Gingersneezes Turns 3

Turns out today is Gingersneezes Birthday!   She is turning 3 years old today, and although over the past 8ish months the site has gone a little dead I do still check in and am always sure to post on our Facebook Page, Twitter and the Instagram account. So if you are going through kitten withdrawals or missing delicious food posts or motivational quotes head on over to one of those three spaces to stay connected.

originalIn the mean time have some fun traveling down memory lane with some delicious posts:

Salmon Risotto – an all time favorite of mine!
PB&J Cups – who could resist these tasty treats!

Pineapple Surprise – if juicing it is more your style try out this super tasty juice, it is great as a breakfast.

And after you have snacked on the above maybe testing out some good old workouts if you have yet to have the chance:

Try this killer ab workout to build strength to your core, or perhaps firming up your legs is more your style. If so try this awesome leg circuit out, it will have your legs feeling like jelly in no time.



No Gym – No Problem

So when I first started to think about this post I thought maybe I should wait until it was spring because it felt like a post that might be more suited to nicer outdoor weather. Then I figured why wait? Just because there is snow on the ground and it is below freezing doesn’t mean we are doomed to only workout at the gym.
no problemPerhaps you are lucky enough to live walking distance to your gym or workout institute of your choosing, or maybe even luckier you have a home gym! Unfortunately for the rest of us normally have to take some for of transit to our chosen fitness institute but with the winter often comes heinous driving conditions and during these times it may not be safe to drive to the gym. So what to do when it is just too gross out or maybe you don’t have the time to make it all the way to the gym and back?

The more traditional suggestions would be things like an at home workout DVD. These are things that I often times turn to, normally in the form of an at home yoga DVD. I am also a big fan of Jillian Michaels. I know there are people out there that aren’t huge fans of her and the Biggest Loser or maybe you just aren’t a fan of the celebrity type trainers, but I maintain that it is a great place to start if you don’t have much time and money to put towards physical fitness. When I had started getting involved in my physical health I had definitely turned to Jillian’s DVDs, they made me sweat and I definitely felt it the next day. I haven’t done her DVDs in a while but if you are looking for a suggestion for a starting DVD I would definitely recommend her 30 Day Shred DVD it kicked my butt!

Before I get into it I think I first want to mention that when it comes to starting up a yoga practice or strength and resistance training I am a huge advocate for seeking help. You want to make sure you are doing it properly, not only to make sure you don’t hurt yourself but also to be sure that you are getting the best out of it. So although DVDs might be the most convenient thing to do if you are starting off I would suggest looking into taking a couple intro classes to learn the basics before venturing out on your own. Now that the “check yourself before you wreck yourself” disclaimer has been inserted I get to talk about what I have been doing to keep moving.

So I have mentioned before that we haven’t been having the greatest weather so working out at home was less of a choice and more of a need. But I wasn’t bummed out about it, it actually gave me a chance to turn my workout into something less serious and gave me the chance to “play”. Wanting something a bit more fun than say challenging I opted to not pop in the Insanity DVD or gear up for a sweat inducing Tabata workout and I turned to my game console. Yes, you heard me correctly I would turn on my video game machine and I popped in this gem.

20130130-052405.jpgAlthough it was perhaps not the greatest workout I have ever had, it got me sweating and I had the chance to dance like no one was watching. Because I made sure no one would be watching, I am so uncoordinated. I have played before, but I was surprised this time around to find myself doing ski jumps, one legged jumping jacks and dynamic squats perhaps not the most graceful moves but it was nice to see that the game designers are trying to get your heart pumping a little.

20130130-053012.jpgFor me this was a fun way of getting myself sweating without having to take myself too seriously. It obviously doesn’t have to be a video game for you, it could be twister with your main squeeze or throwing in a limbo competition at your next big event. The point to all of this is that sometimes it is nice to switch it up a little bit. I love running and weight training and yoga, but it was so refreshing to do something a little less structured and to a “shake it all out”.

Hope everyone has been having a good week so far! Happy Wednesday!

What are some unconventional ways you try to get your heart rate pumping and the sweat pouring out?

Let’s Get Physical

After a particularly rigorous workout with Alannah yesterday (I had my butt handed to me) I thought it might be nice to share the pain and sweat with all of you wonderful readers. I have received a couple of requests to share some of what I do at the gym with everyone. Although this isn’t something I normally do at the gym it is an amazing workout that Alannah had made up for me over the holidays. I wasn’t sure what type of equipment I would have available, when the local gym would be open, or even if I would be able to make it out to the gym because well it was the holidays and I was squeezing in as much family time as I could. Keeping all of this in mind Alannah made me a kick butt body weight circuit that I could do at my brother’s house.

Although this isn’t a part of my regular routine it is something I have gone back to a couple of times normally when I am feeling like I am being overly lazy or I’m restless and it definitely helped to kick my butt at least once over my holidays in Alberta.

So basically if you are looking to do something at home, with no weights and to get a pretty decent sweat on I would strongly recommend giving this circuit a try, it can obviously also be done at the gym.

Each exercise lasts 30 seconds (if it is divided up per leg, it is 30 seconds on each leg) and each circuit is performed 3 times, seeing it is a timed circuit workout remember form is key, but try and crank out as many reps as you can, basically just don’t stop moving. It should take about 45-50 minutes. Be sure to warm up before you get into it, and always stretch at the end, trust me you don’t want to forget to stretch after doing all of those squats and lunges.

circuit workout

Most of the exercises are pretty standard, the two I thought that might be a bit tricky are the anterior reach and the shoulder external rotation. So I have provided some links for you. For the shoulder external rotation I would recommend doing it without any weights, contrary to the video, you might feel a little silly doing it but after a while you will definitely feel it. The first time I did this exercise it was weird because it felt like I was discovering all new muscles. If you do choose to do this exercise with a weight I would recommend using something super light, a lot of weight seriously isn’t needed.

I hope you try it out! Let me know how you like it in the comments below.

Happy Thursday Everyone!!!

*note: Always be sure you are in the good physical condition before trying something out, always stretch and take breaks when you need them, you don’t want to hurt yourself.

It’s Friday already?

This week kind of got away from me. With being a slightly under the weather, the holidays and my trainer being away for a bit any semblance of a week kind of melted away, and them BAM Friday was upon me.

Seeing how I forgot what day of the week it was I haven’t exactly prepared  my regularly scheduled Food Time Friday master pieces. So instead I felt like it might be useful to post about how it has been working out without my trainer.

Now before I had a trainer I did exercise, basically yoga and running were my exercise, but I hadn’t really ventured into heavy weights. In my mind the heavy stuff was for meat heads and strong women (you know the ones that compete). It has been through my training that I have discovered that weight training is pretty much for anyone, with the proper instruction and go ahead from a doctor of course. It is also the one thing my husband kind of enjoys at the gym so I was excited to get to “pump some iron” with him this week. In order to work out with my husband we headed over to our “regular gym” not the one I normally workout at seeing he doesn’t have a membership there.
gymSo far some of the positives of working out without my trainer include: working out with my husband and spontaneously deciding when to go to the gym. With any positive there is a negative and unfortunately there are a couple, they are less to do with not having a trainer there and more to do with being at a “regular gym”. Some of the negatives include; the machines are strange and different to me, I have seen about 3 women in the weight area, everything is super spaced out (machines/weights vs. where I could do some sit-ups), there are so many people all fighting for mirror space and I miss my resistance bands. I have also noticed that I may not be pushing myself as hard as Alannah would probably push me, but I am definitely working on that.
premium-versa-tubesAll in all the experience has been mixed. I am loving working out with my husband but I am missing my gym and being pushed to achieve that next level. I thought the most difficult part was going to be convincing myself to go to the gym but so far that hasn’t been a problem. I guess working out and sweating has actually finally wiggled itself into my list of life’s “want to’s” now to keep that going.

All of this to say that I do miss Alannah, I enjoy the routine of our meet ups, but it is nice to know that I am able to continue on and motivate myself when she is not there.  I am happy that I am back to my regular schedule next week, and I will know what day it is from one to the other.

Happy Friday everyone, I will be back on track next Friday with some tasty treats.

Have any of you ever had trainers or followed some type of training plan? What have been some of your challenges?

Sweating out the Sick

Working out sick. To do it or not to do it? This is a question I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to wrestle with earlier this week. After consulting with some friends and advising my trainer that I was feeling a bit under the weather I decided I would give it a go and see how I was feeling as the workout progressed.  Lucky for me it was some more postural stuff focusing on legs, and I like to think my legs are the strong part of my body so I felt like it wouldn’t be too taxing on my system.

In general when I am ill (stuffed up cold level illness) I like to get a nice sweat going, it makes me feel like I am sweating out all the awful toxins, whether or not this is true I am unsure but in general a detox style bath normally makes me feel pretty good afterwards. So I figured getting my sweat on at the gym would probably hopefully present the same results.

Once I started to warm up I definitely felt a huge difference in being healthy and pedaling on the stationary bike, and being sick and doing so.  It took up a bit more energy to keep going, and the amount of sweat that started coming out was comparable to a hot yoga class.  So if the goal was to sweat out the sickness I was well on my way to succeeding.

I also noticed that besides sweating like a total beast it took a bit more energy to focus on the exercises I was doing and the instructions I was receiving.  I mean it is possible that more focus was required because of a low grade fever and the level of cold and sinus medicine I had taken throughout the day, but it was interesting how some of the easier things required me to think so much about simple mechanics.  By the end of the hour long workout I was totally physically and mentally drained, and I was definitely ready to resume my sleepy position on the couch snuggled under a comfy blanket with my cranberry juice and tea.

Through this experience what surprised me wasn’t that I was able to workout while feeling sick, but it was that I had no desire to skip my training session or stop my regular fitness routine.  Being sick actually frustrated me more than normal and not because my face felt like it was going to explode because I was so stuffed up, but because I felt like a wrench was being thrown into something I had been working so hard for.  So I am glad that I went to my training session even though we had to clean everything I touched.  That being said I am not sure if I would make the same decision the next time I get sick but it is something I will think about.  It is nice to know that I am capable of pushing through if I really want/need to.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful sickness free week so far. Happy Wednesday! 

*please note that I am not a doctor, or a trained professional the above is just my opinion and experience, please don’t take it as advice. 


Top 10 Things I love about Sweating!

The other day I was having a conversation with a girlfriend and we both concluded that we loved to sweat and there were several reasons why. The other night at the gym it struck me that it might be fun to list my top ten reasons for why I love to sweat so much, and then this post was born.

Before I get into it I have a bit of a hilarious/embarrassing moment to share with the world, because if we can’t laugh at ourselves who can we laugh at right? In order to stage this story, one thing you have to know about me is I need to keep a calendar/ day planner (my iPhone) in order to know what I have committed to and when. Normally once I put something into my phone I am pretty good at remembering it, and generally don’t have to look back at it and the fact that the phone gives me a reminder on that day helps too. Well yesterday was one of those days that I definitely should have been looking at the calendar, or at least questioning why I hadn’t received a reminder.

I was convinced that I had a personal training session so I got home from work and hurried myself to cut up some veggies and get everything ready to make a delicious buckwheat miso soup for supper (picture below), then off I went in what was worse than normal rush hour traffic to the gym to meet up with my trainer for a good workout. Being early I thought I would be a good student and put in a nice 20 minute warm up 10 minutes on the stationary bike and 10 minutes on the elliptical. Believing my training to be at 5PM I began to wonder at 4:55PM where Alannah was, she is always on time if not early and I was just hoping she hadn’t fallen prey to the flu virus that seems to be going around lately. Then it came over me, “oh goodness maybe I am supposed to be here at 6PM” slightly embarrassed I casually walked back to the lockers and checked my phone to assure myself that my session was infact at 5PM.

Upon checking my phone I learnt that there was no training session yesterday, it is today. After explaining what happened to the others in the gym, and saying my embarrassed good-byes I comforted myself in knowing that at least I got to put in a little cardio so all was not lost.

UntitledI hope you all enjoyed that, I will definitely be monitoring my schedule more closely in the future. Now back to the topic at hand, the reasons that keep me coming back for more.

Untitled Top 10 Things I love about Sweating:

  1. That natural shine. I know I probably stink but I can’t help but think “damn I look good” when I see myself covered in sweat.
  2. The feeling of a bead of sweat dripping off my nose.
  3. How soft my skin feels after a good sweat.
  4. Wearing heathered grey t-shirts and inspecting the sweat lines at the end of my workout.
  5. It makes me feel hardcore.
  6. It feels purifying, almost like I am sweating out stress, anger, sadness or any other negative emotion.
  7. It is an obvious payout. It’s something so small that brings such a huge amount of pride.
  8. It is motivational, the harder I push the more sweat I get to see.
  9. It means I am moving and challenging myself.
  10. Discovering you can literally sweat from anywhere not just your armpits. I mean did you know sweat could come out of your knees or the tops of your feet?

What is your favourite way to get your sweat on?

Can you believe it is already Wednesday! Halfway to the weekend.

Other ways to Train

My foot is healing up real nice, but there is still some tenderness. So not wanting to get set back in all the training I have put in for the up coming race I decided to go on a bike ride
UntitledI remembered that a couple years back when my sister was training for a half marathon she hurt her knee pretty bad. Still wanting to compete she spoke with her doctor and found out that doubling the amount of km she would run and turning it a bike ride she would be able to stick to her training.
UntitledRemembering this I decided to go on a 21km bike ride around the city. It took about as much time as I assume running 10km would have taken. It was also super fun to see that much more of the city and good to sweat again. I felt as though I literally biked around the entire city!
UntitledHappy Saturday. Don’t forget everyone tomorrow is mother’s day.