victoria bc

Recipe: Vegan black bean and yam veggie burgers

veggiebrgersThese are seriously amazing.

I’ve tried several homemade veggie burger recipes over the years, and most patties have either required too much effort to make, ended up tasting like cardboard or just fall apart in the bun.

Aside from some day-in-advance prep, these black bean and yam veggie burgers not only stick together, but also are super easy to make. I made a variation using this wonderful recipe from Treble in the Kitchen. I doubled the ingredients as I wanted to make a bigger batch to freeze, added more yams and also added in zucchini and carrots to up the vegetable quota. (more…)

#FitFashion Friday Feature: Get your sweat on in locally made Tonic Lifestyle Apparel

I was first introduced to Tonic apparel while attending the Every Woman Moves conference weekend in Whistler almost five years ago. This local Vancouver-based yoga and lifestyle apparel company uses environmentally friendly manufacturing processes when creating their clothing, which is awesome. Their stuff is high quality and made right in Vancouver, which is also awesome. Tonic is available in select specialty stores throughout the world, including Breathe Athletic here in Victoria on Fort Street.

If you happen to live in Victoria and are free today between 10 a.m and 4 p.m., stop by Breathe Athletic for Tonic’s Promo Day event! Ania from Tonic Lifestyle Apparel will be there to chat about their Canadian-made brand of athletic clothing and to give away complimentary headbands. There will be a draw for a fabulous Tonic outfit and a 10% discount on all purchases and light refreshments. Can’t make it in store? The discount applies to purchases made online as well.

Below are a few of my favourite pieces on their website right now. I especially like the sweat shirt/infinity scarf/fuchsia capri pant combo. If I didn’t have an office job where I had to dress business causal sometimes, I would live in that outfit 24/7.

tonicall

To see their entire collection, visit mytonic.ca.

Fitful Focus

Thanks Nicole for the link-up! 🙂

{Friday Favourites} Magazine features, standing desks and sunrise runs

Life In LeggingsHappy (Good) Friday, friends! I have a mishmash of things I wanted to share on the blog this week, so what better way than to participate in a Friday Favourites link-up? Today I’m linking up with Heather of Life in Leggings, because that would probably be the name of my blog (actually it would be Life in Lululemon) if I didn’t have a government job.

I had two more articles published in a magazine this week!

Getting published in a print magazine with a byline was one of my goals for last year, and I was thrilled to not only write but also be featured in this article for IMPACT Magazine. My plan for 2015 was to really pick up my freelance-writing game, so I was more than happy to write these two pieces for Get Out There Magazine’s Annual Women’s Edition:

 

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#WorkoutWednesday: My off-season workout routine right now

Running in the bamboo forest in Maui.

Running in the bamboo forest in Maui.

It’s hard to believe that about six months ago I was running a sub 4:45-per-kilometre marathon pace. Right now I can barely run for 10 km. And I’m probably running at twice that pace.

It’s good to have a break from running and racing at least once a year for a few months, as it helps to prevent overuse injuries and gives you a chance to spend the time cross training and strengthen all those muscles you don’t get to use during marathon training. Though it can be humbling to head out with much faster and fitter friends during your “off-season”, taking a break from running now and again will benefit you in the long run — literally and figuratively.

Other than the set back I experienced a few weeks ago (where I couldn’t do anything more than walk for about three weeks), I’ve been pretty consistent with my strength and yoga routine, mixing in at least one or two short runs (7-10 km) and one hike per week to maintain a good cardio base. My weeks look something like this: (more…)

Mind over marathon: What to do when your body wants to quit

My BQ attempt at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria last year, ignoring the pain!

I wish I could train for a marathon without running those 3-hour-plus long training runs. No matter how beautiful my running route is and how interesting the podcasts I listen to during my long runs are, I always start thinking about how hungry, tired and chaffed I am and how much I just want to stop running and be back at home.

I guess I sort of skipped the long runs in 2013 during training, but that’s because I already put in those once weekly 3-5 hour long run days several months before while I was training for the Squamish 50. Then I took a two-month break, got up one day and ran 24 km, and then ran a marathon a week later.

I know there are marathon training methods where your longest training run is only about 25 km. These plans also include several longer runs (12-16 km) per week, plus a day or two of strength training and a tempo run. Although the proponents of this method say your endurance will be marathon-ready and you are less likely to overtrain and injure yourself by skipping the once-per-week high mileage runs (which may be true), here’s why I don’t like that method: you miss out on training your brain. (more…)

Giveaway time! Enter to win an H2O Audio Interval 4G Waterproof Headphone System!

FullSizeRender2Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m happy to report I’m finally back to workouts this week — I started with some light resistance training on Monday and 30 minutes of yoga yesterday. I’m sore everywhere. Oh how I missed you, DOMs.

My plan is to finally head out for a run on Thursday this week. I’m so glad I didn’t end up signing up for a spring race like I had planned to, otherwise I’d be mighty disappointed in my cardio fitness right now. I have no races planned in the near future, however, so I have plenty of time to build it back up again.

Speaking of races, I’ve been seriously considering getting back to triathlon again. I did my first race in 2010 and fell in love with it. But then I went and became an event organizer and communications person for a local triathlon race series and that experience completely crushed my desire to participate again. When you breathe swimming, biking and running 24/7 from an event organizer perspective, swimming, biking and running is kind of the last thing you want to do in your free time (on the rare occasion you have any).

When I was training, though, I would have LOVED to have had this for the pool. The H2O Audio Interval 4G Waterproof Headphone System is a waterproof case AND headphones for your iPod shuffle so you can rock out in the pool during swim training. (more…)

Strength training. You’re (probably) doing it wrong.

IMG_3505Before I became a certified strength and conditioning specialist, I thought I had pretty decent form when lifting weights and  doing core exercises at the gym. I’d been studying the instructions in fitness magazines and following along carefully to workout DVDs for almost nine years, all the while thinking I was working the muscle groups I was trying to target.

Nope.

When I was studying for my CSCS exam, I got schooled by another trainer at a private gym where I was volunteering and job shadowing last summer. Turns out I have a wicked anterior pelvic tilt (meaning my hips tilt forward, like I’m trying to sit all the time), which made me botch up most of my core and hip exercises and was probably the reason to blame for my tight calves. (more…)

Does marathon training make you gain weight?

Looking like a stuffed sausage during triathlon training in 2010.

Looking like a stuffed sausage during triathlon training in 2010.

It might seem counterintuitive, but running long distance does not always equal a fit-looking body. I say fit looking, because if you can run 25 – 34km once a week for several weeks, you are a fit person. You just might be carrying around a little extra squishiness than if you were, say, lifting weights and doing half an hour of plyometrics a few times a week instead.

What gives? I burn, like, 1,500 calories on my 30 km training runs. That’s like, a whole day’s worth of food!

And herein lies the problem: Marathon training = eat all the foodz + type I > type II muscle fibres = more squishiness. (more…)

Can meditation make you a faster runner?

The Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson uses it with his players to prepare for NBA games. Top mixed martial arts fighters like Georges St-Pierre and Diego Sanchez use it to calm the mind and enhance focus before fights. Even the U.S. Army uses it to increase mental toughness.

Since endurance sports takes a whole lot of mental focus, pain management and rumination avoidance, you’d think meditation and running would go together like CrossFit and the Paleo Diet.

Although there have been several scientific studies published over the years about the benefits of meditation, I couldn’t find anything but anecdotal evidence when it came to endurance sports in particular. Even the big running mags only covered the topic of meditation and running just a smattering of times.

While we wait for researchers to study the connection between mindfulness and improving your running efficiency, there’s no harm in trying it out for yourself (unlike going paleo and eating a ton of bacon all the time, which CAN actually harm you). (more…)

Hate running? Then don’t do it.

Gunner Shaw 14That’s right, you heard me.

If pulling on your sweat-wicking threads, lacing up your flashy, minimalistic running shoes and pounding the pavement with Daft Punk blasting through your ear buds for 40 minutes or so isn’t your idea of a good time, then don’t do it.

And equally, if huffing and puffing your way up a steep and muddy single-track trail through forest while your quads turn to jelly is your idea of torture, then don’t do that, either.

Also, if sweating all over the floor and looking super unattractive while you lift heavy weights sounds downright deplorable, then feel free to give it a miss. (more…)

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