I Won’t Grow Up

I’m turning 30 this year and that surprises most people when I tell them. I get a lot of “I never would have guessed you were 29″ and “I thought you were 22!” And when I smile, flattered, and ask “Oh I look that good huh?” The answer is almost always “No…you just act way younger/immature/like a 22 year old.” Not quite as flattering as looking 22, but I’ll take it.

I love to play. Maybe it comes from being the oldest of five kids and playing games and toys with my little siblings well into my teens and twenties. My step kids are the perfect excuse to play, frolic, and be immature and not get judged. I’m just being “good with kids.” Ha ha!

This weekend was a testament to the sheer joy I find in being a kid. Saturday was awful weather wise. We had plans to play ball and run at the track but it was snowy, the wind was icy and blew flurries all over. I had resigned myself to yet another Saturday stuck inside but after lunch something inside me snapped. I HAD to get outside. My step son, Ace, was the only one willing to bundle up and go outside and when I asked where he wanted to go he said the beach. So off to the beach we went!

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We had a blast playing explorers. We walked around the beach and played on sand hills and in the sand for about two hours. The wind was icy cold and our cheeks were frozen the whole time but I was having so much fun climbing trees and jumping off sand hills I didn’t even think about it. We had a blast! And I felt  so much better the rest of the day in the house.

Playing in the sand

Playing in the sand

Boots in the sand (covered in snow)

Boots in the sand (covered in snow)

On Sunday, my work hosted a family play event at the YMCA.  The YMCA rents the gym with two huge bouncy castles that adults are allowed in (finally), a tumbling mat with wedge mats and a vault, basketballs, and floor hockey equipment. It was the most intense and fun two hours I’ve had in a long time! I just ran around playing with my step kids the whole time. Running through bouncy castles, tumbling, playing on the vault, playing floor hockey and basketball- it was teh most fun I’ve had in a long time.

Notice how I'm the only adult in line? Ha ha!

Notice how I’m the only adult in line? Ha ha!

It was also exhausting! My whole body was tired that evening and I was worn right out. Two hours of play is much harder than a 4 mile run.

Tumbling fun!

Tumbling fun!

Somersault over the vault

Somersault over the vault

It was funny too because toward the end of the event, our HR Rep came to me and told me she was impressed at how good I was with all the kids and motivating them to play and try new things. She said “You missed your calling as a teacher. You’re a natural.” Now if that isn’t a sign to get my butt back into school for Physical Education I don’t know what is! *sigh* Someday. I hope.

The moral of this post is that you need to start playing more! Be a kid again! You’ll burn more calories and you’ll just have fun!

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Friday Fitness Recap- April 11

Like my spring header?

The sun has been out and I’m feeling like myself again! Although I will say, it is so easy to miss one day and then the next and then the next.

Friday- 1.77 mile walk with dog

I originally wanted to run but it was super windy and running in the wind takes my breath away. So Rocky and I just strolled along the outskirts of town and enjoyed the sunshine.

 

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Saturday- Nothing

I don’t know how Saturday got away from me but before I knew it the day was over and I hadn’t gotten any activity in! Oops!

Sunday- Hot Yoga 1 hour

Softball practice with the kids

The kids came over for supper and we played a little softball in the backyard. Such a blast!

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Monday- 0.64 mi walk with dog

Ryan and I took Rocky out with the intent of a long walk but it was so windy I had an ear ache within minutes. So we only got in 0.64 miles.

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Tuesday- Nothing

Wednesday- Nothing

We had a freak snow which was funny because it was completely melted by lunch!

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Thursday-0.74 mi walk at lunch 

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You wouldnt know it snowed the day before this!

You wouldnt know it snowed the day before this!

Evening dog walk 2.72 miles on 55:00 

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I know I’ve been saying this every Friday but I’m aiming to be more active this coming week!

Gear Review- Mountain Hardwear Jacket

I was beyond flattered when Mountain Hardwear asked me to participate in their Finding Winter campaign. I am usually a major winter person (though this winter was really hard) and I was stoked to try out one of their products.

Finding Winter is a social media campaign driven by Mountain Hardwear to share winter adventures. According to its website “We believe that adventures are best when shared, and this winter, we’re asking you to share your adventures with us. Winter is out there. Go find it.”

I was stoked when I opened my box and saw a pink jacket! I love bright colours in winter and my snow pants are bright pink so now I have an outfit.

So stoked to get this in the mail!

Off I went to enjoy winter. I wanted to hit the mountains but time and money restraints kept me in the prairies but there was plenty of snow to go around!

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The jacket I was sent was a hard shell that had a reflective inside for warmth.

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The scuba hoodie is awesome for keeping snow off your face.

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My favourite part of this jacket was the sleeves.  They are cut at a diagonal, longer at the top but tapering in the back. This makes it so much more comfortable! I hate when my wrists are exposed to the cold because of short sleeves but if they are too long, they get in your way.

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My Thoughts

This is a sturdy jacket, one I’ll have for years. A co-worker has a Mountain Hardwear jacket similar to this one that he’s been using for eight years and he’s on ski patrol! I anticipate using this jacket on adventures for many years to come.

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I am not used to light coats without a lining though. It was weird putting on a jacket that was waterproof and warm but not soft and fuzzy on the inside. A soft long sleeved shirt took care of that though.

What Finding Winter Means to Me

I live in Canada so winter is a huge part of my life. Finding Winter, to me, means peeling yourself off that warm couch, putting down the comfort foods, bundling up, and getting outside. Having a dog makes that pretty easy because you have to take them out for walks. It’s turning around your attitude to “It’s cold I have to stay inside” to “If I bundle up enough I can handle it.” All that being said, I DO NOT go out when it’s colder than -15C. That’s my threshold.

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* DISCLAIMER- The product was given to me by the company but my opinions are my own*

BUY A MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR JACKET OF YOUR OWN

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Try Guava in Your Smoothies!

I have always loved guava juice. When we took family vacations to Hawaii my mom would always but us guava juice and it was delicious. When I saw a box of guava for sale I decided to try the actual fruit.

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Here are some health benefits of this tasty fruit:

Improves immunity

Guavas contain four times the Vitamin C content of oranges.

Improves your hormonal function

Copper, present in guava, helps in the production and absorption of hormones. This property helps in improving the function of your endocrine system especially thyroid glands which is responsible for the way in which you metabolize food, use energy, etc.

Lowers risk of cancer

Being rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants like lycopene, eating guavas can protect your cells from damage and reduce your chances of getting cancer. Additionally, Vitamin C boosts your immunity which is critical in fighting cancer cells.

Has anti-ageing properties 

Guavas are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants like lycopene and carotene which protect  your skin from wrinkles and fine lines, thus making you look younger.

Helps treat constipation

Guava is rich in fibre which helps in clearing the blocked pathway and thus curing your constipation.

Good for your brain

Guavas contain Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6, also known as niacin and pyridoxine, which helps in improving blood circulation to the brain and relaxing your nerves.

How to Eat a Guava

I actually had to Google this because I had no idea how to eat a guava. While you can eat the insides, the seeds are hard and impossible to chew. I stick with eating the rinds.

I have been throwing two guava rinds in with my smoothies and it tastes so good! I also blended guava with orange juice which Ryan loved.

If you’re getting sick of the same smoothie flavours, give this awesome fruit a try!

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Yoga Stretches for the Office Worker

I have had ‘Yoga Stretches for Office Workers’ in my draft folder for months. I just didn’t have the time/resources to snap my own photos. Then along comes the Move Nourish Believe blog (once again) with a GREAT blog post that includes a print out you can tape up next to your desk.

OFFICE WORKOUT: 6 YOGA POSES TO DO AT YOUR DESK

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How many hours do you spend sitting at a desk per day? If you’re like most people, it’s probably a good chunk of time! Unfortunately, sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to imbalances in your body that cause poor posture and injury down the road. But have no fear, MNB is here! All you need is a few minutes to try these 6 yoga poses at your desk – you don’t even have to leave your cubicle. 

1. Neck Stretch

Place your right hand on your head and gently pull your head down toward your right shoulder while reaching through to the floor with your left hand. You should feel a stretch on the left side of your neck.  Inhale and exhale for three long breaths reaching with your left fingertips a little more on each exhale. Release back to center. Repeat on the opposite side.

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2. Seated Twist

Keeping your hips evenly rooted in your chair and your knees in line with one another, inhale and place your left hand on your right knee.  As you exhale, engage the lower abdominals and twist with the upper part of your spine, placing your right hand behind your back or on the back of the chair.  Each time you inhale, imagine yourself growing taller, and each time you exhale, see if you can twist a little bit deeper to the right.  Continue keeping your lower abs engaged to support your lower back and focus on twisting more through the upper back than lower back. Release back to center. Repeat on the opposite side.

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3. Forward Fold with a Twist

Keeping both hips firmly rooted in your chair, hinge forward with a long spine.  Place your left fingertips to the floor underneath your left shoulder as you inhale.  Exhale and slowly twist to the right with your upper body, reaching your extended right arm up toward the ceiling.  You should feel the stretch across your chest and arms.  Inhale and lengthen through your spine, and then as you exhale, engage your lower abs and see if you can reach more through your right arm and even lean back slightly, bringing your gaze up toward your right fingertips.  Release back to seated. Repeat on opposite side.

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4. Chest & Shoulder Opener

Stand up with your feet hips-width apart. Interlace your hands behind you and take a big inhale into your chest.  As you exhale gaze up slightly, lean back in the upper back, and reach your clasped hands down toward the floor.  You should feel a stretch across your chest and the front of your shoulders.  Keep your abs engaged and don’t bend too much into the lower back, but rather bend more in the upper part of your spine.  Inhale and exhale three long breaths and on each exhale see if you can squeeze your arms together a little closer and reach your clasped hands a little more toward the floor – but keep the movement more in the upper back rather than the lower back!

Repeat again, but switch the clasping of your hands.

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5. Low Lunge

Come down to the floor on your knees.  Bring your right leg forward so your knee is directly above your right ankle (you may have to inch your right foot forward a little bit to make this happen).  Stretch your left leg back behind you with your left shin on the floor (you can have your toes either curled under or place the top of your foot directly on the floor).  Place your hands on top of your right thigh, just above the knee.  Keep your upper body tall and your lower abdominals engaged to support your lower back.  You should feel the stretch in your left psoas, or the front of your left hip.  Keep breathing slowly in and out to go slightly deeper into the stretch.  If you find that your right knee is shifting beyond your right ankle, shift your right foot forward a bit more.  After three long breaths, release back to a seated position on your knees. Repeat on the opposite leg.

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6.  Seated Hip Opener

From sitting up tall in your chair, lift your right leg up and bring your right ankle across to land right above your left knee.  Flex your right foot to protect your knee.  Gently place your left hand on your right ankle and your right hand on your right knee.  If you have tight hips (which many of us do from sitting in chairs all day long), your shin might not be parallel to the floor, and that’s perfectly fine!  The goal is to feel the stretch in and around your hip joint without feeling any pain in your knee.  Work toward opening your hips a little more each time by inching your right knee gently toward the floor and maybe, eventually, your right shin will be parallel with the floor.  After three breaths, release your right leg to meet your left. Repeat on the opposite leg.

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Visit the original post to get a pdf print out!

Gluten Free Does Not = Fat Free

Celiac and gluten intolerants say it with me “Gluten Free food is NOT diet food!”

A few weeks ago I was at a  conference where I listed my dietary restrictions when registering.  The meals were catered by Lethbridge’s LA Chefs and the food was superb with gluten free options clearly labelled.

On the second day attendees were given boxed lunches with wraps. but when I went up to pick up my boxed lunch there were no more gluten free options left. I spoke to an employee who said they had put out enough gluten free lunches for those who asked when registering. For the record, he make me another wrap, but I was still annoyed.

See, people see gluten free and they think it’s similar to low-fat but it isn’t in any way! There is this weird belief out there that eating gluten free is healthier and helps with weight loss. While I’ll admit I have lost weight it’s only because I had to cut out pizza and cheeseburgers which I ate on a regular basis.

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It is not carb free, many gluten free items are made from other grain sources, corn or rice.

It is NOT a weight loss option! Gluten free foods are not lower cal than regular foods.

This is a plea to anyone who isn’t celiac or gluten sensitive to please not take the gluten free option at events or work because you think it’s healthier. It’s not. What you are doing is taking away food from someone who can’t eat the other options and leaving them to go hungry.

On a side note, I am tired of people’s responses when I say I’m gluten free:

“That sucks!”

“I would kill myself if I couldn’t have bread”

*Eye roll*

“Have you lost a ton of weight?”

“So what CAN you eat?”

“Just take some probiotics!”

“If I were you I would just eat it anyway.”

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Friday Fitness Recap- April 4

Like my spring header?

Friday- Nothing

I did eat the most delicious gluten and dairy free cupcake of my entire life! If you have intolerances or allergies and live in Lethbridge you MUST hit up Gluten Free Cravings on Stafford Avenue, just North of the Provincial building. photo 1

Saturday- Nothing

I did realize that my upper body needs major work this day! Cat and I went to the Lethbridge Outdoor Adventure Show (cannot even compare to Calgary’s!!) and an aerial gymnastics company was there. I gave it a go and could not even get my feet off the ground! I couldn’t hold myself up! Chin up bar- here I come!

Can't climb the ribbon!

Can’t climb the ribbon!

Or the rope!! Lol

Or the rope!! Lol

Sunday- Hot yoga 1 hour

I am HOOKED on hot yoga! A friend invited me to go to Bikram Yoga Lethbridge and I agreed to try it. I had been to several classes back in 2007 when I lived in Seattle but I remember hating it back then. Not anymore, I left class feeling euphoric. That happy buzz lasted almost three days.

From Bikram Lethbridge Facebook Page

From Bikram Lethbridge Facebook Page

Short cold weather dog walk

The power went out 2 minutes before the season finale of the Walking Dead! Rather than get mad, I bundled up and took Rocky out for a much needed walk.

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Monday- Hatha Yoga 40 minutes

3 mi run

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Tuesday- Nothing

Wednesday- Easy Run Outside 2.83 mi in 34:39

The sun was out! And it was warm!

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Thursday- Easy run/walk 1.50 miles, 20 minutes

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Warm Yoga 1 hour

Warm yoga? Yes, my gym offers “hot” yoga but really the class is in the regular fitness room and the heat is turned up to 25C. It’s warm, but definitely not hot. I still enjoyed the class a lot and am enjoying watching my practice improve with every class.