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

Category: Insanity

North Carolina Day 1

My first morning in North Carolina is off to a fantastic start. I woke up a little sore from all of yesterday’s activities, but since we’ll be leaving for the beach house pretty early tomorrow morning, today was my only real day to head out and explore the local trails, and I was raring to go for a trail run. I wasn’t out for too long; my physiotherapist says that it isn’t harmful for me to go running, but that it won’t be comfortable for a while until we can strengthen my hamstrings some more. I took it easy on myself for the most part, alternating between running and walking. There were a bunch of tough hills on the run, which was actually a lot of fun because the areas I would normally run in at home are flat and boring suburban asphalt roads. My knee didn’t start hurting until quite a bit of the way in, so hopefully that means I’m improving somewhat. I had also been warned to be wary of some local dangerous critters, namely deer ticks (lyme disease is a pretty scary thing), rattlesnakes, copperheads, brown recluse spiders, and black widows, which meant that I literally cringed in fear and bolted whenever something brushed my arm or I ran through a cobweb. When I got back to the house, I had a shower (my third since we arrived yesterday afternoon…what’s wrong with me? :P), and had some breakfast which was also awesome. Check out this sweet set up:

I had breakfast out on the porch in my PJs, which I had promptly changed back into after my shower, to the sound of cicadas and cicadas and fountainy noises. And I saw a couple humming birds, which was really cool. Definitely not a regular sighting back home. Neither was the lizard Erik and I spotted on the windowsill yesterday. I wish I had pictures to show you. Breakfast was a super juicy and ripe pear, a toasted sprouted grain english muffin with pecan butter (to die for) and jam, with a cup of tulsi tea:
Anyway, without further ado, here is yesterday’s journal entry:

We left for Pearson Airport at 6:30 in the morning to catch our 8:30 flight. On the way, I munched on a cherry-flavoured almond yogurt sprinkled with museli. The flight went super smoothly. This is our cute little plane:

Erik’s stepmom, Lauri, was waiting for us at the Charlotte airport when we got there. It was about a 1.5 hour drive to where we were staying, and along the way we got to admire NC’s incredibly lush scenery. There are trees and flowers everywhere, and it is a lot warmer here than it was when we left Toronto this morning. Despite the oatmeal raisin cookies we ate during the flight, we were starving and stopped for Chinese food which at first, I was a bit nervous about because of the stupid amounts of grease and batter and salt that I usually assosicate with Chinese food. However, my order of moo shu vegetables which I stuffed into doughy and delicious crepes with plum sauce were delicious and flavourful. Just what I needed then. I’ve been feeling a little puffy lately though, and as a result of PMS plus lack of groceries at my house plus some laziness, I haven’t been as careful about my eating and I was determined to do a workout when we got back to the house. I decided to do the Insanity Asylum Vertical Plyo workout, which, having done mostly yoga for the last two months, was really hard. But I managed to get through to the end, and I know that I’m definitely going to have start reintroducing more cardio into my exercise regime. I have a few ideas for what I’d like to do, and I’ve got to decide on that soon, but more on that another time.

After my workout, I had a quick shower only to discover that we’d been invited to a neighbour’s farm to do some horseback riding. This was when the adventure really began:

We all took turns riding Widowmaker. I had never ridden a horse before and it was a blast except for the parts where Tom (the farm’s owner, and the gentleman next to me in the picture below) kept warning me that she may or may not throw me, and reminding me to be the boss:

Here are some of the other cuties that live on the farm:

After we went riding, Tom asked if we wanted to ride the zip line that he’d put up on his property. Apparently, it had only broken twice (…I was very leery about this) in the 40 years since he had put it up. I was super nervous, but in keeping up with the adventurous spirit of the day, I decided to give it a shot:

Afterwards, we went hiking along this trail (pretty much the same trail I ran this morning minus several giant hills, plus one horse which we all took turns riding) to a super old cemetery that had been mostly taken over by the forest. The engravings on the headstones were mostly eroded which made them difficult to read, but it was so cool to see this hidden and slightly creepy piece of history. One really cool thing about being out of town is learning about the local history, because the area I live in is fairly new and doesn’t have much of a history yet. On the way home, we stopped by Tom’s garden and he gave us a ton of fresh tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, peppers and eggplant. Maybe because I was starving, or maybe because it really wasn’t so bad, Bryan convinced me to take a bite of a cayenne pepper and I ended up eating the whole thing (not the seeds, of course).

Dinner when we got home was heavenly: cayenne tomato soup and steamed rice with stir fried leftover veggies from lunch. Erik’s dad is a master at somehow making leftovers multiply and somehow taste even better than they were fresh. Anyway, I think that’s all for now. I’ve probably been antisocial for long enough, plus I could use another cup of tea, and its getting a tiny bit warm out here on the porch.  Plus, I’ve written a short novel here. So yeah, thanks for reading! Or at least for stopping by. More soon, my dears!


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! 🙂