Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Basic Acai Bowl Recipe

I originally posted this picture to Instagram as well as a couple of other pictures to Snapchat ( @mariahdupuy ) and I had a few people ask me what's involved with making an acai bowl. I'm glad you asked, they are so good!

The usual go to cool treat in the summer (and we're having a heatwave here right now) is ice cream. Acai bowls are a great alternative and much better for you, in fact acai is considered to be a "superfood". Broken right down it's just a smoothie in a bowl, but it's a deconstructed one and so very pretty to look at and quite frankly...I like to eat pretty food, especially when it's easy.

All you need is approx two cups of frozen mixed berries (I used a four berry blend of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries):

To the berry blend add one tablespoon of acai powder and a half of a banana to keep things creamy and a little bit sweeter.

Add about 3/4 cup of almond milk, this is approximate as you want the blend to be quite thick, and start blending. I used my trusty Nutri Ninja blender (love!).

Once it's blended you scoop it into a bowl and decorate however you like. In mine I used the other half of the banana that I used in the berry blend, some fresh blueberries and raspberries as well as chia seeds down the middle and hemp hearts on the side. Between the acai, chia and hemp you'd be chalk full of healthy omega fatty acids and antioxidants.

There are so many other things you can add as toppings...granola, coconut flakes, chopped fruit of any kind, all kinds of seeds...honestly the options are endless.

It's the perfect healthy summer treat! 

Have you tried one before? Will you now?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Currently Reading

The last time I was in Costco I was browsing through the book section (which I always do) and came across a book called Stalker by Lars Kepler. I read the synopsis and it sounded creepily good, but it turns out it was the fifth book in a series so rather than buy it I went home and ordered book number one from my local library. The Hypnotist arrived quickly and I dug right in.

This book is now responsible for keeping me up at night....not because it's scary (it is creepy but not enough to give you nightmares...well, maybe if you are really sensitive) but because I can't put it down. I'm staying up late into the night reading it and then of course paying for it the next day, but I'm on the last few pages now so should be able to catch up my sleep shortly.

Lars Kepler is a Swedish husband and wife writing team and while they have each been published on their own I think they have knocked it out of the park with this collaboration. I already have book number two, The Nightmare, on order.

What are you reading these days? Do you like crime thrillers or do you favor a different genre?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

5K Foam Fest Nanaimo

I'll just come right out and say it on this one.....it was freaking awesome. If the 5K Foam Fest comes to your town you should definitely sign up. It reminds me of a traveling fair for adults (although there were some kids running too), but with all the fun stuff you would do as a kid....get soaking wet and muddy while climbing obstacles, sliding down slides, running across water on a line of foam mats, and laughing your guts out the whole time.

This was the third 5K my friend Dana and I have run in the last month and we were both totally pumped for this one. 

Husbands and kids came along to hang out (although we'll all be running it together next year now that we know what it's all about) and everything was set up very well to keep everyone entertained.
The foam of course was a big hit but there were bouncy castles and other play areas for the kiddies as well as lots of food vendors, loud music (which got everyone totally pumped up) and a beer garden for the adults. If you follow me on Snapchat (mariahdupuy) you will have seen videos there.

Can you find Dana and I in our starting group?

And then we were off and hitting the obstacles!

I think I was laughing most of the time...just so much fun.

Once we went around this corner Chris wasn't able to photograph us very much as the course went quite a ways away from the spectators. We went through a couple of mud pits, did some trail running and then it was time for the pond. The first part consisted of us running across the water on foam mats. I felt like I was going to bail the whole time but somehow managed to keep on my feet. I think it helped that Dana was yelling behind me "you can do it! keep going!"...and I did. :)
After that was a huge line up for the "lily pads" which was a string of fourteen inner tubes tied together across the pond. Thankfully the music was loud and fun (kind of brought me back to the very brief clubbing days in my twenties) and a little dancing kept us warm.

We did a few more obstacles which included crawling on our bellies in the mud under ropes before we came into Chris's photography view again.

Looking towards one of the rope obstacles..

After some more fancy footwork between ropes and more trail running we came to the second to last obstacle which was a very high slide.

 There was quite a long line up here again and this is when we both started feeling the chill. When you're sopping wet it's important to keep moving! We finally made it to our turn and climbed on up..

And down we came with Dana screaming, there was definitely some fear conquering going on!

 We slipped straight into a pool of water and I was laughing the whole time...seriously, so much fun.

Getting ready to hit the last obstacle..

And done! We collected our metals, towels and popsicles and here I am grinning like an idiot for the picture. Did I mention it was fun?

The kiddies took full advantage of the foam spilling out at the finish line..

And came out pretty wet and happy...

There was one more obstacle which wasn't included in the race but you could buy tickets for and that was Skyfall, a 25 foot drop onto an airbag.

Aiden didn't even hesitate..

It's surprisingly high once you get up there..

 But you've just got to jump!

 So much fun! Oh wait, I've said that several times...how about a total blast?? Yes, it was a total blast, you should enter. ;)

I'll see you next year!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Getting Off Course

Getting off course can happen so easily. One day you're hitting your workout goals hard and eating super clean and the next you're wondering what in the heck happened as you put off another workout and indulge in the chocolate that's been calling your name. Your brain happened. Staying on course and in line with your goals is such a mental game. I (and everyone else) fight it everyday. The part that doesn't make sense is I feel one million times better when I work out and eat well so why in the heck would I ever go off course?? Because crappy food takes no effort, sugar is like a drug (a very potent drug!) and exercising is hard work. You have to bring your A game every single day. I don't mean never indulging in anything ever, that would make life pretty boring, but you do have to live your life with your health and wellness at the forefront of everyday if you want to be fit. It means recommitting every morning, scheduling your workouts as appointments that cannot be missed and prep prep prepping your food. Make it as easy as possible to stay on track because we both know how easy it is to get off. 

I am writing this post for both myself and those of you reading. I've gotten off track and I'm pep talking myself into getting back on. If I'm in need of inspiration I hit Pinterest ( you can find my motivation board here ), fitness blogs, Facebook groups and YouTube (so many great videos on motivation) and listen to Podcasts (I'm a huge Anthony Robbins fan). What do you do to bring yourself back around? Please share in the comments section as I'm always looking for inspiration!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Victoria Goddess Run 5K

There was one word for this race and that was HOT. Holy, I'm not really all that used to running in the heat, the area that I normally run at is well shaded and we haven't had any really extreme temperatures yet as Summer is only just gearing up. It was about 33 degrees, only the occasional patch of shade and we were running on pavement. I sweated a ton, and felt like I was melting into a puddle on the road (maybe it was just the mirage??). Thankfully there were lots of water stations (two along our 5K route as well as the big one at the end) and there were ambulance attendants following along on bicycles in case anyone got into trouble. I didn't see or hear of anyone that did but it sure is nice to know there is someone there just in case.

I ran this race with Dana, my friend who has been training with me and ran the last 5K race (and will be running another one with me next weekend!). Very happy to have such a great friend who is dedicated to doing this along with me. It makes such a difference when you have someone to train and to go to the races with. She also made these great tutus we are wearing, thanks girl I loved them!

There was a big wall that had everyone's names on it (609 entries in the 5K) so of course we had to find each others and get a pic. 

Then we headed to the start line ( if you follow me on Snapchat you will have seen the videos and many other photos of the day: mariahdupuy ). 

The things I was most thankful for during the run? Friendly neighbors along the way who had their hoses going and were happily "watering" the runners who passed by, lots of water, and the many people along the sidelines who held signs and encouraged us to keep on going. Like I said it was very hot so it was nice to have the supporters braving the temperatures in order to keep everyone's spirits up.

This is my official finishing photo. The smile is fake, but that lovely shade of red on my face is not. It was hard going. I'm just thankful I saw the photographer sign before I crossed the finish line or this picture would have looked much bleaker. Dana was not so lucky..lol.

We did it! Definitely no PR's for either of us (36.57 for me and finished 175 out of 609) but I'm so glad we went. The event raises much needed funds for three different charities (Womans Transition House, Kidsport and the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre) and I was happy to donate both my money and sweat to them.

Our race packages included the shirts we are wearing, a necklace, a bag to carry our things in, and once we finished these great medals (my first one!).

Once we crossed the finish line, had tanked up on water and had a snack we found a shady place to rest and try to cool down.

Look at those freckles! The sun and heat brought them right to the forefront.

The heat was really the only thing that made this race a challenge. Everything was set up very well with lots of volunteers and a great energy. I definitely plan on doing it again next year.

Anyone else out there run this race? I ran into one other person I knew (great to see you again Ingrid!) and I did know a couple of others who ran the 15K (mad respect for you Danielle and Angie, that's a long haul!) but I would love to hear from you in the comments section if you were there and how you did.

Friday, June 3, 2016

My Favourite Blender

 Does this seem like a weird topic for a blog post? I had to share because I love it so much. I used to have a crappy little blender that I struggled with for years. I would fill it up, turn it on, and then have to stop it about one million times (slight exaggeration) to stir everything around so the blades could start spinning again. Super annoying, and looking back I have no idea why I waited so long to upgrade.
I got my Nutri Ninja from Wal Mart and at the time it was $20 off. There are so many sales happening there all the time that I'm sure you could easily catch another one. This sucker rocks. I can load it right down and then just hit a button and walk away...it's got it handled.

Smoothies are such a great way to get a lot of greens into your diet (I pack mine with spinach) and are also an easy way to add supplements. I always throw a scoop of protein powder in there along with some chia seeds (high in omega fatty acids and great for sweeping through your system and helping things "move along") and hemp seeds (again, great source of omega fatty acids and a highly digestible protein).

I throw in some berries (raspberries are my favourite...so yummy) and a half a banana and then add some water (coconut water is a great option as well as it's full of natural electrolytes that keep you hydrated) and the result is both delicious and filling.

If you're looking for a new blender this is it, double thumbs up from me. If you're not I would love to know what you're using so please share in the comments section below.