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Reebok Easy Tone the Easy Way Out?

Who’s that doggie in the windoooowww…

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I couldn’t help it. My mom and I went for a walk yesterday evening and could see a cat or dog peering out the front window of nearly every house we passed. It’s so nice to come home to this little face in the window every day :)

Rudy meanwhile, is only ever in the kitchen. He’s got one thing on his mind, and it’s in the fridge.

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I can relate though. I woke up this morning with food on my mind. More specifically, waffles. 

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I know, it’s Tuesday. But it’s hard to deny oneself of melted butter pooling in the squares of a waffle…

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And then drenching every groove in syrup. Life does not get much better than this.

Today’s waffles have been bought to you by Van’s.

 
Please excuse the teeny internet picture. My mother does not yet understand the importance of my photographing everything remotely food related.

Van’s sent me a couple coupons to try out their stuff. I really wanted to get some of their new French toast sticks, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Instead, I was drawn to these gluten free Apple Cinnamon waffles. 

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The ingredients on these are “Susan approved.” Although, I thought it could use a little more apple and cinnamon flavour. The texture is slightly “off” compared to regular waffles because they’re made with brown rice flour. But it’s disguised well when toasted.

Paired them with my favourite source of fat and protein.

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Boiled eggs.

Pre-workout snack was something I picked up at a new local health food store called Sequoia in Moncton.

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I love Bumble Bars but don’t buy them often because they’re expensive, and I make most of my own bars at home now. But I had to pick this up because I’d never tried the Cherry Chocolate flavour before!

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I know I said I don’t like fruit and chocolate together yesterday. But I lied. I really like chocolate and cherry. And chocolate and cranberry. But that’s it – I swear!! :P

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Okay, and the chocolate covered cherry may be my favourite in the assorted chocolate box ;)

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This bar did not disappoint. In fact, it was more tart cherry than overly sweet chocolate. Don’t let the pictures fool you, this is a really chewy bar, not hard or crunchy in the least.

My foot is still hurting today, so I tried to be nice to it while doing a full-body workout at the gym.

Warm-up: 15 minutes on the elliptical, increasing resistance (ouch to the foot)

Alternating sets:
Close-grip lat pulldown 
One-point dumbbell row

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing chest press
Some exercise I do not know the name of where I stood in a static squat, and with dumbbells, palms facing the back wall, swept my straight arms backwards.

Alternating sets:
Standing barbell shoulder press
Curtsy lunge 

Alternating sets:
Twisting standing dumbbell curl 
Dumbbell front lateral raise with a side lunge

Alternating sets:
This ab move thanks to this girl
Prone jackknife 

Alternating sets:
Decline crunch
Reverse crunch 

Then I did an easy 10 minutes on the recumbent bike while reading a magazine and waiting for my mom to show up. Afterward, I showed her around the gym, pointing out proper form and techniques on the equipment. Especially for the cable machine, which I will do a post on in the future!

Needless to say, I was hungry by the time I got back home.

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A can of tuna is probably my favourite post-lifting meal. Today I mixed it with Hellman’s olive oil mayo (yum) celery, onion and pepper. Smooshed on collard greens and sesame ezekiel bread.

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With some crunch on the side.

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Blue chips > yellow chips.

Hit up a brand new grocery store with my mom and Nana this afternoon. We were all equally excited to be scoping out food in a new joint. It was hot out today, and when I saw this in the store’s cooler, I couldn’t resist.

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Damn refreshing that aspartame is ;)

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Accompanied by a snack of egg whites topped with coconut oil. Not a fan of the egg + coconut combo.

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I blew through my deep chocolate Vitatops and convinced my mom to get the Vitamuffins today. She’s hooked now too. ‘Tis a slippery slope with these things.

Then I spent an hour applying for my dream job while sitting on the deck. Le sigh.

The summer weather inspired the fam to haul out the bbq!!

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Mommy dearest made buffalo patties with Worcester and Frank’s.

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We were bunless, so I ate it atop a small piece of naan. Burger was topped with ketchup, mustard, relish and pickled jalepenos. NOM.

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More baked corn! My family may now be obsessed ;)

And what better way to end a summer-inspired meal than with a Mr. Freeze.

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Sugar-free. But not Splenda free.

 

So Is Easy Tone Really That Easy?? 

I got a lot of comments the other day when I mentioned the Reebok Easy Tone shoes. So I thought it would be worth it to take the time to explain why I don’t personally support them. Now, I’m no podiatrist or specialist, so my knowledge only goes so far. This is just based on my training to date, along with the biases of the experts who taught me.

 

Reebok EasyTone shoes have “balance pods” on the soles, which create instability, forcing your calves, hamstrings and glutes to work harder just by walking.

In order to keep myself from going into a rant, I will not delve into their borderline offensive commercials and marketing campaign. I trust you can click on that yourself and be astounded by what some tactless marketing team came up with.

There are several other shoes that are similarly designed and carry the same claims. There’s the Skechers Shape-ups.

The Fit Flop.

And the MBT shoe, aka the “anti-shoe.”

We will also ignore the fact that these shoes are downright hideous. I am by no means a fashionista or particularly concerned about my appearance. But I would not be caught dead buying groceries in the above MBT shoe.

During my personal training instruction, I was taught that proper body mechanics hails above all else. My PRO trainer made sure that we all left with some form of expertise on how the body is meant to move and work. I’m beginning to hone my skill in watching people, and can now pinpoint when someone isn’t moving correctly. I can tell by my mother’s grip that she has arthritis, or that my friend has inflexible shoulders by the way she does a push-up.

My problem with these shoes, is that they do not align with our proper body mechanics. It is one thing to put your body off balance for brief periods of time to challenge yourself during exercise. It is another thing to completely change the way you walk, with a distant hope of maybe-sorta-kinda making your butt firmer. Not to mention, at a cost of $100. I’m sure fellow runners out there cringe with me at the idea of wearing a shoe that is designed to make life harder on your muscles.

The other thing is that the body is highly adaptable. Your body will adapt to your new walking gait, and within a few short weeks, your muscles will not work as hard in the shoes. It may feel sore the first couple times. But wear them every day for two weeks, and you’ll no longer feel the results.

I’ve also heard claims that these shoes will burn more calories and zap cellulite. I am sorry, but bullshit. The only way to burn more calories is to increase your heart rate. Skip the $100 price tag and walk faster. Cellulite is a tricky kind of fat, and even people with near-perfect diets still have remnants of it.

Reebok claims that the Easy Tone shoes work your glutes 28% more, while working your calves and hamstrings 11% more. Instead of walking around town all day to do this, I have another suggestion. Do a set of bodyweight squats. Climb the stairs at work. Save your money, your ankles, your knees, and your back. Please, do real exercise, and buy some real shoes that give your body the support it needs.

 

Now there’s my two cents – what’s yours?? What are your thoughts on toning footwear?

Checking In On Those Goals…

Happy Monday!! Well, it was happy for me anyways. They call it “funemployment” for a reason ;)

I must say, I’ve been living back at my mom’s for a week now and I love it. I do not miss Fredericton at all. I don’t  miss living alone. For the past 10 days I’ve woken up happy. This has not always been the case over the past year. Life is what you make of it my friends, and I am so grateful I’ve been able to turn mine around :)

So what is a happy girl to do but make a pot of oats first thing?

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For the second time, I could just not get oatmeal to absorb all the liquid on my mother’s stove. It doesn’t make sense to me, and I feel like I messed up the measuring cups. Or am losing my mind. So I added a 1/2 tsp each of guar gum and xanthan gum to thicken it up. Worked like a charm!! Would highly recommend for thick n’ gooey oats :)

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I am very jealous of my mother’s oatmeal spoon/spatula. It is perfectly shaped to scrape down the sides of a pot. Must get one of these for new place.

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Topped the egg-white custard oats with maple pecan peanut butter, coconut and maple syrup.

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Check out that thick texture. Ooohhhyeah.

Hot bowl of oats + hot coffee = sweaty Susan. Definitely woke me up, but not this pup.

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And my heart just turned to oatmeal mush.

Tried out one of the new-to-mew bars I got in Halifax for my morning snack.

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The Elevate Me! bar is made out of whey protein, nuts and dried fruit – that’s it!

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The nutritionals are pretty decent. A little high on the sugar and carb side, but it comes from all dried fruit and no additional sweeteners.

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I really liked how this bar was divided into three sections. Each square is 80 calories, which would make for good fuel during activity as well.

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Soooo, how did it taste??

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Honestly, I did not like my first bite. I’ve never been a chocolate and fruit person, so I should have known better when getting something made of dried fruits and cocoa powder. BUT, I did enjoy it more with each bite. My favourite part of this bar was the texture. It was dense and crumbly, which is by far my favourite way to have a bar. At $2.50 a pop, I would not buy this again, but I’d probably try the other flavours out if I caught them on sale.

Shortly after this I hit up the gym with my mom. I still had to run last week’s 3-miler, so I figured I could do that then goof around on some of the other cardio machines.

Except, it was hard. Like, way harder than usual. I should have known better than jumping into a tough cardio session on a Monday after a weekend of hammering my body with booze, junk food, and no sleep. Alas, sometimes I must learn these lessons the hard way.

I also have to add that my left foot is killing me again. I’m scared it’s plantar fasciitis. I started getting symptoms about three weeks ago after walking 5 hours in one weekend. I stayed off it for a week and the pain went away, so I thought I was in the clear. Apparently not. It still hurts. WAIN.

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Coming out of a workout in a worse mood than how I went in is never a good thing. But the tasty lunch after helped.

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Scrambled some eggs with collard greens, put it on toast, then topped with a mix of hummus, nutritional yeast, mustard and water. Broiled to harden up a bit. Odd combo, but good.

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Paired with belly-busting watermelon (ie, it felt like I was going to birth one after. SO filling)

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And a reminder that things are never as they seem – I topped everything with hot sauce after. This has been happening a lot lately.

Spent the afternoon reading blogs and helping my mom with housework. Breaked for the world’s best muffin.

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Deep chocolate Vitatop topped with peanut butter.

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See the crystals? I like ‘em frozen. The texture is much fudgier that way. Honestly, I think I’d take this over a real brownie!

While I snacked and relaxed, my mom was in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

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She basted the turkey in the leftover hummus/mustard/nutritional yeast/water mix. Ohmy. It was delicious.

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Paired along with baked corn. THE best way to cook corn in my opinion, is to keep it in the husk and pop it in the oven for 30 or so minutes. The husk comes off much easier, and it gets all steamy on the inside. Seriously, if you haven’t done this yet, do it. My mom was sceptical, but she is now a believer.

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And some lovely sweet potato pillows in the back there. Tough on the outside, mushy on the inside. Perfection.

 

Monthly Goal Check-In:

Fitness
Strength train three times a week, with a focus in muscular power.
Only got in two full-body workouts. But those two yoga sessions this past weekend made me a whole new kind of sore. So that counts for something!
Run twice a week, increasing my mileage by 10% each week. Only got one 5 miler in. This goal may be put on hold until I get my foot thing sorted out. Honestly, I don’t care enough about running to be that upset about it – I just want to be able to walk without pain!

Food
Stop buying dairy, eating it only when out or when it’s “a must.” I did really well on this, sticking with only 20g of cheese a day MAX (if any). But then I greatly failed over the weekend with a giant piece of coconut cream topped with two inches of whipped cream. Whoops.
Stay away from refined sugars, again eating only for special occasions. I give myself a big ole’ fail on this one. I’m trying, but not hard enough. I just really like sugar. A lot. Which is why I’m trying to cut back! :P

Blog
Add and organize content, new recipes, workouts, and revised pages and categories.
Didn’t do much of this, but I did get 20+ guest posts together, so that’s something!

Life
Improve my organization. Make lists, finish them, know what needs to be done, when.
I need to get back on this. Not only do I need to plan for a big move, but I’m also going on a big trip to Banff in three weeks.
Spend time with my family. It’s all I’ve been doing :) 
Enjoy and soak up every single minute. I know this isn’t a very measurable goal, but I feel like I’m doing really good at this one. Sometimes I just stop and breathe in whatever it is I’m doing in that moment. It is making this brief time at home much more enjoyable, and I feel very thankful for it :)

 

Your turn! How is everyone doing with their monthly goals? Any new ones?

Off to work on a post for tomorrow on Easy Tone shoes. Oh yes.

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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