I’ve been CHOPPED! {and a winner}

I have been wanting to chop my hair off for a while now.  During the holidays I asked my hairdresser to cut it short and he refused.  What hairdressers refuse a good chopping?!?!  I always thought they loved going scissor happy on people!  He told me my hair looked way too good long and was afraid I would be mad at him if I was unhappy with the result.  So I got a trim.

Last night I got the crazy idea to tag along with my cousin and go to her hairdresser’s place.  He got excited when I told him what I wanted and went bananas on me.

It is so short, but I love the change.

Onto more important things…like food.

I posted this on Facebook yesterday because they are some of the most phenomenal pancakes I have ever made.

Jamie Eason, you never let me down.  I used her recipe for pumpkin spice pancakes which you can find here.  I layered them with Greek yogurt mixed with stevia for a little extra protein.  I’ve already eaten them three times since yesterday.  I get a little obsessed with food.  When I really like something I will eat it every day until I find something else to take it’s place.

Finally, a winner has been chosen for my NeoCell Collagen Sport giveaway!

Congrats Karyn C (KCsweetTweets)!  Send your address and choice of flavour (chocolate or vanilla) to theathletarian [at] gmail [dot] com!

What did you eat for breakfast today?  I need ideas for when I run out of my pancakes :)

OXYGEN GIVEAWAY!

I know I’ve been absent and I apologize but I have been on an extended Holiday and things got a little crazy.  Unfortunately I didn’t go anywhere too exciting so I don’t have any fun photos to share with you nor do I have any interesting stories.  It’s just been a lot of Dean, workouts and food.  No complaints over here.

I want to thank you all for your comments on my last few posts.  I haven’t been able to keep up with everyone but I promise you I will be updating myself over the next couple of days!   Sometimes life Dean takes over and demands all of my attention.  I have a hard time saying no to the stud!

love.

Anyway, I announced on my Facebook page that I would be having a giveaway today and I always keep my promises so I hope you’re ready!  As most of you may already know, I met Mr. Bob Kennedy just a little while back and he was generous enough to give me a bunch of books from the Eat Clean series to give away to some lucky readers (congrats to the winners!).

Bob is also the genius behind Oxygen Fitness Magazine.  I am obsessed with this magazine and buy every single issue as soon as it hits newsstands.  There are so many amazing tips on fitness, nutrition and overall general well-being.  I love all of the new ideas that are shared each month in terms of weight training and cardio.  It is definitely one of the resources I refer to on a regular basis to shake things up in the gym.

just a glimpse of my collection...

I also love all of the recipes and diet plans outlined in the magazine.  I tend to get bored with foods pretty easily so I am always looking for new and exciting ways to prepare clean meals.  One of my favourite treats so far has been protein ice cream which I will talk about more in a later post (hopefully this week!).

healthy ice cream? sign me up!

Last but not least, I absolutely love all of the women featured in Oxygen.  They are all super fit and such amazing inspirations.  They promote a healthy and strong body which I think is so important.  They eat, they lift, they sweat, and they are absolutely gorgeous.  If I need a little extra motivation one day I just take a peek at the six packs and tight glutes on every woman in the magazine and that definitely gets me going!

Jamie is one of my favourites!

Ready for the good news?

Bob Kennedy has generously offered THREE readers a one-year subscription to Oxygen!  Yep, three.  Whatta guy.

Here’s what you need to do to win (do as many as you please):

  • Like my Facebook page and leave me a comment on my wall telling me why YOU want a subscription to Oxygen!
  • Like Oxygen on Facebook and leave them a nice comment :)
  • Share this giveaway on Twitter (using @TheAthletarian and @OxygenMagazine) and/or Facebook and/or your blog

Don’t have Facebook or Twitter?  Just leave me a comment below telling me why you want a subscription!

Contest will end on Friday, January 13, 2012.  Good luck!

GAH!  I am SO EXCITED for you guys!!!

eats & treats

Thank you for all of your comments on yesterday’s post!!  I love all of the motivation and positivity I am getting from all of you regarding my new training plan!  I think it’s going to be great.  I have seen a lot of “results” pictures on Jamie Eason’s Facebook page and they are incredible.  I can’t wait to see what happens.  I may even post some photos of my progress…or maybe just make you wait until the end to see my before and after shots!  ;)

For those of you curious about the diet, you can read about it here.  A day basically consists of 5-6 meals that are high in protein and non-starchy vegetables and low in carbohydrates.  One of my typical days will look something like this (for Phase 1):

  • Breakfast: oats with protein powder

  • Snack: homemade protein bar/pancake, Greek yogurt with fruit, or a protein shake

today's snack: protein pancake + Greek yogurt + pomegranate

  • Lunch: a protein (tofu/tempeh/fish) with a starch (brown rice/sweet potato/quinoa) and veggies
  • Snack: same as above
  • Dinner: same concept as lunch

grilled cod + steamed veggies + 1/2 sweet potato

It really isn’t much of a diet, but more like clean eating.  Veggies are unlimited throughout the day, starches aren’t consumed after 7:00pm and fruit is limited to twice a day.  I’ve done something similar in the past after reading Tosca Reno’s book, The Eat Clean Diet.  I remember feeling great so I don’t think this will be hard to follow at all!  I am going to try my best not to cheat, but I do love my stuffing and it might be making an appearance on Christmas!  I don’t think eating extra starches for one day will kill the plan though so I’m not going to stress about it!!

mmm stuffing!!!

This is going to be a great way for Dean and I to “clean out” or bodies.  We have had one too many pizza dates and have been starting to feel run down and gross despite our efforts in the gym.  I think diet plays a huge role in how we feel and I am feeling the positive effects already!
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There is an awesome giveaway going on that I forgot to mention yesterday!  Hayley from Oat Couture is giving away clothing and accessories from MyDragonFly (I took a look at the stuff and it’s awesome!) as well as tickets to an event in London for NYE.  Check out her blog for more details and get your entries in!
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How many meals do you eat in a day?

What’s your favourite vegetable??  Would you choose it over stuffing?

I like a lot of veggies…but stuffing always wins.  I would dive head first into a pool of bready goodness!

Coordination & Gel-bot giveaway!

I usually don’t care what I look like when I run or workout.  Ever.  I wear the most obnoxious colour combinations and I am 100% okay with it.  Yesterday was different though.  I was having a really good day.  I had a few extremely generous donations toward my fundraiser (thank  you from the bottom of my heart, ladies), I completed my workout without getting a black eye (thank goodness), and I received some pretty sweet stuff in the mail.  All of this amazingness made me want to get a little run in later in the afternoon.  Basically I wanted to enjoy the sunshine and sport some really cool gear.

I’m not going to lie.  I am pretty proud of my coordination here.  I am sporting the Tempo shorts I picked up in NYC, my new Chickband and some sweet New Balance sunglasses I won from Vanessa’s giveaway (which arrived in the mail today!).  I seriously felt like a superhero.  The glasses fit like a glove and they’re white and pink.  Enough said.

Wanna hear about something else I’m loving right now??  I introduce you to my Gel-bot.

I saw this genius bottle on the Hydrapak website and got in contact with Scott from outside PR right away.  He sent me one to review and let me tell you, I don’t know how I ever lived without it.  It incorporates gel and water in one handy bottle.  No ripping packets open while running.  No sticky hands and face.  Just one handy bottle carrying both nutrition and hydration.

How does it work?

From the website:

This bottle is seriously amazing.  I used it while training for my Urbanathlon and it was perfect for my runs.  It fits about two gels in the inner chamber.  I recommend more watery gels, as the thicker ones are a little more difficult to squeeze out (but you can always add a little water to your gel to thin it out).

Now for the good part… WHO WANTS ONE?!?!  Scott had kindly offered to give one of my readers a Gel-bot too!

All you have to do is…

+1 Like my Facebook page!

+1 Like the Hydrapak Facebook page!

+1 Share this giveaway somewhere!

That’s it!  Just make sure you leave a separate comment for each thing that you do ;)

Contest ends on Monday, November 21, 2011.  Good luck!

Real life besties & a belated winner!

Before I begin today’s post, I would like to thank all of you for your heartfelt comments on my last post.  I am so excited about my ride and cannot wait to progress in my training as well as my fundraising!  There are over six months to donate so if you are interested in helping me reach my goal of $1000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, all you have to do is click on the “donate” box in my right sidebar.  Thank you so so much :)

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This past weekend I had the HONOUR of meeting Julia and taking her to some sweet spots in Toronto!!  She was here for a conference and had LOTS of time to spare so we had oodles of fun together as I showed her as much of Toronto as I could.  Most of our dates revolved around food…obviously.  I will let the photos tell the story!!  We took many more but I picked out a few of my favourites!

Mandatory froyo ;)

Sunday brunch

Oh hey, Dean! <3

This one is for Fast Cory!

Basically I am in love with Julia and am so happy we are now real life besties.  She is honestly the sweetest girl ever (so is her friend, Sarah :) ).  We had such a good time and I was so sad to see her leave!!  I can’t wait to see her again one day.

I had a giveaway that ended last week and I have forgotten to post the winner!!  The winner was chosen and I had taken screen shots a few days ago but totally forgot to include it in my post.

CONGRATS RACHELLE!!!!  You will soon be the proud new owner of a Handful bra!!  E-mail me at theathletarian [at] gmail [dot] com with your info (size, colour, address) and I will pass it along!  Then you will have to come to Toronto so we can run in our Handfuls together :D

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Have you ever met a fellow blogger in real life?!

I have met a bunch of amazing ladies from Toronto and Julia from Utah!  So much fun.

Chickbands review and GIVEAWAY!

All sorts of headbands have been coming my way and I kinda love it, not going to lie.  Before I share the amazingness of Chickbands with you, let’s reveal the Sparkly Soul winner, shall we?

Congrats, Heather!  E-mail me at theathletarian [at] gmail [dot] com with your address so I can get your two bands out to you asap!

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Now you all have another opportunity to win some pretty amazing headbands to tame those sweaty hair horns of yours.  I was contacted by Kara from Chickbands a couple of weeks ago who asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her headbands.  Kara (like most of us) is a crazy runner who once suffered from burning eyeballs from all of the sweat dripping on her face during her runs.  She was on a mission to find the perfect headband…and then ended up creating it herself.  Pretty awesome, no?

She started making them for her kids, friends, and all the running moms in her community.  She now has an Etsy shop where she sells a HUGE variety of bands to suit all kinds of tastes and personalities.  Since I am obsessed with sparkles, I chose a couple of sparkly bands that really appealed to me – one in teal and the other in black.  The teal one matches a pair of Lululemon shorts I recently bought (I envision an amazing race day outfit in my future) and the black one is perfect to wear ALL the time.

The majority of Chickbands are $7 with the exception of some novelty bands.  The price tag is super affordable in comparison to a lot of other bands which run for about $10-$15.  The sparkles are imbedded into the actual fabric so they won’t fall off (if I don’t want sweat in my eyes, why would I want sparkles in my eyes?!).  The bands are backed with velvet so they DO NOT slip.  Like, at all.  I don’t get “headband headache” from the bands either.  A lot of the time if I wear a headband for a whole day, I’ve got major head-throbbing going on.  Not with Chickbands.  Pretty amazing features right there.

Kara, being the awesome woman/runner/mother/headband-maker that she is wants to give away a Chickband (of your choice!) to 3 LUCKY READERS!  YES, 3!!!!!  Holy awesomeness, right?

Here are some ways you can enter (leave a separate comment for each):

*Follow/subscribe to my blog

*Like my Facebook page

*Like Chickbands’ Facebook page

*Visit Kara’s Chickbands Etsy shop and tell me which band you would pick if you won!

*Share this giveaway however you want!  Facebook, Twitter, blog, smoke signals…

This contest will run until I get back from NYC (Sunday, October 30th)!  I probably won’t be blogging much over the next few days while I’m away.  Pray that I finish the URBANATHLON in one piece!

GOOD LUCK!

Sparkly Soul Review {and GIVEAWAY!}

Do you ever go for runs and come back with hair horns so crazy that it looks like you’ve been electrocuted?  Or maybe you wear a headband…only to find that by the end of your workout it has slipped halfway down your head and is no longer functional?  If you are constantly moving hair away from your eyes or readjusting your headband to stay in place, this one is for you.  How effective can your run or workout really be if you are constantly trying to “fix” these minor problems?  Enter Sparkly Soul.

When I first heard about their “non-slip” headbands I was a bit skeptical.  I have bought bands with the same claim before and have usually been disappointed.  They either end up being slippery and not living up to their claim, or feature rubber “grips” that make them too painful to wear.

When the lovely people over at Sparkly Soul said they were going to spread their love and give me the opportunity to test out their bands, I was thrilled.  Here was my chance to maybe find the perfect headband…again.  The bands come in two different widths and are offered in 10 colours.  I really love that the ENTIRE band is stretchy all the way around and that the sparkles are actually part of the fabric (so they won’t fall off and sprinkle all over your face).

So what’s the verdict?  These bands don’t move.  At all.  Not only do they stay in place during my workouts, they don’t even slip in my SLEEP.  Yes, I accidentally fell asleep wearing one and when I woke up it was still in the exact same position.  There is something magical about the velvet on the inside of the headbands.  Who knew that velvet + hair = no slip?  Genius.

I will be wearing these headbands all the time, and not only for runs or workouts.  They also spice up an outfit and make a “lazy day bun” look like it was intended!  The thin ones are my favourite and I have my eyes on the pink and gold ones next :P

You, too, can add a little sparkle to your runs because Sparkly Soul sent me two extra bands (black and purple) for a lucky reader to win!

This is what you have to do (leave a separate comment for each so that all of your entries are counted):

*Follow or subscribe to my blog (I noticed I gained some e-mail subscribers – thank you!)

*Follow me on Twitter

*Follow Sparkly Soul on Twitter

*Like my Facebook Page

*Like Sparkly Soul’s Facebook page

*Blog, Facebook or Tweet this giveaway!

Contest ends this Wednesday, October 26th, 2011!  Good luck!