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Immediate Onset Muscle Soreness

Finally, I did it.

I went to a kettle bell class!!

Few gyms in my old neck of the woods offer kettlebell classes, so when Darryn suggested we try one out here in Ottawa I was all over it!

Now, I may be a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, but I was still a little scared. I’ve heard this shit (sorry) is tough. Which in some twisted way is also why I was so attracted to it.

We went to an “Intro to Kettlebells” class. Thankfully, it was just me, Darryn and the instructor, which made it feel like our own private session!

Essentially, kettlebell training is a lot like plyo, but with the addition of swinging around one or two of these weights. It requires a lot more balance and fluidity than I was expecting, and perhaps also why they recommend you go barefoot.

 

We did a lot of squats and lunges, some with jumping, a few with presses. I think the sit-ups with the shoulder press killed me the most. Apparently the intro class is mostly easier moves with fewer reps. My heart rate definitely got high towards the end of each circuit and I could really feel my muscles working – the best of both worlds!

With all that said, it is pretty torturous. But some people dig torturous (maybe even this girl?). I’d love to find a beginner class in Toronto where I can learn more moves, and maybe even incorporate into some training plans for advanced clients!

And in case you’re wondering, I am hella sore. Inner thighs mostly, thanks to all those squats. No “delayed” onset muscle soreness here. It’s all immediate ;)

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After, Darryn and I found our way to the Byward Cafe. She had her heart set on a salad, I on a coffee and sandwich. They had all three!

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For the sandwich, I went for chicken and marinated vegetable. Very good actually, for something that sounds so simple.

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For the salad, I got the greek + mixed greens.

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For my coffee, I went for an Americano. Yummmm.

Darryn and I chattered away and had a lovely lunch together!

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Have I said that I love blog friends? I love blog friends. Everyone is so wonderful, one of the main reasons why all the work I put into blogging is worth it!! Not to mention, more people in the world who love to ramble about food and exercise with me ;)

After we said our goodbyes, I continued on my journey to the National Art Gallery. This is the place I was trying to get to when I got lost in Hull.

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Apparently it’s hard to miss because of the large, frightening spider out front. Disgusting egg sack and all. Aragog??

The gallery had a Pop art exhibit on! Including this one:

Lots of Warhols which were pretty neat to see. Some other things from the 80s and early 90s that I actually recognized from my childhood. The most “interesting” thing in the exhibit was a video of Kirsten Dunst singing the song “Turning Japanese.” No joke. I had to do a double take. Watch it here.

My faaaavourite thing from the gallery though were the Canadian works of art!!

The National Gallery has a lot of Group of Seven paintings which I lovelovelove. This one by Tom Thomson is one of my all-time favourites.

This one caught my eye immediately, and I smiled when I read the info card next to it.

“Red Currant Jelly” by Mary Pratt – an artist from Fredericton!! She’s one of the most famous painters to come from New Brunswick :)

Of course, this one also caught my eye…

“A Meeting of the School Trustees” by Robert Harris. Aka the source of the “Both of you know I cannot read a word” Heritage Minute!! It is slightly sad that my knowledge of Canadian history comes mostly from those Heritage Minutes…

I tried to power through the gallery as I still had a 40 minute walk back to my sister’s place and my body was starting to feel worn out. Made up a giant veggie plate the second I burst through the door.

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Carrots, bell pepper and cucumber with tofu spread.

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Tofu spread completes me.

Dinner featured a new-to me veggie.

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Artichokes! Okay, I’ve had the bottled artichoke hearts before, but I’ve never dealt with the whole thing before.

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I didn’t really look up a recipe before I spontaneously decided to cook them tonight. I took the hard leaves off, sliced them lengthwise, and let soak in red wine vinegar with shallots before sautéing.

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Eaten on half a pita with a cut up bison burger, mayo, mustard, spinach and tomatoes.

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Honestly, I think I prefer the jarred variety, but it was still a fun food experiment!

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Roasted broccoli and sweet potato on the side. Burnt it a little, which actually made it better! Crispier! Yumyum :)

 

Sara and I had planned on an Ashtanga class tonight, but she can’t make it. I’m secretly glad because I’m pretty sore from kettlebells ;)

Question of the Day: What is your favourite fitness class? One you’re dying to try? My favourite is either spin or step but tomorrow I’m making it to that Gliding class – mark my words! ;)

 

**Angela from Oh She Glows and I are organizing a big Toronto blogger meet-up at Calico Cafe for July 11th to celebrate my moving there! E-mail me at the greatbalancingact@gmail.com asap if you think you can make it – space in the restaurant is limited!

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!

Counting it Out

Thanks for all the kind comments regarding Chris and I’s four year anniversary! I know I didn’t really talk about it much beforehand, but it’s really not that big of a deal for us. Chris and I like to keep the cheesiness to a minimum in our relationship. In fact, I’ve told him several times that I will break up with him if he ever writes me a poem or anything else equally as lame. But we’re also not ones to turn down an excuse to go out for a good meal ;) If you’re curious about how we met, etc , I wrote about it in a previous post here.

Despite only sleeping a measly six hours last night, I at least finally discovered a place in my apartment that takes decent photos in the dark mornings.

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Much better than spooky oats ;)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • cinnamon
  • frozen berries
  • plain yogurt w/ vanilla extract and stevia
  • Fibre 1 cereal

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AKA an Oatmeal & Yogurt Parfait. Haven’t had this since berries went out of season! Not as good with the frozen stuff, but still tasty. This bowl will always hold a special place in my heart as it’s what I ate almost every. single. day. while I was losing weight.

My hunger is still off the charts today. I was digging around my kitchen for my morning snack mega early. Had another old favourite.

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Wasa fibre rye crisps, almond butter, raisins, cinnamon. Ants on a wasa?

Sure enough, I was looking for lunch early too! This is the exact same “boring” lunch I had yesterday. Luckily, boring is often delicious ;)

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Fontaine tofu spread, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, romaine. When me and homemade applesauce get married, I want tofu spread to be my maid of honour :P Unpictured is the honeycrisp that rounded the meal out.

My day was spent running errands and “catching up” on aspects of my life that get neglected on work days. Dinner was “thrown together.” Literally. Usually there are two ways I throw together a meal. Put a bunch of ingredients in a pan and sauté it, or put them on a baking sheet and roast it. Tonight’s was the latter.

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  • 1/2 block tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 6 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 buttercup squash, cubed
  • 2 handfuls spinach (towards end of baking)

I tossed everything, minus the spinach, in a big bowl with a little olive oil, pepper, parmesan cheese and this stuff:

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My mom insisted I buy this Kirkland organic no-salt seasoning when she took me to Costco. I know better than to go against my mother’s wishes.

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Then I let everything roast up at 425 F for about 20 minutes, then at 350 F after adding the spinach for an additional 5 minutes.

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The one bad thing about “throwing things together” is that I just keep chopping new things up and adding them to the mix. This turned out to be so much food! I ate maybe 2/3 of it then claimed defeat. The tofu in that seasoning was delicious, but I oddly did not care for the squash. Too dry and bland.

I decided to make today a rest day after my 8 mile run yesterday. My old lady hips were a little cranky with me after forcing them on a long run the day after I put them through multiple weighted squats at the gym. Thankfully, they’re in a much better mood now :)

Just finished up an hour long living room yoga session. Yoga class was cancelled tonight. Boo. I tried out a Dave Farmar power vinyasa podcast. It was alright. I did 30 minutes until I called it quits. I can only go up and down so many times until I get annoyed! :P I did work up a nice little sweat though. Finished it off with some balance yoga from Yoga Today. I really dig the balance poses because I’m actually good at them! I could hang out in tree or dancer all day :)

 

I also want to let you guys know that I’ll be counting my calories for the next few days. I haven’t done this in seven months! I know a lot of people hate calorie counting because of the obsessing and analyzing that often goes with. But it’s never been like that for me. Calorie counting was like a slap upside the head for me when I started losing weight. I didn’t have a sweet clue what calories were, or what their effects were. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle with calorie counting at times, but overall, it was just a really useful weight loss tool for me.

Anyways, I just feel like it’s time to check-in and make sure I’m still on-track. I haven’t gained any weight, nor do I want to lose any more weight. But I have not been feeling as content as I’d like to be about my food choices lately. When I moved into weight maintenance, I wanted to make sure there were no “off-limit” foods, which there were plenty of while I was losing weight. But I just feel lately, I’ve been using that as an excuse to eat more processed foods, especially sugar. So I want to take a few days to reflect on my food and really just bring it back to basics. I want to feel confident about my food choices again, and not like I’m derailing a bit. I’ll keep you updated on how my “check-in” is going :)

 

Question of the Day: What are your feelings on calorie counting? Like I said, I think it’s a really effective tool for weight loss. But I also don’t think it has much of a place in weight maintenance, unless you need it to achieve fitness goals (ie to ensure you’re eating properly during marathon training). With that said, I know from my own personal history that bad eating is a long and slippery slope for me. Hopefully stepping back and taking a look at my food choices will again raise awareness of what I’m putting in my body and get me feeling good about it again :)

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