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Plain and simple.

I’m no cookie monster – unless sis sends me birthday cookies – but I definitely have a salty tooth. According to my friend Anna over at Your Healthy Place it’s because I’m dehydrated. I may agree with that, but even on days where I down three litres of water, this girl sometimes wants a treat. While grabbing for a bag of barbeque chips may not be the smartest decision, it is definitely one I’ve made. While they may fill a craving, the obvious and sad fact is, they do nothing for the body.

I’ve been on the search for a healthier snack and came across Simply Protein Chips.

simplyproteinchips
They come in herb and chili – I’m partial to a little heat, love the chili – and have 15g of protein, 140 calories, and only 2g of sugar and 4g of fat! Pea protein…who would have thought?! Now that’s a snack you won’t have to plan gym time around. I’m not going to lie, these won’t fool anyone into thinking you’re eating potato chips, but they are tasty and a much better option. Best news? They have a BBQ flavoured protein chip coming out in September which has one full serving of vegetables.

Simply Choices are also bar stars.

photo 1

The Simply Bars are vegan, and come in six different flavours. I’d suggest the Cocoa Raspberry for any chocolate lovers. They have only a handful of ingredients and you can pronounce them all, which means no chemical, artificial or junk ingredients. These puppies are all natural.

The newest item to join the family are the Simply Whey bars; an exciting addition as they have the most protein with the least calories of any natural food snack. Made from all natural ingredients, the products are vegetarian, free of peanuts, dairy, gluten and soy, high in calcium and even kosher. They are perfect for people with dietary restrictions, and a great alternative to high glycemic snacks. I die over the coconut; it’s delicious.

I’m definitely giving the line of Simply products a “yay”; they make my What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday list and have been a recent addition to my gym bag for a post-workout snack.

Have you ever tried Simply Protein Chips or Bars? What’s your protein bar of choice?

What I’m lovin’ Wednesday: walking.

With nothing but sun and above-seasonal temperatures in store for Calgary for the next week, I’ll be covering a lot of pavement.

I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than walking around a city and exploring. Add a puppy and some music and I’d be ecstatic.

This past weekend, I grabbed two friends and headed outside. On Saturday we explored Prince’s Island Park, Kensington, and make out point the Crescent Heights look out.

photo 1

Sunday, we headed to The Rockies and I had the pleasure of introducing both of them to Sulphur Mountain in Banff and Lake Lousie.

photo 2

I live in a very beautiful province, and I need to spend more of my time exploring it.

Another reason that heel-toe’n it is so important to me, is because there have been numerous studies that show regular exercise, as low impact as walking, can be successful at limiting many health risks.

Check out my latest article for CLUBLIFE Magazine about the benefits of walking for women:

It’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. A recent European study discovered walking could decrease the risk of stroke in women.

Over 19,000 women and 13,000 men were part of the study that monitored physical activity as well as diet, lifestyle habits and medical history. They were all between the ages of 29 and 69 and participated in the study for at least 10 years. It found women who walked for approximately 3.5 hours per week at a moderate intensity were at lower risk of stroke than those who did not engage in regular walking.

But in an age of convenience, how can we possibly walk more…

To read the full article, click here.

Guest Post: Running sucks when you start, but soon it’s like crack.

Surprisingly, my leg hasn’t healed yet. What’s taking it so long?!

Before all this happened I made a few grand statements about getting back into running. I want a finisher’s medal. I participated, dammit!

I’m special, alright.

As part of a big SPA blog swap, one of my #SweatPink sisters is on the bloggy today sharing her love of running and says that it gets addicting. (I’m willing and waiting to be convinced)

Here’s Colleen’s story..

Oh, and make sure to pop over to TheChocolateMile to read my guest post for Colleen. To check out all the great SPA blog swap posts vist: Katie’s blog.

I’m a new runner. I entered the world of running in October 2011, and although I’ve run far distances since then, I am still a new runner. I still have the same aches and pains; I still have days when getting out of bed is not appealing. I love running, don’t get me wrong, but there are really days when it sucks. And I legitimately mean; it sucks.

I’m sure you can do a quick Google search and find every reason running is awful. Let me just present a few to you, and trust me, this can go on and on and on.

  1. Your legs hurt; for a long time. It’s not like you just start running and your legs automatically assimilate. Oh no my friends, that’s not how it goes. So be prepared.
  2. It takes time. Time that you have to fit in your day between work, school, family. Time that you could potentially use to sit on the couch and do nothing.
  3. When you start running and you can only make it around a track once, you kind of feel like a joke- or maybe that was just me. Even now after successfully running a half sometimes I feel like I’m just not running far enough for others to consider me a runner.

she’s crazy…I mean, she looks crazy happy! (Beer is a good choice!)

But the fact is, running can’t be all bad, I do it 5-6 days a week and on the off days I’m wishing I was out there. There are a lot of others in this boat too, so why do we torture ourselves? And yes, sometimes I really do consider running torture.

  1. It’s free therapy.
  2. No matter what distance- ½ mile, 1 mile, 30 miles- there is nothing quite as rewarding as running that last bit that has never been accomplished by you before.
  3. The feeling of being stronger every day.
  4. Bragging rights and the right to wear the cute running clothes and being able to say you actually run in them.
  5. The endorphins that carry you throughout the rest of the day are better than any cup of coffee I’ve ever had.
  6. It prevents all sorts of diseases and bad medical stuff.
  7. Strong legs, strong arms, strong abs.

Just like you Googled reasons for running being awful, I’m willing to bet you can Google; “Ways Running is Unhealthy”. And you should definitely not believe everything you read on the internet. Or, just an idea, throw on your running shoes and try it out for yourself! You won’t regret it!

For more fun, come visit me at TheChocolateMile.com

how cute is Colleen?

A cautionary tale.

Remember last Saturday when I was bouncing about getting into the mountains and going for a hike?

Well it happened. Rebecca and I put on our sweat gear and headed out reasonably early for a morning-after housewarming party.

ya, we arm wrestle at parties. what’s it to ya?

More huffing and puffing and sweating. It felt good. I was motivated to be working on fitness again and not in the confinement of gym walls.

Then. Then I lost my footing on set of stairs heading down the hill. I took a nasty spill, and had an even worse landing.

I don’t think that grapefruit is supposed to be there.

OUCH!

So maybe I screamed something a little less PG than ouch. Have you every screamed at the top of your lungs? It’s fun. I had never done it, but it felt so so good to yell and howl to express my pain. That’s also when I knew it was bad news since, as mentioned, I’ve never felt compelled to yell in pain.

Thank goodness we were near the end of the path, so I was able to drag my foot behind me to make it back to the parking lot. We headed to the urgent care clinic and 6 hours later I got in to get an X-Ray.

The cute doctor (who resembles someone I’ve made out with back home) broke the bad news to me: fractured tibia.

Cue tears (after cute doctor leaves, of course) and sadness. To allow the swelling to go down I was outfitted with a half cast and a set of crutches.

I’ve spent the majority of the week laid up on the couch, I’m glad the Olympics are on or else I’d be going crazier than I am already. Laying around when it is forced and not chosen is damn boring.

Got in to see the orthopedic surgeon yesterday and got a few more X-Rays done. More fun news: along with the fractured tibia I have ligament damage. Hooray!

So what does that all mean?

As you read this I’m probably at the hospital being admitted into surgery. Yup, my first surgery.
I’m emotional and slightly (fully) terrified. I’m not sure what to expect but I am happy that I am going to be fixed sooner rather than later.

Moral of the story: hiking is for suckers.

I’ll see you on the other side. xo

Mountains out of mole hills.

The body is a little creaky today. It’s second-day pain. You know what I’m talking about, when you do a workout but you body doesn’t feel it till two days after.

I laced up the sneakers on Thursday and ventured into my backyard. I’ve talked often about walking along the river and flaking out in the grass, but this is the first time I took on the hill behind it. Through dirt and mud, up stairs and inclines, and trying to avoid roots and bugs I got to this:

What do you mean I’m not at the top yet?!

This trail, up the hill {mountain, oh my goodness I’m out of shape} is about 10 minutes from my house. I live in the middle of a city of 1.1 million people but I’m in the wilderness. Amazing!

So after huffing and puffing and praying someone would just put me and my bright pink, sweaty face out of my misery – ya, I’m a bit dramatic, deal with it –  I took the remaining stairs and path to the official look out.

ta da!

I loved being on top of the trees and felt mighty accomplished to conquer even the littlest of mountains.

It also has me aware of how badly I need to increase my cardiovascular endurance. Maybe the idea of running again isn’t such a bad thing.

So I started thinking, “Why don’t I do this more often? I live in the freakin’ Rocky Mountains for goodness sake.”

Self, you’re one smart girl. A trip into the mountain range and a second hike tomorrow? I’m looking forward to it!

A little link love. My #SweatPink sista, Amy, featured a few of us and our Aha Moments when it came to fitness. My yoga journey is one of them. Read it HERE.

I definitely had a bit of a “aha” on the top of this hill.

What’s your “aha” fitness moment?

Healthy, hippie life.

For those of you who are still trying to get to know me, I’ll give you a bit of an inside scoop about a few things.

I started blogging over two years ago to help me recover from a pretty nasty ankle injury. I was consumed with healthy living blogs and my rehab. It was a very intense summer of clean eating, physio, yoga and craziness. Because of that first blog I found the Twitter chat #fitblog, and in turn many of my favourite blog friends.

I also work for a powerhouse company that owns three different chains of gyms. I have three free gym memberships, write and edit a health and fitness magazine, and am surrounded by all things fitness day-in and day-out. Personal trainers, nutritionists, everyone is drinking the kool-aid. (That is if kool-aid was healthy)

So with that I must admit: the gym and I are on a break. We haven’t broken up, we just need some time apart.

I can’t wrap my head about weight training, or running (even though I want a race medal) or anything of the sort.

When I first started losing the activity passion, I jumped into planning mode knowing it’s what I “should” be doing. Scheduling workouts and meal prep became consuming and were driving me mad.

There is more to my healthy life than the gym. While I do know that physical fitness is a good part of the healthy pie chart, I am much more focused on my mental and emotional health right now.

(teacup pig)

Embracing my hippie roots handed down to me from the mother, I’m sweating with yoga, walking more places, smiling, sitting in the grass, and soaking up plenty of sunshine.

I’m letting myself be consumed with positivity instead of meal plans and training schedules.

Sometimes you just need to go with the flow. Now would be that flow.

Have you stepped back for a bit? How did you reflect and get back to it?

Guest Post: My addiction keeps me motivated.

I’m addicted to many things: blonde hair, caffeine, cute boys, coconut water. None of which I think are too obsessive (much better than the crack habit I kicked).

But after working at lululemon for a year, my closet and workout routine are both addicted! Please welcome a fellow Alberta-girl and fellow addict, Krista, to s&s today.

xo

Hello all! 🙂 My name is Krista, and I blog over at Stethoscopes & Running Shoes! I blog about health, fitness, my life as a Registered Nurse, and pretty much anything else that comes to mind! I’m so thrilled that Laura has allowed me to help her out with a guest post as she’s off vacationing (lucky duck…!), while the rest of us are stuck dealing with the real world…

I met Laura through the blogging world. I honestly can’t even remember how it happened! In the short time that I’ve known her, Laura has proved to be such a kind, honest, and funny soul. Love it! Though we’ve never met, we’ve found that we have a lot of similarities… We both blog (obviously…), have a passion for fitness (yoga, running, etc), and… we both love lululemon!

lululemon athletica. Have you heard of it? Who am I kidding… Who hasn’t now a days?! I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see the little silver Om sign flashing in my eyes… On the street, at work, and go figure… at the gym! Ahh, it’s a beautiful thing!


Founded by Chip Wilson in 1998, the first store was opened in Vancouver, British Columbia. Quickly taking Canada by storm, lululemon has successfully made it’s presences known in the US, Australia and beyond! Girls can spot it anywhere. Boys can almost spot it faster 😉 It’s athletic clothing with style. It’s… an addiction.


Oh and how I’ve bought into the craze (literally). There are so many different addictions out there, mine might just be up there in the most expensive category! From Run: Inspire Crops, to Scubas, to Gratitude Wraps… I could carry on a conversation forever about it all! I could tell you when the ‘upload’ happens (new pieces go up on their website every Tuesday morning really really early), I could tell you about the different lululemon blogs to read (lulumum & lulu addict are my favorite!), and I could tell you that lululemon has helped to keep me motivated in my fitness adventures.


So… how exactly does my expensive athletic clothing addiction keep me motivated in my health and fitness adventures? Let me count the ways…

First off, for the price that I/we pay for all the beautiful pieces… I would sure hope I’m wearing it, and wearing it well! I’m guilty of wearing at least some piece of lululemon every single day. If I could get away with wearing scrubs (with a lulu tank top underneath 😉 ) at work, and only lululemon the rest of the time…? I totally would! I’m definitely the comfort kind of girl 😉 But seriously, if I’m spending the money, I better be using the product! It’s almost like a mini mental guilt trip… It’s so pretty, I need to buy it, now… I definitely have to wear it and go to the gym!!


Secondly, it just looks good. The styles, the functionality, the fit – I feel good wearing my lululemon! And when I’m feeling good, I’m more likely to workout, and workout harder! I like looking in the mirror at the gym and liking what I see! It’s a mental boost that helps push you to keep going. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with hitting up the gym in old sweat pants and a t-shirt (trust me, I still do that occasionally…), but wearing my lululemon honestly gives me a little jump in my step. Whether I’m on the treadmill, running outside, lifting weights, or doing hot yoga… lululemon has me covered! (literally 😉 ). I would be hard pressed to go through my closet and find a piece that isn’t comfortable. Some pieces are completely universal (think, Wunder Under Crops & Cool Racerback), others are perfect for that one activity you love (Run: For It Crops – Running! etc…)

It’s a cycle. Buy the clothes, wear the clothes, feel good in the clothes, buy more clothes, repeat… (and then I wonder why I feel so broke…)


Another way that lululemon helps keep me moving? Their manifesto and overall drive to help promote a happier and healthier lifestyle is truly inspiring and motivating. Yes one can argue that expensive athletic clothing contributes absolutely nothing to someone’s pursuit of personal growth… But to each their own! I love what the overall manifesto stands for! 🙂


Now… My biggest lululemon motivation of all…


This is what I’ve been waiting for! And this is what I have committed to train for, and work my butt off for! Anyone else running this amazing race?! 😀

I just want to thank Laura for allowing me to take up space on her amazing blog, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my verbal splash about my crazy lululemon addiction! Please come visit me over at Stethoscopes & Running Shoes, and don’t forget to leave a comment! 😀

♥Krista