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Sugar and Spice

P1: I am loving my new course so far and enjoying the beginning of my second course that is part of the infertility counselling certificate program at the University of Toronto. It is entitled, "Pregnancy and Parenting after Infertility". Just 4 more credits to go for the certificate! I am realizing just how important it is to my well-being and happiness to feel intellectually stimulated. I think that's why I was so miserable during my PhD, I really wasn't inspired by the material I was working with. So ironic really. I could have saved myself 4 years of my life and just gone straight to this program. Of course, I didn't really have the maturity or life experience for counselling at that time, nor would I have been able to call myself Dr. as I can now.

P2: The other day I asked Big A to share her snack with Little A in the car on my way to the in-laws and she did so and then said, "You know what mommy, my snacks taste better when I share them with Little A." Although both girls can drive us completely insane, their affection for each other gives me great joy. Little A absolutely ADORES Big A and Big A adores Little A and adores the adoration she gets from her. When Little A sees Big A she shrieks with delight and will wrap her arms around Big A and follow her around the room. I really hope they grow up to be good friends. I always wanted a sister who could be my BFF. Fortunately, I have been blessed with wonderful sister-in-laws so at least I sort of got my wish as an adult.

Of course it's not all sugar and spice with two girls. There are some snails and puppy dog tails too. Little A is still throwing food and anywhere she goes she leaves a trail of crumbs. The stroller, the car, the whole first floor of our house and pretty much anywhere else she eats anything ends up a complete mess. Recently we found a petrified cheese sandwich and a whole slew of raisins under her car seat and don't even get me started about the things that turn up in the stroller! Little A, herself, is usually pretty dirty too. We bathe her every night but by the time she's been awake for an hour the next morning, she is almost always filthy. In fact, she seems to relish in filth. She loves sand. Eating it, running it through her hands, rolling in it. She doesn't mind being wet, muddy, sticky or stinky. Big A was never like that - she hated being dirty. But Little A is more like Pig Pen (which is my new nickname for her), the dirt seems to follow her everywhere.

F1: I baked this today and it turned out great.

Banana Berry Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed
4 egg whites or 2 large eggs
4 tbls organic canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup dried berries

Whisk together wet ingredients in large bowl. Stir together dry ingredients and berries and add to wet ingredients. Stir just to combine. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 375 for about 1 hour, or until set in the middle. Cover with foil after the first 20 minutes to prevent top from over-browning. Cool on a wire rack.

F2: No pain No Gain

This old adage really does have some merit when it comes to exercise. The key is distinguishing between the "good" pain and the "bad" pain. Bad pain, due to injury is not what we are talking about here. That kind of pain is generally, sudden, sharp pain accompanied by blood, bruising or swelling.

The type of pain you want a bit of is muscle fatigue (i.e. when your muscles start to shake or you strength train to failure, meaning perform reps of an exercise until you cannot do anymore) and delayed onset muscle soreness (the pain you feel within 48 hours of exercising). Delayed onset muscle soreness occurs because when you strength train, you are essentially tearing the muscle fibres. When they repair, the muscle is stronger.

You want a bit of discomfort in your cardio training too. A few of my spinning participants were chatting before my class last weekend about how they always cheat during the class because they can't actually keep up. What they fail to understand is that if you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you never get stronger or fitter. It doesn't have to be dramatic, every little incrimental change makes a difference. Go a little faster, a little higher, a little longer or a little harder. JUST DO IT!

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