Short and oh so sweet

Well, I am home from my trip to Toronto.

It was short, and as you saw, oh so sweet! Lots of wine, lots of chocolate, lots of catching up.

I thought I’d be exhausted after the double dose of spin I got into in the morning–yeah, I’m hooked again on spin classes! There’s a reason why I became an instructor and bought a bike in the first place, and I’m remembering it this week. Also, there was one of my fav instructors back after having a baby so staying for her class after a seriously sweaty and awesome one by another really awesome teacher’s was easy. 🙂

The drive to Toronto was easy too–I had company from Mel and Nina, which made it fly by!

When I got there, Bonnie and I headed for massages. Like something out of Austin Powers, but awesome. It’s tradition!

Our friends who are in Toronto for chiropractic school joined us for a long overdue reunion, dinner, and wine!

With the wine drinking and awesome company came a really amazing conversation. The kind that makes you want to smile for the next few days (I’m in perma-grin mode, despite a hangover). We talked about a lot but some questions really struck awesome insight:

  • What holds you back/has held you back?
  • What does your life look like in 10 years?
‘Twas awesome. I’m realizing more and more how cool the people in my life are and how this happy, positive wavelength I seem to be riding is contagious (or I’ve just been ignoring the fact that it’s out there until now!).
I blame it a bit on buying this book for Bonnie for her birthday (on Angela’s suggestion)–“Four regular guys on a mission to complete a list of ‘100 Things To Do Before You Die’ and to help and encourage others to go after their own lists.”
You know we ate this up!
It also sparked my own mental summer to do list, which I started today as I drove back to London (after breakfast, of course).

Sneak peak of the summer 2012 (epic?) to do list, which I think will be worth a page of its own on here:

  • feed ducks – starting it off with a bang 😉
  • go on a roller coaster
  • beat everyone up a mountain on my bike
  • bike to sarnia
  • watch a sunrise
  • sleep under the stars
  • do a mud run
  • write for a new magazine
  • trail run
  • go on a road trip
  • meet someone famous
  • do yoga on the beach
  • try long boarding
  • go to an outdoor concert
  • eat something I grow
  • bake with flour from Arva – it’s close and it’s supposed to be delicious!
  • go sailing
  • go boogie boarding 🙂
  • ride a century
  • ride a tandem bicycle
When I got back to London (after two pit stops and a snack), I met up with friends for a swim! We did about 2400m, which felt okay (considering Bonnie and I got only a few hours of sleep after talking our hearts out at bedtime!).
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After the swim, I was ravenous. Repeat of yesterday’s turkey sandwich, loaded with sprouts and tomatoes (I’m craving veggies)!

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This afternoon I spent at Starbucks, working away on a freelance assignment and trying to sort out the continuing education credits I need to get this month to keep my fitness certification current. Progress!

Now it’s nearly time for me to head to yoga with my friends!

How’s your week going?
What’s on your summer to do list? 

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Gimme a break

I don’t need a break any more…I need to get down to work, but I’m clearly prioritizing and getting you guys caught up before I get down to busy.

Yesterday after class I went to a meeting with my TA about this big term paper I am writing for next week. I felt MUCH better after. I have an idea of where I’m going with it, at least, and am actually a bit excited to write it! I know if I give up the perfectionism I’m so prone to and just get started, I’ll have a draft soon enough. I’ve got lots of background information, tons of ideas, an episode (the season 13 premiere) of The Biggest Loser and I’ve been paying attention (sorta) to my sociology prof…so analysis, let’s go! It’s kind of cool   nerdy when you actually want to write an essay, don’t you think?

I went to yoga yesterday afternoon. It was WEIRD, but WEIRD can be good. Not your typical power class, not that challenging in a physical sense, but for me the class was a step outside of my comfort zone, and Sabre got through to me with her anecdotes/ideas again. She was talking about challenging yourself, about how people often look around to see what a pose will look like instead of just doing it (to see if they think they’ll be able to), and I distinctly remember her saying something like

“In your life, see where you find challenge. And try to think about that challenge as an opportunity. And then go after it.” 

I told you Sabre’s the best!

After yoga I went in my stinky-ness to Joe Fresh at the far far superstore. And I got a migraine while I was there. Which means there was no way in heck I was driving home, so I took a cab and paid the 30 dollars to get back to my apartment. I slept for a while, woke up, cooked myself dinner…”Fish and Chips” (salmon with sweet potato and kale chips — topped with cranberries and maple syrup), worked on my project, ate an apple (exciting), and slept again.

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As you know, migraines frustrate me but they’re definitely a sign that I was too stressed. Usually when I start to relax, they hit me. That means I need to destress on a regular basis…easier said than done!

This morning I woke up and had a normal breakfast even though I felt so out of it from the medicine and the migraine and the weird sleep (I read about migraine hangovers for the first time today and I definitely think I have one). Then I went to get my car and to the pool. I was starving so I had a Kashi bar — haven’t had that many lately, and it was either stale or just crunchier than I’d remembered and not my fav — and then swam about 2500m! I was glad Angela drove me to get my car and even gladder she wanted to swim so I had some external motivation to get to the pool (no tri club friends or cute boys forcing me there ;)!).

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After coming home and having leftovers in a salad for lunch (soooo good!), I made up my mind to go to the shower! I made the drive and saw friends I haven’t seen in a long time. This was my first baby shower. So many “aweeees” 🙂 and Lori is ADORABLE all the time, but as a pregnant woman she is even cuter, if that’s possible! I miss my Sarnia friends a lot and it was really nice to see some of them, even if it was (too) short but sweet! There were cute baby shower games and tons of food.

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snacks of choice...plus some hershey kisses (I should have known better than to eat lunch BEFORE an Italian baby shower!) 🙂

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After the shower, Tanya and I spent a few hours at Starbucks (same study spot, different city), chatting  and “doing work”. I probably could have gotten more done on my essay, but at least it’s in progress and I really miss my friends, so the quality time was worth it! I saw some other familiar faces too, which is always a bonus. Besides my hair, there’s been  lots changes since I was home at Christmas (the last time I saw most of my friends).

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When I came back, I threw together a quick dinner that I really can’t call a recipe but that is probably going to be a new fav 4 ingredient base for all kinds of delish: almond butter (all good recipes start this way!), quinoa, spinach, and chick peas. Don’t hate it, just try it. And report back.

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Tomorrow is Around the Bay, and it’s been almost 12 weeks since I got hurt. I’m choosing to send all the good vibes in the world to the people running tomorrow and remembering that I am at least starting to feel better! Not to mention, think of all the insight that’s come out of this hip issue!?

My goal for the night is to do as much of the other things on my to do list besides my essay as possible. My goal for the week is to keep smiling, and to put things in perspective. I’m going to finish this essay and I’m not going to fail it. I’ll probably do better than I think. I often get incapacitated because I feel overwhelmed by big tasks or by a ton of little ones, but if I just do one thing at a time and remember that my best is all I can do (and that stressing = migraines = sucks), I might be better off!

Have an awesome night. 🙂

How are you spending your weekend?
What’s the best random bowl you’ve thrown together in a while?

Have you ever been to a baby shower? What’s your favourite game? (I liked guessing how big her belly was with ribbon–I was close!)

It seems a bit hypocritical, no?

Confession: I feel a bit like a hypocrite.

What’s up?

This morning (and last night), I was struggling with my whole freaking out a bit over the nutrition output I got for my attempt at granola bars.

If I split them into nine bars (that gives hefty servings, which is what I wanted)…

but that’s just part of the story…I’m also getting fibre, a good dose of healthy fats, and vitamins/minerals.

Nutrition Facts
  Servings Per Recipe: 9
  Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 255.5
  Total Fat 10.0 g
  Saturated Fat 1.4 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 2.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 6.0 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 7.6 mg
  Potassium 405.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 49.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
  Sugars 25.5 g
  Protein 5.7 g
  Vitamin A 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 4.0 %
  Vitamin C 1.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 15.3 %
  Calcium 7.0 %
  Copper 24.2 %
  Folate 5.2 %
  Iron 14.9 %
  Magnesium 25.9 %
  Manganese 72.0 %
  Niacin 4.1 %
  Pantothenic Acid 2.9 %
  Phosphorus 21.6 %
  Riboflavin 8.1 %
  Selenium 1.5 %
  Thiamin 12.0 %
  Zinc 10.0 %

And they’re made from scratch, which we know is in line with how I’d like to eat more.

So in other words, I was being a bit silly when I got into the “I shouldn’t be eating this” vs. “I’ll just have a taste” vs. “I should stop” thinking that always ends up in eating without thinking and usually means overeating mindlessly. Ironic since I listened to Jillian Michaels’ latest podcast and she talked about eating more mindfully…and I was like “THIS IS SO TRUE”…but then went and fell into the old habit of telling myself I shouldn’t be having something…eating them right out of the pan. So not ideal.

So, about the “hypocritical part”.

After telling a friend today that I thought it was weird that she chose sugar free ketchup with fake sweeteners in it and telling her when she said “It’s better that sugar” that there is nothing wrong with sugar (I may or may not have crossed the line and said “fake crap is better?” — and I don’t condone attacking friends’ dietary choices and I hope my girl reads this and knows I’m feeling like an arse) I realized I should probably live my word…

Cuz to be honest, sugar is okay. At what point did we decide that low sugar and adding fake things to fill up the space was better? I am going to listen to the message from Saturday instead–that we should focus on getting enough good in during the day and the whole idea of using food as fuel–and am forgiving myself for momentarily getting confused…cuz in what way is a Clif bar or a granola bar filled with heavily processed ingredients better than the real deal–something I made from scratch?

Ingredients in a clif bar, fyi:

Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Soy Flour, Organic Roasted Soybeans), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Toasted Oats (Organic Oats, Organic Dried Cane Syrup), Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter (Organic Peanuts, Salt), Chocolate Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Peanut Flour, Peanuts, ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Apple Fiber, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Psyllium, Organic Milled Flaxseed), Organic Date Paste, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt.

…are not much different than my mix: some chocolate, some sugar, some fat, some carbs. But I made mine from scratch, got to add the tastes I want, and spent way less money. So to NOT eat them would be really dumb, don’t ya think? And then to go and rant about how we should eat real food, not be scared of carbs, and  have sugar in our diets, especially as athletes…well, I better get on that whole practising what you preach stuff, don’t you think?

So I had it with my morning, pre swim snack AND in my breakfast, which means I am owning this and reclaiming the recipe/healthy outlook I know is right.

greek yogurt with crumbled granola 🙂

Perfect fuel for ~2500m of awesome-ness, for the record!

kamut flakes,granola, banana, and soy milk

Sense: slapped into myself!

Now it’s time for a full day of class, Gazette, physio, meetings, and teaching spin tonight! Bring. it. on.

What’s one thing you practice but don’t preach?
Do you have a busy week ahead?