Winter Cabin-ing

Due to my injury this winter, I haven’t had a chance to participate in all the ‘fun’ winter activities in the Yukon. (Fun is very subjective because how much fun can one reaaaaallly have in -30?) The long Easter week-end was the first time I really got out and enjoyed the beauty of the North.

Travel: Manuel, myself and our friends Shelly and Gil rented a cabin through Cabin Fever Adventures for the weekend.Image

We parked about 35 minutes out of town and hiked in 6.3km to an AWESOME cabin in the woods. It was seriously so perfect! Like a secret gem we had discovered.

The walk into the cabin was fun… for me.Image

Poor Manuel, had to carry our sled in and the first 2km were straight up-hill and on really un-even terrian. The sled kept tipping over and I was supposed to be watching to warn him but uhh, the scenery was really pretty and I am very easily distracted. It was a miracle we didn’t break up on the way out.

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The cabin was secluded on a lake that’s stocked with Arctic Char. The family who runs Cabin Fever Adventures used to live out there so it was fully stocked with everything you would ever need. I loved rubbing this in Manuel’s face because he insisted on bringing our own camping supplies and therefore he had to lug an even heavier sled.

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Our strenuous weekend activities included ice fishing, snow shoeing and practicing our sling shot aim. (Discovered I have none, shocking.)

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Plus, melting snow for water. You have this huge pot of snow and it melts to about 1 cup. Worst! We had to re-fill like every 5 minutes.

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Eat: We ate delicious food all weekend, lots of bacon!

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One of the highlights was an Italian meatball recipe that Manuel found from watching Best Recipes Ever.

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Run: I tried snow shoe running for >100m. It’s really hard especially with a drink in hand.

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All in all, a very fun and successful weekend away from the ‘city’ and my back felt great the whole time. I think this will become an Easter tradition.

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PS: I know it’s spring in most places but it’s winter in the Yukon until at least May.

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Feed Me!

I interrupt the injury recap to talk about FOOD…

Exercising took up a large part of my life before I was injured. Between working two jobs and crossfit, running and yoga, I didn’t have much extra time to cook nor did I really like too. Some people find it relaxing and therapeutic, I just want to stuff food in my face as fast as I can when I am hungry.  Thankfully, I live with a guy that loves and has the patience to make delicious meals otherwise I would live off hummus, carrot sticks and chocolate.

Sing it, sista

Sing it, sista.

While I was recovering in the hospital, I made goals about all the new hobbies I would take up since I wouldn’t be able to exercise and would have a lot more free time.  I figured I would learn to knit, read new books, cook, take up crafting, you know, become a total renaissance women. In reality, I read one book. You would judge me if you knew how many episodes of Keeping up with the Kardashians I watched. People always asked me if I was really bored, but honestly, I don’t remember ever being bored! I valued my ‘Amelia’ time.

I did get into the show Homeland which was SO good (must watch) but other than that I watched a lot of reality TV and organized my email folders.

However, my cooking dream did not die! (Mostly because Manuel reminded me every day that I was going to start cooking once I was better.) So I read a lot of food blogs and bookmarked recipes but when the time came to make dinner, I was too impatient to prep or wait for a recipe to cook. I decided that if I really wanted to start cooking more, buying a cookbook would help. So I ‘researched’ (read amazon reviews) my options and decided on Jamie Oliver’s- Cook.  It sounded like a good starting point.

Umm, this book is too difficult!  The book is huge which I find over-whelming and the recipes are a lot more complicated and time intensive than I thought they would be. They also have ingredients that I don’t use and cannot find in the Yukon. Fail. Haven’t used it once. Re-gift?

Sad day for me too, Jamie.

Sad day for me too, Jamie.

HOWEVER, this was just a long-winded way of saying that I have started cooking and here are a few EASY recipes that I have tried and liked if you’re in the market to start cooking!

Paleo Pumpkin Granola– My friend Sam introduced me to this granola and I make it all the time now. It’s a delicious snack. (There is a great recipe for an oatmeal bake on her blog now!)

Cauliflower Pizza Crust – Made this for girl’s night once and I was surprised how tasty it turned out.

Life- Changing Loaf of Bread–  I think this is my favourite new recipe! It is SO easy and the only weird ingredient is psyllium husks but that can be found at most health food stores. It tastes great toasted with almond butter or nutella! Yum. img_0171

Quinoa Chicken Balls– I loosely followed this recipe but substituted bacon with chicken and swapped a few of the veggies. Next time, I think I would add hot peppers.

Maple Sweet Potato Hash– I made this tonight and about to eat it all! I substituted the breakfast sausage with grouse that Manuel caught. Living off the land here peeps.

That’s all I’ve got. Five recipes in 3 months… it’s a start!

Cooking Class #4

This was probably the most un-climatic cooking class yet.  Turns out my students can cook better than I give them credit for. But I will take this opportunity to apologize to my mom for always opening the oven when she was cooking. I was definitely yelling at my students to: “Keep the door closed!! It won’t cook if you keep letting air in. They have not finished since you last looked… 10 seconds ago!” Turning into my mama already. Uh oh. Just kidding Mom!

Anyway, I was missing the Broadway Brunch Crew and decided to teach the kids the amazing-ness of Western style brunch…minus the Caesar’s…and that’s only because I couldn’t find clamato juice. 😉 Party people!! I mean I haven’t heard of a drinking age in China so it must be fine?

brunch crew

This cooking class did make me realize how weird the English language is.

Try explaining to Grade 10 ESL students that breakfast + lunch= brunch.

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Bread when it is cooked is called toast. No, it’s not bread anymore, now it’s toast. (This was the most foreign concept for some reason, so I skipped the whole toasting part.)IMG_1177

Potatoes when you cut them up and put them in the oven are called hash browns… not french fries, hash browns.

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Don’t even get me started on all the different names we have for eggs. We stuck with scrambled for this one.

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Processed cheese, worth getting excited about. IMG_1178

 

When I quizzed them on what type of meal they were eating, they said sandwiches. Noooo, it’s brunch. English, why do you have to play me like this? 

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Expo 2010: Not quite the same as the Olympics

Happy Mid-Autumn Week!! Mid-autumn happens all over the world but in China we get a holiday for it. (Canada- take note.) It happens during the first full moon of September, or something like that? All I know is we get time off work…and lots and lots of mooncakes.

The school had Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off but we had to work all weekend… so I’m very confused to what day it is.

On Tuesday (I think), we headed up to check out Expo 2010. I had heard a lot of horror stories about line-ups and the masses of people but felt like the Olympics had prepared me for epic tests of line-up endurance and cultural events.

I realized there were were some common themes to the Expo and Olympics.

Common theme: Ugly hats and line-ups.

Olympic line-ups went something like this:

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Making besties in line, sipping "coffee"

Expo line-ups were more like this:

I might pee my pants

I might pee my pants

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 Once you make the commitment to a line, you are in it for the long run. No where to turn, no chance to sneak to a bathroom.  I had to get a special pass once I got in a little closer because I didn’t think I would make it! (I was given 1/2 hour, not really sure what they thought I was going to do in there…) PS: Despite “posing” in a pic with me, the women beside me did not become my bestie. I think she probably pushed me down a few minutes later to get a few people ahead. Whatever happened to the ‘I got yo back’ mentality of the Olympics? No one was butting in front of our peeps. I think I need to start embracing ‘elbows’ up’ in all aspects of my life, not just when runners are trying to pass me.

To be honest, I have never really known what the Expo is all about. (I’d always pretend I knew what was going on when my parents talked about it.) What it is, is basically a world exhibition; kind of like an interactive tourism ad for a lot of different countries around the world.

Common theme: German House

My co-workers said that German house was supposed to be one of the best houses to check out and since I consider myself partly German I was down. The line-up was only about 2 hours long since we were there pretty early but later on in the day it was 6 and 1/2!!

German house was also one of my favourite places during the Olympics. This is what I thought Germany was all about:

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I guess this is what Germany is really all about:

View Germany House

Despite the lack of red and white, I was actually really impressed with the German house. They focused on a ‘balancity” which embraced environmental technologies, city planning, and greenspace.  It was hard to take pictures inside but it was cool to see all the new and old inventions Germany has come up with and what they are trying to do for a more sustainable world.

Common theme: Food and Beer

Like the Olympics where I drank beer and ate nachos for every meal. (Ya’d think watching the best athletes in the world compete would inspire one to make healthy choices. Not so.)

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The best part of the expo was also the food and beer:

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FYI: My uncle’s homemade sauerkraut is about 3000 times better.

When I knew that there was no way I was going to be having more fun then this inside the exhibits.

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I decided the best part was walking around and checking out all the different architecture of the countries buildings.

These are some of my fav’s…

View Expo 2010

Common Theme: Canada!

Hollywood over here, showed my passport, started skipping lines, getting pins, taking numbers. Where was that service during the Olympics!? Do you know who I am!

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This is what the Olympics taught me about Canada: 14 5 (2)

Not this: 25 Like you are only appealing to 20% of the population here.

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This could be any countries food!

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I decided he has the worst job in the world.

Canada house wasn’t that great. I don’t think it did a very good job capturing the Canadian spirit, way of life or even the Expo theme of “Better City, Better Life.”

But I guess I’m just used to this:  All Canadian right here. New Camera and Oldies 252

Now, I have one question for the World Expo.  This is the best you could do?! No English editors in China??

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PS: Since I want to include all the eat, run, travel aspects of my life in this one post when I was in Shanghai, I got to run in the park again. I was really sore from all the walking at the expo but it was actually a pretty good run. I didn’t have Garmz but ran for about 1 hour and 1/2 at a little faster then LR pace. It is amazing what good coffee can do for a girl and her running. I seriously don’t understand why anyone would want to give it up.

Packing Procrastinator

My room looks like this…   

Help me.

So, one of my first night’s out in Vancouver I went to the Atlantic Trap and Gill (an East coast themed bar and restaurant in Vancouver). It was just like being at the Split Crow back home. Live bands, people drinking from pitchers, c’est la vie!  I went back this week to eat and have to say the Alexander Keith’s was the highlight of my meal. 

Unfortunately, the food was not good. I’m really not a fussy eater and can eat pretty much anything but did not like this meal. I ordered the lobster and shrimp wrap and was picturing big, juicy chunks of lobster with avocado and shrimp. Umm Amelia, you’re not in NS. The lobster was frozen and there was not much.  The wrap was filled with mayonnaise. Yuck. We also ordered garlic fingers and donair sauce, an after the bar food staple back home- which should look like this…  

Look up the ingredient list for donair sauce... if you dare. I promise it's delicious!

 

   Let’s just say it was a garlie fail. I was about to ask the waiter if he was from out east, when he said “your mozza sticks will be right up.”  Yah, question answered. Garlic fingers are not mozza sticks! Anyway, I would recommend this bar for a night out but not for dinner. I don’t want people thinking this is how we eat out East! Our food is much better. Come visit!   

*This message was brought to you by Tourism Nova Scotia.* 😉   

Wednesday night at run club we had an un-official timed 10km. I was late as usual but ran down to Granville Island just before the route started. The run went pretty well but km 7 hurt.  I think it was the beer and chocolate I had right before I ran. 😉 I know eating right before I run will make my stomach hurt yet I always do it.  That is why morning running rules…unless you are hungover.    I had an unofficial best time of 40:44.  However, my Garmin only read 9.77km.  I cut a lot of corners… or should I pretend I was running the tangents?   

I won this bag of coffee…   

Thanks Matthew!

And thank you, Alan for this AWESOME hat. You are the best. I will wear it everyday for motivation in China.   

Boston Marathon 2011- Here we come!

Thursday night was the last hill work-out with the clinic. 10 X  475m hill reps. DONE. I never have to run hills again. There are none in China, right? My times were between 2:15- 2:25 for each rep. My legs didn’t feel too tired by the end but were stiff on the cool-down run.   

Finally, here is an interesting article on boosting endurance in training. Lots of really good suggestions for different types of runners.

Heading to Whistler this weekend for a trail race. Last weekend in Vancouver. 😦  *Sigh* I hate good-byes.

Drinking, Eating > Running

This weekend consisted of too much drinking, a lot of eating and a little running.

Thursday night I was majorly dreading the  hill work-out.  MA-JAH-LY. During the warm-up run, I was scheming  master plans to form relay teams so that we wouldn’t have to run as much or even cutting the work-out short. Everyone was in   (even Dave!)  except for Tom (grr) and I knew that if he did the full work-out and I wimped out I’d feel guilty so 8X 500m hill reps we all did. Yay team!  AND the best part was, it actually felt pretty good. Sometimes I think   my better runs are the ones I dread the most. I guess it’s because once you’re out there, you realize it’s not ever that bad. Does this happen to anyone else?

My times were pretty consistent averaging between 2:20-2:30 per  rep and my legs weren’t even that tired afterwards. Overall, it felt a lot better than last weeks hill work-out…I’d like to pretend I am getting stronger but really I just think it was an easier hill. 😉

Friday, there was no running but there was a lot of drinking and eating. (win-win) It was “The Final Reflection” for my B.Ed class. Can’t believe I only have one week left of school!

A lot of these were consumed…

Jello Shots!

and a couple of these…

mojito!

a little celebratory…

champagne!

one of these…

classy white wine

and a lot of this…

the fav- rum and diet coke

It was a very fun night, won’t get into details but somehow ended up in a limo on the way home. FYI: Cheaper than getting a taxi in Vancouver?! Lil money saving tip for all you ballahs.

This is the way things looked to me, blurry.

The next morning… not so fun. I have never been so thankful for rain, why can’t I be young and hangover free?!

I had a girly day planned with my cousins which was just the cure.

This

Lemon-grass chicken Pho

and all of this was consumed.

Swedish berries, munchies, sour patch candy, mini-eggs, peanut m&m's...

We  watched Girls Just Want to Have Fun and practiced all the dance moves. That counts as cardio?

And then we watched SYTYCD and personally, I think SJP could give those guys a run for their money. Check out her moves.

Or  not. This is pretty epic.

Who is going to win this season?!

Sunday was an epic 50 miler… will recap later. Anyone believe I ran 50 miles??

This is what my world is coming too…

Eating  $5 bags of candy and skipping track work-outs.  I don’t even really like candy. Well, I love chocolate but gummy worms usually don’t do it for me. However, today I saw a girl with a bag of candy and thought, I want that. So I got it.  And then  I felt sick because I meant to save some for later but that just didn’t happen.  Here is a little trick if you want to prevent future over-candy indulgence… if you eat it all at once you feel really sick and won’t want to eat that much candy again for a long time!  Genius. (I say this, but knowing me I will probably buy another bag tomorrow.)

So, I had planned to meet Ken at the track but was so tired all through class I just wasn’t feeling it. I sent him a text and he replied “another time.”   Noooo, my un-motivated self did not need to hear that. Track was a no-go. 

Luckily, I met Alyson in the eve for a 6km tempo run. We warmed-up for about 2km and then ran 6km around the sea wall at a 4:21/km pace followed by a 2km cool down.  It was a pretty good run, my calf was sore at the beginning but once we got into the groove it loosened up. Love running along the sea-wall because it is flat, flat, flat. 

I also tried something new today: 

Vanilla Goat Yogurt

I randomly thought I’d give goat’s yogurt a try. It’s supposedly good for people who are lactose intolerant and has a lot of vitamins. It was OK (obvi I ate it all) but I wasn’t a fan of the taste ir thickness. I prefer the taste and texture of Greek Yogurt.  And now I feel kind of sick. Probably because I ate that after my run at 9:30pm. Smrt.