Archives for: January 2006
It was not until 2005 that I discovered that I love to run.
I was running regularly (indoors and out) and weight-training to build muscle when I started to have knee pain in the summer of 2004. I got a foot assessment and fancy new shoes – they didn’t help much. I enrolled in a Learn to Run clinic (through Running Room: www.runningroom.com), but I could barely complete the first session, which was 2 minutes walking/1 min running! So, I broke down and saw a sports medicine doctor, who recommended some physiotherapy and exercises. I was able to start Learn to Run again in January 2005.
To be honest, I was bored and frustrated for the first few weeks – my whole body was capable of moving faster and working harder, except for my knees. I had to force myself not to push too far, too fast. I resolved to follow the program to the letter, never moving beyond the week’s assigned program. For the first half of the clinic, I was consistently at the back of the pack with people that were much older than me and in much worse shape! However, working up from walking to running and diligently doing my stretches and exercises began to pay off, until I was at the front of the pack during the last month of the clinic! I ran my goal race (5K) in March and finished even faster than I expected.
I learned so many things from this experience. First, I learned to actually ENJOY running at 8am on Saturday morning in minus 30 degree celcius weather! This is a major plus when you live in Canada… I learned the importance of taking BREAKS. It is easy for me to forget this – I tend to rush myself faster and harder than is necessary or is healthy for me. I learned that I don’t need to be THE BEST at everything I do! Sometimes personal growth is more important than external competition. Finally, I learned to walk before I could run, literally!
I think running/walking is wonderful exercise for any type. Anyone can start walking or alternating 2 minutes walking/1 minute running. You can move as fast or slow as you are able, you don’t need much equipment (just quality shoes), and it gets you outside alone or with friends, enjoying fresh air, sunshine, and getting to know your neighbourhood. It is meditative - you are truly alone with yourself and away from the stresses of everyday life. Running is passion – it is what children do naturally, because they are free, excited, and full of joy. Don’t we all want to feel this way again?
I admire Cheryl’s determination in pursuing her walking program. Her passion for health inspires me. I enjoy Laura’s blogs, particularly “Extremists Never Win”. She writes exactly what I am thinking and clearly throws herself into everything she does, including running.
I am also a passionate person – sometimes I feel like I have so many thoughts and feelings inside me that I will burst! Exercise, particularly running, is truly an outlet for me. Passion is power, when it is harnessed and used positively. This year, I am working on harnessing my passion and directing it positively – more about this in another blog.
Just a quick blog to celebrate how productive I felt this week! You know all those silly administrative, convoluted, annoying things adults (which I am realizing more and more that I am) have to do constantly just to continue normal life? I have a lot of those going on right now with all the changes I’m making in my life, and I managed to tackle a few of them this week. I am a person who derives much pleasure from checking off items on a “To Do” list…
I finally (after working on the application for months) got my passport stuff to Passport Canada. I can’t believe what a scavenger hunt that whole process is! Photos, signatures, photocopies, birth certificate, and a guarantor to sign all that… A neat coincidence – the lady at the passport office has the same birthday as me!
I finally got a money order for my residence deposit at the college I am starting at in March. And it cost $6.50! It took me a few weeks to get the forms signed, the requisite photos, and the money order, and I felt so good when I finally sent it. The reward is that I already found out I got a spot, so I will not be homeless. This is a good thing.
I also needed a haircut (check), massage appointment before my insurance disappears (check), and an appointment with my MD to convince him to recommend the orthotics I already paid $350 for, again before my insurance disappears (check).
Next up: find out if my bank recognizes my program for a line of credit, apply to another bank (assuming my bank doesn’t work out), and call Canada Revenue Agency to find out if they recognize my school as an educational institution.
Whew, I needed to vent. Thanks for reading!
Last night my boyfriend and I got takeout from Swiss Chalet (chicken place) and they mistakenly gave me fries instead of rice – apparently I didn’t enunciate well enough… Anyway, despite the fact that they were soggy, I still ate some and subsequently woke up at 3am in a coughing fit, despite having taken my trusty Deflect before and after eating and again before bed… Potatoes were the one avoid I really clung to until about a year ago – for a long time I was convinced that I had no negative reaction to them (silly me). I am thankful to be feeling more normal this morning and for the reminder that potatoes are bad. BAD.
WARNING: I am going to talk politics (a little). Here is a link for news coverage: http://www.cbc.ca/canadavotes/
Yesterday was the Canadian Federal Election, the second election we have had in less than two years. After 12 years of Liberal leadership, the Conservatives won the most seats (124 of 308), but not enough for a majority. The rest of the seats were divided among three other parties, plus one independent. If you do the math, other parties can team up to defeat motions by the Conservatives, although they will still lead the government. This is our second minority government in a row and it will probably only last one or two years.
I was going to write a blog about how Canadian politics works (to aid the mostly American visitors to this site). I was going to write about the issues in this election, how I feel about it, and what the future holds. However, the more I tried to write all this stuff, the less I had to say!
I got more interested and involved in this election than ever before. I loved listening to debates on the radio, then getting to work to read the paper, then researching the parties and platforms on the internet. I even watched the two-hour, commercial-free January debate AND I found it entertaining! Finally, I stayed up two hours past my bed-time last night to watch election coverage on four different TV stations. So, you can imagine my surprise that I am now “sooo over it” today.
So, only a few facts to ponder:
1) A minority government means that none of the parties can get anything done without cooperating with at least one other party.
2) Voter turnout this time was about 65%, only a small increase over the last election. Both elections had controversy, new leaders, etc, so voter turnout was expected to be higher.
3) Does anyone feel content when they vote? There seems to be something wrong with all candidates, so votes are used to keep someone else out of office, to teach a lesson, or to elect the “best of the worst”.
The pessimist in me (heavily influenced by the media) thinks that this minority outcome demonstrates that Canadians don’t trust anybody in government – we are not comfortable with any one party having a clear mandate. Plus, apparently 35% of us are apathetic losers, and the rest of us that did vote are uninformed bozos that didn’t do enough research before voting.
The optimist in me (and, I think, the better half) realizes (and tries to remember everyday) that we are among the most fortunate people in the world. We are not only free to vote, but to connect with the candidates, debate the issues with anyone, and ultimately use our vote however we see fit, even if we make our decision based on our favourite colour. We are confident the parties will work together to get things done, and if they don’t, we are comfortable with nothing changing. We also feel incredibly secure – those who don’t vote are confident to leave it up to others or are at least comfortable that any result with be fine for them.
Today, the optimist is winning. Living in Canada, we too easily forget that we are the exception in the world, not the rule.
Former blogger Deborah Hayes has her Cooking Day and so do I! Every weekend I blanch a bunch of kale to use in lunches for the coming week. I LOVE the crunchy, fluffy texture of blanched kale, so I eat it at least once a day all week. I mix it up by buying different kinds of kale (green, black, red) or adding other greens like spinach, collards, or chard. For protein at lunch, I buy a rotisserie chicken and/or cook meatballs every few weeks, which I divide into individual portions and freeze in Ziploc snack bags. I definitely need protein at lunch to feel satisfied and it is nice to have something warm, especially in the winter!
Today was an especially busy cooking day, as I did the kale, beef meatballs, and (for the first time) turkey meatballs. There is a wonderful butcher up the street from me who carries a wide variety of organic meats, including beef that is grass-fed until a few weeks before slaughter. I haven’t worked much with ground turkey, but today when I went to get my ground beef he had both ground turkey and chicken available. Here are the recipes I used:
Beef Meatballs (Makes 30 meatballs)
2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
Turkey Meatballs (Makes 30 meatballs)
2 pounds ground turkey
1 clove garlic
3 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ginger powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp parsley
Directions (same for both):
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Beat egg together with spices.
3) Add egg mixture to ground meat and mix thoroughly.
4) Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, for easier shaping.
5) Using an ice cream scoop, make balls and lay out on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6) Bake uncovered until lightly browned, about 20 minutes, turning once.
7) Cut one open to be sure it's done on the inside.
I found the ground turkey to be quite wet, which made it hard to shape into balls, so next time I would probably omit the egg. It helps to hold the beef meatballs together, but is a bit of overkill with the turkey. I would also like to try some more adventurous spices with the turkey in the future.
So now that I have tons of food stored away for lunches, it is time for me to take a rest!
So, here I am writing my first blog and I am sick! Great example of living a healthy lifestyle, eh? *cough cough*
There has been a nasty cough going around my office over the last couple of months and a few people in my area have been coughing for that ENTIRE time! There are a couple of people in particular that have that phlegmy, uncontrollable cough which makes me cringe every time I hear it. This also worries me, because they have had this cough for so long and don’t seem to be improving… My boss is one of these.
She is a busy, energetic woman who either doesn’t want to (or feels that she can’t) take time off work to get better. Now that I think about it, it has been many months since I last saw her entirely healthy, but she has only missed work one or two days. I have urged her to stay home/go home many times, but it isn’t up to me in the end.
And now I am sick too! I am definitely not as bad as other people in my office (thank you, BTD!), but between going to work with sick people everyday, being coughed all over by a couple of kids two weeks ago, and sitting in a waiting room with another hacker, here I am. I guess I am not invincible like I thought…
I stayed home from work on Tuesday in the hopes of getting better and I did indeed improve. Then back to work Wednesday and Thursday and today I still have this cough! I am working from home today so I could sleep in a bit. I’ve been pounding back the Proberry, ARA Plus, Quercetin, and Scorbatate. I have also resorted to wearing my toque (Canadian for hat) around the house and using a humidifier at night.
So, this brings me to my pet peeve: people who drag themselves to work, no matter how sick they feel or who else they might infect. It’s not so much that they bring their germs to work with them - I consider it my own responsibility to keep myself healthy and my immune system strong. It is the mentality that one’s health needs can be ignored or put off because it interferes with the almighty work! When did work become so important? God forbid you miss a meeting or don’t return one of your 50 emails within 24 hours…
I believe in staying home and getting well when you are sick, but I also feel guilty if I stay home, since there are other (sicker) people showing up for work everyday. And, since my boss is one of these “troupers”, she sets what I think is an unhealthy example that I don’t want to follow.