Category Archives: Workout

Chobani Workout Parfait Party

Tuesday evening I was invited to a blogger bootcamp thing at BarreWorks downtown, hosted by my favourite Greek yogurt company Chobani.

And I am not just saying Chobani is my favourite because they invite me to fun events, actually talk to me, feed me, and give me free stuff (like those sensual workout shirts). Wait, yes I am. That is basically the way to my heart. How could I not love them? I think companies need to take note here, because Chobani does the social stuff extremely well, and I believe that is why they are so incredibly successful. Well, and they really do have great yogurt, which is of course helpful.

But seriously, I really appreciate that even though Chobani is an American company, they make an effort to include us Canadian bloggers. We usually get shafted on things like this, so it’s refreshing.

Anyway, I met up with my bloggy pal Stephanie on the subway so we could go over there together. We originally met at the last Chobani Toronto blogger party in June.

We had been blog/Twitter stalking eachother for a long time before that though. I wasn’t sure who was going to be there, so I was excited to arrive with someone I knew.

We know eachother even better now, as we had quite a bonding experience on the way to Barre Works. I was perfectly on time to meet Steph, and I was late for the last Chobani blogger party because I had trouble finding the restaurant, so I was excited to actually be on time for this.

Too bad we walked for 25 minutes in the wrong direction. Neither of us had been there before so we didn’t know where it was, and when we got off the streetcar we walked for about 15 minutes down Queen street. The wrong way. I don’t even know how that happened. I am not the most directions savvy, I will admit, but I had my trusty iPhone (I would never find anything without it) and it has never let me down. But alas, it did. Once we realized we were going the total wrong way, we turned around and started speedwalking back where we came from. And then again, I don’t know what happened, but my silly iPhone AGAIN gave me the wrong location, so somehow we walked about another 10 minutes PAST BarreWorks. Totally missed it.

So, late again. We arrived at BarreWorks technically about 25 minutes late, but only five minutes after the warmup started. It was alright though. We had just been practically running, so we were pretty warm. And I was already sweaty.

Chobani’s instructor Tiffany led us through a pretty intense bootcamp workout. And I do mean intense. Intense as in zero breaks. One thing after another; squats, pushups, burpees, crunches, and exercises I have definitely never even done before. All with balls and bands.

And of course incorporating the bar.

I love that Chobani has hired a workout instructor for their employees. I work in a building full of sports organizations and we don’t even do that. Well, we did have office yoga, but we organized that ourselves.

The workout was super intense and I was extremely sore afterwards. My legs were especially dying. It’s two days later and stairs are still a bit iffy. Tiffany was no joke. Steph even said that she just finished eight weeks of bootcamp and it was nothing like this. I liked it though, the hour flew by and I desperately needed an ass-kicking after all the ridiculous things I have been eating lately.

After our sweat session, Chobani had the perfect post-workout snack waiting for us…

Ah, that beautiful Chobani parfait bar.

I packed my jar with as much deliciousness as I could. I don’t think I could have squeezed any more in it…

And then I went back and did it again. And I took a third jar home with me for breakfast the next morning…

You see?! You see why Chobani is my favourite? Chobani yogurt also has double the protein of regular yogurt, is fat free, and made with all-natural ingredients. So I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about my three jars. Not even about all the toasted walnuts, chocolate chips and dulce de leche I jammed in there.

The event was also catered by The Food Dudes who made some pretty delicious appetizers for us that were Chobani-inspired.

I don’t even know what that is, but there is Chobani in the crust, and it was really, really good.

Two other Toronto bloggers who I originally met at our first Chobani party were also in attendance, Morgan from Life After Bagels and Gillian from Battle of the Bites. Steph and I had fun re-meeting and catching up with them.

The four of us closed the place down!

I also had a really good time talking with the cheeky minx Lindsay from Chobani, and the girls from High Road Communications. I love being included in things like this. Thank you to all of you for having me, I had such a great time! Please come back to Toronto!

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SUPGirlz

My friend Hannah and I bought a Groupon about a month ago for a stand-up paddleboarding (SUP!) lesson in Toronto. Paddleboarding seems to be all the rage around here these days, so I have been intrigued to try it out for a while. When Hannah alerted me to a Groupon for it we snatched that baby up!

We figured it would be a good workout and a fun new thing to try, so yesterday we cashed in our Groupon and hit up SUPGirlz on the beaches in Toronto for a 90-minute lesson.

We were excited.

And I just need to say that the beach in Toronto is beautiful! I do not go there very often because it’s not that close to me, but there are cute little shops all along the strip and the waterfront is gorgeous.

Now about the paddleboarding. I don’t have experience with it per se, but when I was growing up my bestie Lisa and I used to spend our summers on her windsurfers. We would take the sails off and grab canoe paddles and use the windsurfers to paddle across the lake. Sometimes standing up. Sometimes we would even attach the windsurfers to the boat and stand on them while holding a waterski tow rope and just cruise around the lake on them (not leisurely though, we were basically waterskiing on windsurfers).

So paddleboarding was not a completely foreign concept to me. But I have never been paddleboarding like this:

(source)

It is similar to canoeing, but you are standing on a board while paddling. I was slightly apprehensive about it because I do not have the best balance. My bestie’s dad, Daddy Brook, used to call me the Watermelon, because whatever water sport we were doing I seemed to kinda just roll off the equipment all off-balance like a giant watermelon. It was a flattering nickname.

There were seven people in our class, and our instructor did some fake land paddling with us before we were ready to take out our boards and hit up the bay. The paddleboards were basically like surfboards, only more wide.

After we got the paddle motion down, it was time for the real thing. We took our boards into the water off the beach and just paddled around for about an hour.

Our instructor was so helpful, and I’m really glad we took the lesson and didn’t just go out on our own. She kept mentioning that it was normal to feel unsteady on your feet when you stood up, and I’m so glad she did because my leg muscles felt so shaky and weird at first I would have assumed that something was wrong with me and I was going to collapse.

She also taught us how to do yoga on the paddleboard!

(source)

Just a few basic poses, nothing too crazy. But even without the yoga it was a pretty crazy core and upper-body workout.

I am happy to report that both Hannah and I seemed to be naturals! I was definitely the first one to fall in the water though. I like to think I was just breaking the ice for everyone else so they would feel safe falling. Hannah fell second, and actually, we were the only two girls in our class who fell off their boards. Two other guys in our class fell also, but the other girls stayed upright. I think this is because Hannah and I got a bit cocky and tried to go really fast and lost our balance. And one time I fell because a bee was after me, so that was obviously not my fault.

Also, I need to just take a moment to apologize to Lake Ontario in Toronto, because yesterday I mentioned that I thought it was sketchy. It was genuinely beautiful, and the swimming conditions were perfect. The water was calm and clear and I didn’t see anything funky in it. My office bestie Lexy pointed out yesterday that I should probably give Lake Ontario a break, as she grew up swimming in it and does not have any extra limbs.

So my mistake. It was fine. All is good, and I am not currently growing a third arm. I’d swim in it again.

And I am definitely going paddleboarding again. I really loved it. It was so much fun. I wish it wasn’t so expensive or I’d go all the time! Hannah and I left the beach wet and happy, and already making plans to go back.

Have any of you guys ever tried it?

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Low Calorie Vegetable Soup

Well bonjour and good eeeeeevening.

You probably noticed in my post yesterday that veggies seemed to have eluded a lot of my plates this weekend. Sure I enjoy indulging, but I am an everything in moderation kinda gal, and I didn’t completely snub my veggies.

Yesterday I made crock pot vegetable soup for dinner and it was pretty darn yummy, and it is practically calorie-free.

In that mix is:

  • half of one of those huge bags of carrots (probably about 10), chopped
  • 8 stalks celery (almost an entire bunch), chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • pack of Knorr vegetable soup mix
  • 1 (900ml) carton low-sodium beef broth (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cups water

I put it in my crock pot in the am and let it cook allllll day long on low. It was veggie-packed and seriously delicious. Also perfect for lunch again today.

Pretty sure I will be eating it all week, because it made a ton. Definitely a good way to sneak in a bunch of veggies if you are sick of salad (which I am not, but I like to switch it up).

Workout

I took my gym’s 7:30 BodyPump class tonight, and man, I am finding the most recent release pretty hard. I have done it a couple of times now, and I am continually struggling at the end of squats, triceps and lunges. Squats especially, I felt like the track went on forevaaaa. Definitely a good workout though, and one that I will be feeling tomorrow.

This post is on the short side and a little on the lackluster side, but it is late (school night late, not weekend late) and I am off to get ready for bed.

Have a great night!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

Good afternoon!

This morning after sleeping in a little bit (9am, my teenage self would not be impressed), I woke up with a serious hankering for pancakes. I have been seeing pumpkin pancakes around a lot, and I had some pumpkin sitting in the fridge that I haven’t really been using lately. I thought I’d try my hand at making my own little cakes full of the pumpkin goodness.

I googled around for recipes, but I wanted pumpkin oatmeal pancakes with minimal ingredients and I had a hard time finding the perfect recipe for me. In the end, I decided to do my own thing and hope for the best.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes

They turned out really well, and I was impressed with my handiwork. They were delicious.

I am not a cook by any means, but I find pancakes really hard to mess up. Here is the recipe I ended up using:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients together, pour onto skillet and cook a la regular pancakes. Makes about 6 decent-sized, thick, pancakes.

I only had a little bit of maple syrup left, so I topped one of my pancakes with that, and then the other two with Nutella.

Yumminess

This made me wish I had actually put Nutella in the mix! I loved the chocolately flavour. So good. Ah well, next time.

Though I am now a fan of pumpkin, I found that I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin at all in these, but it added a smooth and fluffy texture that I was a big fan of.

Workout

After breakfast, I leisured for a bit, completed a few chores around the house, cuddled with this little ball of cuteness…

Winnie Kitty

And then hit up the gym!

I debated going for a run outside, but I wasn’t really feeling it. Since that is pretty much the only form of cardio I’ve been doing lately, I thought I’d switch it up and use the arc trainer at my gym.

I actually really enjoy the arc trainer. I feel like it’s a better workout than the elliptical (just my opinion, I don’t know if that’s true), and not as boring as the treadmill. I also can read a little bit, so I spent most of my 40 minutes on the arc trainer reading magazines and catching up on my celebrity gossip.

Before the arc trainer I did the 20 minute fit fix, which consists of 9 machines designed to work every muscle group in your body in a short amount of time. Perfect if you are trying to squeeze your workout in. I hadn’t done the fit fix since last year around this time, and my weight has increased quite a bit! I love being able to notice a difference in my strength. It is motivating.

And then I stretched. A lot. My muscles have been feeling really tight this week, particularly my calves. I gave them some much-needed love and attention.

I was very sweaty afterwards.

Gym Mirror Self Portrait

I love going to the gym on Saturday (once I get there). I feel refreshed and ready to take on the weekend! In particular, ready to take on some all-you-can-eat sushi action and my friend Sherrie’s going away party – both on the agenda for tonight! 🙂

Enjoy your Saturday!

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Living Room Boot Camp

Something I like to do to keep myself motivated to work out during the week is to plan my workouts. I usually put them on a little calendar on the side of our fridge, and I find that it keeps me accountable. When it’s in my schedule, it’s easier to stick to it.

This week looks like this:

Monday – off (check)
Tuesday – off (check)
Wednesday – BodyPump (check)
Thursday – 5k run (check)
Friday – BodyPump (welp…)
Saturday – 40 mins cardio – run or possibly arc trainer
Sunday – BodyFlow

Since today is Friday (hooray!), I had been planning to hit up BodyPump at my gym at 6:30. And even though this was planned and in my calendar, sometimes a wrench throws itself into my plans.

Tonight’s wrench was Andrew and pizza. I arrived home from work and started thinking about something quick to make for dinner. Andy-roo saw me scouring the freezer and said “Let’s just order pizza.”

This instantly excited me. All it takes is the suggestion of pizza for me to get on board. I wanted it. Badly.

So the problem was, if we ordered pizza right away it wouldn’t arrive in time for me to eat it before BodyPump. And also, let’s face it, pizza = lazy. When I pictured myself eating pizza, I pictured myself eating it in my sweatpants on the couch, with my workout done. And I didn’t want to wait until nearly 8pm to eat. I wanted to work out now and then eat pizza.

Here was my solution:

Living room boot camp! I found this workout on Pinterest the other day, and immediately pinned it. It looked like a great workout I could complete at home with no equipment.

I cleared out enough space in my family room, laid down my yoga mat, and got to work. 50 reps is no joke. That is a lot! The pushups were especially tricky. I can only do 10 regular pushups in a row, and then I have to put my knees down. By the third set my knees were completely under my hips for pretty much all 50 reps. It’s better to modify than to skip it though. And the squats and jumping jacks had my heart racing!

I didn’t time myself, but I think it probably took me about 20-25 minutes. Usually I have a really hard time motivating myself to workout at home, but knowing the pizza was on its way got me through this.

I’m happy I got ‘er done, and digging into the ‘za afterwards was so much more enjoyable after getting all schweaty.

Veggie Pizza!

I always get the veggie pizza from Toppers when we order in. Toppers really focuses on the toppings (hence “Toppers”), which I love! I love pizzas that are heavy on the toppings. Yumfest.

The rest of my meals today consisted of leftovers (meatloaf!) and oatmeal. And a couple mini cupcakes that were kicking around the office for a coworkers birthday.

Mini Cupcake

I love those things.

Well, my friends, it is leisure time! Enjoy your Friday!

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Last Day of Boot Camp (+ Healthy Milkshakes)

Hey-lo!

So tonight was my final outdoor boot camp class (in the dark!). My Teambuy coupon was for 10 classes, and they had to be used in August and September. I actually only ended up going to six classes, due to slacking in August, and not wanting to go 3-4 times a week in September, but since the 10 classes only set me back 10 dolla it’s no biggie.

Seriously killer workout though. I am going to see if there is any sort of boot camp/cross fit class offered at my gym that I would not have to pay extra for. I am member of Goodlife Fitness, which means I can go to any Goodlife in my area. Normally I just go to the Women’s Only Goodlife above the Superstore that is closest to me, but they don’t typically have a very large variety of classes like some of the bigger co-ed Goodlifes do (no spinning, for example).

I also want to get back into going to BodyPump at LEAST once a week. I am thinking if I go to one that is a bit closer to my work, I may actually be able to take a 6am class. We will see how that goes…

I slacked a lot in the workout department for most of the summer, and I want to get back into it. I think boot camp may have revitalized my workout mojo though. I am feeling motivated!

Also, I wore my BIC Band tonight with regular slippery, shiny hair and for the most part it stayed in place! A couple little slippages, but I could just pull it back in place. BIC Band once again FTW!


Onto Eats

Lunch for the past two days has been leftover Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken, so nothing too exciting.

Repeat Lunch

I’ve been feeling pretty lazy on the whole making lunch thing the last few days. Usually I make my lunch the night before so I’m not scrambling around in the morning, or at least plan out what I’m packing. Having leftovers handy made this a breeze. A healthy lunch in seconds. Sign me up.

For dinner tonight I recreated the pork and broccoli stir fry I made earlier this month, because it’s quick and pretty dang yummy.

The only change I made was cooking brown rice to go with it instead of noodles, and then I threw the rice into the wok with the pork and broccoli once it was cooked. I preferred it with noodles, but the brown rice was probably healthier…

After boot camp I reallllly was craving a milkshake. I was tempted to stop at McDonalds or Dairy Queen and grab one, but I resisted the urge.

After my shower, the craving still wouldn’t go away… I have seen other bloggers make milkshake variations (Dawn @ Blonde On A Mission, for one), so I decided to make a healthier milkshake myself. It was amazing!

Crappy pic due to natural lighting around herrre, but meh.

Into my blender went:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/4 cup PC honey Greek yogurt (I didn’t measure, it was a few heaping spoonfuls)
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1.5 cups almond milk (you could use any milk)
  • 1 capful of vanilla extract (maybe a teaspoon)
  • pinch xanthan gum (optional, to thicken)

Sorry, that’s a crappy recipe. A lot of guessing going on. But it was good! Almost as good as the real deal, and a lot better for you! It made enough for both Ando and I.

Shmanyway, I gotta go. It’s bed time and I am so ready.

Have a great night, and HOORAY for Friday tomorrow!

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