WIAW: Good things come in…

…paper bags??

Remember how I said yesterday that my celebration food of choice would be a burrito?



I had physio after work and it’s pretty close to the best burrito joint in Toronto – Burrito Boyz – so I really had no choice, right?  Usually the lineups for this place are insane and you have to wait quite a bit for your burrito (they grill them to perfection) but since I was going in the midst of downtown rush hour, I had the place more or less all to myself.  Everyone else in the city was more concerned with getting home while I was on a mission to satisfy a burrito craving.  I’m okay with that.

Let’s get on with today’s WIAW.

I’m just warning you – it’s probably not even worth writing about because I was not great about eating today.  At all.

The morning started off great – two cups of frozen berries, one scoop of Vega Performance Protein in chocolate, and coconut milk.


When I got to work a teacher was selling Girl Guide cookies in the staff room so I bought a box to support him/his kid and legitimately ate the entire box.  I might have given maybe four or five away to a couple of students but the rest?  In my stomach.


They probably wouldn’t have been my first choice for introducing sugar back into my life but whatever.  Still good.  I should have rationed them so they’d last a couple of days or something but I guess it’s too late now.

On my lunch I went to pick up roti because I am obsessed with anything that comes in a brown paper bag these days (just like my burrito).


This roti place is amazing.  It’s not even that close to my work but I call them while I’m driving and place my order so that when I get there I can just pick it up and eat it in the car on my way back to work.  It gets hella messy though.  Chickpeas and potatoes flying everywhere.

After work I had a dentist appointment.  I got my first filling EVER and I did not enjoy the experience one bit.  I also avoided telling the dentist that I ate a box of cookies today because he probably would not have been very happy about that.  Hah.

Came home, changed, went for a 6-mile run, showered, took Princeton for a walk, and then had one of those nights where dinner consisted of eating random things I found in the fridge while standing over the kitchen island.

I’m highly lacking in food inspiration for you guys today but I promise I will try a little harder next week!  It was just one of those days, ya know?

See you tomorrow for Thinking Out Loud Thursday! :)

Today calls for a celebration

Today calls for a celebration because…..

…my 21-day sugar strike is OVER!  That went by soooo fast and it wasn’t even torturous.  Truthfully, I didn’t notice much difference in regards to my digestion so I don’t think sugar is the culprit.  I think the biggest lesson I learned through all of this is that I don’t really crave sugar as much as I thought I did.  There wasn’t even one moment where I was like “omg I need to eat that but I can’t because of my sugar strike”.  It’s crazy how our brains often think we want something when we really don’t (if that makes any sense).  I think a lot of the times when I eat sweets it was because I feel like I “should” eat them.  For example, after a big race I often just eat heaps of candy because I know I could.  It’s weird logic – I burned X amount of calories so I should eat at least X amount of calories worth of junk food because I deserve it.  Probably not the smartest thing to do when it comes to recovery.  I’m not saying that post-race treats shouldn’t happen.  I’m all about a good face-stuffing after a race (or even just a solid run):


post-ottawa marathon (2010)

That race was NOT a good time.  It was my first marathon and I questioned my sanity about a million times all while telling myself I would absolutely never consider running a full marathon ever again.  Only took me four years to change my mind… ;)  Oh and all those mini bags of chips were from the expo.  They needed to get rid of them so some guy gave me an entire box but I didn’t even eat those ones because they were plain and I hate plain chips unless I’ve got dip.

Okay we are starting to get off topic here.

What I’m trying to get to is that I noticed a huge difference in how I felt after Sunday’s race in comparison to a lot of past races.  When it was over I ate some watermelon and an apple and then when I got home I had a roasted broccoli chickpea burger on a whole wheat bun.  I also had some BBQ chips but I didn’t eat to the point of a food coma (we’ve all been there!!) and I definitely didn’t eat an entire bag in bed.  I just felt normal.  No headache, no discomfort or bloat – just good food and a satisfied belly.  I guess good food really does do a body good.

Now the big question: did I cheat??

Simple answer: yes.  Aside from the juice incident, there were two other times I sort of slipped.  Once I ate half a bag of Smartfood sweet & salty popcorn (I have no explanation for this other than it was delicious and I couldn’t stop) and the other time was just yesterday – I ate some of a protein bar that was in my race kit without even thinking and after a few bites, realized that sugar was at the top of the ingredient list.  Oops.

Maybe even the BIGGER question: what will I eat today???

I honestly don’t even know!  I thought there would be a list of things that I would just have to eat today but as of right now I cannot think of anything.  If there is something that I want later then I’ll have it but truthfully, I think I’d rather celebrate the end of my strike with a burrito.  Is that weird?!  I’ll let you guys know if I eat something remotely interesting in tomorrow’s WIAW post!

Have a great day!

Marathon Monday: Toronto 10-miler RACE RECAP!

Well hello.  Nice to see you again.  I haven’t posted since last week’s WIAW.  Lots of stuff going on and I just felt like I needed a bit of a break!  Yesterday I ran the Toronto 10-miler so I thought I’d recap it for Marathon Monday (<- haven’t done one of these in a while…mostly because I’ve been LA-ZY and also haven’t been able to run much).


Truthfully, I was a bit worried going into this race because I hadn’t run more than 3-5 miles over the past couple of weeks.  My chiropractor gave me the go ahead to run this race, as long as I was feeling good.  My runs have been pretty pain-free so I thought I’d just go into it with no other intention than to finish it and treat it like a training run.  Oh, and to try not to hurt myself… ;)

Let’s do this in point form because recaps are less painful that way.

5:30am – wake up, brush teeth, get dressed, make pre-race breakfast (two slices of toast with Earth Balance + Vega Sugar-Free Energizer)

6:30am – hop in car and drive to race start while eating breakfast

7:00am – arrive at race location 1.5 hours early, snag parking spot, go for a walk and take a photo of the insane sunrise…


7:20am – realize I parked in the wrong area, hop back in car, look for new parking spot at actual race start #idiot

7:30-8:00am – undress (had sweatpants and a hoodie on top of my race outfit), pre-race text (obviously) warm up (1.8 miles), line up for the bathroom which took foreverrrrrrr (porta-potty company never showed up so there were only four toilets on site) #rude

8:40am – RACE START

LAP 1 [7:30] – Woohoo!  I love races!  Don’t look at your watch.  Just have a good time and pray that you can finish this thing without your leg falling off. [looks at watch anyway] NO.  You’re going to fast.  This isn’t supposed to be one of those races.  Slow the heck DOWN or you will DIE.

LAP 2 [7:36] – Hmmm we are passing a water station now.  I don’t need water!  I’m goooooood.  Slowing down a bit too.  This feels great!  I feel like I can hold this pace forever!  How did that even happen?  When did sub 8′s ever become my “normal” in a race?  This is so weird.

LAP 3 [7:39] –  I should have grabbed that water.  F.  I’m dying.  The lake is on my left.  Maybe I should consider jumping in?  That would be nice.  They said this race is scenic.  I’ve got the lake on one side and the skyline on the other…but once I pass that it’s just dry bushes and trees and OH, there’s a sign that says “STOP FOR SNAKES”.  How about “scream and run as fast as you can to get away from the snakes”?  I think that would be more appropriate.

LAP 4 [7:44] – A WATER STATION!  Best moment ever.  Ahhhh got about a teaspoon of water in my mouth…#fail.  Just great.  I’m stopping at the next water station FOR. SURE.  The turnaround is coming up!  Ooooh here come the elites.  They are FLYING!  I wonder if they drink water?  Probably not.

LAP 5 [7:41] –  Okay, I don’t like this turnaround.  ROCKS. EVERYWHERE.  They should call this a freaking trail race.  Maybe I’m being dramatic.  I like that there’s a lighthouse here though.  That’s kind of pretty.  Should I stop to take a picture?  No.  How fast am I running?  I’m starting to get tired.

LAP 6 [7:44] –  More than halfway.  Now I’m supposed to pick up the pace and run a negative split, right?  Yeah no.  That’s not happening.  How do people even do that?  Let’s try and find someone to keep up with.  That always works.

LAP 7 [7:51] –  “Hellooooo beautiful lady!”  [What in the world...?!]  “My name is Hassam!  Don’t let me pass you!”  Okay Hassam.  I’m on it.  And who are you??  Water station!  WOOHOO!!  [my new friend Hassam and I slow down to drink]

LAP 8 [8:09] –  Hassam is asking me what I do for a living, if I run with a run group, if I am racing the Scotiabank Half Marathon, tells me I’ve very social and warm hearted (<- how he came to this conclusion after 4 minutes, I do not know).  How is he even talking and running at the same time?  I cannot. even. breathe.  He’s making the time pass though.  I like this.  Hassam don’t leave me.  HASSAM!  NOOOOOOO…. “I’ll see you at the finish line, Christina!”

LAP 9 [8:09] –  I’m slowing down quite a bit.  It’s SO hot.  I think I lost at least 14 pounds of water weight.  Geez.  Why did I wear all black?!  I still feel okay for the most part but I would definitely not be mad if this was over.  Like now.  Another water station!  I’m walking for this one.  Okay, only one mile to go.  That’s less than ten minutes!  I can do anything for ten minutes!

LAP 10 [8:18] – The people on the sidelines are so nice!  Everyone is smiling and telling me I’m doing a great job and that I’m almost done.  That’s exactly what I need to hear.  I think I will probably finish in less than 1:20!  I wish I could pick up the pace and try sprinting for the finish but I have NOTHING left in me.  Nothing.  I can hear the cheers!!  FINISH LINE IS COMING!  There it is!!!!!  You are D-O-N-E!!!!

Finishing time: 1:18:30

Got my medal…


Ate some watermelon…


They also had candy, bread with an assortment of dips/spreads, bananas, apples, and granola bars.

Then I asked a random stranger to take a photo of me because I went to this race solo…


…and we immediately became BESTIES!  Her name is Martina and she’s also a teacher!  We chatted for a while and she was nice enough to offer to take ANOTHER picture when they called my name as the third place female in my AG!  WHAT.


…and apparently 24th out of 301 women! :D  That was unexpected but so awesome.  I’ve been so down in the dumps about running lately so this was definitely a confidence-booster.  A podium finish will never happen for me at a bigger race so this was really nice.

Overall, the race was great.  It was really well-organized, the course is flat, there were enough water/Gatorade stations, a lot of food options at the finish, and the volunteers were super friendly.  It’s an out-and-back which I know a lot of people don’t like but I don’t really mind it because it makes the parking/car situation a lot easier.  There are not very many people cheering – mostly just the volunteers at the water stations and the crowd at the finish line.  That usually doesn’t matter too much to me so I was A-OK with it.  It’s just a pretty quiet race but I’m one of those weirdos that likes quiet.  I don’t even listen to music on my runs anymore.

The best part about this race though – my leg didn’t hurt one bit.  Looks like I’ll be running the Scotiabank Half Marathon in three weeks!  The road to recovery is not fun but it sure does make you so much more grateful for being able to run.

Hope you had an awesome weekend!!!

WIAW: on the go

My last few WIAW posts have been photographed at home when I’m not working and have all the time in the world to make my food look relatively good.  This week I thought I’d shake things up a bit and show you what things look like on the go and on a typical work day.

I didn’t have to be in until 10am this morning, meaning I only had to work 10-2:30.  How sweet is that?!  I was actually able to go for a quick run too!  Just a 5K today…hoping my doc will increase my mileage when I see him tomorrow.  Anyway, once I showered and got ready, I made a smoothie to take with me in the car: frozen banana and pineapple, lots of spinach, coconut milk and one scoop of Vega Performance Protein in vanilla.


I won this Cuppow drinking jar from Knead to Cook and am slightly obsessed.

For lunch I brought two extremely non-glamorous collard wraps with chickpea salad inside.


I haven’t nailed the wrapping technique yet so I needed to use toothpicks!  I won’t lie, I like sandwiches [with real bread] better but I found enormous collard greens at the grocery store last night so I grabbed them.  I’ve been meaning to try collard wraps forever now but every time I’ve gone grocery shopping, the greens were just to small.  Now I’ve got about 20 leaves left so if anyone wants to come over for wraps…

I usually bring a bit more to eat on a work day but because I knew I would only be there for 4.5 hours, I just brought a light lunch because I knew I had this deliciousness [aka Amanda's pumpkin pie breakfast bake with almond butter] waiting for me when I got home.


I made it last night before I went to sleep so that I’d have it ready to go today.  It was sooooo good.  I added raisins but think next time I will try chocolate chips – when my sugar strike is over, of course! ;)  I also had heaps of popcorn which threw my thirst levels off the charts.  I think throughout this whole challenge I’ve been leaning toward salty snacks a lot more than usual and am learning that my body doesn’t appreciate it very much…but who in their right mind can exercise any sort of self-control and moderation when it comes to popcorn? #notme

Dinner rolled around and I had every intention to make these burgers but those will have to wait until tomorrow because…


Pizza.  Specifically, a recreation of last week’s restaurant pizza [only better].

Alright, I’m off to try and shake this headache that’s been bugging me for the last few hours.  Thanks for all of your tips on yesterday’s post.  I tried something last night that worked but I’ll wait until tomorrow to tell you [and try it again tonight] just in case it was a fluke.

Hope you had a great day!!

I need help sleeping

Soooo this may as well be a Thinking Out Loud post because I just have a bunch of random things to tell you today.

Guys, I just cant get myself to the gym in the mornings anymore.  I have no idea how I used to do it just a few months ago.  Last week when I said I’d attempt it, I failed (just as predicted) and today the same thing happened.  I set my alarm for 4:30am and hit snooze over and over again until 6:45am when I had to get ready for work.  I was in bed last night by 10pm but for some reason I cannot fall asleep.  I was literally laying there awake until after midnight so this is why I’m struggling to wake up so early.  There’s no way I can function with 4.5 hours of sleep and I absolutely will not go to the gym in the evening.  It turns into a “who can show more skin and wear more makeup” kind of workout party and I can’t deal with it.  Just not happening.  We’ve got quite the dilemma here.  If anyone has any “how to get to sleep faster” tips…HELP!

No run today because I ran yesterday (chiro’s orders are to run every other day) but I did finally reach 1,000 miles for 2014 after yesterday’s 4.8 miles! :)


I’m pretty excited about that.  My original goal at the beginning of the year was to run 100 miles/month but I’ve been slightly exceeding that each month so I’m a little bit ahead for the year.  Maybe I can try for 1,500 or is that too much?!  I do start marathon training soon so it may be possible.  I can’t believe the Phoenix Marathon is just 5 months away.  Eek.  Remember if you want to run it (it’s going to be a PAR-TAY), using the code XTINA10 will get you 10% off your registration (any distance).  It’s super flat/downhill and a perfect course to attempt a BQ which I may or may not be planning to try… ;)  Shaving 20 minutes off a marathon time is not an easy feat but you never know, right?  Last year I PR’d by 26 minutes so anything can happen!

Next random topic: sweet potatoes.

I baked some sweet potatoes this weekend and I think they may have been the best yet.  I chopped them into small cubes and tossed them in Vega Antioxidant Omega oil (any oil will work), garlic powder, sea salt, and smoked paprika.


Life-changing stuff right there.

The rest of this week looks like it’s going to be complete perfection which makes me all kinds of happy:


It is kind of a confusing time of year though when it comes to fashion.  Some people are diving right into fall with their flannel and knee-high boots while others are trying to hang onto summer with their maxi dresses and flip flops.  There’s no happy medium around here.

Last but not least – I’m officially two weeks into my sugar-free challenge and still going strong.  I must confess that last week I went to buy a fresh juice and intended on getting a beet/apple juice (ingredients were just fruit/veggies) but accidentally got a red lemonade.  They were in clear cups and not marked so I had no idea (colours were strangely almost identical).  I didn’t drink the juice right away and when I did, I realized it wasn’t the right one and was soooo disappointed.  There was (cane) sugar in it and it didn’t even taste good.  I ended up throwing it out, not because of the sugar but because it wasn’t what I wanted.  If I’m going to have sugar then it better be something that tastes good!  Other than that, everything has been going fine – no crazy cravings or anything.  I’ve been having a fruit smoothie nearly every morning so that’s probably what helps.  Dates with almond butter are my other go-to and  I’ll probably get shamed for this — but once in a while I will have a Crystal Light (yayyyy aspartame) in iced tea or strawberry kiwi flavour… ;)

Adios amigos and amigas.  See ya tomorrow for WIAW!

What I did/didn’t do

The weekend is over.  Just like that.

I don’t usually blog on weekends but yesterday as I was doing a whole lot of nothing I got this idea to write a ‘what I did/didn’t do’ over the weekend kind of post.  Random, yes, but let’s just roll with it.

This weekend I DID

…spend a lot of time with this guy.


…catch up on all of my emails.  ALL.

…go a little swiffer crazy and washed all of my bedding.  #sofreshandsoclean

…decide to make some almond/date energy balls but then smashed all of the “batter” into a dish and dug in with a spoon instead.  Didn’t feel like getting my hands dirty.  Hah.


…take advantage of ProCompression’s fall sale [40% OFF with code 'FALL'].

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…go for my first run in 8 DAYS!


…get the best text ever from my BFF.  I need to get my booty to Arizona and visit her STAT.


This weekend I DIDN’T

…have anything I needed to do.  Nothing.  My entire schedule was clear and I got to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  It felt weird but kind of awesome.

…eat any sugar!  Sugar-free challenge is still going strong!

…enjoy going to Costco.  At all.  So. Many. People.

…forget to stretch/foam roll.  I’m being really good about it this time around.


…wear even an ounce of make up or put on real people pants.  I was completely bare-faced and rocking elastic waistbands for 48 hours.  Wouldn’t have had it any other way.

…have any ripe bananas to freeze so I couldn’t make Amanda’s salted caramel cookie dough smoothie.  Patiently waiting…


I was going to show you a picture of my unripe bananas but that would not be very exciting now would it?  Instead, you get a visual of the smoothie from Amanda’s blog where she shares her recipe.  You’re welcome.

…do any food prep.  Yet.  Going to try and get on that now! ;)

Hope you had a good one!

Thinking Out Loud #33

It’s THURSDAY and that means time to get RANDOM with Amanda.



1.  I’ve blogged four days in a row.  I feel like that hasn’t happened in a looooong time.  I guess I have a lot on my mind these days that I feel like sharing with the entire Internet.  Nothing wrong with that…right??

2.  I came across this article yesterday called 24 Things We Unexpectedly Become Obsessed With In Our Late 20s and could not. stop. laughing.  My favourites have to be:

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RIGHT?! #antipants

3.  Why is J. Crew so perfect?


I neeeeeed that entire outfit.  As much as I hate that fall is a sign winter is coming, ’tis the season for the BEST clothes.  I have an obsession with boots and scarves, blazers and flannel, big sweaters and lots of layers.

4.  Last night’s Vega Twitter Chat was out of control.  The topic was smoothies and I literally could not keep up.  If you ever struggle to come up with new ideas, just search #VegaChat or #VegaSmoothie on Twitter and you will find probably enough suggestions that will have you making a different smoothie every day for an entire year.  No joke.  Someone mentioned a cake batter smoothie?!?!  I need to get on this.

5.  This:


Heck. Freaking. Yes.

I went to see my sports doctor today and I do not, I repeat DO NOT, have a stress fracture!!!  WOOHOO!!!  Apparently I’ve just got a whole lot of alignment issues [hips and pelvis] that are causing my leg muscles to do all sorts of crazy things.  I was able to squeeze in an appointment with the chiropractor today who worked on me for a little and gave me the go ahead to run 5-7km every other day until I see him again next Thursday.  No speed work or hill training.  Boo.  But I’ll honestly take what I can get right now!  I’M SO HAPPY!

6.  Note to self: never buy dates with pits ever again.  The “contains pits” is even in bold.  How did I miss that??


Snack mode hit late tonight and when I went to take a bite out of almond butter-dipped date, I almost broke my tooth.  Dangerous.

7.  Speaking of food, I literally just whipped up another batch of the Oh She Glows chickpea salad.  It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with the stuff.  I make it on the weekend as part of my food prep and it’s gone in two days.  Maybe three if I’m lucky.  It’s just one of those things…every time I open the fridge it’s like I have to have a spoonful.

8.  On that note, I will probably go have another spoonful [or two] and then get to bed.  I am going to make an attempt to hit the gym before work tomorrow but there’s a good chance I may fail.  I haven’t woken up at 4:30am in a very long time so this will probably not go over very well…

Hope you had a great Thursday!