials – chicken souvlaki with rice and green beans.

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And a microbrew – blueberry ale from the Pump House based out of Moncton (conveniently located next door to this restaurant).

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With fresh, not frozen blueberries!!

I was also a fan of the decor…

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And the mint chocolate we got with our bill…

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Love these things!!!

 

After this we packed up our stuff and hit the road! You know what that means, a flavoured drink!

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You may recall I tried the tropical punch variety of this before. I thought it was “meh” before, but I figured I’d give the strawberry melon a whirl.

Don’t be fooled by that flavour though. It’s actually just watered down apple juice with purple sweet potato juice for colour.

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I did however enjoy this flavour more. It wasn’t too sweet like a lot of these drinks are. I find I often need water to wash down flavoured drinks because the sweetness leaves me with a gross aftertaste.

Supper was dull, and small, since lunch was eaten at 3 pm. I did however find room for another sweet treat.

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Wasa bread, PB, melted chocolate chips. Oh yes. It was good.

I spent most of my evening on the balcony internetting. It’s freakin’ HOT in my apartment! If I wasn’t so exhausted I’d be concerned about not being able to sleep in this heat.

To be honest, I’m really not looking forward to these couple weeks ahead of me. I just realized that I’m working for the next nine days straight, immediately after which I have to start moving stuff into my new place. I have a lot of things to do before then, such as getting my utilities set up, PACKING, and trying to not to lose my mind. I’ve already decided I’m taking moving week off from exercise so I’m not physically (and mentally) exhausted during that time. I just keep telling myself that my life will be settled once I’m in my new place. It’s just been such a hectic summer for me!! I never predicted how graduating university and getting a “real” job would affect me. But it’s been a huge life change so far.

Question of the day: how many places have you lived in? I’m about to move into my fifth apartment in five years. Unfortunately, this next place probably won’t be all that permanent either. But dang, I’m sick of moving, ya know?

Night night!!

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