Ultramarathon Training Recap: Week 9

Week 9 was an absolute whirlwind! Occasionally I have work events to attend in the evening but rarely do they get sandwiched into one week. I wish I had been more motivated to wake-up early and get the workouts in but (no excuses) between hockey games and car reveals I was simply exhausted. So week 9 was a minor fail in my books.

On the brighter side the weather has taken a huge turn and dare I say, it’s almost spring like!

Lets quickly talk about my Sunday (LSD) day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and I had every intention of cycling on my training and then getting outside for 1 1/2 hours. Well daylight savings really screwed with my plans. By the time I woke up I only had time to fit in the cycling part of my workout before we had to leave to take the boyfriends niece skating. I had good intentions of going for my run when we returned home early evening but I just wasn’t feeling up to it and only went out for 6k. So my scheduled 29k turned into a 70min cycle and 40min run. Oh well! Days like this happen and they tend to boost my motivation moving forward. Next Sunday calls for a 22k, my knee is feeling great so I’m feeling confident that I’ll be able to run the whole distance opposed to modifying with cycling!

What was scheduled:

Week 4 ultramarathon training

What was accomplished:

March 3 – March 9 workouts:

Monday – 60 min – Spin
Tuesday – 3.5k – Run Commute
Wednesday – Nothing
Thursday – 3.5k – Run Commute
Friday – 3.5k – Run Commute
Saturday – 30 min – Core
60 min – Weight class
Sunday – 70min – Cycle
40min – Run

A work friend graciously gave me his bike trainer when he upgraded. It’s taken me over a year to finally get Stella (yes I’ve named my bike) set up and now I’m wondering why I waited so long. It’s such a pleasure riding my own, perfectly fitted to my body bike!

Stella on the trainer!

Stella on the trainer!

70min cycle workout while watching "What's Your Number" on TV. Clearly my skin hasn't seen sun in 7 months!

70min cycle workout while watching “What’s Your Number” on TV. Clearly my skin hasn’t seen sun in 7 months!

I had to put a heavy duty tire on to avoid wearing out my normal one. The friendly staff at Speed Theory helped me find the perfect size/style and the boyfriend taught me how to change it! Glad I didn’t have to learn on the side of a road with a flat :)

I should probably set Stella up on a different rug next time so this one doesn't get sweaty!

I should probably set Stella up on a different rug next time so this one doesn’t get sweaty!

A beautiful spring-like run commute selfie!

A beautiful spring-like run commute selfie!

 

 

The godfather of all cookies!

First of all, Happy International Women’s Day to all my lady friends out there! You never cease to inspire and amaze me.

Thanks to my friends at Brookline Public Relations for sending me this beauty... it even smells lovely!

Thanks to my friends at Brookline Public Relations for sending me this beauty… it even smells lovely!

Now onto the cookie of all cookies! One of the things I love most about running (I know the list is long) is that burning so many calories allows me to eat cookies… a lot of cookies. This cookie is the perfect combination of sweet, salty and chewy! I found the original recipe on Pintrest from Ambitious Kitchen and have made a few modifications to the recipe based on what I had in my kitchen and taking out the dairy. If it wasn’t creepy I would personally like to hug Ambitious Kitchen for creating such a delicious cookie recipe.

Nutella is stuffed between a hazelnut brown butter flavor enhanced chocolate chip cookie then sprinkled with sea salt. – Ambitious Kitchen

Browning the butter in this recipe is key. It enhances the flavour and adds a nutty note to the cookie. To learn how to brown butter click here. Chilling the dough is also very important, I chill mine for about 3 hours… or I make the dough before work in the morning and leave in the fridge until I get home to stuff and bake.

WARNING: These crack cookies, once they enter your mouth there is no turning back!

Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Sea Salt

In all it's glory! I thought I took a photo but I guess I was too focused on eating it instead. Borrowed image from Ambitious Kitchen

In all it’s glory! I thought I took a photo but I guess I was too focused on eating it instead. Borrowed image from Ambitious Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 jar of Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Brown the butter [Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes]
  2. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill your dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are super eager, although I cannot promise the same results if you do this.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough is chilled measure about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the dough ball very thinly into the palm of your hand. Place 1 teaspoon of chilled nutella in the middle and fold dough around it; gently roll into a ball — it doesn’t have to be perfectly rolled! Make sure that the nutella is not seeping out of the dough. Add more dough if necessary. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten with your hand VERY gently. (Really only the tops need to be flattened a bit!)
  5. Bake the cookies 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Let me know how you like them or what other modifications you made.

 

Ultramarathon Training Recap: Week 7 & 8

Holey moley we’re into the third month of the year! It would seem that I’ve been quite silent over the last couple weeks but in all honesty I’ve just been very busy. Last week it felt like I was only home to sleep!

Week 7 and still injured, I managed to get some solid workouts in and I’m actually feeling very good about the cross training choices I’ve made. If anything, this injury is forcing me to get creative with my workouts. Here’s what the plan called for:

Ultramarathon training week 2

Here’s my low impact adjustments:

Feb 17 – Feb 23 workouts:

Monday – 30 min – Core
40 min – Elliptical
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 60 min – Weight class
Thursday – 60 min – Spin
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 30 min – Core
60 min – Weight class
Sunday – 2 hour – Cycle (48km)

Now I’m not going to pretend like riding a stationary bike in an empty room for 2 hours is fun. Actually it’s extremely boring, however on Saturday afternoon I had an idea. A friend of mine works for the public library and has mentioned an online program that allow you to download e-book and audio books to your devices. Well it was 4:15pm and the library closes at 5:00pm so I jumped in my car and raced down to the library to get myself a shiny new card! When I got home I went online, found an audio book and downloaded it for my long ride on Sunday. The audio book worked wonders! I was entertained for the majority of the session without having to awkwardly hold down the pages of a book on the bike.

The audio book plays through an app called OverDrive. It even automatically expires so I'll never have to worry about late fees :)

The audio book plays through an app called OverDrive. It even automatically expires so I’ll never have to worry about late fees :)

The timer doesn't go past 100 minutes so it looks like I did 48k in 20min!

The timer doesn’t go past 100 minutes so it looks like I did 48k in 20min!

 

Yup 2 hours on the bike and I'm still smiling thanks to my audio book!

Yup 2 hours on the bike and I’m still smiling thanks to my audio book!

Week 8 was ridiculously busy with work and events therefore you’ll see that I had a few extra ‘rest’ days than normal. Sometimes I just can’t fit everything in. I’m also very excited to say that I’m officially back to running as of Saturday! My knee was feeling good throughout the week so I decided to try a test run on the track after my weights classes on Saturday morning. My knee felt a little tight for the first three laps but I settled right in after that. Besides Calgary being an absolute ice box over the weekend I’m still not confident enough to take this knee on an LSD out and back run. I’d rather give it some time to ease back into the distance in an environment where I can bail quickly if need be. Here’s what my schedule looks like:

Ultramarathon schedule week 3

Here’s my adjustments:

Feb 24 – March 2 workouts:

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 45 min – Cylcle
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – 60 min – Spin
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 30 min – Core
60 min – Weight class
20 min – Run
Sunday – 60 min – Cycle
60 min – Run

Wednesday was the Calgary Marathon 50K VIP Event. This was a great celebration of Calgary Marathon supporters and participants. It was held at the stunning new Sports Hall of Fame at Calgary WinSport. I feel horrible for not taking photos or live tweeting but I was too busy catching up with running friends and ForeRunners!

A photo of the ForeRunner gang showing off some of the 50th anniversary clothing!

A photo of the ForeRunner gang showing off some of the 50th anniversary clothing! Me, Tina, Terry and Michelle

The gong I plan on hitting when I PB my first ultra at the Calgary Marathon.... Everyone who PB's gets to do it!

The gong I plan on hitting when I PB my first ultra at the Calgary Marathon…. Everyone who PB’s gets to do it!

ForeRunner Michelle @FineFettle is much better at the social media thing than I was. Michelle live tweeted the Q&A with ultramarathon experts. I recommend checking out her twitter feed for tips and tricks shared at the event. As well, Michelle just concurred her first ultramarathon a couple weeks ago – and rocked it! Her race recap can be found here.

This Sunday I opted out of the -40 temperatures by keeping my workout indoors. I enjoyed a 60 min cycle while watching House of Cards on my iPad (honestly I could have kept cycling just to keep watching… so intense). Then I hit the track for 60 minutes. The track was super busy as everyone was trying to get there LSD in without bearing the cold. Talisman is hot and humid, pretty much the exact opposite of the current weather we’re experiencing. I probably should have brought some electrolytes as I was sweating like crazy! Still, I’ll take the tropical Talisman loops over -40 any day!

Cycle and Netflix

I was impressed with this set-up!

Finally back to running!

Finally back to running!

Friday Funny: workout wardrobe fails

I’ve been experiencing some major workout wardrobe fails over the past month. Embarrassing during the moment these stories are usually very entertaining to my friends. I enjoy providing laughs, even if they are at my expense, so why not share them?

 

1. Forgot my sports bra for a Hot Yoga class! When I first realized I forgot my sports bra I seriously considered doing the class without one, however the top I packed had zero support and is quite loose at the sides. I had no choice but to wear my everyday push-up. First of all I looked like a complete idiot with my bra straps hanging out. Secondly, if you were beside me you’d probably think I’m very high maintenance and/or I was a newbie. Lastly, words can’t describe how uncomfortable I felt halfway through the class when my push-up turned into a sponge collecting a copious amount of sweat and the teacher instructed us to lie on our stomachs for our back strengthening series.

Forgot my sports bar

2. Jumped in the pool and realized my new bathing suite was too big! I had just purchased a new Speedo for swimming from Costco. As we all know Costco doesn’t have change rooms so I was really just guessing when I bought it. When I got home and tried the suit on it seemed a little less snug then my previous one but I figured it would be fine. New workout clothing and accessories tend add a little extra motivation so needless to say I was excited to swim in my new attire. I jumped in the pool and immeditly realized the bathing suit was WAY to big in the top. Deep breath. Look around (it wasn’t too busy). I figured I could just pull it up and adjust a little and maybe it would be fine. So I began my workout with the a breast stroke…. let’s just say this brought a whole new meaning to the word breast stroke! I had already made the effort to drive to the pool and I was already wet so I decided to suck it up and get as much of a workout in as possible. I was constantly tugging on the suite trying to keep it up but I’m fairly certain the guy in the lane beside me received quite the show.

 

3. “Excuse me, you have a bounce sheet stuck to your bum”! On Wednesday I visited the gym for a weights class. I set up my area, removed my extra layer of winter clothing, and leisurely walked through the gym to fill up my water bottle. My girlfriend Ashley was also doing the class so we chatted a bit before it started. The workout was going great. Halfway through the class about 20 spinners, who had just finished their class, walked behind and passed us on their way to the change rooms. I was feeling pretty awesome at this point getting into some squats when I got a little tap on my shoulder “excuse me, you have a bounce sheet stuck to your bum”. She then went on to tell me that it was the funniest thing she’s seen and really appreciated my misfortune. I can’t blame her, it is hilarious. I removed the bounce sheet and continued on. I’m still shocked that no one, not even Ashely, said anything! Maybe it wasn’t that noticeable… 

The sneaky little bounce sheet!

The sneaky little bounce sheet!

Ultramarathon Training Recap: Week 6

Day 17 injured and still no running….
Week 6 has been a bit of a mental struggle as I try to reason with this knee injury. I was hopeful that I’d be back running after 10 days but my knee has had a different plan. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned  however I haven’t figured out exactly what it is yet. Potentially, the lesson is about equal muscle tone and ensuring that I’m balanced and working on the small muscles as well as the big guys. It would appear that my quad is stronger on the right side which indicates that my vastus medialis isn’t working as efficiently as it should. I have a feeling this is due to the fact that I’ve neglected weights for awhile… months.

Last week was the kick off to my official 2013 Calgary Marathon Ultramarathon training program. Here’s what I had on the plan:

Ultramarathon training plan week 1

Obviously I’ve had to make a few adjustments due to the injury. Here’s what I accomplished!

Feb 10 – Feb 16 workouts:

Monday – 60 min – Spin
Tuesday -  750m – Swim
                   30min - Core
Wednesday – 60 min – Spin
Thursday – 60 min – Spin
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 60 min – Weight class
30 min – Core
Sunday – 2 hour – spin/elliptical

This week I’ve been tasked with some pretty fun physio exercises:

  1. The Clam
    To strengthen my glutes!

    To strengthen my glutes!

     

  2. Who Lifts the Kneecap First? This one is kind of like a game (hence my name for it) the object is to lift your kneecap while ensuring that the vastus medialis (inside upper knee muscle) reacts first or in unison with the quad.
    Knee lift

    I really have to think about this exercise while performing it

     

  3. Wall sit – my challenge is to work up to 5min
    I'm to sit at a 60 degree angle to keep the load off of my knee.

    I’m to sit at a 60 degree angle to keep the load off of my knee

     

I’m starting to get anxious about falling behind in training but my physio has been trying reassure me. As long as I keep my cardio up my only major concern will me muscle endurance. Experience with distance volume will be a benefit to getting back into the training. To help increase my muscle endurance I’m doing lighter weights with many reps. I’ve also been given the go-ahead to add a few short interval runs into my weight workout to test the waters. The idea is that if my knee starts to hurt and I have to bail it’ll be immediate instead of going for a normal run and having to walk for kilometers to get home.

Other highlights from the week:

Our Broadway season tickets happened to fall on Valentine’s Day this year. My boyfriend and I don’t actually celebrate Valentine’s Day because I’m against it and would prefer to celebrate our relationship all year instead of just one day… and I don’t feel like men or women should be price gouged! Sorry about the rant. Anyways this was just another date night with my favourite person. The boyfriend suggested we go out for dinner (as this is something we would normally do before a show) but I refused to even try our luck at getting in anywhere, so I suggested Dairy Queen!

Valentine's Day Dinner

Valentine’s Day Dinner – The boyfriend paid!

We saw West Side Story which was positivity wonderful. Honestly, I’m not in love with all the songs in this musical however the ones that I like, I love! I also noticed a strong dancing component to this musical over others I’ve seen which was really memorizing. The story is a tragedy so the audience is left a bit broken at the end. It was strange to experience a professional show where the crowd doesn’t give a standing ovation.

West side story

It was a musical weekend, on Saturday we went to Footloose which was put on by a local theatre company Front Row Centre. We’ve been to a few shows through this company and what I love most is the value. Tickets are only $25 and the acting and singing is quite good. It’s nice to see and support some of the amazing talent we have in Calgary. My only negative review about the performance is Footloose just isn’t the same without Kevin Bacon but I’m sure he would have been out of their budget.

On Sunday I brought myself a bright new pair of shoes. If you can’t run, buy shoes! Right?!

Merrell Road Glove Dash 2

Merrell Road Glove Dash 2

I’ve really been enjoying the view of the Calgary Tower when Canada wins a gold medal! In general I’ve really been enjoying the Olympics.

The Olympic Flame is alive in Calgary

The Olympic Flame is alive in Calgary

What’s your favourite winter Olympic sport?

Ultramarathon Training Recap: Week 4 & 5

Looks like I have a bit of catching up to do.

Honestly, I didn’t feel very motivated to write last week but feel much more inclined today. The past couple weeks have been interesting. Week 4 of training was successful and I even managed to get back into the pool which I’ve been trying to convince myself to do for a couple months. My struggle with swimming is simple, I’m not very good at it. On top of that I don’t appreciate how time consuming it is. Get to pool, swim, shower, wash hair, blow dry… see my point (the ladies will understand). Last year I signed up for adult swimming lessons and actually felt much more confident by the end. It’s amazing how you can forget some of the simplest techniques you learned as a child. Well this year it’s settled, I’ve signed up for a Tri in the summer and have no choice but to suck it up and swim. Luckily it’s also a much appreciated cross-training workout for my joints!

Speaking of joints, week 5 surprised me with a little knee problem. Monday night I woke up with an intense throbbing in my right knee. I tried adjusting, then tried a pillow under my knees but nothing was helping. By 2am my big toe was aching and almost felt like blood wasn’t circulating. I was getting so frustrated that I sat up in bed and declared to the boyfriend that I would like my leg to be cut off (I’m very thankful he didn’t take my outburst seriously). At this point I limped my way downstairs for Advil, ice and my computer. Of course the logical step was to self-diagnose on the internet. This was probably a bad idea as most diagnosis and treatments pointed towards no running or on the extreme spectrum surgery! Ok. Put down the computer and go to bed.

The next morning my knee wasn’t looking or feeling any better. It was stiff, sore and I was hesitant to straighten it. I immediately booked a chiro and physio appointment. I’m too close to “real” ultramarathon training to just ignore it. My chiro is one of my favourite people. He’s extremely attentive, charismatic and a whiz with sports injuries. He checked my joints, ligaments, surrounding muscles and of course my spine alignment. He performed some active release, tapped me up and assured me that it wasn’t as bad as I had led myself to believe the night before.

My new look around the house

My new look around the house

I saw my physio on Wednesday morning and he confirmed that my joints and ligaments are in great shape. I squatted, I stretched, I walked on my heels but nothing seemed to be triggering the pain. It’s a localized pain and the prognosis “a swollen fat pad”. This is probably the strangest injury I’ve ever had but good news is it’s not running related. Actually we can’t figure out what caused this inflammation.

Swollen fat pad

“In the case of a forceful direct impact to the kneecap, the fat pad can become impinged (pinched) between the femoral condyle and the patella. As the fat pad is one of the most sensitive structures in the knee, this injury is known to be extremely painful (check!)” – Sports Injury Clinic

Treatment:

  • no running for 10 days :( 
  • active release with chiro
  • ice, ice and more ice
  • Peppermint Halo & Pain Release essential oils from Saje
  • Ultrasound & acupuncture with physio
Acupuncture knee

Acupuncture!

Jan 27 – Feb 2 workouts:

Monday – 3.5k – Run
Tuesday -  650m – Swim
Wednesday – 3.5k – Run
Thursday – 75 min  – Hot Yoga (power flow)
Saturday – 30 min – Core class
                 – 30 min – Run
Sunday – 20k – LSD Run

Feb 3 – 9 workouts:

Monday – 3.5k – Run
Tuesday -  Rest – Injury
Wednesday – Rest – Injury
Thursday – Rest – Injury
Saturday – 30 min – Core class
                 – 40 min – Arms & Shoulders
Sunday – Rest – Injury

Other highlights from the weeks:

My girlfriend and I went to the New Year, Less Stress seminar at Saje. This was such a wonderful event. I’ve been a big fan of essential oils for natural wellness for years but have fallen in love with Saje over the past year. The speaker gave us some helpful tips and tricks to ease stress but more importantly I took away a very simple concept “we have the ability to decide if we’re going to be stressed or not”. I bought a few things (it’s hard to go into the store and not pick something new up) including the pocket pharmacy. Perfect timing with this knee issue.

I've been finding SO many uses for these blends. The Peppermint Halo is my favourite. It's cleared up a couple headaches in a matter of minutes and the Eaters Digest has already eased a couple stomach aches!

I’ve been finding SO many uses for these blends. The Peppermint Halo is my favourite. It’s cleared up a couple headaches in a matter of minutes and the Eaters Digest has already eased a couple stomach aches!

The boyfriend and I attended one of our annual favourites, the Banff International Film Festival World Tour. They bring the best of the Banff Film Festival to Calgary twice a year. This was our 3rd season and enjoyed another round of adventure films. We usually walk away from the theatre feeling slightly simple in our tame lifestyle, hehe! My favourite of the eight films was High Tension which illustrates an interesting perspective of Mount Everest as a commodity. Very, very interesting!

Banff international film festival

The plan for this week is recovery, spinning and weights. Fingers crossed I get the go ahead to run this weekend!

How was your past week of training? Cold?

 

Friday Favourites! Sauce

In honour of the deep freeze we’ve been stuck in this week it seems fitting to pick one of my favourite accessories for cooler temperatures. Toques (Canadian for hat or beanie) are one of the first cold weather pieces I pull out of storage when the temperature dips. I don’t know about you but my ears are super sensitive and if they get cold I get an instant headache, hence this weeks Friday Favourite!

FridayFav_Sauce

I was first introduced to sauce headwear last year as part of a prize package I won through a local magazine. To be honest I wasn’t overally excited about the toque when I fist saw it…it’s flashy and I prefer dark solid clothing. What I was excited about was the fleece liner in the bottom half of the hat. It looked so cozy and inviting!

Founded by a former National Team skier and designed for high performance, Sauce makes headwear that meets the demands of outdoor enthusiasts and elite athletes without sacrificing style!

My first experience wearing my sauce hat was during a very chilly, very long training run. It was so incredibly comfortable I forgot I was wearing it. Bonus – I also received some compliments about how fashionable I looked (sold I now love flashy running accessories).

sauce's original swirl closure design

sauce’s original swirl closure design

What I like most about this product is the design ↑. It features a swirl closure at the top of the hat, which provides a vent for excess heat. My head stays warm without getting sweaty and wet!

sauce headwear high pony

“the swirl closure also serves as an escape hole for high pony tails” haha I’m not convinced this is a style I can pull off!

Now that I have a new found appreciation for fun running hats I’m impressed by sauces collection. They have toques, headbands and ventilators for all types of weather and in all kinds of colours and patterns. They also create custom designs for sporting events and teams… like this great igloo hat ↓

Igloo hat

It’s so Canadian!

The price is reasonable for the quality of the product (about $32) and the website almost always has sales on old styles. They ship to Canada and the US or you can find sauce at local running/tri shops, in Calgary you can pick one up at Tri it Multisport, Gord’s Running Store and Lifesport.

If you’re in need of something new to keep your noggin warm, or just want a fun new running accessory I highly recommend sauce!

Sauce headwear

Wild Rose D-tox – DONE!

Wow I have a few posts to catch up on!

I finished the Wild Rose D-tox on Sunday and what a glorious day it was! Overall the d-tox was great but would I say that it’s been life changing – no. Throughout the 12 days I never experienced any radical symptoms that have been mentioned like flu symptoms, loss of energy, stomach pains and extensive trips to the bathroom. Maybe it’s luck. Or maybe (and this is just a thought) it’s because I didn’t have much to clear out. I’ll be extremely honest, I ate a lot of junk and drank frequently over the past three “running break” months but the remaining 9 months of the year I’m fairly non-toxic. I’m starting to think that someone who is more indulgent than myself may see more benefit from a d-tox.

Here are the benefits I did notice:

  • Bye, bye cravings! I noticed this within the first 5 days, I lost my craving for sugar and salt
  • Bye, bye bloating! I seem to remember noticing this within the first week of the d-tox
  • Bye, bye breakouts! I’m just starting to appreciate this benefit. My skin has cleared up dramatically
  • Hello reset button! I feel like I’ve completely reset my diet. Once you get into the routine you find comfort in nutritious meals and snacks. It’s helped push me back into cleaner eating habits

My energy level was fairly high throughout the whole d-tox and I can’t say that I noticed an increase in energy from the time I started.

Since taking the food restrictions away (sugar, wheat, fermented anything and dairy… I’m already lactose intolerant) I’ve noticed some shifts:

  • Sugar is sweet! Anything with sugar tastes sickly sweet. It’s actually given me a couple tiny headaches
  • Sugar is tough on my stomach! My belly has been slightly uneasy every time I eat sugar… I’ll keep an eye on this
  • Veggies are awesome! Sometimes I forget how much I like to eat vegetables but I’m back to really appreciating them
  • I can live without alcohol! Of course I like a beer or glass of wine on occasion with friends but I honestly don’t crave it (I never have). I would be perfectly fine if I wasn’t able to drink… although I still will

Would I recommend this d-tox? Yes I would. If anything it will help kick start a nutritious diet!

I’m not going to bore you with what I ate from day 8-12 but I will share two d-tox friendly and boyfriend approved recipes!

Hummus
serves 10
This recipe is  from my Precision Nutrition cookbook!

Hummus

Ingredients:1 can chickpeas (drained)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tahini
1 fresh lemon (squeezed)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth

Sausage & Kale Stew with Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes 
serves 6
This recipe is from my naturopath/very good friend

Sausage and kale stew

Ingredients:
1 pound Italian sausage links (casings removed and broken in large chunks)
1 onion (chopped)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
Salt & pepper to taste3 russet potatoes
1 small bunch kale (stems discarded and leaves torn small)
½ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
1. Combine the sausage, onion, tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, garlic, 1 cup water and a pinch of salt and pepper into a slow cooker. Nestle the potatoes in the liquid and top with the kale.
2. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl (or kitchen aid mixer). Add almond milk, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and mash. If using a mixer whip the potatoes until fluffy.
3. Serve the stew topped with the mashed potatoes.

Ultramarathon Training Recap: Week 3 Base Building

Week 3 went very well and I finally feel like I’m back to a normal schedule. I find that fitness and eating come hand-in-hand. If I’m in a normal workout routine I want to eat healthier which is probably some subconscious response from my body pleading for nutrient dense food. When I’m not in a normal workout routine (ie. training) I tend to crave and snack on filler foods which are always full of sugar and sodium. I like chips and chocolate and obviously still inhale enjoy them from time-to-time, I simply just don’t crave them as badly after hill training, etc.

My running base is coming along nicely and I’m feeling really good about jumping into full ultra training mode in February. I’m still finalizing the details of my training plan. It’s been difficult to find solid information about how to train for a 50k. Many forums simply say “it’s only 8 km more than a marathon so you should just be able to get through it”. I’ve been to the 42 mark many times… and I don’t believe these statements to be helpful or true at all. Luckily, I recently had a very insightful conversation with the master of distance, Martin Prrnell and another aspiring ultramarathoner Michelle. Both provided a plethora of inforamtion. I’m also trying to strategically add swimming and cycling into the mix for cross-training and tri purposes. I’ll be sure to share my schedule when it’s complete.

Jan 20 – 26 workouts:

Monday – 3.5k – Run
Tuesday -  15k – Steady Run
Wednesday – 3.5k – Run
Thursday – 75 min  – Hot Yoga (power flow)
Saturday – 30 min – Core class
                 – 75 min Hot Yoga (flow)
Sunday – 17.5k – LSD Run

Other highlights from the week:

I was up bright and early on Thursday to escort chef Darren to his City TV segment. While waiting we met Gilmore and Brianne, two speed skaters who will be competing for gold in Sochi.

I met 2 speed skaters who are headed to the Olympics in a couple weeks. Good luck Gilmore and Brianne!

I met 2 speed skaters who are headed to the Olympics in a couple weeks. Good luck Gilmore and Brianne!

On Friday a friend and I went to a jazz performance at the EPCOR Centre. This was a lovely experience however I found the songs to be quite depressing, with the exception of her french songs…. I don’t know what they were about :)

EPCORE CENTRE

Madeleine Peyroux

Saturday was game night! We played some intense rounds of Scattergories, Charades and Trivial Pursuit.

One of the questions was "how many miles is a full marathon?". The boyfriend nailed it!

One of the questions was “how many miles is a full marathon?”. The boyfriend nailed it!

Sunday was #runday! -17… just slightly colder than the beautiful +12 we had on Saturday but still a beautiful day to run.

As seen on my run!

As seen on my run!

Wild Rose D-tox – Day 8

Yay for Day 8 (out of 12)! I’m over half way there.

Yay! Running

Honestly, this d-tox hasn’t been that bad (knock on wood). The worst symptom I’ve experienced was a dull headache on day three that wouldn’t go away. I’ve been bracing myself for a least one food meltdown… but alas cravings haven’t dominated my day. Sure I wanted to dig into the mountain of nachos and enjoy a beer with my co-workers at a celebration last Friday but instead I ordered wonton soup. While driving home from the event I felt very proud of my willpower.

Full disclosure – the boyfriend and I cheated on Sunday. I was feeling ashamed about this on Sunday night but the boyfriend reassured me that it’s not that big of a deal considering how good we’ve been. Then I remembered that most of the blogs I’ve read include quite a bit of cheating during the d-tox (no names).

I think research and meal planning have benefited me the most through this d-tox so far.

Research

  • I read plenty of blogs and journals posted by others who have done the d-tox which has provided great insight about what to expect… and worst case scenario
  • I read articles about the pros and cons of d-toxing
  • I searched for snacks that fit into the suggested diet

Meal Planning

  • I went through 6 cookbooks and pages of recipes on Pintrest to find meals that meet the suggested diet or are easy to manipulate
  • I’ve planned out meals for the week
  • I’ve created shopping lists… the grocery store was a display case of temptation on Sunday night. I had to look down and beeline it to the produce in fear of straying toward the bakery!
I've become a master at prepping snacks!

I’ve become a master at prepping snacks!

I've been creative. Unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon and pecans almost taste like apple pie!

I’ve been creative. Unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon and pecans almost taste like apple pie!

Popcorn is already one of my favourite snacks... but I've discovered that it satisfies almost all cravings

Popcorn is already one of my favourite snacks… but I’ve discovered that it satisfies almost all cravings

Day 2
I feel 8/10. I had a few little cravings and my energy level is about medium (might be due to 15k run day before)

Nutrition
Breakfast
Oatmeal with cinnamon

Snacks
Rice cake with almond butter
Apple
Mixed nuts

Lunch
Homemade humus
Mixed veggies
Salad
Rice

Dinner
Turkey Shepard’s Pie
Unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, pecans

Day 3
I feel 6/10. I had headache all day and my energy level was medium but I still managed to make it to Hot Yoga

Nutrition
Breakfast
2 eggs
Match & unsweetened almond mile latte 

Snacks
Protein bar (homemade)
Apple
Hummus & veggies
Unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, pecans
Popcorn

Lunch
Rice, sausage and mixed veggies

Dinner
Turkey Shepard’s Pie… again

Day 4
I feel 8/10. Energy level was back to normal. Work was busy so I skipped lunch and was very hangery around 3pm. Coworkers ordered nachos and other pub food…. I ate wonton soup and was very proud of myself!

Nutrition
Breakfast
Smoothie
Protein bar (homemade)

Snacks
Apple
Hummus & veggies
Mixed nuts
Popcorn

Lunch
Wonton soup

Dinner
Chicken Divine (chicken thigh, coconut milk, spices, brown rice, broccoli) ← was SO yummy – I’ll be making it again as I only got one portion… the boyfriend really liked it!

Day 5
I feel 9/10. Energy level was high. I did a core class and then hot yoga with a friend in the afternoon.  We played board games with friends in the evening and resisted chips and beer… luckily the host put out hummus and veggies!

Nutrition
Breakfast
Smoothie

Snacks
Hummus & veggies
Protein bar (homemade)

Lunch
Apple
Eggs
Veggies

Dinner
BBQ Steak, broccoli, yam fries

Day 6
I feel 8/10. Energy level wasn’t too bad considering our late night on Saturday. I did a 17.5k run and had to cheat, I took a GU halfway through my run. We went to my parents for dinner…. another (BIG) cheat, we had lasagna. I couldn’t say no, my dad is an amazing cook and his feeling would have been hurt. It was so worth it!

Nutrition
Late Breakfast
2 eggs
Turkey bacon
Rice cracker & almond butter

Snacks
Hummus & veggies
Apple
Mixed nuts
GU

Dinner
Lasagna, salad

Day 7
I feel 9/10. My legs were heavy on my run to work. Energy level is high and it’s a rest day!

Nutrition
Breakfast
2 eggs
Mixed berries

Snacks
Hummus & veggies
Mixed nuts
Apple

Dinner
Salmon, kale salad, quinoa

So all-in-all it’s been a successful first half of the Wild Rose D-tox. I’m on the home stretch and can’t wait to celebrate on Sunday. Here’s the Shepard’s Pie recipe I manipulated to work for the d-tox.

Shepard’s Pie
Serves 6
Shepard's Pie Recipe
Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs ground oats
1 cup chicken broth (no sugar)
1 cup frozen peas
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbs butter
1 tbs thyme
1 tbs italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. In a large pot bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and place potatoes in the pot. Simmer until cooked through
2. While the potatoes are cooking heat oil in a pan over medium. Add onions and carrots and cook until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for about 2 min
3. Add ground turkey to the pan and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally (about 8 min)
4. Add the ground oats and cook for about 2 min. Stir in the broth and seasoning. Bring to a simmer and let the mixture reduce
5. Stir in peas and then pour the mixture into a 12-cup baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350°
6. Drain the potatoes, add butter and almond milk and mash until smooth
7. Cover the meat and vegetable mixture with potatoes and use a spatula to seal the edges
8. Bake for about 25 minutes

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