Sunday, January 29, 2012

Soup: I could do the back float in it

I love seriously LOVE SOUP....something about a BIG HOT BOWL of it, in front of me...diving in and in my imagination floating about in it doing the back float.

I have been making a vegetable soup LOADED with veggies for a couple months now.  I make it on Monday and eat it all week long with my lunch and dinners.  I find it adds VOLUME to my meals, helping to fill me up, and also helps make sure I get my vegetables in.  I use a random everything but the kitchen sink type of formula....onions, celery, carrot, zucchini, cabbage, canned tomatoes, an organic vegetable broth (some day I will make my own broth).

Last week I ventured into the world of miso soup, after finding some miso paste at the Bulk Barn.  I used this recipe for ONE POT MISO SOUP.  It was so good, and great to change things up a bit.
One pot miso soup

I must confess I did find some dehydrated seaweed at the Bulk Barn as well and OMG IT WAS GROSS...the stuff made my whole kitchen smell like dank fish!  (I hate fish, like killed my goldfish as a kid hate fish!)  I threw that green slimy stuff in the garbage and staked it for good measure like any supernatural monster should be!

ok, moving on from the sea creature fiasco...this weekend I made what has to be the BEST SOUP I have EVER TAKEN A SWIM IN!  I found a recipe on Pinterest for a version of Olive's Garden's chicken and Gnocchi soup.    This soup is INCREDIBLE!  I didn't have half and half for it so I used 1.5 cups of 1% milk and 1/2 cup of 5% coffee cream.  I also used whole wheat gnocchi.  Other then the "fat" from the cream, the soup was pretty healthy with lots of vegetables (celery, carrots, and spinach) and protein.  I so enjoyed the CARB from the Gnocchi (one of my favorite "pastas".) It was the perfect dinner after a long run Sat morning.  We are having it for dinner again tonight :)
Olive Garden's Gnocchi and chicken soup

I'm reveling in my love of soup and am going to try a new one for the following week to eat with my lunches.  Its a Caramelized Onion and Cabbage Soup.  Doesn't that sound good?
Caramelized Cabbage and Onion Soup
What's your favorite soup?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Right Now

Stealing Krista's Right Now idea :) 

Kasey's picture is way cuter then mine Right Now

'Right Now'

listening: downloading Shadow fever to listen to on my run, an audio book
reading: Another supernatural book, yep more vampires :) 
eating: well drinking actually, my morning smoothie
drinking: planning on enjoying a few glasses of red tonight!
wearing: new LULU running shorts and tank
feeling: anxious to get my long run done so I can relax and enjoy the day
weather: cold :(
watching: Tangled....AGAIN!
waiting: to go to the
wanting: to spend the day in bed with tea, and my book, and napping on and off 
needing: a good afternoon nap and a girls night out
enjoying: the weekend with my family
wondering: what to have for dinner? What will go well with red wine? Running 16km today should have something really YUMMY LOL
working: hopefully not doing much of that this weekend

Friday, January 27, 2012

26.2's begun

Its for my first Full Marathon, 26.2 miles!  I can say that now, with a little less of the fluttery feeling in my tummy.  I think now that I am actually running again, I am feeling more confident.  Although, I hope never to loose that fluttery feeling in the pit of my stomach entirely, its part of the magic.

So I am into week two of my training plan.  What training plan am I following you ask? Why the KATAROO BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS PLAN of course.  I have looked up a number of training plans and none of them seem to"FIT" me.  I find most of them don't allow for a lot of strength training and I don't want to loose that part of my fitness routine.  

So my basic plan is to run 3-4 times a week.  A tempo or speed work style of run on Mondays (8-10km), a hill type of run on Wednesdays (8km), and the Long Slow Run (increasing distance slowly) on Saturdays.  That leaves Tuesdays and Thursdays for strength training.  When I can I will fit a 4th  run in, a shorter one, likely a 5km.  That leaves a day of rest and hopefully fitting a yoga workout in there somewhere.  

Until, the spring hits most of my training will take place on the treadmill.  Which is ok, I trained for the half marathon this way too.  I make sure to make good use of the incline on the treadmill and do a lot of hills to make sure I am ready to transition to the road.  I find the biggest challenge with using the DREADMILL is the mental part, its so BORING!!  But I have friends to workout with, and I am downloading an audio book to listen to on the long runs and that makes it much better.  I figure mentally it's great training for the big big long runs. I will be used to pushing through the mental blocks.  Last week I actually got outside for a quick 5km run and I can't get over how good I felt.  It was perfect, just what I needed to remind me why I run....because it feels so good!  I felt strong, and powerful...and FREE.  

On the treadmill, I have been using a 2% incline as my "flat" which is up from the 1% I used to run at.  I can really feel it, especially in my calves.  So I think I am going to switch it up and do a manual rolling hill from 1-2% mimicking the road a bit better.  My claves were really cramping up at the end of my runs.  I've also been focusing on slowing down, and covering the distance.  I know the whole point of the long slow run is to run SLOW! but I struggle with it, especially on a treadmill, where you are starring at the display.  I feel I put pressure on myself to keep a certain pace, and also the sheer boredom has me wanting to go faster to get through it!  But if I push myself, I find I am "feeling" it, pushing physically and mentally when I should be enjoying the run.  So I am slowing down.  

My favorite run on the treadmill is HILLS, I have two workouts that I like to use.  One is hill intervals where I use the hill interval program on the treadmill. I run a hill for a minute, then rest at a 0% incline for a minute, then repeat.  The hill intervals vary in grade from 1-5% on a level 6 hill program.  I do that for 8km and its quite a workout.  I love it though, mentally the time flies by because there is so much change going on.  So much more interesting then 15km flat on the dreadmill.  Its not a "true" interval workout (HIIT) though as my heart rate (although recovering a bit on the 0% incline) is pretty steady state throughout the run and the length is too long.   The other hill workout I like, uses running pyramids.  Unlike the interval program my pace is much slower on this workout.  I can keep a good clip going on the hill intervals because of that 0% incline of "rest" but the pyramid workout is about endurance on the hills. I usually do two pyramids.  Last week I increased the incline 1% every minute until reaching 10% and then "climbed" down 1% every minute.   It took me just over 2km to complete each pyramid.  I have also done these changing the incline every 30sec and going up to 15%.  There are so many options when it comes to the treadmill and keeping yourself "entertained." 

I've gotten two long slow runs in  now, both 15 km.  Last week I ran with my buddy Jenn, who is training for her first half marathon.  I even brought treats for the treadmill and munched on a date roll to give me energy.  I have discovered the date roll is the perfect snack, and so much healthier then the processed gels.  Not to say I won't use those, as I swear that ROCKET stuff made me fly! LOL.  But for the most part think I will stick to the whole, REAL, food.  Plus, it tastes so sweet and yummy.  I love slowing down and snacking on my treat, it's a great mental break on the run.  

I'm also happy to say that this week I have recovered well after my runs, unlike the first week where I felt totally wiped after.  

This weekend, I am aiming for 16km and have the company of my two best gym buds!  Hopefully, we all get treadmills together.  The girl talk and chatting should make those minutes fly by.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ch Ch Chia!!!

I have been noticing Chia Seeds, all over the place of late, in smoothie recipes and baking recipes and health blogs.  The little black seeds seem quite popular in the world of healthy living.  This week I made my first trip to the bulk barn to scope out HEALTH FOOD! GASP!! I am ashamed to admit that I have never gone to the bulk barn for anything but CANDY.  Was I ever surprised to learn, thanks to my fellow Losing it in Ottawa friends, that the Bulk Barn is a great place to stock up on healthy staples for a good price.  While touring the store this past Monday with my daughter I saw the coveted CHIA SEED and quickly filled my bag like it was gold.

The next morning I added some to my morning smoothie, and it made it a bit thicker, and there was no taste to it.  I added the little seeds in good faith not having a clue what the heck they actually do for you.  After gulping down my shake I looked it up.  This is the link I found on the little magic seeds.  (**as always I can't guantee that what they say is accurate, read with a critical mind)  In short they have weight loss properties, are an amazing source of plant based Omega-3 oils, balance blood sugar, are a great source of fiber, anti-oxidant, help you feel more energized and you can even bake with them instead of eggs.

Well I had two smoothies yesterday with the little magic seeds, one for breakfast and one for an afternoon snack and I don't know if it was in my head or not but I swear I felt "fuller" yesterday, a little more energetic than usual, and ummm well let's just say the pipes were working wonderfully.  I even snuck some into my daughter's oatmeal and was waiting for her to ask "Mom what's this black stuff stuck in my oats?" (preparing myself for a repeat of the fish oil fisco) and she didn't even notice!

I am definitely adding this little magic seed to my "healthy arsenal" right next to the natural peanut butter!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Move More, Eat Well 2012: mid month update

I joined in on this amazing year long class, called Move More, Eat Well Jan 1st.  Its a way of focusing on healthy goals for the year and documenting the journey.  Its led by one of my favorite role models, Cathy Zielske.

I started with a "This is my story page, an introduction of sorts":

Then a "statement of intention":

and then a page with this month's main focus and starting point on it: 
and Mid Month:

Its now mid January and I have been working out hard pushing myself on the strength training.  I even tried out for a PUMP AUDITION! LOL.  I started what I would call my official "marathon" training plan this past Sunday.  I've been trying hard to focus on a "whole foods" diet (although very far from perfect).  I'm still using My Fitness Pal to track my nutrition, and I am trying to figure out what I need calorie wise to feel good, preform my best, and maintain (or if lucky loose a little) weight.  So far so good, I am eating much more then I did when actively trying to loose weight, and I have still lost 2 pounds, 4 inches, and 2% bodyfat since weighing in on day one of the course.  I'm pleasantly surprised to see myself responding to the strength training focus coupled with clean eating.  

But...running is gearing up and will be taking the main stage till May.  I am going to drop from 3 down to 2 strength training sessions.  My plan is to run 3 times a week.  A tempo type of run, a hill type of run, and one long slow run.  I will also add in a yoga class to help stretch and keep my hips healthy for running and a day of SWEET REST :)  Most of the Marathon plans I have looked at have a lot more running days in them, but I don't want to sacrifice the strength training, and truly belief that it will help me be a stronger runner.  I need to build those big muscles in my legs not just tear them down running.   I had my first long slow run in sometime this past Sunday and it kicked my ass!  I was wiped the rest of the day and HUNGRY!  I couldn't get over how drained I was.  I have to admit its been awhile since I have felt like that.   Today I did a tempo 10km and again I was WIPED afterwards and hungry as hell.  I can tell that I have not been running as much in the last few months, and I have to work back up to it.  I need to stop worrying about the time and just run at a good comfortable pace and get the distance back.  I find it so hard not to think about time.  I need to re adopt my old motto...MY RACE MY PACE.  I have a feeling that I will be eating more too...LOL.  But I'm not worried about that, as much as I am tracking everything I am listening to my body and eating when hungry and most of the time stopping when full (wink).   The focus on whole foods helps, mentally, I feel like I am fuelling my body with the best possible fuel.  (plus a little or a lot of wine and choc wink)  

I feel like I am off to a strong start in 2012, and am looking forward to what's in store for us in class in February. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bust a Move: Busting Breast Cancer!

A bunch of us from Losing it in Ottawa have been challenged by a fellow member to join in the BUST A MOVE Event in April, a crazy day long day of fitness, to raise money to support Breast Cancer.   Well, you know me I love a challenge, and a day spent sweating and exercising? WELL SIGN ME UP!!

But in all honesty this one really hits home, beyond the pink tutus and crazy fun.  My sister in law, Shannon has beaten Breast Cancer, and she has survived it after having lost both her parents too cancer. Cancer has touched us all, in some form or another...someone we know..someone we love.  I have two little girls...I don't want any more cancer in my family.

So please if you will click on my fundraising page and donate a little for this worthy cause :)


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lessons learned along the way

I have a post up on the Losing it in Ottawa blog today about lessons I have learned about food.  Just a few little things that have worked for me, things I wish I had learned sooner in some cases :)  Who knows maybe you will find a little golden nugget in there that works for you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I did something totally wild and crazy last night, I auditioned to be a Body Pump Instructor with Goodlife Fitness!  I had incredible butterflies yesterday, I tried to talk myself out of it a bazillion times, even tried to convince myself that my knee hurt and that the weather was to bad! LOL  50 people tried out and they take 12-14, and that was a small try out they often have 90!  The chances are slim, but I had nothing to loose and everything to gain!

Here's the thing!  I am stuck.  I am afraid.  I worked so hard to achieve my Personal Training Certification and yet I haven't done anything with it yet.  I can't even explain what has me frozen.  But I do know that I have an overwhelming need to help others and to pass on this amazing feeling I have discovered living a fit and healthy life.  I want more than anything to help other women realize their inner awesomeness!  So last night, was about stepping outside my comfort zone and putting myself out there.  Getting myself literally PUMPED UP!

I think instructing classes and in particular Body Pump would be a perfect venue for me.  I would be able to motivate and instruct others, and with an emphasis on strength!  I know the instructors I have come across in my journey to getting fit have made an impression on me!  In particular, one said after class one day: "Don't ever take this feeling for granted." At first I thought, yes can't take for granted that I don't have a disability that keeps me from doing this, thinking of a physical disability.  Then I thought, no...its also mental..I am thankful that I don't have a "psychological disability" for lack of better term holding me back from being here sweating and moving.  That "disability" that kept me on the couch for 10 years!

So regardless of outcome, I succeeded yesterday!  I put myself out there, I got out of my comfort zone, and I did my very best! It was hard! Much harder then I thought it would be! The fitness test alone made me tinkle (doing jumping jacks) and almost puke (a circuit from hell LOL).  Most of all I have recharged myself and I am going to make helping others happen.

So my friends, let me ask you this, what can you do to get out of your comfort zone? Maybe it's getting out and taking a class yourself?  Whatever it is, go get uncomfortable!! WOOT WOOT!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve Crazy Times

Laura and I at the resolution run, her first race!  and she rocked it!

Ryan and I another year of healthy and happy :) 
New Year's eve was a perfect mix of health and indulgence...and a side of crazy fun!  We left the kids at our friend Rob and Laura's house, her very brave mom watched all 4 kids, while the 4 of us headed downtown to run the 5km Resolution Run.  I won't lie it was cold out there!  Luckily I had a little stash of fireball whiskey in my water bottle and had a couple nips for good measure before the race started.  I was nervous at first, the road seemed a bit slippery and my muscles took a couple minutes to warm up, but before long the adrenaline of running in a "race" kicked in and I ran my best 5km yet!  When I hit the half way point I was surprised at the time, and thought that can't be right...but I felt good so I kept it up and finished in 25min and 34 sec. (my Garmin even said I ran 3.19 a tad longer no less LOL)  Maybe Fireball is the key to a good run?

After the race Laura and I changed into our party dresses, because you have to dress up on New Year's Eve! I then proceeded to fill myself with CHEESE and more CHEESE and sparkling wine.  Then Laura pulls out the camera to film our "push up challenge" from the Losing it in Ottawa forum.  Oh my I was stuffed and wobbly LOL.
My goal was 30 push ups from my toes (I could only do one this summer in my PT class!) and I was supposed to try 5 one legged ones on each leg after...ummm that did not I nearly puked LOL.

and my crazy assed friend Laura, rocking push ups in her Snooki that's hard core!

After that we were free to continue with the festivities and ring in 2012 with the best of spirits!!!!