Summer Shape Up: Week 2 Update

How is week 2 already over? The Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up Program is a free month long fitness program offered on Gina’s blog. Each week she provides a workout schedule and healthy meal ideas. The idea is do what you can, when you can. Week two was great in terms of the weekdays but the weekend was not good at all.I am posting my progress each week in order to keep myself accountable, feel free to read and follow along if your interested.



To access the recipe suggestions provided by Gina this week, visit her site!

Breakfasts: Honestly, I’m not sure what I ate for breakfast this week. One day it was a protein smoothie popcicle, one day it was an egg, one day it was a left over quinoa burger, one day it was a protein milkshake, one day it was a cinnamon bun. This chaos was the result of absolutely no planning and a strong desire to sleep in for as long as possible.

Lunches: I’m still stuck on the grain bowls, as per this recipe. This time i made a large batch of quinoa. I also baked some sweet potato. Essentially it is a layer of rice/quinoa, a layer of spinach (or whichever green leaf you like), some chic peas and whatever else I could find in my fridge. This week I used the avocado, sweet potato, tomato combo. I’m going to need to get more playful with the dressing or else I risk getting sick of the meal but it is delicious and I feel full and great after I eat it.

Dinners: I had two nights of super healthy salad meals and then another night I had fried progies and another night I had cream sauce pasta… Once again a result of poor planning.

Saturday & Sunday: This weekend we were up at the cottage so it was a lot of BBQ meat, bread, cheese, ect. All the things I’m trying to avoid. Delicious in the moment but I’m becoming more and more aware of how much this food upsets my stomach, so I am going to be really adamant about eating well for week 3.



Daily: 20-30 minutes of Yoga with Adriene

Monday: Dance Recital

Tuesday: Workout # 3 (x2) + HIIT (x2)

Wednesday: High 5 Run

Thursday: Short 2km Run

Friday: Workout # 4

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

The week started off so well & then it spun wildly out of control. I had so many high hopes for this week and some how it just all got away from me. On Thursday I had plans to do Workout number 4, but I ended up purchasing some furniture off of a friend. She is moving and had to get everything out of the old place asap, so I went there will a trailer on Thursday night and the whole processes took much longer than anticipated. I don’t mind working out in the evening but 11 pm was far too late. Then on the weekend I was up at the cottage. The plan was to do yoga by the water, on the dock, but it poured rain all weekend. So I didn’t get the chance to go outdoors and I wasn’t going to workout in front of my family members, indoors. No thank you. So the second half of the week ended up being rather lazy. I’m really hoping to turn that around and catch up this week.


Still haven’t noticed a difference in my body in terms of size or shape, if I keep being so non-committal with the program, I don’t imagine I will. The whole clean eating this is really only effective when its a lifestyle not just a one meal a-day thing. Also, as I mentioned last week I need to do way more strength training if I’m going to see results. I did manage to drink more water during my work day because I got a nice big reusable water bottle to lug around. Although I didn’t touch the water bottle on the weekend so I’ve still got work to do there. I think I did well in reducing wheat and dairy until the weekend rolled around. Damn those easy BBQ dinners. The plan for this week is to wake up a bit earlier each day and do as much as I can in the morning. Then I can’t use the “I didn’t have time in the evening” excuse. Speaking of which, goals for the week:

  • Continue to drink a lot more water
  • Reduce wheat & dairy & sugar intake
  • Complete all workouts on the schedule
My new yoga mat! Feeling so zen with the teal blue!

Summer Shape Up: Week 1 Update

Well, it has been one week since I started participating in The Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up Program. This is a free month long fitness program offered on Gina’s blog. Each week she provides a workout schedule and healthy meal ideas. The idea is do what you can, when you can. I think I did alright for my first week. I figured I would post my progress each week in order to keep myself accountable.



We all know that my kitchen skills are weak at best so it was a relief to see that most of the ideas that Gina suggested are pretty simple. Basically, she is just promoting wholesome and healthy eating. To access the recipe suggestions provided by Gina, visit her site!

Breakfasts: I had a protein smoothie for breakfast from Monday to Friday. I usually have breakfast around 7:00 am, so with the right amount of protein powder and healthy fats, the smoothie kept me full until at least 11:00 am when I had a small snack. My smoothies contained cranberry juice, almond milk, spinach, raspberries, blue berries, vanilla protein powder and hemp hearts.

Lunches: Remember my story about the super salty brown rice, well I ended up using it to make grain bowls, as per this recipe. Essentially it is a layer of rice, a layer of spinach (or whichever green leaf you like), some chic peas and whatever else I could find in my fridge. So one day I added salmon and red pepper, another day it was avocado and red pepper, another day it was cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese. So so soooo delicious, filling and healthy!

Dinners: I didn’t do quite as well with my dinners. One night I made spicy shrimp and rice (healthy), another night I had salmon and sweet potato (healthy), but then one night Lucas and I ordered burritos (not so healthy), and another night we had a BBQ (really not healthy at all but oh so delicious). Ya win some, ya loose some I guess.

Saturday & Sunday: While I managed a pretty successful first week, my first weekend was a hungover mess of two-bite cinnamon rolls and mini-pizzas. Note to self: stop ending your nights-out with vodka shots, it is never a good idea!



Daily: 20-30 minutes of Yoga with Adriene

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Workout # 2

Wednesday: 4 km Run

Thursday: Workout # 3 + 20 minutes of Cycling on the stationary bike

Friday: Workout # 1 + some labour intensive household chores

Saturday: Dance recital rehearsal

Sunday: Dance recital show x2 (matinee & evening)

All in all I am pleased with the amount of physical activity I got over the past week. I didn’t exactly follow Gina’s plan, especially on Sunday but the dance recital this weekend ate up a lot of my time. I think I would have enjoyed the plank burner so I am going to do my best to fit it in somewhere this week. I also had a dance show on Monday night so I am jumping back into the week 2 schedule today.


So far I haven’t noticed a difference in my body in terms of size or shape, I think a lot of that has to do with my diet. Also, the Shape Up has made me very aware of how much I am lacking in the strength training department. My running training has helped me become very good at cardio and heart rate management but my muscle tone just isn’t there. This makes the strength workouts super challenging (I wanted to cry while doing workout #2 on Tuesday) but it also a very welcome change for my routine. The greatest part about this program, I feel, is the facebook group. Essentially it is a closed community for people who are participating in the Shape Up to ask questions, check in, provide support, ect. Seeing other people’s check in posts have motivated me in ways I didn’t think possible. They have even motivated me to set some goals for this week:

  • Drink a lot more water
  • Reduce wheat & dairy intake
  • Complete all workouts on the schedule


Kitchen Experiments: Brown Rice Blues

It is a well known fact that cooking isn’t a strong suit. Sometimes I can follow a recipe and have pretty decent results. It never looks as pretty as the picture but the taste usually works out. Other times I can take a perfectly simple recipe and still find a way to mess it up. Usually this happens when I get too confident and start to improvise, like the time I attempted guacamole… Or the time I tried to make egg in a whole using a stack of bread with holes ripped out of the middle instead of using a bagel… Or the other day when I made a large batch of brown rice.

Yup. Brown Rice.


I know it seems like an impossible feat but don’t be so sure, my friends. I managed to screw up the worlds easiest recipe. Let me share my sad pathetic tale so that you all may learn from my mistake. Lets start with the instructions shall we?

  1. Bring rice and liquid to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40-50 minutes.

Two simple instructions. That’s all there is to it. I was making a large batch because I am attempting to eat healthier meals and that means planning ahead. I’m participating in The Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up Challenge. This is a challenge that Gina holds twice a year for free on her blog. She provides multiple clean eating recipe suggestions and a weekly workout schedule, more on this later. A lot of the recipes call for quinoa as a side or as a salad topping. But I’ll be honest I’m not a huge quinoa fan so I decided to sub in brown rice. It’s not as healthy but I mean its better than white rice, am I right?!


So anyway, I was making a weeks worth of brown rice for lunches and dinners. I decided I was gonna get fancy and use an equal mixture of vegetable broth and water for my rice. So I put the rice, broth and water in the pot, z17040393O,--Downton-Abbey----fot--ITV-turned up the heat and then made a last section decision to add a little salt to the water because that’s what a chef would do, obviously. Once the pot was boiling I turned down that heat, turned on an episode of Downton Abby and occasionally stirred. After a totally dramatic episode (aren’t they all, seriously I cannot get enough of this show!) the liquid was absorbed and the rice was ready to go! I removed it from the heat, let it cool for a few minutes and then took a big heaping spoonful into my mouth…

…YOWZA that is some very SALTY rice! Way to go me! How did this happen?! I did NOT put that much salt in the water! Then it hit me, the broth was ALSO salted. So by using both my end result was very, very salty. Like ocean level salty.

The good news: The rice is still edible as long as there is something mixed in. Yesterday I had a veggie and rice bowl for lunch with avocado, red pepper, cucumber, spinach and chic peas with a lime balsamic dressing. Once mixed together the saltyness (it’s a word now..) of the rice was hardly noticeable. And today I had salmon and rice with a salad, once again after it was all mixed up, delicious, but I had a couple rice only spoonfuls and they were strong.

In the future I’m just gonna stick with good ol’ water. Lesson learned.

Have you ever messed up a super easy recipe? Share in the comments!