23 Nov

Links for a Sunday Morning

Exercise During Pregnancy Enhances a Newborn’s Brain Development – Globe and Mail

The researchers aren’t sure why maternal exercise may boost newborn cognition, but one hypothesis is that increased oxygen uptake benefits the developing fetus as well as the mother. In the past, obstetricians typically advised women to take it easy and rest during pregnancy, but it’s now more commonly accepted that inactivity can be detrimental.

To Ride the Moscow Subway for Free, do 30 Squats – CNET

Riders have two minutes to perform the deep-knee bends in front of a special machine that can tell if they’re assuming the correct position.

Artists Stencil 9,000 Bodies onto Normandy Beach – Daily Mail

The idea is to create a visual representation of what is otherwise unimaginable, the thousands of human lives lost during the hours of the tide during the Second World War Normandy landings. People understand that so many lives were lost that day but it’s incredibly difficult to picture that number.

Diet clue to why we over-eat – The New Zealand Herald

We found that regardless of your age or body mass index, your appetite for protein is so strong that you will keep eating until you get enough protein, which could mean eating much more than you should.


20 Nov

5/3/1 Cycle 11 Recap


This cycle of 5/3/1 was UNREAL folks.

I blew away every single weightlifting PR I’ve ever had. Ever. 

Last cycle I was just happy to have finally regained all my lost strength. This cycle though I’m ecstatic. I’m proud. I’m completely shocked.

I fucking love this programme.

Read more about how it works here: 5/3/1 for Women

Main Lifts

I can’t even believe these numbers are real.

Deadlift: 250lb for 2 reps

Push Press: 130lb for 1 rep

Squats: 235lb for 4 reps

Bench Press: 150lb for 1 rep

I’m happy to have my husband back at the gym to spot me, just when I need him again (I was pretty terrified of crushing myself to death on that 150lb bench press) or injuring myself with the squat.

Accessory Lifts

Each day I did 4 exercises with a related muscle group to supplement my big lift. I performed 4 sets of these at mid range reps (5-8).

I haven’t been doing too much cardio, so I feel like I should start incorporating some more cleans and snatches to get my heart rate going. I’ll keep this in mind for my next cycle.

14 Nov

You Look Like You’ve Lost Weight!

you've lost weight

This week at the gym I was a bit startled when someone stopped me on my way to the water fountain for this conversation:

Guy: You look like you’ve lost weight!

Me: Uh..what?

Guy: You lost weight, haven’t you?

Okay, Sam, what do you say to this guy? You’ve lost weight since when exactly? I mean, yeah, you lost some weight from Yoga Teacher Training that you haven’t exactly gained back but that was a while ago. You actually look kind of bloated today; you’ve looked slimmer before today. Maybe it’s just this tight tank top you’re wearing?
. . . Just think of something. Say words, any words. . .
But you’re not even
trying to lose weight. You don’t want him to think that every girl who works out is trying to be a size 0, do you?
. . .Shit, just say something. . .

Me: Oh, I don’t know. I don’t really weigh myself.

You liar.

Guy: Well, I’ve seen you working out pretty hard the last few years and you look like you’ve lost some weight. You look great! Keep it up!

Few years?! You’ve definitely put on nearly 20lbs in the last few years (Remember the 147lb bikini me? Now you’re closer to 170lb). But your clothes fit just as well so maybe a lot of that mass was muscle. Maybe you do look like you’ve lost weight.

…but wait a minute! You looked pretty great a few years ago too. Or so you thought. So, what’s this guy saying? You looked like shit all the while?

Couldn’t he have just said “You’re working out hard! Keep it up!” instead?

Me: Thanks! Have a great workout!!

I really do feel confused about the whole experience. I know the guy was trying to pay me a compliment and I love that he acknowledged my tough workouts (because, I tell you what, they are damn tough) however, I think it’s generally NOT a good idea to bring up someone’s weight loss at all, unless they mention it first.

A comparison between my body, past and present, can be a bit hard to take. I quite liked my body ‘then’ even if it (unbeknownst to me until Guy pointed it out) didn’t look as good as it does now. It feels offensive, as if I’m somehow better now than I was in a chubbier body.

And of course, if I happen to regain my fat and look the way I did a few year ago. . . then what? Am I going to go into a downward emotional spiral, thinking badly about my body because it doesn’t look as good as it once did, according to some random Guy’s opinion?

In the end I know Guy had the best of intentions and I’m going to walk away feeling positive about the experience.

That said, I would like to get the message out that there are other ways to pay someone a compliment than to focus on their size. Body size varies a lot through someone’s life and when you put value on a certain appearance, then the inevitable fluctuations in weight can be much harder, emotionally, for that person to bear.

10 Nov

Links for a Sunday Morning

Dinner Rituals Correlate With Child, Adult Weight – Science Daily

The higher the BMI of parents, the more frequent they indicated to eat with the TV on. Eating at the table in the dining room or kitchen was linked to lower BMIs for both children and parents. 

Mystery Solved: The Etymology of Dude – Slate

So where does dude come from? Evidence points to “doodle,” as in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” He’s the fellow who, as the song has it, “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni.”

Chicago Marathon Cheaters: Why Do They Do It – Chicago Tribune

There’s a small percentage of people who feel compelled to do it but don’t need to. It’s like a wealthy person who needs to shoplift. . . There are people who say, ‘I’ll give it my best and prepare as well as I can’ and realize there’s a degree of chance of how they’ll do that day. Then there’s another group with a win-at-all-costs type of policy.

Rob Ford and the triumph of the new hosers – Globe and Mail

A total hoser, Ford talks hoser and acts the hoser lifestyle. He even leads a hoser community, one that’s hardcore suburban, scorns urban sophistication and is well-pleased when Rob Ford and his brother Doug do an achingly close simulation of Bob and Doug McKenzie, on their weekly radio show. “I shouldn’t have got hammered,” as Ford said, is hoserdom defined.

Yoga Anatomist Paul Grilley Responds to the NY Times article on Women’s Flexibility – Teachasana

It doesn’t matter how “flexible” one’s ligaments are if the range of movement in the exercise is not enough to create compression.

A Wandering Mind is Not a Happy Mind – Harvard

A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.

07 Nov

Four Things

The Lost Symbol

I don’t know why I bother reading Dan Brown books. We’re not talking about literary masterpieces here. To his credit, they’re so damn suspenseful that I find them hard to put down, but when I finally finish my reaction is a resounding. . . (ellipsis for suspense)


The Lost Symbol, which I just finished reading, wasn’t any different.

Deadlift word cloud

I hit 250lb deadlifts for 2 reps last night. That’s 1.5x my body weight! (I’ll save you the calculation. I weigh 165lbs) I was really stoked because I was not well-fed before attempting it and I was recovering from a cold. Next milestone: 275lb.


The Global Table Adventure is almost complete.  Global Table Adventure has been my favourite blog for years now. Sasha talks about regional foods and cooks meals from every country in the world from A-Z. I love the writing, the pictures, and the recipes and I love learning about cultural differences and similarities in our dining choices. I hope she continues to share global recipes because I’m going to keep making them.
Some of my favourites? Irish Boxty, Grenadian Oil Down, Trini Stew Chicken, and Sudanese Peanut, Beef, and Spinach Stew


I have a love hate relationship with the Keurig. We have one in my office at work and it’s so damn convenient that I’m having a hard time restricting myself to one coffee a day. I suspect a caffeine addiction will develop very, very soon.