May 28, 2011

Low Carb High Protein Healthy Muffins

Oh yes they are healthy.  And they are yummy!  I found the recipe here at Damy Health.  They are made with oat flour, egg whites, dry curd cottage cheese, flax and dates to sweeten.

I modified the recipe slightly by adding rhubarb and some baking soda so that the muffins would rise just a little. (Thanks for the tip SDP!)  I added the recipe into LiveStrong and they came out to 115 calories per muffin with 8 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of sugars.  Not bad!

I am going to have to hide them from myself so I don't eat them all before Monday!

For the past 4 weeks I have been very careful with how, what and when I've been eating. Breakfast is normally oatmeal with fruit and flax seeds. I have a snack a couple hours later of carrots and a homemade date ball. Lunch this week was chicken breast with a little brown rice and salad and then an afternoon snack of tuna, spinach and salsa. And dinner varies but is always a protein with a salad.

Last night was my 'cheat night'. I decided I was going to make homemade carbonara. I hadn't had pasta for quite awhile, especially for dinner. And of course I had to buy white wine to make the meal. I should've known - I secretly did - that some of that wine would be sipped on as I cooked. The meal was - alright. I enjoyed my salad much more. The pasta did little to satisfy whatever I thought I was craving. I know it wasn't the best carbonara I've ever made. I felt disappointed by the meal and then accepted chocolate on our after dinner walk, thinking it would make up for it all.

Turns out, I had the worst sleep ever. I felt restless even when I was sleeping. When LW climbed into bed I think I was grumpy and maybe rude.

Moral of the story? Well, my body is obviously enjoying my clean eating very much. My taste buds have totally changed, salads are better than heavy, bacon filled pasta. I like cauliflower rice instead of real rice.

I think I'm really becoming more aware of what my body needs and what my body doesn't. And I'm trying to disassociate the idea that a treat or a reward has to be a rich, heavy meal.

I'm sitting here, early Saturday morning, contemplating my relationship with food. For me it has never just been a fuel. Food was something you shoved in your mouth as fast as you could before your brothers or dad ate it all. I always try to eat my meals slower than LW and I can count on one hand how many times that has happened. The first time I ever reached for food for comfort was when I was 11 and my Opa had passed away. I remember clearly going to the chocolate ice cream in the freezer and eating because I didn't know what else to do.

Food has always been something I've struggled with. I can go to both extremes where I can eat way to much when I'm happy or depressed to eating nothing when I'm stressed out. I think I'm starting to find a happy balance between the two - it only took me 30 years.

May 25, 2011

Rant Time

Alright, I'm sorry but I've got to get this off my chest.

Why in the world do people have to bring in sugary, fatty, bready food in to the work place to celebrate something?? Especially something like a Canucks game win? Why do donuts have to be the way to celebrate something as physically demanding and mentally challenging as getting into the Stanley Cup Finals??

I walked into the staff room this morning following my sweaty 50 minute workout and protein shake, eager to have my oatmeal, apple and coffee and there glaring at me was a box of a dozen Tim Hortons donuts, daring me to eat them. And not only do I have to resist donuts or cookies brought in occasionally but there is also an endless supply of cookies, crackers, mixed salted nuts, chips, crappy MSG filled instant soup and chocolate. Give me some fruit people! Or some vegetables! Or how about a couple hours off at the end of the day? Why does reward have to look like a surgary, chocolatey donut?

A year ago, I started an attempt to stop looking at cigarettes as a reward or a coping mechanism. Society freaks out at smokers, considers them the bane of existence because they suck back on smoke that pollutes the air inside their lungs and the air around them. Well you know what? I consider the encouragement or the view of junk food as a reward for good behaviour or as a coping mechanism just as bad, if not worse! When I was smoker, I would step away from a non smoker so as to not bother them, if you're gonna bring donuts into my workplace, please keep them away from me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love sweets, chocolate, candy, cakes. But every day? To be available for mass consumption every day? There is something wrong with this. There should be moderation in everything that we do. I understand wanting chocolate. I understand wanting a donut. And I know that I need to learn to resist foods like this because I choose not to eat them regularly but I would really appreciate it that a "healthy work environment" didn't consist of crappy ass food in my face on a daily basis.

May 22, 2011

Sunday Night Dinner

It's been a very lazy Sunday over here.  It's been lovely.  And it's even better because tomorrow is Victoria Day which means, LONG WEEKEND!

Tonight I made Babi Kecap for dinner.  I found the recipe one day while scouring the food for Dutch recipes.  Ellie has a ton of recipes with Dutch and Indonesian influences, which is what I grew up on.  I substituted the tamarind water for lemon juice and chopped dates soaked in water, the pork shoulder for pork tenderloin and I didn't have Bird's Eyes chile peppers, I used some spicy Thai ones I found at the market.  I added some mushrooms and a yellow pepper and served it over brown rice for LW and cauliflower rice for myself.

May 21, 2011


My workout, this morning, consisted of Kyla's 1000 rep challenge.  Oh my god this was tough.  Picture this:
  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Squat Jumps
  • 10 Push Ups
  • 10 Tuck Jumps
  • 10 Toe Touch Sit Ups
  • 10 Dips
  • 10 Get Ups
  • 10 Jump Lunges
  • 10 Leg Lifts
  • 10 Squat Thrusts
And multiply this by 10.  Do it 10 times.  Non stop. It took me 57 minutes and 20 seconds.  I'm pretty proud that I finished this workout.  It was rough.  I can frankly say that I hate burpees and tuck jumps and get ups suck after your 90th one.  But the hardest part of this was just getting through it. 

You know that feeling, when you're in a Bikram class and it's hot and it smells and you feel like you're getting no air?  You know there are only three poses left until class is over - until you can leave the room and feel amazing but all you want to do is lay there.  But you drag your sweaty ass out of Savasana and into Rabbit pose because, well, you need to stretch your spine after the compression from Camel.  If you sit it out you won't get the benefits and even though it does feel good to just lay there - it feels even better to complete class on a high note.

I totally had my monkey mind, as Bikram would say, telling me to stop my workout this morning.  It was whispering that 5 rounds would be more than enough or that I could stop at 7 rounds, that would be 700 reps.  But once I'd done 700 reps I only had 300 left so I had to keep going and I wanted to tell Kyla I'd completed her workout.  So I did it!  1000 reps before 8:00am on Saturday morning!

I love that I know the difference, now, between my body physically not being able to push anymore and my mind telling me I can't because, well, my mind is lazy.  I love that I've come to recognize the difference between the two and know when to push and when to back off - when to give myself a break and say, "Jewl it's ok for today" and when to say, "Move that ass!".

May 20, 2011

2 Year Yogaversary

Two years ago today, I entered my very first Bikram yoga class.  I was nervous, intimidated and felt completely out of place. During the class I thought everyone around me was absolutely insane. I was back the next day and the one after that and the one after that. During my 2 week introductory pass, I practiced 10 times. When my Oma passed away, 3 weeks later, I went to the hot room.  I've laughed hysterically in class. I've bawled my eyes out. I've gotten so angry I've wanted to chuck my water bottle at the mirrors.  I've been so distracted that I've gone through a class without hearing a single word the teacher has said. I've also been so focused that I felt like I rule the world.

I sat down the other day and wrote out every way that my life has changed since I started my Bikram yoga practice.

What has my yoga practice done for me?
- I am stronger.
- I am more flexible.
- I have more compassion for myself.
- I sometimes have less compassion for others. (I say this is a positive change because I have a tendency to want to help everyone and thus, get walked on by those around me. I have learned to stand up for myself just a little more.)
- I have more confidence.
- I have reshaped my body.
- I competed in the BYS yoga competition of 2010. Yes, I did. The girl who used to be so self conscious I would wear flowly, unflattering shirts to hide my body.
- I feel as though I am truly capable of anything.  I am a super woman!
- I have gained the confidence to try different workouts and sports.
- I feel like I belong to a community.  A community where I am completely welcomed with open arms and a place I can go whenever I want - no matter how I'm feeling or what frame of mind I am in.
- I am actively working on trying to find my inner peace when I get in stressful situations - sometimes it works better than others, but I’m aware of it now!
- I truly believe that yoga can heal the mind body and spirit.
- I believe that yoga is for everyone!  Fat, skinny, young, old, injured, in top physical shape, yoga can do nothing but good.
- I have quit smoking
- I am much more aware of how food affects the way I feel. Ice cream at 11 o'clock at night does not make for a good sleep!
- I no longer have constant lower back pain.
- I no longer have upper back pain.
- I don't have any more knee pain.
- I have better posture, most of the time. It's all about becoming aware. So that when I am slouching I realize it sooner than I would have pre-yoga
- I am less intimidated by beautiful people. Honestly this was one of the biggest hurdles I had about trying Bikram yoga.  The thought of putting myself next to these gorgeous half naked people intimidated the hell out of me. I was so worried that I would be judged or not accepted!  I realize now that no one is judging you in that room except for yourself and that it's time to let that go.  You are there being good to your self - that is all that matters.
- This is the first time I’ve ever had a passion for something - turns out this passion is for myself.
- To relax, has a brand new meaning.  When I relax, lay in the sun all day and read a book, I feel as though I am truly relaxed, there is a sense of peace that I never knew was there before.

Most importantly, I have learned that yoga practice is all about the journey.  It is about broadening your awareness of your self - there should be no judgment through this journey - you are awakening and learning every day - you learn from your teachers, your peers, your children, your partners - above all you learn from the most important person in your life - You!

Photo by the lovely SDP

May 10, 2011

Earth Day Shots

Standing Bow Pulling Pose

I adore Standing Bow. It has always been my favourite, yet I struggle with it in class all the time. I can kick high and my spine is starting to bend more and I actually discovered recently what it really means to have your shoulder on your chin. But holding it for a minute, one of the hardest things I can imagine doing. It looks mighty pretty, though, in a purple dress.

King Pigeon Pose

When I first saw this asana I thought it was the most beautiful pose I'd ever seen. I used to practice it in my living room and could never get past where I struggled to grab my foot. When I got invited to my first advanced class, it was my main question, how do you grab your foot??? It's a tricky grab but once you can visualize it, it makes it a little easier. I worked on this pose quite a bit when I was training for the competition and could never get even close to moving my arm up above my head. It was when I took a little break and backed off from my practice that it came. I find Pigeon to be one of my most challenging backward bends.

Toe Stand

This asana, is the perfect image of balance, strength and flexibility. And I can only manage to complete it when I have a camera on me. In class I lose my balance fairly easily but I say it's because I'm pooped from the standing series. I did, however, discover some new butt muscles the other day, which has allowed me to practice with my balance. I've found that if I focus on the butt cheek and hip of the leg is crossed and tighten them, this lifts my hip up so that it is inline with my other hip and allows me to stay inline.

HIIT And Bikram - My Perfect Combination

I've been a little MIA from my yoga studio lately. My practice has dropped down from 5 to 6 days a week to about 3 or 4 and I tell ya, I couldn't be loving yoga more right now.

Almost 2 months ago, I discovered the lovely Kyla. Kyla is a personal trainer and also practices at my yoga studio. She was the perfect solution to my need for a kick in the ass. For 5 weeks, she kicked my ass every Tuesday morning. She put together 5 different workouts for me that I can do in my living room or backyard with little to no equipment.

I started off doing her workouts 3 days a week and my yoga practice 4 days. I knew it was the perfect combination when I went to my first yoga class after my first workout. I was nervous. Scared that I wouldn't be able to do the poses - to keep up with what I'd been doing for the competition. It was one of my best classes ever! Yes, I was sore but my focus had shifted. I was no longer concerned with 'perfecting' my asanas, I was there to give my mind and body what it needed - yoga. I had trained so hard for the competition and wanted to execute the poses to my perfection so badly, that I had forgotten why I loved my practice. So needless to say, I have found a lovely balance between yoga and my workouts. I have also become a bit of a BodyRocker. On the days I do yoga in the morning I come home from work and do a BodyRock workout which is usually about 20 minutes. On the mornings I miss yoga I do a Kyla workout which takes about 40 minutes and then do some yoga stretches.

I have seen some awesome results so far. I don't own a scale so I have no idea how much I weigh but I've lost inches. I wore a dress a couple weeks ago that I bought back in December. I had never worn it because I didn't like my tummy or my hip bumps but I felt super comfortable and not to mention hot in it.

I've been getting wonderful support at home from LW. He has yet to join me in a workout but he cheers me on as I'm sweating my ass off. And my lovely co worker Kristy, has been a great support and very encouraging. I've learned how to better plan my meals from her and sharing workouts with her helps keep up my motivation while I'm chained to my desk.

I took my first 'Before' pictures this morning. So we'll see how that goes:) and I take my measurements once a month. Can't promise I'll share those photos but I've got some more yoga shots I'll share in the next few days.

And I have to say it was one of the best decisions to work with Kyla. I have found a new confidence and the workouts have given my yoga practice a new life.

May 9, 2011


I've been away for a while. I'm still yogaing but I've branched out and I've been focusing on some full body training. Building strength and muscle and losing some of my stubborn tummy fat. I'm proud to say I've lost an inch from my hips in the past 6 weeks and the left side of my body, my thigh and bicep, is now the same size as the right side. I'm super excited about my transformation, I'll let you know what type of work I've been doing in another post.

Today I want to share that my baby brother - my 6'4", rugby player, weight lifter - could bench press me - baby brother, came to his very first Bikram yoga class this morning!

He tried every pose, didn't sit out once and made it right to the end of class! When he walked out of class he swore in Dutch and said, "Man, that was hard!". My mum and I were so proud! He's made my day. It took nearly 2 years to get him to come and he always ranted about how it was a cult! Well, he's already talking about how he could commit to 3 days a week. Looks like mum and I have converted another to the Bikram cult.