Sick again…

I have a cold. It was brutal on Saturday. I felt much better today but not 100% by any means.  So no exercise for two days. Sigh. Not great.

Normally tomorrow would be Body Attack class. I am fairly certain I am not up to it. In fact, I am 100% sure I am not up to it. Right now the plan is as follows for this week

Monday – Hot Power Yoga at 7:30pm

Tuesday – Hot Power Yoga at 7pm

Wednesday – Hot Vinayssa Flow at 6pm

Thursday – Hot Power Yoga at 7:30pm

Friday – Hot Hatha Yoga at 4:30pm

Five days of hot yoga. Lots of ‘rinsing’ and ‘cleansing’.  I am excited!

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I am a big fat faker

For the past year and a bit I have been very focused on leading a healthy lifestyle.  I have remained active and have completely overhauled the food we eat – at a huge increase in the cost of the food we eat and the time it takes to organize/cook all our meals.

Today I give up. Not for good, but at least for this week. I had always had a few ‘cheats’ here and there but today when doing groceries for this coming week Iron Man just looked at me and said “Really?” as I piled processed food into the cart. And even then, there wasn’t that much of it, but it was way more than usual and it just isn’t like us/me.  But I have been sick for what seems like forever (strep, then a cold sore, now a nasty cold), and the thought of cooking and prepping stuff just seems overwhelming and exhausting right now.

So I am outing myself because I feel like a fraud. For the next week (maybe longer?) I am not a self-proclaimed healthy girl. Oh, and, I didn’t go to the gym today either.

Running

Even when I was a ‘runner’, I wasn’t really a runner. I mean, I never ran multiple runs in a week. Really, my knees couldn’t handle it. I was only ever a once-a-weeker kinda runner.  And now I run even less. And not nearly as far. And not nearly as fast.  But there is a huge difference now – I ONLY RUN WHEN I FEEL LIKE RUNNING.

Last night when I was doing hot yoga I suddenly had an urge to run. And so, the plan right now is to run. But at the same time, if I suddenly don’t feel like running, I won’t go. But I love that feeling of freedom. I can run if I want. I don’t have to worry too much about my pace, or how long I last (I can run 5k fairly easily now, although my pace has slowed from a below 6 minute k to an above 6 minute k).  It’s more about the sweat and the challenge and the release and leaving it on the treadmill and less about speed work and tempo runs and prepping for a race.

Let’s be honest, I was never really a runner. Not like Scott is (hey Scott, you read this more than Iron Man so I thought you deserved a shout out). But I do occasionally appreciate a good run, and I feel a sense of accomplishment from being able to crank out 5k without worrying about it too much. Obviously for many people (aka: runners) 5k is a joke. But for a girl who used to hate walking up the stairs – yeah, pretty nice feeling. 🙂

Best Soup Ever

We have soup club at work. It is really nice to come in on Mondays and not have to worry about lunch. And, it also means trying new things – always good in my books. This week we had the best soup though and I thought I would share the recipe.

Chicken Soup with Lime and Hominy – taken from the Fine Cooking Website

12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 small white onion (8 oz.), chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, minced
1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
1 15-oz. can hominy, drained
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano, crumbled if the leaves are large
4 to 5 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2-1/2 oz. cotija or feta cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1/2 cup)

Cut each chicken breast crosswise into 1-1/2-inch-wide pieces.

Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the broth, hominy, oregano, and chicken. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces and return to the pan. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, top with the cheese, and serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 29; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 680; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 4;

Notes: My colleague who made it did not put in as much lime juice as indicated but did it to taste instead AND she provided avocado to put in it which in my books MADE the soup and was worth every single extra calorie.  Soup was phenomenal. I will be making it later this week.  Also, it may have more than 400 calories once you put in the avocado but really, there isn’t anything that bad for you in this soup. And a good source of protein. Yum!

mmm…food!

I am healthy again. I went back to work on Thursday of last week. I also went back to the gym and killed myself with an awesome weight lifting session.  I killed my legs, killed them.  I have started using Fitocracy to log my workouts. If you want an invite let me know.  I don’t think I can ‘share’ workouts unless I am a premium member so screen caps will have to do:

Anyways, other than a killer workout (followed by three more workouts, two hot power yoga classes and a body attack) I have managed to keep myself busy with good food.  Last week I made my first risotto and it looked mighty good if I do say so myself:

I used arborio rice (duh! Except not really, since apparently there are different kinds you can use) and then also used shallots, spinach, peas, gouda, and parmesan, and chicken stock and lemon juice with water instead of white wine. It was lovely. And, a meal with no meat, not like me (I was craving protein the next day though).

I also remembered that back when I lost weight way back when (like 2006?) I had which fibre eggo waffles on my meal plan.  Yep, waffles. So I bought some. But instead of having them with syrup I made fruit compote (also from way back when).  I made it with crushed pineapple, frozen raspberries, some honey and agave nectar and a bit of maple syrup as well as some cinnamon and vanilla. Yum!  Then I realized it would be that much better with plain yogurt dolloped on top. And so, I had this:

Then on Saturday I decided I needed another fix but decided to make some additions: banana slices and a further dollop of all natural almond butter. Double yum, and yes, I ate all three. They were awesome.

So yeah, I have clearly not been watching my diet too carefully. I am sitting around 152-154lbs most days. I feel good there. Not great, not where I would ideally like to be, but my belly is calling for food – good food, but food. And so I am obliging it. Tonight we are having quinoa stuffed peppers and salad…

 

ps: My pictures are blurry. That is my biggest pet peeve when others do it. Sigh.

A baker I am not (yet)

So I like to eat yummy things. I also like to lose weight. I am trying to make these things work together, not against each other.

So I have been trying to find substitutions in baking so that the food I want to bake is healthier for me. So less sugar. Less flour – yes, even whole wheat. Fewer eggs if possible.

Yesterday was a lesson in why the internet is a good thing and why I should use it. Research, research, research.

Lesson learnt: Coconut flour can not replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio.

Lesson learnt: Coconut flour does not rise.

Lesson learnt: Coconut flour is very absorbent.

 

So, muffins are edible but not yummy. So purpose of activity has been defeated. But I don’t waste stuff so we will eat them. All 28 of them. Oh well. Better luck next time?

Sick

I have strep throat.

I hate being sick. I like that it forces me to slow down but I still hate it. My throat kills. And, sleeping all day, even though I can tell my body needs it, still makes me feel guilty.  But I am sleeping (well, clearly now right this second) a lot. And getting some extra kitty time in. It’s weird how they seem to know I am sick.

Anyways, more riveting (maybe?) blog entries to come, just not today.

Oh, and ps: my first thought upon realizing I was actually sick enough not to go to work: no hot yoga. I actually don’t feel well enough to go. It makes me sad. That’s how much I love it. Plus Kat is teaching tonight and she is my favourite instructor.

Moving On…

I was married in 2010, in October. It was lovely.  I knew, when we first got engaged, that I wasn’t going to spend a zillion dollars on a dress and that I wasn’t going to keep my dress. And since I wasn’t going to spend a zillion dollars on a dress there was no point in selling it. I quickly learned about an organization called The Bride’s Project and decided that I was going to donate my dress. They collect and resell dresses and give the profits to cancer research. Considering that I have lost both maternal grandparents to cancer, and my mom – well, it seemed fitting.

I loved my dress (even though I wish I had managed to lose more weight before the wedding – nothing worse than having to buy a size 18 dress and pay for a ‘plus sized’ dress when you are a street size 14).  But really, I wore it twice. And then it sat in the guest room. For a year. And a bit. For some reason I couldn’t give it away right away.

I mean, we had some good times.  This is my favourite photo from the wedding:

And then in February 2011 I did a ‘trash the dress’, where I didn’t really trash it, I just wore it in the snow.  This is one of my favourites:

But on Saturday I dropped it off for donation:

And today I received an email saying it was purchased already! I won’t lie, I am pretty excited.  I mean, it was a little difficult to part with it, for some reason unbeknownst to me. But now that I know that someone is going to wear it for their wedding, and that the money went to a good cause?  Yay!

Hot Yoga is my friend

I watched a video on MSNBC about why yoga (all yoga) is dangerous yesterday. On Sunday the husband of a colleague died while running on the treadmill at the gym. He was 50 and in great shape. I wonder if he could have died doing hot yoga. Or plain yoga. I wonder if there will be videos about why running is dangerous for you too.  I am sure there already are. Lots of things are dangerous for you. Iron Man plays rugby, that’s plenty dangerous.

To be fair, I did dislocate my shoulder doing a ‘yogaish’ move in May (dive bomber pushups – so sort of ‘downdogish’).  But again, that has little to do with the move and mostly to do with my joints and their endless issues.

I love hot yoga. It’s interesting because I don’t love regular yoga, or at least I didn’t before. I might love it more now but really, my heart lies with hot yoga. Let me tell you a little bit about why.

STRESS RELIEF

I don’t think I am that high strung but apparently, according to some people (I am looking at you Scott and Iron Man) I can be a little intense at times. I don’t always deal with stress well, I can get overwhelmed when there is a lot going on in my life and I don’t take time to just let go and unwind.  Hot yoga is perfect for me in that regard. I will be honest and say that I still have a hard time ‘leaving all my problems at the door or on the floor’ but I am working on it. I try to focus just on the poses and the breathing but it isn’t easy.

I still leave each class feeling better than when I came in.  I feel filled and freed and clean – yes, even though I am dripping with sweat.

EXERCISE

The only people who think hot yoga is easy are the people who haven’t done it before. It isn’t easy, it is never easy. You can always take the pose somewhere else, you can always challenge yourself. My body has changed a lot because of my practice.  I haven’t dropped huge pounds but my body looks and feels stronger. Remember, I dislocated my shoulder about 8 months ago and at the time I pretty much couldn’t imagine doing anything for at least a year – that’s how long it took me to recover completely from my first dislocation. This time around it took me maybe 3 months and then I started hot yoga and I can honestly say that there are very few actions that I do where I am aware of my shoulder being weak. I am so much more aware of how my muscles work together and my back is lightyears stronger.

My balance has improved drastically and flexibility has increased.  I am much more aware of my imbalances in terms of each of these: I can balance much better on my right side than my left, my quads are WAY tighter than my hamstrings, I am much more flexible in forward bending moves than backwards bending moves.  I feel like I know my body better.

Oh, and it’s great cardio. You wouldn’t think that it could be, but a power flow class combined with 40+degrees…yeah, you sweat a lot and your heart rate is up there.

SPIRITUALITY

This is an interesting one because yoga is primarily based in the Buddhist faith. And I am Christian. And yet, these two do not feel at odds to me. I have started doing some research (and by started I mean barely) on the two topics and how they mesh (and don’t mesh) but for now I feel like yoga is helping my spirituality. I feel like it is a sort of prayer time for me. I am sure to some that will sound heretical but for me it works. It is meditative. It is centering. It helps me to focus on what matters. It reminds me of Covey’s ‘Big Rocks’ video.  It makes me remember the ‘big rocks’ and not focus too much on the ‘small pebbles’. God is one of those ‘big rocks’…so for me, it helps in my faith.

MARRIAGE

I do hot yoga with Iron Man. It’s time we ‘spend together’.  I mean, we don’t talk while we do it, we don’t touch while we do, and we only occasionally look at each other while we do it. But it is something we share, a common experience. And we do talk about hot yoga a lot, about what we find difficult, what we are working on. I love it that he goes with me. I love it that he is enjoying it.

HUMOUR

Um, this video is all I have to say about humour and yoga: shityogissay.  If you can’t laugh at yourself who can you laugh at?

Namaste!

Disconnectedness…is that a word?

Today has been, well, for lack of a better word, odd. I have never in my life, I don’t think at least, ever felt this way. I have felt so disconnected from the world, uneasy, unsettled, unable to focus or concentrate on anything, just like something was about to happen but I didn’t know what and all I could do was sit nervously in anticipation. It felt horrible.  I felt horrible. ALL DAY.

I called my dad because all day it felt like that’s what I needed to do. And it helped, a bit.  So did my workout with my trainer – 3 rounds of the following:

  • 20 squats with shoulder presses (12 for my bad arm, 15 for the better one),
  • 10 burpies,
  • 10 thrusters (I have no idea what was on the bar – enough!)
  • 10 ‘woodchop squats’ with an 8 lbs medicine ball
  • 90 seconds of sit ups

It was a good workout. Lots of squats and shoulders – ouch!

I still feel off though. And of course, on my way home, all I could think about was a glass of wine. I had sushi instead but I still thought of wine. Sigh, once an addict, always an addict. Bad day = nice glass of red. Oh well…tomorrow is a new day – right?