Friday, November 21, 2014

5-Minute Oatmeal

As a gluten-eating, carb-loving, salt and sugar-craving carnivore, I sometimes find it a little odd how much I love the blog called Oh She Glows.

Oh She Glows tends to post recipes of the gluten-free, refined sugar free, sodium free, vegan kind. And yet I own her cookbook and have made more recipes from her blog than from most other online recipe sources.

She just has a way of creating ridiculously healthy dishes that look appealing, taste delicious and leave you completely satisfied. Plus, as an added bonus, she seems to gravitate towards one-dish meals you can eat from a bowl. The only utensil needed is a spoon.

My kinda cooking.

The other day she posted her latest recipe. It's called 5-minute oatmeal and it appears to have been inspired by the time-restricted routine of being a new mom and the fact that she no longer has time in the mornings to make a decent breakfast.

I am not a mom but I do know all about time constraints in the mornings.

I am also a huge fan of oatmeal.

So the other night I dutifully mashed a banana into a bowl. I measured out my rolled oats, my chia seeds, my almond milk and my cinnamon. I gave it a few stirs for luck, put plastic wrap on top and went to bed.

The following morning I woke up to a congealed version of the previous night's concoction. I poured it into a pot and heated it up. Took about three minutes to go from cold to hot.

I poured the mixture into a bowl. I tossed a little ground ginger, allspice and cinnamon on top. Added a few pumpkin seeds, some pomegranate seeds and raspberries.

Five minutes from fridge to table.

Super easy. Delicious. Nutritious. Guaranteed to keep you satisfied until lunch rolls around. And all sorts of other things like vegan and gluten free and whatnot.

Neither of these cell phone pictures do it justice but I was too busy eating to care about taking a better photo. 

Trust me. Click on her recipe (above) and go make yourself a bowl tonight to enjoy on Saturday morning.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Live Tracking

I've been doing half-hearted research for the past year or so. I'm looking for my next running watch. I had no plans to buy one. I was just doing the research ahead of time so when my on its last leg current watch kicks the bucket I won't have to waste any time researching what to get next. 

It seems, my friends, that I'm getting a little cautious in my old age. 

Tuesday morning I headed out into the coldest day yet this winter for my 7k run. It was -7C (-18 with the windchill). Nowhere near the coldest day I will run in but not something I was quite ready for. I had two long-sleeved tops on under my coat. I had my running pants from last year. My toque. I should have been fine. 

I was frozen. Legs screaming from the cold, toes going numb, face aching frozen. When I finally turned out of the wind for the trip home I felt little relief. The biting cold had my backside for breakfast and it was crying in pain by the time I turned onto our street with an audible sigh of relief. 

I got home at exactly 6:30am. Doug was in the kitchen and asked if I was ok. "Five more minutes and I was heading out to pick you up" he announced. 

I was home right on schedule but I'm guessing the howling wind and freezing temps put a bit of fear in his heart as he waited for me. 

Back to my watch research. 

I was having trouble deciding whether to go with a running watch or a multisport watch. I have never worn a watch in the pool and don't particularly care to. I like having it on the bike but mostly use it for runs. It would be nice to have a watch that I can wear from one end of a triathlon to another but for the 4-5 times per summer I would need that, it's not the primary goal. 

I think Tuesday morning's run tipped the balance and I'm now looking at a running watch. 

One of these actually.

It's the Garmin 620

It has lots of great features, some of which I'll actually use. 

It has a touch screen. 

It weighs about half what my current watch does and actually looks watch-like.

It's orange! 

Most importantly, it has a live tracking feature which means that, when I'm out on my runs, Doug can check on me from the comfort of his laptop. He can see where I have been, how far I am away from home and whether or not I'm actually moving. 

Peace of mind for him on cold snowy mornings.

Peace of mind for me on every single run I ever do because the list of things that could go wrong is too long to actually let myself think about. And while I sure do like my independence, I also like knowing that I can be found should something happen. 

Here's hoping this orange beauty goes on sale on Black Friday. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Not So Tough Anymore

The human body is amazing.


I have been doing CoreFit and Tabata classes now for 11 weeks. Technically 9 since I missed two weeks due to travel and being sick.

The first week of CoreFit and Tabata was shocking in its difficulty. I barely survived the class and then I limped around for days afterwards as my muscles protested. The next few weeks were still pretty brutal but a little less so because at least I knew what to expect.

I missed two weeks and then the first week back was pretty tough.

The last two weeks though, something happened at Thursday evening's Tabata classes. I actually surprised myself by thinking 'this really isn't that hard anymore'. In fact, last week in the middle of the class I thought 'this really isn't challenging enough'.

I can hold the side planks. I can lift the weights. I can lift the weights while holding the planks. And at the end of it all I can drive home, have dinner, shower and not feel an overwhelming desire to collapse into bed.

I love these classes and I think they have really helped me get stronger in ways that my other workouts were not able to.

But I no longer walk into the class hoping to survive. I now walk into the class excited for a good workout followed by an evening luxuriating on the couch with a good book.

It's amazing what the human body can get used to isn't it?

What about Tuesday's CoreFit you ask? Well that class is another kinda beast entirely and still leaves me shaky-limbed and exhausted at the end. Gonna be a few more weeks yet before I write about how 'easy' CoreFit is.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Twelve But Barely

I'm fighting my way back to longer and longer running distances now that my cough from hell is almost, but still not quite, gone. I haven't yet signed up but I'm still working towards running the Boxing Day Ten Miler. Which means I need to get my body used to running more than 60 minutes again.

Two weeks ago I ran 10k for the first time in over a month. That was tough but ok.

Two days ago I ran 12k for the first time in about 6 weeks. That was tougher. A lot tougher.

I set out planning for 12k but willing to settle for 10k if things derailed. Based on the route I was taking, I needed to decide at 5k if I was going to head home for a total of 10k or do the extra distance to add up to 12k.

At 4k, I felt good.

At 5k, I still felt good so I headed down one more country road to add kilometres 6 and 7.

At 6k I felt ok.

At 7k I felt not so ok.


I faded quickly after that and my run became more of a run with walk breaks. Run 2k, walk 2 minutes. Run one more k, walk a minute. Run 500m, stop at red light (thank goodness for red lights), run 500 more metres. Breathing was laboured. I was a bit lightheaded. My ears started plugging up. Bleh.

My blood sugar behaved through the run so I couldn't blame the diabetes gods. I was 5.0 before I started. I had eaten two dates and I was 8.5 when I finished. Nothing wrong with that.

Looks like I'm still not quite back in fighting form after being real people sick.

Did I mention that being real people sick sucks?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Women with Type 1 Diabetes

On Saturday morning I was up and on the highway before the sun came up. I was in Cambridge Ontario before 8am and had my laptop and speakers connected before 8:15am.

By 9am, the room was full of women with type 1 diabetes. Some had their pumps out for all to see. Others showed no visible sign of a pancreas malfunction but the fact that they were there bright and early on a Saturday morning leads one to assume...

I wasn't scheduled to speak until just before lunch so I listened to the speakers who went before me. All medical professionals. All with important and helpful information geared specifically for women. Pregnancy, stress, menstruation, menopause, exercise and all sorts of other fun things designed to wreak havoc on blood sugar numbers.

When it was my turn to speak, I told my story. I talked about being a person first. A person with diabetes second. I talked about the emotional roller coaster that comes with being diagnosed as an adult, the challenge of trying to go back to the life I had before diagnosis and the day that changed everything. The day that I decided to become a runner.

I made sure that I talked about how running, or any other kind of exercise, is possible if you break it down into small and manageable steps. I made sure I talked about how I was not some super-athlete. That I was just a regular girl who started small and build my strength to the point where I could stand up in front of a room full of people and announce that I ran half-marathons and did triathlons for fun. I made sure I talked about the Diabetes Online Community and the difference that finding that community made.

Afterwards, several women came up to speak with me.

I met a woman who was diagnosed at 12. She is 60 now meaning that she's had type 1 for 48 years. She looked fabulous and strong and she talked about how important it was to be tough when facing type 1 diabetes. She asked me if I would come speak to the people with type 1 in her area. I accepted immediately.

I met a woman who had been diagnosed just a few years ago. They caught it early enough that she didn't have to go on a full-blown insulin regime right away. Instead, she is living with the knowledge that her beta cells are slowly shutting down and that she will find herself on a pump in the not too distant future. She and I talked about the emotional challenge of being diagnosed as an adult. We can remember what our lives were like before. Our partners and our families remember the way we were before. And our eyes welled up as we both found solace in the fact that we understood what the other person was going through. We are no longer the people we were before. She is still mourning that loss and I tried to find the words to tell her that it would be ok. And that she would find the courage to face the road ahead and come out stronger on the other side.

I met another women diagnosed as an adult who said she was shocked when I started talking and she started crying. "I didn't realize until today how important it was for me to know that there are people out there who really understand what I'm going through."

I met a women who had a baby not that long ago. She talked about how she too was misdiagnosed in the beginning. I was told I had type 2. She was told she had depression and prescribed anti-depressants instead of insulin.

It was an emotional event for me and for many of the women there. Not sad emotional though. Good emotional. The kind where you leave feeling better for having had the experience.

Friday, November 14, 2014

World Diabetes Day

Happy Friday.

Happy World Diabetes Day.

Happy Omigod Sebastien Made it all the Way Across Canada Day.

A man with an insulin pump, a wicked french accent and a dream bigger than all of us. Run across Canada to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes and hopefully inspire a few folks along the way.

Day one: February 2 2014 - Sebastien left Cape Spear in the coldest Canadian winter in 15 years and headed west. 

Through the maritimes and Québec and Ontario

Through the prairies

Towards the Rockies 

Up one side...

...and down the other.

Sébastien set a lofty goal to run across Canada. 

To run 7500km. 

To run the equivalent of 180 marathons. 

And to finish in Vancouver on World Diabetes Day. Which just happens to be today.

Guess where he is?

Yep, Vancouver. Five kilometres from the finish line.

A bunch of my friends are out there ready to scream, cheer and shed a few tears as he finishes the last few steps of his journey.

He did it. He's a few pounds lighter and probably pretty sore but he did it. He did it not despite diabetes but because of it. He inspired everyone he saw and everyone who saw him. Saw him in photos, in videos, online or running down one long road or another through the worst weather that Canada could throw at him.

Happy World Diabetes Day folks.

If you have someone with diabetes in your life, give them a big hug today and make sure you tell them that you love them eh?

(photos taken from Sébastien's Outrun Diabetes Facebook page)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

David From All Angles

Remembering names, specific details or direct quotes is not a particular skill of mine.

Consider yourselves warned.

I read a book recently. I can't remember the name or the author. I could whip out my iPad and check but what fun would that be?

In that book was a quote that really resonated with me. Unfortunately I can't exactly remember it. But I remember the gist of it which is all a girl of my memory skills can hope for.

The basic message was: we see the past head on but we only see the present in profile.

I do better with images so let's use David to help illustrate the point.

 The famous David head on (aka the past)

Same dude in profile (aka the present)

I don't know why I found that half memorized half made up quote so fascinating but it's been bouncing around in my head since I read it. 

At first I took it to mean that we see the past clearly but we are too close to the present to see it for what it is. We can't see the forest for the trees so to speak. 

Then I thought, well just because we can see David's face doesn't mean we have the entire picture. I mean what about the back of him? That's part of the story too right? Even looking at the past head on we only get part of the picture.

And then I thought about how, if you put five people in a room for a meeting, they will all come away with a different idea of what happened. Different interpretations. Different memories. Different ideas of what is important and what is expected of them. When they look back, they will see five different David's and will sincerely believe that their David is the real David. 

What is the past? Is it a collection of interpretations? Mine, yours and the dude over there's? Is it a static thing that looks different depending on the angle at which you see it? If David head on represents the past, is it possible to walk all the way around the statue and see the past more clearly? Can we all stand in a circle around him and together see the past clearly? Or do we all see a different statue? 

That's about the time that I decided to start my next book. The title of which I haven't quite memorized yet. But it's an actual book book rather than an electronic book so perhaps the tactile experience will help solidify some of the details a little more firmly into my wee brain.