Flush Me!

Do you hear that?  That flushing noise?  That’s the sound of me guzzling water and trying to flush out the teeny weenie bit of sodium that I consumed over the weekend which is now wreaking havoc on my body.  It’s quite ridiculous actually and something I’m going to mention to my doctor.  I had one White Spot burger on Saturday afternoon.  Not even the whole thing actually….more like 3/4 of the burger.  And I am paying the price BIG TIME this morning (and a little bit yesterday but I didn’t get out of my jammies yesterday so I didn’t notice it too much in my waistline).  I need to make a doctor’s appt this week anyway and I think I am going to bring this up.  The only thing is that I’m worried that she’s going to prescribe me something stupid like water pills.
The weekend was pretty good, spinning on Saturday was insanely hard, the instructor that I originally started out with back in February was back and I remembered why I had nicknamed her “Satan”!  She ran a killer class and having had a few glasses of red wine the evening before, it killed me!  Ray and I spent the late morning & early afternoon napping and then went for our burger (as noted above) and groceries.   Sunday was a Jammy Day, toast for breakfast, egg sandwich for lunch and turkey burger for dinner.  Ray slept until 1pm yesterday (graveyard) so I layed about and read.  All in all the weekend was very relaxing!
I made an African Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew on Saturday afternoon for my lunch this week.  The smell is insanely delicious and the taste is not bad too.  The problem is that the recipe called to cook the sweet potatoes until ‘very tender’, which I did.  Problem being that once you stir the stew, the yams break down and it’s more like African Sweet Potato & Peanut Smoosh.  It’s dead easy to make and very cheap so I’ll definitely do it again….but next time I’ll roast the yams first and then let them cool.  That should form them a bit of a ‘skin’ on their outsides so that they can hold themselves together.  Then I’ll put the sauce over the yams, chickpeas, green beans in a pot on the stove rather than the slow cooker for several hours.   Lesson learned.
Tonight I have Body Combat….but I also have a dislocated butt cheek.  Well, not really…..but something is twisted or pinching my sciatic nerve and my butt cheek lights up with every step.  I’ve brought my gym bag with me in order to go right after work.  If I go for a walk or spin, the pain eases as I warm up and loosen up….so I know I would do alright in Combat………it’s the day AFTER combat that I’m worried about.  I only have four more Tuesday morning spinning classes to attend so I definitely don’t want to miss one because of a faulty butt cheek.  I’m not really sure what I’m going to do when that’s over either.  I really love getting a good spin in first thing in the morning but I really hate working until 4:30 and then fighting traffic all the way home.  If only they would move that 6am class to an hour earlier….then I could have it all!  LOL! 
Love List ~ November 28, 2011
This morning I am grateful for:

Future Me


Do you ever look back a month or 6 months or a year and try to remember what was going on or how you were feeling or what you were looking forward to?  I came across a very cool website yesterday; www.futureme.org  You can write yourself (or anyone) an email that is then delivered anywhere from 30 days to far, far into the future.  I wrote myself a one month letter and a one year letter.  I think it’s kind of cool.  I told Current Me what was going on, how I was feeling and what I hope that Future Me is going to have achieved by the time the email arrives.  And the strangest thing happened.  What Current Me hopes that Future Me has achieved actually motivated my workout at Body Combat.  When I wanted to ease off a little, I thought of reading the email in 30 days and again in a year and having to acknowledge to myself that I didn’t try as hard as I could or do my very best in order to achieve the Future Me goals.

I worked Body Combat as hard as I could last night, Valerie has only one more Body Combat class before she moves away, and to be honest, I really hate that class.  I am bad at it, it hurts and I look retarded.  And if the new instructor to replace Valerie isn’t fantastic, I think I’m going to have a very hard time showing up to it.  I know who they think it’s going to be…and if it is her, then great!

Last night when I got home from Combat, Ray had a roast and brocoli and steamed red potatoes all ready to go.  Very nice to come home to!  I cleaned up dinner while he went back to bed for night shift tonight.  I packed my lunch, packed this morning’s gym bag and then made 4 dozen peanut butter cookies.  While the cookies were baking, the fridge got cleaned out and a load of laundry done.  Energy definitely does breed more energy!

Last night Ray also happened to inform me that the week before Christmas he’s supposed to be on dayshift.  That won’t happen, senior guys to him will be on holidays so he’ll have to go to a different shift.  He said he is goint to choose graveyards instead of afternoons.  Unfortunately that didn’t make me very happy.  My last vacation day of the year is on that first Monday…the day after my birthday.  My original plan was to sleep in, get showered or bathed and then crawl back into bed and watch Sex & The City, Gilmore Girls and any other silly girlie show or movie that I feel like while munching on birthday cake.  A day of complete luxury.   Unfortunately now that’s ruined.  If Ray works graveyards, I’ll have to get out of bed by 6:30am and fully showered and hair done so that he can go to sleep for the day.  Obviously I don’t want him to work a shift he doesn’t want (afternoons sucks right before a lengthy shut down), but I don’t want my day of sinful laziness to be ruined either.  It’s not the same to camp on the sofa and watch movies and it’s certainly not going to be nice to get up at my regular awake time and get ready like any normal day on my last day off.  I had this all hammered out in my head and now it’s not going to work out.  I’m sadder about it than is fully reasonable.  I’m going to have to make an entirely new plan so that my last day off of the year, the day after my birthday, is not just any old day.  Gr.

Love List ~ November 22, 2011

  • early morning spinning and a hot shower
  • tangerine flavoured lip gloss
  • juicy kiwi (eaten with the skin ON!)

Winter Schminter!

Happy Monday, it’s snowing here….in a place that does not deal well with snow.  I am from The North, we had snow, packed on roads and plowed up onto medians for 5 months of the year.  Shovelling was a daily (and sometimes mulitple times) chore.  We had block heaters in our cars and actual winter clothing, snow pants and big mittens, toques and earmuffs.  I grew up in a climate that had an Actual Winter and it didn’t bother me.  My sister and I used to walk to and from school (about a km and a half each way) every day.  The only time that we were given a pass on going to school was when the thermometer outside of our dining room window showed -40 or colder.  That happened about once/year.  Any other day we walked.  We put snowpants and winter jackets over our clothes, put on boots and mitts and braved the outdoors.  And now?  I hate the cold and I hate the snow.  When Ray took our dog for a walk last night he didn’t even bother asking me if I wanted to go (granted I was cooking dinner, but still).  I probably wouldn’t hate it as much if I had all the proper winter gear again….but since I’m always cold anyway (sitting here typing, my fingers may just shatter), going out into even colder doesn’t thrill me at all.
Yesterday I made Roasted Acorn & Butternut Soup.  It turned out alright…..because those are fairly sweet squashes though (and even more once you roast them), it’s difficult to season the soup.  We don’t like spicy and if you don’t season it properly it has the potential to become Pie Filling Soup.  I did alright with it and I’m curious to taste it again today once the flavours have melded.  I also made cheesy croutons out of large chunks of baguette, spread with some goat cheese and topped with a little sprinkle of marble and then broiled.  Very delicious!
I’m still on my Low Sodium awareness, I do not want a repeat of last week.  I’m convinced that the problem last week was something of a perfect storm of TOM, eating out and heart issue which caused the over-retention of sodium.  But I’m not taking any chances.  I’m being much more aware of sodium content (which is a good idea anyway) and buying sometimes more expensive but lower sodium products.  I used low sodium organic chicken and veg broth for the soup last night and when I was buying canned salmon for my lunch I found a low sodium one….460mg  per serving for the regular one and 85mg per serving for the low sodium one.  More expensive but that’s a HUGE difference.  The taste is slightly more bland but that’ll change as we get used to this.  
Tonight I’m going to BodyCombat at 4:30pm.  Ray is back on graveyard so he is sleeping now but will hopefully be cooking a small roast and some asparagus and red potatoes by the time I get home from Combat tonight.   We’re eating out once this week, on a Friday night date with our friends.  Given our recent record of eating out, I’ll take once/week as an acceptable reduction! 
I haven’t posted a Love List lately….and while you might not care, I do and I liked framing my day in a grateful manner so I’m going to try to do consistently again.

Love List ~  November 21, 2011
This morning I am grateful for:
my kitten hat
silly kisses at 6:15am
an absence of morning commute mayhem
warm soup for lunch

Days Worth Living For

These last few days have been the ones that make all the hassle and daily struggle and bullshit worth it.  The fun stuff, the good stuff, the stuff that makes you smile and months from now may give you a chuckle or a smile when you think of it.

Friday morning started off very dark and very cold when I went to get Tara to go to the USA.  We stopped for some very good coffee and shared a white chocolate and raspberry scone from Woods Coffee Company in Bellingham and then got on the interstate and booked it down to the outlet mall.  Money was spent, laughs were had, fancy panties were purchased and then it was lunch time.  Applebee’s in the US is not bad….it’s not great, but it’s not bad.  Unfortunately as we were leaving to head back to stores closer to home, we saw the restaurant that we had initially wanted to go to not 4 blocks down the road.  Ah, well, maybe next time.  Tara fell in immediate love with Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and we spent a good long time perusing their offerings.  Both of us packed grocery bags full and headed for our last stop at Target.  And then…it was time to come home.

Great trip, great conversation….the only thing that would have made it better is…..nope, not much.  Great day.

When I got home from dropping Tara off, Ray took me for dinner and then I had to come home and boil ribs and make sauce and cut squash and make apple crisp in preparation for the family dinner that we were hosting on Saturday.

Saturday morning started out bright and early with a killer spinning class.  I realized about half way through the class that my body has adapted to spinning and that the resistance that used to torture me isn’t quite as difficult anymore.  And so, because I figure what’s the point of going unless you’re going to give it everything you have, I cranked up the dial and got after it.  When I got home from spinning I was very happy to see that Ray had vaccumed upstairs and down and mopped the floors.  Very nice little treat, much appreciated!

Dinner was fantastic, wine, succulent ribs, savoury rice, caesar salad and some killer herbed garlic toast.  And warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert. 

And yesterday was a beautiful crisp fall day that had us lazing about until noon, a nice lunch at a neighborhood coffee shop and then two hours of leaf raking in the back yard.  Ray commented to me as I was raking that because of how large our yard is and how many leaves there were to rake, that it meant I shouldn’t have to go to the gym for a couple of days.  I disagree….while the leaf raking and hauling of 35 pound leaf bins and bags gets the heart rate up, I rather believe that the gym is the reason that I can leaf rake without an aching back or exhausting myself.  Leaf raking falls into the same category as dog walking or car washing or yard mowing.  It’s one of those things that you do, that is active, but isn’t considered exercise…not gym-replacing exercise anyway. 

Sunday night was leftovers for dinner, I baked Peanut Butter Ranch Cookies and spent a couple hours sitting on the sofa in my jammies drinking hot toddies and watching mindless television (which almost never happens).

I had one epiphany over the weekend that concerned exercise and food.  For me, I’m in the gym 4 hours a week.  Three spinning classes and a kickboxing class….(I burn approximately 2700 calories at the gym every week).  I’m NOT in the gym 15 hours/day (waking hours) which is 105 hours a week.  What goes on in the gym is good….definitely good, great even.  But what goes on when I’m not in the gym as it relates to food is a larger portion of my life.  Kill a workout 4 hours a week, great.  Eat too much or the wrong food when not in the gym and you’re diminishing the value of that hard work.  That was my epiphany.  It’s really easy to get sucked into the mindset of “I worked like a demon in the gym, now hand over the brownie!”.  I am going to work hard the next month to change that mindset to “I worked like a demon in the gym, now I’m seeing results!”. 

Below is a photo of the delicious ribs that we made!

Tonight I’m going to BodyCombat (kickboxing) right after work…again, dependant on making it there by the time the class starts…I can’t leave work early every Monday so it’s a crap shoot if the traffic is decent enough to get me there on time.  Tuesday is 6am spinning, Wednesday is 7pm spinning and then I think I might try to squeeze a class in on Friday (day off) because I have an hour of cardio to make up to keep me on track this month.

Love List ~ November 7, 2011

  • fluffy, sweet smelling pink bath towels
  • JOE yoga tops
  • friend chatter and family time
  • grey wool toque!
  • my stretching manual

Low Grade Crabby

October ended yesterday and for me it ended on a high note although I have to say that November hasn’t started out that way.  I am C-R-A-N-K-Y today!  I think it’s one of those moods that isn’t based on any one thing but a bunch of little things that are all ganging up.
Yesterday I left work a smidgen early in order to make it to my first BodyCombat class.  The girl teaching it is one of my favourite RPM (spinning) instructors so I thought if I was going to try something brand new, I wanted it to be her teaching the class.  Hell on toast, that class is HARD.  I am unco-ordinated, inflexible and have little to no upper body strength.  For that reason, I will be there every Monday afternoon for awhile.  I think it’s going to replace jogging on my schedule for awhile.   I had no idea that you could work so hard and sweat so much when you are only under the influence of your own body!
One of the things that I know making me crabby today is that I found out yesterday that Valerie (favorite instructor) is moving away in a month to go and open a new GoodLife Fitness in Kelowna.  We’re not friends, I barely know her and I don’t think she even knows my name, but I see her 3 times a week and her energy and drive and personality are a good part of what inspires me to get my ass down to the gym some days.  And in a month she won’t be there and it’ll be a bunch of random people teaching all her classes.  Whatever, I guess it’s not an actual problem but it makes me sad!
One of the other things that is making me crabby today is that I have a common spinning aggravation (not injury at this point) and the beebopping around in BodyCombat yesterday did nothing to help…and so I did not go spinning this morning.  I have Achilles Tendinitis…which means that my Achilles Tendon is inflammed.  It’s not a huge deal but it definitely is uncomfortable.  It’s most often caused by improper foot position when spinning. What I KNOW is that it’s often caused by dorsiflexion of your foot (toes pointed up) when pedalling.  What I THINK is that it’s because my quads (and most women’s) are so much stronger than my hamstrings so my body tries to get the quads to take the brunt of the work by driving the pedals down with my heels…and then my toes point up.  So ice, stretching, ice and a bit of rest.  I’ll be back to spinning tomorrow night, it’s already feeling better this morning after icing a bunch last night and again this morning.  And….my hamstrings will just have to suck up the pain from now on.
Ray is currently doing the first day of a two day cleanse prep for a colonoscopy.  It happens every two years and it’s always a touchy time because his dad died of colon cancer so getting that screening done is a good thing but we’re all on pins and needles for a couple of days…it brings that fear right to the forefront!
And finally, putting two “X” marks on my fitness schedule doesn’t feel very good, those red X marks are little failure tattoos and I don’t like it.  There are far more happy check marks than X marks though!  Tomorrow I’ll be back at it.  I’m kind of glad for the rest even though it meant red X’s though, I am tired and this morning looking in the mirror I actually look tired.  That’s not good…exercise is supposed to boost you and energize you and make you look vibrant and glowing….not tired!  I’ll be all rested up after all of today and tomorrow and ready to go tomorrow night!
Love List ~ November 1, 2011
This morning I am grateful for:
a good ache in my shoulders and back
curry chicken mini pot pie for dinner (I’m being grateful in advance!)
cinnamon quinoa w/ a touch of syrup

End of October!

Morning.  I’ve been feeling posterrific over the last few days! 
I’ve completely brushed off the “failure” of skipping spinning all weekend and I’m moving on.  Because….what choice do I have?  I’m actually kind of excited about tonight.  I’m trying a new class at the gym called BodyCombat.  All the classes at my gym are Les Mills classes and those programs are definitely a challenge.  Valerie (Group Exercise Instructor) tells me that RPM (spinning) is the hardest one and since I already do that I’ll be fine…..but I’m not so sure.  You regulate your own resistance on the bike throughout the spinning class so if you’re really struggling you just turn down the volume.  In the aerobics style classes where it’s just you and an aerobics room, if you’re really struggling you just…..keep struggling?
Anyway, BodyCombat is an hour long martial arts aerobics class and completely out of my comfort zone.  I’ve never d0ne martial arts, I’m inflexible and I can’t do a push up to save my life.  Sounds like exactly the class I need, right?  LOL!  I keep thinking of that annoying cliche saying “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”.  It’s true though and so tonight (providing I make it there through traffic in time for the start of the class), I am going to do something different.  Wish me luck!
Now, even though I said above that I’ve put the weekend behind me, that’s not to say that I haven’t learned a big, huge lesson from some of the goings on.  I have come to realize that I am very sensitive to sugar, and not in a good way.  I don’t notice any particular energy spike when I eat sugar, but the crash that I get is horrible.  Plus, once I start with the refined sugar, my brain and my hand-to-mouth action don’t always connect.  I find myself re-sugar-charging myself when I really haven’t made a concious decision to do it.  One cookie equals two which equals an ice cream which equals a piece of fudge and on and on.  I exercise enough to take the calories but what it does to my body hours later is horrible.  I get sooo sleepy and soooo lethargic and that just snowballs if I let it.  I read a study awhile ago that said that refined sugar does a similar thing in the brain that heroin does (obviously to a lesser extent) and that makes sugar addictive.  It also said that generally people who are more overweight are more addicted to it due to longer term exposure and that the bigger you are, the harder time you will have cutting out sugary items.   I’ve also noticed (for quite some time) that sugar in any quantity makes my stomach swollen and my digestive-ness not work properly (if you get me) and changes my appetite completely.  So, I’ve got a sugar embargo going on right now in my world.   I need to just remember how crappy I feel afterwards and I should be completely fine saying no, thanks.
Love List ~ October 31, 2011
This morning I am grateful for:
 a pajama clad late(r) night drive (that’s always tonnes of fun)
quinoa cooked in cinnamon
apples and peanut butter
new exercise possibilities
my down vest!