Fit Girl’s Guide – Week Two Recap

In a shocking turn of events, I’m delayed writing up my Week Two Recap and it’s already Wed, Oct 31. Halloween! I’m a deer! (If I get a cute picture and not just a poorly lit picture in my office, I’ll post it on the A Flimsy Plan insta.) With this spoooooky season coming to a close, let’s hit up another recap of my Fit Girls journey! (Syntax? What’s syntax? I’m not fixing that sentence!)

Fit Girls Guide Week Two Recap

So, How’s It Going, Erin?

Honestly, Recap Readers? I’m feeling like I maybe cheated myself by not deciding to do the Fit Girl’s workout plan. I have a fairly good workout routine of my own established – I’ll give it it’s own post despite the fact that it’s pretty boring – but I’m wondering if it’s maybe not really much of a challenge if I’m not changing my habits a ton? Should I have thrown myself in whole hog, balls to the wall?

To be honest, I’m a very all or nothing type person. I stay busy all the time because I’m afraid that if I stop moving, I’ll never start moving again. I genuinely have to remind myself that working out three times a week is something to be celebrated – it doesn’t have to be “seven days or you’re a failure”. One of the repeated mantras I’ve come across in the Fit Girls Community is “Progress, Not Perfection” and one of my hopes is that by the end of these four weeks I’ll start to grant myself this grace.

And if my university theatre teachers are at all reading this – I know. You’ve been telling me that I don’t need to be perfect since I was 20. I’ll get there one day.

Keep It Positive! What Did You Like This Week?

This week, I took such joy in the dinners.

For my adult working life, I’ve always been reasonably good about prepping lunches and making breakfasts at home – I feel like nothing is a bigger waste of money than buying breakfast on the go. (Now, I’m less good about having prepped lunches and breakfasts on the weekends and this challenge has forced me to do that, but we’ll talk about that another time.) Dinner is a different story. Intellectually, I know that I have lots of food in the pantry and freezer so I don’t often buy ingredients for dinner… but the problem is, I’m not great at looking at my ingredients and coming up with a dinner idea. I often think “I’ll just pick this up on my way home” or making one of my go-to 5 minute meals.

This challenge has made me have to change that. The dinner recipes they have provided are real, grownup dinners and also super easy and quick. This week I made lasagna rolls (!!!) and polenta with shrimp (!!!). There are no words for how together it makes me feel.

And What About The Low Points?

Sticking to the meal plans has been pretty easy because the food is delicious, easy and leaves room for flexibility and treats with the snacks.

That said, I’ve definitely still been drinking a little bit too much wine. (Before you start worrying about me – the plan technically allows for 10 oz of wine a week. So “a little bit too much” is pretty easy to go over if you go out on the weekend and also get a glass of wine when you go to the theatre… suddenly that’s 15 oz over the week!)

And on Saturday, my roommate was inspired to do meal prep – yay! – and was in the kitchen for three hours – less yay! – right around dinner time. I finally gave up, ordered some Vietnamese on Skip the Dishes (only $12! so frugal!) and then headed out for my evening plans. I ended up throwing the lasagna rolls I was going to eat into the deep freeze so now I have a homemade healthy “frozen meal” for one of those lazy evenings once the challenge is over!

It’s a lose-win, really!

Is a lose-win a thing? Discuss in the comments section.

Fit Girl’s Guide – Week One Recap

If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I’m an actress. Oh no, wait, that’s not what this post is about… Let’s start over. If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I love challenges. Challenges are essentially the only way I actually achieve anything in life because I truly thrive on external validation. (Hashtag, maybe not the best quality? Hashtag love yourself?) Anyway, today is a not a deep dive into my psyche, today is a recap of the first week of my most recent challenge – Fit Girls Guide‘s 28 Day Jumpstart.

The Why

I’ve owned the Fit Girls 28 Day Jumpstart ebook since probably 2016 and dabble in it here and there. I usually do a pretty okay job of doing the first week (I love their roasted veggie power bowl and it is 100% my go to lunchtime meal prep) and then I don’t make any lunches for the weekend and then I go to Bottlescrew Bill’s on the Friday to work on my beer passport and then that is that. Sooo… that really shows some real stick-to-it moxie, right?

Yeah, I need to work on that whole accountability thing…

I’m also doing a little No Spend Month with some friends on Facebook and, though I’ve re-framed that into “mindful spend”, my biggest area of mindless spending is on dumb convenience food so following a proper meal plan definitely helps with that.

Plus, I just bought a smart scale. I haven’t had a scale in over 13 years and I am obsessed with watching my body water and muscle mass levels fluctuate. I haven’t become a crazy person with the scale yet but… uh… watch this space.

The Plan

Fit Girls Guide is focused on easy, meal preppable, delicious whole foods. They don’t exclude any food group (though they do offer suggestions of substitutions and modifications for almost every preference/requirement you could imagine) and they account for everything in moderation. Progress, not perfection is the goal! The ebook is also full of wisdom, inspiration and fun dog pictures – it genuinely feels like chatting health with your bbf (best best friend).

Specifically, 28 Day Jumpstart offer a 4 week meal plan – 1 breakfast recipe, 1 lunch and 2 dinners that rotate through the week for easy of prepping and finances. However, they also have a ton of alternative meals so if you aren’t a creature of routine and consistency like me (I could genuinely eat savoury oats every single morning), you can mix it up. Additionally, make sure you treat yourself to a 200 cal snack of your choice (tons of suggestions included!) and a square of dark chocolate every single day.

There’s also an exercise plan that I’m not actually following because I only workout well during fitness classes. And barre just also just low-impact, bodyweight movements… just like the Fit Girls exercise plan. I’m doing fine.

So… How’s It Going?

Mostly good! I mean, I already know that I love Week One (overnight oats, that veggie bowl I talked about and alternating pita pizzas and sweet potato tacos for dinner) so this should be no surprise.

That said, I did goof a bit on the weekend. I knew I would be going out on Friday for a Paint Nite with my fam to celebrate my mom’s birthday, so I accounted for that (a little extra wine, a delicious buffalo chicken wrap and doing spin for the second time in a week on Saturday morning) but then Saturday night got a little bit away from me. I wanted to work on my novel but was having trouble focusing at home, so I headed over to an old classic – Earls Shepard Flats for a glass of happy hour wine and a new location. But then this lady sat down next to me at the bar, instantly befriended me and… well, I had a little more wine, a little more Salmon Zen Bowl and a little more bites of pumpkin pie than I expected.

But hey, what can you do? Progress, not perfection. And not that the scale is the be-all and end-all of all things, but I always expect it to pop up a bit after the weekend due to water retention and sodium nonsense and today it didn’t. So I’m not going to beat myself up.

Goal for this week? Actually make all your meals at home and stick to that mindful spend challenge, Erin!

(Oh, and if you want to follow along, you can find me on insta as Fitgirlera.)

That Time That I (Didn’t) Run a 5K

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For the past few months, I’ve been quietly training for a 5k Night Race, using the Couch to 5K program. During May Long Weekend, my lovely and beautiful (and very fast marathon running) friend Lynn texted me to ask if I wanted to do the Night Race with her and, if there is one thing I’ve learned from my constant announcements that I was going to start running it is that I need external motivation to do anything, so I immediately said yes.

And then immediately panicked.

I’ve been announcing that I was going to start running for forever, but my cardiovascular fitness is not awesome and I still get mini-PTSD from childhood activity-induced asthma. What if I couldn’t do it? What if my cardio limit was the little 2-3 minute cardio bursts in barre classes? Yeah, I can elliptical and recumbent bike with the best of them and I can make my way through a 50 minute spin class only sort of turning bright red, but that is all totally different.

I had to do it, though, because there was an end event. And someone else involved. So I quietly threw myself into the training program, without telling many people just in case I fell flat on my face.

The Couch to 5K program is awesome, though. It builds up your cardiovascular fitness in such a consistent, subtle way that you don’t even realize that you’ve improved until suddenly it tells you to run for 20 minutes straight and you can do it. It never stops being just a little challenging, which is great, because that is how you keep getting better… and also what appeals to my competitive nature.

So, I no longer dread running days. That is awesome! (I still like to wear my “I Hate Running” shirt while I run though.)

It wasn’t all fun and light – I did used to get some really serious runner’s rage at the beginning, until one of my friends at work who is an incredible runner, pointed out that I was probably running too fast and not long enough to burn off all my aggression and stress. I spent a few runs on the treadmill, figuring out what my ideal pace actually felt like, then I was ready to take it outside again.

On Thursday, the beautiful Lynn and I hit Prince’s Island Park to run a sample 5K. Full disclosure, we only managed 4.8 km before all the Pokemon Go-ers got in our way and we had to walk. Still! We were ready to go for our 5K!

Yesterday, we met at around 6pm, grabbed our race packs, picked up a ton of glowsticks (so much fun) and enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Chopped Leaf. We were double ready to go!

And then the monsoon hit, lighting so bright that it was like daylight and thunder directly overhead. We got so soaked walking to the race booth to see if it got cancelled that my mascara made me unable to see. Obviously, the race was cancelled.

So I still haven’t run a 5k.

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Cherry Pit – One Day Juice Cleanse

Juice Cleanse

As those of you who follow me on social media have undoubtably already seen, on Monday I did a petite one day juice cleanse. With the Calgary Stampede looming on the horizon and a booze-soaked girls weekend in Kimberley behind me, it just seemed like a good choice to try to get my system a little bit back in line. (Why yes, we did purchase 11 bottles of wine for three girls. We didn’t drink all of them, though, I swear! Seriously. That sounds like a made up swear, but it’s true! Anyway… moving on…)

In the past, I’ve only done three day cleanses and the one day cleanse was a walk in the park, by comparison. I did take a late night “Barre, Core, Stretch” class at Barre Body Studio on Monday and, though I was a little bit hungry after Lindsay put us through an insane tricep/oblique series, it was so refreshing to know that I had a juice waiting for me at home and even if it didn’t completely quench my hunger it didn’t matter because I got to eat on Tuesday morning. I even did my meal prep for the week on Monday night and my food monster remained in check! So, without further ado – my petite review of my petite cleanse.

Where did my cleanse come from?
Great question! (That I asked myself… maybe I shouldn’t reveal the conceit. Anyway…) In the past, I’ve purchased three day cleanses from an old A Flimsy Plan favourite, Cru Juice, but this time I decided to go for something a little shorter and a little bit cheaper. The one day cleanse from Cherry Pit, located at The Calgary Farmers’ Market fit the bill – super easy to pick up since I was already there and only $40 for one day! Apparently you can also order cleanses ahead of time online by emailing in, but I am clearly far too impetuous for that.

8:00 am – “The Hulk”
Kale, Apple, Celery, Lemon, Ginger

Starting off my day with a glass of hot lemon water and a green juice felt oh-so-virtuous. I really think it set me up with a positive frame of mind for my day. This juice was sweeter than I expected (a nice surprise for a green juice!) and I could definitely sense the celery in the after-taste, though not at all in an unpleasant way.

10:00 am – “Tropical Paradise”
Green apple, Pineapple, Lemon, Mint

A variation of this juice seems to be a standby in most cleanses (Blueprint Cleanse calls it “PAM”, Cru offers the “Pumped Up Kicks” which is similar but includes aloe vera) and with good cause – it’s nice to have something a little bit sweet to help pump up your blood sugar when mid-morning hits and it suddenly becomes very real that you will not be eating today, my friend. My morning at work was quite busy and the juice was sweet enough that I was able to alternate this guy with sips of water and spread it out over about an hour and a half until it was almost time for the next juice!

12:00 pm – “Carrot”
Carrot, Orange, Apple

Again, in the fall, Cru Juice offers a similar carrot juice that I just do not love… their variation includes yam and a few spices that I can’t remember at the moment – so either I really like orange or I really don’t like the spice I can’t remember, because I loved this carrot juice! I also appreciate the vegetable based juices during a cleanse because they seem a little “thicker”, and therefore more filling, which this one definitely did. As a note, I was developing such a headache by this point.

1:30 pm

The headache was still there. Maybe it was a caffeine headache, as I had tried to be good and not have any coffee that morning? Maybe. I drank two cups of David’s Tea’s “Cream of Earl Grey” and it did help some. It was probably a caffeine headache.

3:30 pm – “Heart Beet”
Beet, Carrot, Apple, Ginger, Lemon

Can we talk about how cute the name of this juice is, even if it took me awhile to get it?
I am one of those weirdos who absolutely loves beets, but this was probably my least favourite juice of the cleanse. I know that beet juice is super good for you, but I just couldn’t get on board. Maybe my tastebuds were attuned to the sweet after my previous few juices? Maybe it was because I drank it during that dreaded late afternoon slump? I also drank it about an hour and a half later than the suggested time, so maybe that was a part of it? I’m not sure, but I just knew I couldn’t wait to be done with it.

5:30 pm – “The Popeye”
Spinach, Cucumber, Apple, Pear, Lemon

To be honest, I barely remember drinking this juice. I got home late from work because I had to run a few errands and I downed this guy while meal-prepping. I don’t remember anything distasteful about it and I do remember the cucumber taste being prominent. If you are looking for a standard juice to get a lot of nutrients in for very little work, I think this would do the trick.

9:00 pm – “Wonderwoman”
Watermelon, Pineapple, Coconut Water, Lime, Mint

Like the “Heart Beet”, I drank this juice waaaaay too late (the barre class! I have explained!) but unlike the “Heart Beet”, I loved it! It was like dessert! And it was brilliant, because the coconut water was the perfect thing to restore my water and electrolyte levels after the workout.

Final Thoughts?
I would absolutely do a one day cleanse again. I felt virtuous, I felt energetic, I was proud of myself. I also would probably have a cup of tea in the morning to stave off the headache.

The main difference I felt between the Cru Cleanse and this one, was the lack of a nut mylk included in the cleanse. I usually had the nut mylk after a workout to get some protein/sugar in as a recovery and I may have needed that if I did a more vigorous barre workout or continued the cleanse for longer. Cherry Pit juices are also more pure fruit/veg blends with less additional spices to add flavour.

I will note that I felt awful for much of Tuesday (the day after the cleanse). I went for a walk at lunch and almost passed out. This could have been a cleanse response, but it also could have been because I took an Advil that morning and I very rarely take any type of medication. I think I will have to do another one day cleanse, maybe after Stampede, and see how I feel the day after for comparison.

I loved the price of the Cherry Pit cleanse, I loved that I could purchase a day of juice and still be within my grocery budget for the week with a little clever finagling.

Nonsense on a March Wednesday

Last night, I went to a wonderful liquor and cupcake pairing event at Willow Park with my wonderful best friend Claire. Here is a picture of Claire and I being incredibly professional while running a clothing swap fundraising event for our theatre company in the now-defunct Auburn bar because why not?

fundraiser and trees 010

I was all set to very professionally review the tasting event, much like I did for the Chocolate, Bacon and Booze event. But when Claire and I are together, we very easy dissolve into insanity, giggling and basically being the same person so my notes very very quickly degraded to only include Michael Biggatini quotes and various hashtags that we thought were hilarious at the time. So instead of doing a proper review, I will direct you to check out my Instagram for cupcake envy and encourage you to buy rumchata. It is a cream liquor and is a million times better than Bailey’s. I suspect I will probably drink an entire bottle in coffee next holiday season. (Claire generally likes to put enough sugar in her coffee to make it taste like aT five cent candy and even she agreed that the rumchata was so good, you wouldn’t need sugar in the coffee.)

In short, Willow Park continues to be amazing and the next time you go to a tasting event, please invite me. I will make it fun and also we will learn so much.

Willow Park Crave

This post is too short so now onto some nonsense… I’m basically killing it so far this March.

Yesterday, I only spent $32 – after the tasting event, Claire and I hit up The Cactus Club on Macleod for drinks and gossip. We had two very classy cocktails each (a French 75 and a Negroni for me… I love gin) and shared some raw tuna appies so, really, that was a very reasonable spend! Also, so much gossip and giggling. KILLING IT.

Today, I arrived at work with 10 minutes spare, just like my being-a-grownup goal required, and I even stopped for gas on the way to work. KILLING IT.

Tonight, after work (which was thrilling and exhausting because it was Match Day – when the third year students find out where they will be going for their residency – and I get super caught up in the students’ emotions), I taught a barre class and then took a barre class. I also resisted the urge to pick up delicious-but-pricey sushi on the way home and instead whipped up a quick egg dish when I got home. DOUBLE KILLING IT.

And now I have committed to a 7:15 barre class tomorrow morning and I’ve already put together my breakfast for tomorrow so I have no excuses.

I am feeling so incredibly positive that March will be even more than a B+ month.

(PS: I’ll be back tomorrow with significantly more fun and significantly less nonsense. Maybe I’ll actually even talk about some fun things I’ve done in Calgary recently that you may want to do as well.)

Fit February

Oof magoof, I love alliteration. I’m all about grandiose declarations like “No Wine Weekdays”, because, of course, if it alliterates it must be true. (Though apparently just declaring things does not actually make said things happen, even if it does sound good. You do kind of need to put in a little work.)

One of the amazing things that makes my life so very full is Barre Body Studio. I stumbled into the studio in early February 2013, after eating only a banana (which I soon learned was not nearly enough sustenance), and was immediately hooked on the warm, friendly vibe of the studio. And the low-impact, highly challenging workout, of course. But mostly it was how amazing the studio made me feel about myself. How I felt like even though my leg muscles were trembling so much that I thought I would fall over, I also could do absolutely everything. When the opportunity came up to work at the studio front desk, I immediately jumped on it, even though I had a full time job, just so I could really be a part of the studio culture.  Over the past six months, I went through the rigorous (but crazy fun) teacher training and I recently took over my very own Saturday afternoon class. I absolutely love it.

The best part – other than sneaking in a workout while I work – is being a part of such a loving, inspiring community of women. This January, we kicked off a 24 or more in 30 Workout Challenge amongst all the instructors/front desk staff where we aggressively supported each other, held each other accountable and posted so many sweaty pics to Instagram while we tried to fit in as many workouts as possible. It all capped off on Sunday afternoon with a Round Robin style barre master class where each instructor busted out her most torturous sequence to challenge and motivate the rest of us. My booty may still be shaking.

Just to demonstrate how tough the class really was, here are several very beautiful and very fit ladies working a scandalously difficult lunge series at the barre:
BBSChallenge1

By contrast, our fearless leader (and studio owner) Marlo, looked absolutely flawless during the same sequence… That’s why she is our Queen B!
BBSChallenge2
(Both images shamelessly snagged from the private BBS Challenge page, taken by beautiful instructor Jaimie.)

In any event, inspired by my colleagues, I’m going to keep this wellness train rolling into Fit February and try to fit in 24 or more in 29 days. Though I no longer have the BBS Challenge page to be accountable to, I do have something just as good – this blog. So over the next month, you’ll be seeing little sneak peeks and references to my various workout triumphs and tragedies.

Speaking of tragedies, it’s Day One of Fit February and I’ve already fallen overboard. No workout today.

But I did work 11 hours and get in 15000+ steps without even trying, so that’s got to count for something, right!? Right.

BBSChallenge4

BBSChallenge3

Now I just need to remember that workouts really do make me feel as jazzed as I look in the picture above. (Just guess which one I am…)

Maybe once my butt stops hurting.

Got some fitness goals for February? Want to join me in my nonsense? Drop me a line in the comments!