Finally the Costa Rica Vacation Recap

I would like to start off with apologizing. I got a little wrapped up in getting back into the swing of things, and was missing Costa Rica a little bit so didn’t quite feel like writing about it and reminding myself of all the wonderful time I had spent there.  Now I am in a better space to reflect and feeling less like I am torturing myself while I freeze to death in Canada knowing it is beautiful hot and sunny in Costa Rica.  Anyways…the vacation!

After four short weeks of yoga teacher training, meeting so many amazing people, and learning so many amazing things it was time to relax and unwind and see my husband again.  After graduation from Yoga Teacher Training and attending my last morning class of the month, I saddled up and hopped on the shuttle to the airport to pick up my husband, his flight arrived on time and we jumped in a cab and headed off to our home for the week.
793778_73_bWe stayed at the Barcelo Langosta Beach Hotel in Tamarindo.  After the time spent in the jungle I was more than happy to be living somewhere that was more built up and touristy.  Tourist hot spots aren’t always my preferred destination but it felt nice to feel like I had to wear nicer clothing and shouldn’t be walking around in my yoga pants all day.

The first two days of our vacation were spent being the laziest sacks alive.  We chatted and read, and napped and ate and went on short exploration walks along the beach, but nothing that would over exert us.  We were just happy to see each other and get some napping in.

After all our napping, relaxing, drinking, eating and general all around laziness.  We did make sure to hop into the gym a couple of times. I was seriously missing my regular weight training routine and I was ready to start lifting heavy things again, and it was nice to have a partner in the gym.

20140108-083959.jpgThen it was time for our big adventure.  We purchased an excursion up to Playa Flamingo and then hopped on some ATV’s and headed off on our adventure.  Taking us all around, up hills, through streams and so much off roading we then arrived at our first destination, the tree top zip lining adventure. Zip lining was one of those things I kept telling myself I could do, it wouldn’t be too scary right, you are only literally in the tree tops, suspended on a cable that was safety checked god knows how long ago, it will be fine…right?  Well my husband really wanted to do it, and I do attempt to do things that scare me regularly so I figured zip lining could count for like 10 things.

20140108-084035.jpgWell I did it and it wasn’t terrifying, it was so much fun.  After the first line it was all just so exhilarating not terrifying in the slightest…well maybe a little but perhaps that was some of the fun of it.

20140108-084017.jpgThe rest of our week was spent playing card games, catching up on reading, basking in the sun, hiding from the sun, and many a margarita.  It was a pretty wonderful time and on days like to day when it feels like the world is freezing over I am definitely missing it.

Happy Wednesday!

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Weekend Round Up

This past weekend felt so incredibly short. My husband and I headed out to Edmonton in the middle of last week (leaving the kittens in good caring hands, don’t worry). The past few days have felt like our weekend, so let’s see what I remember.

We got in last week and arrived at my sister’s mother-in-law’s house and were immediately pampered and let me tell you it felt great, especially after just coming home from jungle living. After catching up and filling our bellies with some warm homemade soup we headed over to my dad’s to say hello and of course to pick up a much needed GPS. I don’t come back to Edmonton too often and when I left I definitely didn’t have a license so I rarely have any idea where I am going, thank goodness for technology.
20131223-072837.jpg After a quick visit with my dad we headed over to my other sister’s house to go to a winter festival with her and her step daughter. It was lots of fun, filled with ice skating, banok making, picture taking, letters to Santa and other fun family style activities.

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20131223-072824.jpg Then we headed back to home base to rest up. The following day started with a father-daughter trip to the gym, Christmas supper grocery shopping with my sister and then braving the West Edmonton mall with my other sister to wrap up start our Christmas shopping. Thank goodness for my brother-in-law’s mom making sure we are fed and hydrated otherwise I would have forgotten to sit down and  nourish myself.

The following day was more hanging out with family and Christmas shopping, but yesterday was the most exciting.

Sunday my dad married a wonderful lady. The two of them together is so warming to see, they balance each other and seem to keep one another in check. Seeing them both before the wedding with obvious butterflies was so beautiful to me and I am so grateful I was able to travel to Edmonton to be present for all of it.

20131223-073539.jpgThe ceremony was lovely and short and to the point, much like my father, and the gathering of people was kept to family and close friends, which was perfect and made everything feel so intimate and welcoming. It was a treat to see my dad so happy and to know that he was marrying someone that understands he sense of humor and obviously cares greatly for him. The wedding was definitely a great addition to my holiday season.

Today is my second fakemas of the season and I can’t wait to get into the kitchen with my big sister to start whipping up a tasty healthy holiday meal for our family.

Happy Monday everyone!

Finally Here

At times it felt like this moment would never come.  After over a year of waiting, planning and saving today marks my last day of work before I start to get serious about my upcoming adventure.  I haven’t talked about it much since I announced signing up for Yoga Teacher Training back in February, not because I am not spilling over with excitement but rather because I have been so per-occupied with other endeavors (Personal Training Certification, Run Club, etc).   Now with everything else out of the way I feel like I am going to burst with a mix of excitement and nerves.
yoga CollageI have started a small collection of items I require for my travels on our dinning room table and I get butterflies every time I walk by and see my mini stock pile of items. Nervous excitement seems like the best way to explain how I am feeling about my trip.

This adventure will be the first time I am away from Canada for as long as I will be, and it will also be the first time I travel for an extended period of time on my own and instead of meeting up with friends I will be meeting up with strangers. It is a whole bunch of new and firsts for me and I am just so curious to see how it all works out.

UntitledIt will be nice waking up Sunday morning to warm temperatures and sun as opposed to this mornings snow and below zero temperatures. I can’t wait to bring you some sunny blog posts and to keep you all up to date on how things are going at yoga school. So stay tuned.

Happy Wednesday!

Weekend Round Up – Adventure Time

This past weekend my husband and I decided to get out of the city. We packed up the car as headed out to Toronto to see some friends and catch a Blue Jays game.

We arrived Friday night at Pantages a lovely little boutique hotel downtown. It was right across the street from Massey Hall and was definitely a good find.

20130812-121815.jpgThe evening we arrived we wondered the streets and soaked in the beautiful weather. After doing some wondering around and window shopping we got ready for some supper and headed out to the Rock Lobster for some delicious seafood. If you are in the Toronto area I strongly recommend you check out one of the two locations, especially if you are a seafood lover

20130812-122313.jpgAfter a nice meal and some drinks we called it a night and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the baseball game the next day. I am not much of a baseball fan but we were lucky enough to catch a pretty exciting game and we got to see the Jays win!

20130812-123230.jpgAfter the Jays game we met up with some friends to check out some local craft breweries and partake in some tasty foods.
20130812-123239.jpgIt was great seeing everyone and checking out some new sights. Now we are back home and settling back into home life, the kittens are definitely happy we are home.

Happy Monday everyone.

Weekend Round Up

This weekend was fairly low key. It was also my husband’s birthday celebrations! We had a few friends over had a ton (probably too much) of snacks and all shared in some celebratory bubbly.

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I had also purchased a disposable camera for this event so once we get that developed we will see if there are some gems that can be posted.

But this weekend I was given a USB full of additional vacation photos that I can share with all of you.

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I hope you all had a great weekend, and for some of you I hope you are enjoying Family day and staying warm today.

Happy Monday!

Don’t Sweat Vacation

Not to bombard everyone with tails from my glorious and warm vacation as I am sure you are all getting a little tired of hearing about it, but on vacation I learnt some stuff and I just wanted to share these, lets call them, lessons with all of you.

During my vacation while sweating up a storm in the hardly air conditioned room it dawned on me that although my blog is dedicated to healthful pursuits and balance I really haven’t touched on balance all that much, perhaps hoping it would make its own appearance. During my vacation I learnt that balance doesn’t “work itself out”, it is truly up to the individual to find balance and teach yourself how to stay there, much like anything else you are trying to be successful at you have to work at balance.

Originally when I had sat down and thought about a game plan for vacation I very honestly aimed low.  I didn’t want to create an intense schedule where I would then be disappointed in myself if I didn’t achieve all I had set out.   I discussed this plan with Alannah and she agreed that it was pretty reasonable considering I would be on vacation. I had decided that I would attend one hotel offered yoga class, do one HIIT circuit (NTC or Pinterest print-offs) and go for one run on the beach, anything extra was simply a bonus.

The first thing I tackled was an NTC 45min cardio session which pretty much destroyed me, in the best way. I figured the next day I would go for a walk on the beach to check out the sand conditions, unfortunately they weren’t optimal for running so I figured I would do a speed burst treadmill workout, followed by 20 minutes of weights for my butt, legs and abs.

By this point I was pretty stoke, motivated and happy that I had actually stayed on track for my vacation workout goals, so I decided the next thing to try out would be yoga, because at this point a nice stretch was just what I needed. The yoga was, well it wasn’t great, but it was the most hilariously awkward classes I had ever been too and having some knowledge of yoga allowed me to get a good stretch in.
Once I had finished yoga I had 100% accomplished my workout goals for the vacation but I wasn’t feeling the need to call it quits, actually this is where balance kind of came into play.  Firstly, I was having fun with my workouts I hadn’t done NTC in a while so it was something knew to keep me guessing, also my eating wasn’t the greatest.  I know that no amount of exercise can offset a truly awful diet*, but at the same time I figured it was better than moping around over the nut filled vegetables.

So I used this as motivation to add in a couple extra workouts into my vacation and to find a balance between not so great food and health and fitness. It perhaps wasn’t the most “ideal” solution but I felt like on vacation it was a pretty great way to overcome an obstacle while still having a great time, relaxing and treating myself kindly. In achieving balance during my vacation I was able to remain on track with my training, stay happy and satisfied with my goals and self and probably most importantly allow myself the time to relax.

Have you ever been faced with a similar dilemma?  How did you find balance for yourself?

Happy Thursday everyone, and Happy Love Day so tell someone you love them 🙂

*by diet I mean what you eat on a daily basis, not some crash diet, week long cleanse or what have you. I mean your day in day out daily intake of food. 

Eating Abroad

So….eating that fun little thing that gets stuck at the back of our minds when we are trying to get in shape, tone up, or lose some pounds. It can sometimes manifest itself into this idea that you have to do everything perfect at all times to be successful and achieve your goals. It can also drive you a little batty especially if you have hit a plateau or are outside of your regular surroundings.

You might have thoughts such as; “am I eating too much?” “am I eating the right things?” “is it okay to have this drink?” “will this indulgence through me in a tailspin and ruin my progress?”, and the list goes on and on.

I myself being stuck on a bit of a plateau right now and having the opportunity of going on a vacation was blessed with a bit of a double whammy in the way of panic in regards to eating and properly fueling my body. Before leaving for vacation I had set out a plan of attack which is something I do when I will be out of my regular routine (re: Christmas) to make me feel a bit more calm and to help me be a bit more lenient on myself.

Also before leaving for vacation Alannah and I had a brief conversation about what my goals were and what I would do to stay on track. Being fortunate enough to have a trainer helped to motivate me to stay on track because I had someone other than myself to be accountable to. I have said it before and I am saying it again having a buddy when it comes to exercise is the way to go, whether it is a personal trainer, a running friend, your significant other, or anyone you can share your goals with and will help to keep you accountable.

So with my plan, my discussion with Alannah and with my thoughts haunting me about derailing my progress I set out for a nice relaxing vacation. Once I arrived at my destination and was finally able to see what would be available in the way of food it was a bit. I am sure most would have thought it glorious had I been a normal person but with my numerous allergies and food restrictions I found it pretty challenging to find things to eat, let alone stay on “track”.

Although I was not as strict with myself as I would have been had I had full control over preparing and serving my meals I was always able to create some type of salad, every morning there were delicious make yourself omelettes which they would make with just egg whites and there was always plenty of fruit. There were always veggies but often covered in nuts (which are deadly to me) or lathered in sauce and meat was always in abundance but always marinated in something or in a sauce which may have contributed to my eczema outbreak. All in all there was always something to eat just not as clean as it would have been at home.

Besides it being a bit of a struggle to find things that I would normally deem as “healthy” for eating I was able to bring apples down to the beach for a morning snack and the a-la-cartes were great and always had large nut free portions of veggies as sides. It also didn’t hurt that you get to dress up and our wonderful server brought us this loving message written in sauce.

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So my take back from this experience is mainly that yes it is a vacation and it shouldn’t be a total free pass to be destructive and derail your progress, but also yes it is a VACATION and you are allowed to enjoy yourself and to indulge in some things that you normally wouldn’t otherwise.

It is important to point out that during all of this, and eating maybe not in the healthiest of ways I did definitely workout, but more on that later.

Happy Wednesday everyone!! Is anyone else as excited for the weekend as I am?