Weekend Round Up

This past weekend was a blast although I had been feeling a little under the weather I was happy my body was able to hold it together for two super fun events.

Friday evening was a local yoga studio’s first Vino and Vinyasa. This particular studio is a hot yoga studio so my workout buddy Susan and I were definitely interested in seeing how things would pan out.

The class was incredible and super challenging. Seeing how the whole class was hunkering down for a glass of wine and some cheese afterwards the instructor was sure to make us work for it. The class was an excellent mix of challenge and relaxation and I came out of it feeling completely blissed out.

It was a nice change getting to stick around the studio and meeting the studio manager, the instructor and other patrons. It felt like I was having the most relaxing night out on the town ever. If anyone is looking for something that includes sweating up a storm and a glass of wine at the end I strongly recommend checking to see if a yoga studio near you offers something like this.

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After yoga we headed home to be sure to get some rest for Saturday’s fun packed day. Friend’s of my husband and I were getting married!!! It is always so much fun to see how the couples put there own flare to things and this wedding was definitely no exception.

The ceremony was beautiful and heart warming and everyone looked absolutely stunning especially the Bride (who I wish I had snuck more photos of). The night was a great time filled with happiness and celebration, it was a great way to start off a marriage that is for sure.

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The weekend ended with the regular trip to the farmers market and then some much needed resting. It was definitely a wonderful weekend and I was sad to see this one go.

Happy Monday everyone I hope you all had amazing weekends too!

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Weekend Round Up

I had a great weekend this past weekend, but I mean quite honestly I rarely have a weekend that isn’t a least a little great. I hope your first weekend of Challenge V.2.0 wasn’t too challenging. If this is your second round of the Clean Eating Challenge it probably wasn’t that tough, however if this is your first go at something like this abstaining from a glass of wine or two or three may have been a bit difficult, but hopefully you were able to stick with it and you didn’t have to use one of your treats or “cheats”.

This weekend I had the opportunity to volunteer at my gym’s first year anniversary party. I have been a member at many a gym but this one is special. It’s a smaller feel and the great community of clients and trainers makes it a very welcoming environment for anyone from athletes to someone looking at getting into shape like me. It was great to be a part of the day and have the opportunity to speak to other clients, watch the trainers compete against each other and play a load of games.

epic partyAfter the excitement of the party I was ready for some rest and settled into a nice relaxing evening of movie watching with my husband and I was sure to get to bed a little early for a early Sunday morning bike ride with Susan.

Last week I rolled my ankle which has thrown a bit of a wrench into the half marathon training schedule so Susan and I decided to map out a long bike ride to at least simulate a 10-12k run. We incorporate it into our regular visit to the farmer’s market so we could take care of two birds with one stone.

Seeing how we like to get to the market early we met up at 8am and geared up for our 22k bike ride along the Rideau Canal. Besides being ridiculously chilly out in the morning it was a beautiful day for a bike ride, and would have been a perfect morning for a long run. About 18k into our bike ride we stopped at the farmer’s market to stock up on vegetables and local organic meats before hopping back on our bikes to finish up our ride.

UntitledOnce all the groceries had been put away and I consumed a large piping hot cup of tea to warm up from the cold ride it was time to head out again to finish up some errands. I headed over to Lululemon to get a pair of cold weather full length running pants, I had been on the fence about getting them but the bike ride sure changed my mind!

lulupantsThen it was off to Rona to get a new BBQ. Our BBQ has lived a pretty decent life but this past summer was definitely its last. Unfortunately for rust had attacked it and won the battle when the bottom crumbled and fell off leaving no protective layer between the propane tank and the flames, so we figured for safety reasons it would be best to buy a new BBQ.

It was nice to have a bit more down time than usual and to just get to spend some quality time with my husband so it was a nice way to wrap up the weekend. Now we are back to Monday and back to our regularly scheduled lives. I hope you all had wonderful weekends filled with activity, friends, family and fun!

Happy Monday!

Weekend Update – A day late

Yesterday was technically a part of my weekend, and I had decided I would give myself the day off of blogging to just relax, clean, bike, and relax before revving up to start the week again.

This weekend was great! It started off with my husband and I heading over to MEC to get my a massive backpack for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica for yoga teacher training. I have been eyeballing this bag for a while now, and just finally caved and went and got it. I am so in love with it. It is massive so more than enough room for all of my things, plus it has a cute little day bag that I can pack up and bring with me to the beach. It was definitely a great purchase.

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Then on Saturday we wrangled up a group of friends and I went over to my parent’s place for the afternoon. The weather was friendly and held out so we could all go for a dip in the pool. Once we were all pooled out we started up our potluck style BBQ and began getting ready for a late night bonfire. It was so nice and relaxing and the rain held off so we could all have a great time too.
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Sunday was spent driving back to the city, a visit to the farmer’s market to fill up on some fruit, veggies and meat for the week, and some movie watching. Then we were lucky enough for it to be a long weekend so I got an extra day of sleeping in and it was glorious.

Instead of having our regular run club in the evening, we shifted the time to get our run in nice and early. This week Susan and I introduced the group to some sprint intervals and as brutal as they can be to run, once everyone had a chance to catch the breath I think they were all pretty happy with how it turned out, and the fact that the whole workout only took 25 minutes. I will definitely be introducing some more sprint training into our regular program.

Now I am hooked back into the office, and ready to work a super short week before another exciting adventure of a weekend, but those stories are for next Monday.

I hope you have all had a great weekend! Happy Tuesday.

Food Friday – Flat Bread

It is Friday! It seems that the second the weather starts getting nice it’ becomes painful to be locked up on the 18th floor of a concrete building for 9 hours a day. So today I am so happy to be getting to post this from my backyard.  My deck is probably the best office I have ever had, you get to feel the wind and sun, hear the kids in the school yard across the street and just be outside it is pretty glorious.  But today is about food so let’s get down to business.

Before I dive into the recipe I want to talk a bit about meat.  With the farmer’s market in full swing, I do my best every week to have my meals planned out so I can buy local, antibiotic free meats.  This past weekend at the farmer’s market I lucked out and was able to get a giant grass fed organic flank steak (this cut is so hard to come by for whatever reason).   Seeing we were having a BBQ this week (last night to be exact) I figured it would be great for the evening. However as the evening got closer my husband and I became concerned that we wouldn’t have enough meat for everyone so we picked up another flank steak from the grocery store. We then figured this would be a great opportunity to do a taste test.

I have known for some time now that picking organic, antibiotic free and local meats is the healthiest choice, if you can make the financial commitment, but I had never actually taken the time to see if there was an actually difference in flavour.

So we did them up in the same marinate and grilled them, we kept them separate and had our guests test out a bit from each steak and it was unanimous the grass fed, local, antibiotic free beef was the hands down winner. It was more tender, thicker (it didn’t shrink up as much in the cooking process) and was so much juicer.  Also for an extra 4$ a pound I would say 100% worth it.

Now onto the recipe.  I have been toying with the idea of creating a gluten free dough for a while now, however working with gluten free flours can be pretty intimidating if you don’t have a lot of experience with it.  But I figured that seeing how I am trying to reduce the amount of wheat in my diet, it was time to suck it up and just give it a try, I mean really the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t work out.

So this week I set out to make a dough, I wanted it to be something I could use for flat breads but could also be used for pizza if the mood hit me.  I was actually quiet surprised and satisfied with the results and best of all it was husband approved. So here it is:

flatbread cooked Collage

Flat Bread/ Pizza Dough:

1 1/4 cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour or Brown Rice Flour
1 cup Coconut Flour
2 tbsp Tapioca Startch
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Basil
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Coconut Milk (you can use any milk that you perfer)
2 tbsp Organic Honey
2 tbsp Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
4 eggs

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk them together until they are blended.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the coconut milk, honey, oil and eggs. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients.  I would recommend using an electric mixer for this mainly because it will be faster and easier on your arm.
  3. Mix all ingredients together until it is no longer lumpy and everything has been blended. Use a spatula to help you form a bit of a “dough ball” then cover with plastic wrap and set it aside for 20 – 30 minutes.Flatbead Collage
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. If making flat bread, divide the dough ball into four equal parts and roll it out in between parchment paper or plastic wrap.  The dough is very sticky and will stick to your rolling pin otherwise, even if you dust the pin with flour.  If you are making pizza you can divide the dough in two for two personal size pizzas or leave it as one for a large sharing pizza.
  6. For cooking use a cookie sheet or pizza tray without any holes. Line the tray with parchment paper and place dough on top.  Top with your favourite toppings, I choose to make two flat breads the first was an arugula, peach and prosciutto combo and the second a tomato, basil and feta.
  7. Pop the flat bread or pizza in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the crust begins to golden. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then enjoy!

Note: the dough will look very moist, do not continue adding flour, the dough will not look similar to dough made with wheat flour so just go with it, it will cook up great. 

Now let’s all just hope for some nice weather and think some really loud positive thoughts to make the chances of thunder-showers for the weekend disappear. 

Happy Friday everyone. Have a great weekend. 

Another Glorious Weekend and another Recap

This weekend was pretty great. Now with summer definitely being here I have a feeling most weekend are going to be pretty glorious which is going to make Monday mornings all the more difficult.

I started off my weekend with a Friday evening workout. It was leg day and it owned me. After having a rough week the week before (I didn’t make it through my whole leg day) I was excited to get a full workout under my belt. I know I sound crazy when I say this but I absolutely love leg day. I know most people like push and pull type days (generally speaking back, arms and core) but there is something about leg day that just makes me feel like a powerhouse, so I am always stoked to do some squats and deadlifts.

20130617-070128.jpgAfter the gym I came home to a wonderful meal of grilled tuna steaks with asparagus and mushrooms cooked by my wonderful husband. Just a side note the tuna steaks were so huge they provided both of us with a second meals.  It is also getting nice enough out that we are able to eat out on our deck, which is always so nice and relaxing. After supper we tidied up and then just relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Saturday started off early with a glorious run with Susan.  We have started a new training program to start lengthening our distances and it has, so far, been pretty easy to stick to, we will see what my tune is once the distances start to exceed 10k.  After our early morning run we both decided that it was a great day to pamper ourselves, so we stopped by Starbucks for some shaken iced teas and headed off to get our nails did. Once I got back home I was definitely ready to dig into some lunch, so I whipped up a quick salad with the leftover tuna steak and it was fantastic!
nails and salad

After lunch it was time to run some quick errands and stop off at Art in the Park. The art was awesome and it was so fun to look at everything.  Also check out the house that looks like a castle, how awesome would it be to live there?

art in the park Collage

Following Art in the Park, we headed over to a BBQ for a friend’s birthday and what a perfect day for some outdoor activities and mingling with friends. I also had the chance to see one of my favorite little ladies, and boy is she getting big! She is such a little ham.

bbq babes

Following the BBQ it was a quick stop at home to change for an engagement dinner, and then off we went to a lovely supper at one of my favourite restaurants in the city, Fresco’s. They are always super tasty! I probably should have taken pictures of my Arctic Char but I am always way too excited to eat my food to remember to snap a photo of it. I used my last “cheat” that evening so I could have some wine and indulge in the nut free dessert, it was tiramisu, I had never had it before and I am definitely a fan now! After supper everyone else continued the festivities but having started my day pretty early I was tuckered and ready to just unwind.

Sunday started off same as most Sundays with a visit to the Farmer’s market to stock up on my weekly groceries.  June is my favourite for the market because the amount of fruit and veggies really starts picking up, and  as delicious as asparagus is it is always fun to have some variety in what’s available.  I also finally purchased some plants to start a mini backyard garden.  I picked up some tomato and kale plants and I can’t wait for them to get bigger and start producing.

garden party

After finishing off at the market and getting the rest of our groceries for the week it was time to fully engage in some lazy sit on my butt time, so my husband and I loaded up Pirates of the Caribbean and got ready to enjoy a marathon movie watching day, while it rained outside. Basically a pretty fantastic ending to a weekend.

Now it is Monday and there are 3 days left of the Gingersneezes Eats Clean challenge so a huge congrats to everyone who is sticking with it!

Happy Monday everyone! 

Weekend Round Up – So Sunny

This weekend was glorious, not only did it mark the end to my week without being allowed to exercise (doctor’s orders), it was also my hand balancing class and the beginning of the farmer’s market and it was the first weekend during the Gingersneezes Clean Eating Challenge! With so much going on I wasn’t quite sure where to start, so I figured the beginning would probably be best.

Friday night started off with me heading on over to the gym to solidify some training plans. After 6 months of regular personal training I am really enjoying continuing my workouts solo, and having a lot of fun pushing myself. However after getting really hooked on strength training/ functional training I decided to keep my progress moving in a forward motion and to get some personal training session to keep me motivated and progressing. I won’t be doing personally training three times a week like I was but instead I will just have a couple of sessions at the beginning of each phase to set me up and keep me on track.

When Saturday rolled around I was up and out of bed before 8am (I suck at sleeping in) and I started my morning off with a spinach and plumb smoothie, followed by renting a cargo van for two purposes:

  1. to get a new futon
  2. to clean out the over cluttered garage (totally blanked on taking pictures of this, we were way too in the groove to stop and snap shots).

Saturday CollageAfter braving Ikea on a Saturday we successfully escaped after selecting a new futon for our smaller spare room. Then it was time to get rid of some trash, which included the old run down futon, and about 5 years of clutter that we had collected in our garage. Now you can actually see the floor! It is pretty fabulous. While my husband headed over to the dump with our van full of trash, I decided to see how difficult building the Ikea futon was going to be, turns out not hard at all. Took me just about an hour to put the whole thing together on my own, and it was quickly approved by Lola.

Hand Balance Collage

I finished building the futon just in time to pack up for the yoga workshop on hand balancing. The workshop was really interesting, not what I was expecting but completely awesome anyways. I am someone that has yet to learn how to feel comfortable upside down, so it was a really interesting course. It was great because the yoga teacher came at it from a bit of a different angle which was refreshing. She spoke of functional training exercises and the need to find a balance between yoga flexibility and muscular strength in order to find a healthy balance in a handstand. There were a lot of exercises that I was totally not expecting, but all in all a great way to spend 2 hours on a Saturday.

Once I finished up my workshop I went home to get ready for a nice date night with my husband. We had some delicious brown rice sushi for supper, followed by some fun movie watching. It was a perfect ending to a bit of a busy (but fun) day.
Sunday CollageAnd then SUNDAY!!! Normally I am not a huge fan of Sundays because well that means the work week is about to start and that is never a fun thing, but this Sunday was the first Farmer’s Market of the season! I was so excited to get out there, buy some locally raised, hormone free meat, and whatever produce were available, luckily we found some AMAZING looking asparagus, I can’t wait to eat it. Before heading over to the farmer’s market, my running buddy Susan and I decided to lace up our shoes and go for a nice long run. This is something we started doing in the fall last year, and it is a welcome addition to my weekend routine that is for sure.

run So Susan and laced up and headed out for a 10.75km run, it was our longest of the season so far and it felt amazing. It was one of those runs where at the end I felt like I could just keep going and going, although I am sure my legs are super happy today that I did stop when I did.

R&R Collage

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing some food prep (clean eating BBQ sauce! so tasty), stretching, some more stretching and then just some hanging out on the patio taking in the sun and the warmth. The weather is starting to get me excited for the summer! I hope the beautiful weather keeps coming!

Last little thing before I end this novel of a post. Congrats to everyone who made it through their first weekend of clean eating! It might have hurt to not have a beer and sit on a sunny patio but I am sure you body is happier for it. I for one am bursting with energy today! After some yoga and running and fueling up with delicious fresh and healthy foods my body and soul couldn’t be happier and hopefully you are starting to feel some really positive benefits from this challenge (less bloated, skin clearing up, more energy, etc.) also.

I hope you all had some wonderful weekends, and those of us going back to work today, I hope it isn’t too rough. Happy Monday!

Another Weekend

This past weekend wasn’t just any plain old weekend it was the official beginning of my holiday festivities. This weekend my husband and I went over to my mom and step-dad’s to hit off some holiday festivities with lots of food, some drink, and tons of great Christmas music.
photo 2After spending some time with the family, my husband and I headed back to the city and I started to get ready for a festivus with some good friends. Besides some work parties and a big dinner with some ladies there haven’t been too many holiday parties, so I was very excited to get to attend this one. It was so fabulous, but from the two of them I wouldn’t have expected anything less, great food, great company, great music. Having a training session planned the following morning I unfortunately couldn’t stay too late and had to duck out a little bit early.
photo 3Finally Sunday. Sunday marked my last visit to the farmer’s market for the year, so it was a sad morning. I made sure to purchase some larger bags of vegetables so they hopefully last a little bit longer, and to take in the overall wonderfulness of the farmers market so it would be easier knowing it wouldn’t be back until spring. Having something like, testing out a new-ish restaurant with some girlfriends, also lessened the blow of losing the market. The restaurant is called Hang 10 and I think I am totally obsessed. I had their spicy beef burrito and my goodness it was delicious, and for 10$ for a burrito the size of my face and drink it was definitely reasonably priced.
photoMy husband and I, being the impatient people we are, had our personal Christmas Sunday evening. Opening our gifts to each other and just vegging out on the couch to some holiday classics like Elf, Badder Santa, and Fred Clause. It was the perfect end to a great weekend.

Hope you all had wonderful weekends! Happy Monday!