The Cravings Almost Got Me

I’m now 36 days into my Whole 60 and have been doing so well. But this past weekend was tough: surrounded by delicious foods and decadent drinks. I was pissed off at my food.

So last night, while gearing up for snowmageddon in Nova Scotia, I made these complian nut butter cups.

butter-cup

I made only a few and they have been serving their purpose. Cocoa, coconut oil, sunflower seed butter. That’s it. Easy peasy! Completely satisfied ( except for the weather. #snowpocalypse )

 

Directions:

Measurements can be estimated.  I made a half dozen cups and used 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, a teaspoon of cocoa, and a another half teaspoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of sunflower nut butter for the center.

1. Melt coconut oil or butter over a double broiler (you can use a microwave).  Once thoroughly melted, blend in the cocoa until completely smooth as liquid.  Pour half of this into mini muffin tins or ice cube tray and place in the freezer.

2. Melt coconut oil or butter over a double broiler . Once thoroughly melted, blend in the nut butter of choice and stir until completely smooth.  Pour this mixture over the frozen chocolate bottoms and freeze.

3.Re-warm an pour remaining chocolate mixture onto the nut butter cups to complete the third layer.  Freeze.   ENJOY!

 

 

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Vacation Workouts

I just got back from a mini-vacation with my beau.  We spent four days travelling and visiting and having a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants adventure. It was glorious.

And as much as I was on vacation, I wanted to remain as much on-par with my fitness – especially since we had some less than healthy foods on our trip (although I did plan ahead of time and prepared some healthy-ish meals for the road, as well as a lot of fresh fruit and berries).

If you recall, a few years ago I wrote an article for Vegas.com on Staying Fit While Travelling and I cued up a few of those ideas.

Our first night away we were visiting my beau’s family.  We had a gorgeous sunny day and had planned on hitting the beach but instead got hit with an impromptu thunder and lightening storm so, instead we ended up spending the afternoon binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix.  I don’t usually recommend that much TV but, meh, we were on vacation and it was pouring.  Once the rain cleared up we were out and spent a good part of the evening walking up and down the streets of his hometown.

The next day we headed to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. We were planning to travel around the Cabot Trail.  (Google it.  Seriously….the photos really can’t even do it justice.  It’s so beautiful.) but the first night in Cape Breton we stayed at a little French (Acadian – my roots!) village and toured that.  We walked the board walk and the streets and even walked to the restaurant.  And after dinner (I had lobster) we had planned to go running, but once again we got hit with rain so I worked out in the motel room.  I put together a mini bootcamp class and got my sweat on with a mix of cardio and strength.  Near the end of my workout my boyfriend wanted me to keep going so he was yelling out (dictating) exercises for me:  “burpees”, “flying squats”, “lunges”, “chair dips”.  Such a commando.

The following morning we were headed to the Cabot Trail.  We were really excited to get some hiking  in so as we climbed higher and higher into the mountains we finally reached the Skyline Trail.

Skyline-Trail-ns-boardwalk

Skyline Trail

This is a 7.5 kilometer hike that ends up on the edge of cliff.  It has been groomed for the tourists and hikers and eventually there is a boardwalk and steps that lead all the way down to the point.  It’s insane.  It’s about 1,6oo feet high – which seems a whole lot higher when you’re looking down and imagining yourself plummeting to your death.

Walking down those stairs was work enough, but walking back up them….*whew* Beau said to me as we hauled our asses back up that our heart rates would for sure be up.  Later on, for fun, I checked my FitBit’s heart rate monitor and sure enough my heart rate had spiked to the moon at the time we were climbing.

As if that hike wasn’t enough, I went for another walk that evening.  After being stuck in the car for so long (the Cabot Trail takes a few hours to go around) I was happy to get my legs moving again.

On our last day of our vacation Beau and I were up early and trekked into Town for coffee.  When we were headed back we took a different route and ended up walking another 4.5 k (mostly) up hill and checking out the scene.

Finally, once home and unpacked I felt like I had to get some more strength in as most of the exercise on my trip had been cardio.

Overall, it was a great little vacation and I am satisfied with the exercise I was able to incorporate into my time away.  As noted in my bit for Vegas.com, there are always ways to stay fit and on track when you’re traveling.

~Fit Bitch

Race Season

Race season has started and charity and fun runs are popping up all over the place.

Next weekend is the Bluenose Marathon here in Nova Scotia (http://bluenosemarathon.com/).  It’s a bit of a big deal here and it’s a race that I’ve thought about/wanted to do the last couple of years but, in all honesty, I can never remember to sign up for it.  I’m clearly a dough-head.

I have managed to participate in several races over the years.

My favorite – and by far the most fun – race is the Zombie Run (http://www.zombietrailrun.ca/).  Of course there are variations of this fun run all over the place (http://www.zombierun.com/, https://zombiesurvivor.ca/index.php, http://www.the5kzombierun.com/ <– Seriously, just Google “zombie races” and I’m sure you’ll find one in near your area).  I’ve already participated in this race twice and my bff/race buddy and I have already pre-registered for September’s run again.  It’s something to look forward to.

Zombie Run2

Last year I messed up and ended up rolling my ankle on the trail (https://nsfitbitch.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/zombie-run-2015/and ended up with a good sprain.  Good as in bad.  Ugh.  The worst part of last year’s mishap was that it happened two weeks before the Harvest Marathon and I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to participate.

But I worked through the sprain. I did take it easy for a bit but as soon as I really thought I was able, I continued my training so that I could complete the Harvest.

The Valley Harvest Marathon (http://www.valleyharvestmarathon.com/) is a pretty incredible event.  The Harvest is for serious runners.  And, although it certainly isn’t classified as a “fun run”, it is definitely a huge deal and an accomplishment.  When I completed my run last October I was elated (and tired!).

In fact, my most memorable moment from any race was probably fighting to cross that finish line last year.  I had to pee so bad (I refused to use a Port-a-Potty) and my hip had kinked up part-way through the race and I was in pain.  I really had wanted to stop and walk but I kept pushing and when I got to the track to circle it and make my way to the finish I kicked ‘er into high gear and gave it everything I had left.  I felt incredible.

And, one of the best thing about running in Nova Scotia in the fall is that it looks like this:

FALL RACES

Seriously – one of my favorite running paths looks like this in October.  I love fall in Nova Scotia ❤

There are so many races I’d love to participate in but they add up so I try to choose wisely.  My BFF/race buddy and I are checking out some fun runs in the US to participate in.  There are a few in Maine and New York that we’re looking at that seem like they’d be a lot of fun.  And it would give us a reason for a girls’ weekend/road trip.

When I am gearing up for a race here are some tips I follow:

  1. I run at least a few times a week.  Inside and out.  Although I prefer to run outside, sometimes the only option is to hit the treadmill.  And when that happens I definitely increase the incline and the resistance.  I need my practice runs to be similar to the terrain I’ll be racing on.
  2. I increase my strength training.  Although I’m a big pusher of strength training anyway, when I’m approaching race season I try to bring it just a little bit more for the few months preceding the race.  Strength training is important for structural fitness (the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to withstand the impact of running), it aids in injury prevention, and it helps you run faster.  Strength training also strengthens your bones.
  3. I try to do a “run thru” of the run.  Not the exact course, but a run thru of the distance of the upcoming run.
  4. I find the “right” tune and make it my racing buddy.  Over the last two years my two favorite training tunes have been “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker (please don’t judge me – that’s a really good song) and “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.  These two songs have basically been playing on repeat while I’ve been training and running.  They keep me at a good pace so I can count my steps and not overdo it, ensuring that I don’t burn out fast.  In fact, when I was running in the Harvest last year, Wagon Wheel was my running bitch.  I had the song playing continuously through and I kept my pace down so that I could keep my cardio up and finish the race in a decent time.
  5. Carb up – but don’t overdo it.  As you know, carbohydrate is the fuel for your body.  I’ve made the mistake of not eating properly before workouts and runs before and nearly killed myself.  Nowadays I know better and I’m careful what I put in my body so that I can make the most out of a workout or a run.  I want to ensure I have enough fuel to last me through the entire race too.

I really love running.  And the races I participate in give me a goal to work toward.  I would encourage anyone to check out runs in and around their specific area.  Or look at runs in other areas and make a mini-vacation out of it.

Charity runs are something I have participated in and plan to participate in again, likely this season.  It’s great to get out and support a great cause, show some community spirit, and have a great run.

Check out cool websites like Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.ca/) to search for upcoming races, or, to create your own https://www.eventbrite.ca/l/event-management-software/.

Ready.Set.RUN!

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goal Crushing

Goal CrushIt seems I’ve been MIA the last little while.  Between working, teaching, participating, and studying for my Nutrition and Weight Loss Specialist certification, I’ve been a little zonked.  But, I’m here now.

I decided a while back that I wanted to get back into running again…like, full-on like I use to run.  I want to be completely committed to my running and I want to participate in the Harvest Marathon in October….something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while but something always seemed to have been priority that weekend (it just happens to be Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada), my parents’ anniversary weekend, and my nephew’s birthday weekend – so, it’s pretty busy).  Not this year, though.  I’m doing it.  I’m committing myself to doing it and that’s that.

Unfortunately, I have a few hurdles to get over:

1) We’re still partially buried under some snow here in Nova Scotia.  Not nearly the amount we initially had a few months ago but enough that the ground is covered in a lot of places and extremely soggy in the places that it’s bare.  So, I’m working with what I have.  I’m hitting the treadmill at my gym.

2) I have tarsal tunnel syndrome.  I talked about this back in September when I was participating in the Zombie Run and honestly, it just got worse from there.  My ankles sometimes vibrate and ache for days after I run, and I need to keep them elevated and iced (and sometimes medicated).

3) I’m battling a chest cold.  Since I started exercising many years ago I now rarely get sick. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a cold in 8 or 9 years.  On the rare occasion that I do get hit with something, it’s something I’m already prone to like bronchitis or pneumonia (I have a virus in my lungs left from the whooping cough when I was a baby and I get either one or both of these nearly every year), or some weird flu that completely kicks the crap out of me.  But right now I have this crappy chest cold that hasn’t quite come to full surface yet but is sticking around to kick my butt anyway.  I’m not happy.  I would be happier, honestly, if it would just completely rear its ugly head so I can move on and be better.  Right now it’s in the “linger” mode.

So, with these three obstacles in my way I’ve been pushing on.  I have committed myself to running at least 3 times a week.  (This is week is the first time I didn’t get my third run in, but I did get a speed walk in on a lunch break earlier in the week so I think that should count – especially since right now I am a total mouth breather and am still sticking with it. Stupid cold!)  I’m running on top of my regular workouts and teaching, so I don’t feel 100% bad that I didn’t fulfill my goal for this week but there’s still that small part of me.

The first week or so that I started my 3-day-a-week runs my ankles were atrocious.  They were rattling and vibrating and aching to the point I almost wanted to give up.  I stopped wearing shoes at work (as much as I can get away with), and I have my feet elevated most of the day.  And it seems that my ankles have strengthened!  They’re conditioning with each run and getting stronger and the tarsal tunnel is almost not affecting me at all.  Positive vibes, y’all!

Since I missed out on that third run I made sure today would be a great gym sesh – to make up for my absence.  And what a great workout I had.  I had a nearly steady run – only stopping once to blow my sad little nose*** (again, full-on mouth breather here) and got right back to it.  I had a steady pace, a good incline, and I ran like the wind.  I hit my target and when I finished I got some good strength in – and completed some crazy box jumps – which I’d never even thought about doing at the gym before (another goal!).  I felt accomplished – and exhausted and wiped out – and proud at the end of my workout today.

Tomorrow is Monday and the start of a new week – which means completing my 3 runs on top of my other workouts.  Once this cold is gone and I feel more confident in my ankle abilities I plan to increase my runs to 4 times a week.  By this time the snow will be gone and I won’t have to venture all the way to the gym to accomplish this.  Also, a friend and I are going to attempt to get some runs in on our lunch breaks when we can.  Right now is perfect weather since it’s not too hot yet – I don’t want to go back to work looking like a sweat hog – but a mid-level run during lunch can certainly help with the new goal(s).

On top of all the running, there’s so much more I want to explore with exercise – in and out of the gym.  Today I tried a couple of new things and I was happy with the results.  So, as long as I set the goals, they’re mine to crush!

~Fit Bitch

***SPEAKING of blowing your nose at the gym – last weekend during a run the dude on the next treadmill decided to blow his nose…..right into his tshirt.  Who does that?  I’m all for wiping your sweaty brow with your shirt if you have to but blowing your nose into your clothing is disgusting – especially since the room is full of paper towel dispensers and there are washroom facilities available.  Gross.

Snow Workout

I’ve clearly been getting some extra cardio and strength workouts in this past week:

Yep - there's a car under there.  MY CAR!

Yep – there’s a car under there. MY CAR!

We had a major blizzard here in Nova Scotia (and other parts of the Maritimes) last weekend.  Obviously I was snowed in for a few days which means I had to cancel my classes and miss the gym.  So, on top of the crazy home workouts I did, I got to shovel a whole lot of snow.  Like, a whole lot.  A.TON!

Fortunately, the majority of the snow in the photo above was cleared by a plow but, as you can see, my car was almost completely buried and digging my way to clear a path to get to the car was a feat in its own.  I felt totally accomplished by the end.

~Fit Bitch

CONTEST EXTENDED

Not sure if everyone’s heard but we had a hurricane here in my parts this past weekend and I am still without power at my home. So…because of the power outages (and the Canadian and American holidays) I am going to be a dear and extend my Canada Contest until the end of the week. So, if you haven’t yet entered go here https://nsfitbitch.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/happy-canada-day-contest/ and in the comment section tell me what your favorite exercise is and why.

Good luck!

~Fit Bitch