Quick check in

Hey guys!

I am really really swamped with work (my own fault, I spent a lot of time doing things besides homework today) — but I’m also tired after a big, awesome day.

It started with swim, which went so quickly! I spent the morning with Nina at the library, then headed to the dietitian. I came home and made myself a delish lunch, did some homework, and then hung out with Mel before I went to a really special event at Brescia. When Meg invited me, I knew it was something that was right up my alley.

QUINOA, spinach, apple, and cheddar cheese (with maple vinaigrette)

yogurt with cocoa and a couple of chocolate chips!

Ever heard of Health At Every Size? Don’t be ashamed if you haven’t, but now you  have no reason not to check it out.

The gal who spoke tonight was a Brescia grad who got involved with the group, which is about:

  • Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.
  • Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.
  • Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital.

And she was AMAZING. She spoke with such passion about a topic I’d always thought was interesting (I think I came across it in Intuitive Eating, which is part of the HAES movement) and I really walked away feeling like I couldn’t think of a much better way to spend my evening. Her name was Julie Rochefort and you should probably follow her on twitter!

She summed up what I’m really trying to live: weight is just an outcome. It doesn’t matter. What matters is your health and everything else: how well you’re eating, whether or not you’re taking care of yourself mentally, if you’re being active/respecting your body…

Wowzer! This, plus all that reading I’ve been sucked into lately, is making for an excited me! 🙂 Not to mention 2 days from now I’ll be in Texas! It’s time for me to edit the assignments I’ve got to hand in tomorrow, and maybe think about the one I have to start/finish for Sunday (aka for Friday night, cuz I don’t want to leave it til I’m on the plane!).

When’s the last time someone really impressed you/left an impression on you with a presentation?
Have you heard of Health At Every Size? 

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Wordless WIAW

(THESE words don’t count — I’m copying Meghann from Meals and Miles–the first WIAWs I read were her wordless ones!)

WIAW:

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WIAW:

WHY:

(I’m easily swayed, but I’m also repulsed and really affected by the first book. I have read a lot of “food” books — Food Inc., Michael Pollan’s books, Mark Bittman’s books, Fast Food Nation, etc. etc. etc. (you should see my bookshelf) but this one is getting to me.)

What do you think about being a vegetarian? A vegan? A conscious omnivore (i.e. avoiding factory farmed products)?
What’s the best thing you ate today? (QUINOA for breakie!) 

Flowers and a date

Happy Valentines Day, kiddos!

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No, I wasn’t given flowers. I bought them for myself because I decided to treat myself (besides chocolate eating) today. Glad I did!

Swimming this morning went really quick — I felt a little off and I’m blaming it on too much coffee and a heftier pre-workout snack plus some tossing and turning last night.  Apparently I couldn’t hold my phone straight to snap a pic of my blueberries and flaxseed on greek yogurt.

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I had a lovely jar of overnight oats waiting for me when I got home. A can, more accurately. Pumpkin oats are the best — this time I spiced up my original Overnight Oats in a Can…of Pumpkin using cranberries instead of raisins and eating it with a spoon of almond butter. Perfection, I think!

After a quick trip to Remark (where I snagged the flowers for myself and a few things to get me through to the weekend eating happily), I had an oldie but a goodie apple/cheddar on ezekiel bread sandwich with a spinach salad for lunch. 🙂

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My belly was happy when I spent a while at the eye doctor’s. He was behind, but luckily I had a book to keep me company. I’m reading “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer and even though I’ve flipped through it before (it was on sale for 7.99 at the book store), I can’t wait to get into it. Repulsed is the only word I have for how I felt after reading his intro–with plenty of reference to the ample supply of stray dogs being euthanized that for some ethical reason people won’t eat–and an analogy that when you look away from something you can’t seem to focus on (i.e. eating animals) at the outer edges or something on the borderline (i.e. eating dogs, which is normal in some cultures), you can get a clearer picture of that main thing that seemed so blurry.

Eeeeek. Books are meant to open up your mind and challenge you, and I think this one’s going to do just that for me.

Today also marked a special occasion — I MADE QUINOA! How long have I been talking about finally doing it? Proof…

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I also ATE quinoa!

After an afternoon study date with Chelsea — 🙂 — I came home and snarfed this mix: quinoa, tuna (yeah, I’m still eating animals right now), sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, and feta cheese. Can you say perfection?! I think you’re gonna see a post about this one — cuz it would make a wicked good cold salad and I need a better picture to do it justice…

Now it’s time for me to go to bootcamp and show those gals some love. I am going to do a partner workout–but stay tuned to hear how it went and what it was! I also made them the chocolatey balls of goodness from this weekend, so I’m looking forward to getting there. I should do my physio stuff first–my hip’s not screaming and I don’t want to just neglect the stuff since I feel a bit better. Vigilance is keyyyy! I want to run injury free all summer…a big goal but a good and do able one, I think!

Tonight I’m going to relax with Biggest Loser, a phone chat with my sister, my new book, and my foam roller. I’m saying forgetttttabout homework because I am going to spend a few hours at the library tomorrow. And because I can. So there. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

How is your Valentine’s day going?
Would you ever buy yourself flowers? chocolates? if not, how come?
Have you ever read “Eating Animals”? Thoughts?

Starting off on the right foot–sort of

The sort of part applies to the fact that I got very little done by way of work today. I wrote a draft of an assignment due on Friday tonight, though, so I guess that counts—I’m giving myself credit.

I made it to class this morning after an uber tasty breakfast—Ezekiel granola, vanilla soy milk, some unsweetened coconut, and a banana.

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I also made it to the library before the Gazette and did a bit of reading (and chit chatting with Nina)!  I also had a snack—obvs, from my packed lunch:

I ended up going non-meatless and getting some chili to have with my lunch. Oops. In my defense, I went veg a few days last week without thinking about it!  I guess physio revved up my appetite.

As for physio…more progress, but no running on the radar yet. L That’s okay – I’m going to keep doing my physio exercises and working on adding some new suggestions into my routine. Yahoo. More than just clamshells—this is getting exciting, folks! Just kidding. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t be running in Texas next week, but I heard that there’s an outdoor heated pool in the city I’m headed to, so I think I can see some happiness (and a one piece tan—badass) in my future.

Before Texas, I have 4 assignments due. No big deal. One of them is my essay about how blogging helps with E D recovery. I am really enjoying reading responses and comments on the topic—but I definitely don’t know how I’m going to incorporate them all. Instead, I think I’m going to file them away and use the ones that fit what I need to get across in 1500 words (I feel like we could get together and write a book on this topic, anyone in?) for now—keeping the other ones on hand! Yay for future writing projects with pre-gathered knowledge.

That’s exactly the case with my latest assignment for Bankrate—a review of online dating programs! I did a short one for the Gazette’s sex issue but it really wasn’t sexy…

This afternoon went quickly. There was some work at the Gazette, but this week is low key. I met up with a friend from tri club for a chit chat—a nice way to spend the afternoon! Then I came home, made dinner, and headed to Starbucks.

I ran into another friend (all good reasons for not doing work, as you can see) and to my future husband barista who works there (who now knows that I am single, based on my announcement that I was going to buy myself chocolate for valentine’s day upon leaving) wrote that draft, and headed to Bulk Barn because I needed flaxseed and sprinkles. Guess what my bootcampers are getting tomorrow? Raw vegan donuts (aka chocolatey balls of goodness), take 2, which I think I’m going to rename power balls.

I just snarfed one – I added some coconut into my own but basically kept the recipe the same as yesterday’s!  I had an apple with it too, topped with honey and cocoa. I was not going to have the power ball but then I realized Ir eally wanted it. Deprivation doesn’t work, and it’s all quality quality food. Crisis, binge, deprivation, whatever averted. Plus one for me, who usually stresses mad on valentine’s day eve, valentine’s day, etc. at any reminder that I am single. Silly. Add to that the stress of this week, the anticipation (even though it’s good) of a trip, and you have a vulnerable me. Better to just eat something healthy than to pick at things or risk a binge to make up for depriving myself later…rant done!

Now I’m going to do some foam rolling and hit the hay. I am beyond sleepy and I swim in the morning…then I have plans to clean my pig sty of an apartment, do some homework, go to the eye doctor, go to a meeting, and teach bootcamp! Yay for a busy V-day to distract me from my single-dom…I’ve also got plans to attempt quinoa! I can do it. 🙂

how are you celebrating V day? anticipation of half price candy? flowers for yourself?
how’d your week start off?

A recap

I like this set up — get to the end of the weekend, realize how good it was, blog instead of freak out about the week ahead…

🙂

After Friday’s delicious dinner/relaxing evening spent “working”, I had a really good weekend.

Yesterday was low key. I didn’t put on real pants until 4pm. If that’s not bliss, I don’t know what is. I am using the blizzard outside as my reasoning, but I think I’d have done it anyways. Note to self: stay in more often. I got some work done and actually organized my notes and readings for the first time this semester. I’m aware that we’re like halfway through, so I’m pretty glad I finally got around to it!

Saturday means long swim with triathlon club. Hence the having to get dressed. The workout was fun, and I made it through the whole two hours because our coach had us in and out of the pool doing some dry land stuff towards the end. My arms and legs felt a little tired, but I managed to swim faster than I have before on the timed stuff we did — maybe I can just push myself better, or maybe I’m getting a bit better? Either way, I’ll take it!

After swim, we went BOWLING. Did I mention I love bowling? Or that I’m kind of good at it? You should trust me, read my blind date from Friday’s Gazette (note the aforementioned skill at bowling), or challenge me! Anyways, bowling was fun and I am really glad tri club organized it. Yay!


So Saturday gets a big thumbs up.

Sunday too? I’m on a roll.

After deciding yesterday that being a baby about having to man up and get off my high horse bike and teach through this hip thing without hurting it, I started to look forward to the spinathon. Some of the guys in the group (they raised money for mental health, and they were all Schulich—think future docs, etc.—students) made the playlists, which I sat down with this morning and worked out some stuff to do to. I got off the bike for some of the climbing, sat and timed it and spinned easy for other parts, and even got them off their bikes for a round of squats, pushups, and planks. Loved it. I wouldn’t have tried it in a normal class, but 1.5 hours into biking, they wanted a break. Then they wanted back on their bikes. Success! I am so glad I did it – like SO glad.

Apparently when I got home I felt like I’d done the full classes, and I refueled as such. My eats were pretty yummy this weekend, at least some of them are worth highlighting:

Post-workout smoothie including pumpkin, spinach, vanilla soy milk, ice, almond butter, and crushed almonds.

Sunday breakfast with tons of berries, mixed vanilla and plain yogurts, and Ezekiel cereal.

Saturday breakfast with pumpkin and yogurt combo, cinnamon, raisins, and Ezekiel cereal.

Saturday lunch was acorn squash with almond butter and raisins, with a spinach salad topped with maple vinaigrette. (same deal, different squash)

Saturday bedtime snack got delicious with greek yogurt, honey, and cocoa hearts.

Tonight’s Sunday Funday was Valentine’s themed! Not depressing at all, and full of aphrodisiac foods! Such a good spread, btu I decided on some pizza with asparagus, whichi s apparently an aphrodisiac.  There were so many goodies—pasta, an asparagus flatbread thing from heaven, salads, and so much yummy fruit for dessert with FONDUE. I love fondue. Like I could stick my face in it, and Nina made hers (team effort) with coconut butter, cocoa, some sugar, and coconut milk. Did I mention it was good? I added more dessert to the mix in the form of raw vegan donuts. I googled that and found a recipe from love, veggies and yoga, but I just used it as a guide, so there’s a recipe for y’all! Yeah, I made up a terrible name for them, but whatever. They’re full of flaxseed which is essentially the same as love. Did I mention I also love these people? Cuz I can’t really describe how much happier I’ve been since I got back in the pool and back to talking to them, and ya know what? I’ll just admit it, I don’t remember the last time I had friends like this. So I hope they’re reading this, and feeling kind of special.

Chocolatey balls of love

Ingredients:
½ cup flaxseeds, ground
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp cocoa

Directions:
In a blender, combine the flaxseeds and maple syrup. Blend ‘til incorporated.
Add remaining ingredients and blend to combine.
Roll into balls, adding more maple syrup if too dry.
Place in fridge to set.
Enjoy!

Simple! I sprinkled ‘em with heart shaped sprinkles to make them festive.

This turned into a somewhat epic post.

Know what’s exciting? A week from today I’ll be in Texas. And even though I can’t run while I’m there (which is something I was looking forward to)—I can RELAX. I think I can go on vacation and read a book. That’s what people do, and I’m going to do it. I can’t wait for quality time, sunshine and hopefully lots of sleep!  There’s lots to do beforehand—physio appointments, getting my eyes checked, running errands, packing, having a life crisis, etc.—but the light at the end of the tunnel is uber bright!

Holy smokes–I just realized it’s after ten. I wanted to get a few more things done before bed, so I think I better wrap this one up. Are you still reading?

What’d you do this weekend? Best eat?
What are you doing for Valentine’s day?
What do you look forward to most when it comes to a vacation?

An excuse

I’m just going to jump right into this:

Good fitness instructors are NOT the ones who sweat the hardest. They are the ones who cheer the most, connect with participants, and know how to keep someone’s energy up when they’re starting to get tired. They also tend to look really good in spandex, but it’s all relative.

So when I was so scared about teaching tomorrow’s spinathon without being able to do it all – as background if you’re brand new to my blog, I hurt my hip and was allowed to start with 10 minutes of easy spinning as of Thursday — no resistance – and to build up according to the physio. Fair enough. Nervous is one thing, but not willing to is another. I think of myself as a person who commits to things and sticks to them unless there’s a legitimate reason not to.

Here comes the explanation of another way this injury is giving me so much insight…back to my point. I guess I can see why teaching a class off the bike would be hard if you were a new instructor. I’m flashing back to a class about a month after I got certified, where there were not enough bikes and I was approached to give mine up but held firm in saying that I wasn’t comfortable with giving it up (at the time this might have been a combo of not wanting to “wreck” my work out and nerves about being off the bike).

I am cutting my younger, inexperienced self some slack here. I’m NOT cutting myself any slack right now, though. I’m really sad that I let this thought—They’ll think I’m too lazy to do it. They’ll wonder why I’m even an instructor when I look like this.—get to me. Uh, really Cheryl? Doesn’t that sounds like ED? So, after some whining, advice, and mustering up some resolve in myself, I came to this realization: this is just the kick in the butt I need to move forward with my instructing.

If I truly love to teach classes as much as I really do (and not just love the fact that I get to work out and own the playlist), I’d still be excited at this opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. I’m not alone in being scared to teach off the bike. In fact, I found this article about taking that scary step on Spinning.com—even the title says it all—“Unclip your pedals and take the leap: Teaching off the bike”. The article, which was written by an instructor who kept teaching but went off the bike as a result of a knee injury, listed some of the benefits for participants of teaching off the bike regardless of an injury or not:
♥ Making it [your] students’ ride—completely.
♥ Cueing with more than short sentences.
♥ Someone is watching them, all of them.
♥ Building [a] bond. (i.e. emotional connection)

Yupp, it’s about the students. It’s about the students. It’s about the students. I know that, time to prove it. The reminder I’ll be giving myself is that there is a huge difference between being injured and being lazy. I’d give my heart and a half to be able to do a spin class right now. I also know that I am not overweight, out of shape, or disgusting after this week off and that no one is thinking that. If they are, they are clearly fitter than me and should go spin on their own ;). This is a perfect kick in the butt to get better as an instructor, to prove that I teach for the right reasons, and to challenge myself.

These same issues (worrying about people thinking I’m too young, chubby, out of shape, stupid, [insert mean, likely untrue word here]) come up in relationship to doing lots of things I want to do. So this could be a big deal. Epiphany much?

How do you feel about fitness instructors’ appearance?
Do you care if they’re doing the things with you?
Do you care if they’re fit LOOKING?

Where’d all this time come from?

Well, I made it.

Today I had one goal: relax. Oh, and blog of course!

I started the day off with a swim — about 2500m — with the Master’s group. Perfect start.

I felt like I had a hollow leg…

i didn't eat a rodent...i ate a buttload of grapes, though. yum.

forever nuts soy latte

This was all spread out over 5am til about 4. After my classes, I went to the mall with Chelsea and Megan — there was some retail therapy — so I just didn’t get to lunch. Instead, I grazed, as you can see. I was kind of feeling icky about it, but then Chelsea commented on how good it was that I could eat that intuitively. Andddd I took it and turned it into a good thing instead. 🙂

I also know that I was doing a good job because I got to dinner and still wanted cook! And cook I did…

The biscuits were courtesy of Mama Peas—her Better Bay biscuits. I pretty much stuck to her recipe, but halvsies (and with regular margarine, not the vegan version). I got four good sized (large) biscuits. They were amazing. I always mess up bread things so I am SO proud that they came out, and were crispy on the outside, doughy on the inside, cheesy, delicious…perfection! I didn’t know what to expect with the whole wheat pastry flour, but I was impressed.

The soup was inspired by edible perspective’s broccoli cheddar soup. I took the recipe less to a T so I’ll post my version here! I really am not good at following directions. My version was really green, for lack of a better descriptor. Not overwhelmingly cheesey, but the added cheddar garnish made for some tasty bits in my bowl.

You need to try these recipes!

Brocco-leek and cheddar soup

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, diced (bottom parts only)
2 cloves of garlic, diced
4 small red potatoes, softened (i.e. partially baked) in the microwave
2 heads of broccoli, chopped (doesn’t have to be too small)
6 cups water + 1 vegetable bouillon cube (you could use veggie broth)
½ cup milk (I used 1%)
1-1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded (mine was light)
smoked paprika

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
Saute leeks and garlic til soft.
Add potatoes, vegetable broth, and broccoli.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer til tender (I let mine cook for about 20 minutes).
Remove from heat.
Stir in milk and cheese, reserving a bit of cheese for garnishing.
Working in two batches, puree the soup in a blender til smooth.
Place pureed soup back in the saucepan and heat til bubbly.
Serve, topped with cheddar cheese and paprika (add salt to taste).

Oh man these went well together. I am so glad I took the time to cook. So often we say that we don’t have time to cook — I loved taking this hour today to do this. Maybe it was just that I put my phone far away from the kitchen (after my dish-washing water damage mishap the other week, I’m operating under the better safe than sorry motto), but I felt really relaxed. Score!

Or maybe it was after my interview with Leanne from Healthful Pursuit yesterday. I was asking her questions for my assignment, but I took a lot more from the interview than just insight for my project. Leanne is just as well spoken as she is well written, was really encouraging, and offered two gems I really need to share now (amongst lots of other things I’ll be sharing in the article, I’m sure):

  • “In order to be healthy in our bodies, it all starts in our minds–we have to be healthy in our minds.”
  • “It’s about intuitive eating…listening and hearing what your body wants.”

I loved talking to her! Girl crush, much. 🙂

Now I’m just relaxing (carrying the theme on) at Starbucks with Nina (love!) because I already did my physio exercises, have all weekend to do work (ha, yeah right), and because it’s snowing. So there.

What are you up to this weekend?
When’s the last time you made a recipe and were really excited about it?
Do you feel like you have time to cook?