Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two goals accomplished in one day!

Today I accomplished two of my personal fitness goals:
1) To run 20 km (in training for my 1/2 marathon) and
2) To run in just a sportsbra and shorts! I have never felt comfortable doing this, but today I did! And Ryan said I looked great.

The run was one of the most challenging runs ever. My legs started stiffening up around 15 km, but what I think really killed me was the 33 degree weather. I know I know, I should have gone earlier; but I tried! I was ready at 10 am, but Ryan always has so much stuff to do before he ever leaves the house we didn't get there till 1 --> the hottest part of the day.

About an hour before the run I drank 1 L of water and had two of my pumpkin-banana spelt cookies! An awesome high-protein snack.

I had done this route before, so I knew what to expect. We rode our bikes 5 km to get there, which warmed up my legs before my pre-run stretch. I waited for my watch to locate the satellites, and then we were off along the Lakeshore trail! Ryan rode his bike next to me, and once in a while he would go off and bike around then come back. But at around 8 km he went off and I didn't find him again until 15 km!!!! He couldn't find me either, but I was dying. He was my water person and I was almost tempted to drink the water out of a decorative fountain. I had to stop twice between 8 km and 15 km (for about 15 seconds each time) because I was cramping. This was the most challenging part of the run. Then, Ryan and I found eachother, and I drank a whole 500 mL bottle water. I immediately felt better, the sun was covered by the clouds, and the remaining 4.5 km was a breeze! The last .5 km was extremely difficult though. I didn't think I could finish, but Ryan was telling me that I could do it, so I pushed through it. And I remembered Lance's quote " Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever". And I knew I would never forgive myself if I quit my run!

So now, after this grueling run, I know that I am capable of doing the 1/2 marathon. I am going to taper down my distance now, and will probably do a lot of 5-10 km runs and a few 12-14 km runs.

What my Garmin had to say:
Distance: 20.01 km
Time: 2:02:41
Calories: 1,269
Average Pace: 6:07 min/km  (I know I was going drastically slower in the second half of the run though)
Average HR: 153
Max HR: 174

Then, we had to ride all of the way back. I'm glad I convinced Ryan to come to fresh with me so that I could have a smoothie. The thought of an ice cold smoothie is pretty much all that kept me going near the end.

Spinach, broccoli, mango, orange, raspberry and greens powder

Overnight oats made even better!

I had such an amazing breakfast this morning. I took 1/2 a cup of my homemade coconut mango granola (which I will post the recipe for later) instead of just plain rolled oats,  1 cup of rice milk, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut; and put it in the fridge over night. In the morning I added 1/4 cup raspberries! It was soooo yummy!

Ryan had a hunger attack last night and this is what he made:

A double veggie burger-burger

Monday, August 30, 2010

Veggie Burgers (Made with lots of veggies)

I'm pretty sure I've posted the recipe for these before. They're the mixed bean ones. They have spinach, onion, carrots, peppers and fresh herbs! This time I added twice the spinach, 1/2 the onion, and a tablespoon of flax in addition to the chia. They still tasted amazing! And these are Ryan's favourite.

One for me and one for Ryan!
I finished off with one of my blueberry spelt mini pies! Soooo delish! Especially because it's been swimming in sucannat syrup.

I did about 30 minutes of good stretching tonight; my hip flexors and hamstrings are rock hard--> and not in the good way. I have my 20 km run tomorrow, so I have to make sure i'm all loosened up and limber!

Wish me luck!

Amazing mango/granola/coconut breakfast invention for tomorrow!

The Beaches!

Decided to take a trip out to the beaches today! We rode our bikes out there and I had wanted to stop at this bakery that has amazing vegan desserts (LPK's Culinary Groove), but it was closed. So we rode around, went to a health food store, a store similar to Lululemon called Tikita, and a pizza place for Ryan.

Our lunch:
Red peppers, celery and carrots with hummus. Raspberries, strawberries and mango. 2 of my homemade granola bars, a bag of raw mixed nuts, and a bottle of Kombucha.!

Ate these too fast before I remembered to take a picture!
Veggie burgers for dinner tonight with a salad!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vegan Moroccan Stew!

Very yummy and pretty easy to make. The only time consuming part was cutting all of the vegetables. I served  it on quinoa to add some extra protein because of my workout today.

Vegan Moroccan Stew:

  • 1 cup veg stock
  • 1 cooking onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers (or any other colour), chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayene
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup chopped and peeled sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup parsnips
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Saute onions, red pepper, garlic, mushrooms, sweet potato and parsnips in veg stock for 10 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add all of the seasonings, the tomato, black beans, and chickpeas. Stir for another minute and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sweet potatoes and parsnips are tender (30-45 minutes).

I served this on top of quinoa, but I wouldn't recommend it. The quinoa soaked up all of the liquid. This would be great to eat on its own.
I served this dish with some Cobs bread drizzled with chili seasoned olive oil!

I made it for my run today, and I was right about what I said yesterday, I felt amazing running! That rest did me good! I did a 30 minute tempo run; so 3 minutes at an average pace, and then 1 minute at 95% effort. My Garmin told me:
Distance: 5.01 km
Time: 27:51
Average Pace: 5:33 min/ km
Calories: 306
Average HR: 163
Max HR:176
My last km was the best though! I did it in 5:16.

Once I came home, I did a good stretch. My hamstrings are soooo tight. After I stretched I walked to the bedroom and my legs felt like they were bouncing everywhere. You know that feeling when you go to grab something and its a lot lighter than you thought it was, and your hand flies up. That's what happened with my legs.
I finished off with a bit of triceps before work. Tricep dips and tricep extensions. Nothing special.

Now, what shall I have for dessert!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tomorrow is a new day!

My mom said such a great thing to me today, she said, "Tomorrow is a new day". It meant a lot to me today, I was feeling guilty because I didn't run, and because I ate 3 of my homemade mini spelt blueberry pies (which i'll get to soon). But tomorrow is a new day, and tomorrow doesn't depend on what I did today, so I can start fresh and have an even greater run tomorrow. I always seem to put these super high demands on myself; like, I have to run 8 km today, I have to do one hour of weight training, or I have to get in at least 5 runs this week. After a while, I really start to get stressed out and then I'll completely hate excercising. I always go through waves of liking excercise then hating it, and I think this is why. I need to learn to not hate myself for not doing what I planned that day, to just go with the flow instead. I know that I do this with other areas of my life too. It is something that i'm becoming more aware of, and something that I really have to work on.

On another note!

The granola bars from last night turned out great. They had a perfect consistency, but on the next batch I'm going to go without the cinnamon. Sometimes cinnamon adds a fake sort of taste in my opinion.
Very high in protein, lots of flax, hemp, almond butter, chia seeds and other good stuff!
 These are the mini blueberry spelt pies: I feel like a total glutton
The blueberries were great, they added lots of moisture
I will post the recipe later, as it is a lengthy one. But it's a good one to have because it gives you a basic spelt dough.

Dinner will probably be fruit, to offset the damage I've done with the pies :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's a big salad kind of day

The hill repeat idea didn't go too far today. I started completely dreading it as soon as I said I would do it. Over my time with running I've come to realize that if you completely dread exercising for reasons other than laziness, then your body is trying to tell you something. It told me today to rest.
Unfortunately, resting didn't really happen. My mother and I decided we would try to go to the Exhibition Center again, and this time make it there. Before we got there we stopped in Kensington Market to this amazing restaurant called Hibiscus. One of my favorites, it has vegan crepes and ice creams, as well as these amazing mixed vegetable salads.
One day I will try to attempt this amazing salad

Sweet potato, quinoa, tofu, mixed beans, carrots, green beans, broccoli and a scrumptious raw cracker!

We got to the Exhibition Center and the first thing we did was go on some carnival rides. Let me tell you, I do not have the stomach that I had when I was 13. After two rides, my mom and I looked at each other and I knew that we were both done. Now, try walking around a huge exhibit for two hours feeling like you're going to throw up, and like you have a seriously severe case of vertigo. It was pretty non-restful for a rest day.
I did not get to see the deep fried butter (yes, that's right), that everyone was talking about. But I did see this:

They had a whole building (massive, think 5 high-school gymnasiums) filled with different animals behind cages. In the same building was an area filled with statues made of butter. What are we? Seriously. I just don't understand the concept of taking animals out of their natural habitat and letting kids see them for enjoyment. Like the Toronto Zoo trying to get pandas: seriously, pandas in Toronto? It gives children this sense that we control all wildlife, that we can put them behind cages and do with them as we will. If there were cows there, kids would know that that's where there burgers would come from; but I know they wouldn't understand it, and parents wouldn't tell them anything other than this false fairytale. It made me feel sick, and since I already felt sick, the streetcar ride home felt like a vomit comet.

Dinner was a salad, not just because I was too tired to cook anything, but because it was the only thing my stomach could handle.

Romaine, baby greens, radishes, red pepper, onion, pumpkin seeds and easy balsamic dressing
Just put some homemade granola bars in the oven! I'll let you know how they turn out!

A fruity breakfast!

Woke up this morning, the sun was shinning, the dogs were laying on my head, and I felt great! I threw together a quick fruit salad, and a Little Health Monster Skintastic Smoothie, and I will be off for my hill run as soon as breakfast has had time to digest.  I always bring Gigi for hill repeats; she chases me up and down the hill, and its only a 10 minute run to the hills from our house. Lola doesn't like to run, she's a bit of a princess, so she stays home :)
Smoothie ingredients: spinach, rice milk, chia and flax powder, mixed frozen berries, fresh blueberries, wheat grass powder.

Smoothies were yummy as always. They gave me a very intense energy boost as well.

Forgot to discuss my workout yesterday. I did biceps and a 1 hour spin class.

  • Hammer curls ( 4 sets of 15 on each arm with 12 pound dumbell)
  • Close grip EZ bar bicep curls ( 4 sets of 20 with 20 pound barbell) Supersetted with Hammer Curls
  • Concentration curls (4 sets of 12 on each arm with 12 pound dumbell)
  • Wide grip cable curl ( 4 sets of 17 with 25 pounds) Supersetted with Concentration curls
The spin class was great. The instructors really are what make the classes great or really horrible. I've had my fair share of instructors playing really slow trancy music or horrible 80's. But yesterday there was a great mix of every kind of music. With spin classes you control how hard you work; and I decided yesterday to give it my all, even if I did feel like I was going to pass out :) .  My shirt and my pants were completely soaked (and I forgot to bring spare clothes, so I was walking home in wet clothes), and the bottom half of my pony tail was soaked too, from being on my back during the class.
The combination of the biceps and spin class took about 1:45:03, and I burnt 747 calories. Average HR: 124, Max HR: 172.

It was a great way to get in some cardio without running. That 10 km run the other day really did me in. Let's hope these hills today don't do the same thing.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chickpea salad with balsamic and a quinoa/brown rice stirfry!

Chickpea Balsamic Salad

  • 1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped (or other colour)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dressing ( 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup, 1.5 tablespoon balsamic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon dijon, salt and pepper)
Cut all vegetables as indicated. Whisk together the balsamic dressing. Add together and mix! Really an easy and delicious salad. High in protein and fiber.
Sooo yummy!

Quinoa and Brown Rice Stirfry

With this recipe you can pretty much use any vegetables you want. Zucchini, snap peas, etc., would be great in here.


  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I cook it in veg stock mixed with 1/4 cup chives)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped asparagus
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds (I toast slivered almonds in frying pan)
  • 1 teaspoon cayene
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add all other vegetables. Saute for 5-8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add the rice, quinoa, herbs, spices, and chia seeds. Stir for a few more minutes and feel free to add less or more oil if you need it. If you don't want to add oil, add some more veg stock. Add salt and pepper as you deem necessary. Add the toasted almonds to finished product. Enjoy!

Overnight oats.....again :)

Like I said, obsessed. I love overnight oats. Last night I just mixed 1/2 cup organic oats with 3/4 cup rice milk, and 5 chopped dates. In the morning I added half of a cut up nectarine and it was pure bliss!
With a cup of organic green tea with kombucha!
I forgot to write about my 10 km run yesterday. I sort of felt like I was going faster than usual, but when I hooked up my garmin, I found out that I was running 9 seconds slower as an average pace then my previous 10 km run. I think that there has to be a margin of error with the garmin, because I follow the same route exactly, and every time I have to run a little further or a little shorter at the end to reach 10 km.
Distance: 10.01 km
Time:  58:10
Calories: 633
Average Pace: 5:50 min/ km
Average HR: 159 (86% of max)
Max HR: 172

All in all it was an okay run though. I felt super sluggish around the 7.5-8.5 km mark. I think it's because I do two different out and back loops, and that was the last one. I hate having to go back on a route that I already did. If I could do the old style suicide runs, where you just run however far you can and then call someone to come get you, I would be able to go much further.

I will be making a variation of the Little Health Monster Skintastic Smoothie after the gym.
I'll be leaving for the gym in about an hour and i'll be doing 1 hour of biceps and abs and 1 hour spinning.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The EX

Ryan, my mother, and I decided that we wanted to go to the Exhibition Place. I packed us some nice and healthy lunches! Chickpea salad sandwiches on whole grain bread, and a bowl of fruit (grapes, blackberries and apple slices). Once we got to the transfer point for our streetcar route it started to rain. I checked the forecast on my phone and it said we could expect showers all day. So we decided to just walk home and eat our sandwiches on the corner next to a corner store (haha). It was a great lunch :~) And it hasn't rained yet.

Chickpea salad sandwiches:

  •  1 can chickpeas, washed and drained
  • 1/2 medium vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped, keep skin on
  • 1/2 sweet pepper (I used red), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1.5 tablespoons tahini
  • 1.5 tablespoons mustart
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
Cut up the vegetables into chunks that would be easily eaten on a sandwich. Mash the chickpeas. Add to cut vegetables and add the hummus, tahini, mustard and salt & pepper. Mix well and serve on toasted bread with lettuce! Yummmm! I use toasted bread because it gets too soggy on non-toasted bread. Feel free to add any other vegetables, like celery or radishes! I used to make this with vegan mayonaise in place of the hummus and tahini, but found this way better because it cuts out all of the oils and fakeness of the mayo.
This onion was one of the sharpest onions i've ever encountered.
The vegetables are mixed with the mashed chickpeas.

Breakfast! Best part of the day!

Breakfast is my favourite meal. All during the night, breakfast is all that I can think about! I have a 10 km run planned for this morning, and I was going to run on empty, but decided to run a bit later and have some breakfast. I'll have to wait atleast 1.5 hours to know that I won't have a cramp from the food I ate.

Cobs Whole Grain Loaf with almond butter and berries. Side mineola.
I decided to treat myself to a few new kitchen accessories. I don't know how long i'll be able to hold off  buying more :)
Some new glassware! Instead of having everything in little plastic baggies everywhere!
My new spice rack.
I'm sure these were made for little kids, but I loooove PIGS!!!
Now, if only I could get a new kitchen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Banana Pumpkin Sweet Potato Oatmeal Cookies!

Super long name, but totally easy and completely worth it! With all the preparation and bake time, it took me 25 minutes to make!
Banana Pumpkin Sweet Potato Spelt Oatmeal Cookies: or BPSPSOC for not-so-short:

  • A flax egg ( 1.5 tsp chia and flax powder, or 1 teaspoon ground chia, or 2 tsp ground flax) and 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup organic oats
  • 1 cup organic spelt flour (or any other flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 very ripe banana mashed
  • 1/4 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Preheat oven to 375 and put parchment paper on a baking sheet.Mix the flax egg together in a separate bowl. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add vanilla, agave, honey, sweet potato and pumpkin to flax egg. Add to dry ingredients and mix until everything is evenly distributed. Put onto baking sheet and flatten with back of wet spoon.  Cook for 10-14 minutes! They might look uncooked, but they're cooked.

BEWARE: These cookies are extremely delicious, chewy and fluffy! Quite healthy too.

Mixing dry and wet together!
Getting ready for the oven!

You have to try these. They are definitely worth it!
P.S. I am fully aware that honey is not vegan. I guess I am only 99% vegan then! :)