Read Part 1, my January to June recap here.
This epic month involved two and a half glorious weeks in Greece, which has been my dream vacation for so long.
We explored the labyrinthine streets of Chania, hiked the gorges of Loutro, visited the Minoan palace of Knossos in Heraklion, saw the blue domed churches and whitewashed buildings of Santorini and took in ancient Greek culture at the archaeological sites of Athens.
Matt and I had our 4th wedding anniversary.
I had my champagne birthday – 27 on the 27th.
And for my birthday Matt and I went to Chicago to experience the best new restaurant in the US, Next, and their Sicily menu– 13 courses including this roasted pork shoulder, the most delicious piece of meat I’ve ever eaten.
I was an extra in a movie.
I’m ready for my close up!
I was inspired by the summer Olympics to start incorporate Olympic Weightlifting (Cleans, Jerks, & Snatches) into my workouts and I’ve been loving them ever since.
And I started a plan to lose 6cm from my waist, which is still in progress right now, but may have stalled a bit over the Christmas holidays. I’m tracking my progress in the right sidebar.
I cooked up a big batch of my favourite soup ever: Fire Roasted Corn Chowder.
My ciabatta bread won second place at the sham show otherwise known as the Harrow Fair. The judges must have taste buds in their eyes since they managed to pick a winner without even tasting the bread.
I kicked off the long and boring football season by going to the Detroit Lions home opener at Ford Field with my dad, his girlfriend Silvia, and Matt. I admit it was an exciting game with the Lions scoring the winning touchdown in the last 10 seconds.
I captained a team in the Run for the Cure for the 7th consecutive year in honour of my mom who passed away from breast cancer in 2006.
I went Apple Picking.
I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K race in downtown Chicago with Vicki and Tina that culminated with a hot chocolate and fondue party in Grant Park.
I got a personal record on my deadlift with a 225lb lift.
I watched Matt coach his football team to their first ever division victory.
I baked these amazing Filipino date & walnut bars appropriately named Food for the Gods.
I did 14 straight days of Moksha Hot Yoga.
I switched up my weightlifting routine to build strength in 2013 with Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 programme.
I finished the year with yet another wonderful Holiday Season where I cooked a lot, got together with my family, watched my stunning cousin marry her perfect match, and ate fondue with friends.
Read Part 1, my January to June recap here.5 Comments
I know that there is still technically one more month of fall, but with December nearly here and Christmas lights on display, the idea of winter is starting to set in and the feeling of autumn is fading.
Remember how I made a bucket list for all the things that I wanted to do in autumn? Well, I did them.
Do the Run for the Cure 5K (Check!)
This was our 7th year participating in the Run for the Cure which is a major fundraiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Our team raised over $2500 and I had tonnes of energy to blast out this 5K.
Me and My Sister at the Run for the Cure
Go Apple Picking (Check!)
Despite the fact that the lady at the PYO Orchard was practically encouraging me NOT to pick any apples on the evening that I went out, I got a 15lb bag of crazy good Golden Delicious apples and ate them all.
Make a recipe from the Apple Cookbook my friend Tina bought me (Check!)
I didn’t blog about this, though I don’t know why.
I made an apple chutney and I also tried my hand at apple strudel. The filling of said strudel was to die for but the crust was atrocious. I should have taken a hint to use store bought pastry or phyllo when the recipe in the cookbook actually said: “making the dough can take decades of practice”.
I still ate the whole thing.
Buy a yellow cardigan (Check!)
I basically haven’t stopped wearing this since I bought it.
Run the Hot Chocolate 15K (Check!)
9.3 miles on Chicago’s waterfront on a beautiful November day, followed by hot chocolate and fondue. It could have been better (ya know, without the whole runner’s trots business), but I had an awesome time doing this race with Vicki and Tina and I can’t wait until we do another race together.
Why we don’t get more than 10 costumed children banging down the doors to our house is beyond me. Kids these days, yeesh!
Bake a pumpkin cake (Check!)
Okay, so it was cupcakes. . . close enough. These bad boys were really good. The cupcake reminded me more like a muffin, but when you put the buttercream frosting on it they were delicious. There’s a reason I haven’t made them again– because they would be devoured.
I watched not one, but two such games! Why?
Well, first I watched a regular season game . . .
. . . and then Matt’s team made the championships. Which their team won for the first time ever!
Congrats boys, way to end the season.5 Comments
Sunday marked my team’s 7th year participating in the annual Run for the Cure which raises money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
This year our team, icancervive, was put together in memory of my mom, Hiyan Campagna, who passed away from breast cancer in 2006. Together we have raised over $2000 this year and over the 7 years participating in the Run for the Cure we’ve accumulated more than $20,000 in funds for breast cancer research.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has a great website with information on how to reduce your risk of breast cancer. I encourage you all to check it out. (You can also check out some past posts that I’ve done about breast cancer risks, and my previous Run for the Cure recaps here.
We had one of the warmest mornings I can remember for the Run for the Cure. The sun was shining and despite some weather forecast calling for rain, the sky was completely clear.
Our team was a bit smaller this year than normal due to some family being halfway across the world and others being on the cusp of a firstborn child but we still had a solid 12 people turn out.
About half of the team walked, and the rest of us ran. They changed the path slightly so that it was an out and back entirely on the road, which made it great to see our team mates as they passed in the opposite direction. This was extremely helpful this year since the volunteers who were supposed to be cheering us on at the sidelines were totally crap and barely made any noise at all (a far cry from the cheering and noisemakers of prior years). You really do notice when that extra encouragement from spectators isn’t there to give you that much needed energy boost.
This isn’t a race, by the way. It’s just a fun run. There are no time chips but I do like to time myself with my watch when I do it. My friend Tina and I ran together and came in at about 26 minutes. Not too shabby considering Tina was battling a side stitch for a good chunk of the run (she’s a trooper, I totally would have been walking if I were her). Her brother Michael killed it in 22 minutes!
After the race we all headed back to my dad’s house for a barbecue and to watch the Lions game. It was good times.
Congrats to everyone that took part and thanks again to everyone who donated and helped us quash our $1500 team fundraising goal by more than $500! Woot Woot!
See you all next year
Past Run for the Cures:5 Comments
I mentioned in my last post that I was doing a Detox that, one-day-at-a-time, eliminates everything edible that isn’t a vegetable or fruit. I figured I’d give a brief update on how that’s going so far.
Here’s the breakdown of the elimination phases:
Ease in, Day 1 – Day 4: Cut back on sugar, caffeine, alcohol, meat, dairy, gluten
Day 5: Completely eliminate all of the above
Day 6: Eliminate all of the above + beans
Day 7: Eliminate all of the above + grains
Day 8: Eliminate all of the above + nuts & seeds (basically you’re just eating fruits and veggies)
Day 9: Liquids only. Fruit and veggie juices and smoothies
Day 10: Add back nuts & seeds
Day 11: Add back grains
Day 12: Add back beans
Ease out, Day 13 – 16: Slowly add back dairy and gluten but try to reduce consumption
I like to say that I don’t need for caffeine. I’m not one of those people who must have their a.m. fix . . . and yet on the first day of detoxing I felt sluggish without my morning tea and on day two I had a headache. I guess I’m eating my words.
I cheated a bit in the first 4 day transition-in. I distinctly recall snagging Reese’s Pieces from the quarter machines at the office. I might have done that twice, if we’re being honest.
Actually I cheated in the 8 day Detox too, but we’ll say I’m doing it my own way. Instead of eliminating beans and grains on days 6 and 7, instead I plan on cutting them out along with nuts and seeds on Day 8, ie. tomorrow. I did this for a couple reasons, but mostly because it is the weekend and it’s tough to avoid beans and grains when the weekend rolls around and there are dinner dates and family barbecues to be had.
And also, because I’m hungry.
I’m super active and this detox is not giving me enough calories, as far as I’m concerned. I spend most of the day hungry and basically I’ve just been eating my weight in nuts to compensate for my hunger.. Maybe it’s just poor planning on my part.
This morning I ran a 5K (the Run for the Cure, I’ll blog about it soon) and I had no idea what to eat for breakfast beforehand so I settled on a handful of cashews. And then another handful. Immediately after the run my stomach was growling with hunger and I wasn’t going to be able to eat for a few hours. When I finally did I had a nice big bowl of vegetarian chili (or two) which was satisfying, but a few hours later I was starving again so I ate more nuts.
So given my nut binges I figure that tomorrow (day 8) and Tuesday’s juice/smoothie fast are going to be the end of me.2 Comments
I’m sure that most of you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
In 2006 my mom passed away from breast cancer. It was so difficult to watch my mom go through the treatments, to see her continuously getting sicker and sicker, and to deal with the fear that ultimately came to be– that she wouldn’t get better. So naturally breast cancer prevention and research are important to me.
Breast cancer awareness is permeated society, hell even the NFL is in on it. That’s what is driving the fundraising for relevant research so that we can find a cure. We’re all ‘aware’ and that’s an amazing thing.
But, while you’re wearing your pink ribbons and giving money to breast cancer charities have you stopped to think what you’re doing to prevent yourself from getting it?
Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Today the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation launched a new campaign to promote breast cancer prevention through a website called Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk.
According to their press release the campaign:
. . .provides an opportunity for dialogue and action, shares evidence-based information, and promotes action-oriented strategies for personal risk reduction.
Personally, I am happy to see the foundation encouraging a proactive approach to breast health.
I particularly love the monthly challenges that encourage women to take action, reduce their cancer risk, and educate themselves. (I love a good challenge—and part of this month’s challenge is to ‘spread the word’. Done and done.)
The new campaign provides lots of information about risks of breast cancer and how to reduce them. It also encourages advocacy and sharing information with others so that fewer women will have to be exposed to the disease.
I encourage you all to check it out.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation outlines the following risks for breast cancer:
Additional important modifiable risk factors include diet and environmental factors
Modifiable risks can be mitigated through healthy lifestyle choices such as:
- getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day
- limiting alcohol consumption to one drink or less per day
- eating a diet rich in fruits, fiber rich whole grains, and vegetables (particularly cruciferous veggies that have a compound that makes estrogen less toxic to breast tissue)
- avoiding chemicals by consuming organic produce, meats, and dairy
- avoiding artificial sweeteners which can cause hormonal imbalance, and sugar which can feed cancer cells
- avoiding exposure to tobacco both firsthand and secondhand
- wearing your bra less frequently so that the lymphatic system is able to remove of toxins from the breasts (there is mixed data on whether or not this is true, but it couldn’t hurt!)
- avoiding chemicals in cleaning and beauty products (www.cosmeticdatabase.com)
Be Breast Aware Ladies!2 Comments
Yesterday I took part in the Run for the Cure which is a fun 5 kilometre run/walk to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
My family and friends have participated as a team every year since 2006 when we established our team, team icancervive, in honour of my mother, Hiyan Campagna, who passed away from breast cancer that year.
Every year we raise thousands of dollars which go toward breast cancer research, awareness programs, early diagnosis, and effective treatments.
As of this writing, our team raised $3,275 this year! And there are still cash donations coming in.
The run isn’t a race so you have to keep your own time. The event is more about getting together with family than beating the clock, so I wasn’t too upset that I forgot my watch. Based on the clock I suspect my time was around 27 minutes.
My sister and I ran together for the first 4K and then I decided to kick into gear in the last kilometre of the race.
Matt and I brought Bagigi to the run because she seemed so excited to come with us this morning. Also, I knew that our friend Eric was bringing his dog Boomer and my sister Vicki was bringing Ruxin.
It was a bit of a mistake because she was way too hyper to be around so many people and I was really busy trying to get things in order for the team (since I’m the team captain).
My friend Teresa offered to walk Bagig’ so I could run and I took them up on that. It was the perfect morning for a run — sunny and about 50*F.
After the run Matt and I hosted the team at our place for beers and sandwiches which was so much fun. I made a pie and 3 different types of sandwich bread yesterday which were all a hit
It turned out to be such an amazing day with my friends and family. It’s one that I look forward too every year.1 Comment
Day 2: What You Wore Today
This photo was taken on October 2, 2011 at the Run for the Cure in downtown Windsor ON. I am photographed with my friends, conveniently both named Kyle, after a 5K run which I ran in memory of my Mother and Kyle’s (right) mother who both passed away from breast cancer.
This post is part of the October 30 Day Photography Challenge3 Comments
Today was the annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Run for the Cure. It’s a fun 5K run to raise money and awareness for breast cancer in Canada.
I take part with team icancervive made up of my family members and friends. The team was set up in 2006– the same year my mom passed away from breast cancer– and we’ve participated every year since.
Of course this cause is particularly important to me. All the money raised goes to relevant and innovative breast cancer research and community grants across the country as well as awareness programs, early diagnosis and effective treatment, and initiatives to support a positive quality of life for those living with breast cancer. All great things for women and their families living with the disease.
This year our team has so far raised $3,260 in online donations alone. I suspect once we have all the cash/cheque donations in then we’ll have over $4,000!
You may or may not know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of the most important aspects of awareness is prevention, and self-breast exams are the first step in breast cancer prevention. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams, and the 5-year survival rate for early-detected cancer is 98%. You can create your own Early Detection Plan at their website to receive e-mail reminders every time you need to do a self-breast exam, clinical exam, or mammogram.
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- Lose 6cm from my waistline
Start (Aug 15): 83cm/ 91cm/ 166.8lb
Aug 31: 82cm /89cm/ 166.8lb
Sep 10: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
Sep 20: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
Oct 1: 83cm/ 88cm/ 165.6lb
Oct 10: 82cm/ 89cm/ 166.6lb
Oct 31: 81cm/ 88cm/ 166.6lb
Nov 15: 81cm/ 87cm/ 169.4lb
Dec 1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 170.2lb
Jan1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 169.4lb
Feb 1: 84cm/89cm/171.8lb
Mar 15: 83cm/ 88cm/ 170.0lb
Apr 15: 82cm/ 88cm/ 170.0lb