Weekly Workouts and Recipes December 31 2017 to January 6 2018

Workouts

Unfortunately my workouts this week didn't go according to plan. I wanted to get in two runs this week on the treadmill, but I only managed half of one, thanks to plantar fasciitis rearing it's ugly head again. I've been taking it really easy this week, trying to make my foot feel better. Right now I'm feeling pretty bummed and like I'll be dealing with plantar fasciitis with any high impact activity I do, no matter how much stretching and rolling I do.

If you're a runner who's also dealt with plantar fasciitis, I'd love to hear any recommendations that you may have. I'm pretty good at stretching my calves and rolling out the bottom of my feet. Maybe I should be adding some ice in too? What worked for you?

Weekly Workouts

Monday

I had a planned rest day for Monday. I spent New Year's Eve at my boyfriend's place, and we were slow getting up in the morning. I figured I wouldn't want to go to the gym later on in the day, and I was right.

Tuesday

A workout didn't happen on Tuesday. I didn't sleep very well on Monday night, so I was late getting up and I wasn't in the mood to go to the gym.

Wednesday

Weekly Workouts January 8 2018

My first workout in the new year was a great one. I was only planning on a 30 minute workout on the elliptical, but I ended up getting in the groove and I decided to add on 15 minutes. I got to the gym within 10 minutes of it opening so it was relatively quiet. I think there were only 3 or 4 of us that used the ellipticals the entire time that I was there. I'm going to have to get there at 5:30 am more often!

Thursday

I started to do a run on the treadmill at home. Since it was my first run and I wanted to take it super easy (I really don't want my plantar fasciitis to come back), so I did 1 minute of running followed by 2 minutes of walking, and then repeating. I did a couple of the intervals, but ended up having to quit my run early because I could feel that my foot wasn't right. The bottom of my heel was hurting and the bottom of my foot was getting tight, from the ball of my foot to my heel. Boo. I decided to roll out my feet with a golf ball, which wasn't pleasant at all. I think anyone who had dealt with plantar fasciitis before will understand how much that hurts. On the bright side I think it helped later on in the day.

Friday

I decided to avoid running on Friday to give my foot a bit of a break since it was still sore, so I went for a low key walk instead. Despite all the snow that's still on the ground right now, it was actually pretty warm. I still had to wear my big winter boots for all the snow and slush, but all I needed on top was my fleece and gloves. Warm weather for the win! Thankfully my foot held up pretty well and it was only a bit tight when I got back. I once again rolled it out.

Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning with my foot feeling tight again. Boo. Usually it feels a bit better once I've been up and about for awhile, but it didn't improve much throughout the day. As a result I skipped my running workout and instead rolled my feet out again with either my tennis or golf balls.

Recipes

Since one of my goals for 2018 is to meal plan 3 meals per week instead of just 2, I put in a bit of extra effort and it turned out really good. I ended up making naan pizzas, chicken and apple sausage and peppers, and skillet cheeseburger pasta.

Naan Pizza

While the naan pizzas had more calories in them than I typically allocate for a meal, they were really good. I started with a garlic and cilantro piece of naan bread, added some pizza sauce, and then topped it with an assortment of meats (chorizo sausage, salami, prosciutto), kalamata olives, onion, roasted red pepper, and mozzarella cheese. I switched up the toppings depending on my mood, which helped with eating these so often this week.

Sausage and Peppers

I hadn't eaten chicken and apple sausages and peppers in what felt like forever, so they were an easy choice to make last week. I didn't follow a specific recipe, but they still turned out great. I put 3 chicken sausages (which I'd cut into bite sized pieces) along with 3 bell peppers that I'd cut into strips with one onion, also cut into slices. I combined them all and put them into a preheated 424 degree oven for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes I would take them out and stir it up so that nothing would get too brown. Super easy to make and it tastes really good.

 Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta

You'll know that I really like the recipes from Budget Bytes if you've read here for awhile. Last week I tried a new to me recipe from Beth's blog, the Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta. It was a relatively easy recipe to make (though it did take me a bit longer than the recipe said it would to make), but I think it turned out pretty good. It's just as good as leftovers. I think the only thing that I'd switch up the next time I make it is to add some veggies to it. Maybe some broccoli or bell peppers?

Overall my first week of meal planning 3 meals instead of 2 went great. I'm excited to continue doing it. I didn't eat out at all this week which was really nice. It's easy to make less healthy choices when I'm eating out.

What was your favorite workout from the last week? Favorite meal you made?

Friday Favorites January 5 2018

Now that both Christmas and New Years is behind me it feels like I'm finally starting to get back into a routine. As much as I enjoy the holidays, it also feels good to get back to my usual routine with meals and workouts. As usual on GFF, I'm sharing my Friday Favorites today.

Friday Favorites

Wireless headphones

Anker SoundBuds Slim Earphones

A couple months ago I was looking for some affordable wireless headphones with good reviews. I wasn't able to find any that were in my price range, so I decided to hold off on getting a pair. On Christmas morning I opened my gift from my brother and found these Anker SoundBuds Slim Wireless Earphones (affiliate link). Surprisingly he had no idea that I wanted a pair, and found these ones that he said had good reviews. Although I've only used them a couple times at the gym so far, I'm really liking them. Once I use them some more I'll share a review.

Philosophy Hope In a Jar 

I think I bought Philosophy's Renewed Hope in a Jar (affiliate link) a couple months ago because I'd found a good deal on it. It was my first time trying it, and I have to admit that I really like it, with a little caveat. If you don't have issues with dry skin, this is the moisturizer for you. I found it a bit on the thin side for my skin (I tend to get dry patches on my chin and around my mouth), but I think I'd really like using this during the summer when I'm not as dry and generally try to use lighter products on my face. I'll have to get it again when it's warmer and try it again.

Manhunt: Unabomber on Netflix

I heard good things about Manhunt: Unabomber online, so I thought that I would give it a try. I'm a couple episodes into Manhunt and I'm really enjoying it so far. It is a little weird to see Chris Noth in it though, I keep thinking of him from The Good Wife (which I'm also watching right now).

What's one Friday Favorite of yours? Share below in the comments. 

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

2018 Goals

I hope the first few days of 2018 are treating you well. (I keep wanting to type/write 2017 – let's hope I get into the habit of 2018 sooner rather than later.) Now that it's officially the new year, I thought I'd share my goals for 2018. I'm one of those people who loves goals – as you can tell by my monthly goals posts that I've been posting nearly every month for the last few years. I love hearing about what other people want to accomplish throughout the year. This time of year it feels like 2018 has so much potential, so I'm excited to share what I have planned for the year. Before you get started reading, I have to warn you that this will be a long post.

2018 Goals

I've divided my goals up into three categories: personal, fitness, and professional.When I started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish I found that all of my goals fit under one of  those three headings, so I thought it would be a good way to organize them. Are you wanting to make some goals for yourself for 2018? Check out my SMART goals post for all the details on how to make goals that you'll actually accomplish.

Personal

Read 24 books in 2018. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I haven't read much the last few years since I've been in school (reading for fun is the last thing I wanted to do after reading a textbook chapter for class). Now that I'm finally done school, I'm finding myself reading more. And it's for fun now! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I'm currently re-reading the Harry Potter series. I have a few more books in line that I'm looking forward to reading in the next month or two: The Violets of March (affiliate link) by Sarah Jio, A Secret Kept (affiliate link) by Tatiana De Rosnay, and Intuitive Eating (affiliate link) by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I started both A Secret Kept and Intuitive Eating previously, but I lost steam about mid way through both books over the summer, so I've decided to re-start them.

24 books in a year is only two books per month, which I think is totally doable. I'll be sure to share the books I get through as I read them. I love hearing what other people are reading, so I figure other people are the same way. I'm always looking for book recommendations, so if you have any be sure to leave them in the comments below.

Be in bed by 9:30 4 nights per week. 

I'm one of those people who needs their sleep or else I'm grouchy and not very productive the next day. I also like to workout early in the morning, which means being at the gym between 5:30 am and 6 am most days. The only way I'm getting out of bed at 5 in the morning when my alarm goes off is if I'm in bed early the night before. I know that there will be nights when I'm out or date nights with my boyfriend when I won't be able to be in bed by 9:30 pm. Instead of being hard on myself, I'm setting my goal to be in bed early 4 nights per week. I think that will give me a good basis of sleep so that I can be my best during the day.

Save money.

Being in school for the last few years wasn't at all conducive to saving money. It felt like all the money I was making while working part time while I was in school went to tuition or books or parking. It definitely made saving money tough to do. Now that I'm done school though, I'd like to get back to putting a little bit of each paycheck away. I'd love to move in 2018, and as everyone knows, that's an expensive thing to do. I've committed to putting a fixed amount straight into my savings account each and every time I get paid in 2018.

Fitness

Run a 5K race.

Cardio Equipment MRU Gym

Back when I first started this blog (I just checked – 2011, that feels like such a long time ago), I was starting to get into running. I had a treadmill so it was convenient to do, and I knew that it was a good workout. Unfortunately plantar fasciitis sidelined my running, and although I tried to get back into it again, the plantar fasciitis came back again too. Thankfully I've been able to keep it under control for the most part lately. I do get flair ups, but I know how to deal with it and take it easy for the next day or two.

I'm hoping to get back into running in 2018. I've never run a race, but I'd love to do a 5K. I definitely won't be trying to win my age group or anything, but I think it would be really fun and feel like a huge accomplishment if I could complete a 5K. I wanted to do something new, different, and out of my comfort zone, and this seemed like the perfect goal to set. If anyone is a runner and has struggled with plantar fasciitis, I'd love your advice on how to deal with it!

Meal prep 3 meals each week. 

Although this goal isn't fitness related, I thought I'd add it in to this section as it's still health related. I've gotten pretty good at meal prepping one or two recipes each week. I'll typically have enough meals to last through Wednesday or Thursday, and then I run out and don't make the healthiest choices when I'm hungry and want to eat now. I'm hoping that meal prepping three meals each week will help with this. That should give me enough meals to least through Friday or Saturday. Since I'm already in the habit of meal prepping, I'm hoping that adding another meal or two on top of what I'm already cooking won't be too hard to do.

Do at least 2 strength training workouts each week. 

Not going to lie, I've been really slacking on the strength training since July. The gym at school had tons of strength training equipment that was largely unused on weekend mornings when I liked to go. As a result I had my pick of what I wanted to use. I was so spoiled. The gym I go to now is a lot busier, so it can sometimes be tough to get the equipment I want to use when I want to use it. Most of the time I'm in a hurry to get in and out of the gym, so I don't want to wait around.

I'm committing to getting in at least 2 strength training workouts each week. A new gym will be opening not far from me in mid January, so I'm hoping that will help with how busy my gym is. I have access to this new gym too, and I'm happy to report that they have a ton of dumbbells, deadlifting platforms, and squat racks, so I can always go there if need be.

Professional

Grow my blog. 

I won't go into a lot of detail on this goal because it probably doesn't really interest anyone but me, but I really want to make 2018 the year I put some extra effort into my blog to make it better and increase my readership. While I think I'm really good at posting evergreen content, I'm planning on writing some more personal posts in 2018, and share more of my everyday – the same kinds of things that I like reading about on other people's blogs.

Create workout plans and offer online training.

I'm really looking forward to sharing some products on the blog. I've been wanting to offer both of these things for so long, and being able to finally work on them is so much fun. I'm currently in the middle of putting together my first workout plan. I'm hoping to start offering it for sale, plus some additional health and fitness printables in the next month or two, so be sure to keep your eyes open for them. Online training will probably be a bit later on in 2018, but I'm just as pumped about that.

Attend at least 2 fitness industry conferences. 

Since I have to get professional development credits to keep my CSEP certification, I'm planning on going on attending a couple conferences. I've heard good things about this one put on by AFLCA in Kananaskis as well as Fit Rendezvous in Edmonton in the spring. Not only do I get more education (there's always something new to learn when it comes to fitness), I'm also looking forward to making connections and networking. Sort of related to this goal, I'd love to become certified in different programs. So far I'm considering strength training classes (think something like Body Pump), a cycle certification, as well as yoga teacher training. There's just so many to pick from, it's tough to make up my mind.

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

What are one of your goals for 2018? Share it in the comments below. 

Body Weight Beginner Lower Body Workout

Is anyone else glad that it's starting to feel like normal again? I'm looking forward to getting back into my usual routine – that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the holidays though. Getting back to normal also means getting back to the gym. Because I know that people will be looking to get more active as a result of New Year's resolutions, I thought that I'd share a body weight beginner lower body workout today. This is the perfect workout to do at home, as it requires very little equipment.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps before moving onto the next exercise. For those exercises that involves working each side separately (step ups and donkey kicks), perform 10 reps per side and count that as 1 set. As far as rest goes, take as much of it as you need. It's important to not get too fatigued and compromise your form. Making sure that your form is correct is always you number 1 priority.

I've listed descriptions of all the exercises below. If you're unsure about any of them, talk to a local fitness professional. Looking for more beginner workouts? Try this one out.

Body Weight Beginner Lower Body Workout

Forward lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot.

Body weight squats

With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Skaters

With your knees slightly bent, jump to the right and land on your right leg with your left leg bent behind you with your foot just off the ground. Keep your left foot off the ground. Pushing off with your right foot, jump to the left and land on your left foot, keeping your right leg bent and right foot off the ground behind you.

30 second wall sit

Stand with your back to a wall and slowly slide your back down while stepping out your feet until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be about hip width apart. This is an isometric hold, so you’re staying in this position for the entire time.

Butt kicks

Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms bent comfortably at the elbow. Bend your left knee and bring the heel of your left foot behind you so that it touches your butt. Lower your left foot back down to the ground and repeat with your right foot.

Step ups

Find something that when you put your foot on it, your knee is at a 90 degree angle. This could be a chair or bench. Step up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

Jumping jacks

Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Jump both feet apart from each other while raising your hands above your head with straight arms. Jump your feet back together and lower your arms to the starting position.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your knee bent, lift your left leg so that your knee is parallel to the floor and the bottom of your foot is parallel to the ceiling. Lower you leg back down and repeat with the right leg.

As always, check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for your circumstances and injuries.

New Year’s Eve Weekend Recap

Happy new year! I hope everyone's 2018 got off to a great start. I spent New Year's Eve with my boyfriend. Before I get too far into that I'll start back on Friday.

Friday

Rocky Ridge YMCA Tour

Friday was another cold day – last week we had really cold weather here in Calgary, so much so that there was a weather advisory – so I didn't end up doing much. It's really hard to talk yourself into going outside with it's -40 outside with the windchill. The roads weren't in great shape either thanks to a bunch of snow, so they were another reason to stay close to home.

I did venture out with my dad to take a tour of the new YMCA that opens in a few weeks near me. This facility has been a long time coming and I'm so excited to start working out here! While we weren't able to actually go into the gym (we were only able to check it out from above), it still looks like it's going to be great. I was a little disappointed we weren't able to check out the change rooms either. Oh well, I'll be able to get a look at them soon.

I currently workout at a YMCA, so I'll have access to this new one when it opens. There's a lot more cardio equipment and benches than at the one I currently go to, so I'm super excited about that.

Tim Horton's Hot Chocolate

On the way home my dad and I stopped at Tim Horton's to get some hot chocolate and coffee to warm up.

Saturday

I had originally had a book club night planned for Saturday, but unfortunately it had to be moved to mid January instead. As a result I didn't have anything else going on because I thought I was going to be out already. It was actually kind of nice to have some extra time to catch up on some stuff around the house and on the blog. I got some laundry done that I was putting off as well as getting a couple blog posts started.

Sunday

For New Year's Eve I went over to my boyfriend's place. He lives downtown with a great view of the fireworks that go off at city hall. He'd bought some meat, cheese, and olives that we put together for a charcuterie board. I didn't take any photos of the food, but it was a great combination. We snacked on that throughout the night. For dinner we made pizza, which also turned out pretty good. We stayed in and watched some hockey and Netflix before the fireworks started at midnight. I'm very glad that we were able to see the fireworks while still being warm and cozy inside.

Black Cherry Cider

We also drank some delicious beers and ciders. This one was definitely my favorite from New Year's Eve. My boyfriend brought it back for me when he went home for Christmas, thinking that I'd like it. We also split a cranberry sour that was also pretty tasty.

Monday

I stayed the night and since I had splurged and parked my car in a heated parkade instead of the street like I usually do, it was so nice to get into a nice warm car and not have to worry about cleaning off snow and scraping frost off the windows.

Our family usually has a big dinner on New Year's Day, and this year was no different. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, broccoli, and sour dough bread. It was all delicious and thankfully there's lots of leftovers for this week.

Did you do anything fun for New Year's Eve? Tell me about it in the comments.