All around awesome

 

 

Tonight was all around great.

After my chiropractic appointment, I had some dinner and then made my way to the park for bootcamp.

Salmon, kale, apricots!

Four sweaty girls came out and they got their money’s worth.

Warmup: mixture of jogging, lunging, shuffling, sprinting, etc. 

Workout: as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes: 10 sprints/runs between cones, 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 burpees, 10 sit-ups

core challenge: extended plank, up/downs, forearm plank, R plank, forearm plank, L plank, forearm plank, up/downs, extended plank (40 on/20 off for each)

cooldown/stretch

I’m sure they loved me as much as I loved them ;)! One superstar who used to come to my bootcamps at campus rec sighed and said “It feels so good when you’re done!” and then, “But I thought I was going to die during.” …sounds like my work is done! 🙂 My goal is to kick their butts but to make it something they can do. I want them to feel tired after but also that high from working out, not demolished. 🙂

After bootcamp, I got my own sweaty on.

Pretty freaking cool, huh?

Not cool: I totally forgot to snap a picture of my yogurt mess which was tip top delicious last night. Coconut, almonds, and some chopped up chocolate thrown into a bowl of greek/vanilla yogurt = holy schmokes happy belly!

Tomorrow there’s another bootcamp on tap and then I’m hoping to get started on my trip prep and to pound out a draft of my article for Bankrate. The awesome thing is that when I was interviewing one of my sources, he ended up being a cyclist. Since this was for my financial writing, I really didn’t expect to have the conversation I did. When we got to talking, he gave me about 10 ideas for other stories to pitch. Amen for people who just want to see others succeed. And yay for being inspired to pitch some story ideas and to get back on a regular writing/freelancing train!

Before I go to bed, I’m going to sort out my bootcamp plans for the morning and organize those story ideas and then dive into my journal, I think! What a perfect ending to a great day…

How do you like to end your days?
Have you ever had a similar experience to mine after an adjustment?  I’m so excited!

Advertisements

More fun with friends

Today’s bootcamp was another small and mighty one. I had two eager ladies out for a morning session. I’m telling you folks, working out while most of the world is still sleeping feels oh so good! I was up at 5 so I had myself a full breakfast and did some random reading and tweeting and started my day at a leisurely pace before heading to the park.

oats, almond butter, greek yogurt, banana = perfection

Animal Farm or makeshift gym? You decide…

Since I knew my participants and since they’re friends (i.e. wouldn’t complain if I made them hold hands or work together during the workout), I used the small group as an opportunity to try out some partner moves! I think they did the trick, although I was hoping to get through three rounds of the circuit. That just means the next time this kind of workout comes up, the better the challenge will be!

Warmup: cones –> jogging, side shuffle, criss cross, high knees/butt kicks, lunge/jog, skip/toe touches

Workout:

a) Circuit: 1 minute each

1. partner squats (face each other and hold hands, lean back so weight is in your heels, squat low and trust your partner!)

2. side shuffle with a ball pass at chest level (throwback to your basketball camp days)

3. circle lunges (forward R, side R, reverse R, reverse L, side L, forward L)

4. jumping jacks

5. pushup with a high five (face your partner and give high fives with opposite hands after completing each pushup)

6. burpee/mountain climber combos (5 mountain climbers/1 burpee)

7. sit ups with a ball pass (sit with your feet facing each other, take the ball overhead and pass in the middle)

8. plank up downs

REST 1 minute before repeating

b) Core:  Marathon abs (20 reps each)

1. crunches with legs extended to the sky (push out through heels, crunch straight up)

2. oblique cruches (reaching for shoelaces like you’re climbing a ladder)

3. leg raises

4. bicycle kicks

5. situps or crunches

Cooldown/stretch


Oh sweaty! I didn’t do the workout with them but I still felt accomplished just starting the day in an active way. When I got back to London, I grabbed coffee (this is where all my money seems to go), ran to the store for a few things, came home, and got busy in the kitchen (prepping the leafy greens I bought, cooking up lunch, and baking up a recipe I’ll share later–but am sharing with my massage therapist NOW). I’m off for my long awaited massage.

kale, avocado, apricots, and salmon

Life is good.

Have you ever done a partner workout?
What’s your favourite partner move?
Do you like morning workouts?  

Saving the best for last

Where did the day go?

I feel like I could say that about this week, this month, this semester, and even this year.

When I look back on my pictures, I realize today went to my take home exam, to crying over thinking about all the changes coming up and realizing that this is the end of the line, and to getting sweaty. All in all, it was a productive day.

After my morning post, I did a spin class that reminded me why I love spinning. I finally feel like I’m getting my legs back after my injury. I can’t believe how much I’ve missed it.

I refuelled after the class with a protein shake (I haven’t had one in AGES) and a banana before grabbing a few things I needed (i.e. paper to print this take home exam on) and some food (because you always need food when you’re shopping) and then dove into the essay writing.

I also worked on my leftovers a bit more with lunch—a barbecue turkey sandwich and cherry tomatoes.

20120410-205347.jpg

After an appointment with my counsellor this afternoon, I was pretty hungry so I dug into an apple mixed with some nut butter. Warning: this isn’t the prettiest snack, but it is delicious.

Heading to bootcamp, I was seriously tired. Struggling to keep my eyes open, even. But since it was the last one and since I know teaching takes about 5 minutes to cheer me up and energize me, I found a second wind and left the boot campers with a sweaty workout.

Warmup / Cone drill – jogging, shuffling, criss crossing, high knees, butt kicks, lunging, jump squats

Circuit x 4 (minimal rest in between exercises, 60 seconds between rounds):

  • weighted walking lunges –> with weights held overhead, bicep curls, shoulder presses, shoulder raises, or an oblique twist
  • pushups
  • burpees
  • weighted sumo/plie squats
  • plank with row
  • mountain climbers
  • weighted sit ups
  • weighted V sit oblique twists
  • burpee/mountain climber combo — MY FAV, but definitely not my participants’!

Wall sits – Because who doesn’t love feeling like their thighs are on fire?

Cool down/stretch

When the class was done, I got plenty of sweaty hugs and thank yous and a big dose of “I love my job” goodness. I really left the gym on a high and part of it was that I did this sweaty beast of a workout with them but also that I realize I am lucky and am getting back to being me, the fitness instructor who looks forward to teaching and loves the people and the music and the sweat and the spandex and all the good things that go along with group fitness!

After the class, I had a quick dinner—salmon over spinach salad with carrots, pecans, maple vinaigrette, and cranberries (a familiar flavour)—and then got back down to work.

Now I just have to print it and make it to class to hand it in tomorrow and I’m officially done 2 of my courses! Once I submit my website (aka this blog, which is weird since I just post on it all the live long day) for my online class tomorrow, all that’s left is a small exam next week.

Bring on freedom! But more urgently, bring on my pyjamas—I’m wiped!

How was your Tuesday?
What’s your favourite way to use turkey leftovers?
Have you ever tried mountain climber burpees? 

 

 

 

 

Things to do when you can’t sleep

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…NOT. I am stressed. I know this for many reasons including the fact that I can’t sleep. For someone used to going to bed at 10:30 and waking up at 5:30, being awake at 2:30 (I tweeted to mark the time) is not ideal. I tossed and turned for a while and finally got hungry enough to just get up. I admittedly had a real coffee later than normal yesterday, but I think my mind racing had more to do with not being able to sleep. Eventually, I unset my alarm and got up, snacked, and worked on my take home exam/essay some more. Things to do besides worry about not being able to sleep:

  • read blogs
  • write in your journal
  • embrace the opportunity to have a true “midnight snack”
  • research wild trips you’ll likely never be able to go on—or find one you actually want to try! (I am particularly drawn to the semester long treks through NOLS)
  • finish the draft of an essay you’re worried about
  • read a book
  • paint your nails
  • clean
Those come from experience. Enjoy.

My midnight snack of choice was a boring bowl of greek yogurt that got more exciting when I added a spoonful of peanut butter. I think there’s a saying that a spoonful of peanut butter makes life complete? 😉 20120410-073052.jpg I almost repeated my morning snack, which was similar—greek yogurt with honey, cocoa, and a few Mini Eggs. I think my thoughts just caught up with me at night because I was going all day and didn’t have time for them to sink in or swirl around my head. After my morning post yesterday, I ended up spinning at the gym before heading to The Gazette. I ran into Nina and ended up eating lunch (turkey sandwich with leftover kale chips). I love seeing her, but realizing we are almost done this semester and that she might not be here next year makes me uber sad and reminds me of all the other good friends who are going to be friends from remote locations after this year :(! I worked for a bit but I started to get really anxious about my assignments so I went to the library. I saw Ellen, who has a knack for making me happier, and sat in the less stressful cafe part of the library where eating my afternoon granola bar wouldn’t piss everyone off and where my stress levels wouldn’t increase by association. 20120410-073032.jpg Afterwards, I went for a swim! Luckily I had company, otherwise I’d probably have bailed. I did a short set with more kicking than was originally planned to save my shoulder a bit of stress. It really didn’t hurt much, just felt tight, so I don’t know what to do. I have a massage (for my hip, mostly) on Thursday, but I think I’ll see if getting her to loosen up my oh so stressed back/neck/shoulders helps things out. I also have physio on Friday so I can bring it up there too! After the swim, I had dinner with Nina (spinach salad with leftover sweet potatoes, salmon, cranberries, and pecans) and after arming myself with Mini Eggs, we met Angela for a night of studying at Starbucks. Studying with friends makes me more likely to smile and not to go into tunnel vision about “never finishing this essay” or about “having nothing to do in the summer”—common worries for me during the final stretch here! So, even though it’s kind of a stressful time, I’m trying really hard to spend as much time with people as I can and to enjoy the last bit of time here! I had a few “OMG I AM SO GLAD I’M COMING BACK NEXT YEAR” moments yesterday. Not only does taking time to see people and to just slow down keep me sane and make me happy, it also is important since the semester is coming to an end and I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss these folks. And, tear. 20120410-073036.jpg This morning I woke up a little full from last night’s middle of the night snack, sad that I missed swim, but ready to get on with my day. I started things off with a few of my favourite things: cereal, coffee, and blogging. It’s on to working on my exam, trying to make it to campus, spinning, and teaching bootcamp. Busy is better than bored! Do you get stressed when things end/change? What do you do if you can’t sleep? What kind of trip would you go on if you had unlimited money and resources?  

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.

20120324-201826.jpg

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 ;)!).

20120324-201821.jpg

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.

20120324-201816.jpg

20120324-201759.jpg

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

20120324-201807.jpg

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).

20120324-201751.jpg

20120324-201755.jpg

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.

20120324-201747.jpg

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!)

Home (sorta)

Andddd, I’m in the motherland! And I’m cold…

The day went really fast and I can’t believe it’s almost bed time!

After a leisurely morning (which involved deconstructing my broken suitcase–Samsonite warranty my butt!), we headed to the airport.

I had a hankering for salty carbs: it was a toss up between pita chips, pretzels, or french fries. I usually “go with” my cravings if I’m actually hungry when they hit, so when I saw these bad boys I knew I was in luck.

20120225-194930.jpg

I’d already had a substantial morning snack (greek yogurt, a banana, and some Love Grown granola) before I left. I also had some sad moments when we were leaving cuz as much as I love London and miss my friends, I really haven’t spent this much time with my family in years. I feel loved and lucky and I’m sad to see the week come to an end (not to mention I don’t wanna go back to school in two days!).

20120225-194924.jpg

My plane ride involved coffee, an apple Lara bar, an apple, and a significant portion of the next book I’m loving: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. 

20120225-194946.jpg

Yepp, I’m gonna be raving about this one. Kindaaaa made me wanna find a job where I could have a garden and basically be a farmer/housewife/writer (the author’s role, sort of) — or maybe someone who teaches home economics cuz there was a lot about how much people would benefit if they learned about food/agriculture…thoughts! And I got to a part that already got me thinking: an essay by the author’s daughter (who sounds strangely like me — university student who teaches yoga and is really interested in nutrition?) about vegetarianism and how people expect her to be one, but she’ll eat meat that she knows the history around…more food for thought!

I read The 100 Mile Diet a long time ago. I loved it. But I didn’t act on it much at all. I wrote articles about eating local for a writing class I had and then pitched an idea about eating local as an athlete to Canadian Cycling Magazine–it ended up being my first published article in the magazine.

…but do I shop at the market every week? Nope. Do I buy Canadian options when they’re there? Rarely, but I can say that tonight when I went to the store to grab something for dinner, I bought Ontario potatoes and apples to use. Usually for the potatoes, I’d go for the cheaper ones and for the apples, the bigger ones the better. So this was a step in the right direction!

I did have a moment where I almost ate whatever for dinner, so it’s an extra good thing I went and was able to tide myself over with a granola bar (I haven’t had a Kashi bar in weeks, so it was kind of a treat, but I wasn’t that full so I’m not sure how I used to use them as a snack on a regular basis) in the presence of all the crackers and candies at my mom’s apartment when I got home!

20120225-194954.jpg

So heading to the grocery store to get REAL food was huge.

I had salmon, kale chips, and mashed potatoes (which I baked with the skins on in the microwave, added plain soy milk, garlic salt and a bit of olive oil to, and mashed by hand with the skins still on for fiber!). And I loved every bite. I also made a point of choosing what I think is at least a step in the right sustainable direction with the PC Blue Menu Salmon that is Marine Stewardship Council certified as sustainable.  No, it’s probably not perfect but you know what? This is a process for me, of leaning into more conscious/healthier eating. 🙂

20120225-200329.jpg

I also picked up some quinoa flakes, which means I can try Leanne’s recipe for a breakfast bake ASAP!

20120225-195019.jpg

Yeahhh I’m ready to be back in London. Tomorrow I’ll go to the clinic though, to at least see if they’ll give me an x ray or a referral for my hip. Fingers crossed!

For now, it’s bed time for me (I am a grandmother, yupp!).

Have you ever tried a breakfast bake?
Do you look for certain kinds of fish?
Have you read 100 Mile Diet? My article in CCM ;)? Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?