The Best of October: Budgets, Burgers + Buble

Annnnd, just like that, it’s November. I wish I could skip the whole “OMG time is flying” cheesiness, but you guys. Does anyone please want to tell me when it stopped being August? Thanks.

Much to all of our disbelief, though, it is actually November, which means it’s the last month of first semester! Stress runs rampant, emotions run high, and Michael Buble runs with Emma. 🙂

michael-bubleYes, yes it is that time.

Anyway, it’s been so long since I’ve actually talked on here that I feel like there is so much to catch up on! So what better way than to let you guys know all the fab things that have been going on in these parts lately.

The Nourished Podcast. Okay, this is #1 for good reason. You guys, I have nothing but amazing things to say about this podcast! It’s hosted by Meg and Shawn, who spend the hour chatting about healing and loving yourself from the inside out. I don’t currently follow the Paleo diet, but I have to say that nothing has inspired me to give it a try more. A podcast that I just listened to recently featured a girl with Crohn’s Disease, who had her entire large intestine removed and, since going Paleo, has never felt better. My gluten intolerance plus very-likely-crazy-out-of-whack-hormones have me strongly considering taking the plunge.  It’s hard not to be inspired by them, and they are just so fun to listen to! I’ve actually barely been listening to music on my walks around campus, just because I love what I learn from this podcast so much.

nourished-logoSubscribe here! 

Cooking dinner. This sounds absolutely ridiculous, but bear with me. When I moved away from home for the first time last year, I was living in the dorms with a meal plan – my food was prepared for me, and all I had to do was swipe a card. This year, however, is the first time in my life that I’ve been responsible for my own food and I have epicly failed at it. A busy college lifestyle and general cooking-phobia (I’ve always been that baker gal) means I have seriously struggled to balance budgeting, preparing healthy meals, and time management. At least one of those three always gets thrown out the window, and more often than not it’s been healthy meals.

Case in point: I told my mom a friend was coming over to cook dinner and hang out, and this is what she said to me:

“Don’t make her oatmeal…”

So yeah. Oatmeal for dinner was happening FAR too often, and more and more processed foods were making their way into my diet. But I was sick of feeling like crap, motivated by all my podcast-listening, and have been (slowly) getting it together. Yay me! I made these cranberry chickpea burgers from Ambitious Kitchen yesterday almost entirely out of the contents of my freezer, and they are to. die. for. The best part? The recipe made six, so thats dinner handled for the week. HOLLAH.

Sweet-Potato-Rice-Burgers[source.]

JĀSÖN® skincare products. In my efforts to get rid of ALL the negative things in my life (not possible entirely, but you get where I’m going with this), I am working on transitioning to more natural makeup and skincare. Now, I’m obviously not about to throw away everything I already have (college student budget heeeeey), BUT I am making better choices about what I replace the products I run out of. Lately I have been obsessed with the JĀSÖN® shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant.

jason-cosmetics

Straight from their website, they:

• Select safe, gentle and effective ingredients

• Rigorously test every formula to ensure safety and efficacy

• Never test on animals

• Constantly innovate and improve.

Yeah, it’s pretty darn good. And infinitely better than the chemicals I was spreading all over my skin beforehand.

Health articles backed by science. Do you want to know what drives me N.U.T.S? Seeing articles plastered all over the internet, in magazines, and the media ordering people do do “these 3 things” to get healthy. I don’t even buy magazines anymore for this reason. Articles telling girls how to “get toned” fall under the same umbrella. I’m sorry, but toning just flat out DOES NOT EXIST. Lift weights and build muscle. The end. Understanding the physiology behind things really gets me going these days. Like just the other day, my roommate was crying while chopping onions, and I just freaking had to know exactly why onions make you cry. So I read this article and was a happy camper. 🙂 My current favourite resource is Sports Fitness Advisor – they explain major concept in simple terms but in a scientific and proven way. LOVE.

(PORTABLE) Snickerdoodle ice cream. My favourite life hack to date:

1. mix a serving of PEScience Snickerdoodle protein with just enough water to make a pudding consistency.

2. freeze overnight.

3. remove from freezer the next morning and enjoy 100% ice cream perfection ~2 hours later.

pes-blondie

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I go to the gym at 6:30am, and then have class from 8-9:30am. I don’t have quite enough time to eat a meal before class / I’d rather pay attention that eat during lecture, so I’ve been looking for a portable snack with a solid amount of protein to help me recover from lifting. I’ve never been able to drink a protein shake (nasty), so when I saw Elle freeze her protein for 5ish minutes I had the lightbulb. And don’t worry, my overnight oats at 10ish are much enjoyed, so there are definitely enough carbs in my world. 🙂 Speaking of which…

CARBS. Yeah. They are 100% necessary. Last week I ran 7 miles, not really a long run for me but the longest I’ve gone in about a month, so a big deal for my legs. Anyway, I woke up so incredibly sore the next morning, which shocked me! I’ve been regularly running 5 miles with the occasional 6 thrown in there, so this shouldn’t been a big deal. And yet I felt like I had been beaten up for a solid 3 days. Later in the week, I realized that I had eaten dramatically less carbs than usual (less running + more lifting makes me crave fats and proteins), so it was clear that my muscles simply did not have enough fuel to recover. So eat them potatoes kids. 🙂

I hope you all have a fantastic week! They weekend may have flown by like it always does, but let’s ROCK THIS MONDAY.

Linking up with Katie for MIMM! 

MiMM

How I’m Working to Balance Cortisol

Now, I may not be a nutritionist, but I’ve long prided myself on having excellent “gut instincts”, and that combined with hours of research has me pretty solidly at the conclusion that my cortisol hormone levels are way, WAY out of whack. My reasoning for this?

1. Zero appetite in the mornings. It doesn’t matter if I eat 2000 calories between dinner and bedtime or 500, I don’t remember the last time that I woke up hungry. I usually run or lift weights first thing, so that makes me hungryish, but on a rest day, the desire to eat is non-existent.

2. Uncontrollable appetite at night. I’ve told myself I’m going to eat less at night so many times I’ve lost track. It’s not about eating less overall, it’s about allowing my body a break from digestion while I sleep to recover and repair for the next day!

IMG_1974This is basically my appetizer. 

3. Sluggish and lethargic until late at night. Tonight is a perfect example. I felt nauseous from exhaustion around 3pm today, having woke up at 5am. Here it is, 10pm, and I am all of a sudden full of energy working on my second blog post of the night. Granted, the amount of sugar I consumed is probably a part of that but you get the idea.

4. Anxiety. I’m constantly worrying about something, whether it’s relationships, school, moving, work, life, self-confidence, running, etc. and it completely squashes me. My personality squirts out here and there but it is largely crushed by anxiety right now and that makes me sad. <— that was 100% unintentional but THERE I AM WORRYING ABOUT WORRYING.

to this  trip of a lifetime!  Potentially the only time in my life I have willingly worn a dress.  Take me back, please.So let’s smile and explore New York City instead. 

5. Intense sugar cravings. All day, all night, I literally cannot get enough sugar. Gum and aspartame make it worse, but they’re still there when I go weeks without the fake stuff.

apple-fritters

6. Frequent migraines. Geeze, I feel like I get these every day lately. They’re almost always at night but absolutely miserable and cause neck pain as well. Ibuprofen helps about 5% but I usually end up in bed with ice on my face hoping it goes away.

Now, obviously these things all contribute to one another, but they have to be sparked by something – and that is very likely cortisol! I’m beyond sick of feeling gross and out of balance, so it’s time to make a change. Here’s what I pledge to do in the future:

1. No electronics in bed. I can’t try to make a “2 hours before bed” rule, because right now that’s the only time I can blog and soon it will be intense study time. But I can stop bringing my phone into bed with me and staring at it until I pass out. Only books and magazines immediately before sleep now!

EmmaOceanI should really get around to finishing this one! 

2. NO aspartame, and eat fat when craving sugar. Yeah, we’ve all heard that first one 8000 times. I’ve never tried the fat in place of sugar thing, though, but I do notice my cravings subside when I do it. So the next time I’m hankering for some mentos or even fruit, I’m going to try a spoonful of peanut butter first.

3. Treat my body well. That’s a vague statement because it needs to be. Honestly, I’ve been treating my body horribly lately. Mass amounts of gum, processed food, sugary baked goods, the list goes on. I just want to nourish myself, experiment with things like apple cider vinegar and oil pulling, incorporate yoga, and be good to myself in general.

salad bar, you have done it again! I had an intense craving for some veggie  power: kale + mushrooms + squash + chicken + asparagus!There was a time when I ate salads. 

4. Blog and journal. It’s no surprise that I always feel better after blogging and writing. Getting out some of the eight million thoughts in my head is so freeing; it’s like a weight is lifted off my shoulders each time I write a post. So I’m going to continue blogging as much as I can, and journal about the things that don’t make it onto the internet for the world to see. With any luck, the stressful thoughts will stay on paper / screen, out of my head, and I won’t be so worried and anxious about every darn thing.

5. Take action. It’s so easy to be paralyzed by fear. Take my house hunting, for instance. I’m so worried that I’m not going to find anywhere to live that I haven’t even looked for over four days. I’m rendered motionless by anxiety of the unknown. So instead of cowering in fear, I’m going to turn each thing I’m worried about into an attainable goal, and take action to reach it.

Have you considered your cortisol levels? 

What is one thing that regularly stresses you out? 

We Nipped THAT Injury In The Bud + I Freaking Love Chiro.

Sometimes I consider making my titles more eloquent like “The Importance of Injury Vigilance + The Benefits of Chiropractors”, but that sounds revoltingly arrogant and preachy and in my humble opinion, the more honest a title, the better.

liesMy feelings on click bait. 

I’ve had a very interesting few weeks when it comes to these muscles of mine.

1. About a month ago, I (think I?) tore my glute. It sure felt like it, I couldn’t put weight on it and the pain was horrific. But it also went away after a couple of days rest and foam rolling, so I’m not 100% sure.

2. A week later, I developed intense upper hamstring pain. Every stride hurt, and being paranoid as I am these days, I took a week off running. The pain disappeared.

3. The pain returned the day of a tempo run, but it was more sore than actual pain, so I decided to go through with the tempo. Weirdly enough, they felt better immediately after running than before, and the soreness was gone the next day!

Thoughts from my chiropractor:

  • I did in fact, at least partially, tear my glute.
  • During the recovery process, it stopped firing, putting extra stress on my hamstrings and hips.
  • Hamstring pain and soreness.

$45 dollars, 30 minutes of intense(ly painful) active release treatment and 2 physio exercises later, all is well in the world again. I’m to do them before every run / workout to ensure that my glutes are firing. Honestly, I was expecting her to tell me that I have high hamstring tendinopathy or some other activity-ending disaster claimed by Google.

life-is-pain

Back to chiro. I’M A FAN. I know that there are a lot of differing opinions on it, and many physicians prefer physiotherapy & rehab, but why not combine both? Physiotherapy will ensure muscle strength, balance and function, while physiotherapy helps to rid you of those nagging pains, knots and imbalances.

^ Plus lots of other things. I don’t have a professional background in either of these fields, this is just my experience from 10+ years of being the patient! 

When Megan was working out the knot in my hamstring, it was NOT pleasant. AT ALL. But it was a thousand times more effective than trying to hammer it with my foam roller / spiky ball and felt better instantly.

Morale of the story: Take severe and/or recurring pains to the experts, and leave Mr. Google out of it. Be open to new ideas. Pay Emma $8000/hour when she is a licensed physiotherapist for your treatment. (Okay you don’t technically have to do that last one but I personally think it is an excellent idea.)

Oh yeah! And happy Bastille Day! European History and the French Revolution will forever be the only subject I enjoyed out of twelve years of social studies.  YOU STORM THE BASTILLE GUYS, YOU GO FOR IT.

^ In all seriousness, for any of you wonderful French peeps out there, here’s to 226 years of you fighting for your independence. I will forever admire your country’s bravery, class and strength.

Chriro or physio? 

Are you struggling with an injury / almost injury? 

On Finding Passion + Burnout: Life + Running

Oh hi there! You might not recognize me, seeing as it’s been a solid 2 weeks since I blogged and about 2 months since I was properly involved in the blogworld. As I get closer to my nineteenth birthday (ZOMG I’M SO OLD CAN I HAVE A QUARTER LIFE CRISIS YET?!), I’m noticing more and more that I’m looking for learning opportunities in every experience. This little blogging hiatus is no different. And it also just so happened to coincide with a running hiatus.

*cue dramatic gasp*

I KNOW. I just ran a huge PR in the half marathon, was totally fired up about running and training, and then…I stop running altogether for a week. Long story short: I took zero recovery time post-half, focused on nothing but running, and entirely burned myself out. It got to the point where I wasn’t even running fast, it was just slow slogs to “put the miles in” because I felt like I had to reach that magic number every week.

Yesterday capped off eight days of zero running, and my hiatus most definitely went out with a bang – I barely moved from my backside all. day. long. Honestly, I cannot remember a day where I just allowed myself to rest, recover, and do what I wanted! So instead of forcing myself to get it in gear and do life things / go to the gym / be a functional human, I curled up with my BFF Harry and took breaks to eat peanut butter and bake.

Yeah. It was a good one. And it reminded me that burnout is real. It doesn’t matter how passionate you think you are about something, or how much you think you are enjoying yourself, there is always the potential to push too far. And once you jump off that cliff, climbing back up is a different story.

I’m lucky to have avoided it with running, but I fell hard off the blogging bandwagon. I turned it into a chore, something that I “had” to do, and once I had that mindset everything I wanted to post about seemed pointless.

You don’t have a degree or any sort of certification, Emma. Your stupid musings about your stupid running are stupid and a waste of time. 

^ The things I said to myself every time I wanted to blog, hence why there was no blogging.

Welp, that’s all about to change, for two BIG reasons.

#1. RECOVERY. It’s not just for fitness, people. Our minds need it too.

#2. CERTIFICATION. IN. PROGRESS. On Monday, June 29, I was accepted into the Faculty of Kinesiology at UBC! I was rejected twice and wait listed once, so to say this was a huge surprise is the understatement of the century. But I am SO incredibly excited to announce that I am now pursuing my Bachelor of Kinesiology, CSEP training certification once I complete two years of study, and then a Master of Physiotherapy following graduation! Having a plan laid out is pretty sweet…especially when it leads right to where my heart lives. ❤

There’s the requisite obnoxious cheesiness in Emma’s blog posts. Moving on from that, I’M SO EXCITED TO BE BACK. YAY. HOORAY FOR PASSION.

National Physical Fitness and Sport Month

genuinely love being active. Shocker, right? 😉

All jokes aside though, running, moving my body, and feeling healthy is such a passion of mine that it feels extremely strange when I don’t make fitness a priority. It’s such a part of my life these days that I have a difficult time understanding how some people can just not want to work out!

And then I take a 90 minute nap and understand a little bit. 😉

A few weeks ago, I decided to help spread awareness of National Physical Fitness and Sport Month with the help of Bankers Healthcare Group and their graphic from the BHG 360 blog! Although it was officially in May, they are working to keep the momentum going through June, an idea I could not support more! Seeing as Bankers Healthcare Group provides physician loans, you’re probably wondering about the connection. Over at BHG, they think health & fitness go hand in hand, and decided it was right up their alley to support this cause in such an aligned community (health, fitness, & wellness)!

Their initiative, Spring Into Fitness, features advice from bloggers, trainers, and active people in general. It’s geared towards encouraging people to set up a fitness routine, discover/maintain the motivation to keep it up, and “healthify” their life! Although I may already have a well-established fitness base, not everyone does. My mom, for example. She’s gone through spurts of running and yoga, but has never been able to keep something up long-term. And because I (obviously)

snape-obviously

want her to stick around for quite some time, I will most definitely be showing her this graphic to help her get a kick start!

BHG_SpringFitness_Infographic1

 

I love that the end of this graphic says “Favourite Workouts” and has a little blurb on how to “revamp your routine”. You can force yourself through that hour on the treadmill all you want, but if you would rather be dead than slog away on a machine it’s not something that will have a permanent place in your life. And if there’s no desire to do it, there will be no motivation either.

There are SO MANY OPTIONS out there that there is absolutely no reason for a person to ever say “I hate exercise”. Machines make you miserable? Run or run/walk outside! Bike ride! Yoga bore you to tears? (I’m guilty!) Give a pilates class a try. I’ve been getting sick of my weight lifting in the gym these days, so I’m planning to try out some group exercise classes and powerlifting techniques. Don’t let yourself give up!

Motivation –> Fitness + Nutrition –> Physical + Mental Health –> Overall Wellbeing 

They are ALL essential components to a healthy lifestyle. I’m so glad that BHG reached out to me about this initiative, as it is one of my biggest goals in life to help others enjoy a living well and staying fit. It’s not all about miserable gym sessions and dry salads, people!

Twelve Mile Musings.

I ran twelve miles yesterday for the first time in 377 days. I know this because the last time I did it was the day of my high school commencement! I felt wiped out for a few hours, but was back to myself by around 4pm (I finished at 11am). Eating every two hours, despite not being hungry at all, is definitely what I need to do following a long run! Otherwise I will end up (unintentionally) with something ridiculous like burning 1000 calories and only eating 800 until I die at 3pm.

cookies-gif

Speaking of dying…that did not happen when I ran up a hill. Twice. I normally avoid hills LIKE. THE. PLAGUE. But my next two races are supposed to be rather hilly so I’m trying to be a smart person over here. Anyway those miles were slow, but I never felt the urge to stop.

That came at mile 10 with a brick wall. I literally hit 10 miles and have never felt a greater urge to walk in my life! Seeing as I’ve run that distance a bunch of times by now this was super weird…it is lucky I was approaching a big downhill or things could have gone… downhill. 😉

A random cyclist tried to impress me by biking hands free as we approached from opposite directions. I’m sorry buddy but after 90 minutes of running, not much impresses me.

not-impressed

How much slower are long run paces than half marathon race pace? I did this run at an 8:30 pace and would love to run 13.1 between 8:00 and 8:20 –> 1:45-1:50 pace.

This will only seem unrelated to my run if you have never ran long before. Crusty french bread dipped in peanut butter = THE FOOD OF THE GODS.

Speaking of which…my stomach is growling again. The life of a runner. Time for round three of dessert (you wish I was kidding). See the first GIF.

Obviously Snape

 

I’m thinking a coconut banana muffin and some quality HP time is in my future. And bed because I’ve only had one coffee today (cue shocked expression).

What is the most you’ve ever eaten at one time? 

What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen a person do to get attention? 

Moving Away & Coming Home

Moving away is hard. But coming back is even harder. It’s been three (?) weeks since I’ve posted, and over a month since I’ve blogged regularly. I have 100% honestly thought about it every single day, but for one reason or another I haven’t been able to get it together to get a post up.

Readjusting to living at home has definitely not been what I expected. I assumed I would show up and essentially continue the lifestyle I had at university, with the extra benefits of my own bedroom, a kitchen, and cash.

As it turns out, that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Not only does living at home dramatically decrease my independence, it’s also brought up a whole heap of personal issues that I quite literally ran away from in August. So between working full-time, learning to live with another person that has totally different preferences and attempting to actually deal with life, the blog fell by the wayside.

I’ve still been running, though! As sad as I am to not be running the Calgary (half) Marathon this Sunday, I’m super pumped for the MEC race on June 14. It will post definitely be a PR, hopefully sub-1:50, and there is a veeeerrryyyyy slim but present possibility of 1:45.

RUN the rainbow  BE the rainbow ☀️This run was not even that hard…I could keep it up for 8 more miles, right?

I’m also (slowly) returning to my early bird status! On Mondays and Tuesdays I start work at 8am, and for the first few weeks I woke up at the very last possible second, a total zombie for at least three hours and required 3+ coffees to survive my shift. But now? I’m actually getting my runs in before work, and am re-learning to love being awake before the rest of the world. Even if that does require a 5:30am wakeup call.

Another thing that’s been going on in these parts is a return to intuitive eating. I don’t have a lot going on here in Edmonton, since I’ve built my life in Vancouver, so I struggle with focusing too much on fitness. It got to the point where I was only “Emma the runner” / “Emma the super fit girl”, so when I missed a workout or ate out a bunch of times, I felt like I was totally worthless.

I love following the IIFYM girls on Instagram & Youtube, but I am not them. Tracking macros turns me into a completely insane person, which is why I am 100% back to simply eating what I want when I’m hungry. I actually just came back from a trip to Banff, where I ate out every single meal and did zero activity.

Cookie dough ice cream  has been in my dreams for weeks now ... And now it is in my stomach.  These past few days have been full of (delicious) burgers, sweet potato fries , and generally eats that have been great for my soul but not so much my body.  Looking forward to resetting tomorrow with a continued focus on  but also lots more nourishment. ☀️I ate this for “lunch” and then had a panini at 3pm.

Not only did I lose two pounds, but I quite literally felt my cortisol DROP. We all have enough stress in life as it is – food & exercise does not need to be added to the picture.

So where are we at now? Welp, back to blogging, obviously! I hope you guys don’t totally hate me for abandoning y’all, and that you still have some interest in following along with some running & life adventures. Maybe even some recipes now that I’m back in a kitchen!

What’s been going on in your life? 

What is your opinion on IIFYM?