Never give up!


That’s how I’ve been feeling since the moment I woke up this morning. I feel like I just need to take a big breath and exhale. I am slightly frustrated. Frustrated to be so far away from all my good friends, frustrated to be so far from my parents, frustrated to be on my own most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I am with my girls and I love them to pieces, but sometimes, I just need some adult conversation and it can be pretty lonely being at home all day.

I went to Crossfit and felt defeated even before I started moving. I need to stop with all this negative self talk. Yes, I am struggling at Crossfit, but I only have myself to blame. I’m not losing weight and I know it has to do with my nutrition. It’s just so dang hard to cook healthy vegan food that I end up eating alone anyway and then have to cook for Rina and cook something else for Béatrice. Although, Béa will sometimes eat what I cook for myself. I really want my girls to be eating healthy and not see me struggle so much with my weight. And I am frustrated with myself that I can’t get back to the Whole Foods Plant Based nutrition that I know is best for me and used to come so easy to me. Like Nicole (Not the fat kid in gym class anymore) said it so well in this post, I need to get off the roller coaster once and for all. Anyway, enough about this nutrition ride and onto today’s WOD:


I was teamed up with a new (to me?) guy at the box. He looked to be about 15 so I knew he was gonna kill it and I was gonna slow him way down, but I didn’t care. We finished with a time of 17:27 and although those last wallballs kicked my round tush, I only scaled with the weight of the ball (I used a 10#). It is way better than when I started Crossfit (where I would normally scale the weights AND the # of reps). I managed to get through the WOD doing the FG  and the best thing of all, even though we finished about 2 minutes after everyone else, I managed to keep my last rowing interval with an average for 500m below 2:20. I know it’s far from being great, but compared to the 2:32 average I was at in the OnRamp class, I’d say it’s a good improvement! I just need to stop beating myself up when I’m not performing as well as I would like to. It’s just hard knowing that I used to be very athletic and am now stomped in my fitness because of my weight. In the meantime, I’ll keep giving it my all and will also remember to breathe!

When life gets in the way…

I have a confession to make: I love Crossfit! It is a good outlet for me to get some “me time” away from the girls and the constant daily chores of being a stay-at-home mom on maternity leave. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and I would do anything for them, but since my hubby works long hours and we have close-to-no-relatives on the west coast with us (except from my sister-in-law), it’s pretty much me all the time with the girls. I was lucky enough that, over the summer, Ben has been able to have pretty much constant 3-day weekends, but with fall approaching and his busy schedule picking up again, I will be on full mommy-duty constantly. Moreover, with fall comes rain and we will be confined to the inside of our small apartment and it will be dreadful. I’m soooo not looking forward to not being able to go outside!

I was also lucky to have had the help of a babysitter 4 days/week for 2 hrs over the summer, but she’s now preparing to go back to school and the contingency plan that I was hoping for is not going to pan through, so I’m happy I will be able to save that money, but it’s yet another stressor in my life. Hence why I cherish Crossfit so much! It’s my little bit of insane time to myself to keep my sanity!

Since I feel so invested in Crossfit, I’ve decided to set some goals for myself. I’ve set a date to achieve those goals (December 31), but nothing is set in stone. I will re-assess where I’m at in the new year and if my goals are not achieved, they will simply roll over into the new year, so no pressure!

Goal #1: Squat my own body weight. I currently weigh 155#, but when I get closer to reaching this goal, I will reassess my weight and take it from there. It’s still a long ways away since I’m currently only squatting 45#.

Goal #2: Do 1 unassisted pull-up. Not a kipping pull-up, just one, plain, unassisted pull-up. This one is also a long ways away as I’m currently using the black band (biggest band there is) to help me with my pull-ups!

Goal #3: Do a pistol squat on both legs. For those of you who don’t know what a pistol squat looks like, here it is:


Above is Karla Drummond, performing a Pistol Squat. She has gone through a Crossfit journey that is pretty amazing. I have read her entire blog over the past few weeks and she truly is an inspiration. If you have some time, go ahead and read her blog on

So there you have my Crossfit goals. As for my personal goals, there is really only one I’d like to work on. I’d like to go back to eating WFPB (Whole Foods Plant Based) aka vegan. I try not to use the word vegan because I won’t be doing it for the well-being of the animals and I don’t buy everything vegan (clothes, shoes, etc) and for some reason, people react VERY strongly when you say you’re vegan. I don’t understand why people are so negative about a healthy lifestyle…  Anyway, I was WFPB for 15 months after Rina’s birth and I felt great! It sort of all went downhill when I got pregnant with Béatrice and caved into cravings. I haven’t been able to go back to being fully WFPB since then and I can totally feel it: lack of energy, skin breakouts, bloated to only name a few. I want to go back to when I felt better in my life and I know it’s fairly easy for me to stick to it once I establish my menus and make enough food and plan ahead. I’ll just have to work more on those aspects in the upcoming few weeks. If you want to know more about it, go ahead to or read his book Eat to Live. It is truly eye opening! Here’s what my food choices should look like and what worked for me previously:
Now here’s the kicker. I’m probably going to get a lot of hatin’ from the Crossfitters out there who read me (anyone?). You see, Crossfitters in general are Paleo people. Paleo people also believe in not consuming any processed foods (similar to WFPB), but they eat oils and animal proteins and avoid grains and legumes. See their pyramid below:

There are some similarities in the foods we consume, but I don’t care for meat that much. The only meat I enjoy is ground beef or steak, but I have terrible GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) whenever I eat it, so that makes it not so enjoyable! Like I said before, I just need to plan my menus in advance and cook them (!) so as not to be left without any options when life gets in the way.

So there, you have my goals and I’m hoping that by sharing them with you all, it will make accountable and I will stick to the master plan that is my life! 🙂

10 months old!

Sweet Rina!
Today you are 10 months old! I can’t believe how fast time is passing by. I will have to be back at work a few days before you turn 1, but for now, I am totally enjoying every second of my time with you on this lovely trip to visit your grandparents. Today, we went on a nice walk outside and the weather was perfect fall weather: warm, windy and sunny. You had a really long chat with us (we couldn’t understand you, but it didn’t seem to matter to you!) and earlier today, I made a Non-Meat Loaf for thanksgiving tomorrow! It smells delicious and I cannot wait to have some! We also managed to Skype with your Dad. It was nice to see him, but it made me mis him a little bit. We’ll see him in 12 days!

Until then, I’ll leave you with some pictures we took a few days ago with your Grandma and Oma (great-grandmother):

Getting some luvin' from Grandma

Showing Oma how tall you are

Having a blast with Oma

Showing those gorgeous eyes of yours

Now, you’re spending some quality play-time with your Nonno!


Mom & Dad Xxo


Run (walk) for the Cure

Sweet Rina,

Today was our Run for the Cure event. You and I managed to raise $645 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation! Good job little one! We walked the 5km with some friends from work. It was nice to be surrounded by all these people who cared for the same cause! Your Dad dropped us off close to the start of the event and we walked to meet up with the others. Meanwhile, your Dad enjoyed a relaxing morning at a coffee shop. He wanted to come to our turnaround point to take a few pictures, but we got there before him and he missed us :(, no big deal!

I was very moved to see what some of our fellow teammates had written on their running bibs. You see, you could write the name(s) of the people you were running the race for. On our bib, I wrote “Mamie” and pinned it to your stroller. However, some of our fellow teammates had written “Val’s mom” on their bibs, along with other names and it really touched me and got me teary eyed!

When the walk was over, I texted your Dad to come get us and after dropping you with him at home, I was off to go reunite with our teammates for a lovely brunch. I was a bit disappointed to not find any vegan/vegetarian options on the menu, but I ate some SAD (Standard American Diet) food and could definitely feel it a few hours later. I was hit with a major case of the doozies and wished I could just lie down and nap for a bit, but you wouldn’t let me. Instead, I got to cleaning up the bathroom. Normally, I do this on Mondays, but seeing as I’ll be busy with laundry and packing for our trip, I decided to do it today.

I’ll need to get up at around 3am for our trip so it should make for a really long day for me and hopefully, you won’t be too affected by the change in your schedule. Here’s to hoping you handle the travels well!

Mom & Dad Xxo


Sweet Rina,

I had been waiting to see this interview from Dr. Sanjay Gupta with former USA president Bill Clinton about his choice to become vegan for well over 3 weeks now and it is finally available to view online. The Last Heart Attack takes an in-depth look at how a plant-based diet can reverse the effects of atherosclerosis (fat deposits in arteries) and reverse heart disease (as well as diabetes and hypertension, but that’s not mentioned in the video). The special interview had been canceled twice already (1st because of a special on the uprising in Lybia and then, because of a special on hurricane Irene). and I was getting pretty desperate of ever seeing the interview and was therefore very glad that it was made available online! 🙂

I watched it last night with your Dad and I thought it was pretty informative. It all ties in with the information I’ve been reading in Eat to Live about being a Nutritarian vegan. As for how my progress are going being a nutritarian, I lost 4lbs this week and stuck with it all week long except for yesterday. I haven’t had coffee since last Sunday and I’m hoping the headaches will go away soon. The good thing is that I can now make the difference between “real and fake hunger” as well as being able to recognize a craving. Before, whenever I felt a pang, I just ate. I’ve stuck to 3 meals/day all week and never really got hungry. I know I won’t be able to keep it up this weekend as we are visiting with relatives in Vancouver (and I don’t wish to cause any inconvenience), but I,ll try my best to make the best food choices over the weekend.

We’re also planning a little trip to Ikea since there isn’t one on the island and we’ll get some new bedding for our bed and will look for a bookcase for your bedroom.;)

Finally, as promised in my last post, here is the only worthy picture I took of you at the petting zoo! It was fun to go with SuperMama and her SuperGirls and I took some great shots of the girls, which I’ll have to give to SuperMama next time we see her!

You don't look impressed by the goats and wanted to put the wood chips in your mouth. Meh!

Get ready Monkey, we’re hopping on the ferry later this morning and hanging out with relatives! I love long weekends!

Mom & Dad Xxo

Feeling sick, grinding teeth and home sweet home

Sweet Rina,

Yesterday, we managed a very small hike (probably around 7.5km) and although it was the easiest of all the hikes we have done in a long while, to me, it was the worst. We wanted to go on the Forbidden Plateau of Strathcona Park  and go from Paradise Meadows Trailhead to Lake Helen McKenzie. From there, we wanted to go to Kooso Lake and maybe attempt to go to Lady Lake and then come back around Battleship Lake. Our plans were cut short because of me. As we got to Lake Helen McKenzie, I started having pretty bad abdominal cramps. We then went around the lake up to the campground on the other side of the lake and I was not feeling any better, getting nauseous. We decided not to go to Kooso Lake and go back to the parking lot through the Battleship Lake Loop and thank goodness we did so. I pretty much spent the rest of the hike dry-heaving my way back to the car. Not a fun walk at all, for me anyway! You, on the other hand, were all smile or sleeping 😉

All smiles while Daddy ties his boots

I’m really sad that I wasn’t feeling well as the day turned out to be gorgeous (we had started the walk under a cloudy sky) and the views were really nice. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to save it for another hiking trip! When you are a bit bigger, we would like to make our way up to the icefield (we would need to camp overnight to do so, though).

First glance of Lake Helen McKenzie. I love the effect of the reflection in the water!

Mt Washington in the background, from Battleship Lake

A close-up of Mt Washington, still from Battleship Lake

After we got to the car, the dry-heaving let off a little and I only had to deal with the cramps. We went into town in Courtenay to run some errands and as I was feeling better, we also stopped to get lunch. That was a big mistake as I started getting nauseous as soon as we got back to the car. I ended up being sick once we came back to the B&B and felt better instantly afterwards. We took it easy for the rest of the day/evening and today, I was back to normal.

In other news, yesterday, you started grinding your teeth. I don’t know how you manage to do so as you only have 3 teeth that are fully out and one more on the way, but they are not aligned! You just twist your jaw and get grinding. It is quite maddening as it sounds like a low-pitched, nails-on-a-a-blackboard sound according to your Dad. Please don’t destroy your brand new pearly whites! Hopefully, this will pass once you grow more teeth!

We are now back home and although I am happy to be back home, I’m sad that our little vacation is over. I really did enjoy all the quality family time we spent over the past week and am not really looking forward to the madness of our everyday routine. Oh well, I have set up some goals for myself for the upcoming months (nutrition-wise, exercise-wise, yoga-wise and I also want to start training for the Run for the Cure coming up in October and I’d really like to be able to run it (if my shins allow me to do so, therefore, I need to start training THIS WEEK! Hopefully, you’ll be collaborating and be a good partner in your stroller!


Mom & Dad Xxo

The problem with swimming and new foods

Sweet Rina,

I think I’ve figured out what the problem is with the swimming class: the time slot. You see, you normally take a nap in the morning after breakfast and because we have to go to class, I have to do something that goes against the 1st parenting rule (which is: if a baby is asleep, you let him/her sleep!) and wake you up before you’re done napping in order to go to class. I think it’s part of the reason you don’t like it too much. This morning however, you took forever to go down for your nap and I had decided that if you weren’t sleeping by 9am, we weren’t gonna go to swim class today as you wouldn’t have slept long enough and would be grumpy for class (ok, grumpy-er!) To be completely honest, I was sort of looking forward to an easy morning at home, but true to Murphy’s Law, you fell asleep and we ended up going to class. Good for you, exhausting for me! Oh well, little sacrifices we make as parents for our lovely child! 😉

Today, we didn’t go into the pool before class started as I wanted to put all the chances on our side so we’d have a good class. I think you get cold if we’re in the water too long so I only went in with you when class started. I had also brought your soother with you in the pool. I clipped it to your bathing suit and it was floating around, easy for you to grab when you wanted it. Class went fairly well today as we (the parent) learnt how to go into the pool and out of the pool with you little ones either sitting or lying on the “deck”. You also managed to relax while on your back gave a few leg kicks and even had a few sips of the water as I was “teaching” you how to blow bubbles (pretty much, I blow bubbles making silly noises, you ignore me and lick/drink the water! Fun I tell you!) You only cried a bit once we got into the hot pool. I think you were getting tired.Tomorrow, we’ll be going into the dive tanks with you all and your Dad will be joining us for class! That should be fun!

This class is also really good for me as I don’t know my nursery rhymes in English and I’m learning a few as we play games in the pool. Although, I do a lot of mumbling and humming for a lot of them, I’ve now learned “Hokey Pokey”, “Purple Stew” and “If you’re happy and you know it”. I still need to work on my “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “7 little Monkeys”. See, Mama is working hard too!

When we got back home, we were lucky enough to have new food (for you) ready and waiting to be devoured. Your Dad was kind enough to boil and purée broccoli while we went to swimming class so you could try it once we got home. He followed the directions from “Blender Baby Food” (2nd edition) by Nicole Young and it gave us a very watery purée, but that wasn’t a big deal as I thickened it up with some oat cereal. You LOVED it! You kept opening your mouth and asking for more! The best part is we have quite a few leftovers so I froze some and kept some in the fridge for the upcoming days. This book looks pretty good and simple to follow and has recipes from 6 to 12 months! A good investment if you ask me! I was lucky to find the book yesterday at the grocery while getting some necessities. Hopefully, you’ll like a few recipes in there! Your Dad and I haven’t yet made up our minds as to how we’ll “feed” you (vegan or not). I’m still getting conflicting information in my reading materials and let’s just say our family doctor is SO NOT supportive of the vegan idea and she has made that quite clear on your last check-up, literally saying: “I’m probably the worst person to ask about bringing up a baby vegan as I’m totally against it”. Hmpf! So much for forgetting about your personal values and morals when dealing with patients! It’s literally one of the 1st things they teach you in nursing school: Don’t judge and don’t carry your personal morals / values when dealing with patients. Try to offer support and information so the patient can make an informed decision about things. I guess our doctor skipped school on that day when she was doing her pre-med / residency! Oh well, you win some, you lose some. That’s why I read a lot and talk to the public health nutritionist when I have questions!


Mom & Dad Xxo

Lies, lies and more lies!

Sweet Rina!

Phew! We are both pooped after the whirlwind of the last 4 days. It started back last Thursday as we (you and I as your Dad had to stay behind and work) hopped on a plane for Montreal, QC. Your Uncle (my brother) came to pick us up at the airport and then we attempted to avoid the crazy Montreal rush hour/construction traffic. We decided to stop at a little hot dog place (Lafleur) and grabbed a quick dinner. I was starving as vegan options while travelling are close to nonexistent! I opted for a vegetarian sandwich at the Calgary airport, but I was famished by the time we landed in Montreal. I was positively surprised to see there was a combo with tofu dogs at Lafleur and therefore, that’s what I had! Then, on Friday, we were off again to go surprise Mamie and Grand-Papa. They didn’t know we had made the trip to come see them and Mamie’s reaction was perfect and priceless. Grand-Papa was also surprised once he came back from running errands.

A very happy Mamie holding Rina!

The real reason we had taken the trip was for an early 40th anniversary celebration for Mamie and Grand-Papa. Their anniversary is on July 1st, but we had to do it a bit early as your Dad and I are having your Nonno and Grandma over right now. So, there we were, reunited with Mamie and Grand-Papa and Mamie was on the phone with my godmother when she passed me the phone. I had to pretend to be sad not to be able to see her on my short visit, knowing full well I was going to see her the next day! 😉

With Grand-Papa aka Papou! You share a similar haircut! 😉

Saturday morning came around and we were off to go se Great Grand-Maman. Again, we had to pretend that we weren’t going to see each other in just a few hours. Your Uncle, Great Grand-Maman and I had to plot so many lies, I was afraid someone was going to screw up and let the secret out! Fortunately, everybody kept the secret! 🙂

With Great Grand-Maman

4 generations of Babymamas! Somehow, you don't seem impressed...

We came back to Mamie and Grand-Papa’s in the afternoon so you could nap and Mamie could rest before the evening, what Mamie and Grand-Papa thought would be a small family dinner at your Uncle’s place. We then drove to Uncle’s place and started the surprise gathering of 30 close friends and family members to celebrate the wonderful love story of Mamie and Grand-Papa.

Mamie, Grand-Papa, Uncle and me (you were napping) ©2011 Jean-Marc Charron

Mamie and Grand-Papa ©2011 Jean-Marc Charron

Their smiles say it all during your Uncle's speech ©2011 Jean-Marc Charron


It truly was a testimonial to how much they are loved and supported through recent events. A success overall, if you ask me! The party ended around 10pm and then, it was time to repack my bags and put you to bed as we had another early rise this morning in order to fly back home where your Dad, Nonno and Grandma were waiting for us. We had a long flight up to Edmonton where we were only supposed to refuel and get a few more passengers, but we somehow got delayed and were allowed to go into the terminal in order to eat and stretch. I did a few Trikonasana in the terminal as well as a few Gomukhasana. I didn’t care if I looked weird doing a few yoga poses in the airport terminal, I hadn’t done yoga in 5 days and having to hold you constantly took its toll on my body.

Once we got home, our visitors and your Dad went to play golf while I unpacked us and cleaned up all your bottles. You then napped for 3 hrs straight ( 🙂 ) and I seized the opportunity to pop in my Yoga Tune-Up DVD and those 32 minutes were pure bliss! Even those dreaded Monk Walks! 😉

Since then, you’ve been bathed, fed and put to bed for the night (I hope!) until we hit the road again tomorrow with everybody in order to go visit more relatives in Vancouver. I’ll be glad to go back to my vegan diet and our regular routine after that!

Sleep well little angel, I know I will!

Mom & Dad Xxo

You grow up too fast!!!

Sweet Rina,

As of last Wednesday, you are slowly starting to sit up by yourself. You can’t get from a lying down position to a sitting up, but if we prop you into a sitting position, you can remain sitting for about a minute before you tip over. Your Dad and I can also tell you’re really trying hard to sit up on your own as you crunch your little abs and try to lift your head. Also, this morning, your Dad left you on your back in the living room for an instant (on your play mat) and when we came back to you, you were on your tummy! It’s the 1st time you flip from back to tummy and we missed it! Oh well, there will be plenty of other times for us to witness it!

In other news, I made these yesterday as a little treat:

Averie's No Bake Coconut & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

You can find the full recipe on Love Veggies and Yoga’s website. They are Vegalicious  (vegan & delicious 🙂 ) and you should drop everything and go make some right now! I had been making Nikki’s Healthy Cookies from 101 Cookbooks on a weekly basis since SuperMama introduced me to them, but this week, I wanted something different and these hit the spot. They taste just like cookie dough and are so small, I can have 2 and not feel too guilty about it! Sweet, doughy, coconut-y delight!

Seriously, go make some now!

As for you, little one, you are fast asleep and we have a fun week ahead of us with planned walks, hikes and your 6-month F/U at the doctor’s!

Sleep well little angel!


Mom & Dad Xxo

Breakfast Banana Oat Cake, How I love thee!

Sweet Rina!

This morning, I decided to make the BEST and QUICKEST breakfast I’ve had in a while! It only took 90 seconds to bake in the microwave and it tasted delicious. The original recipe can be found on Averie’s Blog (Love Veggies and Yoga) or you can find it here! Best of all, it’s vegan and gluten-free! I made mine following Averie’s recipe to a T except I didn’t add the cocoa to mine since I’m not a big fan of chocolate anyway… I also smothered mine in Adams crunchy peanut butter. What a good way to begin the day (very bright and early, thanks to a Little Miss Chatterbox who shall remain unnamed… Ahem!).



Soooo good!

At only  364 calories/cake, they are the perfect breakfast. I have chopped and frozen the other half of the banana since I’m planning to use it to make this Banana Soft Serve at some point for dessert. Paired up with a cup of nice hot lemon water (instead of coffee), the banana oat cake was just what I needed, even though it was way too early. You decided to wake up at 0545 this morning and entertain us with a very loud chat with your feet. Oh well, like Daddy says, I should learn to nap during the day, but find it impossible.

Hopefully, the weather will hold and we’ll be able to go for a walk today!


Mom & Dad Xxo