Thursday, 31 May 2012


So pumped to write about my first experience being a Foodie Pen Pal!  I'd like to start just by saying what an awesome time I've had and how fun it is to connect to two amazing ladies and fellow foodies.  Picking out what to send to Nikki, my penpal was great, and anticipating what I'd receive in my package from Anna was exciting, but I think my favorite part was just chatting with them via email about all things food and fitness.

My package was waiting at my doorstep after a particularly grueling week (see my last post for details), and I felt like a kid again opening it up and checking out my loot.

Thank you Anna Sherwood for such an awesome Foodie Pen Pal Package!
Naturally I took a picture of it right away because I knew I was going to eat at least one of these goodies immediately!  Anna was incredibly kind to accommodate my primarily Paleo diet.  We had emailed back and forth a few times about what exactly my normal diet was, to which I replied not to worry so much about that because I was just excited to try some of her favorite snacks.  She did an awesome job of mixing some Paleo with non-Paleo snacks and I gotta say, they were all delicious!

My top pick was definitely the "Enjoy Life" trail mix, which was gone in a matter of 24 hours - dangerously delicious! 

Another thing that I really appreciated from Anna's package was she made a great effort to send me some local goods.  So cool to try out these companies.  I'll be sure to pickup more "Just Us" products next time I'm in Nova Scotia, the tea is fantastic!

Thank you so much Anna.  Can't wait for next month of Foodie Pen Pals!

Nikki and Anna, feel free to send a guest blurb if you'd like to post about your experiences too!



Thursday, 24 May 2012

Crossfit & Theatre: Keepin me Sane

The weather is gorgeous, the birds are a singin', I'm two weeks away from spending my summer acting at 4th Line Theatre and yet for some reason - earlier this week I felt like I'd been walking on eggshells with my anxiety.  Anxiety used to be a much bigger part of my life (particularly in highschool/beginning of University) but after reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth about 50 times, I've taught my brain how to break the cyclical nature of this stress...most of the time.  It's quite possible this is just a particularly bad lady time of the month, but knowing that doesn't change anything.  There are a few very minor things that really set me off this week: a couple of very human errors I made in my day job that really set me off, realizing that I only have 4 days off the first month I'm away and how much I'm going to miss Andy, and lastly having been advised that my business plan that I've been working really hard on needs an overhaul.  

Are these things earth shattering? NO!  Did anything really horrible happen? NO! So I was telling myself to get a grip and enjoy my time in Toronto before my adventure begins but it took a little fitness therapy to really let the steam off.  

My second crossfit class at Auxiliary fitness was a Deadlift WOD.  As I added on more weight, I kept telling the instructor/co-owner Justin that I had found my max.  He shook his head no, and kept pushing me to add on a little more.  I got to the point where I literally could not lift the dang barbell in the slightest and started to get really dizzy and had to put my head between my legs and rest.  I kind of expected Justin to tell me that was enough for the day and to relax. Nope.  He told me to try one more time.  "GET ANGRY!" he said.  So I thought of the 3 things that had been really getting under my skin this week, took a big breath, and somehow, that barbell that seemed impossible to lift a minute ago, was in the air.  My first Personal Record of 140lbs for deadlifts.  To say I'm hooked is a gross understatement.

Andy and I booked it to The Stratford Festival after the class to see The Matchmaker featuring my mentor and friend Chick Reid and her hubby Tom McCamus.  The show was incredibly well executed, and absolutely hilarious.  My face hurt from smiling after the curtain.  

It's slightly embarrassing to admit to losing my cool over such trivial matters, but there's no point in denying it.  Today - I feel like myself again, but I'm not sure if I could have shook off those negative vibes as easily without this killer stress busting combo of crossfit and the arts.  Instead of deflated and worried, I feel strong and inspired.  A New Earth will always have a place on my bookshelf but somehow I don't think I'll need it so much anymore.



Saturday, 19 May 2012

Healthy Lifestyle Bullies

Family and friends can have such a huge impact on what we see as "normal" in our day to day lives.  A sedentary lifestyle lived by someone close to you can inadvertently have a similar impact on your own health and fitness.  On the other hand, some people look at other people who are active and make excuses for their own fitness level (or lack-there-of) by labeling them people as "fitness fanatics", or "obsessive".  Yes, there must absolutely be a balance and exercise/healthy living can't be all you care about or you aren't really living, are you?  That being said, I don't know anyone personally who is at that level of fanaticism but I do know many people who use this negative labeling to make themselves feel better about their unhealthy lifestyles.  It's health bullying in a way.  

Adam Knowles and I post Half Marathon
The reason I'm writing all of this is because I had a sort of lightbulb moment with my great friend and fellow blogger Krysten (Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail) after a 6am crossfit class at Indestri in Collingwood.  It's no surprise, and no great secret that both Krysten and I have had our own challenges with body image (hey, we're human).  However as we sipped our lattes at Starbucks post workout, we made a connection that something had changed this year for both of us re:health and fitness.  A ball had dropped.  It began when we each committed to running a half-marathon.  When the training began, there was a serious shift in the way we each thought about our bodies.  For me it went from dragging myself to the gym and hoping that I had burned enough calories, to pushing myself to run farther than I ever had before.  When you're training for a race, you can't treat your body badly because you need it be a clean machine.  We both started to appreciate our bodies more and although neither of us broke any records by any means, we both finished something that a few years ago we had never dreamed of committing to.  

So yes, it may seem crazy and obsessive to run for 2 hours and put yourself through blisters and cramps and all sorts of other crap and actually pay to run in a half marathon, but hey - it's the best therapy and confidence boost I've ever had.  So if you're reading this and you think you might fall into the "health bully" category - maybe it's just your fear talking.  Any chance you might actually want to challenge yourself in this way too?  How about saying f%&k it to your excuses and put on a pair of sneaks and just GO?  And if you've crossed paths with someone like this - don't be angry with them, just remember, like any bully, they are doing it out of their own insecurity.  So run, swim, hike, yog, cross, or whatever else it is that keeps you sane and don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.



Friday, 18 May 2012

TIFF Next Wave Film Festival

Co-Star Andrew Pigott, Director Joseph Procopio & I
Our premier of Memories at the TIFF Next Wave Festival was a huge success!  I was lucky enough to have a ton of friends and family at the event and an incredible amount of support from those who were there in spirit.  Naturally I was slightly panicked about my outfit but was lucky enough to have the stylistic help of Lyndsay - who helped me plan the perfect daytime screening outfit from head to toe.

Can't wait to wear these puppies again!
With amy daytime event - it's important not to overdo it with your makeup & attire.  We worked with a dress that I already had (Tory Burch for Forever 21), added some sick shoes from Zara & a cropped jean jacket and bangles from H&M.  So including my dress which I've had for a few months, I felt TIFF ready and totally appropriate for my first big screening for under $150. 

This is just the beginning of the Memories Festival tour.  Next up is the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August.  Road trip!  I'm confident that it will be screened at some other excellent film festivals as well, Joseph has done an incredible job with the piece.  

Just a couple of short weeks before MetCon Blu and my summer move to 4th Line Theatre.  Lots of updates on both these fronts but right now, I've gotta get out the door and go for a run!

Have a fantastic long weekend!

xoxo, Allie

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

My Half-Marathon Post Mortem

Post Race with my orange hat buddy Adam!
I can't believe it, but somehow the big day has come and gone and I managed to get my body from the start line to the finish line of the Goodlife Half-Marathon.  First of all, kudos to all the other runners and thank you to all of the amazing people pumping me up along the way.  At one point I had a raging cramp and this nice lady stopped and asked if i was ok.  Such a small gesture but it really meant the world to me at the time.  I was lucky enough to have my friend/lil sister's boyfriend, Adam, join me for the run and it really helped having someone there to calm my nerves before the start.  Of course, about 5 minutes before go time, I had to pee like a racehorse and had to run into the bushes, narrowly avoiding a cop and another runner.  I tried to be as stealth as possible in my neon hat but I think they just chose to ignore me, to which I say, thank you kindly! 

So now it's two days post run and my legs are feeling better than yesterday but still, pretty darn sore.  My blisters are healing, and my joints feel pretty good.  More than anything though, I just feel happy. I am happy that I pushed myself to achieve a goal which for a long time, made me too nervous to even commit to.  I am happy that both my body and mind were able to accept this challenge.  My sisters, brother in law,boyfriend, mom and her partner Ted were all there cheering me along.  Them being there and supporting me along the way meant more to me than I can say.  They believed I could do it, even when I didn't.  I realized about 10K into the run I wasn't really doing it to prove to anyone that I could, except for myself.  I needed to do it for me.  And that is the most satisfying part of all.  I proved myself wrong.  I can be a runner (despite the fact that as a child I hated all sports event and picked dandelions in the fields rather than participating).  I've realized that we put limitations on ourselves, and those are the ones that really hurt.  By saying "I'm not a runner" or "I'm not really an athlete" we put ourselves in these little boxes and don't see the world of opportunity around us.  So if you're reading this and thinking "I'm in my own box", open it.  You are the only one who can do so and it is so freeing.  Realize that your own fear is holding you back, but it has no real power over you.  You can do whatever it is you want to do and no one is responsible for your own physical condition or your own happiness but yourself.  Be your own life coach.  Believe.

Wow, ok that may have been an intense paragraph but I'm fairly certain it communicates the essence of what this Half-Marathon brought to light for me.  

I still don't know whether a full marathon is in my future or not but I would do another Half.  But now, it's time to focus on METCONBLUE!  And it starts tomorrow, with a recovery yoga class, and I can't wait.

I booted it to a print-ad "go see" audition this morning which seemed to go well but it's hard to tell when the directions are to jump up and down screaming like you're at a soccer game and your team just scored.  I find it hilarious how often I find myself in these brutally awkward scenarios in commercial audition settings but somehow my brain flicks a switch and I just giver.  I guess that's an essential part of being an actor - being able to disregard the fact that you look like a complete maniac sometimes.

On the way out of the audition I got an email from my agency that I booked a part in a multi-media project that I auditioned for initially in November and was called back for last week.  The project has some really cool aspects to it.  The characters will all infiltrate various social media venues (ie twitter, facebook etc) and the "episodes" will be on youtube.  It's fairly improvisational which I love and the director has some great ideas to work off of.  


I've been matched up with my Foodie Pen Pals and have really been enjoying chatting with them via email.  It's amazing to connect with these people and listen to their stories and experiences.  I can't wait to get Nikki's package together!  I've already got some great ideas just from the couple of emails we've sent back and forth.

Take care, comb your hair, and enjoy this lovely tune by Great Lake Swimmers.



Friday, 4 May 2012

Make it Happen May


Just two more sleeps until my Goodlife Half Marathon and my mood about the whole thing is shifting fairly spastically from "Hell yes, you are ready, you got this!" to, "Oh God, oh God, what was I thinking?!".  Regardless, I'm still very glad that I made the decision to do the run.  It's been a life goal of mine and hey, if not now, when? Life really is too short to be a bystander.  I couldn't be happier to start off my 27th year with the biggest fitness challenge yet.  I've just got to remind myself that no matter how fast I run and no matter what my time is at the end, it's a huge accomplishment and has allowed me to push myself and run farther than I have ever before.

A little less than a month after my half, it's time for Met Con Blue Adventure Race!  It's a 5K fitness blitz with twists, turns and insane challenges.  My brother in law, the amazing Bill Pain, should be given due credit for my two sisters and our partners participating in this madness.  Not to mention everyone's favorite Darwinian Fail and her hubby will be participating!  How shall I train?!  Here's my tentative plan (starting after I recover from the half!):

Yoga or Pilates  -   1x per week
Crossfit Class    -   1x min per week
Running           -   2x min 5K run per week
Strength          -   Either Body Pump or solo weight training

Tweaks will inevitably be made I'm sure (especially after I discuss with Mr. Pain!).  But for now, I'm just going to try to enjoy my tapering before the run, and fuel this body as well as possible!  

Paleo Pre-Race Fuel!

Breakfast:  2 Eggs and a couple pieces of sweet potato or honeydew melon and the essential cup o coffee.
Snack:  Handful of Almonds
Lunch:  Giant salad with any protein, half an avocado, whatever veggies are in the fridge and maybe a couple of dill pickles (don't judge me)
Snack:  Snack size can of Tuna or last night's protein with leftover veggies.
Dinner:  Last night it was Fish tacos wrapped in bib lettuce with some awesome veggie toppings.  Always a protein and lots of veggies.  So many options.

Throughout the day I am trying to drink at least 2L of water as well as some herbal teas to keep the lattes at bay!  Good restful sleep is essential especially since pre race anxiety/excitement can interfere all on its own, no need to throw extra caffeine/alcohol into the mix to really eff it up!

I've signed up for The Lean Green Bean's Foodie Pen Pals! Check out her blog for more info but I'm really excited to pack up a bangerang kit!

In Other News...

"Memories" will screen at the TIFF Next Wave Festival on May 12th (yahooo!).
 Our new little car "Ricky" has arrived and she is an absolute beaut.  My 27th Birthday has come and gone and thanks to all of my amazing family/friends and the wonderful Andy it was a blast!  Plans for my secret business are developing really nicely and I will share details very soon.  I get to see my sisters this weekend and complete a goal that I've had for years, to run a half-marathon.  So this girl is pretty dang excited about Spring.  I'm officially calling it "Make it Happen May" because hey, if we don't do it for ourselves, it just ain't gonna happen.  

I'm off to the Goodlife Marathon Expo to pickup my race kit!  I leave you with this amazing tune which will DEFINITELY be on my playlist race day!  

Have a fabulous day and hey, do something nice today for yourself k?

xoxo, Allie