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.

 

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Monday Motivation

So as mentioned last week after two consecutive weeks in a row of forgetting my weekend round up I thought it would be more fun for everyone to receive some motivational posts on Mondays.

I personally find Mondays to be extremely important in setting the tone for my week. Although I am no longer the type of person who waits until Monday to start something (clean eating, a new exercise plan, a book, etc.) I do still find that what I do on a Monday helps to set me up for the rest of the week. This is why I make sure to follow through with my meal plan selection and hit the gym/yoga studio before the day is up.

So I thought providing you all with some motivation on Monday would help maybe give you that little nudge to keep you striving for your goals.

It is important to know that when it comes to a lifestyle change or a health and fitness journey motivation is often for much more than simply exercise. We all need to stay motivated to keep ourselves moving towards our dreams, our aspirations in life. Never stop doing because every choice, every success, and every hiccup helps to mold us into the people we are and the people we want to be.

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Birthdays and Getting Old

I love birthdays. I love the opportunity to spoil a friend or family member just because they are alive. Sure you can do that any day of their life but to get to celebrate the day they came into being and started living their lives is just so special to me.   Generally speaking I not 100% a fan of my own birthday but other people’s birthdays let me tell you I can definitely get behind that!

This year is a little different. I am ending another decade and unlike 20 this one feels like a bit of a bigger deal.  Sure 20 was a big deal I was no longer a teen and I was officially in my adult years, but let’s be honest I was still a teen for at least a couple years after that birthday. I didn’t have any major responsibilities other than showing up to work on time and getting those essays in on their due dates. Aside from that life was pretty easy.  Now there are all kinds of payments; mortgage, insurance, school, utilities, blah blah blah right?  Although I do think back every now and again about how easy life was before I turned into an “adult” I would seriously never go back.20140306-075901.jpgWhy wouldn’t I ever go back?  Well because my 20s were fun however there was so much learning and development, I mean I wouldn’t trade it for the world but why on earth would you ever want to do all of that again? Figuring out who I was, learning to be 100% responsible for myself, and trying to figure out what my life was going to be (still figuring that one out by the by) .  Aside from all that “have to do stuff” my 20s were fun, I met so many amazing people, many of whom are still in my life, but all the caring about what other people thought, gawd no thanks.  Not that I have become some sort of heartless beast just that I have learnt to “do me” and be unapologetic for who I am and what my beliefs are, that being said I have also become a lot more tolerant of others and their view points.

Besides me turning into a pretty different person than I was as a teen or in my early 20s I am not 100% how I am feeling about turning the big three-oh.  There are moments where I think “bah it is just a number” and then there are other moments that I stop and think “oh gawd I have to be a real adult now”.   All I know right now is I am excited for my birthday party and celebrations with my loved ones.  In the mean time I am going to mediate away my neurotic impulses to freak out and just enjoy the last 2 days of my 20s.

But enough about me getting older.  Here is a fun little quick sweat it out to keep you moving during this never ending winter.

birthday melt downHow was it for you when you hit a milestone birthday? Were you excited? Freaked out? Indifferent?

Happy Thursday!

Holiday Melt Down

No I am not having a nervous breakdown, although I do realize that is definitely what the title to this blog post sounds like. I am actually having a fabulous time.  A cold time however a fabulous one.

I figured with this time of year being synonymous with stuffing our faces and maybe indulging in one to many spiked eggnog’s or perhaps a couple too many holiday beverages at our fifth holiday party of the week, it might be nice to share a quick and easy workout.  This can be done at home, all you need are some 8-12lbs weights.  If you don’t have weights and it is too cold to encourage yourself to go to the gym using your body weight is more than alright, this workout will have your heart pumping and your muscles hurting one way or another.

If you are just starting out, maybe getting a head start on that new years resolution, I recommend you stick to the 30seconds work to 10 seconds rest ratio, if you are looking for more of a challenge crank your work time up to 45-60 seconds depending on what your fitness level is.  Keep in mind you will be doing each round 2-3 times for a full workout.

So go and get your space set up, blast your music and get ready to get sweaty.  I hope you all enjoy!

photo 3 (2)Stay Warm!

Weekend Round Up – Girls Weekend

This past weekend was a great one. After some crazy weeks and some even more crazy weeks to come it was nice to escape the city to hang out with one of my closest girlfriends Gail.

We both took our Fridays off from work in order to get a head start on our time together. Seeing how we live in different cities and an extra hour here or there are precious hang out minutes to us.

Pre-travel CollageFriday started off with checking in early to our hotel, the glorious Delta Montreal, setting our stuff down and then heading out for our first round of shopping. After several hours of walking around, a Starbucks break  and more walking around, we headed back to the hotel to rest our feet and get ready for what was sure to be a delicious meal.

Friday evening we headed over to La Société a Bistro style restaurant with some super tasty dishes. We split a magnificent shrimp cocktail and then I had some delicious maple bourbon chicken with crispy potatoes and s super fresh salad for my main.   I skipped desert because I was stuffed but also because of my nut allergy, desert isn’t really something I can get as a rule when eating out.20131020-092338.jpgAfter supper we were initially going to hit up a comedy club but after a morning of traveling, an afternoon of shopping and walking around, we both just wanted to relax a little and catch up some more. So we headed back to the hotel room to chat and relax.

I was up bright and early Saturday morning, I seem to be missing the gene to sleep in.  I knew this would happen so I was sure to bring my gym clothing so I had something to do while Gail was sleeping until a reasonable hour.

After the half marathon I had taken some time off of rigorous exercise and had been sticking to yoga for the past week so it was definitely nice to get in some gym time.   Normally I don’t have very high hopes for hotel gyms because well they really don’t seem to be a priority in most hotels. However, this gym was fantastic!  I was surprised by the range of weights, machines, cardio equipment and the stretching area that was available, they even had a squash court and a pool!  Initially I had planned on doing a body weight circuit but when I was surprised by all of the equipment I couldn’t resist throwing in some weight training.

Hotel Gym CollageAfter a great workout I headed back upstairs in the hopes that my friend was starting to rise.  I then quickly ran over to Starbucks to grab us some tea and quick breakfasts before we got our day started.

Although we had spent much of our Friday shopping the sun was out Saturday and there were just so many excuses to hit the streets again to see if we could find anything we loved.   We wandered up and down St. Catherines popping in and out of stores and checking out what they had. Unlike Ottawa, Montreal has a Vans store so we were sure to check them out and get me a new pair of kicks.  With another day of shopping under our belts it was time to head back to the hotel to start getting ready for dinner.
weekend CollageOh my gosh dinner!  Dinner was incredible, Gail picked a place called Pintxo which serves small Spanish style tapas.  Gail knows me pretty well and knows that I love tiny plates of things, because you get to taste more that way, and I am not a fan of sharing my food.

Dinner was amazing, the restaurant was extremely cautious and attentive to my nut allergy (which is always a plus), the waitress totally knew her stuff and recommended the tastiest glass of wine and every plate I was served was more delicious than the one before it.   The resturant had an option where you could get 4 small pintxo and a main or you could get the regular sided pintxo and however many you wanted of them (they recommend 4 to 5 to make a meal).   Everything looked so tasty so I went with 4 pintxo so I could taste a bit of everything.
Pintxo CollageThe lighting wasn’t the greatest and I gave up on taking photos when my last dish was served (it was a goat cheese ravioli in a duck stew, can you say amazing!).  If any of you are ever in Montreal I strongly recommend finding this place and tasting it out, it was by far one of my favorite treat meals in the past 5 months. I was saddened when the plates stopped coming, but also happy because I was pretty stuffed.

20131021-120452.jpgLuckily Sunday both Gail and I had later travel plans which meant some more time to hang out and enjoy the city.  We both took our time getting moving and then headed out for a late breakfast at a nearby dinner.  Once it was time to head out we packed up and both headed to our respective modes of transport.

As awesome and fun as the weekend was I was excited to get back home to my husband and kittens and to do some Sunday afternoon lounging. The rest of my weekend was filled with movies, kitten cuddles and some relaxation in preparation for the coming week.

I hope everyone had as wonderful of a weekend as I did and you were all able to stay warm in this increasingly cold weather.

Happy Monday!

 

Week 2 of V.2.0 – Building Stronger Arms

Hey Challengers! you have made it through the first quarter of your 50 days!  That is two weekends under your belt and a whole 14 days, you are hopefully feeling like you are really starting to get a good handle on all of this clean eating and meal prep business.  It is likely starting to feel a bit easier to make healthy choices instead of caving into cravings, mostly because you are probably aren’t craving things like refined sugar and white bread anymore.

Now that you are filling your bellies with healthful foods, full of vitamins and minerals you are probably bursting with energy! And if you were lucky enough you probably escaped the dreaded change of season cold (I wasn’t so lucky but hopefully all of you were). Because you have all of this energy I figured it would be a great time to make share a little at home arm workout with you.

I wanted to make something that was a nice balance between cardio and strength and with a main focus on your arms.  Arm workouts tend to be something I neglect on this blog, I am a sucker for a good leg workout so when I am making myself a circuit or a HIIT I end up loading them up with leg stuff over arms.  I probably do this because my arms are weak beans compared to the horse strength in my legs, but I digress.

So if you only have 20 minutes and you want to get your heart beating fast give the building block arm workout a shot.

Building Block Arms

I have added this video incase some people are wondering what a plank with alternating shoulder taps are.  If you need to take it down a notch try just holding a full plank for 50 seconds or if you still want to try the tap drop to your knees.  Make this workout work for you.

Let me know how you found this workout. Would you like more arm workouts?  What other types of things would you like to see?

Happy Wednesday Everyone! 

 

***I have been notified of some typos in the workout…it is side planks not plans and it is frontal and lateral raises not later raises, sorry for the confusion***

Getting Sweaty – Lunch Time Workouts

I have been working on this little cardio number for a while now. I have been testing various combinations of exercises and lengths of time to find something that will be challenging, quick and accessible for people to try out when they don’t have an hour for a full workout. Finally, I came up with a great combination that will kick your butt and get you back to your busy life in no time.

Before starting this workout do about 5 minutes of warming up, I would recommend that your warm up is filled with some walking in place to get you moving, dynamic stretching to loosen you up, jumping jacks to slowly get your heart rate up. Just remember it is a warm up not the workout so don’t over exert yourself you just want to loosen yourself up and get warm before getting into everything.

dontSo now that you have warmed yourself up here is the Cardio Explosion workout! This work is an interval workout, each exercise is done 4 times for 20 seconds with a 10 second break in between. Besides the 10 second pause there are no additional breaks, the workout itself takes less than 20 minutes so push yourself and power through to get the most out of it. If you are feeling like an extra challenge or you have a bit extra time on your hands go ahead and do two rounds.

Let me know what you think. How do you normally workout when you are pressed for time?

Happy workout Thursday everyone!

*criss cross tuck jump is just a modified version of a tuck jump.  Before going into the tuck jump you hop your legs apart and then hop them towards the middle criss crossing your legs in front of each other and back to centre before doing the tuck jump. Switch up which leg goes in the front each time or each set, just make sure it is even**