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My Protein Smoothie Skills

9 Nov

I used to make delicious protein smoothies. Which I know is a stupid thing to be blathering about but hey, if it is something you are eating (or drinking) daily, you want it to taste good, and fulfill your nutritional needs…but mostly taste good lol

My preference was for unflavoured protein powder because then it wouldn’t interfere with the flavours of the other ingredients, or have that gross artificial taste that so many of the powders have. Also, the tubs are huge, and I didn’t want to be committed to a specific flavour for so long. What if I buy chocolate because when shopping I want chocolate but three days later I’m not in a chocolate mood anymore? I’d rather buy unflavoured and switch up the other ingredients to make the protein smoothie taste however I want it that day.

I got off the protein smoothie bandwagon a while ago, so haven’t made one in ages. I did however, in a half-hearted attempt to get back in shape, buy some protein powder maybe a month or so ago and started experimenting with smoothie bowls.

They were not good.

At all.

I thought I didn’t have ratios of ingredients in there correctly, I thought because I was making them thicker, more ice cream texture, vs a drink, I’d messed something up. Then I realized that it was the powder I bought.

protein powder gross

When I was at Costco they had a powder on sale and I figured I’d give it a try. It is a smaller sized tub, wasn’t too expensive, and sure it came in vanilla flavour but vanilla goes well with so many fruits and I figured mixing it with water or milk for just a simple protein drink will make it suck less than when I did that with the unflavoured powder…though I did add some cinnamon to the unflavoured one to make it palatable, but that’s a whole other thing.

So! I bought the vanilla bean flavoured stuff and oh the regrets! It is not good. The flavour is that horrible fake flavour I was wanting to avoid and the powder does a crap job of dissolving when mixed, even when mixed in a blender. How is that even possible?

I’d heard I could take it back to Costco, even after it was opened and tested, but I didn’t have the receipt anymore, so I was stuck with it. Which meant I stuffed the container in the back of a cupboard and tried to justify buying a different type when I have a protein powder already. Oh the perils of being cheap and trying to avoid wasting food, sigh.

Out of nowhere I realized something that others would most likely have thought of way sooner, I could add some vanilla extract to the smoothie, force a truer vanilla flavour, and that might drown out the fake vanilla flavour.

Right?

Well, maybe, but worth a try!

So this evening I made a protein smoothie, there was the protein powder, milk (I used to use almond milk but didn’t have any so regular milk it is!) plain Greek yoghurt, one frozen banana, frozen peach slices (cause peaches and vanilla are two flavours that pair well), and a bit of vanilla extract.

After almost killing my blender, it apparently doesn’t care for frozen peach slices, I taste tested it and decided it was a bit bland, so I tossed in more frozen peach slices and hit puree. On the second taste test I figured it was ok enough to be palatable so poured it in to a cup and voila! Protein smoothie.

protein smoothie

Peach Vanilla Protein Smoothie

Uh, yeah, so apparently my skills at making a delish protein smoothie are a tad rusty. It was not bad, but not good. Nothing I’d Instagram about, which is saying something considering how many food pictures I have on there!

I’m hoping my skills at making a tasty and nutritious protein smoothie will return, maybe they just need practice, it has been a while after all. If they have deserted me, well, I guess that is why Pinterest has so many protein smoothie recipes pinned on boards!

protein smoothie drinking

Proof I drank it!

Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival

21 Jun

Normally my posts are recaps of something I have done or seen but this time I’m giving you a chance to take part, via your computer screen, with something I will be doing this weekend. Oh the excitement! lol πŸ˜‰

This weekend (June 22-23, 2019) is the Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival. That is a mouthful! So from here on out I am just going to call it Concord, k?

 

 

Concord is the largest dragon boat festival in North America. The racing takes place over two days, Saturday and Sunday. Opening festivities are Friday evening but I have never been to those because I am always working. Teams come from all over the world to take part, for competitive teams it is a qualifier (think of how some marathons are qualifiers so runners can take part in the massive marathons, like the Boston Marathon), even if you are a rec team the festival is still a big deal. For my team, we race other races during the season but our big one, the one we say we practice all season for, is this one.

No pressure or anything. πŸ˜›

For those who can’t get to the festival to watch in person, or who want to avoid the crowds and ever changing weather, you can watch a live feed online, which is how you can (sort of) join me this weekend.

The link to the live feed is:

http://concordlive.ca

Races are from 8am to 6pm (approximately) and are about every 11 minutes. There will be an announcer explaining everything you are seeing, which is useful because it can be hard to tell when watching a race the order the boats cross the finish line. There is a whole reason behind that but it is too lengthy to get in to here, just know it involves buoys, water, and angles.

I remember from last year that after the weekend was over you could go back and watch the feed for at least a couple days, I don’t know how long it was left up, I just know I went and watched our races because I wanted to see what they looked like. I point this out so that any of you who are in drastically different time zones can take a look when it is over instead of staying up late and being half asleep while glancing at the feed…which I realize is me making a large assumption that any of you will actually watch but hey, a girl can be optimistic at times, right?

So yeah, not much else to say at this point, I’m going to go get my gear ready and meander my way to bed, I’m psyched for the weekend and hope we do well! If you watch, awesome! If you don’t, that’s cool too, but maybe send some positive vibes my team’s way, you know, for good karma points if nothing else. πŸ˜‰

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Paddles Up!

 

 

 

 

When Nature Attacks

17 May

For all that I go hiking and for walks and dragon boat I wouldn’t call myself an outdoorsy person. I can handle being outside for various activities as long as nature keeps its distance.

Well, a couple weeks ago I was out walking with a friend around Burnaby Lake and nature attacked! It was brutal, and tragic, and involved the end of a life, and I hope it never happens again.

A small black flying insect suicide bombed in to my eye. My eye! And I don’t mean it came near, I blinked in time, and it bounced off my eye lid, or that it hit just under or over my eye, no no no. I mean it flew right in to my eye ball, made contact, and died. Now granted, it might have died when I rubbed my eye because a bug just flew in to it, but whether it died from the impact or my reflexive action is irrelevant. The end result was a dead bug…in my eye! Ugh.

So. Not. Hygienic.

The plus side to that day, and the walk I did the week later with the same friend at that same lake, is the other wildlife, you know, the ones that aren’t deciding to suicide bomb in to my eyes.

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So sure, the only wildlife I took pictures of were the Canadian Geese but c’mon, did you really want pictures of the slugs on the trails? No, I didn’t think so. And who can resist little floofy baby geese? They are so adorable, especially the ones that are all chilling on the grass in a row. Let’s all just admire the adorable while we can, because soon they will be grown and mean, it is their destiny after all. πŸ˜‰

Race Day, Port Moody Style

29 Apr

Ok so yes, race day was two days ago but hey, I’ve been busy, and tired, so it took a while to write about it lol

We competed at the Inlet Spring Regatta in Port Moody this past Saturday. It is the second year of the festival, and the second year we have competed in it. Both years have been great!

inlet spring regatta

https://www.inletspringregatta.com/Β  – here’s the Regatta’s website if you want to check it out.

You know those jokes about Canada where people tease about how you can experience all possible weather patterns in one day? That was what Saturday was like.

There was wind, sunshine, more wind, cloud coverage, even more wind, rain, hail, did I mention wind, then sunny…with a side of wind. πŸ˜‰

Each team was supposed to race 4 times but the water conditions became too dangerous and they cancelled the last two races of the day. Doesn’t happen often, so you know it isΒ  bad when!

What I found slightly amusing is that after they declared races 3 and 4 cancelled, did the math to figure out who placed where (based on Races 1 and 2’s results) and the medals were handed out, the wind calmed a bit and the sun came back out. So personally, I think we could’ve kept going, but it was too late at that point. Can you imagine trying to get all the teams to return their medals so they can go race again and hopefully still win them? Not a thing that would go over well lol

For this festival they don’t hand out medals, they hand out woodals, because they make their medals from wood. They are really nice, and unique, oh, and did I mention yet that my team won one? πŸ˜‰

We won Gold in Division B, were ranked 5th for the entire festival, definitely not a bad way to start the race season!

 

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My team being goofy πŸ™‚

 

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The day after at work, yes I know I look tired! The filter couldn’t save me this time lol

 

My Last Lazy Monday

27 Feb

When it isn’t training season Mondays are not that bad of a day for me. In my work week Mondays are like most people’s Thursdays, so I’m close to my days off, I’m starting to wind down a bit, I don’t usually mind them. In fact, after work on Mondays I am down right lazy.Β  I may run some errands and then it is home to do laundry, watch Netflix, and at some point go to bed. Such an exciting life! πŸ˜‰

lazy panda

I channel my inner lazy panda, I’m just not as cute πŸ˜‰

But next week training starts back up which means Mondays become a little hellish for me. Not because of training! I’ll be happy to be back on the boat, well, sort of happy lol I do enjoy it, and I’ll be glad to be back at it, but for the first couple months I’ll be wondering what kind of crazy person I am to go out when the weather is crappy and paddle around in the dark and cold for hours. Dragon boaters are a special breed lol πŸ˜‰

Mondays become slightly sucky because they are also the only day I have access to the laundry room where I live. So I start work at 7am, get home in time to have a small bite to eat, change, and go to practice, then I get home from that around 9:45pm, thaw out in the shower for a bit, get something started on the stove, then throw in my first load of laundry.

Oh laundry, how I hate thee. sigh.

It wouldn’t be so bad except that I almost always doze off while waiting for a load to finish, wake up an hour or two later, and then end up staying up until 4am or so finishing up.

It kinda sucks.

Knowing that next week the long Mondays start really brought me a fresh appreciation for just how relaxed this past Monday was. I reveled in it. I actively thought about how I was cozy in sweats and my biggest effort was in remaking my bed after washing the bedding and how great that was and how I should enjoy it because starting next week I’ll be freezing my butt off on a boat and wondering if I’ll get the feeling back in my cold cold fingers before I get home.

I guess my moral of the week is enjoy where you are in life, settle in to that cozy moment, because soon it will be gone and only a hazy memory.

 

I Sometimes Listen

31 Aug

Do you listen to what your body wants? I sometimes do, I’m kinda working on it, some days…

trust my body

I find that I often tell myself I have to do this, or my responsibility is to that, when really, my decisions should be based more on what cues my body is giving me, what it is saying it needs, than what pressures I feel from others or myself to fulfill certain obligations or duties.

That is harder for me to do when the activity is something I usually enjoy, and in general, look forward to.

Like my Friday night workouts.

I work two jobs on Fridays, after job number 2 I head to the gym, usually start my work out around 10pm and depending on what muscle groups I am working end up home around 11:30pm or midnight. Midnight is more because I’m trying some new moves or took extra long stretching, or maybe fit in some extra cardio, generally I aim to be there an hour and a half.

My personal rule is that I go every Friday, the only exceptions being if I race the next day, have picked up an early morning shift the next day, or am sick or injured. Otherwise, rain or shine (or snow!), feeling energized or kinda sleepy, I go. I’ve never regretted going, never regretted a workout, even if some of them are definitely not me at my peak, lol. I figure a workout, any workout, is better than none, and to not go is me giving in to my lazy side, which fyi, my lazy side is loud and demanding and must be reigned in often lol.

Tonight however, even though I had my gym bag with me and was planning on going to the gym after work, I was tired, and kind of didn’t want to. Ok, no “kind of” about it, I really wasn’t feeling the idea of going to the gym. I tried convincing myself that once I was there I’d be fine, even better than fine. I told myself to just go through the motions of getting changed, follow the routine, get in that gym and everything will fall in to place and I’ll have a good workout.

Nothing I said made a dent in the yawning, or the tiredness that I was feeling. Hell, the person who replaced me at work even mentioned I looked really tired.Β There was no good reason for me to be so tired, I slept my normal amount last night, I always work two jobs on Fridays, today was my normal routine, but today it was hitting me harder than usual.

I told myself I would aim for home but when I was passing the gym if I felt like it I’d stop. Then, when walking to my car it was so nice out I thought that if I didn’t stop at the gym the least I could do would be to go for a walk. I like walking at night, and I feel I should take advantage of the warm weather while I can since fall is sneaking up on us and soon I’ll need another layer *rolls eyes*.

Confession time, I did neither. I drove past the gym, got home, hopped in the shower, felt like I could have dozed off in the warm spray, got cozy in my pj’s, and curled up with my book, a cup of tea, and the cat. Aaaaand that is pretty much where I have stayed since I got home.

My body was sending me all these signals that working out, even if it is my normal Friday night routine, was not at all what it wanted to do this evening. Normally I would have ignored it, had a not so great workout where I most likely would have put myself at a higher risk of injury because of being less focused while working out, or I would have just drawn a blank when at the gym for what to do because my brain wasn’t functioning at full capacity, and what is the point in that?

Where is the harm in listening to the signals my body is sending, paying attention when it says it is tired and needs a break, and then giving it that break?

Admittedly, a big part of me feels like I’ve failed in some way, failed because I always work out on a Friday and my not working out tonight wasn’t because of any of my previously mentioned reasons. But…it isn’t a failure to take care of myself. If anything I think I might count it as some sort of personal growth. Imagine that, personal growth! How adult of me lol

can not adult

I think a lot of people stop listening to what their bodies are telling them. We get in to our routines, we go on auto pilot and hit the gym or the hiking trail or the running path or the whatever, not when our bodies are wanting to go but when it fits in our schedule. I get that, I do, not like I can skip out of work half way through my shift to have a workout because that is when my energy peaks. So we make sacrifices, we go after work, or fit it in early morning, or do extra on our days off, and probably, for the most part, that is ok. Our bodies are adaptable, which is a handy perk, but even an adaptable body needs a break every now and then. Needs an early night curled up on a comfy chair resting.

I’m working on feeling comfort in my quiet evening, not guilt for a missed workout. Feeling glad that I could understand what my body was saying it needed, not worry this will be the beginning of a trend of missed workouts. I’m reminding myself the gym will always be there, there will always be another chance to work out, and one night off won’t be the end of my workout plan, or my active-ish lifestyle.

Basically, I’m working on listening to my body, following through to give it what it needs, and accept that is the right choice. Friday night gym session be damned! πŸ˜‰

 

My Best Time – So Far!

19 Aug

I have made a habit of hiking the Coquitlam Crunch one to two times a week for I dunno, a couple months or so? A friend suggested it and I got hooked.

It is described on the city website as a steep urban trail that offers a great workout, which I’d say is fairly accurate. The city website also says it takes 1.5 hours to complete, but they always overestimate for the trails.

The first time my friend and I went we were around the one hour and fifteen minute mark I think…I don’t really count the first attempt at a new trail though because you don’t always know where you are going, and there end up being pauses to figure out are you turning left or right because the trail branches off both ways, reading signs, stuff like that. Second attempt and onward though, those get tracked and turned in to times to beat!…not that I’m competitive with my stats or anything lol

This trail has three road crossings, and depending on if traffic stops or not that can really affect your time, which sucks. There have also been two times where I paused to watch deer, but only on the way down. Pretty much nothing stops me on the way up, I have a mission and am determined to keep moving! The first time we went up I paused to read all the signs, they mostly have blurbs about the area, the wildlife, things like that.

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There is one section with stairs, looks like this…

IMG_0038

Well, actually, I’m sorta lying. Oops! There are two sections of stairs, they are at the same section though, just one set is to the left the other set is to the right. I tend to go up the set to the left and down the set on the right. I find the set on the right easier because there are more flat spots so I save it for my way down when my legs are tired. On the way up I want as many steps crammed in together with fewer flat resting spots as I can get.

Pictures don’t do the Crunch justice. There are power lines the entire length of the trail and in pictures they dominate what you see, but when you are there it is easy to ignore them and just enjoy the view.

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My best time had been one hour and two minutes and I was determined to get it under an hour, even if all I managed was 59:59, I wanted it under an hour!

This past week I went and had no confidence in my ability to beat my best time, I was going to be happy if I managed to hit one hour and four minutes. It was mid-day, the worst time of day for me, I wasn’t as hydrated as normal, there is poor air quality thanks to fires, and my legs hurt from my previous days workout. If I hadn’t been in the area I don’t know that I would have gone to do the Crunch at all that day, but I was in the area, and if I am there I can’t pass up an opportunity to go up, so up I went!

Something about not putting pressure on myself to beat my best time seems to generate results. I only asked my body for the best it could do that day, and was going to be happy with whatever that was, and lo and behold, I got my best time, and it wasn’t 59 minutes!

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56:26!

Do you see that Fit Bit info? I completed the Crunch in 56 minutes and 26 seconds! wOOt! wOOt!

I don’t care if it is rude to celebrate yourself, I am happy with that! πŸ˜€

Yes I know there are people who can do the whole thing in a much shorter span of time, and yay for them, but for me, in this moment, I am excited I completed the Crunch in 56:26. And really, there will always be someone who can do what you are doing better, and that’s fine. I only compete against myself, I only look to beat my time, not the person next to me, as my coach says, race your own race.

So now the time to beat is 56:26…talk about setting myself up for a challenge!

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