Fun Facts Friday

Stiegl Radler July 3 2015

 

1. It was hot and muggy yesterday and I just needed something cool and refreshing, so I decided to grab a radler from the fridge. Needless to say, it went down pretty good. There’s something about having the grapefruit juice in there that’s perfect for summer days. I have a couple more left in the fridge along with a few Magner’s apple ciders.

2. The Stampede officially started today. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a ten day long fair/rodeo. This morning there was a parade through downtown Calgary. There’s all kinds of rides, games, exhibits, fireworks, concerts, and food at the Stampede grounds, in addition to the rodeo events. It’s a pretty crazy week and a half with lots of partying that happens. I wasn’t planning on going this year (I don’t think it really changes much year to year), but I was given a free admission ticket, so I might head down next week. Moist is playing Thursday night, so I might head down then. The concert will bring me back to my fourteen year old self in junior high when I was a huge Moist fan.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty July 3 2015

3. I just finished reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (affiliate link). I have to admit that it was better than I thought it was going to be. Sunday morning I spent an hour and a half finishing it. I literally couldn’t put it down because I had to know what was going to happen to the characters. If you haven’t read it yet I’d really recommend it. It’s a perfect vacation read.

4. I’ve been studying up a storm the last few days. I have a big test coming up in my anatomy class. I have to know the heart, circulatory and lymph systems, muscular tissues and muscles. I’ve reviewed the first three so far, and after taking some practice quizzes I’m feeling pretty good. I think I have a solid grasp on them. Tomorrow I’m working on muscle tissues and muscles, then I take the test on Sunday. With every chapter I read I’m continually amazed at how efficient our bodies are. It’s also makes me very grateful that I don’t have any major health concerns and my body works as well as it does.

Leave me a comment with something fun that happened over the last week in your life. 

This post contains an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting my blog, I appreciate it!

July 2015 Goals

July 2015 Goals July 2 2015 350

It’s already July- how did that happen? I can’t believe that 2015 is half over. It doesn’t feel like it’s been six months since Christmas.

Before I share my July goals, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite posts here on Get Fit Fiona from June.

My favorite Workout DVD's June 9 2015

My Favorite Workout DVD’s

5 Reasons to Visit the Farmer's Market June 17 2015

5 Reasons to Visit the Farmer’s Market

350 Fitness Terms for Beginners June 23 2015

Fitness Terms for Beginners

350 Favorite Soccer Gear June 26 2015 (2)

My Favorite Soccer Gear

And now onto my July goals!

Read before bed. I have a bad habit of playing on my phone or ipad before I got to sleep. I want to switch that up and replace it with reading. I’m in one of those “awesome books are everywhere” phases, yet I find it tough to find time to read throughout the day. Dedicating some time to it at night would be a great thing to do for me. I’m in the middle of a Philippa Gregory book, I have two Edward Rutherfurd books on my bookshelf, with a couple more on the way (yay for Christmas gift cards). I definitely don’t have a shortage of reading materials.

 Spend more time outside. This was one of my June goals that I failed miserably at. While I get to work outside for one of my jobs, it’s not the same thing as being outside when I’m going for a walk in my favorite park or going for a bike ride. Spending time outside is such a big stress reliever for me, I need to remember to take advantage of it when I’ve had a long day at work or I’m worried about an upcoming test. There are a few really pretty parks within a ten minute drive of where I live. I can check out the river or find a bluff to walk along for a view of the mountains. I have so many choices, I just need to actually do it.

Leave me a comment with a goal of yours for July. 

Where I Find Workouts Online

Where I Find Workouts Online June 29 2015 350

I have access to quite a few different workout DVD’s on Hoopla which is great, but I’ve also done most of them at least a few times before. Sometimes I need a new workout to get me excited and motivated in the morning. I’m not sure what it is about new workouts, but knowing that I have one scheduled that I haven’t done before gets me looking forward to it. Today I thought I’d share my favorite places online to find new workouts.

Blogs Reading other healthy living blogs gives me some great ideas for workouts. No matter what you’re into (cardio, strength training, yoga, or running), there’s a blog that will provide you with the kinds of workouts that you’re looking for. My current favorite blogs in terms of workouts are My Food n Fitness Diairies and Your Trainer Paige.

Pinterest I love to use Pinterest for workout motivation when I just don’t have it. I simply type “workout” into the search field and I’m met with hundreds of options. This is also a handy way to have a copy of the workout when you’re at the gym. Create a board of workouts and you’ll have them handy on your phone without having to remember what website you saw it on.

Youtube I’ve found great workouts on Youtube that I never would have found otherwise. For the most part I like to know what’s coming in a workout, so having it written out is what I usually go with. But sometimes you need something a little different. Right now I’m digging Blogilates on Youtube.

Magazine Websites I recently started checking out magazine websites to find workouts. I usually save workouts whenever I buy magazines. One day the idea of looking online for their workouts popped into my head. At the moment Shape and Fitness are my current go to choices.

 

Now that you know where I find my workouts, leave me a comment with were you find yours online. 

My Favorite Soccer Gear

350 Favorite Soccer Gear June 26 2015 (2)

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite soccer gear. When I played my first season of soccer I was pretty overwhelmed at the choices when it came to decisions about cleats, socks, and shin guards. I had no idea what to look for, so I relied on the sales guy who was helping me to give me some good advice.

First off, I would go to a store that specializes in soccer. I know it’s tempting to go to a big box sports store or order it online, but if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, you’re better off getting some honest advice, which you’re more likely to get at a store that just does soccer stuff.

The most important piece of equipment that you’ll need for soccer are cleats. Make sure you know whether you’re playing indoor or outdoor soccer, because that will make a difference in which ones you buy. I think most cleats now have stitching on the toes, which helps with traction when you’re handling the ball. Make sure you wear them around the store a bit, both walking and running. You want to make sure that they’re not too loose, but also not so tight that they hurt. Keep in mind that they will stretch a bit once you’ve played a few games in them. Although this (affiliate link) isn’t exactly the pair that I have, they look like they’re pretty close.

Next up are shin guards. The league that I played in wouldn’t let you on the field without them. I can’t count the number of times I got kicked (accidentally of course) in the leg, and I was incredibly grateful I was wearing shin guards. These Puma shin guards (affiliate link) aren’t exactly the same as the ones I have (they aren’t being made anymore), but they look pretty close.

I’m usually pretty frugal. I’ll splurge once in awhile, but I generally like to spend my money wisely. For two or three years I thought that I didn’t need a cleat bag. I figured a couple of plastic bags would work just as well, so that’s what I used. Unfortunately they never kept the grass and dirt from my cleats contained, and it ended up all over my soccer bag. Finally after one game when I was taking my cleats off one of the bags got caught in the wind a few half way across the field before I finally caught it. I was fed up and a day or two later I was at the soccer store to get a cleat bag. Although it’s not an essential, I think my Adidas cleat bag (affiliate link) was well worth the money.

I couldn’t find it anywhere online, but although it’s a tad on the big side, I really like my duffle bag. There’s one big compartment along with two smaller ones on either end. Inside the big one there’s a little pocket for keys and a phone so that they don’t get lost in there. I like that I can wear it over my shoulder instead of like a backpack. I mean who really wants something against their back on the sweaty walk home from a soccer game?

Although they’re not pictured in the photo above, I love my Adidas soccer socks (affiliate link). I have another pair that I also use, but I find that they don’t stay up as well so I’m constantly pulling them up to cover the top of my shin guards.

Now that you know my favorites, leave me a comment with some of yours. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog, I appreciate it! 

Broccoli Bacon Mac and Cheese

350 Broccoli Bacon Mac and Cheese June 25 2014 (2)

 

One of my all time favorite foods is pasta. For the most part it doesn’t matter how it’s made, what kind of sauce is on it, or what’s in it (in the case of stuffed pasta), I’ll most likely love it. A few months ago when I saw a broccoli bacon mac and cheese recipe on Jen’s blog over at Peas and Crayons, I knew that I had to give it a try. Really, you can’t go wrong with bacon, right? Bacon + pasta sounds like heaven to me. Even better yet, add some broccoli to the mix to get in some veggies and you have a delicious sounding recipe.

Broccoli Bacon Mac and Cheese June 25 2014 (1)

Instead of baking the bacon in the oven I decided to pan fry it instead. It was quicker than doing it in the oven and since I was hungry, I thought it was a better option. Once the bacon was done I put the water on the stove and cooked up the pasta. While the pasta was cooking I had a little help with the chopping and grating. While I was chopping up the broccoli I had someone else shred the cheese for me. With a little bit of team work it went pretty quick.

I then cooked the broccoli just long enough to get it tender in boiling water – it didn’t take too long. I then started making the sauce. While it was work intensive, it wasn’t actually hard to do. You just have to keep an eye on it and make sure you don’t let it burn.

Once all the different components were cooked and ready to go I put the pasta and broccoli into a large baking dish, followed by the cheese and sauce. I then mixed it all together to ensure that the pasta was coated with the sauce. Finally I topped it off with the bacon. The baking dish then went into the oven for 20 minutes to bake.

Broccoli Bacon Mac and Cheese June 25 2014 (2)

Needless to say, this was an amazing dish that I know I’ll be making again. It did take awhile to make, but none of the steps were particularly hard. It was just a matter of getting the the different ingredients cooked/chopped/grated before combining them.

I made a few small modifications to the recipe. First off, I used 5 strips of bacon instead of the 3 stated in the recipe. I have yet to eat any kind of recipe that was worse off with extra bacon. Second, I used 2% milk instead of whole milk because that’s what we had in the fridge. Other than that, I followed the recipe.

If you want to give this recipe a try yourself, head over to this post at Peas and Crayons to find it. I know you won’t regret making it.

What’s your favorite meal that has bacon in it? 

What I Ate Wednesday

WIAW-2015_thumb.png

 

As always, thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday.

WIAW Breakfast June 24 2015

 

I’m still having to be careful about what I eat thanks to the dental work I’ve had done lately. That means nothing hard or really crunch. I very lightly toasted the bagel. In reality it was just warm rather than actually toasted, but after not having one for quite awhile it tasted pretty good. I topped the bagel off with some margarine. I’m very grateful that the poppy seeds on the bagel didn’t bother my mouth, because it was a delicious bagel. I also had some vanilla yogurt on the side.

WIAW Lunch June 24 2015

 

Next up for lunch I made a salad. I was craving veggies like crazy (apparently I’d been missing them), so I added as many as I could to this salad. I started with some spinach and then added orange bell pepper, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and thousand island salad dressing. It was just what I needed and it hit the spot. Later on I started to get a but hungry so I had a whole wheat bun with some strawberry jam on it.

WIAW Dinner June 24 2015

 

I’m not going to lie, one of the things I’ve really been missing over the last 3 or 4 weeks has been eating out. For the first little while it wasn’t worth risking it, just in case I bit into something hard. I was already on pain meds, I didn’t need to be making it worse. Luckily my mouth doesn’t hurt most of the time, so I ventured out to one of my favorite Greek restaurants, Paros Souvla. I avoided the crunchy bits on the potatoes and veggies, and ate the pork really slowly, but I ended up being able to eat quite a bit of it. The highlight of the meal was definitely the tzatziki sauce and pita bread.

Now that you know what I’ve been eating, leave me a comment with your favorite meal over the last week. 

Fitness Terms for Beginners

350 Fitness Terms for Beginners June 23 2015

 

I know how overwhelming it can be when you’re just starting to live a healthy lifestyle. You can spend hours online researching different kinds of diets or workouts. Which is better: paleo or whole 30? Strength training or cardio? What about pre and post workout fueling? There’s so much information out there that it’s easy to get confused.

I know it took me awhile to get a handle on the basics when it came to working out. I didn’t know a set from HIIT. Today I thought I’d share some of the most common fitness and workout terms. I would have loved this information when I was just starting out.

Rep aka (repetition) One rep is one movement of an exercise. For example, if you’re doing a squat it’s going from standing straight to squatting to standing up straight again. If a move is done on both sides, one at the time, a rep is doing the exercise once on both sides. If you’re doing a lunge, doing it for both your right leg and then your left is one rep.

Set To go along with reps, a set is a predetermined number of reps. The number of reps varies depending on the exercise being done. For example, I can do a lot more bicep curls than I can do push ups. You usually do more than one set, with either a short rest period or other exercises between them to let the muscles you’re working have a bit of a break.

Cardio There are two main forms of exercise, cardio and strength training. As the name implies, cardio works your cardiovascular system. This can be anything from running to cycling to playing basketball.

Strength training Instead of working your cardiovascular system, strength training focuses on one group of muscles at a time. Strength training is the kind of exercise that weightlifters focus on. Snatches, dead lifts, and bench presses are all examples.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) This consists of (usually) cardio alternating between intense and recovery periods. For example, you might do a combination of running and walking. Usually the higher output exercise is twice as long as the recovery one. HIIT workouts are usually on the shorter side, anywhere from just five minutes up to thirty.

Circuit training Circuit training means going through a predetermined  group of exercises with minimal rest in between before repeating them again. If rest is needed it’s usually done before starting the first move again. Circuits can be repeated just twice or up to 3 or 4 times.

Cross training If you participate in one specific sport or kind of exercise, cross training means to do another kind of exercise. For example, if you’re training for a bike race, cross training could be anything from yoga to weight lifting. If you’re preparing for a marathon, your cross training could include spin classes or Pilates.

If you’re already into working out leave me a comment with a term you were confused about when you first started. 

My Favorite Calgary Restaurants

My Favorite Calgary Restaurants June 22 2015

Today I thought I’d post about my favorite Calgary restaurants. Over the past few years I’ve been discovering more and more of them. There’s so many great places out there, so I wanted to highlight a few.

Diner Deluxe Pancakes 2014 (1)

 

Diner Deluxe is the coolest little diner just outside of downtown on Edmonton Trail. There’s a retro sixties feeling to it, with all kinds of cool decorations on the wall. I’ve eaten there a few times with my dad, and every time he sees something on the wall that he didn’t see before that reminds him of being a kid. Diner Deluxe uses all kinds of local ingredients, so you know they’re fresh. My favorite time to go is in the mornings for breakfast. These pancakes were literally the size of my head. While I wasn’t able to finish them, they were delicious.

Flippin Burgers 2014

 

I usually find myself in Sunnyside once or twice a month for various things. It’s a very vibrant neighborhood full of cool independent shops and restaurants. I’d walked past Flipp’n Burgers again and again, but I hadn’t gone in until last summer. I have no idea what took me so long, because they have some delicious burgers! You get to customize your toppings and bun, which is kind of a treat for me, as that doesn’t happen at fast food places. The burger was kind of messy to eat, but totally worth it. The fries were crispy on the inside and soft on the inside. They’ve participated in YYC Burger Week for the last couple years, and won first place in 2014.

Grumans Smoked Meat Pizza 2015

 

Gruman’s has been a relatively recent find for me. It’s a Jewish style deli located downtown just off of McLeod Trail. They’re only open until 2 or 3, so you have to get there early in the day. I’ve eaten breakfast there a couple times, as well as lunch once or twice. They offer your typical breakfast foods and all kinds of smoked meat sandwiches for lunch. The last time I was there they had their smoked meat pizza on special. It’s not a regular part of their menu, so I thought I’d take advantage of it being offered. It was amazing! Starting with a latke crust, it was piled high with smoked meat, sauerkraut, and a little bit of cheese. I would definitely get it again.

 

Kim Lan Vietnamese 2014

 

I think Vietnamese is one of my favorite Asian cuisines. Needless to say that I’ve been to lots of Vietnamese restaurants in Calgary, and Kim Lan is my favorite. Located in a strip mall in NW Calgary, from the outside it honestly doesn’t look all that impressive. What sets Kim Lan apart is their food. I’ve tried everything from rice dishes to fried won tons to vermicelli, and they’ve all been delicious. They also have some fantastic jasmine tea that I get every time I’m there.

Kinjo Sushi 2014

 

Kinjo is by far my favorite sushi restaurant in Calgary. I usually eat vegetarian when I’m there, but I’ve found it’s just as good as the rolls with fish in them. My absolute favorite are the yam tempura and midori rolls (they have veggies and cream cheese in them). While it always takes longer than they say to pick up take out orders I don’t mind waiting a few extra minutes because the food is that good. They also add a box of pocky on to every order, and who doesn’t like pocky?

Village Ice Cream December 18 2014 (1)

 

The last place on my list strictly speaking isn’t a restaurant, but I just have to add it. Village Ice Cream has the most amazing ice cream in all of Calgary. I’m not exaggerating at all, it really is that delicious. Usually there’s a line (which is an indication of how amazing it is), but it generally moves pretty quickly. Once inside you have a choice of 10 flavors that they have available year round as well as two seasonal flavors that they change up every month or so. The first time I took my dad was just before Christmas. He still raves out the eggnog bourbon ice cream he got that night. My favorite flavors are salted caramel and vanilla.

If you live in Calgary leave me a comment with your favorite restaurant in the city. 

Fun Facts Friday

It’s Friday! I’m pretty excited the weekend is just about here. I put in some extra time at one of my jobs this week, so I’m more than ready for a couple days off and some down time to relax and recharge.

Anatomy Textbook June 19 2015

I’m about six weeks into my anatomy class now. It’s been a lot of work, but also pretty interesting. We’re covering 2 or 3 chapters a week, each chapter has a powerpoint that we also have to know, along with weekly quizzes and unit tests every three weeks. There’s a lot of content to learn. But I’ve been enjoying just about every minute of it. I find it fascinating, and it makes me feel very confident that I picked the right program. I can’t wait for September to start school full time.

This week I attended a blogging event all about Medicine Hat, a town southeast of Calgary. I’ve never been there before although it’s only a three hour drive. I honestly had no idea how many cool things they had to do there. For a town their size they have a pretty extensive network of paths and parks near the coulees and river. This weekend they’re hosting their jazz festival which apparently has some amazing musicians performing. Considering how close Medicine Hat is, I might have to go exploring there one weekend this summer. Whenever I’ve thought about going on vacation, I’ve always automatically thought west towards the mountains, I’ve never contemplated going east.

It’s been a tough couple weeks with all the dental work I’ve had done. I just booked two more appointments for next month, which are going to be pretty expensive. Thankfully my mouth is feeling much better. I haven’t had to take anything for pain in the last 48 hours! I’m still only eating soft foods and chewing on one side of my mouth, but it’s so much better than it has been. I’ll be very glad once everything is done and I don’t have to set foot in the dentist’s office for another six months.

Even though one of my June goals was to spend more time outside this month, so far I’ve been failing miserably at it. I think it’s been a combination of not feeling well and having lots of homework to do. I still have 11 more days left in the month though, so I’m going to do my best to make sure that I get out for at least a walk most days. There’s so many great parks and paths within a ten minute drive, I really don’t have an excuse.

The Secret Life of Pets trailer was shared with me somewhere on social media this week. I thought it looked pretty cute and I’m kind of looking forward to see it, even though I know I’ll probably be in a theater full of seven year olds. Unfortunately it’s not going to be released until next summer, so I have quite awhile to wait.

Leave me a comment with the highlight of your week. 

Garden Update

Garden June 18 2015 Pinterest

Since it’s been a couple weeks since I planted the vegetables in the garden, I thought I’d share an update. Since there’s so many pretty flowers blooming as well right now I wanted to add those too. Everyone likes looking at pretty things, right?

Garden June 18 2015 (1)

 

Just about all the seeds that I’ve planted have germinated. There’s a few rows that still have to come up, but for the most part I’m pretty happy with the germination rate this year. I can’t wait until the garden is green and leafy!

Garden June 18 2015 (2)

I need to thin the greens, but they’re looking really good so far. I planted four difference kinds of lettuce this year – 2 kinds of romaine, a mix, and arugula.

Garden June 18 2015 (3)

 

My first zucchini! While it’s still pretty tiny, I’m really excited to see it. I don’t think I managed to grow any zucchinis last year, so I’m really looking forward to this year’s crop. They always end up being really big and so much better than the ones you buy at the grocery store.

Garden June 18 2015 (4)

 

The beans are growing like crazy. I’m pretty sure they’ve all germinated by now (most of the seeds I planted did). I still have to put up the netting, which will have to happen in the next couple days, considering how fast these are growing.

Garden June 18 2015 (5)

 

The peas also game up great, although they’re not growing quite as fast as the beans. After tomatoes, I think peas are my favorite thing to eat straight from the garden. They’re always so sweet and crisp. I can’t wait for my first handful of peas this summer.

Garden June 18 2015 (6)

 

The tomatoes that I started from seed inside are all looking great. There are blooms on almost all the plants right now so that means flowers will be coming soon, and after the flowers, tomatoes! I planted a mix of cherry tomatoes and full sized ones this year.

Garden June 18 2015 (7)

 

This year I planted Swiss chard. It’s been 3 or 4 years since I’ve last grown it, but I thought I’ve give it another try. They get pretty big, so I know I’ll have to thin them down more than I already have. The seeds I planted are for rainbow Swiss chard, which are really pretty. They’ll add some great color to the garden.

Garden June 18 2015 (8)

 

I’m trying to grow watermelon for the first time this year. I’ve come to the conclusion that I should have started them inside over the spring with the tomatoes and zucchinis. The first frost usually hits some time in September, so there’s no way these seedlings are going to grow fast enough to produce a watermelon. There’s always next year tough, right?

Garden June 18 2015 (9)

 

Now that I’m done recapping the veggies, it’s on the flowers. We have a couple different peonies in our yard. This is the dark pink one.

Garden June 18 2015 (11)

 

This is the other variety of peony, with purple geraniums in the background.

Garden June 18 2015 (16)

 

These wild blue flax are native to Calgary. I think they’re so pretty with the blue petals and yellow centers.

Now that you know what’s in my garden, leave me a comment with something that’s growing in yours.