About Me

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I am a momma-to-be, a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. Let's eat clean and do some craaahaaayzy workouts together... followed by a glass of wine.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The "I Wish I Were An Angel" Ass Kicking Workout

Pin It You will SWEAT during this workout- so you should enter my No Sweat Giveaway! (Shameless plug, I know.)

So... who watched the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show last night? And... who cried themselves to sleep? Me, too. I was really pumped to see Adriana Lima in the boxing ring and working really hard in the gym, though- and so, I bring you the "I Wish I Were An Angel" Ass Kick.

What, this old thing? I've had it in my closet for years.
 You will work for 20 seconds, and rest for 10. Each station is done 8 times in a row- yes, 8! Think of that 2 million dollar bra (and for gentlemen, think of how good you'd look in it, too). You can begin with any exercise you'd like. In between stations (after you've done 8 rounds), you will get a 1 minute break. Use it wisely- drink water, recuperate, get ready for the next station!

1. Push Up Supermans 
Begin in a push up position. Complete one push up, then lift your right arm straight ahead and your left leg straight behind. Do another push up and repeat the superman using the left arm and right leg.

2. Side Plank Taps
Start in a Side Plank with your hand under your shoulder (can be done on forearm as well). Lift your top foot and tap your toe in front of your bottom toe and then behind. Repeat!

3. Upper Half Burpees
Stand shoulder width apart, squat down and touch the floor with your fingertips. From here, jump up as high as you can and repeat the movement.

4. Three Pulse Lunge Jump
Begin in a split lunge position (make sure your front knee stays in line with your ankle), pulse three times and jump up into the air, switching feet and landing directly into three pulses. Repeat.

5. Plank Pendulum
Begin in a plank. It is important to keep your hips low in a plank while doing this to get the super core workout. Extend your right foot off the ground and as far as you can to the right, then bring it back to plank position, switching to the left. Repeat, as quickly as possible.

6. Stability Ball Pike
Put your chest on the ball, and roll forward until the ball is on your thighs and your hands are on the ground. Lift your hips as high as you can straight into the air, and return to starting position. Repeat.

7. High Knee Run
Your goal here is to lift your knees as high as you can and run as fast as you can on the spot.

8. Crossfit Swing
Using a kettlebell, medicine ball, or dumbbell (aim for at least 10 lbs.), start shoulder width apart with your feet. Lift the bell straight over head, keeping your back straight (not arching). Release back down and bend the knees. Repeat.

9. Scissor Legs
Lying on your back, place your hands underneath the small of your lower back. *Make sure you do not arch your back for this exercise*. Lift your legs high into the air, and scissor them down close to the ground by criss-crossing them back and forth. For a higher option, lift your shoulderblades off the ground.

Hang in there- and picture yourself on the runway! Even if it is to be a lighting technician.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

This Giveaway is NO SWEAT!

Pin It So, I'm about to "out" Carter.

The guy sweats. A lot. And I know I'm supposed to love him regardless, but after a long workout, when he's drenched with sweat and leaning in for a kiss, I gotta admit: I don't want that s&!@ near me. (Side note: if you're reading this, honey, I love you. But this ain't news to you.)

Usually, he balls up his clothes at the gym and puts them in a garbage bag to bring home to clean. I'm talking- this bag is FULL (he is hardcore into fitness, which of course is amazing), sopping wet, and when I go to do laundry, it is just... it's just wrong. Nasty. Gross.

Okay, you caught me! I don't really do laundry. 
Well, I do laundry sometimes. So you should still feel sorry for me.

Carter and I are both Phys Ed teachers, so we live in workout gear. We've invested thousands of dollars in high-quality sweat-wicking clothing over the years. We both have favourite pieces of clothing that just don't seem to come out smelling super fresh after washing (don't judge us- we tell each other it's hard work, baby).

What a man- pumping out a quick run during a wedding! Hot. 

...And then, there's the opposite of hot. 
Enter: No Sweat Laundry Detergent!

I have to admit, I was sceptical when I first used it. I purposely put some really nasty gear into the washing machine. The craziest part? You only need 2 ounces of No Sweat. A teeny, tiny cap full. I must have read the label about 18 times. It is the smallest amount of detergent ever- less than a shot.

Yes, I just compared laundry detergent to a shot of booze. I know my readers well.

It is tough on sweat, AND on odour, and actually gentle on my yoga and running clothes. And- it is a certified Eco Logo green product! Carter (who, um, normally does the laundry) loved it. We are down to our last 2 oz. and I'm trying to ration it as much as I can!

You can try this out yourself- No Sweat is offering one lucky, sweaty reader a 4x500mL pack of 2 Citrus Rush and 2 Fragrance Free bottles! You will seriously love this and I am SO jeal.

I'm actually not happy for any of you. Any chance I can enter my own contest?
No Sweat also has some great laundry tips on their website for how to keep your workout gear clean. I really like that it was invented by someone who loves to exercise as much as we do, but found that most detergents were not gentle or hardcore enough for her yoga gear. This stuff is perfect for all you hot yogis out there, for you runners, cross-fitters, and for those of us who sweat profusely while watching an intense episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Don't pretend you don't watch it.

You can win by:

1. Liking your gal on Facebook. Do it. Now.

2. Liking No Sweat on Facebook and telling them what sweaty exercise you do to deserve this amazingness! Um, preferably a physical activity that you'd do in front of people.

3. Sharing this giveaway (via blog, facebook, or twitter! @NOSWEATL would love to hear from you!)

No sweat, right? Make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry down below, yo. This contest will run until Friday, December 2nd! Good luck my sweats! Uhm, I mean, sweets.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Turning 30 Isn't So Bad...

Pin It
I'd like to premise this blog post by saying that I have a serious chocolate addiction.

I have an AMAZING group of girlfriends (detailed in The Entourage) and we have been going all out for each other's 30th birthdays, that all fall within a year and a half. I'm not talking bowling and birthday cake. Although, if I was with the gals, it would be the most hilarious time of my life. These women are real. We talk about everything- not the latest in ironing technology, Swiffer refills or false eyelashes. (Okay, so maybe the last part). We talk about life, what we love, what annoys the hell out of us, our jobs, our men (sorry, guys), and we are always supportive of each other. Think Sex and the City, but doubled.

My peeps. 
So the gals surprised me by taking me to The Chocolateria- the coolest little cafe in Roncesvalle that serves EVERYTHING chocolate. I'm talking chocolate dipped chips, bacon covered chocolate, chocolate with almonds, chocolate with toffee, sea salt and caramel chocolate, chocolate lollipops, truffles, hot chocolate, chocolate covered Oreos, chocolate dipped Rice Krispie squares... you get my point.

In shock here... that I don't know about this place.

Not listed in the ingredients: crack cocaine.

When I said I wasn't a chip person, what I actually meant was I wasn't a chip person unless they were dipped in chocolate.

Awwwwww... I love my friends! And by friends, I mean the letters K, A, T, and Y in solid chocolate form.
I was so lucky! I got to try all of the treats that all my girlfriends chose (thank God there are nine of us).

This was me when everyone was done sharing.

I bought my chocolate after everyone had shared. Then, I took their leftovers home. I am a good friend.
I actually bought some chocolate covered chips, toffee chocolate and turtles to give as gifts, but let's be honest. They didn't stand a chance.

The girls then took me to my very own hotel room where they showered me with the finest delicacies:

Coot Bags (best adult novelty idea ever- we should copyright this!) complete with water, noise makers, chocolate (duh), and most importantly: Advil!

You weren't supposed to see this.

Somehow doing shots over Justin Bieber napkins felt right. 
We had a dance party to Celine Dion and ate the most amazing cupcakes!

HEEL and BARBELL cupcakes!!!!!! 
I know. Bad placement. 

Then, we I ate more.

Indian Food Delivery. For one. 

I am such a creep. 

Really? Not one photo without me stuffing my face?
The girls then played BLOG WARS- a scavenger hunt with my best blog quotes with a few words missing! We had to find the missing word (option: fill it in with a dirty word) and remember where in the room it was hidden.

Seriously? How did I find these amazing women?
We drank wine and champagne, and then the girls gave me the BEST gift I have ever received.

They EACH wrote a blog post for me!!!!!!!!!!

This was me, sobbing for 15 minutes. 

Still sobbing, Jessi laughs. 
Most of us know how frustrating and painstakingly long it takes to write a blog post, so you can imagine how much I appreciated this! They told me the story of how we met and the kind of friend I am to them. It was the most touching, awesome thing that anyone has ever done for me!

While we all have a moment to pause for my amazing girlfriends, let's revisit the crack. 

I know you are all exhausted reading this, but I'm not done! The girls gave me a Tiffany bean necklace!!!!

I was not excited at all.

After I got the necklace, I morphed into one of Lady Gaga's little monsters. 
I picked myself up from the shock, hugged and cried to all of my girls, and then, did what any other woman in their 30s would do.

Took a full length selfie. 
Friends don't let friends go to the bar with chocolate in their teeth.
We went out, where I felt the need to work off some of my chocolate consumption.

Thank God for that loose top. 

Always a friend, Agatha makes sure I'm using correct form on the bar floor by keeping her heel on my butt.
I have never felt more lucky to have a group of girlfriends so hilariously funny, generous, supportive, and all-round a #$@!ing blast to be around.



Cheers to the women in your life, and to the women in mine, too!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The 22-minute Movember Workout!

Pin It This workout is dedicated to Movember and it's goal of raising prostate cancer awareness. All the exercises were inspired by famous moustaches!

I didn't want to show you my ACTUAL moustache. That's for when we know each other much better.

Each station will consist of 2 moves. You will alternate between both moves 4 times, and then move to the next station (so, in total, you are doing each move 4 times).

1. The Handlebar (20 seconds ON, 10 seconds OFF, alternate between both exercises x4 each)

Unfortunately, this is my husband and his handlebar. You can blame him for the following handlebar torture. 

a) The "Handlebar" Chin Up
The Equalizer bar here represents the handlebar! Overhand or Underhand grip, start with a 90 degree bend in your knee and your back parallel to the floor. Lift as high as you can off the floor. *This can also be done on a squat rack at the gym- place the squat rack bar on a low setting and move your body underneath the rack!

b) The "Handlebar" Push Up

Hands slightly wider than shoulderwidth apart, bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle (think of that handlebar 'stache!). Keep your back and belly strong as you push yourself up. Can be done on the knees if your upper body is straight- keep your belly and thighs off the ground.

2. The Super Mario Brothers (20 seconds ON, 10 seconds OFF, alternate between both exercises x4 each)
Look at these bad boys and their staches. They're hardcore and they have a twist- just like these exercises!

a) The Russian Twist
2 options: Feet on the ground or lifted up in the air (highest option: back and legs are straight). Keeping your back straight (chest lifted), twist to one side and place elbow down on the ground. Repeat other side.

b) Jump Twists
Start in a standing position. Jump straight up in the air, land in a squat and twist to touch your right ankle/toes with both hands. Return to centre, jump straight up again and squat down, touching your left ankle/toes.

3. The Magnum P.I. (20 seconds ON, 10 seconds OFF, alternating between both exercises x4 each).

Tom Selleck, you hunk you.These exercises are long, lean, and wide. Just how I like it.

a) Wide Burpees
Keeping your feet wider than shoulder width apart, jump as high as you can into the air. Squat down, and jump back into a plank with your feet wide. Jump your feet back to the outside of your hands, and back to jump. WOOOO!!! You'll hate me today but you'll thank me tomorrow when your butt looks like J Lo's.

b) Side Squats
2 options: Jumping or Stepping, move your right foot out to the side as wide as you can. Squat. Jump or step back to centre, and repeat on the left side.

4. The Charlie Chaplin (20 seconds ON, 10 seconds OFF, alternating between both exercises x4 each).

These exercises will be short, compact and sweet, people!
a) 4 Mountain Climbers + 4 Count Plank Hold
Complete 4 mountain climbers and then hold a plank on the hands for 4 counts. Repeat.

b) Shuffles
Quick, fast, powerful movement mimicking a cross country ski.

After you have completed the 4 stations (this should take you about 20 minutes), complete the following moustache-inspired exercises (your body is the nose and your feet are the stache!)

You will do 10 pendulum swings and move directly into 10 jumping planks. NO REST in between- you're doing this 5 times switching between the two exercises! I've shown you two angles: front and side, just like a good 'stache. This is to finish your 20 minute workout with a final 1-2 minute killer core blaster! DO IT!

The Movember Workout in 22 minutes. You're welcome.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Birthday Yoga, Literally, Luna Bars, and NY Times Food & Drink Mag. TILL.

Pin It Welcome to TILL! Things I'm Loving Lately is a blog post dedicated to small things I'm having a love affair with lately. It's easy, and so am I. Literally.

Things I'm loving lately:

1. The fact that my Dad found this card for me.

Well done, Dad.

2. The word "literally".

My friend Katherine hates this word mostly for its common misuse in the English language. For example: "My heart was literally jumping out of my chest" is, well... not possible. "I was so embarrassed I literally died!" Well, that would be pretty amazing if you could still talk while dead. "My parents were literally shocked." Um, unless your parents got hit by lightning, then no, they weren't literally shocked.

There is (literally) a Facebook group for "People Who Hate the Overuse and Incorrect Use of Literally".

There's a reason I chose to talk about this, because this morning, I- literally- ran over a squirrel on my run. Yes. I RAN OVER A SQUIRREL. You're thinking with your car, which wouldn't be literal. I ran- literally, ran- over a squirrel with my FEET.




STEPPED ON A SQUIRREL. Yes, the squirrel is okay- but I will bet a cagillion (literally... ah, shit) dollars that that couldn't happen to me twice even if I tried.


3. New LUNA Bar flavours in Canada!

YAHOO! I've been dying (not literally) to try Luna's Chocolate Peppermint and it is finally available in Canada!

I, um... however, don't have a picture of it since I devoured it. Then I bought more. Then I devoured those. Trust me, they exist here in Canada. Check out Loblaws in the Organic section and you will find this amazingness.

I DO have a photo of the OTHER amazing flavour now in Canada- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut! Now, I know what you're thinking- "is it possible that you like anything not dipped in chocolate?" Okay... if you thought that, well- you are correct. But you're probably also thinking "Okay... but what does it REALLY taste like?"

She's a beauty.

It tastes like the sweet, sweet fresh macadamia nut cookie that you ate one too many of. Then you felt sick. Then you ate more.

No? Just me?

4. The New York Times Magazine- Food & Drink Issue!

This is a crazy informative little magazine that my Aunt sent me in the mail. It helps to debunk some popular food myths and breaks down the local food movement. I read this cover to cover- I do that often with magazines.

Because magazines have pictures, and books don't. 

TILL next time (get it?)... tell me what you think of the Things I'm Loving Lately! 

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Military Workout!

Pin It Today's workout is in honour of Remembrance/Veteran's Day. Perhaps you've had friends, family, ancestors, colleagues, or acquaintances that have been or are a part of your country's military. This is a job I cannot imagine doing. Often, I see commercials recruiting for the Army, Navy, etc. and sometimes I sit and really think- would I ever be able to do something like that? Serve my country- whether locally or globally- risking my life on a daily basis?

I truly admire the determination, pride, strength, and passion that our veterans show. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost someone in the line of duty. May we never forget.

I reminded myself of this when I came up with this military- inspired, no-nonsense workout. The workout is completely stationary, and can be done anywhere- at the gym or at home. It will take you about 35 minutes- YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 35 MINUTES (sorry, just getting into drill sergeant mode). You'll need a mat and a little bit of space- and you'll need a heart of gold!

Future pain = coming up!
*Note: click on the videos for more detailed instruction on the move*

1. Alternate between Push Ups + Side Plank Crunch and Stand-Up Pendulum Swings. You'll do 20 seconds of the Push Up + Side Plank, rest for 10 seconds, and then move to 20 seconds of the Stand Up Pendulums, rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 more times. Rest for 1 minute.

2. Alternate between (Optional Weighted) Goblet Squats and Jumping Planks. Again, you'll do 20 seconds of Goblet Squats with 10 seconds rest, and then move to Jumping Planks for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 more times. Rest for 1 minute.

3. Alternate between T-Push Ups (with leglift) and (Optional Weighted) Buddha Crunches. Again, you'll do 20 seconds of T-Push Ups (with leg lift), rest for 10 seconds, and move to 20 seconds of Weighted Buddha Crunches, and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 more times. Rest for 1 minute.

Way to go, Shawn and Bailey! :)

4. This round you WILL NOT TIME. You will do 20 stationary high knee runs, and move directly to 10 split jumps without rest. Repeat 5 times!

Rest for 1 minute- and then, SURPRISE- you will now repeat this entire workout again! Thinking of those who we've lost on this Remembrance Day. Do it for them.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Slow Cooked Sweet Potato & Vegetable Curry!

Pin It Don't forget to enter my super ridiculous Titika Reversible Poncho giveaway

As you wish, my peeps!

A colleague of mine brought in this dish a few weeks ago and I nearly died. When she told me how easy it was to make, I didn't believe her- until I tried it myself!

What you'll need:

2 large sweet potatoes, chopped into cubes
1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped
1 jar of strained tomatoes
1 can of chick peas (including the chick pea juice- that sounds gross- you know what I'm saying)
1 medium onion
1 small jar of your favourite curry paste (I used Patak's Madras- you can use a large jar for thicker curry with more spice)
A hearty handful of spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of water (you may need more depending on your desired consistency)

2 cups short grained brown rice (makes approximately 3 cups cooked) OR Naan Bread
1-2 tbsp plain 0% greek yogurt (to top)

These suckers were massive! I bought 4 but only needed 2. 

Strained tomaters are usually with the pasta sauce, but I've also found them with the canned vegetables!

I am o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with PCGY. I tried to get my fam to buy into using it in place of sour cream in the summer- they thought I was a huge weirdo. And, they were right. 
Put Chick Peas (with juice), cauliflower, sweet potatoes, strained tomatoes, onion, water, and curry paste into a slow cooker. Cover, let slow cook on high for 3 hours (or low for 6-7 hours). In the meantime, cook brown rice in rice cooker. Remove slow cooker cover, add spinach and let wilt for approximately 10 minutes, or desired spinach consistency. Serve over brown rice or Naan, and a spoonful of greek yogurt (this helps if it is too spicy!)!

Not pictured: my drool. It's in there.

Helllllllllllllls yes.

This made about 8-9 servings!!! We had some for dinner and I put the bottom 4 away for lunches/dinners this week- the top 2 containers I decided to freeze. They'll likely get 4 more servings with rice!