Weekend Away? Find A Happy Medium

I’m rarely an extremist, and this applies to weekends at the cottage.  Are you going away for Canada Day?  Or to my southern friends the soon to be celebrated Fourth of July?  Here’s how I manage the indulgences without dumping on all of the work I put in this week.

Non-negotiable packing items:

  • Canada shirt
  • Beer
  • Running shoes

That balanced list pretty much sums up my outlook on the weekend.  Will I have burgers and potato chips and beer?  Obviously!  But I’ve also planned a run on Saturday morning with my girlfriends.  Long weekends are made for celebrating, relaxing and hanging out with friends.  Don’t get hung up on every calorie or missing a workout.

Here’s a couple more things:

  • Before you leave have a green smoothie
  • Bring a couple resistance bands for an easy workout for you and any friends that want to join
  • Eat healthy snacks (I’m bringing bars, individually packaged protein powder, snap peas, carrots, and apples)
  • Drink lots and lots of water (alternate water / beer / water / beer)

Oh and how about this one … HAVE FUN!!!!

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Summer Bucket List For You?

In the past few weeks I’ve seen summer bucket lists circulating the web.  At my summer job we made a list of things we wanted to do this summer too.  None of my things were work related (but they didn’t necessarily have to be).  Then our bosses took them to mail to us halfway through the summer as a reminder.  I haven’t gotten mine yet but I wanted to make sure I was propelling myself towards my good ol’ summer goals.

Here they are in blog format.

  • Finish my personal trainer certification. (in the process of booking)
  • Read the first 3 Jason Bourne books. (blaahhh haven’t started)
  • Take a week of vacation alone with Brad. (just booked it!)
  • Compete in Warrior Dash. (training like a beast – race is July 20)

I gotta know what your bucket list looks like for the summer!  Write or link to your list in the comment section 😀 😀 :D.

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Never Though Of Doing a 5k? Do a Colour Run

Doing a 5km might seem daunting to a lot of people.  It seemed daunting to me the first time, but I was soothed by a medal at the end.  But we’re not talking about racing and medals today.  We’re talking about the most fun way to pass 5km … ever!

Doing a colour run (and there’s a bunch of different “brands” of these colourful races you can do) is a good way to ease into the distance for fitness levels of all kinds.  You definitely won’t be sprinting the entire way as the race course is pretty busy.  In fact, you don’t have to run at all, you can walk the whole thing.  Good for kids too!

Here are the basics:

  • sign up and invite ALL your friends (more friends = more fun!)
  • wear white
  • get paint thrown at you along the race route
  • the paint is typically made out of corn starch (so it’s powdered)
  • throw paint at each other at the finish line
  • have insane amounts of fun

Here’s a few photos below and you can check out more on the Life After Bagels Facebook page.

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Ten, Ten Hill Drills AH AH AH

Ten!  That’s how many  hill drills I did on Monday.  Warrior Dash is coming up pretty darn soon.  I’ve been asked a few times why I’m doing hill training for Warrior Dash.  Well, I didn’t run it last year but I  have it on good authority that our race is pretty much uphill.  Thus the hill training, so very much hill training.

Luckily I’ve been doing all those pesky hills with friends.  This week my friend Jacky was visiting.  We ran 2km and then five hill sprints, then back 2km and another five hill sprints.  We high fived at the end, obviously!

And we rewarded ourselves with Menchies, obviously.

I also taught him about mashed cauliflower.  Honestly, I find mashed cauliflower so much more flavourful than mashed potatoes. MMMMmmmmm!!!!

PS – I’m doing Toronto Colour Me Rad on Sunday, who else is doing it???  It’s going to be a blast I know it :)

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Monday Motivation – It’s Not About The Calorie Burn

I cannot write or say “it’s not about” without singing in my head “it’s not about the A-A-A-A-alcohol.”  As it turns out though, a quick trip to google has advised me that I am not correct and the song actually goes “blame it on the A-A-A-A-alcohol.”  BLARGHH!!!  Brad is right, I never know any song lyrics.  Hopefully he won’t read this blog post and I can avoid an “I told you so” moment.  Cross your fingers for me.

Back on topic – morning walks.  Every morning (most mornings) I’ve been heading out for a thirty minute walk.  Of course a little fitness in the morning will burn some calories as well as boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.  However, my morning walks are not at all about the calorie burn.  There’s just something about being out in the sunlight to start your day.  Even when it’s overcast, the fresh air just does it for me.

At my old job we used to have a saying “set yourself up for success.”  I guess it’s just a more inspiring way to portray the idea of preparation.  For me, setting myself up for success also means putting myself in the right mental state.  That’s exactly what these morning walks do for me.

Since starting my morning walks I’ve experienced:

  • having more energy during the day
  • being more committed to my afternoon workouts
  • drinking more water in the AM
  • waking up with enough time for both the walk and my meal prep for the day
  • going to bed earlier

Yup this is definitely a behaviour I want to keep going for the entire summer.  The only problem is that I’m still figuring out how to fit in some blogging.  I’m sure I’ll get my routine all sorted out soon :)

Anyone else doing the morning walks (or morning cardio, or morning workouts)?  What other behaviours do you have the set you up for success for the day or week?

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Giveaway: Swap And Drop Diet Cookbook

This is a sponsored GIVEAWAY.  I received this cookbook for free.

I’m a super big fan of Best Health Magazine.  Love me a good Canadian health magazine, so I was very interested in checking out their new cookbook.  I’m always trying to convince people that you CAN eat delicious and flavourful food while controlling the calorie count.  There are literally so many recipes packed into the Swap and Drop Diet Cookbook.

Me likey:

  • every recipe contains the calorie count
  • recipes are full of flavour but fairly simple
  • very few rare ingredients (almost all of these ingredients can be bought at your regular grocery store)
  • includes vegetarian recipes
  • extra tips for shopping, making the most of your ingredients, eating on the road
  • party food ideas (I NEED to get little popsicle moulds for a homemade popsicle recipe I’ve yet to try)
  • lots of variety (fancy recipes like cherry tomatoes with pesto cream cheese and simple recipes like lentil-tomato stew with browned onions)

ENTER TO WIN A FREE COOK BOOK

  • Open only to entrants with a Canadian address
  • Contest will close Friday June 7th, 11:59pm ET

How to enter:

1. Leave a comment below telling us what your best healthy swap

2. Tweet this (and comment here that you’ve done it): Enter to win the Swap and Drop cookbook from @besthealthmag and @LifeAfterBagels http://bit.ly/11reVoh

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Let There Be Seeds

It’s gardening season y’all… in Toronto that is.  We have very slowly been getting our garden together this spring.  This year we’ve got two raised beds (home built) and some containers.

Last year Brad built one raised bed that was double tall.  We found out that we didn’t actually need that much depth so he separated the layers and poof … two beds!  (Okay I’m sure it wasn’t just like “poof.”  I was having a nap when this all happened.  When I woke up it was all done, oops 😉 )

We bought some of our seedlings from Cultivate Toronto at Withrow market a few weeks ago.  The rest of the garden was planted from seeds that we already had on hand.  Side note: my friend Kate gave out seeds as favours for her wedding shower.  Super cute idea right?!?!

Without further ado, here’s what we’re growing this year:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • beefsteak tomatoes
  • hot peppers
  • chives
  • green onions
  • 2 varieties of beans
  • chinese greens
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • radish
  • beets
  • mint
  • basil
  • oregano
  • thyme

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5 Liquids To Drink When You’re Sick In The Summer

In my mind, because I haven’t been to work in days now, I should have endless amounts of time to blog.  But that just ain’t true folks.  Me and my pillows and blankie are well acquainted.  Me and my laptop, mmmmm not so much.

I’ve been resting like a good little sickie.  I’ve also been drinking liquids like a boss.  But in this heat wave I don’t exactly want soups and broths.  Seriously, it’s an official heat wave in Toronto right now.  (Sweating and coughing, so fun!)

Here’s what I’ve been drinking this week:

5 Liquids To Drink When You’re Sick In The Summer

  • Water with lemon (I drink it every single day!)
  • Homemade iced tea (green tea and peppermint tea are the best when sick)
  • Green smoothie (spinach has vitamin C, try my avocado mango smoothie recipe)
  • Fresh juice from your own juicer (I like to use celery and lemon with whatever other fruits and veggies you have in your fridge)
  • Chia water

I’ve juuuuust started drinking chia water even though my friend Katie is obsessed with it and has been telling me to try it for weeks now.  I made a few different chia concoctions in the last few days that I’ll share with you.

Chia Iced Tea

  • 1 litre of cold water
  • 1 litre of green tea
  • 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • juice of half a lemon

Chia Water With Pomegranate Juice

  • 1/4 cup of pomegranate juice
  • 2 litres less 1/4 of cold water
  • 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
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Avocado Mango Smoothie Recipe

(This is a sponsored post from Avocados From Mexico)

A couple months ago I saw someone post a smoothie recipe on Facebook that had avocado in it.  I like to think of myself as a smoothie sommelier so you can imagine my shock that I had not thought of this.  (Imagine smoothie sommelier was a real job, that would be amazing.  Actually an actual sommelier is a pretty rad job too.  Might. Drop. Out. Of. University.)

Moving along, avocado in smoothies.  I started doing it and casually mentioning it to my friends and coworkers.  It seemed that everyone in the entire world was already doing it.  I’ve been mixing and matching ingredients all month to come up with the best and most delicious combo.  I think you’ll find this perfectly refreshing and oh so creamy.

Avocado Mango Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/2 half of an avocado
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango chunks
  • big handful of spinach (very scientific measurement)
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of cold water

Blend it up!!!!  So healthy, so green, so delicious.

Before we go may I nutrition fact you?

Avocados have the following vitamins and minerals:

  • potassium
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin C
  • folate
  • vitamin E
  • fibre

And let’s pretend that ALL of the world has gotten over the “all fat is bad” stance on avocados.  We know that not all fat is created equal.  Avocado is good fat and fats are an important macronutrient in a well balanced diet.  Good talk, tell your friends 😉

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Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Delight

This is the best breakfast evaaaaaaa.  Or snack.  I’ve had it for lunch.  I’m quite certain you could have this for dinner but I haven’t done it yet.

Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Recipe

  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Cook a big batch of quinoa on Sunday for meal prep and this becomes the easiest and most excellent breakfast parfait in the world.  Clearly I’m very excited about this revelation 😉

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