Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New Beginnings

For most, January represents more than just another month: it's the start of a new year and the opportunity to live your best life. Other events can also trigger the reset button: a new school term, a new job, a new vehicle, etc. What motivates us can be just as different as the changes we aim to make. 

In making your new year resolutions, try this approach to make effective and lasting change.

How to Make Effective Resolutions 

1) Identify your goal

2) List the purpose(s) of your goal. Why is it important that you achieve it?

3) Describe specific activities you will engage in to reach your objective. 

4) Give yourself a deadline or set aside an amount of time (daily, weekly) to devote to the activities you listed absolve. Set realistic timeframes and allow some extra time for delays. 

5) If possible, team up with a friend to support one another in your efforts. 

6) Review your goals and progress toward them, regularly. I plan to set aside 30 minutes each Sunday. It is better to do this with a friend so that you will feel more accountable, and motivated. 

7) Write it down. For each step above, it is not enough to simply think of your goals or talk about them; "write it down and make it happen."

So, do you have goals in mind or are you looking for inspiration? Here is my list of objectives for 2015. I feel it's an ambitious one, but here's to reaching for the moon.

My 2015 New Year Resolutions

1) Blog
Goal: write 1 post each week. 
Time: 15 minutes/week
Purpose: share information, write my thoughts, creative outlet, motivate others. 
Topics: exercise, recipes, spirituality, organization, financial tips, local events, news, TV/movies/music, shopping, reviews, kitchen gadgets, human rights, etc. 

2) Read
Goal: read 30 minutes each day. 
Purpose: to grow intellectually and spiritually, to have read the classics (which are classics for good reason), learn about human nature, relax. 
Books: (many that I already have and just never read or finished reading) "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, "Seriously... I'm Kidding" by Ellen Degeneres (book 2 of 5 from a friend's book club Christmas gift) and many more. 

3) Exercise
Goal: exercise a minimum of 30 minutes each day. 
Purpose: improved mental wellness (exercise is as good for themind as it is the body), improved physical health, lose weight, better self-image and self-confidence. 
Types: running is my favourite form of exercise and I am currently following a program from The Running Room's John Stanton aptly titled "Running". I plan to supplement this with weight training and walking. 

4) Financial Freedom
Goal: pay off debt, acquire no more and grow a savings account
Purpose: freedom, options, confidence, opportunities, eliminate financial worries and stress. 
Methods: use only debit or cash (NO credit cards), don't buy something unless it is necessary, buy used or on sale if possible.

5) Declutter and Live Minimalistically 
Goal: get rid of clutter and unnecessary things. Bring limited things into the home. 
Purpose: it's easier and feels better to live in space rather than things, improved mental clarity and sense of freedom, less financial wastage. 
Strategies: immediately dispose of unwanted things once acquired (mail especially), borrow things where possible, recognize when it is unnecessary to purchase something, donate or dispose of unneeded things. 

There you go! Perhaps having this out there will help you find some ideas for yourself and also keep me accountable to my goals. Happy New Year and may you be blessed with happiness, health and prosperity in 2015. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A New Start on Blogging

It has been a long, long time since I've posted anything and I think its time I started again. I often go back and forth on whether or not blogging is something I want to spend time doing. I've always felt that I'd rather spend the time it would take to write, to "do" instead. But I am so passionate abut my interests that I think it would give me joy to share them, and hopefully inspire someone else to try them. Particularly cooking, baking and running. Today I had my first green smoothie since August so this feels like the perfect day.

I was given a loan of my brother's Nutribullet after I said I was dreaming of a Vitamix. Calvin told me that the Nutribullet is as effective as the Vitamix and about 1/5 of the cost! He offered to loan it to me so I could see for myself - and am I ever grateful!! I was completely amazed with the power of the Nutribullet. Unable to afford the pricy Vitamix right now, I thought I was doomed to a life of drinking green smoothies with huge kale chunks and half-crushed ice througj a jumbo straw. But, today my wish came true, and I enjoyed drinking a smooth smoothie (its called that for a reason!)

Here it is below in all its glory. I drank some before I thought of taking a picture.

- handful of spinach
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 apple
- 2 tb hemp protein powder (10g protein)
- 2 dates (pitted)
- 1 cup cranberries (frozen)
- 1 tb Chia seeds


I found this very tasty and I was full until lunch time.

Lunch consisted of vegetarian lasagna and a garden salad with avocado. Supper was delicious pumpkin chili.

Lets hope this blog entry is just the beginning!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

16 Weeks + 1 Day


I've been making a lot of vegetarian meals including:

Cucumber Salad
Cherry tomatoes
Red onion
Plack pepper
Rice vinegar

There is a similar version here at Real Mom Kitchen:

Add some quinoa and its a meal!  I like having this for lunch because it is nice and light which doesn't leave me feeling too groggy.

I like baking these because they tend to fall apart a little when fried.  I laid a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan and sprayed oil onto it.  I also pureed the ingredients to make it more palatable but I think its best with only half the beans mashed.

Crusty Artisan Bread

I will no longer spend too much money on nice bread!  This truly was super easy to make.  I did not have a dutch oven or Le Creuset - I simply placed the bread in a baking dish and it turned out wonderfully.  Simply add 15 minutes to the baking time.

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

This was yet another easy recipe to duplicate!  For me, the whipped topping was too much - it left the dessert feeling a little "chalky".  But... that didn't stop me from eating way too much of it!


I'm obsessed with Pinterest! I've been finding lots of great recipes and healthy eating tips on there.  I also enjoy the DIY projects.  Follow me - click on the button at the top of the page!

Why Is Pinterest So Addictive?


Running is going well - I ran nearly 10K on Tuesday morning - but I'm trying to avoid injuries and haven't ran as much as I would like to.  I have my new orthopedic insoles and hope they do the trick.  If you have health coverage it would not hurt to see a Podiatrist and ask what they can do for you.

Meanwhile, the little pooch is getting lots of exercise.  I'm walking more to exercise without putting too much strain on my muscles.  She's happy and there haven't been any "accidents" lately.  :)


I've taken up a new hobby - rowing.  I'm training to be the Coxswain and think its going to be awesome!  I took part in training last night with more to come tomorrow.  There is a lot to learn about balance, wind, teamwork, etc.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to try it!


Friday, 18 May 2012

Run Fast By Running Uphill From Runner's World.com

To improve my speed and reduce the risk of injury I am going to try hill sprints. This is a succinct article which provides a great introduction. Run Fast By Running Uphill From Runner's World.com

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Progress is Happening!

I've been running again for 2 months now and I have seen improvement in my speed.  I've taken part in three 5K's since April and have the following times:

Boston Pizza Flat Out 5K - 34:11
Mundy Pond 5K - 30:28
Burton's Pond 5K - 29:07

Whoop!  I no longer need to stop and walk during my runs and have gone 8K without stopping.  The Harbour Front 10K is this weekend - wish me luck!

Burton's Pond 5K - almost there!

Friday, 27 April 2012

A New Normal

I started to write this post a while ago but never completed it.  With my evenings a little more tied up with exercise (versus going in the mornings) and my new use of Pinterest I haven't spent much time writing.  Its time to get back at it!

Over the past few months now I've been exercising lots and eating healthier - its been great and I'm starting to see results. Anyone who has gained and then lost weight knows just how GOOD it feels to fit into your clothes again. Not having to unbutton my jeans while at a movie (which were even made with spandex, I might add) feels wonderful and is a sure confidence boost. I stopped weighing myself - the progress is not fast enough and the numbers can be disappointing while you wait. Increased muscle also adds mass and can be deceiving. The difference in how I feel is enough to keep me motivated.  


I've made several delicious and easy clean-eating recipes lately which I posted previously - Spicy Chicken Sausage and Mushroom Soup (found on my "Bowled Over at Runner's World" link) and Spicy Baked Chickpeas. Both were super easy, satisfying and delicious!


While at work, my eating habits are great. Especially if I'm busy, I eat only what I need and it's mostly healthy. But when I go home, watch out! Eating seconds, and finishing it with cookies and/or chocolate is a bad habit I need to change ASAP. I did well at the start of the week but have since wavered as I got tired. Because I exercise I think I'm justified by eating more. My goal is now to choose healthier options when hungry. Food that fill without the calories are ideal. Air-popped popcorn is one favorite I'm going to reach for.  


With my new running buddy Kristy, I've been getting lots of great mileage and pushing myself to the limits. We ran the Flat Out 5K several weekends ago, and then the Mundy Pond 5K (where I scored a personal best at 30:28!)  Next weekend we have the Burton's Pond 5K