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Rest, Relax, Recharge

So today turned out to be a bit of a write-off. Well, depending on your definition of a write-off. I slept awful last night, including waking up at 6:30 a.m. Apparently, my body clock still hates me.

Today was supposed to be my “hard” gym day. 60 min on the treadmill with upper body weights + abs. To start, my butt is beyond sore from doing squats yesterday. Not only am I waddling everywhere, but using the washroom is teary-eyed painful (ladies, please tell me you know what I’m talking about). Also, severe glute pain makes me nervous about my old-lady hips. The two are sometimes connected for me, and squats have blown out my hips in the past.

On top of the pain, my body is just non responsive. I feel like I somehow gained 200 pounds overnight. Moving just seems like such a chore. I’ve also napped three times today, and feel another one coming on…

Yup, sounds like a little exhaustion to me. If I was a smart person, I would have taken this first week at my new job off from all exercise. Of course, these are usually things I only learn after the fact. I had no way of predicting this past week would be so mentally and physically draining on me.

So now I’m doing the lag work. Trying to fix the damage that was done. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) some may-jah stuff happened in my personal life today. My emotions are a little rocky at the moment. I need some time to reflect and become used to the idea before I let the world know.

 

So how’s that for a start to a blog? In all honesty though, I don’t really feel like the day has bean a real write-off. In fact, allowing my body to rest and repair is probably the most useful thing I’ve done all week!! I didn’t get dressed until 5pm, at which point I just put a nicer set of pyjamas on :P

Breakfast was made in a complete haze. I actually destroyed my first attempt at french toasted waffles because I forgot to spray the pan :\

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Second attempt was much better :) With fake syrup whisked with Naturally More almond butter for dipping. Yum.

I awoke from nap #1 hungry again. I dug into my bar stash and pulled out a Glo Bar Angela gave me when we met.

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I love how crispy these are :)

I watched two documentaries on marathons today! First, Spirit of the Marathon which is apparently up for free on Hulu, but I can’t get that in Canada so I just watched it on YouTube. I thought it was okay. The race itself was a little too dramatized and the nerd in me wanted to hear more about the training part of it (which in my mind, seems harder than the race itself). Twitter to the rescue, I got directed towards a PBS Nova documentary called Marathon Challenge (which is available on the PBS website or Veoh for non-Americans). This one is about a handful of non-athletes defying the odds to run a marathon. I enjoyed this one a lot more. They dove more into the science and struggles of the training regimen.

I think there was another nap in there too? At some point I had lunch.
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Everything bagel with Fontaine Santé tofu spread, carrots, green pepper and hummus. Nomnomnom. Not enough protein, but mega tasty.

Made up the lack of protein later in the day with some quark!!

 

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Why is it orange you ask? I added some leftover baby food carrots and a crumbled carrot cake protein square. Oh yes.

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It actually kinda reminded me of pumpkin. It got me thinking about all the other baby food purees out there and how they could be added to yogurt and oats. Will have to take a gander next time I’m at the grocery store!

Supper was more protein + orange. Tuna salad + butternut squash fries.
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In the tuna salad is onions, pickles, mustard, laughing cow cheese. Put on toast with some spinach and sprouts. The key to non-soggy b-nut squash fries is to squeeze out all the juice with paper towel before baking them, and flipping them every 5 minutes once they’re in the oven. Well, I guess they’ll always be kinda soggy, but it at least helps the cause :)

 

I also did a lot of unpictured snacking today. But posting these pics, I realize that even though I had a lot of food today, I think the worst of it was just a small handful of M&Ms. It was otherwise fresh and healthy stuff. I just don’t have the energy to not snack today. I feel too blaaaah to tell if it’s real hunger or not. So I’m just going with it.  It’s just one of those days.

Goal for tomorrow is to prepare food and meals for the week! And hopefully see a friend who had a baby over the holidays. Should be fun, so long as she doesn’t ask me to hold it ;) Think I’ll take one more rest day from exercise tomorrow, and start Monday fresh and early with my favourite spin class :) Hope y’all had a wonderful Saturday!!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite documentary?? I don’t know if it’s the journalist in me, but I love documentaries. Maybe even more than real movies. Grizzly Man is one that will always stand out in my memory. You should check it out!

Going with the Flow

Hey blog friends!! Wow, is it just me, or does it feel like a while? My blog schedule is all screwed up. But really, it’s only been since Monday!

Here’s what I’ve been doing in the interim:

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Asking the hard questions.

I got to interview former Canadian New Democrat (NDP) leader Ed Broadbent after he gave a speech called “Inequality and Poverty.” I really like interviewing retired politicians. Wish I could say the same about the ones still in office :P

How about some eat highlights

There was some yogurt with a Kashi blackberry cereal bar crumbled on top.

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I see a lot of my fellow bloggers do the “crumbled bar on yogurt” technique. It’s something that never occurred to me before – it’s delish!

There’s been a lot of salami and cheese sandwiches.

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One of my favourite things about eating red meat again is that there are many meals, like this one, that take me back to my childhood. Salami on pita with some melted cheddar cheese was something I ate a lot as a preteen. (back when I could eat half the kitchen and blame it on a growth spurt).

Laughing cow cheese on pear.

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This was uh-mazing. Is there anything that laughing cow doesn’t taste good with?

Flat waffles (aka pancakes)

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The usual protein pancake recipe (found under the Eats tab) Dipped in a mix of almond butter and syrup.

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A “controlled” yogurt mess.

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As far as flavoured low-fat yogurts go, Source is my favourite. The ingredients aren’t the best (it has Splenda), but the price is right. This is a new product to me and I just had to try it. I liked it :)

Oh, and I’ve been stuffing things with leftovers to the point of explosion :P

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Same stuffing I used in red pepper the other day. Except this time I put it in a squash I picked up at the market. I gotta say, I liked it better in the squash! My tastebuds just go crazy over squash, they can’t help it ;)

As far as my sickness, I wouldn’t say I’m better, but it’s at least progressing. Hoping it doesn’t decide to linger for too long!

Now onto other things…

Going With The Flow

While reading Diane’s post today, I realized that I am a very rigid person. I’m good at making decisions for myself, and creating plans, but when it comes to changing them, I freak out a little.

I want to talk about this in terms of taking a rest from exercise.

Today is day 4 of no exercise for me. This break was unplanned. I hurt my hip in the gym on Friday. From past experience, I knew it could turn into something a lot worse if I didn’t lay off it until it was 110% better.

In the past, this would have bothered me. Even though I’m not training for anything (yet! got a half mary in May!), I still schedule out all my workouts for the week on my Google Calendar. I put a lot of energy into that plan, making sure I fit in all my runs, weight sessions and favourite group classes around my ever-changing work schedule.

When I first started doing this, I would get really anxious when something would come up that would change or delay something in that schedule. Going out of town, or a shift change at work, would throw me into a tizzy of figuring out how I would fit it all in. As a university student, I worked really hard not to let my hectic school, work and social life get in the way of my gym time. That meant I was sometimes too strict with it.

What I’ve learned since training for the triathlon, and taking time off from hip injury #1, is that sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

That’s not to say you can blow off whole weeks of exercise because it’s “too cold out” or your favourite TV shows are on :P It just means, when life happens, it’s okay to skip or change a workout.

More importantly, when your body starts giving you clues that it needs a rest – take it!! There’s a fine line between being too lazy and too tired to work out. It’s up to you to learn the difference, and listen to your body when it needs a rest. Learning to pick up on your body’s clues is more important than the perfect training plan ever will be.

I think the mental aspect of it is just as important. Even if there’s nothing wrong with your physical state, sometimes we just mentally burn out from all that activity! It’s okay to take a few days off just to kick back and rejuvenate. It’s worth it just for the enthusiasm and dedication you’ll have upon your triumphant return to the gym.

My number one rule is always that it’s better to take a day off so I can put the extra effort in the next day, rather than just half-ass it because I’m hurting or don’t have the energy.

So why bring all this up? I suppose because this week, instead of letting the coloured boxes in my Google Calendar dictate my decisions, I went with the flow. I listened to my body, which was both hurting and sick. I took a mental break, and didn’t feel an ounce of guilt for lounging around, or even not changing my eating habits to reflect that. Hopefully my body has had the chance to heal, I know I’m already getting anxious to return to my favourite exercise classes!

Ironically, I’m going to a BodyFlow class tonight, which will be a gentle mix of tai chi, yoga and pilates. Tomorrow, I’m going to test the waters with a 3 mile run. I woke up with a Charley horse in my calf muscle last night, which is strange for me, as I usually get them as a result of too much activity. I think it was my muscle saying “Okay! I’m ready to work now!!” :P

Questions of the day:

1) Have you ever been set back by an injury?

2) How often do you take a rest?

Rolling rest days

Hello everyone! Uff, I was up for a good chunk of last night due to crazy thunder and lightning storms in my area. Even with my fan on jet-engine high, and my black curtains, I could still hear and see it. I’m a little zombie-ish today!

Luckily it’s my rest day, so my body is very happy with me. One of my favourite things to do on rest days (besides eating, that’s um, recovery, right?) is foam rolling. Some of you may remember I bought a foam roller back in May to help with a hip injury.

Foam rollers are basically like your personal massage therapist. It’s a cylinder of dense foam, so quite light to pick up, but hard to the touch.

To use it, you just lay whatever muscle you want to massage on it and roll back and forth. Sometimes, it feels really good, sometimes it can be quite painful!

The foam roller is most commonly used for your back, calves, hamstrings, quads and IT band. All types of athletes and non-athletes use foam rollers to massage their muscles at home. For more info, check out reviews on Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazine (my two bibles).

There’s also the question of when to foam roll. A lot of people like to do it right after activity to loosen up their stressed muscles. Personally, doing this usually leads to muscle cramps for me. So I like to wait until before I go to bed and just spend 5-10 minutes rolling out my muscles.

I especially like doing this on rest days, when my muscles are usually the most tense. I do a combo of rolling and stretching, especially my finicky IT band. It also helps loosen up my muscles for my upcoming days of planned activity.

Foam rollers are also relatively inexpensive and easy to transport and store. So it’s definitely something worth looking into if you suffer from a lot of muscle soreness and stiffness! I bought mine at a local running store.

I don’t credit my hip recovery to the foam roller, but I think it definitely helped. Hopefully regularly rolling out my leg muscles will help keep my hip from seizing up on me again :)

Question: What’s your favourite way to soothe sore muscles?

I also ice like a maniac. The slightest pain after exercise immediately gets the iced pea treatment! :P

 

Eats!

Just a few eats for today. I started off with a glorious batch of blueberry protein pancakes. It’s how I cheer myself up after a bad night, or when I have a rough day ahead.

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

All blended up! I’ve been making super fluffy batches lately. I think it’s a combo of the extra baking powder and fat from the flax.

My grocery store also started stocking one of my favourite Luna flavours again.

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Munchmunchmunch.

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This used to be my favourite flavour, but S’mores has taken over in its absence. My store only stocks three other flavours – Toasted Nut n’ Cranberry, Lemon Zest, and Caramel Nut Brownie. Decent flavours, but probably the lamest ones!

You’re going to be shocked by my dinner…

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Tempeh burger with butternut squash and almond butter. I got lazy, and the squash and fresh jar of AB were calling my name. If you haven’t tried this combo yet, I highly suggest that you do! Since I don’t cook with oils (cooking oils hurt my tummy) this is a great way to sneak in a little fat with my dinner :)

I’ve also progressed to 90% chocolate without the peanut butter.

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Straaaaaight up. This is so rich, all I need is a little piece after dinner to satisfy my after-meal sweet tooth (yes, I have something sweet after every meal, usually a hard candy). Now my 70% stuff just doesn’t taste right. It’s kind of like when I switched to drinking black coffee. Bitter at first, but now that I’m used to it, I can’t go back! I’ll be at 100% a la HEAB soon ;)

That’s all for me folks! I’m thinking of switching to doing two posts a day. I used to do it back before exams and term papers forced me to one update a day. But now that I’m only working 40 hours a week (it’s such a luxury now!) I’m thinking of going back. For me, it actually takes less time to do a couple shorter posts than one big long one. It’ll take you less time to read too ;)

See ya tomorrow! Maybe in the a.m.!! Until then, I’ll be twittering away ;)

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