THE Jog Blog – 71

Hills. Some people don’t like running up hills. I certainly can relate as I couldn’t imagine running in general, never mind up a hill when I first started. Today, I actually like running up hills and in fact, I’ll often bump up my speed when I go up a hill (depending on the size of the incline of course).

Here are the reasons why I like to run up hills:

  • It’s a CHALLENGE.
  • It strengthens my body, making it more POWERFUL, healthier and toned.
  • It gets rid of negative emotions because I process anger, fear or sadness through a physical outlet.
  • I like the view from the top. Sometimes I’ll look behind me and see where I’ve been but most times I look forward and enjoy the view.
  • I like saying, “I did it! I conquered that hill and I was not defeated.”
  • It’s an ACHIEVEMENT I used to think was impossible.
  • It makes me feel GOOD about mySELF.
  • It builds SELF ESTEEM and nurtures my SELF WORTH.
  • I get to enjoy the FUN part of running down hill. I find routes where the way up is steeper than the way down so it’s easier on my knees.

I think running up hills is a beautiful metaphor for life:

You run up hills one step at a time.

You reach a goal one task at a time.

You mend a heart one day at a time…sometimes one hour or one second at a time depending on the depth of pain.

You lose weight one pound at a time.

You build a life, one choice at a time.

Life is about putting one foot in front of the other despite the challenges; you move forward.

Have a great weekend. See you here on Tuesday!

With a smile,



Vancouver Scotiabank Half Marathon 2012


When you train and work hard towards a goal, your brain, heart and soul really wants to complete that goal. Your body, however, sometimes says:

“Nope, not this time. Not this run.”

I was sad I had to make the decision to NOT run the Scotiabank Half Marthon this past Sunday. One of my lessons during my 40by40 training was when I have these symptoms, if I run a long distance; I will suffer greatly for weeks afterwards.

What’s the use of a LESSON if you don’t LEARN from it?

I knew what I had to do (or not do) but I wasn’t happy about it. So, Saturday after dinner with my friends, I went home and cried. I was disappointed; I wanted to run; I was having a little private pity party. I honoured my disappointment and physical pain and let the tears flow…I had a good night’s sleep and then adjusted my attitude.

Here’s what I learned from this experience.

If you are feeling sorry for yourself (and it’s okay if you are as long as you don’t stay stuck for too long) the BEST thing to do is show KINDNESS and SUPPORT towards others.

The day of the event, I had an AMAZING morning. My sorry, sad self turned into a rocking cheerleader, supporting and loving all these total strangers and giving them positive energy as they passed by.

I know how difficult the training can be, how many obstacles and sacrifices you have to make. I know the emotional struggle and the physical fatigue.

I cheered on every person (friends and strangers) who passed by me. At the water stops they rehydrate, but at the corner I was at, (right before the 15K mark) I filled their tank with POSITIVE ENERGY, KINDNESS, SUPPORT, WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT and let them know THEY WEREN’T ALONE even if they were running solo.

I acknowledged each step they took with the deepest RESPECT because you have no idea what journey they endured to get there.

I wanted them to continue on the run with a smile on their face and a voice they could hear that believed in them if the one inside their heads was trying to sabotage their hard work.

I discovered my HEART is bigger, louder and stronger than any bruised ego or pity party.


If you are injured and can’t take part in an event, go to the race anyway and cheer loudly for others. Embrace the energy and support your fellow runners with kind loving words and help them achieve their goal. It fills you up when you fill others up…at least that’s my experience.

I caught up with some people I had cheered for at the 15K mark…I didn’t know them but I was so HAPPY to see the medals around their necks and the smile on their face.

I was so proud of my friends who completed the run. Some ran solo, others ran in pairs…they ALL crossed the finish line with the other friends who couldn’t run, cheering them on…it’s a beautiful exchange.

I was able to catch some awesome photos and truly enjoyed the energy, excitement and FUN of the event even though I didn’t participate as a runner this year.

Attitude is everything…even if you are a spectator.

With a smile,



THE Jog Blog – 70

Summer has finally arrived, at least according to the calendar. If you are not getting the lovely sunshine right now, don’t worry it is coming and I want you to be prepared for the hot summer days when you exercise.


Don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate and hydrate! Water before, during and after your runs are really important so make sure you pack water and / or run where there are water fountains on your route. Depending on how far you run, you may also need Coconut water, Gatorade or another electrolyte drink. (There are also all natural Vegan Electrolyte Hydrators you can buy in powder form to add to your water: Cute little packets that easily fit into your pocket or running belt.)


There is debate about sunscreen but I wear sunscreen on my face 365 days of the year and I also wear a hat whenever I exercise. I generally run earlier in the mornings so the sun isn’t too intense and I choose routes with some shade (as seen above).

I have to say, my body rejoices when I fuel it with healthy, organic, raw food. I am not on a raw diet; however, I definitely notice my energy level and just generally how good I feel when I eat that way. After your workout, it’s important to refuel so here are some juicy melons that I love after a summertime jog.


Very high in Vitamin C (great for tissue repair), honeydew is an excellent choice after any workout. It’s a good source of potassium which is helpful in avoiding muscle cramps and because it holds lots of water, it also helps hydrate. In the summer months especially, this is crucial. I like to pair this with raw almonds or cottage cheese so I get some protein as well.


High in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium, cantaloupe is another excellent source after exercise and it is great for your skin, eyes and immune system. Cantaloupe is filled with lots of good stuff such as carotenoids, Vitamin B6, fibre, folate and B3 to name a few. Simply put, it helps support energy production and stabilizes blood sugar. I pair fresh, juicy slices of cantaloupe with yogurt, raw nuts and sometimes I’ll add a bit of healthy granola.


Yummm…just the thought of watermelon makes my mouth water! After a good workout, a couple pieces of watermelon will hydrate you because it’s 92% water and rich in electrolytes sodium and potassium which we lose through sweating. It’s packed with antioxidants and is another great source of Vitamin C and A. I like to pair watermelon with cottage cheese or a few slices of hard cheese and some whole grain crackers.

Eating healthy, staying hydrated and protecting yourself from the sun are important things to remember as we enter the summer months. Getting outside and being active are a part of a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE so have FUN, eat well and enJOY!

With a smile,


PS. See you on Tuesday!


Crazy Legs

Have you ever heard of “Restless Leg Syndrome” or “RLS”?

I have this condition as do many members of my family. My Mom and Aunts refer to it as “Crazy Legs”. I remember having it as a kid but because it is a difficult condition to diagnose, it was referred to as “growing pains”. My parents would rub my legs and I’d cry because it hurt so much. As I got older the symptoms would come and go but they got worse after a car accident in my early 30’s.

What is RLS?

Here is a description according to the Mayo Clinic:

“Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which your legs feel extremely uncomfortable, typically in the evenings while you’re sitting or lying down. It makes you feel like getting up and moving around. When you do so, the unpleasant feeling of restless legs syndrome temporarily goes away.

Restless legs syndrome can begin at any age and generally worsens as you age. Restless legs syndrome can disrupt sleep — leading to daytime drowsiness.”

It is considered a neurological disorder but some believe it does not exist.

I can tell you from experience, it most certainly does exist!

I find it gets worse with STRESS, LACK OF SLEEP, and too much SUGAR, CAFFEINE or ALCOHOL. I limit these things in my life and manage my stress through exercise (jogging), meditation and being mindful of my schedule. Unfortunately the lack of sleep is a vicious cycle because if you have sleepless nights then the condition increases which in turn makes it hard to get to sleep.

Just as you start to relax, your legs start to feel strange, uncomfortable and ache. For me, there is also a creepy feeling underneath my knee cap and then if it persists, my legs will ‘jump’ without any control, kind of like the doctor checking your reflexes.

I put a heat-pad on my legs and focus on my BREATHING and that usually allows me to eventually fall asleep. I have used medication in the past to aid in sleep but my body is sensitive to drugs, alcohol and caffeine so I limit my intake and focus on other methods to decrease symptoms. Sometimes I’ll also have a hot shower or bath.

After doing more research I’ve discovered that a thyroid condition (something else that runs in my family) and low iron and folate acid can also increase your symptoms. I have since increased my iron to see if that will help and all blood work from the doctor came back fine regarding my thyroid.

If you suffer from RLS, you are not alone. Be aware of what triggers your symptoms as this is important and useful information when you talk to your doctor.

Happy Father’s Day to all those wonderful, hard working, supportive, loving fathers out there. I hope you feel appreciated and adored. Have a fantastic day!

See you Tuesday!

With a smile,


THE Jog Blog – 69

I love food. I love to eat; I love to dine and I love to watch others cook. (I am not a domestic goddess but I am ok with that!)

There are certain foods that I have in my house at all times. These are staples for me since I began incorporating exercise into my life.


Excellent for anyone to have in their diet, but specifically for runners. You will usually find bananas at any organized running event because they are a good source of carbohydrates and contain potassium which runners need. Bananas also help with muscle contraction and can aid in preventing cramping so they are a good food for joggers.

I eat bananas as is but also add them to shakes, cut them up for my cereal /oatmeal (with raisons and raw nuts) or the classic peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread. YUM!


I purchase organic, free range eggs. I grew up on a farm so I want the eggs that I eat to come from happy, active chickens. Happy chickens = happy eggs.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and amino acids which help with muscle repair and recovery. If it’s a longer run, I will sometimes eat a scrambled egg on top of a toasted multi-grain bagel aproximately an hour or so before I exercise. If it’s a shorter jog, I have the eggs once I finish. I boil the eggs and add a little Dijon mustard to them along with a slice of cheese, orange juice and sliced apple. I find this to be an awesome snack after running.

Cereal Bars / Protein Bars:

I rely on protein bars to get me through my day when I teach or I use them the night before a big run. They are not always a good choice though so make sure you read the labels because sometimes they can have just as much fat and sugar as candy bars.


I love beans and brown or wild rice. It is now a staple in my diet as I need more iron due to feeling fatigue. My blood work showed I was on the low side for iron so beans and rice are an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, iron, potassium, fibre, omega 3 and 6 and vitamins, specifically your B vitamins. I have to be careful when I eat beans because my system needs a day to process them before I run long distances.

WATER! Don’t forget to hydrate each and every day. I drink a lot of water!

Food is necessary and eating should be an enjoyable experience.

Our bodies truly are remarkable machines letting us know what foods we need, what foods give us energy and what foods aren’t healthy…all we need to do is listen.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend full of laughter, love and healthy, yummy food shared with family and friends!

See you on Tuesday.

With a smile,