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It’s Sunday… Check-In Time!

Hello friends! Hope you all had fantabulous weekends :) Mine was the usual 5am-1pm shift at the office. Only three more weekends left!! Who knows? Maybe I’ll have a social life again! :P

A little calorie counting update:

  • Turns out I’m getting lots of protein, but still not getting enough fat. I have a digestive intolerance to high-fat foods like cooking oils and avocadoes. Nuts, eggs and tofu seem to be the only high-fat foods I can eat that don’t keep me bed-ridden for four hours after. More peanut butter? Yes please! :P
  • I eat a lot of fibre! Like 50g a day. Who knew?
  • Measuring every little thing seriously sucks. Weighing my apples seems so silly, I just want to eat the damn thing!
  • I spend a lot less time thinking about food. I log what I eat, or plan to eat, then forget about it. After I stopped tracking, I still kept counting in my head. I’m like the Rainman of calorie counting and can’t be stopped. It takes up a lot of mental energy. When I’m done tracking in a few days, I’m going to work much harder at not thinking about the calories in my foods. Shouldn’t be a problem so long as I’m choosing whole, fresh foods :)

Besides working, napping and eating today, I had a stellar gym sesh! One of those Sunday afternoons where I just pump and sweat my time away playing with all the equipment :)

Warm-up:
5 minutes easy on the elliptical

Elliptical:
0:00-1:00 – sprint @ level 17
1:00-3:00 – recovery @ level 14
3:00-4:00 – sprint @ level 18
4:00-6:00 – recovery @ level 15
6:00-7:00 – sprint @ level 19
7:00-9:00 – recovery @ level 16
9:00-10:00 – sprint @ level 18
10:00-12:00 – recovery @ level 15
12:00-13:00 – sprint @ level 17
13:00-15:00 – recovery @ level 14

A1 – Romanian deadlift to barbell row:
2 sets @ 50 lbs x 8

B1 – Incline dumbbell shoulder press:
2 sets @ 20 lbs (ea) x 8

B2 – Wide-grip lat pulldown:
2 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

C1 – YTWL:
2 sets @ 7.5 lbs (ea) x 4 each letter

C2 – Tricep cable pulldown:
2 sets @ 25 lbs x 8

Stairmill:
0:00-1:00 – level 6
1:00-2:00 – level 7
2:00-3:00 – level 8
3:00-4:00 – level 9
4:00-6:00 – level 10
6:00-7:00 – level 9
7:00-8:00 – level 8
8:00-9:00 – level 7
9:00-10:00 – level 6

Whittle My Middle!:
Plank:
90 sec
Side planks: 30 sec each
Plank on swiss ball: 90 sec
Prone jackknife: 10 reps (I’ve always sucked at these!)
Stabiliy ball rollout: 60 sec
Plank rotations: 60 sec

Treadmill:
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Cool-down:
5 min. stretching

Phew! Props if you read through all of that. I know a lot of people skip past my workout details, but I also know there are a few nerds out there like me who love going through other people’s workouts! :)

 

Oh, and the eating part of my day? I snacked on some Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas at work.

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I liked them better this time around. Although I think they need to be 1) roasted longer and 2) more cinnamon!! ;)

Last of my un-frozen chili leftovers.

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On top of some spaghetti squash. Delish!

Wasn’t very filling though, so my evening snack attack hit early. Mixed in 1/2 tbsp almond butter with a small bag of popcorn.

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If you use drizzly nut butter, it kinda coats the hot popcorn. Mmm, sweet and salty…

And for some reason, I crave flavoured drinks when I eat salty food (I’m usually an all water, all the time kinda person).

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Obviously, I don’t keep any flavoured drinks in the house because of that. So I mixed up a PVL peach whey cooler. Perfect!

 

November Goal Check-In

Halfway through the month! Let’s see how I’m doing…

Have fun workouts.
I actually got all three yoga sessions in this week, it was fabulous!

Monday – BodyFlow yoga class at the gym

Tuesday – Weight lifting and HIIT sesh. Left me SORE!

Wednesday – 8 mile trail run, t’was wonderful!

Thursday -  60 minutes of living room yoga, courtesy Dave Farmar and Yoga Today

Friday – Mediocre step class but a perfect BodyFlow yoga class at the gym

Saturday – Chilly 45 minute run

Sunday – HIIT, upper body weights and abs. Driving tomorrow should be fun ;)

*I do low intensity yoga, so those are technically my “rest days.” No crazy sweaty power yoga happening over here. I do it to relax :)

Be less complacent with food.
Temporarily tracking my calories again has really helped with this. It’s been a nice little kick in the butt for me.

Get more sleep.
Meehhhh. I didn’t work very hard at this this week. In fact, I don’t think I got 8 hours once this week. Tonight, I promise!

Make it through the last month of work with a positive attitude.
Hey, I’m still showing up for those 5am shifts, aren’t I?

Try my best to not let anything hold me back.
In terms of the job search, I’m not letting anything scare me out of not applying for certain jobs :)

Figure out a way to get into the holiday season.
I actually thought of something this week that got me really excited for Christmas. This year, I’ll get to blog about it!! I’ll get to share all my family traditions (and by traditions I mean food + booze). And I’ll get to invite you all into my loving home for the holidays. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it? :)

Spend more time with my grandparents.
Didn’t get to see any this week. But perhaps I’ll make the hour long trip to see my Grammie and Grampie this week. At the very least, I will call or write them.

Be more honest with people.
I caught and stopped myself numerous times this week from giving generic responses to questions. If someone asked me how I was doing, I did not respond “good” if I was not feeling good. Pretty sure this is why everyone I know thinks I loved being a reporter. It’s because when asked if I liked it, I just gave a simple “yes” instead of delving into how I really felt about it…

Look for a job.
Sent out lots of resumes!!! Fingers crossed I actually get a response this week.

Start playing music again.
Nope, nada. Still feeling very uninspired.

 

And one more piece of randomness for this Sunday evening (or Monday, if you’re an office reader. Or Thursday, if you’re behind on your blogs). Holly over at The Healthy Everythingtarian is doing something wonderful this year for Christmas. Instead of asking for presents, she is asking people to donate money to help build a well in Cambodia. Holly spent time in Cambodia herself so this gift is very close to her heart. Read about it here and then go donate! Minimum donation is $10. That’s two eggnog lattes. Skip the lattes, give to people who need it, everybody wins :D

 

Question of the Day: How is everyone coming along with their goals? Setting any new ones? The Whittle My Middle and Yoga challenges are new since making the list. Always good to update your goals to keep yourself motivated :)

Now if you don’t mind, I have a date with Edward Cullen Jacob Black then the 8 hours sleep I promised. Night night!

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Cardio therapy

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words on my last post!!! I almost didn’t post last night because I didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer. I want this to be a fun, sometimes informative blog, but I also want it to be real. Everyone breaks down sometimes, and I think it’s perfectly okay to do so!

Jenna put it really well, “most of the time when I do [cry], it’s out of frustration not sadness.”

Totally. There’s been a lot of frustration happening ‘round these parts!

But, I’m a firm believer that life is what you make of it. We’re all in charge of our own happiness. So today, I woke up with the goal of making it a better day.

And what’s a better way to start an awesome day than to skip on over to the gym?

That’s a total lie. I stumbled, puffy-eyed, sleep-deprived, and for some reason, really hungry. But once I got into it, I really got into it :)

Duration: 1:02
Calories: 498 (I note this only because it’s pretty high for a gym sesh!)
Max HR: 173
Avg HR: 146

Warm-up:
5 minutes easy on the elliptical

Elliptical (front-drive, for the record ;) ):
1 minute level 6
2 minutes level 4
1 minute level 7
2 minutes level 5
1 minute level 8
2 minutes level 5
1 minutes level 7
2 minutes level 4
1 minute level 6
2 minutes level 3

Strength:
3 alternating sets of jump squats and tricep dips, 10 reps each

Treadmill:
2 minutes 5.5 mph
2 minutes 5.8 mph
2 minutes 6.1 mph
2 minutes 6.4 mph
2 minutes 6.7 mph

Strength:
3 alternating sets of back extension and cable horizontal woodchop, 10 reps each

Rowing machine:
10 minutes, alternating overhand grip and underhand grip every 2 1/2 minutes

Strength:
One 2 minute and 15 second plank. Boo. Ya. :D

Cool-down:
Stretching

This was basically a workout for someone with ADD :P I loved mixing up the strength and cardio instead of just splitting it into two parts. Good times at the campus gym. I’ll miss that place…

 

Oh, and the mood lifting didn’t stop there. It’s Waffle Wednesday y’all!!

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Hello gorgeous! Two waffles with almond butter, yogurt, a sliced peach and cinnamon. Eaten on a paper plate because my real ones are in a box. Also eaten in bed because my table is gone.

I also want to mention that I tried making my daily iced coffee with cold water overnight. Usually, I brew iced coffee in the french press by pouring boiling water over the grinds, steeping for 4-5 minutes, pressing, then leaving it in the fridge overnight. But after reading Kath’s post where she used cold water, I wanted to give it a try, figuring it would save me the step of boiling water. It was a no-go. I let the cold water steep with the grinds in the fridge for 8 hours and it was much weaker. Some things I read said to soak it for at least 12 hours. But I like my coffee strong!!

I cut myself off from buying groceries this week so I wouldn’t be moving a bunch of food. I did however stock up on a few bars to replace the usual fruit I bring to work. Bad, I know. But they’re easier to pack than fresh fruit,

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I should know better than to buy products called Slim Down, but this one intrigued me (and was on sale). It has 13g of protein for 180 calories. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the bar itself, because I ate it while walking somewhere (no time for a sit down snack, busy work day!). First off, I didn’t read the ingredients carefully enough in the store, and didn’t realize it had high fructose corn syrup. Secondly, the taste was “meh.” Kinda chalky. I still have this bar in another flavour to eat, but I otherwise won’t be buying them again.

 

I was staaaarving when I walked in the door at 4:30 pm and decided to just go ahead and make something to eat. Given the grocery and dishes situation, it was still pretty decent!

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Soup! I forgot that I still had a few containers of this stuff in my cupboard.

I added a can of tuna and a couple spoonfuls of garbanzos to “beef” it up a bit. Not too shabby. Couldn’t even distinguish between the chicken and tuna!

Dessert was the last of my protein popsicles.

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There will be more experimenting with this when I’m in my new place. Just think of the possibilities!

 

So I wouldn’t say I’m 100% a-okay yet. But I’m definitely 50% better than yesterday. After working nine days straight, I have these next two days completely off to prepare for moving this weekend (which I still have to work). Having some spare hours to myself should help a lot.

So today’s question is, what did you do for yourself today that made you happy? My gym session was definitely my highlight. I really realized how much I rely on exercise now to release my stress and anxiety. Much better than the full-blown panic attacks I used to have.

Oh, and I woke up this morning to discover my cable’s been shut off! Not cool! How am I going to watch the Real World tonight!? :P

Hope you had a great hump day!

Running, Races and More Ellipticals

Hiya! Totally loved all your favourite salad combos!!! Wow, some of you are creative. I was surprised by how many of you like fruit in your salad. Mainly because I don’t. Okay, that’s not entirely truthful. I like some fruits in salads, like oranges, peaches, apples. But I can’t do berries. Especially strawberries or raspberries. They belong in yogurt silly :P

Anywho, I almost lost last night’s salad running 5k in 27 minutes this morning. Yup,I actually did it!!

Distance: 5.01 km
Duration: 27:13
Avg Pace: 8:44 min/mi
Avg HR: no idea, my heart rate monitor was crapping out on me again

That run was so. hard. I’m pretty sure I hit my VO2 max. I had to stop and walk for 45 seconds on the last kilometre. I was wheezing and sputtering and basically on the brink of death. Of course, at that very moment, some jackass wearing nothing but shorts and a heart rate chest strap whizzed past me on the trail. I tried to yell obscenities at him, but it came out as a gurgle :P

At first I felt like a failure for having to stop and walk. But then I realized it was actually a success. I wanted to push myself to my limits today. I wanted to see just how fast I could go. I also learned a couple things:

1. I run best when I start out slow and sprint to the end. I tried to set a 9:00 pace for this whole run and it didn’t work for me. No shame in starting slow and pounding it out at the end.

2. I need to work on sustaining high heart rates for longer periods of time. I had to stop on that last kilometre because I was over 180 bpm much longer than I’m used to. I’m going to start doing interval work on the treadmill, to slowly increase my ability to push those higher heart rates.

Once I no longer thought I was going to throw up, my jar of almond butter threw up some oat bran.

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1/2 cup dry oat bran cooked with 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder, 3 dates, cinnamon. And obviously, whatever was left of the AB. These jar concoctions keep me full for-ever because there’s usually more nut butter than the one tablespoon I typically use. Funny how more calories = fuller longer ;)

Some other highlights of my day included a chilled Luna bar.

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I put this in my fridge to keep it from melting in my sauna of an apartment. Holy moly. So good cold! Try it!!

Smoked salmon sandwich (SSS).

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Smoked salmon, laughing cow cheese, capers, tomato, spinach. On my trusty reporter’s notebook.

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Capers are my new BFF.

Homemade trail mix.

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Pecans, roasted almonds, walnuts, roasted soy nuts, cashews, roasted peanuts, dried apricots, dried mulberries, box of raisins meant for children. Lovelovelove having pre-made baggies of trail mix on hand. So easy to throw in my purse when I’m rushing out the door.

I also got a couple great questions in the comments yesterday that I thought deserved a full answers in a post.

Lara wanted to know if I’m training for something specific right now. The answer to that is, yes. Kind of. There’s a 5k race on September 13 I’m thinking of doing purely because it’s being held later in the day, after I get off work. The race I’m technically “training” for is a 10k on September 20. That will be my longest running race distance and I’m really excited about it!

There’s also the CIBC Run For The Cure 5k happening on Oct. 4. This will be a big deal for me, seeing as I’ve walked it several times and I’ve always dreamed of actually running it. My mother had breast cancer when she was 22 (younger than me now!) so this race for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society has always meant a lot to me. Actually running it this year, will be, well, I can’t think of the words at the moment.

 

Another great question was from April who wanted to know the difference between the arc trainer and other ellipticals. This brought me to my old friend google, who had a lot to say about the matter!

First, I learned that there are three types of ellipticals:

Rear drive elliptical

 

Front drive elliptical

 

Center drive elliptical

The rear driven elliptical was first patented by Precor in 2004 and meant to simulate the motion of running and walking without the strain on your joints.

The front driven elliptical was developed shortly after (mostly because the Precor patent made it tough for other companies to copy it). It has the same circular motion as the rear drive, but imitates the stair climber a little more.

The center driven elliptical is the newest. Their most noticeable feature is that it keeps you centered, whereas the other two either have you leaning back or forward slightly.

Now, for the arc trainer, well according to Cybex, they’re a whole other game.

Cybex says it’s not even an elliptical, claiming it also burns more calories (which I always think is hooey, but a lot of people say they get higher heart rates on it). It has a “reverse arc” motion, that is supposed to simulate more natural movement, often compared to cross-country skiing. It’s also supposed to be easier on the knees, and you can adjust the height, changing how high your knees come up.

You can read more here:
http://www.arctrainer.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliptical_trainer
http://www.fitness-equipment-source.com/elliptical-guide/front-vs-rear.htm
http://walking.about.com/od/treadmilling/a/elliptical_3.htm

 

So there you have it! To be honest, I never even noticed all these differences before!! Looking at this, I realize I love my Reebok Body Trec so much because it’s a front driven machine. For whatever reason, the rear drive ones just bug my knees. But now that I know I can adjust my knee height on the Cybex, I may give it another go (longer than two minutes this time? :P )

 

Phew. This was a long post. I think I’m subconsciously putting off packing. Time to get to it! Lator gators!!