Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Steps to the Super Spartan!

I am currently sitting on our couch with knots in my stomach. We are leaving any minute for Squamish and the Super Spartan Race. Tomorrow at 11am, Andrew and I will be running through mud, fire, and other obstacles for 8+ miles (12km)! 

There are 3 versions of the Spartan obstacle races, the Spartan Sprint - 5 miles, the Super Spartan - 8 miles and the Spartan Beast - 12 + miles. If you do all three of those, FAST, you can then move on to the Death Race - 24 hours of mayhem! The idea is that you work your way up, no one is expected to wake up and be ready for the Beast. And Andrew and I have a long way to go before we will ever, if ever, be ready for the Death Race! 

Similarly, creating a sustainable, healthy lifestyle is a continuous journey, you meet certain milestones and keep on going.  

Since we started writing this blog I've had many conversations with friends and family regarding their health and fitness journey. One friend shared that she had stopped regularly buying pop for her household. What an amazing step along her journey! It's these small manageable changes that accumulate and effortlessly transform our lives. 

So start manageable, you don't need to jump into the Beast today! 
Wish us luck, we're out the door now!!! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

No Newlywed 10! Tips for Clean Eating

Clean eating is an important component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eat LOTS of vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and proteins. Avoid pre-packaged foods, refined sugars and refined grains. In general, try to eat food that is as close to it's natural form as possible. 

Often, this is easier said than done! With busy schedules finding the time to prepare clean meals can be a challenge. We're struggling with Andrew (our main chef) back at school!

Our solution? Make lots of food Sunday night. Package it all up in serving size containers so we can just grab-and-go throughout the week. Here's a sample of an Ebbers' Sunday night cooking session.

In the Oven: 
Spaghetti Squash and Pork Chops or which ever meat is on sale at our butcher.

On the stove:
Quinoa and Meat Sauce with as many vegetables as possible, using old vegetables and grating the ones we know are good for us but don't like - even broccoli stems! 

Cleaned, chopped and ready to use:
Herb Salad Mix, Baby Carrots, Grapes, Melon, Nuts, Broccoli and Cauliflower.

With this prepared, we can throw together:

  • Spaghetti squash pasta
  • Salads (I like to add quinoa and salsa to my salads)
  • Quinoa stir fry
  • Pork chops with steamed broccoli and cauliflower
  • Meat sauce with veggies on the side
  • Fruit, vegetables, and nuts for snacks
Remember changing eating habits doesn't happen overnight. The more clean food you eat the less "other" food you eat. Praise yourself and your partner for successes and let go of your slip ups :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yoga for Men: Lesson from Wanderlust

My wife Kelly loves yoga. Really loves it.  So a few weeks ago Kelly and I went to Wanderlust #wlbc.  Wanderlust is a four day music/yoga festival that culminates in a giant explosion of activity.  I like yoga but I have never really respected it as a "tough man" activity.  After Wanderlust and five classes in two days, I have changed my mind. Yoga is an excellent way to develop core strength, at least that is what my sore muscles tell me.  
My beginner downward dog, a work in process.

We have been practicing yoga a couple times a week since the festival and my flexibility has already improved! This is something that I, and men in general, often have difficulty with. My shoulder mobility has increased which has greatly improved my overhead squat. Plus I can finally touch my toes! That hasn't happened since high school! 

Try this pose:
For guys, doing downward dog is a great way to increase shoulder flexibility and  lengthen the hamstring.  The shoulder mobility will increase your ability to lift heavy overhead.  Increased hamstring length will allow you to go deeper into your squat. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wanderlust Festival: Ms. Ebbers' perspective

Last weekend Andrew and I went to Whistler for Wanderlust, a yoga music festival and so much more! I came home feeling inspired, full of gratitude, and sore! Now, before I completely expose myself for the flower-child I truly am…let me share highlights of this festival for me.

1. Doing AcroYoga! A mixture of acrobatics and yoga and is a so much fun to do with your partner. Stretch out and get in to some crazy positions and balances. I was bubbling with excitement and pride when we got into the throne pose (see left)!  

2. Being in Whistler! It is a beautiful backdrop with great restaurants, night-life, shopping, and people watching. Add love, yoga, music, smiles, and performers to the village and it is a magical place to be!

3. Yoga classes taught by inspiring local and international instructors. There were all types of classes, with options for beginners to advanced; one class we were hugging, dancing, and shaking to top-40 and house music and the next we were doing breath work and meditating to hypnotic live music.

4. Yoga with 2000 people guided by Seane Corne and Michael Franti. One of my friends aptly described it as a yoga flash mob, moving and breathing in unison with 2000 people! Seane Corne's socially conscious words brought tears of awareness, joy and love to more eyes than just mine! And the session wrapped up with 2000 people singing along with Michael Franti and telling their neighbours "I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU."

5. Sharing one of my biggest passions with my husband! 

For Andrew's take on Wanderlust check out our next post.