Canadian Blogger Series #2: Ontario

Hi there again everyone! Thanks for stopping by for post #2 of the Canadian Blogger Series, today’s post is about Ontario. We actually have a few bloggers covering Ontario over the next few weeks but this is our first of the series. I am very excited to introduce you to Lisa from Smores N More. She has written a gorgeous post about snowshoeing during winter in Northern Ontario. Lisa and I met (virtually) on Twitter during a fit blog chat. She has a wonderful blog and some of the most gorgeous pictures in her picture of the day posts. Stop by Lisa’s Blog and say hi!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg



Welcome to Canada!

Thank-you for letting me share a little bit with you about Canada! It’s a great nation to live in coast to coast.




I am from Ontario, born in Toronto, and now living in a city to the west of Toronto…. Ontario is one of 13 provinces and territories in Canada. It has a very large population by Canadian standards with about 38% of the country’s population in Ontario with a big manufacturing economy. We have a great blend of large cities, small towns, wonderful lakes and forested areas especially to the north.


I like living in the city with all of the urban conveniences, but as many Ontarians we love connecting with nature too. The weather brings hot summers, gorgeous fall colours and cold winters. I think we are a strong bunch, adapting 4 times a year to the season. Winter time is especially hard for me to stay motivated to exercise. I try to find activities to embrace the colder months. Teaching a Learn to Run clinic helps; it makes me get out running at least 3 days a week. I have also tried skiing and snowboarding (not a pretty sight!)




This year I tried snowshoeing for the first time. Just a few hours north of Toronto is an area called the Muskoka’s, lots of beautiful lakes, rocky shores, white pines and a family owned Cranberry Bog/Winery that we visited. My husband and I enjoyed an afternoon of snow-shoeing the many acres of trails around Johnston’s Cranberry Farm We have had much less snow than usual this year, but there was plenty for our adventure. We hiked for about 90 minutes through the woods enjoying the peacefulness of nature. Saw a few animal tracks… but no bears thankfully!







Back at the store we were treated to a fabulous wine tasting, they make the wine right on the premises from the cranberry harvest. Wine flavours from Cranberry, Cranberry Blueberry to Cranberry Maple, all wines were a fabulous fruity experience. We bought 6 bottles and plan to stop in on a somewhat regular basis on the way to the cottage.






We stayed the night in Gravenhurst, the town wasn’t too busy, unlike the summers when the town grows with weekend cottagers, winter does bring snowmobilers to the many frozen lakes with trails that go for miles.






I hope you enjoyed a look at winter in Northern Ontario. Hey, if you can’t beat the cold, may as well embrace it!

Feel free to stop by my blog


Have you tried snowshoeing? I’ve done it once and am hoping to try it out again this year! As Lisa said, may as well embrace the cold with fun winter activities! Thanks Lisa!! Smile


Monday Mantra: Everyday Be Planking

As usual Ill start off with an update about last week. This mantra was really fun, every night I wrote 5 things in my journal I was thankful for. I really found it was a great way to not only reflect on my day but also to stay positive. I found myself randomly throughout the week thinking to myself, X is awesome I am adding this to the thankful list. For example, tonight while swimming I had the whole lane to myself. If you swim you know how great this is, it’s not that I am anti-social, I am awful at going straight doing the back stroke! haha Empty lane means I get to swim in the middle all I want! Some highlights from my list:


1. New sneakers

2. Grape tomatoes

3. TV on the internet

4. Lipgloss

5. Slippers

6. Rest days

7. Snow days

8. Wine

9. Pizza

10. Saturdays


Funny now that I read back through them all I notice a lot of focus on food! Smile Anyways I thought this mantra was a nice positive way to end the day, I’ll be keeping it up!


Monday Mantra: Everyday Be Planking 


Source: Pinterest

I have that song stuck in my head and now you do to (you’re welcome)! So I wanted to try and work on my plank for a while but I hate doing planks in Body Pump so why would I try and do them at home? I thought about it today (while swimming) and the major reason I keep getting injuries seems to be I have a weak core, quads, and glutes! So I figured I’d work on the core aspect by working on my plank. So I am going to time my plank everyday and see if it improves. I don’t have a set goal in mind but I’d like to get closer to 2 minutes by next Monday. I did my first one today and managed 1:04 (I am WEAK), ya gotta start somewhere!


Your turn! What’s your goal (#MondayMantra) for this week?

What’s the longest plank you can do?

What are you thankful for today?

Workout Plan Jan 30 – Feb 5

Can anyone seriously  believe it is the last week of January? Where did that go! Crazy how fast time flies when you’re having fun! So I have some exciting travel news to share, yesterday we booked our second cruise! I am so excited I have pretty much spent the whole day looking things up about the cruise, ship, and ports of call. We are doing an 8 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Carnival and our ports are St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, and Puerto Rico. We leave April 28 and I cannot wait.




We sailed last May with Royal Caribbean to Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, and Grand Cayman and it was an amazing trip. So I am excited to head back down south for some relaxation, sunshine, and of course shopping!! Smile I also can’t wait to run on the outdoor track on the ship. Nothing beats a few miles in the middle of the Caribbean. I know not many people go on cruises to exercise but vacation to me is about doing what you love, and I love to run!


Speaking of running lets get down to a recap of this week, this is the worst transition ever because I didn’t actually run at all. haha I did have a great week of what I am calling rehab training though. Monday I swam for 40 minutes and managed 1280m, it was good to get back in the pool and get some cardio after a week of resting. I forgot how much I loved being in the pool. Tuesday I got on the elliptical and did 3.1 miles followed by body flow. Body flow was so good, I missed yoga!


Wednesday I tried spinning for the first time and I loved it! I am going to write a post soon about my first spinning experience. Thursday I did another 2 miles on my best friend the elliptical and then did Body Pump for the first time in over a month. I missed body pump, it hurt so good! I figured I would be sore the next day but I wasn’t, however, Saturday I was in pain!  I had planned on the gym but we had a snow storm so I did 3 miles in 30 minutes on the elliptical and then a 20 minute yoga podcast. I had planned on a run early in the week but after my physio appointment she said no running until next week. Friday and Sunday were rest days and I enjoyed them to the fullest! It was a great rehab week to get back to training. On the schedule for this week is more rehab training:


Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes)         REST 35 min   
Elliptical / Arc (Min)   30 min   25 min      
Class  Yoga   Spinning Body Pump   Body Flow Body Pump
Swimming 40 min            


I get to run on Saturday if I am pain-free and I have never been so excited to get on a treadmill!


What are your fitness goals for this week?

How did last week’s training go?

What are your spring travel plans?

Have you ever cruised, if so where?              

Running on the Web

Happy weekend friends! I had a great week, but I am glad the weekend is here!! : ) Today was a rest day for me so I enjoyed it to the fullest. My muscles are really sore from training starting again, but it’s the good kind of sore, not the injured kind! Smile


I’ve been wanting to do this post for a little while but I had to compile my list first. Like many people my age, I love to aimlessly surf around the internet on the most random of sites. However, over the past year I have a few favourite running websites that I thought I’d share with you:


1. Runners World Quote of the Day

I love quotes and don’t remember how I found this but there is nothing more motivating then to wake up for an early morning workout and get a kick in the butt via email. Late at night the wonderful people at Runner’s World send out a motivational quote and it’s there when you wake up. How cool is that? Sign up now! I also love Runner’s World website in general and subscribe to the magazine. I really loved today’s quote given my recent circumstances:



2. Rock My Run

If you have music ADD like I do this is the site for you. I am a perpetual song changer so this works perfectly for me, it’s a mash-up of music for a specific amount of time for a specified BPM. Downloads go by the credit system, you get so many free credits per month, but I find that I like to listen to these over and over because they don’t get worn out like a new song can. I discovered this site one day when I realized at work that I forgot my iPod to go to the gym and I needed music on my iPad to run to. It was almost a silent running tragedy, Rock My Run saved the day, I live a hard life I know.


3. Map My Run

This one is great if you don’t have a Garmin or if you are looking for a new route. Local runners save their routes and you can see how long your mapped route is without the aid of GPS. Though now that I have a Garmin I’ll never live without it, this is still useful to switch up my route!


4. Daily Mile

This one is like Twitter for runners. You not only get to be social with like-minded people but you also have a cool tool to track everything! I use the app Tracks 2 Miles to load my workouts right from my phone. I love this site, I am on it everyday checking out what workouts people are logging.




5. NLAA (for the locals)

This is the local running association with lots of great info and a calendar of all the local races. Now I just need to decide my racing schedule for this year and pick a half-marathon! : )


What’s your favourite running / healthy living website?

Do you use any of these?

Have you decided on a race schedule for 2012 or are you struggling like me?

What I Ate Wednesday: Veggie Edition

This has been a great week so far, lots of sleep, training is going well, the Canadian Blogger Series launched, and I got new sneakers! What more could a girl ask for? Smile  Plus it’s Wednesday, which means were half-way through the week and it’s WIAW, that’s reason enough to be thankful.



Today was my vegetarian day, I thought it would be interesting to share a veggie day during a WIAW. I started my day with an egg white sandwich with tomato and OJ. It was a great start to the day!


2012-01-25 07.58.37


For lunch I had a tuna sandwich and some leftover lentil soup. Not exciting enough to photograph! For dessert with lunch I had a strawberry Greek yogurt. Before I headed to my first ever spinning class (more on that later this week) I had a chocolate almond fudge Cliff Bar.


For dinner I had Mama Pea’s black bean soup and bruschetta. Both were really good, Mama Pea makes eating vegetarian easy! I have had bruschetta 2 nights in a row now, it’s soooo delish. I marinate grape tomatoes in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper. then top with mozzarella and bake on 400 for 15 minutes. Not really a recipe but I thought I’d share.


2012-01-25 19.43.56


A great day of eats for sure!! Smile


Share your WIAW posts with me!

What’s the best thing you ate today?

Favourite soup?

Canadian Blogger Series #1: Saskatchewan

Good morning everyone! I am so honoured to be hosting the first ever (that I know of anyways) Canadian Blogger Series. Myself and a amazing group of Canadian Bloggers have collaborated on a series of posts that you will find here every Tuesday morning covering our beautiful country from coast to coast! If you are reading this and you are a Canadian Blogger and want to post send me an email hlmmurphy at gmail dot com and I’ll send along the details. Also you can find us on twitter using #CanadianBloggerSeries.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Meg who blogs at A Dash of Meg and is from the gorgeous prairie province Saskatchewan. I absolutely love reading Meg’s inspirational  posts each and everyday. She is one amazing writer about everything from life to fitness and posts some of the most fabulous recipes in the blog world! I am so happy she has joined us for the series with some of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen!! Smile 


Hello friends! Smile

I am incredibly honoured to introduce you all to the Canadian Blogger Series!Open-mouthed smile
Heidi asked me participate in the series a few weeks ago and I couldn’t turn her down SmileMany Canadian bloggers, including Heidi and myself, have come together to form a “series” of blog posts that feature a province within Canada Smile The Canadian Blogger Series takes place on Tuesdays and I am lucky to have my post as the very first post within the series Smile Even though I currently live in London, Ontario, Saskatchewan is my home. So, without further ado, I give you a little taste of my home province, Saskatchewan Smile


This summer I was introduced to the book, “If You’re Not From the Prairies” by David Bouchard. Even though this was a children’s book, Bouchard did an exceptional job at representing the prairie province of Saskatchewan. So, I looked to this book for inspiration for this post Smile

If you’re not from the prairie, you don’t know what’s flat…
If you’re not from the prairie, you don’t know the sky…
If you’re not from the prairie, you don’t know the sun…
We have the most amazing sunsets.

If you’re not from the prairie, you’ve never heard grass…
If you’re not from the prairie, you don’t know the wind…
In the winter they’re bone chilling and cut right through your coat, but in the fall, they’re soothing and blow through the crops in such a way that it almost looks magical.

If you’re not from the prairie, you don’t know our trees…
In the prairies trees are not of abundance, they are special and treasured.



Although it is small, flat, bitterly cold in the winters, and muggy in the summer, Saskatchewan is my home and it is beautiful Smile

I am happy that I was given the chance to share a little taste of Saskatchewan with you today and I hope you enjoyed it Smile

Before I go, I would like to thank one of my closest friends, Jody Cmoc, who gave me access to her wonderful photography which I used throughout the post Smile She isn’t a photographer (yet), but I definitely think she should be! I think she has some serious talent! Smile


Have you ever been to Saskatchewan before?
Have you ever seen such a beautiful sunset?
What do you consider to be your home province or state?

See you all tomorrow!
Lots of love,

Monday Mantra: 5 Thankful Things

First of all an update on last week, as I posted about various times last week I rested until I was ready to climb the walls. I had planned on yoga and didn’t even do that because I didn’t want to risk it, so I was very good about taking it easy! My physiotherapist who thinks I have an exercise addiction should be proud. I headed back to training today by going for a 40 minute swim and it was amazing to feel the endorphins again! Smile I’m always happiest when I exercise!


Monday Mantra: 5 Thankful Things


I read a great post earlier in the week from Angela about writing down 5 things everyday that you are grateful for. I loved the idea! I know I am guilty myself of having a tendency to focus on the negative rather then the positive in my life. I like to consider myself a fairly optimistic person but it can be so easy to fall into that trap of negativity from time to time. I feel like focusing on negativity isn’t good for anyone, I also feel like I’ve been doing it myself a little too much lately. Especially when it comes to my injury. I think using this mantra as way to change my thought process and be a more positive person will be good for me as well as everyone around me.



I always love reading the thankful Thursday posts that Ali writes about each week and I figured it would be a nice idea for me to try it every day for a week by writing it in my journal. So that’s what I am going to do this week for my Manta! I’ll start right now, here are 5 things off the top of my head that I am thankful for today:


1. Swimming pools – to allow us injured runners to exercise!

2. Cake – always a great way to carb load. Winking smile 

3. A good book after a long day – nothing better then losing yourself in a great novel.

4. Fireplaces – great to read next to.

5. Coffee on a Monday – enough said. Smile 


What’s one thing you are thankful for today?

Do you fall into the negativity trap sometimes? How do you stay positive?

(All images from my beloved pintrest Smile  …. which I am also thankful for!)

Ready, Set, GO!

In a lot of ways this last week has felt like a race taper. I read once that the taper forces you to recover so that you can start a race like a caged animal. Well, I am that caged animal except for rather then take off and race I have to slowly make my way back from yet another injury. I have learned my lessons this time around. My sneaker fitting is Tuesday, I am bringing back yoga and strength training this week plus lots of cross training and pretty much no running. I am ready for this week, I am ready to get back to training!


Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes)         REST 30 min outside  
Elliptical / Arc (Min)   30 min   25 min      
Class      Spinning Body Pump   Body Flow Body Pump
Swimming 40 min Body Flow          


So this week has a lot of variety! I am fulfilling one of my resolutions to try a new class, spinning on Wednesday! I am really excited about that. I am getting back in the pool tomorrow to ease my leg back into exercising again and I can’t wait. It’s been months since I’ve been in a pool. I found out there is a lane swim at the pool next to my work so it actually works out to be pretty convenient. All that plus elliptical, strength training, and yoga rounds out a great week. Friday if the snow sticks around I am going night cross-country skiing with some friends so that should be a lot of fun for an active rest-day. Finally, I am crossing my fingers for a SLOW 30 minute run outside Saturday that will only happen if my legs are up to it. By Saturday it will be over 2 weeks since I last ran I certainly will be ready to go!


What’s on your training plan this week?

Favourite winter activity?

What’s your favourite way to cross-train?

A Snowy Day

We had 20cm of snow fall overnight and into today, so I spent the day working from home. It was a nice change of pace, I actually got a lot accomplished. I spent the day curled up in an arm chair next to my front window. For an afternoon snack I had a smoothie – who has a freezing cold smoothie on a snow day? I just love smoothies – look at all that snow!




In the mix was frozen strawberries, bananas, blueberries, spinach, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds. It was cold deliciousness, I just drank it wrapped up in a blanket. I don’t mind being a little uncomfortable for the sake of food so I finally decided to complete another 25 for 25 goal and cook a little outside my comfort zone. I channelled my inner Julia Child with beef bourguignon. I was nervous about cooking this – it seemed like one of those recipes my mom would make.


I am not a cook of the “big things” as I call them. I don’t do whole turkeys or chickens and beef bourguignon just seemed like an insurmountable recipe. I saw the recipe weeks ago but kept avoiding it – finally I decided to take it on as a challenge, a recipe outside my comfort zone. The result? Amazing. Go on and step outside your comfort zone today, the results may even surprise you!



What recipes are outside your comfort zone?

How much snow is in your area?

Favorite smoothie blend?

What I Ate Wednesday #7

Remember Monday when I said I would be climbing the walls mid-week because I couldn’t run? Welcome to mid-week – I am ready to lose my mind. lol My new Lululemon Run for It tights arrived today and I’m not allowed to run for it. I feel like making a run for it that’s for sure! haha Anyways let’s get to it shall we, I might as well do something to occupy myself, time for What I Ate Wednesday!




I started my day with a new kind of Kashi, Honey Almond Flax, and OJ. I am really living on the edge these days. haha It was actually really good though, I was full all morning and didn’t snack so I really enjoyed it! I ate breakfast while reading the latest edition of Runner’s World and checking email.



For lunch I had a bowl of left over turkey soup and a whole wheat English Muffin. For an afternoon snack I had a Greek yogurt and a small piece of chocolate cake that was at work.



For dinner Bruce made a rice bowl with chicken sausage, brown rice, peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms. It was spicy and really yummy! I had to cut up the pictures in this post because I accidently photographed the magazine with my address on it and I don’t want stalkers so I apologize for the photos!!


What was the best thing you ate today?

Do you find it hard to resist treats at work?

Favourite cereal?