Bootcamp and can I get an amen!

Tonight’s bootcamp was small. i.e. it was me and one guy who didn’t expect to get so much attention.

Seriously though, I would do this whether 1 or 100 people showed up. I decided to opt out of my planned workout and step it up a bit for this friend, who I know is in good shape and who I thought would like something a bit different than my normal routine. Plus, since there was just him, I could do something out of the ordinary so I went with it! And since I felt a little weird just playing personal trainer and full of energy myself, I did the workout with him.

Without further ado, tonight’s workout looked like this:

With a jog to the playground looking for monkey bars.

 10, 9, 8,…,1,10 each of pull-ups, sit-ups, pushups, burpees, and squats
10 minutes of running (approximate, there’s a nice loop in Canatara)


This might sound familiar because it’s a take on my workout from Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed it (again) and I think I perfected the order–heart rate stays up, arms aren’t dead dead dead, and you want to quit but can make it through it. Luckily tonight it was a bit cooler in the shade and with some breeze, so the workout flew by! I’m hoping for a bigger group tomorrow, but like I said, I’ll take everything with a smile.

After bootcamp, I’ve been sitting around reading and listening to podcasts and just enjoying a low key night. I had a bowl of greek yogurt/peanut butter mix and have a happy belly, happy heart, and is it bedtime yet? 

I mostly posted because I’m I abso-freaking-lutely am having one of those “oh my gawd you took the words right out of my mouth” moments right now.

I’m listening to a Life By Design podcast from January. Go to number 29–“Turning Resolutions into Results”. These guys are speaking to everything that I’ve been realizing about focusing on the behaviours when you’re trying to get to a new goal instead of focusing on that end goal and that alone:

“It comes back to…Cause vs. effect. Your resolutions are not causes, they’re effects. You look at what you don’t like about your life, what you don’t like about yourself, you look at what you don’t like about yourself and you say, ‘I wanna change that,’ but you never actually change the behaviours that would actually lead to that.”

Whatever you’re doing, you should probably just be listening to this.

And now for my final move: the faceplant. Nighty night!

(Almost) wordless Wednesday

Today, in a (photographed) nut shell:

  • midnight snack


  • breakfast attempt 1, with sour cottage cheese = fail


  • breakfast attempt number 2, with chocolate chips = pure success


  • my reaction to the rain/bad hair day conditions upon my decision to walk to Brescia today


  • the products of our lab work today


  • my PB and pumpkin butter sandwich with sprouts and carrots


  • my vice (it’s decaf)


  • my daily mile post for the day:
  • how i spent my afternoon: mother daughter time and pedicures
  • dinner: after just an apple as an afternoon snack, this came at a hangry point (bad idea, folks!) thus there are a few handfuls of unphotographed croutons that were absolutely necessary


  • how I’m feeling: awesome, loving the positive feedback on last night’s post and really trying to carry all those realizations forward and live them out!

And that’s all. Promise to be back with tons of words soon.

Make like Martha

As promised, I’ve got recipes to share!

First off, a take on Jennifer’s Crispy Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, which I made before. They came out oh so crumbly before, but this time appear to be holding together better, which is good since I made them as a birthday cake stand in for my sister (who is in field season and needs portable energy this time of year!).

Cheryl’s chocolately cranberry instead of cake bars


3 c. kamut puffs
1 c. oats
dash cinnamon
1 c. cranberries
1/4 c. cashews (chopped)
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. cocoa

In a large bowl, combine kamut puffs, oats, cinnamon, cranberries, and cashews. Set aside.
Combine honey, brown sugar, and peanut butter in a saucepan. Heat til melted over medium heat.
Add cocoa and stir til combined.
Add heated mixture to bowl, stirring mixture ’til cereal is coated.
Spread and press into a greased 9×13 inch pan.
Cool in refrigerator before cutting into bars.

And to channel Martha you must be really epic.

And epic I was because I aced my first attempt at fudge (for Mother’s Day so you know it was made with love!). All while hustling against the clock to get to yoga on time today. Though it was based on a really simple recipe…I hope my mother approves. 🙂

Fudge you can’t fudge up

1 can sweetened, condensed milk3 c. chocolate chips (semisweet)
dash salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. crushed walnuts

In a medium saucepan, heat condensed milk, chocolate chips and salt over medium heat, stirring until smooth (it will be thick but should not be lumpy).
Stir in vanilla and walnuts.
Press into a greased square pan.
Cool in refrigerator before cutting.

 And yum. Enjoy!

Checking in

Pennsylvania has been good to me. Sunshine, quality time, shopping, a run…

I started the day off with a bowl of Kashi and Fibre 1 with a banana and soy milk (just like home).

Then my mom and I headed for a bit of shopping/errands! While we were out, we naturally ended up at Target, so we had snacks in the Starbucks there. I chose a greek yogurt with honey and then added a bit of my mom’s coffee cake crumble to make it delicious.


I also played the crane game 🙂 … and won!

Sorry for the tummy shot!

When we got home I was ravenous so I whipped up a turkey sandwich. Best part of this bad boy = spicy mustard and american cheese. This is home sweet home!


Here’s my haul: a fedora, anklets, a bunch of headbands that were 10 for 10 at Claire’s, pyjamas (the wild zebra shorts — I don’t believe in boring PJs), and that flannel shirt that screams lumberjack for the low low price of $1.99!


After lunch, I headed for a run along the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail. My description is scenic but flat 🙂 It was uber hot and I felt really slow. Partway through my trek back, I turned my iPod off (there were so many birds to listen to and farms to look at, I figured I’d better enjoy it if I wasn’t distracted by my latest obsession (thanks Angela)!)

and I noticed my knee was clicking. It wasn’t bugging me, but that was a bit weird. When I got back to my car, I wasn’t feeling too hot. I went to the washroom and stretched/did some abs/pushups under the trees, and headed home. My foot started to hurt when I got out of the car, which blows. I’ll just whine: I don’t want to be injured! I already dealt with a yucky one this year and am just starting to trust my body again–this is scary! That being said, I’m not stupid. Ice, stretch, rest, etc. etc.


And just because I like to share everything about myself, I’ll add in that while I was on my run today (mile 5 I think), my Aunt Flo came for a visit. Love her–it’s been five long years. But seriously. I must be relaxed! Might be thanks to the chocolate I devoured in the last 24 hours. I think all that remains in my treat bag is yogurt pretzels, nuts, papaya, and pretzels!

Anyways, besides chocolate, I’ve been seeing a lot of pretty countryside and a buttload of COWS!


I had a normal snack–peanut butter and an apple–when I got home. The afternoon went quick and some thunderstorms just rolled in along with an epic dinner (we collaborated on this one — me veggies and a salad, mom meatballs and pasta, uncle bob bread <— omg bread)!


Consider me carbed up and ready to go for a bike ride tomorrow. I am really nervous about the traffic around here–does anyone have tips for how to find SAFE routes? I know Map My Ride might help…I bookmarked a page with some suggestions. I also found some maps from a nearby town that I might check out tonight! I’m planning on going late morning/early afternoon tomorrow (provided the weather is cooperating) so the traffic shouldn’t be awful. 🙂

So far, so good!

How’s your week?


Unexpected epiphanies

Wowzer. I didn’t have any intention of this being a post about realizations or anything bigger than a bike ride this afternoon (45km ish with a friend :)!), cleaning, and what I ate today. Funny how blogging can spark insight…enjoy:

I think I blogged before that I’m feeling a bit stuck in my routine of eating the same things over and over again.

Kashi berry crisp, all bran buds, and grapes with yogurt!

My breakfast bowl was a little different, which is a start.

I spent the morning working on making my apartment presentable (it’s not disorganized mess — I have lots of things to go to my mom’s place for the winter like my boots/coats/etc.). I closed my closets for the first time in 2012! Yahoo. I also made it to the bank, which has been on my to do list for a while. Check! Then I stopped at Bulk Barn.

Things got out of hand…and there are treat bags that I can’t help but reveal.


gluten, dairy, soy, almond/peanut free for Angela (it's my version of chicken noodle soup since she's sick :(!): think dried fruit (bananas, papaya, pineapple, and mango), dates, and skittles


My road trip dream: yogurt covered pretzels, pretzels, chocolate covered almonds, mixed nuts, papaya, banana chips, and chocolate rosebuds


Everything I think my mom will like! 🙂

You’d be surprised to know I went on this bulk barn blitz AFTER lunch (another turkey sandwich with cheese, sprouts, mayo, and an apple — back to boring). I couldn’t finish my lunch, though, which brings me to a weird realization I had (that probably led me to feel “brave” enough to buy MYSELF a treat bag!). Get ready for this.

  • In the past, I have ALWAYS finished my plate. I cannot remember the last time I left anything on it. I sometimes think I’m just really good at knowing how much food I want, but I think it’s a remnant of dieting days where I would literally need everything on my plate (I also wouldn’t share food then, because every bite meant so much to me) or of my recovery days where I think I cleaned a heftier plate to prove I was recovering. — NEWS FLASH: You don’t have an ED if you decide not to finish something. You also should feel fine to finish things and to go back for more. The goal is to feel satisfied–not stuffed! 
  • This epiphany made me realize that I really can leave behind old habits.
  • In the past, I also would go out and buy road trip snacks for the people I was travelling with, trying to buy things I “don’t like” anyways. Often, I’d end up eating them with my friends/family and I wouldn’t even be having what I wanted, PLUS I’d be serving up a hefty dose of guilt in the process (it’s hard to ENJOY something as a TREAT when you hear a voice telling you that you shouldn’t be eating it). — NEWS FLASH: We all deserve treats. If we allow ourselves to eat food and to enjoy it without telling ourselves we shouldn’t, they will be more satisfying and will serve their purpose as a treat–not as a reason to beat ourselves up, not as something emotional, etc. 

All this thinking made me realize: I can go away this week and I can worry about what I’m eating. Or I can truly try to channel that healthy girl I know I am and find the voice that empowers me to eat in a way that is normal, balanced, and healthy and that doesn’t use food as a distraction, a means to beat myself up, etc. I can change. Evidenced by the empowerment I felt by just deciding that I was full and didn’t need the entire plate at lunch or by the simple act of making myself an uber appealing treat bag, I can change. I can be the healthy girl I want to be. I am her! My goal for the week is to eat things in moderation. Candy on a daily basis, most likely. American junk food that I wouldn’t let myself ENJOY in the past (though I’d end up eating lots of it in bingeing fashion). Things like white bread and white potatoes (which the blogging world has a tendency to label “bad” but really are not the devil) and butter, full fat cheese, and whatever else comes up along the way. I’m not going on a junk food eating bender here. When I allow myself that flexibility and see myself succeeding and eating as a balanced person would, I feel so powerful. I know in my heart that I will crave vegetables and fruit and nutritious foods and that I will eat them–so no worries that I’m going to die from a nutritionally related disease next week, kiddos! The thing that I think people often forget that I’m trying to remind myself: I eat to live. The food I put in my body is fuel. If food is holding you back, could you just let go? What would happen if it didn’t have power? Might you not weigh what you’re supposed to (more, less, the same) without stressing about it? Might you not have more time and energy to spend working on things that matter and to seek out experiences? Because really, what are we here for if it’s not to live?

And I apologize for getting all philosophical, deep, recovery-like on you there, but I hope that made sense. I also hope I can take it and apply it.

So for dinner tonight, when I was seriously craving peanut butter and cereal, I went with it. And along the same vein as I realized above, feeling guilty about not eating veggies won’t serve me. Feeling bad about eating a lot of cereal in a day also won’t. Recognizing that at the end of the day, I fuelled myself and didn’t binge, didn’t use food as an excuse, didn’t let it rule my life: that’s healthy! So probably is my fibre intake…

Anywho, it’s time for me to finish packing and then to go get my zen on. I’m really excited for this trip…

Bring on the Tasty Cakes.

Bring on the family bonding (I miss my Grandma and uncle, I can’t remember the last time my mom and I took a road trip).

Bring on the pretty drive.

Bring on the time to read.

Bring on the time to sleep.

Bring on the bike rides in the hills.

Bring on the happy!

Have you had any of these realizations before?
What would be in your treat bag?
Have you had tasty cakes (I think I need a supplier)? 

TGIF…a new tradition!

I’m going to start doing Tina-inspired Friday posts here. This gives me a prime opportunity to plug her blog a bit too– she’s been nominated on Fitness Magazine for Best Personal Trainer blog, which means you should vote for her!(no pressure)!

5 quotes I’m loving

  1. “I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.” 
  2.  “The athlete who attempts to train through an injury rather than adjust his goals always believes he is committed, but he is not. He is acting obsessively rather than remaining committed to his objectives. Remaining injured is not the way to progress, and by not resting he creates long-term setbacks. This is when obsession is mistaken as passion or commitment.”  … borrowed from RaceReady, who got it from “Base Building for Cyclists” by Thomas Chapple
  3. “You’ve got to have the mental toughness and confidence in yourself where you believe that you can take those days off and you can recover and you can run great. A lot of what we see in athletes that just train all the time and never give themselves adequate recovery is often portrayed as toughness. What I’ve realized over the years is it really is a weakness. It’s an insecurity that you’re not good enough to recover like other athletes: I’m not good enough to do that; I need to keep training; I can’t take time off; I can’t take easy days.” – Alberto Salazar courtesy of Alex
  4. “Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart”

  5. courtesy of Alysha 🙂

4 recipes I can’t wait to make eat

  1. Linguine with italian tuna and white beans
  2. Pumpkin pasta
  3. Winter lentil and apple salad (with in season stuff! bonus!)
  4. Peanut butter breakfast pudding

3 posts of the week

  1. Eating Disorders Awareness Week: My Story (Thanks for all the feedback on this one guys, and I loved reading stories around the web. You folks are amazing!)
  2. I’m a monster (Hungry? You will be once you check this out — my first go at nutritional yeast “cheeze”, portobello burgers, and spinach chips!)
  3. Giving up (It took me a long time to write this one, mostly because I didn’t want to bring up the hurtful comment but also because I was really struggling with my back and forth decisions. Pouring my heart out was worth it and all signs point to “follow your heart, Cheryl”…)

2 things I’ve noticed about myself this week

  1. I’m stressed. Evidenced by the fact that I’m eating anything and everything in a frantic manner, standing up, and that I feel like I’m walking around in a daze. So I’m dealing with this by trying to just calm down. I’ve never NOT finished something when it needed to be done. I need to cut myself seem slack. More yoga, full night’s sleep, slowing down to eat, etc. are really important. Taking it one step at a time instead of worrying about the summer or next fall right now will also help!
  2. I should probably deal with my caffeine dependency. I was brushing up on my nutrition month stuff yesterday when I got linked to a fact sheet from caffeine on Health Canada and realized that I am FAR over recommendations:

“For women of childbearing age, the recommendation is a maximum daily caffeine intake of no more than 300 mg, or a little over two 8-oz (237 ml) cups of coffee.”

…yeahhh I have 2 cups before I even get out of the house. I think I go through swim half asleep as it is, even with taking in my daily dose beforehand! I’m going to save money and feel better if I can cut back, I think. Sure, there are health benefits to caffeine, but I don’t like being so dependent on it. I think it might help with number one and feeling so frantic!

1 website for you to check out

  1. Another blog to add to your list. I’m loving “Small bites: bite size nutrition information” by Andy Bellati, an RD who just so happened to start out as a journalist (no wonder I’m drawn to his stuff!)

I am especially loving today’s post about “The Fallacy of Better Peanut Butter” — I was intrigued by PB2 but I realize now exactly what it is all about — before I was just curious from a distance. He summed it up! Now I realize:

“In reality, extremely low-fat peanut butter doesn’t cut it. One of the main nutritional highlights of peanut butter is its high oleic acid content (the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid prominent in olive oil, avocados, almonds, and pecans that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial cardiovascular effects).

Decreasing peanut butter’s monounsaturated fat content by 85 percent makes as much sense as stripping away most of the soluble fiber from oats or  calcium from kale.”

Yay for learning. I also had a chat with my dietitian about nut butters yesterday and she gave me some advice to choose natural ones if I’m looking more for a source of protein whereas if I’m just using it as more of a fat, I should feel free to choose any kind, even if it has additives. That’s good advice — even though I generally prefer natural nut butters! I do think I eat more of them, because they’re so darn good and because they’re harder to spread perhaps. 🙂

Yay for Friday!

Got anything exciting to share?
What’s on the agenda this weekend?
Do you prefer conventional or natural nut butters? Tried the replacements?