What drives me

April 13, 2015

It's Monday again and it was filled with too much coffee and lots of emails. 
I have lots of exciting things coming up this week I couldn't be happier! Not to mention it's my favourite time of year. The weather is warmer, I've gotten back on my bike enjoying the river valley and I have lots of travel plans ahead.

Can't help but smile on days like this!

Enjoy your week, friends!

Daily Routine - Hemp Hearts

March 11, 2015

One thing I've really tried to stick to lately is eating healthy. Like most people, I try to stick to a healthy eating plan, then the weekend comes and that all goes down the drain. The chocolate chip pancakes are too tempting and the wings while watching hockey are too good to deny! But, one thing I've been great at sticking too is my breakfast routine.  One of my favourite things to make it a fruit smoothie. It allows me to pack my body with lots of nutrients to start my day.

I normally switch out a lot of different things depending on the week. Sometimes it's filled with bananas, the next week it's blue berries. One week I add yogurt, the next week it's fruit juice. There is one ingredient that is always a constant in my recipes though, is hemp hearts! I absolutely love them! They are so packed with nutrition and I enjoy the slight flavor they give my smoothie.

The kind that I've always gotten is Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts! They are such a fantastic brand and are without a doubt the best tasting hemp hearts I've had. Most often I buy the bags online through their website or at Costco to get the best deal.

Here is one of my favourite recipes to get my through my day.

- 1 whole banana
- 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of hemp hearts
-  1/2 cup of yogurt
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of flax
- 1 tablespoon on natural honey

Then all I do is put all those ingredients into a magic bullet cup and mix it all together!
It keeps me full for hours and is a great way to start your day!

Do you have any recipes for incorporating hemp hearts into your diet? Let me know!


March 7, 2015

Hi world, I forget to embrace your beauty sometimes. It's about memories, not the things around us.
Just need a reminder every once in a while.

Chicken and Barley Slow Cooker Soup

February 8, 2015

This weekend was a snowy and cold one for us! We got close to 15cm of snow along with -25 with wind chill temperatures. Oh, the life in Alberta! Because of that, I tried to stay at home and much as possible, so most of my Sunday was spent catching up on chores and making some delicious soup to get us through the week. I've been craving some hearty chicken soup for the last few months plus I had a bag of barley lying around, so my recipe decision was an easy one!

Here are all the things you need:

- Carrots
- Celery
- Onion (I love LOTS of onion)
- Uncooked chicken breasts
- Left over/frozen chicken and veggie scraps to make the broth.
- Thyme
- Salt
- Pepper
- Barley


1) First things first, I make a chicken and veggie broth in the crock pot. In order to do that, I fill the crock pot to it's max limit, and add frozen chicken bones and frozen veggie scraps. Whenever we have a pre-cooked chicken I always save the bones and scrapes and put them in the freezer to future broth making. Same with veggies, I always keep the ends and scrapes that you would normally throw away in the freezer along with the chicken.
2) Let the chicken and veggie scraps simmer in the crockpot for 3-4 hours on low. One that is done, you can strain the water to get the bones and veggies out of the broth. You then will have your delicious broth base for your soup!
3) Once the broth is strained, cut up your chicken breasts into small cubes and throw it in as well as all of your veggies and barley. 
4) Set your slow cooker on low for about 6 hours and the wait is on! I usually like to set all of this up late at night and let it cook until I get up in the morning. (Shows you how little sleep I get) haha
5) Once it is ready, let it cool and start filling up medium sized mason jars. I can usually get 5 or 6 mason jars out of one slow cooker recipe.

As you will notice, I don't have any measurements in my ingredients list. To be honest, I'm the worst cook ever when it comes to that. But the good thing about slow cooker soup is you can usually get away without measuring anything. I mean, you can always use extra veggies right?!

Enjoy my friends!

Mountain View

February 3, 2015

Don't forget to stop and embrace the beauty around you!
Went out to the mountains again this past weekend and enjoyed every minute of it. I'm so lucky to be able to visit a place like this and have it so close to home.

Triathlon training: Week 3

January 22, 2015

Well, I believe the habit of going gym almost every day has FINALLY set in! I actually look forward to going to the gym each day after work, which makes training so much easier. Maybe that 21 day habit rule is actually true!

Here is where I am at with each category so far:

- Running 3km
- Biking 10km
- Swimming 800m

Lets start with the running. 
I've haven't made much improvement at all in that category and I'm not sure if I'm just not running enough or what. I also play soccer twice a week which is great, but that is anaerobic cardio not aerobic which is what I need to train. You want to run sprints? I'm your gal. But you make me run consistent speed long distance? heck to the no. Will have to try and kick that up a notch here soon.

The biking has been a bit easier for me. Not sure if I'm just not working hard enough but I swear I could go longer than 10km. The problem is, my fiance and I are trying to do the biking and running while keep our heart rates low. That has been the most difficult part, trying to train our body not to freak out and make our heart rate sky rocket. I believe that 10km I did was in about half an hour and I kept my heart rate under 125. Could still use a ton of improvement, but I feel a lot better than when I started.

The swimming has actually been my favourite so far. But let me tell you, before we started this training, I hated swimming with every fiber in my being. I would swim 20m and feel like I'm dying. However, this has been my most improved area of training by far. I still can only swim 50m without stopping for a few seconds, but my biggest workout so far has been 800m and I am darn proud of that! Swimming is such a full body workout and I love the low resistance on my body. 

Overall,  I'm pretty impressed with how we are doing on only week 3. Tomorrow is a rest day, we are hanging with some friends and I will probably have a glass of wine. Oh how I've missed you!

That time I thought I was a runner...

January 6, 2015

Week one of triathlon training is over and it was the longest week ever! We are finally getting into a routine (I think) and we seem to be getting the hang of things. Let me tell you friends, there is NO way in hell I'd be this committed if I was trying to do this alone. Before we decided to do this, wine and Netflix always won over going to the gym. All my wine lovers out there totally get me right?! RIGHT?

drinking animated GIF  

That being said, having someone there to push you and support you through the process makes a huge difference. We went to the gym 5 of 7 days this past week so thumbs up for that!

I did have one workout however that didn't quite go as planned. Let me start off by telling you, my whole life I've been a runner. High five for high school 200m sprint pro right here! I have also played soccer for 23 years, so I thought I knew a thing or two about running my butt off. Well, I finally realized how much different anaerobic versus aerobic exercise is. Turns out anaerobic is a type of exercise such as weight lifting and sprinting. Anything that makes your heart rate jump up and fall quickly. Aerobic exercise is more of a constant, it means your heart rate may jump up, but it stays at a relatively static level without much change. Much like long distance running or biking. I definitely forgot about this lesson in grade 7 gym class. Well... I can run up and down a soccer field for hours but you put me on a track and tell me to run 5km and no way, Jose! I attempted to run even 3km and it wasn't happening. I got to 2km and I thought I was going to die. 

I even ran a half marathon with my good friend in California 2 years ago and I definitely couldn't imagine doing that now.

Anyways, turns out I have to work on my long distance running as well and I have a long way to go. Here I was thinking I could just jump into a triathlon no problem! However, it's all about the small victories so I'll take it. 

Boom, week 1 done! :)

Triathlon training: Day 1

January 3, 2015

As you can see by the title, I only made one goal for 2015 and that was to compete in a triathlon. My fiancĂ© and I wanted something that would challenge us and keep us fit, so this is what we came up with! 

He has been interested in triathlons for some time, but we've never wanted to put in the work or effort. We both thought we'd be too busy to handle training, but decided we have to make it a priority. 

That being said, we took out our bathing suits that have been collecting dust, running shoes that are old and bought gym passes that cost us wayyyy more money than I like to spend in a day. 
Cue day one of training, it went pretty much like this:

Yeah. I like to think I'm a good swimmer, but I was at 9 years old, not at 25 when I haven't stepped foot in a pool in years.
I couldn't even make it 25 meters, which is one end to the other by the way, without huffing and puffing like a had just run a marathon. Seriously, swimming is hard! It made me want to ask for a lifejacket and just doggy paddle the rest of the way!

That being said, we spent the rest of our training session that day swimming about 15-20 meters, taking long breaks then doing it again. There was even this kid in the lane next to us blowing past us like no big deal. I felt like asking him for tips, but that would be weird…haha.

We have a long road ahead of us. We are trying to go to the gym 5-6 days a week to either run, swim or bike. This goes along with trying to eat better, because I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in chocolate over Christmas. However, I don't regret a thing!

More to come!