Tuesday, September 16, 2014
In the military, we like to complete the circle by doing an AAR - After Action Report and LL and Lesson Learned!
So here is my short version (only 24) of what I learned about me (and that I can share with you!)...
1. My first love -
I still love him because we share the same space - no need to talk, my teddy just knows! (I studied psychology and if I recall correctly that would be a good example of attachment theory...
2. I used to be very productive at night... and working extended hours did not bothered me too much. Now it does! So much... I actually find that if I need to do extra hours, I am more productive after a short sleep. Getting early in the morning as the sun comes up and before the school gets noisy is not easy but it works!
3. Sitting is not good for us.... so to keep it moving and balancing, I swapped my chair for a sitting ball.... I love this!
4. I love trying new recipes... I have a craving for salad at the moment. I guess it is because of harvest season!
A. Bok Choy with cucumber radish and cilantro cider vinaigrette
B. Asian Cucumber and Sprout Salad (with almonds, ginger and rice vinegar)
C. Radish and Cherry tomatoes on a spinach bed
D. My new favorite: Beet Greens and Radish slaw (with cilantro cider vinegar dressing)
5. I can train my brain to crave healthy food... and I love it even more when my hubby is the Chef! (picture is not the best but the borscht soup (fresh beets) he made was AWESOME!
6. I am not ready to go Paleo ... But I am more mindful of what I eat. I like having my yogurt, fruit and granola in the morning. I am a person of habit and this one is difficult to skip!
7. I miss going for my regular runs! I am taking it slow and I know I need to take some time off if I want the inflammation to calm down... and stretching it after is a must in my cooling routine!
8. Even if I feel like every steps is difficult, there is a huge sense of freedom when I am outside running ... I don't need to set my garmin watch or reach a certain pace to get the benefit of a good cardio... making it fun and taking a different route was fantastic this summer! (In Michigan!)
9. Look around... you will see the beauty in the little stuff!
10. Listen, then look around and observe! (I have seen so many woodpeckers this year! )
11. Share it... You will get it back!
I took this picture last week... can't tell you how connected I felt when I saw Konrad's recent blogs!...
12. Get inspired...
(a quote from a book... I think we are a great match! he knows how to pick me up when I am down)
14. Cheat because you choose to and will have no regrets! (I love my ice cream!!!! It is food for may soul! I love dark chocolate too but it is hard for me to have only one square... )
15. Slow it down... or you will crash!
16. Have an open mind, you might learn from trying something new...
I volunteered doing some craft at shinefest... Did not want to do this as I thought I have a ton of stuff to do - but this is part of the community service I "have" to do. Turned out that I quite enjoyed my day. I was outside and very mindful of my activity, like a prayer I was crafting some love.
17. Take an overview - take your distance... you will understand better where you are at and where you need to go...
18. Napping is never wasted time!
19. I know this is silly, but I like to think that my late sister and grand-parents send me love note once in a while... (like this butterfly!)
20. Fun is not always about what you like... something out of your zone might be a lot of fun if you are with your buddies!
21. Don't expect too much from your family but give them your best... and because of distance, create special moments
22. Set a goal - Dream Big ... Take small steps and build it! (My first 5k after cancer - 2010, first HM Army Run 2010... my PB Half-marathon Army Run 2011 (1:38); my first Canadian Forces Running Championships - 10k 44 min and a gold medal for my category Master Runner Female; my first marathon Niagara Falls and now signed up for Boston... but what is the best part is the fact that my 2 daughters ran 5k Resolution Race Jan 2013 with Jeff and I and next weekend we - Emma, my sister and DH will do the Army Run!
23. I love to travel... Can you guess where this one was taken?
(I love to blog too... it is my way to cultivate the positive memory... but I need to do it more often, that way I would not miss sharing the good stuff - this was last fall and I never got took the time to post it!
24. Finally 24... well 42... but I feel 24! (my BD card that my daughter Emma posted on Facebook for me!) Love it xox
That it is for now. Gotta catch some sleep. Long day tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
A few months ago, or maybe it was last year, time goes so fast! , I did a 30 day streak of "Rise and Shine - One healthy habit every morning". With the fast and demanding pace that is taking place at the unit right now and my share of workload, I realize that it is time to get back to ...
Rise & Shine... redefined!
See, since the marathon last May, I am stiff! More so in the morning and I need to take the time to stretch before I can go for good!
Also, now that I am lacking sleep and I am getting up very early to start my day (at work) before everybody else so I can get some admin done when the office is still quiet, I find it difficult to squeeze in my run. I need to rethink my strategies and my schedule.
Interesting that my horoscope for the day is telling me to be creative! "Normally, you can deftly manage the details of a complex project and keep all the separate tasks in order. However, it may be more effective now to save your critical analysis for another time. Instead of trying to limit your thoughts, give yourself permission to space out and explore unknown territory. Your imagination is your greatest asset today, so don't be afraid to put it to work. The most creative solutions to your current dilemmas will be the ones that arise out of unstructured thinking. Listening to your intuition allows you to tap into your unexpressed ingenuity."
So here is my new Rise and Shine...
1) Rise and take a moment to breath.... hummm... stop the alarm clock!
2) Get up slowly and stretch!
3) Brush y teeth ...
4) Be grateful for what you have and what you are
(I love this quote)
5) Say "Good Morning" with a smile - SHINE!
6) Always have breakfast...
Here is my brunch breakfast - Omelette made with eggplant casserole leftover, cottage cheese and English muffin... (ok, not Paleo or gluten free... but it was good and it felt great after one hour of exercise!)
At work - I am still opting for my usual - Yogurt, fruit (1/2 banana and one serving of what is in season!) and 1/4Cup of Granola and coffee.
As far as my running goes, I do better in the morning or at lunch time. My new strategy will be counting on buddies... I don't mean that I need to run with someone but I need the buddy system right now to keep it going.
I have to say that when I am not running, I miss it... I like the quiet space. Here is where my run have taking me recently:
At the lake- in Barrie
A fun run at the dunes at Glen Arbor MI (last month)
By the river at Frankenmuth (MI) (last month...)
My Goals and progress for September
1) Food: Good so far. In range and tracking. No cravings except for crunchy stuff when I am under a lot of stress - best option so far is baby carrots, cucumber, celery! I love nuts and almonds but once I start it is hard to stop...
2) Water... Good but my water supply at work is not great so I need to bring 2 bottles instead of one...
3) Exercise... Not at all in line with what I intended when I started my training for the Army half-marathon. My energy level and my inflammation in my left IT band is taking more time than I expected to recover. I am not giving up, my big GOAL is to do Boston 2015 - entry submission is this week!!!
4) Sleep... What!?! I need to sleep! Humm.... maybe I can do this at work (LOL) wouldn't it be cool.
5) Positive Blog... Trying! I love reading my sparkfriends posts (I don't always comment but your words are inspiration... Trust me on this!)
Cheers for now, I need to log a couple of hours of ...
Saturday, September 06, 2014
First week "back to school" is over! Ouf!!!
Let's go back to the weekend prior to it - a LONG weekend!
Since we moved to Barrie and our posting to Borden, we have been attending FanExpo in Toronto - by we I mean Maggie, Jeff and I!
Here is a quick recap of our previous experience:
2012 - (Maggie work really hard for this - she spends a lot of time in prep her cosplay and she is really proud of it)
Beware - you never know what creature you will encounter! (And if you don't like to have your picture taken, you better not attend an event like this... This is also crazy crowded!)
2013 - I went from a modern Cruella to Little Red Riding Hood! Jeff was loyal to the Zombie - he even got an autograph from Max Brooks aftr listening to his panel about his famous :World War Z"... Maggie was very happy to spend that weekend with a girlfriend ... and get an autograph and picture with one of her favorite artist.
2014... Jeff and I decided that we would skip the crowd and just spend the day in TO.
We got up early on Saturday morning to drive Maggie and Marianne (a friend) to the convention. ... As we arrived downtown and saw the line up we were pleased with our decision. Off they go.
Our first stop was at a famous coin store - Canadian Coins and Currency.
(more than 5800 pennies...)
And then we drove to Unionville for a short walk in the historic district and brunch.
My meal was very good... The naan was served with hummus - roasted tomatoes and peppers and Indian spices... My salad was excellent (with mango salsa) and the crab cake too.
We made our way to the Distillery District... and walk around... I could not resist the sweetness of chocolate. BTW - I did not know how you roast Cocoa beans to make chocolate - seeing the chocolatier in action was cool!
I mean I could not resist the irresistible smell of chocolate... so I had to have a peak inside. It was so tempting! ( I did not have chocolate - but I could not resist taking a picture) I like looking for details and learning new facts. Of course, a few vendors are offering sample of their sauce and jams, so we tried a few, but that was it...
That was a full day!
Goal for September...
Back to Basic! I am back to teaching - my course director is sick and it is uncertain when she will be able to return, as a result, no back up for now, I have to take over... on top of my duties as Deputy Commandant of the School and Officer in Charge of the Personnel Selection Officer Training Cadre. If I don't want to end up exhausted, I need to be strong about my self-care plan.
1) Food - Tracking and on track.... after one week, I am doing fine. It is easier not to eat "bad" food when the food is not available! In moment of intense stress, I felt like eating, in fact, my cravings were not cookies and chocolate... I wanted to chew something crunchy! Like baby carrots!!!
I eating fresh... from my garden!
and creating veggie casserole... (eggplant and zucchinis)
My Labour Day Brunch was delicious! Not Paleo as you can tell... Made the omelette with leftover casserole mixed in it with an English muffin and 1% Cottage Cheese.
2) Exercise... I can't describe it better than quoting my horoscope of the day here!
"It's your usual no-nonsense style to roll up your sleeves and get the job done, but reaching closure on any project doesn't come so easily now. It might even feel as if your final destination is slipping away the closer you get to it. Obviously, giving up is not the preferred solution; it's smarter to accept the timing that reality imposes on you now. Keep moving forward without worrying how far there is yet to go; not all progress can be measured."
I am 2 weeks away from the Army Run Half Marathon and I don't feel ready... but I won't try to catch up with training or make it up... I will listen to my body and do my best - not a personal best, just my best!
3) Sleep - Last month average : 4h40min
I wish I could do better than this - after my first crazy week, no need to say that my results are not quite improving.
Finally, I need to plan my time to include:
1- breaks, to breath!
2 - Exercise
3 - J&j time
4- Girl time with mommy...
My Emma is back to College and this week was a real challenge to get to spend some time to chat ...(facetime 'cause she is in Qc)...
The weekend is not over... tomorrow will be a good day!
Monday, September 01, 2014
This month I did not track... and I indulged! (it shows - I put on 10 pounds...)
As my previous blog, I am about to describe the best (and the bad) side of my travel discoveries with food pictures! And because I like it all, there is not much restriction there...
At the beginning of August, Jeff and I went for a short road trip (no kids!) to Michigan. It was a Great Trip! Our first stop was in Traverse City where we camped for a few days. That is only at destination that we discovered that this is Cherry Capital! Tourist board should capitalized and advertised it more... After setting up...
(Rustic but I slept so good that night...)
... we started our food expedition. Note: Contrary to last year camping hiking expedition, we decided that we were going to treat ourselves a bit and eat out (restaurant) once a day; we did daily stops at the food store for breakfast and snacks (fruit, veggies, yogurt...)
Our first stop was at North Peak. Did I mentioned that breweries and wineries were also part of the plan! I tried the tasting flight of beers. My favorites were the Light and the Indiana pale, not typical because I usually prefer the darker beer... The Appetizer - the Mediterranean Plate: Home-made hummus, cucumber tabouli, tangy feta spread, olives, and warm naan bread - was nice. (my hubby thought that my tabouli is better but I would like to find the secret behind the tangy feta spread... So good...) We shared 2 pizzas: Fresh Mozzarella & Bison (San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, seasoned ground buffalo, wild mushrooms, and fresh basil pesto) and BBQ Boar Pizza (Ground wild boar and cajun sausage with Cherry-Porter bbq sauce, fresh pineapple, roasted red peppers, caramelized onion, mozzarella and fontina cheeses). The goar pizza was one of the best pizza I ever had. I think the Cherry-Porter BBQ Sauce is the key. Wow!
After that we needed some fresh air and went for a walk downtown to help our digestion... That is when we discovered a little local pub with a great list of Cider... and local live music. We sat and sipped the night away.
The next day, we went to the dunes at Glen Arbor. I will keep this for another blog just because I want to keep talking about food. I need to get it all out! So after some exercise, we had planned to make a stop at the village to visit Cherry Republic. This place is such a cool stop ... the next time we visit this area, we will bring our bikes and this will be included in our tour. The store offers many sampling to taste...
I like the dried cherries, the covered chocolate cherries (of course!) and the peanut butter (all not included in our shopping cart...)
Because it is so good (and unique), we took the free stuff home (the catalogue) and a couple of postcards (to continue my tradition with my daughters) and bought a few of our favorites (ketchup, mustard, horseradish, Cherry Rootbeer...)
And what is best after running like a kid at the dunes (downhill was easy but the climb was sweaty!)...
... than ice cream! And a big bowl of freshly picked cherries (we got one per day!)
For our last dinner in Traverse, we tried "Little Bohemia". The décor and the music (live) were cool... the service was poor (in fact, it was almost interesting to watch the staff!) and the food was pricy for what we got - and it was not good... (I had the meatloaf with sauerkraut and green beans) In fact Jeff said his was the worse he had in a restaurant. Sorry... I won't go back.
Next stop with stopover was in Frankenmuth.
1st - The sweet temptations!
I said no to the cookies and jelly - but it was too cute not to take a picture! We observe the fudge maker do their magic and because they skip one step between 8. Cutting and 10. Eating (they offer free still warm sample)... we backtrack to 9. Selling and bought some... to take back home and share with friends and family.
2nd - The German Flavors
Typical meal that brought back some of our travel to Germany memories back... The "cranberry salad" was my favorite dish!
3rd - Just enjoying a sitting on a patio... at Tiffanys...
My salad was good.... After eating all that food for a few days, I was happy to eat a lighter meal.
Before returning home, we stopped at the post office in Frankenmuth to send the postcard from Cherry Republic to my daughters... one more to their collection, one more fun trip!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Caution: Keep reading only if ...
- You have a full stomach; or
- You can say NO to food; or
- Food blogs won't make you go to the kitchen to get more food (or perhaps I should include a disclaimer - I don't want to be responsible!!!); or
- You want to feel better about cheating once (because by comparing yourself to this you will feel like a champion!!! I cheated big time and I am about to confess!); or
- You are curious about the good, the bad, the junk, the delicacies and , because I am about to get to a new start as of September, you want to share with me ...
Ok... so August in terms of food would not be a success if I was to do the stats on Days in Range... actually my tracking has been hectic and because of time off I took it easy. WAY tooo EASY! Speaking of stats, I am plus 10 lbs...
"Oh... don't worry, you can put on weight, you are so tiny to begin with..." "Eat more!"... I heard this and... now I know I am still at a healthy weight however I feel sluggish!
I promise my blogs would be positive so here is what I enjoyed about my food vacation... the food!!! and tasting!
At the beginning of the month, Jeff and I travelled to Michigan. As all my trips, I did not want to be restrictive and I wanted to enjoy and try new foods... and drinks! I will keep this for my next blog because it will make this one too long! My point is : I like food. ALL FOOD ...
I also like trying new recipes... and cooking.
This was a nice dinner (skillet cornbread - celery salad - ribs and I improvised a shrimp and couscous casserole)... I like my casserole; I was inspired that night by SWEETNEY who blogged about her jambalaya. I might do it again but next time no couscous.
Coming back from our trip, we had only one night before departing for a family reunion in Quebec (10 hours away)... and because we were alone without the kids, I prepared a cheese and charcuterie tray... with hard cider... for a TV dinner! (Told you it was not going to be a blog about what you should do when you are on a DIET!)
I also have to say that I am a social eater! What I mean by this is food is a big part of our getting together with friends. For the most part, it is healthy food... but there is so much! Last week, we were invited to Norm's for a "farm" dinner theme nigh. Norm came back from a friend's place who owns a farm so he filled our freezer with lamb and he prepared a delicious meal so we could enjoy the different cuts!
The menu was:
1) Goat cheese with crackers, baby tomatoes, pickles and bocchoncini, veggie tray and almonds
2) Main: lamb, moussaka (OMG this was the best ever!!!) merguez, roasted potatoes, baby carrots.
3) Greek salad (not in the collage)
4) Dessert: I bake the Hummingbird cake with mango slices and whipped cream
5) Do we have to track wine? ;0)
Speaking of socializing... Jeff and I went to the local pub... once a week... It is always a good time and it does and ... My prob?
Not the alcohol (I have only one glass - although after drinking I find that I end up eating more than I should)
Not the dinner (I know that I am going so I can track my food ahead of time and plan accordingly)
My trigger food! I just can't stop... (and it is free!!!) The other thing: it makes me feel horrible... for at least 24 hours. (I have been reading lately on Paleo Diet and I understand why... making a change or going for a food streak is difficult now but I am willing to give it a try....)
Giving a try to Paleo would mean giving up a lot of food that I like... such as:
1) Grain ; I like my granola at breakfast and my not so bad version of dessert like this coconut rice pudding with apricot no sugar added...
2) Dairy : I don't drimk milk but I like my cheese (once in a while) and my "daily" yogurt
3) Legumes... On this, two days ago, I had my usual "protein salad" at the local café in Ottawa. In my mind, this was a better option than the burger and fries ...(I was very happy to be in Ottawa for work and having Maggie with me, especially that I had not seen her for 3 weeks because she was visiting her dad).
Again, I felt ok until I went to bed, then I felt bloated! Maybe it is the chocolate (a nice token of appreciation from the hotel manager for being a returning guest!) I had a bad nigh...
4) and... ok enough... Your thoughts on this are welcome... I am giving myself until Sunday to Start Fresh!
Today Maggie and I tried a new cheap eat Mexican restaurant for dinner - Ahora in the ByWard Market... It was GREAT ! Not the best burrito - I think the burrito in Duluth or Houston were TOP!!! - but I was authentic!
Maggie had a chicken burrito with rice; I had the burrito with shrimp and a side of salad. I was craving salad.
I LOVE salad!!! Here is four of my recent one: Top Right: avocado-cucumber-salmon and sprout - at work using salmon left over; Top Left: beets-spinach&eggs (weekend lunch); Bottom left: Apple-tuna-spinach-red onion (lunch); and today: SUCCESS!!! instead of a take-out I made a quick stop at the grocery to gather some essentials so I had Tuna-zucchini-avocado....
Another good food choice at Panda Express with Jeff after a long day and not feeling like cooking (Jeff was supposed to cook the chicken but he changed his mind...), I had steamed veggies and chicken.
Not sure how to track this!?!
Tomorrow I have a full morning of mtgs before hitting the road to go back home. Aside from food, I had been lacking sleep and mobility because of back pain... and did not run since Friday. Right now, I just can't find the courage to start by myself. I will go Thursday. I am lucky that military means allowed time in the work schedule to workout... with or without your unit... so the buddy system is always there and it helps.... or it helps me to find the motivation.
My other motivators for a new Start in Sept:
1) I am back at starting weight (not goal weight) when I started Spark People 4 years ago
2) Jeff also wants to loose some
3) I have a half marathon coming up in 3 weeks - I will not do a PB, just looking at doing it at pace... but any extra weight is not helping!
4) There is too many clothes in my wardrobe that I can't wear - I am lucky that my military uniform is very forgiving! (and not very flattering!)
5) I want to get back my bikini body for our upcoming trip (with the in-laws) to Mexico in December...
6) Most of all, I don't like feeling bloated and sluggish - I like the energized ME
Final Note just for fun! My horoscope of the day. " Today things could be rather hectic at work. You'll probably be very busy and happy with whatever results you produce. You could tire yourself out, so be sure to take occasional breaks, and certainly don't forget to eat. Don't be surprised if colleagues pay you a lot of compliments. In the evening, go out to dinner and unwind. You deserve it."
I think without knowing I followed this advice...
A) Mtg was productive, I am happy... with my mtg - not with all the other stuff that I am responsible for at the unit!
B) Breaks... yeah... not so much. I did not drink my water, I am fighting a kidney infection and it makes me go to the washroom too often, so if I want to have a productive mtg, I skipped the drinking ... not so good but somtetimes you need to make choices
c) Don't forget to eat - this was all planned out. I had my lunch with me and snack (tiny grapes! So good, tasty and full of vitamins and anti-oxidants)
D) Compliments... hummm... encouragements... yes!
E) Go out dor dinner in the evening - see above with Maggie...
F) unwind - HELp! This is not working! Big challenges and work load is coming up next week and the tempo won't stop until End Nov. (that is why food is energy, not enemy!)
Sparkfriends... Let me know your food goals/plans for Sept... Buddy system is a fantastic way to commit. Coincidentally, I have 21 days in Sept before my HM, 21 day streak would be a great way to re-establish healthy eating habits!
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