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Hey Hey
Its been a long time since I last blogged. Life has been a tad hectic this week – mixed in with not feeling 100% = me spending most of my free time trying to de-stress and hit the hay earlier than usual. That being said – I have a bit of spare time coming up this weekend (and I’m hoping I can leave work early today since I started at 6:30 this morning due to an event). I’m planning to get some serious work done on the bloggie – I feel like I’ve been neglecting it.

I also am seriously, and I mean, seriously considering making the move from a wordpress.com blog to a wordpress.org blog – aka being hosted through a different provider. I’ve been reading up on it alot lately and I’m a bit overwhelmed honestly – seems like there is alot to get organized. I would love some tips from people who have made the move – how did you do it? Was it worth it? I keep reading about all these wonderful themes and plugins and the fact that you can do whatever you want with the site is kind of enticing to me. What do you think,  good decision or bad decision? This switch would definitely require a bigger effort towards this blog – afterall you are paying for hosting now. Also, any tips on good/affordable hosting?

So in thinking about this change – I am also considering a name change for the bloggie. I know I’ve done this a few times now – and I’m so sorry about that – I just can’t seem to get it right. I feel like Learning to Live Lean is too long, and I’m not in love with it anymore, so I’ve been trying to brainstorm some new ideas. How did you come up with your blog name? What makes you love it? Ha – I guess I’m just full of questions today – but seriously I would love some input from some more experienced bloggers!

Okay – moving on – here are some highlights of this week!

  • Monday: Work = Stress, but met a coworker for Yoga afterwards for 1.5 hours and it was liberating. Seriously, I haven’t done yoga since I moved here and its so relaxing. Love it.
  • Tuesday: Woke up to yet another Calgary blizzard – this time in May. GRR. Spring is usually my favorite season and mother nature is ruining it 😦 *pout*. Also, it didn’t help that I got a nasty migraine in the afternoon (likely due to all this crazy weather). The one saving grace: It was makeover week on Biggest Loser, and Glee was awesome, as always.
  • Wednesday: Still felt crummy at work – but talked myself into making a fabulous Shrimp Scampi for dinner. O…M…G. Soooooo Goood! I need to make this regularly. I added in chopped tomatoes, lemon juice/zest and was probably a little more liberal with the white wine than necessary 😛 but it was so worth it – and definitely justified by this point in the week.
  • Thursday: First semi-relaxing day all week. Got alot checked off the ol’ to-do list, and got to run a few errands with a coworker to prep for the event this morning that I mentioned earlier. I love work field trips – sometimes its just so nice to get out of the office.
  • Today: As I mentioned, I was up bright and early to make it to a breakfast event. Thankfully, the boy got up too so he could drop me off downtown – love him, such a sweetheart. Now I’m trying to think of what to make for dinner. We picked up 4 pork tenderloins last weekend on sale – I’m thinking that sounds pretty delish at the moment.
How was your week? Got any weekend plans?

Other than blog updates, I have my FIRST ever 5K race this weekend. I’m running the Calgary Mother’s Day 5K/10K race. Ryan work kindly offered to let me join their team – so the boy and I will be running this race together. I’m not planning on running for time – I’m just going to try and enjoy the experience. Ryan runs at a tad slower pace then me so I don’t get nearly as tired when I run with him (*yay*) – I think he’d be a fabulous partner for longer runs – he just doesn’t know it yet.

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Unplugging

Happy 1st of May everyone.

So the start of a new month got me thinking about goals. One of my primary goals for this month is going to be to ‘unplug’ my life a little. I feel like despite the fact that I spend all day at work on a computer, I’m still glued to some form of technology from the second I get in the door at 4:30. Whether it’s the blackberry, the internet, TV or music – I constantly feel like I’m overload with information and that I have very little quiet time in my life.

This post from Jenna, got me thinking about how much I miss having quiet time to read (or bake or do something ‘just for me’). As much as I’d like to blame the media for feeling overloaded, it is largely my fault. I’ve begun to felt that if I’m not running errands, or cleaning, or glued to my phone/computer that I’m not being productive.

There is so much more to life than being overwhelmed by technology, and I think I need to rediscover that. I need to disengage a little bit and in the words of my dad – I need to “stop and smell the roses”.

That being said, I figured today would be a great time to set some new goals for myself for May.

Life

  • Read a minimum of a half hour a day, ideally more (lets see how many books I can get through in a month).
  • No more than 3 hours of TV on weeknights, and 5 hours a day on weekends (still seems like a lot, I realize that – its a bad habit and I’m slowly trying to cutback).
  • At least one hour a day where I do not use any form of technology (phone/tv/internet etc)
  • Plan our meals at the beginning of each week
  • Cook at least 2 meals every week – and give the chef (ie. Ryan) a break
  • Bake once a week

Health

  • Exercise a minimum of 3 times a week (I usually do more, but I like to give myself some flexibility so I don’t burnout)
  • Do yoga at least once a week
  • Run at least 6 miles per week
  • Start talking regular walks/runs with the boy and enjoy the spring/summer weather (at least 2x a week).

What do you think about these goals?

Do you have any goals for this month? Do you believe in monthly goal setting? How do you stick to them?

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Happy Earth Day Everyone!!

Were you earth-friendly today? Not gonna lie – I didn’t do the best job ever – I drove to work, and used a cardboard cup from Starbucks. I am really glad that Earth Day exists though because I believe it is important to give people (like me!) an excuse to rethink their daily habits. I have about 4 reusable travel mugs at home – I should definitely start using them more and save 10 cents off my coffee’s.

I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA lately. I haven’t blogged since last Wednesday *sigh* – the last week has been pretty good. I went to the gym Friday and Saturday of last week. However, on Saturday I ran 4 miles in 41 minutes (which was great) but I think I may have messed up my knee somehow because it has hurt every time I have tried to workout since (even when I’m doing lower impact training like the elliptical or biking), which worries me. So I’m trying to take a break from running this week.

I am really looking forward to this weekend though. My in-laws are visiting and I think we’re planning another trip up to Banff to see the mountains. Its raining outside right now though – which I think is giving them a bit of a false impression of Calgary  (where it rains like once every 2 months).  Its so nice to see them, we had a great dinner out at Moxies, after picking them up from the airport. Then watched Survivor, because Ryan’s mom is a HUGE fan.

I almost forgot to mention my eats for the week, I’ve made some good ones!

Cinnamon Maple French Toast & Coffee

Stir-Fried Rice & Veggies

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Pad Thai Noodles with Tofu

I promise I’ll post a longer update next time – but for now – family calls.

What did you all get up too this week? I have sooo many blogs to catch up on in my Google Reader – thats on my agenda for this weekend. I’m looking forward to reading them.

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Hi All,

I had a nice long post planned out for tonight – but I am so exhausted that I think I’m gonna make it a quick one and head to bed early. Work this week has been madness. I feel like I haven’t had time to sit down much since Monday, and somehow my to-do list is growing at astronomical speed :S

Anyways, my eats so far this week were pretty yumm-tastic.

Monday:

– Breakfast of almond butter and banana on a whole grain wrap. First time trying it – really impressed.

– Lunch was a sandwich with lettuce, hummus, laughing cow cheese, mustard, turkey and salami

– Dinner wasn’t eaten until 9 (worked late) but the boy kindly made me a mini pizza with olives, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. So sweet of him.

Tuesday

– Breakfast: Green Monster with lotsa spinach, almond milk, flax seed, banana, honey, and some OJ. So yummy – I forgot ice cubes though – that would’ve made it even better!

– Lunch: Mixed Salad with Mozzarella Cheese, Zucchini, Cucumber & Tomato with Greek Dressing.

lunch preview: that's a coke zero I swear!

– Dinner: Wendy’s – FAIL! I was so excited to catch Glee and the Biggest Loser that I slacked on dinner …. oops. Did you catch either of them, thoughts?

Today

– Breakfast: Oats with Coconut Butter, Cinnamon, Maple Syrup and Almond Milk

I may be a *tad* in love with almond milk

– Lunch: Repeat of Monday’s Sandwich – Quick, Easy and Tasty.

– Dinner: Modified this recipe, subbed goat cheese for blue cheese and it was still delish – served with garlic veggies.

Fitness

Strangely this is the one area this week that I actually feel like I’m kicking butt in – here’s a recap.

Monday: 32 minute treadmill interval run for 3.1 miles. My knee was bugging me a bit so I took it a bit slower than I planned. I also stretched for 10 minutes afterwards.

Tuesday: 30 minutes on the stationary bike (reading the book I mention below), followed by 20 minutes of abs + strength training.

Today: 30 minutes on treadmill with 20 minutes of 1 minute on, 1 minute off sprints, covered 5K in about 28.5 minutes.

Tomorrow is my off day – I’m sooo looking forward to sleeping in for a bit. Nevertheless, I’m stoked that I got my butt to the gym 3 days in a row. That’s a step in the right direction.

What have you been up to this week?

*Sidenote* I recently picked up Michael Pollan’s ‘Omivore’s Dilemma’ – have you read it? So far I’m really enjoying it. I had no idea Corn was in so much of our food – apparently over a 1/4 of the supermarket is primarily corn based products. Thats a bit shocking and sad to me. What do you think about that?

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Groceries vs. Crowds

Hello All

Hope your enjoying the last day of the weekend.

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since Monday, I need to get better about that. I get so distracted reading other blogs on my Google Reader that I forget about my own sometimes :P.

My week at work was good, pretty busy as usual, and I think I might have to stay late tomorrow night for an event (which is not ideal on a Monday, but that’s how it goes). Thursday was a bit ridiculous in Calgary – it was like +14 over my lunch break and fabulous, and by the time I left work at 4:30 – it looked something like this.

Yah – umm freak blizzard/hail storm in April = NOT Impressed.

Anyways, in better news – on Friday my supervisor took me and my other coworker (who is also new) out for lunch with a group from our office – it was really nice of them, and made the afternoon go a lot quicker.

Friday night Ryan and I decided to have a little date night – we went to Fionn MacCools downtown for some drinks and appetizers and then went to go see Date Night (coincidence – I think not) with Tina Fey & Steve Carrell. It was pretty darn funny. There were a few parts where I thought I might fall out of my chair cuz I was laughing so hard.

Yesterday I got up early and hit the gym for a 5K run, 10 minute cooldown on the elliptical, and some ab work. I did a side plank for the first time EVER. I was impressed with myself, lol 😛 Saturday night was a bunch of fun, I met up with two friends from my PR program back East who happened to be in Calgary. One lives here, and one was in town for work. It was so nice to see some familiar faces in a town where I don’t know a whole ton of people. We had a great time catching up.

Today we hit the grocery store – it was LONG overdue. Lately we’ve been trying to only make big grocery runs every two weeks and generally we spend around $150 per trip – so I guess its about $75 a week. Every now and then we have to buy extras of produce/eggs/milk that we run through in a week – but I can’t stand going to big grocery stores on the weekend when they are crazy busy – so I avoid it like the plague. Its kind of sad actually because I actually really enjoy grocery shopping – but I hate the crowds.

What do you think of grocery stores vs. crowds? Do you avoid shopping on the weekend if possible?

I did decide to buy some Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk for the first time, I hear Green Monsters are better with it – so I’m determined to give it a try.

Have you discovered any great finds at the grocery store lately?

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Hi All – Hope you all had fantastic Easter weekends.

My was pretty stellar, considering it was our first one being away from family. Unfortunately, since we both just started new jobs, taking vacation time to go home for a weekend seemed like it wouldn’t be the best decision. I did hear from my parents though – and my fabulous boy made me a AMAZING easter dinner – which made it a little easier.

Anyways, we started Good Friday off on the right note by eating bacon at breakfast 😛 *sigh* so bad. Haha, neither of us even remembered the ‘no meat’ rule until after we had finished – oops. In the afternoon, Ryan accompanied me to a mall just outside of the city that I had been hearing lots and lots about. Its called CrossIron Mills and its very much like Vaughn Mills in Toronto (for any East Coast readers), a giant circle with outlets and big box stores. I was particularly excited for Forever 21 and the Banana Republic Outlet. Seriously, I would wear Banana Republic everyday if I could, and a $90 pair of pants for 30% off was a great deal. The downside was that the mall was insanely busy!! Needless to say Ryan was pretty eager to get out of there after a few hours of shopping. I grabbed Sushi at the mall for a late lunch (ie. 4 in the afternoon), and Ryan had leftovers once we got home.  Considering we stayed so late at the mall – we knew we wouldn’t be eating dinner until close to 9. Nevertheless, I made sure dinner ROCKED. I followed a lasagna recipe from Allison from Eat Clean Live Green. I was amazed at how few ingredients there were (my mom’s recipe is like 2 pages long), and we managed to find whole wheat lasagna and low-fat ricotta. Lets just say – it was ridiculously good – and we’ll have leftovers for a week, therefore I = happy camper.

nom nom nom

On Saturday, we got up bright and early and headed to the gym. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 10 minutes on the bike and some stretching. I always love hitting the gym early in the day – it makes me feel like I’ve gotten my day started on the right foot (literally!). For dinner on Saturday I was craving Mexican, so we decided to hit up the Chili’s in town. I have really amazing memories of shopping trips across the border, when I lived in London – that always consisted of a trip to Chili’s. Turns out the drinks aren’t as cheap north of the border, and no free nachos 😦 so that was a tad disappointing. The food was still pretty stellar though.

On Sunday, the boy decided to make us our first real Easter dinner together. Check out this spread.

big birdie

After a quick shopping trip in the morning for necessary ingredients, he whipped up: a turkey, baked butter biscuits, roasted tomatoes, jean chretien scalloped potatoes (my mom’s recipe), stuffing, gravy and of course – WINE. Seriously, I may be the luckiest girl in the world that my boy loves to cook so much. It was so nice of him to use some of my mom’s recipes as well – it really made it feel like a Easter dinner from my childhood.

As a random side note, I must share a tip for all turkey-bakers out there… bacon on top of the turkey = mind blowing AMAZING. Seriously – you MUST try it.

So that basically sums up my weekend. I was back at work today, but managed to get in a 4 mile run in about 42 minutes before work. Its the longest I’ve gone in awhile, *yay*

In preparation for my gym trip last night I decided to update some of my workout playlists. One of my favorite things to do is to listen through old CD’s (yes, CD’s) because they 1) bring back fabulous memories, and 2) remind me of GREAT songs that I often forget about once they stop being played on the radio religiously.

Here are some of my gems from last night:

  • Here’s To The Night – Eve 6 (reminds me of Grade 8 *sigh*)
  • Ironic, Hands Clean, You Outta Know – Alanis Morisette
  • Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy – Big n’ Rich
  • Crazy in Love – Beyonce & Jay-Z
  • Yeah – Usher, Lil John & Ludacris (ridiculously obsessed with this song years ago)
  • Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves (a favorite from my childhood)
  • Stronger – Britney Spears
  • Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen (My dad’s fav song ever)
  • Tipsy – J-Kwon (favorite song from when I could first legally hit the bar)
  • Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
  • Earth, Wind, and Fire – September
  • You Only Get What You Give – New Radicals
  • Black Betty – Ram Jam
  • Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

What are your favorite Workout Songs?

Before I head off for the night, I just want to give a shout out to some lovely readers who commented on my last post. Its always nice to know someone is reading. Thanks Susan, Julie, and Angela – you all ROCK!

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Organics

Hi All, hope you had an enjoyable weekend. Mine was pretty good – not too exciting, but that’s a nice change of pace sometimes. Saturday morning I enjoyed sleeping in a bit while Ryan went for a run…. OUTSIDE…. by himself.  My hamstrings starting bothering me a lot after my run on Thursday, so I unfortunately had to let Ryan do his first outdoor run solo. I felt awful about it since I was the one the pushed him into doing it – but was impressed that he still went. He found some snazzy app on his iPhone that does basically the same thing as a Nike+ , so I think that kept him company.

While he was out, I decided to take a trip to the health food store. It’s only like 2 blocks away and they had some schweet sales on – so I had planned to make a trip over there at some point this week anyways. Here’s a little picci of what I left with:

Hello Healthy Food

Hello Healthy Food

  • – Miso soup mix (yum – so excited to use this at work)
  • – Annie’s Mac & Cheese mixes (on sale)
  • – Amy’s Broccoli Pot Pies (also on sale)
  • – Artisana Coconut Butter (on sale – soooo excited about this one)

For lunch on Saturday we checked out one of the ‘rumored’ best burger joints in Calgary called The Holy Grill (haha!). I had the gourmet burger (with cheddar instead of blue cheese – I’m not a fan of blue cheese). The burger was ‘out of this world’ good – soooo yummy! I had happy tastebuds after that one.

Then later in the afternoon the boy and I decided to run some errands which consisted of a grocery run (yay for finding a 36 pack of laughing cow cheese for $7.99 – huzzah) and a trip to Best Buy – where I picked up one of these pretty little things.

I’m still figuring out the iPod Touch, but I’m loving it so far.

Sunday was much less eventful that Saturday, but at least the eats were good.  We started the day off right with some cinnamon french toast topped with strawberries/raspberries and maple syrup. Delish.  Then for dinner, we dug out Giada’s Everyday Pasta cookbook and made Angel Hair Pasta with Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes – except we subbed linguine for angel hair, because it was all we had. It was tasty – and the goat cheese made it super creamy (without using actual cream – love that).

Today, I made up for my easygoing Sunday by getting out of the house by 6:45 and working out for an hour before work. I attempted a HIIT elliptical sesh for the first time in my life – and boy did it work! I was a sweaty mess! I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, burning 375 calories or so. I alternated the intensity between level 7 for 40 seconds and level 9 for 20 seconds. It was TOUGH. Once I finished that, I stretched out my quads and hamstrings (hopefully this will prevent issues like what I had last week), and did some weighted side-bends and ab work with a medicine ball.

Once I got to work, I knew I was in for a long day! Time seemed to pass sooo slowly today. I bolted out of there at 4:30, desperate for some fresh air. Tonight, Ryan and I made some Jerk Tilapia Filets (turned out delish) and garlic veggies – it was a perfect little healthy dinner. Now I’m off to watch some Dancing with the Stars – I’m really liking it this season.

In other news, shopping for organics this weekend, (and listening to some Jillian Michaels podcasts today) got me thinking about Organic Food. We try and buy organics whenever we can – but sometimes price wins out over quality, which I hate to admit. Some organics are redonkulously expensive – (yes, I just used that word in a sentence!) How do you guys feel about Organic Foods – do you have any advice on which foods are better to buy organic/which are the cheapest?

Also, how was your Monday?

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