Category Archives: workout

Orange Theory Fitness

On Friday night Becky arranged for us to try the new Orange Theory Fitness that recently opened up here.

I had very little idea of what to expect and seeing as I was just cleared to workout I was not sure how much I could do. Spoiler alert – I did everything, it felt great and I loved the workout.


What can you expect from a workout at Orange Theory Fitness? There are three parts to the hour long workout, rowing, strength and the treadmill. The workout uses the science of heart-rate based training so you get to wear these fancy monitors:


From their brochure: “The Orange effect is backed by the science of post exercises oxygen consumption, our heart rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect: more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after you workout”


Back to the monitors you wear…These allow you heart rate to be monitored throughout your workout and determine what zone you are in with the goal of being in the orange zone. My monitor had some issues and did not work for the first half of my workout putting me in the grey (pretty sure this is resting) zone for most of it. The trainer said after that most of my grey zone time would have been in the green zone. Here is my workout summary chart:


The above chart came from an email, they email your results to you right after your workout – pretty cool, right?

Throughout your workout all current time results are displayed on TVs so you can see – as well as everyone else in the class so if competitiveness is your thing this would motivate you even more.

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We were asked to arrive 30 minutes before the workout to get an orientation. The trainer went through the workout and equipment with us before the class started since we were all new to the studio.

I admit I was a bit confused after but the trainer said we would catch on quickly once the workout started.

We started on the rowing machines, did a 1000m row then onto the strength area for a series of 5 exercises all of which were demonstrated to us by the trainer. I really liked the one on one feeling the trainer gave us even though we were in a group setting. He was constantly going around correcting everyone’s form which added to the experience.

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We did more rowing (250m) and back to strength a couple more times before completing that part of the workout. I should note that not every workout is the same so it is always changing what you are doing.

The next part was my favourite since it involved treadmill running!


This part was easier to catch on for me, on each treadmill it told you what incline and speed to go for the three levels, power walker, jogger and runner. I kept to the runner ones which was perfect for me. In the treadmill workout there are three phases, base, push and all out. The trainer yells out which one to do and the time left on each phase. I found this really easy to follow.


Me, Becky and Laura on the treadmills:


There is also bikes and an elliptical in case you are injured and cannot use the treadmill which I thought was a great option to accommodate everyone.


After the workout you go through some stretching with the class which I was happy to see since I am bad at stretching on my own.


Your first session is free so make sure you visit to take advantage of that, I guarantee you will get in a great workout. They offer a variety of memberships, including punch passes and there are no contracts.


Have you ever tried Orange Theory Fitness? If not, would you?


Tips to Become a Stronger Runner

I always feel that spring in the kick off to running season, at least in our part of the woods. Now that I have had a solid running base for going on 6 years I wanted to share some of the tips I have learned (the hard way sometimes!) that have helped me become a stronger runner.

I used to think a stronger runner meant one thing, more miles, the more the better when it reality that is only a very small part of the picture and not really that true. I like to think what I do during training has helped me with some of my PRs, all which I am pretty proud of. I rarely share those numbers but here they are: full marathon – 3:51, half – 1:48, 10km – 50 mins and I have never ran a serious 5km race so do not really have a PR there! I am hoping to break my 10km PR this summer Smile Now for my tips:

1- Water, water, water. I aim to drink a minimum of 3L a day when I am not training for a big race. I can tell the difference in my legs on a run if I have not hydrated properly the day before, they feel so heavy. I have never been a huge water drinker during runs but before and after is what is all about for me.

2 – Variety. Like I said above I used t do one thing to train and that was run. I won’t lie I had some PRs during that time but also had more injuries and was tired. Incorporating weight training, other cardio and yoga will help tone your muscles and make your stronger so that can can reach that next milestone you are reaching for. Plus, I would start to dread running when it was all I did 5-6 days a week, 2-3 days a week is much more enjoyable.

Yoga’ing it up:


3 – REST. We all need rest days. Running 7 days a week will only lead to burnout and injuries I promise. Just like #2 I have been here and the results were not good. Take a couple days off a week, and either just rest or do active recovery (biking, walking, light yoga), your body and mind will thank you. This is probably my #1 tip to getting a PR!

What is my active rest? Chasing around after this little one!


4 – Use the treadmill. Yup, I said it. The treadmill can be a wonderful thing, but awfully boring as well. I use my treadmill for some wicked speed workouts, speeds I honestly might not maintain off a treadmill. This not only helps my legs and body move much faster but mentally allows me to know I can sprint that fast (runners high!). I prefer most of my speed workouts and sprints to be done on the treadmill and usually keep them short, 5-6km.

My typical treadmill run face:


5 – Make a plan and stick to it (as much as you can). Most people don’t fluke out and PR just running whenever. There are a ton of online resources to help you either make a plan or just follow. Because most of us are not experts in the field of running and training why not let someone else tell us what we should be doing? Life happens though and that is fine, like anything find what works for you and stick with it 80% of the time.


Any tips to add?

Workout Wednesday

Well today has not been ideal so far, Miss Avery has decided to be a little needy this morning, meaning it is 11am and I just got ready for the day, however, I did get in a workout this morning – the best kind of stress relief Smile My mom texted me “Mama said there’ll be days like this, there’ll be days like this, Mama said”. Yes, yes there will be.

This week I decided to up the length of my runs to run another km or two. This morning was the first attempt at that and I almost died…not really but you get it!

So this week’s workouts:

Sunday – 5km Run and Jillian Michaels Hard Body (more on the new DVD below)

Monday – Tracy Anderson Post Pregnancy DVD – I can now do this and not be in total pain the next day!

Tuesday – Mom and Baby Yoga

Wednesday – 6km Run and lower body workout (squats, lunges, donkey kicks and deadlifts)

Thursday – REST

Friday – 6km Run and Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno DVD

Saturday – REST

I have come to terms with the fact I might not own a gym membership for a very long time now, being on maternity leave I would rather workout at home, we have a treadmill so runs even in winter are possible. In the summer, I plan to use the jogging stroller lots as well. When I go back to work I still doubt I will get one, most workouts then will most likely be done at 5am in our basement before our days begin. Saying that I have decided that along with running as my cardio I need something else (I also plan to keep a yoga pass and go one day a week), we have free weights but I never feel as if I get in a good workout if I only do them. So I have turned to workout DVDs. I have always been a fan of Jillian Michaels (Yoga Meltdown and 30 Day Shred) and Tracy Anderson lately (Pregnancy Project and Post Pregnancy DVD) so figured I would give a couple more DVDs a try, I found these two at Costco last weekend for $15:

yoga inferno

hard body

Hard Body has 2 – 45 minute workouts with weights, and Yoga Inferno has 2 – 30 minute workouts one with weights the other without. The one without weights will be great for holidays, usually I bring Yoga Meltdown too.

I tried Hard Body Sunday, and have a mini review:

– My one mistake was doing it after a 5km run since it has cardio intervals, I did some but skipped some too since I was also entertaining Avery while doing it.

– You do the same circuit twice which I really like, so certain moves are one side one time, then the other side the next circuit.

– I really loved how she combines not only 2, but sometimes 3 moves into one move.

– You do need extra room to do the workout, since one of the cardio intervals is “suicides” it requires some room to room back and forth.

– It is a great total body workout, you get your cardio in, upper and lower body and core – all in 45 minutes. Great when you are limited for time.

I will make sure to talk more about Yoga Inferno next week once I have tried it too.


What is your favourite at home workout DVD?

Foodie Friday & Some Requests

Happy Friday! I hope all my Canadian friends are ready for turkey and pumpkin pie this weekend. While those two things are yummy my favorite is the cranberry sauce, and I make some pretty awesome cranberry sauce, just saying…

When I went to meal plan for the coming week I realized something, I only have to cook TWO suppers next week. How? We are darn busy. I am hoping some of the less supper cooking means I will have extra motivation to make a few more freezer meals this weekend.

Here is the meal plan for next week/why I do not have to cook really…

Saturday – Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup – Sweet Tooth Sweet LifeExcept I will use ground turkey in ours.

Sunday –Thanksgiving dinner at Chad’s Mom’s house

Monday – Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom’s house – My contributions will be pumpkin cheesecake and homemade cranberry sauce

Tuesday – Work (Gala) Event – This is our biggest event of the year we host, and a very fun but busy night.

Wednesday – Out – Wednesday’s Chad is working late (year end) and I have yoga till 7pm so neither of us want to start supper when we are home after 7pm…

Thursday – Work Event #2 of the week…

Friday – Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with chicken and sweet onion (source) – Sounds weird, I know but it is delicious.

Friday also marks my last day at work Sad smile While I am ready to be done and hoping for a break before Baby K arrives I am really sad. I do love my job and could not ask for better coworkers. I will miss them tons, but promised them I will bug them often. It is going to be very weird to be at home for a year for sure.

Onto “Some Requests”. I had two requests this week in the comments, one to share a recipe and two to show a workout move so I have decided to share with everyone since Foodie Friday is a flop this week.

The requested recipe is from eat, drink and be vegan and it the Sweet Potato Lentil Chili. This recipe is not mine and from the cookbook – which I love.

Sweet Potato Lentil Chili


1T coconut oil

1 3/4 cups diced onion

1 cup diced celery

2-2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes

3 garlic cloves

1t  sea salt & pepper to taste

2t chili powder

1t paprika

1/2t nutmeg

1/3t cumin

1/4t cinnamon

1/2t crushed red pepper flakes

1 3/3 cups dry red lentils

2 1/2 cups water

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 can black or kidney beans rinsed

1 bay leaf


In a large pot on medium heat add oil, celery, onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, and all spices – stir to combine. Cover and cook 6-8 mins, stirring occasionally. Rinse lentils. Add lentils, water, tomatoes, beans and bay leaf to pot, increase heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft. And serve!

Request #2, show how to do “ballet legs”. I promise the link description made it sound way harder than it is. It is an easy move. However, what is not easy it taking photos of yourself doing it in the mirror with a cat attacking your hand…

Here is the starting position:

In the link they said to rest your foot against your calf, I found it was more comfortable for me to do it against my thigh. So bend your opposite leg to put your foot to your other thigh.


Now you simply take that bent leg extend it straight out in front of you as far as you can go. This is where having your hand on the chair helps for stability. I did not since that hand was taking the photo.



Take that extended leg back to the foot-thigh position:



And repeat. They recommended 2 sets of 10 per leg. Which is enough. Make sure to squeeze your butt when you are doing this move to get the most from it.

And that is all I have got for you guys today. Have a great weekend, I will be back Monday with Baby K’s 35-36 week update and her nursery reveal next week!


Pancakes, Ikea and Pizza

Hope everyone had a great weekend an is ready to start another week. I am pretty excited for this week, it is the local fair (Westerner Days) and not only is the only time of the year I eat a corn dog and mini donuts there is so much going on the city – BBQs, pancake breakfasts and just lots of fun.

Saturday morning we started off the day with the first (and biggest) pancake breakfast of fair week. We got there about 30 minutes after it started which was great timing, and there was no line up – however my Mom was there just before that and there was a line and it starts to get real busy after 9am.

After we had some pancakes me and Chad left to get groceries so we could get home and on the road to Calgary. I needed to make a Sephora stop and my Ikea want list was getting long too.

To keep it short, here was the highlights of the day:

– Finding everything in Ikea we wanted except the laundry hamper was out of stock.

– Finally securing Baby K’s nursery rug – thanks to Leslie!

– Finding and buying Baby K’s first hoodie – it was at the Gap outlet for 40% off. I had seen it here but was not paying full price.

– Trying Jelly Modern Doughnuts – so, so good!

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– Going to the new David’s Tea store in Chinook Mall and buying two flavors, Movie Night and Birthday Cake.

– Getting back to Red Deer and having Chad take me for supper too, we went to the new pizza place in town called Famoso, best pizza around here by far. I tried the Pesto Pistachio and Chad had the Primavera:

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– Renting after movie after supper (Identity Thief) and then going to bed by 9:30pm (just me not Chad).

Yesterday we kept fairly low key and around home. Gym trip in the morning, brunch – egg sandwiches:


And a side of Movie Night tea which turned out to taste as good as it smells.

Then the usual house chores, more work on the nursery dresser (which is more work than I thought!) and a little photo shoot for a giveaway tomorrow… stay tuned Smile

Oh and someone has claimed the cloth diaper inserts…



Ikea fan or no?

I have no go there on a mission, and not just wandering. I cannot spend hours there for sure. But for the price of most of their stuff I am a fan!