One week down…

Here we are – one week into my sugar-free challenge.  I’d say it’s going pretty well so far.  I’ll be honest though – the first couple of days my mentality was just plain stupid.  I was like “I may not be able to eat sugar but I can eat ANYTHING WITH SALT!”

[enter massive bag of corn chips from Costco]

I got so bloated, woke up in the middle of the night thirsty, and had pretty bad stomach pain.  I’m so smart.

ANYWAY, after I got that all out of my system and smartened up, things got really good!  I did a lot of food prep over the weekend – quinoa, tofu, chickpea salad, chia muffins, raw truffles – and my body has been pretty happy.  I thought I’d have a lot of cravings but it hasn’t been bad at all.  I’ve had sweets in the house and went to a few outings where there was candy, cookies, and other treats around but after the initial “OMG THAT LOOKS SO GOOD” it just went away.  At Danielle’s party there was this crazy looking dessert that her sister had made.  It was dark chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel, and sea salt all combined.  A part of me wanted to shovel it all into my face and just tell you guys I put an end to my sugar strike but then I reminded myself why I’m doing this.  It’s not going to work and I’m not going to rule anything out if I don’t take this seriously.

A lot of people eliminate fruit and natural sweeteners (like maple syrup) when they do a sugar detox but I’ve been eating fruit daily, usually in smoothies.  I think this has helped big time as I haven’t had any cravings which is really weird.  Any time I embark on one of these crazy challenges all I can think about is what I’m going to treat myself with when it’s all over.  Believe it or not, I haven’t even thought about that yet.  WHO AM I?!

In other news, this guy got sprayed by a skunk last night and it was a complete nightmare.

photo-381

Princeton likes to protect his backyard so when he tried to scare off the skunk things didn’t go over so well.  Luckily they didn’t get close enough to attack each other but having a dog that smells like skunk is not a good time.  I had to run and buy hydrogen peroxide (thanks to google and Danielle’s advice), mixed it with baking soda and dish soap and slathered Princeton in the solution.  He was not happy about it but it helped take the stink away.  Problem was – the entire house smelled of skunk and still does today.  It’s pretty chilly outside but I’ve had windows open all day in hopes of airing the house out and bowls of vinegar in every room because apparently that helps too?  Who knows.

Welp, that’s what’s been going on over here!  Hope you are having a great day! :)

Marathon Monday: SUGAR-FREE FUEL

I hope you all had a great weekend!  I have ZERO complaints about how mine went down.  In Friday’s post I mentioned that I was meeting up with Danielle, Angela and Jess in Kitchener but what I couldn’t tell you was that we were planning an EPIC SURPRISE.  Danielle thought we were all just meeting for lunch and then going our separate ways but little did she know we were contacted by her sneaky friend Clare who invited us to be a part of the SURPRISE PARTY she was throwing for Danielle in the evening (her birthday was on Friday).

So we still had our lunch [at Rawlicious (all raw, vegan & organic)]…

photo-377

vitamin see – carrot, orange, apple, ginger

photo-378

soft tacos – corn tacos stuffed with salsa, guacamole, walnut refried beans, shredded romaine & sour cream

photo-380

fact: you meet your favourite people on the internet

Then I “had to go home” aka Angela, Jess and I went to pick up some snacks for the party and then went over to Clare’s to wait for Danielle…

And then BAM!  SURPRIIIIIIIIIISE!!!!!

photo-379

Best. Night. Ever.

I just love surprises and seeing my friends smile.  Instant dose of happy.

Anywho, when I announced I was going sugar-free for a few weeks (update coming tomorrow!) a reader (hi Greta!) asked how I planned to fuel for my runs since “run food” often contains sugar.  Unfortunately I’m not able to run right now because I’m afraid of worsening whatever is going on with my leg.  I fear it may be a stress fracture so I am taking time off until I know exactly what I need to do in order to run pain-free (sports doc appointment is on Thursday).  With that being said, I have fuelled for my runs without artificial sugars in the past and it’s EASY!

Pre-run I always take my Vega Sugar-free Energizer in Acai Berry.  If I know I will be running for longer than an hour (or if I wake up hungry), I will eat either fresh fruit, toast with Earth Balance, or dates with almond butter about 30 minutes before I head out.

During a long run I take Vega Sport Endurance Gels which are sweetened with dates so there are no artificial sugars.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 10.51.55 AMsource

I know people who eat dates and nuts while they run but I have a hard time chewing while I’m moving so I tend to stick to the gels!  I’ve also tried GoGo SqueeZ fruit snacks which I loooove.  They are squeezable pouches of pureed fruit and come in a bunch of different flavours (just make sure to also have an electrolyte source if you choose to go this route).

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 10.56.02 AMsource

Some people go as far as making their own gels and drinks but I honestly don’t have time for that.  Or maybe I do but I’m just too lazy?  No Meat Athlete has a Workout Nutrition 101 page where he shares some Natural Fuelling Recipes if you wanted to give it a shot!

So it’s really not that hard to stay away from artificial goodies when heading out for a run.  If you have a sensitive digestion system like me, I bet your tummy will be happier with the cleaner fuel too!  Personally, eating less processed foods during my runs helps keep my cramps at bay and lessens the severity of the post-run “omg I want to die and rip my stomach out” feeling.  That’s always a good thing, yes?

Have a great Monday!  See you tomorrow!

Thinking Out Loud #32

I wanted to try and get this up yesterday buuuut you know how things go.  Instead I posted about why I’m going sugar-free for the next few weeks.  So far there haven’t been any changes but I’m only on the third day so I still have high hopes!  I’ll probably do a couple of updates along the way to let you guys know if it’s helping or if I’m noticing any changes.  For today though, let’s get on with Thinking Out Loud Thursday Friday!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

1.  Does anyone else get really excited about buying a new planner?  I know I’m not in school anymore but I just love writing down every. little. thing. that I have to do.  Paper planners > electronic planners (and that will never change).  I’m also extremely particular when it comes to the layout but was able to find this Kate Spade planner that was yes, overpriced, but PERFECT.

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 2.30.34 PM

I originally wanted the cream one with gold polkadots but they were sold out at the location by me so I settled for the “bookshelf” one.  Still cute!  It’s big (9×7), has monthly and weekly spreads with enough writing space, and everything is divided with beautiful little laminated tabs.  Perfect for the type A/OCD freak in me.

2.  While I was waiting in line to pay for my planner, I noticed this:

photo-374

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to someone something that told you you were beautiful every morning?!  Haha!  Might need to get one! ;)

3.  I thought I was excited for fall to come but yesterday when I went for a run and felt like my ears had frostbite, I changed my mind. I like the whole idea of cozy sweaters and boots and pumpkin flavoured/scented everything and all the other fun stuff that comes with fall but I HATE THE IDEA OF COLD.  Tomorrow it’s going to be a high (I repeat – HIGH) of 14*C (that’s 57*F).  I’m not ready for this.

4.  Who else got into SeaWheeze 2015?!?!  So much anxiety on Wednesday.  Oh my.  I remember last year it sold out in about an hour and this time people are claiming they got a “sold out” message after 18 MINUTES of registration being open.  Insanity.  I was lucky enough to get in right away so Vancouver, I’m coming for you yet again!

5.  Whoever decided to shape lip balm into a round ball is a genius.

photo-375

It is no different than a stick but it is 10000 times cooler and makes people want to collect them all.  This passion fruit one is my new favourite.  SMELLS LIKE HEAVENNNNNN!

6.  [Dark] Fall manicures and pedicures = also my favourite (mostly because as training increases and my toenails turn black, no one can tell).

7.  Yes:

photo-376How did we ever live without leggings?

8.  Aaaaaand on that note, time for me to put my weekend stretchy pants on!  I’ll be in Kitchener tomorrow visiting Angela, Jess and Danielle (<- it’s her birthday today!).  Our plans so far involve eating and…eating.  SHOULD BE FUN.

Have a great weekend!!

Why I’m going sugar-free

In my last post (after talking about the super awesome Vega contest that’s going on right now) I mentioned how I will be challenging myself to a 21 day sugar detox (2 days down, 19 to go!).  I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but to be honest, I’ve been scared.  I don’t like telling myself that I can’t have something because it makes me want it even more.  The feeling of deprivation is not a good one (been there, done that).  Most of you know that I’m a huge proponent of BALANCE.  I like food.  “Bad” food.  I enjoy eating without thinking if that makes any sense.

A part of me also fears failure.  I’m pretty honest on here and I know that if I decide to go to Costco this weekend and buy Halloween candy early for the sole reason of stuffing my face with as many Coffee Crisps as possible, I’m going to tell you.  And you will know that I failed.

So why the heck am I doing this then?

  1. My stomach issues still won’t let up.  Maybe it’s sugar, maybe it’s not.  I still haven’t gotten my test results (follow-up is next Wednesday…finally) so in the meantime I just want to try tweaking things in my diet a little bit to see if it helps.  I know that the effect sugar has on our bodies is obviously not a good one and although I don’t eat an excess amount, you just never really know.
  2. My skin is not horrible but I know it could definitely be improved.  What we look on the outside is (usually) a reflection of what is going on in the inside.  Some people are lucky – I am not one of those people.  I know from experience that my skin looks better when I eat better.
  3. Eliminating sugary, processed foods will force me to eat more whole, nutrient-dense ones.  With a few more races coming up this season, I am going to need all the good-for-you foods I can get.  Fuelling for and recovering from runs is numero uno so that (a) my body doesn’t break and (b) I can hit that half marathon PR I’ve been dreaming about!

So that’s it.  This challenge isn’t about weight loss or anything like that.  I just want to feel good again and I want my running performance to improve.  I am really hoping that this helps me.  If it doesn’t, then I’ll have to try something else (and I’ll celebrate with froyo).  If it does help, then I’ll cry at the fact that sugar is the culprit but I know it’ll be relieving to get to the bottom of it.

I’m two days in and so far, so good.  I’ve got caramel popcorn and nutella in the house and haven’t even been tempted…yet.

I’ll be back either later today or tomorrow with a Thinking Out Loud Thursday post.

Have a great day!

GET YOUR PIN ON!

I don’t always post on Tuesdays so today is quite the special day.  I make exceptions when I have something I feel like I really need to tell you.  Vega is having a pretty insane [SMOOTHIE PINNIN'] contest that starts TODAY.

2617-September-Pinterest-Contest-Sharable-Image_800x800-v5

I know what you’re thinking.  Yeah, yeah, just another contest.  But let me explain.  I usually reveal prizes at the end of a post but this one is kind of too good to be true so IMMA TELL YOU NOW.

The winner will receive:

  • VEGA for one year
  • a VITAMIX blender
  • a SO DELICIOUS prize pack
  • a JUSTIN’S nut butter prize pack

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!  Ummmm how about we rig the contest so I can win?! ;)

Juuuuuust kidding.

Now listen up.  This is what you need to do to participate (and hopefully win this freaking thing):

  1. Follow Vega on Pinterest
  2. Create YOUR OWN Board Titled: Best Smoothie Recipes 
  3. Pin & Tag 10 (or more) of your fave smoothies using #BestSmoothie #VegaSmoothie
  4. Submit your name, e-mail address and link to your board here.

GET PINNING, PEOPLE!

Contest ends September 30th!

2617-September-Pinterest-Contest-Blog_1080x608_RGB - Copy

This contest has got me all excited and wanting to challenge myself a little this month so I am going to attempt the following:

    1. Figure out how to add a “pin it” hover button to my blog photos.  I’ve done it before but it caused alignment issues and I got sooo frustrated that I kind of became anti-pin it.  I’m realizing more and more that it is an extremely useful feature that a lot of people actually use so I’m determined to get this done.  Maybe even today.
    2. Become more active on Pinterest.  I focus most of my social media energy on Instagram and I need to be a bit more balanced.  Not everyone has Instagram (gasp!) and thus use Pinterest, Twitter and other forms of social media for ideas and inspiration. Making boards while finding new recipes, workout ideas, quotes, DIY projects, outfit inspirations, etc. is kinda fun too, right?  We’ll see!
    3. And here’s the big one.  I’m going sugar-free for 21 days.  Yep.  Call me crazy but I’m cleaning things up around here (for three weeks, at least).  I’m making a few other small changes too but cutting out sugar is my main focus.  I’m not addicted to it by any means but I have a few reasons why I’m choosing to do this (which I’ll probably get to in a separate post).  It should be interesting to say the least.  I’ll still be eating fruit, don’t be crazy.  This Vega contest came at the perfect time!  There will be a lot of great smoothies to try over the next few weeks that will taste even better than gelato, right?  (just say yes)

Have you ever done a sugar detox?

Do you have a favourite smoothie recipe?

Are you active on Pinterest?

Marathon Monday: MEC 10K race recap

Happy Monday!  What a whirlwind of a weekend.

Holy.  Smokes.

Yesterday I ran a small 10K race here in Toronto so let’s recap it for this week’s Marathon Monday!

MarathonMonday

I signed up for the race after I had a killer tempo run one day and felt like I was ready to set a new PR.  I did all of the calculations the night before the race and realized that it probably wouldn’t be possible just yet. With my leg pain being on and off (yeah, it came back), I knew I wouldn’t be able to hit the pace I needed to in order to get my sub-45 (7:15′s).  Instead, I went and decided to have a good time and challenge myself to run a consistent race.  I always go out too fast so I tested myself to try to conserve some energy and hold my pace for the duration of the race.  That didn’t really work out as well as I hoped but it could have been worse!

Here’s what went down:

2.5 mile warm-up: “My leg hurts.  This is not going to be a good race.  And it’s windy.  Let’s just get this over with so I can go eat a burrito.”

At the start line: “Why is nobody inching their way to the front of the pack like they do at other races?  This is weird.”

Mile 1 (7:21): “I’m first female!  I went out with all the boys!  I think there are about 10-15 guys ahead of me and THAT’S IT.  I love small races!  I feel strong.”

Mile 2 (7:38): “Damn it.  A girl passed me.  Now I’m second female but I’m okay with that.  Imagine I finish this race and win second overall female??  How cool would that be?!  There are rocks everywhere.  I’m running on gravel.  I did not sign up for a trail race.  Oh no.  Now they’re in my shoes.  ROCKS IN MY SHOES.  Q!  Hi Q!  [gives Q high five]  Britt!  Hi Britt!  I love seeing my friends while I’m running.  This is probably the only thing I like about an out-and-back course.”

Mile 3 (7:41): “SHIT.  Now two girls who are running together passed me, putting me in fourth.  Why did they have to be running together?  If it was just one girl I could have still been in the top three!  I’ll keep them in sight and then try to pass them in the last mile.  Damn you girls.  I’m also starting to get really hot.  Need. Water. Now.”

Mile 4 (7:44): “Lost those two girls.  No top three finish today.  Let’s find someone to pace me because I’m starting to get tired.  Hey there’s a girl in Speed Shorts!  She looks fast.  Just focus on her bright blue shorts and don’t let her get too far ahead of you.”

Mile 5 (7:42): “Okay time to pass Speed Shorts girl.  I can run faster than her.  Hey there’s Q again!  HIIIII!!!!!  [receives much-needed motivational words from Q]  Britt!  Woooo look at her go!  Girl is a tank.  I wanna be a tank.  Is this over yet or what?”

Mile 6 (7:36): “The last mile.  Finally.  I wonder what happened to Speed Shorts girl.  Stop thinking about her.  Try and catch up to the guy in the lime green shorts.  Why is he wearing LIME GREEN shorts?  Who cares.  Catch him.  Yeah, that’s not happening.  He’s too fast.  How about those two girls I was supposed to pass???  What the heck happened to them?  Ok let’s just focus on finishing this thing.”

The last 0.22: “Less than a quarter of a mile!  I can’t wait for this thing to be done.  Thank goodness I’m not running a full marathon this season. [looks at watch] Definitely not close to my PR but hey, I’m going to finish!  Wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I SEE THE FINISH LINE!!!  Run run run run ruuuuuunnnnnnnnn!”

Time: 47:38 (7:37 average)

0.5 mile cool-down 

photo-373

I did end up finishing fourth female and 17th overall (it was a VERY small race).  All of my friends ran the half marathon like a bunch of rockstars.  Brittany (on the left) was FIRST female in the half marathon and she did that after running 14km/8.75 miles before the race (she’s training for her first full).  Q (on the right) also did the crazy 14km + a half marathon and finished in a ridiculous time but we don’t know where he officially stands because he accidentally crossed over the timing mat at 10K so his half time didn’t get registered.  Ahahaha.

We topped our afternoon off with some fully loaded (and hella spicy) burritos from Burrito Boyz.

Running + friends + burritos = perfection.

Congrats to everyone who raced yesterday.  I know there was a lot going on in the US (hi Ventura marathon peeps!) and hope all your races went well!!

Vega Giveaway Winner!

It’s FRIDAYYYYY!  I wasn’t going to post today but then I realized that I haven’t posted the winner of my Vega Giveaway yet!  Soooo….

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.05.17 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.05.03 PM

Congrats, Madison!!

Please email me at theathletarian@gmail.com with your address and we will send your goodies on over!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I have a busy few days ahead of me and my 10K race on Sunday so I probably won’t be back until after I cross that finish line.  Pray for me!