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Welcome to the life of a 6 foot tall runner living in Saskatchewan, Canada. This is where I document my adventures in food, fitness, and my life in general. My sarcasm hand is always raised and 90% of my iPhone photos are of my dog.

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DISCLAIMER

Please consult your medical professional before making any fitness and/or nutritional changes.

ALWAYS honour your body.

 

Tuesday
Mar242015

A "Fitspo" Social Media Problem and #YearofYoga

Good morning friends! How’s spring treating you?

Saskatchewan missed the memo over here! Oddly enough, we had glorious spring weather for a solid week before the “official” start of spring and then BAM! Snow dump, right on March 20th. Oh well. What’s that saying – in like a lion, out like a lamb? Let’s hope it’s true. I need some spring in my life!

One good thing about this cold, winter weather? More excuses to stay in and watch EVERY MARCH MADNESS GAME

If you’ve been around this blog for a while, then you already know all about enthusiasm I have for the NCAA Tournament! It’s a big deal in my family (at least with my dad and sister) and now we’ve got Mike hooked as well.

The first weekend of the tournament is always the most exciting and fun. Buzzer beaters, upsets, Cinderella teams…it has it all! This year was NOT lacking in insanity. Especially Thursday – SO. MANY. UPSETS. My bracket is pretty much busted at this point but I still have Kentucky going all the way, just like 98% of the basketball watching population ;) So…go Kentucky!

Happiness and #YearofYoga

In other kind of exciting news (at least for me!), 2015 has been dubbed #YearofYoga! Yoga has been a constant in my fitness routine for the past 5 years or so. I was hooked on my first try and I can still remember that first practice perfectly – that’s how much of an impression it left on me! I was going to a class about 1-2 times per week back then but then fizzled out due to a number of reasons (studio location, price, conflicting priorities, etc). I’ve loved continuing my practice at home with YouTube videos and my beloved YogaStudioApp, but yoga had slowly turned into a 2-4 times per month thing for me…until this past year.

I’ve started to make yoga priority again based purely on the fact that I LOVE how I feel during and after practice. If you’ve ever experienced that post-yoga bliss, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Yoga has never been something where I’ve had to force myself into a practice or find myself starting to dread yoga sessions – which, in all honestly, I experience with running from time to time.

This brings us to #yearofyoga. I started off 2015 by doing the Erin Motz (aka Bad Yogi) 30 day yoga challenge and then completing the #TakeTheLeap 30 yoga challenge with prAna and Fit Approach right after. Since that challenge ended on March 3rd, I’ve continued to with an almost daily practice. All because I LOVE it. I feel like a constant yoga practice has given me way more than just physical benefits, although my flexibility is making crazy progress! As cheesy and new age-y as it sounds, I feel more calm, centered, and happier with daily yoga in my life. And we should all be doing more of what makes us happy, right?

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I think this is a concept that gets very much overlooked in this online fitness community of ours. We're so focused on #gainz, being better than her/him, or being better than your previous self that we overlook a very important aspect - is this making me happy?

With so much of our lives being filmed and photographed (and edited to perfection) on instagram, twitter, facebook, vine, or whatever your social media choice is, it's so freaking easy to get in that competitive mindset. And often times it's with STRANGERS no less. In all honestly, I've sometimes found myself in a really bad place trying to compare myself to some people I follow on social media - why don't I look like that, why can't I work as hard as him/her, why can't I do that pose?! Really, we should be focusing on what makes us happy in the reality of our lives,  not our social media lives. The culture and mindset of "be better than last time every time" or "no excuses EVER" that tends to prevail in "fitspo" images is just not sustainable long-term and overlooks that important aspect of happiness. 

Bottom line: don't sacrifice your own happiness to keep up with the Joneses. Do YOU.

So I’m going to keep riding this crazy yoga train until I don’t want to anymore. I’m a very goal-oriented person (duh) and this is very much a non-goal oriented activity for me. I’m practicing purely because of how good it makes me feel and not to achieve any particular milestone or objective. That is a foreign concept for me, but I’m liking the changes going on within me with this type of practice.

Although, don’t think the competitiveness in me has died and gone to green juice hippie heaven…..

Half marathon objectives are all about pushing myself ;) Two hour half mary…I’m coming for ya.

 

What pushes you in fitness – goals or general well-being?

Do you ever feel negative side effects of "fitspirational" social media?

 

I’ll see you guys later this week!

Tuesday
Mar172015

I Just Called To Say

I'VE MISSED YOU.

 

It's been over two weeks since I last posted! OY.

 

Life has been BUSY so I haven't had time to sit down and type up a decent post..but I wanted to check in with you guys!

Scenes from the past two weeks:

Clean eats...Whole30 still going on. I have a few things to catch you up on in that area.

Getting back to my tall girl roots with some bball

Chill Saturday night with Sadie, laundry, and Mean Girls

Kitchen yoga #yearofyoga

Back teaching ZUMBA after a week off! Red faced like WHOA.

OUTDOOR RUNNING! Thank you Mother Nature.

Sadie is digging the warmer temps too!

 

I'll be back soon! I've got some sweet posts lined up in the next few weeks - yay!

 

 

Monday
Mar022015

Polar M400 GPS Watch and HR Monitor Review

Good Monday morning to you all! I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend :)

We did the standard over here – relaxed, caught up with friends, visited with my family, meal prepped, and of course the RV show ;)

Well, I guess the RV show isn't typically on the wekeend schedule ;)

My parents are on the edge of retirement and have decided to make their way around North America for a few years in a fifth wheel! Pretty cool if you ask me. They’ve purchased all the big things that are vital to this type of lifestyle – a fifth wheel and a big diesel truck – so my dad took my sister, Mike, and I to the local RV show so we could see what model of trailer they bought.

You guys, their trailer is nicer than my condo. I’m talking big spacious kitchen/living room area, (fake) wood flooring, lots of cabinets and counter space, a super cool closet in the bedroom…I wouldn’t mind selling our place and taking off around the world in their trailer! As long as there’s a big enough bed and room for me to lay out a yoga mat, I’m down ;)

On Sunday, Mike and I headed to the university to partake in our usual 1pm run class, only to find out that the class had been rescheduled to 8am that morning…and we were never told! Instead of turning around and going home, we decided to conduct a little run class of our own – 1 mile warm up, 30 minutes of HIIT followed by a leg strength circuit (10 lunges each leg, 20 squats, 15 leg abductions each side, 50 second wall sit X 3).

I brought my trusty Polar M400 with me, as I usually do for run class

Which brings us to the meat of today’s post! Right around Christmas time, Polar sent me the M400 watch and heart rate monitor to try out in exchange for a review. I was pretty pumped to get this handy little thing because I’d never used a HR monitor in my workouts before. It’s probably not a bad idea since I tend to be on the high end of the HR scale and should keep an eye on it.

The Features

This particular model boasts awesome tracking functionalities:

  • GPS (pace, distance, altitude)
  • Personalized targets and HR zones
  • 24/7 activity tracking (activity, calories, steps)

Plus, it all syncs up to the Polar Flow website so you can pour over your data like a crazy person (aka me).

Other goodies in the box besides the M400: the Polar H7 HR monitor and strap to pair with the M400 watch, a USB cable (to charge and sync the watch), and a quick start guide.

Set Up and Usability

Set-up was a BREEZE. The quick guide really helped me navigate through the set-up and how to change some of the settings once I got through to the main menu (ie: I’m a bad Canadian and like imperial vs metric). Pairing the two devices together was also super simple. There are some how-to videos available on the Polar website, but I didn’t feel like I needed any additional help! Everything was really well laid out and intuitive.

Since I’m a HR monitor newbie, I appreciated the instructions in the quick guide about getting the sensors a little bit wet and where on your chest to place the strap. I never once had an issue with locating my HR!

The watch’s menu is pretty easy to navigate once you’ve had about 5 minutes to play around with it:

  • set all the standard watch settings (time, date, and turn button sounds on/off etc)
  • set your physical settings (height, weight, age, sex, training type, etc)
  • start recording a workout without having to go deep into the menu
  • see your daily activity progress bar displayed in a percentage format and then drill down deeper (activity time, calories, and steps)
  • see a history of your recorded workouts by date
  • conduct a HR fitness test
  • access timers (interval and finish time estimator)

Once you’ve started recording a workout, you can flip through a bunch of screens that give you the different types of data I mentioned above – GPS and HR tracking stats. You can pause the recording and then press and hold a button to save the workout.

Synching your workout to the Polar Flow website to go over all the data requires you to plug the watch into a computer with the USB cord or download the Polar Flow app to synch it through Bluetooth. I personally didn’t use the app – my phone is already overrun with apps! I need my storage space y’all!

My Experience

I absolutely LOVED using this watch and HR monitor combo for workouts. I’m never been able to find my pulse so being able to track it through these devices was heaven sent for me. For my run class, I loved having the timer and lap functionalities to keep track of my workout progress. Plus, it gave you virtual trophies - all about that bling yo!

The GPS functionalities were pretty standard to other devices I’ve used, although I’m not sure how much more creative you can get with those type of stats! I liked having a screen that displayed all the important stats at once – HR, pace, distance, and time.

I also tried this HR + watch combo out during a Zumba class to what kind of stats I would have. My biggest pet peeve is people complaining that Zumba isn’t a workout, so I LOVED having the data to oppose that statement! Plus, the HR monitor never bothered me once during my class…even with all that twisting and popping!

Check out the Zumba burn!

The Polar Flow website allows you to dive deeper into the data.


This was my run class workout from yesterday. I love that you can see the breaks from the warm up to the HIIT to the leg strength portion!

Here’s a chart from the day I wore the monitor and watch to teach Zumba. You can clearly see the warm up, when I break to take water, and the cool down portion of the class.

The portion of the watch’s features that I didn’t take full advantage of? 24/7 activity tracking :(

I TRIED. I honestly did. I just couldn’t get on board with the big bulky watch on my wrist all day! I wore it for about half a day before I gave up and took it off my wrist. I LOVED having the big display for my workouts, but for my daily life? Not so much. It was annoying to have on with long sleeves and looked terrible with my non-workout outfits. I just couldn’t deal.

Pros:

-loved the data available on the Polar Flow website

-super easy to use

-fantastic stat tracking for workouts and runs

-affordable in comparison to other sport watches of the same caliber ($259.99 for watch + HR monitor; $209.99 for the watch alone)

-big screen for displaying stats during a run or workout! Easy to read and see without having to stop your run

Cons:

-way too bulky to be an activity tracker. I would LOVE to have an activity tracker since I’m an office worker. Getting reminders to move more and having the ability to track my steps would be awesome! I would also love a device to track stats for my runs and workouts. However, I don’t know if you can have the best of both worlds in one product. You need that big watch display for runs/workouts but it’s such a downside when used as an activity tracker device.

 

I had no cons for using the M400 for a running/workout watch – I loved it! I would 100% use this watch with the HR monitor for my workouts and run if I didn’t have to send it back :( This device definitely made me a HR monitor convert and a HR monitor has moved the top of my fitness tech wish list :)

 

Do you use any devices to track your workouts and/or activities?

What features are most important to you in an athletic device?

 

Friday
Feb272015

Things I'm Loving {Feb 2015}

Good morning friends! How was the week? Mine was pretty jam packed with Zumba and volleyball starting up again this week! Although, I did miss being busy with that kind of stuff :)

Can we talk about how it’s been 11 days on the Whole30 and I think I’m over the “MUST EAT ALL THE CARBS AND CHOCOLATE” phase?!

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This happened to me last time I did the Whole30 so I knew it was coming, but you’re never really ready for that carb craving monster. That first week of Whole30 eating is ROUGH. Granted, I don’t eat a ton of breads and grains normally but there’s something about cutting it out completely that makes me go CRAZY.

I’d fail so hard at the Atkins diet.

Anyway, the past two days I’ve actually been completely satiated and full all day for the first time since I started this round of Whole30. I think my body has started to adjust from the overeating pattern I was in down to proper portion sizes way of eating I’m in now. I’m 100% that person who will mindlessly eat just because the food is there in front of my face regardless of if I’ve just eaten a massive meal or not!

Things I’m Loving – February

There’s so many things I love sharing with you guys whether it’s new music, a fantastic beauty product, a well written and interesting article, or just something I find randomly hilarious! That’s been the basis of my Things I’m Loving posts so I thought, hey, let’s turn this into a monthly thang!

Here’s everything I’ve been loving and obsessing over in February.

POSH Podcast

I’ve been all about that podcast life lately but this month’s recommendation is a little different than before. POSH podcast is a music podcast that uploads a new DJ mix every week. The mixes incorporate a lot of the popular club music (think top 40 dance and hip hop tracks) and sometimes throw in a little old school flavor. My favorite mix has been February 3rd’s mix done by DJ Lil Cee but every week I’ve listened to so far has been fantastic! I’ve listened to POSH mixes at the gym, on runs, and (oddly enough) cleaning around the house. 100% would recommend to anyone for workout sessions! If I ever teach a fitness class that’s not set to music (like circuit, bootcamp classes), this podcast is going to be what we’re going to be sweating to!

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo

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This has saved my hair life more than once since I picked it up on my last trip to Sephora! My hair gets really greasy and flat if I shampoo it every day so I’m an every second day kind of gal. But on some days, I need just a little bit of dry shampoo to get some extra grease out of the roots and to add volume back after sleeping on my hair all night. I’ve tried a ton of different spray shampoos but none of them compared to this powdered formula. It’s love. The powder is white but it blends right into my dark brown hair and is untraceable. It gets rid of the grease and adds texture and volume so I can actually do something with my hair other than just pull it back into a ponytail…although that’s a solid go to style for me ;)

Lifting Heavy Again

It’s been FAR too long since I’ve done a real benchpress, squat rack set, and all the other glorious exercises you can only do with a gym membership. I’m doing a self-modified version of the LiveFit weight exercises 3 times a week and have been looooving it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my at home bodyweight circuits and dumbbell exercises but there’s just something about lifting heavy that puts me in a happy place.

17 Times Fitspiration Was Wrong and We Fixed It

Yes, fitness motivation can be a good thing but PLEASE, remember to treat yourself with love and respect. Sometimes I have to close out of the “Health and Fitness” section of Pinterest because the unrealistic images and negative phrasing makes me go to a bad place. Love yourself and the rest will follow.

52 Hilarious Moments from Happy Endings


#bringthisshowbackdamnit #bestshowever

Lululemon High Times Crops

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My sister introduced me to this style of crop at lulu and I’m obsessed. I love the high waist for leg day and when I’m teaching (#nowhaletail2015) and the crop is just perfect. Not too long, not too short. I’m already saving for my next pair. Lulu, why you gotta be so expensive?!

 

What’s something you’ve been loving this past month?

 

 

Previous Things I'm Loving posts

July 2012
October 2012
February 2013
May 2013
September 2013
December 2013
March 2014
November 2014
January 2015

Wednesday
Feb252015

Whole30 Week 1, Bridal Party, & New Jams!

Guys, I’ve been slacking on the blogging lately! Our laptop OS crashed unexpectedly last weekend and we just got it back from Best Buy after a series of mishaps. Safe to say we’ll never be using them to fix any electronics from here on out....

But I’m BACK! Let’s catch up, shall we?

-Whole30 is still going strong, although we did participate in some vino this weekend

My mom and I went to a cooking class at Schoolhaus Culinary Arts. The theme was Mediterranean and we made a bunch of delicious mini meals...all of which were actually pretty close to being Whole30 compliant!

Toasting almonds for Spanish chicken stew with green olives.

In addition to the food, there was a wine expert there pairing different wines with each dish and telling us about them.

Portuguese feijoada on a bed of sauteed kale

Usually when people are talking about the notes, body, and other wine speak, I just roll my eyes and go “sure sure” but this guy actually made sense. Maybe it was because I’ve never had super good wine that actually paired with the food I was eating but I could actually taste the flavours he was rambling about.  I liked one of the wines so much that I went out the next day and picked some up to bring over to a dinner we were going to

The cute labels won me over too ;)

So other than wine, a little bit of flatbread, and a bite of cupcake (gluten free & dairy free) at a dinner we attended, we stuck to the Whole30. And I feel GREAT. It’s been a little over a week now and I’m less bloated, have more energy, and my mind feels “clear”. Not sure how else to describe that feeling you get when you eat clean consistently....

-The wedding party is starting to assemble!

Remember that weekend I made wedding crafts? I was making necklaces for my bridal party invites!

Sorry about the bad pictures...my real camera charger went MIA!

I asked my sister to be my maid of honour (as if she didn’t know that was coming) and one of my oldest and best friends to be my bridesmaid. One step closer to the wedding!

-I’m back teaching Zumba after a week off! I teach at the University of Regina and they close down for spring break so I took the week off to work on some new choreo to some new jams. New songs to my class this week:

GDRF - Flo Rida feat Sage the Gemini & Lookas

Booty - Jennifer Lopez feat Iggy Azalea

 

Nota De Amor - Wisin feat Carlos Vives & Daddy Yankee

Booty Wurk - T-Pain feat Joey Galaxy

All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor

 

See a theme? ;)

 

It was great to be back teaching. I never realize how much I miss it until I’m not teaching for a period of time! Plus, I was sore yesterday after lots of squats and booty popping action in Monday’s class. Always a sign of hard work!

 

Coming up on Friday – Things I’m Loving February Edition! I have some awesome finds to tell you guys about :)