Big 3 (and a li’l home decor)

As is sometimes the case when I’ve let a week go by without lifting, yesterday’s workout included 3 things: deadlift, squat, and bench press. It’s my favourite way to get the most out of a gym trip when I’m short on time and mental energy, particularly when I don’t have a consistent program to follow. The result, however, is that today I’m sore everywhere, lol.

In other news, I’ve decided that the wall behind my bed needs to be exposed brick. Given that it’s actually drywall on concrete, I’m thinking some kind of veneer is the answer. But not like a faux finish or some kind of trick - I’m going to actually lay bricks, just ones that are 1/3 the usual width. Pretty excited. Houzz-ing up a storm for inspiration :)

Made a nearly inedible batch of lemon poppyseed last week and had to redeem myself with blueberry crumble. Success! 

(oat flour, blueberries, vanilla protein powder, egg, greek yogurt, milk, palm sugar, baking powder, vanilla.)

Made a nearly inedible batch of lemon poppyseed last week and had to redeem myself with blueberry crumble. Success!

(oat flour, blueberries, vanilla protein powder, egg, greek yogurt, milk, palm sugar, baking powder, vanilla.)

Spent the weekend at one of my favourite places - a little B&B farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The ducks and sheep stole my heart on my first visit, but the alpaca are new - 5 gorgeous ladies, and 4 of them pregnant! Drank all the ice wine, ate all the delicious food, helped out with farm chores (the most fun) and can’t wait to go back to see baby alpaca :)

I’ve added protein crepes to my standard rotation of supplemented baked goods :)

I’ve added protein crepes to my standard rotation of supplemented baked goods :)

Double date dinner party last night - finally perfected a non-Mexican stuffed pepper recipe, with bottomless Dark ‘n Stormies to boot. Followed dinner up with closing night of Evil Dead: The Musical, which I actually saw hundreds of times while waiting tables in the theatre it used to play at years ago, but still enjoyed. All in all, a solid Saturday night :)

Double date dinner party last night - finally perfected a non-Mexican stuffed pepper recipe, with bottomless Dark ‘n Stormies to boot. Followed dinner up with closing night of Evil Dead: The Musical, which I actually saw hundreds of times while waiting tables in the theatre it used to play at years ago, but still enjoyed. All in all, a solid Saturday night :)

This is the kind of night it was. 

Worked from home today, followed by deadlifts, pull ups, miracle rows and lat pull downs with Nick, followed by Dominos. 

#balance

I tried sumo deadlifts in an effort to get some of my power back as I recover from this weird lower back injury, but the movement is a bit awkward - I’ll keep working on it. Nick reminded me that anything new is going to come with a learning curve; looks like I gotta relearn patience!

But eating pizza is like riding a bike ;)

This is the kind of night it was.

Worked from home today, followed by deadlifts, pull ups, miracle rows and lat pull downs with Nick, followed by Dominos.

#balance

I tried sumo deadlifts in an effort to get some of my power back as I recover from this weird lower back injury, but the movement is a bit awkward - I’ll keep working on it. Nick reminded me that anything new is going to come with a learning curve; looks like I gotta relearn patience!

But eating pizza is like riding a bike ;)

asker

Anonymous asked: just found my way to your blog via one-twenty-five, and already I'm hooked. cooking school in Tepoztlán?! SO. AWESOME. your chiles en nogada look phenomenal, and they're making me so sad that I'm not currently in Mexico. I get this feeling about twice a week, so don't feel bad. did you have some awesome Tepoznieves while you were there? anyway, thanks for being awesome, and stay warm! - Becky (Maryland, USA)

Thanks Becky! I’d reply to you in private but your message came in anonymously so I can’t! What took you to Tepoztlán?

For those who are unfamiliar, Tepoztlán is a small town in a valley about an hour outside of Mexico City, and Tepoznieves is the fabulous local ice cream chain. The flavors are crazy - burnt milk, mimosa, mezcal, coconut with chilli, rose petal, fig, plus a huge list of menu items with dubious English translations like “love’s prayer” and “temple of the silence”.

"uno pequeño ‘Death’s Offering’, por favor.” lol.

I miss it. <3

asker

shrinkingwmn asked: Hi, Hopefully this doesn't come across as crazy rude but I'm trying to find a new approach to getting in shape and just read your 2014! post where I saw the pics you posted of yourself. Now maybe you've mentioned this already in previous posts but I only just discovered you (via Liz lol) so I haven't read those posts. Um, how did you do that?? How did you go from your before to your after? Pleeeeease share the knowledge? I swear I'm more normal then this message suggests lol Cheers! Heather

lol not crazy or rude or abnormal at all :P

If you’ve got a ton of time on your hands, my About section has a pretty detailed explanation.

But the short version is that most of my actual weight loss came from doing P90X between August and November 2010. That was the first 15 lbs, from 150 to 135 or so.  As you may know, P90X includes a very strict 1,500 calories per day, 20% fat, 30% carbs, 50% protein, and intense work outs 6 days per week.  It would be impossible NOT to lose weight on a regimen like that, but it’s not safe to live with that kind of caloric deficit for too long.

After P90X, I started running and adopted a sort of ‘whole foods’ approach to nutrition that saw another 10lbs come off over the course of a few months. However, I know that a lot of what I lost during that phase wasn’t just fat - it was the muscle I’d put on doing P90X.

I tried a ton of other exercise and nutrition programs over the next 3 years, fluctuating between 120 and 135 lbs, working through injuries and extreme diets that wreaked havoc on my body and mind, before eventually landing where I am now: lifting weights 3-4x/week, and eating about 1,800-2,200 calories per day in lean meats, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and full-fat dairy. This seems to be what’s required to maintain my current weight (130 solid lbs) and fuel my daily life and workouts, so I just tweak (adding cardio or reducing calories) when I want to trim down.

It sounds simple because it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! And what’s effective and sustainable for each person varies based on their abilities, lifestyle, goals and preferences.

Let me know if you have any questions about a specific program - I’m not a professional but I can at least share my personal experiences and any peer-reviewed articles I’ve used for my own reference.

Thanks for following :)

I was talking myself out of going to the gym, but I read an article today about how real accomplishments are the result of countless seemingly trivial steps; individual bricks in what ultimately becomes a house. tonight&#8217;s 30min arm workout was one brick in my fitness house :P

I was talking myself out of going to the gym, but I read an article today about how real accomplishments are the result of countless seemingly trivial steps; individual bricks in what ultimately becomes a house. tonight’s 30min arm workout was one brick in my fitness house :P

2014!

Well gosh - welcome, new followers! I assume y’all linked over from Liz’s post at One Twenty Five, and I’m flattered. I haven’t posted anything in a while because I was trying to be more balanced, and while I groan at the cliche of starting up in a new year, the prospect of getting to know you all and being a part of this community again is too tempting to pass up. So, let’s do this.

Five quick things to bring everyone up to speed:

1. I’m on tumblr every day, staying updated on the ppl I follow while contributing nothing myself, lol. This’ll change. Shoutouts to a few of my favs, though, in case you’re looking for other women to follow:

  • Liz (obv)
  • Jilda - Crossfit and paleo and loveliness in the pacific northwest
  • Alex - Squatting heavy and taking the corporate world by storm
  • Kelton - This woman’s writing brings me to tears
  • Teneshia - “Thick brick shithouse” are her words. Total inspiration.
  • Courtney - Powerlifting or Figure? Hmm, Both. + Science.

2. 2013 was a massive transition, and not an easy one. This time last year, I was self-employed, living with my best friend and (ex-)boyfriend, and traveling willy-nilly. I took a fulltime 9-5 gig heading up a consultancy’s research department in April, moved out in June and then bought a condo in Toronto last month. The Google calendar that used to contain all my upcoming flight info now consists of mortgage payment reminders, but on the bright side, you guys should see my kitchen! It’s gorgeous and increasingly filled with friends, wine and Mexican food. Which brings me to #3.

3. OMG Mexican food. Seriously. I can’t get enough. I spent a week at a cooking school in Tepoztlan, Mexico this past November and it’s my absolute go-to for everything from dinner parties to weeknight slowcooker meals. godo2point0 on instagram if you like food pics and gym selfies. Oh, right - the gym…

4. I lift. I maxed my deadlift at 275lbs before tweaking a dumb thing in my lower back in September, so I’m currently back at 135lbs and increasing by 10lbs per week as long as I don’t feel any pain. A shitty hip problem and very long legs have made squats frustrating, but I can leg press 520lbs and barbell lunges are my default lower body exercise. Trying to be responsible and taking it one day at a time to prevent further injury, but less weight on the bar means fewer tacos and cupcakes. My goal is to maintain a balance that lets me live a happy life while looking, feeling and performing my best. NOT EASY, YOU GUYS. But we’re all in this together :)

5. I don’t know. I said there’d be five things… Feel free to drop a question in my Ask or tell me about you!