Hooked on Endorphins

Hi friends!! Are we all looking forward to the weekend? You know my feelings on weekends. But this is my last week doing a full weekend of 5am shifts. I switched days off with a co-worker, so I have next Sunday off. So now next Saturday (Dec 5) is my last day at the radio station!

On the other job front, I know I yammered away about not being able to exercise in my last post, but I do fully expect to take extra rest days now that I’ll be working on my feet 40 hours a week. Exercise, to me, isn’t fully about being fit and staying thin though. In perfect honesty, it’s my love. It’s always my favourite part of the day, and the thing I look forward to most. I’m a total endorphin junkie. The thought of not being able to exercise makes me very sad. I also plan on paying special attention to my body, as I expect my appetite will increase with a more active job.

However, I got a reeeeally good endorphin fix this morning in spin class. Man! It was good! I slept awful last night, maybe five hours? I blame it on the coffee tasting I did at Starbucks (Christmas Blend is pretty good this year).

Anyways, I told myself that if I felt like crap when my alarm went off, I’d just skip the class and go back to sleep. Sleep trumps everything for me, even exercise. But come 5:30 I was ready to go! I hopped out of bed and proceeded to push probably the hardest I ever have in spin class. It wasn’t on purpose, I was just really feeling the resistance today. My legs are especially sore right now, and I feel good knowing I got out of my comfort zone :)

I refuelled with a PB&J oatmeal sandwich bowl when I came home.


  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • cinnamon
  • peanut butter
  • blackberry jam


Action shot of the “sandwiching.” I let these oats simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes while I primped this morning. Oh gosh. They were so mushy and creamy. I like my oats over-cooked, and these were perfection!

[insert work here]

And then I came home and made supper! An old favourite: bowl o’ protein.

  • curry powder, ground cumin, chili powder
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, crumbled
  • red pepper
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • spinach
  • jalapeño
  • salsa
  • laughing cow cheese
  • scrambled egg
  • pepper


Basically, I just scrambled this in a pan, but I did the egg separately, otherwise it gets lost in the mess. Yum!! I love eating food from a bowl :) It’s a comfort thing.


Okay, so I know there’s been a lot of weight lifting talk lately, but I just have to share some of this info! I get a Men’s Health newsletter everyday that is actually quite informative most days (Men’s Health is one of my favourite fitness mags). Today was no different! They shared 7 Muscle-Building Mistakes to Avoid. Here are the highlights:

Skipping Basics

Plenty of lifters believe that doing isolation exercises like chest flies and leg extensions is the only way to make their muscles grow. But basic moves such as bench presses and squats force several muscle groups to work together, imposing more stress on your body for bigger gains.

“Your body reacts to all that stress by having the anterior pituitary gland issue more growth hormone to compensate for the extra effort,” says Allen Hedrick, C.S.C.S., head strength-and-conditioning coach at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Of course you need variation, but don’t abandon basic moves in favor of intermediate isolation exercises.

Fix it: Write down the exercises in your routine to see what percentage of them are compound moves. “If it’s not in the range of at least 40 to 50 percent, then you’re doing too many isolation exercises,” says Bell.


You need to eat after your workout. Right after a session, your body is hustling to convert glucose into glycogen so your muscles can repair themselves and grow. “If you don’t eat after exercise, your body breaks down muscle into amino acids to convert into glucose,” says John Ivy, Ph.D., chairman of kinesiology at the University of Texas.

Fix it: After you work out, eat a high-carbohydrate meal—and don’t forget the protein. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that a four-to-one carbohydrate-to-protein ratio can provide 128 percent greater muscle-glycogen storage than a high-carbohydrate drink alone. (They used Endurox R Recovery Drink in the study.) For even greater results, have a sports drink before and during exercise.


First, I love the tip about doing 50 percent compound moves. Second, I like the 4:1 carb-protein ratio for post-workout meals. I’ve heard this before, but am still constantly berated with advice to suck back the protein after. Good stuff! Although, I have opposing thoughts about the sports drink while weight lifting, but my goals are different. You can see the rest of the list here.

Alrighty folks, time to wrap up my traditional early Friday night post. These are soon going to be a thing of the past once I’m done at the reporting job. Maybe I’ll start going out on Friday nights like a regular person! :P

Question of the Day: What do you think are some common exercise mistakes? One that immediately comes to mind is people who stretch before a workout. Most research shows that stretching cold muscles can do more harm than good, and that if you must-stretch it should be after your warm-up when you’re more flexible. Personally, I just like doing really long warm-ups.

Posted on November 27, 2009, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I love PB&J oats!

    That is a great tips about the 4:1 ratio after working out. I find too much protein then does not sit well with me!

  2. PB&J oatmeal sandwich bowl looks awesome.

    I am an endorphin junkie too. I can run, walk, yoga, chase after my kid….I love being active. It makes me feel alive. If I can’t exercise, not only do I feel crabby, I feel sad. I need it in my life, which is a good thing. But I hear ya!

  3. No Flashback Friday again? :-(

    • Haha, I’m all out of pictures! I don’t have a scanner and my digital ones only go back to 2005. You’ve seen all the ones I’m willing to put on the internet :P

  4. I too like my oats overcooked. I see a lot of girl in the gym doing crazy amounts of cardio and abs and skipping strength training or resistance. I don’t mean skipping strength just once but, skipping it completely. They just go in and torch calories and then neglect to give resistance or strength a second thought.

    • Yeah, I see that a lot too, especially at my old campus gym. I overheard waaaay too many college girls talking about their fears of “bulking up” Even by doing something as simple as toe push ups!

  5. i love that article!! and your bowl of protien.. awesome! i love anything with protien in the title!

  6. Wow, your bowl of protein sounds great…but I would have my eggs runny, please! ;-)

    Hm. I think the common mistake about working out is that people overestimate the amount of calories they are burning, and “compensate” it by ingesting more than they burn.

    • That reminds me too of an article I read that said a lot of people who exercise or go to the gym are less active the remainder of the day. For example, they go to the gym, and then just sit on the couch for the rest of the night because they “deserve” it. That too defeats the purpose!

  7. Yummy breakfast! I never take time to really cook oats when I eat them. But I bet if I did, they would be delightful. Or burned. One of the two :)

    I usually make that second mistake. I hardly ever eat right after I work out because I’m usually trying to squish in the work out between lots of other things. Interesting though, that you actually break down the muscle you’re trying so hard to build if you don’t refuel right away. I will remember that! Happy last crappy shift! xoxo

  8. Awesome tips. I never knew about proper warm-ups or anything when I danced, but the teachers always did a 30 minute warm up- which I thought was excessive at the time, but am now thankful for (plus, it incorporated strength and core work). LOVE.

    I think a mistake I often made was not hydrating throughout exercise- often I’d be doing a 90 minute intense breakdancing class in 90+ degree heat, but I couldn’t physically DO the class if I had water sloshing about my stomach. Never quite found a way around that but usually ended up stepping aside at some point because i was dizzy and NEEDED something (couple of glucose tablets and swigs of water and I was fine).

  9. Compound moves all the way! They are so much more a reflection of real life moves.

    I think still seeing the “I do 50 crunches a day, why don’t I have flat abs” is a myth floating around that spot reducing works. Not! LOL

    Yum on the oats!

  10. Your lunch and breakfast look so volumous and good!!

    Those tips are excellent! I think the biggest mistake people make are using uncorrect form! I see too many people just trying to lift heavy weights but their form is all wrong.. and that’s only going to hurt them!

  11. Last full weekend of 5AM?! Don’t worry – I’ll still be up for the both of us ;)

    I love the oat sandwich! The PBJ peaking out looks way too delicious to just be sitting there. Yum!

    I’m a stretching freak so the mistake of stretching cold is one of my biggest peeves that comes to mind. Another thing that people do is bouncing in stretches – bad!! Improper alignment when lifting is another mistake that I take very seriously (i.e. not slightly bending the knees).

  12. People think I am crazy but I love Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness magazine – they have great tips!


  13. Drool worthy PB&J.

    Yeah, I’m with you on the gatorade before and during exercise- seems there are so many other healthier real foods instead, right?

    I see some of the worst form in the world at the gym sometimes and I just can’t bring myself to go and say anything. I just pray that they don’t hurt themselves. :-)

  14. Thank you for confirming that I need to eat after a workout :) I always worry, “Am I just eating back all the calories I burnt?” but I guess if you snack smartly or time it with a meal, it’s ok. I’ve heard yogurt has the perfect carb: protein ratio?

    • Lara, yes, dairy is supposed to be one of the best post-workout snacks! Although, I suppose the ratio may change with things like cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. “They” say chocolate milk is the best, I think that’s just cause it’s the yummiest ;)

  15. OMG, your pb+j oats are like EXACTLY how I make mine, I usually have pb+j in oat bran though. But same exact everything. It takes ah-mazing. Love your thoughts/tips/facts about exercise, agreed to all of the above!

  16. you know i am a sucker for a bowl o protein! looks great. and so do the pbj oats. i still cant believe it took you so long to have a pbj sandwich!

    great tips from men’s health. i agree with everything they said for sure!

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