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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Whole Grain goodness

Tried the Brown Rice Lentil cakes with Cilantro cream (for this week's challenge), as listed in the July/August Clean Eating magazine. It was really good, and quite simple to make.
Also had an avocado (with peppers, carrots & romaine) salad on the side, but I didn't have any black beans to add to it. Next time, I'll use the cilantro cream (yogurt, cilantro, lime juice) for the salad, and the salad dressing (yogurt, avocado, lime zest & juice, Dijon, honey and cilantro) for the cakes. I found the first a little runny, although tasty, and second was too thick for salad. More like a mayo by the time it was blended. All told, it worked out to 580 calories (2 cakes, 2 tbsp cream, 1 c salad (with beans) and 1/4 c dressing), 11 g fat and a whopping 21 g of fibre! And only 450 mg of sodium.
LOVED the scale this morning, as I am down 3 pounds from last week! Was very conscious of lazy eating (which I did too much of the week before) and I think that helped a lot. And rather than eat, I went for a 6.5k walk Saturday night, and purposely didn't take any money or bank cards, so I couldn't pick something up on a whim!
Had a good run at lunch yesterday (only walked a couple of times) and finished up with my usual squats/plank/push-ups and crunches in the park afterwards. Although they were still tearing down from Folk Fest, so part of the challenge was NOT getting hit by a car/mini-van/moving truck on the pathway...yes, the BIKE/PEDESTRIAN pathway...okay, so it's the only access to the island, but still...must we do this at noon when it's crazy busy already???
Today was stairs (busy, but not as insane as it's been in the past), with 3 each push-ups and triceps dips, sprinting stairs x 4 (there's a small set nearby, only 3 sets of 5 stairs - perfect for sprints), run to the stairs and walk back, followed by the usual toning in the park. Tried to find a good set of monkey-bars to do some chin-ups, but no such luck. Then Boot Camp after work...much running today. In fact, we did very little mat work, other than dragging them around. I don't think we actually used them, come to think of it! But I don't care...heart rate up...good. Sweating profusely...good! Legs like jello...GOOD!
Came home from Boot Camp, long enough to feed the cats and change, before heading off to Canadian Blood Services for my semi-monthly (is that right?? Every 56 days, I guess) donation. I have always 'bled out' rather quickly, but after Boot Camp and the tons of water consumed over the last few days, man!!! 4:12!! Took longer to rest afterwards (they make you sit for 5 minutes before you can go for juice and cookies) than it did to bleed. And next appointment booked for September. Which got me thinking about one of my rewards for my long term goal...I do want a tattoo, but I also enjoy being a "Lifetime" member of CBS...because I donate a minimum of 4 times a year. When you get a tat, you're off limits for at least 6 months. It's hard to give up...I've donated now 33 times since I first walked in the doors in 2001 and have committed to Lifetime since 2002 (7 years and counting)...that's hard to walk away from. I shall have to rethink this...the diamond circle pendant is looking better every day! Except I still really want a tat...what is a girl to do?!
Well, I'm off to's suddenly 10:30, but at least it's cool tonight (someone actually complained about the cold today!) so I should be able to sleep without fans and such.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Maple Roasted Salmon, Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Just had to show it was FREAKING FANTASTIC!!! I pan-fried the salmon, so the skin was crispy (OMG...that's always the best part), and oven-roasted the beets, so that they were sweeter. This will definitely be made again, and soon.
Before... After...

My goals

Mulled on these all week...I admit I have trouble when I try to write them down, but here goes anyway.

Long Term:
Reach goal weight of 170 this year! I have been a Weight Watchers member for almost 11 years now, and yes, I am very good at I just need to prove that I can hit goal just as well! I admit I'm a stubbornly slow learner, but enough is enough. The switch has finally been flicked, and I'm on a roll. I WILL keep it up!

I will reach goal by:
- continuing to attend weekly meetings/weigh-ins, despite Weight Watchers Alberta's best attempts to allude me (they keep closing the meetings I go to!)
- continue with Boot Camp 3 times a week. I HEART Boot Camp and Trainer Josh...I am seeing such awesome results: that is what is keeping me going.
- sounds like too much exercise, but I will also keep up my lunchtime work outs. I absolutely hate just sitting at my desk, and the pathway and the river call out to me. It's crazy not to take advantage of my free outdoor gym so close to work!
- drink my water. I'm pretty good during the week, but do fall off on the weekends, so I'm being very conscious of the intake.
- journal. If I bite it, I write it - period. Simple, right?!

So, rewards for hitting goal. I've always bounced around with this, but I have a few ideas. The first is a tattoo. I want one to commemorate my first marathon in May anyway, and am trying to think of something personal that can incorporate that and hitting weight goal. OR a diamond circle pendant. Have it in my mind that I would try to get .75 or 1 carat of diamonds, to represent the pounds I've lost (including those that I found again along the journey!) and it would be a very visible thing. For example, I love the ring I bought for my marathon, and every time I look at it, I remember all the hard work training and the immense pride that I felt for finishing.

Or, the accountant in me wants to calculate roughly what it cost me to reach goal (I don't think I really want to see that number) and spend that much on clothes & shoes. I think I'll stick with a combination of the first two rewards!
Oh, and a smoking hot dress for the annual Christmas party at work!

Short Term Goals:
1) reach 199 pounds (for the first time in probably 6+ years!)...I am very close, so this one will be rewarded soon.
- How? By continuing the hard work I'm already doing. I should see this goal complete in the next 2 weeks.
- reward: new work outfit, head to toe.
2) Run Melissa's 22K faster than last year. In fact, I'd like to see it completed in 2.5 hours. That will be a PB for a half for me, as well.
- How? Training starts on Monday. H-woman and I are going to run after Boot Camp and on the weekends, getting in some good, consistent long runs. And I will focus on running at lunch, to get the mileage up.
- reward: mmmm...this one is hard. I can't say new runners, because I'll need them for the race...I have tons of outfits...oh, here we go. A new, decent winter running outfit. After all, it's approaching (hard to imagine in +29C weather, but it is coming!), and I do love to run in the snow.
3) Losing weight by the decade (every 10 pounds).
- How? Keep up the work listed in the long term goal. Just be sure to celebrate every decade I go down.
- reward: new outfit, head to toe.
4) De-cluttering my life (I think this also affects your weight).
- How? Focus on one room/closet at a time. Get in, get it cleaned out and leave it like that. Chip away, a little at a time, since the job is overwhelming to look at as it is.
- reward: funky home furnishings.

Okay...that's it. Time for me to go make dinner. Should have it done just in time for the guy who was calling me at 6:30 (mmmm...he's late) and showing up at 7 (still late) to see the suite, to actually show up and completely ruin it for me!

I love renting is such a joy dealing with all the jerks out there!

Sweatin' Saturday...

And it's got nothing to do with exercise! It's currently 29C (84F) and it's been like this since Tuesday...I don't mind the heat during the day, I just hate the fact that it hasn't been cooling off at night. That's what everyone complains about Calgary about...way to prove them all wrong. I did manage to finally get some sleep last night...think it had something to do with the "surpassed dosage recommendations" of Advil, and utter exhaustion!! Even had a wee nap this afternoon, so I may just catch up on my sleep by the time the temps start to drop to the mid 20's.

With everyone else I know all enjoying Folk Fest, I decided to stay home and putter around the building. Okay, a) I still don't have my car, and b) I was waiting for a fridge for one of the suites, and to show it (hopefully) to prospective tenants. I do have some guy showing up in about an hour, although the one that called mid-week, who would be here between "noon & 4" was a no-show. Grrr... I hate it when people do that...if you find someplace else, it just takes a quick phone call.

Just waiting on a beet to roast up in the oven (wrapped in foil, like a potato...I hear it makes it quite tasty) as I'm going to make the Salmon & Goat Cheese salad that Angie blogged about a few weeks back. It was supposed to be supper last night, but after walking home in the heat, with a stop at the grocery and then drug store, dinner turned into corn chips, salsa and 7% sour cream. Not sure how that happened (mmph, yeah) but by the time I was done noshing, I knew an official dinner was out of the question. Did up the maple pecans (I don't like walnuts) and it's very hard resisting them in the kitchen...there's something about warm, sugary pecans that just calls out to me!!

After I show the suite and finish supper, I'm going to go for a walk. I think it'll be nice, as the sun won't be as intense. And maybe that will help me cool down a tad. Then up early tomorrow, to go for a run, go to the grocery store, get my mom's jeep and head out to an Epicure party. Heck, I need the money to pay for my car!

That's it for to melt some more. Sorry, by the way, for all the soggy bloggers out in Ontario...I'll take some of your rain and cold, really I will!!! Trade?!?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The heat continues...

It's still hot...Advil PM did NOT work last night, nor did having two fans in the room going! There does appear to be a touch of a breeze tonight, so I think I'll risk sleeping with the window open (I do live downtown, where people love to sing/swear/fight/rev their engines/blare music/etc, so sleeping with an open window is often a no-no) and see if I can actually get more than 5 hours.

Got up bright and early (okay...I was already awake...sigh) and went to weigh-in downtown. Which wasn't even open yet!! And this is what the WW brainiacs in Edmonton think is the solution to our problem of driving to the far northwest for meeting?? I start work at 7, so if your meeting isn't even open yet for weigh-in, how can I go in the morning?! Thank goodness Faye was there, because she let me in, knowing I was on my way to work. Good weigh-in, considering my food-a-palooza on the weekend! Stayed even, which I'll take. Still the lowest I've been in about 3 years.

Work was...although I did walk into someone being escorted out of the, I hate that! Did a fast retreat once I clued in to what was going on...sign of the times, 'fraid to say. Did go for a run at lunch, since the temp was much more reasonable at 23 at noon. Did the Crescent Heights hill (which runs under the big staircase from past pictures) and then "Cris" (as in Cris-Cross) along the McHugh Bluff, ending up on the Sunnyside pathway system, so I could head into Kensington to take a bank deposit in. Back to work, and in total did a respectable 4.75 km loop. Added some squats, and the day was complete.

Headed home a tad early (oooo, ten whole minutes!) so I could be changed and ready to go to Boot Camp, and still meet up with the floor guy (to repair one of the suites)...left my building at 4:15 and at 4:36 met up with the rest of the gang. And if anyone cares, our new BC location is a hair over 2km from my house. Walking with 16 lbs of weights in my backpack and a mat, up a rather large hill to get there, so that was my warm-up. Trainer Josh pulled out the tickle trunk again, so it was run through the ladders and hop over the mini-hurdles again. All I know is I was glad it wasn't chin-ups, as I'm really feeling my arms/back/lats/etc today. Worked up our usual good sweat, and thankfully, it wasn't as killer hot as yesterday, although we did stick to the shade for the most part. May even have a ride to Monday's class, if I want, as one of the other ladies wants to catch up on some missed classes. Cool, since I still don't have a car, and don't know when I'll get it back!

Came home, and had a quick dinner of polenta, mushroom tomato sauce, thin sliced ham, more mushroom tomato sauce, and some parm, baked up in my toaster oven. It was delish and hit the spot, although CSI just made me lose some it!! That pisses me off - TV should not make you vomit!!!

I'm off to bed...maybe if I go now, I'll manage to black out before too long...9 hours sleep in the last 48 hours is not a good thing!

Going to do the Booty workout tomorrow at lunch, and sort out my goals and rewards for posting tomorrow evening. Have a great night everyone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm melting...

It is freaking hot in Calgary right now. Think it hit 31 C (or 88 F) but that didn't stop me from going for a run at lunch (did walk a couple of times, as it was smoking hot) and then Boot Camp after work. I'm already feeling my butt and I haven't even attempted this week's Wednesday Workout yet! That's because Trainer Josh thought it would be "fun" to sprint up this hill...
The key to the good times was you had to sprint up as far as you could go in 25 seconds! Did I mention it was killer, smoking hot outside?!?! Then back down to the bottom, have a much needed drink of water and repeat...I did make it further the second time, but the third time was a few feet shy...of smacking Josh in the head for making us run up hills!!! Like I said, my butt is already feeling the affects, so I can't wait for tomorrow when I can't sit down! After our sprints (Josh really wasn't trying to kill us all, and quickly took us back to the shade), we made our way over to the park and the jungle gym for some good old chin-ups! Because of my shoulder problems, mine was slightly modified (laying on my back and pulling myself up to a cross bar, rather than lifting my whole body) but still felt them all. I really pushed myself and managed to do 3 sets of 10 each. They may not have been pretty, but I did 'em! Then we swapped out with the rest of the group, and did a count-down of sorts. Start at 10 incline push-ups, run across the park, do 9 incline push-ups and back and forth until you hit 1. That took us to about the halfway mark of the class!
Back to our mats in the shady trees, where we did many, many, many killer bicep curls (I will not be able to move my arms tomorrow either!) and then finished it off with some good old core work.
Came home and decided I wanted something quick but healthy, so I opted for some pan-fried polenta (in a bit of evoo), eggplant "Parmesan" (I grilled some eggplant on the griddler, topped it with a mixture of panko crumbs and shredded parm and then heated it through with some low sodium mushroom tomato sauce - yes, it was from a jar, but it was organic and quite nice!) and a bit of salad. I would have taken a picture, but I was famished by this point...don't even think I took the time to chew!!
Heading to bed very soon...I really don't like the heat at all, and only managed about 4 hours of sleep last night. I've got the fan running in the bedroom, and I'll take some sleep-aid pain killers (Advil, from the States - haven't found it in Canada yet) and hopefully manage a full night's sleep tonight. It's supposed to stay hot through the weekend, so I need to rest up now! That and I want to be able to run again tomorrow and make it to Boot Camp in the afternoon. Have I mentioned that I'm addicted?!?! But when I look down, I don't see belly anymore...and I don't hear all that clapping when I run either! It's all good!!
Have a great rest of the week, wherever you are.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

RealAge Update

Actual age: 46.4
Real age: 42.5!

Flossing and folic acid! That and I've reduced my cholesterol and lost weight. It does think I'm working out too much now, but I wasn't doing Boot Camp before, so I guess maybe. Won't slow me down, but it's something to think about!


Boot Camp Rocks!

I may be exhausted and physically drained, but dang it, I LOVE Boot Camp!! I love that Trainer Josh can push me, and I respond in kind. This is what I've been looking for...surprised that it took so long. Take tonight's class, for example...I am beat...I've already run at lunch (I am a masochist!) and Josh still managed to get me (okay, I got me!) to run up a rather steep hill, not once, not twice but 4 times!! I am going to feel this all tomorrow, but that's what I love about it. I know I'm working hard and it's paying off. Someone commented on how my face is thinning today (I think he didn't want to cross boundaries and comment on my overall weight loss!) and I noticed that when I look down, I don't see belly!!

Had a nasty weekend of eating though...I was tired, I was bored, I was flitting from food to food. Dinner one night became spinach dip and tortillas, another night gross chicken wings and pot-stickers. I know better...I feel better when I eat better, yet it didn't stop me. But I decided to get things back on track yesterday, starting my day with a Green Monster - I think the healthiness of it gets my mind & body more focused on consuming good things the rest of the day. After all, I didn't have one Thursday...or Friday...or Saturday...or Sunday! And that just set the ball rolling...missed Boot Camp (and lunch time run) on Thursday - granted, my car broke, so we were unavoidably detained...did go for a good hike on Friday, and celebrated with ice cream! Did the stairs Saturday morning, and spent the rest of the day napping! Cut the lawn Sunday, but that was about it for getting the blood pumping.

Nope...I need my monsters...started yesterday with one, and while I didn't eat enough during the day (my bad!) I did go for a long walk and then Boot Camp last night. Came home and made a Greek Pasta salad and grilled chicken. Had those leftovers for lunch today, which followed a monster for breakfast and stairs & toning at lunch. Then Boot Camp again tonight, and I'm back to feeling like I did before the weekend. Yay! It's stinking hot in Calgary right now too, so trying to train smart, by keeping water close by, wearing a hat and staying in the shade as much as possible. The heatwave (or as some of you would call it "summer") is supposed to last till Saturday, so I'll have to play safe for the rest of the week. Planning on a flat run and some toning tomorrow at lunch, then Boot Camp again (H-woman will be enjoying Folk Fest the rest of the week, so we're going on different nights), hills & toning on Thursday, and Boot Camp (if I can walk there in time), and a nice flat run & toning on Friday. Maybe a short run & toning on Saturday and then maybe a longer run on Sunday, since it's supposed to be a cooler day. I just know that I got my groove back, and who am I to look a gift-horse in the mouth?!

I'm going to put some kind of lunch together, and then hit the sack and try to sleep...this is the part of heat that I don't like! It's supposed to get cold at night in Calgary, not stay hot and sticky! Yuck...I don't know how people in the tropics do it...they must be very crabby all the time from the lack of zzz's!

Oh, and on a side note, I had a dental cleaning this morning. Some background - after my appointment in January, and yet another lecture on flossing, I was in the RealAge website and took the test. And much to my dismay, I was only 6 months younger than my physical age! And the big kicker??? Flossing!!! So, starting that night (January 12th) I vowed to floss every night before I went to bed, and I have not missed a night since!! So, hygienist girl was digging around in there, and it didn't feel like the usual "coal miner with a pick-ax", so I asked how it looked. She said, "well, your gums are a little red, and there's some staining, but it's not bad...I see by your file that you're not a flosser though, so it could be worse"...I said, I am a flosser now, and my gums are red because I've been mouth breathing while my sinuses have slammed shut for the summer (joy of being allergic to everything I inhale!)...ah ha!!! So I will keep up the flossing, re-take the test and see where it leads me 6 months from now.

Okay...that's it for to floss, make lunch and go to bed. Stay cool, everyone.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Something else happened today, but I didn't think it belonged with all my happy hiking photos and such. Got a phone call from a friend who told me that someone I knew in my past had passed away. He was my first and only love - for him I was actually willing to have children - I was ready to marry and settle down, but sadly he wasn't and I ended up with the very broken and jaded heart. I've never been a serial dater, so didn't have a lot of experience with the whole break-up thing...after D. I just wanted to crawl into a cave and stay there forever.

Except maybe that's exactly what I did...after all, I haven't let myself fall in love since, coming up with whatever excuse I need to feel safe. I could say it's because "all the good ones are married or gay", or is it more because I avoid meeting anyone? I've dated since, of course, but sporadically at best, as D. set the bar pretty high in what I wanted in a man. After a while, I then did my best to hide behind many, many pounds of fat, gaining a good 70 pounds over the years. Great excuse, huh?? No one could possibly want to be with me when I look like that, and therefore I would never get my heart broken again. Amazing how profound we get with hindsight...

Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends now. Hoping we can all find peace with this.

Friday hike

Spent a lovely day in the mountains with H-woman and her friend S. Still a little bummed about my car, but what can I do? Just have to be patient and wait to see what the mechanic has to say. So what better way to do that than to spend a day hiking. I was a little tired, as I was up till 3am getting stuff ready for the picnic, so we did start a little later than usual, not leaving Calgary till about 10:30 - 11. That put us on the actual trail around 2. We decided we were hiking to the Tea House at Lake Agnes and after dealing with some traffic woes on the #1 (they are twinning the highway, so we were stuck at a stop for a while - although it did allow for some nice photos) we made it to the very full parking lot at the Chateau Lake Louise - it's where I want to live for the rest of my life!! Come on Lottery Gods!

Anyway, changed into hiking boots, loaded up the picnic lunch (muffuletta (a New Orleans stuffed sandwich), carrots, hummus, apples, cherries, cosmic cookies and Larabars - quite a feast!) and headed off. Stopped to take some pics of Lake Louise (reportedly the most photographed area in Western Canada) before we followed the path around the lake and started up. And up...and up...and is a 387m climb over 3km, but this was a steady climb the whole way - no switchbacks or level 'breathing' areas - just straight up. It was a warm day too, so we were all sweating pretty good into the hike. Where ever there was a break in the trees, we stopped for a water break, a breather and some photos. The mountains continue to take my breath away every time...I am so lucky to live where I do.

First stop up the hike was Mirror Lake. Gorgeous...and I'm sure cold! A few of the tourists were finding out exactly what "glacier-fed" means! Brrrrrr... And through the trees, you can see the top of the tea house, another .8km away. Off we set to finish the last of it. Nice waterfall surprise just below the tea house, followed by another surprise of a rather large set of stairs. But then it's the tea house...itself rather plain - granted it was built in 1904 - but it's the lake and the Beehive (not a real one, but what one of the mountains is referred to) that really catches the eye. We set out our picnic on one of the tables and chowed down! Worked up quite a hunger...

After catching our breath and satisfying our hunger, we decided it was time to make our way back down. It's not too bad, as it really is all downhill, on a well maintained trail. Think it took us an hour and a half to get up and a half hour to get back down! Quick tour of the hotel and then down back into the hamlet (or is it a village - not sure) to the local candy store for some much deserved ice cream! I only had one scoop (Belgium Hazelnut - OMG!) which was worth every lick. Back into town, taking the Bow Valley Parkway this time (to avoid the construction on the #1), and finally getting back into Calgary about 7:30.

Of course by now I'm exhausted, running about about 5 hours sleep, and breathing in so much fresh air all day, that I was totally lazy about dinner and had a feast of chicken wings (not good at all, taste or otherwise) and pot-stickers. Finally crashed about 10:30 and slept the night through.

Saturday was a relatively quiet up, and picked up H-woman, then met up with C. & E. at the stairs for a quick workout. Did 3 laps, and I did some push ups and triceps dips at the top. Had coffee after with the girls, then off to Walmart to pick up some supplies (before I took mom back her vehicle), then to Coventry (waaaaayyyyy north in Calgary) so that H-woman could pick up the car she's using for the week, and all the way back down south to Mom & Dad's (30km!). H. dropped me off at home and it's been really quiet since.

Got up this morning, had a Green Monster and a latte (first time in quite a few days), a nap, then cut the grass, had a nap, some lunch of salad with some fake lobster (couldn't find any of the real stuff, and I was in a mood), another nap (don't know why I'm tired) and then just sitting around now.
Think I'll get ready for bed, so I can try to get some stuff accomplished tomorrow, before it's back to work on Tuesday. And we're doing boot camp tomorrow as well, which is good, because I'm still regretting missing Thursday's class.
That's it for me...hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dead car...

My car died minute driving, the next minute stopped dead!!! I hate it when that happens! Good thing I've got AMA, and after about a half hour wait, they showed up and pretty much confirmed what H-woman and I thought...dead alternator. Sad for my baby blue girl!! Anyway, got a tow to my parents (my mechanic lives and works across the street!), but once we got there, I found out that my mechanic is on holidays for a week. Argh!! Although my nephew came with a friend to "help out"...interesting that two AMA drivers and H-woman and myself all come up with alternator, but my nephew's friend thinks it may be something else, but he'll call around. What ever, dude! Then he comes in and says "bad news, it'll take 6 weeks to find one"...okay, or I'll wait a week for my mechanic (which I've said about 10 times by now) to come home and he'll fix it. He is a miracle worker and I'm sure he knows where to find said alternator quickly and easily. In the meantime, I borrowed M&D's Jimmy, which I'll return on the weekend. After all, I brag that I live and work downtown, so I don't need a car every day, but the minute I don't have it...I want to drive everywhere!!! And the worst part (okay, so I'm choked about my car, and the cost to repair it) is we missed Boot Camp!!! I feel awful...will have to go for a good run/toning this weekend, to make up for it, and then hit up all the classes next week. Good thing H-woman will have wheels, otherwise we'd never make the Edworthy class.

Other than that trauma, the day was good...took a few days off, so slept in (a little), had a nice breakfast of kashi squares, banana and almond milk, with the usual latte. Lunch was a turkey, avocado and chipolte mayo wrap with red pepper. And dinner was is Thursday, after all!! And I had an awesome weigh-in this week at Weight Watchers! I really needed this boost and I got it, and I know it's because I've worked so hard with boot camp, and tracking and making decent food choices. Who knew...when you follow the program it all I have to do is keep that thought in the front of my mind, not shoved down in the back like usual. This IS the year I reach goal, come hell or high water! There...I said it, and it's in writing, so it must be true!

Went to a late showing of Harry Potter (I must read the 6th book again, because I admit to getting a little confused at times) - BTW, where have 9 pm movies gone??? This started at 10, and it was after 1 when I got home...of course, I'm now wired and therefore still awake, which is doing no one any good, especially me!

Started a muffuletta (the olive 'salad' part, so it can meld flavours all night), which I'll put together in the morning, before we (H-woman and her fella) head out for a hike in the mountains. Also packing carrots, apples, hummus and larabars to enjoy. Must go to bed right now though, or I'm not going to make it at all.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I planned my entire day around eating clean...and I did good! Started the morning with the usual Green Monster, but substituted 1% cottage cheese for the protein powder (and thus avoided artificial flavours and sweeteners)...didn't taste as good - missed the vanilla and forgot to put some in - and the cottage cheese when it's blitzed up goes very liquid, so I had a very LARGE monster this morning.

Got into work, and after my usual cup(s) of Joe (black, of course), I had a mid-morning snack of a Pink Lady apple and some more almond butter (I am totally addicted to this stuff...I'm going through JARS of it!). Thankfully Costco sells it cheap...if you're lucky enough to find it.

Went out for a run at lunch, not even knowing that was this week's Wednesday Workout Challenge - Yahoo!! Started my usual route, and decided while in the run that I would not stop today...and I didn't! I managed to run the whole 4.68km without walking, and maintained a rather decent pace, I must say!

And this was with legs still a little sore from yesterday's Boot Camp. I took the path pictures yesterday in the rain, but this is my usual route...the Bow River pathway system - from outside work (6th St), west to 14th St, cross the river, back to Prince's Island (roughly 3rd St), back across the river and back to work. Nice route with loads of scenery. Met up with a group of coworkers running their own boot camp, and put them to shame with my sweatiness!! I love it when my hair drips!!

Lunch today was salad (romaine lettuce, diced red pepper & carrots, one hard-boiled egg, Edam cheese and roast turkey). Made the dressing with evoo, red wine vinegar, S&P and a bare little scant amount of Dijon mustard.

Had an afternoon snack (pre Boot Camp - went tonight so we can spend Friday hiking in the mountains and not have to worry about rushing back into the city) of a Larabar - Cinnamon flavour. It was pretty good, but I still think the coconut one is my favourite thus far. And munched on a banana on the way to camp (sans H-woman, as her neck was still really bothering her. We don't want to actually break her!)

H-woman certainly missed a classic camp tonight, as Trainer Josh dragged out his 'tickle trunk'...WT??? After running (second 20 minute run today) the Douglas Fir Trail, which was a bit more difficult, given all the rain this week - oh, and the fact that I (with Josh) just ran a killer hill yesterday! Wasn't too slippery, but you really had to watch how and where you planted your feet. Still managed to get to the top (not last!) AND burn out 2 good, fast laps of the final stairs before we headed back to our mats. I didn't have my camera on the actual run, but went back after camp to take some pics. It's amazing how you can easily forget that you are still in the middle of the city!

Another 20 minute run, and I still have a happy face!

So, Josh's new hell...jump over things.

I may have survived to the ripe old age of 46 without any broken bones, but I am still one major klutz!!! After running Douglas Fir, we returned, grabbed our weights (lunge walked them) and moved them out to a certain spot, on the other side of the mini-hurdles. Then we started on our mats and did 12 push-ups. Jump up (he is big on that!) and run over to the hurdles where we jumped, feet together, to the end, run to our weights and do 8 thrusters (combines a squat and shoulder press at once), run back and jump over the hurdles again, and back to the mat for push-ups...repeat 3 times. Break for water. THEN he brought out the rope ladders, laid them on the ground, and it started all over again. Twenty squeegees, jump up, high-knee run through the ladder, jump the hurdles and off to the weights for bicep curls. Return same way...repeat...three times. Oh, and to mix it up, you could do cross-over steps instead of high-knees! Oh boy, can we?!?! Finished the class with some V-sit shoulder presses and a lot of core work: static leg raise, scissor kicks, plank, plank row, superman and oblique crunches...just realized that my abs are not happy with me right now. Oh, and these wicked sit-ups where you have to touch your foot of one leg, raised to knee height of your other leg. Trust feel these almost immediately...I thank God I have such long arms!! Oh, and this last photo is a picture of the other hill Josh loves...doesn't really do it justice of showing how steep it is, but it's a killer! I will run that bad boy by the time I am done with Boot Camp...this I vow!!!

Couldn't face the idea of hot moussaka for dinner after boot camp, so decided I would pop into Safeway on the way home and grab some shrimp to grill and top my salad with. Those turned into a lovely piece of Basa instead. I made another vinaigrette of lemon juice & grated skin, evoo, S&P, Epicure Souvlaki seasoning mix (nothing artificial or filler or fake of any kind) and some red wine vinegar. Brushed the fish with that and grilled it on the griddler while I chopped the rest of the veggies for the salad. Some beautiful kalamata olives and fresh cow feta (both from the Greek Ladies at the Farmer's market) to round it out, toss with the dressing, and dinner is done. And was eaten in about 2 minutes!!! I think I was hungry!

So now, I've got all my challenges done for the week. Off work for a few days to chill, and go hiking and what ever else comes my way. Mostly looking forward to sleeping in past 5:30!Although if I don't make it to bed before midnight, defeats the whole thing anyway, doesn't it?

Hope everyone had an awesome Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I feel good...

I do...yes, I curse Trainer Josh when he's making us run up hills or carry our weights (I'm up to the 8 pounders) over our heads like the army dudes do, but then when someone says I'm "shrinking", I just want to do more!!

So today...threatened to rain again at lunch - well, actually it did rain, but I didn't care. Not made of sugar, so not going to melt! Ran to the stairs, and as promised, this is my real stairmaster!

Figured out (slightly obsessive about these things) that each step rises approx 15cm, so add them up (not factoring in the two flat sections) and we've got a climb of about 25 meters. Doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're running them, or stepping up two at a time, or doing cross-overs, 25 meters is a lot. Managed to do four full laps today, alternating basic run up (or attempt to...despite the rain, still really busy) and doubles/cross-overs. At the top I did a total of 60 incline push-ups from the railing and 30 triceps dips from the benches. Back to the office (it is 1km door to stair - so got in at least 2.5k today) for lunch - roast turkey on a whole wheat tortilla with avocado slices, cilantro, chipotle mayo and romaine lettuce. Side of baby carrots. I don't consider it clean though, so I'm focusing more on that tomorrow. Photos to follow. Anyway, it stopped raining, although it's hard to tell looking at me - either it was raining, or I was sweating or a combination of the two. But note the smile on my face!

Boot Camp was rockin' as usual...of course, it helps to have someone compliment you when you are both running down the road! Don't think my feet actually touched the ground after that!! But then back to reality...we set up at a picnic table and did push-ups and triceps dips (I think Josh follows me at lunch and chooses to do the same thing later on!!) and bicep curls, before hitting the mats for squeegees and full body bicycles. Then jump up (yeah, that happens) and run (again, sure) over to the next spot where we'll do 20 squats, lunge walk back to Josh and round it out with 15 more squats. Repeat...three times!!! Then we played follow the leader, and ran up this hill - Josh loves goat trails - until we got to the top. View was outstanding, but I didn't have my camera. Then back down and repeat. Thankfully only once...Josh almost got to see what I had for lunch today! Back to the mats for some core work - static leg hold, beetle things (that's what he called them - move arms and legs, while on your back), crunches, plank, repeat. And for good measure some oblique crunches (I can't do side plank, as it seems to be what messes up my rotater cuff) to round out the day. I hurt, but it's a good hurt!
Came home and decided to go vegetarian for dinner tonight...lentil & brown rice pilaf topped with a sliced tomato, cucumber and grilled, crispy brown onion, with a side of grilled aubergine. It was awesome, and relatively clean, but not quite to challenge standards. That will be tomorrow, and the key is in the planning.

Again, I do strive to only eat things I can pronounce, so thought the clean eating challenge would be easy. It's the little things I forget, like the flavour crystals I add to my water to choke it down, or the protein powder I use for the GM's. Tomorrow will just be lime slices for the water. I'm thawing a serving of a light moussaka that I made from scratch (recipe care of the Clean Eating magazine - it has tomatoes, bison, potatoes, aubergine, Epicure Greek seasoning (which, as is all of our stuff is artificial and chemical free) and topped with a sour cream & egg mixture) which I'll eat with a Greek salad (tomatoes, cucumber, green or red pepper, kalamata olives, cow feta from the farmer's market and evoo & vinegar)...lunch will be a salad of some sorts with some more of the roast turkey (and it is roast turkey, not luncheon meat) and maybe some Edam cheese, more veggies. Biggest thing is trying to get the protein in my Green Monster, as my protein powder has a few ingredients, including artificial flavourings and aspartame, that just do not qualify as "clean". I'll use cottage cheese instead, as it's got almost as much protein, and go from there. Bought some fresh pineapple to put in it as well. Snack will be an apple and some almond butter. We're going to Boot Camp tomorrow night, so we can hike in the mountains Friday and not worry about rushing back, so will have to make sure I have something substantial for the afternoon snack as well.

Okay...watching Harry Potter (for the umpteenth time) in preparation for Thursday night (oh, my goodness, but I am going to cry during this one...sobbed reading the book!) and getting ready to go to bed. I am trying to get at least 7 hours sleep a night, as I think that's also important for overall health, along with what you eat and how you move...
Wow - remember when we used to stay out all night, drink like fish, eat anything we wanted, the only way we broke a sweat was on the dance floor and still felt fine???
Yeah, neither do I!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Not a stellar day, but not a total write-off either. Actually made it to bed before 10:30 last night, and slept through the fireworks! Woke up, showered, got ready for work, packed lunch and made it to work on time! What is going on?!?!

Had a meeting with one of my bosses that went very long - my job is complicated as I officially report to one manager and the accounting group, but unofficially report to the technical department as well...and they both make demands on my time. It's like high school all over again, with all the homework!! Anyway, we didn't finish the meeting until almost 12:30, and I wanted to go for a run today. So I thought screw it...I'm not the one who carried the meeting into my lunch, so I changed (despite the very steady, heavy downpour) and went out for a run at 1. Was going to do the 14th Street loop (about 4.6km) because it's only rain...not acid, not boulders...just water, but the lightning deterred me a little! Again, I have no problem running in the rain, but the flashes of extreme electricity near all the trees on the running path scares me a tad! So I did the 10th Street loop (2.8km) and finished up with some push-ups off a park bench (very slippery in the rain!) and 35 squats. It has since stopped raining, so I hope to get a good photo of my other stairmaster at lunch tomorrow. Although with the rain today, I'm very happy I managed to get the grass cut yesterday.

Came home, after stopping into Safeway for some bananas, a bag of salad and an avocado for lunch, and decided that running and walking in the rain means soup for supper. And this kind of weather calls for chowda...salmon chowda. Cheater Salmon Chowda, to be exact! Take a piece of bacon and dice up and fry. Add some onion and celery to the pot...add a can of drained salmon (I used the last of the one my brother caught up north and had smoked and canned - delish!) and a can of cream of potato soup (I was way hungry so I added two cans tonight) and a can of 1% milk. Some pepper, some Epicure Lemon Dilly dip mix and we have chowda! Toasted an Ezekiel English muffin, with a bit of almond butter (and raspberry jam on one half, for dessert).

Tomorrow's lunch will be a turkey avocado wrap with chipotle mayo (add Epicure chipotle chili powder to mayo with some lime juice - superb!) and some salad. And I will tackle the fact, I challenge myself to run at least one lap of them, since Trainer Josh is making me so very strong and confident in my abilities!
That's it, that's all I've got...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend almost over

At least I'm starting this at 9 pm, instead of my usual 10:30 or 11. And then I wonder why I'm always tired!
After yesterday's walk and workout in the park, I pretty much slugged it out on the couch - got caught up on some stuff on my PVR (personal video recorder, like TIVO). Had myself a bit of a "Criminal Minds-a-thon"...which makes for odd dreams later, I must say. Dinner was said oven baked 'fried' chicken...I dusted two chicken breasts with flour, dipped in egg and then tossed in a mixture of Panko crumbs, grated parm, Epicure Tuscany rub and S&P, then baked till golden and crispy. Having the second breast for lunch tomorrow, sliced on salad, I think. Rounded out dinner with whole wheat Rotini tossed with some Greek dressing, and a sliced red pepper.

Got up this morning after a great night's sleep (only one coughing fit at 6:15) and met up with H-woman for a nice run. We paced per km, and actually ran further than each of us has for a while. Just over 4k...but we both realized that Melissa's is fast approaching, and that it's almost 6 times as long as today's run! Need to step up the training. Speaking of, my triceps actually feel all right today...they twinge when I really accentuate them, but way better than I expected to feel. And I've also noticed that I really have to push myself to reach 80% heart-rate range for cardio. Guess all the Boot Camping is showing internal benefits as well! Finished the run in good time (31:37 - we'll break the 30 minute 5k in no time) and did some stretching before heading home to jump in the shower.

Met up with H., H's Mom, nephew and S. for an awesome East Indian buffet at Moti Mahal. Why have I never eaten there before?!? Guess I just didn't know the right people (ones who would eat East Indian food)...I have been denied all these years. I mean, I live a 15-minute walk away from there...I will definitely be going back for more! I did indulge in two helpings of vegetable samosas, pakora, basmati rice and butter chicken (OMG it was gooooooooooood!!), a lamb curry, an awesome spicy chick pea curry, some lentil dahl, fresh naan and to alleviate any guilt what-so-ever, a bowl of mixed fresh melon. I did run in the morning, I did walk to and from the restaurant and I came home and cut my grass (it may be a small yard, but it's all manual, baby! No gas or electricity for this girl!) and then trimmed back some trees and pulled weeds from along side the building. All in all, I worked in the yard for about 2 hours.

Came in, inhaled a litre of water, and then had a brief, accidental snooze on the couch! Started to think about dinner, but wasn't really hungry, so I mixed up some light sour cream and low fat mayo with Epicure Roasted Red Pepper dip and some crumbled feta, and dipped a torn up whole wheat tortilla in it. Still not really hungry, so I'll probably have a glass of milk to tide me through the night.

It's the final night of Stampede so the fireworks may keep me awake - they seem to set off everything they've got left on the last night. May even be worth it to head out to the main street and watch some, but then again, that's not till nearly midnight and it's a school night. No...5:30am comes way too early...but I am taking a few days off next week, so I have a 5-day weekend coming up. Hope to spend at least one of the days in the mountains, doing some serious hiking.

That's about it for me...hope everyone has a great week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Weekly Challenges complete!

So the Monday challenge this week was to move your gym activity to the great outdoors.

THIS is MY gym...

This is my treadmill...H-woman and I running on the treadmill...

This is the TV in my gym...look, we even get the Home & Garden channel!

This is my StairMaster!! H-woman found the one on the left (did two full loops)...on the right is our Tuesday/Thursday Boot Camp StairMaster. H-woman demonstrates the "beloved" squats while going up the stairs! I'll be sure to get a snap of the other StairMaster I use at work...

We started our workout with a brisk walk (Trainer Josh worked us hard last night...we'll run tomorrow!) up the Rideau Hill and down 3-Post hill on the other side - excellent hill that we think we'll show Trainer Josh so he can incorporate it into future Boot Camps - which lead to our usual route along the river. However, we doubled back and climbed the stairs (picture on the left) which wound their way back up to the top of the hill! We then returned down and to the path, and walked towards and into Stanley Park, going past to the Elbow Drive turnaround, and returning back into the park. That's where we began Phase 2 (Work-out Wednesday Challenge) following the planned Triceps Toners Pyramid.

Triceps Push-ups (or chatarangas (sp???) as H-woman likes to call them) - I am very bad at these, so I followed the method that was demonstrated in the video posted. Or at least I tried!

Next, Triceps dips (using outside workout bench!)

Lastly, side Triceps One-armed Push-ups.
Do 8 of each, then 12 of each, then (Oh, Holy Mother!!!) 15 of each, back to 12 and lastly, amazingly, the final 8 reps!!! And just because are suckers for punishment, we finished with some crunches, V-sit, Squeegees, squats (I HEART squats!!) and plank.

We may be smiling, but we do not heart Amy right now!! LOL!! Maybe I'll heart her tomorrow, but that's only if I can actually lift my coffee to my lips!

Walked back towards H's place, but decided to take one more crack at the stairs (and tried to run them...almost made it to the top, before my lungs reminded me that I still have a chest cold!), before crossing the top of the ridge, and back down Rideau Road. Total of just over 5.5 km in all, and that included a lot of climbing and good cardio bursts.

Got to H's home just as her mother and nephew showed up for a visit, jumped in my car and came home, changed into dry clothes (yes, Amy, I sweat...I do not glow, glisten, gleam, sparkle, dew, or perspire...I sweat!!!) and then made a quick lunch from my Farmer's market purchases of fresh baby carrots (OMG!), mini English cucumber, Roma tomato, medium Edam and some cottage cheese.
Now going to clean the kitchen, load the dishwasher and see if I can pull any of the weeds along my building. Then maybe a nap will be in order. And I just decided that I'm having baked "fried" chicken for supper, just because I can!
Oh, and weigh-in this week saw another pound kissed goodbye!! Yahoo!!
Have a good one, everyone!

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