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? 

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My First Week At Home.

Well, hello there!

I’m sorry for just dropping off the face of the Earth last week! I had totally planned a post explaining what I would be doing (I expected blogging to take a backseat) but writing it up ended up on the bottom of my never-ending to do list, and so it never got done.

But…yeah! I arrived home last Tuesday for the first time in three months. Our lease was up at the place I moved out of in August, which means that I walked into a completely brand new apartment on Tuesday night.

TO THE CREDO FAM!!!

They were waiting for me with food and prosecco for a surprise party. I really am the luckiest. And now when I say I would be 100% happy to be a barista for the rest of my life, you will believe me. 😉

Can you tell I'm excited to be back with my favourite  ☕️! No Americano has ever tasted better.

Speaking of which, I will soon be an actual, legit barista – I’m getting bar training!

^ That means that I will be able to make espresso-based drinks instead just coffee and tea, and will begin working on my latte art ASAP.

I call it smurf-spresso.  Adventures in latte art - I'm just a wannabe .

Other than that, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off working, moving, meeting up with friends and drinking ALL. THE. CAESARS!!

caesar

I’m legal again. That is all.

Workouts were a bit sketch last week, and I am approximately 0% concerned. I ran a few times and went to the gym on Sunday night, but it so wasn’t my priority! I tragically abandoned my Asics in Vancouver (my suitcases were about to split as it was), so I didn’t want to do too much mileage in my old Mizunos anyway.

On the plan for this week? Working at 8am today and tomorrow (please pray for me), a few other shifts, lots of baking, sleeping, organizing and fun with friends! I hope you all have a wonderful Monday. 🙂

What was the best thing about your week? 

How to Pack a Dorm Room During Finals

Good morning! Even though Tuesdays are typically the most annoying day of the week (what do you mean we’re not even halfway through yet?!), I am feeling like today is going to be excellent. There are two reasons for this:

1. I didn’t wake up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Yesterday morning was one of those “I can’t function without coffee…but I need to function to GET coffee.” It was rough.

2. The SUN is out. Monday was either super gloomy or a torrential rainstorm all day lonnng. The only thing that perked me up was a hot chocolate around 6pm. Never underestimate the powers of chocolate.

hot-chocolate-yum

Moving on. There are a lot of things I am not qualified to do: give you specific nutrition advice, design workout routines, run the country (my Canadian friends, you know exactly what I am getting at here). But, as someone that has moved no less than five times in the last four years, I feel qualified to give you some advice on this situation. And as I get ready to go home in exactly two weeks (!!!), I’ve gathered a little more life experience:

How to Pack A Dorm Room During Finals

1. Start by staring aimlessly around your room. It is very important to spend time simply soaking in your surroundings. Don’t get down on yourself – creating anxiety and panic over how much you have to do is very productive.

dorm-roomLet’s appreciate my very necessary “DO HOMEWORK!” motivator. 😉 

2. Make sure you remind yourself the impossibility of the situation. “There is absolutely no freaking way all of this is going to fit into three suitcases” –> words your brain needs to hear to understand the severity of the situation.

3. Don’t bother with labelling boxes. Oh, this fur-covered hot water bottle fits in with the bedsheets! In it goes. Let’s also stuff a screwdriver and old French notes in there, because we need to keep the weight balanced.

4. Dancing is an excellent companion to packing. It’s the best when you are in the process of getting dressed after a shower, and another human being has the ability to open the door at any given time. Make sure the music is either Hilary Duff or the Jonas Brothers for maximum effectiveness.

Yes, just yes.

5. Take regular breaks. You did all of the above for ten minutes straight! GO YOU, beautiful. Now reward yourself with an hour of Instagram.

Congratulations! You have officially made it to move-out day successfully. But just as a precaution, I would also invite friends to help out. You know, just in case. 

[Tweet “How to Pack A Dorm Room –> the honest truth! “]

Do you have any good moving tips? 

I need help….

Am I the only one still shamelessly rocking out to the early 2000s? 

College Dorm Room Snack Hacks.

Let it be known that I am a professional snacker. I don’t even bother trying to “make it” to the next meal. That would be not only an incredibly unpleasant idea for me, but everyone around me that would be faced with Hangry Emma. And nobody wants to meet her. 😉

That said, though, I don’t have the luxury of whipping up pancakes and smoothies whenever a craving hits. For 21 (!!) more days, I’ve gotta work with that mini fridge / freezer / snack drawer lifestyle.

DormRoomSnackHacks

^ By the way, my snack drawer is better than your snack drawer. The one above it filled with skirts has been opened exactly twice since I moved in last September, but the one with the food…we’re tight. I also take full advantage of the freezer on my floor. I’m pretty much the only one that does, unless you count the girl with the biology project…but I personally prefer my nomz.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a few things figured out. Made a few discoveries, realized what doesn’t work, you get the idea. Just a little disclaimer: I don’t eat perfectly healthy right now, for two main reasons:

1. I don’t have enough money on my meal card. The salad bar is expensive, bagels are not.

2. When I get the munchies at 11pm, I can’t exactly go whip up a batch of organic kale chips.

So these options are not chocolate bars and easy mac, but they are also not perfect. But perfection is boring, am I right?

Current obsession: Frozen yogurt tubes.

I was taking a casual stroll around Safeway (What? You don’t get your exercise lapping grocery stores?) when I came across Phineas & Ferb yogurt tubes. It was like I had an epiphany –> I instantly remembered being like eight and obsessed with frozen yogurt tubes. And apparently not much has changed after a decade. I bought a box on Friday, annnnnd, now it’s gone.

yogurt-tubesOops?

Seriously though, these are perfect whether you are in a dorm room or not. They are the perfect size for a little snack / breakfast dessert and are sweet enough to satisfy a craving. Plus you get a platypus on your wrapper…that just can’t be beat.

Staple: Almond butter + rice cakes.

This could not be more perfect for a college student.

Picture this: You are on the go nonstop, only returning to your room for six hours to sleep. One night, after collapsing on the floor in exhaustion, you notice a strange green thing on top of your mini fridge. “I didn’t buy that?” you think to yourself, before realizing that said green item is in fact moldy bread 870 days past it’s expiry date.

Excuse-me-i-have-to-go-vomit

Morale of the story: buy rice cakes. I prefer the caramel chocolate ones because they are actually super delicious and don’t taste like cardboard. No, they aren’t as healthy as organic sprouted grains, but I will take them over green fuzzies any day!

Luxury: Chocolatified greek yogurt. 

I live on this stuff way too much to actually admit. I consider this a luxury because I can’t buy it with my meal plan, so I have to shell out actual (student loan) dollars to buy it. The thing about the dining hall, though, is that there are basically zero protein sources. Of course you can get it in the prepared entrees, but those are covered / mixed in questionable sauces & ingredients 100% of the time. So since I choose to say away from those, my options are cottage cheese, eggs, and 0.5oz chicken breasts.

The size of my $4 chicken from the dining hall ... They are officially trying to starve meI would bet money that is how much this weighs. 

The solution: cocoa powder + stevia + Frye’s cocoa. My absolute favourite dinner is to dip an apple in this, and then microwave a Quest bar. It’s the most satisfying thing I can make for myself, and I know I am getting a solid combination of carbs / protein / fat.

Easy Nutrients: omnipresent veggies. (English nerd much?)

 I should probably include some veggies on my healthyish living blog, hey? Pro tip: carry a tupperware container with you at all times. Then, when you find yourself in the presence of produce, load up! If you aren’t hungry, take it back with you and leave it in your dorm room. That way, you always have something healthy on hand. Sometimes the dining hall has roast carrots (my absolute favourite) at 2pm approximately seven seconds after I’ve eaten lunch. So instead of lamenting this sad state of affairs, I just take some back with me to enjoy later on!

[Tweet “Simple & healthy snacks for college students!”]

I hope that this was helpful to you guys! It’s currently NINE DEGREES and sunny out right now, so I am off for a quick run and then some essay writing on the grass. 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

What was your favourite snack when you were younger? 

Do wimpy portions make you as mad as me? 

I’m still upset about that chicken breast weeks later…

The Significance of A Dream + Life’s Decisions

I feel like over the past few months, my blog has evolved into something that I don’t love. I’m feeling like I post just for the sake of it, and end up using link parties as “fillers”. Ideally, I want my blog to be a reflection of who I am and what I truly care about! A quality representation of myself, running, fitness and life all fused together happily.

With that said, there is a chance I may step back from posting. Not intentionally – I just don’t want to publish out of obligation to “get something up” that day. I am going to try my absolute best to keep posting Monday – Friday, but if I don’t have anything relevant / important / interesting to say, I am just not going to say anything!

Phewf. Glad that’s out of the way. Now let’s chat. Last night I was physically woken up by the sheer horror of my dream. It wasn’t murderer-scary, but the shocking kind that leaves you at a loss for words.

A little bit of background: for the past seven months, I have been working at a job that, to be blunt, makes me feel fairly useless. I am in no way criticizing the position, but I don’t think I was the right person for it, and, as a result, I have never been able to feel fully “integrated” in the work.

Last night, I had a dream that my boss sent me seven emails calling me disgusting, defaming, that I ruined everyone else’s work, and a seemingly endless list of other awful things. I jolted awake at 4am and had to check my email to make sure that it hadn’t actually happened. It just felt so incredibly real, and even writing this I have the words playing in my head as if it did.

The reason that I am blogging about this is because it made me realize that I cannot keep wasting my time with things that don’t fulfill me. Yesterday I mentioned that I have a big decision to face, and I think I have it made.

I didn’t get into kinesiology. But I got into the BMS. 

For new readers (hi!), the Bachelor of Media Studies / BMS is the program that I applied to when I first arrived at UBC. It was the perfect plan, or so I thought. Then, this past January, I had a literal epiphany that Kinesiology is my passion, and the media studies courses I was enrolled in were making me miserable.

Until last night, I have been going back and forth over whether or not I should accept the BMS. Obviously I wish I got into Kinesiology, but I have this opportunity in front of me that I genuinely wanted for a long time. The plan was always that if I didn’t get into Kin, I would take a year off and travel, work at Credo, and re-apply for 2016. What I didn’t consider was being accepted to the Bachelor of Media Studies!

AcceptingAdmission

Now, though, my decision is made. I will be taking a year off from UBC and moving to Toulouse for three months. France has had a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember, and I don’t think I will ever get another chance to immerse myself in the culture like this. The setup is honestly perfect: I can stay (and work!) up to 90 days without a visa, and I can live with my amazing friend I haven’t seen in two years.

I’ll spend three months working in an adorable French cafe and speaking their language nonstop, and then come home and work in my beautiful cafe for eight months before heading back to Vancouver. During this summer and my time at home in 2016, I’ll be working / volunteering my face off to ensure I get accepted to Kinesiology.

I don’t believe in regrets. But at the same time, I know I will have them if I don’t take this chance while I can. Now all there is left to do is buy a one-way ticket to Toulouse!

What adventure do you dream of going on? 

Thinking Out Loud: I’m Still A Coffee Snob

1. Every day this week has felt like Friday. And that is incredibly unfortunate since it’s still only Thursday. I may die. If it weren’t for Amanda making it okay to have a weekly brain dump, I would likely be staring at a blank screen right now.

2. But I am (mostly) staying strong to my March goal of only one coffee per day! It’s only possible because a decaf americano is my new afternoon ritual. Although sometimes that ritual happens closer to lunchtime…it’s fine. Yesterday a (caffeinated) espresso happened because Wednesday.

americano-espresso

3. Spirit of the Marathon 2 expired before I got a chance to finish watching. I am incredibly sad about this, but still haven’t decided if I’m willing to pay $5 extra to rent it again. The struggle is real.

4. So is the need for grilled cheese. I’m sorry dining hall, but your barely grilled Kraft cheese thing just does not cut it. I am craving a delicious, crispy, cheese-filled sandwich of wonderfulness so badly right now. And the best Vancouver food trucks are only open when I have class!! Life is so rough.

grilled-cheeseThis is exactly what I need in my life. 

5. Is long run hunger supposed to last for a week? I ran 10 miles last Friday, and I have legitimately been extra hungry every day since. It’s a good thing I never go anywhere without snacks, because there have been lots of close calls lately. 😉

6. The entire country is having the worst winter ever except British Columbia. Seriously – a weather report stated that we are the only province escaping with a mild winter and early spring! I think if I saw snow right now I would legitimately freak out. And then run inside. #softie

Because nobody told me it was Friday already...  to a casual Carter the Coyote on campus. Nope, I didn't die! ✌️This is literally what it looks like outside. So basically August in March. 

7. And yet I am (almost) craving the treadmill. Is that a thing? Can you actually crave running on a hamster wheel? I haven’t allowed myself to run on it lately, because while my hands freeze in the mornings it’s a thousand times nicer than E-town will be for months. I’m fully expecting being relegated to the thing for most of May – #albertalife – so I’m making sure to take advantage of this weather while I can! I mostly just need some new routes – I’m beyond bored!

8. This makes every part of my body hurt. 

starbucks-fail

Not only are you actually writing expresso instead of espresso, a DOT is not “signature latte art”. I mean, really. REALLY!!! Ugh.

9. I ate a cupcake for lunch today. It was a good decision. I don’t know why I felt like telling you that but perhaps it will inspire some of you as well. 🙂

10. And some timbits. The sugar cravings are real, guys. Part of me wants to get a handle on it, but another part most of me is A-okay with the situation. Especially now that mini eggs are back in stores (!!!).

11. There is ONE MONTH left of school. As in, 4.5 weeks of classes until my first year of university is over. What?! I’m only 1/5 done since I will most definitely be needing an extra year to graduate but it is still unbelievable that I’m nearly done with my first year.

What is the best thing you’ve had for lunch lately? 

Should I re-rent Spirit of the Marathon II ?

My First Time on a Boat.

As you very possibly might have gathered from the title, this past week I went on a boat for the very first time! If you were wondering why my posts decreased, or I replied to exactly zero comments, that is why. Technically I have been on a canoe a couple of times but everyone I’ve talked to says that doesn’t count. I wonder why? 😉

enchantment-of-the-seasJust a tad bigger than I’m used to.

Only ever living in Alberta, a 100% landlocked province, set the stage for some pretty minimal water action. Add in competitive ski racing for eleven years, where our only travel was to/from the mountains, #boatlife (thanks Sarah) just didn’t enter my mind.

That is, until I moved to the west coast, where it was apparently blasphemy. One of the reactions I got was:

“Wait…not even a ferry?”

Oh, right, I forgot! I took the ferry over to Calgary all the time. 😉 LOLZ.

One of my close girlfriends – the first friend I made in Vancouver to be exact – just so happens to have a father who is a cruise ship Captain. And he just so happened to be sailing to the Bahamas over our reading break.

Um…COUNT. ME. IN.

Because I'm at the airport & I do what I want.Emma’s Airport Excited Face! 

So last Sunday, my three best friends and I headed out to Port Canaveral, Florida, for a four day cruise on Enchantment of the Seas, part of the Royal Caribbean International Fleet. I truly could write ten posts on this trip and still not be done, so because I actually like having readers I am going to attempt to condense it.

Day 0: our first flight was delayed the exact length of our layover, which led to us sprinting through LAX barefoot. We definitely arrived at the gate sweaty, begging to be let on. The flight attendants were not happy at all but thank goodness gracious we made it.

ArrivedSuitcases

Day 1: we arrived in Port Canaveral after a whopping 0 hours of sleep the night before due to a red-eye. After hitting up IHOP for breakfast, we headed to Cocoa Beach for the morning before we could board the ship. Despite being absolutely exhausted, as soon as we got to the beach I was completely overcome with adrenaline and joy. I literally sprinted straight into the ocean, and spent a solid hour jumping over waves, taking pictures, and basking in the glow of the water. I have no idea what came over me – I have spent years saying I despise/am terrified of water, and there I was loving every second of it!

happy-beach

Once we got onto the boat, we explored, ate from a delicious buffet, and hit up the Sail Away party. I definitely sprinted to the front of the ship to watch as it left the docks. And after dinner, we all promptly passed out at 9:30pm!

Day 2: 

So. Much. Awesome. There was an attempt at a run on the outdoor track, but it was foiled by extremely strong winds. I actually fell over twice before heading to the treadmills, where I almost fell over a couple more times – balance champ, right here. There were afternoon naps, line dancing, and lots of relaxed fun throughout our day at sea.

EmmaOcean

The highlight, however, was definitely dinner at the Captain’s Table. He had his own plates and menu! What?! The 70s dancing that followed was a close second.

Day 3: 

Our excursion to Atlantis (which I definitely thought was the Lost City at first) started out amazing – we were riding slides, running around, having a ton of fun.

AtlantisAquaventure

Then, on a much-needed coffee run, a torrential downpour ensued. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before – and I live in Vancouver! That came and went, and we waited out the worst parts while eating fruit loops & chicken nuggets for lunch under a cabana. Two of my friends went to go ride some more slides, while my friend Mikayla and I sprinted headed for the hot tub. When the other girls showed up minutes later ordering us to get out, “NO!” was our obvious answer. But they were evacuating the park due to thunder & lightning! So yes, I was evacuated from the Lost City of Atlantis (kinda). NBD.

Day 4: 

Another sea day! We were supposed to have a beach day at Coco Cay, but the high winds wouldn’t allow for the anchor to go down. The Men’s Belly Flop Competition kinda rocked, as did the Captain himself joining us for dinner.

Atlantic Ocean WeatherIt was also pretty awesome to have seen this on my phone. 

Day 5: 

Our flight didn’t leave until 8pm, but we had to be off the ship by 9am to allow for the weekend cruisers to get on. We ended up going to Florida Mall, and killed over 2 hours playing MASH. Does anyone remember that game?! Apparently I am going to live in Rio, with skis as my sole method of transportation, and be eaten alive by my seven cats. Awesome.

Overall, I am so incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity. It was a truly life-changing experience and something I will never ever forget. It made the mountains of homework awaiting me last weekend far more bearable, and finally gave me some pictures to put on Facebook. 😉

Have you ever been on a cruise? 

What was your best trip ever?