Category Archives: Challenges
Back in my Simply Switch wrap-up post, I alluded to a new yoga venture I’m participating in. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to tone down the continuous high intensity exercise and swap it out for more yoga classes.
Growing up in New Brunswick, I never had much of an opportunity to practice yoga. I was first introduced to it in university with free Iyengar classes at my campus gym. I liked it. A lot. From there I started going to BodyFlow classes at my gym 1-2 times a week. But they always left me wanting more.
It wasn’t until I came to Ontario that I started going to real yoga studios. Places that dedicate themselves to yoga and its philosophy. I’ve tried Yin Yoga, Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Bikram, Moksha, Restorative and everything in between.
I love everything about yoga. I love how strong it makes me feel and how it tunes me in with my body. At the same time, it continuously challenges and humbles me.
Up until this point in my fitness journey, I’ve been all about the high intensity. Sprints, intervals, dumbbells, barbells, and hitting max heart rates. I thought I was doing my body a favour. While it has improved my strength and cardiovascular fitness, I truly believe regularly practicing yoga has improved my daily functioning more than any of the above.
It was with this in mind that I came across Power of Movement.
Power of Movement is the world’s largest yoga fundraiser to benefit the Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre Foundation. It wasn’t just yoga that attracted me to this, but the cause.
My mom has arthritis in her hands. And my Papa did before her. Something I could very well start seeing signs of by the time I’m in my thirties. Thankfully, she doesn’t have intense regular pain, but it does affect her day-to-day life hugely. She can’t pump her own gas. She can’t open jars. Even manoeuvring a TV remote can be difficult.
Suddenly, the choice to participate became a no-brainer.
On February 27, I’ll be one of 500 people attending a yoga mega-session here in Toronto. In the month leading up to the date I’ll be doing daily yoga challenges. Everything from practicing yoga itself to incorporating the philosophies into my day. I love the idea of combining a high-movement exercise like yoga to support a condition that hinders everyday movement.
I’ve also set one major goal for myself to complete during this challenge. My friends, on February 27 I want to be able to do the wheel.
I’m already halfway there. I can get the top of my head on the floor. I can do it holding on to the ankles of the instructor. But I just need a liiiitle more flexibility in my shoulders to pull it off. So close!
I know everyone is operating under tight budgets, but I’m hoping to get enough $5 donations to reach my fundraising goal of $250. It’s not much, but worth it if it makes people like my mother’s experience with arthritis better. Or even my own, as it seems to be genetic.
I’ve also added a widget on the right-hand side bar that you can click to donate as well. Just in case you need to come back later to do it.
Thank you in advance for your support and constant encouragement. Now I encourage YOU to get out there and move your body. That is of course, after you donate five dollars ;)
Question of the Day: Yogis! What is that one pose you’re trying to reach? I also aim to someday to a perfect dancer pose, king pigeon and headstand!
Hello friends! Hope everyone’s weeks are off to a good start! It’s a four-day week in most parts of Canada as Monday was a holiday. Got a text message from my mom saying she’s in Cap-Pele, New Brunswick eating seafood straight from the ocean. Not gonna lie, I got my first twinge of homesickness!!
If I’m going to be truthful with you guys, then I have another confession to make. I haven’t been meditating.
About six weeks ago, I made a commitment to meditate for 20 minutes a day. My goal was to calm down, find some peace, deal with my anxiety over my life changes, and hone in on my spirituality.
It lasted five days.
I am not going to try to justify my quitting, nor am I going to re-commit myself. You may remember that on the third day, I got very anxious during the meditation. My thoughts started to race, my breath quickened, my pulse became rapid. It was not at all the peaceful, calming experience I was expecting. On day four it got worse, and on day five I came out of the meditation early to keep from hyperventilating. Then I didn’t do it again.
I had high hopes of using meditation to get to the root of my diagnosed anxiety disorder, but instead it seemed to pull it out of me. Maybe I am suppressing it, but I can honestly tell you that I feel more in control of it now than I ever have. I’m a former agoraphobic who now packs on to a sardine can of a subway to work every day. That feels like more progress to me than forcing a panic attack on myself by sitting still and worrying about all the things in the world that need to be worried about.
So that’s where I’m at. Maybe some day I will try the meditation thing again. But at this stage in my life, it’s not for me.
Don’t be shy to share your thoughts on this!! Has anyone else ever had a similar experience??
Anyways, I do have a few food photos for you today. We’ll start with dessert, as it should be.
A Holly inspired protein cookie, or what we’ll call a chocolate marshmallow protein thumbprint cookie.
- 1 tbsp chocolate peanut butter
- 3 tbsp chocolate whey protein powder
- liiiitttle bit of water to make it crumbly
Form into three cookies, press your thumb in the centre, add a scoop of fluff, then let settle in the freezer for 15 minutes. This is a stellar dessert!!
Alright, now that dessert is taken care of, we can go into breakfast.
What? Were you expecting breakfast to be anything other than waffles?
My favourite waffle recipe as of late:
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup unflavoured soy protein powder
- 1 packet stevia
- several shakes cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1/2 cup almond milk (beware! this measurement may change if you use a different “milk” just pour it in until you get a good batter consistency)
Batter alone is 270 calories, 3g fat, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 0g sugar, 37g protein. Bam.
Waffles however require toppings. This one here had fresh strawberries (a buck a pint in Chinatown!!) and a drizzle of sugar-free syrup whisked with chocolate peanut butter.
Remember that Mango Slaw I made over the weekend? Well it was a million times better after a day in the fridge. The flavours mingled and the dressing softened the mango and cabbage.
I added some cubed tofu that I pan-fried in Bragg’s soy sauce. This combo was SO good. So good that I had it yesterday, then again today, and now I’m mourning the last of the summery slaw.
Today’s breakfast contained more summery flavours.
A base of yogurt and protein powder, with fresh blueberries and blackberries.
Toppings included fresh mint (yum), raw oatmeal, cinnamon, flaked coconut, maple syrup, almond butter.
I never used to get how people could eat bowls of yogurt for breakfast and feel satisfied. I stand corrected. This bowl had around 400 calories with all the balanced macros. I got a good 4 hours out of it. Not to mention, t’was tasty ;)
In terms of fitness, I was all excited to start a bootcamp in the park today, but I read the location wrong :( Thursday, I will be bootcamped!!
Last, but most definitely not least, I have exciting news!!
Many of you who are into the whole healthy blogger scene know that there are a ton of conferences that happen every year on the subject. They are an amazing chance to get a group of like-minded people together to talk about the things they love, learn from each other, and of course have fun!
Unfortunately, so far most of these events have been held in the United States, and there seems to be a real need for something up north! Myself, Morgan, Karen, Scott, Jen and Nienke are happy to finally share:
That’s right!! A Canadian conference that anyone anywhere can come to! It will be held in Toronto in May 2011. So pleasepleaseplease mark your calendars! Details are still forthcoming, but I can tell you it is going to be a blast. We’re planning on fun, active sessions that will have you learning and keeping busy. Plus, I’m superduper excited to show everyone my fabulous new city ;)
If you’re on Twitter, you can follow here for updates as we have them for you. The website will be growing as we move forward, and I’ll of course let you know all the important stuff here on the blog! Get excited!! It’s happening!!