Sunday, November 25, 2012

Never Give Up

For all those people who don't believe in themselves or always have an excuse to not exercise...the "I can't", the "I'm too heavy", the "my knee/hips/feet/legs/back/ear lobe et al hurts" need to watch this.

'Tis truly inspirational what the power of the mind and body can achieve.

PS. Yes, I cried like a baby watching this.  Go Arthur.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My New Food Obsession

Whoa!  It's been a long time since I've blogged about food...just looked at the last recipe I posted and it was a long, long, long time ago.  I've still been cooking up a storm and buying a gazillion cookbooks as per usual...I just added the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook to my arsenal and pretty much read it from cover to cover, savouring each page as I went along.  Tomorrow I'm reorganizing our library because I need more space for my cookbook collection...I think I might be topping 250 right now.  Yes, I have a serious problem.

So what new recipe discovery has brought me out of my recipe funk?  Some fantastic chicken dish?  An unctuous dessert?  An out of this world appie? 


Yes, folks...I've discovered baked oatmeal and I am loving it.  Loving it!  I'd heard of it ages ago and have been meaning to try it for eons, and last week finally gave it a whirl.  I looked around for recipes that were healthy and finally decided on one that could easily be adjusted to add in different ingredients or made even healthier with a few substitutions.  I have to say...this recipe is pretty awesome...the texture is really great because it's dense but still moist and can easily be packed in your bag for a quick, healthy's almost like a bar.  I eat this almost like a dessert by heating it up with a schmear of peanut butter and some no sugar jam...seriously yum.

Baked Oatmeal - from Cooking Light, October 2003

2 cups uncooked quick cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the first five ingredients in a medium bowl.  Combine the milk, applesauce, butter and egg.  Add milk mixture to oat mixture, stir well.  Pour oat mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish quoated with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes.

My changes - I added two scoops of vanilla protein powder to boost the protein/carb ratio, added more like 1/2 cup of raisins and 1 cup of walnuts (good fats, people!).  Next time I think I'll use olive oil instead of the butter, try almond milk and cut back the sugar to 1/3 cup - the protein powder and raisins added enough sweetness.

Hubs liked this, but his reaction was a little muted because I made this fruit cocktail cake that was seriously out of this world and so insanely good that I'm making it for our Christmas dinner.  Look out for that recipe to come your way soon!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Healthy Questions

Survey time!  You guys all know I can't resist these, so when I saw this on Janetha's blog I had to do it.  HAD to.

1.  What did you eat for breakfast?

A banana...Hubs and I were heading out for a run this morning so this was our usual pre-run snack.  Normally we have a protein shake...Arbonne vanilla flavoured protein powder, frozen blueberries, a handful of spinach and almond milk - delish!

2.  How much water do you drink a day?

At least two litres...I usually try to do one litre before lunch, one litre after lunch and then a few glasses with dinner.  I can really feel it when I don't drink enough water and find I crave it. 

3.  What is your current favourite workout?

Tabata!  I am loving the tabata classes that I'm taking at PISE (Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence).  It's a quick intense workout that combines strength and cardio and it's over in a flash.  Aaaaaaand the instructor Mark is a real cutie pie too.  Tee hee.

4.  How many calories do you eat a day?

It changes depending on what kind of workouts I have going on but I would say the average number of calories I eat in a day is probably around 1500 - 1600.

5.  What are your favourite healthy snacks?

I love apples and peanut butter, nuts, pumpkin seeds and mandarin oranges.

6.  What do you usually eat for lunch?

Our usual lunch of choice is some kind of protein (tuna salad, chicken breast, salmon) in a whole wheat wrap, cut veggies and fruit (whatever is seasonal). 

7.  What is your favourite body part to strength train?

Legs for sure, probably because I see results the fastest!

8.  What is your least favourite body part to strength train?

Abs.  Hate abs.  Blargh.

9.  What are your "bad" food cravings?

Always salty foods - chips, cheezies, instant noodles, and pizza are the baddie foods of choice for me. 

10.  Do you take vitamins or supplements?

I go on and off supplements - when we do take them, we take Vitamin C and D, coenzyme Q10, and omega 3s.  I usually do take a multivitamin and I always take some kind of green drink like Greens Plus.

11.  How often do you eat out?

Once a week, on our cheat day.

12.  Do you eat fast food?

You know it!  We don't eat at fast food places often, but I will admit I'm not averse to a Teen Burger and fries every now and then.  I'm not a food snob and am an equal opportunity eater.

13.  Who is your biggest supporter?

Absolutely and unequivocally, Hubs.  He's supported me through some extremely stressful times at work (and never got mad when I was cranky), always listens to me when I have a problem and supports me with all my goals, especially the marathon last year.

14.  Do you have a gym membership?

Kinda - I have an annual membership with my bootcamp so I can attend as many outdoor bootcamps as I want (normally try to do three a week).

15.  How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Usually about seven.  Anything less than five hours two days in a row and I start acting weird.

16.  Do you have a "cheat" day?

You bet...Hubs and I subscribe to this method fully from our Body for Life days and have been doing it for years.  We usually do our cheat days on Saturday, which works out well as it's also our long run day.

17.  Do you drink alcohol?

Of course...ha!  Port and whisky are my favourites.

18.  Do you have a workout buddy?

Yep!  D has been my bootcamp buddy for the last five years and we always check in with each other before class so we don't jam.  We've been friends since grade six and it's nice to see a friendly face at 5:30 in the morning!

19.  What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I'm happy with who I am and have a sense of confidence in myself that I've never had before.

20.  What was the last healthy thing you did?

Ran 10K this morning with Hubs!

Friday, November 16, 2012

It Just Takes One

Yippeee...first day of my staycation!  Hubs and I are taking a week off to just hang about the house, get house-y type projects done that have been on the to-do list forever (our garage is insanity right now!) and generally chillax.  As you know we're big Hawaii buffs, so we decided to bring a little aloha to home...all next week we're eating things that we'd normally have when we go to Maui!  Kalua pork, ahi poke, macadamia nut pancakes and drumsticks...not the meat kind, but the ice cream kind!  Every time we go to Maui, we always make sure we get a drumstick from the corner store close to our condo and enjoy it as we slowly walk back...ahhhhh.

So seeing as it's the first day of vaycay and I'm pretty anal, I wanted to get as many chores out of the way today so we can spend as much time as possible doing fun stuff, and the first thing to knock off the list was grocery shopping.  I don't know what it was, but it seemed like every where I went, there was rude or crabby people.  I was unloading my grocery cart and some jerk actually cut in front of me in line.  I went to a bakery to get Christmas cake (Hubs and I love it, I admit it!) and when I asked the person behind the counter if they had any yet, it was like as if  I had asked her to sell me her first born child.  Then I had to stop at another grocery store to pick up something that the other store didn't carry, and when I asked a clerk for help, he scowled at me, walked away wordlessly and came back and handed me what I wanted without even looking at me.  WTF?!

I couldn't believe how rude and nasty people were being today, and at this point it was only 9am.  It's Friday, don't these people know you're supposed to be happy that the weekend is coming up?  I was quickly getting into a bad mood after this run of shittiness so when I saw that there was construction by my house and there was a delay, I thought oh great...what else would I expect and my mood turned even more sour.  But a funny thing I drove past the flagger, he gave me a big wave and smile and yelled out a bright and cheery "good morning!!" to me as I drove past.  I couldn't help but wave and smile back, and it immediately made me feel better...that one act of smiling and saying good morning completely negated three nasty encounters that threatened to ruin my day.  Just hammers home how something as small as a smile can really affect someone and their day.  It always astounds me when people are cranky or rude and feel it's OK to treat others like that...just because you're in a bad mood, doesn't mean you have to make everyone else in a bad mood too!  Sigh.

Anyways, thanks Mr. Flagger Guy whoever you made my day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My New Toy


I've been coveting one of these forever.  Forever.  I've been pestering Hubs, I've been looking at them online, I've been reading all about them and dreaming about having one of these for my very, very own.  What is it, you ask?  Is it a car?  Is it some kind of gadget?  A skookum piece of running gear?  What has me all in an uproar?!


Yep, I've recently purchased a Vitamix CIA Professional blender and I can't wait to get my hot little foodie hands all over this sexy beast.

Why am I all a-twitter over a blender?  This is the creme de la creme of blenders, and will even pulverize something as small as a raspberry seed.  I've been reading about this all over bloggieland for awhile now and if you're into smoothies, this blender is for you.  Instead of juicing fruits and veggies and leaving all that nutrient packed fibre behind, you blend the whole fruit or veggie and apparently the result is as smooth as silk.  You can make soups in this (the friction of the blades heats the soup!), you can make your own flour...bread, ice cream, nut butters...the world is your oyster.

I'm a huge proponent of eating whole foods and eating as healthfully as I possibly can most of the time...OK, OK...I did have a bit of a love affair with a bag of Doritos this weekend but c'mon...a girl's gotta have a little fun!.  It was funny today, because I was cleaning out our pantry and there was some food in there that we'd brought over from when we moved into this house, almost nine years ago (I know, gross huh).  I gotta admit, I was a little shocked...I had multiple boxes of Shake and Bake, pack upon pack of Crystal Light, and a whole whack of crazy high sodium Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  Ugh!  Anyways, I've been wanting one of these so Hubs and I can really boost our veggie and fruit intake and concentrate on whole foods...I want to know where my food is coming from.  My mind is already whirling with all the things that I can do with my precious.

Vitamix posts to come...

Saturday, November 3, 2012


So I was going to blog about a whole bunch of other things today after my little blogging hiatus, but there's something on my mind so I decided to just let my fingers do the talking.

Yesterday I found out that someone I know was killed in a car accident in New is the story about her, and when I first heard the news through the wonders of social media, I was in total shock.  I didn't know her well, but she was a good friend of my best friend at the time, way way back in the day so we would see each other at various social events.  Fast forward to many years later, and we bumped into each other at a birthday party.  It was funny because she looked at me and I looked at her, and we knew we knew each other but couldn't quite place from some point during the night we ended up talking, had a very pleasant chat where we got caught up and went on our merry way.  Now I know that she wasn't a close friend...heck, she was barely an acquaintance, but I found myself feeling incredibly sad to hear that she had been taken from us so young.  She had been competing in a triathlon in New Zealand, and I thought how horrible it was that someone so vibrant and obviously full of life was taken so quickly. 

A second story.  A very, very close friend of mine just hasn't been quite herself lately...normally she's a very cheery and happy person, and after some prodding and poking, she revealed to me that her husband has been dealing with some pretty serious health issues.  Obviously she's beside herself with worry and as much as I'm worried about him, I'm worried about her health as the stress is starting to manifest itself physically.

So why am I telling you these depressing stories?  These things highlighted the importance of telling people you care about that you love and appreciate them and that as shitty as you think have it, there is always something to be grateful for in life.  Instead of bemoaning all the things that we don't have, look at what we do.  There's been many times where I wish I'd taken the opportunity to say or do something and didn't, and come to regret it later on...things can change in a heartbeat.  The lesson in all this?  Live in the now and be grateful.

Some last words to live by...