Sheryl Jesin

Fitness, food, family, fun and more!


1 Comment

Joining a gym

I’ve recently discovered there is a place I can go to where I can do all my favorite activities such as running, spinning, yoga and strength training. For a nominal fee, there’s even someone who will happily watch my two kids while I partake in these activities.

Of course I’m talking about a gym. Why has it taken me so long to discover that I love going to the gym?

I’ve been seriously exercising for almost 2 years now. I’ve been doing it mainly at home, using exercise videos or an app on my phone. And then of course I run outside. In nice weather I bike outside too.

It has been great working out at home. It’s free. I can do when the kids are around, and I can do it whenever I want.

Lately I’ve been feeling that I need a change. It’s good to shake up your routine now and then. That’s where the gym comes into play.

I’ve always thought that if I join a gym, I’d never go. But I’ve proven to myself over the last two years that I really enjoy exercising consistently. It makes me feel amazing and working out is the best way for me to get out of a bad mood. Moms often spend so much time caring for their families and I think it’s crucial that we take time to do things for ourselves.

So I’ve decided to join a gym. I plan on going during the week super early in the morning while the kids are still asleep so that I’m home in time to get them ready and send them off to school. I will also occasionally go on the weekends and bring them along, as there is on site babysitting.

Instead of telling myself I’m not going to go, I’ve decided to replace that negative self talk with some positive thinking. I am going to go to the gym 3-4 times a week because I love it and because exercise makes me feel alive!

I’ve already gone a few times before 6am and it was so motivating to see all of the like minded people who were there at that time. It felt amazing sweating during a challenging spinning class before most people even roll out of bed.

Waking up early means I also have to go to bed early. I’ve wanted to go to bed early for a while now but I’ve always found ways to waste time at night (random Internet surfing? Facebook? TV?). These are things I will gladly cut out of my life to make time for the gym.

Do you go to the gym? How do you make time to stay active?

Happy!


3 Comments

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon Race Recap

Back in October, I participated in my second half marathon, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.

Why has it taken me three months to write this race recap? I don’t have a good excuse. It has been a combination of procrastination, and wanting to write the “perfect” race recap. I’m letting perfection go, and here it is. Better late than never.

Pre Race Thoughts

My training leading up to the race felt strong. I found it a lot easier to train for this race than my first half marathon that I ran in May 2012. Each long run for my May race was really hard. It wiped me out for the rest of the day. I was sore for days after. This time, the long runs were no big deal. I knew how to properly prepare for them. I knew how to tackle them, and I knew how to recover.

I was feeling fairly confident in the weeks leading up to the race. But then the week before, as I checked the weather forecast, my confidence started to wane. They were predicting rain, and a lot of it for race day. I had run in the rain before, but never a long run. I started to psych myself out. I didn’t know what to wear. I was worried about being freezing cold and wet and soggy and chafed all over. I even thought about dropping out of the race. Then I remembered all of my friends and family who had generously sponsored me and helped me raise funds for La Leche League. There was no way I was going to drop out! Here’s a post explaining how I tackled the rain.

The Race

Morning of the race it was 10 degrees Celcius and pouring rain. I was not pleased! I sucked it up and headed down to the start line. It was quite well organized with properly marked starting corrals, and lots of available porta-potties. I wore a Lululemon Pacesetter run skirt and a Lululemon Swiftly v-neck short sleeve T-shirt. I covered myself in a makeshift raincoat made out of a garbage bag and brought along a throwaway umbrella. I wanted to stay as dry as possible before the race. In spite of my wish for dryness, my shoes and socks got soaked. But, my clothes and hair stayed dry before the race started, and this was quite nice. I saw lots of soaked runners at the start line, and they looked pretty cold and miserable.

When the race started at 8:30 am, the pouring rain had slowed down to a very light drizzle. This made me very happy. My feet stayed wet for the whole race (it was hard to avoid puddles) but my clothes never got wet.

The race started at University and Dundas. The route took us through many nice areas in Toronto. I ran past the hospital where I gave birth to both of my kids. I ran past the dorms I lived in at the University of Toronto when I did my undergrad. I ran past the corner of King and Bay, past a tall office tower in which I worked before I had kids. It felt awesome knowing that I am currently in the best shape of my life, better than I was as a student in my 20s, and better than I was before I had two kids.

My splits for the race were as follows:

Mile 1 – 11:39

Mile 2 – 11:07

Mile 3 – 10:26

Mile 4 – 10:50

Mile 5 – 10:50

Mile 6 – 10:59

Mile 7 – 11:06

Mile 8 – 11:07

Mile 9 – 10:58

Mile 10 – 10:54

Mile 11 – 10:52

Mile 12 – 10:43

Mile 13 – 10:11

Chip time – 13.1 miles – 2:26:25

Overall, I am quite pleased with my time. I kept my pace steady during most of the race and I love that my last mile was my fastest. During the race, I was trying to psych myself up and kept repeating positive thoughts to myself, such as: “I trained perfectly for this race. I am wearing the ideal outfit for these conditions. I love running. This is a great day to run! No one said this would be easy. It is a challenge and that is why I love it.” Perhaps these thoughts sound cheesy to you. They are a bit cheesy, but thinking positive thoughts helped me make it through the race. I believe that distance running is 90% mental, and 10% physical. You obviously have to put in the time training your body, but you also have to really use your mind to make it through a race, and you need to use your mind to push your body through the pain.

OK, back to the race. I didn’t want to start out too fast. I felt great through the first 6 miles. At around mile 6, my legs got a bit tired and my muscles started to ache a bit. Once I got to mile 10, I knew I only had 3 miles left (5k). My legs were hurting at this point, but I sped up a bit, knowing I was near the end. The crowd was quite large during the last mile, and it felt great to hear all the cheering. The last 500m or so were slightly up hill. That was not fun. But I pushed myself right until the finish line. I really wanted to finish under 2:30.

I crossed the finish line and felt amazing! I also felt freezing and was quite thankful for the mylar blankets they were giving out. The area after the finish line was quite crowded. It probably took a good 15 minutes to walk through the area where I collected my medal and some food before I could get to the post run party, which was held in Mel Lastman Square at City Hall. The area where they designated for us to walk was far too narrow for the amount of people. This was probably my only complaint about the logistics of the race. My parents and brother were there to greet me at the party and snap a few pics. My husband and kids stayed home because of the inclement weather. I missed them, but it was nice to have some time to recover and enjoy the party, rather than chasing around two little ones.

Happy!

Happy!

Post run thoughts

My second half marathon was a phenomenal experience. I was amazed how much easier it felt than my first half marathon, and I know that with more training and more miles under my belt, I can easily improve my time. I know that there is a 2:15 half marathon in my future, and maybe even a 2:00. I also know that there is definitely a marathon in my future, but probably not until my kids are a bit older.

Since my half, I have kept up my running. I try to run 2-3 times a week (which is not easy in the middle of winter!). I haven’t kept up my distances – I think the farthest I’ve gone has been 7km. I’m OK with that – it has been good for my body to recover from the distances and I’ve enjoyed some cross training, including spinning, cross country skiing and some weight training.

I’m planning on taking a break from racing for the next little while. I will stay active and run – not because I’m training for something, but because I truly love running. I love what it does for my body, mind and soul. While races are a lot of fun, every day that I run is a good day.


1 Comment

Recipe – Vegan Gluten Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie

A few weeks ago it was American Thanksgiving, and I kept seeing pumpkin recipes popping up all over the internet. Pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins and so on and so forth. When I was at Whole Foods last week, I spotted cans of organic pumpkin on sale. I decided to pick up a few, and experimented with a pumpkin pie recipe.

While pumpkins are best known for their decorative purposes at Halloween, they are a surprisingly super source of nutrition. Pumpkins are high in carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre. Did you know that pumpkin flesh contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers feelings of well-being and happiness?

The next time you are at your local grocery store, pick up a can of pumpkin puree, and make this recipe. It is a dessert you can feel good about eating.

Recipe – Crustless Pumpkin Pie – Vegan, gluten free, soy free

Ingredients:

2 tsp cinammon

1 tsp. dried ginger

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/3 cup oat flour

2 tbsp corn starch

1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree

1 cup coconut milk (I mostly used the solidified cream from the top, with a little bit of the liquid)

1/2 cup maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cinammon, ginger, sea salt, oat flour and corn starch.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and maple syrup.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix well. Ensure all lumps are gone.
  5. Pour into an 11 inch glass pie plate.
  6. Bake for 35 mins.
  7. Remove from oven. Middle of the pie should be set.
  8. Cool on wire rack.

I served this pie topped with a bit of coconut cream, drizzled with maple syrup, and dusted with cinnamon. It was a hit with everyone in the family, including the kids.

20121211-224247.jpg


Leave a comment

Friday night decluttering

The kids were in bed early tonight, and I decided to spend a bit of time on one of my favorite activities – decluttering.

The thing I’ve discovered about decluttering is that it has to be an ongoing activity. You can’t declutter a room and then think – I’m done, this room will remain clutter free forever. Perhaps if I lived alone (not that I would ever want to!!!) this would be true. However, in a world with kids and a husband, my decluttering work is never done.

Tonight I tackled our living room/dining room. My main focus was on the kids’ toys. In one hour, I got rid of two garbage bags worth of toys and books that they rarely use. I am pretty efficient with my decluttering lately. This means that I am not sentimental about things and I do not spend much time debating whether or not to keep something. If the kids don’t play with it often and/or we don’t have room to store it, out it goes. I like to think that these items go to kids who really need them, and this makes the process easier.

While I am quite rational about this, my kids certainly are not. Kids will hold on to every single toy in the house if you let them. This is why I declutter when they are asleep. I hope that as they get older, I can start to include them on decluttering, as it is certainly an important skill to learn.

I know I can’t declutter my whole house in one day, and I’m ok with that. I don’t let perfectionism get in my way – every little bit of decluttering helps my home become the peaceful haven that I want it to be.

20121130-222407.jpg


4 Comments

Banana blueberry carob smoothie

Sometimes I get into a smoothie rut. I have a few basic combinations that I rotate, but sometimes my palate is looking for new flavours.

I often look to other blogs for smoothie inspiration. A few days ago, Gena over at Choosing Raw posted about a flavour idea that caught my eye: a blueberry carob smoothie. I bought some carob powder a few weeks ago and was not quite sure what to do with it. With Gena’s recipe in mind, I decided to add it to a smoothie.

I loosely followed Gena’s instructions and combined a banana, frozen wild blueberries, purple kale, coconut milk, cinnamon, carob powder, a medjool date, Sunwarrior protein powder, and some ice.

The smoothie was absolutely delicious. As Gena points out, the carob added a certain sweetness that really compliments the blueberries. The carob also completely covered the taste of the kale and protein powder. I don’t mind the taste of either, but it was still nice.

Have you made any interesting smoothies lately?

20121129-193019.jpg


Leave a comment

A Whole Foods Lunch

I have been doing a lot of our grocery shopping lately at Whole Foods. It may be more expensive than other grocery stores, but the produce is so much fresher – especially the organic items. I don’t know of another grocery store that consistently has fresh organic kale week after week. If it exists, please let me know. We also buy little to no meat on a weekly basis, and that saves a lot of money on the grocery bill.

When I’m at Whole Foods, I sometimes treat myself to lunch at their salad bar. It truly is outstanding. Today I had a selection of vegan and gluten-free items. My lunch consisted of curried chickpeas, quinoa with sweet potato and spinach, steamed kale, raw kale salad with beets, coleslaw, and a salad made from cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.

Benjamin and I shared this when we came home from the store. I think he loves their salad bar as much as I do. It was good till the last drop.

20121126-153604.jpg

20121126-153612.jpg


1 Comment

Happy birthday to me

Another birthday has come and gone.

This year, the celebration began with an early morning run on a cold and crisp day.

We ended the day with some delicious, gluten free vegan cupcakes.

And what happened in between the beginning and the end? A lovely day spent with my husband and kids. Who could for anything more?

20121125-144527.jpg

20121125-144539.jpg

20121125-144549.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 631 other followers