Savasana for Type A – Am I There Yet?

I am always up for a challenging yoga practice – although being 18 weeks pregnant EVERYTHING is becoming a challenge as my body changes. As with many people my favourite part of a great yoga practice is the end. Savasana or Corpse Pose, where you just are still. Being mindful of yourself, being present and and simply focusing on your breathing for 10 minutes seems like it should be easy, and some days it is. However, for myself, a busy mom, business owner and someone who always has 10 balls in the air it’s sometimes downright impossible.

I have reached that area of blissful mindful savasana TWICE, ever. Once you’ve been there you know what it’s all about and are constantly chasing that feeling. I find I do my best to count my breaths to clear my mind of everything else but that only works for about 10 breaths and then somehow my mind wanders – without me even realizing it at first.

I saw this post on Wanderlusts Instagram Account and thought it pegged me to a tee (I’m a Pisces)

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So I will continue my yoga practice – trying to get better at letting it all go and attempting escaping to the bliss that is Savasana more often.

For all my Type A’s – how do you relax during Savasana?

 

 

More Kit & Ace – Officially Hooked

So I am seriously in love with Kit & Ace. Their clothes are SO SOFT and comfy and most the ones I own are washable AND you can put them in the dryer. They were perfect for my travels to Italy and just running around in general.

Since my last post I’ve added a few more must haves to my wardrobe.

Also for all you preggo’s out there – the long sleeve shirts are amazing. They are long and make your growing bumps look ever so cute. I ordered a size up to accommodate my growing physique and paired with the Lulu naked sensation pant (hellooooo 8 inch waistline – that may be exaggerated) I look pretty darn cute and more importantly, it’s COMFORTABLE.

So without further ado… here are my faves!

Ash Turtleneck

This was a splurge – and it can’t be put in the dryer… and has to be hand-washed. Needless to say it hasn’t been washed yet. But its absolutely gorgeous on and so warm. I would buy it again in a heartbeat!

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Ash Sweater

Emory Brushed Dress

I was surprised at how structured Kit & Aces’ dresses were. I was afraid they would be too loose around the midsection and pregnant or not – NO woman wants that area to be unrestrained. The ruching makes a huge difference and I can still wear this with my burgeoning bump and be totally comfortable.

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Emory Brushed Dress

 

So the last two are for days where you need to look like you’re not lounging – the next picks are perfect for lounging, running errands and even wearing under a chic blazer.

Huron Long Sleeve

You just need one of these. And they’re on end of season sale. Don’t doubt it. Just do it. You won’t regret it.

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Huron Long Sleeve

Wave Tee

Just comfortable, soft & loose. Beauty.

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Wave Tee

I have only been to their store once in Toronto (I live in the middle of nowhere) and unfortunately they did not have pants that I loved at that time. So we will stick to upper wear for the time being.

If you’re like me and say the bigger the waist band the better – especially when pregnant.. then I highly recommend the Align Pant by Lululemon

 

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Yes, that’s right .. all the way up to the belly button. It’s possible after this second child I may need to go even higher to keep everything sucked in. But for now, these pants are the bomb.

Happy Shopping!!

 

 

I’m BACK … It’s been a long few months

This post is a baby step towards getting back into my groove.

Italy was absolutely amazing and totally exhausting with a toddler, but I would totally do it again. I will update with pictures and stories and travel tips in a different post.

Unfortunately I miscarried again after Italy – a “chemical pregnancy” as it’s called which still sucks but wasn’t as emotionally draining as our miscarriage in March. I think that is why I have been hesitant to post. Miscarriage, trying to get pregnant (unsuccessfully) and constantly being reminded of this is exhausting and heartbreaking.

So, obviously since I’m cheery and posting —> I’m pregnant again. Finally. I’m 14 weeks, we still haven’t told EVERYONE yet but those who mean the most to me know the good news. Somedays I feel like I’m walking with an anvil over my head, so afraid to acknowledge this pregnancy in case it gets taken away but every week my excitement grows a bit more and the anxiety becomes a bit less. So I’m getting there.

Like I said, this is a baby step so it’s short but sweet 🙂

Talk soon!!!

xoxo

Where is our Food Coming From?! What President’s Choice Brand Won’t Tell you

So I am typically very good at reading food ingredient lists as well as looking at the country of origin. I grow my own vegetables when the Canadian summer permits, shop at the farmers markets whenever possible and purchase Canadian/American/Mexico fruits & vegetables during the off season. One of the most popular food brands here in Canada is Presidents Choice. They have TV ads that make you want to buy their stuff. Their spokesperson is the president and he looks pretty trustworthy.

So imagine my surprise when I opened a bag of President’s Choice Frozen Raw & Peeled Pacific White Shrimp and noticed a strong smell of chemicals, almost bleach-like. I turned the bag over and saw that they are farmed shrimp from India. Well WTF. Shame on me for not seeing this sooner. I unfortunately just assumed that with a Canadian brand it would be Canadian sourced, or at the very least North American.

This led me to question a couple of my other favourite President’s Choice products. Their Smokin’ Stampede Ribs (which are DELICIOUS) & cereal bars I used to give to my daughter. With the cereal bars I just never had the time or will to call and get a country of origin for the ingredients but the box does say Canada Made.  The ever popular Mum-Mums cookies are sourced from China and say this on the box in the ingredient section (hence I stayed away from them).

So, I actually called a customer service representative at President’s Choice. I explained why I was calling originally (the funky smelling shrimp) and I gave her the product numbers of the ribs & the cereal bars. After a short hold she came back and told me the ribs were made using domestic and imported ingredients but she could NOT tell me if the meat was Canadian. Heck she couldn’t even tell me if the meat was North American. This is shocking to me. Maybe I’m crazy, but how the heck do you sell food to consumers and refuse to tell them WHERE IT COMES FROM???

She also mentioned that if I still had the bag of shrimp to let her know the lot number – unfortunately this was 3 days later and I did not keep the bag or take a picture of it.

So onto the cereal bars – she actually couldn’t give me any information on these but promised to call or email in the next 3-4 days with the information. Once again, what the heck. This is YOUR product why on earth is it a big secret where it comes from? I did receive an email from them and was happy to see that they are Canadian sourced and made and the email went on to explain with such strict Canadian regulations everything in the produce has to come from Canada to get that seal of approval.

So, back to the ribs, the fact that they refuse to release this information makes it look like they are hiding something. I am sure the food factories are up to standard in whichever country they are but I want to know WHERE MY FOOD IS COMING FROM! I am not asking for secret recipes.

I did try and search the internet for more answers but couldn’t find any. Interestingly enough there was a post on their Facebook page about dog food and a consumer had asked where the ingredients were sourced from. The answer from PC was “domestic and imported products.” So, basically the same places the ribs are from?

I love most PC products but I now know to read the labels and ensure the country of origin is clearly marked. I am unsure how a company can sell food without telling consumers where it has come from, especially meat. This obviously goes beyond PC and into government regulators but you think as a proud Canadian brand PC would go a long way in promoting Canadian pork for their ribs .

Maybe I’m just an idealist but I think not knowing where your food comes from is a terrible path to be on, especially when we live in such an agriculturally rich country. I doubt this extends just to President’s Choice but it is a brand I typically buy and was voted the second most “trust-worthy” in a recent Globe & Mail article.

I will still buy PC brand. Their stuff really is delicious. However between the shrimp & the ribs I’ve learned not to trust ANY food company at face value in any circumstance.

Stacking up Sunday: My 100 KM challenge so far

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Well I am definitely on track! I have racked up 18 km of walking/running in the past two weeks (with still 2 days to hit 20) AND have also biked 16.8 km! My MOTHER is kicking butt at the challenge and is actually in front of me with walking/running kilometers. Which I find amazing and it’s truly remarkable how setting a time-specific goal can help motivate people! My sister on the other hand has managed to come up with every single excuse in the book not to get moving!!

Not only is it nice to see the numbers but I feel SO MUCH better. My body is starting to feel like my own again, my stomach is  a little less pillsbury dough boy-ish and I’ve found it easier to get back into yoga with the cardio work.

Just over 8 weeks and left and 80 km to go – and it feels attainable. I don’t feel daunted by this number. Maybe I’m just having a good day, maybe that glass of Valpolicella at lunch made me feel light & airy – either way I’m definitely coming back to this post if I ever feel down!

Also – I don’t feel as stressed about getting pregnant. I don’t feel as sad about my miscarriage. These exercise hormones are good things. Someone should seriously consider bottling them up.

So cheers to setting goals and kicking ass! Every little step helps! Now I’m off to get those 2 km in before my mom gets too far ahead of me! … after I head out to enjoy the sunshine & lake…

Simply Saturday: Zucchini Flower Fritters

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These were one of my favourite things growing up. My nana would make them daily when the zucchini flowers were blooming. Now that she doesn’t cook as much it is up to me to figure out how to make them! I knew the basics, I had seen her do it a thousand times, sans any measuring. So I had a faint idea the consistency the dough should be. Being from Calabria the recipe is simple & cheap (as are most recipes from this region of Italy). If you love food you know recipes that call for fresh vegetables and simple ingredients are typically the best tasting.

SO without further ado, here is the recipe I’ve found works best:

Ingredients:

~ 1 cup (moderately packed) zucchini flowers – 14-16

1/2 cup Flour

1 cup water

1 egg

Salt & Pepper to taste

~ 1/2 cup Mozzarella cut into small cubes  (optional, fresh is best!) – if you’re using buffalo mozzarella just rip it into small pieces.

Vegetable oil for frying

Steps:

Step 1: Cut/rip the flowers away from the stem. We don’t need any zucchini busy parts in our fritters! You’ll want them cut coarsely and they definitely don’t have to be perfect. I usually just rip with my hands.

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Step 2: Put them in a bowl along with one egg, the flour, water and some salt & pepper (mozzarella as well if you’re adding it) and mix it all together!

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It was hard to capture but you basically want the mixture falling easily from your fork/spoon. You don’t want it clumpy or dense.

Step 3: Heat the oil up. You’ll want about 2 inches in a pan and you’ll want this to get HOT. I usually put my dial to just past medium heat. Different ovens vary and I suggest you have a few practice rounds before frying them all up.

Step 4: Test Fritter – take a large spoon (think ladle-ish) and just gently pour into the hot oil. You’ll fry for about 2.5 – 3 mins per side until the fritter is lightly brown. If you find it’s NOT browning and staying a sickly white colour – turn up the heat.  You will also want to prepare a plate with paper towel on it for the finished product (the paper towel will absorb the extra oil).

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Step 5: Eat the test fritter – Make sure there’s enough salt/pepper. If they taste “dough-y” add more water. You don’t want to feel like you’re eating a terrible piece of fried bread. They should be light and airy. If you’ve added some mozzarella you’ll get a bit more depth of flavour. This is about trial & error. Even though I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing I still rely on my “test fritter.” Plus if it tastes delicious right off the bat then bonus points!

Step 6: Fry ’em up! & Enjoy!

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These are amazing, simple & delicious. Basically what Calabrian cooking is all about. No need to get fancy here. If you decide to double the recipe – do NOT double the flour… start with maybe 3/4 of a cup and work from there. It is very easy to add too much flour to these and destroy the taste.

Salute!

Work-Out Wednesday: Summer Goal

Running the Lululemon Seawheeze Half

Alright. I’ll admit it. I’ve been slacking. It’s time to get back to my semi-regular routine of running.

Since the miscarriage I’ve just had a fear of exercising in case I get pregnant again. I was fairly active during my first pregnancy with my daughter and during my pregnancy that ended in miscarriage earlier this year. Plus I ran a half marathon last summer (the Lulu Seawheeze – Ah-mazing)… so I was in pretty good shape for awhile.

My mind knows that exercising didn’t cause the miscarriage but sometimes your heart needs a bit more time to believe.

We are heading to Europe in 11 weeks. So I’ve made the modest goal of 100 km of running in 10 weeks. 10 k a week. 2 5k runs. I can do it. I can get back into this. If by some miracle I get pregnant again (trust me, we’re trying… at this point I just want a baby put into me) I’ll maybe just walk vigorously… prancercise anyone??

I’ll be using Strava to track my runs and hopefully make a few records around town. Just last year I was the queen of a few segments… I’ve now been dethroned (& rightfully so).

What are your summer fitness goals?? Want to join me on my 100 km challenge? I’ll try and update every Wednesday with my progress!

Cheers! I mean… Run. Then Cheers.