Month: April 2013

The Worst Smoothie Ever

No I’m serious, I mean EVER.

I’ve kind of touched on the fact that I am really awful in the kitchen before, but I think I’ve out done even myself this time. But first let me explain how this god awful smoothie came to be. It all started on Friday night at the grocery store when I stumbled across this:

 Frozen Kale

 I’ve heard everyone and their brother talk about how great Kale is for you. It’s everywhere. Kale this, kale that, kale will cure cancer, rocket ship you to the moon, allow you to lift vehicles and a handful of it is a suitable replacement for 12 hours of sleep…

I decided to look up some of the benefits of this dark green leafy little gem myself so that I could see what all the fuss is about. Consider my socks “knocked off”. This stuff is the real deal!

 Kale

1327% of your daily Vitamin K??? 354% of your daily Vitamin A???

Interested in particular about the “cancer prevention” properties of Kale, I dove a little deeper, and found this article from World’s Healthiest Foods that explains all about the health properties of this super food, and why we shouldn’t live another day without it.

The long and short of it is that Kale seems to do a really good job of combatting something called “oxidative stress” (or a compromising of our oxygen metabolism) and chronic inflammation. Both oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are risk factors for developing cancer. So preventing them is a good thing.

I’m sold. Into the cart the frozen chopped Kale went.

The problem that I often have when grocery shopping is that I act kind of impulsively, and don’t really plan ahead very well. I hardly ever take a grocery list to the store and I’m usually running a mile a minute just trying to get in and get out so that I can get on to whatever or whoever is waiting for me to finish up. The result is that I often end up with a hodge podge of ingredients, and bits and pieces of meals in my house, none of which really go together. It was the same story with the Kale.

By the time Sunday night came around and I started thinking about how this week was going to be awesome, how I was going to start eating really well and really get my training underway, I remembered the Kale sitting in my freezer! What a terrific way to start the week – with a big, yummy, cancer-fighting, energy powerhouse Kale Smoothie!

Of course, when push came to shove, I had basically no ingredients to put in my smoothie. My strawberries and blueberries had gone mouldy on my counter over the weekend, the only juice I had was orange juice (and I just couldn’t stomach the thought of putting orange juice on my Kale), I had one last, lonely banana that was nearly black and very soft and gooey, and a carton of 1% milk. After rummaging in my freezer a bit, I did also come up with a bag of frozen “Summer Fruit Salad”.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

This morning at 7:15am I cheerfully tossed about 2 cups of the frozen Kale, a handful of the summer fresh fruit salad, that black banana and about 2 cups (or more) of milk into my blender and whirled ‘er away.

Matt’s family was in town for a family wedding this weekend, and Matt’s mom Dianne happened to be up to witness this whole endeavor. She politely didn’t say anything while I floundered around the kitchen (although I sure would have liked to have been inside her head while she watched the whole thing) until I finished whirring away, and she wandered over and pretty much summed up the whole adventure in five words:

“It doesn’t look too good”.

 Smoothie

Yuck.

Now in all fairness – I know not to judge a smoothie by its appearance. I’ve heard all about these “green” smoothies, and everyone swears that they taste fantastic, even though they look like pond scum. I decided to give my Kale Beauty the benefit of the doubt. Bottoms up.

It was absolutely, completely and totally, mouth puckeringly awful. And that’s being diplomatic. There wasn’t much taste to it, except for this really bitter, awful after taste that I STILL have in my mouth 4 hours later, but the texture was just repulsive.

Shudder.

I’m not giving up on Kale yet, but I definitely need to find a better recipe for it. Does anybody out there actually enjoy this stuff and have any suggestions for getting it down without your mouth puckering like you just took a Tequila shot?!?

Hope your week is off to a great start – what have you got on tap for training this week?! How about any eating goals?! Talk to me!

Happy Monday 🙂

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Back On The Horse…

Or the bike. Or whatever. I have GOT to get myself into training mode!!

As the weeks tick by one after the other and the Half IronMan draws closer and closer, my level of panic has been steadily rising. I’ve been in a bit of a training “rut” ever since Around the Bay (exactly one month ago today by the way!). I really did need a week or two to not do any extra training, just get through my classes and try to recover as best I could after the race. I guess that’s the price you have to pay for not really training properly leading up to the race. I’m sure if I had been running long distances for weeks leading up to the race, then recovery would have been much quicker, but I guess you don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time right?

Anyways, two weeks flew by, we were off to Boston and well, we all know how that ended, and I’ve spent the last week in a bit of a daze reevaluating the meaning of life. All of this was well and good, but unfortunately none of it will get me any closer to the finish line of that Half IronMan! It’s time for a reality check.

Realty-Check-Ahead

REALITY CHECK: If I don’t seriously get my act together, this race really, truly isn’t going to happen in September. I’ve managed to kind of “fake” my way through half marathons, and even a 30km race on the merit of an okay level of general fitness and an absolute, complete and total refusal to give up, but that is not going to save me in this one. If I don’t get serious (in particular about the bike) then come September I’m going to be writing an awfully sad blog post about how I didn’t do the race, and all was for not.

And that would be very, very sad indeed.

 Sad

This week is Release Week at the gym (for a rundown of what Release Week entails – check out my earlier post here), so I’ve got an extra 4 classes to teach this week on top of my regular 5. My body is holding up really well, no aches or pains to report just yet (someone knock on wood for me – please), but I also know from past experience that adding in extra training during release week is a recipe for trouble. So I’m working with it. No extra running, swimming or biking this week (although I did attend a 6am spin class last Thursday which was fantastic!). Next week however is a totally different story.

I am very much a creature of routine, and I think a big part of my problem to date has been creating training plans that I kind of knew deep down looked great on an Excel spreadsheet, but weren’t going to work in reality. For example: arriving to my BodyPump class on Monday nights a half hour early to do 20 minutes of biking before class starts.

Seems to make sense right?

Well not really. Because when you factor in that I work until 5pm (or later) every day, and my BodyPump class is at 6pm and about a 20 minute drive from my office when traffic is good, that means that a) I need to leave work right at 5pm (or earlier) to get there in time and b) I’m going straight from work to the gym without stopping in for anything to eat or even to just sit down and relax for 10 minutes at my parents’ house (which conveniently falls right at the epicentre of my house, my office and the gyms I teach at).

Call me a baby, but I really, really look forward to that 15 or 20 minutes to get something quick to eat and just rest my mind for a little bit before I head back out the door again.

Also, let’s call a spade a spade, we all know that 20 minutes biking on a recumbent stationary bike isn’t going to help me bike 90 kilometres up Muskoka hills. Get real Sara.

I knew all of this when I was filling out my training spreadsheet, but the appeal of scheduling in not one but two (TWO!!) bike workouts a week was so great that I couldn’t resist. It’s been much the same with a lot of my other training workouts that I’ve scheduled in around my classes as well. Let’s be honest, I really, really, REALLY don’t want to get up at 5:30am to go and swim in a cold swimming pool, and I probably never will.

So I’m starting fresh, and I’m getting real. It’s time to start customizing this training thing so that IT works for ME, and so that I’m not bending myself a million ways to try and make it fit.

Mondays – I teach BodyPump at 6pm. There’s no time before class to do anything, I don’t really want to get up at 6am on Monday morning, and it’s the only night of the week that I’m done teaching by a reasonable hour. No training for me on Mondays.

Tuesdays – I teach BodyAttack at 7:30pm. One of my best friends is teaching a 6am RPM class at the gym that’s literally 5 minutes away from my house. No excuses. I drag my butt out of bed and over to the club to take a spin class on Tuesday mornings.

Wednesdays – I teach BodyPump at 6:30pm. I’m probably going to be pretty beat from Tuesdays double shot. No training for me on Wednesdays. Bonus marks if I can get in a short run before or after Pump class.

Thursdays – I teach BodyStep at 6:30pm. I’ve had a day to recover from the double shot of cardio, and there’s a 6am spin class at the club on my way to work. No excuses. I drag my butt out of bed and over to the club to take a spin class on Thursday mornings too.

Fridays – REST! Hallelujah! Now here’s the thing…I’m leaving Friday as an “open day”. When I say “rest”, what I really mean is that I don’t want to be doing anything with any sort of impact, or huge stress on my muscles and joints. I’m leaving Friday open for Hot Yoga and swimming. Don’t judge me.

Saturdays – I teach BodyAttack at 11:30am. If I can get in a swim in the afternoon, then that’s awesome. If not, oh well.

Sundays – Either a long run or a long bike (both outdoors) – or as the summer gets started, maybe both.

I figure what I can do is follow this structure for a little while, and then rejig and rebalance as the months go on and the triathlon gets closer. I’m hoping to follow this plan from Monday April 29th right through until the end of May, and we’ll just have to see how I’m feeling at that point.

I thought I would leave you today with some of the “professional” pictures taken of Matt in the Boston Marathon! Some of them really turned out great!

Enjoy!

Just kidding...this isn't Matt ;)
Just kidding…this isn’t Matt 😉

THIS is Matt!!

Sheer determination
Sheer determination

The Finish! Sub 3 hours!