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How’s that yoga challenge going?

On Tuesday, I declared that I was starting a yoga challenge for myself. I promised to do yoga 4 times a week in order to receive the many benefits practicing yoga offers, especially as I train for my half marathon.

I have done two sessions so far, one yesterday morning and one this morning. Both have been in the form of a Yoga Download 20-minute free class.

Yesterday, I did Gentle Hatha Yoga #1, which I had done before but it had been quite some time.

I really liked this one because it contained two of my favorite poses: tree pose and half pigeon pose. During half pigeon, I really noticed how much flexibility I have lost from not practicing. I used to be able to lay all the way forward and now I must stay on my forearms. My hips are soooo tight. I will definitely do this program again!

I really felt awake and relaxed on the way to work and just got to ease into my day. This makes me think I might have to make this a regular (daily) thing eventually.

Today, I tried to use Exercise TV and started a program with Shiva Rea that sounded pretty easy. All it took was a really hard lunge and the word “chatarunga” and I turned it off. I like those kind of yoga workouts but not first thing in the morning and not on running days. So I may go back to that one eventually.

I ended up doing Gentle Hatha Yoga #2 from Yoga Download. It was a slide show program, which I found so much more helpful than the audio + PDF file.

This one had a lot of great leg stretches and strength poses like the Warrior series and was a little more challenging (to me) than Gentle Hatha #1. I will definitely be keeping this one in my rotation as well.

I plan to do another download tomorrow morning and then on Saturday after my 5k, I am finally going to try and make it to a class taught by my friend Carrie at Eternal Health Yoga! 🙂

Have you ever used Yoga Download? What is your favorite class?

Breakfast yoga

Hey friends!

I set my alarm to get up 15 minutes early this morning, so I could do some yoga! I took a page out of Angie’s book and decided to use a print guide from Yoga Download as my base and then did my own flow. It was great!

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I used the Morning Flow #1 program and did each move on the pages for a count of 5 breaths. It took me about 25 minutes to get through it all and I felt awesome (and very hungry) when I was done.

This is apparently what I look like at 5:45 am!

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I had also used my cable box to find a “Meditation” music channel to set the mood. So much better than listening to a computer talk at me.

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Suzie kept getting in the way and head-butting me when I was in down dog. She’s so cute though!

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We’ve had Suzie for one year as of today. I can’t believe it’s been a year already, she really is the love of our lives and a testament to how a dog, rescued from a shelter, supposedly with training problems and anxiety, can really thrive and overcome it all. All dogs need is your love, patience and a routine. Even though we have given her a better life, she has truly been the one who has made our lives better.

This was her just 1 year ago, look how scared she was 😦

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It was also neat to look back at my blog from a year ago. My pictures were terrible! And I was also attempting the South Beach Diet again, eating lots of sugar free pudding, ick. So glad those days are over 🙂

After my morning yoga flow, I toasted up some Great Harvest cinnamon chip bread for breakfast.

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I chose almond butter and blueberry fruit spread this time, just to change things up a bit 😉

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Yum…

I still have a ton of apples left to use, so I think some baking is in my future. Anyone have any good vegan recipes that involve apples?

Happy Wednesday 🙂

A taste of Fall

Good evening blog friends!

Before I made it to bed last night, I had some more snacks, including this 1/2 banana with PB and a small cup of dry Cheerios.

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When I woke up this morning, I went straight from my bedroom into our other room and onto the yoga mat. I did a 20 minute yoga download program, Gentle Hatha #1, and it was the perfect way to wake up and warm up my body for the day!

For breakfast, I had oat bran (made with water) topped with almond butter and the other half of that banana 🙂

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I broke into these bad boys mid morning and took a nice 15 minute walk afterwards.

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Lunch was just boring leftovers. Unfortunately the tofu is not as good leftover as it was the other night. Remind me to eat all of it next time 😉

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It was good, just not as good.

In class today we started talking about metabolism and how the food we eat affects the production of energy in our bodies. While it was very scientific, I’m thinking the next class we will get into more general stuff.

I did have an interesting thought about creatine when my teacher (who has a Ph.D.) mentioned he takes the supplement and that it would be a good idea for vegetarian athletes. Hmm…something I’m going to have to research for sure.

This is the only supplement I take (when I remember) besides my daily vitamin, which is going to be really important once I start leaving out dairy.

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Do you take supplements? Which ones?

My afternoon snack was something I hadn’t had in a while…a Larabar! I had given up bars for the most part because of their high sugar content but I got this one reluctantly because it was a new, enticing flavor.

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So good I ripped it open and didn’t look back. It tasted just like the peanut butter cookie bar but with a hint of sweetness. It really did taste like a PB&J. While I won’t be stocking up on these anytime soon, I would definitely grab one in a pinch. At least this had 6 grams of protein!

And another 15 minute walk was had 😉

While I was waiting for my ride, I tried another refreshing drink:

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Lipton PureLeaf unsweetened iced tea…

So tasty, nothing gross added in. Perfect for a crisp Fall day!

Speaking of Fall, I feel like we got a small taste of it tonight at our girl’s night potluck. We started things off with a few veggies and dip.

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The main course was a vegetarian chili made by my friend Margie which was made of pinto beans, on top of some spaghetti and topped with onions (I passed on the cheese). On the side was Italian sweet bread and more veggies.

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I went back for seconds on the chili, it was pretty good!

I also think I did not get enough fibrous veggies in my meal because I went a bit wild with dessert (which happens when I eat mostly carbs and not enough protein and veggies which fill me up way better):

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S’mores baby!

I had a total of 4 (2 with the girls and 2 when I got home!), plus a few munches of random marshmallows and graham crackers.

I’m glad I chose to enjoy these today because if I do this vegan thing, marshmallows and Hershey’s chocolate will not fit into the plan. Marshmallows contain gelatin and Hersheys milk chocolate is highly processed and contains milk and milk fats.

But man these were good! I’d been craving s’mores for a while so I’m glad I finally got to enjoy some 🙂

Funny thing is, I don’t feel too full or anything. I think I was really still hungry but I don’t even want to think about the amount of sugar my body is currently trying to digest.

No matter, tomorrow will be a much lighter day 😉

Good night all, hope you had an amazing Wednesday! We’re getting closer to the weekend, woo hoo!

Slowest computer in history

The past couple of days I have been blogging from our “old” computer which is upstairs in the “office” of our apartment. Josh has been hogging the laptop as of late, though I am glad he’s at least getting our money’s worth out of what we pay for internet access 😉

This computer is usually okay for using Windows Live Writer but when it comes to internet, which I had to access this time around, it is slower than anything I can even imagine. It just took me 29 minutes to actually start blogging from the time I sat down. I can’t wait to get rid of this thing.

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Anyway, sorry I didn’t post yesterday but I got home late and Josh was on the fast computer (ugh).

When I woke up yesterday morning, I had a strong urge (and a few extra minutes) to do some yoga, so I chose Yoga Download’s 20 minute hip opening flow class. It was awesome!

The day’s eats started off the same as the previous one with banana oatmeal with PB. I think I am finally getting burned out on bananas so I might have to come up with a new fruit to put in my oats for next week 🙂

We did a 60 minute cardio workout, warming up for 5 minutes on the treadmill, doing intervals on the bike for 40 and then another 5 on the tread to cool down. It was intense!

I also had my friend, who is a trainer, do some measurements on me so I can see where I stand…more on that later (don’t worry I’m optimistic as usual)!

Mid-morning I had my very last mini Larabar…I would be sad but I’ve had them for so long that I’m kind of glad to have used them all up!

Lunch was another salad…

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Romaine, green pepper, red pepper, cucumber, and honey mustard dressing 🙂

This was just a side for the main entree…

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What is this?

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I had a coupon for $2 off a Kashi meal so I took advantage and got this bad boy for just a little over $1. Pretty soon I’m going to write about how to be healthy and try new stuff on a budget because I keep figuring these little things out.

The meal was good but I was glad I paired it with the salad because I don’t think it would’ve been filling enough on its own. The only one I’ve had that was is the Black Bean Mango and I’m pretty sure that is due to the beans.

Mid-afternoon, I had a carrot with PB as a snack which held me over very well!

When I got to Courtney’s that evening, she offered me the last glass of Yellow Tail Shiraz and I could not pass it up, I hadn’t had good red wine in a while…I know it’s cheap but Yellow Tail is one of my favorite brands!

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Dinner was Margie’s bean loaf (a faux meatloaf made with beans and veggies), green peas, corn, and mashed potatoes that I brought. They are out of a bag, Ore Ida brand I believe, red potatoes that you steam in the micro and then mash once they are done. They are not the most cost effective things in the world, but they were way healthier than most instant or already made mashed potatoes!

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Forgot to mention the bean loaf and potatoes got a drizzle of veggie gravy on them 😉

For dessert, Beth brought confetti cookies and a homemade lemon icing “dip” which was too runny to ice the cookies with. She said it was made with lemon zest and powdered sugar, which is something I would usually avoid (trying to steer clear of the added sugar) but I tried it and it was great 🙂 I like to make exceptions once in a while!

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I also had some decaf vanilla chai tea while we watched the most recent 2 episodes of True Blood. I really enjoy my regular night with the girls, I think it’s one of the things that keeps me sane!

Hope you all had a great Wednesday…be back soon with today and a special post about cooking with canola!

Family gathering

Before I left the house this morning to go to church, I managed to work in a 20-minute Heart Opening Flow yoga routine from Yoga Download. Now that I downloaded them to my laptop, as opposed to the old computer in the stuffy office, its been much easier and fun to do them. It was great, but for some reason my shoulders are sore now! 😉

At church, I snacked on a Nature Valley bar which managed to not get pictured. It was a nice hold-over snack before lunch, since I had eaten breakfast before 7:00!

We went to Red Robin for lunch to celebrate my aunt’s birthday and immediately my family ordered the onion tower!

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I chose not to partake…they were quite tempting looking but I know how my stomach reacts to fried foods like this and that’s enough not to even take one bite.

I ordered the salmon burger with no sauce and it was very good. It came on a whole grain bun with lettuce, tomato and red onion. Also, my other aunt who doesn’t like tomatoes gave me hers 😉

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I ate just a few of the fries because the sandwich filled me up nicely!

We went back to my aunt’s house for dessert, but I chose not to eat any because I was full from lunch and nothing really appealed to me (cake, cupcakes, pie). I was actually craving fruit!

When we got home, I snacked on a few of these before heading to Courtney’s for a workout.

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We walked for almost 40 minutes around her neighborhood…it was great! My legs are really feeling it between that and the yoga. It was nice to have a lightly active weekend instead of being completely lazy, haha. Back to running tomorrow. My last 5K for a while is on Saturday!!

For dinner, I heated up some leftover purple cauliflower soup that was in the freezer and topped it with some sprinkled cheese. I also had a PB&J sandwich…I was going to have grilled cheese but there was only one piece of cheese left and that just wasn’t going to work, haha.

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I took a bite to make sure it was edible before being photographed 😉

I’m having this for dessert while I play some more Guitar Hero:Metallica with Josh. Then its tea and bed time, gotta rest before the work week begins again.

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Good night all, hope you had a great weekend!

To be continued…

As my mom would say, those are the worst three words to hear at the end of a program! Last night, this is how The Biggest Loser ended. I realized this would happen when someone was still weighing in at 9:57 p.m. Oh well, just more anticipation for next week! I wonder what will happen? What do you guys think, those of you who watch it?

Yesterday afternoon before my 5k workout, I ate a new Stonyfield lowfat yogurt (new to me), but I don’t have the pictures right now, so that one is “to be continued” hahaha…whoops. I just checked and I deleted the pictures already, boo! Anyway, it was their limited edition Apple Pie flavor. I got excited at first because it was a different color and thicker than most Stonyfield yogurts, but the taste didn’t really impress me much. But it kept me full through my workout. I probably won’t buy it again though 😦

Dinner was pretty awesome though. My husband in all his manliness made lean pork chops and I had a sweet potato with cottage cheese and two small pieces of wheat-oat bread with smart balance…the bread is almost all gone, I wanted to be sure to use it up even though the whole loaf only cost me 69 cents 😉

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The big glob you see there is a tbsp (yes really, just spread out a bit) of D.L. Jardine’s Killer barbecue sauce, which is really tasty/spicy and doesn’t have HFCS or the usual stuff you find in bbq sauces. I think its because its gourmet perhaps. I might just have to be a condiment snob if that means I can avoid those nasty chemicals 🙂

About halfway through The Biggest Loser last night, I had a piece of dark chocolate. There’s just nothing like real, dark chocolate. I used to be a milk chocolate only person and now I can’t stand it (except for the occasional handful of M&M’s, haha). Suzie tried to get into it but I told her doggies can’t have chocolate! She just likes to sniff…

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Isn’t she cute?!

What’s cool is that even though I sat down to watch 2 hours of tv, I made myself get up and do something during EVERY commercial break. I believe that is the key to not getting lazy while still enjoying your favorite shows. Thankfully, I only really watch 2-3 shows regularly and more often than not, tape them all on my DVR and reserve a couple hours one day to catch up. During the commercials, I was able to get some dishes done, pack my lunch for the next day, and clear some room in the computer room for me to do my Yoga before bed! Before I did that though, I had a cup of sugar cookie sleigh ride tea 🙂 I love tea!

I was going to do a DVD but I decided to do the Gentle Hatha #1 from Yogadownload. Did you know that Tina, the lovely person who started the 31-Day yoga challenge, inspired the people at YogaDownload.com to give Carrots ‘n Cake readers 50% off downloads in the month of March? I believe the code at checkout is “Carrotsncake”. The one I did last night was a free one, but I may get some more since this is such a generous discount.

The program was good, I really enjoyed the poses, they were all ones I had done before, and I woke up this morning with zero soreness from my run yesterday. Pigeon pose might just be a new favorite. I think between the running, yoga, and staying mostly crap free in eating, I am feeling the best that I have in a long time. Let’s keep it up, shall we?!

Happy Wednesday 🙂