I like to move it move it

This song has been stuck in my head all day because we have been playing it at school! We created a game for the kids with hula hoops and dancing to this song – the kids love it and so did I at first but now I am completely over this song!!! It may drive me crazy soon.

However, it does describe how I’m feelin’ to a TEE! I do like to move it, move it! And my workouts the past 2 days show it well!

Yesterday I got an amazing run in! I felt like I hadn’t had this good of a run in a seriously long time. Although it was all on the treadmill, I made sure to change up the incline and speed a lot to keep my mind from wandering and to really help to push me through! There was a good bolt of energy at the end.

It looked a little somethin’ like this:

outta this world

This morning when I arrived at the gym, I had my workout plans all laid out on a paper for me already. (I need to think as little as possible when going to workout in the mornings, it makes it all so much easier!)

It was really about all over body work and getting as many muscles as I could while amping up my cardio game:

vacation body

Go through each circuit once or twice! Good work!

Achy abs

I woke up today feeling totally off-kilter. My alarm didn’t go off, so I woke up later than normal. Then, I wasn’t able to make my typical breakfast so I ended up opting for a grapefruit and some of the grossest coffee ever that I found in the school’s staffroom.. I barely even had time to do anything to my appearance today. Needless to say, I am not feeling like my best self but I’m going to try to make the most of it to get through this day!

I’m still looking forward to this afternoon when I get a chance to do a presentation for junior high regarding pink shirt day.

If you are unaware, Pink Shirt Day is celebrated in order to raise awareness about bullying and it’s effects on others. It promotes the creation of a positive school and community! It all started when a new boy came to school in Nova Scotia and was teased for wearing a pink shirt. The following day, 2 others in the school handed out 50 pink shirts to the other boys in the grade and they all wore them together! I thought it was such an awesome story when first hearing about it. I love when younger generations work together to promote positive changes in order to ensure the happiness of others. 🙂

I also woke up with my abs feeling achy today – but that’s a great thing in my opinion! Before heading to the gym, I sketched out a little cardio ab circuit to try out while there (having a plan makes life so much easier when at the gym). It looked like this:

ab circuit

It will get you good and sweaty and act as an awesome boredom buster! The final cardio push says 10 minutes, but you can go for however long you wish to finish up for.. But make sure to push yourself!! 🙂

It’s a good thing that later on today I’ll be heading to power yoga and get a little stretched out. 🙂

Reaching goals

Reaching goals. This is such a simple thing in life but means so much to the individual. Honestly, I haven’t pushed myself enough until quite recently. I’ve practiced yoga for some time now but have really been taking the time lately to try and go a little further, and had set out to accomplish some of the harder poses and balances that I’d thought I’d never be able to do with my lack of strength in the past. Last week during my power yoga class, I was FINALLY able to do the crane/crow pose. I had done soo many pushups, core workouts, everything, and it all lead up to this moment! I felt like I was on cloud nine, seriously. I know for some people this may seem pretty simple and easy, but it had been hard for me, and to get to this point makes me feel absolutely amazing and keeps me motivated!

Reaching goals also makes me a lot more appreciative of some of the other little things in life. Like these things:

IMG_0047

Spaghetti squash

It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed this root vegetable. I made it in the typical way, frying it in the pan and saunteing it with mushrooms, grape tomatoes and broccoli in tomato sauce. With a bit of sprinkled mozzarella, this made for an amazing dinner! I mainly chose to make it because Colt was working late and I know this is one of those foods that I love but he really dislikes! So yayyy there was a silver lining of being at home alone during dinner time.

Curling

This is a weekly activity of mine. Every Wednesday night I play in a women’s league and I absolutely love my teammates! I really noticed this week how much I look forward to getting out and seeing the girls and moving. Sometimes you just need to stop and appreciate all those little things! For those of you who have never tried the sport of curling before, I highly recommend it! It’s so fun and easy to catch on and understand how the game works. However, I will say it can get fairly cold in the rink!

HIIT treadmill workout – I loves me some hill work!

Hip hop dancing class

YES! I actually had the opportunity to do this while working, and actually getting paid to do so.. It was so so fun. Funny enough, I used to take hip hop dance lessons when I was younger and it was a bit nostalgic for me. You can’t help but dance and then have a massive grin on your face for the rest of the day! (Unfortunately could not document this as per the students requests, but trust me it was hilariously fun!)

Trying new things

For someone who doesn’t often like to stray from my typical recipes and food choices, I have seemed to be on the adventurous side lately! You will never guess what I tried….

MOOSE MEAT!

This shouldn’t surprise many of those who live in Alberta, it seems to be a very common food choice in these parts. I don’t typically enjoy much red meat, but a friend of ours who also hunts his own meat actually butchered it himself and gave us enough meat to fill an entire freezer. First recipe that Colt and I opted to try were the moose ribs.

It was a pretty standard recipe and just had them cooking in the crock pot with a container of beef stock, basil, thyme, pepper and salt and a little cayenne and BBQ seasoning for roughly 10 hours. I have to say, they were very tender and tasted better than I had anticipated, but I’m still not the biggest fan. But hey – food is food!

For my breakfasts, I usually turn to a smoothie. It’s always the most standard banana, strawberry and orange, or peanut butter and chocolate! But since I’ve felt as though I needed to add some more protein into my diet, I purchased a sample pack of the vega protein smoothie berry mix too give it a try.

I mixed this in with a handful of frozen mixed berries and some vanilla yogurt. While it does taste fairly good, there is still a little bit of a chalky taste that is left over. This was to be expected because the powder is completely vegan and natural. But what I loved the most was the staying power. One package has 15 grams of protein which kept my hunger at bay and keeps me content!

Food aside, I also tried out a new upper body and cardio mix workout! Ohhhh baby I feel it in my muscles already today!

This is my workout from this morning:

It’s a great heart pumping workout and switches up enough so that you don’t get bored.

ipolkadot-background-2012wsAnd now it’s back to work for me, chat soon!

Tips to improve your running

I’m lately really starting to get back into my running groove. For a while there, I had been running but mainly sticking to lower impact forms of cardio because I’ve been trying to take it easier on my knees the past few months. Man oh man, does it ever feel great to be doing the thing that I love so much so regularly again!

With the more consistent runs, I have also been trying to remind myself of the tips I’ve learned over the course of many years of being in this sport. I have gone to running clinics and had running coaches, as well as learned a lot from myself just from pure experience.

I’d love to take some time now to share with you some of the best running tips that I can give you to improve your speed, endurance and to lower the chances of injury!

tips to improve running

With each step, land your foot directly underneath your body. Over-striding or landing your foot in front of your body adds extra stress and impact to the body. With each step, your foot should land underneath your hips!

Get your cadence to about 180 steps per minute. To go along with the previous tip, try to get your cadence to about 180 steps or 90 strikes per foot per minute. Runners with a cadence of about 180 are more likely to have short, quick strides, which means we are having a mid foot strike rather than over-striding!

Run light on your feet! Try to avoid pounding! I made this mistake for the longest time. By the end of a long run, the bottoms of my feet would feel as though they were burning, bad sign!

Lean slightly forward from your ankles, not your waist. Lean forward and use gravity to help make some forward momentum! This will help you to propel your body forward. It is especially helping to do this when going downhill as well during races.

Avoid swinging your hands cross your midline. Keep your arms going forward and backward, not side to side. Drive your elbows back while keeping your arms at about a 90 degree angle. This technique will also help you with the following tip…

Run TALL! When I feel like I am starting to hunch over, I love to reach my arms up high above my head. This resets my body and helps me to elongate my spine! The more core work that I do outside of running, the easier it is for me to keep great posture and to avoid hunching over throughout my run!

Get rid of the bounce. Bouncing as you run wastes extra energy! Move forward instead of up and down.

Relax your shoulders! I tend to tense them up towards my ears as I am running. You’ll feel the pain in your upper back when you start to do this during longer runs.That is a waste of energy, and it causes extra unneeded tension!  Relax your shoulders and let them enjoy the ride!

Relax your hands. Don’t clench them tightly. Gently cup your hands as you run.

Keep your eyes looking ahead of you about 10 to 20 feet.

I like to spend each mile of my ‘form runs’ (the runs where I really focus in on my form each week) on a different aspect. For example, on your next run, you could spend mile 1 warming up, mile 2 working on leaning forward from your ankles, mile 3 on your arm swing, mile 4 on your posture and mile 5 on combining all of them together for some good looking running.

Music This one is a personal, but can be helpful to many! I have noticed that my speed and endurance actually increases when I’m listening to some upbeat tunes that I love, not to mention it adds some entertainment to the run and can make it seem less daunting and more enjoyable!

Beating treadmill boredom

So I got to sleep in an hour later today, lucky me!

Today’s smoothie..
protein pumpkin peanut butter goodness!

ingredients
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder (I always use harmonized vegan vanilla protein powder)
5 cubes of ice
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup water
2 drops of liquid stevia sweetener
and then I always add in some quick oats in the end, I love the consistency it makes!

Combine into a blender and voila, enjoy my friends 🙂

Unfortunately I was on the go go go and could not stop to take a picture, but I’m sure you’re familiar with what this type of smoothie might have looked like! Autumn orange!

Workout

Treadmill HIIT workout for today, since the weather is less than desirable outside!

We all know that treadmill workouts can be daunting to say the least. I found myself dreading the task before heading to the gym this morning, so i order to make it a little more interesting, I devised a solid workout with a lot of speed work to keep my motivation up!

It kept my mind and body entertained and made it go by a lot faster 🙂

Here it is for all you lovelies to give a try:

hiit treadmill

Things I’m Loving Monday 3

Sooo last night was a quiet night in with some friends. It was a good Sunday night! We watched the comedy ‘Hit and Run’ with Bradley Cooper!

hit-and-run-poster-2

It was funny, but not as good as I was hoping. We also shared some popcorn yummy 🙂

Work has settled down (so far) this week. No crises of any sort at the schools I work at and we spent our lunch hour playing music and handing out Tim Horton’s smile cookies in the highschool foyer as a little kindness initiative! It was fun and great to see a lot of the kids happy who have been having a tough time!

Now to my Things I’m Loving segment..

  • cheecha puffs

cheecha
These tasty guys are only 70 calories per 2 cups and gluten free! I saw them in my local grocery store and had to give them a try, so glad I did!

  • TABATA workouts!

For those of you unfamiliar with tabata, it’s like another version of Hight Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You really get a lot of bang for your buck because you’re exerting crazy amounts of energy mixed with short breaks.
Prepare for a sweaty cardio session!

  • My new donezo office

new officeCheck itout! I’m loving the blue and yellow, it brings some light into my life on those dreary days.

FOOD TODAY

Breaky was a quick and usual one… Into the blender went a banana, milk, greek yogurt, creamy peanut butter and a little chocolate syrup 🙂

pb  choco smoothiebottoms up!

I was pretty hungry later on and then snacked on an apple 🙂

Lunch time was also another super quick one because I had a lot to do at the schools and had a short lunch hour, so I went across the street to the grocery store and grabbed myself a premade chicken spring salad! Then I had some carrots and hummus on the side.

yumma

I didn’t make it to the gym this morning because for some reason I was soooo tired. It was one of those sleeps where you have super vivid dreams and when you wake up you’re majorly groggy! Know what I mean?
Needless to say as soon as the alarm went off I pressed snooze….

Which lead me to a 5 mile run after work with Tanner 🙂 So it ended up being okay because the weather today was unbelievable and sunny!

My tummy was grumbling when I got in and I made myself up a little plate of things that were in my fridge..

Pretty random but those snacks usually are the best.

random snackHummus, carrots, cheeyuh puffs, there’s some pickles in there… oh and 1 random BBQ chip?

HAVE A GOOD ONE 🙂

Fires and fun

Yesterday’s lunch consisted of spaghetti squash ‘pasta’, yum yum was that ever good. I just wish this squash was easier to prepare. I mean, it is relatively easy but I like things to be realllll simple, especially when it comes to cooking for just myself.

spaghetti-squash-veggie-casserole-2

But it DOES look good right?
You half the squash, bake it at 375 for 40 minutes, scoop out the insides (noodles) and then mix in your veggies, sauce, whatever you’d like. I added cheese on top too ofcourse. 🙂

Later on, my friends and I had a big bonfire on hole 9 of the golf course just outside of town. Our friend happens to own the place, so it was completely legal don’t worry! It was a well spent night…

fiaaa

This morning’s breakfast was another oatmeal creation! You probably aren’t surprised by this. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it, forgive me, but it wasn’t overly complicated and I’m sure you can imagine what it might look like. I combine banana, PB and cocoa powder in a blender with some vanilla yogurt and ice and mixed this into my oatmeal. YUM

I also forgot to take my daily dose of vitamins yesterday. D’oh! I tend to really notice when my body doesn’t get enough hydration nor the vitamins that I usually take to get me through the day.

vitamin daily

This is what I normally take…

B-complex. Vitamin D, fish oils, calcium magnesium, women’s multi-vitamin, and there’s an advil there as well in order to keep any inflammation in my knee down.

Being a runner, I’ve started making sure to take my calcium magnesium because it’s so vital in healthy bones and joints. It’s better to be preventative rather than too late, right!?

Workout

Today’s workout:

20 minute elliptical warm up

ABS, this routine got my heart pumpin’ and abs burnin’!

go through these moves non-stop without a break and then rest, repeat 3 times through.

45 second plank
15 superman
12 woodchops (then did other side)
15 stability ball legs to arms pass
12 stability ball lower ab tuck ins
30 second mountain climber
10 burpees

TADAH!

If you give it a go you’ll be feeling great afterwards trust me 🙂

I finished up my workout with a 25 minute run/walk outside, I am still trying to take it easy because of my knee.

outdoorsy

Ah I love the outdoors!

Now I am going out to meet up with a pal, chat soon. 🙂

me out

Eggplant pizza recipe – so good!

Hey ya’ll!

This week has been one of adjustment. Last week I had started to get pain under my right kneecap, turns out, I have runner’s knee (boo). Although it wasn’t completely inevitable, it’s upwards of 70% of runners that actually experience this at some point in their running careers, and all that I can do for myself right now is to take the time needed to fully recover and get back at it.
Similar to when tapering before a marathon or long race, lessening mileage can actually be psychologically very difficult to delve through. This is what’s kind of been happening with me. It is seriously tough to transition from running EVERYDAY for a few miles and at least one very long distance run a week to what seems like barely any running at all. I’ve taken this time to definitely up my cross-training however. I’ve been using the bike and elliptical a lot and although it’s keeping my endurance up, I definitely am missing the wondrous feeling that overwhelms me after a strong run. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is what my body needs in order to get back at the sport that I am so passionate about.

Now that I’ve covered and updated you on the running piece of my life, let me share with you another new recipe that i have tried recently that is to die for: eggplant pizza!
To many, the idea of eggplant might seem iffy – I felt this way before trying it – but it is absolutely declines AND a healthy alternative to regular carb heavy pizza. It’s not even a difficult recipe and can be whipped up in about 20-30 minutes!

eggplant

Here is the recipe for you to give it a try, PLEASE give it a try. I promise your satisfaction.

Ingredients:

1/2 medium eggplant, sliced
1/3 cup tomato sauce (or pizza sauce)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
garlic sauce to taste
a few sliced grape tomatoes and spinach to top

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Arrange eggplant slices on lightly oiled baking sheet
3. lightly salt/pepper slices to taste and then put baking sheet in the oven, leave in for 5 minutes
4. Flip the eggplant slices, put cheddar cheese on the slices, then place them back in the oven to bake for another 5 minutes (until cheese is melted)
5. Take slices out, put a dollop of tomato sauce or pizza sauce onto eggplant slices, along with any remaining cheese and the sliced grape tomatoes and spinach
6. Bake the slices for another 5-8 minutes

All done! Eat up and enjoy!

Let me know what you think of this recipe, especially if you give it a try!

Sorry about the lack of blogging – I’ve had quite the week! It’s been my first official week back at work, and school starts up this Tueday! Jeeze, the summer sure did fly by.

This year I’m continuing to work in the school board as a wellness coach with the students, staff and community. It’s my second year at it and the team and I have so many good ideas on the go for what will be in store for this year. We will be holding healhified community events for families such as bike rallies and swim nights and also be doing events within the schools to promote various pieces of wellness to do with physical, nutritional, mental and even spiritual health (pretty much my dream job, cannot believe I get to wake up and do this everyday!)

Anywho, yesterday I was in Edmonton with my sister and we got a lot done! I went to IKEA and got some furniture for the new home that I am living in:

 

Picture-39

 

 

 

IKEA is always such a maze! It’s so much fun to shop around but always so hectic, especially since we went on a Saturday (D’oh!)

Later on we went out for a late lunch/dinner

We decided on this all organic and vegan spot called “Noorish”, and oh. my. GOSH!!!! Was it ever amazing! I could live off of their food everyday, no doubt.
Looking over the menu it was so difficult to make a decision because every item sounded wonderful. My sister ended up ordering the Pad Thai salad and I ended up getting the Sattva bowl!

My dish had quinoa, kelp noodles, kale and romaine leaves, various nuts, and some sauce that was delectable! I think it was a garlic, onion, hemp sauce of some sort – I will need to try to find a recipe online in order to attempt to recreate this at home.

Needless to say the day was a wonderful one spent with my sister!

In terms of fitness updates, I took a rest day yesterday which was much needed as I’ve been feeling some pressure on my right knee.
Today I got out for a good 13 km run, the weather was great for it! I took it easy and enjoyed the fact that I had time to run and actually only a few errands to run in the day for once.

Now I’m heading out for a bonfire to a friends place, I’m looking forward to good food, drinks and company!