A Gift

I was gifted 4 hours yesterday. Four hours where I would have normally been otherwise engaged until such time as it was time to start cooking dinner. From 1:30 – 5:30 last night, I was FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! At around noon, the power lines outside of our office building came down in a huge ball of white flames. Arcing and firing and killing the power to our complex (ironic since we are a high voltage electrical service firm, LOL!). We all hung around chatting and wondering what was going to happen until around 1pm when I finally took it upon myself to go and talk to the utility line crew and ask what the ETA on restoration would be. “Several hours” was the answer…..and with that? FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what does a high functioning woman such as myself DO with 4 whole hours of unspoken for time? The following list tore through my head (and yes, I did think I could get it all done if I just worked quick enough):


  • Mow the lawn
  • Weed the garden
  • Clean the house
  • Wash my bike
  • Vacuum my car
  • Go to the bookstore


Fortunately I had a solid 6 minute commute to come to my senses. No one knew I would be home. Just me. And my dog. And I would be no further behind than I was right at that moment if I did none of those things. And no one would ever know! So NOW what’s a woman to do? Whatever in the whole world I wanted (that took no more than 4 hours and didn’t cost any money).

The one thing that I have been missing a whole bunch lately is the time and sunshine to take my dog for a long and unhurried walk. I have a long route that I do as a treat from time to time and I have been itching to do for a couple of weeks now. A gorgeous and sunny bonus afternoon of secret time seemed like the perfect opportunity!


Since the point of the walk wasn’t to set any sort of speed record and I had as much time as I wanted, we set off at a nice moderate pace. No music, just sunshine and a breeze and my dog.


Our “destination” was Como Lake Park…a teensy little lake in tucked in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The actual path around the lake is not long, just a kilometer but it’s really pretty and you are right along the edge of the water.

Willow Lake

On the way there I’d spotted something out of the corner of my eye that I’d never seen before and wanted to take a look at it on the way back.


A beautiful (and VERY tall) totem pole on the grounds of a rec centre and at the entrance to a public rose garden. Of course none of the roses were up yet but the totem pole was really cool to see. At the base of the totem pole was a time capsule…..I should have taken a picture of that, woops. In all, a really neat little stop along our way back home.

Our 7.70km walk (4.8 miles) took us about an hour and a quarter…which included lots of sniff-stops for Gracie and the photos along the way. It was so enjoyable and it completely recharged my spirit. Once home and showered off, I still had over 2 hours to spend alone….so I listened to my heart and went and laid on the couch. Yes. My heart told me to go watch television. I haven’t watched TV in almost 3 weeks except for the news in the morning. But on this day, this bonus day of secret time……me, the PVR, a juicy gala apple and a handful of nuts. Oh yes! As much as my spirit needed the sunny walk with my dog, it also needed to sit undisturbed on the couch and do nothing.

Today, my secret time is but a memory; wiped away with the start of a new day. But while the time itself might be gone, the small spark that landed here within me stayed lit….and I feel good today. Great even. Energized and positive and free. I will take that!


Weekend Wrap-up!

Holy, rude start to Monday! Let me back up though, before I explain what happened, and tell you about the weekend. Friday afternoon I set off to walk home on a bit of a different route. Instead of winding around the streets and cutting through neighborhoods, I decided to go straight up the gut of the mountain via the hydro easement. It was a straight ascent of 190m (475 feet). It was nice to be so far away from traffic and walking on organic matter….unfortunately the “organic matter” was still really mucky in places so that route will have to wait until later in the spring when we’ve had a drying trend for longer than one day.

475 feet, straight up!

475 feet, straight up!

Saturday morning my sister came over so my hubby could work on her car and then I took off for my hot stone massage. The massage was……alright. I really should respect my own self more because I don’t overly enjoy massage, never have…and 90 minutes is a LONG time! I was certainly glad that I went and the heat was fabulous and my masseuse was wonderful and I might consider going again…but not for 90 minutes. That just seemed epically long. Anyway, Saturday afterwards we didn’t do too much, went and bought a new fridge for downstairs (SO excited about that, it comes in 2 weeks and it’s white and clean and new and energy efficient!) and then came home and made the WellFed2 Salmon Cakes…..but with wild caught Sockeye Salmon that my sister brought me rather than the canned. We also made the WF2 Tartar sauce and LOVED it. Ray was watching me make it and was getting all fussy about the pickles that get chopped into it and the pickle juice that gets stirred in. Turns out he has never known what tartar sauce was made of and prefers to maintain the mystery of certain things, LOL!

Sunday morning I went for breakfast with the lovely Tara where we had delicious omelets and a good catch up visit. When I got home, we took Gracie for a walk in a new park (new to her) near our house, mostly to scope out and see if I can use that park as a shortcut when walking home. It’s all unmarked mountain bike trails and the consensus is that I will probably not attempt to go it alone. It’s fairly dense forest, not really the place for someone who has a retarded sense of direction….and I don’t really want to be in there lost and alone, so…….no shortcut through those woods for me!

That was about it for our weekend.

Soooooo……last night. Well….more like this morning. 4am. I wake up to something tickling my in the neck/chest. Put my hand up to scratch and discover some kind of bug! Which then proceeded to attack me, bite/sting me in the neck 3 times before I could get it off of me, whereby it fell onto the bed and bit/stung me twice more in the back of the arm! At first I couldn’t really figure out what the hell was going on, my earplugs were still in, my eye mask was still on and I had searing pain in my neck and my arm. All I could think was, “SPIDER”. I (none so gently) woke Ray up and told him I’d been bit by something and he said “Are you sure?” and “Go back to sleep.”. HA, ya, buddy, I’m SURE! I flipped on the light and discovered a BEE crawling around on the floor. I went to get a cup to trap it with and came back to find it crawling up the side of our frigging bed again! (I have goosebumps even typing this again!).


Can you see my three sting marks??



I’m not so sure that this isn’t a bee….it had a fluffy, non aerodynamic body, pollen all over its legs. But it stung me five times…..and still had its stinger in…..which I didn’t think bees could do?!

We tried to go back to sleep after capturing the intruder but I had the heebie-jeebies too bad…..so I was wide awake….but also had taken a Benadryl for the stings. I’m a bit of a zombie this morning and wish desperately to go home and sleep off the Benadryl. I am walking home after work this afternoon, hopefully the fresh air and exercise help me feel a bit more normal.

That’s it for me today. Weigh in, have you ever been woken up from a dead sleep by something super strange and out of the ordinary?

Unexpected Roughness

Oh, hell, where do I start? 

Monday afternoon Ray called and said Snoopy seemed pretty bummed out and we thought maybe it was because it was his first day away from me since we got him (he’s more a lady’s dog since that’s what he’s always known).  Turns out that he wasn’t bummed out at all, he’s really sick.  Ray took him to the vet on Monday night and he got some pain killers because they figured he was having some growing pains.  We medicated him, he ate dinner and then when Ray went to work for night shift, I took the two dogs into bed with me for the night.  At midnight Snoopy started crying and never stopped.  His cries turned into wailing and he developed a fever that was severe enough that I had to take his chain collar off of him because his little body was making it too hot to touch.  I felt so bad for him, there was absolutely nothing I could do for him to make him feel better.

Since I was home alone and it was the middle of the night, I kept waffling over whether it really was just growing pains that he’d been diagnosed with or if it was something worse.  Once his wailing turned into shrieking and his fever was so high I called the emergency vet line, crying my eyes out.  Obviously they told me to come right in and so off we went in the middle of the night.  Unfortunately by then he was in so much pain in both of his legs that I wasn’t able to pick him up without getting bitten.  When morning came I transferred him back into the car, swung by home to pick up Ray on his way home from nights and took Snoopy to the boxer rescue vet in Pitt Meadows. 

We got an update last night that he was still on morphine but had stopped crying although he still has a raging fever.  I should hopefully get an update here pretty quick.  They said if they can get his fever down he’ll come home today with medication.  I’m a little concerned about that because I’m still home alone overnight so if he has issues I’m left to deal with them alone.  Nothing I can’t handle, but it rips my heart out!

Poor little bugger couldn't even pick his head up to look at us when we left.  :'(

Poor little bugger couldn’t even pick his head up to look at us when we left. 😥

Given that I had no sleep on Monday night, I took Tuesday off work. Blew a vacation day but there was just no way I was going to be good for anything.  I took an hour long nap and then was going to go to the gym.  The thought of the gym though?  Of driving there and parking in the parkade and exercising within 4 stark walls just turned my stomach though, couldn’t do it.  I needed fresh air and outdoors and trees and mulch and moisture.  I needed to sweat outside with living things.  I needed green exercise!  Grace and I took a 5.5k walk through Mundy Park and about halfway she started nudging my leg and then trotting forward a couple of steps with a big tail wag.  Leg nudge, trot-trot, wag!  Nudge-trot-wag! Run, mummy!  So we jogged the back half of the walk and it felt so good!  Cleared the fuzz in my head and made me breathe hard which is just what I needed!

I figured that I would get to the gym this morning since Snoopy is still in the hospital so I should have had no excuse.  Until…..an entire second night went by where I didn’t get any sleep.  Just too overtired or stressed or what, I’m not sure.  There’s definitely something to be said for listening to the mind-body connection because my although my mind believed that I should have had no problem with the gym, my body is exhausted and not interested.  I’m not beaten up about it though, I’ll set my alarm again tomorrow morning and go from there.

Now, considering that I took a vacation day yesterday for my home issues I thought I should make good use of it and I made a new recipe, Cream Braised Cabbage.  It turned out SO good!  I made THIS RECIPE with only the teeny modification of adding some extra chicken broth to increase the liquid since my pan was huge.  The cabbage came out buttery and so flavourful, I was really impressed! Even Ray liked it and he normally can’t stand coconut recipes!  I also roasted some broccoli that I’d massaged with olive oil and then sprinkled with garlic salt and a hefty dose of paprika.  Came out so nice!


And finally, in an effort to propel myself forward, I took a long bath after our walk and then gave myself a mani/pedi.  I absolutely HATE trying to get the sparkles off my nails when it’s time to change polish, but when you use the sparkles the nail polish stays on for two weeks or more, grows out before it ever chips off!

OPI “Argentini Pinkini” with OPI “Pink Yet Lavender” over the top and a shot of a sleeping puppy in the background!

OPI “Argentini Pinkini” with OPI “Pink Yet Lavender” over the top and a shot of a sleeping puppy in the background!

So….that’s it for me right now.  I’m beat.  Worried too.  Hopefully some decent news this morning/afternoon and a good night’s sleep tonight.  Fingers crossed!

A Crazy World!

After a somewhat excitement (terror?) filled trip to the grocery store after work, I was very happy to arrive home where I found that both lawns had been mowed and all the dog doo disposed of!  Maybe our little chat about sharing the huge list of chores hit home a little?  Anyway, I put my timed schedule into place and started dinner.  Between 4:30-6 I had blocked off to make lunches and dinner and clean up.  While dinner was cooking I multi-tasked and finished the laundry and swept and mopped upstairs and downstairs floors.  When the last dish was washed and put away I was only 31 minutes over schedule.  I wouldn’t normally even worry about 31 minutes, but this whole “schedule keeping” thing is supposed to be designed to reduce my resentment, share out the workload and increase my downtime so 31 minutes wasn’t bad for the first go!  7-8pm was Grace’s walk and we hoofed it 5.6 kilometers around the park which felt great after a week of sweltering in the heat and not getting any real exercise.

For dinner last night I made Southwestern Succotash and grilled a pork tenderloin (rubbed with olive oil, S&P and set on the bbq for 20 minutes) and it was really good!  The tenderloin was nice and juicy (cook it rare and then let it sit for 5 and it doesn’t get all dry) and the succotash was very flavourful.  I was concerned over how spicy it was going to be but once again, Miss Girl Meets Paleo pulls off the perfect amount of flavor!  It’s not often that you find someone who cooks to your personal tastes so we’ll be making use of lots more of your recipes, my friend!

Tonight I’m doing my regular sausage stuffed mushrooms and I think I got tagged for vacuuming as my chore tonight.  Exercise-wise my goal for this week is for Grace and I to manage the Perimeter Trail all 5 days this week, rain or shine.  That’ll be 28 kilometers for the week if we can pull it off.

So, now I’ll tell you what happened at the grocery store last night and you tell me if you would report it to the police.

I was walking through the parking lot of the grocery store with a paperbag of groceries in one arm and my wallet, iPhone and keys in the other hand.  A car came tearing back out of a parking spot about to run me over.  I kicked the door of the car (with the flat of my foot) and yelled.  The guy in the car rolled his windows down and started screaming at me.  I was completely unfazed (if a bit pissed off) and kept walking to my car.  As I was getting in my car, the crazy man came tearing around the parking lot, tires squealing (just about hitting another lady) and was screaming at me almost unintelligibly.  I closed my car door and cracked my window and he got out of his car and started banging on the window of my car, screaming at me to apologize to him.  Having had enough of him laying his hands on my Jetta, I went to get out of my car.  I had one leg out and my arm out and the guy put both hands on my window and slammed me in my car door.  He then got back in his car and peeled away, almost hitting a third guy.  The two people he just about hit plus another guy and two people that they were with all came over to make sure everything was alright and they gave me his plate number and car model.

Here’s the thing.  If I report him (what would this be, assault?  Road Rage?), he would then have access to my name and address.  I’m leaning towards not reporting it.  I wasn’t hurt, my car wasn’t damaged and I don’t want a crazy person on my door step (although Kyle promises me that the police would have no trouble solving my murder!).  On the other hand, that is such disgusting behavior and the vindictive part of me wants to ruin this guy’s life.

So, do I report and risk it?  Or just move on and be vigilant that I never bump into this guy at that store again?

Weigh in!

Fat Ass?

Already sweaty and I had barely made it onto the trail!

Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight or fitness knows this feeling so try to cast your mind/self to the place where I was last night.  I got home and true to my word changed into proper exercise clothes and then dragged my fat ass (*) up the miniscule incline of my street towards the park, sweating and cursing under my breath and telling myself over and over and over and over, “Tomorrow won’t be different, tomorrow won’t be easier, tomorrow never comes.”.  This was interspersed with telling myself that the epic amount of chocolate that I have eaten over the last month caused this, my lack of self control caused this and any discomfort I felt with myself or my efforts was completely deserved and probably should have been amplified ten-fold just for being a big idiot.

I probably didn’t really do myself any favours when I got dressed for this either, I wore shorts that have never been comfortable and possibly the most unflattering exercise top I have.  My underwear was crawling up my ass the entire time, my Shuffle had died so I had to carry my iPhone in my hand the entire way and it was very humid and close in the park.  All that negativity aside though, I did the best I could and finished strong.  It was only 4 kilometers and I didn’t time myself (that wasn’t the point) and I had to walk a lot of it.  But when I got home after my “end of the run, down my own street sprint” I was very impressed with how quickly my heart rate and breathing came back to normal.  My back and legs were pretty sore last night but this morning I feel fine.  Today after work I’m doing a 5.5km walk/jog with the focus on walking, rain or shine.

(*) Note, my referral to my fat ass is subjective, of course.  Fat is a state of mind as much as a state of body as far as I’m concerned.  I am in my acceptable weight range, at the low end of it, even, and yet I feel/felt as uncomfortable within myself as I ever did when I was 100 pounds heavier. The toxicity and lack of self respect doesn’t discriminate over size or body fat percentage, it is as real for me now as it was back then and even though I don’t need to shed weight to build a healthier body anymore, the work and effort is as real and urgent to my mental health as it ever was to the physical. 

When I got home from my park mission yesterday I checked the mail and was very excited to find a little box stuffed in my mailbox.  It was “Leaf” that I ordered from Noelle Munoz Jewelry and it is beautiful!!  The craftsmanship is incredible, her attention to detail and excellence just blew my mind, even the wrapping that it came in is top end.  Really a nice experience from start to finish. 


My insane cravings for chocolate and sugar and sweets yesterday (and the pissy mood and snarky tongue that came with it) led me to believe that detoxing is exactly what I needed to start.  When I had to run to the grocery store before dinner for some veggies for lunches I was by myself in the house and a little concerned that I would cave and buy a chocolate bar or something equally as sugary.  I held strong though because tomorrow isn’t any easier than today.  If it’s difficult today, just do it and push through, it does not get easier tomorrow.  So, veggies and a couple apples and I was on my way out the door, successful and strong.  Win!

See?? No chocolate!

 Happy weekend, hopefully we hear something this weekend about Olive, we still don’t have her and now my emails to the rescue agency aren’t being returned so I’m leaning toward wondering if the current owner has changed their mind about giving her up.  Fingers crossed that we hear something so that we can either get her or move forward!


It’s pouring with rain this morning and not supposed to let up at all so I feel fairly confident that my next statement won’t change.  In the month of April, Ray and I walked 70.87 kilometers.  That is approximately 70.87 MORE than we have walked any other month!  When we added it up last night, Ray’s comment was “OK, that explains why I’m losing weight!”.  It doesn’t feel like that much when you’re doing a little every day but it certainly adds up!  Since Ray is away for an entire week in May and I am away for my own three days in May, I am (secretly) setting our goal for 50km in May.
If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, why not??) you already know this.  Friday night we were having drinks with a friend from work who is retiring.  In my wine-haze, I agreed to give up my iPhone and iPad from 5pm on Friday until 7pm on Sunday….Ray said that I was addicted to them and I said that I wasn’t and I was going to prove it!  As it is, I reached for it and stopped myself far more often than I thought that I would.  It was definitely an eye opener to how much I use them both!  It also came out that Ray felt a little like I ignore him sometimes when my face is buried in my iPad when we’re home or my iPhone when we’re out/in the car.  It was a good exercise and now I will definitely be more aware of when I use it and how much I’m looking at it when we’re spending time together. 
Saturday morning I knew I wanted us to go for a long walk, what I didn’t know was that Ray would wake me up at 6:24am on Saturday morning to do it!  We had a really good time though, went exploring a park further from our house than we normally go.  It’s a rather rugged, unmaintained park and there was climbing over fallen trees, wiggling through dense underbrush and squeezing under fallen trees too high to climb over.  We also forded a creek due to a washed out footbridge.  All within 4 kilometers of our house!  Awesome start to the day!  We were home by 8, Ray settled in to watch his car shows on TV for a couple of hours and I had a bath, did my hair and makeup and then went back to bed for awhile. 
Saturday night we didn’t get up to much….and since there was no iPad to distract me and we didn’t want to turn on the television, we ended up laying on the sofa and chatting for a couple of hours in the quiet.  It was really nice, something we can sometimes take for granted when there are distractions….that we like each other’s company and can spend uninteruppted hours together!  During this “together” time, we made a decision that will possibly be changing our lives.  There will be more information to come on that one but we’re kind of excited about it!
Sunday we rode our motorcycles for a few hours and then came home and Ray worked on the RV and I finally, FINALLY finished cleaning up the front garden and it’s now ready for planting season.  Of course we’re having torrential spring rains right now so all that will be growing for now is the weeds, but at least it’s ready when the sun comes!  The wagon is frozen where it is for now as we are having a hard time finding the parts that will hold the wheels on.  I have some ideas though and then it’ll be full steam ahead on that project as well!
That’s it for me.  Reading this post back I realize it’s probably incredibly boring, but it’s written now so it’s getting published!

Could You Move?

Remind me, the next time I decide to sleep through morning gym and go after work, how much I loathe trying to workout around ignorant people.  Or…people in general….but mostly ignorant f*&!king women!  The ladies weight area is in the back corner of the gym.  It’s in an “L” shape, about 20 feet in one direction and 15 in the other.  I happened to be standing in front of one of the mirrors….maybe about 15 feet back from it (I don’t feel the need to exercise nose to nose with myself) doing weighted lunges.  And during the second set, this woman took a set of hand weights, stood RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and started doing squats.  Right in front of me.  I, of course, pulled my ear buds out and said “Could you move?”….maybe not in the nicest tone.  She turned around and said that she had a right to be there too.  Assuming I was dealing with a half-wit, I told her that perhaps she could just move 5 feet to the left or right instead of standing right in front of me and she gestured to a weight bench that was sitting 5 feet to my right and said that it was in her way so she had to stand here.  Now….instead of just picking up the weight bench and clubbing her in the head with it, I decided I should demonstrate that it is on wheels and fully portable….so I picked it up and wheeled it out of my way…about 5 feet to the left….which, if you’re following along, is fairly close to right where she was standing.   The moral of the story?  Get your lazy ass out of bed and go to the gym in the morning when there is next to no one there!
OK, rant over.  Yesterday when Ray was supposed to be getting off work he texted me and told me he’d be working 4 hours OT.  It worked out beautifully for me, actually.  I went to the gym and then took my time making dinner, cleaning up a little and reading a little.  The only downside is that we didn’t get our walk last night.  I have a sneaking suspicion that today will be a repeat of yesterday regarding the overtime which actually suits me just fine, alone time is rare these days so I don’t mind a few spare hours at all! 
If my allergies aren’t too bad I’m going to do a jog after work.  I’ve decided that I am doing the 10km run on Sunday (as long as it’s not raining) so I thought maybe a gentle jog to get myself amped up for it?  I’m not sure but I think at this point it’s too late to do any sort of actual “training” so it’ll be more just to assess how I think I’m going to do (or freak myself out that I’m going to diiiiiie on the run).  The course is an out and back along a dyke so it’s nice and flat, you can see where you’re headed which should be at least somewhat beneficial….or not….I have no clue, it’s been a long time since I’ve done a run this long….4 years at least!  I’m up for the challenge though.  Ray’s comment was that there is no reason that I should not be able to do it….it’s not on pavement, it’s not hilly and there are no time limits….and he’s right.  Right?  Oh, Lord………
Dinner last night was a maple bourbon pork tenderloin, steamed green beans and then I also took a whole bunch of white mushrooms, quartered them and then tossed them with some butter that I’d melted with garlic powder in it.  Roasted 420F for the last 20 minutes of the pork’s cook time; so delicious!
Tonight I’m roasting turkey breast, slathering it in homemade cranberry sauce and serving it with the rest of the green beans and some smashed cauliflower.
And finally, I heard a quote yesterday that I really liked:
“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but its persistence.”  You could sit there and watch that river run for years on end and never notice a change….even though with every ripple, the river is changing its boundaries.  Persistence in spite of lack of instant results is so worth it, you can look back in a year and see where you’ve been and how you’ve changed.  Because if you don’t change, you don’t change.  They say it takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change, 8 weeks for your spouse/closest friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.  And I would have to presume if you’re doing something where you are not losing big amounts of weight at a time, it may even take longer.  But start now and in 12 weeks…..12 short weeks, you’ll have something you don’t have today. 

Common “Sensa”?

I was at the gym this morning jogging my warmup on the treadmill.  Before I’d gotten on I attempted to change the channel on one of the wall televisions to the Food Network (don’t ask me why but cardio time passes so quickly when I can watch people cook!) but I couldn’t find the right channel number so I gave up and got on the treadmill anyway.  The infomercial that was on the TV perplexed me at first but then I couldn’t stop watching! 
It was this “revolutionary, technologically advanced weight loss system”.  The TV was on closed caption so I was reading along as they were showing pictures of greasy pizza and women driving in their cars while eating what appeard to be chicken & fries from a box and men blissfully consuming whole cakes.  The captioning was scrolling through; “I lost 68 pounds using Sensa and I never changed what I ate!”, “I lost 90 pounds using Sensa and never had to give up the good stuff!”.  I just about died right there!  So the premise is that you “use” Sensa and they promise that you will lose weight without ever having to change your behaviour.  What’s even stupider?  Sensa is some sort of chemical powder that you SPRINKLE ON YOUR FOOD and it magically makes you not want to overeat.  Apparantly this simple sprinkling of “all your favourite foods” causes your brain to believe that you’ve already eaten so you then eat only a percentage of what you would normally have gorged yourself on.  Give me a break!  When are people going to learn that if you simply stop stuffing your face with shit that isn’t food, move around a bit and drink some water you can save the $60 a month that they are trying to STEAL from you for the pleasure of sprinkling a salt-like substance on your food!
OK, rant over…..although now I’m going to jump around a little.
Still on the topic of common sense though, once again during this particular phase of the month, I am reminded to stay the course, hold on, not make any changes and SURELY not take anything that the scale has to say at face value.  I’m in Week Three of Stage One in the New Rules of Lifting program and last night I felt a muscle!  IN MY ARM!!!!  My arms have always been somewhat…..not muscular so it was very exciting last night. 
Also last night I was turned on to a couple very good blogs.  I originally found Solana Leigh through the Paleo link on wordpress and then discovered that she lives about 20 minutes from me.  Very cool to have found someone so close through something as huge as wordpress.  Anyway, she tweeted the link to a post on the blog “Making Shift Happen“.  The post was “Is It Just Me Or Is Paleo Fking Hard?”.  Through THAT link I came across a blog called Ancestralize Me  and her really excellent post “Paleo Women Are Phat” which discusses beautifully the fact that the majority of women who are doing paleo and working out are not going to look like the super lean fitness models that society (and ourselves) want us to be and that because of that it can make it difficult to discuss and teach and represent this lifestyle.  She reminds us in this article that women are not meant to be incredibly lean and that a little weight in the standard female places (hips, bum, thighs, breasts) makes us, not less successful, but more authentic.  This is not to say that we shouldn’t try, we should always, always be trying to achieve better.  But it really makes it a lot less frustrating.  For someone like me who doesn’t have a tonne of weight to lose, it made me wonder if I’m even meant to lose it at all?  Maybe I can gain muscle and increase my fitness but this fat that I have on me?  Maybe that’s the fat that I’m meant to have.  Maybe this is it as far as fat loss.  That is a very freeing notion.  Work hard, exercise hard, eat well, don’t eat what my body percieves as poison, always strive for measurable gains…..but maybe the fat that’s left stays.  Interesting.
Last night Ray had the leftover seafood fettucine for dinner and I had some Basil chicken sausages from Thrifty’s.  They were…..tasteless.  I wasn’t really feeling like dinner though so I didn’t really care.  I took my last piece of Paleo Banana Bread out of the freezer knowing that I would want a treat later.  Later came, I put my piece of bread in the toaster and warmed up the coconut butter.  When the toast popped I went to take it out and I dropped it, smashed all over the kitchen floor in way too many pieces to be salvageable.  I was crushed, no treat and a sucky dinner.  Until I remembered a recipe I’d seen earlier this week!  Banana Raisin Blondie!  Holy moses, so delicious.  SO DELICIOUS!  This will now be in regular rotation in our house, Ray loved it also.  Although it came out like a very moist little cake, its nutritional values would lean more towards this being a fat.  Butter, almond flour, almond butter, egg, some spices (cinammon, salt, bkg pwd) and then the only carb would be a half a banana and a small sprinkle of raisins.  When it looks like cake and tastes like cake but isn’t actually cake, celebrate!

I drizzled a tiny bit of honey over this but it didn't need it, the banana and raisins make it plenty sweet enough!

That’s it for me today (and more than enough, I think!).  Tonight I’m hoping for at least a 5km walk, we’re having Tourtiere (french meat pie) for dinner of which I will eat the filling and a salad.

Moving Slowly

I have been awake since 1am…and not in a good way….if there is a good way to be awake at 1am when you should be sleeping.  I’m pretty sure that someone took my pillow and used it to wipe up pollen last night because at 1am I was awoken with enraged allergies.  My eyes were itched shut and I was sneezing and wheezing, the whole nine yards.  So unpleasant!
Last night’s allergy attack might have something to do with the hour that we spent walking last night.  I had read somewhere (I think in Robb Wolf’s book; Paleo Solution) that if you abide by our genes and how we lived thousands of years ago, we aren’t built for long, hard cardio.  In our hunter/gatherer lives we would walk long distances, run short distances sporadically (running from predators or chasing dinner) and we would lift heavy things (logs, boulders).  So the idea is to move more frequently at a slower pace and lift heavy things. 
In the last two months Ray has lost around 20 pounds (just from being grain free on evenings and part of the weekends), he has about 25 more to go and he’s starting to get his desire to be active back.  He sustained a very major back injury almost two years ago and he only really recovered from it about 5 months ago.  He’s also going to be 54 years old this year and that combination took a huge toll on his fitness.  Fortunately it’s all coming back and he’s embracing “move more frequently at a slower pace” at the moment.  He also has a gym membership that he pays monthly for but never uses and I think for an Easter gift I’m going to buy him New Rules of Lifting (the men’s edition).  He loves lifting weights and wants to go to the gym but I don’t really think he knows what to do when he gets there to see results at this stage of the game.
So Ray gets some benefits, what about me?  I’m not sure.  I’ve always been a cardio junkie and it’s only in the last couple of months (since grain free) that I haven’t wanted to do that.  The walking on the other hand, I’m really enjoying.  We don’t go overly quickly and Ray takes it as a challenge to get us as far away from home as we want to go and then getting us back without ever crossing over where we’ve already been.  He’s lived here his whole 54 years so he knows every back alley and side street around us.  I, on the other hand, just follow along like a sheep, never really knowing where we are.  (Our turnaround point last night was a great surprise, Como Lake, a little puddle of a lake you wouldn’t expect in the middle of a residential neighborhood.)  I also notice during our walks that I’m engaging different muscles than I do when I jog and that my back aches a little which means that my core is not as solid as I would have liked to believe.  

We've logged 11km of walking in the past two days!

Anyway, I’m trying to adopt the “move more frequently at a slower pace” theory in both exercise and in my regular life.  It’s one of those things that I’ve discovered by listening to what my body wants and needs rather than trying to force a preconceived notion on it.  It’s a little scary though, trying these new things and trusting that my body will tell me what it wants and needs to be the most healthy.  It’s hard to toss out all the Conventional Wisdom that has long preached hard cardio for weight loss, that weight lifting is for men and that we should all eat a balanced diet of whole grains as the base. 
Last night we had our seafood medley and it was delicious.  I roasted some baby zucchini open-faced drizzled with olive oil and then coarsely chopped it and put my seafood mix over that instead of pasta.  Topped with butter and a dusting of garlic powder, it was great, the zucchini was a nice mild flavour so it didn’t overpower the seafood.  Tonight is a TV night at our house, Ray is having leftover seafood medley and pasta and I’m having Sweet Basil Pesto Chicken & Turkey Sausages from Trader Joe; probably with some mashed cauliflower. 

Mornings, Updated!

Morning.  Good very earrrrly morning!  My alarm jangled at 4:30 this morning and I would be lying if I didn’t spend the next 15 minutes while getting dressed and going to the bathroom, thinking about an appropriate excuse to use to get back into bed and not feel self and boyfriend inflicted shame over being such a loser as to go back to bed!  😉
The gym was completely empty this morning which was really nice.  I did Workout A again this morning only this time I jacked up the weight on some of the exercises.  Plus I did the step ups properly this morning.  I was playing it safe the first day but it’s not the first day anymore so no more Ms Nice Girl!  The pushups I definitely had more trouble with but I think that’s probably standard given the muscle soreness and fatigue that is present after the first two rounds. 
Since there was no one else around, I took the opportunity to really look at myself in all the mirrors at all different angles during the exercises.  What I noticed is that I am fairly small overall but flabby.  I have muscle, I can feel it and see it when I’m working, however there is also a goodly amount of flab going on.  My complaint of late (the last 5 years) has always been that I have big legs/thighs.  This is true….but it won’t be for long, I hope.  With the paleo diet and the impending gain of muscle and therefore metabolism, I’m really hoping to get the excess fat off of my thighs!  And with the ab exercises combined with the paleo diet I should get a fairly flat midsection.  Overall if I had to stay right here where I am forever, I would be alright with that.  But the fact is that I don’t have to settle for right here.  Onward and upward!
I realized this morning that with the length of the NROL workouts that I can actually go to the gym and do my routine and then get home and have a shower and breakfast as normal.  This will be nice especially in the summer because I ride my motorcycle to work and taking it to the gym with all my shower/clothes stuff is not feasible.  This ability to get up at 4:45, head right for the gym and then come home and carry on as normal is a huge bonus for me, the most stressful part of morning gyming is packing up and humping all my clothes, food, coffee and shower stuff with me all the time.  I learned yesterday in my reading and research of all things nutritional and paleo, that workouts when you’re stressed or pushing yourself beyond what you can handle is actually a contributor to up-production of cortisol and insulin which causes belly fat and burnout.  I really like working out in the mornings though so this ability to do so a couple times a week without the pain & hassle of packing my shit around makes me very happy!
Last night Ray worked 4 hours of OT so I zipped down to the mall and bought a cute top (the dress I wanted looked like a gunnysack when on) and then went home and got a great lemon-thyme grey cod with roasted zucchini and brocoli slaw ready for our late dinner.  After dinner Ray was feeling a bit restless so suggested that we take a long walk.  I was a little surprised but I think he’s coming around slowly but surely.  Off we went into the dusky mild evening.  We went about 5.5 kilometers at a moderate pace and when we got home it was time for my bedtime, 4:30am comes early!
That’s it for me, no gym this weekend, probably yardwork and mowing, maybe a good trail walk with Ray?  Tonight is dinner out with Ray’s mom so I’ll be having a steak salad.  Tomorrow night is dinner out with a group of friends so I’ll be having….a chicken salad.  And on Sunday Ray wants tacos so I’ll be having….a taco salad.  I’m going to turn into a rabbit!  PS….I’m also taking my own grain/gluten/corn-free salad dressing with me to all of these locations….that’s not weird, right?
Happy weekend!