Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting Organized for the Week

Recently, work and life (aka tutoring) have picked up so I have been busy for the past couple of weeks (a couple of 12 hr days at work followed by tutoring..yay!). 

I wanted to get back into the habit of going to the gym in September, then I hit a wall...literally. I accidentally moved too far over in the parking garage at my apartment to let a car by, and then scraped my car on one of the columns. Parking garage fail. Anyway that meant the car was in the shop for the 1st week, and that added a fun transit ride to my already busy schedule. Good news was I got a good deal on the repairs and got my car back in 4 days. (If anyone in the Toronto area needs car body work done...highly recommend Perfect Parts on Dundas St!!)

The next week I did make it to Body Pump!! It was the first time in sooo long since I went and for all of last week I was still feeling the squat track. Can't wait until I go again. I was planning to hit the gym/jog more but work got crazy busy, and then this weekend I got sick. Blech. I went 18 months without getting sick and so far in September I have had an allergy attack (yay ragweed) and then a minor cold..nothing major, but convientantly (I guess?) on the weekends. 

So today as I gear up for yet another crazy busy week, I wanted to let you in on a "typical" Sunday routine in our itty bitty condo:

1.Finish chores: I dealt with Laundry, Mike cleaned the bathroom (fair trade me thinks!)
2.Planned out our meals for the week, and ran to get a few groceries. We consider when planning meals that most of the time we come home from work/tutoring late, so we live on leftovers! 
3. Did meal prep for all of those meals:
Beets, Zucchini,  Romaine Lettuce, Beet Greens, Kale Salad..etc.
 This meal prep/making lunches the night before is the only way for us to be prepared to eat healthy!

4. I did something extra tonight..I have some big meetings at work this week so I figured it would be good (and fun) to plan my outfits:
Lots of blues and pencil skirts..that is how I roll. (Sorry for the bad phone pic)
I even got to dig through some old stuff to accessorize. I recently started reading a blog Putting Me Together, and the chicky on that blog has really inspired me to, well put myself together. I would like to think that I look professional for work, but my accessorizing was it is new project time!

Doing all that prep work, and looking over my calender and making a to-do list is one way that I can calm any stress before any extra busy week. A delicious cup of Chamomile tea also helps!
Nom Nom!
Anyone else have any Sunday routines? Anyone else eat as many beets as I do??

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Restaurant Resistance

Happy Sunday night readers!

I am getting geared up to go back to work after another great weekend. The weekend was pretty chill, but did involve a Sunset Canoe adventure to Toronto Island with Mike on Friday (Groupons are awesome)
I love the Islands!
There was also a free Rugby game on Saturday, and my first hot coffee beverage since was chilly!!

With the "back to school" restart mode the other thing that Mike and I  were talking about recently was money..and saving money!! Mike and I are big on budgeting and don't splurge too much, but I think summer just lends itself to spending more (patios, shopping, fun activities..Canada's Wonderland..etc.)

One thing that I still feel I spend way too much money on is eating out. It is so easy to do in Toronto and as Gail Vaz Oxlade once said, people in general eat out way too much. Back in the day, people would get together and have dinner parties and potlucks, and a restaurant was a big fancy smancy event, but now people (including me) eat out all the time!!

So that all being said, one way to cut back on going out to restaurants is to make restaurant inspired food at home!

Last week I had a bunch of veggies that needed to be used up from my Fresh City Farm box. And I was craving Thai food (I crave Thai food at all time..lets be serious). So a catch-all veggie/tofu curry was born.

At home Thai!
I loosely followed the recipe from this website, but made some few changes. I doubled the recipe to make lots of leftovers. 

First I brought 1 can of coconut milk, and 2 cups of homemade veggie stock to a light boil (while stirring). The funny thing was the veggie stock had some beets involved so at this point it was a nice pink colour. 

Next I added some cauliflower, green pepper a pre-cooked sweet potato. I let that cook for a 5-8 minutes, and then added the spices, ginger, tumeric, curry, garlic, chili etc. Let it cook for 3 more minutes, then I added the drained tofu. I served it over rice.

This dish gave me what I was craving, but was super easy and way cheaper than going out to a restaurant! 

Tonight we were craving restaurant nachos. So Mike took over and made baked nachos with chicken. (Ate it too fast to take a picture..oops!) They tasted just like a restaurant, but was once again cheap and fast, and was most likely healthier. Yay! 

Any other simple restaurant inspired meals? Anyone else want Thai food all the time?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Equals Running

And it is September. Holy Cow the time sure does fly. 
Even though it is September I am not jumping on the "end of summer" train. Yes the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler, and the geese poop is everywhere...BUT I refuse to say "Oh summer is over"...hells no. That all being said, I love September, especially since I am no longer in School. The weather is perfect for outdoor exercise (minus the ragweed allergies kicking up), and most importantly September seems like a fresh start. 

To backtrack, just like June and July, August was full to the brim. I had my trip back to the Maritimes the first week, followed by a family get together for my Grandpa's 80th bday. Next was a big weekend with the friends that involved Canada's Wonderland, and actually going out in Toronto to a real life club. The weekend after that was a trip to Stratford to see 42nd street with my grandparents, and Mud run (more later). 

Since September is my "fresh start" I am trying to get back into exercising. I have a few specific fitness goals, and I feel really good about meeting them. I have also gotten back into running which is the main topic of this post. September to me still reminds me of high school soccer days, and it is my favourite time of year to jog. 

I got a head start by signing up for Mud Run on August 25th with two other girlies from work. Mud Run is a 6km obstacle race involving...mud. Lots of mud. This event was amazing and we finished in 1hr, not to bad! I was personally impressed with how I didn't feel as dead as I expected after the whole thing. 
So much mud, yet so much fun.
Having this run scheduled gave me motivation to get back into running. I pretty much stopped after my 5 km last year. So on the August long weekend I went for my first attempt at an outdoor jog. It was a horrible fail I ran maybe 3 minutes and felt like I couldn't breathe. But then something changed. 

For the longest time I was trying to run by distance "ok I will go to the next lamp post, the next sign" and that just doesn't work for me. So I decided to look up the Couch to 5km work out. I used that is inspiration to make my own one. For some reason I thought the first attempt should be Run 8 min, Walk 5, Run 2, Walk 3, then Run 1 alternate Walk 1 for 16 mins. 

And then I did it. 

For me, having the timer counting down makes it that much more bearable. It also helps me pace which I was really bad at. The next week I did 10 run, walk 5, run 5, walk 3, run 4, walk 2, run 3. So I suddenly went to running 2 minutes maybe to a total run time of 22 minutes!! The next week I went trail running and did run 12, walk 4, run 6, walk 4, run 6 and could have ran for longer!! Then it was the mud run, then I got sick, so running got put on hold. 

This weekend I went out on Sunday and did a 14 min run, and then walked for 20 mins (due to the stuffy nose), but then I went to the gym to do back and arms for the first time in a long time! Monday I went on a 16km roller-blade with my friend Brittany. Then today, in the rain, I did 14 min run, 3 walk, 10 run, 10 walk, with sore roller-bladey legs. 

My goal is to do the same run as last year, run for the cure, and run the whole thing without stopping. I still have a month to train, and I am in a much better running place than last year so I think this is a totally doable goal. And the best part of all this I actually like running now. Being outside, feet and pavement, it is getting as calming as yoga. I am much more red after running than yoga but you get the idea. 

The point in all this is sometimes you just have to figure out what works for you. Distance based goals didn't work for me, but "ok 2 minutes left out of 14, you can do it" works wonders. 

Anyone else have running methods? Anyone else a lobster after a run?