Today is my sister’s 30th birthday!
We celebrated by going out for dim sum yesterday and wood oven pizza today. . . followed up by these amazing ‘goddess kisses’ (fried dough balls tossed in cinnamon sugar and drizzled with chocolate)
Aside from being a milestone, her Dirty Thirty birthday is an especially exciting one since she and my brother-in-law don’t have to worry about driving back home to Illinois today. They’ve moved back to Windsor, for good! And they bought the house right next door to ours! Doesn’t get much better than that.
Spring is in the air!
The weather has finally started to take a turn for the better and the signs of spring are starting: waking up to the birds chirping, seeing the tulips and daffodils sprout, and being able to go out without a jacket without developing hypothermia.
My favourite sign of spring started to appear a while ago though: Cadbury Mini Eggs!
I started and finished reading Sarah’s Key this week.
The book club that I was in last year was on hiatus and is finally being revived and Sarah’s Key was April’s selection. I enjoyed this book about a woman’s journey to investigate a young girl’s experience during The Holocaust but would have liked more Holocaust story and less of the modern day. It was no Night, but it was good.
I bought another 10 class pass to the Moksha Yoga studio.
In yesterday’s class I almost got myself into full expression of peacock pose (mayurasana). I got closer than ever. I was really excited. Now I have yet another pose that I’m keen on mastering.
Mayurasana – What a cute print! (source)11 Comments
A Feast for Crows is lacklustre and and boring in comparison to A Storm of Swords which I read last month. None of my favourite storylines are in this book. I’m about 3/4 through it and not much has happened at all.
On the bright side, Game of Thrones Season 3 starts in T minus 5 days.
Matt brought home pheasant today! He bought two from someone at work who hunted them. I’m pretty excited to try it because I’ve never had pheasant before and I love trying new foods.
Luckily his friend de-feathered and packaged it nicely for us. I don’t know what I would have done had Matt brought home a carcass feathers and all.
The package says Matt Skin which is kinda gross if you think about it. Don’t worry, it’s poultry.
It’s like Willy Wonka, but real! In the most epic marketing campaign I’ve ever heard of, Tate & Lyle Sugar created an eight-room Tasting House in London where nearly everything was some form of edible dessert like a meringue rug, fudge windowsills, and pillows made of spongecake. It’s my dream come true!
The pillows and the book are both edible!
I notice a huge difference between practicing yoga at home and going to the hot yoga studio. It’s partly because I slack off a little more when I practice alone, partly because the heat makes me more limber and lets me push myself farther, and partly because the interaction with the instructors is so helpful.
It might be time to buy another set of class passes.11 Comments
The pass is for people to try out hot yoga before committing to a membership and was only $30 so I figured I’d give it a go.
The pass came with a stamp card with incentives every few classes you completed, so obviously when faced with a challenge I have to complete the entire thing.
2 weeks later, I’ve completed 14 consecutive days of hot yoga.
I haven’t been that into yoga in a while and it feels great. I feel all loose and limber now.
I like the classes a lot and all the instructors are awesome, so I picked up a 10 class pass as well.
But I probably won’t do all 10 classes in a row.6 Comments
A) I chopped my hair this weekend. It’s been years since the last time it was this short. I had gotten tired of it being long and all over the place.
It feels really good now, but I can’t help thinking that it looked better when it was long.
B) Anyone who knows me knows that, generally speaking, I like to stand. I stand when everyone else is sitting. Sometimes I stand to read a novel. At home I like putting my laptop on the kitchen counter so I can stand to surf the internet.
So my desk job doesn’t exactly fit my love of standing. Finally, after 5+ years as a desk jockey, I’ve gotten fed up with sitting for 8 hours a day so I hacked a standing work station at my cubicle with a couple of boxes. And now I spend maybe 4 hours a day standing at my desk. It feels good.
I’m considering making something a bit less provisional, but the boxes seem to be working for now.
C) A new Moksha Hot Yoga studio opened up on Ottawa St. in Windsor. Moksha is basically Bikram with a different name and a better logo.
I went with a couple of girlfriends on Sunday to the 90 minute class and I sweated so much that I came home 2 pounds lighter.
Instead of buying a single class pass I picked up the 2 week unlimited pass. I fully intend to go as many times as possible in the next 2 weeks. That’s the way I roll– when I pay for something I want to get my money’s worth. (And that’s why I don’t eat at buffets).8 Comments
(Source: Etsy Print)
I found this great collection of Vinyasa Yoga Podcasts online (by some guy named Nathan) that really remind me of an instructor at my gym whose class I used to go to religiously and who now only teaches smack in the middle of the day while I’m at the office.
It’s such a great flow: It’s interesting. It doesn’t bore me. It includes some pretty cool poses that I don’t practice all the time. The instructor doesn’t sound like a total douche or hippie, and I don’t find myself mentally telling him to just shut the fuck up! like I do with some instructors (ahem, Dave Farmar).
So, yeah, basically it’s a win. Especially since I can manage to get through a whole 90 minutes without wanting to just shut it off and go bake cookies or something.
Anyway, now I just want to do yoga all the time again– which is awesome– and I’m starting to reconsider taking a Yoga Teacher Training course which I’ve always wanted to do but sort of pushed aside for the past, oh, 5 years or so. I imagine I could be a good teacher if I can bring some elements that I like into a yoga class– like strength and variety of poses– and leave out the ‘words of wisdom’ that some teachers like to force on you.
. . . but knowing me I’ll probably hold off on teacher training again this year.
Anyway, if you’re looking for some really good, FREE yoga podcasts check out the Nathan Yoga Podcasts.No Comments
- 2 little spelt buns that I proofed on Monday and baked last night; I wasn’t happy with the flavour of these guys. 1 bun was eaten with with jam (unphotographed) and the other with Norwegian brown cheese
- banana—nice and brown, just like it’s meant to be
-leftover vegan corn and black bean chili
-2 spinach fatayer (it was supposed to be 3 but one accidentally got stuck in the toaster at the office and burned to a char)
-stress at work drove me to the candy dispenser for Skittles. 20 minutes later I sugar-crashed and fell asleep at my desk. (I only got 1 red skittle?! Damn you, candy dispenser)
- once I got home I ate another one of those little spelt buns, plain. They’re really small I swear.
Doesn’t this look amazing?
It’s supposed to be a Grenadian Oil Down but I took liberties with the recipe. In the end it came out phenomenal—a very tasty, stick to your ribs, West Indian flavoured stew.
I took the recipe from Sasha at Global Table Adventures one of my favourite blogs. She’s cooking dishes from every country in the world in alphabetical order (she’s at the G’s). How awesome is that?
I had already started the prep work for the recipe when I cut into the yucca that I just happened to have lying around (what can I say, I’m impulsive in the produce section!) and found that it had gone bad. I subbed parsnips for the yucca (the only other root veggie I had lying around) and it turned out fabulous!
In the mix is carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, spinach, coconut milk, curry, and dumplings (aka spinners and sinkers).
Yesterday I went out for a 5 mile run which felt super quick compared to the distances that I’ve been doing lately but it also felt really tough on my legs. My legs felt like lead and then I started to develop pain in my right knee and my left heel/ankle.
Considering the discomfort of the run I was pretty surprised to see that I ran it in 50 minutes which about a minute/mile faster than I have been running lately.
Today I came home and did an Eoin Finn yoga podcast and followed that up with Jackie Warner’s 20 minute core workout. I still suck terribly at that core workout—I’m always doing the easy modifications! I’d like to make it my goal to have Jackie’s 6 pack but I think that would be highly unattainable.
I set out a meal plan for myself yesterday and promised I’d check back and let you know if I stuck to it.
Breakfast: Poached Egg on Ciabatta Toast with Dijon mustard and mixed greens. Check.
Morning Lunch: Strawberry Banana Soy Milk Smoothie. Check.
Afternoon Lunch: Leftover Cabbage and Barley Soup. Check.
Snack: Dates and Almonds. Check.
Dinner: West African Spinach with Groundnuts. Check. (Unfortunately, this recipe didn’t taste as good as it looks)
Dessert: Sliver of Coconut Cake. Definitely! I ate it while watching Top Chef Canada with Matt.
Besides the dishes that I had planned out, I also ate 6 Hershey’s Kisses from my Easter Candy stash and another piece of homemade ciabatta with Gudbrandsdalost (the delicious brown cheese I brought back from Norway)
Ballparking the coconut cake at around 250 calories my intake for the day was:
1825 cal: 39% fat/48% carbs/13% protein
I like the idea of planning my meals a day in advance instead of counting my calories after the day is done. It gives me a good indication of how much I’m going to be eating rather than how much I already ate. I’ve had occasions where I’ve tallied up my calories at the end of the day and thought “WHAT?!?! I ate THAT much?!” No Bueno.
Now I’m toying with the idea of planning out my next day’s meals daily but it’s a big commitment and it doesn’t leave wiggle room in case my cravings change. So maybe I will plan my meals out in advance and then decide my snacks the next day. Thoughts? Do you plan your meals in advance? How does it work out for you?
I headed to the Downtown Yoga Studio last night for an awesome Asthanga Yoga class. It was a really powerful class and I was sweating like crazy. I wore my vibrams and they were the talk of the class. I’m glad I wore them since I was sweating so much I would have otherwise just slipped right off my mat.
The serenity that came with the practice was very quickly overshadowed by the parking ticket I found on my car window. I better blogger would, at this point, post a picture of their windshield with the ticket and maybe a ‘selfie’ of them with a posed angry face. But I was actually angry and had no time for such nonsense so I did the more rational thing: sped home (in the hopes of not getting a speeding ticket on top of the parking ticket), yelled about it to Matt, and then randomly started dusting my filthy (read: not so filthy) bedroom furniture. I’m still pissed about that ticket.
I cooled down a bit in time for an impromptu 5K nature walk with my friend Tina. Okay, so it wasn’t really a nature walk—just a walk along the nearby wooded trails—but we did see a deer and a bat, so that counts for something right?22 Comments
It isn’t very often that Matt is away from home and even though I miss him while he’s gone I’m so much more productive when he’s away.
Today I managed to do a total kitchen overhaul.
First, I cleaned the inside of the fridge from top to bottom and tossed out all the empty condiment bottles.
Then, I emptied all my cabinets and pantries and cleaned the insides.
Then I reorganized everything in a way that makes more sense for my cooking.
Then, washed all the dirt and doggie paw prints off the cabinet doors.
Then, I reorganized by plate rack-cum-cookbook shelf
And then, I cleaned the floors.
And 6 hours later the kitchen was completely cleaned and reorganized.
I ended my vegan Lent a tad early and went a bit crazy today.
My dad brought home a school of fish and I helped my Nonna fry it up for our Good Friday fish fry.
I can’t tell you how many of these little fishies I ate while frying them. I generously sprinkled them in sea salt and crunched away at the hot ones right out of the pot as I started frying up a new batch.
Last year we made baccalà together and this year, smelt.The only other fish she’s willing to eat is fish and chips. Maybe next year?
Oh, and I also at a lot of chocolate chip cookies today as I cleaned the kitchen. Okay, so I didn’t bake ALL of them for Matt.
Last night I did my hill training at the gym and then decided to head downtown Windsor to take a hot yoga class at the Downtown Yoga Studio in the Capitol Theatre.
The only hot yoga classes that I’ve ever taken before were Bikram (in a room where the yogis were packed like sardines and the body heat was more intense than the furnace) and Moksha. So the fact that this class was only heated with space heaters was a bit disappointing and not much different from practicing with my friend Sarah in front of her gas fireplace. The class was pretty intense though, don’t get me wrong, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t expecting it to be excruciatingly hot, but I was kinda hoping it would be.
I bought a one week pass to the studio so hopefully I’ll get out to a few more classes this week.
This morning, as part of my super productive day, I woke up extra early to weight lift. Well, 7:30 am. I would call that extra early for a holiday.
I’m loving my hair today. I walked into the locker room at the gym after my workout and two women were talking. One stopped in the middle of talking, looked at me and said, “You have great hair!” It made me feel awesome.
I need to start complimenting people more often.4 Comments
This afternoon at lunch I received this e-mail from Matt:
I burst out laughing in my office! This was by far the funniest thing I’ve seen all day.
In keeping with the Top Chef theme, I decided to bake some Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies from Top Chef: Just Desserts that the judges were raving about. I made mine with hazelnuts instead of walnuts because that’s what I had on hand. They’re in the oven right now (what can I say, I like baking late at night) so I don’t have any pictures and I can’t tell you how they turned out. I can tell you that the cookie dough was delicious. So delicious that, in fact, I might be feeling a little sick.
So much for bikini eating. Oy.
Today I didn’t do so bad. In spite of the fact that I ate leftover oat and lentil salad for breakfast, pecan crusted tofu for lunch, and more beans for dinner I still wound up light on the protein today (35g). Damn.
1627.6 cal: 40% fat/ 52% carbs/ 8% protein
That’s not including all the cookie dough I ate which could have easily been the equivalent of about 4 cookies. And that’s why I don’t bake cookies.
Dinner tonight was a skillet cabbage and bean dish that will be my food blog friday post for this week… stay tuned.
Today was my yoga day. I’m really digging Eoin Finn’s Blissology yoga podcasts. They’re not too strenuous like David Farmar or Bryan Kest. They’re just strenuous enough for what I’m looking for lately.
In the wardrobe department I tried to go for a different look today with my flair:
Yeah, it’s a skinny tie. (It’s definitely not worn enough and has be relegated to the back of my closet. But I’ve brought it back!)
I’ll call it a power piece. Unlike a giant flower or a sequined tank top, it makes me feel sort of edgy and intense.
I’m channelling my inner Carrie Bradshaw:
Part II of Bikini Living is all about staying fit. This is my favourite part of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is my number one healthy stress-reliever. (I say “healthy” stress-reliever because, let’s get serious, binging on chocolate is really my #1 stress reliever, but that’s not exactly healthy.)
I have big fitness plans this year. Big and Exciting!
This is the Chrysler Greenway:
It’s a local trail made up of 42 km of abandoned railway that cuts across Essex County, Ontario and …
I want to run it as my first marathon.
There is no race that takes place on the Greenway so this “marathon” will be me and the trail (and hopefully someone to check up on me at the community entrances to make sure I’m still alive). I’m not a racer, I’m a runner so the whole race aspect of the marathon doesn’t appeal to me. I will be happy to do my own 26 mile run that I can take at my own pace, start on my own time, and postpone if I feel that I’m not ready for it.
I intend to run the Greenway on June 12, but since it’s my marathon, that date could change. If you live in the Ontario or Michigan region and/or want to run with me let me know!
I’m also hoping to run the Disneyworld Marathon in January of 2012 if I can convince my best friend to do it with me. It’s really just an excuse to go to Disneyworld
This is my marathon training schedule for April/May
Click the image to see the full training schedule:
My training has some form of exercise every day of the week:
3 days of running,
2 days of yoga, and
2 days of weightlifting.
With a weight routine that looks like this:
Push Ups (4 sets)
Dumbbell Squat with Shoulder Press (4 sets)
Dumbbell Row with Tricep Kickback (4 sets)
Decline Bench Press (3 sets)
Cable Upright Row in Sumo Squat Pos’n (3 sets)
Incline Bench Dumbbell Bicep Curls (3 sets)
Leg Extensions (2 sets)
Deep Back Squat (4 sets)
Pull Ups (4 sets)
Bench Press (4 sets)
Lateral Raises (3 sets)
Tricep Dips (3 sets)
Barbell Bicep Curls (3 sets)
Leg Curls (2 sets)
Normally I prefer 4 days of weightlifting but because I am training for a marathon (eek!) naturally I want to focus on running. I know that the training sounds a bit much with no rest days, but I prefer to cram my schedule up so I don’t feel bad about myself for missing a workout. (See those white spaces in the first 2 weeks? Those are workouts I missed!)
I will do one 2-day weightlifting routine for the next 4 weeks and then switch it up with another routine for the following 4 weeks. The routines will focus primarily on upper body but will include compound leg exercises (squats in this case)
As for yoga I plan to do both a power vinyasa and a slow flow class every week. Something that will help stretch and strengthen and will complement my running regime.
I’m excited just thinking about all the exercising I’ll be doing! I know, that’s really nerdy. I’m even more excited that today is a yoga day. I need yoga in my life today. (Note the doggie onlooker).
Today I definitely didn’t eat enough… I sorta skipped dinner because by the time I finished cooking it I had to leave to visit my Nonna and then visit my dad at the hospital. Good news: He’s walking like a BOSS!
The best thing I ate today was a breakfast: caramelized banana on a protein pancake (made with protein powder, water, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 tsp of baking soda)
Today’s eats were:
1388 Cal: 37% Fat/36% Carbs/17% Protein6 Comments
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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