For Sherry

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I woke up today unbelievably hungover, I had a work party last night so I had pounding headache when I woke up. However, headache or not I was not willing to throw in the towel on my run for Sherry.  After reading about the  terrible things that happened to Sherry it really struck a cord with me. This run to me was about showing how something good can come from something so awful. To me the fact that the  running community can come together and turn this awful act into something positive shows that Sherry’s death was not in vain, she will live on in the miles we run each and everyday.

 

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In addition to running for Sherry this run marks the first time I ran in over a month since my injuries. I headed out with the goal to run most of 10 minutes and walk the rest of the time. It seems like such a small goal, but for me accomplishing it was huge. I managed 2.04 miles in 29 minutes. My slowest ever I am sure, but getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other felt so good. It came back to me like riding a bike. Running my first miles in a month for Sherry was so fitting, I felt like running was bringing me back to life, it was healing. I thought of Sherry and her family the entire time.

 

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I hope the healing I felt today gets passed along to Sherry’s family. What happened to Sherry was so unfair, unfair to her and those who loved her. Today the running community showed the world that with darkness there comes light, we turned something negative into something positive. Rest in peace Sherry, you will always be remembered.

 

Did you run for Sheri today? If so share your posts, I’d love to read them.

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You Spin Me Right Round: A Newbie Perspective On Spinning

I’ve been converted to a new cardio love! Please don’t tell running I’m cheating on it with a bike. Winking smile Though nothing will ever replace my beloved running, spinning is fast becoming a favourite way to sweat it out for me. I went to spinning last night and I am still running off the endorphin high so I figured I’d share a few things I’ve learned so far from my spinning adventures.

 

Don’t be intimidated – Just like any group class when you walk in and everyone seems to know what their doing, it can be intimating. Spinning even more so because you’ve got to figure out out to make sure the bike seat is at the right level and how to operate the gear. Chances are someone else is in the room is new as well, don’t freak out and ask the instructor for help getting set up! The seat should be at a level where there is a slight bend in your knee.

Bring water and a towel – You wouldn’t think that 50 minutes riding a bike would cause one person who is relatively fit to sweat as much as I did, but believe me you need a towel. I wondered why everyone had one when I showed up for my first class. Also, water is a must, spinning burns anywhere from 400 – 700 calories per 50 minutes class depending on your metabolism and how hard you ride so you are working really hard! It’s important to stay hydrated.

 

Instructor is everything – If you go once and you like spinning but don’t love it, try it again with another instructor. My first instructor was good but my second one was GREAT. It’s not that the first one was bad I just preferred the teaching style of the second one. She was really into creating visualizations around biking. She’d describe the track like a race, she was so into it her enthusiasm forced you to be into it. Which of course made the class even more fun!

 

Another form of the all important cross-training – It doesn’t matter if you’re a runner, weight-lifter, or a general fitness enthusiast – you need to switch things up and cross-train to prevent injury. Believe me I know all about injury, so I know how important it is to try new things as part of your training plan. Spinning works different muscles then other activities and works them in a different way. There is a lot of muscle isolation the instructor explained today. Plus it keeps things interesting and interest = motivation!

 

I am excited I have something new to throw into my training plan. I am especially happy I enjoy spinning because of my inability to run right now, it’s a great way to get a good dose of cardio without the impact of running. Though nothing will replace running I can see spinning as a regular part of my training plan. It’s a great way to cross-train and mix things up! Hopefully if you haven’t tried spinning before my perspective will encourage you to do so!!

 

Have you tried spinning? Anything you’d add to the list?

What’s your favourite way to cross-train?

What I Ate Wednesday: Weekend Edition

Normally my WIAW posts are about what I actually ate on Wednesday, I thought I’d try something different this week and share my weekend eats! I try not to eat completely different on the weekend, but rather make things I don’t have time to make during the week. I still try to keep things (mostly) healthy. This month for WIAW is love your veggies month, luckily I included lots of veggies in my post! Smile 

 

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I started my Saturday morning with 2 fried eggs, whole wheat toast, coffee and OJ. The perfect way to start the day! Smile 

 

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For a late lunch I had a slice of leftover pizza from Friday night and a big salad with spinach, red pepper, grape tomato, goat cheese, and my favourite homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and fresh pepper! I love how on the weekends I have the time to make fresh salads for lunch and there is nothing better then homemade dressing. SO much better (and healthier) then the bottled kind. Salads are my favourite way to get lots of veggies in!

 

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For dinner Bruce made chicken, bacon, buffalo sandwiches with roasted balsamic vinegar asparagus. I try and add at least one veggie as a side to each meal, asparagus is an easy was to do this and very easy to make! After supper I made homemade oatmeal, banana, and blueberry muffins and had one with a green tea! These muffins (recipe blow), like my pumpkin bread, are my own creation that I am very proud of. I took a lot of trial and error to make these, but they (eventually) turned out great!

 

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Oatmeal, Banana, & Blueberry Muffins (makes 12)

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Cooking spray

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the first 6 ingredients (dry) and then separately the next 6 ingredients (wet). Combine the 2 and mix thoroughly. Add in the blueberries and mix well. Spray cooking spray in each muffin tin and pour in even amounts of batter (I don’t use paper muffin cups). Bake 20 – 25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

 

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What’s your favourite type of muffin?

Do you eat differently on the weekends?

What’s your favourite weekend breakfast?

How do you get your veggies in?

Canadian Blogger Series #3: Yellowknife

Hope you all have had a wonderful start to the week! I am excited to present the third post in the Canadian Blogger Series written by Scott from Your Inner Skinny. Scott has written an inspirational post about the beauty of Yellowknife as well as the hardships of living there. Scott’s blog and healthy living journey is so inspiring to read about. It is truly an honour to have him posting as part of the Canadian Blogger Series. Enjoy!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

 

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I’ve lived all over Canada. I was born and raised in Prince Edward Island. I went to college in New Brunswick, I got my first web design job in Ottawa, Ontario and spent a small amount of time living Gatineau Quebec. I spent eight years in Halifax, Nova Scotia and I even did a short a four month stint in London, England as well.

But with all of the moving and living and traveling I’ve done in the last 13 years, I never pictured myself living in the Arctic, which is where I’m writing to you from today. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to be specific.

 

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I try to live a very healthy and active lifestyle. I never want to be that guy in my “before” picture again, so eating well and being active are a necessity for me. When I moved to Yellowknife this past June, I didn’t realize that it was going to be as difficult as it has been to eat well, eat healthy and eat clean foods.

Because we are so north and remote, and there isn’t much in the way of farming up here, there’s an issue when it comes to getting fresh produce and sometimes even something as simple as chicken breasts. I’m not even talking organic, free range or grass fed, I’m talking about your every day fruits and vegetables and meat. If you want to go organic, if you can find it, you’re going to pay for it. Two small grass-fed steaks cost me $30 the other day. A dozen organic eggs runs about $7.

 

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Earlier this year, I walked in to the grocery store and the produce shelves were completely empty. It was a scary sight.

 

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The winters are pretty crazy here. I’ve seen it as low as -42 C without the wind and the coldest I’ve seen it so far with the wind was -48 C. People keep telling me this is a mild winter but I’m hoping I don’t see it dip in to the -50s this year.

 

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A few weeks ago I wrote about how it’s hard to be motivated with the cold and then when you throw in the fact that we only get 3 hours of daylight… It can get you down. The city tries to keep us active and we have some very nice facilities in Yellowknife for sports. There’s volleyball, a great multi-plex hockey rink with an Olympic sized ice surface. We have a swimming pool. A curling club. And we even have two indoor turf fields for football and soccer. There’s lots of opportunity to be active, but who the hell wants to leave their how when it’s -40 C outside and it’s been dark all day?

 

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Now the flip side to the cold, dark, crappy winters… We have STUNNING summers here. With 20+ hours of sunlight each day and more lakes than you can count (and I lived in the city called the “City of Lakes”) and when the temperature hits 25C, it’s a great place to be. There’s beach volleyball. Softball. Hiking. Swimming. Fishing. Boating. We even have a golf course that is all sand and you carry a mat around with you and hit off of it. It really is “God’s country” up here in the summer.

 

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There aren’t many fancy restaurants or big name stores and the closest city is a 16 hour drive away, but what Yellowknife lacks in amenities, it more than makes up for in character.

 

Has anyone else witnessed empty grocery shelves or temperatures like that!? Despite that it truly looks like a beautiful place to live, thanks Scott!

Monday Mantra: You Can Do Anything, But Not Everything

So the plank challenge? Was a big fail. Though my back has improved today, so I’ll take whatever wins I can get at this point. That’s life, plans are meant to be broken! Lesson learned.

 

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I get some of my best inspiration from Pinterest, I swear this site is both the biggest time waster as well as best thing ever. Anyways I saw this quote and I thought it would make a good Monday Mantra. More and more I feel like I take on too much and never have time to do the things that I truly want to do. I figured this week it might be nice to do something for myself! How nice of me right? Smile 

 

This week every day I am going to take some time and do at least one thing for myself that I enjoy. Could be anything really from reading to going to a movie! Maintaining a healthy stress level is a huge part of living a balanced life. I figure doing something for myself everyday, besides exercise, will help me maintain a healthy stress level. I think we all try and do too much. Spreading yourself too thin is good for no one, mostly yourself!

 

Join the #MondayMantra movement, what’s your goal this week?

Do you feel like you take on too much? How do you deal with it?

What’s your favourite thing you do, just for you?

Workout Recap and Plan Feb 6 – 12

Lets focus on the positive shall we? Because if I don’t I might lose it altogether. Don’t worry I won’t be renaming this blog the injury project, though it feels like that’s all I write about here lately. I am sick of talking about it and I am sick of dealing with it. If I can’t get a solid training block in soon my hopes of an April 5K PR will be down the drain and pushed out to May. Not the end of the world but honestly? I just want to run. I am POSITIVE that I will soon, or at least I am hanging on to that hope for dear life.

 

Monday I had a lovely swim, 1280m of swimming fun! I look forward to my Monday swims now! Smile  They are one of my only means of a good dose of cardio without things hurting that = love in my books! Tuesday I hopped on my old friend the elliptical for 3 boring miles. Wednesday I did 2.5 miles on the wonderful elliptical again then headed to Body Pump. I originally had spinning on the schedule but I swapped Wednesday and Thursday when I realized I had a late meeting Wednesday. Wednesday during a plank I pulled something, bad forms are not good for your back. Remember that when you plank, give up the plank before you give up your form, stubbornness gets you nowhere! Because I am stubborn I’ve been on a heating pad, on my couch ever since!

 

So starting tomorrow I am going to try and repeat last week’s plan again, my back has improved today. If I don’t see improvement tomorrow I will go back to physiotherapy as much as I don’t want to. I have to put myself before my ego. So here is the same plan you saw last week:

 

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

 

Hopefully it goes as planned but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my string of injuries it’s that plans are meant to be broken.

 

On my planned “run” Saturday, which will be max running one mile and the rest walking, I will be running the virtual run for Sherry who was tragically kidnapped and killed while out for a morning run in Montana. I may have to walk on Saturday, but I’ll be out in support of Sherry and her family.

 

On a lighter note I made THIS (buffalo chicken soup) tonight in honour of the Superbowl. We were cheering on the Patriots but unfortunately they lost! Sad smile 

 

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Did you watch the Superbowl? What did you eat?

How was your week of training?

Ever been injured? How did you get through it?

Salsa Chicken

How is everyone enjoying their weekend so far? We had a storm today but it wasn’t near as bad as forecasted. I still didn’t leave the house all day though! I got a lot accomplished which I am happy about. Lots of cleaning, organizing, baking, and relaxing! It was a great snow day!

 

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It’s the time of year when snow days happen more often then not here in Canada. A while ago on one of my what I ate Wednesday posts I posted chicken enchiladas that I made with salsa chicken and I promised I’d share the recipe, I figured now was as good a time as any. This recipe will keep you hot when the weather is cold.

 

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup spicy salsa
  • 1 package taco seasoning OR use my homemade taco seasoning recipe below
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1.5 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine the first 3 ingredients and pour over chicken in crockpot. Combine the spices before hand if making your own taco seasoning. Cook on low 8 – 10 hours then shred chicken and mix thoroughly with sauce. You can use this chicken to make tacos, enchiladas, or even Mexican pizza below! After making my standard dough I added cheddar cheese, peppers, and tomatoes to make the pizza!

 

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What did you do this weekend so far?

What’s your favourite Mexican food?

Favourite thing to do on a snow day?

A Winter Activity

Sorry for falling off the face of the planet for a few days. I have a reason, I did something really stupid and then I got really cranky about it for a good 2 days. I’m over it now, kinda. I started my plank challenge Monday and did great with it for 2 days, on Wednesday when I did my plank in Body Pump I let my form go out of exhaustion and let a slope form in my lower back. I know better then this, I felt the pull before I could correct my form. I’ve been on the heating pad ever since trying to make the pain go away. I swear to you I am cursed. Just as I get my legs in working order I do something stupid. Anyways I haven’t worked out since and I am hoping the soreness is gone by Sunday. End of story.

 

So we have a huge Nor’easter on the way to our little island. The snow will be starting shortly and is expected to last into early Sunday with blizzard conditions so we’ll be stuck in the house for the rest of the weekend. This is storm number 3 for us this week so we have tons of snow! So with that in mind we decided tonight to head out for some weekend fun as we would be stuck in the house all weekend. We started the night off at Boston Pizza to celebrate 2 of our friends birthdays with Pizza and wings!

 

After that we met up with some other friends for night-time cross-country skiing in the local city park. It was the first time I had done it and it was so much fun. I am not much of a winter activity person, I like skating but usually only go once a year if I am lucky. That’s about the extent of my winter activities, I know I am Canadian but I prefer to curl up with a book inside rather then be cold. That being said I really enjoyed cross-country skiing tonight!

 

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It was a gorgeous, clear, and calm night. I worked up a good sweat as well once I got going. I will admit I am not the best at it, unlike most people I know I’ve never downhill skied and I am nervous of even the smallest of hills. I fell on every single hill tonight except the last one, I was starting to get the hang of it by then. These hills are so small downhill skiers would laugh at them I am sure but they were tough for me! Anyways despite my falling I really had a blast with friends enjoying a winter activity! Who would have known I’d have fun in the cold. Smile

 

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After we left the park we hit up Starbucks to warm up and then stopped by a friend’s party. Generally after working all week my Friday nights are really low-key but tonight was so much fun and such a wide variety of activities! I am glad we got out of the house to enjoy some of the weekend. I would say any minute we will see the start of the snow. Tomorrow will be spent cleaning, reading, and blogging! Smile

 

For the locals: I skied in Pippy Park which offers night-time skiing and snowshoeing Friday and Saturday from 6-10, rentals are $4/hour. I will be trying snow shoeing before the winter is over!

Do you enjoy winter activities?

Do you fall when you ski downhill?

What are your weekend plans? Any weather headed your way?