Crazy Stuff I’ve Thought About While Running

Something that’s been on my mind lately is fear.  What it means, how to deal with it, why it shows up. Earlier in the week, a conversation triggered it and all sorts of weird stuff started coming up, leaving me no choice but to reassess my thoughts.  This past year has been filled with tremendous change and spiritual growth that I don’t even know where to start. I think I’ve experienced the depths of every  human emotion possible and I’ve reached a point where I feel like I can handle anything.  When I made the decision to show up 100% in my life and embrace who I really am, it was equally terrifying and liberating.

What kept me ‘stuck’ for so long was the fear of what I’d discover if I looked within.

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I used to think I was doing the world a favour by not speaking my truth: how I felt and what I wanted, but most importantly – what I didn’t want.

I mean, there were expectations imposed on me that I ‘had’ to abide by because ‘it was the right thing to do, and I must be a shitty, selfish person for thinking otherwise’.  (That’s what I used to tell myself!)

No.

I want to share what I’ve learned about fear so far:  It tends to show up when something is really important to us. Maybe it’s things that are beyond the material world; that the rational mind fails to comprehend. Desires our souls ache for. In my case, it was creating a life I was proud of,  establishing genuine human connections and relationships, or… to be blunt: “Not giving a fuck.” Being afraid, but doing it anyway.  (I’m sorry I said the f word, Mom)

What I mean by that is, owning our authenticity, surrendering and letting go of the urge to control how we “think” life should be, and instead, allowing life to reveal itself to us.  There’s a lot of freedom and beauty in the unknown, and the answers are ALWAYS revealed eventually. So, with that in mind, we can afford to wait without anxiety or needless suffering.  Based on my previous track record, “my way” of doing things has rarely worked to my advantage and I’ve learned that there is always a better way or perhaps a different way of thinking….

There’s a really great lesson in A Course In Miracles that teaches, ‘You must choose between total freedom or total bondage’.  Let’s sit with that for a moment.

Essentially, you can’t half-ass it. It’s all or nothing, and that’s just the way it is. Total freedom doesn’t occur until we completely let go of the ‘idea’ of how we think things should be. It requires the willingness to question every value that we hold. It’s part of discovering who we really are, which is our only real obligation. ‘It is necessary to seek out what is false’. <– Another great ACIM line.

Um… this is what I thought about during two of my runs this past weekend.  It’s one of the BEST gifts running has given me – I contemplate some deep stuff while I’m out there being wild and free in the forest.

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I headed out for a trail run on Sunday afternoon with no set distance in mind. I just ran until my feet hurt. 3 miles in, I paused the Garmin, took a quick break and some self-timer shots, then kept going until I hit 5 miles. 

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Trail running is so awesome. There were moments when I felt as though I was flying. My feet hardly touching the ground, maneuvering around roots, rocks, twists and turns in the trails,  taking in the sensation of being completely in the moment.  I had to hold back from yelling “I’M SO ALIVE RIGHT NOW!” or “I’M PRETENDING I’M A TARAHUMARA RUNNER!” at passing mountain bikers.

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…. I need to make a snack now. Green smoothie. Want.

Hi! How was your weekend?

Do you like trail running? What’s your go-to weekend fitness activity?

Tell me about a time when you were afraid but ‘did it anyway’. Was it as scary as you initially perceived it to be? 

Thug Kitchen, A Running Surprise & Tacos

Heeey! Good Day. Happy Friday to you! Whatcha up to this weekend?

I kind of surprised myself with two effortless runs in the city last weekend. I don’t know if it was the sunshine, warm weather or change in altitude, but I ended up covering 3.5 miles at an average pace of 8:32. (I felt like I was on a nice leisurely jog.) The next morning, I completed a slightly longer distance and felt myself running faster and harder with zero pain in my busted-up hip. Not bad, eh? Go little legs, go!  I don’t have any set-in-stone training plans  for 2015 other than incorporating more trail runs and races with maybe a half marathon or two. Or three. An ultra-run in the forest. A death match with a grizzly.  Who knows. I raced a deer in the forest a couple weeks ago. It won. <– Did I just lose control of my cognitive function?

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An older picture, but you get the point.  I haven’t worked up the courage to start taking self-timed photos of myself in a city of 1.2 million people yet.

I’m hoping to hit the trails this weekend  before my new life partner arrives! I’m starting to get stressed out because I’ve done nothing to prepare for their arrival… except eat cereal.  Ah! I’m bailing on my Friday night friend plans so I can clean the house and maybe put some pants on.

Remember a few years ago when we were all lol’ing at the Thug Kitchen blog? I received THE BEST GIFT EVER last weekend – the cookbook!  It’s quite possibly the best healthy living/vegetarian cookbook I’ve encountered because it’s primarily taco, burrito and enchilada recipes. All plant-based, of course.

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The first thing I made were the ‘Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos’

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Who woulda thought cauliflower would make a good taco filling? Tasty taco delivery indeed. (But really, anything stuffed into a tortilla is bound to be a good time.) I like that none of the recipes are super complicated, nor do they contain a ton of prep-work. Plus, tacos.

I finally had the chance to dig into my Thanksgiving turkey leftovers last night. I had plans to create an incredible sandwich with 5832 ingredients but remembered my fridge is a little sparse leaving me no choice but to try to cram an entire Haas avocado between two slices of Dave’s Killer Bread, turkey, romaine, chili flakes and Vegenaise.

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I’ve just decided I’m making another one of these for breakfast.  <3

Describe your favourite sandwich to me: 

What do you think of Thug Kitchen? What are some of the best cookbooks you own? I love Oh She Glows cookbook too!

Name three things you plan on doing this weekend:

I stop eating when I hate myself

HI I’m back from my Thanksgiving long weekend adventures. How long does it take to recover from a food hangover and food baby? It’s Wednesday morning and I’ve been subsiding on small spoonfuls of peanut butter since yesterday. The thought of consuming anything makes me feel ill. Bleh.  Peanut butter is a good way to stay alive while avoiding eating.

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Pre-Thanksigiving walk along the Bow River

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I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my buds on Monday. It was nice to cook and share a fall-themed feast with some of my favourite people. I forgot to take photos of the spread, but we set everything up buffet style and went to town on a turkey… OH MY GOODNESS. The turkey. A few weeks ago, my friend and I decided to buy a fresh (keyword FRESH) bird from the farmers market. They had the task of picking it up on Friday afternoon and when they walked into my house with it on Sunday, it was frozen.
I knocked on it, then said, “Um…. WHAT IS THIS?”
Friend: “I froze it so it wouldn’t go bad. Was I not supposed to?”

………

That’s all I have to say about it. Luckily we had enough time to thaw it in hot water all day and any potential Thanksgiving crisis was averted. But still. Unacceptable. Should I break up with them? KIDDING. Kind of. Hahahaha I’m going to stop this now.

Back to what I was saying. We had turkey, stuffing, sweet potato pecan casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts, salad and wine.

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Friendsgiving in the mountains. <3  The highlight of it was when I learned Nik’s dad’s name is Dragledorf (or something like that) but he goes by Ted.

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Fall foliage in my neighbourhood

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I don’t know why this is so funny to me, but Lauren and I have been wanting to take a “tourist” photo at Lac Des Arcs along the Trans Canada for months. For whatever (ungodly) reason, people frequently stop here to take photos… of the LaFarge plant in the background? Maybe it’s because it’s the first body of water you encounter while coming to the mountains? I don’t know.

I was fortunate enough to go to another Thanksgiving celebration over the weekend in the city. I  got my Chef-friend to make a “Thanksgiving” carrot cake for me and when I opened the box, discovered this…

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Thanks bud. (My birthday is July 4)

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So much food. The girl who hosted dinner made about 80 different side dishes AND it was her first time cooking a full out turkey dinner. She did a great job! I didn’t go too crazy with the main dishes because I was all about the dessert spread. I ate about 4 slices of Turtle cheesecake, carrot cake, and then dug my fork right into the middle of a Costco pumpkin pie. I don’t stop eating when I’m full. I stop eating when I hate myself. ;) :)

I’m heading back to work today, and then spending the rest of my week cleaning my house and getting ready for my new roommate’s arrival this weekend. I’m so excited to have another mountain-girl living with me. I hope she likes peanut butter, avocados and not wearing pants as much as I do.

What is your favourite holiday? HALLOWEEN, hands down.

Highlight of your Thanksgiving holiday and/or weekend?

Name three things you’re grateful for right now: Everything about my life – I’m truly living the dream and I’ve manifested everything I could possibly want – and more!  Aside from that, my amazing best friends (and family) who have my back, the opportunity to share my stories and mountain-magic experiences with the people I care about. That’s it. :)

Currently: Fitness, Training, Nutrition & Life Goals

Hello! How’s your week going? Are you getting all geared up for the long weekend, Canadian friends? (I’m so excited!!)

I gasped when I was greeted by the sunrise yesterday morning.  The mountains were ablaze!

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Cooler temperatures create the most magnificent sunrises and sunsets. You know, I can’t remember the last time I witnessed a nice long sunset. That’s the only downside to living in the mountains.

A few things to recap from the week:

Now that we’ve transitioned into fall, I’ve been enjoying  a more structured running and training schedule. It feels REALLY good! I’m actually excited to hit the gym and I’ve allotted extra time to prepare healthy go-to snacks and meals ahead of time so that I don’t end up eating handfuls of granola over the kitchen sink at 9pm.

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My current wellness goals consist of 2-3 ‘easy’ runs per week – switching between pavement, trails and dare I admit… the treadmill. 2-3 strength days (I usually combine a run + strength on the same day), at least 1 yoga class, along with something fun – like a hike or bike ride, and when winter arrives, snowshoeing and snowboarding.

Last week’s ‘fun’ fitness activity was a bike ride to Banff along the Legacy Trail.  This is such a great ride for any age or fitness level. Round trip, (from Canmore) it’s 52km, with about a 1000 ft elevation gain on the way there.

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I treated myself to a ‘420’ burger at Nourish afterwards. Guys, I have no words. Veggie burgers are usually nothing to get excited about, but this quinoa and veg patty topped with cheese, garlic aioli and tons of pickles created quite the food party in my mouth.

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I was so impressed by it that I made my own batch of homemade chickpea, nut & seed burgers to serve as my weeknight meals and snacks.

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Chickpea patty, vegenaise, dijon mustard, avocado, baby kale, beet greens and sprouts in a pretzel bun. “I’m like… in love with me?” is how I can best describe how awesome it was.

Another one of my wellness-missions is to have a green smoothie for breakfast every morning until I get sick of ‘em.

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My go-to blend is a few BIG handfuls of Earthbound Farms Power Greens mix, frozen banana and cherries, almond milk, peanut butter, cinnamon, ice, glutamine and a scoop of Vega Sport vanilla protein.

I realized I have no clue what’s happening in the fashion world these days. Before I moved to the mountains, I actually had somewhat of a passion for fashion, makeup, hair… but  I’ve completely lost interest.

For one, it’s weird to ‘be fancy’ in Canmore or Banff – even when going out to a bar or club. My ‘look’ tends to be something along the lines of knits, sweaters, leggings, plaid, military jackets and boots. Boho-grunge-mountain-chic?

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This was what I wore to a recent dinner date. Lady friends, take note for when you come to visit. :)

We should talk about this quote.

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This one hit me like a brick in the head. I frequently get hung up a on the TIMING of things. I have a tendency to beat myself up over thoughts such as “why didn’t I understand the lesson sooner?”; “why didn’t I have the courage to do __ until now?”  “have I wasted too much time?” “am I wasting my time right now? Is this even something I should be allocating my energy to?”

It’s exhausting,  and something I’m trying to let go of: the constant need to understand WHY.  I guess it’s linked to my natural tendency for self-improvement and success. I’m always striving to do better, be better, and truly embrace my full potential, but I need to stop looking back and dwelling on the things I can’t change.

No questions today, but I’d love to hear your thoughts and perspective on THE QUOTE, or something you’re currently working on in terms of life goals. 

THE Perfect Meal.

For the past several months, I’ve been fixated on dreamcatchers and I don’t know why. I had a sense that I “needed”  one for my bedroom, but I’ve been waiting for the right moment to make a purchase.  I’d been eyeing various dreamcatchers in souvenir shops, but couldn’t justify paying tourist prices for one. (I hate paying full price for anything, actually. I usually only buy non-necessity stuff if it’s on sale.) When I walked into a thrift store over the weekend, I spotted one! $5, and it matches my bedding. Perfect.   In addition to the dreamcatcher, I found a lovely mountain photo for one of my bedside tables. Best $7 I’ve ever spent.

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In some Native American cultures, the legend is, dreamcatchers hung above the bed attracts dreams, filtering out negativity and allowing good vibes to trickle down the feathers and into the subconscious mind.  I like that!

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I made my first pumpkin creation of the season!  Muffins. I “followed” this recipe, and in true healthy living blogger fashion, made some adjustments. I used ‘Cup for Cup’ gluten-free flour (Costco),  using a combo of honey and raw cane sugar, cut the sugar in half, subbed melted coconut oil in place of vegetable oil  and sprinkled the tops with shredded coconut.  So basically I didn’t follow the recipe.

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It was such a beautiful fall weekend in the Rockies! On Saturday, I took an athletic-conditioning  yoga class then ran trails at the Nordic Centre. Pre-run yoga was a great idea – my body was all loose and noodle-y allowing for a mostly effortless FUN run.  Um… I don’t know if I should admit this, but sometimes when I’m running trails, I like to pretend I’m one of the Cullen vampires blazing through the forest. Hahaha.

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I had plans to go to a wine and food event later in the day, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I opted to stay home, sit in my bed, read and start watching season 3 of Homeland. I slept for 10 hours on Saturday night!

Friday favourites (yes, I’m going backwards here): GUACAMOLE and tequila, at the Mexican restaurant in Canmore. Perfect meal, if you ask me. (We shared chicken mole and a lamb dish, which I didn’t really care for. I wish we would’ve ordered more guac + chips instead of mediocre entrees.)

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I have more eats + Sunday adventures to share later in the week. Friends, I need your help planning a Thanksgiving menu! I’m cooking for friends on Monday, and so far all I’ve decided on is a turkey, stuffing, my amazing #PALEO sweet potato/coconut milk dish… but what else for side dishes?! I don’t want anything overly complicated, but nothing too basic. Am I over thinking this?

What are you doing for {Canadian} Thanksgiving? Have you ever hosted dinner?

Favorite Thanksgiving dish? It’s a tie between stuffing and pumpkin pie.

What’s the best thing you’ve found at a thrift store? 

I’m all alone!

Well, it’s October. (Why is time going by so fast?!) Lauren officially moved out of our mountain-girl condo earlier this week and now I feel weird.  When we first decided to take this big step in our friendship and share accommodations, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d never had a roommate before and we’d only known each other for a day, but it seemed like a good idea.  I mean, what could go wrong? We both love peanut butter,  avocados, yoga, working out and going to bed at 7pm so it seemed like a match made in heaven. And it was!

Even though we were rarely home at the same time, it was comforting to know I was sharing my home with someone.

In terms of adventures and trying new things, I’m SO proud of how much we accomplished this summer! Lauren and I took full advantage of our days off – we were ALWAYS out doing something: exploring mountain trails, making friends, or sharing picnic lunches at the lake.

Before Lauren headed off on the next leg of her adventure (she’s in Calgary now), we met up for a swim, in remembrance of our summertime Quarry Lake days in Canmore.

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She gave me the sweetest handwritten card and a framed photo of us from one of our hikes too. Awww.

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How much do you love this photo of her?!

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I have a new roomie arriving in a few weeks and I’m excited to introduce you guys to them! I think you’ll approve. :)

Guess what? I’ve been running mostly pain-free for a few weeks now! YAY!!  There’s still some lingering muscle tension and my leg fatigues easily, but I’m a-ok with that.  I don’t want to push it, nor do I have any desire to start training for long distances yet. I’ve decided that my 2015 spring/summer ‘running’ goal’ is to focus more on trail running and trail races.  It’s way more fun than pounding the pavement, and I appreciate the mental engagement while maneuvering around rocks, roots, forest critters and lumberjacks. Less impact, too.

Auto-pilot runs just aren’t doing it for me anymore. I need a new challenge.

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Did I ever confess that I’ve been wearing Mizuno running shoes? Don’t worry, Nike is still my one true love, but I’ve been enjoying taking these guys out for a run every now and then. It’s nice to switch things up. (I still prefer minimalist shoes – I need to feel the connection with the ground otherwise I start flailing around.)

*The pair I’m wearing are Wave Enigma 3’s - Super comfortable!  

I ate a fantastic  POWER GREEN salad for lunch yesterday featuring kale, argula, roasted cauliflower, beets, cherry tomatoes, watercress, toasted almonds and red quinoa with a cranberry vinaigrette. It made my heart sing. Don’t ya love it with restaurants actually put effort into creating plant-powered meals? 

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(I also polished off an order of tikka masala that our table was supposed to share, but everyone bailed on me to go to a meeting. I didn’t mind.)

Lastly, yoga. I took a 90 minute sunset ‘Yin’ flow at my local studio last night. We focused on a lot of deep, hip opening stretches and now my bum is sore.

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(I can put my hair in a high ponytail now. I chopped my hair to my chin last spring.)

I hope you have a great weekend, friends! <3  What are you up to?

What’s your favorite kind of yoga? Bikram or Ashtanga.

Have you ever had a roommate? Did you like it?

Tell me about your best friend. (lol)

Life Lessons: Living in the moment

HiiiI! How are you? I hope your weekend was awesome and you’re feeling ready to tackle a new work week.  I’ll tell ya, I felt like the luckiest (mountain) girl in the world on Monday morning driving back to Kananaskis after spending the weekend in the city. I don’t know if it’s ever going to truly sink in that I live here. Unbelievable.

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We need to talk about how ridiculous my suitcase was.  (I brought a suitcase with me. Deal with it.)

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Yes that’s my blender… and a tub of protein powder…cookbooks… and clothing for every possible situation: lounging, going out, working out, etc.  I can explain! I had plans to do a major food prep on Sunday and I needed my blender’s help. (Omg, can you imagine if I traveled like this all the time?)

Back to what I was saying. Living in the mountains is teaching me to stay present. (It’s hard not to be, when you’re constantly amazed by your physical surroundings.) When I moved out here, I had no idea what my life was going to be like, leaving me no choice but to take it one day at a time. Since then, everything has been a surprise and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process of ‘letting life reveal itself to me’ rather than trying to plan everything.

Besides, we usually end up getting something BETTER than we thought we wanted or “deserved”. 

Up until this past year, staying present had always been a major challenge for me.   I used to waste so much time over-analyzing and anticipating the future. Maybe it’s because I instinctively knew I was being re-directed to something entirely different and wanted to accelerate the process, but there was also a period  where it seriously freaked me out. I used to think:

a. There was something wrong with me: if I couldn’t be happy with my circumstances and “ideal” life (that most people would kill for, by the way) then I’d never be happy. Maybe I was chasing a non-existent, illusive dream?
b. I didn’t deserve it.

Oh my, how times have changed.   How have you struggled with ‘staying present’ in the past (or currently)? What kinds of reminders do you use to get back on track?

I want to talk about a cookie now.  A #grainfree #glutenfree #PALEO breakfast cookie that I ate at the farmers market over the weekend.  A blend of coconut and almond flour, shredded coconut, honey, nuts & seeds, it was everything you could possibly want in a Paleo treat and I need to re-create them!  As luck would have it, Chelsea JUST posted a cookie recipe that seems extremely similar. Hooray!

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Wanna see the farmers market haul? Yes you do.

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Eggs, chicken sausages, HONEYCRISP APPLES (!!!), lettuce, sprouts, herbs, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, raw honey, almond butter and coconut cashew butter. Holla.  Oh, and figs that tasted like nothing. Any time I’ve  attempted to eat imported figs, I’m thoroughly disappointed and enraged.

Lady friends! I have a ‘fashion’ piece to share with you. Have you heard of FIG Clothing? They’re a Canadian company (woo!) and their pieces are incredibly soft, warm and comfortable.  I had a credit to use at a local store and after much debate, selected the newly released ‘Chalet ALF 10 615′  hoodie in red. I kind of surprised myself with this color choice. Red isn’t my favorite, but I appreciate that it makes me look like Little Red Riding Hood, so yeah. Look at me, trying new things.

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Name three things you bought during your last farmers market visit:

Tell me about your weekend! Funnest thing you did?

What’s the last paleo thing you ate? 

Smoothie Bowls: Genius or Stupid?

The highlight of my week so far has been evening {fall} runs. I can’t get over how warm it’s been – I’ve been wearing  shorts and tank top during late September. In the mountains!

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I can’t run long distances yet (if you’re new here, I’m recovering from a pelvic stress fracture), but THRILLED to be able to incorporate short bursts.  After spending the past few months crying and walking with a limp, (my coworkers have their impressions of me down to a T)  I’m  happy to be able to move again.

To satisfy the running beast, I’ve been ‘warming up’ on a cardio machine for 30 mins, then finishing my workouts with a 15-20 minute run/walk.

And, to celebrate the official arrival of fall, here’s a classic foliage + boots shot.

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Confession: One of my favorite Canmore pastimes is going into Rocky Mountain Soap Company to wash, exfoliate and moisturize my hands. I love their products!  They’re local, chemical-free and work great. {Their tea tree oil blemish stick, salt scrub and avocado soap are my favorites.}

Sometimes I think I should get a part time job there so I can exfoliate my hands all day. 

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This piece on The Truth about “True Love”

A few highlights:

“Most people who are looking for love “out there” are actually just running away from loneliness. They constantly settle for less than what they want, and less than what they deserve, because their greatest fear is to be alone, grow old alone and die alone.

The truth is that real love requires real inner work that most people just aren’t interested in. It requires that we first be happy in our solitude; that we come to know ourselves, accept ourselves and love ourselves. We have to find our peace of mind, find our purpose, our passion, our joie de vivre.

It requires that we lay down the ego’s defenses and be naked and vulnerable; that we give up our planning and fantasizing about the future and live in the Now. Only then are we really ready to love. When you fully grasp that tomorrow is not guaranteed—that this moment is truly all that we have—there is nothing to do but give everything you’ve got, expecting nothing in return.”

Nailed it!  

Guess who went to a Brazilian BBQ and ordered the salad bar option instead of the all-you-can-eat meat fest?  Now THAT’S a snack plate.

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Another share-worthy meal I recently enjoyed…

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Eggs, fruit, Nature’s Path Chia waffle topped with honey butter, banana and crushed pecans. Good stuff. This was my pre-adventure fuel last Saturday.

Have you ever made a smoothie bowl?  I had one for dinner last night!  Sometimes my smoothies turn out so thick I gotta eat ‘em with a spoon.

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In the mix:

Tons of rainbow chard. Like a LOT.
Frozen banana & cherries
Peanut butter
Unsweetened almond milk
Ice
Scoop of North Coast Naturals fermented l-glutamine
Scoop of North Coast Naturals chocolate whey protein

Topped with coconut and Nature’s Path Qia ‘cereal’ for a little added crunch.  I can’t decide if smoothie bowls are dumb.

What’s your MUST HAVE smoothie ingredient? Okay, lets choose 3.  Leafy greens, frozen banana and PB.

Have you switched your wardrobe to fall yet?

Tell me about THE highlight of your week so far! 

So Long, Summer

I’ve mentioned this a few times during my adventure recaps, but I’ve been working my way through a {mountain} bucket list with a friend.  We’ve accomplished SO MUCH in a relatively short period of time that we’ve started compiling a new one.

Since the beginning of August, we’ve:

-Gone canoeing on Emerald Lake in BC and visited Peyto Lake
-Climbed Ha Ling
-Took a road trip along the Kananaskis Trail (Highway 40)
-Hiked Troll Falls and hung out at Barrier Lake
-Ate 543 donuts from Jelly Modern, along with several restaurants in Canmore, Banff and Calgary
-Hiked Centennial Ridge
-Cycled the Legacy Trail to Banff
-Road tripped down to Montana via the Going to the Sun Road, and stayed at a secluded cabin in the woods
-Explored Waterton Lakes National Park (Bears Hump, Red Rock Canyon, hot dogs)

…. I feel like I’m forgetting a few things, but this past weekend, we successfully conquered more bucket list items.  (I just laughed out loud remembering the time my boss exclaimed, “What the hell is an adventure bucket list?!)

One of the things I’ve been dying to do since moving to Canmore is accessing Kananaskis Country via the Smith-Dorien-Spray Lakes route from Canmore. It’s a gravel back country road that takes you away from the tourist crowds and deep into the heart of K-Country. After this weekend, my love for the Canadian Rockies has been solidified. I now understand why people become so attached to Kananaskis. It feels different – compared to Banff, or even Canmore. It’s a very unique kind of mountain magic.

Give me a wild back country experience over “Banff”, any day.  There’s SO much to see and do around here that I have very little desire to re-visit the same places until I’ve DONE IT ALL.

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‘The plan’ for this mini-road trip was to hike to Rawson Lake via Upper Kananaskis Lake, but not before stopping to take photos every five minutes or so.

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When traveling with pets and/or small children, sometimes you have to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks, or to let them burn off some energy. That’s what being friends with me is like. The urge to run crept up on me once we hit Peter Lougheed Provincial park.

“STOP! Let me out, I gotta run!”

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I couldn’t help myself. For one, I’m anxious to get back into  regular running again, and two, I’ve been reading Born To Run and want to become an ultra-runner. Haha!

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Upper Kananaskis Lake

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The trail from upper Kananaskis Lake to Rawson Lake is a fantastic trail run. After a hop, skip and a jump over a waterfall, we were on our way to the top.

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Quite possibly the worst photo ever, but here I am pretending to be a Tarahumara tribe runner.
I wanted to run the entire way, but then the elevation kicked in and my body said No.

This is what we were greeted with at the end of the trail.

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It’s alright I guess. ;) I can think of worse places to eat a Quest bar at.  Round trip, it took us a little under three hours. This is a hike I’d like to take my family on at some point, if they ever visit me.

Sunday was a little more laid back.

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I wore a ‘mountain girl’ outfit (fall boots!!) and sunned myself at Quarry Lake.

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Remember when Lauren and I used to spend our days eating fruit, jumping into the lake and swimming? Even though it was 25C out on Sunday, the water feels significantly colder than it did earlier this summer. I was too much of a wimp to jump in more than once.

That was my weekend. I’m tired and sunburned (again).

How did you say ‘so long’ to summer?

Do you like trail running? Will you join my Death Race relay team?

Tell me about the last outdoor adventure you went on.

 

Getting Back At It!

You know who I haven’t talked about in quite some time? My boyfriend and the love of my life, the Blendtec. Remember when we moved out to the Rockies together?   It was just the two of us against the world.  We’ve been through a lot – from living in a hotel to surviving our first Rocky Mountain winter…. we’re still going strong, by the way. We share a bond that can’t be broken.

There are certain things in life you can’t cheap out on: coffee, chocolate, makeup (with the exception of Maybelline Colossal mascara – THE BEST), workout gear and blenders.  Once you make the switch to a good quality blender, your entire life expands in ways you never thought possible.

One of the Blendtec’s features is ‘Juice’ and I needed some plant power nutrition earlier this week to help me battle a demon virus.

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I used to have a juicer and frequently made green concoctions so I wasn’t sure how my boyfriend would compare to the real deal.

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In the mix: half a cucumber, a carrot, a couple handfuls of Earthbound Farms Power Green mix, apple, strawberries, juice of one lemon and about a cup of water. It had a little bit of texture (think orange juice with pulp) but it could easily be eliminated by running it through an extra cycle. (I’ve always added some of the plant fiber and chia seeds back into my homemade brews, anyways.)

I took a sick day this week and spent the majority of my time off sleeping and recovering. It was awesome. The sick part, not so much, but the extra sleep was amazing.  On Wednesday, I spent 12 hours in bed napping, reading and watching Mad Men.

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I went for a short walk around my ‘neighbourhood’ too.  It was 25C out! Last week it was 0C with two feet of snow on the ground. Crazy mountain weather.

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I’ve been meaning to share this with you guys for a couple weeks now, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I mentioned I’m sloooowly easing my way back into running again. My primary care Doctor is also a sports medicine practitioner (how did I get so lucky?) and not only did they refer me to a physiotherapy clinic that specializes in rehabilitating athletes, but gave me the green light to start incorporating some slower, easy, mostly flat runs.

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I’ve been running laps around my “neighbourhood”. (if you ever come to visit me, you’ll understand why I put that in quotations. My condo is in a weird location.)

There’s a certain primal instinct and sensation within me that only running can satisfy.   Runners – can you relate? It’s difficult to put into words and at best, can describe it as something I absolutely NEED to do. It purifies and recharges my mind and body, leaving me feeling incredibly powerful and grounded.

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If you’re wondering how I took these photos – I set a self timer app. Not only do you get blog photo content, but it’s a good way to analyze your gait and how your feet are striking the ground.  (Side note – I’m SO out of shape but I’ll get back to where I used to be. Right now, I’m feeling like a clydesdale instead of an F16.)

…… Can we talk about this one? HAHAHAHA. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY LEGS.

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I HOPE that’s what I always look like when I’m running. Hey, have you ever purchased the professional photos of yourself from a race? I haven’t, but the proofs always crack me up because I look so mad in  them. I want to start an album of angry running photos.

Fall has arrived in my mountain paradise. Check out these views from yesterday’s commute to work.

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I’m going to be adventuring around Kananaskis Country all weekend and I can’t wait to take some fall snap shots. My plans include a scenic drive from Canmore to upper Kananaskis Lake, hiking to Rawson Lake, eating, sleeping, and enjoying a beach day at Barrier Lake. I’m so excited I’m about to lose bladder control.

I’ll see ya next week. I hope you have a great weekend! <3

What are some of your essential splurge-worthy items and non-negotiables? <– is that a word? The red squiggly line says no.

Has fall arrived in your area? What’s one of favorite things about fall BESIDES pumpkin? Flannel lumberjack pajamas. Carb loading for winter.