Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homemade Lara Bars

For those of you who have never tried a Lara Bar -- do yourself a favour and go out and buy one. Namely the "Cashew Cookie." Lara bars have only natural ingredients and the latter one has only two ingredients: dates and cashews. I've tried the other flavours, but they don't compare to the Cashew Cookie IMHO.

For a bar that has only two ingredients, it tastes so delicious! I've been dying to make my own as they cost a hefty $2.19 each at the local store (less at Costco, but you don't get Cashew Cookie, you only get an assorted box). For Christmas, one of my prezzies was a food processor, and I cracked it open today and whipped up a batch of homemade Lara Bars. It was so easy and they taste so awesome.

The recipe is very, very easy -- remember we are talking about me cooking here so it has to be. :)

1. Big bunch of pitted dates
2. Bunch of cashews

I threw in a bunch of cashews into the food processor first, because once the dates go in, it is a STICKY MESS. I chopped them up so they were in tiny pieces and then poured them into a bowl.

Next, I put a whole big bunch of pitted dates into the food processor. I just left it on high until the dates form themselves into a ball that whirls around and around.

Then, all you do is break up the big ball of mashed dates into smaller balls. Dip these little balls over and over again into the cashew bowl until they can't hold anymore cashews.

Roll the little balls between your palms (no perverted comments here, Jenna - LOL!) until they form ropes. Then press them flat into bar shapes. You can get all fancy and use a cutting board to flatten the bar and a knife to straighten the sides. Then, all you do is wrap up the bars in plastic wrap and throw them in the fridge. YUM!!!!!!!

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I had to post a quick update in regards to my new bike. I hooked her up to my Computrainer and could not believe the spike in my wattage output!!!!! I mean serious increase people!!!

I did this one set where normally I would be around 170 - 185 Watts, today, I was doing 280 - 300 watts. Pedaling is so much easier, spinning is so much easier -- even my left knee has healed. I used to experience quite a bit of pain in my left knee, and just since riding my new bike, the pain has disappeared.

I LOVE MY NEW BIKE AND I LOVE BOW CYCLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Keith and I rock out...

I was lucky enough to squeak in to see a guy at Bow Cycle on the 27th. He had me sorted out in no time and I left approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes later with a brand spanking new Cervelo P2C. They had a promotion going on where you get 15% off your purchase to be used on in-store merchandise. So -- my new saddle, dual bottle holders, shoes and pedals were included.

I then headed to Keith's and Linda's house so I could break in my new bike. I only made one small navigational error en route to Keith's...All I'm saying is that I am glad there was no one home at the first house I knocked at! Hahahahahahaha!!

I set up my new bike beside Keith's and told him that I was going to wear my iPod -- He said, "Really?" and sounded mildly disappointed. But I was adamant -- I remember reading about his collection of 14th century music and could not fathom rocking out to Bartok. Hahahahaha!! But, he was persuasive and threw a video of the IMC course on and then played an amazingly CURRENT collection of music. I just about fell off my bike when he cranked Ace of Base at one point. People -- do not be fooled -- Keith can ROCK OUT!!!! LOL!!!!

Keith and Linda took me to an amazing Greek restaurant for dinner and I stuffed myself silly. I think I love Greek food like Susi loves sushi. LOL!!! :) :):)

Thanks so much to Keith and Linda who holed me up in their wonderful home -- You two are the best!! Big hugs to both of you!! :) :) :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Life -- aka "The Gong Show"

Will someone please tell me how in the world it is even possible I was able to complete:

* FOUR Ironman races
* THREE half IMs
* FIVE Olympic Tris and
* THREE Sprint tris

on a bike that is 6 sizes too big for me????

Thanks to my new coach -- THANK GOD FOR HER -- I just found out that I should be riding nothing bigger than a 50 or 51 cm -- mine is 56 cm. It is so big that her 6 foot 2 inch partner has the same frigging size bike as I do. AAAARGGGGHHHH -- I felt like such an idiot!!!!!

But, at least this problem is going to be bike Madge has been re-christened to: "The Big Mother Tucker" Minus the T and replaced with an F of course. Or for short -- BMF. For now, I'll ride BMF until I get a properly fitting bike.

The visit with my coach on Wednesday was absolutely unbelievable -- she is a true professional and was patient, thorough and generous. I had a major epiphany about running form, and discovered that my swimming isn't as disastrous as she thought it would be -- LOL!!!! Hey -- I'll take a compliment no matter how much I have to spin it to my advantage. Hee-hee!!

I had typed up two pages of questions all about nutrition, stretching, everything I could think of, and she answered every single one of them. Although, I thought I detected a mild look of alarm when I flipped the first page of questions over... Hahahahahaha!!!!

All in all, I was vibrating like Jenna's eye-roller the whole day long. I learned so much -- and I have actually retained it! Go figure! :) :)

She analyzed my swimming and has given me some new drills and pool side exercises to do. I think I wrote about this to Jenna: On Friday morning, there I was with my stretch cords on the pool deck doing my new exercises. The lifeguard said to me, "Careful, Julie -- People are going to start thinking you are a swimmer." Hahahahaha!!

I had a wonderful time and have to thank my coach yet again. Thank you Sara!!! You are an angel in disguise!!!!!!

Well, sorry for the short and choppy post, but I thought I'd better get on it, or else suffer the wrath of Jenna...

:) :) :)

Santa: I need a new bike.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Great White Triathlete

That's me-- Hahahahaha!!

For some time now I've been toying with the idea of purchasing some kind of compression clothing. OH NO! I know what you are thinking -- don't cave in to the dorky socks!! I have resisted the urge to buy those stupid looking socks, but I am at the point now where I really do need some kind of compression for my legs.

After IMC this year, my legs and ankles swelled like I was a sailor on the ship that watched Bikini Island blow up, and then picked up a piece of radioactive pebble, put it in his pocket, only to discover years later, that his limbs started to swell and swell and swell because of the radioactivity. You get the idea.

Fortunately, I had scarfed a number of ankle and knee compression things from my store this summer. I sold them for $1.50 each -- and they are GOOD. Aside from lying on the floor, with my bum pressed against the wall and my legs upright, those little compression things did provide a large amount of relief.

Fast forward to now -- I am training like I have never trained before -- the first two weeks of December I did 13.4 hours each week. For the first time, I feel like I am actually pushing myself, and my whole body is feeling it. On Sunday, I had a long, hilly run, and then after swimming yesterday, I also had another 1 hour run. When I was swimming, my legs felt super-heavy, and I was wondering how in the world I was going to run later on in the day.

But I did -- and I actually felt great! After my run (and some good stretching), I dug through my drawers to find my trusty compression knee things. I slept with them on for most of the night. Sometime in the night, I must have woken up and flung them off, because I found them at the far end of the room this morning -- Hahahahaha!! I put them on again this morning, and they feel good.

I guess I'm just stoked that I am working out hard enough where I truly need compression thingies!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!

Peanut had to come and see what I was doing...LOL!!!!

I've ordered a couple of pairs of compression Cw-x tights from the US, and am just waiting for the chance to deke down to Kalispell to pick them up from our mail box.

Tomorrow is my big day -- an all day, one on one swimming, biking, and running session with my coach!! YAHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:) :):) :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SBS or Sweaty Boob Syndrome

I thought I'd do something entirely different and post about my training....go figure! LOL!!

Things are going great! I've started swimming four times a week, and have discovered the types of food I need to eat in order for me to feel great. It's funny -- when I was visiting with Jenna, she mentioned watching "The Last Ten Pounds Bootcamp" and how cool it would be to have your nutritional choices all laid out for you... Well, we were once again on the same wavelength, as it was by watching that show I stumbled across the power breakfast to end all power breakfasts.

This breakfast has been my missing link, I swear. I have so much more energy and feel more satisfied from it. Are you ready for it? Hee-hee! Here it is:

Three egg whites and one egg yolk (for those who are as muddle-headed as I am, that translates to 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg. Yes, that took me a bit to figure out -- Hahahaha!!)

Handful of cooked broccoli

Scramble eggs and veggies, then top it off with a glass of juice and 2 slices of whole grain toast with peanut butter.

I've always heard if you eat a proper breakfast it sets you up energy-wise for the rest of the day, and curbs any sugar cravings. I've always eaten breakfast, but there is something about this combination of food that is KAPOW!! for me. :):):):)

Now -- onto the title of my post....

The change rooms at the Sparwood pool are very, very warm. And humid. The kind of moist heat that has you toweling yourself off again and again and never achieving total dryness. In fact, there is a direct correlation between how much I exert myself in the pool and how hot I find the change rooms afterward.

All this leads to the inevitable Sweaty Boob Syndrome. I HATE HAVING SWEATY BOOBS. I hate it so much, that I as soon as I'm done toweling off, I rush to stand underneath a hand-dryer and dress between blasts of hot air. For you men out there who don't know of this phenomenon, allow me to elaborate. In a hot, humid change room, the first spot that condensation occurs on a woman is on her boobs. Under her boobs, around her boobs, just all over the boobs. It doesn't matter what size the boobs are either -- trust me on this one.

The time that elapses between putting on a bra and the development of boob sweat is moot. And there is nothing worse then feeling that boob sweat grow and spread as you then try and pull a shirt on. Never mind trying to wriggle into a sports bra. Ahh, the method of trying to get a sports bra over your head and actually where it's supposed to be when your body is wet is a sight to behold.

Picture it -- Head goes through okay, but then the inevitable roll up at the back of the shoulders occur. How often have I contorted my arms and flailed my body trying to unroll a sports bra that's tightly rolled against my upper back? It's almost like having a full on panic attack -- Get it off, Get it off, GET IT OFF!!!!!!!!!

I actually met my friend Trudy in this manner. I was solidly stuck partially in, but mostly out of my sports bra, standing underneath the hand-blower, and doing the funky chicken trying to get the damn thing unrolled. I must have been quite a sight, because it prompted a total stranger to help me pull my sports bra on. Ahhhh, the strange goings-on in the women's change room. Hahahahahahaha!! I knew we would be good freinds after that..

(Come to think of it, I met Cath in a change room too -- Hahahahaha!!)

Just say SBS.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

From Blog to Reality...

After visiting my sister in Melfort, SK, this past week, I made plans to stop in Saskatoon to visit fellow blogger, Jenna. The build up to this meeting was something else -- I felt like I already knew her, but had never actually physically met her. I had communicated with her via email, but had never even spoke with her on the telephone!

Thursday night I made my first voice contact with Jenna -- I called her, and said, "Hello? I am looking for my kindred spirit?" LOL!!! There was a pause, that quickly evaporated once I said, "Is this Jennalicious the Vicous?" I was just about vibrating with excitement all that night and the next day in anticipation of meeting her -- I JUST KNEW that we were cut from the same cloth.

When I pulled up to her house, (I couldn't believe I had found the place and wasn't lost somewhere Hahahaha!!) and she answered the door it was AWESOME!!! We hugged each other and like Jenna has said in her post, we blabbed and blabbed and blabbed!!

She is drop-dead gorgeous too -- smoking hot. I knew she was a looker from the occasional pics she has posted, but WOWIEEEE!! Hahahahahahaha!!!

I felt immediately comfortable around her -- and the same went for meeting Kelly -- ANOTHER Saskatoon babe. Holy Moly, there must be something in the water over there. LOL!!

We gabbed and laughed like we had known each other our whole lives -- yes, it was truly that comfortable. It's amazing the connections we have made via our little blogging world.

Thank you Kelly, for picking up the tab at the restaurant -- and thank you Jenna for being such a gracious hostess. You are every bit the kind, loving, warm, thoughtful, and generous person I thought you were -- and more!

We have unfinished business, however. There are so many things we didn't get a chance to talk about. That is why I'll be back!! And a huge invitation goes out to Jenna and Kelly (and my other blogger buddies, too!) -- if you ever find yourself rolling through the Crowsnest Pass, give me a shout. You are more than welcome to stay at my humble abode!! :) :) :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tagged, I'm it!!

I've been tagged by Kelly --

So --- here goes!! 7 Random Things About Moi:

1. In Grade 3, we were asked to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew a picture of a lion tamer in a circus.

2. I have a terrible habit of chewing the inside of my cheek.

3. I can burp on command.

4. I HATE Vegas. I don't see what all the fuss is about. I hate the gambling, the smoking, the noise, the lights, and the shows everyone blathers on about. Plop me in the middle of the mountains -- now THAT is something to see.

5. Okay -- this is a tough one, but here goes. I don't get sushi. I can eat it; it's all right; but when it comes down to it, all I can taste is rice dipped in soy sauce. Sorry, Susi, but I had to come clean. LOL!!!!!

6. My favourite author of all time is Robertson Davies. I own every single one of his books -- even the ones published posthumously.

7. A few years ago I was hypnotically regressed and remembered a past life as a doctor named Eddie who lived in England in the 1850s. I shit you not. ;)

Now, according to the rules of this little game, I have to tag someone else, and they have to link back to me...


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Update from Saskatchewan

The only reason I am even posting is because I had to let Jenna know my push up count! Hee-hee!!

Day 2
Set 1: 10
Set 2 : 12
Set 3: 8
Set 4: 8
Set 5: 12

Day 3
Set 1: 11
Set 2: 15
Set 3: 9
Set 4: 9
Set 5: 13 (OWWW!!!) LOL!

Melfort is much colder than the Pass, and as flat as a pancake. I've been swimming in their glorious pool here -- what a treat! AND it is actually 25 meters!!! LOL!!!

My sister and her hubby introduced me to Rock Band (or Rockstar or whatever it's called!) last night and I was giving 'er on the drums all evening... I haven't been able to get the hang of the guitar yet, but I belted out some Alanis Morissete and some Pearl Jam. Hahahahaha!!

And for Keith -- the chin up quest is still on. I haven't forgot about it yet, I'm just going to build up some push up strength and then I'm going to try it again. :) :)

I nuked a cup of coffee in my sister's microwave this morning, not realizing that the mug I was using was not microwavable -- when I went to grab the handle it burned me pretty good. I've been holding a frozen water bottle all morning, and am now off to go swimming. The pain isn't too bad now -- a tingly burning pain that I don't want to concentarte on. Nothing that a little HTFU won't fix...


Oh and Jenna -- my sister is giving me a pass to see the tour of Christmas lights in Saskatoon -- apparently it's the biggest and best of its kind in Canada!! WOW! :) So, we can all pile into my car and tour around on Friday night with Timmy's in our hands. :) :) :)