Monday, 31 March 2014

Drafting a Family Food Policy

I mentioned a post last week that we were going to develop a family food policy. While we haven't sat down and crafted ours yet, Weston started solids last Thursday at the suggestion of our paediatrician so the need is becoming more pressing.  It has also been weighing on my mind a lot lately, as I want to give him the best start in life through a healthy and nutritious diet.

Find these on Etsy

Here are some of my initial thoughts:

  • We eat our meals at the dining room table. 
  • The dining table is a stress free zone. (aided of course by fun artwork that I am coveting on Etsy!)
  • Our food choices are based on the following principles: Is it nutritious? Will it provide me with healthy energy? Do I know where it came from/ how it is made?
  • We will stick to buying organics according to the dirty dozen list.
  • Homemade is better than processed (unless we are at one of our favourite organic spots)
  • Weston drinks water and milk period. (with the exception of smoothies I might make him, this will be a no juice household). I will be sourcing organic milk for Weston (we don't drink milk).
  • Me and J will serve as role models for how we want Weston to eat.
  • We will eat local products as much as possible and emphasize fair trade (i.e. bananas, coffee, chocolate).
  • We will all have a say in what is for dinner. 

Thinking of developing your own family food policy? Here are some articles I found very insightful:
Do you have your own outlook on nutrition that guides your every day decisions?

Weekly Workouts (Mar 24-30)

Monday, Mar 24 - 60 minute HIIT
Tuesday, Mar 25 - OFF
Wednesday, Mar 26 - OFF

Thursday, Mar 27 - 60 minute HIIT
Friday, Mar 28 - OFF
Saturday, Mar 29 - 6 km run (avg pace 5:25)
Sunday, Mar 30 - 75 minute yoga flow

So last week was less than stellar and I completely missed a recap of my Arizona week. It did include two solid runs.

Here are some key events from the past month:
  • I participated in Edmonton's Bust a Move HIIT class and got to be on stage!
  • We are getting Weston into a pretty solid betide routine which means I need to workout between 6-7pm now.  This is actually a good thing because I have a set time!
  • I am getting a bit faster (slowly). I am excited by this even if it is just over the shorter distances.
  • I mentioned that I found out I have diastasis and I am going for some pretty serious rehab. Initially I was told no running but they loosened up on that.
  • I am almost finished by case study for marathon coaching. If I pass I can move on to coach a real live runner :)

Saturday, 29 March 2014

April Challenge

Is it just me or does this seem less and less like a running blog. I apologize!!

Getting on a running schedule was harder than anticipated and the weather has not been kind. Lately I seem to go from good weeks of 3-4 runs to zero. With April on its way and (hopefully) and less ice on the sidewalks things are going to change. I promise.

My plan this time is to plan less. The other day I stopped by my office and my running friend/co-worker mentioned to me that she had read an article on map my run that essentially advocated not running any "junk miles". I interpret this to mean "run with purpose".  Lately my runs have been purely to run again, which is fine for base building but if I am honest with myself I have a pretty solid 5-8k base that I can build upon.

Things that are starting to get easier:

  • Warmer temperatures and more daylight means I can run when J gets home from work.
  • Weston's paediatrician gave the go ahead for the running stroller based on how strong he is (I had been nervous because of the 9 month recommendations)
  • Physio is helping my core get stronger.
Extra motivation:
  • There is something very exciting happening in the Edmonton running community that I can't wait to share. In the next few weeks I will have more details!
  • Ummm I am signed up for a 10k at the end of the month. It might not be pretty : )
  • Three solid runs a week (long run, tempo, intervals/hills). I am not making a schedule because that seems to be setting me up for failure lately.
  • My core/diastasis work every day (I set an alarm on my iPhone to remind me)
Seems simple right? 

Have you been in a rut lately and need some extra April motivation? I would love to have some accountability here or on instagram to share your runs or other activities. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Get The Junk Out

I was at a family event yesterday with some distant relatives that Weston hasn't yet had the chance to meet. We got on the topic of introducing solids and talking about how Weston reaches for straws now (and pretty much all food in general).

One of the moms shared that her son, who is 9 months old, had a fast of a Tim Horton's iced cap and now you have to hide them from him. An Ice Cap!? Like the caffeine, creamery sugary drink from a machine that even adults probably shouldn't over indulge in. I was flummoxed. (for the record, a medium iced cap has a whopping 55 grams of sugar!)

The conversation then went on to "hiding junk food" from children. It has never for a moment occurred to me that we would hide junk food from Weston. Is this a common thing?

I am of the mindset that we should all eat healthfully and junk food really has no place in our home on a regular basis. Treats, absolutely. But I want Weston to grow up understanding why we eat healthy foods and what will provide him the most nourishment to grow.

The marketing of junk foods geared towards children is shocking. Although these stats are from the US, I would assume they are quite similar in Canada. A review of children's diets revealed the following:
I don't want to create and environment of "good" and "bad" foods, but there are some things I just don't think belong in a child's diet.  This is also something I am considering as we look into potential day cares. I have pretty much accepted that I will probably end up packing his foods if we want him to always have high quality vegetarian meals. And I am totally OK with that.

Do you have food policies for your home? 
Do you provide treats in moderation?
I would love to hear your ideas because this is something that isn't really talked about.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Last Minute Adventures

Last week I took a bit of a break (mostly due to no internet connection). We booked a last minute flight to Phoenix to visit with my parents for four days. While the trip was short and sweet, it was so nice to let my parents see Weston.

I got in two really great runs there and the feeling of dry, smooth pavement felt amazing beneath my feet. We ran early to avoid the heat because by noon most days it was nearing 30 degrees.

Other than that we enjoyed lazy days in the backyard and taking short road trips to the hills. Every time I see my parents now it gets harder to leave. Maybe it is because I have a baby or I am becoming more sentimental with age. Living away from your family is a hard thing. While you get to miss a lot of the family drama, you miss the little things too. Like coffee with my dad, shoe shopping with my mom and even watching TV together on the couch.

In other news, I found out that I have a mild case of diastasis recti or post natal ab separation. I suspected something wasn't quite right but shrugged it off. I will be going for physio to try and improve it but it is very frustrating to thing I have been doing ALL the wrong core work. I might have to start running with ab ab splint but will find out more after my complete assessment. I have found this resource very helpful in the meantime.

Does anyone else feel like we don't talk enough about proper post natal after care?? In the rush to get back in shape, we gloss over the importance of pelvic floor health and core stability.

Postpartum fitness really is a journey!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Get to Class: ViPR HIIT

On Thursday I wen to my last class as part of the #fitmamasyeg challenge: ViPR HIIT. While I thought ViPR was just the name of the weight, it turns out  it is an acronym  for Vitality, Performance and Re-Conditioning.  If you have never seen a ViPR before it looks like this:

This workout was 100% new to me! It was in the same studio as the TRX class and I kept telling the instructor how much I loved it! It was very challenging even with the lightest ViPR (4kg). 

The workout was set up tabata style with about 8 exercises for 20 seconds x 8 reps with a rest between. Exercises included jumping jacks holding the ViPR overhead, lunges with a wood chop motion, lateral shuffles tipping the ViPR end over end (sorry if that explanation doesn't make sense), and russian twists cradling the ViPR at chest height.

This video of the top 10 ViPR exercises is probably much more informative than my attempt at explaining the moves:

ViPRs come in 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16 & 20 KG options. The ViPR is made of rubber and has specially moulded hand grips that you can see in the photo above. According to the official site:
You can also place your hands through the ends or use the single handle on the other side for a grip. This allows maximum variety and comfort for clients to lift, shovel, push, pull, rotate and throw while integrating the whole body through movement at the same time.
My thoughtsI loved it! I am considering getting a ten pass for the studio just to go to the class more regularly.  The ViPR didn't feel cumbersome and the total body workout was intense.  I also tend to need new types of workouts to keep me motivated.

Have you tried ViPR before? Did you love it??

Monday, 10 March 2014

Weekly Workouts (Mar 3 - March 9)

Monday, Mar 3 - OFF

Tuesday, Mar 4 - OFF
Wednesday, Mar 5 - 60 minute mommy & me yoga class, 60 minute HIIT class
Thursday, Mar 6 - Strollercize
Friday, Mar 7 - 60 minute HIIT
Saturday, Mar 8 - 60 minute TRX workout
Sunday, Mar 9 - 5k run with the stroller!

Thoughts his week:
  • It has been a long time since I felt ready for a rest day (workout wise). Today it felt good to just hang around the house with Weston and do some crafty things during his downtime.
  • It was so warm it go very slushy during our run and we had wet feet! I didn't think I would ever be so happy to see (and run in) slush! 
  • Our basement is being finished right now so there will be no workout DVDs for a while... at least not any that I can't do in the space of a yoga mat.
This week will be spent soaking up these spring like temps!!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Get to Class - TRX

Yesterday I went to a TRX class as part of the #fitmamasyeg challenge. One full hour of nothing but TRX. When I mentioned to J that I was going he said something like "isn't that the workout that was really popular 5 years ago?"  Fine, so I am a little late to the game on this one but I might as well share my experience right?

I have done TRX exercises before with a trainer and at strollercize, but I have never taken a full class.    We worked our whole body from piston squats to chest press.  The instructor warned us that we might feel dizzy during the class and I was surprised when I actually did. Like nauseous dizzy.  I am going to assume it is because the TRX straps are moving so slightly that you don't really notice, but it is enough to make you feel a bit queasy.  Or, I am out of shape : )

Te hardest exercise for me by far, was the suspended hamstring curl. 10 reps in and my hamstrings were screaming! 

A TRX system, a mat and your body weight are all that are needed. The gym had all the TRXs suspended from a big frame, but neighbours of ours just had their basement ceiling reinforced so that they could do the workouts at home. I might be popping over for some suspended pushups :)

My thoughts
It was a very good workout! I am already sore as I type this and I found it a bit easier to isolate the muscle groups than I do using free weights.  I would love to go back to this little gym and try some more classes. They also offer a TRX yoga class which I think would be awesome. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Virtual Run Date - Calgary

Hi there!

On today's Virtual Run Date we find ourselves in Calgary with Leigh from The Best Thing is Love.

Meet Leigh!

Hi! My name is Leigh and I live in Calgary, Alberta. I grew up in a small town in Ontario though.

If I were visiting your city, where would we go on a run?
I have to brag and say that Calgary has some pretty amazing pathways all over the city that make great spots for running. My go-to spot is along the river heading towards downtown from the north part of the city. The pathways around the Glenmore Reservoir are also great too!

Where should I stop for a pre-run coffee?
I am the wrong person to ask this question as I don’t drink coffee or tea. I’ll say the very Canadian answer of Tim Horton’s.

Where is the best spot for a post-race brunch?
Hmm, another thing that I don’t do often after races, so I have no ideas!

I forgot my shoes/gels/running socks… where can I get some new gear?
My go-to spot for running gear is the Running Room or MEC. There are various RR’s all over the city with friendly and helpful staff. There is also Gord’s or the Tech Shop. Both are great as well!

What is the must-run race of the season?
I’m a little biased, but I’d have to say the Calgary Marathon. It offers many different races (from a kids race to a half to a 50K this year) and nothing beats a hometown race. Plus, the volunteers and crowds are awesome!

Connect with Leigh


If you want to contribute for your city please drop me a line at 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Four months!

Today you are four months old. You are learning new things in leaps and bounds now and I never now what to expect next.

You are big enough for your exersaucer now and just this week started to play in it.

You like to sit in your bumbo chair while we Skype with grandma and grandpa.

You love to stand up and bounce and are putting these skills to use in your new jumper.

You are over 14 pounds now and you still have beautiful blue/grey eyes.

You put EVERYTHING in your mouth. Mommy's fingers, GiGi, Sophie, Pebble and the list goes on and on.

You are strong enough to face outward on our walks now and you silently take all the world has to offer you in.

You like toys now and can hold them in your hands.

Your reflection in the mirror makes you laugh, especially after bath time when you are all wrapped up in your towel.

You have certainly found your voice! You shriek with delight and scream with frustration. Quite often we find you talking to your toys.

Love you so so much!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Weekly Workouts (Feb 24 - March 2)

Monday Feb 24 - OFF
Tuesday Feb 25 - 60 min. HIIT
Wednesday, Feb 26 - #fitmamasYEG online workout
Thursday, Feb 27 - 60 min. HIIT
Friday, Feb 28 - #fitmamasYEG online workout
Saturday, Mar 1 - Jillian Michaels DVD
Sunday, Mar 2 - OFF (I had an exam to write!)

Thoughts his week:

  • Why is it so hard to adjust to the fact that life with a baby is so different! I need a new way to plan workouts : )
  • Mall walking might actually be a decent workout when it is -40 outside. 
  • Finding a decent running jacket that is moderately priced is more challenging than it should be!
Can anyone recommend a running jacket for me? I need a new spring one that is rain resistant, sweat wicking, and preferably with underarm vents (but not the wide open kind).  My current jacket is flame orange and I would like something more subdued. Grey, black or even deep purple or navy would work!