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?

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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Meal Prep Tips

Lately I have been starting my day off with a small bowl of granola, half a banana sliced over top with a splash of almond milk. I make all my own granola now since doing my fair share of research when it comes to store bought cereals. I have been loving making my own stuff! really! it is kinda fun to get creative with it! Plus I can get all “pinterest-y” and put it in an adorable mason jar. Adorable.

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I have craved Thursdays the last few weeks. It has been dubbed my “slow down” day. Isometrix from P90X3, as I have mentioned before, is essentially the balancing poses in yoga. Then I also did X3 Yoga and got a good stretch in. Also screen captured this pose that I thought looked cool. Fun fact? I maybe held that for 4 milliseconds! teehee!

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I had a few business meetings and met up with my good friend Emily too. It was a great Thursday if you ask me! However, I could NOT turn off my mind before bed. So I was up late just laying there thinking about things. PS. I am missing Grey’s Anatomy HARD. That is USUALLY my Thursday night routine. Can it just come on TV already? like now? I don’t wanna wait until February.

I was asked a bit about meal prep yesterday and I thought I would through out a few of my own tips for what I do. As you guys know, I used to be hardcore about it when I was working with a coach in the summer. However, I hated how I did it then. I think a lot of it had to do with I absolutely hated the actual meals (HA!) but I probably could have been more efficient about it. So this is what I do now, it isn’t super efficient and it isn’t super strict. As you guys may know, I now live a more balanced lifestyle and I feel like it is helping me heal (mentally/emotionally) if that makes sense. 2013 was a rough one!

For me, meal prep means having things readily available in the fridge. I work from home at the moment, so I really don’t have to think too ahead of time.

My tips to meal prep:

1. Make LARGE batches of versatile foods. For example, I cook quinoa as if I am cooking for a family of 8. Seriously. But quinoa can be used in so many ways. It can be a side dish, it can be a substitute for oatmeal, it can be sweet or savory. I ALWAYS have quinoa in the fridge if possible. Hard boiled eggs is the same dealio. You can have them with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, whole. Or you can take out the yolk, mash and mix with the smallest amount of mayo, pop it back into the egg white and you have a deviled egg of sorts. You can put them into a salad. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES. Have you ever been so excited about hard boiled eggs in your LIFE?! okay, maybe you aren’t. But I sure am. Yum!

2. Slow cooker= life saver. I use this things ESPECIALLY on Sundays. After my long runs, I don’t trust myself with cooking. Why you may ask? well not only am I walking about like a zombie.. mentally I AM a zombie. I feel like I would find a way to light myself on fire by accident. Sundays are my run and zone out days! So the slow cooker comes in handy because A) it makes big servings B) I don’t have to think about cooking really C) the house smells delish when I come back from my run!

3. There is no need to do ALL your meal prep in one day. Why you may ask? well if you make tilapia and see/ smell the grossness that is fish sludge, you will see (and don’t forget smell!) what I mean. Not all proteins and produce will last that long.

4. Make a list of possible meal ideas/snack ideas. Do you ever get that “I want something fun and healthy to eat” feeling? oh just me? anyway. I have a little list of possible combination of meal/snack ideas to keep things interesting.

5. Organization. When I used to meal prep hardcore, I would put each meal in their own container that was perfectly weighed out and everything. You could say, my fridge had NO room in it. I suggest putting items in bigger containers and weigh them out as you need. Unless you live alone and no fridge space is fine. Think my husband secretly was tired of seeing the blue Tupperware container lids invade our fridge and having to ask “can I eat this?”

Et voila! Just a few tips I use!

Have a lovely Friday!!

xo J

 

Thirsty Thursday: My tips for drinking more water

I decided to give morning running a chance again. Lately my routine has involved me getting up to do my work first, then do my workouts. But I remember why I used to workout first thing in the morning. I had less going on in my head. So I laced up just before sun rise yesterday morning (so not that early, like 7:45 am) and set off on my run.

It was another easy paced run for me, I need to remember my pace has slowed down significantly and that is okay. That happens after taking a year off, putting on a few pounds and so on. It was pretty overcast when I went out, which I am okay with. Really, Winnipeg gave me a new perspective on weather conditions to complain about. We never get snow like that here. Ever. As I say, “welcome to the island life!”

IMG_3220Topped it off with a yummy vegan chocolate Shakeology with Almond milk, half a banana and a big spoonful of peanut butter. Clearly my signature recipe. I also had a 1 shot Nespresso Americano. Which reminds me, I need to pick up more Nespresso Capsules. Any of you have a favourite? I think I am going to venture away from the flavoured ones. Getting a bit tired of the chocolate. Carmelito one is still pretty good though. Roma is one of my favourites I have tried so far mainly because it is so high in caffeine mwahaha.. okay coffee addict Jenn.. shut your trap.. done.

I had CVX for P90X3 scheduled and I was too lazy to go to the gym with my laptop. I will say that some days I am pretty confident bringing it down there. But there’s some days I just feel awkward. Weird? yep. Yesterday was one of those days, so what did I do? made my own weights with a big bag of almonds, and a textbook filled gym bag. Ha!

IMG_3224If you remember back in August, you will know I have done this before. On the honeymoon I made weights out of our suitcases since the place we stayed at in Vacaville, California only had cardio equipment. I also would do Insanity in the hotel room. Another great reason why I love Beachbody DVD programs. You can literally bring them ANYWHERE.

Today (just for this week anyway) I am dubbing THIRSTY THURSDAY. Okay, okay. I know I am not the only one to say that. Just wanted to for the sake of today’s Facebook post. HYDRATION!

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I get asked pretty often how much water I drink. I drink a gallon of water a day (3.8 ish litres) sometimes more. That is just strict water. I don’t consider anything else as hydration, though other people will argue otherwise (eg. teas, diluted juice etc). The minimum suggestion is half an ounce to every pound you weigh.

I am very lucky in that drinking my water isn’t too difficult. I know some people struggle to get enough water in in a day so I thought I would throw out a few tips!

1. Straws. Seriously, when I have a straw in my drink I drink more of it. The last few days was a good example of this. I was using my usual gym water bottle for water and I didn’t drink enough water. Yet, with my little mason jar tumbler, I drink over a gallon EASY.

2. Ice. This may be personal preference, but I find I can drink water better when it is ice cold!

3. Location of your water bottle. Pssst. It should be located near you all the time! I no joke have water on me ALL the time. I always have water in my purse, at my desk, in the car, everywhere!

4. Set water goals. This may sound silly, but for those of you trying to reach a specific intake of water it helps (eg: have 1 litre down before 10 am).

5. Infuse! Pop some frozen fruit into some water and put it in the fridge for a bit. You can add a little stevia if you want it sweetened a bit.

6. Drink before that “I am thirsty” feeling. Often times when you feel really thirsty, you have already dehydrated significantly. You want to hydrate throughout the day!

7. Replace soda, diet drinks, store bought juices etc with water or infused fruit water. Yes even if it is 0 calories (I am talking to you Crystal Light and Dasani Drops). I don’t want to beat the dead horse but that stuff is BAD.

8. Freeze various things into ice cubes for you water. Lemon, orange, and lime juice/rinds. Berries. Mint. Cucumber…and so on.

9. Drink one big glass when you first wake up. Before coffee or tea! You have been “fasting” since the night prior. You body needs it!

10. Watching TV? make it a goal to finish a glass of water during that 30 minute program!

 

Now drink a glass just because I told you  to.

 

Really.

Happy hydrating everyone ;).

Turkey Pumpkin Chili- JennIsTryingToCleanOutHerFridge Edition!!

I know Tuesdays are usually “transformation Tuesday” in Instagram world, but I don’t share my transformation every week. To be honest, I find it can be overkill and hey! if people want to see the before in after, it has been my profile picture on my Facebook like page anyway! So what beautiful alliteration can we make for yesterday. Titillating Tuesday? I just feel weird typing that. Perhaps now. How about…too many hills Tuesday because THAT describes my Tuesday pretty well!

Started with the P90X3 warrior workout. Always a goodie but it does include a lot of lower body plyometric movements. Hello quads, glutes and hammies! I was worried I wouldn’t be exhausted before doing my drill run. Thank you Tony Horton for making that possible. #sarcasm. Promise.

IMG_3200Topped with a chocolate vegan Shakeology. SO good. I am too hooked on this mixed with almond milk, half a banana and a big tbsp of peanut butter. Yum!

Got a bunch of work done so that I could get my run on at lunch time! Hill drills, yippeee! Ran 5 hill repeats. Two repeats of Gonzales hill (this one I am FINALLY able to run all the way to the top of! Such a killer!), one repeat of St. Charles, one repeat of Robleda and one repeat of Moss st. I was EXHAUSTED by the end. Drills always take a lot out of me.

IMG_3209I had so much to do my on my daily “to do” list, so it was back to work for me. Have a few people I am writing fitness programs for, so I spent the afternoon working on those while I made…..

IMG_3211TURKEY PUMPKIN CHILI -Jenn is trying to clean out her fridge edition

Last time I made this, I used a recipe from Whole Foods online. This time I just put things in there that I wanted to use up. So the measurements and ingredients may be a bit interesting. But hey! it was delicious so I am not going to question why I only put in 2 strips of bacon!

Ingredients:
1 can pumpkin
2 big handfuls of baby tomatoes, blended in my vitamix. Probably could use a can of chopped tomatoes though!
5 stalks of celery, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 cups of fresh baby spinach
1 packed of ground turkey, cooked
2 slices of bacon
1 heaping tbsp chopped garlic
coconut oil (for oiling your pans)
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

 

 

Directions:

 

  1.  Cook ground turkey completely through on an coconut oiled pan. In a stew pot, cook celery, onion, garlic, peppers, in melted coconut oil until onions are translucent. Add spinach to wilt over top.
  2. On med/low heat, add cooked turkey into vegetable mixture.
  3. Add canned tomato and pumpkin. Mix
  4. Add spices and mix.
  5. Let simmer over low heat until you feel it is ready!
  6. nom nom nom!

 

I also made a bunch of quinoa in chicken broth so I poured some of the chili over a little bit of quinoa. PERFECT. So good!

Chili is so easy and perfect in my mind. I rarely add beans to mine, but it is good with beans! I tried it the first time I made it.

Have a wonderful day ❤

 

 

Boring but busy Monday

Monday! Vlog Monday! Check out my Youtube for yesterdays vlog!

I was so busy with work all Monday. Sunday night I remember laying in bed and literally thinking how I could optimize my time ha! is that nerdy? but really, I sometimes feel like I am ALWAYS doing something, yet not doing anything at all..simultaneously. Is that weird? probably.

So naturally I signed up for the Team Beachbody Cup just so that I could feel focused on my work a bit more. It is my first time participating so it should be a good experience! It’ll keep me driven..I think. Ha!

P90X3 Accelerator was yesterday too. This is the last week with this schedule, so I am doing my best to really focus during these short 30 minutes for that final week. Excited for a whole new mix of workouts next week!

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Really wanted to go running. It was just SO beautiful out! But Tuesday is my hill drill day, so I thought it would be smart to save my energy and legs for that. So I went for a walk, finished some errands and came back home for some more work. Matt was to be at work later than normal, so I decided to watch Bachelor, eat left overs and drink tea. I also made Granola. Felt like a busy busy day!

I know, this blog isn’t all that peppy and exciting right? ha! I am sleeeepy today! doing my best to work up energy to do my hill drills today and P90x3!

I posted this on my Facebook like page today:

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So for today’s Question of the day (QOOD), What are some small things you do to make you feel good about yourself?

Mine? I take Epsom salt baths, paint my nails and put on my favourite moisturizer because it smells so dang good. Holy girlie stuff right?