Saturday, July 26, 2014

20 days of Nourishment - Review

Mind – Body – Spirit

Today is the last day of the 20 days of nourishment challenge. It has been very interesting to reflect each day on what aspects of my life I seem to be doing well with and what areas I could probably focus more on.

The challenge was to list your daily activities in one of three categories – mind, body and spirit – and to give each activity a score out of 7 depending on how helpful, positive or healthy the activity was. There isn’t a perfect score, or even a number to aim for. The point is to see how your numbers vary from day to day and what activities may be good or bad for you.

Unsurprisingly, my numbers were highest every day in the BODY category. This category dealt with food. Since I focus a lot on food and making healthy choices, I had pretty high numbers for most meals. And food is the easiest one to remember to track every day.

MIND came in second for me. This category was all about entertainment and education. I don’t think I had a single activity that I would label as educational! And my entertainment was pretty much the same day over day – read blogs, play on the computer, watch TV. I did get a new book while we were away for Liam’s birthday, so I did have a few days with reading.

My SPIRIT numbers lagged far behind. I found it was a lot easier to reflect on negative things that happened during the day and to write those down, then it was to come up with more positive things that I did. However, it did help me realize that I need more positives in my day, so it sent me looking for them. It’s an area that I’m going to continue to focus on.

Thanks Hutch for hosting a great challenge and helping me become much more self aware.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


While I haven’t posted my weekly weigh-in here in a while, I still weigh myself every Sunday and record it as my official weight for the week. The problem is that the number seems to be stuck. Since January I have lost and regained the same 5 pounds. I continue to count calories, watch what I eat, exercise when I can, but nothing seems to be working.

Something obviously needs to change. I had great success last year when I was doing the 5:2 Fast diet plan. / So I’m going to give it a try again starting today. I’m starting off with only 1 day of fasting per week instead of 2. Last time I found that on the days that I was fasting I didn’t have the energy to run or do any other exercise. So my week is going to look like this:

  • Sunday – Long Run / Rest 
  • Monday - TKD 
  • Tuesday – Fasting Day 
  • Wednesday - TKD 
  • Thursday – Short Run 
  • Friday - Rest Day 
  • Saturday – Long Run / Rest

The basic premise of the fast day is that you only consume approx. 500 calories. I am going to break that into 2 meals – my Shakeology shake for breakfast (eaten around 10:00) for about 200 calories and then a 300 calorie dinner after work. Hilary has been great in researching different meals that fit this criteria and are still delicious and filling. I may “cheat” and go over the magic number of 500 calories by adding in a morning coffee. I don’t think I’m ready to give that up just yet.

I’m really hoping that this will be the jumpstart that I need to get the scale moving in the right direction.

Monday, July 7, 2014

20 days of nourishment

This month I'm taking part in a different type of challenge.  It's overall focus is on how you nourish your body, mind and spirit.  It's not about counting calories or losing weight.  Part of my focus on a healthier lifestyle also needs to include those areas.

Hutch, the blogger who is hosting this, sums it up best:

Just like you have to train your body to run a marathon, you also need to train your mind to stay tough when the race gets rough. Training your mind and spirit is just as important as training your body.

Every day for the next 20 days I will rate the activities in my life as part of three categories – body, mind and spirit.
1) Keep a daily log of what you feed your body (eat and drink), mind (entertainment & education choices), and spirit (truths or lies you dwell on). It’s like a food journal for life. You must write down the good and the bad. It doesn’t have to be super detailed.

2) Give each of your items or group of items a score on a scale between 0 and 7. Use 0 for anything completely unhelpful, or negative, or unhealthy. Use 7 for anything completely helpful, positive, or healthy

I’ve focused almost exclusively on the physical aspect of my life of late – what I eat, how many calories, getting enough exercise. Focusing on the other aspects of my life should be justt as important. Being an atheist, it sounds odd to be focusing on the spirit side, but I see this more as concentrating on the positive influences in my life and having a better attitude. It also reminds me a lot of the tenets of Tae Kwon Do, which I would like to think that I strive to achieve in my day to day life.

  • Courtesy Showing courtesy to all, respecting others, having manners as well as maintaining the appropriate etiquette at all times, both within and outside the dojang 
  • Integrity Although it may be similar, this form of integrity takes on a more wider role then defined in the common dictionary. In Taekwondo, integrity means not only to determine what is right or wrong but also having the conscience to feel guilt if one has done wrong and to have the integrity stand up for what is right. 
  • Perseverance One will persevere time and time again until they have achieved a result which is adequate towards what one was trying to achieve. 
  • Self-control This means to not only have control over one's physical acts, but also their mental thoughts and actions. 
  • Indomitable spirit To have indomitable spirit means to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what odds you are up against, and to always give 100% effort in whatever you do.

I truly believe that all aspects of your life need to be in balance if you want to reach your full potential and happiness. Hopefully by focusing on what I’m doing each day, I can find ways to increase my daily score by adding more positives and removing some of the negatives.

Interested in following along? Check out the link at the top of the post!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Goals

First a recap of my June goals:

Enter my first National TKD competition (June 7th!! Only 7 days from now)
Run my first 10k (June 14th!! Only 15 days from now)
Walk/Run 155 km – this is the same goal that I had for May, but this month I want to have more days that have a min. of 5k. In May, 55% of my days had less then 5k. I would like to drop that to at least 40% for June. Check out my tracker.
  • Didn't do it.  I came in at 147.05 km.  And I only hit 37% of my days being over 5k.
Keep my Net Calories goal for more than 50% of the month. In May I only had 40% of my days where I met my calorie goals.
  • Didn't do it.  I only hit 37% for my net calories this month

So onward for July....

  1. Stop eating bad "C" word foods for the next 6 weeks.
  2. Attend 8 TKD classes
  3. Run 10 times
  4. Run/Walk 155 km, with at least 50% of my days being over 5k

What are your goals for July?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Click – Coffee Protein Powder Review

I love coffee! If I could drink coffee all day long, I probably would. Luckily for me, coffee doesn’t keep me up at night (it might if I started drinking it all day long however....) My problem with coffee is that I will only drink my coffee with milk and sugar (never sweetener), so every cup is 113 calories, with very few other nutritionally –redeeming qualities.

I recently received a free sample of Click Double Espresso Protein Shake powder as part of a race kit. I’m always looking for ways to add more protein to my diet, so I was excited to try this. I’ve heard a lot of people rave about this brand, but had not yet had a chance to taste it.

Admittedly, double espresso would not have been my pick of flavours. I usually don’t like any drink with espresso in it. I might love coffee, but often find that espresso is just too much for me. Luckily the flavour of the protein powder proved to be a more subtle coffee flavour and I didn’t notice any ill effects from the extra caffeine.

My favorite part of this powder was how easy it was to make. I added it to a shaker cup, added my liquid (I used almond milk instead of just water. Sure it added an extra 45 calories, but I think it made for a creamier and better tasting drink), shook it up and it was ready to go. The directions do say that you can serve it as a hot beverage, but I’m not sure that I would like that, unless I could do it with steamed milk, but you never know. You can also blend it with ice in a blender and make more of a smoothie.

I really enjoyed the flavour, but I did find the texture a bit odd. There were “bits” of something floating in my drink that reminded me of crushed up banana that I sometimes get in other shakes that I make if I don’t blend them long enough. Since I hadn’t added a banana to this, I’m not really sure what it was. It wasn’t unpleasant, just unexpected.

I love that I got 15gs of protein – nearly 20% of my daily goal – all in one quick drink and for only 110 calories. It’s a great way to enjoy a “fancy” coffee while actually consuming something nutritious for the same amount of calories that my regular coffee would set me back. It didn’t keep me as full as other protein shakes that I have tried do. I don’t think this would qualify as a meal replacement option, but just a great way to add more protein to your day.

This review is solely my own opinions and I was not compensated or endorsed in any way by the makers of Click.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chasing the Sun 5k

Certainly not my best time, but overall it wasn't a bad run.  Doing 5k after not running at all for 2 weeks is hard enough.  Doing it after spending a day in the sun, climbing the rocks at Peggy's Cove and while it's still sunny and 26° is even harder.  

It's another 5k under my belt and I'm glad I didn't talk myself out of doing it today.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

C is for....

Cookies and Cake and Chocolate and Candy and ice Cream and Chips and  CRAP.

These are all things that I have been eating way too much of and as such, I'm back to gaining weight instead of losing it.

That stops today.

Today I am starting another 6-week accountability group.  My goal for this group is to stop eating all of these C-words.  Overall we eat a very healthy, fresh food diet.  Hilary is an amazing cook who is always on the hunt for new, exciting recipes that are tasty and healthy.  I have a healthy breakfast, a well packed lunch and a great dinner.   I need to stop snacking after work and in the evenings before bed.

My other detractor of late has been having a car.  Due to various commitments, we've been keeping our weekend rental car during the week which adds 2 problems to my weight loss/health plan.  1) I'm not walking 20 minutes every morning from the bus to work.  2) It's far to convenient to skip breakfast and pick up something at the drive through.  My food choices for the last 2 weeks have not been great.

While this feels a bit like starting over, it really is just getting back on tract.  I've had 2 weeks of sloth and gluttony, so no it's time to settle back into my healthy routine.