Weekly Workouts May 25 2019

Today I’m sharing a recap of my workouts and meal this week.

Like I mentioned in last week’s post, I decided to take my workouts back a step this week. My knees were feeling achy – not hurting so much – but just achy. To keep it from getting worse (and hopefully better) I decided to take an easy week when it came to workouts this week.

That said, I got both cardio and yoga workouts in this week – 5 of each. The cardio ones definitely weren’t as long as they have been, but at least I got them done.


I spent a quick 25 minutes on the elliptical at the gym to start off my week. My cool down was 10 minutes of walking the track. Saturday was a rest day so my knees felt great during Sunday’s workout. Woohoo!


I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and another 10 minutes walking the track for a cool down on Monday morning for my workout.

I’ve been in a podcast listening mood the last week or two and it continued on for Monday’s workout. I alternate between listening to podcasts and workout playlists. I was listening to a Frontline podcast about the last survivors of concentration camps. The people interviewed were kids when they were there as it’s been over 70 years now.

Monday night I headed over to Yoga in Bowness for a yin class. My hips felt so much better when I left class. I think it’s from sitting at my desk during the day, but my hips get so tight.


I decided to skip the gym in the morning (to give my knees a bit of a break) and instead went to a yoga nidra class Tuesday evening. We had a sub, but she was great. I really like the teacher who usually does the class, so that’s saying a lot.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I love ashtanga yoga, and I never would have thought that I would like yoga nidra too. They’re so different from each other. Ashtanga is tough – it’s go, go, go, and I ask my body to do a lot. Nidra is the complete opposite, you don’t move much and instead it’s more of a meditation.


My cardio workout on Wednesday was a 40 minute workout – 30 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes of walking the track afterwards. It was a pretty basic workout but it got the job done. I was sweaty and breathing hard by the time I got off the elliptical.


I spent 25 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes walking the track at the gym on Thursday for my workout.

While I was working out I listened to the Throughline podcast about Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Simon Bolivar. Venezuela has been in the news a lot lately, so it was nice to get some background on the current events.


Rest day for my knees.


My plan for today is to head to the gym for my last cardio workout of the week. There’s also a yin class this morning that I’m considering going to – it depends on how productive I’m feeling!

Do you like doing cardio or strength training more?

Friday Favorites May 24 2019

Another weekend is here! I’m looking forward to checking out Market Collective tonight with some amazing local creative people, yin yoga tomorrow, and some down time on Sunday. I hope you have some fun things on the calendar too.

Downton Abbey movie trailer

I was a huge fan of Downton Abbey when I watched it on Netflix. I loved the writing, the characters, the setting, just about everything about it. I was pretty excited when I heard that they were working on a movie.

This week the trailer for the movie was released. It’ll be in theaters in September and you better believe that I’ll be splurging on a ticket to go see it. I saw an interview with Allen Leech, the actor who plays Tom in the show, and he was saying that to make the movie they wanted to make sure that they had the right story to tell. If they were going to make the transition from the small screen to the big screen, it had to be theatrical. I’m so glad that they waited until they had a story line that did justice to the original show. It’s so disappointing when reboots are done terribly (hello, Gilmore Girls).

Cover Girl Exhibitionist mascara

I bought a new to me mascara this weekend – Cover Girl’s Exhibitionist mascara (affiliate link). It was on sale at the store so I thought that I’d give it a try. I decided to go with the Very Black color.

I’ve worn it for a few days now and I’m really liking it so far. It’s not clumpy at all and it really makes my light eyelashes stand out. I also get some Burt’s Bee’s facial cleansing towelettes (affiliate link) while I was at the store because they were also on sale. I use them after I workout at the gym.

No Place to Hide

I’m currently reading No Place to Hide (affiliate link) by Glenn Greenwald. Glenn is a journalist, who along with Laura Pointras, broke the Edward Snowden story back in 2013. I had seen the documentary (Citizenfour),and I was intrigued when I found out that Glenn had written a book about it.

I’m about halfway through so far, and I had idea that the surveillance done by the US government and it’s closest allies (Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand) was so widespread. If you’re looking for a more in depth look into what happened from one of the major players involved, make sure you check out No Place to Hide.

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey? Are you going to see the movie?

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My Fitness Story

I don’t think I’ve ever written about my fitness journey all in one spot on the blog before, so I thought that I’d finally do it. I love hearing about how people decide to make healthy lifestyle changes, so I figure others do to.

Starting in my last year of university (back in 2005/2006), I decided that I wanted to start making some healthy changes. I wanted to be more active, make healthier food choices, and just improve my health in general.

I started by making small changes to my food. I decided to add a fruit or vegetable to all my meals. While it’s second nature to me now, back then it didn’t happen nearly as often as it should have. Salad was super easy to add to lunches and dinners. It was easy enough to grab a piece of fruit to go with my breakfast. It wasn’t a lot of extra work, but it made a big difference in how I felt.

Once I had a bit of momentum from eating more fruits and vegetables, I decided that I wanted to start working out at home. I was way too intimidated to go to a gym, so I did exercises that required minimal equipment, like push ups, squats, and crunches at home. Eventually I got a couple sets of dumbbells and did a bit of strength training even though I had no idea what I was doing.

As I got more comfortable with myself and being active, I decided to join my very first gym. The gym at the YWCA in the city I was going to school in was pretty small, but it was perfect for me because that mean that it was less intimidating. It was easier to walk in there when there were only a few other people working out, rather than a huge big box gym where there would be a hundred or more people.

When I went to the gym in the mornings right when it opened there were usually only a few other people there, which was perfect for me. I didn’t have to wait for equipment and it wasn’t as scary for me. I wasn’t as worried that people were going to wonder what I was doing there, working out when I had no idea what I was doing.

I didn’t feel judged at the YWCA, which was huge for me. I actually felt like I was a part of the community, in large part because of the wonderful trainer that worked there. She’d always say hi, make small talk with me, and introduce me to some of the other people working out. I’m so grateful that she took the time to be friendly to me and really make me feel like I belonged there.

I ended up working out at the gym pretty consistently that last year of university. I was at the gym 4 or 5 times per week doing cardio on the treadmill or bike.

After I graduated university in 2006 I decided to move back to Calgary and started tracking my food in a notebook. It made me much more accountable to myself to see everything that I had eaten written down in black and white.

It allowed me to see the patterns that I wouldn’t have been able to pick up on otherwise. I had a habit of mindlessly eating junk food in the evenings when I was on the couch watching TV. I would stress eat sweets when I was feeling anxious.

I also started figuring out what appropriate serving sizes were. I would eat 2 cookies instead of 5, a handful of chips instead of half a bag. It’s so easy to eat more than I meant to when I wasn’t paying attention.

As a result of being more aware of what I was eating, I started to lose weight. The changes that I was making were paying off and it kept me motivated to keep up my healthy lifestyle. Having practice making those healthy decisions made it easier and easier to to continue on with making good choices for myself. Seeing the numbers going down on the scale felt really good. I knew I was getting healthier.

Fast forward a few years and I discovered healthy living blogs in 2011. I felt like I had found my people. It was the same sense of community that I had felt in that small YWCA gym that I had gone to in university. Soon after I started this blog. Check out my very first blog post here!

Back in 2011 or 2012 I was going through a tough time. I had just broken up with someone, there was some family stuff going on that I was super stressed about, and life was just tough at that point. I had a friend who was just finishing up her yoga teacher training and she invited me to come to one of her practice classes. I had never stepped foot into a yoga studio, but I had done a yoga DVD about a million times that I had bought in university. Even though I was really nervous, I decided to go to support my friend.

I’m so glad that I ended up going because I ended up becoming intrigued by yoga. I went back to the Yoga Shala on Saturday afternoons for their karma classes. It fit into my budget and I started to really like the ashtanga style of yoga. I didn’t even realize that there were other kinds of yoga at that point – I thought that all yoga was ashtanga yoga.

I ended up practicing yoga a few times a week, both at the studio and at home. I learned more about yoga, tried out other studios, and really started to get that there was so much more to yoga than just the poses.

My interest in fitness and living a healthy lifestyle eventually led me to go back to school in 2015 to get a 2 year diploma in personal training at Mount Royal University (read about my program in this post), and then in March of 2019 complete a 200 hour yoga teacher certification at Passage Studios. You can find all my posts about yoga teacher training here.

I now eat healthy, though there are definitely treats on special occasions and when I’m out with friends or my boyfriend. I like to live by the 80/20 rule – I eat healthy 80% of time and treat myself 20% of the time. If I tried to eat 100% I know that it wouldn’t last long. Sometimes you just have to give in to that craving for a piece of cake or a big juicy burger.

I workout 4 or 5 times per week at the gym. It’s so different from when I started my fitness journey and I was too intimidated to go to the gym. I now feel very comfortable there and feel like I’m a part of the community. I also go to yoga 3 or 4 times per week, and while ashtanga is still my favorite, I’ve definitely embraced slower paced classes as well, such as yin and restorative.

HIIT Workout

As I mentioned in Saturday’s post, I’m planning on making this week’s workouts a bit lighter than I usually would. My knee wasn’t feeling great, and I definitely don’t want it to get any more finicky. So I skipped my usual cardio at gym yesterday and just went with a restorative nidra class.

The first half of the yoga class the teacher takes us through some restorative poses before we settle in for a nidra meditation. I always feel so great when I leave that class. If you had told me even a year ago that I would enjoy a nidra class as much as I do now, I never would have believed you.

And now onto today’s full body HIIT workout.

You’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds before moving onto the next exercise on the list. Once you’ve finished the mountain climbers, rest for as long as you need before starting again from the top. Complete three times though for a complete workout.

I’ve listed descriptions of the exercises below the graphic just in case you need a refresher on how to do them. Looking for a different kind of workout? Maybe a cardio or strength training one? Check out my workout page. I have all the workouts I’ve shared on the blog categorized over there so it’s easy to find whatever you’re looking for.

Lateral raise

With your arms down at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your hands away from your body to the side, keeping your arm straight at the elbow. Once your hands reach shoulder level, slowly lower them back down to your sides.


From a standing position crouch down with your hands in front of your feet on the floor. Jump your feet back behind you so you’re in a plank position. Jump your feet back in towards your hands and then jump up while clapping your hands above your head.


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. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. 

Med ball slams

With your feet shoulder width apart and a medicine ball in your hands, lift it over your head and slam it into the ground just in front of your feet. Pick it up quickly and repeat.

Mountain climbers

Start in a plank position. Jump one foot up as close to the hips as possible while bending at the knee and hip. Then jump that foot back while bringing the other foot up.  An easier modification is to use a chair to put your hands on.

What’s your favorite kind of yoga class to take?

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

Long Weekend + Workouts

It was a long weekend here in Canada because of Victoria Day on Monday. It’s the unofficial kick off for summer. Though the weather definitely didn’t feel very summery. I’ve been rainy and cold since Thursday.

Friday I took a flow and restore yoga class with a really good friend of mine teaching at the Yoga Shala. It’s always a treat to go to a class of hers. She’s the one who got me into yoga back in the day. My very first yoga class was her first practice class when she was going through yoga teacher training.

The class was the best mix of working hard for the first part of class and relaxing at the very end. There’s something about that combination that just works perfectly.

After dinner on Friday I had part of this blueberry pie. They have them at the grocery store every once in awhile, so I picked up a blueberry one as well as an apple one.

They’re only a few inches across, so they’re the perfect size to split with someone. I warmed it up in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and it was perfect. What is it about pie that’s so delicious?

I finally finished reading The Desire Map (affiliate link) over the weekend. It’s taken me awhile to get through it, but now that I’m finished it, I’m actually kind of glad that I went through it relatively slow. I was really able to absorb what I was reading and think about it.

In case you’re curious, my core desired feelings are abundant, connected, mindful, and successful. If you’ve also gone through The Desire Map and have figured out your core desired feelings, I’d love to hear what they are in the comments below.

I took Friday and Saturday off from cardio because my knee was feeling a bit off. It didn’t really hurt so much as felt achy. I’m happy to report though that with two days off and a shorter workout on Sunday, my knee felt tons better. I’m thinking I’ll make this a bit f a lighter week in terms of cardio just in case.

After my workout on Sunday I decided to head downtown to meet up with my boyfriend.

We played with his Bulldog puppy before heading out to lunch. He just got this beaver chew toy and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Winston goes through toys because he chews holes in them, pulling out the stuffing which makes a mess. So far his beaver is holding up, though the ears are taking looking worse for wear.

We ended up at Gruman’s for lunch. It’s a really delicious Jewish deli. They have all the usual stuff that you would expect, from pickles to smoked meat to potato latkes.

I decided to go with breakfast for dinner and ordered eggs benedict. They came two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, half an english muffin, two potato latkes and a really delicious side salad. I can’t even remember the last time I got eggs benedict. They were really good!

My Monday morning workout was at the gym again. I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by a 10 minute cool down walking the track. It felt really good to workout and get sweaty – it’s such a good stress reliever.

My dad and I went out for lunch on Monday. We decided to head out to the Mad Rose pub because we couldn’t decided on what we wanted to eat. We figured a pub would have everything from pizza to sandwiches to burgers, so we could find something that would appeal to us.

I ordered the chicken quesadilla. I’ve very grateful that they put the jalapenos on the side – I’m a huge wimp when it comes to spicy food so I didn’t have to deal with them in the quesadilla.

I ended my long weekend the same way I started it – with some yoga. I went to Yoga in Bowness for a yin class. I always feel great after class and it was the same last night. I’m so grateful that I have yoga to help with my tight hips and remind me to slow down. It’s so easy to get caught up in the go go go lifestyle and think that my tight hips and hamstrings are normal. They’re not, and yoga is a good reminder of that.

What was the highlight of your weekend? Tell me about it in the comments.

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