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Heading to CanFitPro

Hi everyone – Happy Friday!!!! ūüėÄ ūüėÄ ūüėÄ

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Tomorrow, my friend Holly  and I will be heading to the city bright and early to take part in the CanFitPro Fitness Conference.  As a fitness instructor, we have to attend a certain amount of continuing education sessions/courses each year to maintain our certifications and this full-day conference will be more than enough to keep me rolling for a few more years.

I always enjoy going to fitness conferences (though I never enjoy the early wake-up calls involved with getting to them :/ ), and this year is no exception. ¬†While it will be hard to live up to last year when I got to meet¬†Krista Popowich¬†it sounds like it’ll be a fun day.

I’m particularly looking forward to the session I’m taking on ViPR training. ¬†I might die, but at least it’ll be fun. ūüėČ

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/NDhf7Gzo02g”]

While the conference is actually 3 days (there are pre-conference trainings today, and post-conference trainings on Sunday) I am only going to the 1-day session and will be back home Saturday night.

Looking for some new tunes for your iPod?

Every month Chris from¬†RunHundred.com¬†sends me a list of the top 10 workout songs for the upcoming month and i thought I’d share with you the top songs for June:

Avicii – Levels (Skrillex Remix) – 142 BPM
Pitbull – Back in Time – 126 BPM
Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa – Payphone – 110 BPM
Demi Lovato – Give Your Heart a Break – 123 BPM
Usher – Scream – 129 BPM
Linkin Park – Burn It Down – 111 BPM
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (Hotline’s Miami Vice Club Remix) – 118 BPM
Slaughterhouse & Cee Lo Green – My Life – 137 BPM
B.o.B. & Taylor Swift – Both of Us – 127 BPM
Katy Perry – Part of Me (Jacques Lu Cont’s Thin White Duke Remix) – 130 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at¬†RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era‚ÄĒto find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Thanks Chris!

What are your weekend plans?  Doing anything fun? Have you heard all of the songs in the list?  

There are a couple I’m not familiar with – I’ll have to go check them out!

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Confession #351: I Hate Protein Powder in my Smoothies

I’ve tried protein powders in the past, and hated them all. ¬†They’ve taste weird, artificial and just plain gross. ¬†So when I heard that the¬†Tone it Up¬†girls had come out with their own line of protein powder called¬†Perfect Fit¬†I thought I’d give it a try.

Taken directly from the website:

Perfect Fit Protein by Tone It Up‚ĄĘ provides portable, organic nutrition for people on the go. Each delicious serving contains 15 grams of protein and is Organic, Gluten-Free, Raw, Vegan, Non-GMO, Non-Fat, Low in Sodium, Hypoallergenic, and Free of Sugar, Dairy, Lactose, Cholesterol, Soy, Corn, Wheat and Allergens.

I was lucky enough to get my order shipped out in the first wave of deliveries and it arrived one day last week but I didn’t get around to trying it until today. ¬†I figured the true taste test would be in a smoothie so I got out the magic bullet to whip one up!

Added frozen mango, fresh pineapple, orange juice and one packet of protein powder.

Then I like the magic bullet do it’s business :)

The verdict? ¬†I still don’t like protein powder. ¬†Well, at least not in my smoothies. ¬†I have a number of recipes for using protein powder in cooking and baking (like pancakes, muffins etc.) so I’ll certainly be giving those a try! ¬†I really think that I won’t mind it in cooked/baked items, I really just don’t like the taste of the vanilla (I prefer straight up fruit in my smoothies) nor the slight graininess the powder leaves in the smoothie.

It’s interesting because I don’t mind chia seeds in my smoothies at all. ¬†Maybe because they are flavorless and I drink them before the seeds change into their gel form.

I will say as far as protein powders go, this is the best I’ve had. ¬†I really like that it’s all natural and especially like that it is packaged in individual packets and would certainly recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a new protein powder

Question:

Do you like protein powder in your smoothies or do you prefer them without?

I like to add greek yogurt to my smoothies if I need a hit of protein. ¬†Sure it’s got more calories, but with all the classes I teach I’m not really worried about the extra 50 calories ūüėČ

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Be Wary of What You Read & Write

I have a feeling this post is going to get away from me so I apologize in advance for what I am almost certain will be a long post.

I’ve had something on my mind for a few days and I believe it’s time to talk about it.

We all know not to believe everything we see or read, but when it comes to reading blogs I think many of us (myself included) get swept up in the life of the blogger, what they are doing, what they are advocating, and what information they are providing to us – the readers. ¬†While this blog is only a few years old, I have a number of blogs prior to this one (good old tripod.lycos.com ūüėČ ) and have been reading blogs for years and I’ve noticed some things on blogs I think worth sharing.

Probably three years ago there was this one blog that really fascinated me. ¬†It wasn’t anything special, just a chick writing about her life. ¬†I guess it was just her writing style that kept me coming back for more. ¬†Well, that and the picture perfect life she had. ¬†A great husband, kids, her dream house and job, plus they were always going out and doing fun stuff while I was sitting at home reading blogs and bored. ¬†Then one day, out of the blue, she announced she and her husband¬†were separating. ¬†It would seem he had a violent alcohol abuse problem and had been putting the whole family in danger for months (maybe even years?). ¬†On top of which, it also came out that they had filed for bankruptcy. ¬†So the perfect family that was always doing things together was in fact, a family in shambles. ¬†Did I see it coming? Certainly not! ¬†She had portrayed her family in a totally different light than was the truth, and I had been totally sucked into believing it.

It wasn’t a month later that another blogger announced that she too had separated (and in the process of divorcing) her husband. ¬†It was just the week before in a post when she had gushed and went on about how happy and in love they were .

In both these instances I believe the bloggers were not purposely trying to trick their audience, it’s not like either of these were¬†big¬†blogs, just ordinary girls writing posts about what I expect they believed to be the truth their lives, even though it wasn’t reality.

Fast forward to this past weekend and the situation that got me thinking about those bloggers. ¬†There are a number of blogs I read daily, and many, many more that I read only occasionally. ¬†This past weekend I was reading one of my “occasional” blogs. ¬†I tend to pop around and read older posts related to newer posts, popular posts, that sort of thing.

One post really caught my eye. ¬†In this post the blogger admitted they had, had an eating disorder and had for quite some time and was only now (well then, as this was a post from a few months back) getting help for it. ¬†That they knew for months that they needed help but refused to believe it. ¬†This of course intrigued me. ¬†I knew that this blogger had often been praised for her “athletic” body in comments¬†so I went back through some of the earlier posts during the time I knew she had an ED to see what was in those posts and in the comments. ¬†What did I find? ¬†Advice on how to lose weight and loads of compliments (again) on her body. ¬†No wonder she didn’t want to get help, with everyone telling her how “strong” and “athletic” she looked, of course she would choose to believe them. ¬†While not all of the advice she gave was bad (much of it was very sensible ¬†with a sprinkling of ED-type advice), for the regular person who doesn’t know that much about eating healthy and exercise it would be hard to determine what was the bad verses the good.

The problem with giving advice, especially on the internet, is that anyone can take that advice and use it.  Even when that advice could lead them towards an eating disorder.  They see pictures of what they believe to be a healthy, thin person and want to be like that too and follow whatever advice that person is dishing out.

And when I thought about that (how a blogger may have contributed to the onset of someone else’s ED) it made me sad.

So what’s my point in all of this? ¬†I guess, I want to bring back once again the importance of reading blogs and taking advice given and evaluating it¬†before¬†deciding if it is good advice for you in your life. ¬†If you’re not sure, ask someone else. ¬†Do more research. ¬†Be pro-active. ¬†Blogs are an absolutely wonderful way to get ideas, recipes, workouts, advice – but please make sure you look it over before using it. ¬†Make sure it makes sense to you. ¬†And if it doesn’t – question it.

And as a blogger/writer please remember the importance of what you write. ¬†People are reading your blog and the advice you give will be used by someone, maybe a whole bunch of someones. ¬†Make sure it’s good advice. ¬†Warn people if you think something might not be right for them. ¬†For instance, I love that¬†Gina¬†¬†always take the time to write a¬†warning for anyone with or recovering from and ED at the top of a post or story telling them they might want to skip the rest of the post¬†if she thinks it might bother someone. ¬†Taking the time to be that caring really says a lot about a blogger, and a person.

To prevent myself from going on and on (and further ūüėČ ) I’m going to cut this post off now. ¬†But please, when you are reading blogs or articles – or anything really – read it with an open mind but don’t take everything they say as a 100% truth. ¬†And as a writer/blogger, think about what you are writing, the content you are putting out there and how it might affect the lives of others. ¬†<3

Be responsible for the content you put out there, and the content you read and put into action.

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Oven Baked Garlic Sweet Potato Wedges

Baked sweet potato fries are the best of both worlds, all the health benefits of the sweet potato with all the yumminess of fries. ¬†How can you go wrong? ¬†Well, one way to go wrong is to attempt making sweet potato fries on an unlined (no parchment paper or silicone mat lined) cookie sheet, but I digress. ¬†Friends, I give you my best recipe for baked fries (while in this instance I’ve used sweet potatoes, this recipe works equally as well for regular ol white potatoes).

Oven Baked Garlic Sweet Potato Wedges
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes (regualr white potatoes work well too)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Wash and then chop potatoes into uniform sized wedges (I find ½ inch slices work well)
  3. Toss wedges in a bowl or resealable bag.
  4. Cover with oil, minced garlic, cheese, parsley and salt. Toss to coat.
  5. Spread the wedges out over a parchment lined cookies sheet in a single layer.
  6. Bake for approx. 25-35 minutes turning halfway through the baking process.

I really like the fact that you can make the fry mixture right in a ziplock bag, it really cuts down on the mess and number of dishes you have to wash!

And as I mentioned above, parchment paper really is the savour in this recipe (especially if using sweet potatoes), without it they will stick on the pan and make a big old mess. ¬†Not that I would know about that or anything…. ūüėČ

And I might be a bit bias, but I think these taste way better than any packaged fries I’ve ever had!

If you’re on¬†Pinterest¬†and think you might like to give this recipe a try, just click the “pin it” button at the top or bottom of this post to save it to one of your boards! ¬†

P.S. If you’re not on¬†Pinterest, then what are you waiting for? ¬†Send me an e-mail or comment below with your email address and I’ll send you an invite!

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Wonder Woman

She’s not to be messed with ūüėČ

giving my best “don’t mess with me” look

Friday night I taught a Superhero Zumba Master Class. ¬†Sort of a random theme I’ll admit, but when I asked my peeps what they wanted for a theme superheroes won out. ¬†While we stuck to regular Zumba tunes for the class, we had a pretty good showing of superheroes in attendance

We even had a pregnant Spiderman! ¬†There were others not shown who dressed up in superhero shirts but didn’t want to be in the group picture. ¬†More importantly, we had a Zumba Superhero that missed the group pic

Of course I had¬†tricked¬†bribed people into dressing up by offering a draw for a 10-class punch card for everyone that dressed up and luckily quite a few people took the bait ūüėČ

Oh and it should be known that as the class wore on, many of the costumes started coming off – but not Captain America (s)he prevailed and wore the shield the ENTIRE class. ¬†Which was no small task I’m sure!

The only downer from the 90 minute master class was about 2 songs in I realized that in all the worry about remembering prizes, my costume, and everything else I forgot my water.  Total #fail.

Once the class was over I stopped at the corner store and got an electrolyte replacement and 1 litre of water and was good to go!

I put together a short video with some snippets of songs from the night for anyone who wants to see my crazy arms in action…

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/XwxYNiPPRNc”]

It must be noted that I didn’t have the prettiest backdrop, lots of extra “stuff” on the stage, but at least while you’re doing Zumba you are too busy to be worried too much about that stuff.

I hope everyone has been enjoying their weekends! ¬†I’m taking tomorrow (Victoria Day) off so it’s a long weekend for me (yay!) but J’s off to work in the morning (and already in bed). ¬†I think it’s time for me and the kitties to make a snack and head to the basement to hang out for a while!

I’m working on a youtube workout video to go up this week, so if you have any video requests/suggestions let me know!