Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Best Blueberry Oatmeal

Good morning & Happy Wednesday! Gotta make it through today and tomorrow, and then Friday off for Canada Day! What does everyone have planned?

I wanted to pop in this morning and share my favourite oatmeal recipe. If you are a long time blog reader, you know oatmeal is my jam. It's the reason I wake up in the morning (aside from coffee), and it's what I look forward to after a morning run. Crazy, right? When it comes to breakfast, I am all about easy. The best thing about oatmeal is that you can put it on low, jump in the shower, and it is pretty much done when you are. Note: it can also burn easily if it's not stirred, so keep that in mind before you start a load of laundry with your oats on high heat ; )

First things first, the ingredients:

- 1/3 cup (dry) oats. Rogers is my favourite brand because it also has wheat bran and flax seed in it.
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds (more if you like!)
- Cinnamon to taste
- A sprinkle of Craisins, raisins, or a seed of your choice. I used Craisins in my oats.
- A sprinkle of hemp seeds
- Big ol' scoop of natural peanut butter
- Blueberries (pictured below on the page)

Add all ingredients except hemp seeds, craisins, blueberries & peanut butter. Allow the oats to cook until they start to thicken up.

Add blueberries and cook until they become soft. Take off the heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes.

Place oats in a bowl and top with the rest of the goodies. You can also switch the hemp seeds out for sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or add shredded coconut for a little somethin' somethin'.

And that's it! Enjoy with a big mug of coffee and you are good to go.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunny Sundays + My Competition Anniversary

Good morning & happy Monday!

A new week is here, and I hope you all had a great weekend. To rewind a little bit, Saturday I woke up extra early and got my long run in. It was the perfect day for running. Cool, but not cold, and overcast without any rain at all. My run started on the trail, then I looped onto the road and ran through some residential areas, and then headed back home on the trail. By the time I got home, it was my usual Saturday wake up time - crazy! I covered 15km for this long run. It is amazing how much more productive you feel during the day after starting it with a work out. Sure, I was fading a bit come dinner time, but maybe one day my body will get used to waking up at 5am.

Ha, ha, ha. I hope not, but in all seriousness, I do feel 100% more productive when I work out early to get my day started!

Saturday after work, Ryan and I drove to Victoria for a big family BBQ at his uncle's house. We had amazing food, hung out with family and just chatted the night away. I crashed as soon as we got home! The day was fulfilling and I ended the evening with a full belly and a full heart - doesn't get much better than that!

And now we are at Sunday. Oh, Sunday, how I love you! I especially love Sundays because I can sleep in as long as I want - or as long as my body will allow. 8:45am rolled around and as I lay there awake, texting my sister and scrolling through Instagram, I decided to just put my running clothes on and get out there. No questions, just get out there. My sister and I were wanting to go to the Kinsol Trestle as well, so getting my run in earlier was important since I knew the day was only going to get hotter! Today's run was an easy 5km on the trail, though after yesterday's 15km run, my legs definitely felt tired. Nonetheless, it was good to shake it off (cue the T-Swift music) and get out there.

So yesterday afternoon, Ryan, myself and my sister headed out to the trestle. It was a hot, hot day, but it was nice to be able to wander the trails and check things out. The last time I was at the trestle was during the Shawnigan Kinsol Half Marathon, but since I ran across the trestle, it didn't leave much time for checking out the scenery.

It was a fun way to kill an hour and a bit of the afternoon, and once we walked back to the truck we were all pretty hungry! This only meant one thing: lunch at the Duncan Garage. The garage is one of my favourite places for lunch. They have all kinds of delicious, homemade organic dishes, desserts, smoothies, coffee, and I seriously dig the hippie-granola-esque vibe it has. Gimme some matcha or chlorophyll in my smoothie & I'm a happy camper, am I right? We all left super satisfied, and ready to nap!

No, really. I felt like I could fall asleep when we got home, but things like laundry and dishes were calling me instead. Ah well.

Switching gears here, at this time last year I won 3rd place at the IDFA BC Classic competition. I wanted to reflect on where I am now compared to last year, and my feels post-competition.

Note, if you haven't read my post on body image, I highly recommend doing so as the feelings I spoke about in that post still ring true. I am going to jot down my ideas point form, in no order.

- I realize how much happier I am not in a caloric deficit. Yes, I am aware that you need to be in a deficit to lose weight, however competition style training is not suitable for every day living.
- I much prefer eating "intuitively" and listening to my body for what it needs.
- I do miss weight training, HOWEVER I have fallen in love with yoga and running all over again. This has been nice, and I know I can incorporate strength training again.
- It is easier on my family and loved ones. I think this speaks for itself. Yes, you can always bring your own food to family gatherings and being in each other's company should be enough, but come on. If it's someone's birthday, I am going to have at least a little slice of cake and celebrate with them!
- My perspective on the competition industry has changed now that I have been involved in a fitness show. I realize how competitive it can be, and also how dangerous it can be for those who are constantly dieting and never giving their body a break.
- You have to compete for the right reasons - not to lose weight, not to prove anything to anyone else. My reasons of competing were to challenge myself and see how my body could change simply by changing training and nutrition. I also wanted to practice being confident in my body on stage and challenge my mental stamina.
- I will only compete again if I get a strong, strong itch to do so. Right now it comes and goes, but I am also not actively building muscle right now (meaning I am not training at a gym or lifting heavy), since technically this would be considered my off season if I were to do another show any time soon.

Most importantly:
I am happiest with a glass of wine surrounded by friends and family.

Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts since my competition last year. There is so much I want to do in life, and maybe I will compete again, maybe I won't. Right now my mind is set on simply enjoying life to the fullest and being balanced in my approach to health. Sure, I am not in as great of shape as I was before, but that is not the goal. Life is too short!

I hope you all have a great day & catch ya in the next one!

Friday, June 24, 2016

5 Favourite Things Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

I am taking this post in a different direction and sharing five things that I have been loving this last week slash two weeks. If you are into the whole favourites posts, let me know in a comment below and I will try to keep them rolling! For those who missed my May Favourites, you can read all about 'em here.

Without further wait, here are five favourites for this fine Friday! Holy F ; )

I tried this aloe vera drink Monday morning after hot yoga. and it was delicious. The watermelon intrigued me (who doesn't love watermelon?), and since it had been a few years since I last tried aloe water, I thought I would give it another go. If you have this in a grocery store near you, I highly recommend trying it! It is sweet, and I couldn't help but think it would make delicious popsicles or ice cubes, too!

Fresh flowers in the house always makes me happy. There is something about waking up to a clean home and a little bouquet of flowers on the table that instantly boosts my mood. I have been getting in the habit of tidying up our space before bed, too, which is also something I am loving! However, when it comes to flowers, I am not picky at all. I picked these carnations up at the local grocery store for about $3 I believe - can't go wrong there!

I have always wanted a big mirror in the dining room, and my trusty handy man delivered! It makes the space feel so much more cozy, and the mirror helps open up the space and add more light. The next project is a headboard, and after that a longer table to put underneath some pictures we have hanging up on the living room wall. Exciting! That being said, I do have to give Ryan the credit since I really only help him stain, paint, or hammer things in. I don't trust myself doing all the cutting and operating power tools (within reason).

Ahhh yes, book favourites! I am LOVING Harry Potter. I just finished the third book, and I have yet to start number four. Yes, I am finding myself making Harry Potter references. I even went as far as calling my mom Moaning Myrtle the other day and thought it was the funniest thing ever. Crazy, right?

These babies! I purchased them after the Goddess Run 2016 and have been loving them since. They feel like running on clouds. Well, supportive clouds, anyway. I used to be a Mizuno gal through and through when I first started running, but now I am definitely enjoying the Asics brand.

What are YOU loving this Friday? Anything I should try out? Talk to you soon! : )

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

5 Reasons to Hangout With YOURSELF!

Self-love can be a battle and a blessing at the same time. Now that I am growing up and exploring hobbies that truly make me happy, I have started working towards being by myself and truly appreciating that time. As much as I love being around others or hanging out with loved ones, sometimes we neglect the importance of hanging out with ourselves and the benefits that go along with it.

Here are five reasons why you should hang out with yourself! No particular order.

1. You can do whatever you want: Example, My Mondays. It is the one day per week I have completely to myself, and I spend the day going places I want to go, looking in stores I want to look at, or maybe just spending the majority of my day reading if that's what I want to do. If you have a day where there's nowhere pressing to be, take that time to be with yourself!

2. You realize how much fun YOU are. Yes, it can be great to be in a crowd or surrounded by people, but it can be so good for the soul to just have a "me day" or even a "me hour." Take yourself out on a date, bake something you love, or dance around your house with the music blasted. Having fun by yourself can release stress and make you feel more happy.

3. You learn to trust yourself. I am not the kind of person that enjoys relying on others, and of course there are circumstances where you need to enlist others for support. However, the more time you take for yourself, the more you learn that you are truly capable of doing things maybe you weren't confident in doing before. When I am by myself, I entertain myself and don't look towards others to make me happy or fill my day with activities. Trust your heart to guide you in the right direction, and  you will end up right where you need to be!

4. Your time is on your own terms. When you are by yourself, you don't have any deadlines. If I have a free day all to myself and there is no where I absolutely need to be, I tend to relax a lot more. I take more time in the morning to do my planner, read, drink coffee, enjoy my breakfast. You can spend as much (or as little) time on a task. Who likes to rush, anyway?

5. It can do wonders for your mental health. When I have had a crazy work week, having a moment to breathe and honour myself can do wonders for my mind. Lately this has been taking time out to go to a yoga class to unwind after the day. I don't know about you, but a million thoughts go through my mind (or so it feels like) during a day, but taking a time out to just zen out instantly brings my stress levels down. Although it can be hard to take a break from the daily rush, I promise it will be worthwhile! Pick up a paint brush, read a book, take a bubble bath, watch some gossip TV. Do something that separates you from the rat race, take a moment to relax, and then come back to the real world with a fresh mind.

Why do YOU like to hang out with yourself? Leave a comment below with your perfect "me day" plan : ) 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Running on Empty & Taking Things Slow

So, this is about how I felt after my run today.

Generally on Mondays I run before hot yoga, but I decided to sleep in and take the morning slow and forego my morning run. "I'll do it after yoga!" Sure, great idea. I came home after running a few errands post-yoga class, made some oatmeal for breakfast and got started blogging. As I sat at the table enjoying my oats, I debated whether I wanted to catch up on my long run (didn't get it in on Saturday) or just continue on with my training plan as normal. Well, 1 o'clock in the afternoon rolled around and I figured it was about time to get out on the trail. Long story short, the long run didn't happen, I completed about 6,4km and dragged my butt the whole way in the heat, came home, and felt like flopping down in bed and staying there for a long, loooong time. Sometimes it just doesn't happen, and that's fine. I am such a routine person, and when that routine is disrupted (even by my own doing), it is hard for my body to respond quickly and respond well to the change. I was under fueled for my run which made me feel extra tired, and my body had already been worked from yoga in the morning, rather than doing my run and stretching it out in yoga after.

Ah well. Live and learn.

I have been taking this day nice and slow. No rushing, not hurrying around, just takin' my time and being a little bit lazy. The house is clean, laundry is done, I completed some meal prep for the week, so what else is there to do? Sit with a face mask and watch YouTube videos? Already did that. I am actually heading out soon, but until then, I am updating you quickly on this little bloggy of mine. Fortunately, despite my lounging today, I was at least productive in the sense that I have posts coming at you at their regularly scheduled times on Wednesday & Friday this week. Yahoo!

This weekend was full of friends and family. It couldn't have been any better! Since we were busy for most of Saturday and Sunday, I tried to make an effort to unplug for longer than usual and stay away from my phone. So, more pictures to commence later this week, but until then, you'll have to take my word that it was a great weekend without the photo evidence!

Alright, short and sweet! I am off to get ready (yes, it is 3:50pm and I am still sitting in my robe with wet hair). I will be back with more on Wednesday!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sister Days & Life is TOO Short to Not Have Sweet Potato Fries

Alright, so we are BACK with another edition of the good ol' weekend recap post.

I know, I know. I didn't post on Wednesday, or on Friday as I had thought. Sticking to a blog schedule isn't hard per say, though I was kind of in vacation mode after Thursday.

Thursday was my Friday at work, and I was so ready for a longer (than normal) weekend. While I do have holidays scheduled in August, I was thinking that between now and August is a long time and maybe I wanted a little break sooner than that.

And a break is what I got! It was so damn nice, too.

Friday my sister and I went to Victoria for the day. Since I am still in training for the Lululemon SeaWheeze, I switched my long run to Friday morning and hit the trails for 11km before Sarah got to my house. Yes, having a plan is great, but having one where you can be flexible is even better! We stopped at a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Rebar downtown, refueled with some delicious enchiladas, and then headed towards Beacon Hill park. It had been a long time since I wandered around Beacon Hill park. It is such a beautiful park, and I highly recommend visiting if you have never been before!

They even had a gated rose garden. So beautiful, such an amazing fragrance!

The park was fairly busy with lots of tourists snapping pictures and admiring all the sights. Of course, Sarah and I had to partake in this, too!

There were soo many ducks, and gorgeous peacocks as well, as seen in the first photo of the post.

Sarah saw this sleeping moss lady online and was determined to find her. We were probably an hour and a half in before we found it, but there she is!

And a selfie to celebrate, duh ; )

Then we came back to my place, Ryan made turkey burgers for dinner and we watched tv before Sarah headed home. After all, we had a big day ahead of us on Saturday!

Aaaand of course I didn't get any pictures, but we went to Vancouver for the day!

One of my best friends (we worked together when I was living in Vancouver, in 2011/2012) lives there and it was almost a year since the last time we saw each other. In fact, the last time we got together was during my show weekend last year! We all went out for lunch, then Sarah and I got some shopping time in along Robson St. So much coffee, many drinks, and lots of treats were had. You know what though? I didn't even worry about it. I had fries at lunch AND at dinner, because why the hell not. Life is too damn short to not have the sweet potato fries, ya feel me? Besides, I was more into making memories than constantly thinking about how many vegetables and healthy foods I was consuming during our sister weekend. Life is all about balance, and that to me means enjoying myself when the time is right.

When I woke up Sunday morning it was 10AM - this is unheard of for me, considering when I "sleep in" it's usually until 7:30AM or 8:30AM at the latest. My body must have been tired from the long run and all of the walking Sarah and I did over the past few days. Judging by my health app on my phone, my steps were through the roof Friday and Saturday! That being said, the solid 10.5 hour sleep was much needed. Once we were up and moving, Ryan and I got our stuff together and headed to Costco to get groceries, and then spent the rest of the afternoon lounging. Seriously, I even lounged, and I'm not much of a just sit-back-and-do-nothing kind of person. We watched a movie called Draft Day (oh my GAWD it gave me the feels and had me engaged - not literally people - the whole time), then had some delicious fresh cod for dinner. It was such a nice day and evening spent together - low key, just the way we like it.


(Not kidding about that)

And here we are at Monday. 

This is how the day has gone so far:

Wake up, run for 35 minutes, down pour of rain starts approximately 3 minutes into run, trudge along anyway because you are already outside and might as well get it done, also quitting is lame and the half marathon is coming up in 8 weeks and 4 days, come home and chug water, read a chapter of Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, get changed into yoga clothes, get gas, pick up groceries, go to hot yoga and sweat out of my toenails for 60 minutes, grab a delicious cookie on the way out, head home, have a shower, make breakfast, read more HP, do laundry, lounge, lounge, lounge, eat lunch, start writing a blog post. I even watched daytime TV which, embarrassingly enough, I actually love.

All in all, it has been a great break from the usual routine. If only every day was like this!

Until next time :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Goddess Run 5K Review + Monday Moments

Summer is here, and it was a hot hot HOT weekend!

29 degrees on my way home from my run Saturday afternoon. I had good intentions of waking up early before work to get my run in, but I ended up sleeping through my alarm and by the time I woke up, there wasn't nearly enough time to run. So, that left me runnin' in the sun. The Lululemon Seawheeze training plan at a 6km run on deck, so I rounded up to 4 miles and came home a sweaty mess. After getting myself cleaned up, we headed out to a local brew pub for dinner and all was well in the world. Does anyone else come home after a run absolutely hangry? That was me on Saturday!

Sunday was the Victoria Goddess Run 5k!

Ryan so kindly drove my sister and I to the race, while my mom and a group of her friends drove together. We met up and all started together, though as races usually go ended up parting ways as the course went on. I made an effort to stay with my sister for the whole race. Since I had just completed my long run of the week the day before, I was game to do a walk-run thing with her and give my body a bit of a break. The course was fun, and some people in the residential areas even had hoses and sprinklers out for the runners to run through since it was so hot out. If only you could see my sunburn today!

Snapchat saved from my sister Sarah 

This year was the first year the Goddess Run handed out medals - usually it is a necklace at the end, but this year we received the necklace in our race package AND a medal at the end.

The Goddess Run is always such a well organized event, and the volunteers are great, too. This year was my 4th year doing it, and I am happy to have this annual tradition with my mom & sister!

A closer look at the medal. Isn't it preeeetty!?

After the run I went to the Running Room.

Oh, yes. And I mama got a new pair of shoes! ; )

My current shoes are Asics, and although I used to be a Mizuno girl all the way when I first started running, I am slowly making a switch over to more of a stability shoe. There is cushion in all the right places (ayyy, ladies? I kid, I kid) and since I have more of a narrow foot, the toe box fits my foot well. If you are in the market for some new running shoes I highly suggest getting fitted at your local running store!

Post Goddess Run activities included going to my parents' house to harvest some garden goodies! Check out those cauliflower! I am soo excited for them. The garlic isn't quite ready to eat yet since we store it to dry in the shed, but I am excited to use fresh grown garlic in some recipes to come.

And here we are at today! 

Soooo, I may have ditched hot yoga this morning to sit on the deck, have my breakfast, read Harry Potter & drink some coffee. I could've done some yoga out on the deck if I really wanted to, but since we have had some pretty early mornings all week, I wanted to savor a little sleep in. Upon waking up, I drank some water and got my running clothes on. Monday's training run was 35 minutes easy. Easy? Although I left fairly early in the morning (just before 8am), it was still super hot outside and made the run feel hard. Fortunately the trail near our house is mostly shaded to cover me from becoming (even more) sun burnt. The coffee tasted extra tasty this morning after that run!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! That is all for my recap today. Now I am off to read in the sunshine and then off to Zumba class tonight with my sister : ) Catch you again on Wednesday!