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Off and Running – New Goals!

Hap-p-p-y weekend people!! Or, if you’re like me, happy funemployment ;)

Today was quite possibly the best way to kick off the month of May. It was gorgeous!

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Was up at 6:30am with the sun streaming through the blinds. Wonder how many days of unemployment it will take until I’m no longer up at this time?

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I must say, I’ve done a spectacular job at cleaning out my freezer. This morning, I had a couple Nature’s Path Pomegranate waffles with fried eggs on top. Yolks on the verge…

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I’ve been asked how I fry my eggs without breaking the yolk (I always flip, never sunny-side up). My trick is that I grease the pan. Today I used butter. It was glorious.

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Avec some yogurt and Grape Nuts. This will be my last serving of yogurt for a while. I’ll explain why below!

After digestion, coffee and some extra munchables, I was off and running!

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It was 13 C by the time I made it out the door, and heating up quickly. I did something I haven’t done on a run in a while – I bared my shoulders!

Also wore sunscreen. Very important!!

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And don’t forget the little hole on the back of your Lululemon top. Or else you will end up with a random red dot on your back until November.

Or, so I hear.

With the warm-up and cool-down I was out there for about an hour. 5-ish miles? I haven’t run in almost two weeks because I hurt my foot walking last weekend. I wanted to give it more than enough time to heal before attempting to run, and it actually took days for the pain to go away! No pain running today. In fact, besides a head wind on the way back, it was near perfect.

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Seconds after a run. Don’t you ever say I only post pretty pictures of myself on here ;)

Although, I’m not sure if I could post a picture of myself first thing in the morning like Lori did. My hair takes on a life of it’s own in the twilight hours.

Post-run meal was a giant bowl of goodness.

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Stir-fry with chicken, tofu, bulgur and frozen veggies.

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What made it really out-of-this-world though was the addition of hummus, olives and feta. Stir-fries aren’t just for soy sauce.

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It was amazing. Plus, I used up a fraction of the grains in my cupboard!

Even though I had my morning run out of the way, I still owed the pooch an afternoon walk. It was getting even warmer, so a stroll in the sunshine sounded nice :)

We stumbled upon this spooky looking path, and my curiosity got the best of me.

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I mean, I was protected by a poodle, right?

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The river was high today and wrapped around a bunch of gnarly trees. Verrry spoooky.

And then we found a graveyard!!

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Random. I had no idea this trail existed, or that it had a graveyard.

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Archie was completely thrilled by the adventure. Pretty sure our long walks are the highlight of his day.

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Remember when I was complaining about the bare trees? Well it’s starting to get green!!

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Hurrah! Summer is on the way!

Poor Archie didn’t quite make it home though. He started struggling on the last hill. I looked down at him and said “C’mon Archie! Dig deep!” But he started limping, so I was left carrying at 14 lb furball in my arms up the rest of the steep hill.

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He came home and wiped out at the bottom of the stairs in between all my shoes. I thought I’d finally done him in. I went out, worried about him the whole time, and came back to the usual enthusiastic tail wag and energy. We need to work on his stamina, but his recovery is pretty good!

Last but certainly not least, it’s time I mark the first of the month with a new set of goals. Let it be known that I am stealing the “themed goals” idea from Janetha ;)

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must”
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
Spend time with my family
Enjoy and soak up every single minute.

There is so much more I’d like to do, but I think it’s really important not to overwhelm myself this month! I’m hoping to be moved out of my apartment by next weekend, then live at my mom’s until I move to Toronto at the very end of the month. It’s going to be a weird transitional period for me. But it also has the potential to be a fabulous month ;)

As for my nutrition goals, I have been inspired by Sammie, who is doing an 8-week Operation Bootyfication as a fun way to help prep for her upcoming fitness competition. I am not fully participating, but I have been looking for an excuse to eliminate refined sugar and dairy from my diet for a loooong time, and it was the perfect little kick that I needed ;)

The reason why I want to try this out is because I want to see how it makes me feel. Everyone reacts to certain foods differently, and I have a sneaking suspicion that these two are dragging me down. Especially things like yogurt and cottage cheese, which I eat a lot of.

Okay, and marshmallow fluff too ;)

I still have some of this stuff on hand, so I’ll still be snacking my way through cheese strings. But the amount will be significantly decreasing, so it’s a move in the right direction. Of course, I’ll keep you updated on the results! (Fatty February by the way, is still in full swing!)

If you’re looking for another kick in the butt this month, Janetha is doing a Wakeup Call Challenge that you should check out! I’m a huuuuge advocate of early morning workouts, and it will be a fun way to give them a try :)

And with that, I’m (finally) done! Hope you all enjoyed your Saturday and have a fabulous Sunday!!

Question of the Day: What are your goals for May? You best be making some! ;)

Edited to add: I am such a space cadet. I forgot to mention that I changed my blog layout!! If you’re subscriber, I encourage you to click out and take a looksie. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make the site more “readable” :)

Goals and Reader Challenge!

A thought just occurred to me as I was uploading my food photos from today. Ever find it strange that other food bloggers say calorie counting is too much work? Or that it’s obsessive and makes them think about their food too much? Um, I don’t think anything requires more work or is more obsessive than taking pictures of what you eat and posting it on the internet. Just sayin’!

So last night I slept for 8 hours for the third night in a row. I had three people tell me that I looked good today, including my boss who asked what I was doing in Saint John because I looked “healthier.” Well jeez louise. Perhaps there’s something to this “sleep” thing after all? :P Okay, no more telling myself 6 hours a night is sufficient – 8 hours every night this week. If I blog about it, I have to do it. Anyone else with me??

All the sleep helped me power through a stellar spin class this morning. I was on my ‘A’ game and it felt gooood. However, realizing I forgot my post-workout iced coffee in my fridge at home was not good. Had to make a mad dash to the cafeteria for the hot stuff as soon as I got there.

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I love the taste of coffee, but I have to admit, I really don’t care for hot drinks. I think I may actually prefer it iced now!

Breakfast was odd but super filling!
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That would be a Maple Nut Clif and two boiled eggs.

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I really dug this breakfast. I’ll have to recreate it with my own bars ;)

Speaking of my own bars – I had a Cherry Dark Chocolate as a snack.

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Lunch was leftovers from last night.

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My hamburger/bean/tomato sauce mix was super duper filling and I didn’t even make it to the carrots. Beans are the most filling food ever. No contest!

After eating at my desk, I did the impossible. I drove to the grocery store, picked up a week’s worth of food, drove to my apartment and put it away, then drove back to work, all within my hour-long lunch break!! Phenomenal. I love grocery shopping on the weekends, but hate doing it on weekdays. I think I may have spent less money too because I didn’t have time to scour the aisles and buy random products :P

My poor office mate, I then subjected her to the stench of canned smoked herring this afternoon.

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On top of a couple rye crackers. The smell of boiled eggs seems to go away pretty quickly, but the fish smell definitely lingered! I eat and drink like an old man.

Came home to a fridge full of fresh ingredients, so a big ole’ salad was the natural choice.

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  • spinach
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • pickled beets
  • green olives
  • feta cheese
  • grilled pork chop (cut into pieces)
  • tzatziki

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My new favourite thing is pickled beets! Try ‘em! Beets are so sweet that they aren’t as “pickly” tasting as cucumbers. Also, you hardly need any dressing if you add them to a salad (although tzatziki never hurts).

I’ve been buying pork chops lately as my weekly “raw meat” purchase because they’re one-third the price of chicken breasts. Crazy! $3 for two chops, $9 for two breasts. I was asking my dad about the price difference, because he knows the answer to everything. Well apparently, he asked his dad, my Grampie the same thing. He went into this big thing about how the pork industry in Canada is in rough shape. They can’t compete with the high production of corn-fed pork in the States.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into the Canadian meat industry ever since watching Food Inc. Surprisingly, there are a lot of differences. For example, it’s illegal in Canada to use hormones or steroids on chickens to make them bigger, which we know is not the case in the States. Also, the Atlantic Superstore gets their beef from the US, which means it’s subject to all the things cows in the States are allowed to ingest. Instead, we deport all of our great Albertan beef! Boo.

 

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes! Monthly Goal Check-In!

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. My subletter was here just an hour ago to sign an agreement!! Consider that one MAJOR check on my to-do list :D The car thing is going slower, I may have to get my mom to sell it after I leave in June…

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Fail. But I did make some good contacts this week in terms of freelance writing work.

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. This is proving harder than I thought! I already have so much on my plate, it’s hard to bring new things forward. I did knock off a kick-ass recruiting video last week which I’m pretty proud of :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I clearly did the best at this one! I already feel a gazillion times more confident AND excited about personal training after just one weekend of classes. I talked everyone’s ear off about it today :P

5. Run outdoors again. Check! Got my second outdoor run of the season in on Wednesday. A 4-miler in the beautiful evening sunshine. Unfortunately, the weather here as taken a turn for the worse. I woke up to snow this morning and it’s going back down to freezing this week. What a tease of spring!

 

Question of the Day: Anyone else in for a sleep challenge this week? I’m thinking a giveaway might be a nice motivator for this one. Pledge to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, then next Monday I’ll take giveaway entries by asking how many hours you actually got. It’ll be fun! Well, in a sleepy kinda way ;)

Celebrating the small things

I just got back from a wonderful yoga class at my new gym! I’ve only ever done Iyengar classes before, so I was curious as to what it would be like. It was a class unique to our gym (rather than the pre-choreographed “Bodyflow” class). It was mostly Hatha style. Very light with a few tough holds and pretzel poses ;) Our instructor was awesome, very real and not intimidating in any way. We’ve got another winner at the new gym! :D

This was the view of the river from my new place when I got out of bed this morning:

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Just the inspiration I needed to make Belgian waffles. Yup! I splurged on a Belgian waffle press. Not one of the fancy spinning ones, but it gets the job done ;)

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I used my protein pancake recipe. In the blender went:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • cinnamon

I topped them with fresh blueberries and a fake syrup/maple syrup mix.

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They came out so fluffy! The belgian press also works much faster than the small rectangular one my old roommie had. Makes having these on a workday much easier :)

I had more delicious food for supper…

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Another reason why I love my new place! Unlike my old top-floor apartment, it’s in a basement. So even though it was 28 C today, I could still use the oven! Those aren’t fries, but an Yves veggie chicken burger cut into slices for fun dipping into plum sauce. That corn you see up there was the best I’ve had all season. I baked it in the husk for close to 30 minutes. I don’t have any salt or pepper (got lost in the move somewhere) so I just ate it straight up. So good! Corn is so sweet and juicy, there’s no reason to dress it up. I’ve learned my lesson.

I’m also all out of dark chocolate, so dessert was another great bite-sized sweet.

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Dates! Stuffed with almond butter. I buy small soft dates because they’re cheaper. The big medjool ones are $12 a carton!!!

And look what the lovely (hilarious, inspiring, smarty pants, etc) Janetha sent me!!!

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Made. My. Day Week. It should come as no surprise that the way to my heart is with food. Especially when that food is protein packed ;)

Most excited to try the cinnamon flavour!!

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Thanks JB!! You’re the bestest!! :D

 

You may notice a huge chunk of my workday is missing from this post. That’s because I was busy as hell. My boss had me covering four events between 9am and noon. Sometimes I get the feeling he does this just to see if I can actually get to them all. Instead of being annoyed by this though, I get inspired. I am totally up to the challenge.

Taking on challenges and stepping out of comfort zones is something I talk about a lot. I’ve been very open about my history with social anxiety and agoraphobia. I truly believe that what has allowed me to overcome my anxiety disorder is learning to challenge it on a daily basis. If I haven’t done something that sends a surge of panic through my body, then I haven’t tried hard enough for the day.

My love for exercise definitely stems from this desire to challenge myself. I love putting my body through the wringer and seeing exactly what it can do.

Part of challenging yourself though, is recognizing your accomplishments. You have to remember to celebrate the small things. Today, I made it to all four events before noon, and ended up with a million great stories for my radio station. I was proud that I accomplished something that almost seemed impossible.

So how did I celebrate? I went to a yoga class and challenged myself in a room full of strangers. For the record, people with social anxiety disorders do not tangle their bodies up while surrounded by people they don’t know. But this is just one of the many things I force myself to do on a regular basis, because in the end, I never regret it.

So in celebration of my small accomplishments today, I’m asking you to do the same! Tell me one thing you’re proud of that you’ve done recently. Something that challenged you and you overcame, no matter how big or small!

 

And to finish it all off, I want to give a shout-out to Brie. She’s one of the many wonderful people I’ve met on the internet through my weight loss process. She just started her own blog: The Fit Bride. She’s planning her wedding and loves weight lifting as much as I do! :D (and is damn strong to boot)

Okay, I’m off to get all my stuff ready before my long run tomorrow. Seventy minutes planned! Night night!

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