fitness

Unhappy with your body? Change your perception by thinking of it like this.

At the right place at the right time for this rainbow in Maui.

At the right place at the right time for this rainbow in Maui.

Are you unhappy with the way your body looks? Do you pick yourself apart, thinking negative thoughts about how this part of your flesh looks in that particular outfit, or the way that body part of yours should be just a little bit more narrow/wide/tall?

If you’re critical of your body, try thinking about it in this way.

Try thinking of it as a rainbow.

Seriously.

During my last few long marathon training runs, I started listening to AudioDharma, a podcast recorded at a meditation centre in California that explores Buddha’s teachings. Being an aspiring yogi, I decided I might gain some insight by brushing up on the teachings of this often-quoted spiritual sage. I like a lot of the concepts practiced in Buddhism (kindness, gratitude, generosity, mindfulness, etc.), so I thought I might be able to find little nuggets of wisdom I could take away and practice in my daily life while getting those training miles in under my belt. (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…)

Recipe: Spicy peanut zucchini noodle saute

Spicy peanut zucchini noodle saute

Spicy peanut zucchini noodle saute

Who needs to cook pasta when you’ve got a spiralizer? I seriously love this thing.

Yesterday morning I decided to whip up this spicy peanut saute to take to work for lunch. It only took about five minutes to prep and less than 10 minutes to cook. It was amazing — the sauce was so good!

Spicy peanut zucchini noodle saute
Makes three servings

Ingredients

  • One large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1-2 cups sugar snap peas
  • Half a clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

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Forever alone: Why I don’t want to join your running group

wildflowerquteSometimes I feel a sense of longing when I see a big group of runners or cyclists out for their long Sunday run or ride, chatting away about their families, race goals and interests. What a great way to pass the time, I think, to socialize and get your long training run done at the same time.

But I will never join a running group. At least not regularly. I prefer to run and workout alone. (more…)

Gym #selfie challenge: Quit posing and show us what hard work really looks like

gymselfie1Confession: I’m sick and tired of your #gymselfies.

I get it. You’re all sweaty and the lighting is awesome, making you look like you have “delts for dayz”. You want to inspire others with your “fitspirational” Instagram photo. You pop your arm back to get that skinny-arm look and flex your abs. You snap a few pics, apply a filter that highlights those muscles even more. You write something like “No excuses, got it done #demgainz #sweatfest #fitness #fitspiration” and hit share. You’re proud of your body, and you should be. I can see you’ve put in a lot of work.

But that’s not what I want to see all the time. And that’s not what we should see all the time.

(more…)

How accurate is a FitBit at estimating calorie burn?

Photo(1)Last month, I did a little experiment with my FitBit Flex to see if being in a 250-calorie-per-day deficit actually does lead to half a pound per week of fat loss (because there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, so 7 days x -250 calories less per day = -1,750 less per week).

I tracked my caloric intake closely using MyFitnessPal in conjunction with my FitBit, and added in any workouts using calories tracked from my heart rate monitor (I burn much less than what my FitBit estimates, so I manually enter in these calories burnt and it recalculates), trying to stay within the range of a 1,750-calorie-per-week deficit. Here are the results:

 

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Recipe: Healthy chocolate peanut butter protein balls

ballsIf there’s anything better than chocolate and peanut butter, I have yet to discover it. (Okay, wine is pretty great, too).

I’ve been tweaking this recipe for about three weeks now, and I think I’ve found the perfect flavour/consistency for these bad boys! If you want to make them really low calorie, you can omit the peanut butter — but really, why would you do that.

I even calculated the calories and macros for all you IIFYM people. It takes less than 10 minutes to prep, and only 12 minutes to bake. Stop wasting your money on those amazingly tasty Quest bars and make these instead! (more…)

Fueling for running (and strength training): What I eat pretty much every day

photo 2(3)I’m not an expert in nutrition. I’m not an expert in running, either. And it’ll be a lonnnnnng time before I can call myself a “specialist” in anything. (I’m taking my certified strength and conditioning specialist exam in May, but in my opinion, that designation won’t mean much until I have years of experience behind me.)

That said, I generally know what I should and shouldn’t be eating to fuel my endurance and strength training, and what I should and shouldn’t be eating to fuel my body so it can function on a day-to-day basis. Of course, this all fits under the umbrella of preference–I’m not going to eat anything I don’t like. Luckily, there are a lot of healthy and nutrient-dense foods I DO like (and that other people probably think taste like grass clippings).

Rather than me going on about the best foods and meal plans for runners (or for people who just generally want to eat healthy), here’s a peek inside my pantry and a look at what I eat pretty much every day (because that’s way more fun, right?) (more…)

My Annual Non-New Year’s Resolution Post: 2014 Goals

Me at the top of Haleakalā in Maui in March 2013

Me at the top of Haleakalā in Maui in March 2013

Has it seriously been 365 days since my last non-New Year’s resolution post? It felt like 2013 flew by in a blur of awesomeness. A lot of wonderful, fun and challenging things happened for me in 2013, including getting a full-time, permanent job with the government (medical and dental FTW); going on vacation with my boyfriend to Maui;  celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday in Oyama with my whole family (before she passed away less than month later); watching my best friend get married; completing my first 50 km trail race in one piece; and running a super fast marathon time without training. (more…)

How many calories do you actually burn doing workout DVDs in comparison to running?

dvd_compareI was wondering about this recently and couldn’t find anything relevant after a quick Google search, so I busted out the ‘ol HR monitor to find out.

I compared two different workout DVDs of about roughly the same duration of time — Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones and Insanity: Plyometric Cardio Circuit — to a 48 minute run that incorporates a steep trail (of which I actually had to hike up instead of run).

While the run is pure cardio, the DVDs do incorporate some strength training moves (push-ups and squats for Insanity; super sets with 3lbs weights for Jillian) along with some interval training, so the fitness benefits are a bit different. Let’s have a look, shall we: (more…)

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