I’m in Miami

Just a quick post to let you all know I’m currently on vacation until May 9. I’ll post if I can but starting tomorrow I’ll be cruising the Eastern Caribbean with limited access to Internet. The blog will be back in full swing when I get back with lots of cruise recaps! Have a great 2 weeks!

We arrived in Miami today the picture below is our first meal, so good!!

20120427-232133.jpg

Canadian Blogger Series #13: Dear Alberta

Good Morning everyone! This week we have Miranda from Miranda’s Munchies blogging about Alberta. I absolutely love the open letter format of this post, such a great idea! Smile The pictures are stunning as well. Thanks so much Miranda, stop by her blog and say HI!

 

 

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training

8. British Columbia by Karen from Toronto Girl West

9. New Brunswick & Toronto by Cynthia from Cynthia’s Adventures

10. Alberta by Leigh from All You Need is Love

11. Ontario by Axel from Iron Rogue

12. Halifax by Glen from Healthy Halifax

 

 

Dear Alberta,

Maybe I should’ve told you sooner, but I’m leaving. If I could, I would stay. But instead, I need to pursue my graduate studies in Ontario. But I’m going to come home as often as I can. I promise.

But until that time, I want you to know that I’ve always appreciated everything you’ve had to offer,

though perhaps I wasn’t always vocal about it.

But now’s my chance.

I love your snowcapped peaks…

clip_image002The Mountains are perfect for hikes, scrambles, and climbs.

(The view of Mt. Temple from the summit of Saddle Mountain. Photo: Bartek Lenart)

 

 

your wild aspen parkland…

clip_image004 Elk Island National Park is filled with hikes and wildlife-spotting activities

 

 

your plentiful lakes…

clip_image006Astotin Lake, Elk Island National Park. Photo: Tom Blazejewicz

the way the prairies look like fields of sunshine….clip_image008

East of Edmonton

 

 

the mysterious badlands where dinosaurs once roamed…

clip_image010Drumheller- Home of the Royal Tyrell Museum, which contains one of the largest display of dinosaurs in the world.

 

 

And your rich culture and history…

clip_image012Kalyna County is the church capital of Canada (St. Nicholas Ukr. Greek Orthodox Church- Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village) photo: Tom Blazejewicz

 

 

I’ll miss you.

Love,

Miranda

clip_image014

View of the southside of Edmonton

 

 

Thanks so much Miranda!

Anyone visit Alberta? What was your favourite place to visit?

Running Safe and Sound

I seriously cannot stop listening to Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars. It is so unbelievably good and from the Hunger Games. Therefore I love it. lol I am on book three and just slightly obsessed. Anyways if you haven’t heard the song go download it now and fall in love over and over.

 

So speaking of safe and sound I thought it was time I shared some of the things I do to say safe while running. These are mostly common sense things but we could all use a reminder. I know when Sherri was kidnapped it was a shock and wake up call to me. None of us are invincible, I knew that but I took it as a reminder. I thought a lot about what happened to Sherri and made a few changes in my routine. I hope you’ll consider using a few of these tips.

 

1. Wear ID I never really took this seriously until I considered that if something happened to me I would want someone to be able to quickly call those I love. Not having to spend precious moments going through my cell phone. I bought a Road ID and I don’t run without it. It makes me feel safer around town but I also considered when I travel and run it’s important to have ID. One of my favourite ways to explore a city is to run around it. But it’s important to be safe while doing so. The people at Road ID are great, I ordered the wrong size band and they sent me a new one at no cost to me. They’re doing great things keeping runners safe, I hope you’ll consider getting a Road ID or some form of ID to keep you safe on the road.

 

photo (2)

 

2. Tell Someone Where You’re Going & When You’ll Return I religiously do this and it’s so important. If I am heading out early in the morning the night before I tell Bruce where I am going and for how long. I always make sure to get back before he leaves for work. It’s important to switch up your route, just make sure someone knows.

 

3. Kill The Tunes I am a self-admitted music junkie. Try and take my iPhone from me during a race or on a treadmill and I am not a happy camper. However, I am trying to somewhat (not always) nix the music outside, mostly when I am in less populated areas so I can be mindful of what’s around me. I also have found not having music forces me to be more in tune with how I’m feeling. Plus if you run without music for a while it’s so much more motivating when you do!

 

4. Pay attention to your surroundings, not your Garmin I have only had my Garmin since December. I love it but I am not full on addicted to starring at the pace. When I am doing my intervals I keep an eye on it until I hit my target pace and then I hang on to it by feel. I feel like this method helps me naturally feel out a pace more so then relying on the watch. I have heard stories of people wandering into traffic playing with a Garmin so be careful. Turn it around or hide it with a long sleeve if you have to, just be mindful of what’s happening around you.

 

5. Carry A Cell Phone I mentioned ID above, and that is important but so is having a phone on you. I don’t leave the house without my phone. I keep it in my Spibelt so I don’t need to carry it in my hand.

 

photo (3)

 

I am a firm believer in preparation and when I pack my gym back daily my Road ID and phone always go with me. Just as much as I bring sneakers and my shorts. I also try to bring my common sense as well, more often then not it comes along! There is no better feeling then finishing a run, except for starting one the next day. Smile Be safe out there.

 

 

What safety measures do you take while running outside? Let’s add to the list!

Any other Road ID fans?

Anyone else a Hunger Games fan?

Training Recap and Plan April 17

You’ve probably noticed no Canadian Blogger Series post this week! Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances this week’s post had to be postponed. However, we’ll be back in full swing next week! : )

 

 

photo

 

I had another great training week last week! Smile 

 

April15

 

I won’t go through each workout like I normally do but I had a great week mileage wise. I also managed  a spinning class and a body pump class. This week was technically my last week of recovery training. This week is my first “official week” of spring/summer training. I am really excited to take it on! I am so excited for Saturday’s run!! That’s my longest run in a long time so I can’t wait to tackle it!

 

Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes) 35 min 40 min   40 min  40 min   REST
Elliptical / Arc (Min)           65 Min  
Class      Spinning + BP   Yoga Body Pump  
 

 

 

How was your last week of training?

What is your planned long run this week?

Anyone ever try hot yoga, I am thinking about trying it Friday but I’m nervous!!

I Put Guac On Everything

We have been having beautiful weather the past 2 days. The kind of weather that makes me crave spring foods! This to me is salad, anything on the bbq, and anything with avocado. That’s why I was so excited to share these turkey burgers with you, these burgers taste like summer.

 

iPhone 007

 

I can’t even take credit, Bruce made these and they were amazing! So simple to make with just 5 ingredients.I of course just can’t leave well enough alone and had to dress them up by adding tomato, guac, and pepper jack cheese. Those little additions took these burgers to a whole new level! On the side? Balsamic vinegar asparagus and sweet potato wedges (recipe below). A quick weeknight meal, great leftovers, and healthy. I’ll take it!

 

Turkey Burgers  (Makes 4)

  • 1/2 – 3/4 pound ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread crumbs
  • roasted red pepper and garlic seasoning
  • 1 tbsp steak sauce

 

Spray cooking spray on a non-stick pan or grill and heat over medium heat. Mix together all ingredients and form into 4 patties. Once pan or grill is hot add patties and cook 5 – 7 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked. These can be served immediately or frozen, either way they taste great.

 

IMG_3023

 

Sweet Potato Fries (Serves 4)

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper

 

Preheat oven to 375. Chop sweet potatoes with skin on in half length wise, then again half way then chop each half into wedges. Toss in olive oil with paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for an hour. Turning them half way. You can speed up the process by microwaving them for 5 minutes first then baking 35 minutes on 400 but I prefer to bake them usually!

 

IMG_3026

 

Sweet potatoes are full of fibre and anti-oxidants (with the skin on). Plus they are unbelievably delicious.

 

What do you prefer white or sweet potatoes?

Favourite burger toppings??

What do you put guac on?

Let me know if you try these!!

Canadian Blogger Series #12: Halifax

I am thrilled today to be bringing you a blog very close to the shores of my island! This week we have  Glenn from the blog Healthy Halifax telling you all about what it’s like to live on the beautiful east coast in Halifax! I absolutely love Nova Scotia, it’s just a quick hour flight from my city so I have been there often. It’s a beautiful province and the best part? It simply has the east coast charm that I have grown up with and love so much!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training

8. British Columbia by Karen from Toronto Girl West

9. New Brunswick & Toronto by Cynthia from Cynthia’s Adventures

10. Alberta by Leigh from All You Need is Love

11. Ontario by Axel from Iron Rogue

 

 

Canada’s Ocean Playground

 

The best part about this blogger series is that we’re all proud Canadians that want to tell the world about our favourite part of the country. Put all of our stories together and it’s not hard to see why so many people love our country.

 

 

My fiancée Lisa and I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We are a very active couple that much prefers being outdoors than in. Our province (yes we own it, haha) is the perfect place for people that love to get outside and take part in tons of different activities. I thought the easiest way to show you our province would be to show you pictures of us in different parts of the province, taking part in different activities at different times of the year.

 

One thing that I will say about Lisa and I, is that we love the ocean. If we were ever to move to another province it would most likely be BC. However I don’t see that happening any time soon. I raised an amazing son here and we are about to have a baby girl to join us in all our adventures. Ok enough chit chat.

 

Summer is our favorite time of the year and one of the most popular water sports to take part in, or at least try once, is surfing. Nova Scotia has attracted surfers from all over the world and they surf all year round. Fall is the most popular time, especially if it has been a good hurricane season. We like it when the storm misses us and we just get the surf! The picture below is Lisa on the day of our first lesson. That was one hell of a long day, followed by two days of muscle pain- but worth every second!

 

clip_image002

 

Since Nova Scotia is almost an island it is not a shock that we have some amazing beaches. If you visit in the summer make sure you try to visit as many as you can. If you are in Cape Breton you can hit Ingonish beach. On the eastern shore you should not miss out on Martinique beach and a beautiful beach on the south shore is Carters! Also our favorite beach on the Northumberland shore is Melmerby. There are tons more and you may even find your own, if you look hard enough.

 

clip_image004

 

Fall would be our second favorite time of year. Hiking is something that both Lisa and I love. We are always looking to explore trails that we have heard about and sometimes we just pick an area and park the car and go see what we can find. We have two favorite places to hike. Our first love is Cape Breton island. Yes, it is an island and Cape Bretoners are proud of that. In fact if it wasn’t for “That damn causeway” (as many would say), Cape Breton would still be an Island. Below is a picture of the highway along the coast of the Highlands National Park. A must for any hiker!

 

clip_image006

 

Our second favorite place to hike is on the Fundy shore. You want to google Cape Chignecto and if you want to do the whole thing make sure you are in damn good shape and ready to spend 3-4 days on the trail. We have yet to complete the whole thing, just a lot of day hiking.

 

clip_image008

clip_image010

 

Our winters are also a blast. Everyone has their favorite things to do from skiing to snowmobiling, to one of our favorites, snowshoeing. It makes hiking in Nova Scotia that much more interesting and it’s one heck of a great challenge and workout. Our skiing does not compare to other parts of the country, however it’s still awesome to be able to hit the slopes just 45 minutes outside the city.

 

clip_image012

 

This blog does not even touch on the amazing food and drink that you can find in our world class restaurants. Oh and did I mention Halifax has the second most bars per capita in the country? Not that active and healthy people like to party…. We’re from the east coast after all!

I hope that this peaks your interest and makes you want to visit. See you on the trails!

 

clip_image014

 

 

Thanks so much Glenn for showing us the beauty of Halifax!

Anyone ever visit Nova Scotia?
What’s your favourite season and why??

Training Recap and Plan Week of April 9

I had an okay training week this past week. I managed to do okay running but no strength training or yoga. I had a lot on my plate this week and I guess sometimes these weeks happen! 

 

Monday I did 2.84 miles on the elliptical in 30 minutes over lunch. Monday’s I have my Dale Carnegie class so I can usually only fit in max a 30 minute workout. Tuesday I had to run on the treadmill due to the low temperatures, I ran 3 miles in 35 minutes. It was a rough run, I was very tried and just wasn’t feeling it. On Wednesday I was even more run down and was not feeling well at all. So I decided to rest and move Wednesday’s workout to Thursday and skip Thursdays. Sometimes it is better to rest then push through.

 

Thursday I did my interval run, my goal was an 8 minute mile during the intervals.

 

I1: 8:02
I2: 7:53
I3: 8:09
I4: 7:53
I5: 8:18
I6: 8:09
I7: 8:01
I8: 8:05
I9: 8:17

 

Friday was an easy run that I had to do after a night out with my team at work. We had a blast but I never learn my lesson about running after a night out. I did 3.77 miles in 40 minutes which was an average pace of 11 min/mile. It was such a gorgeous day out it made this tired run worth it.

 

Saturday I had a planned 30 minute run with a fast 10 minutes in the middle supposed to be at a 8:30 min/mile pace. With a hilly route and a crazy headwind I managed 9:12. Fast for me these days but not as planned!

 

This week I want to get back into dedicated strength training and yoga. I also want to do my very best hitting my goal paces. I am at the point in my training now where I am ready to ramp things up and in order to do that I need to be sticking to my training plan!

 

Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes) 30 min   40 min 20  min 35 min REST 40 min
Elliptical / Arc (Min)       20 min      
Class    Spinning + BP   yoga     Body Pump

 

How was your training week?

Do you have trouble sticking with strength training and yoga when mileage increases?

How do you stay motivated during the week to stick to your plan?

Do anything exciting this weekend?

Training Recap and Plan April 2–8

Well I guess this is better late then never! I can’t say it enough I had a GREAT training week last week. 3 of my runs in particular just fell in place and felt perfect. I am finally finding my way back to my pre-injury legs!! Lets jump right into it shall we?

Monday I ran 3.22 miles in 35 minutes with an average pace of 10:51. I ran the first 2 miles of this run without stopping once. That’s the longest I have gone without a walking break since before my injuries. I was the happiest girl last Monday morning. Smile You seriously could not wipe the smile off my face! Tuesday I went to spinning, normally the classes are 50 minutes but when I got there the instructor mentioned this was a 60 minute class. 10 extra minutes?  Bring it. I spun my little heart out and loved it, that’s how cross-training should be, FUN!

 

Wednesday I had an interval workout and was aiming for an 8 min/mile during intervals (40 second intervals with 40 second rest). This was the second run I had this week that felt so great. 8 min intervals? How about 7:45 instead! Smile 

I1: 7:56
I2: 7:52
I3: 7:45
I4: 7:50
I5: 7:37
I6: 8:15
I7: 7:33
I8: 7:44
I9: 9:00
I10: 7:47

 

Thursday I hit the elliptical and treadmill for a total of 2.77 miles in 30 minutes. The treadmill portion was done with no walking breaks! That’s the theme this week, why walk when your IT band will let you run?

 

Friday I headed outside for 3.04 miles in 34 minutes with a slow 11:25 avg pace. But it was still fine with me. This is an easy day, therefore supposed to be easy! Saturday it snowed, typical March in like a lamb out like a lion!

 

IMG_3018

 

It was brutal out all day so instead of risking my life for my planned run I had a tomato and red pepper omelette and caught up on Game of Thrones!

 

IMG_3016

 

That night I decided it was a good idea to drink too many glasses of wine and go dancing. Then Sunday morning I decided to go sweat the wine out at body pump THEN run. Forcing myself to run on hungover legs that had just did 4 million squats. GREAT IDEA! Needless to say this run was not my best performance of the week, I did 4 miles in 44 minutes. This was a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute interval workout with a goal of 8:30 during intervals 5 & 4 and 7:55 during 3, 2 & 1. I only made my goal once during the last interval where I laid down and literally yelled at myself to GO!

5 min: 8:41
4 min: 9:16
3 min: 9:36
2 min: 8:51
1 min: 7:47

2012-04-01 16.45.42

 

It may have been a sucky run but it sure was pretty out! Truly I loved this week, it was the first time in a long time I felt great! Smile Now on to this week’s plan, does it count as a plan if it’s already started?

Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes)   35 min 35 min 15 min 40 min  30 min   
Elliptical / Arc (Min) 30 min     20 min      
Class      Body Pump   Body Pump    

 

I had to run on the treadmill today because of the weather and it’s looking like I will again tomorrow. Can it just be summer now? I am over winter!! I also need to get back into yoga asap. I will make sure to make yoga at least once next week!

 

How was your training week?

Anyone still having winter weather? Just us?

What’s your favourite Saturday morning breakfast?

Canadian Blogger Series #11: Ontario

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first post of April from the Canadian blogger series. Smile This week’s post comes from Axel who blogs at Iron Rogue. He writes about living in the suburban life of Ontario. Much like Axel I enjoy living in the suburbs but being able to get into the city when I need to, I think it’s the best of both worlds! Thanks Axel!

Other posts in the Series:

1. Saskatchewan by Meg from A Dash of Meg

2. Ontario by Lisa from Smores N More

3. Yellowknife by Scott from Your Inner Skinny

4. Ontario by Rose from Healthy Hipster

5. British Columbia by Jaime from Embracing Balance

6. British Columbia by Amber from Girl With The Red Hair

7. Manitoba by Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training

8. British Columbia by Karen from Toronto Girl West

9. New Brunswick & Toronto by Cynthia from Cynthia’s Adventures

10. Alberta by Leigh from All You Need is Love

Hi, my name is Axel and I blog about triathlon and multisport fitness over at Iron Rogue. I live in Mississauga which is a city on the West side of Toronto and I grew up in Scarborough which is a city on the East side of Toronto. Life in Toronto was already covered by Rose from the Healthy Hipster, so I thought I’d address life in the suburbs.

clip_image002

One of my favourite authors, Douglas Adams, in his book Mostly Harmless, talked about happiness being attained through having a beach house:

“A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind,”

“A beach house,” he said, “doesn’t even have to be on the beach. Though

the best ones are. We all like to congregate,” he went on, “at boundary

conditions.”

“Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind.

Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other.”

Which perfectly explains why suburbs are such popular places to live: we want access to both green and serenity and the utmost of modern convenience, culture and infrastructure. We want to live on that boundary condition.

clip_image004

When suburbs are done right, they’re a mixture of residential, commercial and other zones such that citizens can access groceries and other goods as well as medical and other services easily – preferably occasionally on foot! When they’re done wrong, they are huge swaths of residential where everyone has to take a drive in their car in order to be able to do anything further than gardening their own yard.

If you live in the suburbs, you’ve probably got a gym or community centre fairly close to you so that you can exercise, however, the real upside is access to parks and trails. Dedicated paths are so much better than sidewalks or bike lanes on city streets for running, biking, roller-blading – whatever you can come up with! Playgrounds are designed for kids, but there are ways to sneak in a little exercise too. More and more often, classes like Yoga or Boot Camps are being held outside in parks and green space.

clip_image006

clip_image008

Just don’t let your knee go past your toe – this guy was more interested in getting in front of the camera in time than proper technique!

clip_image010

A suburb like mine will still let you get into the city if you need some hard-to-find nutritional super-food ingredient or if you want to take some kind of fitness class that’s a little off the beaten path, but just as easy to get to will be green spaces that let you experience nature. It can get a little disheartening when wildlife and civilization mix in ways that weren’t intended by nature (racoons at the neighbourhood patio bar, foxes crossing a mall parking lot – I’ve seen both of these), but the young at heart will try to get joy out of sights like these. Even a Hydro Easement (like the ones behind my house and the one near where I grew up) can provide exercise and wildlife opportunities – I used to see jackrabbits, now I see hawks.

clip_image012

Certainly Ontario isn’t the only province with suburbs, but as one of the bigger provinces, and the most populated it’s bound to have more than its fair share. I hope you’re getting exercise and fresh air, wherever you are!

Thanks Axel!

What do you prefer, suburb or city life?

Anyone ever take a boot camp class or outside yoga?