A 5'3 Perspective


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What’s Better Than A Weekend?

The answer to that question should be pretty obvious, the only thing better than a weekend is a LONG weekend! Having an extra day to relax and spend time with family and friends is always such a treat, but before we can celebrate the holidays (it’s Thanksgiving in Canada), let’s take a moment to appreciate the past seven days. High Five For Friday

1.  On Sunday I ran for a cure for breast cancer along with my family and friends. Thanks to you guys, I was able to raise almost $1600 to donate to the cause!
2. Do I even need to explain why this is awesome? Whiskey and fried chicken… You better believe I had a sore stomach the next day. It was worth every bite!
3. Just a tiny selection of my product sample collection. I love trying new products and these mini packages are just so cute. I’m already dying to splurge on the full size NUDE ProGenius Treatmeant Oil.
4. 5 AM elevator rides. My man is heading out west for a few days (actually a lot of day :(). I miss him already but I know he is going to have an amazing time!
5. Enjoy nature and each others company before Neil’s trip – I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Thanks again to Lauren for hosting this appreciation party! If you want to link your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren

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Here’s To The Weekend!

High Five For Friday1. Okay, okay – PUMPKIN EVERYTHING is delicious. Still doesn’t beat out apples, but it is pretty awesome! Over the weekend my girlfriend and I went on a raw baking spree – these are chocolate, pumpkin cheesecake bites, without the cheese though!
2. Enjoying my runs again now that the training pressure is off!
3. Ottawa always gets a bad reputation for being a boring city – stop and look around for a minute and I dare you to try to deny it’s beauty.
4. Cover your eyes – it’s yolk porn! But really, spinach, roasted potatoes and eggs are the best combination.
5. This weekend I will be running for a cure for breast cancer research in memory of my mom. The support and generosity I have witnessed over the past week is incredible. I truly appreciate every penny donated. If you’d like to contribute please visit my fundraising page, if you already have, thank you – I am so grateful.

If you want to link up your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren


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So You Finished Your Race, Now What?

I’ll be the first to admit that after a big race, I always feel lost with my training. Getting back into the swing of things without having a goal to work towards is a different feeling, no more scheduled distances or paces, heck – no more running if I don’t feel like it. post race bluesFirst thing’s first, take some rest. Whether it is a day or a week, let your body relax and celebrate your accomplishments. Next you’ll want to make a new plan, try to incorporate workouts you longed to do during your training but didn’t have the time. For me, this includes more high intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting. Here is what my new workout schedule looks like:

MONDAY: Rest Day
TUESDAY: Body Shred (HIIT Training)
WEDNESDAY: Run and Legs
THURSDAY: Spin and Back/Chest
FRIDAY: Run and Triceps/Biceps/Shoulders
SATURDAY: Body Shred (HIIT Training)
SUNDAY: Long Run

I am keeping Sunday as a long run day since I plan to sign up for a few 10k fun runs throughout the year. I always really enjoy embarking on weekend long runs because they give me time to decompress and reflect on my week.

Remember, finding a new training plan that works for you isn’t always going to be easy. It is okay to test out a couple different options until you find something that you love. Don’t give up, exercising without a race goal can still be a lot of run and extremely rewarding. My advice is to turn your motivation inwards and focus on achieving your healthiest body on your own terms. What works for others, may not be right for you – trust yourself and you’ll succeed!

xo Lauren


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Clean Apple Spice Muffins [and the CIBC Run For The Cure]

Lately Pumpkin everything has been the go to flavour for Fall, but what about Apple?! For me, Fall is about layers, crisp air, and apple picking. As a kid I remember heading out to the orchard at least once a year to bring home bags full of delicious local apples. As the old adage goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away – so why not eat your apples baked inside a delicious and healthy muffin? Apple Spice MuffinsIngredients

2 cups oats
1 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup almond milk
2 droppers of liquid stevia
2 tbsp softened coconut oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey
1 apple (finely chopped)

Optional: 1/3 cups nuts (walnuts or pecans are best)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients (except for the chopped apple and nuts) in a large mixing bowl. Once the batter is well uniform, fold in apples and nuts. Spoon the mixture evenly into a muffin pan (silicon or lined) and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

On an unrelated note, nest weekend I will be participating in the Ottawa CIBC Run For The Cure to raise money for breast cancer research. As many of you know, this is a cause that is near an dear to my heart. If you are able to, please visit my fundraising page and donate to this worthy cause – anything and everything helps. I would really appreciate if you could share this link with your friends and family to help raise as much money as possible to further cancer research and bring us closer to finding a cure.

If you are in town on the 6th of October and would like to join Team Esther, please let me know, I would be happy to have you!

Have a wonderful day friends!

xo Lauren


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Running Remorse

As most of you know, this weekend I will be racing in my second half marathon (ever) of the year. I still remember the feeling of relief that came across me when I finally made it to the finish line of the Ottawa Race Weekend half – yes I said relief, not accomplishment. At that moment I had absolutely no intentions of signing up for the Army Run, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like i should sign up for a second half. I had already built up my endurance and maintaining it would be much easier (not true). After wavering on whether or not to race again, I finally decided to do it – having something to train for would force me to be accountable with my running throughout the summer.

I don’t want to sound like a negative Nancy, there are more than a handful of reasons why racing and training is great – which I’ve shared with you here, here, and here – but I am starting to realize that running for yourself and for pleasure is much more enjoyable. Running your first race (of a particular distance) is exciting, the main goal is to finish strong. I am noticing that a second race is different – I always have that nagging voice in my head telling me that I have to beat my last time. As competitive as I am, the pressure to PR is driving me insane – it has been detrimental to my training and my well being. I cannot think of a single run since the race where I have finished feeling satisfied. I am always disappointed with my time, my pace, my walk breaks, the list goes on – there is always something I could have done better.

Now that I have had some time to reflect on my training, I know I am being too hard on myself. I stuck to my schedule and ran each run to the best of my ability, despite negative thoughts. I really do love to run – and I love being a part of the running community, but after this Sunday I need to change my training up to remind myself why I started in the first place. No more forced 16km (or longer) Sunday runs. If I want to do a long run I will, if I am not feeling it – that is okay too. This isn’t an excuse to stop exercising, it is merely a reminder that I need to be a little more conscious of how my body feels. I still plan to run three days a week, two short and one long, but on a much less rigorous schedule – running is supposed to be fun, and I have every intention to return to a place where I look forward to doing it.

As for this race, of course I hope to PR, but I have to remember that completing a half marathon (no matter the time) is an accomplishment. My plan is to be positive – no more self doubt. I know I can run the distance as I have done it many times before.

I am done running with my head – this Sunday is all about running with my heart.

xo Lauren


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What I Ate Wednesday [And A Recipe]

Remember when I promised to share the recipe for those coconut lemon balls I raved about? Well I’ve tweaked them just a tiny bit over the week and decided that they are ready to be revealed, but first, let’s take a sneak peek into my photo food diary. WIAW

Breakfast – Green [Brown] Smoothie. During the summer months I always crave something cold and refreshing for breakfast. To make this beast of a smoothie I used about a cup of frozen berries, a huge handful of spinach, a scoop of protein powder and water.
Snack – Goat Yogurt with blueberries and pecan pieces.
Lunch – Zucchini noodles with tomato sauce.
Snack – A big bag of veggies. This is my go to afternoon snack, usually consisting of carrots, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Dinner – Steak, a couple pieces of chicken, roasted asparagus and zucchini, and homemade sweet potato fries.
Dessert – Coconut Lemon Goji Balls!! As promised – head over to I’m Fit Possible, where Tara was lovely enough to host me as a guest, to see my recipe.

Have a lovely day friends!

xo Lauren


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What I Ate Wednesday [And A New Breakfast Recipe]

Lately it feels as though I have been going grocery shopping on a daily basis but rarely have any meals to make. Over the past week I have been using the clean out the fridge mentality. For today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I unintentionally went with a meatless theme as well – which is very atypical for me. I also came up with a delicious and simple new breakfast recipe – banana, egg white and oat pancakes – the name says it all but I’ll share the specifics at the end of this post! WIAW

Breakfast – Healthy Pancakes [scroll down for the recipe] topped with fresh blueberries.
Snack – A handful of almonds.
Lunch – Homemade bento box of cucumber, hard boiled eggs, lactose free cheese, yellow pepper and hummus.
Pre-workout Snack – Goat yogurt with blueberries and pecan pieces.
Dinner – Grain free, vegetarian enchiladas

Recipe: Veggie Filled, Meatless, Grain-Free Enchiladas

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Dessert – Lemon Coconut Balls – I’ll share the recipe for these soon, I promise!

On weekdays, my go to breakfast consists of either egg whites and spinach, or goat yogurt and berries – but lately I have been feeling so uninspired by the choices. Last week I came up with a new and extremely simple pancake recipe that I have been cooking non stop – it even gets the boyfriend seal of approval!

Banana, Egg White, Oat Pancakes

Ingedients
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup egg whites
cinnamon [use as much or as little as you like]
dash of vanilla

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Cook on a skillet/pan as you would a typical pancake. For me it takes approximately 2 minutes per side, sometimes less.

What was the best thing you made or ate this past week? Did you try any new recipes?

xo Lauren