Friday, 22 January 2016

Farewell for a little while

Hi there friends,

I started 2016 feeling conflicted about my little space here on the interwebs. I actually started 2015 much the same way. I have talked about feeling this way on and off over this past year. And the decline in posts this year versus others is self-evident and speaks volumes about where my heart really lies.

I started this little blog a few years ago now. At a very different time. And in a very different head space. I started writing shortly after getting tested for the BRCA1 gene and deciding to start the process for a preventative double mastectomy.

I started writing mostly with the intention of being able to document that journey and the process for myself. Also to be able share information with family and friends. And with the very small hope that perhaps someone who needed it, may somehow stumble upon it and find it vaguely helpful.

The blog grew and my journey evolved. And along with being a place where I could document my medical misadventures, it also became a place where I could write and hold myself accountable when it came to health and fitness.

And it did.

Writing and falling in love with the running community pushed me. I honestly believe it is why I have now run 2 marathons and 10 half marathons and whole bunch of other races in between. I am not sure I would have done half of that without this blog. It helped me keep pushing at a time in my life when I was really struggling.

It was always a positive space for me.
I have met amazing people both online and IRL. And I have also had some pretty amazing experiences because of it.

But the more time I have spent on the internet. The more I have experienced the "not so nice" side of it. Stolen Photos, snarky comments about the way I look, or how much I weigh or don't depending on commenter, along with some unwanted and gross male attention (*there was a creepy foot fetish guy for awhile. Who required blocking*).

Those experiences were not the norm, but the more time I spent here, the more it happened. And with the idea of growing our family, the more they concerned me.

Last year I gave a lot of thought to walking away. But still felt that my good experiences outweighed the bad. Like in life, you can't let a few negative experiences colour your whole view. So I opted to continue. Some exciting opportunities came my way and I decided it was a sign that this little blog should continue.

So as the New Year rolled around again, I found myself at a cross-roads.

Part of me wanted to continue to write. I wanted to share my experience with fertility and motherhood. Hoping that I could again share something that may help someone else experiencing the same thing. I know I spent a lot of time on blogs, forums, and google after my miscarriage. (and still do) So I thought maybe I could provide something that would help someone too.

But the other side of me knows, that as supportive and awesome Social Media can be, it also brings with it a lot of unnecessary pressure.

It is easy to get sucked into the comparison game. What is everyone else doing? How is everyone doing it? And particularly around the issue of building a family, it can be disheartening to see how easily it happens for other people, when that it is not your experience.

There is pressure to be open and share (whether real or imagined), but with that openness come judgment. People weigh in on your life and your experiences despite only getting a summation in the form of a couple hundred words a week and a few pictures to go by. That is kind of the nature of the social media beast and I have always understood that. But with that, then comes the pressure to justify what you are doing and why you are doing it.

More and more that just doesn't interest me.

I place enough pressure on myself. And lately, it has become clear that the added pressure of social media isn't helpful or something I even want.

I will be first to admit this wasn't a decision I came to lightly. I have poured my heart out on this blog more than a few times. Some of the most difficult moments of my life have been documented on this space. But more and more it feels like these experiences - these very raw and real experiences - just become something to be consumed.

This time - it all feels a little too precious for that. And this part of my life is something that I would rather keep just for me.

I spent the past few months doing a lot of soul searching and thinking about what I want for the year ahead. You may have even noticed much of what has been written here has started to become repetitive.

I just didn't have anything new to share.
Or if I did, I didn't really want to share it.

I am not training for anything. I am just working out to maintain my overall health.
I am working, and as always it keeps me pretty busy - with travel and projects.
And the rest of my time is being spent with my husband, family, and friends.
It is all pretty ordinary and doesn't exactly make for a thrilling read.
But after the past few years, that is also just really nice.
A peaceful, ordinary, happy existence is all I am really looking for.

At this moment I find myself in that peaceful place.
And in a very different phase of life then when I started this blog so many years ago.

Today I know what I want, I feel really good about the path I am on, and the life that I have.
For me, that is enough.

So I think it is time for me to say farewell for a little while.

I am not walking away from social media completely (*in fact it is part of my day-job*). And I am not saying that I will never write here again. But for now, my energy is just better spent elsewhere.

I am sure I will still see you from time to time on the interwebs via Instagram and Facebook. And I hope to see many of you at races and events. But without the pressure and expectations attached to maintaining this space and a certain "online presence".

For now, there are just other things I would rather put my energy into.
Thank you for being such an amazing part of my life and my journey. It has honestly meant so much!
Wishing you all health, happiness, and light.
Until we meet again.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Hashimoto's Treatment Update

I mentioned before Christmas that I was going in for a second round of blood work to see how my thyroid was responding to my Hashimoto's Treatment Plan.

My Thyroid levels have improved and are now well within normal range. (*HURRAY!*)

This wasn't that surprising to me because I had noticed several changes since starting my treatment. The two biggest being my energy levels and my hair (of all things).

1. My energy 
It wasn't that my energy was really holding me back before. Or that I am all of sudden doing so much more. But now I just feel better doing it. 

I used to really struggle in the mornings. I needed multiple cups of coffee to get going. And even with all my coffee I still felt foggy throughout the day. Now I wake up and I feel rested. And even after a long day - work, exercise, family commitments - I feel good. Those days would have left me feeling completely wiped out in the past. So for me, this change has been huge! 

2. My hair
I have long referred to my hair as duck fluff - it would break really easily. Not really a big deal, I just kinda figured I wasn't destined to have the luscious locks highlighted in the Panteen commercials. And I just assumed part of the problem was that I wore my hair up so often. But now, all of sudden my hair is much thicker and healthier.

This change was unexpected but I have definitely noticed a difference. (*Mostly that I don't have to spend 30 min wiping down the bathroom every time I wash my hair!*) 

The one area with my blood work that we were not super impressed with - were my Antibodies. These are the cause of my Hashimoto's, and I was hoping to see those decrease by going gluten-free. So far there has been no change to these levels. Which means we are treating the Hashimoto's with the thyroid replacement, but I have not really made strides to get to the root of issue.

It is possible that these are just slow to respond and will decrease if given more time. Or it could be that there is more I need to do from a diet/supplement perspective to change this. Or it could also mean that going gluten-free is doing a whole lot of nothing. 

We have decided to hold off on making any changes for the time being. And retest in another month to see what my antibodies are doing.

We also discussed my diet for my upcoming vacation to London and Paris. Since it is debatable that avoid gluten is doing much of anything, and I am going to the land of delicious French bread, my naturopath and I have agreed that I will go away and not stress about my diet.

I purchased a digestive Gluten-Enzyme to ensure I don't feel sick after avoiding gluten for the past few months. But otherwise, the plan is to enjoy my vacation. And discuss more options once I return.

Which sounds pretty good to me! Since we have delicious patisseries on our itinerary!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Monday, 4 January 2016

12 Goals for 2016

Last week I shared my 2016 Resolution.

And that post sums up how I want to approach the year ahead. Instead of being so hung up on getting to the place I am going, I want to step back, breathe, and enjoy the journey.

I have a clinical and critical mind (*some may say perhaps a little too honest and critical*), but a deeply emotional spirit. So I am trying to balance these two sides of my personality. My approach to life has always been a bit of paradox.

Being direct and goal-oriented tends to muddle the journey. But my Type-A spirit is always scheming and striving. So I cannot resist the lure of setting goals and intentions for the year ahead.

I have broken them down into four categories: Home Life, Fitness, Diet, and Career. (*bare with me this is a long one, feel free to skim and just read the highlighted bits*)

Home Life:

Baby Bishop
I decided to start with Family this year, because the truth is this is really my primary focus for 2016. 2016 is the year I hope we expand our family. Part of my cringes when I read that, as this is something I have struggled to share. But I try to treat this blog as an exercise in brutal honesty, and that is the truth,

The road back, following  my miscarriage in September has not been as linear as I had originally hoped.

It is no secret that I have been stressed. And since September I have admittedly been battling against my own self-imposed timelines. Deep down I wanted to get pregnant again in 2015. Because for whatever reason, I felt like it would help negate the sadness I felt about the miscarriage. I felt like if I could get pregnant before the clock struck midnight, then 2015 could still be about that Baby Joy that I long for, instead of having the year be about the one we lost.

But ironically, starting a new year and not being pregnant has been oddly freeing for me. Those imaginary timelines and that pressure is gone.

And I have finally gotten to a place where I understand that there is only so much that I can do. And this like many other things in life cannot be controlled or scheduled.

I am hopeful, that I am finally getting both my body and my mind in the right place to make this dream a reality. But if by mid-year we are still struggling, then we will start exploring other options.

We are ready to have a family, and I have always been open to the many ways that family takes shape. So hopefully, 2016 will reveal what will be best for us.

This one is already in the works, and just 5 weeks away. February 10th we head to London and then Paris for 11 days, and I cannot wait. I am looking forward to quality time with my husband, art, good food, an the kind of adventure that only travel can bring.

Be Present
I don't know about you, but Christmas was just good for my soul. We were busy. It was a jammed packed schedule of family, travel, and hosting. But spending that time surrounded by all the people that I love really helped remind me how lucky I am.

It is easy to think about the next step, the thing you don't have, and get bogged down in your everyday To-Dos. So for me, Christmas Break reminded me how many wonderful people surround me and how much I love my ordinary yet magical little life. I just need to spend more time simply embracing each moment.


Typically this is when I put together a detailed race schedule, with hopes of new distances and personal bests. And I won't pretend making the shift away from training for endurance and performance has been easy for me. I often miss my 2 hour training rides and my long runs. But as mentioned above, I have different priorities this year. So 2016 is going to be year I embrace a more balanced fitness approach.

The past few months have been struggle. I wanted to relax my training to focus more energy on getting pregnant, but as result treated exercise extremely conservatively and drove myself a little nuts. I started to lose myself in this process and was sacrificing healthy habits unnecessarily.

Exercise has just become a huge part of my life. And while I know Marathons and Half Ironman's don't work for me right now, I know being healthy has to remain a priority.

Swim 1x/week
I have not been in the pool regularly since we moved last year, and swimming is something I want to get back to. It is a great full body workout, but also gentle on the cardiovascular system and joints. So this week I am heading back to water

Strength Training 2x/week
I swear I have written this 100x on this blog.I always say I am going to start regularly incorporating Strength Training, but then I never do. Whether it is because my focus shifts toward increasing mileage for my next race, or I am fresh out of surgery, or preparing to head back to the OR for another - I always weasel my way out of it.

This year will be different. This year I plan to strength train a minimum of 2x\week. Strength training is a bit of a foreign concept for me, so I have started going to the BodyPump classes at Goodlife. Being in the class has been helpful to keep me motivated and to figure out what the heck I am supposed to be doing. Maybe with time I will branch out on my own, but so far the classes are kicking my butt.

Yoga 2x/week
Yoga is a must for me spiritually. As much as it is workout, I find I do a lot of soul searching on my mat. It helps me calm my mind, surrender my fear, find my strength, and refocus. So I committed to 2 yoga session per week in 2016.

Run 2x/week
I don't know if this will last for the whole year, but running is my first love. I am keeping my mileage low and lately I have been skipping my GPS altogether so I don't focus on pace/time. But a 30 minute run 2x a week is just something I enjoy. It helps keep me balanced.


Maintain Gluten-Free Diet
I am meeting with my Naturopath Cara this week to discuss my Thyroid levels and potential Non-Gluten-Free diet options while I am traveling. But I have noticed a big change in my overall health since going Gluten-Free 2 months ago.

In fact, over the holidays I cheated. On New Year's Day when I was feeling tired I had Kraft Dinner for lunch. (*its a tried and true comfort food for me*) Thinking because I don't have celiacs that I wouldn't really notice a difference.

I was wrong.
My stomach was not happy for the rest of the day, and I developed a migraine by dinner time.

Obviously not ideal, but lesson learned. Gluten and I are not friends.

Refocus on Whole Foods
December is always a bit of diet disaster - between my birthday and Christmas. But I have noticed, especially since going gluten-free, that I reach for pre-packaged food way too often. It is easy and convenient, but it is also often full of sugar and not that healthy. So this is something I need to stop doing.

Increase Protein
I have been an endurance runner for many years. And I have always been a carb lover. I could get away with lots of carbs before, because I would run 20-30km and burn it all off. But now that my lifestyle is changing, but diet has to change too. So I am striving to increase my daily protein.


Continue to increase my Portfolio at Work
I love my job with Polar Canada, and I had a great year work-wise in 2015. So I would obviously like to keep that ball rolling in 2016 as well and continue to increase my portfolio.

Master's Degree
I had every intention of applying for my Master's Degree in 2014, But I had an unexpected surgery, I lost my Dad, and then needed surgery again. I let life wear me down.

It is not something I am proud of. I have always prided myself on being able to pick myself back up. But at that moment - I could not do it.

I needed a break, I could no longer juggle work, life, family, and school. Something had to give. And for me it was grad school. I know why I made the decision I made. I don't even think it was a bad one. I needed that time. But I also don't want to be the kind of person that gives up on something that was important to them just because life got complicated.

I have had a chance to catch my breath now. And while I wouldn't exactly say I have been in full on relax mode for the past few years. Grad School is something I want to look at again.

This won't be something that happens this year, but I want to start exploring options and seeing if this is something I can do part-time in the evenings.

So that is the plan.
These are all my goals, hopes, and dreams for year ahead.
Hello 2016. I hope that you and I can be friends.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My 2016 Resolution

If you are on Facebook then you may have noticed their new-ish feature "On This Day". You may have noticed friends sharing those life altering moments from years before - engagements, marriages, births, races, whatever. And this December I found myself reviewing my own "On This Day" posts for fun (*and because I had some time off*).

With each day I started to recognize a consistent theme in my life during this time of year.

December marks the end of year; both on the calendar and for me personally, with my birthday. So I find I spend even more time than usual reflecting on the year that was and the year ahead.

As a self-proclaimed type-A-er, I love the feeling of a clean slate and fresh start. I often spend this time day-dreaming of the year ahead and making plans to ensure that this next year is my best year.

For a variety of reasons - well documented on this little blog - the past few years have tested me and my resolve.

So perhaps as a direct result of those challenges, I typically find myself scheming to create a "perfect" year. The sentiment that this next year is "going to be my year" is reoccurring. I said it in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

So the irony that I have not escaped a single one of the past four years unscathed is not lost on me.

And staring at this reoccurring but completely inaccurate theme, I have found myself wondering if the problem is not the hand I have been dealt, but rather my own perspective and expectations.

Perhaps it is all the yoga and meditation I have been doing lately, but I have found myself looking ahead with different expectations for 2016.

In the past, because of the challenges I have faced, I felt like a peaceful year was owed to me.

I felt like the struggles from the year before meant that the new year should be free of tears, sadness, and battles.

I expected life to go according to plan and for me to be able to tick off my life goals much the same way I tick off my to-do list.

If I worked for it, then I should achieve it.

But life is more nuanced than that.

And while it may sound cynical to some, I am not expecting perfection this year.

In fact, I am not even expecting the year ahead to be easy. There will likely be bumps and challenges this year as there are in every year.

Instead, this year I have gotten to a place where I understand the idea of perfection is not synonymous with life.

Life ebbs and flows.
More and more I have grown comfortable riding those waves.

There are moments of complete bliss and happiness, mixed with moments of devastating sadness, and there are a million simple ordinary moments in between,

That is what life looks like.

And that is the life that I am embracing for 2016.

As always I hope for a year where the moments of bliss outweigh the moments of sadness. But this year I recognize the peace I am searching for does not come from a life that is free of struggles and challenges. It comes from within.

So in 2016 I am simply seeking a grateful heart and peaceful mind.
The rest will unfold as it may.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Friday, 18 December 2015

A Year of Running 2015

For the past few years I have linked up with Miss Zippy for the year end review, and this year it is being hosted by Courtney.

I gave some thought to skipping this blog post this year. Because when I think about running is 2015, I think of it as an After Thought. In the past my running and racing goals have been at the forefront of my mind. Usually by this time I am coming up with new plans to strive for PRs, dreaming of big distances, and putting together a race schedule for the coming year.

This year, I started 2015 recovering from surgery #7, and then promptly switched my focus toward career and family. So running and racing took a backseat.

And as I continue to be gentle with my body with my hopes of a rainbow baby as my primary focus, there are no race plans in place for year ahead.

But reviewing the past year has reminded me that even when I slow down and shift focus - running and racing is always there.

I some how managed to run 7 races this year, including 1 triathlon, and I provide support at 2 other events. I have to be honest, that number surprised me. But it is also shows what an important and constant place running has in my life. It has become a trusty companion.

Best Race Experience:
I think this one has to be my Spontaneous Triathlon at Challenge St. Andrews. I signed up the day before. I had no wetsuit. I borrowed a bike and a helmet. And I basically just winged the whole thing, but had a great time! Often those races that you sign up for just for fun with no expectations are the best possible experience, and this one was no exception.
I often struggle to embrace my defective body. After so many surgeries and our recent loss, the things I lack tend to be the things that come to mind first. So being able to just jump in a Triathlon with unknown/minimal equipment and finish in 1:48:24 was definitely a welcome reminder that my body is strong and capable. Even if I can't always see it.

Best Run:
So this was actually not one of my races, instead it was the Toronto Women's Half Marathon. I was there to provide race support to the ladies on course. I covered 17km running with women over the final 5km of their half marathon. For me what was so amazing about the day and the event itself, is that at its very core, it was about Women Supporting Women. We chatted, we cheered, we laughed, we cried, and we ran. It was a living breathing example of why I love this sport so much.

It reminded me that Sport goes so much deeper than speed, distance, or PRs. Sport is a lesson in strength, determination, and the true definition of health. Sport creates a community of positive supportive people all working together to get stronger and be healthier. And Sport teaches us to love ourselves and our bodies for what it can do, not what it looks like. It reminded me why I do this.

Best New Piece of Running Gear:
I have struggled a little bit with shoes this year. I was in love with the Mizuno's Sayonaras, but with the update this year, the new model wasn't quite what I was looking for. So I have switched to the Wave Riders - and I really like them!

Best Running Advice You Have Received this Year:
Trust Your Training and your Fitness will come back faster than you think.
Rebuilding after my surgery and coming back to running after my miscarriage has shown me how quickly your fitness comes back. The rebuilding process can be discouraging, but if you put the time into training, your body will do what you are asking it to. You just have to trust the process.

Favourite Picture from a Run or Race this Year:
I think it has to be this fall running picture. I remember this run being so peaceful. The weather was perfect. I paused half way to simply breathe and just be. And I felt like I was finally starting to find a healing place within my training.

Race Experience You Would Repeat in a Heartbeat:
This one stumped me for a little bit. But I ultimately decided I had to pick the Mississauga Half. With just 11 weeks of training following surgery #7 - I don't think I could have asked for a better race experience.

It wasn't a PR. I was not definitely not in the best shape I have ever been in. But I ran strong and I finished smiling. So I would repeat that experience any day of the week.

If You Could Sum up Your Year in a Couple of Words What Would They Be?
Running - a constant companion
For me running is always there. Sometimes at the forefront with hard training and ambitious times. At other times as just a space to clear my head and bring peace to my heart. Either way, running is something that will always be a part of me and my life.

How was your year?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas Cookie Recipe Bonanza

I don't know what Christmas is like around your house, but at my house it tends to be quite busy. And this year is no exception. My sister comes home this Saturday, and just like that Christmas begins. We are heading to the Christmas Pantomime on Saturday night. We have a Christmas Dinner with Jamie's extended family Sunday. I am working Monday and Tuesday. And then our full-on Christmas activities begin.

This year I am hosting a family dinner on the 28th and we are also hosting a group of our friends on New Years Eve. So I spent this weekend getting myself organized. I ordered my roast from the butcher and put together my menu and grocery list for each one. I also spent the bulk of the weekend baking. I made myself a little Christmas Cookie stock pile in the freezer so we are ready for entertaining.

I did a mix of gluten-free and gluten-y recipes, mostly because I wasn't convinced my gluten-free attempts would turn out.

Being gluten-free this year has meant I have had to rethink some of my typical Christmas Comfort Foods, but so far it all seems to be coming together quite nicely. My gluten-free baking was a complete success. So I wanted to share the recipes I used this weekend.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread
Gingerbread is my Christmas Must. My family knows I basically exist solely on Gingerbread and Peanut Butter Balls from December 25-28th. So when I went gluten-free, this was a primary concern for me. How would I be able to achieve my gingerbread quotient for this year. I inevitably went to Pinterest to solve this problem.

And I found This Recipe from Gluten-Free on a Shoe String. (<--- click here to see full recipe)

It is AMAZING! You would never know the cookies are gluten-free. And they have a soft/chewy texture which is hard to come by in the gluten-free world. I definitely recommend this one if you are looking for a delicious GF recipe.

Triple Chocolate Reindeer Bites
I saw this idea in Canadian Living and thought they looked so cute. So I modified them to make them gluten-free.

1 box of Glutino Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
2 bags of Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels
6 squares of semi-sweet chocolate (melted in a double boil)
48 Candy Eyes
24 chocolate covered cranberries
red icing

1. Mix up the Glutino Brownie mix, scoop into mini muffin tin, and bake at 350 for 20 min.
2. Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a double boil
3. Cut several pretzels in half for antlers
4. Dip 1 pretzel in melted chocolate, fix to bottom of brownie, dip top of brownie in chocolate, add cranberry as nose, 2 pretzel antlers, and 2 candy eyes.
5. Hold each piece until the chocolate starts to harden. Add red dab of icing for nose. And put finished product in the fridge to firm up.

Peppermint Bark
This one is always a classic. And chocolate is gluten-free! I have shared this recipe before.

Marshmallow Bars
This one was for the hubby so I left this recipe gluten-y! Marshmallows are not my jam, but Jamie is all about the baked goods that include any kind of whipped cream or marshmallow product. And these squares are Marshmallows, Coconut, and a Shortbread Crust. He ate 4 while I was packaging these up - so I think they were a hit.

This recipe is a classic courtesy of the Joy of Baking. (<--- you can find it here)

I often struggle with shortbread. It always sounds easy, because there aren't many ingredients, but it takes some finesse. I recommend keeping the crust thin and lining your baking tin with parchment paper for easy removal.

PB + J Blondies
These were also hubby's pick. They aren't exactly Christmas-y, but they are yummy!

I really love baking, but I don't often set aside specific time to do it. So this weekend was the perfect excuse to make some fan favourites while the Christmas Baking Ball was rolling.

3/4 cup of butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup grape jam

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking tin with greased parchment paper - with excess paper hanging over the edge, for easy removal.
2. Stir all ingredients together in large bowl with a spatula. Mixture should be moist. I needed to add an extra egg to this batch.
3. Pour batter into baking tin and ensure the jam is mixed throughout.
4. Bake until toothpick comes out clean - approx. 30-35min.
5. Cut into squares and enjoy!

I hope you guys enjoy!
Let me know if you try any of the recipes!
Merry Christmas!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Meal Planning + Weekly Workouts + a Great Mail Week

This week ended up being a pretty a epic mail week over in this neck of the woods. Our brand new dining table was delivered on Wednesday. It is actually an Xmas/Birthday gift from my Mom, but we had it delivered before the holidays so we can put it to use good use with all of our upcoming hosting duties. Our Christmas festivities start next weekend when my sister comes home Halifax and basically last until New Years, so we have a lot planned.

It matches our sideboard in the living room and I absolutely love it.

I also came home Friday night to this super sweet care package from Smartwater. I am loving the new colouring book already!

And finally, I won an instagram contest hosted by the adorable Katy over at Fit in Heels for a $100 giftcard for Farm and Forks Organics. (*woohoo! I never win anything!*)

They have prepared meals, produce boxes, meat boxes, or just simply chose-your-own options. I opted to use it for a Meat Box - basically because it was a great way to get a good assortment of local and organic meat.

In the past we have had a both a Produce Box and a Meat box subscription, and I really liked it. I like getting to know and support the local farms we were purchasing from, being more in tune with what grew well or didn't, and knowing that what we are getting is organic. So I think I am going to use these guys regularly starting this spring/summer. The delivery was seamless and so far the stuff we have sampled has been delicious.

Along with having an awesome mail week, it has also been unseasonably warm around here, making running feel like a dream. Usually by this time of year it is well below freezing and there has been some (*if not a lot*) of snow. So far it has stayed above zero and there is no snow in sight, meaning I had to take advantage, and I ran a little more than I have in the last couple of weeks.
I opted to leave my GPS off though and just focused on Heart Rate. I kept my pace easy and my weekly workouts gentle as planned.

This week's workouts included...
Monday - 5km Run
Tuesday - 30 min Yoga
Wednesday - 5km Run
Thursday - 45 min Yoga
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 5km Run

I have been on my gluten-free adventure for about 6 weeks now, and I have been on my Thyroid medication for just over a month, so I am off to get my follow-up blood work tomorrow. I have noticed quite a few changes since I started my plan, but I am curious to take a closer look at the official numbers, so I will keep you posted.

I am also getting the hang of this whole gluten-free business, as you can see from my tasty meals above. I even managed to bake some successful gluten-free Christmas Cookies this weekend. (*I will share the recipe later this week*). Meaning, even though there have been moments where I have really missed gluten, I definitely think is manageable as a long-term lifestyle change.

This week's dinner's included...
Monday - Quinoa Salad
Tuesday - Chicken Salad
Wednesday - Tuna Salad and Green Juice
Thursday - Shrimp Teriyaki (*on the road*)
Friday - Gluten-Free Margherita Pizza from Scaddabush with blogging buddies (*Hi Girls!!*)
Saturday - Smoke Pork Chop + Salad
Sunday - Beef Burger on Rudi's Spinach Tortilla with Salad

And Congrats to Salma Sebastian and Sarah Abbot you won my Birthday Mizuno Breath Thermo Giveaway! I sent you an email this morning with all the details. Thanks so much to everyone who entered. Don't despair if you didn't win, I am putting together again great fitness giveaway for you all in the New Year.

I hope you all had a great week!
Love your favourite Darwinian Fail,