Weekly Workouts + Meals

It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve last recapped my workouts and eats, so here it is for this week.

To be completely honest I’ve been getting back on track this week. I spent a few days away last weekend visiting some friends and it totally threw me off my workouts. Isn’t it funny how a few days completely out of my routine throws you off so much?

Workouts

Sunday

I got home Saturday morning and pretty much went to bed right when I got home. There’s something about road trips that always seem to tire me out even though I’m just sitting in the car.

Thanks to the early bedtime the night before it wasn’t too hard to get to the gym on Sunday morning for a Group Power (aka Body Pump) class at my gym. It was a newer release for me so I was still getting the hang of it.

Monday

I attended another Group Power class. I still felt a bit uncoordinated, but definitely more comfortable with the new workout since I had done it a few times before.

Monday

Rest day.

Tuesday

Yoga at home. I was craving yoga but when I checked out the schedule there was a sub for one of my favorite classes. So instead of going to the studio I decided to do a practice on my own. I typically prefer to go to classes instead of practicing at home because there are way too many distractions, but I managed to get in a quick practice. It wasn’t long but it was exactly what I needed.

Wednesday

I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical doing some steady state cardio. It felt really good to get back to cardio and sweat. I listened to a playlist on Spotify (follow me for the workout playlists I share on Spotify) and the 30 minutes flew by.

Thursday

Rest day.

Friday

I had plans to go into work early so that I could go to another Group Power class, but by the time I left work I just wasn’t feeling a workout. Instead I got a bunch of errands done and had a nap when I got home.

Saturday

My plan for today is to get in another cardio session on the elliptical.

Meals

My meals definitely weren’t very exciting this week, but they were tasty and kept me satisfied.

I ate a bunch of shredded chicken this week. Not only was it super easy to make but it’s also full of protein. I’ve been trying to eat more protein so it’s an easy way for me to get more of it in without the fat that can come with some other protein sources.

I also had a leftover chorizo sausage that I barbecued. It was a bit spicier than I usually like, but it was still pretty good. I think just about everything tastes better on the barbecue.

Staying with the chicken theme I also made a batch of chicken salad this week. Adding mayo to just about anything makes it taste better, right? I’ve really been enjoying the bagged salads this week. They’re super easy and it’s nice to have some instant veggies to add to my meals.

Like I mentioned the other day, I’ve been eating taking advantage of all of the beef jerky samples that I was given last weekend. Needless to say it’ll last awhile!

What was your favorite workout this week? Favorite meal? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Friday Favorites: Yoga + A Good Book

Another week is over and done! I feel like I’ve been playing catch up since I got back from my trip last weekend. I wasn’t gone for very long but it sure threw my routine off.

I have some fun stuff coming up this weekend including celebrating my boyfriend’s dog’s first birthday. Winston is turning 1 year old and little does he know that he has a piece of dog cake waiting for him in the freezer. I was looking back at photos of him from when my boyfriend first got him and he was so little back then!

Yoga as a stress reliever

I’ve been doing more yoga at home lately. There’s something about coming up with your own sequence right in the moment that feels so good. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of hip openers – my hips are typically on the tight ends of things, but lately they’ve been extra bad. Spending some time on them before going to bed feels so good!

The Home for Unwanted Girls

I started reading this book last week and I’ve been sucked right into it. The Home for Unwanted Girls (affiliate link) by Joanna Goodman is hard to put down, and though I’m not finished reading it, I’m really enjoying it. The book is set in Quebec, where I grew up, so that was pretty cool. I don’t think I’ve read many books that take place in Quebec.

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility—much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’.

Elodie is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. It’s a precarious enough existence that takes a tragic turn when Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, is declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Bright and determined, Elodie withstands abysmal treatment at the nuns’ hands, finally earning her freedom at seventeen, when she is thrust into an alien, often unnerving world.

Maggie, married to a businessman eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.

What’s one thing that you’re loving this week? Share it in the comments below.

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

Getting Out of my Comfort Zone

Today I wanted to chat a bit about comfort zones – specifically getting out of them.

I resisted getting out of mine when it came to starting my private yoga business. I used every single excuse in the book, from it’s not the right time to I’m too new to teaching to I have no business experience, I can’t start my own business. Those were only a few of the hurdles that I didn’t think I would be able to overcome.

It took a lot of talking myself into it to even look into how I would start my business. Contacting lawyers to get someone to create my corporation was scary. Telling my family and friends what I was doing was scary. Finding an accountant was nerve wracking.

I’m one of those people who likes to know exactly what steps that I need to take to achieve my goals. I like to know exactly how to get from point A to point B, and everything that I need to do to get to the end point. Starting my business was nothing like that.

In all of my post secondary education I only had to take one business class, and I didn’t learn much from it, unfortunately. It was tough to take on something like starting a business when I felt like I didn’t have all the information I needed to do things on my own. I had to trust the people that I hired to do the things that I couldn’t. I’m very grateful that I found some great people, but it was very intimidating in the beginning.

Now that I have some of the big scary stuff done and out of the way, I realized how many other times in my life I’ve ventured out of my comfort zone. I’ve done things that were hard or where I wasn’t sure of the outcome, but I still did them and even succeeded at them.

I decided to go back to school as an adult in my 30’s. I learned so much about something that I was passionate about (fitness) and it ended up laying the foundation for quite a few other things I ended up doing, like yoga teacher training.

I walked into a yoga studio for the first time. I’m so grateful that I did because I found something that I fell in love with.

I signed up for yoga teacher training. It had been in the back of my mind for years, but I had never gone for it. I finally got the nerve to fill out the application for a training that I had been eyeing for awhile and when I talked to one of the instructors I knew that it was the program for me.

Looking back now I can see how many of the things that I did before I started my business that got me out of my comfort zone and showed me that I can do things that I know are going to be hard, tough, or that I maybe don’t know every single step I’ll have to take in advance. I’ve done all of those things in the past and I know that I’ll be able to do them in the future.

What’s something you’ve done recently that go you out of your comfort zone?

Full Body Beginner Workout

Today I’m sharing a full body workout specifically for beginners.

It’s been awhile since I last shared a beginner workout on the blog, so I figured that today was a good a time as any. Most of the exercises I’ve included in this workout are bodyweight, so if you’re new to fitness or coming back to it after some time away it’s perfect. Be sure to get your doctor’s okay to begin working out and listen to them if they have any modifications that they’d like you to do.

This workout can be done at the gym or at home if you have a set or two of dumbbells for the bicep curls and deadlifts. I like these dumbbells (affiliate link) from Amazon. A yoga mat is also nice for the exercises that are done on the floor like the clam shells, crunches, and planks. Manduka is my favorite and I like to use this yoga mat (affiliate link).

You’ll do each exercise for 10 reps and 3 sets. Rest for 1 minute between each set. The rest periods are important, so don’t skip them even if you’re tempted to or you feel ready to move on before the minute is up. Once you’ve completed 10 reps x 3 sets of the bodyweight squats, move onto the next exercise down the list until you reach the end. I’ve added descriptions of each exercise below the graphic just in case you need a refresher on any of them.

Since this workout is aimed at beginners, many of the exercises are done with just bodyweight. However, for the bicep curls and deadlifts, you’ll want to pick a weight for each of them that you can have perfect form for all the reps including the last one of the last set. Correct form should be your first priority, so if you need to use a lighter dumbbell, do it.

Bodyweight 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 and ankles. 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.

Knee push ups

Starting on your knees and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your knees to hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line.

Bicycle crunches

Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side, bring your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor and alternate bringing your left elbow towards your right knee, and your right elbow towards your left knee. Your feet should look like they’re pedaling a bike.

Clam shells

Lay on your side on the floor with your hips bent at a 45 degree angle and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. With your legs stacked on top of one another, slowly lift your top knee up while keeping the top heal on the bottom heal. Then lower your knee back down. Make sure to use your glutes do the movement. Once one side is done flip over so the top leg is on the bottom and repeat with the second leg. 

Bodyweight lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the front 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.

Side plank

To perform a side plank, lay on your side with your elbow beneath your shoulder and your forearm on the ground. With your top foot stacked on top of your bottom foot, lift your hips off the floor so that your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet are in a straight line. Hold and then repeat on the other side.

Bicep curls

Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Dumbbell deadlifts

With a dumbbell in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend forward at the hips, letting your arms hang down and keeping your back straight. Using your glutes, lift your torso back up to the starting standing position. 

Check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

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

A Weekend Away

This last weekend I took a few days to head north and visit a couple friends of mine who live out of town. It felt so good to spend a couple days together and catch up.

Their kids have grown up so much since the last time I saw them. I had so much fun wit them. Their ten year old wanted to have a spa night so she did my nails – with a different color on each finger and toe – put a face mask on and was about to give me a full face of makeup but thankfully it was bed time.

It felt really good to spend time with the kids. We read books, played a couple games of Monopoly, and spent a lot of time at the park. It was such a good reminder for me while I was around them to make sure that I spend some time each day doing something fun and that I enjoy. It’s so easy to fill my days up with work, errands, and things that I need to cross off my to do list.

We had a delicious meal at an Indian restaurant, watched Spy (I’ve loved Melissa McCarthy since Gilmore Girls), and just had a lot of fun while I was there. I wish my friends still lived in Calgary, but at least they’re still relatively close.

I downloaded an audiobook to listen to on the three and a half hour drive to and from Stony Plain. It was my first time doing that (I typically listen to podcasts), and I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. It’s definitely something that I would do again for my next road trip.

I didn’t take any photos while I was there. I guess I was too busy taking in all the fun and just being present with my friends and their kids. As much fun as I had with them it felt good to sleep in my own bed the night I drove back.

Spending a few days away from my usual routine made me realize how much I really like my life right now. I was ready to come back to it and tackle all those things that I had put off doing. I’m definitely a creature of habit so while I enjoyed my time away from home I’m also glad to be back at it now.

I did my first workout in 4 or 5 days yesterday. I did a Group Power class at the gym with a new to me release. The instructor decided to do the October 2017 release of Body Pump. She said that the October 2019 one just got released to the instructors, so they’re busy learning it. I can’t wait to give it a try.