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!

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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 

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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….

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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!

Thinking Out Loud #31

It’s that time again…..!

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Happy Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

1.  I went back to work today for the first time in over two months.  Holy shock to the system.  I’m not going to complain about work though because not a lot of professions grant you with a couple of summer months to do whatever you please!  It was nice to see all of my colleagues and students again too.  To those of you who asked – I am a substitute teacher but kind of situated in one school.  I fell in love with a particular high school and became really close with a lot of the teachers as well as the administration so I am lucky enough to work at the same place nearly every day.  Sometimes I take on multiple day/week assignments for teachers too.  It works for me right now and gives me a lot of flexibility and time to work on the blog/do other things that I love! :)

2.  I didn’t bring any food to work today (I was only supposed to work half a day but it got changed at the last minute) so I went out for ROTI on my lunch.  I ordered a channa and potato roti as well as doubles.  Oh. my. woooooord.

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The doubles were better than the ones I had when I was in Trinidad.  No lie.  The bread was lightly crispy but pillowy and fluffy at the same time if that makes any sense…and it’s filled with curried chickpeas.  They don’t make for great photos, especially when you eat in the car but man they’re delicious.  There’s just something about fried carbs, am I right?

3.  I’m going to see WICKED this weekend!!!  My cousin got me tickets for my birthday.  Has anyone seen it???

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The last musical I saw was Aladdin and I absolutely loved it so I’m pretty pumped for this.

4.  Who else gets weekly Lululemon updates and fell in love with the oh-so-Canadian Scuba hoodie (far right) in this week’s “hi we are here to take all of your money” email?

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Well when Danielle saw it and tried to buy one it was immediately SOLD OUT.  Lululemon people are cray (including us, I guess).  Anyway, the amazing friend ;) that I am scurried on over to the mall when I heard about her predicament (there is no Lulu near her) and BAM.  The store just got them in.  So I bought three – one for her, her friend, and myself.  Because I really need another hoodie in my life. #YOLO (<- do people eve say that anymore?)

5.  Speaking of apparel, these are my new current favourite jeans:

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Let’s also note that I do not wear crop tops – I just hiked my shirt up because I was texting my cousin photos and needed help choosing between two sizes.  I thought the ones in the above photo were too tight but she told me to get them because they stretch.  Let’s hope she’s right because they currently make me feel like a stuffed sausage.  They are from American Eagle in case you’re wondering.  I used to be one of those people who happily spent $200+ on jeans but those days are over.  AE jeans fit me better than any other brand I have owned and my wallet appreciates the $60 price tag a lot more.

6. A few people have posted this article from Buzzfeed on Facebook entitled 18 Things You Can Only Get Away With In Toronto and I just about died when I saw this guy because I actually gave him $20 last winter when I saw him in a subway station sitting with his cute dog.

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NOW HE’S FAMOUS!  I asked him what he’d do if I gave him money and the first thing he said was “buy food for my dog” so my heart kind of melted and I had faith that he would spend it on the right things.  I hope he did.

7.  I like to creep on my dog when he’s sleeping and get pretty dirty looks in return.

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8.  Someone else tell me they’re not too impressed with Costco already having their Christmas stuff out.  The thought of snow and below zero temps makes me want to die a little.  It’s even worse that I’m going to have to train through that weather again if I’m running Phoenix next February.

9.  If you need a laugh…

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Seriously though.  Dead.

10.  Speaking of oats, I think I might have some of dinner.  Is that weird or what?  Gotta satisfy those random cravings, right?  I’ve just got to make sure that I have some bewitched pecan butter in the fridge… ;)

Hope you all had a great day!

WIAW: I will eat it until it’s GONE!

Happy What I ate Wednesday!

Quick post today – got lots of “fall cleaning” to get to today!  Switching over wardrobes is a pain in the butt.  All my bright, colourful summer apparel changes to all things black, grey and navy for fall.  I’ve got tons of stuff to donate too.  I got into one of those crazy purge-all-the-things moods last night and nothing will stop me until I’m done!

Here are yesterday’s eats!

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Breakfast: smoothie made with almond milk, frozen mixed berries and Vega Sport Performance Protein in chocolate

Lunch: black bean burger (recipe from the Oh She Glows Cookbook) with a side or potato and corn salad

Snack: SkinnyPop

Dinner: mashed avocado on rye and a white peach (boring but I didn’t feel like cooking)

Dessert: a slice of my mocha almond fudge birthday ice cream cake that was leftover from Monday!

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This photo was taken on Monday night when I was having my second slice.  The plate (as well as the bowl that the popcorn is in) were both from my aunt and I am obsessed with them.  She knows about my love affair with Tiffany & Co. so the colour of these was spot on.  ANYWAY, the cake (which was from Baskin Robbins) is one of the only cakes I will actually have (I hate “spongy” cakes and find whipped cream revolting) so I will eat it until it’s gone.  There are a few slices left! ;)

Hope you have a great day!  Make sure to eat something delicious today!