Friday, November 7, 2014

where have I been?

Hi lovelies.

It's been a long, long time since my last post - I know.

Last time I posted I was in the midst of training for the SeaWheeze half. I'd set an ambitious goal for myself and was laser focused on achieving it.

And then...

We had a house fire.

Overall we were extremely lucky. Most of our belongings were undamaged, just in need of a good airing out. We were able to find a new house to rent the next day and move in a week later. The support from our friends and family, and the community was overwhelming. I have never felt so loved.

It's taken some time to settle into our new place. They even have a term for it. Hypervigilance. It's exactly what it sounds like.

There were a lot of lessons for me in dealing with the aftermath.

I learned to communicate my needs. People are happy and eager to help - all I had to do was ask.

I've gotten really good at setting boundaries and not worry about what anyone else was thinking about me.

I learned to delegate and not micro manage. Seriously, let it go. Everything will be fine.

You know how people always ask the three things you'd take to a desert island? Well, now I can answer that question. The first things I grabbed out of the house were my library books, yoga mat, running gear, and a kombucha scoby.

It's been 4 months since the fire. I am so ready to shift my focus back to my goals. I want some company though. Anyone need an accountability buddy? Find me on instagram :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#NoBuyJune update

Loving #NoBuyJune so far - because it really is challenging! It's forced me to realised how many of my usual purchases are actually based on impulse and spend some time reflecting on my financial situation.

Usually my  thought process goes something like this...
Saw a maxi dress online - wannit! 
Read a fashion post about summer must haves - I could really use a breezy summer vest. 
Half price workout tanks? wannit! I could always use more workout tanks.
Oh, and all I want to wear is lulu's power y bra. I have a couple in crazy colours but I could use some totally basic ones. 
and my skin could really benefit from a charcoal mask... all this working out is starting to plug up my pores. 
Some of these things are legitimate items I need but most of them I can make do with what I already have. Normally I don't pass up a good deal. I'm generally careful with my money and try to get the best value. Although sales save me money they can sometimes cause a cash flow issue...

I've been reflecting on my financial situation, where I am and where I want to be. Lately I've been feeling less than... I could be happier if only I had x... like I'm being consumed by the desire to consume.

For years I've gone without spending much on my home or my wardrobe. I dunno - it just all seems so materialistic. Does what I wear really matter? Some of this comes from my roots in environmentalism. But it also stems from low self esteem. You have to have a good self image to want to get up and treat yourself well. And lets face it, when you look good you feel good. And that matters.

In January I set out a list of goals for this year. Investing in myself and my home are high on my list of priorities.  So is paying off my debt. Needless to say, this has caused a bit of internal conflict. Looking back I can see I never set any parameters for paying off my debt or how much I could afford to spend on myself each month. #NoBuyJune has made me realise I need to not only budget money for paying off debt but also set some aside so I can jump on those sales when they come up.

Maxi dress - I'm watching you!

Make sure you check out  the lovely Emily @ExcellentTiming and her post about how #NoBuyJune is no cake walk.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

week 3 - #SeaWheeze training recap + links

Did you see Emily (ExcellentTiming) and I are challenging ourselves to #JuneNoBuy? Read her post here. See my post here.

I'm so happy SarahFit shared the green state of mind juice. It's really a high protein smoothie with no protein powder! In the spirit of #JuneNoBuy I'm using up what I have in my cupboards before I run to the store to restock. I've run out of protein powder and my pre-JuneNoBuy order won't arrive for another week or so. Buying those single serving packets at the store doubles the cost. I've already got a stock of flax and chia seeds on hand.

Oh, but I really want this cross legged chair...

The Time. I Decided. Enough. Is F-ing Enough. -> everything she said. I've stopped buying Oxygen mag because of the elitist and exclusive message. Well, that and the lack of content. I want to be a woman who supports other women. The fact that we workout in different modalities or wear different clothes shouldn't matter. 

Electrolyte Drinks for Athletes -> I made the watermelon zinger for my post long run recovery drink.

Don't wait until your at your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take towards reaching that goal. 

Weekly Miles: 19 17
#100bySummer: 86

Monday - REST (2 easy miles)
Tuesday - 2 easy miles (45 min xtrain @140-150bpm + abs)
Wednesday - 5 mile tempo run
Thursday - REST (2 easy miles)
Friday - REST
Saturday - 10 miles
Sunday - 20min solo vinyasa

I mentioned last week how I've been struggling. I've been putting things off. I've been more tired than usual. I swear it feels like I've been PMSing for a month. Ugg. Thursday I totally intended on getting in my 2 miles - and then I fell asleep on the couch.

Monday was a write-off. Spent the day in bed with a 24hr bug. Luckily it was only 24hrs.

Tempo runs keep getting better. I'm still taking walking breaks but they're getting less frequent. Mentally I'm getting stronger.

My long run was pretty eventful. A lot of firsts. Tried out my new hydration belt. Spent the first mile fussing with it but after that we settled in. The water bottle however, sucks. It has a nipple - which is usually a feature I like in a water bottle. No seriously.  But this one takes so much suction to get a little sip. Maybe it's defective. I had to stop every time I wanted to take a sip.

Tried vega gels. They didn't upset me stomach and I like the flavours. This is the first time I've tried gels so I have nothing to compare them to, but no complaints either.

Ate a bug.

Found 5 new water fountains! I never noticed them before. Now I know the location of ~15.

Ran through a parade route! Three times. Stressful. I tried to bypass it but that didn't work out so well.

The runner's high just didn't happen for me this time. Maybe it's because I stopped so often? I was a total space cadet the rest of the day though.

Week 4 goals

I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. Rolling with what life throws at me. Yeah, I usually don't manage to fit in all my workouts or get to everything on my list. But they're both pretty packed! Long runs and tempos are a priority that I've never skipped. If I have the energy for more, I'll do more. This is about getting to know when I can push things and when to lay off. The last few weeks have been a time to take it a bit easier. I'm learning to listen to my body. Skipping a workout here or there is a way better alternative to burnout. I'm in this for the long haul.

image via

Thursday, June 5, 2014

chipping away at bad habits

A bad habit is one destructive to my goal.

I've set this goal for myself of running a sub-2hr SeaWheeze. Everyone says that your first half should just be about finishing - but that doesn't feel like enough. 

Lately I've blown off a couple mid week short easy runs. I've stopped prepping my lunch / cleaning the kitchen the night before, telling myself I'll do it in the morning it's more important to go to sleep now. Even still, I've been getting into bed after 10pm. Getting up with the sun is not going to happen. I've been neglecting abs / yoga using my neck as an excuse.

These bad habits are part of a bigger picture. They're warning signs. I've been living re-actively. It happens sometimes. When things are busier than usual. When I'm tired. 

Life feels hard. 

My normal routine is no longer serving me. It's time for a change in preference. To reach out instead of pulling away. To trust that movement can create energy. That the couch will wait for me.

I'll know I've got it right when I feel calm. When I wake up before my alarm full of energy. When life doesn't feel so hard. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I run... (OliveToRun link up)

Did you know it's national run day? I didn't either until I read OliveToRun's blog post. 

I've decided to join in the fun and celebrate up here in Canada with my tempo run this morning. These runs always intimidate more than any other run. They are challenging but I know that my body is adapting, getting stronger and faster. 

I run for the endorphins. Endorphins make me happy. When I'm happy my day goes better. I have more patients. Little things don't stress me out. I function better at work. I have more energy to get through my day.

I run to find perspective. I can work through my projections and come to understand the other person's point of view. I meditate on oneness. I may not agree - but that's okay.

I run so I can reach my goal of finishing the SeaWheeze in under 2 hours with a smile on my face.

I run because it's good for me. Every run I'm breaking through my self imposed boundaries and becoming stronger than I ever thought possible. It's good for my well-being. It's how I take care of myself.

I run because it gets me outside. I'm happiest outdoors.

I run to create the woman I've always known I could be. Your life is not something you find, it's something you create.

Why do you run?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June no buy

Most of yesterday was spent on the couch recovering from an awful stomach bug. To distract myself I watched a couple episodes of Till Debt Do Us Part. The best part is when Gail Vaz-Oxlade lays out couple's monthly spending and we get to see where all their money goes.

"Why are you buying yourself things in life before you've earned them?" Ouch. I'm really not that irresponsible with my money... but things are still feeling tighter than I'd like after our tropical holiday in April.

Emily at Excellent Timing is challenging herself to a "no buy" June. The allowances she's given herself make the goal totally realistic without becoming a hermit for the month. 

I'm so inspired by her post I've decided to join her. I'm looking forward paying down my cc and starting a SeaWheeze fund. This month I'll be skipping all the extras and making do with what I have.

Extras I wont be buying...
  1. no "superfoods" -> yes maca increases energy and balances hormones, cacao nibs are full of antioxidant that protect your cells and coconut manna is just delicious. But do you need these superfoods to live a healthy lifestyle? Nope.
  2. no clothes/body products -> I've got everything I need. 
  3. no magazines -> I don't usually buy magazines but lately I've been tempted by running magazines...
  4. no house wears -> I will not go into Target.
  5. no impulse purchases -> unless it's on the list put it back!
  6. treats / junkfood -> my thighs will thank me.
But these are totally okay...
  1. a hydration belt for my long runs. SeaWheeze training is starting to pick up and I have to carry water / electrolytes with me. Gus/gels/bloks are okay too. I'm trying a bunch of different brands to figure out what works.
  2. food -> we eat really well. The quality and source of our food is important to us. Buying cheap food just to save a buck is not worth it to me. Oh, and wine is totally food. 
  3. things we've already planned -> father's day, a weekend at the cabin, a couple dinners out with friends.
Have you ever challenged yourself to a "no buy" month? How did you make out?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

week 2 - #SeaWheeze training recap

Weekly Miles: 19
#100bySummer: 79

Monday - 4 easy miles 

Real talk - I almost blew off today's run. I had intended on running before work. Buuut I stayed up super late watching Alias. Remember that show? I still love Jennifer Garner. 

Anyways, a run before work just didn't happen.  And it almost didn't happen after work either. At 7:30 it was either time to run or time for dinner. I wasn't super hungry and I knew if I didn't run I'd regret it. So glad I laced up my shoes and went for it. 

Tuesday - 45 min xtrain @140-150bpm + abs

Feels like I've got my groove back :-)

Wednesday - 4 mile easy run

My first morning run in a long time. It's been so hard for me to get up earlier enough to get out before work. I've started using the Nike+ run app and wow - my pace is all over the place. Which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing just different that what I've been doing so far. I almost always go by my hrm. I know where I want it to be - and it's really hilly here. Which is good training for the SeaWheeze.

Thursday - 3 mile easy run

post work run along the water.

Friday - REST

Had my last PT treatment today for my neck. It's been a reoccurring issue since high school so... hopefully this will take care of it?

Saturday - 4 miles

Legs felt light and quick this morning. I guess the cut back in miles is paying off :-) Left a little later that I had intended this morning. The sun was warm but the air was still a bit cool. Perfect. 

I find my shorter runs more mentally challenging than the long runs. Distance doesn't intimidate me anymore. This morning my monkey mind was full of chatter today. Long runs give me time to quiet the chatter.

I've got my pacing figured out. For awhile I was going too fast - pushing myself every time. When I started running with my phone to track my pace I was going too slow. Seems like I've found the sweet spot now.

Found a new water fountain today... it's a new appreciation. 

Sunday - vinyasa

"Self discipline is meant to keep us on track when we encounter moments (days, weeks, months) of weakness. The weakness can come from lack of motivation, lost perspective, low energy, bad attitudes, external circumstances, you name it. Regardless of the reason, there will be moments where staying on course means doing something we would rather no do. It won’t be fun."
~ Natalie @HelloDay

Week 3 goals

Some bad habits are sneaking their way back in. With this whole neck thing I haven't been sleeping as well and I've been putting off things like prepping my lunch the night before in favour of more couch time. It's really now working for me. Neglecting weekend meal prep results in later weekday dinners and  pre-dinner snacking. It's got to stop. I want to be lighter come race day. I want to be comfortable in my skin. These thing won't happen unless I take control.

My weekend is super busy - run, groceries, pay rent, bbq, yoga, baby shower for bestie... Somewhere in there I need have to carve out time to prep for my week. I can make it all happen ;-)

Monday - 2 easy miles
Tuesday - 45 min xtrain @140-150bpm + abs
Wednesday - 5 mile tempo run
Thursday - 2 mile easy run
Friday - REST
Saturday - 10 miles
Sunday - vinyasa
image via

Saturday, May 31, 2014

link love - the proverbial lion

Did you hear!? Orange is the New Black is back June 6th!! Just don't read the whole article - there are spoilers.

Ariana Grande - problem <- I just love songs with saxophones in them. Brass Monkey anyone? So catchy! When I was in university our favourite club to go dance at had a live DJ and sax player. It was awesome... until it got shut down. Why does that always happen to the good ones?

smoking is just as bad as not moving <- this article has gotten me off my butt for a lunchtime walk every day since I read it.

to age well, walk <- just incase you weren't convinced. Running is my current thing but I totally intend on being one of those old ladies in the walking group who does thai chi and has a prize winning rose garden.

Also, have you heard this song yet? It's my new jam. And another way to keep this body in motion - cause I can't sit still and listen to this song...

"No. 9: Every 2 weeks do a long duration run... this will only work if you don't run like a total muppet."
~ Alex Myall How to get a six pack

seawheeze in 3D (we’re not kidding) <- I didn't love the SeaWheeze shorts design when I first saw them this year... but they've grown on me. So I guess we'll be the heard of zebras running fro the proverbial lion come Aug 23rd.

more running posts...
10 Marathon Training Secrets Every New Runner Should Know <- I think smiling is the most important ;-)

13 Mistakes Half Marathoners Should Avoid <- can you guess which one I'm guilty of?

How to NOT Freak The F Out Before Your Race <- I've already had one SeaWheeze dream where I missed the package pick up...

5 electrolyte brands put to a taste test <- lulu has done the work for us, though they didn't test my favourite - nuun.

sports nutrition should we stop talking calories? <- yes! focus on the good and there wont be anyroom for the junk.

"You can have any food at any time. It's always available to you. Food is abundant. Even on Mondays."
Jill Coleman

When you're having cravings do you reach for sweet or salty? I'm a sugar girl... my jaw dropped when I read Joy's post negative effects of sugar. I had no idea the average Canadian consumes just under 1cup of sugar a day. It should be more like 6 tsp (9 tsp for men).

Looking for some healthy treat inspiration? I did a bananas for dessert post earlier this week. ombre sorbet & mint chip ice cream k&k just shared 2 guilt free ice cream recipes. I'll be trying them next week if my sweet tooth hits again. Or maybe some skinny double chocolate chip protein muffins... or {secretly healthy} s'mores chia pudding.

more healthy eats...

Oh, and I really want this. Fruit infused water, iced teas, iced coffee, oh the possibilities. My birthday is coming up...

Experts recommend at least 150 min/week of moderate exercise. Do you think this can negate a sedentary job?

image via

Friday, May 30, 2014

bananas for dessert?

Maybe it's because my mileage is increasing. Maybe it's the time of the month. I've been craving sweet things like crazy. We'll blame it on the hormones. 

There was a time where I would be raiding the candy aisle, adding gummy bears to the brownies and ice cream that was already in my basket. 

I'm still a sugar girl but now I tend to crave naturally sweetened foods. Don't get me wrong though - I don't want something that tastes "healthy." Just something that wont leave me raiding the kitchen for more sugar an hour later. 

Enter the humble banana. I'm sure you're already familiar with the health benefits - so I won't bore you with facts. Besides, we're here to exploit it's sweetness. Add heat and the sugars intensify. Freeze then blend and you have nature's ice cream. Ever tried caramelizing slices of bananas in a little butter or coconut oil? You should.

My 3 go to banana based desserts:

s'mores banana boat <- these have become a stable summertime dessert. The best part - it can be made on the grill, over a campfire or in the oven. 

skinny rocky road banana soft serve <- I made this Monday night. Decadently sweet and secretly healthy :-) PS. mango soft serve is a good idea too. Or strawberry. I add a little almond or full fat coconut milk to get things moving.

white chocolate, coconut and banana s’more bars <- okay, these bars are a little more decadent than the other two banana desserts. The past 2 Valentine's Days I've whipped up a batch. It didn't last long. You've been warned. 

What's you favourite healthy sweet treat?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ice bathes... just like a swim in the ocean

I first read about ice baths on never(home) maker's blog. With my runs getting longer and faster I really need one to help my legs recover. The cold water refreshes my legs and negates the dreaded doms. 

That said - it is not easy to plunge yourself in. Just keep telling yourself that it's like going for a swim in the ocean ;-) Well, the ocean where I live anyways - not the Hawaiian ocean. Some things that help get me through:
  1. a cozy sweatshirt
  2. fingerless gloves
  3. cup of tea
  4. candle for the illusion of warmth
  5. phone to watch the time / distract myself with instagram
  6. positive thoughts
Here's what I do: fill the tub with cold water until it just covers your legs. No need to actually add ice. Sit for 10 min. I usually take a shower right after. I've read that you're supposed to wait 30-60min but it doesn't seem to make a difference for me.

How do you recover from a hard workout?

Monday, May 26, 2014

start your day positive

I love the quite of the early morning. Time seems slower, like the day is still waking up. First thing I do is open the back door. Fritz is (almost) always sleeping on one of the deck chairs. He wakes up, stretches, and greets me with a morning meow. Then we have a little pet. I tell him I love his face. If you're not a cat person I'm sorry (I'm not sorry).

Once Fritz is fed - if he has to wait too long he starts biting my toes and Achilles, just one of the hazards of living with a mountain lion - it's time for me to hydrate. I always start with 1/2 a lemon in warm water or a shot of apple cider vinegar. Do you do this? I'm not weird, I swear, there's science to back this up. The ACV has done wonders for my digestion. I chase my morning acid shot with a big glass of water.
After I hydrate it's time to caffeinate! If it's the weekend I make myself a coconut milk americano. During the week I stick green tea. My favourite way right now is to put 2 tea bags in a pot with a lemon wedge. Add the boiling water, let steep over night and drink chilled. Or have it hot once it's steeped. I've been making a pot at work too.

While I sip my beverage I love to catch up on my blogroll and instagram. Now that it's getting warmer I've been sitting on the deck while I do this. The morning light hitting my skin helps wake me up. Time to start my day. Time to cook breakfast or lace up my running shoes. Time to hit the gym, start my chores or head to work. The quiet calm has passed, until tomorrow.

I've come to look forward to this ritual. It's enough to get me to bed a little earlier so morning comes sooner.

How do you start your day?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

week 1 - #SeaWheeze training has officially started!!

Are you on instagram? Look for the #tiuSeaWheeze tag. I'll be posting my check-ins there.

I'm starting to enjoy running without music. Especially outside but even on the treadmill. Weird.

I need to pay more attention to my hydration and carb levels during my long runs. Any recommendations on bloks? gels? GU? Most of them just sound so disgusting...

"We naturally want to do the things we are best at because it serves our ego. But there is so much richness and reward in working on, evaluating and examining those weaker parts of ourselves because it opens up an infinity of possibility, a whole world to you that you've shut yourself down. Just because you're not great at it. You have to open yourself up to working on those parts of yourself that aren't awesome."
~ Jillian Michaels

Weekly Miles: 16
#100bySummer: 60

M - 3 easy miles + pilates
T - 45 min xtrain @140-150bpm + TIU arms & abs
W - 5 mile tempo run

Okay. So. First week of SeaWheeze training did not go to plan. My neck was still really bugging me and affecting my sleep. I managed to grab a cancellation with my PT. She said one of the nerves at the base of my skull was getting pinched causing the spasms in my shoulders. No running allowed till Thursday to ensure her treatment has time to set. 

It's been really hard not to run. I feel restless. It made me realise how much of my time it takes up. I've filled my time with getting things done around the house and spending quality time with loved ones. A little break from running doesn't have to be a bad thing. 

Th - 2 mile easy run + hatha 5 mile tempo run

This run went so well! I can't even believe it. Compared to my last tempo I've come a long way in 2 weeks. I stopped for a water/walk break halfway through and that was enough to let me push hard till the end. 2 weeks ago I was questioning my decision to sign up, if I was really capable of running a half. It's okay to struggle. No panic at the 20min mark or after my first tempo mile. Woot!

F - REST 2 easy miles

This was supposed to make up for Monday, should have been 3 miles. Oopsie! Legs felt good even though I didn't have an ice bath last night. 

Sa - 9 miles

I've started looking forward to my long runs. Totally forgot to stop and pick up some fuel for my run though... so I improvised. Gummy bears it is! The 20min mark is still a struggle. After that I get in the zone and just go. It's amazing how not too long ago 9 miles would have seemed impossible. Now it doesn't even seem that far :-) 

S - vinyasa

Week 2 according to plan is my cut back week. Mileage is 15 miles opposed to 20. I was debating adding a longer run in since week 1 sorta turned into a lower mileage week. But... I decided against it.

My #1 training goal is to get in my long run & work run. And I accomplished that. I know what an important roll rest and shorter runs plays in the training plan and rest days need to be respected. It's so easy (at least for me) to get caught up in the end goal and want to push hard, 100% all the time.

The only thing this has ever accomplished for me was burning out.

My goal of running a half doesn't start at the start line. Every training run and rest day is part of that goal. I want to enjoy my time spent pounding the pavement. I want to be present. I want to trust the process and listen to my body. I want to surprise myself with how physically and mentally strong I am. I know I won't love every minute of it - but that's part of the journey too. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

14 weeks

All goals start with a possibility. A thought. I wonder if...

I vividly remember the conversation I had a few years ago. My friend was talking about how her boyfriend was going to run a half marathon. I remembering wondering why? What drove him to sign up to run for 2hr?? Why would someone pay for that experience? I just couldn't relate. I remember thinking I could never do something like that.

Never say never right!?

I'm not sure exactly when my perspective shifted from "never" to "I wonder if..."

For the past 8 years I've run on again off again. My streaks would usually last a couple months. Then the weather would get bad, I'd lose motivation, my energy would drop... But I kept coming back. When I started I couldn't run for 5 min without stopping to take a break.

Sometime last fall everything changed. My runs became less of a struggle. I started to enjoy myself. After I felt really good. My day went better. I could handle stress better. I slept better. I was happier.

That feeling of happiness is why I signed up for the SeaWheeze... and it looks like a super fun party :-)

I usually shy away from things that I'm not naturally good at. I think most people do. Running has always been a challenge for me. But I keep going and I keep getting better.

Goals take work. Every day counts. It takes daily discipline to stay focused... I need to work on this. To just stick with my plan and consistently eat healthy so I have energy for my runs. Keeping that finish line in mind helps to make good decisions in that moment of temptation, but it still takes effort.

Something that stands in my way - my energy levels. Actually my perception of my energy levels. For years I struggled with fatigue. I spent a lot of time on the couch comforting myself with food. Getting a handle on my IBS situation, monitoring my iron levels and balancing my nutrition have changed my life. But as soon as I feel tired I go back to old coping mechanisms, telling myself I'm too tired to run. As long as I eat well and hydrate I'll have the energy to get through.

I need to let go of the strings that tie me to the past...

where I was the fat girl who couldn't...

who was too tired and afraid to try because what if she failed?

I don't need to worry. I'm not that girl anymore.... and the couch will be waiting for me when I get home.

In 14 weeks I'll be running 13.1 miles. It won't be easy. But that's okay.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


How do you undo 17 years worth of a bad habits?

When I was 13 I decided to become a vegetarian. I love animals and nice people don't eat their friends right? Also, until I learned to cook for myself I never really liked the taste of meat. Labeling myself as a vegetarian made it easier to refuse meat at dinner. I had an out. Oh, and by vegetarian I mean I lived off of pasta and cheese.

The real reason I went veg... everyone I knew who was one was willowy and thin. I wanted my body to look like  that. But I never learned to balance my nutrition properly. I’m not placing blame, I’m working through it. Vegetarianism for be became a crutch that I could lean all my picky eater habits on and eliminate foods I didn't like because they didn't fit my dogma. 

I was always hungry and tired. I felt totally depressed and struggled with anxiety. My body was crying out for protein, vitamins and minerals. Nutrients. I miss-read this cry for nutrition as hunger and gorged myself on pasta smothered in cheese. For the moment I felt comforted, but after felt worse. I was an emotional wreck. I couldn't handle any stress or change in my life. 

I knew something wasn't right and I started looking for answers. I tried all different kinds of diets, none lasted more than a week. I slid back to my old routine.

Winter of 2011 after sever abdominal pain and a trip to the hospital I was diagnosed with IBS. The Dr. I was seeing at the time told me I’d have to manage this for the rest of my life. As long as the pain didn't get any worse than things were probably fine. Um, yeah... not a good enough answer for me.

I started working with a naturopath who has changed my life. Through blood tests and by following an elimination diet we discovered that my body does better without dairy and wheat. Dairy makes me bloated and inflamed which creates low energy. Wheat causes eczema and other skin irritations. It makes sense for me to keep to a mostly wheat/dairy free diet since I feel better and have more energy. If I decide to have some cheese or bread I just need to know that I might not feel so great. Sometimes it's totally worth it. Sometimes not.

I've come a long way, but those old habits are still there. If I don’t balance my meals I’m right back to that crazy place. Now I know this was all due to blood sugar crashes. I can’t trust my intuition because it's conditioned to 17 years worth of habits that didn't make me feel good. I have to learn to trust myself again.

In the past I've focused on cutting out the bad, which hasn't worked out so well. Now I focus on the good. I want to fill my life with so much good there’s no room for the crap. I’m going to fill my kitchen with nutrient dense beauty foods. I’m going to fill my life with movement, positive people, love, cats and creativity. I’m going to create a beautiful home that feels like a retreat. I’m going to make small improvements every day. I’m going to live my best life.

This is my new lifestyle. I have to accept that it wont always be easy. Over the past 17 years I've literally programmed my brain with habits that I now want to change. It takes time to breakdown those neural pathways and grow new healthy habit ones.

Others make it look easy because they don't show the hours of work and struggle that goes into their effortlessness.

This is me making peace with where I am are right now so I can move forward to where I want to be.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Motivation

What you think, you later become.

What you do everyday literally changes the neurological pathways in your brain so your actions become automatic, muscle memory, habits. It's a practice. So make sure your thoughts are positive and your actions support your goals.

Because it's a 2-way street.

You can just as easily self-sabotage and make it seemingly impossible to reach your goals. Commit to actions that keep you on track and stay consistent. Once those pathways form, things will get easier.

Maybe even effortless.


Friday, May 16, 2014

this week

Bartender, I'll take a Legend of Jack Sparrow (No. 14) please.

My no.1 goal for the SeaWheeze is to finish strong and sound. Training officially starts on Monday!!! I'm excited to see what resources lulu has for us, in the meantime I've been incorporating FitSugar's Stretch and Strengthen Exercises and Foam-Roller Massage.

Ice Baths have become necessary after my long runs and Wednesday work runs. Maybe it's the west coast girl in my but they don't seem that bad.

Ever wanted to swim with dolphins? What about wakeboard?

Did you make friendship bracelets for all your besties? Did you ever make heart friendship bracelet? Yeah, it's a thing.

Are you gluten free? Do you even know what gluten is? This is hilarious.

Shit We Can Change for Women. What would you change? I find the comparison trap on social media the fastest way to feel like crap about my life. Be proud of what you bring to the world.

People seem to have a love/hate relationship with fitspo. Personally I find it totally motivating, but I tend to look for positive, life affirming posts.

"A Tone It Up girl’s beauty radiates from within. Reaching your physical goals, staying motivated, and maintaining it for a lifetime is a reflection of the shifts you have made in your lifestyle."
Karena & Katrina

Weekly Miles: 20
#100bySummer: 44

M - 3 easy miles + pilates

T - 45 min xtrain @140-150bpm + TIU arms & abs
I've had a kink in my neck for the past few weeks. It's this same spot that's been acting up since I was in university. Booking a massage has always been in the back of my mind. Welp, this evening after the gym while I was cooking dinner all the muscles tightened up and started spasming. I was on the floor the rest of the night. Ice helps but it's not a cure. 

W - 5 mile tempo run rest - neck!
Neck was better feeling better today - meaning I could move. Booked a massage for the afternoon. My RMT told me next time you get a kink in your neck - come in right away! He could have fixed it in 15min instead of spending an hour focused on one spot. Why is it so hard to make time for those little aches and pains. They just never seem to be a priority - until it gets worse. Okay... lesson learned. 

Th - 2 mile easy run + hatha 4 mile speedwork
I totally owned this run. Was still feeling a bit apprehensive after last week's tempo run but I just kept telling myself "you can do this!" Feels like my head is back in the game. Neck is about 80% better. 

F - REST 2 mile easy run + foam roller
Since my rest day was forced upon me this week, everything has been bumped. But that's okay. I'm use to rolling with what life throws at me and fitting in my workouts when I can. I've found an easy run on Friday afternoon is a great way to release any stress from the week and start the weekend off fresh. 

Weekend plan:
Sa - 8 miles
S - vinyasa

bone building smoothie

I've started tracking my food again. Not for calories this time but to make sure I'm giving my body all the nutrition it needs. Since having to give up dairy I really need to pay attention to ensure I'm getting enough calcium in my diet. Variety is key to avoid relying on copious amounts of almonds milk.

If you read nutrition labels on food you'll notice calcium is usually recorded in daily % value. Calcium rich foods have 10% DV per serving. I aim for 8 servings a day with the remaining 20% coming from the rest of my food.

Great sources of calcium:
1c fortified almond or coconut milk
1/4c almonds
21-30g goat's cheese
50g figs
1T tahini or sesame seeds
1c dark green vegetables, cooked (kale, broccoli, arugula, collards, bok choy)
1T chia seeds
100g tofu/tempeh
1c rhubarb (who knew?)

Do you get enough?

Lately I've been starting my day with a calcium rich smoothie, just to give myself a boost. I have a base recipe that I follow and then jazz it up with different fruit/veg combos. The possibilities are endless!

Base for Strong Bones
1-2 cups almond milk
1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 banana
1 scoop protein powder

tip: if your blender doesn't handle greens well blend them with the milk first, then incorporate everything else

We just go a new blender so I've gone a little smoothie crazy, lol. So far I've whipped up:
  • My Current Obsession = cantaloupe + ginger (I like to grate my ginger then squeeze the pulp through a fine mesh sieve)
  • Summertime = mango + raspberry
  • Classic = orange +  strawberry (or try peach!)
  • Sun Tan = orange + mango + carrot
  • Pina "Kale"ada = pineapple + kale + coconut flavour
  • Creamsicle = orange + pineapple
  • Green = kale + apple + celery

Friday, May 9, 2014

this week

Remember these adorable photos? Now there's a 6 Month Update on the Toddler Who Takes Naps with His Puppy.

Dirty Dozen for 2014 - Joyous Health
Do you buy organic? I go back and forth. I try to focus my dollars on nutrient dense foods. This grocery list that Melissa and Dallas (It Starts With Food) put together combines the dirty dozen / clean 15 with seasonal produce and highlights which are the most nutrient bang for your buck.

On x-training from (never)homemaker: cycling 45-60min at 150-160 bpm once a week may actually help you run faster.

As my runs get longer I need to start paying more attention to my hydration. Love these guidelines from Monica Nelson. Remember: thirst is not a good indicator of your hydration level.
  • 2 Hours prior to exercise: drink 17-20 oz 
  • Every 10-20 minutes during exercise: drink 7-10 oz -> aim for 500ml-1L of fluid per hour of exercise. 
  • Following Exercise (thirsty or not): drink 16-24 oz for every pound of body weight loss (Based on Journal of Athletic Training)

Thursday's tempo run was my most challenging to date. I'm so glad to come across Danica's (aka ChicRunner) post every training cycle. Her words gave me some perspective.

Workouts this week
Weekly miles: 20 / Total miles for #100bysummer: 24

M - 2 mile easy run
First indoor run in a couple weeks. Cardio was in good shape but mentally it was super challenging. Those 20ish minutes ticked by soooo slowly...

T - hatha
First yoga practice in a couple weeks. I wrote about it here

W - 45min xtrain + pilates
The last time I took a pilates class was in 2008. Things have come a long way from Stott/ Windsor. Since January I was pretty consistent with Body Pump and Body Shred. Those classes were super challenging in a kick your butt kind of way. Last night during leg circles I thought I was going to die! This one little tiny butt muscle was on fire. From the groans around the class I wasn't the only one. Some of the moves I didn't feel at all, which I know means my form wasn't quite there. I went into the class thinking it would be relaxing since we're laying on the mat most of the class. Yeah, I should know better by now. I left the class feeling taller, shoulders down and back, core engaged. Switching up my workouts seems to be serving my body well. I'm starting to feel more comfortable in my skin again. My weight hasn't changed but after just a few workouts I feel way better about my body and less like a hippo.

Th - 5 miles tempo
By far my toughest run yet. This one had me feeling really apprehensive. The tempo is the fastest and for the longest amount of time I've had to run so far. Intimidating!! I know my body can do it, but my mind just needs to believe. Warm up mile was fine, easy. Half way onto my first tempo mile I started to struggle. My HR was pretty high and my mind was racing. I know this feeling. I've felt it before. It used to happen during any run over the 20 min mark. My mind starts to race. I feel like I can't breath. Everything in me is screaming to stop. And apparently my body doesn't like apples as a pre-wo snack - ouchy. But I kept going. Partly because I don't want to quit. Partly because I know it's mostly mental and my body needs the conditioning. Mostly because I don't want to have do it again tomorrow. At the mile mark I slowed to a walk for a min, just to bring my HR down a bit. And again at mile 2. By the third tempo mile my quads were on fire. My cool down mile felt so easy comparatively. I could run forever at this pace. Just need my tempo pace to feel this way. Like Danica pointed out, the silver lining in a run where you feel defeated is the opportunity to rebuild and come out even stronger on race day.  

F - 2 mile easy run + TIU arms & abs
My legs were so sore last night from my tempo run, but today they were fine. Good to go!

Weekend Plan:
Sa - 8 mile long run - my longest run yet!! :-/ time to build some confidence again!
S - vinyasa

Thursday, May 8, 2014

reading before bed - the cookbook edition

I always have more than one book on the go. Do you read more than one at once too? Often I'm reading a fiction, self-improvement, popular science and lately a cookbook simultaneously. My library card really gets a workout. If I had unlimited disposable income I'd spend it on books, not shoes. Remember the Beast's library that Bell fell in love with? Stuff dreams are made of.

Lately I've been reading:

The Real Girl Kitchen by Haylie Duff
Want to escape for an afternoon coffee date in Venice Beach, Cali? This book feels like a long conversation with an old friend. Haylie shares her favourite recipes and the stories behind them. Have you heard about her new show? You can stream it free on

Cooked by Michael Pollen
I want to live my life in this book. Early mornings with crusty sourdough bread. Sunday afternoons sweating onions for a curry. Weekend long slow cooked pork bbq events. An afternoon making cheese with a nun. There's more reading than recipes in this book, but Michael makes you appreciate the food and the love and care that goes into preparing a delicious meal. Have you ever sweated onions for hours? Yeah, me neither. But even 20 minutes totally changes their flavour.

Ruhlman's Twenty by Michael Ruhlman
Twenty techniques. One Hundred recipes. The Chef's manifesto. I head about this book on Alton Brown's podcast. He said it was the book he wished he'd written. One of the chapters in on onions. I wonder if sweating onions or creating a soffrito (carrots, onions, celery cooked until they break down) is something that could be done as part of weekend meal prep. It would take weekday meals to another level. I'm realising I prefer to batch cook recipes that can be used as a base for meals through out the week opposed to putting 5 days worth of chicken/broccoli/rice in tupperwears. Which do you do?

Relish by Daphne Oz
I love The Chew. It's my sick day guilty pleasure. Did you put it together that Daphne Oz is Dr. Oz's daughter? I didn't until I picked up her book. Daphne wants us all to create a life that we relish. Her book is broken into different life aspects with corresponding recipes and is full of her tips and tricks. Have you seen the broiled grapefruits popping up on food blogs? Daphne first introduced me to the idea. I know, it sounds so weird but you just have to try it! My go to snack this winter, though my co-workers thought I was crazy. 10min in the toaster oven on broil. The top will just start to caramelize and the center will be nicely warmed through.

UnDiet by Meghan Telpner
The introduction almost had me in tears. I felt like Meghan was speaking directly to me and telling me exactly what I needed to hear. I love it when that happens. She too has struggled with her health and found solace though nutrition. Meghan includes meal plans and a cleanse section that is more than surviving off juice for 3 days. If something feels off in your life your daily habits are a likely contributing factor. She takes a lifestyle approach and asks you to notice how you feel. Be sure to try the spring rolls with almond butter sauce. Just do it.

Coming up on my reading list:
The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon
Joyous Health by Joy MacCarthy
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

monkey mind

Last night I went to a new yoga practice.

I want to add another class to my weekly routine to help balance my SeaWheeze training. Since January I've been going to a Vinyasa class on Sundays. I love the mind/body/breath connection with flow and the instructor always throws in some balance play at the end. Headstands and crow are on my bucket list!

Last night's class was more of a Hatha class, which was exactly what I was looking for.  Nothing too crazy or physically challenging for the end of the day.

We did some prep work in a seated twist. I have fairly good range of motion with twists, though they never feel effortless. The instructor had us place our hand in prayer, thumbs in that little divot in between the collar bones, chin resting on fingers. This locks shoulders and neck in place. All movement of the spine is driven by your obliques. Once we found our edge hands were released. And we sat. Completely facing the back of the room! I couldn't believe it. Usually I am still facing the side wall a little. I love that feeling when the pose just happens. It feels effortless.

Oh, and why title this post monkey mind? It's that chatter in your brain when you're trying to sit in stillness. I need to work on quieting my monkey mind.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Life in the moment or planning for success

Week 1 of the Bikini Series did not go as I had intended.

I pictured it like this...

Friday/Saturday recover form red-eye. Saturday at least get out of the house and go for a walk, groceries, laundry.

Sunday back to the gym, meal prep.

Monday-Friday back on track with workouts and meals. Holiday weight almost gone by the weekend.

I was feeling super down on myself because I still haven't gotten my butt to the gym yet. All my pants are tight. My weight hasn't change.

But... I had an awesome week. Spent a lot of quality time catching up with friends. Celebrated a birthday with an amazing bbq and from scratch black forest cake. Drank wine. My soul is content even if my pants are still tight.

Finally made it to the grocery store last night. Fridge is stocked with healthful foods that are easy to grab as I'm running out the door for work. Things like instant oatmeal and toast for breakfasts. Apples, roasted nuts, carrots and hummus for snacks. Lean protein, salads, tempeh for lunch. Feels good to have the house full stocked again.

Went for my first post-Maui run on Saturday. 4 miles. Headed out with the goal to "just not walk." When I focus on not walking opposed to how quickly I've had some of my best runs. Worked like a charm. My time is still on pace which I was pleasantly surprised to see. Carrying 10 extra pounds I thought I'd be a bit slower, but no!

So far this Bikini Series is more about rolling with what life throws at me and focusing on one thing at a time.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

#BikiniSeries Vision Board☀

The first week of the bikini series is coming to an end. How did you do? Did you stick to your goals? Did you make progress with your workouts? What are you most proud of?

We got back from a blissful 2 week holiday in Maui last week. I had the best intentions to give myself a day to recover from the redeye and then get right back into the workouts, meal prepping, etc. Welp just that didn't happen. I couldn't find the energy - and I know, "get moving and the energy will come..." Turns out I needed a week to recover. How do those people get themselves back into the gym the next day!?

I have been on track with my nutrition. Okay, there still have been a few treats, but it's no longer an everyday thing. Something that has helped me from slipping back into vacation mode is my vision board. As part of the Bikini Series K&K have challenged us to make a vision board. I'd made digital ones in the past but that just doesn't cut it. I need to see the images everyday. They act as a reminder of what I want to achieve, how I want to feel and what I need to do to get there. These photos are now tucked into the frame of my bedroom mirror so I can see them first thing in the morning and last thing at night. 
The 3 things I want to accomplish by the end of the bikini series are: 
  1. feel comfortable in my skin 
  2. consistently practiced healthy habits 
  3. feel energized every day!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

☀My 2014 Bikini Series goals☀

Are you ready!?

All goals start with a possibility.

☀Where do you want to be by the first day of summer☀  
  • I want to be comfortable in my skin and confident in my clothes
  • I want to be at my happy healthy weight
☀How do you want to feel☀  
  • beautiful. happy. energized. skinny. peaceful. radiant. confident. calm. alive. aligned. empowered. strong. fast.
☀What will you have accomplished☀  
  • lost my holiday weight in the first week 
  • reached happy healthy weight - confident in my clothes and in my skin 
  • eat to fuel workouts. workout to create energy. 
  • at least 20-30min cardio everydamnday 
  • #100bysummer
☀Where is truly standing in your way☀  
  • low energy
  • getting back on track after a holiday
☀How can you overcome it☀ 
  • listen to and respect my body
  • stay on top of my iron supps and hydration
  • prep my meals so I'm never starving and rummaging through the kitchen for something to eat
  • exercise responsibly - I should feel energized and warm after, not exhausted and chilly
  • week 1 - just focus on nutrition - this way I wont feel overwhelmed, I'll have the energy I need to make it through my day and then I'll be able to give the workouts my all.
☀How can you make this your commitment for the next 8 weeks☀ 
  • check-in with weekly weigh-ins / measurements, energy and hunger levels. 
  • track my food on MyFitnessPal
  • find a my bikini partner :-)
  • milestone rewards
☀Map out how you will make this 8 weeks of progress and change☀ 
  • Week 1 - focus on nutrition
  • Week 2 - get back in the gym
  • run 4x /week
  • 2x yoga, 1x pilates, arm & abs
  • groceries on Saturdays
  • meal prep on Sundays
  • pack gym back every night
☀What are your common downfalls☀ Write them down and decide how you’re going to improve!!!
  • that damn snooze button "it's too late/I haven't slept enough" - I've come to realize it takes a couple days for my body and mind to adjust to a new routine. I'm going to cut myself some slack and just go with it. I'll be on track by week 2. 
  • meal timing - if I skip meals I get hangry and nothing seem to satisfy me. This is a fact. Skipping meals or leaving out part of a meal is not an option. 
  • using food to deal with anxiety - I need to find a nurturing way to cope. Running helps. So does deep breathing. Maybe painting will be my new coping mechanism.
  • I'd rather relax on the couch - the couch will be waiting for me after my run. 
  • my thighs are too big and make my shorts ride up - wear crops. 
5 things that I've accomplished in the past 3 months...
  1. base training for SeaWheeze 
  2. rocked my bikini on the beaches in Maui 
  3. consistently went to the gym 
  4. tried a couple new classes at the gym 
  5. consistently prepped my meals