Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I says...'s nice to be done teaching for the week!

We had a fun spin class tonight (with perhaps a few too many sprints thrown in to the mix because I love them and they certainly help to pass the time!), and afterwards I relaxed with a cold beer and some hummus with steamed broccoli and rice crackers.

The broc probably sounds like it has no business hanging around there, but really, a head of broc belongs just about everywhere. (Except in or around angel food cake. -Ed.)

I steamed it and then mixed it in with the creamy hummus and ate the results with crackers. I am working towards a goal of eating more vegetables. Veggie shmeggie, it's ridiculously easy to quell hunger pangs with bread or crackers and hummus when you've minused yourself from the meat equation and you live in Winterville and you don't have ample time to cook.

But protein is also fine. Quite fine.

Toronto sushi is easy on the wallet and the eyes.

I'd also like to run some time, Universe, if you're listening. I seem to be too busy/sleep deprived/sick for running, even short jogs, but I am planning a Sunday morning adventure that will be dreamy. I just know.

Today's effort to add some non-spinning exercise backfired, in a way. I walked to the bus stop to catch my second bus. A good 45 minute hike across the bridge. Just in time to wave bye-bye to the bus as it drove away, leaving me to wait in the cold for 30 minutes. You bet a warm cup of cocoa I wanted to cry.

My journey to work took 1.5 hours, and I had no one to blame but myself. Wah!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kensington Kaffe

This raspberry chocolate cake was sculpted in a cute cafe in Kensington Market, Toronto.

For all my friends out there who are fasting, detoxing or dieting.

I'm with ya!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mean salad

It was a frighteningly long day. I didn't have time to go home for dinner between work and French class, and barely had time to complete the homework assigned last week.

I trudged up the sidewalk and mentally considered the mountain of laundry in my room and the dining room table which needs a solid cleaning, and so it was in this frame of mind that I pushed open the front door and smelled dinner. Someone else's, of course. Tomato-based, I'd guess. Pasta, likely. And I thought, I need a wife.

You know what I mean! 

Someone to mind the laundry and bake lasagna - let's start with the spinach variety and a bubbly bechemel sauce - and change the kitty litter and take out the recycling. 

And pet the cat. He needs more company than any one able-bodied person could give him.

Then I realized - I have a weekend wife who pours me a glass of wine and composes a mean salad! 

A weekend without D's pasta is like a day without sunshine.
He does such a fabulous job I'm going to give him the weekend off. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Was it the shot of espresso?

Or the apple I devoured in the 30 minute space between spin classes? Whatever the reason, I had a great night leading a total of 32 people through two wikkid strength classes!

We climbed 5 long and steep hills, threw that dial to 9+ and sprinted in the middle of the hills, at the top and also during the chorus of songs. It was wild. People were yelling I had a repeat customer, a guy who signed up for both classes, just like last week. And I was thrilled to polish off a big yummy meal afterwards. It was packed with veggies but was, unfortu, a beer-less meal: fridge was all outa hops. :-(

Yet I gotta admit I'm relieved to be done with the extra class and content to float back to my usual Wednesday routine when my spin buddy returns to pick up his regular class next week. When Work gets demanding, everything else kinda slides, so I was lucky that She peered at me through horn rimmed bifocals today and took pity on me. Last Wednesday - here comes the whine! - I got up at 6am for a stressful morning at the job, then came home and crashed for a bit before teaching, but the tiredness slipped out of my cells and in to the second class. Tonight those cells did a 180, which is to say I am WiReD! Zing! And the last class ended ages ago.

So, to be in decent form to teach two classes, the optimal for me is a shot of espresso, an apple and a gel in between, and a good sleep the night before.

Now I can concentrate on dreaming up hilarious submissions for CBC Radio's 6-word love story contest. And oh yeah, sleeping.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Palm trees on the Canal

It's Sunday. We snoozed and Dexter'd, drank coffee and ate Netherlandish goodies left over from the holidays (long story!). A fine way to waste a day if you ask me, but then I got the urge to run so I did, into the dark. I had a route in mind so I set off with a water bottle and some thoughts to carry me through. And also "She's So Cold," which I'd heard just before the run and which buzzed endlessly through my brain like a fly caught in an empty glass.

Running outside at night gave me a different perspective of parts of the city that I usually only see during daylight hours. In one well-off neighborhood many large fir trees on lawns were adorned with soft white christmas lights which created a rich glow on the brick houses behind them. I also noticed fewer people about  - almost no one. During the day, the place seems rather geriatric and slow; at night, a grand neighborhood.

I thought a lot on this run about trust, at least from a writerly pov. Writers trust that readers will understand their images and phrases, and readers trust that authors will take them somewhere worthwhile. Not that every place is worthwhile, but some places are very good and worth more than others. 

For the first time this season I ran on the Canal with about a thousand skaters and considered how we trust that the ice will hold firm even as we make sharp cuts on its surface and jump on it, too. The ice won't crack and plunge us hypothermically into the water, and we won't stretch shaking hands the color of fish underbellies toward the large fake palm trees for leverage. Trust keeps us donning snow pants and tightening laces with gloved fingers and licking drips of nutella from steaming beaver tails. Trust keeps us coming back.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


May I introduce my little nuggets of sweet protein. You can see the carroty bits more than you can taste them.

I'm going to pack a few for the spin class today. It's a class set up to raise money for the city's Rape Crisis Centre. I am impressed on a regular basis by this little studio run by bike mechanics and competitive athletes. These guys demonstrate that they care about health and social issues - and womens' social issues - and art and good coffee. I have loads of crap to do but this is a vital cause that needs our support, and I'm sure it will draw a studio full of excited athletes this afternoon, yay!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Half homemade

I got big plans for transforming these product divas. Anyone guess what that might be?

Yep - you in the back, you were right! Tomorrow I am going to makeover this ragbag collection of ingredients into a reasonable facsimile of protein cookies! Using the dry Betty Crocker cookie mix as a base, I'll add cooked mashed carrots, pb, protein powder and ground flax seeds. Last time I baked these cookies I used an organic oatmeal mix and the results were delicious heaps of hunger-staving beacons. Stay tuned.

Ran at the gym on a treadmill after work. Not because I really really wanted to but because I bought a 3 month membership and feel like I need to get some use out of it. All the worker bees land at the gym for a TM run around 5pm so the quiet gym becomes loud and packed with runners waiting for machines. Quelle drag. I had a solid 50 minute run with some intervals, then came home and finished some writing homework.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Double spin

I taught back-to-back spin classes tonight and lost my appetite. But it clawed its way back.

Class 1 was fun. It was a chance to lead a group of people I never get to see since they usually spin in the time slot I never teach in. I was revved from a catnap after work (I left early!). A last-minute pedal change kept me alert, too (thank you, green-socked woman). I was excited to see how this double shift experiment would turn out. Would I die from exhaustion or suffer a burst bloodclot in my brain? Naaaa, I didn't really think that. I was more concerned with hydration and eating enough/the right foods in the 30 minute rest in between. 

Then Class 2 got under way and I felt fine, if a bit tired. I still tried to be cheery and bossy, haha. By the end of the class I grappling and had to fight the urge to stare off into space. At about the 30min mark, I almost lost my place in the choreography but found it and scolded myself sufficiently to not lose it again! I thought of people working long shifts of physical labour under emotional and mental duress and then in comparison keeping track of how many sprints we did seemed easy as pie. I didn't get lost again. 

Now, laying down, my shins and calves feel achy and warm to the touch. Must be some geared up healing going on there. Go go gadget cell reconstruction. 

As I was locking up the studio I had an uncanny feeling that someone was still there. I searched the spinning room and the bathrooms but saw or heard nothing. It's not a large space. Everyone was gone. I think my tiredness was setting me on the edge between rationality and hallucination.  

On my way home I realized that a) my lack of appetite was a trick - how could I not feel hungry about 2 hours of spinning?! - and b) I was too tired to walk very far. I picked up a small contained of dinner at the veg place and ravaged every succulent morsel back at my place.