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Thinking Out Loud: My Happiness Variables

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Look who I got to spend some time with yesterday! My sweet feathered baby angel. I made a brief visit to see my parents and Oliver last night. I knocked out a quick 5 miler before heading to a neighbourhood pub for a drink and dinner.

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-I discovered these ‘Mission 1’ protein bars at GNC yesterday. Thumbs up to cookies and cream.

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I liked it more than a Quest bar and they’re a little cheaper too. Texture and flavour-wise it reminded me of an ice cream sandwich. Oh, and weird no weird aftertaste.

By the way, a fun game I like to play at GNC is to see how many free gummy vitamin/supplement samples I can stuff in my face while the employee looks my  GNC membership up and scans my items. Yesterday I ate 3 coconut oil chews, 2 vitamin b12s and 4 chocolate vitamin D’s.

-I’m failing miserably at my May goal of going to one in-studio yoga class per week. I’ve fallen off the yoga train (again!) but here’s why: I’ve been busy running!  After not being able to train for 4 freaking months: it’s all I really care about right now.

And I’m just not in the mood for intense hot yoga classes.

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I look like a graceful yogini here, but truthfully, the ground was uneven and I kept falling over. 😉

-Lately I’ve been enjoying chia parfaits as my afternoon snack. I typically get my run in after work and don’t get around to making and eating dinner until sometime after 7pm, This little jar of heaven is a filling and nutritious way to hold me over. Grab the recipe here!

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Some {soul} food for thought:

‘Our greatest matches will be people who simply make us better. They don’t even try. It’s just their presence, or the way they live their lives that makes us want to be better than we are today.
You see, we start to want to change not because the other person wants to control us, but because our admiration for them is all the incentive we need. The truth is, when we admire our partners and friends it winds up being the purest driving force behind our change and growth. So when you meet people who listen and make you smile…people who make you happy, and make you do those silly, quirky things…when they make you see, and tap into your greatest self…and when their presence alone fills you with admiration…just know…know you’ve got something special.’ – via one of my favorite Instagram accounts, @mindfulmft

Isn’t that a wonderful gift to give and receive? My life strategy is to simply BE the best person I can – not just for myself, but for everyone I encounter. It’s such a cool way to live because when you raise your standard and focus on being awesome and taking ownership of your own happiness, the people who are meant to be in our lives will meet us halfway. <3

-I WANT THESE MIZUNO SHOES SO BAD! I don’t have any girly colors in my sporty wardrobe and I’d like to change that.

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Running shoes and food (especially burritos and ice cream) are the keys to my heart. Honestly, all I need in life are the following things:

-Several pairs of running shoes (like, 250 would be nice) + Salomon Speed Cross trail runners
-Garmin
-Bananas
-Awesome people to explore with and co-create wonderful lives together
-Almond butter – especially Justin’s maple AB
-Music and books
-Outdoor adventure
-Occasional burritos, ice cream, good tequila

… I think that’s it. What can I say, I require so little to be happy. Unless it’s running shoes. Unlimited quantities please and thank you. I’d also love a Fitbit Surge. That is all.

-Weeknight picnic adventures at Quarry Lake with my favorite adventure companion.  Remember when Lauren and I hung out here all summer long?! Miss those days and that girl.

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Alright, back to Tuesday’s adventure: first, we ran 5 miles. We stopped by the grocery store afterwards for supplies:   salad, rotisserie chicken, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, olives, avocado-cucumber rolls and fruit. Next up: the dude bought a new pair of running shoes. He decided to give Mizuno a try and I couldn’t be more proud. (!!)

Loving these near-endless daylight hours. We rounded out our evening with a long walk and peanut butter/chocolate fro-yo. 🙂

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Well friends, I’m off to the Waterton Food Festival for the next couple days, then rushing back to Canmore for another fun-filled weekend. I can’t wait to share my Waterton experience with you next week!

Over to you:

What are your happiness variables? What would you love to have unlimited quantities of? Lululemon? Wine? Ice cream cones?

What’s been the highlight of your week so far? Have you ever been to a food festival?

When’s the last time you went on a picnic? What do you usually pack for food?

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud

Weekend: I drank too much wine

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All Fridays should start with sangria. Am I right? Another weekend has come and gone (way too quickly) and here’s what I was up to.

Friday

I spent the evening with my adventure companion/swole mate drinking sangria (that he made!!) and eating. It turns out he’s pretty good in the kitchen  – especially when it comes to grilling. We feasted on grilled veggies, salad and burgers.

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Instead of a bun, I used grilled pineapple slices and topped my burger with crunchy peanut butter. I know that sounds really strange but it was oddly delicious! I’ve already decided that next time I’m adding cilantro and a drizzle of honey to really bring the flavours together.

Saturday

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Dat view though. I adore rainy days! I enjoyed a nice blend of rest and productivity. Considering I didn’t get home until 9am, (haha – that damn sangria) I needed a nap.

Around lunchtime, I finally emerged from my bed, did some packing and called it a day. My nap (and french press coffee that followed) definitely made me feel like a brand new person. I was craving a good sweat so I headed over to a set of stairs near my house for sprints.

Call me crazy, but I love high intensity intervals. By the time I reach the top, I’m literally gargling my heart – but then I have a nice recovery descent in preparation to do it all over again. RUN.REST.REPEAT.

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Having awesome  tunes blasting in my ears really gets me amped up and ready to HANDLE IT… #LikeABoss  May I suggest adding these to your running playlist?

Running Wild – Morgan Page (my jam)

I Wanna Know – Alesso

Gold (Thomas Jack Radio Edit) – Gabriel Rios

Running to EDM makes me faster. Seriously, try it for your tempo runs – it helps set the pace.

While I was running home, a thought occurred to me: I feel most beautiful/sexy/confident when I’m being sporty. Of course there’s a time and a place for being all done up and looking like a show pony, but it doesn’t have the same effect as when I come home drenched in sweat, dirt, (sometimes a little blood) and a huge sense of accomplishment.  Connected. Real. Adventurous. Strong. <– my personal mission (and blog!) statement.

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I checked out an artisan mountain market at Elevation Place afterwards. So many adorable mountain themed crafts and jewelry for sale. Dreamcatchers! I WANT.

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Lookit my new bling.  I’ve had my eye on these mountain rings for a while and couldn’t pull myself away from the table unless one was on my finger. What do ya think? It’s not some flimsy/bendy piece of garbage either, so I think it will hold up nicely on my adventures. 🙂

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Some gals dream of diamond rings; this one appreciates mountain rings. My one true love.

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Here’s the beast of a salad I enjoyed for dinner after my weekly food prep. Kale, broccoli, bell pepper, cucumber, smoked paprika & turmeric chicken, quinoa and hummus. So much hummus. On that note, anytime I show up at my adventure companion’s house, I come bearing a tub of hummus. He must think I have some weird fetish/obsession. (And I do)

Before bed, I was still kinda hungry and enjoyed this little homie as a snack.

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Rice cakes topped with Icelandic yogurt, a sliced banana, blueberries and a drizzle of peanut butter. 

Sunday

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Drizzling rain didn’t keep this girl from playing outside. So it was a little chilly and wet – what’s the big deal?  A little discomfort is good for the mind and soul.  A leisurely run is exactly what my spirit needed. I layered up, put on a baseball cap and a water resistant shell, blasted some tunes and HANDLED IT. (Current fav saying. Have you noticed?)  It’s difficult to be annoyed by less-than-ideal running weather when you get to enjoy beautiful paths like this!

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One of the great things about living in a resort town is you can get your hair did on a Sunday. (And massages and Doctor appointments)

I requested a trim and “a fun braid”.  Nothing fancy, cause I’m not fancy.  I’m thinking of growing my hair out. Any suggestions on how long? Or should I keep it this length?

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Lastly, Sunday evening was an absolute delight with my adventure companion. Actually, the guy I’m dating. I don’t know why I’m being all weird about it. 🙂 We went to Tapas for dinner, then headed over to Grizzly Paw Brewing for a night cap to discuss our upcoming summer travel and adventure plans.  Pretty sure I drank all of the wine in Canmore. Oops. #ItHappens

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This summer is already shaping up nicely. Here’s what I have coming up in the next few weeks:

2016 Waterton Food Festival  – which kicks off this week.  I’m attending the media launch party on Thursday which includes cocktails, eating dessert on a boat and a long table dinner.  Can’t wait! You’re welcome follow me on social for all the fun!  Snapchat: livingmintgreen Instagram: @livingmintgreen

-Whitewater rafting + camping (next weekend!)

GoodLife Fitness City Chase  <– is your city on the list? 

-Banff Marathon – Kris have you signed up yet? Everyone, tell her she HAS to run the 10k with me.

June is going to be a crazy fun month. I also have my best friend Jan’s bachelorette party weekend, a girlfriend standup paddleboarding adventure, Brianne’s birthday in Banff and lots of hiking and running! 🙂

Okay, this post is getting too long. It’s your turn to tell me all about your weekend. I hope it was wonderful!

How did you spend your long weekend (Canadian friends)?  How are you spending your upcoming long weekend (American friends)?

Tell me 3 things you love about yourself. When do YOU feel most beautiful? 

What are you looking forward to in June? 

Fitness Friday! What Running Has Taught Me {About My Heart}

HI FRIENDS!

Happy May Long weekend! I hope you’re adventure bound or enjoying whatever you normally do on this unofficial start of summer weekend.

Me on the other hand?

I don’t have plans. SAY WHAAAA

I know. I know. I’m actually working. There are a few work projects I need to complete this weekend. Additionally, the weather doesn’t look great and I need to pack my life up and prepare to move. HOWEVER.  Next week I’m taking a few days off and traveling to Waterton for a media event. So that will be my belated May Long weekend fun. 🙂 Wee

If you’re hitting the trails this weekend, may I interest you in my latest grab & go snack recipe?

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Chocolate chip cake pops. Yeah. Let that sink in for a moment. They’re grain-free, gluten-free and made with low glycemic/high fiber coconut flour. Grab the recipe HERE.

Today I’m in the mood to talk about my latest life/soul epiphany. I find running has this incredible way of helping me understand life. In turn, I get to share my stories of resilience with you guys – it’s what I live for!

As many of you know, running helped me cope with two major heartbreaks in 2015. At the same time, the pain made me a better runner (and person). Earlier this week, after finishing  a speed session I  was marinating in the afterglow of endorphins when I put my hand to my chest during my cool down. “My heart. Racing.” I thought to myself.

And then it struck me.

My heart. Look what it’s endured. On this exact road. So many miles of grieving, breaking open, processing, regenerating, accepting, releasing.

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Throwback to the fall of 2015 when I was dying inside. But in a good way. 🙂

“You’ve endured so much” I thought. “You’ve been strong, resilient and hopeful. I’m proud of you, little guy!” 

I used to go to great lengths to avoid pain and discomfort and now I welcome it as one of my greatest teachers.  Some people say things like, “Why would you mourn the loss of some loser who did that to you?”

I get a little fired up when people say this because he wasn’t just “some  guy”. He was my best friend. Plus, what does that say about me? That I date losers?  No. I actually date some pretty amazing people. When our relationship ended, I wasn’t sad about losing “a boyfriend” or “romance”. I was sad that I lost my best friend. One day he was there, the next he wasn’t. It was very sudden and it shocked me. It was as though he died.

Running was one of the only things that gave me a healthy outlet to temporarily escape and regenerate simultaneously. 

Want to know what else helped me process my grief? Acupuncture. There were times where I felt so emotionally constipated – to the point where I felt a combination of nothing and everything.  I’d lie down on the table and ask, “Is there an acupuncture technique to help heal a broken heart?”

Once the needles were in, I’d close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and wait for the tears to come. Despite everything, I knew one day the ache in my chest would dissipate and there would be no more sadness.

Time, as always, is the magic ingredient. And being okay with temporary discomfort, growth and healing. I’m grateful for the entire experience because it made my heart softer, more patient, more LOVING (to all)  and expansive.

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Limitless. Don’t you love that?

Anyways, that’s my little life lesson on what running has done for my heart. This is the stuff that comes to me when I’m pounding out miles. 🙂

It’s highly unlikely I’ll ever see or talk to my ex BF again. Sometimes I wonder if he still reads my blog, but if I could say one last thing to him, it would be this:

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HAHAHA KIDDING. Actually, I would say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday

6 miles, hills @ 8:32 avg

Tuesday

5 miles, some rolling hills @ 7:35 avg + 1 mile jogging cool down

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Wednesday

30 minute lunchtime HIIT

Thursday

I joined the #5AMClub and ran 5 miles before sunrise in the rain. It was perfect.

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I came home completely drenched! Hahaha

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Friday

Upper body strength

Saturday

Planned: Hot yoga

Sunday

Planned: Hot yoga

Here’s what I’ve been eating lately:

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I usually make a massive salad for dinner. This one had spinach, chopped celery, bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, grape tomatoes, cardamom seasoned chicken tossed in lemon juice and beet hummus + a warm rice tortilla

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Same salad except I topped it with jalapeno kettle chips (so good!). Lentil soup on the side.

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One of my lunches was a chicken salad with tons of pico de gallo and guacamole. This thing weighed about 5lb.

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Still loving scrambled eggs for breakfast. With sweet, juicy summery fruits on the side. Blueberries are blowing my mind right now.

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I finally ate dairy! My friend bought this Icelandic yogurt for me and it’s pretty good.  Super duper thick.  I mixed in cocoa for a ‘healthy’ take on chocolate mousse for dessert one evening.

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Protein oats topped with banana, blueberries, chia, pumpkin seeds and almond butter. A warm bowl of oatmeal was all I could think about during Thursday morning’s rainy run. Mmm.

What is your favorite rainy day breakfast?

Are you an AM or PM exerciser?

What has running (or sports) taught you?

Linking up with Kris for Fitness Friday 

5 Reasons Why I Loved Surfset Fitness (and think you will too!)

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“This is probably going to be the weirdest workout you’ve ever done” our Surfset Fitness instructor said before our class kicked off last Sunday.  Correct.

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First up, a huge thank you to Ilume Hot Yoga for hosting us and to Chase This Skirt (and Ange!) for hooking us up with matching ‘Blog Squad’ tanks.

My tank says @livingmintgreen on the back. Holla

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What is Surfset Fitness and what are the benefits?

Surfset is designed to stimulate the sensation of a surf board in water. It combines four key elements:

Balance
Build
Burn
Blend

‘Surfing is an extremely athletic sport. It works all major muscle groups in a dynamic environment that demands extreme focus & core strength. Cardio from paddling & explosive popup movements, isometric contractions of the legs to carve and control the board, and of course balance.

If you look at a surfer’s physique you can see that the sport promotes long, lean muscle rather than the bulky body builder look. SURFSET® draws on all of the movements of Surfing to bring the body benefits to you without the ocean.’  source

How long is the workout?

45 minutes

What should you wear?

We all wore crops (and our adorable Blog Squad) tanks

What if you’re uncoordinated, have poor balance or fall off the board?

Even better! You’re looking at the self proclaimed queen of accidents and imbalance. Not even joking, I randomly fall over and trip ALL.THE.TIME. I’m convinced there’s a ghost following me around pushing me into things.

Although most of us were wobbling around and losing our balance (which is what makes it so fun!)  the board is totally secure and you won’t fall. You *shouldn’t* fall. Haha

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My personal thoughts on Surfset Fitness:

I went into it thinking it would be more like yoga SUP and a light core workout more than anything. Was I ever wrong!

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Here’s 5 Reasons why I loved it (and think you will too)

1. It was the most fun I’ve had in a fitness class. It felt more like play and laughing with friends than working out. My best friend’s bachelorette party is coming up soon and I kept thinking Surfset would be a wonderful group activity for everyone to enjoy together. Friends: If I ever get married, can we please do Surfset at my  party? 🙂 Thanks in advance.

2. It’s for all fitness levels and the moves weren’t complicated BUT the stability aspect definitely added a fun curve ball.  Lunges and squats, planks and supermans, up and overs, pike sit ups, pretend paddling, etc.

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3. My body got an entire workout from the blend of cardio drills, strength and core work. You know how TRX suspension training or CXWORX targets all of those tiny little stabilizer muscles and nooks and crannies? YEAH. As an athlete, I’m pretty good at doing my strength and cross training due diligence, but I often neglect resistance/balance training.

4.  It’s a great way to keep your fitness regimen interesting. Illume offers hot yoga AND Surfset which is essentially a dream come true for me.

5.  It is Wednesday and my abs (especially my obliques) are still sore

I hope you enjoyed my recap and if you’d ever like to meet up for a class in Calgary sometime, HIT ME UP!

Have you ever tried real surfing?

Do you like working out with your friends?

What’s the toughest workout you’ve tried?

Weekend: Trail running (and getting lost in the right direction)

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Ugh, why did this weekend have to end? I’d rate it a solid 9/10.

I received a touching note from an old friend a few days ago. It made my heart feel nice.  He said,

“I won’t ask you how you’re doing because I see you’re enjoying life to the fullest. You’re happy and full of energy in every picture” 🙂  I look at the above photo of Kris and I and can feel my happiness and lust for life radiating through. Mountain girls fo’ life.  I’m just so excited (and grateful) to have wonderful friends who want to hang out with me and do fun stuff together!

Recapping my weekend:

Friday

I woke up feeling a little run down – as though a cold was coming on.  I gave my immune system some extra love by drinking tons of water, dosing myself with vitamin C and taking homeopathic anti-viral medicine. After work, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items and made myself a healthy dinner.

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I wanted a greek salad but forgot to buy olives, onion, feta and parsley while I was at the store. (um what??) Instead, I whipped up this tasty little concoction:

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Bell pepper, cucumber, roma tomatoes, radishes, with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and a generous dash of Bragg’s kelp seasoning. 

While the vegetables were marinating, I baked {cardamom seasoned} chicken, cooked quinoa and asparagus, then combined everything into one glorious power bowl on top of a bed of spinach. Mmm, so good. New summer meal to add to my rotation.

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I retired to bed early to read and watch Fresh Prince. <— oh, the 90s. Were you ever into that show?

Saturday

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Here’s my plate of adventure fuel. GOOD GOD berries are phenomenal right now.

I was out the door by 10:30 to meet Kris.  We initially planned on hiking Mount Baldy – a moderate – difficult climb with some technical sections. Due to the recent snowfall on the peaks, neither of us felt it was the safest idea so we decided to turn our hike into a 15km trail run through Jewell Pass.

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In my pack:

Two bottles of electrolyte infused water
Lifestraw (filters sediment and germs in the event you run out of water and need to drink from a stream, lake, or worst case scenario – a puddle)
Clif bar & Larabar (emergency fuel)
Banana, apple, chicken breast
Gloves and a hat
Light jacket

And then we were off! We began our trek running along Barrier Lake for a few kilometers then transitioned into the forest for our gradual ascent to Prairie View Lookout.

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We encountered quite a bit of snow, slush, ice and mud on our journey. Let’s just say SOMEONE had a very muddy butt at the end of the day. 😉

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At the top of Prairie View, we took a few moments to rehydrate, refuel and savour the view. And WHAT a view!

We had so much fun on our descent – running through mud, jumping over puddles, dodging people, tree roots and rocks. It was like our very own obstacle course! Kris fell in the mud and I laughed.

At some point, I accidentally led us off the main trail and into a meadow. “Kris, how many kilometers are we at?”

“18”

“Oops”

She is the type of person who doesn’t get annoyed or angry when adventures go sideways. We laughed about it all the way back to the correct trail.  My finger is pointing to where we were supposed to be. Kris’ finger is where we ended up before backtracking.  HAHA!! I love me

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22km later we were completely exhausted. But still {very} happy, proud of ourselves and grinning from ear to ear. I wish Kris and I could adventure together more often. We make a great team!

I immediately drove home and spent a couple hours sprawled out on the deck eating, resting and stretching my tired legs.

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I was asleep by 8:30pm on Saturday night. THUG LIFE

Sunday

Another great day. To my amazement, I didn’t wake up as sore as anticipated. My legs felt tired, but nothing too crazy. First, I went to Bodypump at GoodLife Fitness and was delighted when the instructor brought Crave cupcakes for everyone!

I took a bite between each track. Alison – you would’ve loved it. Carrot cake with maple-praline buttercream and caramel drizzle.

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Once Bodypump wrapped up, I met up with the Blog Squad at Illume Hot Yoga for a private Surfset class. I’ll be sharing my experience and thoughts on it later this week, but let’s just say it’s the funnest workout I’ve ever done and can’t wait to go back soon!

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After parting ways, I grabbed some groceries and headed back to the mountains for a Sunday Funday BBQ.  We ate steak, tons of vegetables and wine. The best part was that I didn’t have to do any of the food prep or cooking. The dude HANDLED IT. LIKE A MAN. 🙂 #NotABoyMan #Rejoice

The end. HOLY GEEZ I just realized May Long Weekend is almost here. What are you doing? Camping?

Best part of your weekend?

Have you tried Surfset? What’s the funnest group exercise class you’ve done?

Do you prefer pavement or trail running?

Fitness Friday: Meals & Moves of the week!

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I kind of want to bulldoze my  neighbour’s house because it keeps blocking my artistic talents and the view of Three Sisters from my deck. It rained here in the valley and snowed on the peaks yesterday. Should make for interesting hiking conditions this weekend!

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Hello!

Friends, I think we all need to pack up our lives and go work at Marriott International Headquarters in Maryland. My friend has been sending me pictures from their office and I’m green with envy. Check out how they encourage healthy living within their corporate culture:

First up: a massive gym with every machine you can think of AND a group exercise studio featuring on demand virtual classes

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Their meeting rooms and workspaces are equipped with standing workstation treadmills

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Healthy food and beverage stations are situated throughout. Check out their smoothie bar!

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DREAM WORK CULTURE, or what?! Let’s leave right now. I should be ready to go by 9:15am. 

In other news, I have TWO exciting things to share with ya today.

1. I  signed up for my first post-injury event! I’m doing the 10k and have no plans to race it. I’m in it for the adventure:  to simply enjoy the experience, take it easy and continue re-building my leg strength.

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2. I’m also registered for Canada’s largest urban adventure,  the GoodLife Fitness City Chase in Calgary on June 4! Teams of two race around the city on foot deciphering clues and collecting points along the way. You should join us! Let’s be friends and hold hands.

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This will be my first City Chase experience and I have no idea what to expect. If you have any tips or suggestions, hit me up.

Here’s what’s been going on in my little fitness world. I’ve been slacking on strength training and yoga big time. I’m 100% of the mindset of embracing intuitive exercise and running/hiking is how my body wants to be nourished right now.  Imma just go with that and will pick up the weights when I’m ready!

Monday

Upper body strength: overhead barbell presses, bicep curls, tricep dips & pushups  (I had 15 minutes to spare before work and got  some quick moves in)

After work: 4.5 miles, pavement & trails

Tuesday

6 miles, pavement & trails + exploring waterfalls. Playing outside hardly feels like exercise!

Here’s how it went down: Ran 2.5 miles to a waterfall, climbed around cliffs and jumped across streams for 1 mile, ran 2.5 (steep uphill) miles  back. Easily gained 1000 ft.  My heart and lungs were exploding at the end.

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Wednesday

OFF

Thursday

30 minute cardio lunchtime HIIT + some deep hip stretchin’

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Friday

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd (gotta love the library for fitness dvd’s)

Saturday

Planned: Hike

Sunday

Planned: Bodypump + Surfset

Oh yeah, double strength workout day. HOLLA AT CHA GIRL. (I am going to be so sore on Monday, hahaha)

Some recent eats:

In addition to last weekend’s nacho + donut feast at Grizzly Paw, we shared the Mountain Roughage salad and a shaved prime rib sandwich + fries. Hi, Whole30! 🙂

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Snack plate dinners. Do you think it’s possible to ever tire of them? No, no, NO.

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Overnight oats for breakfast one rainy morning. In a mason jar, I mixed a scoop of Vega Sport mocha protein powder, 1/3 cup oats, 1 T chia seeds, goji berries, a handful of frozen blackberries and almond milk. In the morning, I added sliced banana, coconut flakes and a scoop of almond butter. This flavour combo reminds me of blackforest cake.

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Scrambled eggs + rice cakes, almond butter and banana is my favourite breakfast right now. Sometimes I get a lil wild and add some strawberries up in there. It seems to be the magic ratio of protein, fat & carbs ratio for this busy body. I add  extra egg white until I have roughly 25-30g of protein on my plate otherwise I will be starving by mid morning.

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Linking up with Kris for Fitness Friday 

What breakfasts are you loving lately?

Do you count your macros? It seems complicated and I know my brain would forget.  

Does your work encourage healthy living? What kinds of wellness perks do they offer?

A bunch of {awesome!} weekend highlights

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“Stop right there. Don’t move. The light is perfection and I want to capture this beautiful moment” I called up the trail to swole mate on Friday night.

Do we know how to kick off the weekend, or what? We ventured off into the woods around 5:30pm and made it to the top of Little Kidd about an hour or so later.  Drenched in sweat, and big dreamy grins plastered across our faces, we cracked open cold cans of Kokanee and marinated in the warm glow of the late day sun.

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Normally it’s quite cool and breezy at the top, but there wasn’t a stitch of wind. It was eerily calm and so incredibly perfect.

Would you agree some of the greatest life chats tend to occur on the trails? Nature has a way of bringing out people’s best qualities. Everything is so honest and real. Swole mate and I shared a heart to heart on the challenges we’ve faced while being true to ourselves and following our instincts. “Anytime I haven’t listened to my gut, I end up in a lot of trouble” I confessed. “I’ve learned to gravitate towards what feels light and walk away from things that make me heavy. This is what true happiness is: appreciating moments like this and being excited over little things – like those flowers I pointed out on the way up.”

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I like laughing, having fun and not taking life so seriously. We’re going to die soon, so we may as well make the most of our time.

After we got off the mountain, swole mate and I enjoyed laughs, burgers and drinks while attempting to plan our next adventure. We’re both like little kids and can’t focus on the task at hand. We literally  need to sit down with some guide books, a map, compass, pirate flag (?), work calendars and pencil everything in.

Saturday

I woke up in the mood for a solo adventure mission. After coffee, a banana and almond butter, I laced up my Mizuno’s and set out on  a leisurely run with no set distance in mind. 7 miles of rolling hills and trails later, I arrived home with the biggest ear to ear grin and salty skin. I had one thing and one thing only on my mind: ELECTROLYTES. (And, shortly after, pancakes)

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This is some next level sh*t right here:

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Tri-berry flavoured NUUN tablet, ice water, a squeeze of fresh lemon and frozen blackberries. You can thank me later. 🙂 I’m going to try spiking this with vodka sometime  so I can dehydrate and rehydrate at the same time. Just call me Bill Nye the Science Guy… (or an idiot)

It was so freaking hot here that I spent most of Saturday sweating.  I slathered on SPF and sprawled out on the deck to read.

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You know it’s summer when Elin Hilderbrand’s books are in rotation!

By mid afternoon, I showered, changed, grabbed a few groceries and an iced coffee. I forgot it’s half price fraps at Starbucks right now and immediately regretted my decision once I placed my order. People who order frappuccinos drive me batty. They hold up the line and complain that it’s taking too long to receive their drink order. YOU DON’T SAY. Here’s an idea. Don’t ask for 32 things in your drink. 20 minutes later, I had my very plain ad boring iced coffee in hand. First world problem or what?!

Back at home, I curled up on the deck  with my book and made myself an al fresco snack plate dinner.

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Saturday evening involved a spontaneous friend date with my soul sister girlfriend, Brianne. (I suggest following her on Instagram for some nourishing soul food.) We went for a long twilight walk, caught up on life, love and all things currently occupying our hearts and minds.    I enjoy our spirited time together – I feel so inspired an energized afterwards. <– that’s how you know  you’re in good company. As I evolve, I find myself becoming increasingly aware and sensitized to people’s energies. I like being around people who uplift me!

Sunday

I hit the trails with da boys for a quick rip up Ha Ling Peak followed by an all out feast: nachos, raspberry beer and get this: warm peanut butter jelly DONUTS at Grizzly Paw.

Guys. Did you read that?

Peanut butter jelly DONUTS. Two of my greatest loves.

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Let’s just say my mindful Whole30 reintroduction went completely out the window. Because nachos. Donuts. Beer. When it comes to treating myself, I like to go all out once in a while, rather than consuming daily little treats.

I hope you had a great weekend too. Tell me about it! Any adventures? Amazing eats?

May Goals + Fitness Friday

MAY GOALS

Okay, I’m a little late to the party, but today I’m trying something new here on LMG. If it’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that us healthy living bloggers LOVE setting and crushing our goals. (Or, sometimes saying eff it, because, well, life happens)  BLENDS: Can I just say, you girls inspire me so much. Thanks for being my cyber friends and real life friends. 🙂

Whether it’s an athletic event, or ways to improve our daily lives, planning and preparation is key to success.

I rarely share my personal goals and projects publicly because I assume a. no one cares about me that much b. sometimes I prefer to wing it and fly by the seat of my pants. But I know I could do a better job of setting myself up for success and staying organized if I plan ahead of time.

Summer is such a busy time for me. My adventure and professional to-do list is always growing and sometimes I get overwhelmed by everything. I need to focus, prioritize and finalize my plans. I also don’t want to burn myself out. It’s important for me to stay balanced, happy, manage my stress/work-life… all while having as much fun as possible.

Have I mentioned I’m moving at the end of the month? Yeah!  I’m still living in Canmore, but relocating to a different house situated in a better location (hello downtown) and cheaper rent.

Here’s what I’m working on this month:

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Health & Lifestyle:

Organize and pack way ahead of time so it’s not a frantic mess at the end of the month

Donate clothes, books and accessories I no longer love

Digital detox at 8pm on weeknights. Mandatory airplane mode ON. When I get into bed and start mindlessly scrolling, I have a hard time falling asleep afterwards.

No technology mealtimes.  You may have noticed I haven’t been posting my food on Snapchat as much for this very reason. I find that I eat too fast, don’t chew my food properly or overeat when I’m on the computer or my phone.

Read two books per month: one personal development + one fun, ‘fluffy’

Work & Finance 

Complete at least 4 freelance blog posts: 2 recipes, 2 adventure

Use my side income from blogging and social media marketing towards paying off student loan debt

Fitness & Fun

Get at least 10,000 steps in per day. I’d like to get a FitBit but for now, I’ll use my Garmin as a pedometer

Take one in-studio yoga class per week (I’ve been slacking lately)

Stretch my hips/legs out before bed each night. I did a great job of this during marathon training and now that I’m back to running: oh dear god, MY HIPS DON’T LIE

Accomplish (at least) two hikes

Enjoy a relaxing beach day at the lake with some books, snacks, sparkling (black cherry!) water. Either by myself or with a friend

Join my local trail running club

Book my multi-day backcountry camping trek dates for July

And there ya have it!

Moving onto workouts of the week.

Monday

5 miles, hills + outdoor yin yoga in the evening which was such a delight.

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Tuesday

4 miles, easy

Wednesday

5 miles: a mix of suburban streets & trails + upper body strength

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Thursday

OFF

Friday

HIKE! I’m going for a lil post-work trek up a mountain followed by burgers + beers after. 🙂

Saturday

??? I should probably do some strength and lift some stuff up and down

Sunday

Tentative: Hike

Linking up with Kris and co. for Fitness Friday

Over to you:

Do you set monthly goals? What are you currently working on?

What was your best workout of the week?

Weekend plans?!

Soul Chat: Being Grateful in Dark Times (and the silver lining!)

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We’re in the thick of a bizarre heat wave in the Rockies (edited to add: and devastating forest fires in Northern Alberta – please keep positive vibes in your thoughts for my beautiful province) which means I need to be outside running, walking and adventuring as much as possible. Monday was so awesome. Over lunch, I ran 5 continuous (and very hilly, heart pounding miles) at an average pace of 8:47. On pavement!  Best of all? Not even a hint of pain or twinge of discomfort crossed my radar on my downhill descent. LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES.

My  road to recovery has most definitely tested my patience. To anyone who knows me IRL, I am NOT a patient person. I want what I want right now.  In many ways, I’m an improved version of my old self again.  I’m grateful and happy to be running injury-free and look forward to rebuilding volume and speed in the coming weeks. I was worried I’d be starting back at 0%, but realistically, it’s more like 60-70% of my previous baseline.

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^^^ From a few weeks ago. Word.

The past several months have been filled with much undoing and shedding of old, dead layers. I recovered from a broken heart AND broken leg. Both challenged me to sit with my pain and do nothing. Now that things have come full circle, I’m stronger, wiser and healthier. “How can you be grateful for that? How do you make it look so easy?” my best friend (who is currently going through a painful breakup) asked me.

For one, it’s not easy; it never is. Growth is often uncomfortably painful and it sucks so bad. But I am committed to riding it out, knowing that nothing is permanent.

When I take a step back to really think about it, here’s what instantly comes to mind: 

I got to experience a deep, meaningful connection with someone. We shared laughs, adventure and a soulful bond.

I discovered romantic love DOES exist, but it is not enough to sustain a relationship. It takes two willing  people committed to making it work

I learned there is someone better suited for me out there – and I’m confident they’ll be on my level, or we’ll rise to meet each other halfway

The entire experience was pushing me closer to what I ultimately desire

I know, with certainty, there are souls “like me” out there: someone who is equally excited about life, growth, adventure and is willing to be courageous and positive WITH me. Because I believe it, I see more evidence of this every day.  Like attracts like. It’s a universal law.

Everything heals. EVERYTHING. Sometimes we have to let the wound bleed and don’t pick the scab. Just let it be. We’ll know we’re healed when it doesn’t hurt anymore. LET IT BLEED

When we’re hurting or it seems like life is falling apart, be grateful. The world and life isn’t ending. We’re not being punished. Life is actually working out in our favour!  There’s a magical re-assembling at play, even if it doesn’t seem like it. All that’s happening is this: the universe is taking us where we need to go and will never leave us where we were

At the end of the day, we can only discover what we want by knowing what we don’t want. We need the juxtaposition in order for things to make sense. Light and dark, yin and yang.

Part of adopting an attitude of gratitude is paying attention to all of the little treasures and moments throughout the day and week that often go unnoticed. Like this:

Five things making me feel JOYOUS this week:

-Receiving an adorable card in the mail from my best friend, with a note “Thank you for everything you have done for me. You are the best friend I’ve ever had”

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-Planning my summer adventures with friends: sunrise and sunset hikes, camping trips, trail running, signing up for late summer races, road trips, my best friend’s bachelorette party, wedding and MORE. The season of no sleep and all play is upon us!

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-Al fresco milkshake thick smoothie bowls, while basking in the warm glow of the setting sun

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-Obssesed. Dis my summer jam. I need your love, I need your love.

-Great books that hold my interest the entire way through. I used to feel committed to reading an entire book even if I wasn’t enjoying it. Guys, life is too short to commit to anything that is mediocre or terrible just for the sake of seeing it through to the end. Abort the damn mission when things drag you down.

Remember the {real life} story about that couple who met on OK Cupid and went on a three week round the world date? This is it!
BOOK+TILE+2

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OVER TO YOU:

What are some beautiful lessons that have revealed themselves to you as a result of difficult times? 

Current summer jams? 

What are you loving this week?

Weekend: Satisfying my food cravings

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LOOK
HOW
CUTE 
HE IS
!!!!!!!!

Are you looking?! I don’t think you are.

Hi, I’m back from a weekend in southern AB visiting my family and feathered son, Oliver.

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BABY BIRD. He’s such a great guy. I so badly want to change ALL of my online dating photos to selfies of Oliver and me… for a fun social experiment. Not too sure what that would accomplish other than giving people the impression that I’m crazy, but at least *I’D* be lol’ing behind the scenes, right?

This past weekend was filled with good eats, quality workouts and some family time.

Friday

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As soon as I rolled into town, my Dad and I took the dog for a walk. I stopped at many lilac bushes along the way to deeply inhale. Lilacs are one of my greatest sources of springtime happiness!

We ordered a Japanese spread from my favourite restaurant for dinner. Oliver was pretty excited about my Dad’s udon soup. He jumped off me, ran across the table, climbed up my Dad and tried to access the noodles. They’re his favourite food!

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There is a strange phenomenon that occurs whenever I eat sushi. I always need ice cream afterwards. It’s not one of those “ice cream would be good right now” cravings. It’s a “I NEED ICE CREAM AND WON’T BE ABLE TO STOP OBSESSING UNTIL I EAT IT” Specifically, a Dairy Queen blizzard.

I think it’s because my ex and I used to do sushi and ice cream dates on a weekly basis and now it’s like my brain expects ice cream to follow? I don’t know.

Despite the transition from Whole30, being full from dinner and my brain saying, “You’re full and don’t need more food” my heart was all, “It’s okay to satisfy your cravings, EVEN if you’re full”

Eff it.  I drove to Dairy Queen and picked up hot fudge sundaes for my parents and a Reese’s peanut butter cup blizzard for myself.

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The first few bites were pretty damn good. About halfway through my cup I was kind of over it. It was tasty, but not as amazing as my memory hyped it up to be. So, I picked out the remainder of the PB cups and tossed the rest. Life’s too short to settle for mediocrity.

Saturday

I woke up feeling a bit of a food hangover (worth it!) and knew I’d feel much better after a ton of water, coffee and a good workout.

New Bodypump release – CHECK.

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I think this is the most challenging release yet. So.many.little.pulses. THOSE BACK AND SHOULDER TRACKS, HEY?! Complete muscle failure at the end, which I adore. I love leaving a workout class feeling like a limp, shaky noodle after.

After my workout, I hit up the blood donor clinic. I figured drawing blood would be so much more efficient since my veins were all swole. Does anyone else get excited when their vitals are in good health? My resting heart rate was 42 and blood pressure at 105/70. *FIST BUMP*

I felt weird for the remainder of the day  – cold and easily winded. I drank lots of water, ate a hearty meal  and took it easy. We went to an art sale, took a nap and before dinner, my Dad and I stopped by a local pub to sample some craft beer. Alley Kat Aprikat is delicious, btw.

After dinner (steak, baked potato and salad – THE summer meal) we started watching a movie and I bailed so I could go to sleep… at 8:30pm. #partyanimal

Sunday

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Even though my chest and shoulders were sore from Saturday’s Bodypump, I went to another class. I can’t help myself. I love GoodLife so much and I need to make the most of my precious time in the city. I figured I’d focus more on challenging my lower body and take it easy on the upper body stuff. One of my friends messaged me asking if I came to town just to exercise. HAHAHA. Yes… but no..but yes…

Sunday brunch with my parents rounded out the morning. I ran to and from the restaurant as I wanted to enjoy as much sunshine and fresh air as possible before my long drive home.  I already have a nice tan going!

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I ordered a veggie omelette stuffed with mushrooms, onion, peppers and cheese. Toast and fruit on the side. 🙂

We have an amazing week of warmth and sunshine ahead of us and I plan on spending every free moment enjoying the outdoors, long daylight hours and fresh air.

Have you tried the new Bodypump release? Thoughts? What’s the most challenging track?

What’s the weather like in your area? Any fun weekday plans in the works?

What do you love most about spring/summer? NOT WEARING PANTS?

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