anneihilate

Aspiring artist, dietician and world traveler, but am overall very confused.

Month: June, 2012

Insanity in a Moist Room

Right now, I’m snacking on a post-workout pick me up of super sweet mango, chopped up and sprinkled with cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped walnuts. I discovered this delicious combination while I was bored at work yesterday and happened to have both mango and walnuts on hand. If you have the right mangoes (those super juicy ones that are yellow on the outside and a little soft to the touch), the result is not unlike candy. So I’m back because I figured, if I have time for a snack before I finish my disorganized attempt at packing, I have time to bust out a quick blog post.

Dinner with Erik last night was wonderful. We went to The Naked Sprout, which is a full-service vegan and raw restaurant in the GTA. This was my second time going to this restaurant, and I will most definitely be returning. To start, I ordered a juice called “The Beet Goes On”, which was made from apple, beet, raspberry, strawberry and lemon. I don’t know whether I’ve ever really had beets properly before, but I after this juice,  I realized that maybe beets were not something I  should be afraid of anymore. Beets are super good for you, with benefits such as blood purification, a good source of ion, potassium, magnesium, and some vitamin C (p.22 of Jonny Bowden’s The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth…this is a really cool book). I really need to start incorporating them into my diet more often. For my main course, I ordered a dish called “Somebody Kelp Me” which was one of  their raw dishes made from zucchini and kelp noodles, red cabbage, red pepper, broccoli, carrots, and a super tasty almond  tamarind sauce. This dish was really fun to eat because it was super crunchy and, being the kind of person who likes to play with their food, I really enjoyed putting my bites together. It did have maybe a bit too much of the same flavour, so I did end up tagging the boyfriend  in for some assistance. For dessert, Erik and I shared a slice of key lime pie, which turned out to not have any actual  key lime in it. The Naked Sprout’s key lime pie is actually made from avocado, lemon juice, agave, coconut oil, coconut butter, with a seed crust on the bottom. This was also really yummy, but I didn’t want to go overboard since I had a slice of chocolate and vanilla mousse cake waiting for me at home (Erik and I shared this later in the night…yum…). The menu at the Naked Sprout is pretty creative and diverse, and I’m already looking forward to the next time we go so that I can try something new.

Yoga this morning was excellent. I should probably explain why I’m going to yoga pretty much every day of the week, actually. I spent all of March and April doing Beachbody’s Insanity workout program, which was incredible. The majority of the workouts consist of some intense plyometric madness and are the most challenging cardio workouts I can ever remember doing. Even though I’ve finished the program, I still try to do at least 2 Insanity routines a week (which is a bitch because the air conditioner at  my house is broken). Anyway, after putting so much strain on my body, I’ve noticed a couple of uncomfortable  places developing in the back of my left knee and  in my right ankle, and I realized how important it is to take rest days and vary your workout routine. So I bought a two month pass to my local yoga studio (I had attended classes there last year, but could not afford to keep doing it  because of my stupid expensive tuition) and I’m trying to take advantage of it as much as I can. I really want to work on my flexibility as well as relieve some of the stress and tension in my life.

This morning’s class was a yoga cross class, and after a week of kind of taking it easy on myself and trying to decrease  the intensity of my workouts, I was terrified because the studio describes yoga cross  thusly: “A physically intense yoga class focusing on body conditioning, strength, endurance and core work. Feel your body and spirits lighten as you improve your body composition and work towards your personal weight management goals.”  The class started out with a short and fast-paced warm up before we dove into cardio circuits of mountain climbers, jump squats, push up jacks, heismans, etc, followed by strength circuits of moving push-ups, burpees, and more. My competitive nature really came out in this class, and I was really happy to see that my cardiovascular ability hadn’t really suffered from a bit of a rest week. The class was still pretty challenging, and was a bit like doing an Insanity workout in a hot room. Madness.

So,  I kind of rushed my telling a little bit at the end there,  but Abbey and I have got to get to  Erik’s because we leave in, like, 20 minutes. And I really need to hit bulk barn for some nuts and coconut water for some leisurely snacking at  the cottage. But I think I’ve said most of what I wanted  to say here.  See  you next week! 🙂

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A First Attempt at Pranayama

This morning, Abbey and I went to a 6:30 hot Hatha yoga class to help our bodies recuperate from yesterday’s aerial core class. Yesterday, I didn’t think my core got very much of a workout, but today, I am definitely feeling that ache you get from a challenging workout. The exercises we did yesterday feel like they really got down into some lesser used muscles in my upper abs and rib cage. My arms and legs have also got a bit of an ache in them too. I will definitely be trying that class again when I get a chance.

Today’s class was quite different from other yoga classes I have been to. It focused a lot on different kinds of twists, which I often struggle with, particularly seated spinal twists or any other twists where you’re elbow presses against the outside of the opposite knee. I really hate that feeling of my inner elbow rubbing against another bone. Once I got past that unpleasant sensation though, my lower back and glutes really appreciated the theme of the class. We also did some Pranayama breathing, which I had never done before today. The teacher had us seal our right nostril with our right thumb, and inhale through the left nostril for five counts, then seal the left nostril with our right ring finger, and exhale through the right nostril for five counts. Then we would inhale through the right nostril for five counts with the left nostril still sealed, then seal the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale through the left nostril for five counts. We went back and forth between the two nostrils for several breaths, which was good because it took me a little while to understand the motion we were doing. According to our instructor, Pranayama breathing is supposed to be very good for relieving stress and anxiety, so I’ll definitely have to experiment with that in the future. I have a lot of trouble with breathing exercises in a group, because I feel like I have, like, no lung capacity compared to the rest of the people in class. Not that I can tell really, but it seems like the instructor tries to get us to inhale and exhale far more air than my lungs are capable of. At the end of class, I was so relaxed I’m pretty sure I almost fell asleep during our savasna. I remember kind of feeling like I was dreaming but could still hear everyone breathing around me. It’s always such a bummer when the instructor tells you that it’s time to to start waking your body up and return to a seated position. It makes me wish I could do some yoga before I go to sleep, ending with savasana in my bed, so that I wouldn’t have to get up from it again. I have a lot of trouble practicing yoga on my own, based on my my experience with P90X’s Yoga X, or Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. Their focus is different from that of the yoga classes we do at a studio, and I find it a lot easier to hold difficult poses when there are other people around me struggling with the same thing. Yeah, team work!

One of my potential plans of action for September is to enroll in some sort of hollistic nutrition program. I’m waiting for Erik (the boyfriend) to finish his program so that we can do some traveling together, but I can’t stand the idea of sitting on my ass for the year. I know from past experience how bummed out I can get when I’m not busy enough. The main requirement for the program I’m looking at requires a 2-page autobiography about yourself including an explanation of why you want to be a nutritionist. I started working on this last night, but I worry a bit that my writing was too blah, or too pretentious. I’m going to try to keep working on it tonight, and maybe have Erik review it for me. He’s a really good writer, and he’s known me for long enough that he has a real knack for helping me condense my ideas down and be more concise. Last year, when I was applying for a job at another business, he was a great help when I was rehearsing my answers for interview questions and told me that if I kept the ideas and points I wanted to touch on more general in my mind, I would be able to elaborate on them in the interview in a more natural sounding way. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, but the point is he’s awesome. 🙂 I’m going to try to keep working on the autobiography (even the word autobiography sounds a little pretentious) tonight, and hopefully I’ll have something I can send out before I go on vacation tomorrow.

Abbey and I are going to Erik’s cottage with him and his family for a week, where I know there will be many a naughty treat, but I’m bringing a ton of workout gear, so hopefully Erik and Abbey will help encourage me to stay on track. So I’ll be spending the evening doing some packing and last minute errands before we leave, and on another happy note, Erik is taking me out for my birthday dinner tonight at this awesome vegan and raw restaurant the recently opened up near my house.

Once again, I’m at work, and I should probably get going before I get busted. Be back in a week or so!

Start

Today is my 21st birthday, and I’m spending it at work. This is fine; I had a pretty awesome day in Barrie yesterday, though it was spent very naughtily with eggs bennedict and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. None of that today, for sure. My sister Abbey and I got an early start today with an aerial yoga class, which was something I had never done before, then headed back home for breakfast (I had flax flakes with museli, strawberries, bananas and almond milk) and presents. Abbey got me Batman underwear (she seems to get me something superhero-related every year), Allaina got me a Gaiam microfibre towel for my yoga mat, and Mum got me new workout shorts. This is great because I probably shouldn’t be spending my money on any of this stuff when there are so many other things to pay for, so it was an awesome treat.

Anyway, I guess I should explain why I’m starting this blog, or why I’ve decided to leave my dull word trails throughout the interwebs. For the most part, probably because its summer vacation, I’ve been relatively happy with my life. I’ve made a lot of big life changes in the last year which have aided this, primarily cleaning up my diet and incorporating exercise into my daily life. But I’ve also spent the last two years in art school and while art has always been something I’ve loved and appreciated, it is also something that I don’t feel particularly passionate about doing anymore, and I can’t possibly imagine having to illustrate for a living. None of this is entirely confirmed yet, but I’m planning to leave art school and spend the next year cooking, exercising, working, and traveling. I need to focus on figuring out what I actually like doing, and stop trying to rush through my life.

Speaking of which, the customers are starting to roll in so I should probably wrap this up now. Not sure if anyone out there is reading this, but if you are, stay tuned. I’ll be back. I hope.