Taking a break..

Sooooo, I totally took an extended break off of MOST of my social media platforms. Oopsies, sorry!

I have been back from Florida for a while now but I have been keeping busy with a few things.

A) been working on something I am choosing to keep personal for a little while, I will mention it later on 🙂 (sorry for being THAT annoying vague blogger).

B) been working on my free lance local training business (webpage, policies etc) as well as coaching

C) it is been kinda nice living life and not documenting everything (hope you don’t take it personally ;)).

But I am here! Today, I thought I would talk about taking a break…with exercise?

Say whaaaat?!

I took the longest break from working out since starting my journey to a healthier me in 2009. Why? I felt stuck. I felt I was in a funk. I felt like fitness was a punishment rather than something I enjoyed. NO THANKS.

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Fitness has been something I have enjoyed my whole life. I was an avid team sports player most of my adolescent years, and fell in love with strength training and running in my early 20s. Sometimes you get in a funk. You get bored. Sometimes.. you need a break.

Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t just sit on the couch all day and do ZIP. I was still active with walking and what not. I live in a city where I can walk anywhere and I also do not have a car I can drive. So I do my best to keep walking throughout the day. But I took time to just relax, take a couple hot bubble baths, and renew myself. That is exactly how I feel, my love for fitness is back and renewed. I WANT to be active. I WANT to get my heart rate going. Not, I NEED to workout.

Also, I think my body benefited from the physical rest I was giving it. So mentally and physically, this break has done me well.

 

QOTD: Have you ever taken a break from exercise for something like this?

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Florida Trip- Part 1: Miami, Tampa, & Orlando

Vacation, again?

Yes, yes.. well kind of. The trip we were on before was kind of a vacation, but more so to see our wonderful family and friends :). With Matt being gone for a good third (or more) of this year, we thought it could be nice to explore and enjoy some time together in beautiful sunny Florida.

Before we left Vancouver, we met for brunch with my very best friend Natalie and her boyfriend. EVERYONE has been going on and on about chicken and waffles. Can I just say? sounds gross. Well.. it sounded gross. Jordan said Tableau (in Vancouver on Melville by Bute) is the place to go, boy was he right. It wasn’t overly greasy or heavy. So good. They served it with maple syrup and gravy on the side too.

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We had a red eye to Toronto and then onward to Miami. We got to our destination around 1 pm on Monday (left around 10:30 Vancouver time on Sunday). At our 3 hour layover in Toronto, we were blessed to see a beautiful sunrise. This photo doesn’t do this justice. In the background you can see the skyline of downtown Toronto. Gorgeous.

IMG_5175Once in Miami, we shuttled our way to the hotel. We stayed close to downtown. We decided to go for a walk and HOLY was it humid! we decided to hop on one of the free city trolleys instead and found ourselves at an outdoor mall. We found somewhere to eat and then headed back to the hotel and conked out.

I woke up feeling SO rested and hit the gym pretty hard for 45 minutes. We took the free shuttle from the hotel into Miami Beach/ South Beach area. First thing we did? Went for a swim. How can you not in this beautiful water?!

IMG_6289At one point I felt something on my hand and looked back to see I had a big jellyfish behind me. Luckily, no stings. But it scared me pretty good. We met some wonderful friendly folks on the beach, talked for a while then went off to find Lincoln mall. I remembered going there when I was in Miami a few years back. We found a Nespresso cafe that was HUGE. Never seen a stand alone store like this!

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After tons of walking about, and a little shopping at Madewell, Matt and I were staving. Most of the places around looked overpriced or much of the same (especially on Ocean Ave). We found a little Italian place by the shuttle drop off point and the pizza was phenomenal. I had the prosciutto one and Matt went with a pepperoni one. We did a little splitzies.

IMG_6291SO good.

The next day we packed up, and went to grab our rental car to head up towards Tampa area. Matt and I have been planning the trip as we go. We had a few spots already planned, but for the rest, we would book as we went along.

I really wanted to go towards Tampa to meet a dear internet friend. I have been talking to Julie for YEARS. Pretty much since I started this whole journey. I just HAD to see her in person. We met at Dunkin Doughnuts (mainly because I LOVE their coffee and they don’t have it in Canada but also because it was really close). We talked over coffee and then went for a nice walk around town with her little guy. We hit it off (just as I knew we would). I really wish we lived closer!! But it is okay, because she has to come to Canada at some point (sorry girl, you don’t have a choice ;)).

IMG_6300Such a wonderful day! We talked so much that we almost had her miss her afternoon appointment! oopsies!

I got back to the room and Matt and I jetted off towards Orlando and than onward to where we are now, Cocoa Beach. We hit up Orlando so we could go to the Premium Outlets there.. okay..it wasn’t Matt’s choice at all. All me. But grabbed some amazing deals at the Victoria’s Secret Outlet (I believe this is the only one they have in the US but could be wrong). If you get a chance to go, IT IS SO WORTH IT. I bought a VSX sports bra (they are amazing if you have never had them) originally  around $60 for $14.99. YUP. Also, snagged some sweats for $10. Win. SO could have spent the entire day at that outlet.. but a couple hours worked fine. Didn’t want the husband to be TOO upset with me ;).

Now off to enjoy Cocoa Beach!!

My tips and tools for new runners!

I really started getting into running in 2009 when I started my journey towards a healthier me. As I have explained in the past, running was originally a plan to lose weight. It turned from this activity that created a large caloric deficit, into something deeper than that. Running became something that really centred me, it has meditative qualities for me. It has carried me through times of struggle and times of celebration. My relationship with my body, in turn, became stronger. I began to love my body for how it could preform. I also learned to love my body for what it was, rather than picking it apart at any glance in the mirror. I have fallen in love, out of love and back in love with running over and over again. Even during the times that I felt like I was not enjoying it, I found aspects that I still truly enjoyed. But even yet, I still get the constant “HOW can you like running? I absolutely hate it. I wish I could enjoy it” response from time to time. So this inspired me to share with you some points and tools to remember when you start running:

Know you may not love running right off the bat….or at all…

When you first start a new form of exercise, it will be a struggle. For many, being sweaty, out of breath and feeling challenged does not ring “fun.” But as you feel better with your pacing, try new routes, new terrains, new races and running buddies, running may turn into something great. But also know, not everyone will love running. That is okay. We all have our own personal preferences, so of course we won’t ALL love running. But you may end up loving it after some time trying it out!

You do not need a specific plan when you first start.

When I began, I didn’t start with a program like Couch 2 5 km. (Though, c25k really is a great way to start things if you like more structure.) What did I do? I just got out there and remembered that if I had to walk, that was okay. I was still moving. So I would go out for 20 minutes and keep in mind that my main goal was just to move. Also, I would remember to check in with my body, so not to push it TOO far. I would run for as long as I felt I could, then take a power walk break. Then once I felt ready to run again, I would! Each time I would try and challenge myself and would do my best not to back down from challenges like a steep hill. Which brings me to my next point.

Do not fear hills.

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Where I live, hills are unavoidable. How will you ever improve if you do not challenge yourself? When I started, I would do my best to make goals while climbing a hill. For instance, I would tell myself that I would run up the hill until that lamppost (tree, fire hydrant etc), and often times once I got there I felt I could keep pushing to the next marker. Before I knew it, I had crested the hill. Again, some days are stronger than others. But as long as you do what you can that day, that is all you can ask of your body. Remember, though, we are a lot stronger than we think we are!

Don’t worry about apps, and other electronic gadgets.

I run with a Garmin Forerunner 310XT now, but honestly..you do not need electronics when you run. I know plenty of people that rather not run with things like this. I used to run just with a watch so I knew how long I was out there for. But you do not need expensive pieces of equipment to train. Just a pair of shoes (unless you are a barefoot runner that is…you go Glen Coco!).

However, if you want to know distance..

Maybe you are curious about how far you did go while you were out there. The main website I use (and there is an app if you so choose to use it) to map my run. It is named exactly that. Map my run.

Don’t get hooked on numbers…

It doesn’t matter how far or fast you go when you first start. Sure, these can be good goals to constantly improve on. But do not let these number make you feel defeated. You are still out there and moving!

Don’t worry about technical running gear.

I would run in sweats and a baggy T shirt when I started. Really, it is okay if you don’t have running tights and technical t shirts. Same goes to fuel belt, fuel bottles or hydropacks. Honestly, these are NOT 100% necessary. If you live in a hotter area and feel the need to have water on you at all times, sure. But no need to complicate things and buy $500 worth of things from your local running store before you first start running. Ease into it. Use what you have in your closet!

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But remember..Safety first!

You may want to buy some running shoes. Shoes are the only piece of equipment we use as runners that is absolutely key. They are also the piece of equipment that can be the cause of back, hip, knee or (insert body part of choice) pain. Running shoes are designed for..you got it! RUNNING. Where as cross training shoes are designed for places like the gym where you may be moving omnidirectional. Running, we typically run forward. Not laterally. So running shoes are designed as such. Also, running shoes can be “too old” to run in. So my best piece of advice is to go to your local running store. They can fit your foot to the proper shoe you need since we all have different foot types and may need more or less stability.

You  may also want to have some reflective tape, bands or a vest if you are early morning or evening runner.

But above all this.. the most important thing?

Don’t over complicate it. Stop over thinking it. You will learn along the way. Listen to your body, don’t over do it (too much too soon is a recipe for overuse injuries). Just get out there and do what you can that day. Some days will be better than others. Some runs will be a huge struggle. But you are moving, you are doing what you can do that day! With time, you will feel more in touch with your body and its needs. Do your best to listen to what it wants.

Don’t worry about how you look or what others could think. Because more often than not, the people who will drive, run or bike past you are not thinking about YOU. They are thinking about themselves or whatever else is on their mind. Focus on how your body feels, breathe and put one foot in front of the other.

Just get out there. Move.

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Lobster Mac & Cheese? yes please!

Woke up in the mornin’ feeling…exhausted. That is what you get when you stay up late talking with your good girlfriend right? I had to drive back home to meet with our wedding photographer. If you are looking for an awesome photographer in the lower mainland, I couldn’t recommend Morgan Hargreaves Photography enough! Morgan and Erin are such an amazing team, they know the exact moments to capture and they simply just amazing women. Weddings, boudoir photos, newborn photos, you name it! Please go like their like page to see more amazing work!

IMG_2883 (2) copyMorgan and I sat and chatted over tea for a while. I really enjoyed all the wonderful conversation and talking about other weddings she has gone to. It must be so amazing to experience and see how everyone celebrates their love. She mainly came by to show me the photo books that she now offers. We definitely will be picking up some of those for our coffee tables.

I then to get a bit more dressed up. You know when you feel just “blah?” Yep. That was me due to lack of sleep. So I reapplied my makeup and straightened my hair. We were going out for dinner in a few hours anyway.

IMG_3906Caught. Selfie-ing it up!

My brother came over and we went out to shoppers really quick to pick up a few items. It was a good ol’ Vancouver rainy day and of course I don’t know where I placed my compact umbrella that is usually always in my purse.

We went to the Boathouse (in Kitsalino, located on the beach) with my parents for dinner. Boy. It was good!! My Dad and I are huge shellfish/seafood people so we split the oysters. Yum!

Oh.. and prepare yourself for horrible flash photos. It was way too dark in that place.

IMG_3909The miso sauce was really really good for these bad boys.

As for my entree, I couldn’t resist the lobster mac & cheese. Just sounded WAY too good to pass up.

IMG_3911It was REALLY good. Not overly cheesy which was nice. Enough for you to taste the cheese but it wasn’t drowning in sauce. I have half of it for after my long run today. Mwahaha!

Then we indulged in some dessert. Everyone went for the mocha ice cream cake except for me. The apple & sun dried cranberry crisp sounded more up my ally. Yum!

IMG_3912I have had SO many rich indulging foods last few days. Back to my clean eats today! my tummy is getting a bit mad with me!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I am now off to run 18ish km and I will have company this time! Picking up my brother on the way!

Shopping with my Momma

I am back home visiting the family as I said in my last post. I ended up getting my work in first thing in the morning and then talking to my Mom for hours before I got my sweat on. What? I haven’t been home since Christmas! we needed a catch up even if we do talk basically every day if not every second day…

I got my Agility X from P90X3 in. I didn’t have tape so I ended up using my imagination which was fine. I got a mega sweat in!

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I was explaining to my mom that I needed to pick up more Nespresso…Hi, my name is Jennifer Jones and I am a Nespresso addict. So we got ready for a little shopping. So I decided to go all out and put makeup on, jeans, and curl my hair. Who is this girl?!

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It is bizarre. This mirror makes me look way shorter than I am. I am 5 foot 7! also, I am experimenting with booties. I find I rarely know how to pair booties with clothing and I have a few cute pair I want to get more use out of. These are a Chelsea boot knock off from Old Navy.

At Nespresso I picked up a few sleeves of my favourite Roma capsules, and also ventured with Arpeggio capsules. We decided to sit down for a little espresso before we continued on our way.

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We decided to leave Pacific Centre and walk out onto Robson. I went into the new Old Navy on Robson and Granville. I have been LOVING their fitness clothing. I picked up a pair of crops that are a creamsicle colour, a top that says “running wildly” and a grey warm up top. Oh and a pair of my favourite skinny jeans for 12 bucks. Whoop! Since all my jeans are too tight or don’t fit at all now because my quads and booty have grown as it seems.. I am happy to replace a pair at this price.

I also wanted to check out Victoria’s Secret. I love that store way too much. I went into the PINK section and scored a new pullover sweat top for $13. Holla! It may be a bit too big but what ever. It is a sweat shirt right? Then I wanted to see a few pairs of their VSX sport line pants. Really happy I did because the ones I almost ordered online were not as cute as I thought in person. So I ended up buying another pair of my beloved stirrup pants in a grey colour. SERIOUSLY. I love them for yoga and pilates! I may or may not be sporting them as I blog!

On our way home, the sun was peaking out. Since it was Wednesday, that is my scheduled “ez run” day so I hit the road.

IMG_3432Since I left around 5 pm, the sun was coming down quick. I am not a bit ran of running at dusk alone. Especially around UBC since there is a lot of forest around. I also don’t have my reflective coats around when I am visiting. But it wasn’t completely dark by the time I got home. I just acted like no one could see me so I was pretty cautious. Oh and bonus? I found $5 in the middle of the sidewalk on my run. Is this what it feels like to be a sponsored runner? no? well I am easily amused.

Came home to a beautiful dinner made by my Momma. Pork chop, onions, salad, roasted carrots and sweet potato. Oh yum!

Then? big brother Josh came by with my birthday gift. He did some traveling in the states the last few weeks and found the runners I have been looking for. You guys should know at this point. I am a Mizuno girl. LOVE my waverider 17s, and have been in waveriders since the 13 model. He found the navy coloured pair with sea foam/minty details. I like a dark pair of shoes since I live in a rainier climate. My white ones are already starting to brown. No bueno. I am such a girl aren’t I? Some road runner I am! 😛 Anyway, best gift! Josh is the best :). Plus the Mizunos are a heck of a lot cheaper where he bought them.

QOTD: Do you like running at dusk/in the dark?

 

 

 

My new Erin Condren planner

 

You know what is rare for me? waking up SUPER hungry. Sure I will be a bit hungry when I wake up but yesterday..nuh uh. I was hungry. Guess marathon training season is in swing for sure! Decided to make my protein powder-less protein pancakes.

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Ingredients:

1/3 cup oats
1 egg
1 tbsp plain greek yogurt
few frozen blueberries
1 tbsp flax seed
1/2 banana
stevia
baking powder

Directions:

Blended the oatmeal in my vitamix to create oat flour.

Mixed everything together except for the banana.

Made me some pancakes. Topped with half a slice banana and a little maple syrup drizzle.

After letting that digest, I went out on my run. I really didn’t want to. My bed was so cozy and I was finding every reason as to why I don’t want to go. It looks like it will rain. It looks chilly. My usual running jackets are in the wash…and so on. But you know what? If I listen to those voices, it just makes it easier and easier to put it off each time. Making myself do things I don’t want to do sometimes will kick me into the proper mindset and get things done. Plus? San Francisco is hilly. That’s what. I wanna be prepared! So I ran 6 hills and a mini warm up and cool down.

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I then had my Shakeology, finished some work and then got into my P90X3 workout. Accelerator! I decided to wear one of my new shirts from Old Navy. Love this thing.

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I showered up, grabbed some grub and got ready to hit the road to Vancouver. I haven’t seen my family since Christmas so I wanted to pay a visit. Plus, my Dad went and picked up a parcel I had waiting at our cabin in the states! So happy my Erin Condren planner arrived! I shipped it there because shipping to Canada was just OUT OF HAND. Very lucky we have that American address.

IMG_3416I love it. Basically I get super picky with how things are laid out within a planner. One reason why I use DailyMile instead of an actual written running mileage journal. I like things bright and open.

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I love that it has sections for goals and it splits the days up into morning, day and night. Love the positive affirmations through out it. Ah. I love it so much!

QQOTD: Do you use a planner and do you get picky with how the format is as well?

Doing one thing a day to get out of my comfort zone

Oh Mondays. Usually I am all refreshed and stuff, but I had to wake up a bit early so to get my work done before a few appointments. I got in my P90X3. I switched my week around as I do with marathon training and did Dynamix. It was PERFECT for post long run day. It was basically dynamic stretching.

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I vlogged yesterday, where you can see my exciting day. But I went to meet my good friend Haleema for coffee. We lived in residence together in UVIC and were born in the same city. Soon we will be neighbors which is pretty sweet! We talked for HOURS and then I walked home.

On my walk home, the bridge went up. They are doing some construction and it seemed like most of the day they were raising and lowering it. I had to wait for about 30 minutes and talked with a stranger. One thing I am trying to do is get out of my comfort zone once a day and being a bit shy at time, talking to strangers is not my forte! But hey! I talked to a very nice lady and made a business contact out of it! Things happen for a reason, am I right?

Because I left eating lunch to last minute, my cravings were out of control. Pretty happy I didn’t go in with my original craving plan. When I am STARVING, I crave sweets…more specifically, chocolate covered almonds. UGH! Its so horrible. But I didn’t give in. I walked past Bulk Barn and went right home to eat some clean food.

Gabe and I had our usual Monday night girls night hang out. “Watched” Bachelor. The quotes are because we basically talked the entire time. That is how we do!

QQOD: Do you find your cravings get crazy out of hand when you don’t eat at your proper times/are at the point of starving?