Thursday, 31 October 2013

Foodie Penpals Reveal!

Hey ghouls and guys,

Everyone loving life on this fine, gloomy Hallowe'en eve? Hope you all have a stash of Hallowe'en candy on-hand...personally, I have already powered though mine and need to reload soon. Meaning I will wait for tomorrow when the candy hopefully goes on sale ;)

Foodie Penpals

I can't even describe how freaking AMAZING it is to receive a box of goodies in the mail. If you are ven considering if it is a good idea to sign up, DO IT!! It is so fun to share some of you fav snacks with someone else...and then try some of their out :)

My penpal, Valerie from Montreal, really went all out. 


It took me a little while to break into, but I was like a little kid on Christmas when I finally opened the package. Seriously, I was pretty much bouncing around for the rest of the night. 
And not only due to a sugar high....

She did kind of a Hallowe'en theme for my goodies and included these skeletons - currently the only Hallowe'en decoration hanging in our apartment. Thanks Valerie ;)

These almonds had a delicious french vanilla-flavoured candy coating. I kept them in my snack drawer at work (yes, this is a thing) and they disappeared embarrassingly fast.

She even included some homemade granola - so cute!


These tasted like cheesy Doritos. For reals.
Somehow the fact that they are made with rice made me feel better about devouring them...

This tea tastes like those awesome Girl Guides mint-chocolate cookies

These were my all-time fav (my little bro will agree - he asked me where I got them and was disappointed when I told him I got it from a random penpal) 

They were so cute and little, but were a taste explosion of ginger-cookie deliciousness

I'm a huge fan of dark chocolate, and this was a strangely good flavour combination. 
Would def buy this again.

These two little treats were gone in a heartbeat. The coconut cream was the bomb-diggity

So...there you go. Sign up for foodie penpals through the Lean Green Bean. For reals. You won't regret it!!!

Happy Halloween!

Morning friends!


Although, if you walked around my office right now, you would have NO IDEA that it was Halloween. We are all le lame. 

Also, for the record, I didn't even carve this pumpkin. BUT I will be dressing up more than once this week, so that makes up for it...amiright?!


I was running late (as per usual) this morning, so I threw together a smoothie to brighten the gloomy morning:

Almond milk
Hemp protein powder
Ground flax seed

It was yummy and satisfying, and only took me about 2 minutes to prepare. Perfection ;)


As I mentioned yesterday, I went for a power yoga date with a friend of mine at Rama Lotus last night. I was a bit nervous that it would be too much considering my ART physio appointment the night before, but it was exactly what I needed - some strengthening poses and a heck of a lot of stretching in a heated room.

HOWEVER I need to be real with you all. I was totally in the mood to have some good zen time, focus on my breathing and whatnot, and was in a good frame of mind when the class started, but then this guy - a very burly, clearly gym-going, iron-pumping man - barges (yes, BARGES) into the room late and plops his stuff down beside me. I don't usually have beef with people who quietly and calmly come in the room late, but this guy proceeded to be the biggest distraction OF MY LIFE the entire class. And, I think its fair to say, kind of ruined the whole experience for me. He was the type of person who would just do his own thing, not follow the sequence, and was the most jittery person of all time - I couldn't help but notice this since I was constantly seeing him bob in and out of poses (you are meant to hold a pose, and not bob in-and-out of it like a frigging energizer bunny). Case in point - during a flow from high plank to chaturanga to upward dog, he would make sure to get in about a dozen pushups in between.


I realize this is really harsh, and usually I don't have any judgments of what other people are doing during a yoga class, but it starts to be my issue when your fidgety-ness affects my experience in the class. How am I supposed to focus on being present and breathing when there is a HUGE man bouncing all over his mat right beside me for an hour and a half?! Seriously, I ask you.

Anyway, we decided to go for Vietnamese pho afterwards and discuss the fact that if we were the owners of the studio, that man would DEF be on our black list.

Because pho makes everything better. 

I will be back later this afternoon with a post about a surprise that I got in the mail...veeeery scaaaary (but not really, mostly just delicious)

Have a great afternoon!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

ART Take Two

Guten morning,

Hope all is well in the world with you. I was crazy rushed this morning - slept through my alarm AGAIN - and I was so thankful that I had thought ahead last night and made a green juice that was waiting for me in the fridge this morning.

Technically you should drink them within an hour of juicing when the nutrients are at their peak nutritiousness, but a general rule is that you can keep juices up to 24 hours in the fridge. I made this one with the following:

2 stalks celery
2 small apples
head of broccoli
bundle of cilantro


I went for a nice 5km run yesterday during lunch hour, and was it ever beautiful outside! A bit crisp, but I had my hat so I was good to go.

I did the loop across the Portage bridge, along the Ottawa river and back over the Alexandria bridge. One of my fav routes to run at work - I feel so lucky that I can run along the river! Makes for a peaceful break from work, and I always feel WAY more productive when I get back to work. A  win-win situation, if you will.

ART Take Two

I went to the physio again last night, and decided to take the Ottawa parkway bike path towards Westboro. Just for the record, if you haven't already done so, you DEF have to check out this path. It is gorgeous. And makes me super happy.

My amazing trying-to-takephotos-while-biking shot

I wouldn't mind seeing these views on my bike ride into work every day! 

 Anyway, I had another good session with Liz from the Ottawa Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic last night - she did the ART (active release therapy) on my foot, calf and hamstring for about half an hour. It is ridiculously painful at times when she presses on a specific pressure point and moves my foot to release tension, although strangely satisfying. If ever you have any sports injuries (which I don't wish on anyone, it is the worst) I would definitely recommend seeing her!

Have a great day!

Question of the Day:

  • Any fitness plans for tonight?

I am planning on heading to a power yoga class with a friend tonight, and I'm hoping that I survive the class - I haven't done power yoga in FOREVER and I feel like my calves and hamstrings are feeling a bit loosey goosey from my physio appointment last night...but I'll let you know how it goes.

This is when child's pose is my best friend ;)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Morning friends!

It was -5 degrees this morning for my bike ride in to work. I am starting to feel borderline crazy pants for biking, but I feel major solidarity with the rest of the crazy bikers out there. 

But, hey, at least its still sunny, amiright?

I bundled up with extra layers this morning and wore my neck warmer so that it covered the bottom half of my face. For reals. It worked, though, and I arrived to work without any frostbite ;)


Dinner last night was a bit lame, but one of my go-to quick dinners - pan-fried cod and mixed veggies with a (huge) dollop of dijon mustard. Oh yes. 


I did a pretty sweet HIIT workout last night - I was supposed to go for yoga with a friend of mine, but we have postponed it to Wednesday night. I was feeling a bit energized when I got home from work, so it was probably for the best - I just wanted to jump around a little bit. So I did ;)

Do each exercise for 50 seconds on, with a 10 second break before moving to the next

Switch Lunge and Front Kick – start in a lunge position, left leg back, and hands down by your right foot in front to stabilize yourself as you jump and switch your left leg in front and right leg back, stand up on your left leg (that is forward) and kick right leg up in front, go back down to lunge position and switch legs, continue to alternate lunge and kick

Half Burpee and Row – start in standing position and do a half burpee, reach down to the ground, jump back into a high plank, and then jump feet back up to hands, stand up with body bent forward and lift weight while pinching shoulder blades together in an upright row

Ax Choppers – start with weight down by left foot in your hand, in a squat position, and raise it across your torso up to the right, lower it down to your right foot into a squat position and then raise it up to the left, continue to alternate

Tricep Dip to Leg Raise – start on a solid chair or box with feet out in front and hands on surface with hands pointing forward as you dip down into a tricep dip, then put bum on chair and lift legs to horizontal in front of you (be careful that you are back enough on the chair so you don’t fall over ;)

Post-workout selfie

 I'm planning on going for a run at lunch today, probs just by myself so that I don't slow my work ladies running group down too much - I never know these days how my calf/foot is going to feel, so I've been taking it pretty easy and allow myself to walk if ever it starts hurting. Don't want to push through the pain - that's when injuries happen ;)

I have a physio date tonight where I have the joy of having another ART session. The joy of recovering from an injury! Take it from me, stretch and train properly, my friends, its worth it!!!

Have a great day!!

Monday, 28 October 2013

10/28 Pics from the Weekend

Morning friends!

Hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Monday morning :) 

I still haven't given up on my morning bike rides yet - I braved the gale force winds this morning. I think this may be the last week that I bike, though. Sad trombone. 

Pics from the Weekend

It's another busy day at work, but I'll be back this afternoon with a little workout for you all! In the meantime, here are some pics from my weekend.

Dinner at the Black Tomato in the Byward Market with my friend Laura. 
I went all out and had duck confit. Delish!

We finished our meals with a little port, 'cause we classy ladies like that ;)

Another green juice to bring to my little sister's rugby game. I used:

1/2 cucumber
2 apples
1 head of broccoli
1 cup kale

Rugby = hardcore, but its a lot of fun to watch...

Group huddle - they're headed to the semi-finals next week! So proud :)

All bundled up

My parents place all decked out pour l'halloween!

Pre-hot tub selfie

And then a skype date with my Momster by the roaring fire. In heaven!

Sweet potato purée baked inside oranges at my Mom's cousin's place for dinner with the fam. 
So delish!

And an old fashioned ham. 

Have a great Day!!!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

10/27 Fitness for the Week

Morning friends!

How has your weekend been?! I neglected to post again yesterday...clearly Saturdays are not my prime blogging day. I got up bright'n'early and went for a run along the canal this morning - it felt so good!

The Rideau Canal, my new fav place to go running

My foot is definitely feeling better, although my calf still feels a bit tight. I'm going to see my physio Liz again on Tuesday so she can give me some stretches to start doing so that I can go for longer runs. This morning was just an easy 5km jog, but I felt like I could have gone forever! I decided it was probs a good idea to take it easy, though, since I haven't run in about a month since I stressed my peroneal tendon. Le sad face. But so glad I am back out on the road!

Pre-Running Selfie

I made a yummy protein pancake when I got back home with raspberries and a drizzle of maple syrup, and skyped my little sister in Egypt. Fun times.

I'm just about to head out to watch my other sister's rugby game and then go for a family dinner at my Mom's cousin's place - a family-filled Sunday!

Fitness for the Week

I can't even explain how excited I am that I can now go running again. I might actually be able to follow my weekly fitness plan for once :)

Monday: Power Yoga @ Rama Lotus

Tuesday: Run(!!)

Wednesday: Pilates - Arms, Back and Abs

Thursday: Run

Friday: HIIT - Full Body Workout

Saturday: Yoga

Sunday: Runday

Have a fabulous day everyone :)

Friday, 25 October 2013

My List of Happiness

Hi friends!

How are things? Do you have any plans for the weekend?? I am going for dins with one of my besties tonight, we're treating ourselves: her for doing SUPER AWESOME on her exam (because she will) and me...for making it through the week?

Great success!

My List of Happiness

I was perusing the internet the other day, as I do most days [letsbehonest, I work in an office. My face is plugged into a computer screen for at least 8 hours a day, if not more...depending on how many tv shows I am 'catching up on' ;)] and I stumbled across this article: 8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have, along with Lisa Lately's list and Cupcakes and Cashmere's version.

And I thought, what the heck - why not take a stab at it?

[Possible trigger warning for people living with depression or mental illness. Please proceed with caution and care xo]

1. A Go-To Drink

Gin and soda with two limes, please. You no have? I will settle for vino any day :) 

2. A Go-To Karaoke Song

Sweet Home Alabama or Proud Mary. And no, I don’t come from the south. I just happen to like to shake my booty and croon out these wonderful lyrics. 

"...rolling, rolling down the riverrrr"

"sweet home Alabama...doo do do do dooo...lord, I'm coming home to you" (but not really. I've never actually been)

3. A Uniform

My friend (also named Anna) ALWAYS calls me out on the fact that I never really like to wear pants. Instead, you will usually find me in a pair of black leggings, a colourful tank top, and a loosey goosey long sleeve and a pair of flats. Heels and I don’t really get along, which is a shame since I am such a shorty. Maybe someday!  

4. A Go-To Movie or Book

Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss – I keep this book on my bedside table (or use it under my laptop when its on my bed, which is always. Supposedly having your laptop on soft surfaces isn’t good for the fan, and my old white Mac notebook is pushing 5 years so it typically sounds like a small airplane taking off. I like to minimize this as much as possible)

Legally Blonde – Make fun of me as much as you want, but I have always found this movie strangely inspiring. Whenever I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with life during my undergrad years, I would watch this (*ahem* procrastinate) and somehow feel so much better about myself. It seems so fitting that I will be going to law school next year :) I’ll just have to work on the blonde part…my hair has slowly transformed into a shade of brown. Le sad face.

5. An Exercise Regime

Exciting news folks – I went for my first run today since I stressed my peroneal tendon (according to my physio) about 3 weeks ago, and it felt awesome!!

I ran along the Ottawa river on the Quebec side today, so beautiful!

Running selfies are clearly a work in progress...

I usually run 2-3 times a week, along with yoga, pilates, and HIIT workouts. I am a fan of trying out new workouts, though, and have been known to dabble in zumba, rock climbing or rowing :)

6. A Hobby

You’re reading it. No, seriously. You are.

7. A Best Friend

What’s that saying again, that you only know who your true friends are when you go through difficult times? I am so blessed to have some amazing ladies in my life, who have supported me through my ups and downs. I am so thankful to have my close group of friends, and so happy that I am reconnecting with old friends.

Would it be tacky to also say that my Mom and sisters are also my besties? Because they are. I miss going for long walks with my Momster, and miss my secret hand shakes with my little sister (we are the masters of funky handshakes, in case you didn’t know…). I am so thankful that I have my other sister around and glad that we have been able to hang out more one-on-one recently, and so pumped that my little bro is living so close now!

*sniff* SO TRUE

8. A Healthy Sense of Self

This one kind of comes and goes, but I am continually working towards being in tune with who I am and what I want most out of life and what steps I need to get in order to get there. After going through a lot of life changes during the past little while, I think that I am getting closer every day to creating a more solid sense of self.

Strike an #AnnaPose

Hope you all have a loverly evening, and let me know what you would put on YOUR list of happiness!

Cousin Hangout

Morning friends!

I'm not sure if you can tell from this pic, but there was frost on the bridge as I crossed over to the Quebec side for work this morning.

I'm wondering how much longer I am going to keep biking...I'm only just starting to love it as part of my morning routine...I don't want to give it up so soon!!

Cousin Hangout

It was the last time that my little bro and I were able to see my cousin before he leaves to go back home to BC, so they came over to mi casa and we just hung out and chatted the night away.

A bit of a blurry pic - we got one of my cousin's friends to snap a pic of us before parting ways. Notice how I only come up to their shoulders...I am officially the runt of the family. Sad trombone.

I wish we lived closer to each other - it was so nice to just hang out for a bit. Hopefully we don't let three years go by before the next hangout!

Have a great day everyone! It is Friday, after all :)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Bodyrock 5 Day Challenge, Day 3 & Carepackage from Egypt

Herro friends!

How are things? Want to get in a sweet little workout tonight but don't think you have enough time? Well, think again! This one will take you only 12-16 minutes, but still get your heart pumping and body moving.

...I feel like I should be yelling all of this while jumping up and down in a flashy aerobics outfit. And, hey, maybe I am ;)


Here's my third Bodyrock workout, slightly modified (as per usual), from their recent 5 Day Challenge.

Bodyrock 5 Day Challenge, Day 3
Do each workout for 50 seconds, with 10 seconds rest, before moving on to the next exercise

1. Side Bridge with Knee Lift (Left) – start in a high side bridge position with your right hand straight below your right shoulder and left arm straight towards the ceiling, slowly raise your left leg and bend your elbow down to meet it, and return to side bridge makes one repetition

2. Drunk Chicken – start in a high plank position and drop down to a forearm plank on your left arm then right arm, and then push yourself back up to a high plank with your left arm then right arm, continue to alternate

3. Side Bridge with Knee Lift (Right)

4. High Hip Raise – start in a table top position with your hand below your shoulders and feet below your knees and bum towards the floor, slowly lower your bum to the floor and then raise back up, makes one repetition

Care Package from Egypt

My Momster is the bestest. As you probs already know if you've been following along with this blog for a little while, my Mom and my youngest sister are both off galavanting in Egypt for a year.

 Are they not just the cutest little things you've ever seen on a camel in front of a pyramid?!

My Stepdad just got back from visiting them for about 10 days, and she sent him home with a care package for me and my middle sister - a silver bangle, a pendant and chain with the goddess Isis on it and my name in hieroglyphics on the other side, some soap from the dead sea, and a cute note :)

Can't wait to see them at Christmas!!