Thursday, January 27, 2011

Healthy Living Blogs that Rock

Ever since the great response to my post on parenting bloggers, I’ve been thinking more about the other blogs I read regularly. There are the ones from my wonderful friends (Blogger Virgin, Chantel Simmons and Janet) and there is Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s amazing blog on money matters.

Then there are the healthy living blogs. Since I tend to focus this blog on my quest to live a happy, healthy and balanced life, it should come as no surprise that I’m often inspired by other healthy-living bloggers. Two favourites that I’ve recently discovered are Healthy Tipping Point and Oh She Glows. While they are very different overall, they are both immensely inspiring.

Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point writes about her life as a runner, a healthy eater and an advocate for healthy body image. She has created Operation Beautiful, which is an amazing program to help inspire women to love the body they’re in. I am always inspired when I read about what she’s eating, when she’s running and how she’s managing her crazy schedule. And the Operation Beautiful stories that she shares are always uplifting. There is a real sense of community on her blog too, with amazing comments from so many of her readers.

Oh She Glows is a vegan cooking site that is full of beautiful photos and yummy looking healthy treats. Angela is recovering from disordered eating and has found her healthy path through vegan cooking and exercise. I may not be much of a cook, but I have already picked up a few ingredients to try her recipes and I’ve been increasingly inspired to try eating vegan. As a lapsed vegetarian, I’m excited by all the yummy possibilities. This year Angela is hoping to publish a cookbook and I hope that dream becomes a reality. Any publisher would be crazy to pass up the combo of food and photos that she has developed.

My blog may never be as well produced or as popular as Caitlin or Angela’s, but they continue to inspire me to write about my journey to live a healthy life. I hope that some of you will be inspired by them too! Do you have any healthy living blogs you love? It would be great to hear your suggestions!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Beginnings

The blog has been sorely neglected as I make the transition from unemployed job seeker to working woman again. It’s been a bigger transition then I expected, with lots of the expected challenges as I learn a new job and adjust to a new routine. But I think it’s gone better then I could have anticipated.

So far the new job is fantastic and it allows me to continue to work in a field that supports and helps children. And it’s a short walk from my apartment and to my gym. That means I’ve been able to get back to going to the gym three days a week. It does mean that I lose the 45 minute daily walk that I had when I was at Invest in Kids and in the music business, which has definitely affected my cardio. I’ve actually started using the treadmill at the gym – a piece of equipment that I had avoided previously because I walked so much.

I’m still struggling a bit to take off the weight that crept back on during my job search, but it seems manageable. I went from a 10 to a 4 between 2009 and 2010, so going up to a 5-6 has been a bit depressing. But now that I’m on a nine-to-five schedule I feel like I’m better able to manage my eating and I think that will really help me shed those pounds again.

It’s excited to be starting a new job and feeling like I’m going in refreshed and ready. It’s nice to be happy, healthy and gainfully employed again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My 100

Thanks to Lorette C. Luzajic for suggesting this. A list of 100 books you’ve read that you would recommend to your friends. These are definitely in no particular order, as that would be waaaay too hard. There are all different types of books, from classics to rock bios to marketing books, but they are all ones that made an impact on me! Please consider creating your own list!

And apologies for those who saw this on my Facebook a few weeks back. I meant to cross-post at the time, but didn't have a chance. 

1.      Geek Love – Katherine Dunn
2.      The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
3.      Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
4.      The Awakening – Kate Chopin
5.      The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
6.      In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
7.      Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence
8.      The Running Man – Richard Bachman (Stephen King)
9.      Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
10.  Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurston
11.  We So Seldom Look on Love – Barbara Gowdy
12.  Mr. Sandman – Barbara Gowdy
13.  Helter Skelter – Vincent Bugliowski
14.  Emma – Jane Austin
15.  The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
16.  Dracula – Bram Stoker
17.  Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
18.  Fargo Rock City – Chuck Klosterman
19.  The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
20.  High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
21.  Through Black Spruce – Joseph Boyden
22.  Three Day Road – Joseph Boyden
23.  But Enough About Me – Jancee Dunn
24.  Breakfast With Tiffany – Edwin John Wintle
25.  IV – Chuck Klosterman
26.  The White Album – Joan Didion
27.  Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austin
28.  The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
29.  A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
30.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Book Club
31.  The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
32.  The Woman at the Washington Zoo – Marjorie Williams
33.  Animal Farm – George Orwell
34.  The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
35.  The Edible Woman – Margaret Atwood
36.  Our Lady of the Snows – Morley Callaghan
37.  The Stranger Beside Me – Ann Rule
38.  Spook – Mary Roach
39.  Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
40.  The Girls – Lori Lansens
41.  Complicity – Iain Banks
42.  Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café – Fannie Flagg
43.  It Sucked and then I Cried – Heather Armstrong
44.  The Last Lecture – Randy Paush
45.  The Innocent Man – John Grisham
46.  Let it Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs – Jim DeRogatis
47.  Lick the Sugar Habit –Nancy Appleton
48.  Henry and June – Anais Nin
49.  The Rebel Angels – Robertson Davies
50.  The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls
51.  On Writing Well – William Zinnser
52.  The New Rules of Marketing and PR – David Meerman Scott
53.  The Trouble with Tom – Paul Collins
54.  Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs – Chuck Klosterman
55.  Homo Domesticus – David Valdes Greenwood
56.  A Girl Named Zippy – Haven Kimmel
57.  Beloved – Toni Morrison
58.  A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
59.  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
60.  President Nixon – Richard Reeves
61.  Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
62.  About a Boy – Nick Hornby
63.  The Dark Stuff – Nick Kent
64.  The Dirt – Motley Crue and Neil Strauss
65.  I’m with the Band – Pamela Des Barres
66.  Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? Jancee Dunn
67.  Debt-Free Forever – Gail Vaz-Oxlade
68.  Someone Will Be With You Shortly – Lisa Kogan
69.  The Best American Crime Reporting Series – Various
70.  The Heroin Diaries – Nikki Sixx
71.  October: A Novel – Richard Wright
72.  On My Own Two Feet – Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
73.  She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
74.  Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud – Joan Considine
75.  The Parsboro Boxing Club – Bruce Graham
76.  The Explainer – Slate Magazine
77.  Cherry – Mary Karr
78.  Confessions of a Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella
79.  Tributes – Dave Meltzer
80.  Have a Nice Day – Mick Foley
81.  The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing – Melissa Bank
82.  Good in Bed – Jennifer Weiner
83.  Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
84.  Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells
85.  Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
86.  Shopgirl – Steve Martin
87.  The Rum Diary – Hunter S. Thompson
88.  Please Kill Me – Leggs McNeil
89.  American Psycho – Brett Easton Ellis
90.  The Green Room – Moe Berg
91.  Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
92.  And I Don’t Want to Live this Life – Deborah Sturgen
93.  The Alienist – Caleb Carr
94.  Man Enough to Be a Woman – Jayne County
95.  Moon in Eclipse – Jane Dunn
96.  Volkswagon Blues – Jacques Poulin
97.  Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
98.  Wormwood – Poppy Z. Brite
99.  Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
100. Slow Death by Rubber Duck - Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Brazilian Butt Kick

I was at the gym today doing a lower body workout when I realized that the Brazilian butt lifts I was doing were seriously kicking my butt. I am definitely suffering from a post-holiday exercise slump. I did work out between Christmas and New Years, but nowhere near as much as I normally would. And I had been a pretty big slacker in the weeks leading up to the big event. There were parties to attend, shopping trips to take and holiday treats to consume – my exercise plan suffered.

I’m also missing my walk to the office. For almost ten years I have walked to work almost every single day. When I switched from the music industry to the non-profit sector I ended up in an office that was very close to my old one. That meant I added only another five minutes to my 45 minute walk into work. It was great exercise and it also made me feel really positive and grounded at the beginning of the day. Whenever I could, I would also walk home.

Losing that daily exercise along with my job has been tough. I try to walk as much as possible, and it’s now more than 20 minutes to get to my current gym (Christine’s Fitness and Personal Training on Yonge Street), so I get an extra boost whenever I go. Still, I need to find more time to walk. I’m hoping to get back to work very soon and that when I do it will be somewhere within walking distance. It’s so great to start the day with a brisk walk and it’s really helped me trim down my thighs and build my calf muscles.

The gym today was a wake-up call that I need to get my butt back in gear. Brazilian butt lifts are always going to be a bit of a butt kick, but the more I hit the gym, the less I’ll feel like I’ve been hit by a truck when I finish them!