When You’re Smiling

Hellohello! How is everyone’s work week chugging along? Or are you like me and unemployed? ;) I do have a job interview lined up for when I get to Toronto in a couple weeks… but I’ll spill the beans on that when the time comes. Of course, I also have to drop off a few resumes at Lululemon. Livin’ the dreeeeam people!! ;)

Moving on!


I was sonothappy to be awake this morning. Ask my sister, I was a grump. Best way to cure a case of the grumps?


Chocolate. Cooked up a pot of rolled oats with soy protein powder, cocoa powder, stevia, banana and almond butter. Paired with a french press of coffee, the world suddenly becomes a better place :)

I got some interesting comments on my last post about my 20-minute meditation challenge, and my use of an alarm to signal when it’s time to come-to. I decided to set the alarm because I had a feeling that 5 minutes would pass, it would feel like 20, and then I’d start opening my eyes and obsessively checking the clock. I told Leah that maybe next week I’ll try just meditating with no time goal and seeing how it goes.

Well today, something interesting happened.

Instead of doing a body scan during my meditation, I instead focused on showing love towards various family members. You see, someone close in our family is going for a serious medical procedure, and there’s been a lot of stress, worry and sadness surrounding it. As I was sitting there, I began to feel very anxious and unsettled. My breath got shallow and I felt like I just needed out. I decided to screw the alarm, opened my eyes and grabbed the phone. The second I picked up the phone, the 20 minute alarm went off. Weird, eh?

Hopefully tomorrow I won’t get so anxious. I thought it was supposed to have the opposite effect!

I eventually made it to the gym for a full-body workout. My sister lives about 15-20 minutes walking from the gym. Since I ran yesterday, I just walked briskly for my warm-up, then went straight to the weight room at the gym.


Exercise Load Reps Sets Target
One arm dumbbell snatch  20 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, Glutes, Shoulders
Wide-grip lat pulldown  60 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Single leg squat  10 lbs 8-12 3 Glutes, Thighs
Dumbbell bench press  20 ea 8-12 3 Chest, Front shoulders
Single leg romanian deadlift  10 ea 8-12 3 Hamstrings, Glutes, Hips
Dumbbell upright row 12.5 ea 8-12 3 Top shoulder
Curtsy lunge  12.5 ea 8-12 3 Quads
Dumbbell one arm extension 10 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps
Twisting dumbbell curl 10 lbs 8-12 3 Biceps
Cable horizontal woodchop  25 lbs 8-12 3 Obliques
Cable crunch 85 lbs 8-12 3 Abs

Colour coded!! Matching colours are alternating sets. I like to alternate upper body with lower body stuff so I can blast through it with little rest. Tis me! I can already tell you my triceps are going to be sore tomorrow…

Lunch featured another fabulous fridge find.


Contemporary Cuisine is a wholesale food company based out of Ottawa. I will tell you straight up – this stuff is fabulous. Wonderful flavour, but it’s all in the texture. It’s fluffy. How do they get hummus to go fluffy??


Paired with pita chips that I made by sticking pita bread in the toaster oven.


(dried arctic char) and baby carrots.


T’was a fun dippy lunch!!

Another difference between my sister and I is that she’s a “natural vegetarian.” What I mean by this is she’s drawn to meat-free foods, and functions best on plants. While I initially planned bison burgers for dinner, I thought Sara may appreciate a homemade black bean patty instead.


I made up the recipe as I went along, and I am really impressed by how they turned out!

  • 1 can no-salt added black beans
  • 1 scoop (30g) unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 a small red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 a small green pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne


They were a little goopy, so I fried them in olive oil like savoury pancakes ;)


You couldn’t taste the soy protein powder at all! Impressive!!


Eaten with baked sweet potato crisps (aka cheetahs).


…and kale chips.


Solid meal!! I mixed up mayo and dijon mustard for our dipping sauce. I feel like I must specify that I exclusively use Hellman’s Olive Oil mayonnaise now. I used to buy that light crap, but my mother got me hooked on the good stuff while I was living at home. Now Sara is hooked too. Once you have the Olive Oil, you never go back. You’ve been warned.

After this lovely dinner, Sara and I went to an Intro Ashtanga class at the nearby yoga studio. Third yoga class in three days!! LOVE it. The intro class was really helpful too. The instructor went through and explained all the modified options for many of the more advanced postures in the Ashtanga series. I also learned how much farther I can fold forward when I engage my legs. The workings of the body never ceases to amaze me.

We came back feeling calm and refreshed. I had a hankering for the greek yogurt I splurged on today.

Paired with crunchy almond butter. Nut butter in regular yogurt is gross. But in greek yogurt it gets really rich and creamy.


Also added a packet of stevia, vanilla extract and cinnamon.




Goal for June

Remember my goal for June?? I set out wanting to accomplish only one thing this month…

to smile.

Clearly there were plenty smiles in Banff, although we’ll forget the tears shed when I left home. I’ll be spending the rest of the month here in Ottawa, and I think I need a reminder to spread my lips wide and show off those gums of mine!!


Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month??

Posted on June 22, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. My mom is eagerly awaiting the results of your interview. Which sounds kind of creeperish but you know why!

  2. those bean patties look like a dream & your breakfast, oh mmmm gee! yummy.

    I’m trying oatmeal & yours sounds delicious.
    Can you do a post on some more oatmeal recipes, low fat ones. pretty please!

  3. oh & my goal for the month. eat & create as many oatmeal dishes as i an think of.

  4. Lift and engage your quads in all standing or seating forward bends when it feels like youre stretching your hammies, always engage the quads. So, pretty much half the seated & standing poses they should be egaged.

    ashtanga. that is “my” yoga. 12 yrs and never bored of it!

    alot of stuff can come up for ppl with seated meditation. it’s normal, natural, healthy. Espi if you already have other stuf going on…hugs to your family with the stress :)


  5. Breakfast and the greek yogurt with AB look so tasty!!! I can’t wait to try them both :)


  6. I hope everything goes well with your family!

    Sometimes meditation brings a lot more up than we think it will- which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I don’t think it means it didn’t have a good effect. Sometimes I think things NEED to be brought to the surface so we can deal with them.

    I love ashtanga yoga! I have not been doing enough yoga lately, so sad.

    And LOVE greek yogurt. Love it. Wish it was less $$$ here in Canada!

    My goals for this month are… going!! hah

    I have been staying active without running, which is good!
    I HAVE been more creative in the kitchen
    I have not saved much… but I have saved a little.
    I have not kept my budget up, whoops…
    Nor have I slept more! Well, a little- but I haven’t kept up my early riser challenge either!
    I am stressing (a little) less
    AND I have spent more time outside :D


  7. gah i love love love that black bean burger recipe :) sounds amazing! and looks even better in pancake form haha :)

    that full body workout is stellar! i love single arm swing thingys hahaha go me for phrasing and loveeeeeee cable chops!!!

  8. Melanie Mitchell

    I thought of you this morning as I made up my own gourmet oatmeal: Strawberry Shortcake Oatmeal. Oats cookied in half water half almond milk, then added sliced strawberries, cottage cheese, honey, cinnamin and pure vanilla. Yum!

    • That sounds like the perfect bowl of summer oats!!! I will have to pick up some local strawberries and try it – my sister would love that too ;)

  9. Those bean patties look legit!! Love making homemade bean burgers and the like. They taste so good homemade.

    Also really intrigued by that yoghurt. Glad that you’ve found plenty to smile about this month! Yay!

  10. I’m not surprised you had uncomfortable feelings when meditating. We often fill up our lives with so much stuff that we forget to feel things. When you dismiss the ‘stuff’ the feelings come through.

  11. Liberte = the BOMB. Yum!!!

    Keep smilin’, you have a wonderful grin! :D

  12. I know that’s just what I would do if I tried to sit and do nothing for 20 minutes! I would start either freaking out or crying, depending on what I was thinking about. I already do that enough at night when I’m trying to go to sleep, don’t need anymore of it during the day, thank you very much!

    Ah! I’m so trying some of your moves in my next workout… I think tomorrow’s shoulders and biceps? I got a new move for each now! Yeahhh!

  13. Unfortunately I often feel anxiety when I’m meditating, but I actually think it’s a good thing because then I’m actually feeling it (as opposed to covering it up through emotional eating or something like that). And then once I’ve felt it and it’s out, I feel much better!

  14. What am AWESOME goal to smile more! I am officially stealing it. I think my “neutral face” (when I’m just walking down the street and stuff) is really grumpy looking and it makes people think I’m mean. And whenever someone comes near me with a camera I make horrible faces.
    I am now officially trying to smile more!

  15. I’m not a huge black bean fan, but those pattys look great!

  16. I’ve been doing SO good with my “summer of yes” goal. It’s part of the reason I haven’t been commenting as much, BUT I have been reading =) I’ve just been saying yes to every opportunity – random road trip to the jersey shore to visit friends? YEA swimming at a friend’s house making dinner unplanned? YEA It’s been fabolous to just live life and not plan and worry as much. Plus “Summer of Yes” is catchy ;)

    Nicole G

  17. Good luck on the interview!

    And I hope the surgery for your family member goes well. I just started working in a surgery waiting room (where the families sit) and I can just feel the tension in the air. Maybe I should hold meditation :)

  18. umm you can pretty much call us twins because I made those SAME BLACK BEAN BURGERS LAST NIGHT! seriously! i made the recipe up too, but all the same ingredients!

    I love your workout, def stealing it from you soon :) I miss my upper body weight training so much!! starting up again next week!

  19. Oooh, exciting about the interview! Can’t wait to hear about it. And if you get a job at Lululemon, I’m gonna be pretty jealous. Can’t lie.
    Nice workout :)
    Love the smile more challenege, too. Smiles are so infectious… :D

  20. you are a goddamn genius with your color coding! excuse me, coloUr coding! love it! remember when you had NEVER tried greek yogurt?! that was gnarly. i hope things go well for your family member <3 those patties look great! savory pancake-ish is the way to go. think of an egg on top….

    goal for june: get wedding ready. SO MUCH TO DO STILL!

    love you!

  21. i think i am a natural vegetarian too…although i am still dreaming of that bison burger from the elk and oarsman :)

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