Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Christmas and Road-Trip Survival Guide

Tomorrow morning I am California bound! That's's road-trip time baby!

The BF and I will be spending this Christmas down in LA with my grandmother as well as my aunt and her family. We're driving down from the beautiful shores of BC to the also beautiful (but decidedly) warmer shores of Southern California. We hope to hit up some of the usual tourist spots and also make it out to some more far-away and unusual places too - like Baja.

Along the way we'll also do some eating. Not so healthful eating I'm sure. Anyone who has ever gone on a road trip knows that inevitably you end up at fast-food restaurants. And then there is all the Christmas eating itself......mmmmm......Christmas dinner!

All of this eating means that I'm going to have to come up with a way to weather this storm without managing to gain any weight. Recognizing, that this will be somewhat tough (especially since I'll be away from my beloved gym), I have come-up with a survival guide full of tips for making it through this Christmas/Road-trip season:

1. I will take public transportation as often as possible. It's easy when you go on a road-trip to spend too much time in the car and consequently, too much time on your butt!! Lucky for us we'll be based out of my aunt's home in LA and so we will take public transportation as much as possible. Forcing us to get up and move!!

2. I will indulge while still continuing to make smart choices. Usually I don't eat carbs. But carbs are what Christmas is all about!!! And so I will have those cookies but limit myself to a reasonable number. If there is eggnog I'll have one cup and drink something less evil the rest of the time. And if I don't like something I simply won't eat it. Because if I'm going to expend precious calories on a treat, it better be worth it.

3. I will get away from the usual indoor attractions and hit the outdoors - nature's gym. California is a beautiful place! And it's blessed with some amazing parks and beaches. At any of these places you can get in a good hike or beautiful walk with stunning scenery. The same holds true for most road-trip destinations. So instead of spending all of your time indoors, make sure you go outside and take-in the beautiful sights while getting in some exercise too! Bonus!

4. I will pack a picnic. Picnics are great fun and a good way to make sure of keeping your calories in check. Instead of buying some take out go ahead and stop by the local supermarket on your way out - buy yourself some fruits, cold beverages of the H2O or sucralose variety, some protein, and perhaps a little treat. Bring along a blanket and you have a yummy and calorie conscious meal!

5. I will stop when I am full. Too often, we get lured into eating for the sake of eating. This Christmas, I'll try to listen to my stomach and stop when I'm full. To make sure I get to sample everything I want, I'll have smaller portions too. That way I won't miss out but I won't over-indulge either.

6. I will make good choices at fast food joints. One of my favourite sites on the web is FitSugar. It's full of great healthy lifestyle info. One of their features which I LOVE (particularly in the context of this survival guide) is their Fast Food Breakdowns. You can refer to those handy little guides at any time. That way when you walk into your nearest (and maybe even dearest) fast-food joint you can be aware of what you're putting into your body, and plan your day accordingly.

7. I will relax, rest, and return happy. Too often, Christmas is a stressful time. This year I'm going to go out of my way to make sure that I relax and enjoy every moment. Whether it be the beautiful sights I'll see on my road-trip or the random little things that will make me smile. I'll enjoy it all. Because after all a happy person is a healthier person. A stress-free me, is more likely to be able to return (on January 2nd) to my job and give it my all. And more importantly, I'll be more prepared to tackle the inevitable New Year's resolutions that are to come!

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, my Christmas and Road-Trip Survival Guide. Not everything in the list will be applicable to you, but chances are you can take something from it and incorporate it into your holidays!

And so I bid you adieu - and wish you and yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You too CAN be a loser!!

So once in a while, a person just needs a little inspiration. And tonight that inspiration takes the shape of "The Biggest Loser."

Yes, it's a weight-loss show. And yes, the first time I heard the title I thought it was down-right offensive. But now I've come to realize that people do amazing stuff on that show! They lose incredible amount of weight! Some of you may already be at your optimal fitness level...and that's great! But even people in good shape can appreciate the awe inspiring sucess these people have.

The finale is on TONIGHT on primetime. Here's hoping you watch and get inspired. And maybe you too could be a big loser like the guy on the left, the season 3 winner!

source of picture: another blogger originally from got milk

Friday, December 14, 2007

Over 100K? Check!!

This past year I've worked on turning myself into a runner. I've had a couple of false starts, mainly due to past injuries. There's been a lot of re-habing along the way, and thoughts that I would never be able to run like those people you see out and about in every neighbourhood.

But somehow.............I've done it!!! I'm slowly but surely turning myself into a runner. I owe this to a couple of things: a lot of hard-work, my trainer - Nick, and my Nike+ system. And so I've finally hit a milestone moment - in the last couple of months (since I started using my Nike+ system) I have managed to log over 100km!!!!!! Yaaaayyy me!!!!

And this past November 15th - I even ran a birthday 10K in honour of my 27th birthday! Why? Because I could! Because I had come so far....and it was a celebration of me. It, admittedly, wasn't the prettiest of runs but I made it all the way to the end. And I was proud.

I'm proud today too. Yaaay me!! Slowly but surely, I'm becoming a runner! And it feels great!!!

NOTE: Picture courtesy of Nike via another blogger

Monday, December 10, 2007

Must be good....must be good....must be good.......

This morning I walked into the office and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a basket full of Christmas goodies standing right before me!!

Oh the temptation!!!! It's full of candy canes, chocolates, caramels, and all other manner of goodies that although delicious are bad for me. For a while now I've been trying really hard to be really really good. That means that for the most part I work out 5 days a week (both weight training and running) and I endeavour to eat very well (I even stay away from fruits and tomatoes because of the sugar they contain). Lately, I've realized that when out in social situations I have to eat somewhat "normally" in order to make life easier for everyone. But it's a slippery slope my friends!

And so I am going to stay away from the yummy goodies and stick to chewing endless amounts of sugar-free gum instead. In a little bit I'll hit the gym for a run too. Inevitably I will succumb this Christmas. But I'm trying to be good for as long as I can.

After all.....'tis the season! For temptation that is!


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wish list for 2008 - Adventures in far-off places

Today, the New York Times saw fit to print a list of the 53 Places to Go in 2008 . I can only guess that they came up with that number based on one location for approximately every week in 2008.

Looking at the list two things are clear:
  1. I need to become independently wealthy
  2. I need to add a lot of places to my "must visit" list
In fact, of the 53 places that the NYT recommends, I have been to three (Oslo, Munich, and San Francisco) and I will shortly visit one more (San Diego). That only leaves 49 places left to see in 2008!!! And so here's hoping that, amongst other things, 2008 brings lots of exciting travel to sumptuous destinations!

Friday, December 7, 2007

What do you mean I can't drink water in it and be safe!?!?

I had a bit of an insomniac night and woke up at 3am. Really what is there to do at that time but watch a bit of TV in the hopes of being lulled back to sleep-mode!?

Anywho - I turned on the morning news programs (it was already 6am in Toronto) and discovered that Mountain Equipment Co-op (shrine to the outdoorsy and the wannabee outdoorsy) had decided to pull Nalgene bottles off of their shelves!!! *GASP*

What Canadian doesn't own one of these? They're practically indestructible, come in a myriad of shapes and colours, float, and can withstand really high temperatures. All of this because originally nalgene manufactured lab equipment made of this same material. Eventually (or so the story goes) the company realized that researches were pilfering these items for their weekend trips.....And so the ubiquitous nalgene bottle was born. And now they're everywhere! Until today.
Turns out these little babies would have been better off staying in the lab. The Globe and Mail is reporting that the plastic contained within could lead to possible hormone disruption. Some news outlets were even suggesting this could be linked to increased rates of breast cancer in women and reduced sperm count in men.
Mind you there are competing reports on this topic. But if the situation warranted MEC pulling the product, well then I certainly won't be filling up my Nalgene bottles anytime soon. In fact, I think it may be time to go out and search for a reusable bottle made of another material.
Any suggestions?

source: photo from another blogger, originally from Nalgene

Thursday, December 6, 2007

In the Beginning.....

Welcome to my new blog!

That's right...I said new. This isn't my first blog but for personal reasons I've decided it's time to close the book on an old chapter of my life and start a new one. My first blog started when I was a 22 year-old fulfilling a life-long dream by studying and living in Paris! It (the blog) then followed me back to Canada (my home) and clear across the country to begin the journey that was law school.

But that time is over now. And it turns out that once you actually become a lawyer, or in my case a baby-lawyer (i.e.: articling student), you really can't write much about your daily exploits. That whole confidentiality thing gets in the way......

But this blog will be different. It will be amount my musings. All of matter how varied, off-the-wall, random, or just plain silly. Sometimes they may even be ridonculously insightful and intelligent! :oP

So stay tuned.....and read on....................