Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Happy Thursday Life Update

Good Morning Everyone and Happy Thursday!

I figured it might be time for another life update so to speak and an overview of what’s been going on with me in regards to diet and workouts.

First off, I’ll start by saying that I feel fabulous. I have loads of energy and I guess the best way to describe it; is by saying that I feel alive and positive. (Except for at 4:30am; but who feels fabulous then anyway?

It’s been a very cold week here in Fort McMurray; the temperature has been in the -40s with the wind chill. Brrrr……

I finished the book ‘Devote yourself to an Ideal’ by Jarret Grossman which I had mentioned before and I highly recommend it. I think it has literally changed me as a person and given me a different, better outlook on life in general. The book is so motivational and inspiring, not just in a fitness sense but in the sense of life overall and how to get the best from it. I couldn’t put it down.

If anyone is interested it can only be purchased as an e-book at

I think I may have also mentioned in a previous post that I am following the Paleo diet these days which to be honest is not much of a stretch from where I was anyway. The only thing I have been doing, which falls outside of Paleo, is giving myself a high carb re-feed day every Sunday and a fast day every Monday. Carb re-feed day typically includes oats, quinoa, among other things but all gluten free. I have gone Gluten Free as well after reading ‘The Wheat Belly’ book; another great read and highly recommended.

So what is the Paleo Diet?

Paleo is basically a diet going back to the way our ancestors would have eaten (hunters and gathers) and includes lean meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fruit, oils, etc. (Keep in mind that fruits are higher in sugar so you don’t want to go crazy with them).

What differences have I noticed so far?
I am getting leaner, I have increased energy, I am never hungry and I feel great.

My workouts have been intense to say the least. I am still following Andrew’s 28 day program but because I am advanced, we started with the more intense workouts right away.

Monday: My husband and I completed biceps, triceps and abs
Tuesday: Quadzilla workout with Andrew (prvious post)
Wednesday: Chestasaurus workout (described below)

Chestasaurus Workout by Andrew Bambury:
-Bench press x 4 sets (95lbs x 8 reps, 105lbs x 8 reps and 115lbs for 2 sets of 5 reps)
*115lbs is a personal best for me*
-Chest dips x 4 sets (bodyweight (12), 3 sets with a 25lb plate attached to me (8 each) and 1 more bodyweight (7))
-Cable flyes x 3 sets of 10 superset with atomic ring pushups x 3 sets of 20
-Shoulder combo: 3 sets of 10 (lateral raise, front raise, upright row, overhead press and bent over flyes)

*Video from last night of me completing the Atomic Ring Push-ups (these are tough)*

Thursday: Back workout; everything else is sore anyway..haha
Friday: Rest (it’s my husband’s birthday)
Saturday: unknown right now
Sunday: Also rest

Tonight will be my last session with Andrew until March as he is gone on vacation and once he returns I will be gone as well. March 5th will be my first session and it will be full steam ahead for competition training.

So I wanted to bring up a topic for discussion and I would like some feedback if you wouldn’t mind.

Overtraining- how do you personally prevent it?

I know this is a highly debatable topic and there is a lot of talk and different assumptions made about it.

In my opinion, a lot of people judge what would be overtraining for them to mean overtraining for everyone. For instance, working out 5-6 times a week for me is not, what I would consider overtraining based on my fitness level, however for others it maybe.

I prevent overtraining simply by listening to my body and resting when I need to, getting enough sleep, working different muscle groups at each gym session to allow recovery, eating very clean (lots of protein, veggies and healthy fats) as well as drinking lots of water.

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my comments above?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Interview with Jenn from Girl-Heroes

I completed a interview with Jenn at Girl-Heroes yesterday.

check it out at:

Also check Jenn out on her face book page at:

Coconut Milk

I have started using coconut milk in my diet these days.

It has so many great benefits and tastes great especially in my protein shakes.

Here are some quick facts about coconut milk:

*Supplies iron- 1 cup = ¼ of the daily needed value
*Magnesium to prevent muscle cramps and soreness
*Full of dietary fiber to help you feel fuller longer
*It is high in Omega-3, 6 and 9 and can aid in weight loss
*Boosts the immune system
*Lactose and gluten free
*Great for skin and hair

Overall, it tastes great and is great for you. What more could you ask for?

Protein Shake recipe:
1 or 2 cups of coconut milk (I use 1 but my husband uses 2)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
1 banana (optional)

Blend together and serve.

Quadzilla Workout

The workout known as Quadzilla; makes your legs feel as though they are on fire and begging for mercy.

Here is the workout:

4 sets of 15 leg extension superset with 4 sets of laying hamstring curl (I used 105lbs and 60lbs respectively)
4 sets of 10 barbell squats (135, 155, 165, 175lbs were my weights used)
3 sets of weighted walking lunges (35lb, 45lb and 50lb dumb bells)
Run 7 flights of stairs 10 times
100 calf raises per leg
3 rounds of max chin-ups (5, 4, 4.5 were my max numbers after all of the above)

I was so pooped when I was finished that I figured there was no way my legs could take even pushing on the gas petal to get me home. They were just vibrating and today feel like they weigh 100lbs each.

However as crazy as it may sound, I am pleased to have completed, accomplished and conquered it and I feel great overall; just a little stiff.

Enjoy your workouts, challenge yourself; make them hard but most of all fun!

Leave the gym with that great sense of accomplishment

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Girl on Fire

My husband has been telling me, since this song by Alysha Keys first came out, that it reminds him of me.

Love that man!! <3

I thought I would share because there are many days when I really do feel like a 'girl on fire'; like nothing can stop me or bring me down.

Push hard, work hard and make your dreams reality!

Here's to little things!

Time for another grateful and thankful post.

I think doing these posts has made me really appreciate the things that we, as individuals, tend to take for granted. It helps me reflect and focus on the truly important things and also on some of those little things that make life worth while.

So this past week, I am so thankful for my family. For special conversations, laughs, moments with my husband and friends.

*running on the beach with my neice*
I am thankful for the intense workouts Andrew has created and gotten me addicted too. Also, grateful that I am really learning how to push past my limits. Not only am I pushing myself but I see my husband doing the same thing which also feeds my motivation even more.

*post cardio and plyometric workout*

Sunday, I was happy for carb re-feed day (oatmeal, fruit, rice, rice cakes--yum!), I also splurged on a coffee from Tim Horton's and it was oh so great.

Happy to go shopping and look at sizes that range from 0-2 as opposed to 6-8. It feels so great to know that I worked really hard to achieve this body and sizes; that I dug deep and made it happen for me. Shopping is even more enjoyable than before.

*just me*

Grateful for the opportunity to try hot yoga, for beating a couple of personal bests, for building even more endurance and strength.

The book 'devote yourself to an ideal' has been an eye opener and it teaches an important lesson. That anyone can be and achieve anything that they want with hard work and the simple belief that they can do it.

So to end this post, believe in yourself. Be thankful for your abilities and work hard to make yourself into the best possible you.

Think about this: Why not you? Why someone else but not you? The power is within you; you just have to grab it and give it ALL you've got.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend Recap

Hi everyone! I haven't posted anything in what seems like a really long time, however I guess it's only been 3 days, but a lot can happen in 3 days.

It's my 5 days off...woohoo! One more day left before going back to work on Tuesday. So what did I get up to this weekend?

Thursday was spent cleaning house, doing laundry and training of course. Andrew worked me pretty hard and so to say I was pooped is an understatement. The workout was what Andrew calls 'jerks and swingers', which included dumb bell clean and press (I beat my personal best with 50lbs each side for 2 sets of 5 reps) yay me!, barbell clean and press which I got up to 85lbs for 5 reps, thrusters with 2 x 30lb dumb bells for 3 sets of 10 and 40lb kettlebell swings for 3 sets of 20.

Friday we drove the 6hrs to visit Kevin's parents and kids. I hate the drive.....but this time I was feeling so exhausted that I slept almost all the way. PMS....makes me so drained and I guess with the intense workouts my body needed a rest. So no workout, I relaxed and I continued reading 'Devote yourself to an Ideal'-- which by the way, is an amazing read and highly recommended for everyone.

Here is the link:

Saturday, the highlight of my weekend, HOT YOGA.....! I didn't really know what to expect but I was very impressed. It was so rejuvenating, cleansing and boy did I sweat. I'll be doing it again for sure. Then Saturday afternoon, Kevin and I trained. Workout consisted of: 4 sets of 10 Bulgarian split squats per leg (45lb barbell), push press (65lb barbell), chin-ups, Romanian deadlifts (65lb barbell) plus an additional 100 walking lunges (2x35lb) and 100 push-ups.

Again on Sunday morning, I wasn't feeling 100% but I got motivated, pushed through my workout and did some shopping. Workout was cardio intervals on the treadmill-- 20mins alternating speeds. I actually got my speed up to 11mph for the first time ever....yay me again!! Sunday was also carb refeed day (oatmeal, rice cakes, fruit, rice, veggies). Yummy!

We are now on week 2 of the Bambury fat loss program and I must admit the workouts are phenomenal. I feel so great and I am already noticing a difference in my endurance. I told Andrew that he is creating an; I'm getting addicted.

Tomorrow will be another fast day, we are training in the morning and have a few appointments before we hit the road again. It should be a great week of workouts as I am training with Andrew for 3 days straight before he leaves on vacation and for me, the diet is my lifestyle now so I don't find that part difficult anymore.

Oh and another highlight, the weather actually warmed up this weekend and it was actually only -4 or  -5 all weekend long. Nice!

Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Zucchini Chicken Recipe

This is my first time trying zucchini as a substitute for pasta-- it turned out great!

Zucchini Chicken Recipe

1 or 2 zucchini
1 or 2 chicken breast
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup onion
Sea salt 

Sauté onion and garlic with olive oil
Add chicken, once cooked add mushrooms and tomatoes
Gradually add zucchini (doesn't take long for zucchini to cook) 
Sprinkle with basil, sea salt and pepper 
And Serve
Optional to also sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bambury 'Taste of Blood' workout

It's Day 3 of the Bambury 28 Day Fat Loss Program and I am feeling awesome!

January 21, I met with Personal Trainer, Andrew Bambury, for workout #2 of the Bambury program. We did a workout from Week 3 right away called the 'Taste of Blood' workout. Doesn't it sound wonderful and easy? lol; that's sarcasm....!

The workout is as follows:

25 chin ups (unassisted)

complete 4 sets x 10 reps of each:
walking lunges with dumb bells overhead- 10down & 10 back (I used 2 x 15lbs)
thrusters (I used 2 x 20lbs)
single arm dumb bell row (I used 40lbs)

complete 3 sets x 15 reps of each:
kettle bell swing (I used 40lbs)
step ups with kettle bells (I used 2 x 10lbs)
plank (60 sec)

25 chin ups (unassisted)

It felt absolutely amazing! I didn't taste blood but I did feel a great sense of satisfaction after it was completed as well as that wonderful feeling of post workout exhaustion!!!

Happy Wednesday!

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday to you all! Happy end of shift for me…yay!!!

It’s day 3 of the Bambury 28 day Fat Loss Plan developed by my trainer Andrew Bambury and I feel fantastic. I have had wonderful energetic workouts all week and looking forward to another again tonight.

Nutrition and diet plan wise; Monday was fast day which was, as always, a great reset and recharge. Tuesday started Paleo diet for the remainder of the week until Sunday when it will be healthy card re-feed day.

What else have I accomplished this week?
-I moved up in pull-ups from 6 in a row to now being able to do 7. Goal is still 10 but I am getting there
-I got my sweat pink gear in the mail yesterday

-I bought the book “devote yourself to an ideal” by Jaret Grossman today as I have been told it’s well worth the read. I will provide details once I have completed it and
-I started more studying on my Personal Training certification through ACSM

Overall it’s been a full week of activity. Oh yes and I also got my blog redesigned by Sarah at My Mostly Healthy Life;
And now I have a button so feel free to grab it anytime. Thanks Sarah!

HIIT cardio is on the agenda for tonight, Thursday morning appointment with Mr. Boss Bambury and we are out of town as of Friday for the weekend. The intent this weekend is obviously to train but also to do some Hot Yoga which I am stoked for and to maybe get in some retail therapy as well.

Hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sisters In Shape

Sisters in Shape is an online resource and sisterhood for everyday women on their journey to the fitness competition stage.

I am pleased to say that I am now a proud member of the team.

 “The goal of Team Sisters In Shape (SiS) is to connect, support and motivate each other as we journey to the competition stage. To be part of Team SiS you must promote the following values throughout your journey to the stage”:

• Being positive and healthy towards yourself; and
• Being supportive of others in their health & fitness journey

I am proud to be a member and looking forward to the support of the sisterhood as I move toward my competition training and dates.

Check them out at:
as well as on facebook at:

‘There is strength in sisterhood’.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Grateful and Thankful-Reflections on the week past

So I started following in the footsteps of another blogger I follow, CandyFit- and on Monday’s I reflect on some of the things big or small that I am grateful for.

This week I have noticed that I am feeling more positive and just generally better overall now that I am completely and fully back into routine.

Today, reflecting on this past week, I am more than a little grateful for some tough workouts, great challenges and yes, even being sore almost all week long. I feel fabulous!!

Happy to have my husband more focused than ever on also being healthy and fit. It’s so nice to have a partner who supports and is engaged in the healthy lifestyle you lead. <3
New 28 day fat loss program developed by my trainer is sure to bring some awesome results, improvements in endurance and for me; there is nothing better than an added challenge.

Also extremely grateful this week for having heated seats in my car…LOL. It is currently -30 here, -44 yesterday and it’s doesn’t seem as though it’ll warm up anytime soon. So heated seats yay!


Thankful to be fortunate enough to escape these freezing temperatures with our winter vacation coming up in just 32 more sleeps. Yay to warm weather!

And nothing makes me smile more than my daily phone conversation with my niece or listening to her laugh. I am so far away but she is my pride and joy.

I love taking the time out of the hustle and bustle of the week to look back on things that I am grateful for. It makes me smile!

So what are you grateful for this week?

Hope whenever you are; it isn’t as cold as where I am.

Until next time

Sunday, January 20, 2013

And So it Begins--28 Days of Fun

So today begins the 28 day ‘Body by Bambury’ fat loss program; written and developed by none other than my trainer Andrew Bambury. I knew it was coming and I knew it wouldn’t be easy but holy wow, just reading it exhausts me or as one of the texts I received last night reads “Is it wrong that I wanna throw up after reading the first page?”

The program’s diet is based on Paleo, still incorporates one fast day per week and the work outs are in no way easy or even moderate.

But with all of this said, I am looking forward to the challenge, to improving my chin-up abilities, run abilities as well as my overall conditioning and endurance. I am looking at it as 28 days of fun because challenges can only mean improvement, right?

My husband is doing this one as well, so we’ll both be eating the same and working out the same which will enable us to push each other and help each other out.

This week, known to those in the program as 'Bambury Rocks' will start with a tabata workout or ‘Tabata Craziness’ as it’s called; 20s on and 10 sec off with 9 exercises for 3 sets.

The end of the 28 days will take us to February 16, one week before we leave for the cruise. Should, therefore, be in tip top shape before we go which will give us a little room to enjoy some little indulgences for that week.

Then it’ll be back to reality and I’ll be full steam ahead into competition training.

Will keep you posted! -- “Challenges mean Improvements”

Until next time

Saturday, January 19, 2013

When the Gym feels like Home

What does it mean when the Gym feels like Home?

I suppose some would say that if the gym starts to feel like home then maybe you are heading towards an obsession or need a life.

Pfff….I beg to differ. The gym is my ‘ME’ time, my time to shut off this busy, fast-paced world, reduce some stress and concentrate on nothing only me and my body. So I get psyched to go there.

Now for me, not all gyms are equal. What I mean is; I don’t just walk into any gym and feel at home. It’s all in the atmosphere and training experience. Personally my go to gym is World Gym, Fort McMurray. It has tons of equipment, I feel comfortable there, the people (both employees and fellow members) are friendly and helpful; I may not know everyone’s name but we recognize each other with a smile, wave or friendly hello.

When the big changes started to take place with my body and competition prep was in full force; I had a lot of regulars commenting on my progress, my strength and my dedication.  It felt good to have some serious builders notice my commitment and results.

The atmosphere, here at World Gym, is great. Everyone is serious about their training; which is big because as you know, I love getting my sweat on. Every time I walk in the door it feels like coming home and even when I have to push myself to go, I feel better when I get there.

So what about you?
Does your gym feel like home yet?
Or do you have a gym right in your own house?

Sore today; Strong tomorrow

It seems like it’s been awhile since I have written a full blog post with the scoop on what’s been going on in my life these days. So I am taking the time to do an update.

My motto this week: Sore today; Strong tomorrow!

Andrew is pushing me hard which I am grateful for; even I can take some credit because I have been pushing myself pretty hard too. Any who, I am beyond sore; it hurts to lift my arms, hurts to laugh because my abs are killing me and yes I am smiling—I love this!

Freak? Maybe…hahaha

There haven’t been that many eventful things happen in my life lately. Everything is back on track with work, training and clean eating. It’s freakin’ cold and snowy here so the cruise we have planned is going to be a welcome change. We are both looking forward to it!

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is going well, water intake is back on track and as I mentioned above training has been fabulous. The stomach pain and bloating I was feeling are gone,
I have had great energy and positivity this week plus I feel leaner and back to normal. Finally!

Here is my week of IF and Training:
Monday- Full Fast Day/ 200lb sled pulls and burpees
Tuesday- 16/8 meal day/ Full Body Workout with 20mins of cardio
Wednesday- 16/8 meal day/Rest Day
Thursday- 16/8 meal day/50 minutes of pull-ups with 20mins of cardio
Friday- Warrior Diet/Full Body Workout with 10mins of cardio
Saturday- Regular Day/ Leg Day with cardio

I have connected with some other great fitness enthusiasts through facebook, check out my page http:/, am learning to enjoy cooking and experimenting with food more and more, am still leaning toward competing in the NPAA show in Calgary (May) and the ABBA show 2 weeks later in Edmonton (June), however I haven’t registered for either yet.

I think that sums it up. Next weekend will be the end of shift again and we are travelling out of town; hot yoga, training and shopping plus a hockey game with the boys.

Until next time!
Keep training and pushing hard!

Friday, January 18, 2013

100 Push-Up Challenge

My husband and I completed this challenge a couple of years ago and earned our badge.

It was fun!

I am considering taking it again because I can only get 40 push-ups in a row these days.

Here is the link to the website for those interested.

Pull-up Practice

Last night's appointment with my personal trainer was nothing out of the ordinary. I mean tough, sweaty, empowering and more than a little exhausting are normal.

That's what I pay him for after all.

The workout was 50 minutes of nothing but pull-ups. One pull-up every 30 seconds which equals 100 in total.

And boy am I sore today. I can hardly lift my arms over my head...ha...awesome!
Freaky that I love that, isn't it?

So the purpose in doing this is to improve my pull movements. My goal is to get 10 clean pull-ups in a row and right now I am stuck at 6. Pull-ups will improve the strength in my back, shoulders, core and arms.

I ended my gym session with 20 minutes of treadmill intervals as well. No session is complete without some cardio to finish it off.

Other pull-up practice variations that I will be trying in the near future include doing a pull-up every 25 seconds or 20 seconds and so on.

Amazing how when I started this journey I could barely do these assisted and now they are slowly becoming one of my favorite exercises.

Yay me! Fit Girls Rock!!!

The Liebster Award

So I received a message this morning from Brittany, a fellow blogger from informing me that she had nominated me for the Liebster Award.

Yay! But what is this Liebster Award, I thought…lol.

Of course, it is an incredible honor just to be recognized in the first place; let alone being nominated. So I'm excited!

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who deserve some recognition and support to keep blogging. Yay, that’s me!

The rules are simple:
*Write 11 random facts about yourself
*Answer the 11 interview questions you’ve been given by the person who nominated you
*Create 11 new questions
*Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in your post
*Tell the person who nominated you, along with the people you’ve nominated about your post

So thanks a bunch Brittany!

Random facts about me:
1.      I love to read and can get so caught up that I can easily lose a day
2.      My favorite movie of all time is Dirty Dancing (the original)
3.      I can speak French and understand some German
4.      The Sunflower is my favorite flower because it’s so vibrant
5.      I love to browse through Thrift shops to see what unique and interesting things I can find
6.      I am afraid of heights but I have bungee jumped with my husband
7.      I love peanut butter and eat it out of the jar with a spoon
8.      I love to travel
9.      I find the ocean and the sound of the waves very calming. I grew up near the ocean
10.  I love shoes and have currently moved on from an obsession with heels to an obsession with gym shoes
11.  I hate early mornings yet my job requires the alarm to go off at 4:30am, go figure!

Answers to the questions from Brittany:
1.      What’s your favorite snack? Hmm…banana with peanut butter and almonds
2.      Would you rather be stuck on a deserted island alone with a lifetime supply of food or with your best friend and no supplies? Best friend and no supplies for sure, more adventure and fun in that one J
3.      What is your fitness pet peeve? People who talk on cell phones while training
4.      Instagram, Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
5.      Who inspires you most? My trainer, he just knows how to get me pumped
6.      If someone made a movie about your life, who would play you? I honestly haven’t a clue
7.      What song pumps you up for a workout? Anything fast paced and upbeat
8.      If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Peanut Butter…lol
9.      What was the best gift you ever received? After working so hard for my first fitness competition, my husband had a motivational picture made of me using my picture from a photo shoot with one of my favorite motivational quotes “Strong is the new Skinny” <3
10.  What’s your dream job? Personal Training; helping people reach their fitness goals
11.  What’s your favorite color? J Purple

Questions for the Nominees:

1.      What is your favorite fitness quote?
2.      What is your ideal vacation getaway?
3.      What body part are you most proud of?
4.      What is your biggest achievement?
5.      What would be an ideal morning?
6.      What is your favorite season?
7.      What is your favorite cheat meal?
8.      What is your favorite movie?
9.      Silver or Gold?
10.  Books or Movies?
11.  What is one thing you have always wanted to do but still haven’t done?

And the nominees are:

The Chocolate Mile

My (Mostly) Healthy Life

From Wine to Weightlifting

I look forward to seeing your responses and thanks again Brittany.