The great thing about being a personal trainer is that people don’t like to train on weekends or holidays.
As a result, I typically get Saturdays off work.
Why then, would my alarm go off at 5:30 this morning?
And why was on I on the streetcar eating a yogurty mess for breakfast at 6am?
For a race of course!!
No no no, I was not running. All my race goals for the season went out the window when I decided to be a vagabond then move halfway across the country this summer.
Instead, I was up early to hand out healthy protein bars to the hungry runners at the Toronto Women’s 5k & 10k :)
Cathy and I e-mailed a little bit before I moved to Toronto about how much I love the bars. I told her I wanted to get involved somehow when I got to the city and she introduced me to their ambassador program. Today was my first official event with them!
For those of you that don’t know, The Simply Bar is a high-protein, low-calorie bar similar to a flavoured rice krispie square. No, I am not getting paid to be an ambassador. But I do get a lot of free deliciousness for my time ;) I genuinely love the bars and just hope I can get more people loving them too. It’s all about spreading the foodie love, ain’t it?
After handing out healthy treats to people all morning, my day took a very sharp turn in the other direction.
First, I fuelled with carnival-inspired eats – veggie dogs on an english muffin (the only bread in the house), carrots, smoked cheese and pickles. Admittedly, there was a little too much ketchup on there, but it did get me ready for the Canadian National Exhibition! Basically like the exhibitions we have in New Brunswick, but a million times larger :P
Usually I’m not into big crowd-fests such as these, but there were two things I really wanted to experience at the CNE.
1) Canada’s favourite TV chef making chocolate chip cookies
My roommie and I got stuck in some kind of streetcar hell on our way to The Ex, so we arrived 20 minutes late for the demonstration. Thankfully he was still into it when we got there.
Chef Michael Smith hosts a Food Network show in Canada called Chef At Home based out of his house on Prince Edward Island (yay Maritimes!). He’s one of those chefs whose recipes line up exactly with “my kind of foods.” He uses all simple ingredients, putting them together easily. Not to mention, I am totally jealous of his pantry.
We missed part of the cookie demonstration, but he did stress that it’s okay to be laid back when making cookies. Nothing needs to be that precise. Also, he said baking the cookies on top of two stacked cookie sheets will help keep them from burning on the bottom!
No. Thank you Mr. Smith. I’m available for breakfast at your P.E.I. home any time.
Sarah also tipped my roommie and I off to a Vitamix demonstration at the back of the giant building we were in.
Megan and I then proceeded to get sucked into four demonstrations including two fruit smoothies, a hot broccoli and cheese soup, and ice cream. We were lucky we made it out while we did, or else we would have been there watching those things pulverize ice all night. Amazing.
Instead, we stumbled outdoors, for we had a second mission in mind.
First, we needed a refreshment.
M-m-megan! She’s my roommie. And loves foodie adventures as much as I do :)
The sign didn’t lie. This stuff really is freshly squeezed, shaken, and loaded with half a cup of sugar. Approximately.
Next, we needed something of substance for our final mission.
I have never heard of mini donuts as a popular fair food before. But then again, I haven’t been to many fairs.
Action shot of the teeny rings of dough being plopped into a vat of hot oil by a giant machine. And a reflection of my pasty legs.
I am such a sucker for powdered sugar. Especially when fried dough is involved. I had two and they were crispy and delightful!
Then we were off in search of the item we really came all this way for.
At last, we found the building that housed it.
I always thought this kind of stuff was a myth up until now.
Apparently, we were not the only ones on such a quest.
We waited in line for almost an hour, during which I watched them take cubes of butter, cover it in a doughy batter, then bathe it in bubbly hot oil.
That, my friends, is deep fried butter. I had heart palpitations just looking at it.
Finally, it was our turn at the window…
Megan and I ordered what we waited almost an hour for…
What?? You think I care about doughy butter or a twinkie on a stick?? No way!! I want me some of the bacon covered in chocolate!!! (not to be mistaken with chocolate covered bacon, which does not sound nearly as extreme).
People around us were going nuts over this food. They were either extremely excited or moderately horrified. There is a lot to be said for novelty.
Thoughts?? My bacon peanut butter is better. The bacon was too thick while the chocolate too thin and runny. Definitely more of a bacon flavour here. Megan and I are opening our own stand at the CNE next year. One that sells thin crispy bacon covered in a hard chocolate shell, and deep-fried marshmallows in a crispy cornflake-like shell. Our tent will be plaid instead of pink. Or in the colour of jeggings ;)
Just when I thought things at The Ex couldn’t get any crazier, we watched a man in a bear suit go down a zipline. It was in this moment that I finally understood why all the Toronto locals told me I had to come experience this event. I feel like there are some things about this city I really get now :)
Including this majestic looking arch which I never knew existed until today!!! I swear I discover new places here every single day.
The rest of my day was very simple. Cuddled up watching MTV reality shows. Ate a dinner consisting of tuna salad and a sweet potato covered in Trader Joe’s Corn Salsa.
Cinnamon may have a new contender as my favourite flavour. Wow. This one is a winner! At first it tastes very peanut buttery, but then I got tastes of burnt caramel, then buttery caramel. Mmmmm…
I think I’ll take that over bacon covered in chocolate any day ;)
Looking forward to what Sunday has in store! Have a great one! xoxo
Hiiii!!! How is everyone doing? Good weekends I hope! I haven’t opened my Google Reader since Wednesday I think, so I legitimately do not know :( I’ll be catching up soon!
My brain is officially full.
I learned so much this weekend!! Well, mostly just built upon the small knowledge base that I had, on top of elaborating on and putting things into practice. Fun and fascinating stuff you guys.
I slept 8.5 hours last night. My Grammie and Grampie go to bed at 8:30pm, which is very good for my sleep schedule!
Perhaps their sleep schedule is why they can also get away with drinking half-caf coffee. Um, not for me. I had a cup, then snuck off to get 16 more ounces of the full-caf variety.
Much bettah. I got the regular coffee with a little milk. For the record, McDonalds has the best drive-thru coffee. Especially in Canada, where everyone is Tim Horton’s obsessed. Don’t ever go to Robin’s. Just don’t do it.
I walked into the gym today with a bag full of snacks and goodies. I ate it all over the course of the day!
Morning snack was half that Clif Builder’s Bar (fudge flavour I think? Best kind I’ve had yet anyway). Lunch was that orange, three rye crackers, tuna and peanut butter. Tuna and peanut butter were eaten separately, even though I really wanted to combine them. Afternoon snack was in two parts – Peanut Butter Chocolate Simply Bar with applesauce then a red delicious apple with beef jerky.
Today we went through all the body’s muscles, and learned more about proper body mechanics and alignment. We then spent a good chunk of the day out on the gym floor learning how to spot and ensure proper form for most exercises. The take home points for me were that your shoulders should always be down and back and your core should always be braced (like someone is about to punch you.) It will keep you from hurting your back and will ensure you’re actually working the muscles you’re targeting. It’s crazy how changing your form by just an inch can work a whole new set of muscles.
Also made me realize that in my own workouts, I need to be more conscious of what muscles I’m working, and perhaps even go down in weight so I’m not using force in my other muscles to complete the rep. I can see the benefit of having a personal trainer, because we may never know we’re doing something wrong until we have an extra set of eyes on us. On the flipside, I definitely need to practice working out with people so I can look at them and analyze their movements.
See, I told you, interesting stuff!! :P
We were out of there early, so I was back at my apartment by 5 o’clock! I’m definitely commuting next weekend. A lot of people who live around here drive the hour on the highway twice a day for work. I don’t know how they do it. Especially in the winter when the roads are bad…
My fridge is absolutely bare, but I still managed a really good, unphotogenic dinner.
I thawed out two hamburgers from the freezer, and crumbled them up in a frying pan with onion and garlic. Then added some frozen spinach, tomato sauce and a can of Heinz chili style beans:
Well that’s all from me tonight. I have a lot to do to prepare for the busy week ahead. I’ll be back Monday with a look at my monthly goals – I have a good feeling about them this week! :)
Question of the Day: What was the highlight of your weekend? Just in case I have to do “mark as all read” in my Reader. My highlight was doing mock training today, or going out to dinner with an old friend last night :)
Greetings from Saint John!! A little bit of background about the city – it’s a dank hole. Sorry to any Saint John-ers out there, but let’s be honest with ourselves ;) It’s a smelly port city with a giant oil refinery. It’s my province’s largest city, but also my least favourite.
Since my grandparents don’t have the internet, I am currently blogging from Starbucks.
They told me the first two hours of wifi was free – that better be right!!
So. My personal training class! For those of you with bad short term memories: I’m here for personal training specialist classes with Can-Fit-Pro (Canadian Fitness Professionals). The course is available entirely though distance, but it’s strongly suggested that you take the classes. They’re being offered here in Saint John for the next two weekends – so here I am!
These pictures are all taken from the Nubodys website, as there are understandably no cameras allowed in the club.
Nubodys is a chain of Atlantic Canadian gyms that falls under the Goodlife Fitness umbrella (ie my gym!). I of course think my gym in Fredericton is the best, but this one’s pretty nice too ;)
Our class is in a small studio with tables and chairs, etc.
I broke down yesterday and splurged on a bunch of store-bought bars. I didn’t want to bring a cooler to my Grammie and Grampie’s, I’m trying to stress them out as little as possible. My Grammie was downright flabbergasted that I brought my own oatmeal for breakfast!
As per usual, I entered the day armed with snacks. I usually get strange looks for this, but what didn’t occur to me was that everyone in the class would be the same way! At 10am and 3pm we were all digging into our snack bags. One guy was even mixing up protein shakes and had a container of cottage cheese :P
We only had 30 minutes left for lunch, so I was also able to make use of my backup snacks instead of rushing out for Subway for something.
So! I bet you’re what you’re wondering what the hell we’re doing in that classroom! :P Well, there are about 15 of us, an even split of guys and girls ages 18-35. We have an instructor, or “PRO Trainer” who is essentially going into detail about all the course materials with us.
This weekend will be all about the textbook. So today we went through the training principles, respiratory system, bioenergetics, and muscular and skeletal concepts. Basically all the headache-inducing stuff and it cleared up so much of it for me! Our instructor is super knowledgeable and really keen for us to all have a good understanding of how and why the body works. For example, I learned that the lower back shouldn’t twist or bend backward (ahem! back extension machine!) and I learned sun salutations are pretty much the best way to stretch ever, by combining static and dynamic stretches and hitting all the muscles. Fun!
Next weekend we’ll move on to the practical stuff – including a fitness assessment and determining our VO2 max. Eep.
For the record, I did just have to pay for internet. Stupid Starbucks.
Despite all my snacks today (which included the half a Builder Bar, apple, Simply Bar and beef jerky), I’m starving!!! It is a rest day after all. I’ve been munching on some nuts & fruit.
I have dinner plans with an old friend in about 30 minutes. She lived on my couch for a few months in university. I’m excited to see her again! After that, it’s back to my grandparent’s place so all of us can make our 9pm bedtime ;) It’s really nice seeing my grandparents, but I’m not entirely comfortable staying with them. I feel like I’m causing them TONS of extra work and stress. Contemplating just commuting the hour drive next weekend… we’ll see!
Hope y’all are having a great weekend and that the weather is gorgeous where you are too :) xoxo
Question of the Day: Have you done any sort of further education? I have an undergraduate degree in Journalism & Communications, and now I’m doing the PTS certification with plans on doing the Nutrition & Wellness certification asap. I lovelovelove learning and was my very happiest as a university student. I think if I won the lottery, I’d spend all my money on taking courses!!