Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Run Stretch Fly

Still not running which is becoming a problem because work is crappy. How can it not be when I work in an industry that is bleeding jobs right now. Sadly there are some who would celebrate because I work in that ever-evil Canadian Oil Industry. No, I don't work in the oilsands, but even our provincial Premiere calls us the embarrassment of Canada. To be fair, it's probably because we elected an anti-energy government in a province that runs on the energy industry.

But, I'm not here to talk about that. No matter how bitter I may be.

You probably remember this, my lovely pumpkin from last weekend.  Well, after I roasted the actual pumpkin, I separated the seeds from the goo, rinsed them and then did wonderful things to them.

I spread them out on a parchment covered cookie sheet (because who wants to actually clean up after making a mess?) and drizzled a bit of olive oil on them. Then I sprinkled them with salt (go for sea salt if that's your thing) and Moroccan spice (because what else am I supposed to actually use Moroccan spice for?).  Then I roasted them for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

I probably should have pulled them out at 10 minutes, they were a little over-roasted, but at 10 minutes they seemed under roasted.  It doesn't matter they were delicious.

Injuries suck.

Monday, September 21, 2015


I can't run so I have to do something to occupy my time, right? I went to my running clinic on Saturday and stuck with my walking until I can do that without pain in my foot. On the way home, I decided to stop and pick up groceries. And there in the middle of the produce department they had cute little pumpkins.

Pumpkin - cleaned and ready to roast
I had to buy one. And then I had to cut out the stem, gut it, slice it in half and roast it.

run stretch fly
Yummy roasted pumkin
Why am I doing this? Just last week didn't I say I joined weight watchers?

Well, there's more to li...errr pumpkins than just pumpkin pie. I really just wanted some puree to make pumpkin smoothies for breakfast. So after roasting my pumpkin with a little salt, I pureed it in the blender and then froze it in muffin cups (silicone ones, not paper) for easy use.

I've had two smoothies so far and they're delicious.

1/2 cup frozen pumpkin puree
1 apple (quartered and cored)
1 cup milk
1/2 scoop VegaOne Vanilla Chai (you could probably just replace this with some pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice, really).
Optional: handful of spinach because: green things

You may find that your blender has trouble with the muffin cup sized pumpkin puree - mine does ok, but it isn't happy about it. So freezing it in smaller sizes or using pumpkin that isn't frozen might be better. Add ice cubes though because warm pumpkin smoothie is probably a little weird. Even if it does taste like pumpkin pie.

Another smoothie secret: want it to have a more milkshake-like texture? Pick up Xanthan Gum. I found it at my local Sobey's, packaged by Bob's Red Mill. Use no more than 1/4 tsp for a smoothie. I usually do about an 1/8 of a tsp.

I decided I need another pumpkin. Or two. We've already used half of the pumpkin we froze. Possibly more if my husband had a pumpkin smoothie this morning.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: SimplyYoga

Last night I downloaded SimplyYoga to my phone. I have an Android.

My problem is I've done quite a bit of yoga in the past and I have some preferences. I like a yoga class that flows, without making me feel like I'm doing a yoga marathon. I even had some favorite videos and a favorite class (until the instructor went on mat. leave).

I probably should like SimplyYoga, but I found it too simple. From what I could find on my phone, there's a really limited selection of videos. You select the length (20/40/60 minutes) and your level. From there, instead of getting a selection of classes, you're presented with a series of poses that will fill the selected time.

Which is great, but that's not what I'm used to.

This app was recommended to me by a friend who has an iPhone so I'm not sure if the iPhone experience is better or if it's something that works well for her, but isn't enough to meet my needs?

Looks like I'll be trying the Gaiam subscription next. The good thing is, I know I like several of their instructors already because I've owned the videos.

Yes. On VHS.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

And Yoga.

Last night, Mr. Moose and I canceled our gym memberships. Done. We were going regularly before, but in the last year we haven't gone. We probably should have canceled sooner.  For me, I have no interest in going because I can run outside.

I may regret that plan when winter gets here.

Beyond running, sure I should be doing some strength training and I was, but I wasn't loving it. I should be doing some stretching, but the yoga classes at the gym were awful.

At my running clinic last Saturday, our topic was exercise and cancer. We all know that exercise is good for our health - whether or not it helps us actually lose weight. It does good things for you and there is a lot of evidence that it also helps prevent cancer from returning.

Sign. Me. Up.

Well, ok, sign me up for exercise, not so much the gym. The point is, the speaker talked about more affordable and time efficient ways to fit in exercise. I already have the running piece figured out, but she talked about doing yoga with online classes. Something I've never considered because I find the free ones aren't great and I didn't want to pay a subscription fee to access better ones.

Which makes no sense considering I was willing to pay significantly more per month for a gym membership I hadn't been using.

The site our speaker used is called It looks interesting and it definitely has an excellent selection of videos and your first 15 days are free. Compared to the cost of yoga classes in the city, it pays for itself in about one and a half classes at $18 per month. I assume that is US$.

A little more googling brought me to SimplyYoga - A free App on iTunes or Google Play. (Let me know if that link is broken, I'm having some issues with technology today).

And finally, I found GaiamTV. I've used Gaiam videos back in the past when VHS was a thing. Because I'm old like that. I've even used Gaiam DVDs because technology happens. But this saves me from having a bunch of videos collecting dust.

Fine, I still have the videos collecting dust. Probably even the VHS versions. Don't judge me.

There may even be a VHS player in my house.

Oh my god, I'm my Grandmother.

Ahem. Back to GaiamTV. $9.99 per month.

All three of these options are available on mobile devices - both Android and Apple if you feel like doing yoga when you're out and about - like on vacation.  They do not appear to be available as apps on Windows devices, but it still has a browser and they are websites.

Well, except SimplyYoga.  If you choose that one you're on your own.

I'm probably going to give SimplyYoga a shot, but I think I'm going to end up using GaiamTV over the long term.

Yoga, on my schedule, at my level.  Hooray!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Joined Weight Watchers

I'm not sure if this is the ultimate sign of desperation or just a really good idea I've been putting off for far too long, but this morning I joined Weight Watchers Online. They have a pretty good deal right now that if you lose 10 lbs in your first 2 months, you get 2 months free.  Should be good motivation to get going.

I used to belong to SparkPeople which is kind of a free version of Weight Watchers.  The more I investigate the online portion of WW, the more I see similarities. Which is good because SparkPeople was motivating for me when I participated. The problem was there was little to keep me going there when I lost motivation. And it was an online community I struggled to find my place in. Although I did have some success with my blogs.

I've realized that all of the exercise in the world isn't going to help me lose weight if I don't get my eating under control.

I actually red a blog last week about how people don't like to exercise and it shouldn't be forced on them as a way to lose weight because it really is a crappy way to lose weight. The best control we have over our weight is through diet.

It's kind of a cruel irony that I enjoy exercise more than I enjoy eating healthy foods.

I get that all of this makes sense. There aren't many gains to be made even through strength training. Even by taking the stairs all the way to my office every morning or running 15 -20 miles a week. Walking Hank at the dog park will do even less for me.

I tried going back to a diet I'd tried before, but I struggled to maintain that for more than a couple of weeks. I quickly got bored of the food and lazy about preparing it. Although I'm still doing a fruit filled smoothie every morning and trying to make sure that fruits/vegetables are part of every meal.

It's with some fear that I start back on Weight Watchers. A program is only ever as good as the person following it. Since recovering from cancer, I sometimes get a, "screw it, we're all going to die anyway!" mentality and just go for the food I want to eat. Ok, I get that mentality a few times a day.

Especially since I haven't been able to run.

I went to my running clinic on the weekend and walked the 20 minutes instead of running. My foot/ankle wasn't painful, but I could definitely feel the tendon was irritated. To bad since I'd hoped to start running again on Sunday.

So, instead, I started sanding a desk we've been planning to refinish for my sewing room. It kept me active and out of the kitchen. We also bought stain and paint for it and now I'm going to have to go find some brass polish because it's old enough to have actual brass drawer pulls that are tarnished and crappy looking.

Monday, September 7, 2015

September Goals.

It's kind of amazing how an injury will sidetrack you.  I just realized today that August is over, we're a week into September and I haven't set any goals.

So, here goes.

1. My foot seems to be back to normal and I have a 5K to train for. It's time to get back at it.  Run 3x a week.

2. Mileage = 15 miles.  I have missed out on the first week after all.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Injuries suck

Last weekend after my run, I felt great. About 3 hours later, however, I started to realize I'd injured myself. The more I walked around doing errands with my husband, the more the inside of my right heel hurt.

Since runners are notorious self-diagnosing when it comes to injuries, I ran off to the internet to figure out what I could possibly have done wrong.

It appears as though I have a bit of tendonitis.  Either achilles, or another tendon that runs along somewhere in the vicinity of the ankle and appears (from internet pictures) to start almost exactly where my pain is focused.

I don't actually remember what said tendon is called so we're going with foot/ankle tendonitis.  Causes for this are:

1. New shoes.  Nope.  That said, neither are my shoes old.  They're kind of at that point where they're broken in, but well under 100 miles have been put on them.  PRobably closer to 60 miles on shoes that on average should last for about 500 miles.  Your mileage may vary, but probably not by that much.

2. Old shoes - see above.

3. Increase in mileage or speed.  Nope.  Definitely not running significantly further.  Slightly faster, but not that much further and I'm only increasing time ran at the rate of the plan which is often painfully slowly.

4.  Tight calves.  Oh.  That's probably the one.  Previously the same issue caused different symptoms.

Right now I'm taped with a knock-off KT Tape.  I'm stretching, doing calf raises to improve strength in my calves and doing some other strength training to help with form (clamshells, ugh).

I'm enjoying my little break from running a little too much, really. I do miss the running, but it's great to not have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to go out for a run. I think I might move to lunchtime runs at work, or now that fall is here just run after work.